Gardens, goals, success and farewells…

Following a full day of rain that the garden was desperate for, it’s drier today, but jolly chilly. Mind you, not as cold here in Berkshire as it is in the Lake District! My sister and her partner Linda are there for the week and Jenny sent me this photograph this morning of Blemcathra, complete with snow on it! Total contrast to the balmy breezes we were bathed in on Saturday when we had Joe, Hayley, Rhys and baby Corey here for lunch in the garden. So wonderful to see them all, and the baby, and I know from your comments that you’ve also managed to see family and friends, and I don’t underestimate the lift that will have given you. 🙂

Talking of the garden, I think I should mention that there’s to be a phenomenal saving on Richard Jackson’s Flower Power and Root Booster in a week’s time. Can’t say more than that – just watch next Friday at 9pm and you won’t be disappointed. I was, though, disappointed to see that the rabbits had eaten the leaves on three of my rose bushes – one was my ‘Alison’ rose that Kathy Tayler had given to me for my 60th birthday, which made me sad. But thanks to Twitter and Matthew Swann who told me how to make a repellant spray with vinegar and chili, they’ve just started to re-grow, thank heavens.

This is probably a good juncture to talk about lovely Kathy who, as I’m sure many of you will know by now, is retiring from QVC! The Morning Show on the 6th May will be the last time you’ll see her on air, and she’s been busily clearing out the dressing room we’ve always shared for the last 21 years. Seeing all the boxes and bags building up over the last week has been quite emotional, which is daft really as we’ll probably see more of each other now than we’ve been able to before, but I think it’s just the sense of change… Kathy and I have shared so much of our lives these last 21 years, and she’s seen me through some of the most challenging times, but also shared some of the happiest times, and it’s been the same for her with me. We try to meet up and walk once a week, as we live pretty close to each other, so I knew of her plans some time ago, and although it’s been a big decision to make, it’s been absolutely the right one for her and her family. I know you’ll miss seeing her on the Q, but have a listen to her podcast here, or read her blog, which is an amazing run through of all her life achievements thus far. I’m sure she’ll go on to realise her dreams and her plans for the future, I feel mightily privileged to have had her friendship all these years and I’m grateful that I’ll be able to carry on seeing her over the years ahead. As I’ve always told her, my world’s a better place for having her in it. 🙂

News of my own to share, and that is that I finally finished my book! I sent it to my literary agent last week and now I have to sit back and wait… a nail biting time!  Not that I will be biting them as they finally seem to be improving! I think it’s down to a number of factors, not least the sunshine and natural source of Vitamin D, but also the one product I’ve stuck with religiously and that is Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle treatment. They’re still very thin, but at least they’ve grown slightly above the nail bed, so I’m hopeful. I’ve also started to take the Doctor Seaweed Weed and Wonderful supplements that we sell, as I was impressed with the high levels of nutrients included. My hair though has been growing very well and so it was good to finally have it cut and coloured on the 14th April. I hope you enjoyed the Olaplex show we brought you later that week. My stylist Jo uses the products in her salon and said that particularly for fine, frizzy or damaged hair, they are great.

Of course, having been out in the sun, I’ve managed to get a bit of a tan, although I haven’t ventured outdoors without my Ultrasun SPF 30. I’ve been hooked on this product since we went to Mexico at the very beginning of last year and once again the tan accelerator in it has given me a far deeper tan than I would ever have thought possible in April in the UK. I know I was very irresponsible with my skin in the sun when I was younger, but Ultrasun has changed all that. If you want to try these products, don’t miss our TSV that features three products with one choice to make. Either the brand new Glimmer Max SPF 30, the Sport or the Family 30 then you’ll get SPF 30 Face and the SPF 30 lip protector. You can buy it now here. My tan though has been enhanced considerably by using my two favourite Gatineau products. Firstly their Tan Accelerator (215726), which I use as a body moisturizer right through the summer, but also their incredible Golden Glow in a duo (242213) for £48.96 or £12.24 per Easy Payment. It is absolutely perfect for light or medium skin tones and gradually builds to give you a totally realistic tan. As I was gardening, I wasn’t tanning my legs, just the top half of my body, so I managed to match the colour on my legs perfectly using this incredible product. Do try it – 60 days in which to do so with our guarantee.

I think that is pretty much all my news for now, except to say that we watched the entire third series of Keeping Faith with Eve Myles. Once more her acting was impeccable, and I really enjoyed the storyline, although I was sad it didn’t end as happily as I had hoped. We’ve recorded the entire final series of Line of Duty and are planning to watch it over the weekend – can’t wait!

I hope you got my response to your comments on the last blog and I’ll look forward to hearing from you this time. Take good care and stay safe and hopefully next time I write we’ll be on the cusp of even more positive change.

With my love,

Ali xx

28 Responses

  1. Hi Alison well what a lovely friend you have in Kathy as you say she will be missed but its a,plus for you seeing her more. We have caught up with line of duty last one Sunday we will miss seeing it. Les has started Bowen treatment for his shoulder and neck and I’m going to the same lady about my ankle and leg we have had this treatment before and it was successful on my repetitive strain injury and his back so fingers crossed its,£50 a session so not cheap. Looks like the move is finally happening could be the 14th May as our buyers mortgage is finally been looked over by the solicitor apparently getting a mortgage is a nightmare everything is gone through with a fine tooth comb and making sure your job is secure but anything can happen nowadays nothing is ever 100% safe is it. We are going to see Gary and Lamis Saturday in Bristol so that will be nice and Sunday Les has booked us a quiet meal at the Alice lisle pub in the forest not far from our house have you ever been there? On the subject of the house again we have been out looking at new beds think we have chosen one we like a,king size ottoman one from John Lewis and we like a table and bench set from next it’s exciting looking at new,things now we are able to.Our concert for George Benson has been cancelled till next year so we,have asked for a refund.Pleased you are enjoying your garden I too have been using my ultrasun your lucky you get to try lots of things I just great myself occasionally or it would cost a fortune. Well take care and enjoy your walks with Kathy it might make you think you think of being a lady of leisure. Take care best wishes Loraine xxxx

