Happy days, holidays and everything in between!  

The weather can’t seem to make its mind up this morning – it looks almost as though it could snow! Mind you I’ve not been outside yet and the odds are it’s too warm for that, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed! My son Sam is flying out on a six week trip abroad. He’s staying in Abu Dhabi, Thailand and trekking across Malaysia too! It would be a nightmare for him and anyone else flying out of Heathrow today to be grounded by snow. Of course last year we had that mighty amount of snow in April, so it may be holding back until spring, although judging by the huge numbers of daffodils in bloom along one of the major A roads near to me, it may have already sprung!!

Thanks so much as always for getting in touch with me. It’s always good to catch up and your kind words of support have really cheered me through some of the longer days… Hard to believe it’s over three months since we lost mum, but life goes on, and both my sister Jenny and I feel we’re coping better with the changes that inevitably come about when you lose someone. Mum’s partner Joe is doing well too, and for him, his loss of short-term memory has been a positive thing as he finds comfort in looking back at how life used to be and genuinely doesn’t remember what has happened over the last year. I went to stay with Jenny last week, and we took him out for a coffee. It was lovely to have time together and he really appreciated the company.

Having taken him back home, Jenny and I headed into Winchester for a mooch and some lunch. The last time I’d been there was when mum was first in hospital, and Jack and I had a pizza there after we’d visited her. I hadn’t spent time in the city though since the 1990’s when Jack was in a pushchair! I was really impressed by the Cathedral. It’s one of the largest cathedrals in Europe and construction began in 1079 on the orders of William the Conqueror. Built close by is the Old Minster – a Benedictine monastery that was the home of St. Swithun – incredible how all these buildings still look as good today as they did no doubt when first built!

I’d learned great deal about Winchester having read a beautiful book called ‘A Single Thread’ by Tracy Chevalier. I say ‘read’ I should have said ‘listened to’. I’m a huge fan of Audible Audio Books, and Fenella Woolgar (one of the sisters in Call the Midwife) reads it so well! Jenny had listened to it too, and it was really interesting bringing to life the places Tracy had described so perfectly.

Equally interesting and far more energetic was an evening I spent with a great many of the QVC guest presenters and the backstage staff! A couple of them had booked out a bar in London, and I danced for at least four hours that evening. Was really miffed that I hadn’t remembered to wear my Fitbit as I think I must’ve done at least 60,000 steps!. Did you get the Fitbit Today’s Special Value last Saturday? I really enjoy using mine – not least for the sleep app which is particularly accurate, but also the steps. I have to admit to only having had three hours and 13 minutes sleep after the party, but it was such fun that I was on a high for at least the following 12 hours.

Good job too because that night I had the Diamonique regular show and we had some stunning new designs and a set of single stud earrings at a great price. I know I always bang on about the value and the fact you can’t tell them apart from the real thing, but honestly, looking in a jewellers window on the high street in Winchester I saw these diamond earrings… the largest pair were £7200! As a bit of a treat, Charlie Brook will be joining me this Tuesday night with his fabulous Diamonique ‘Wish Upon A Star’ pendant. The story behind the design is absolutely beautiful, and it will be great to have him with me to share that.

I’ve started gathering together a few things for my holiday, and top of the list is Ultrasun! This year I’m going to try out the Body Tan Activator and the Face Tan Activator – Julia said she had great results from it so I’m going to give it a go. I’ve been prepping my skin with Gatineau’s Tan Accelerator as its not seen any sunlight since the beginning of September last year and it’s always worked very well for me in the past. I’ll need to get my summer clothes out of the Spacesaver Bags too. It’s a great way to keep them out of the way, and as I washed them all before I put them away they still smell fresh because of the airlock. Talking of clothes, Kim and Co have a Today’s Special Value coming up the day before I go away. It’s a long-sleeved godet insert tunic in a myriad of different colours and prints, so if you keep in touch with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter I can give you the price and item number a little nearer the time. 😀

That’s pretty much it for me for now, I will take as many photos as I can while I’m on holiday and then put them together in a blog for you when I return, but do write to me here as I’ll have plenty of time to respond. Oh, just thought you might like to see these mighty sausage rolls I made for Colin the other day.

