Friends, food, and a fabulous Cook’s Essentials Air Fryer!

Well hello there, how have you been? I do hope you’re in fine fettle and not laid up – as I have been – with one of the various lurgies that seem to be infiltrating QVC Towers making us all drop like flies! Up until Thursday last week I was thanking my lucky stars that not only did I have sufficient petrol to get me to work that week, but I also had enough energy to dance the night away with Claire Sutton who joined me and a huge number of QVC staff for a bit of a do at a local bar on the Friday before!

I’ve kept in touch with Claire who left QVC last July, and those of you who follow her on Instagram will know she’s been busy sorting out her son Tom’s education, honing her renovation skills and beginning a new career! We’ve not had much time to see each other what with life and the pandemic, but it was a joy to spend the evening with her and our mates, and although we didn’t get to bed until 3am it was sooo worth it. 🙂 Katy and Pipa also managed to join us and we all danced our socks off until they called time at midnight. Luckily our Uber didn’t turn into a pumpkin and our blistered feet have now recovered to dance another day!

I wouldn’t have been able to reach down to put on my dancing shoes this last week, so painful and achy have my limbs been, along with losing my voice and struggling with a shocking head cold. I did go and have a PCR test to be certain, but it’s not Covid just some virulent lurgy which I’m still trying to shake off.

Before I took to my bed, Colin and I managed to see the latest – and in my humble opinion – pretty much the BEST Bond movie to date. Daniel Craig, playing Bond for the final time, was incredible. Hard to believe he’s been in the role for 14 years now and is 52, but I’m certain he is going to miss playing this enigmatic character.

The plot in ‘No Time to Die’ is terrific as are the performances of every single one of the actors, and the suspenseful plot and special effects are superb. There were more than a few tears shed at the end of the movie and not just because Colin and I think Craig’s been the best Bond, but because the writing was excellent and very moving. Treat yourself if you get the chance. Nail-biting tension – as it must have been for the movie makers while it sat on the shelf waiting for the cinemas to open – but so worth it and the music’s great too!

This month Colin and I also celebrated 15 years to the day since we met. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you but we met online when Dating Direct was in its hey day. Very different to what I believe Tinder and Bumble are nowadays! I’d been on my own for pretty much a year, and although I met two other chaps for coffee to see how we got on, Colin and I hit it off immediately. We’ve been through a lot over the years like most folk, but I find it hard to believe it’s been that long since he took me to lunch in The Fox at Harpenden and we decided we’d definitely like to see each other again… the rest is history 🙂 He took me to dinner at Monkey Island where we were married six years ago to celebrate, and we had a lovely evening.

This month we also celebrate my daughter Lucy’s 36th birthday. Another fact I find hard to believe, not just because I can remember giving birth to her like it was yesterday, but because she has a six-year-old daughter of her own – my gorgeous granddaughter Honey. They came to see us and we celebrated early with homemade carrot cake and some of her favourite things! Thank heavens for QVC as I bought her Olaplex, Liz Earle’s No 20 fragrance (my personal favourite too) and some Molton Brown goodies along with a few other spoilies.

Honey and I went shopping too and she bought her mummy a beautiful candle and some pretty jewellery. They brought their Chihuahuas and Poppy the puppy too – how cute is she now?! Her eyes are open and she’s just started to walk. Just adorable.

I managed a walk in the sunshine and discovered a lovely park not far from where I live that I hadn’t realised was there. Ray Mill Island is just alongside Boulters Lock in Maidenhead and it’s a beautiful place to visit. There are landscaped gardens, trees, open grassy areas and even an aviary that the parakeets and budgies share with several guinea pigs! There are also some terrific wooden sculptures and this memory tree that I stumbled upon.

Every leaf has the name of a baby who has been lost by their family, and there are hundreds of leaves that hang from this touching memorial. It was funded and created by the Berkshire Sands Group – for all babies who died before, during or after their birth – and is a special place for their families to remember them.

I hadn’t realized, but this week is Baby Loss Awareness Week. As a mother, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child but I am so glad that the charity Sands offers support to anyone who finds themselves having to cope with such a desperate loss. The sun shone as I took this photo and there was a definite sense of peace … I thought you might like to see it.

