So sorry it’s been a while since I’ve been able to catch up with you. There seems to be so much going on at home and at work that, to be honest, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, so it’s good to be able to look back over my last few blogs to remind myself that in March we were celebrating several birthdays and since then we have celebrated seven more!
Possibly the most notable was Colin’s mum Kathleen who was 101 years old on the 4th April! Quite incredible that she is still able to walk, was able to just about hear us and talk to us, read all her birthday cards out loud and enjoy her cake. She didn’t truly know who we were individually but recognised us as people who loved her and thoroughly enjoyed herself. She moved from her sheltered accommodation to this lovely nursing home six months ago and the difference it has made to her life is remarkable. Here’s to the next year. 🙂
Our youngest grandson Corey celebrated his first birthday on the 31st March and most of us managed to get together to celebrate with Joe, Hayley, Rhys and Corey. I thought you might like to see some of the photographs. Corey is such a joy, always smiling, happy and content and an absolute credit to Hayley and Joe. His brother Rhys is great with him too – amazing to think Kathleen is 100 years older than Corey, but wonderful to see the circle of life continuing within our family.
Spring has finally sprung
Hasn’t it been lovely to see an improvement in the weather? I’ve managed to get quite a few walks in recently. I met up with Claire Sutton and we managed to do a 6K circuit in Hertfordshire with her lovely dog Gus. It was great to catch up and she’s doing so brilliantly in her work as a celebrant. I also had a lovely day with Kathy Tayler although the weather on that day couldn’t have been worse! It was pretty great to start with but then it actually snowed. Thank heavens we were both well covered and warm. Not much snow in Corfu which is where she was headed the last time I spoke to her but we’re hoping to meet up again at some point later in the summer.
I managed to prise Colin away from the renovations here at home and we had a fabulous night away with our friends Roz and Chris in Poole, Dorset where we saw the tribute band Rumours of Fleetwood Mac who to be honest sounded as good as the real thing! We all love a bit of live music and thought the Lighthouse venue was magnificent. Having stayed overnight we were then blessed with the most beautiful weather on Saturday so we spent the day at the coast. Me in my happy place. 🙂
The house is coming along well and Colin put in all the underfloor heating himself and is starting work on the wiring and plumbing for upstairs next week. It’s wonderful to see the progress but we’re both finding it quite stressful living amongst all the dirt and dust, so walking and time away is perfect and I know we’re lucky to be able to do both.
I’ve been trying to be more mindful and listen to my body, and having felt more tired than usual, I did speak to Roz who has a nursing background, and on her advice, I made a much overdue visit to see my oncologist to check out a few niggles, particularly in my back and my bones. Luckily the MRI scan showed no spread of cancer but I have got significant degeneration of the spine and several discs. I need to get on top of this otherwise I’ll find in my mid-60s I’m not able to do very much at all! I have osteoporosis too and am waiting for my DEXA scan – fingers crossed that it hasn’t worsened over the last two years.
Something else I’m looking into is the possibility of taking HRT as my menopausal symptoms continue into their 11th year! I’m sure you’ve seen me on air at QVC fanning myself or suddenly looking the colour of beetroot! Because my breast cancer was hormone receptive, HRT is not something that’s been available to me but there’s been a breakthrough recently and I am hoping to become part of a trial to find out if it would be safe for me to use. That’s thanks to Pipa Gordon who told me about Dr Louise Newson and her clinic and suggested I get in touch. I’ll let you know how I get on.
It seems we’re all different in how menopause affects us, and I know some folk sail through it, but I am glad that it’s no longer a taboo subject as the more we talk about it, the more we learn. I chatted to my sister Jenny about it when we climbed once more to the top of Old Winchester Hill on Good Friday. The weather was sublime, and the view even better than the last time and we rewarded ourselves with a delicious pub lunch – it’s always good to spend time together.
Let’s talk TV
I did want to tell you about a film I watched with Colin called “I Got Life”. It’s a French film on BBC iPlayer, about a 50-year old divorced woman who is menopausal, struggling with her life and her job, has two adult daughters and suddenly bumps into her first love. I know it doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs, and I had to get my head around the subtitles initially, but we absolutely loved it. It was easy to watch, funny, sad, poignant but essentially happy and uplifting. I would highly recommend it. Equally entertaining but in a completely different way is the spectacular BBC TV drama The Split. All I’m going to say is if you haven’t seen it you need to! This is series 3 so I’d suggest you go back and watch the first two – you will not be disappointed.
Let’s talk TSVs
Something else you won’t be disappointed with is our TSV on the 23rd April. It’s the Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer Max. An ingenious piece of kitchen equipment that allows you to cook two different foods in two different ways at the same time with the two drawers! You can use six different cooking methods including air frying, crisping, roasting, baking and warming and the time it will save you along with electricity is astounding. It is simple to use with a clear digital display and having never tried it before, I managed to cook roast lamb with roast potatoes in 22 minutes as it’s up to 75% faster than most fan ovens.
Alison tries out the upcoming Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer Max 9.5L AF400UK Today’s Special Value offer
I was stunned by the results and the lack of faff! The fact you can set everything off at the same time so it all finishes together is a perfect way to make a roast – so much easier than the time plans we used to have to write when I was at school! It is healthier too, using 75% less fat when it roasts meat, fish and vegetables, crisp fries chips and potatoes, and you can bake in it and reheat things too. You can fit a whole chicken in it and make meals for up to six people. Better still, it’s the perfect size to tuck away tidily on the worktop and will save not just time but also money compared to using a normal oven/hob/cooker. If you fancy giving it a go you’ll be able to spread the cost in Easy Payments and you get your 60-day money back guarantee. I reckon once you try it, you’ll be a convert like me. 🙂
We had a cracking Easter Bank Holiday weekend at QVC with some amazing deals on garden plants and furniture. Just in case you missed them, these Gudoshnik Tulips from Plants2Gardens are still available -30 bulbs for under £18 and look at the size of the blooms in my garden! Have a look on our garden and leisure department to see what else is available and don’t forget our regular gardening shows every Saturday and Sunday morning.
Thanks for all your lovely comments on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and for keeping in touch – I look forward to hearing from you here on the blog too. Oh, and if you haven’t heard, we are giving you the chance to be part of one of our shows. I had lovely Kathryn Stewart with me for my hour-long Diamonique show just the week before last and it was terrific to share her passion for jewellery but also learn a bit about her life. Linda George was also a guest over the weekend and you can be too if you send us an email your-stories@qvcuk and tell us what you love. I hope I get to meet you one day soon. I also hope you’ve enjoyed Easter, are in good health and maybe have a holiday to look forward to.
With my love,