I used his favourite sausages – Lincolnshire – but took the sausage meat out of the skins before I put it inside the pastry. I was quite chuffed, and also very glad of the Cooks Essentials silicone liner as my baking trays have definitely seen better days!

I hope you enjoy the remainder of January, and that February is a good month for you too. Thanks as always for your support and for keeping in touch with me.

With my love,

Ali xxx

16 Responses

  1. Hi Ali great blog as ever. How lovely that you caught up with Joe and that he is doing well. Wow love the look of your sausage rolls, they look great (Greggs eat your heart out)!! I bet Colin loved them. Have a lovely holiday Ali. Look forward to seeing your pictures when you return. Lots of love xx

    1. Dear Karen, so glad you enjoyed the blog, and yes it was lovely to catch up with Joe and Jenny. I’m sorry I’ve not responded sooner, but am now home from holiday and hastily writing a new blog for you to read. I hope you’ve been ok in the storms? Love Ali xx

  2. Hi Alison glad youd coping with losing your mum takes time. Glad you enjoyed Winchester thats,where I was born and where Clare had Willa we visited the xmas,market there again this year not far from us,here in ringwood. The wedding went well it was Gary who got married not Clare she’s been married 7 years sorry if I confused you before . some lovely words were said to Les,and I from Gary and people commented on what a gentleman he was and it was how we had brought him up I was very tearful as,was Lee when he saw Will come in in her little dress, I will post a picture somewhen Les had a,migraine come on and was ill when we got back luckily it was,later in the evening bless him. Hope your holiday is good and take care love Loraine

    1. Hi there Loraine, and again, apologies for confusing Gary with Clare! The wedding photo was stunning and I’m so glad that you and Les were both a main part of his speech – he wouldn’t be here without you! 🙂 Jenny has said to me that this year we must visit the Winchester Christmas Market… she didn’t feel up to it last year understandably. I hope that Les hasn’t had any more migranes, and that you have both survived the storms that hit while I was away. Quite shocking to see the footage! Hastily trying to put together a new blog for you to read this weekend, and will look forward to hearing from you. Love Ali xx

  3. Dear Alison, it’s always a pleasure reading your blogs. And thank you so much for sharing them with us. Stay bless all my love and best wishes. Antoinette x

    1. Dear Antoinette, Thanks so much for keeping in touch with me here on the blog, and I’m very glad that you have enjoyed reading them. It’s a real privilege to share my life with you, and so nice that you take time out to comment here. A new blog heading your way very soon! Love Ali xx

  4. Hello Ali, I was so relieved to read your positive words about how you & Jenny are feeling & that Joe’s comforted by memories of happier times. My sister’s fortitude amazes & humbles me, however, there are times when I wonder if it’s an act to get her through & I’m aware that she’s now feels like a refugee in her own land. I loved your photos & the facts about Winchester, defo a place on my list of places to visit this year. One of my favourite places is Malvern; Colin loves the hills, I love the town & we both love the theatre so when we had the most recent ‘What’s On’ email it was a given that we booked tickets to see Blithe Spirit. Last time we saw it was 2004, also at Malvern, & Penelope Keith was Madame Arcati, this new production has Jennifer Saunders in the role, she’s wonderful AND flatulent, the girl who plays Elvira is sublime & the set is stunning. It’s on tour before going to the West End & I thoroughly recommend it. Thank you for your suggestion that I should write because last year I wrote three stories for children, my idea being that they could form one book. I have no idea what to do now & really need an illustrator but you’ve given me a push & I’m going to look into possibilities. Have a glorious holiday & return all golden, rested & with lots of photos. Love from Jo x