Being poorly meant I had to miss the Le Creuset launch on Friday, but I know Miceal did a cracking job and thousands of you decided to buy the two-piece cast iron set. I had been given the same set to trial and made a fab Tahini Chicken recipe in mine. Not only was it delicious and full of flavour but it cooked evenly and the dish held the heat for ages after it was out of the oven. I hope you enjoy using yours.

We’ve got another fabulous kitchen appliance for you this Tuesday too. From QVC’s own brand Cook’s Essentials we’re going to see a return of the 1.8L Compact Air Fryer. If you’ve never used one or even seen one demonstrated then watch out for this on Tuesday. With temperature controls from 80 to 200 degrees, a timer for up to 30 minutes and uber effective filters, you can fry, bake, roast and grill all your favourite foods without changing a single setting. Crispy, flavoursome food cooked faster with rapid air circulation and healthier because there’s less need for the oil and fat you’d normally used. Gail Samways, chef extraordinaire, will be with us to show you how simple it is to use and store and we have an unbelievable price too.

I’m hoping to be back with my regular Diamonique show on Tuesday night at 8pm – it’s been on a break for the last fortnight – and I have a spectacular collection of jewellery to treat you to. I bought myself the new pendant that we’ll have on air, and also something special for my friend Jeanette who will be celebrating her 80th birthday on Saturday! There’s plenty for you to choose from too and the quality just gets better and better! I do hope you can join me.

I think that’s all my news for now, but thank you so much for writing to me with yours. I hope you’ll keep in touch this month too and you know I’ll get back to you. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter you can be part of the show and I can read your comments out on air too.

With my love,

Ali xxx

26 Responses

  1. Hello Alison, so glad you are feeling better. Myself and my hubby have also had this horrible lurgy that’s going round. Lovely photos as always and lovely to see Clare, I do miss hearing about her family. I do know its Baby Loss Awareness week and it is so very sad from my own personal experience you never forget and always wonder how their life would have been as I have also lost an older child and that is also an experience that needs help and support. Lovely to hear from you as always. Love Karen x

    1. My dear Karen, I am so sorry to know that you and your husband have suffered such unimaginable losses in your lives, and hope very much that you received the help and support you will have needed and no doubt still do… I am sure you take strength and comfort from each other and your shared memories and I am sending you my love. I know that Claire would send hers too, and if you want to find out more about her family these days you could always follow her on Instagram maybe? She posts some lovely photos of all that’s going on in her life these days. Take care of each other, with love, Ali xx

  2. Hi Ali, so sorry you’ve been ill, I know a few people who have had it and they all say they have been floored by it. Hopefully you’re fully recovered now. Lovely pictures as always, and I can’t believe its six years since you got married, how quickly that has gone! The picture of the tree is very poignant, my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child. Like you, I can’t begin to imagine what they go through.
    Looking forward to seeing you on your Diamonique show tonight. Love Anne x

    1. Dear Anne, Thanks so much, yes, I feel fine now and I hope you enjoyed the Diamonique show on Tuesday – it was good to be back. I’m glad you liked the tree… wonderful how all these folk pull together, use their own time and kindness to create something so beautiful and meaningful, and I was glad to be able to share it with you. I hope all is well with you and your family. With love, Ali xx

  3. Hi Alison so sorry to hear you have been ill I suppose now everyone is mixing more it will happen glad your on the mend though and was able to party with the qvc people, Claire is looking well I think. We had a,lovely evening seeing Billy Ocean at the bic in Bournemouth he was brilliant just sounded the same he’s 71 and was moving around like a 20 year old, my cousin was in the foyer with her husband so had a long chat with her. We had been to Les aunties funeral at Basingstoke crematorium earlier that day so was saw family we hadn’t seen for ages,just a shame we couldn’t stay longer but had to head back to get changed for the evening. Clare Geoff and the children are back from Cyprus had a great time but a stressful journey back to the airport, the hotel didn’t load the cases on the coach so they had to take a taxi back to get them but tui have given them the money back, then at Gatwick the machine wouldn’t read the number plate on the car to leave the car park, by then they had had enough Willa was good on both journeys Ottilie was a little pickle on the way back on the plane I think she was over tired she was good on the way there though. Where does the time to Clare is 36 like your Lucy and Gary is 33 on 6th November time flies doesn’t it. Les and I have booked to go to Taormina in Sicily next May, not sure what else we will do in between we have a few people to see maybe my cousin again who we was in Windsor her husband hasn’t been good he suffers with depression after a,had accident so we will have to wait and see.Anyway you take care and glad your back on qvc. Love Loraine xx😀

