Along with my Cozee Home sheets, Joules Joanna fleece-lined hoodie and my Emu boots, autumn to me means a return to my long walks around the fields and countryside that surround my home. Although we’re on a relatively busy road, if I take a left just about 100 yards from my house I find myself here… This is a pathway that takes me away from the traffic and into fields that during the summer are head high with rapeseed and wheat, and that makes it impossible for me to get through them! As you can see from the little 360 degree film, I’m now surrounded by ploughed furrows and a narrow path that today gave me the opportunity to walk over eight kilometres. I needed it to clear the cobwebs and was blessed with some beautiful autumn sunshine too.
Thank you so much for writing to me about Mum. I can’t begin to tell you how incredibly comforting it is to hear from you, and to learn from your very moving messages that many of you have been where we now are. Mum was moved to a beautiful nursing home in Liss in Hampshire on Monday. We are so lucky to have found this sanctuary, and to know that those who work there are experts in end of life care. Mum’s condition is Rapidly Progressing Dementia and although she still recognises my sister and I, she is not really able to speak to us anymore – just the occasional sentence… She sleeps a great deal, eats and drinks very rarely, but seems content and comfortable, which is all we can ask for. Joe has made the decision to move away to be closer to his son in Norwich, and we very much hope that life will be happier for him there.
There has been a lot of talk and discussion over the last few days about all forms of mental health issues, because this is Mental Health Awareness Week, and what I now understand is that Mum’s condition is something that can affect those who are the same age or younger than me, not just the elderly. It is a cruel disease that takes those we love from us way before they die, which is incredibly hard. Having lost my father 32 years ago with no warning at all, I think it is so important to let those around us to always know they are loved always, and to make the very best of the time you have together.
I intend to do just that this weekend when Lucy, Honey and I head off to Bluestone in Narberth to celebrate Lucy’s birthday. You may remember we all went with Colin this time last year, but sadly because of work he can’t join us this time. There’ll be other opportunities I know, and Honey will be coming to stay with us shortly too, so that’s something else to look forward to. I must admit to being more than a little chuffed to have the opportunity to take this beautiful leather bag from Brampton London with me.
They are really well constructed bags, made in original designs out of burnished leather. The company is set up in East London and their collection includes many designs and sizes – from cross-body to overnight bags in a myriad of different colours. The prices are keen too and you will find whole hour of them on Monday 14th at 5pm on our live channel.
Before that though, we have a two-day Christmas event that carries right the way over this weekend. There’ll be decorative ideas from Alison Cork, fashion brands such as Moda in Pelle (incredible over the knee boots I’ve just HAD to order) and the oh-so-popular MarlaWynne, plus some stunning jewellery in our Premier Tanzanite and Diamond Spectacular shows.
If you’re into nail colour, then I’d highly recommend the Nails Inc Christmas Gift Show with me at 8pm on Monday.
My nails have improved hugely since I started having Shellac manicures, and the great thing about that is I can change the colour of my polish whenever I want, and then revert to the original without damaging it. Look at these beautiful colours and perfect packaging! Plenty more on Monday, and of course, just £1.95 on all beauty purchases through the build up to Christmas.
Oh, one final thing to mention is that I have a new Facebook page under the name AlisonKeenanQVC, which will be dedicated to all things QVC as well as some personal posts. Do have a look out for it and follow/like me if you choose. It’s another great way to keep in touch. I’ve even changed my profile photo so it’s more up to date! What do you think?
I’ll sign off now as I want to make a birthday cake for Lucy – just a small one for the three of us to share – but need to locate the candles too!
Please do keep in touch on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and of course here, and I promise I will reply just as soon as I can.
