February, flowers, beds and bees!

Well I think I’ve seen it all now! ‘Adopt a sea-weed eating sheep’! This popped up when I was online the other day and I wasn’t certain whether it was a command or a request, but I didn’t fancy it. Made me chuckle though so I hope it does you too. How have you been these last few weeks?  I can’t believe we’re already halfway through February, as January seemed to be interminably long. I’ve taken a week’s leave as I have to try and use it up before the beginning of April, and although there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do particularly, it is nice just having a little more time to potter and write. Thanks for taking the time to write to me too! I so enjoy hearing your news, although I appreciate that it’s not always the best of news, but I hope by sharing things it does help.

I do actually have quite a long list of things I want to try and achieve before I head back to work on the 20th of February and one of the first of those is to prune my roses, although I think I was right not to attempt it during the freezing cold snap. It always seems wrong to cut the stems back when they’re already producing shoots, but Richard Jackson is never wrong about these things! I’ve had to watch a few YouTube videos though to make sure I’m going to do it correctly, as although my mum showed me years ago my memory isn’t what it used to be. We’ve had some beautiful snowdrops in the garden this year, and on my regular walk the path is flanked with fabulous daffodils that are grown by a lady who keeps bees at the end of the lane, and she grows them for the pollen. Sadly, they’ve all bloomed way too early this year, and the cold, snow and rain have battened them down. Hopefully they might have a second coming!

I can’t wait to see a bit more colour in the garden, and I’m hoping that my tulips will be appearing soon. I bought them the year before last from QVC and they’ve been fabulous. I’m looking forward to another Today’s Special Value (TSV) from Richard Jackson that I’ll be presenting on the Saturday I return. It’s crammed full of colour and includes 24 Garden Ready Bizzy Lizzie and Cosmos plants AND 475g of Richard’s Flower Power with the Bio Active Formula. It’s a special technology that helps your plants absorb the nutrients faster and more effectively, so they’ll grow faster and last longer.

Whether you’re going to plant out your baskets or borders just look at these stunning colours! And to think it’s less than £20 plus postage and packaging for the whole lot! Join me at 9pm on Saturday the 20th to order yours and see what else you might fancy in our Gardening Event all day Sunday.

My new passport turned up last week – very smart but they’ve changed the cover colour from red to black.  I seem to remember that was what they used to be years ago, but I could be wrong and perhaps it was blue? Can you remember?  We also had our brand new Sealy mattress delivered and it is SO comfortable! We’d had our old mattress for over 15 years so it was definitely time for a change. I’d also treated us to the popcorn style Cozee Home bed set in January, and quite frankly I could have stayed in bed all day I was so snuggly.

I’ve been hugely grateful for my Cuddle Duds Fleecewear Leggings and tops too! I ordered them way back when, but I’ve been living in them since the weather changed.  They’re great for walking in too as my usual lycra ones don’t keep me warm at all. I’d highly recommend them – item number 179865.

Some footwear that would work extremely well with the leisurewear is coming up from Skechers as a TSV! The Microburst 2.0 Be Iconic Stretch Fit Pump is a flexible, Air Cooled Memory Foam comfort shoe. A bit like a Mary Jane but without the T-bar. It has Bio-Dry lining for all day comfort and will be available in Black, Blue, Charcoal, Navy, Off White and Taupe, sizes three to eight in full and half sizes. Best bit of news is you can actually buy it now ahead of the launch, ahead of the launch on Monday, for just £43.98 + p&p! Give your slippers a rest, and look forward to when you can wear these outdoors too!

I’ve moved onto another audiobook having finished The Midnight Library and am almost through the bestseller from Adele Parks ‘Just My Luck’, which I think Jackie Kabler featured in her book club last week.  I have to admit it’s pretty disturbing and upsetting and focuses on the total destruction of a family, their relationships with each other and their friends. It’s clever and very well-written but it’s not something I’d listen to at night! I watched the last part of Bridgerton on Friday and it was excellent and far easier to get through than The Drowning that Colin and I gave up on. We’re trying not to spend too much time watching TV though and have taken up backgammon. It’s pretty easy to play, doesn’t take too long, and is a great way to just switch off from everything else. I used to enjoy draughts years ago, and this reminds me a little of that game too.