    1. Dear Loraine, I’m really glad you got to see Billy Ocean in Bournemouth and he was brilliant. Sadly the Isley Brothers cancelled their tour so we didn’t get to see them, but had an impromptu night out and saw Jacksons – three of the Jackson Five and they were amazing – along with Shalamar and Martha Reeves who is now 80! Sorry that Clare and Geoff had a bit of a nightmare getting home but glad they enjoyed their time in Cyprus. Our children are much the same age as Sam will be 33 next March! I’m liking the sound of Sicily, somewhere I’ve never been but would like to visit. I hope the week has gone well for you and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  4. So sorry you’ve been pooly, Ali, and hope you are fully recovered very soon. We miss you at the Q! Lovely pictures – how gorgeous is that puppy! The tree is very special. Son and daughter-in-law lost a baby several years ago and it was the saddest time. Such a lovely idea for memories.

    1. Dear Cherry. Thank you so much for getting in touch with me… I have replied, but my response is at the bottom of the page. Take care, love Ali xx

  5. Hello Ali, I hope you’re now fully recovered – there are so many viruses other than covid that are now enjoying attacking people who have been locked away for such a long time & our six week old grandson is one of them. He’s in hospital with bronchiolitis & Ellie’s with him. Dave’s away on a course & told not to worry about coming back so caring for Etty & the cats is being shared between grandparents. I remember the first time you mentioned meeting Colin, the magic & strength that you have is clear to see in every word you write & photo you share. I agree totally about Bond & I’ll miss Daniel Craig’s 007 very much. We love the theatre in Malvern & have seen all his Bonds at the cinema that’s at the top of this lovely building. After watching No Time To Die it was up the road for a meal & then back to the theatre to see Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan, what a contrast, what a great night & wonderful to be back somewhere so busy & alive. That’s a beautiful photo of Honey with Poppy, bees on her top & glorious hair that matches her name. We lost our first baby, the anniversary is at the end of this month & it’s hard to believe that it’ll be 38 years. I didn’t know anyone who had lost a baby, there wasn’t any support, not even a leaflet, I was just told that I’d have another one; nobody acknowledged that that we wanted THAT one. Time throws a veil over grief but the loss remains; I carry that little boy in my heart & have always called myself a mother of three children. Love from Jo x

    1. My dear Jo, As always it was lovely to hear your news, but I’m sorry that your little grandson is in hospital with bronchiolitis – such a worry for you all, although I’m relieved to know Ellie can be with him. Great that she and Dave have both sets of grandparents as back up. I know how difficult it is when that’s not available and makes trying times even harder. I hope he will be better and home again very soon. I was also very sad to learn that you lost your baby boy… The years may pass, but as you say the loss remains, and so much harder to try and contend with when there is no support or understanding. It’s good that you are all strong as a family and support and care for each other the way you do because it makes the world of difference… So pleased you had the chance to get out and enjoy the cinema and theatre again. I’m sure I’ve been to Malvern at some point in my life, but am adding it to my list of places still to see with Colin. Thank you for your sweet words – I feel very lucky for all we have. Take care, love Ali xx