    1. Dear Jo, you have such empathy and understanding of situations – I think you may well have read your sister’s true emotions very accurately, but I am very glad that she has you there for her. No one truly understands anyone else’s personal relationship, and we can only use our own as a yardstick. So long as she stays strong, she is healing inside too.
      I wanted to say how delighted I am for you that you have taken the plunge and written your children’s books! If you want to e mail me at QVC or direct message me on any other social media platform, I may be able to help you when it comes to finding a publisher. Fingers crossed!
      I think I visited Malvern with Lucy a while back, but it’s great to know that you and Colin both love the theatre and enjoyed Blithe Spirit with Jennifer Saunders – I’m a huge fan! I will keep an eye out for when it visits the West End.
      OUr holiday was fabulous, and possibly the laziest we’ve had in years. I am hoping to have a new blog for you on Monday! Watch this space, and thanks for keeping in touch, Love Ali xx

    1. Dear Madeline,

      We had a fabulous holiday – thanks so much for your good wishes. It was perfect timing too and the weather was sublime. I’ll have new photos for you in the next blog. Love Ali xx

  5. Hi Ali,
    those sausage rolls look absolutely delicious. Just the thing to be looking at when I am sitting in bed and starving ! I always get the munchies this time of night and one of those sausage would go down a treat.( LOL). That’s my problem, always eating at the wrong times.
    I love seeing the daffodils out as well. It a sure sign that spring is on its way. And of course it is our national flower of Wales. I am also looking forward ,with great relish, to the weekend as it is the start of the 6 Nations Rugby Union Tournament. ( I am an absolute rugby fanatic so will be glued to the television for the next couple of months!)
    So its a nail biting time, especially as we won the Grand Slam last year. Everyone knows better than to phone or call down when the games are on.
    Well , hope you have a lovely relaxing holiday. I’ll be needing one after the rugby’s finished .
    Best wishes, Tina S. (S.Wales) xx

    1. Hi Tina, The sausage rolls didn’t last long! Colin ate two that night and took the others into work with him 🙂 How have you been enjoying the rugby? Sorry the weather has been so awful over the last few weeks – I can’t believe we were away for all of it! I hope you haven’t had any damage. The holiday was just what we needed, and we’ve both managed to rest and recharge. I’m writing a new blog and hope to have it with you by Monday. Love, Ali xx

  6. Hi Ali The weather we are having rain and more ran, just sent daffodils in a shop the is the sign of spring. Hubby is ok after checking his shoulder, he has to have biopsy on his face there is spot they don’t like.
    You never get over losing a parent time will heal.
    You enjoy your big birthday holiday.
    Think hubby might got me tanzanite ring. For my big birthday in March. Here hoping.
    Take Care x
    Fingers

    1. Hi there Christine. I Do you hope all is well with your husband and the biopsy? Sorry you’ve had such dreadful weather – couldn’t believe Colin and I missed it although we were way. The holiday was fabulous and a wonderful way to celebrate early for my big birthday. I’ll keep everything crossed your husband has bought you the Tanzanite ring for your big birthday – do let me know! Thanks for your sweet words about mum.. I’ve thought about her a lot while I was away… it just takes time as you say.

      With love, Ali xx

  7. Hi Ali ,it never rains but it pours at our house at the moment, you will know from my last message to you the trouble we had last year, well I thought we would have a better time this year, but sadly not ,John has had a slight stroke, nothing too serious but again its knocked us back ,he is being sorted by our wonderful NHS hospital so fingers crossed he will make a full recovery. So glad to see Joe your dear mums partner is doing well, he must miss her so much as you all do, well my friend I hope you and colin have a wonderful time on your holibobs and will write to you when you’re back .lots of love Linda F xxx💖

  8. Dear Linda, I was so sorry to hear that John has had a slight stroke. Hopefully by the time you receive this you’ll be home with you and the NHS will have done a great job in bringing him back to full recovery. Do let me know how are years. We have been and now returned from our fabulous holiday, and it was a much needed rest. The weather was incredible and we felt very blessed. I should have a new blog complete with photos with you by next week – take care, love Ali xx

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