I’m feeling rather smug this evening having managed to put together a really rather tasty meal with two pork chops, a can of fruit cider, one eating apple, fresh thyme, cauliflower, leeks, rice, a chicken stock cube (I didn’t have pork) cheese, cornflour and milk – oh, and that oh so important ingredient balsamic vinegar! An absolute saviour in my opinion not just for salad dressings but for adding punch and flavor to pretty much any sauce or gravy. Basically, these ingredients were all we had left having not been shopping for nearly a fortnight. I’ve really enjoyed seeing a resurgence of the old Recipe Exchange recently, so I’ll give you the recipe at the end of the blog if you like. 🙂 Both Colin and I are trying very hard to adhere to the Stay Home, Stay Safe legislation, although obviously I am travelling to the Q twice or three times a week. I know from your comments here and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, that I am extremely lucky not just to still have a job still, but to feel safe while I’m working. Also, to have space around me at home so that I can get out for my daily walk – if not in the garden, but also in the fields close by.
However, I have had a couple of days just recently where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, not knowing what day of the week it is, or what I’m supposed to be doing in the morning. The worst bit is accepting that as each day passes I’m currently no closer to seeing or holding my children, my grandchildren, my family or my closer friends… I’m finding that really hard. My granddaughter Honey sent Colin and I this beautiful card last week, and just the other day I received a hand-made postcard. I thought it would make you smile, although in truth it brought a tear to my eye…
We did have a family quiz at the weekend – a mix of general knowledge, music and film – in which most of the children took part, and where they managed to annihilate both Colin and I! 🙂 It was lovely to see them all on our TV screen – yes I’ve actually managed to get the hang of mirroring Zoom onto my Samsung Smart TV- (I bought it when it was a Today’s Special Value) – so we can chat as though we were all in the same room. But I know that I’m lucky and that you may well not have this facility and need to rely on a phone call or a letter. And it’s not just the older members of our family who are in this situation and so I’ve been sending ‘surprises’ to them. My Aunty Edna loved her Gower Cottage Chocolate Brownies, and Debs loved her Chunk of Devon beef pasties (which are incidentally Todays Special Value too). My sister’s pots are looking all the finer for her Richard Jackson’s Flower Power, and my son Jack really appreciated his Joe and Seph’s set of Three Caramel Sauces. My mum’s partner Joe will shortly receive his Original Cake Company six piece Loaf Cake chocolate collection and a close friend of mine who is trying to make a garden out on her balcony will soon have the Thompson and Morgan Gerbera Today’s Special Value from this weekend. It’s good to be able to share the love.
Talking of which, thank you so much for contributing to our National Emergencies Trust collection. We have surpassed our initial target and are now heading towards the impressive sum of £200,000. I cannot thank you enough for supporting those who are truly struggling at this time, and whose lives have been forever altered by Covid-19 and its consequences. Just in case you weren’t aware for every £1 you give, QVC will give £2 and together we can make a big difference. Click here for the link on our webpage.
Being at work is something of a saving grace for me. It’s not that Colin and I don’t enjoy each other’s company, it’s just that like many of us, we’re not used to spending so much time together, although we rub along together very well. Silly things like not putting a mug in the dishwasher or forgetting to put a new loo roll out though begin to rankle, when normally they wouldn’t… Me going into work a couple of times a week is good for both of us, and I think makes us grateful for the little things. Of course, Chiswick Park and QVC have had to change to fit in with the new rules and guidelines, and you’ve no doubt noticed that many of our guests are no longer coming into the studio but choose to FaceTime or connect with us via Skype or Zoom. It’s very different from both sides, although I have to say I particularly enjoyed my recent hour with Paul Percival from Percy & Reed and the last couple of shows I’ve shared with Anna Green – our special guest for the Lola Rose hours. Thank you SO much for your interaction on social media during these hours and outside of them too. It’s unbelievably good to know that we are keeping you company and making you smile, and that you’re staying in touch with us because that is ‘normal’ for you.
