BOnova, more birthdays and beautiful bluebells

I’m going to start this blog with a big thank you: so lovely to hear from you with your supportive comments and shared experiences. Nothing better or more of a leveller than realising I’m not remotely alone when it comes to feeling a bit overwhelmed, but it was really helpful learning how you’ve found ways to deal with it as I know I will.

I’ve had some fabulous walks over this last week, and it’s staggering the difference the warmer weather and sunshine have made to the countryside. The fields I walk alongside were sewn with crops a month ago and already the wheat is knee-high! It’s been a fabulous year for blossom too – look at the hawthorn here and the bluebells I visited near Guildford the other day. These are the original British bluebells, not the Dutch ones we see so many of, and the blue is closer to the beautiful gemstone AAAA Tanzanite! Such a subtle scent too.

I feel very lucky to live so close to so much open space as walking has always been my way of escaping the world for a bit and relaxing too. Of course, it also gives me a chance to listen to my audiobooks, and the latest one I’ve just finished was magnificent. Read by the award-winning Irish actor Niall Buggy whose dulcet tones brought Maurice’s world to life. “When All is Said” by Anne Griffin is the most beautiful story of one man’s lifetime, all those he has loved, and all those he has lost. I would highly recommend it, and I enjoyed it so much I’ve just downloaded Anne’s second novel “ Listening Still”. What are you reading/listening to at the moment? I love a recommendation 🙂

Let’s talk TV

I must also mention the ITV series Julia which is a brilliant portrayal of the first TV chef Julia Child and stars Sarah Lancashire who has captured the very essence of this remarkable woman brilliantly. We watched the first three episodes back-to-back – engaging, entertaining and a real insight into how the world of TV works behind the scenes. Mercifully we’ve come a long way since then!

I’m also enjoying All Creatures Great and Small – the newer remake of James Herriott’s bestselling book It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet. Funny to think I worked for the publisher, Michael Joseph, when it was marketed and was lucky enough to meet the author – a lovely man.

I’m very excited to be going back to the Harold Pinter Theatre this week to see the incredible actor Jodie Comer in Prima Facia – a one-woman play about a barrister. She’s received standing ovations every night and it’s only a short run so I’ll let you know what I thought of it. Another female actor I think is fabulous is Ruth Wilson, and I saw her at the same theatre last month in “The Human Voice” – a play by Jean Cocteau. Ruth was outstanding but I can’t honestly say I enjoyed it that much as I felt there was too much missing within the backstory. I wanted to know more about the character and her backstory, so for me, it was more like watching an acting masterclass with Ms Wilson, who was superb.

A trip to the theatre

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will have seen my photos from last week’s theatre visit to see Frozen in the West End with my beautiful granddaughter Honey.  We travelled by train – well three trains there and three back – had lunch in Covent Garden, and thoroughly enjoyed the musical, which was epic!

Lucy was happy for me to share these pictures and suffice to say we just had the best time.  She stayed with Colin and I for two nights and was such great company and I’m looking forward to seeing her next week when she celebrates her 7th birthday!  Can you believe it?  I remember the day she was born as if it was yesterday – she has brought so much joy into our lives, and I cherish our relationship.

May is another busy month for birthdays with my sister’s partner Linda’s on the 4th, Honey on the 6th, my niece Verity on the 17th, my goddaughter Phoebe on the 20th, my stepson’s partner Hayley’s on the 26th, Colin’s 60th on the 30th and Sam’s girlfriend Elise on the 31st!  So, there will be a fair few celebrations on the horizon for the family to look forward to – maybe a BBQ if the weather gets a little warmer!  And of course, there’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to celebrate too – are you having a street party?

Let’s talk TSVs

I had a lovely hour with Simon Wilson and his incredible collection of Butler & Wilson jewellery on Tuesday at QVC. Not sure if you saw the show but he’d designed four new pieces of jewellery to commemorate our Majesty’s 70 years on the throne and they pretty much all sold out!

I’m sure it’ll be busy on the 3rd May too when we have a four-hour Diamonique jewellery event that begins at 5pm, features the lovely Tova Borgnine collection, and finishes with my show at 8pm. Do join me if you can.