With my love,
So glad that you are in a better place with your Mum now, Alison, and that you have found such a lovely nursing home for her. We’re not there yet – my dad has Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia, but is still so resistant to a move. We have carers going in every day, but know it’s not enough. As you say, these are such cruel illnesses. Stay strong x
Dear Cherry, I am so sorry to hear about your dad… I have nothing but complete empathy for your situation, and having lost my Godfather to Alzheimer’s 12 years ago I understand the complexities and heartache of this terrible disease too. Bless you – I am sure there will be a lovely somewhere close by that will afford your father the care he needs, and give you some respite too. Take care and please do stay in touch. Love Ali xx
Hello Alison. Another great blog. You look so happy in the new photo. As always even though I don’t personally know you. But because Qvc it gives you that great feeling that you know all of the presenters it’s always a warm great feeling. And for one is always great full. Wishing you and all the family nothing but happiness. Alison you deserve it. God bless you keep smiling. Antoinette x
Dear Antoinette, what a lovely thing to write and say, and although I don’t personally know you either, this blog is a great way to keep in touch with you too. I am glad that you enjoy reading them, and that the channel itself is company for you. I wish you and all those around you every good wish and much happiness too. Take care, Love Ali xx
Hello Ali, As you are someone who loves the summer as much as I do I found your opening words a positive welcome to the autumn & the sky in your mini film looked wonderful. I love the sky & spend time most days looking at it. You’ve also made the latest news about your mum sound as positive as possible but I have to say that your sadness is palpable. How right you are about telling those who are important just how much we love them; my mum always said that it was essential never to go to bed on an argument, I have followed that mantra & added never leaving the house on one either. How lovely to have a birthday trip with your girls, I’m on my own this weekend because Colin’s in Scotland doing a half marathon & then having a couple of days climbing so I’m going to be painting the stair spindles. The race is really remote, 25 miles from the nearest A road & where the houses have corrugated iron roofs because slates get blown away..! To be honest the thought of even visiting for one night gives me toothache so I declined the chance to cheer him on. Your new photo is truly lovely, you look wonderful & your hair really suits you. Love & positive thoughts as always, Jo x
Hello there Jo, good to hear from you, and I hope that your spindle painting went well?? I remember painting what seemed like a never ending bannister once – I hope you’re all done now? How was Colin’s run? I can’t say I blame you for staying at home even with a paintbrush. It does sound pretty remote and was probably quite cold too! Thanks for your kind words about the photo – smoke and mirrors eh? It’s easier to hide behind the make-up sometimes and helps me to leave the rest of the world behind for a wee while. You’re very perceptive. Mum is still with us as I write, but each day is a little harder than the one before. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of the autumn sunshine? I have to say I felt more than a tad envious of Kathy Tayler enjoying the warm Corfuan sunshine this week 🙂 Do keep in touch, and stay well, love Ali xxx
Dear Ali, once again so sorry to hear of your dear mum’s decline. It must be heartbreaking for you and your family. Enjoy the precious time away with Honey and Lucy, I know you’ll treasure every minute. Sending you lots of love. Anne xx
Dear Anne, thanks so much for your sweet and kind words. Yes I did have a good time away with Honey and Lucy and it gave me a little bit of respite. Mum’s days and nights roll into one – sometimes better than others – all a little harder to cope with, but your support is much appreciated. Love Ali xxx
Hi lovely Ali, so glad you have found a suitable nursing home for your dear mum. You are so right about losing someone suddenly. I too lost my dad, nearly seven years ago, very suddenly so i fully understand what you mean. He had suffered with mental health for over half his life and as you say its very cruel to watch those close to you suffer. I hope all goes well for Joe in his move to be nearer his son. On a happier note – you look beautiful in your new profile pic. Your hair and skin look fantastic and i love your lip colour, it really suits you. What a lovely lady you are and a true inspiration. Happy birthday to Lucy and enjoy the cake xx
Dear Karen, I am so sorry to know about your dad. When you lose someone suddenly like that there is always regret, and I completely understand how hard that must have been for you having lost my dad the same way. I am sure though you were a huge comfort to your dad all the years you had together though. Thank you for the compliment re my photo and your kind words. I have to thank Rachel Avent my make-up artist for her skill and patience. She is a master, and the lip colour was her idea 🙂 Lucy loved her cake and we had a really good time just the three of us at the weekend. Love Ali xx
Love the new profile and will follow on facebook . Hope the weekend goes well
Hi Valerie, thank you! I’ll look forward to hearing from you on Facebook. I hope you enjoy your weekend too. Love Ali x
Wow, you look absolutely stunning.
