Last of the summer sun, family reunions and a quick getaway

Hi there,

I’m sorry I’ve been neglectful over the last few weeks, but I’m ready now with all my news to share and an update on some special deals you won’t want to miss. Firstly, thank you very much for getting in touch with me. Such lovely comments and as always great to know what you’ve been up to. I’m not sure whether the summer flew by for you or maybe it’s because the gloomy weather made it feel more like autumn than summer! Of course, all that has now changed! I am sitting in the garden perspiring in a very unladylike way but soaking up the rays while they are here.

Of course, we have had the occasional day when I’ve not had to think about taking a coat – one of them was when I spent time with my granddaughter Honey. Lucy has changed direction in her career and now works from home and so I came to look after Honey as she was still on school holidays. We decided to give mum a break and head out towards Tadpole Farm with one of their little dogs – Bear Bear. They have two Chihuahuas, both girls, but Penny the younger of the two is expecting her first puppies. She was too tired to walk very far so we set off in the sunshine.

Honey reminds me very much of Lucy at the same age – very chatty, articulate and full of beans. We walked just over 6km which is pretty good going considering how short Bear Bear’s legs are! Mind you, Honey carried her for the last half mile, and I thought you might like this little film of them together?

QVC presenter Alison Keenan’s granddaughter and dog Bear Bear

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I’m going to visit them again later this week as Colin I have decided on a rather last minute to return to Gozo. We are going back to the same little hotel and plan to retrace our steps. It was such a relaxing and easy time and as we are planning major refurbishments inside our house this autumn and winter it will be nice to get our energy up before we begin!

We were lucky enough to get quite a few of the children together on Sunday for a barbecue – our final one of the summer – and the weather was just spectacular. It’s been a long time since we had a family gathering – I think it was Colin‘s birthday at the end of May – so it was really wonderful to spend time with them.

I also had a very enjoyable two days with my godmother Edna whom I’ve not seen for a very long time. She had two knee replacements last year and obviously because of the restrictions due to Covid we’ve been unable to see each other. It was such a joy to have a chance to catch up properly and to reminisce too. She and her late husband Ian were very good friends of my mum and dad many moons ago when mum and dad were still married. Edna didn’t have any children but was very close to we three children growing up. She now lives in a retirement village – interestingly the one which Richard Osmon’s book The Thursday Murder Club was based around – his mother lives there too!

Nowadays she doesn’t travel too far, but when she was younger and married she and Ian travel the globe. They visited 51 countries in all including the Galapagos Islands. When I told her we were returning to Gozo she remembered their trip 40 years earlier. Having looked through our photographs we agreed that not much has changed on the island – still unspoilt and beautiful. I feel very blessed to be returning this year.

I have spent a fair bit of time in the garden over this last week deadheading and cutting back but wanted to show you my fabulous Busy Lizzies. I bought the same for my sister and as you can see we both had spectacular results using Richard Jackson’s Flower Power.

I had my first crop of tomatoes grown from seed in my birthday propagator from the children, and there were 15 apples on my apple tree. I’ve now got to decide which vegetables I can grow over the autumn/winter – any suggestions?

Back at the Q

In between seeing the family I’ve been at the Q, and thoroughly enjoyed our recent Diamonique Day – I hope you did too? It was wonderful to spend an hour with Tova Borgnine albeit virtually, her stories about the jewellery and the designs always make me smile. And then a real treat to spend the finale with Alison O’Reilly. She has such an incredible wealth of experience and it was great to see her looking so well these days. Her hair has grown back exactly the same way mine did – incredibly curly and thick. I always felt that was a silver lining for having lost it through treatment in the first place and she agreed 😊.

The beginning of September brought us the excitement of the QVC Beauty Excellence Awards too – huge congratulations to all the winners and thanks to you for voting. It’s a very exciting part of our business being able to bring new brands to you, but it’s also wonderful to see the loyalty towards those who have been with us for years. This week we bring to you a new beauty brand called Beekman 1802 launching on Tuesday 14th September. Certainly an original concept behind their bath and body skincare products because they use goats milk and skin-balancing probiotics as their main ingredients. You’ll find bars of soap to whipped body cream, lip balms and hand creams – Debbie Flint will be running you through the range at 7 pm.

Whether you watch QVC on your main TV or possibly your iPad we’ve got an exceptional price on one of the world’s leading technical brands – LG. Their A1 48” Smart OLED TV with LG earbuds is our TSV this coming weekend – item number 723502. It’s a bit hush-hush at the moment, but I know for a fact it’s a stunning price and goes on pre-sale tomorrow at 8am! If you’re in the market for a newer, smarter and larger TV make sure you tune in on Sunday.