  6. Morning Ali
    I was watching your diamonique show last last and intended to drop you a little note. Sleep however got the better of me! It’s interesting to read that so many qvc fans have collected so much over the years, me included. I remember buying a wishbone eternity ring from a Debbie and wear it every day. It must have been 20+ ago. What a lovely get together with the girls that must have been. It’s good to let your hair down and even suffer the morning after feeling😂😂😂. I’m sorry to hear you succumbed to the cold virus that seems to be raging at present. So many people have gone down with it. The picture of the tree jogged my memory of a similar tree I found in Cyprus many years ago. It had handkerchiefs on it representing a loved one who people have lost. Some recent some falling to bits. The pictures of the puppy are beautiful and have already captured your hearts. My son gets his puppy in two weeks and although I have only seen photos of him, I’m totally in love!!!! 🥰 well Ali that’s me for now. Take care of yourself and as always send you love and hugs. Judith xx

    1. Dear Judith, lovely to hear from you, and I know exactly how that nodding off feeling starts! I had to have two attempts to watch the end of a cracking movie Knight and Day but sleep got the better of me 🙂 How lovely that you are still wearing your Diamonique jewellery – I’ll let Deb know about the wishbone ring – and will mention it when my Diamonique show returns mid November. I will be with Tova though and a TSV on Tuesday the 2nd November so do watch out for that. Yes, the puppy is just beautiful and so delightful to cuddle. Honey is a perfect puppy mother! I’m sure you’ll get equal enjoyment from spending time with your son’s puppy next week! Look after yourself, love Ali xx

  7. Hi Ali, sorry to hear that you’ve been poorly but pleased to see you back at the Q last night. There seem to be a lot of colds/flu around at the moment.
    Poppy the puppy is too cute!
    I enjoyed my break on the IOW but the weather was very mixed although there were also some sunny days. It was great to have a change of scenery.
    I’m glad you enjoyed Manhunt – The Night Stalker. I have just started watching the new series Angela Black with Joanne Froggatt and, of course, Strictly is back on which I love🙂.
    Take care Ali and I look forward to reading your next blog.
    Love Tina xx

  8. Hi Ali sorry to hear youve been ill. There certainly is so much going around. I have a very chesty cough at the moment, although not covid, thank goodness – it keeps waking me up at night! Ah how lovely that you caught up with Claire – shes looking great and you certainly sound like you had a great time. Lovely to hear about how you and Colin first met. Bless you are such a happy, adorable couple – a true love story. As for Poppy – how gorgeous and cute. Yes Boulters Lock is a lovely place to visit. I used to go there a lot on Sundays when my son was a tot and i lived in Slough. Lovely to see you back on our screens and great pictures as ever xx

    1. Hi Karen, I’m sorry you’re struggling with a rotten cough. So difficult to sleep when laying down seems to set it off! I hope you’ll be feeling much better soon. Yes, it was a wonderful night with Claire – so many folk delighted to see her, and wonderful for us all to get the chance to let our hair down! My Aunty Eileen used to live in Slough in Britwell – way back in the 60’s – but I do remember going there. And my mum and dad both worked in Slough and that’s where they met! So glad you enjoyed the blog and thanks for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  9. Thanks Cherry, I’m feeling fine now thank you and glad to be back at work! Thank you for your kind comments about the blog although I was so sorry to know about the loss of your grandchild… such an incredibly difficult time for you all. The memory tree is as you say such a lovely way to remember all those beautiful souls. Take care, love Ali x

    1. Hi Mandy, well spotted! It is an old Diamonique design – I’ve had it for about five years now! I’ll remind my buyers and see if we can have a newer version made of it. Love Ali xx

  10. Hi Ali, I sincerely hope you are on the mend and so relieved to hear it wasn’t COVID..But we have several staff at school who have it and it is quite scary..this thing is far from over.
    Thank you for sharing another lovely blog, I love all the photos and your girls night out sounded amazing..I can’t remember the last time I was up after midnight..with exception of several visits to the loo in the night!
    I am over my tummy bug and looking forward to half term in a week’s son’s partner is being induced on Wednesday next week to avoid possible complications so we are all very excited.
    I spent last weekend clearing up the garden ready for winter..I must say though my beautiful luxfom 3 light lamp posts are still lighting up brightly but I will unscrew the lamps and put them way for the winter.
    I am starting m next decorating project this weekend..hall stairs and landing need repainting before the new carpet comes on 5th November..mainly the white woodwork but painting bannisters isn’t my favourite but the painting fairy doesn’t seem to visit my house. I finished painting the baby’s nursery this week so that’s ready.
    So I bought the mini Air fryer in black..My daughter loves it! Makes super chips from scratch and roasted veg is fab..a great buy.
    Have a lovely weekend, Mary xx