We’ve had a couple of lovely evenings on FaceTime with our friends Roz and Chris in Dorset. It’s been over a year since we physically ‘saw’ them and are missing them very much. It’s almost like having them in the room with you and so much nicer than just hearing their voices. We also shared Colin’s friend Steve’s birthday on Zoom last Saturday and took part in a quiz the night before. Quite the socialites! I do hope you’re coping and have someone to watch out for you or spend time with you? I visited Lucy and Honey again last week and it was lovely to have a chance to catch up and cuddle. Honey is now reading and writing beautifully and sent me a text that brought a tear to my eye: “I love you Nanny” it said…  I’ve not seen the boys though or any of Colin’s children either and we’ve not been able to visit Joe in Norfolk at all. It’s so hard isn’t it? Still, there are rumblings that things will begin to change soon, and I hope that if you’ve not had the vaccine yet, you’ll get it soon.

I’m sorry I was rather late in getting this blog post to you, but I will definitely have another one for you before the end of this short month, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you if you have a moment 🙂

Take care, stay safe and well.

With my love,

Ali xx

23 Responses

  1. Hi, yes you are right the old passports were blue. I got my new passport and thought it was black but apparently it is a very very dark blue. (Yeah right).
    Can’t wait till we can be able to use it.

    1. Hi Elaine, Ah, I thought it was blue, in which case the new one is as you say VERY dark blue 🙂 Can’t wait to be able to use it again though. Do hope you’re well and getting through each day. Love Ali xx

  2. Hi Alison glad you’re ok and seeing Lucy and Honey will be glad when things start to open a bit. We are gradually packing up for the move so we can sort through things. I have some bits of my mum and dads that I’m planning on keeping and we found Clares trolls and a few other things she had kept, Willa was so excited to see it all. The home schooling as been going well and her reading is really good but it will be nice when they go back won’t it. We are still face timing Gary they said they have had to do tests as a new varient was found in bristol. Anyway as you said this month is going quick so nice to look forward. We are wondering how long it will be before we get the vaccine some places are more ahead than others I know a few people that have had it. Hope your enjoying your few days of and relaxing a bit. The old passports were dark blue we still have ours with lots of places stamped in them which they don’t seem to bother with anymore, we only got new ones least year so won’t be needing a new one for a while. Oh glad you mentioned the Sealy mattress it’s something we are thinking of getting when we move a king size bed hopefully is it a firm mattress you have with the gel top? look forward to seeing you back at qvc best wishes love Loraine xxx😊

    1. Hi Loraine, Lovely to hear from you and to know that the move is going well. Shame you can’t see Gary yet, but as we now know it won’t be for too much longer. I did enjoy my days off although the time went really quickly but I’m really pleased to see the sunshine today – just glorious outside – warm enough to sit in! I’m waiting for the delivery of my RJ bird food – they’re all singing loudly but going hungry! Yes, the Sealy mattress I bought was the gel top mattress.Thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Hi Ali,
    I love your photos of flowers and scenery. You always see so much lovely stuff; look at that rainbow. You’ve had some nice things to do and chats and deliveries too. Sorry you can’t see the boys but lovely you have honey and Lucy. Tough times continue. Take care x

    1. Hi Susan, so glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos.I am a little obsessed with sunsets and sunrises and all things in between, and can’t wait for the flowers to start blooming in my pots! Sam’s birthday in a fortnight, so we’ll have to make do with a Zoom call. It will get easier though and I hope that you’re coping ok.Love Ali xx

    1. Hello there and thanks for the compliment! Currently I’m using Philip Kingsley’s Body Building Shampoo and their Body Moisturising Conditioner, their Elasticizer twice a week, and a John Frieda Purple Shampoo twice a week too. It just stops the colour from turning too warm. Hope that helps! Ali xx