Talking of TVs, a brand-new drama series began on BBC One last weekend. It’s called Vigil and parts of it are based on fact. Incredibly tense and well-acted starring Suranne Jones it’s well worth a watch if you’re looking for something new.

In truth I don’t watch much television, I prefer my audiobooks as they keep me company on my walks and also my journeys to and from work. Having finished listening to Still Life by Sarah Winman I was so enchanted that I decided to go straight into her earlier book – A Year of Marvellous Ways. Oh my…. I didn’t believe it could get any better than Still Life but this book is just incredible. Such beautiful descriptive writing, tender, poignant, sometimes shocking but so very memorable. I am certain some of the magic is her voice and the way she changes it for each of the characters, but I am certain even reading it yourself you will be completely absorbed in it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to you if you fancy a bit of sheer escapism. If you’ve already read it, do let me know what you think?

My last day of work before our break is Friday 10th September when I will be joined at 8pm by Gok Wan and his Wuli Lui range of fashion. I do hope you can join us. He’s such a nice man to work with, and his fashion – particularly his slogan T-shirts and sweat tops – are fabulous.

I think that’s it for me this time, but I will have all the time in the world to answer your responses while I’m away, so please do keep in touch either here on the blog, or on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Take care, and I’ll see you soon.

With my love,

Ali x

32 Responses

  1. Hi Ali,

    Lovely to hear your news as always. Hasn’t the summer flown by, I don’t know whether it was because of moving house (still not found a new place), but it seems to have gone in a flash and now we are heading into autumn, which I have to say I do like when it’s dry and sunny 🤞. What a lovely little video of Honey, it melts your heart to see them doesn’t it. Have a wonderful time in Malta and I hope you have a lovely relaxing holiday, sounds like you’ll be busy on your return!
    Much love, Anne x

    1. Hi Anne, good to hear from you, although I’m sorry to know you still haven’t found a new property. I’m sure you will soon though. I’m glad you have enjoyed the blog and thank you for getting in touch. We are feeling very lucky to have continuous autumn sunshine here on holiday. Take care, love Ali XX

  2. Hi Ali,
    I almost can’t believe you’re going on holiday again! It feels like you’ve only just come back! I’m sure you’ll have a lovely break again.
    Honey and the dogs are lovely and Lucy will certainly have her hands full with puppies to care for too! I hope whatever she is doing she will settle. I know I’ve said it before but with the state of everything and stress impossible to cope with at times I wonder how we’ll all navigate through healthcare and teaching worlds. You try to focus on the good you’re doing I guess.
    So lovely that you got to see Edna and were close to her especially without having children, though lovely she found a good man. Lovely photo.
    Have a nice holiday for now x

    1. Dear Susan, you’re right, it certainly felt a lot more recent than the two months it actually was since we were here. However, we feel very lucky and are making the most of the sunshine. I agree, in spite of all the positive changes it’s still a minefield out there regarding healthcare and so much we are not certain of yet. Lucy is already making massive progress in her new job and thoroughly enjoying it. 15 years of teaching and she felt it was time for a change. Penny had just the one puppy and she is growing very quickly. Honey loves her. I hope this finds you well, thank you for keeping in touch love Ali xx

    1. Hi there Elaine, how are you? I do hope life is good for you and I am glad you enjoyed the blog. Yes, honey is a sweetheart and so very good with the dogs. Love Ali xx

  3. Hi Ali, lovely photos as usual but particularly of Bear Bear and Penny and your video of Honey carrying Bear Bear is very cute!
    You won’t believe it – but I haven’t been to the IOW yet as I caught Covid a few weeks ago and had to obviously postpone my trip! However, hopefully I’ll be able to go later this month!
    I have been watching Vigil as well and enjoying it. There’s a new series starting soon called Manhunt: The Night Stalker with Martin Clunes which is also based on a true story (the first Manhunt was very good).
    I hope you have a lovely time in Gozo!
    Take care.
    Love Tina xx

    1. Hi Tina, I’m sorry to know that you’ve been poorly and hope you’re feeling better now? I also hope you’ve been able to rebook your visit to the IOW? I’m glad you like the photos and the video – my phone is full of pictures of Honey and little films that I make and it’s astonishing to look back over the years and see how quickly she’s grown. I’m glad you’re enjoying Vigil And thank you for the recommendation of Manhunt. Colin and I enjoyed the first one so we will definitely watch the second. Take care, love Ali xx