Loving your name! And thank you 🙂 x
Hi Alison sorry to hear that your mum has had to go to a nursing home . Thinking of you all. Especially you as you haven’t been well yourself. Take care lovely lady. Sending love xx
Dear Kay, thank you for your kindness. Although it’s been a difficult time moving mum across from the hospital to the home, all the staff in both places could not have been kinder. We are trying to take each day as it comes, but obviously it is a tiring and difficult time and makes one feel completely helpless… Thank you for your concern and for getting in touch. I do hope all is well with you. Love Ali xx
Hi Ali, lovely to hear from you, I’m sure your cake for Lucy has turned out beautifully like the previous ones you have made. Hope the three of you have a great time away together. Glad you have been able to find somewhere nice for your mum knowing that she will be well looked after. Merchexx
Hello there Merche, it was only a little cake with bright yellow icing covered in pink hearts, but Lucy loved it. I took candles too, and Honey helped her blow them out 🙂 We had a lovely time and were fortunate with the weather initially too. Yes, the nursing home is great and the staff incredibly kind. A comfort to mum and the whole family. I hope all is well with you? Love Ali xx
Hi Alison, so good to read your blog. My heart goes out to you with what you are going through with your dear mum. I can relate to it very well and I send you and your family my love. Have fun making Honeys cake, can we see a photo please. I absolutely adore her little face looking at the photo of her gazing at the cake she made you and you put photo on a previous blog. The love in her eyes for you is priceless. the . The new photo of you is stunning Ali, You look radiant and younger than ever. Looking forward to hearing from you again real soon. Penny xx
Dear Penny, I’m sorry to know that you too have been where we are with mum. It’s not an easy time, but like you no doubt, we’re just taking each day as it comes. I am so sorry but I didn’t take a photo of Lucy’s cake as it was only a little one with pink hearts on it, but she loved it and Honey helped her blow out the candles. I did though take plenty of photos of all of us out and about and I promise I will post those on the next blog. And yes you’re right, Honey is an absolute treasure. Thanks for the compliment re the photo – amazing what a bit of make-up can do! I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx
So how do you look so much younger than your previous photo? I need to share your secret! They are both absolutely lovely. So very glad that your mum has found such support. Almost more important for you guys than for her, I suspect. Chin up, dear heart, and keep on keeping on.
Hello there – the secret is a soft focus and a lot of make up! 🙂 And thank you for your insightful comment – you’re right – it does help us too. Keep in touch, love Ali xx
Happy Sunday morning Alison, I hope you manage a walk in thise beautiful fields at some point maybe..and keep dry. Chloe takes Olly out in the fields at the back of our road in the winter, like yours they are full of rape and what in the summer months but he loves it in the autumn, lots of new smells!!
I hope this finds you well, sadly I am poorly with chronic asthma, chest infection and to the delight of my family laryngitis so no voice for me..thank goodness for texting!! I CIA confined to upstairs as I cannot get up the stairs at the mo..but consoling myself today with watching the nice Welsh rugby players on the TV. I am on steroids and antibiotics but they haven’t made any improvement so I will go back to the doc tomorrow. I was supposed to be having lung function tests at the hospital on Friday but I have to stop my medication for three days prior to the appointment and I am not well enough to do that.
I am so pleased that your lovely mum is being cared for by wonderful staff..it makes such a difference to know that. And dementia is so cruel and comes in so many guises with no one criteria for those who suffer. Just so very sad.
Mum’s dementia stems from damage to the brain following removal of her tumour over two operations so it’s a bit of an enigma as to which way she will go..but after her surgery that we never thought she’d survive every day is a bonus..and surgery was 12 years ago. As you say, treasure each day.
I hope you have a great time with Lucy and Honey celebrating her birthday and I am sure your cake will be beautiful. I will be watching QVC a lot over the next few days as I wont be at work so I’ll see you on TV..