  4. Hi Ali , glad to hear your news and iam envious of you being able to cuddle Lucy and Honey, ,we have not seen Simon and crew since Christmas, even though they don’t live far away we are being extremely careful with Harry having diabetes, I face time with Ellie so will have to make do for now Your very lucky to live in the country were youhave lovely walks .John and myself have had our first covid injection just waiting for the next. Not much more news at the moment Ali sorry to say it all gets a bit boring only being able to shop for essentials, we do that every 2 /3 weeks the rest if the time I have started knitting for a baby project in Uganda, once I have a load of to the post office I go and send them on there way ,one they arrive and are handed out to the needy mums and babies they send pictures of the babies wearing them ,which really gives you a boost to know you are doing some good. I hope this reaches you as the last 3 must still be floating around somewhere 😁😁😁,stay safe and keep well ,lots of love Linda F xx

    1. Dear Linda, so good to hear from you although I’m sorry to know that you still haven’t been able to see Simon and the gang since Christmas. Far better to be careful though because of Harry. It won’t be forever as we now know.:). How kind of you to knit for the baby project. My friend Roz also knits jumpers and hats for children in refugee camps. Such a thoughtful thing to do and it must be wonderful to see the photos too. Yes, I’m very lucky to live so close to open fields although the M4 is literally only a mile away! I’m sitting in the garden typing this and the sun is shining so all is well in my world. I hope it is in yours too, Love Ali xx

  5. Hello Ali. Those snowdrops are beautiful and nature never ceases to amaze me that such a delicate flower can grow from such hard soil. I did manage to plant some of my bulbs so if the weather keeps reasonably mild I’m can do some more, otherwise they will grow in the bag lol . My family are recovering slowly from Covid but that was so hard when you can’t even help. People have had to face worse. My health issues still continue and Each day gets a little harder to cope with. I fully intended to have the cleanest house in the North East’s but at least I get to draw patterns in the dust. In the scheme of things a little dust isn’t worth getting stressed over. We treated ourselves to a new bed in October but there is a problem with the Matteress. As it cost a lot of money I’m up for a fight. They are dragging their heels as nobody can come out to see it. We are now relaying on photos. Watch this space. At least we still have the old one but the new beds are two singles bolted together. I think the garden loungers May have to be dragged out of the shed. I love the photo of you and Honey. She’s growing up so fast. Enjoy every minute you can with her. Well Ali I will close now as my last dose of medication Is beginning to send me to sleep so I’ll love
    you and leave you whilst I can still find my bed. Sending hugs and stay safe and well. Judith xx

    1. Dear Judith, I had hoped for better news with your health, but it sounds as though you still have your fighting spirit! Fingers crossed you get some joy regarding your mattress. So frustrating when you can’t get any answers. As far as the dust is concerned, you’re right, it’s not worth stressing about! Open the windows and let the breeze get rid of it :). I very much hope that the rest of your family will by now be fully recovered from Covid and I’m sure you let them know you were thinking of them and they were no doubt grateful of the support you were able to give. Take good care of yourself, and thanks for keeping in touch. Sending you sunshine, love Ali xx