  4. Hi Alison, by the time you read this I expect you are soaking up the sun in warm climes; mind you, its been swelteringly hot over the last week, just typical as I went back to school last Wednesday and have melted everyday..it’s been unbearable and school is manic, short staffed and the summer break seems like a lifetime away. I am writing this on my laptop for a change in my office (Jack’s old bedroom) with a large rhubarb and ginger gin nicely topped up with diet ginger beer…rhubarb is a fruit, ginger is very healthy so a large one is very good for me!
    I so enjoyed reading your blog and how lovely it is that you were finally able to meet up with your Godmother and enjoy a family BBQ. Special times.
    The video of Honey holding Bear Bear was the cutest thing; I cannot wait for the pictures of the tiny little puppies that will soon be born to Penny. How exciting. Hopefully its a very easy a smooth birth.
    I am about 7 weeks away from being a grandma, Anna is growing a very healthy bonny boy and I was privileged, along with Anna’s mum, to attend a 4d scan..I cried! My mum would have been so excited to be a great grandma and the pictures of the baby’s face are the spitting image of Jack as a newborn. The baby also has the Morphy toe ( from his dad..the second toe is longer than the big toe!)
    I am still crocheting when I can get time but that’s on hold as the bedroom has only just been plastered this week and I am sleeping in a room of newly plastered walls, no carpet, no doors on the wardrobe and no blinds! it’s very cosy. I have a vision in my head of the finished room and I think it will be beautiful. I just need to get painting now. I will start Saturday as although I do n ot work on Fridays I have a chocolate tall drip cake to make tomorrow for someone at work..I hope it cools down a bit or it might just look like a pile of mud!
    Well that’s about all; my winter bedding plants arrived this week from the Q, they were earlier than expected but i’ve planted the primroses in the shady border and will keep the pansies a week or so as the petunias are just about done. My summer bedding plants from QVC have once again been amazing this year. However along with my giant lilies my white dinner plate dahlias have been extraordinary. I will send you a photo.
    Enjoy your break and keep safe.
    Mary xx

    1. Dear Mary, lovely to hear from you and to catch up on all your news.Before my sister retired from teaching she always maintained the weather was glorious just as soon as they went back to school in the autumn. Very unfair! I’m so excited for you to become a grandma. I’m not surprised you were emotional seeing the scan – I remember seeing Honey before she was born and it was remarkable – the detail. How did the cake turn out? Have you finished decorating your bedroom? I will look forward to receiving a photograph of your daliahs – I’ve never grown them but they sound beautiful. I fear my pots may all have died when I get back as it’s been so dry. Beautiful hot and sunny here in Gozo and we are feeling very spoilt. I will look forward to receiving your photos. Take care and I hope it’s cooler now at school. Love Ali XX

  5. Hi Alison thank you for getting back to me about Malta I don’t think we will relax until we are on the plane, we are flying from Bournemouth and even though it’s a small airport appparently it’s taking a while to get through, we have the declaration and contact forms all sorted and have the day 2 tests here ready for when we get back, we fly on the 19th you never know we may see you I will introduce myself if I see you. I love Honeys dogs I had one a a child but tiggy was snappy so he was a bit of a character, Willa and Ottilie are used to looking up at Betty she’s a ,Newfoundland and weighs 8 stone she’s only allowed in certain places in the house. Good luck with your house it’s the upheaval that’s annoying but the end result will be nice, Clare and Geoff are looking to have a bit of building work done soon but just getting quotes for now its so expensive. Well here’s looking towards some nice weather in Malta can’t wait can you? Take care love Loraine xxx😎

    1. Hi Loraine, by the time you read this, you will already be in Malta and enjoying the sunshine! It looks as though it’s been pretty good at home too 😊 yes, Honey’s dogs are incredibly friendly and well behaved – not snappy at all. The little puppy is gorgeous too – I’ll post some pics of her in the next blog. Take care and enjoy your holiday love Ali xx

  6. Lucky you going back to Gozo. Myself, my sister and my late father went to Malta in 2010 after my mother died and we went to Gozo on a trip. Dad loved Malta and the hotel so much we went back for Christmas that same year! Lovely memories

    1. Dear Anne, that’s a lovely memory to have… places always link us with people and although I never visited Malta with my mum
      I do remember her talking about the wonderful holiday they’d had there. I hope all is well with you? Love Ali xx

  7. Hi Alison, good to read your news. I do hope you have a restful holiday. We haven’t attempted flying out anywhere due to the covid regulations but are having a week in devon later this month. We have booked to go to Corfu next May, hope all is well but then. Enjoy your holiday.
    Much love Karen x

    1. Hi Karen, yes we are having a lovely time – very relaxing peaceful and the weather so far has been beautiful. I hope you will enjoy your time in Devon and how lovely to have Corfu to look forward to in May. Thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  8. Hi Ali, I just love reading your blog,, Honey holding Bear was to cute for words, I also have a wee dog same as Bear his name is Pepper he’s 14 yrs old, they are so loving & loyal wee dogs, you are my favourite presenter on Q I wish you a fantastic holiday take cake Allison stay safe Love Anne x