Something else I wanted to give you a heads up on is a MarlaWynne TSV this Sunday that is part of our Discover QVC event. Marla’s fashion range is only available from us and she’s designed a loose-fit, sleeveless, wide-leg jumpsuit – it’s even got pockets! Her attention to detail, use of colour and exquisite styling are evident in this outfit, and at an amazing price, I’m certain it’s going to be popular. It’s available in three beautiful blurred prints – indigo, black and sage, and also in plain black and indigo and Melissa Hardy will be with me at 9pm with styling tips and suggestions too.

News also from a relative newcomer to QVC, the footwear brand BOnova. As we no longer carry Birkenstock, these are the closest thing to that kind of styling in footwear with the natural cork and rubber footbed and arch support. The Snake Double Strap sandal we have as a TSV on the 5th May is exclusive to us and comes in five chic designs – two marvellous metallics in the silver and rose and a blue and gold snake, tan, and white snake option. I’m sure they’d work really well with Marla’s jumpsuit – perfectly placed as we move into the warmer months of the year.

Well, I think that’s all my news for now but I hope you enjoy reading and do get in touch if you get a moment, as it’s always good to hear from you.

With my love,

Ali xx

24 Responses

  1. Hi Alison glad your walks are uplifting for you,Les and I are also lucky to be near to the New Forest in Ringwood to take walks of a short drive. Lovely photo of Honey they are lovely went they we are lucky and spend lots of time with Ottilie and Willa they still don’t know they are going to Euro Disney yet it’s next weekend, Willa can still remember our trip to Florida when she was,younger, I remember you showed a picture on your tablet I had sent you on your Diamonique show of us all I just happened to be watching. I have just read your book again such a insight into what you have gone through and come out the other side. Referring back to your previous blog about preloved furniture we have a few bits and pieces around our place especially our bedroom there’s a,place called the den near Poole where we go sometimes for a look there’s not always things you like but occasionally something takes your eye, it was called Mollys den originally perhaps your friends in Poole may know of it. Well must be off we are meeting Gary and Lamis in Frome tomorrow its about an hour from Ringwood and hour from them in Bristol so will have a catch up before our holiday in a couple of weeks and hopefully Lamis operation on the 18th May. Take care love Loraine xxxx😀

    1. Hi Loraine, I remember Ringwood very well, and Colin and I had a lovely lunch there once too – so glad you get out regularly for walks. How funny you were all watching when I mentioned your photograph and thank you for re-reading my book. It prompted me to have a look on Amazon and I know they’re now over 180 reviews which is extraordinary and very humbling. Thanks for the tip regarding the Den. Not sure Roz will know of it, but I know she and I would very much like to visit it! Hoping your visit with Gary and Lamis was fun and that you are getting ready for your holiday – not long now! Do keep in touch – new blog coming very soon! Love Ali xx

  2. Hi lovely Ali. Lovely pics as ever. How grown up is Honey, bless her heart, how lovely to have the trip and have her to stay. I remember you announcing when she was born! How time flies. Thank you for the recommendation of Julia. I have just down loaded the first episode to have a look. I really enjoyed your show with Simon. I couldnt resist treating myself to the skull with the beautiful butterflies in the rhodium option. Cant wait to receive it. I have many, many of his pieces from over the years but dont normally go for the skulls but i though this was so different with the addition of the butterflies. Take care xx

    1. Hi Karen, so glad you enjoyed the Butler and Wilson show – you may notice the little pendant honey is wearing it was Simon’s breast cancer piece for the year before last. I’m so sorry I didn’t get round to ordering the Jubilee brooch before it sold out but I’m hoping they may have some additional ones made. How are you getting on with Julia? I really believe you’ll enjoy it. Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Hi Ali, how I smiled when reading your news. I could relate to so many things. Like you, we are very lucky to live near open spaces and my friend and I try to have a good walk a couple of times a week, stopping to take in the views. We have commented how a little colour has suddenly returned everywhere, such a joy to see. A couple of weekends ago Eric and I visited friends and went walking in their neck of the woods, we also took pictures of the lovely bluebells very much like yours, and yes they too were the English variety!
    Lovely to see Honey (although I totally understand Lucy’s caution). I remember well your excitement at her arrival, she is just 12 months younger than Abigail my youngest granddaughter, she turns 8 on the 2nd. It doesn’t seem two minutes since they were babes in arms and now they are beautiful little girls, full of love and happiness. Abigail didn’t want a birthday party this year, she said she would like to visit Harry Potter world instead. Her mum and dad pretended she might not be able to go as it would mean a trip to London, an overnight stay etc and would be too expensive. She was thrilled the other day to discover she is going. However, what she still doesn’t know is that she is going to see Frozen! I know she will be thrilled as I lost count of how many times we had to watch it together when it was first released 😂.
    Hope you are feeling better in yourself Ali, take care. Love Anne x