Since the outbreak of this dreadful virus a great many people have been leaning on the phrase ‘a new normal’ – not just in the press, but on radio and TV and in general conversation. Ironically I’ve seen an increase in sales and reviews of my book entitled “A New Kind of Normal” too. I’m guessing this is because sometimes we need to know how other people cope when facing something unknown and scary. I’m humbled to admit that I now have 88 five star reviews on Amazon – all of them extremely moving and heartfelt – and so I thank you for them. Nothing speaks louder than the words of those who have felt compelled to take the time to let me know what my book meant to them. What that means to me? There aren’t words…. Maybe you know someone who is currently going through treatment or has just come out the other side? Please do have a look at this book as it just may help.
Having hinted in my previous blog that I was hoping to set up a special feature for you, I’m delighted to tell you that as from this week you’ll be able to join me for “Story Time with Ali” on Instagram and Facebook. I’m planning to read a short story each week on a Saturday evening from authors such as JoJo Moyes and Maeve Binchy, but would love any suggestions you may have too. I do hope you’ll be able to join me, and that it’ll be something we can enjoy together. A chance to escape the world for just a short while.😊
Having spent most of the weekend in the garden – me sorting out my pots while Colin pulled apart our rat infested shed – I will be back with you on Monday and Tuesday this week. QVC are working really hard to bring you products that will make a difference to your life right now – whether as a treat or something really practical and useful.
Our Today’s Special Value on Tuesday is from the LAB Pro girls: it’s their Platinum Teeth Whitening System that comes with a Whitening Pen. It’s a new and improved system that can help whiten and brighten the look of your teeth with just one 16 minute treatment! Everything you’ll need is included for our price of £64.98 – an LED mouthpiece, the LAB activator spray and timer, and the all-important LAB whitening gel which contains no peroxide. One complete treatment cycle consists of three of the 16 minute treatments, and we’d recommend you do this maybe in the evening over a five hour period. A few years back I went the alternative route – hugely expensive moulds made by the dentist, and then hypersensitive treatment. Personally if I’d have had this option I would have gone for it!
Then on Wednesday Dr. Max Gowland, the founder of the brand Prime Fifty, will be bringing to you a four month supply of his Fighting Fatigue Supplements – the first product he developed as a direct result of research into the number one complaint from those of us 50 years old and above…. “I’m tired all the time!” If that’s you, make sure you join Dr. Max and myself so that he can explain why a healthy diet isn’t enough to keep us feeling energized and able to face whatever the day may bring. At under £19 for a four month supply, it’s a great opportunity to try and comes with a 120-day money back guarantee.
Also popping up during the week are fashion hours featuring MarlaWynne, Cuddl Duds and Moda in Pelle, and rather than our dedicated Diamonique Show on Tuesday at 8pm, we have Diamonique Day on Thursday the 30th April with an exceptional line-up of jewellery including a Today’s Special Value from the Escape by Melissa Obadash range – a fabulous droplet necklace. Charlie Brook will be launching that with Lee Clark at 9pm on Wednesday and again at midnight. Sadly I’m not in on that day, but will be back with our regular show at 8pm on Tuesday the 5th May – one day before my granddaughter Honey’s fifth birthday…
Oops, nearly forgot to give you my recipe. Basically, cut the pork chops into thin strips and sauté in oil with the fresh thyme and chopped apple. Add a quarter of the can of cider and the chicken (or pork) veg cube and simmer gently. Slice the leeks and sauté in butter. Steam the cauliflower and make cheese sauce with the milk, cornflour, more butter and grated cheese. Boil the rice. Finally add the balsamic vinegar to the pork mix – reduce and season to taste. Enjoy – we did 🙂
I wish life was easier, and that everything was a little closer to normal, but maybe if we keep looking forwards and hoping against hope, things will start to change for the better. Please do keep in touch and let me know how you are? Stay home, stay safe, but stay with us – QVC – we’re always with you.
With my love,