    1. Dear Anne, thank you very much for your lovely comments and I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. I used to have a cat called Pepper – she was the most beautiful tabby. Honey is so good with the dogs – she wants to be a vet when she grows up yourself. Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  9. Hello Ali, Firstly thank you for your kind offer of a cutting from your Munstead Wood rose, if I can’t get one from David Austin I’ll definitely get back to you. How lovely to be returning to Gozo, obviously a happy place for the two of you; seeing photos that show that she’s kept her charm after all those years must have been special & your godmother sounds an absolute delight. Good luck to Lucy for her change of career & to Penny when she has her puppies. Ellie had her baby earlier than expected; I was grouting the cloakroom floor when we got the “Can you come over…?” call & had to get my things together while calling out instructions to Colin, organising our animals & cleaning the grout off the utensils so I could carry on when back home. Luca arrived 20 minutes after they got to the hospital & at 8 pounds 8 ounces his mum was relieved that it was before his due date, he is absolutely gorgeous & they’re very happy with their pigeon pair. This autumn/winter we’re planting onion sets (red), garlic, peas & winter salads, I’ve got four pumpkins that have produced huge saffron coloured flowers but I think I planted them too late to get decent sized ones for Hallowe’en. Have a wonderful holiday. Love from Jo x

    1. Dear Jo, very many congratulations on the safe arrival of baby Luca! So delighted that all went well. Yes, we are having a lovely time here on Gozo – so relaxing and the weather has been sublime. Do you let me know about the rose as I will attempt a cutting if you would like one. Thanks also for the suggestions re-planting for the winter. I think I might try carrots as well and maybe sprouts? I’m hoping to get down to see Edna again once we return from my holiday but you’re right she is a joy to spend time with. We are also trying to fit in a visit to see Joe in Norfolk – it’s been far too long. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch love Ali xx

  10. How nice to hear hat you are having a break to Gozo it looks such a relaxing, laid back resort, just to stroll, sit and eat and let the world go by.
    I do hope you still get to see your friends Kathy Taylar and Clare Sutton for a girlie lunch, they are both much missed on QVC.
    It was so nice to Alison Riley back on screen and looking so well and I’m sure you had much to talk about, I must admit I envy her thick curls.
    Have a lovely break in Gozo

    1. Hi Jill, thanks for writing to me and yes, just as soon as Kathy is back from
      Her summer in Corfu we’ll definitely be
      Getting together and hoping to see Claire too! I miss them both! We’re having a lovely time in Gozo and feel very lucky to have been able to return – I hope you’ve had a good summer? Love Ali x

  11. Hi alison in the last blog you asked if iam back atwork mcdonalds aberdeen been back at work since 19th of apil 2021 hope you and family are well i had my first show back at local theatre on sunday 29th of august seeing amichael jackson tribute ch it was nearly a sellout i enyoyed myself after a 17 moth shutdown of local theatre.

    1. Hi Martin, good to hear from you and very glad to know that you were able to get out and enjoy some live theatre! I think we’ve all missed it very much indeed and I bet the tribute band were great! Keep in touch, love Ali xx

  12. Hi Ali, lovely to hear your news and super photos, glad you have been able to spend quality time with Honey, how she has grown, enjoyed the video of her with Bear Bear. My daughter Heidi has two chihuahuas Milo and Enzo, they are the same colours as Honey’s dogs, they are father and son. We had glorious weather when we met up with our lovely friends in Norfolk last week and although we hadn’t seen each other for 21 years, it was just as if we had seen each the day before. Have a a great holiday and relax!! Merchexx

    1. I love the names Milo and Enzo! Beautiful little creatures aren’t they. So glad you had glorious weather to meet up with your friends in Norfolk – a very lovely part of the country too! Thanks for keeping in touch Merche, love Ali xx

    1. Sandra you’re very welcome – it’s a lovely little community here and I thoroughly enjoy keeping in touch with you. I hope you are safe and well, love Ali xx

  13. Hello Ali. It’s been quite sometime since I last wrote to you but as you know my health is causing some problems I.e pain management, however it’s been nearly two years since all this started and has completely knocked me off my feet. I am looking forward to the day when I can be me again!!!!! Loved the blog as always and of.
    Course catching up with your busy schedule. Honey reminds very much of my youngest granddaughter. I’m so pleased that you were able to get away. Snooze time for me now!!!! Take care and send love and hugs as always.

    Judith xx

    1. Dear Judith, I know you’ve really been struggling of late, and I very much hope that you will have turned a corner and will begin to regain a little more sense of normality. So glad you enjoy the blog – Honey is my little treasure and I’m so glad you also have grandchildren to bring you joy Look after yourself, with love, Ali xx

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