    1. Dear Anne, how lovely that you two are able to enjoy the countryside close to home and get a good few walks in each week. I think the bluebells have been particularly good this year – just sad I didn’t get to see them with Honey – but we did spend her birthday together and that was lovely. Gosh! Abigail was eight on the 2nd, perfect age to enjoy Harry Potter World and also Frozen. It really is quite an impressive production and I’m sure she will love it, as she will Harry Potter World! I’ve been putting things in place to help with my health and will explain all in my next blog – it will be published this week. Take care, love Ali xx

  4. Hi Alison

    Another lovely blog as always. I am loving the your first picture of the path through the woods. When i see a picture like that, i am immediately curious as to the where the path leads to and want to walk it myself.

    As you are always so good at sharing what you have been watching on TV, so may i give you a recommendation for a wonderful series on Prime called ‘This Is Us’. It is a wonderfully moving portrait of an american family told in different timelines so that you get a tantalizing look into their future and then the story reverts back so that you get to see how the family gets to that point in their lives. A really strong cast of actors and their performances are top notch. I binged watched the first 5 seasons having been recommended it by a friend and i am now currently watching the final season 6. I just know there is going to be tears!!

    Take Care

    1. Hi there Chris, and I’m so glad you like that photograph! It reminded me very much of the paintings that our guest presenter Gabriella Bradshaw paints. Has a mainly depicting Silverbirch but they are often set alongside a path. Thank you so much for your recommendation of ‘This is Us’. My sister told me about this a long time ago and said it’s something I would really enjoy – so did my daughter Lucy! We are finishing the James Herriot series on Channel 5 and I am watching the Detectorists when I’m on my exercise bike. I think the series you’re recommending may well be more for me than Colin, but we’ll see! I hope you enjoy the final series but don’t tell me what happens! 🙂 Love Ali xx

  5. Hi Ali, beautiful photos as usual. I think being outside walking and smelling the fresh air and listening to the birds is good for our mental health. Even walking round your garden helps. How are your renovations coming along? Cant wait to see the end result. I hope all your celebrations go well and Colin has a great 60th. I’m sure you will have something wonderful planned, an exotic holiday maybe? Love to hear your stories. Lots of love Karen xx

    1. Karen, you are so right! As I’ve often said, just getting out into the fresh air and getting a bit of space around you is so therapeutic and healing. Luckily our garden isn’t in too much of a muddle but there’s still a very long way to go with the renovations indoors. It’s waiting for things to be signed off, and then for deliveries to be made, and also keeping up with people who can help Colin, but it’s definitely heading in the right direction. Fingers crossed the weather will be good on the 29th May which is when we’re having a family party for Colin’s 60th – I cleaned the BBQ in preparation! We are very much hoping to get away mid-June for a long awaited break and think we may revisit the Amalfi Coast in Italy where we went on our honeymoon… nothing booked yet though. So glad you enjoy the blog and please do keep in touch – new blog coming this week! Love Ali x

    1. Karen thank you! We LOVED The Split but haven’t delved into The Anatomy of a Scandal yet, so it’s on my list. 🙂 x

  6. I always enjoy reading your blogs. You certainly have a lot of birthdays to celebrate in May. We will be celebrating my mum’s 81st birthday on 21st. I hope it’s good weather so we can be outside. Everyone feels better when the sun shines.
    Lovely pics with Honey. My youngest grandson Thank is 6 and he’s such a delight.
    I also have tripled grandchildren, Isla ,Ethan and Mason ,who are now 10. I spend as much time as work allows with my grandchildren. They keep us young.
    Enjoy all your parties, stay well . With love , Sonia xx😘😘🌞🌞

    1. Dear Sonia, Many happy returns to your mum for the 21st May – I hope the sun shines for her and you can all be outside. Sounds as though you must be busy with all four of your grandchildren – how wonderful to have triplets! And you’re right about them keeping us young… Even though I sometimes wish I had more energy! Take care, love Ali xx

