One of the many things I like about writing this blog is that it serves as a great reference for me as to where the year has gone. Mind you, I had a little look back just the other day and realized that my Christmas tree always tends to look the same! Which isn’t that surprising I suppose, considering I always hang the same ornaments from it, and use the same tinsel and lights. However there is a slight difference this year, as for the first time in a long time, one of my set of lights failed me (or so I thought!) so I had to use these bright cherry red lights instead. Of course having spent an age threading them through the branches I went to move the broken set from the floor, and they lit up immediately! They are now draped around the fireplace, so all is good. It reminded me of Christmas 1967 when my dad bought a very decorative string of lights from a market in Kingston. He and mum had just set up the tree and were listening to the radio when an announcement was made asking anyone who’d bought said lights, should take them back to the retailer as they were a potential fire hazard! I distinctly remember the smell of hot plastic! I realise my star is a tad lopsided on the top of the tree, but I’m happy to leave it that way. Perfectly imperfect… bit like me 🙂
Another addition to the tree is the ornament Lucy bought me, as she has done for the last ten years or so, but I thought this one was particularly sweet – not that dissimilar in size to her Chihuahua, Bear!
It’s been a busy fortnight since I last wrote, and I’ve worked some far earlier shifts at QVC than I normally do. I’m very much a night bird, as the cancer medication I take makes it hard for me to sleep, so I’m not all that bright first thing in the morning! That said, I thoroughly enjoyed presenting The Morning Show with Claire Sutton and then being treated to a whole hour with Tova Borgnine, who looks gorgeous at any time of the day! I’d been up early the day before too to film a short promotional video for the Diamonique show I present every Tuesday. We had been set to record this earlier in the year, but my operation put a stop to do that and then of course poor mum became ill… It was lucky that the team managed to find a fabulous location in West London, and we set up cameras and lighting etc, using a great many of the gorgeous rooms as backdrops to the video. It made a really nice change to be out of the studio, and I was spoilt rotten by Rachel Avent my make-up artist, who worked wonders on my somewhat tired face earlier in the day! I know it’s currently in the editing process but the finished article should be on our screens at the beginning of next year. Exciting!
Something else that has been particularly exciting for me was being asked to record the latest ‘Inside QVC’ podcast with Will Gowing! Over the last three months or so, Will has been taking time out to talk to many of our special guests like Thea Green of Nails Inc, Nikki Gerwirtz who founded Lola Rose, the delightful Tova Borgnine, and our CEO Rob Muller. Julia Roberts, Jackie Kabler and more recently Ali Young have all talked openly about their lives not just here at the Q but when they were younger, their childhood, their families and careers. For someone like me who is inherently nosy, I’ve found these podcasts fascinating. So many things I didn’t realise about my colleagues, although we are all agreed on many things about working at QVC! This week it’s Simon Wilson of Butler and Wilson who is under the spotlight, but then my time with Will will be ready to download over Christmas which is lovely. If you’d like to catch up on some of the previous interviews just use this link: https://blogs.qvcuk.com/category/podcasts and if you get the chance to listen to mine, I’d love to hear what you thought, because you’re in it! The blog is a huge part of my 19 years here at QVC, and the support you have given to me through this medium is mighty. Obviously Will and I talked about my diagnosis of breast cancer and how the lifeline you gave me through your comments and your kind words of encouragement saw me through the darkest days. It’s because of you I wrote my book ‘A New Kind of Normal’, and the 80 five star reviews you’ve written have humbled me hugely… But I think it’s the support we all give each other here that means the most, and I’m so glad that in spite of all the other ways we can keep in touch on social media, this still works for so many of us.
In fact from next January 2020, the blog will return to being far more personal – yes still a bit of gossip from the Q – but less about the business side of things. Of course I’ll still keep you up to date about all we have to offer, it’s just that I’ll also be doing it on a new Facebook page that’s been set up where you’ll find me under ‘Alison Keenan QVC’. I hope you can follow me there too, and it’ll be easier to keep you in the loop with TSV’s and special offers as and when they happen.
So, here we are, with just a week to go before Christmas, and this year for me it will bring a mix of emotions. I know from reading your comments on the previous blog, it will be the same for many of you too. We had a lovely Sunday lunch with my brother’s children Claire and James (here I am with them), but I missed my brother Peter… I am lucky to have Colin, my children, and so many other members of the family though with whom I’ll share this time, but I realize for some of you Christmas can be a lonely and difficult time of the year.
I know also that for those of you who share the care of your children it may not be ‘your year’ to have them… I remember those times and they’re not easy either. My feeling is that whenever we see those we love, we should make that time special. And something else that has come through so clearly here on the blog is our shared belief that those we love are ALWAYS with us, because we keep them close through our memories and our words. Hold onto that – I do.
Thank you for all my beautiful Christmas cards and good wishes. I am hoping to send mine out to you later this week. I will be with you on Tuesday with Diamonique, Radley handbags and something very special from Harry Slatkin, and then Percy and Reed at 11pm. Actually we’ll be focusing on hair on Wednesday when the Babyliss Hair Curler is our TSV. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll style mine with it! I’m with you again on the 23rd December and back on Boxing Day too, but keep in touch with me on Instagram, Twitter and of course my new Facebook page, and I’ll keep you up to speed. All that remains for me to do is to wish you the happiest time this Christmas, and every good wish for the New Year. May 2020 be your best year yet.
With my love, Ali xx