  6. Hi Alison, a lovely blog..I did read your January one but I couldn’t reply..I remember you saying how much life can change in a month and the first month of a new year hasn’t been kind. Mum passed away peacefully, somewhat unexpectedly after what had been a fabulous week for her. And although we knew her time was soon she had always found unimaginable strength to pull herself through but this was one battle too many..my heart simply aches. Me and my sisters had seen her a few days before with our organised visits through a plastic screen and she was on top form! My sister was the only family member allowed to see her before she died and she spent Monday with her but the night staff sat with her and she passed just after midnight on Tuesday. We are celebrating the years we had with mum and trying not to dwell on the years we wont have her. When she had her brain tumour 15 years ago she had a 50% chance of not making in through surgery so we have been lucky to have had her for so long and every extra,day has been a bonus which we have cherished. Mum had chosen her funeral music and the grandchildren wrote about their grandma and we added these to the very small service due to covid restrictions. It would have been mum and dads 56th wedding anniversary yesterday so we reunited mum with dad and buried her ashes under the tree where dad is on the golf course, where they both had happy times.
    I will be honest half term is here and I’m struggling with it..usually like others I’m out with friends, shopping etc but I am missing this so much in this lockdown although I’m lucky I have school to allow me to see other faces..I’m desperate to get in the garden but the grass is like a bog and it’s so wet..mind you I planted so much last year, many are perennial plants so I cant really do much until they all pop up through the soggy soil. I bought the summer plant Big Deal of 48 plants so my pots will be filled this summer. I also played some peony tubers..but I’m not entirely sure where so it will be lovely to see where they are!
    I recently bought the compact pressure washer that you sell on QVC…and on Tuesday I had to do something as my mood was sad and low and I could have easily stayed in bed..so I jet washed my decking, side entrance front steps and driveway to put it through its paces The rain fell for almost the entire time, to say I was wet is an understatement but I was so impressed with the machine..all the paving etc looks like new. It took me 5 hours but it kept me busy and I was delighted with the end result.
    The sun is shinning this morning, I hope it is where you are. Love Mary

    1. Hi Mary,
      Just felt I wanted to say I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it’s been a hard year for everyone but some obviously much more so. Take care x

    2. My dear Mary, as you already know I was so sorry to hear about your lovely mum and fully appreciate the huge sadness you are feeling. You were such a good daughter and had a wonderful relationship with her, and it is an absolute tragedy that you were unable to physically be with her for the last months of her life. How wonderful though for you, your sisters and your mum, that she was on top form the last time you were together. That is the memory you must hold onto, along with all those fabulous years of love and caring. Everything is harder because you can’t be with your friends and those your love especially when you need their support now more than ever, but with the slight lifting of restrictions I hope this will make things easier for you. I hope you have the sunshine and have
      Been able to get out into the garden? The pressure washer sounds as though it’s been put through its paces. I always jet wash our patio…. it’s a filthy job, but looks so much better afterwards :). Sending you my love and a hug.Stay strong – your mum is always with you xxx. Ali

  7. Hi Ali, hope you and your family are well and keeping safe. I must admit its been a struggle over the past few months. It was a very emotional time as all the anniversaries came in a matter of weeks. It would have been our 36th wedding anniversary as well on the 12 th of January. I am trying to stay positive. My 2 sisters have had their jabs and I’m hoping I’ll get mine soon. I took my sister on Monday for hers as she has mobility issues and I must say it was well organised. The Army were there as well which gave us a sense of reassurance.
    I have been trying to get a small / medium size rescue dog. I have applied for quite a few now and still no luck! It is very disheartening as I could offer a loving , secure home for one and have all the time in the world now to devote to one. I spend every day trawling the dog rehoming sites. I looked to see how much it would be just to get a little Jack Russell and the prices have gone through the roof! I think its terrible at a time like this people are trying to make a profit when people are desperate to have a little companion in these terrible times. Still, I’ll keep on trying. There has to be a little furry pal out there for me. I just long to have a little dog to give me a purpose once more and go out walking with. Then at the end of the day cwtch up on the settee. ( That means cuddle in Welsh.)
    I was feeling pretty low the other day as I drove home. I looked up as I got out of my car and there was a beautiful rainbow stretching right above our street. It brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. I like to think someone is up there watching over us.
    Take care of yourself.
    Best wishes, Tina S. ( S.Wales ) xx