  7. Hi Alison, I don’t know where the time has gone but I’ve just read this and your previous blog and you’ve certainly, as usual, been busy. The photos of your grandchildren are joyful and now that I have Arthur I certainly understand the love and pride that we have for them and our children. Arthur is 6 months old now and pure joy. My mother in law was 89 on the 29th April, a mere youngster compared to Colin’s mum who sounds like she’s being beautifully cared for and has a fabulous life.
    I was pleased to hear your scans were clear and hope your osteoporosis results are positive ones.
    Have you watched the Davina documentary on HRT, there’s another one out soon ..I have been going through menopause for 7 years..started at 49, now 56..and I honestly thought I’d be done by now! How nieve of me…my doctor wouldn’t let me have HrT because my migraine symptoms are numbness down one side of my face and arm. So basically i had no advice other than eat healthy, lose weight ( which I’ve been trying to do since I was 10!) And take I take a handful of supplements every morning and am too frightened to stop incase I feel worse than i do migraines are now cluster migraines meaning I get them on and over over a period of 3 days, my nails that were once long and strong are like flaky pastry despite using every strengthener on the market and my hair texture has changed..however, my hot flushes seem to be less frequent although still daily, just not as many in a day and I have a fan on at night with the window all weather’s!
    I still haven’t finished my ‘to do ‘ list..but I’ve started and after I’ve finished a wedding cake I’m making and a couple of birthday cakes I will get it done so I can enjoy half term at the end of May and plan my repaint of the kitchen cupboards the summer holiday!
    Just watching you present the MW look great in the jumpsuit..
    I’ve bought the sunprotection beach umbrella from QVC today to use in the garden with Arthur and more can never have too many! Mary x

    1. Mary, I know exactly what you mean about time running away with you. Lovely to hear about Arthur although it’s hard to believe he is now six months old but I’m glad you have plenty of time with him. I haven’t yet watched the Davina documentary but I know there’s been a huge amount more publicity when it comes to the menopause and knowledge is Power. I’m so sorry you are struggling and wonder if maybe you should go down the route of very mild antidepressants rather than HRT? It was recommended to me by my oncologist awhile ago and although it may not help with the Nails and Hair there are lots of supplements on the market that may help like Prime 50 or Zooki? QVC stock both. Obviously run it by your Doctor but it might be worth trying it for a little while. As for the hot flushes at night… Don’t get me started! I also bought the Sun protection beach umbrella in fact I’ve got two – one for Hayley and Joe for the boys and the other one for us to keep in the garden for when the grandchildren visit. Lovely to hear from you as always and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  8. Hi Ali, what lovely pictures of your walk in the countryside, you are so right on it helping our wellbeing. I cannot believe Honey is going to be 7, I remember you telling us all of her birth and what joy she has brought. Like you I have several birthdays to cover this month, my closest friend had hers on May Day 2nd, my friend Linda and my cousin Nigel share the 4th, my granddaughter Hollie’s is the 11th, my grandson Julian’s is the 20th and my son Gerry (Julian’s dad) shares his birthday with your husband Colin, phew !! The busiest month of the year. Merche xx

    1. Hi Merche, sounds as though you are as busy as I am with this month’s birthdays! Happy Birthday to Gerry on the 30th – we can all raise glasses together! I wish you plenty of joy and times together to celebrate. 🙂 Love Ali xx

  9. Hi Ali, lovely blog and photos as normal and Honey is so grown up now!
    Well I am off to see my brother and Keith Urban in London on Friday with my friend
    ( I cannot wait)! My brother is actually Keith’s Monitor Engineer and has worked for him over 10 years (a big responsibility)!
    I have looked for the series Julia but don’t think I can get it as I only have Freeview. I will keep looking out for it.
    Take care Ali and I’ll let you know how the show was next time.
    Love Tina xx

    1. Yay Tina! So you saw Keith Urban on Honey’s 7th birthday – I bet you had a fabulous time? That’s a very responsible job your brother has and I know will involve a lot of touring – it’s good that he’s struck up a relationship with him and been in the job for 10 years. So glad you get to see him too. Mmm not sure about Julie as I would have thought you may be able to get it on ITV Hub… but maybe that’s not on Freeview…? Thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  10. Hi Alison i should have read my reply to you back before I sent it seems to put words in randomly sorry. 🙄

    1. It was grand and good of you to take the time out to write. I hope you’re having a good week? Love Ali xx

  11. Oh Alison just watching you , and once again you look fabulous, you must be the only presenter who sell the most clothes, NO matter what you wear you shine, you carry clothes so well, as I once told you(you would make a black sack) look as if yo just stepped off the cat walk, keep doing what you are doing , you really are a lovely lady, have a good break, xx

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