Much love Mary x
Dear Lord Mary ! I am so sorry to hear you’re so unwell. It sounds dreadful, and a worry too that you can’t stop your meds for long enough to have the Lung function tests. I do hope that by the time you read these you will be much improved. Lucy Honey and I had a great time away and although it was only a short break it was good to have a complete change of scenery. And I have to say the scenery in Wales is beautiful! It’s good to know that in spite of your mum’s dementia, she continues to live her life, and long may it last… I know how hard it was for your to find a home for her, but I’m glad she’s happy there. I had to miss Monday at work because we were very worry about mum, but she’s settled and I was able to spend Tuesday night at QVC. I’m not on the schedule again until Sunday God willing… You stay resting and doing as the doctor says, and hopefully you’ll be on the mend very soon. Love Ali xx
You are lucky to have your Mum in a nice care home. It must have been a great worry to you. Thinking positive thoughts Love Anne
Dear Anne, Yes we’re very lucky that there was a place for mum, as it’s a great deal closer for my sister, and not quite so far for me, but more importantly it’s more peaceful than the hospital, although we couldn’t fault the care she was given there. Thank you for your positive thoughts. Love Ali x
Hi Alison I to have just put my mum I to a care home due to her dementia making it unsafe for her to live in her own home. This has devastated me as I always promised she would not go in a home. Life can sometimes deal us a cruel blow as I to suffered breast cancer in 2004. We have to find the positives in life even when it’s hard. Kind regards.
Dear Nic, our lives sound quite similar, and I am sure that although incredibly difficult a decision as it was, this will make things better for your mum. Dementia takes those we love away from us far earlier than they physically leave, but it also poses a threat to their safety, so a home is by far the safest place for her. I hope that you remain well, and will continue to find the positives in life – you’re a survivor clearly, and I wish you and your mum all the very best. Love Ali xx
Great news about your mum hope you can rest a bit more easily now.What a lovely picture of you didn’t think you could improve on perfection x
Sorry Suzi my response is at the bottom of the page for some reason! But thank you 🙂 x
That is a very flattering photo, you look great. I’m wondering if I should re-assess my look now but I’m sure I won’t look that good.
Enjoy your break with ‘your girls’
You’re right, I wish I looked like that most of the time! 🙂 Definitely a good time to re-assess your look, and if it’s time for a change then you’ll look fab! I had a wonderful break with the girls and will post photographs up in the next blog. Love Ali xx
I hope you enjoy Bluestones,Im sure Honey will no matter what the weather is like.I love reading your blogs you are so honest and caring.
Dear Verona, what a beautiful name! I visited the city of Verona some years back when QVC sent me there for the Jewellery Exhibition. It was fab! We had mixed weather at Bluestones, but you were right, we still had a great time. I’m so glad you enjoy the blogs – I very much enjoy writing them. I hope all is well with you, Love Ali xx
Hi Ali , I was sorry to hear the news of your lovely mum, but you will have peace of mind knowing she is well cared for when you’re not there, it’s a cruel illness especially for family, as the patient often doesn’t know what the fuss is about and are relatively happy in their little world ,I do hope the weather will be kind to you when you go on your trip with Lucy and Honey but I know you will have a fantastic time anyway. We usually go away with Simon and crew but this year we can’t go because Harry’s started work and college so he hasn’t got a holiday ,and they don’t really want to leave him at home on his own, Ellie is upset about not going ,but I’m sure she’ll survive 🤗🤗we haven’t been able to get away as we had a bad incident with John he was attacked, I will have to PM you as it’s in police hands, he’s not too bad now so fingers crossed ,hope you get this lots of love Linda F xxx
Hi Ali really so sorry about your mum it is upsetting for your family. It is my turn to look after brother who had triple by pass four weeks ago, he is very impatient not used to sitting about, just take time.
Take care x
Hello Alison, so pleased to read that your mum is in a nice care home now,it must be a relief to you all. Your new photograph is lovely,you look fab as always! I also wanted you to know I have read your book after being diagnosed with the same breast cancer as you in January this year. I’ve had surgery and chemo with radiotherapy to come, the worst thing for me is the loss of peace of mind and absolute fear for the future. Your book has been a comfort and you are an absolute Inspiration! Thank you.xxx
Hello Suzi, I’ve never been to Ayr, but it looks like a beautiful place. Bless you for the compliment 🙂 I’ve since had my hair cut quite a lot shorter, but it’s the make up that creates ‘the look’. Love Ali xx
Please keep this QVC blog going as I don’t use Facebook,
I like to read the presenters blogs,keep them up Please
I promise I will keep up with the blog Pamela. So glad you enjoy reading it. Love Ali xx
Lovely photo, Ali x
Hiya Ali so glad to hear you have your Mum in a nice place and getting well looked after, so hard for you and your sister. Lovely blog as usual Ali and I love the new profile pic, you look gorgeous as usual. Very glam, and love your hair. Take care Ali.
Much love ❤️