    1. My dear Tina, I fully understand how difficult life is for you, and anniversaries are some of the most difficult things to get through alone…I very much hope that although for the most part you are having to cope by yourself, that your sister and hopefully other members of the family are there for you and can offer comfort even if it is in only by way of a phone call? That is such a shame about the little rescue dog. I am disappointed for you as I am sure to have that sense of purpose and a little being to love would be a huge comfort for you. I will keep my fingers crossed that you will find your little Jack Russell soon. How lovely that you got to see the rainbow. One of nature’s most beautiful and natural things and a sure sign of hope I always feel. I wish there was something more I could say that would be of comfort to you but I admire your strength and ability to keep on moving forwards, to walk and to look ahead, and never stop believing that there is someone up there looking out for you. I am certain of it. Take care, with my love, Ali xx

    2. Hi Tina,
      I just wanted to pop on and say I am so sorry life is so difficult for you right now. You have been through such a trauma and it’s hard at the best of times but even more so now. Someone said to me recently that people on their own have sort of been forgotten about because there’s been a lot of coverage of other groups but to go through this alone is very difficult. I hope that you eventually find a furry friend and I know it can give you purpose. Purpose is a very difficult thing.
      Take good care x

      1. Hi Susan,
        Thank you for your kind words. It has been so hard, I won’t deny it. It is hard to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m still trying, with no luck so far, to get a little furry companion ! I saw a double rainbow today. I have never ever seen one before and I could actually see where the end of it was. I hope it is a good sign and that I will find my little companion soon. Take care. x

  8. Hi Ali as with everyone else I look forward to reading your blogs. Lovely optimistic photos. Both yourself and Honey take a lovely photo. It will be wonderful to be able to meet up again with friends and family and most of all to be able to hug. Since Keith died I have so missed hugs and would have found them so comforting.
    The hospice are still ringing me once a week and today I received a crochet heart and laminated poems of Charlie Mackesy. I also am entitled to six free complimentary treatments at the hospice. I cannot say how much it has meant to me and I will be forever in their debt.
    Ivy was in ‘bad books’ last week she found the sharper scissors and proceeded to cut her fringe right to the top of her forehead and hacked into the back!! I’m afraid it seemed the last straw for Charlotte and although in the scheme of things it’s not important but with both of them grieving often the smaller things seem to be much of a bigger issue than normal. Ivy herself was very proud & there were many smiles and hugs afterwards … I cant wait to see her. I hope to go after my second vaccine so Adam will be able to be with Charlotte when she has the baby.
    I have ordered a lamp from Amanda Holden’s range inside the bulb it says ‘Love’ and we all need that that’s for sure.
    The sunshine was lovely while it lasted but thermal leggings were much needed during the frosty weather. Snowdrops are popping up but as Monty Don says don’t be afraid to prune so over the next few weeks the Rose buddleia and clematis need pruning. Sarah Emma & I want to do the garden justice as it was Keith’s pride and joy.
    Last night I watched a programme on Channel 5 with Esther Rantzen ‘Living with Grief’ it was so well done and although I cried through most of it was also comforting listening to other people’s experiences and there is no ‘ right or wrong’ way to grieve.
    Over the last few weeks my hair has been coming out in clumps they think it is stress but if you or any other viewers have any ideas to improve it I would be grateful for any tips.
    Take care sending much love from Julia xxx 🤗🤗

  9. Hello there Julie, lovely as always to hear from you, and to know that you’re just awaiting your second jab and then you can visit your family and of course see the new baby when it arrives! Ivy’s hair-cutting sounds familiar! I’m not surprised Charlotte was upset, but it’ll grow back quickly. I remember shaving my arms – not under them but actually the arms themselves – with my dad’s Gillette razor when I was 7! My friends daughter cut her eyelashes off, so I guess we’ve all done something shocking in our time 🙂 I caught the end of Esther Rantzen’s programme and it was very sensitively handled I felt. And that is so true – there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You just have to get through it as best you can. As far as your hair is concerned, I’m going to have a word with Lisa the Philip Kingsley guest when I work with her next week and will get back to you with some advice. She’s a qualified tricolours so is bound to know how to help you. I am certain it’s delayed stress and should only be temporary. Others may know a lot more than me, so I hope you get some advice here too. Take care, big hug, Love Ali xx

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