    1. Dear Mary, Thanks for your additional message on Instagram – I’m delighted for your news now that you are a grandma! It’s just the best thing ever 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the blog – yes the night out was a much needed get together although it took me a few days to feel fully awake! Did you manage to get the hall stairs and landing started before the baby arrived? I hate balancing on the ladder doing the stair well bit! Maybe you can delay the carpet laying although that’s always the best bit I think. Bannister painting though takes forever – well done for finishing the baby’s nursery – they’re lucky to have such a kind mum/nanny. Glad your daughter loves her airfryer – jolly clever piece of kit I’ve always thought. I hope you had a great weekend and the sun shone for you. Love Ali xx

  11. Hi, Alison! Glad you are feeling better. Thank you for another great blog; I always look forward to reading them and come away feeling inspired. There should be more Ali K’s in this world! What breed is little Poppy, she is the most gorgeous little dog?! Take care of your lovely self, stay happy and safe xx

    1. Dear Kim, How very kind of you to say such kind things. Little Poppy is a Chihuahua. She is such a sweetie and changing almost daily. Her little ears are beginning to stand up more now and her legs are completely brown as though she has socks on. You take care of yourself and thank you for getting in touch. Love Ali xxx

  12. Hi Ali, great blog as usual, it was lovely to see you meeting up with other presenters and Claire, I do miss her and Kathy Taylor. Do you still get to see her and go walking? The cold lurgy that is going round is awful, my sister had it and was poorly, she’s better now thank goodness. She works at WPH, our local hospital, so had to make sure she had really recovered before going back. I was at Ray Mill park in September with one of my granddaughters, she really enjoyed it. I found the tree very moving as one my daughters had eight pregnancies but has only two children, so quite poignant. Qvc are helping me get prepared for Xmas, the Hermes man is a regular visitor at the moment, they do a wonderful job. Your pots in the garden looked lovely, I have just spent the last couple of weeks emptying mine and refilling them with layers of bulbs, tulips,daffodils and small irises, all from Qvc and then planting violas on top. Now I have to keep the squirrels of them! I read somewhere that if you push plastic forks prongs upward poking out of compost the squirrels don’t like it. Made me think of Captain Mannering! Ha ha Haven’t found any plastic forks in the shops yet but will let you know if it works. Take care. Debbie Xx

    1. Dear Debbie, Lovely to hear from you and to read about your family although I was so sorry to know about your daughter… Such an awful time for you all, but am so relieved that despite the understandable heartache she has two beautiful daughters and you are a grandmother. Well done for potting up your tulips and daffs. I did mine just the other week with a new strain from Plants2Gardens – looking forward to seeing how they come up! Squirrels are devils though aren’t they. Not sure about the plastic forks – try the planet friendly squirrel deterrent – it worked relatively well for me with squirrels and rabbits! Take care, love Ali xx

  13. Hi Ali, sorry to hear you had the virus, I too had it, the other month, I did 3 lateral tests in total, all were negative, my husband was so worried about me that he rang the doctors who gave me antibiotics. Glad to hear that you have spent time with Lucy and Honey it’s what family is all about. My husband and I were lucky to spend lunch today with our grandson Nyle who came down from Leeds to spend time with his dad our (son) for their love of football. Our daughter and her husband joined us also. Merchexx

    1. Dear Merche, I’m sorry you too had this awful virus, but thank heavens it wasn’t Covid. It’s still making people very poorly so I’m glad the antibiotics helped you. Yes, our time with Lucy and Honey was lovely and it’s Colin’s daughter’s birthday this week so we hope to see them all again soon. Glad you and your husband had time with Nyle – great name – and your daughter and son-in-law. As you say, family is so important. Stay well and keep warm – it’s getting a lot chillier! Love Ali xx

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