    1. Hi Loraine, lovely to hear from you, and so relieved to know that you finally have a moving date! Only 10 days to go! How exciting to be able to buy new things for your new home – I’m sure you’re going to be very happy there. I’m sorry your George Benson concert has been cancelled – we are waiting to see if the Isley Brothers will still happen… Do hope so! Let me know how you get on with your Bowen treatment – my friend Roz is a Bowen therapist and I know her patience benefited greatly. Plenty more walks with Kathy to come but not ready for retirement just yet. Love Ali XX

  2. Hi Ali lovely to hear from you again, glad you have managed to enjoy some time with some of your family. All my immediate family live locally so with bubbles etc we have been seeing each other in gardens since the start of the month and Ron and I have had both our jabs and the 2 daughters have had their first ones so feel fairly safe, although of course still sticking to guidelines. It has been a difficult time but hopefully we can all stay safe now. 🤞 I was very sad to hear that Kathy Tayler was retiring but I wish her well and think it’s going to be good for her,especially after her nasty bout of Covid. She will be missed. I am currently in my garden going through all my plant orders from Qvc and checking what pots I will be planting them in, all my plants are in pots as it’s not very big. Thanks for the heads up about the Richard Jackson offer,couldn’t be without his products!! Despite the cold weather Ron and I witnessed 4 baby robins leaving the nest yesterday afternoon,the nest has been right outside our back door, it was a great treat to see them leaving. I am looking forward to your book, I read the last one. Take care love Debbie xx

    1. Hello there Debbie, nice to hear from you and I’m glad that you’ve been able to see your immediate family – I’m in a bubble with Lucy and honey and it’s made all the difference. They seem to be cracking on with all the vaccines and we are definitely moving in the right direction I feel. Kathy will be very much missed at QVC, but you are right it is going to be better for her in the long term. Most of my garden is in pots as well and I would be lost without Richard’s products. We have a lot of Robins in our garden, but they all nest in the hedge so that was lovely you were able to see them with their babies. Thank you for reading my previous book – this one is a novel but I hope you will enjoy it if and when it gets published! Love Ali xx

  3. Hi Alison,

    I haven’t written for a while but I have been reading your page, there was rather a lot going on at home and I couldn’t quite get myself to partake in much at all. It is sad that Kathy Tayler is leaving she comes across as such a warm but sensible person, how lovely that you have been friends for all these years and will continue to be so.
    Love your tips on the tan, I use the Ultrasun 30 and it did help my tan last year, I also use the Gatineau tan accelerator, I do have the gradual glow but I find it does stick to the toes, ankles and elbows even when I moisturise first. The gradual tan I really loved was by Alpha H ( many years ago before I retired) but suddenly they stopped doing it, I haven’t found anything to match up to it.
    Good luck with the book, Maggie xx

    1. Dear Maggie I do hope that whatever you have been going through things are easier for you now. I’m glad that you’ve been enjoying the shows and sorry that you had a problem with the Gâtineau product. Maybe wipe over your toes ankles and elbows with a damp cloth after you’ve applied it rather than moisturising before? Yes, Kathy will be missed but we will certainly keep our friendship going. Thank you for your kind words about the book – I’ll let you know how it goes. Take care and thank you for writing, love Ali xx

  4. Hi Alison, sorry to hear of Kathy’s retirement as I will miss her blogs but I’m very pleased for her and its lovely to think she lives close to you for your walks. I too have been watching Keeping Faith and I agree she’s a brilliant actress, I’ve just started series 3. Love the music too. I hope you are keeping well and look forward to your next blog. Take care Karen xx

    1. Hi Karen, I’m sure you won’t be the only one who will miss Kathy’s blogs but I’m certain she will keep in touch via social media in other ways. I can keep you in touch with her progress to which I’m sure she will be happy for me to do. I hope you enjoy Series III of Keeping Faith – it was a very strong storyline and it may well leave the series open for another one. Thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali XX

  5. Hi Ali, it’s very sad that Kathy is retiring and I’m sure you’ll miss sharing a dressing room with her a lot but, as you say, you’ll probably end up seeing her more than ever.
    Thank you for your tips about nail treatments to try. I will certainly give Margaret Dabbs nail & cuticle treatment a try as I love her foot products. I already use Opi’s Nail Envy.
    I cannot wait for Line of Duty on Sunday but hope all the main characters survive! I, like you, also enjoyed Unforgotten so will now have to find another good series to watch.
    I hope to meet up with my sister soon who has been shielding for a long time due to her cancer treatment and am glad that I’ll be having my 2nd vaccine next week.
    Good luck with your new book. Take care love Tina xx

    1. Dear Tina, good to hear from you and I’m hoping that your sister continues to do well. It will be good for you to be able to be together after all this time. I’m glad that OPI’s nail envy works for you and let me know how you get on with Margaret Dabbs. We have only seen the first two episodes of the new series of Line of Duty but am looking forward to the next four! I’m pleased to see they are bringing back Between the Lines which was a superb series all those years ago in 1993. This too is about Police Corruption when it was investigated by CIB rather AC12. Neil Pearson was brilliant in it! I think you’d enjoy it. Thanks for your kind words about the book, Love Ali x

  6. Hi Alison.

    What a lovely write up about your dear friend and colleague Kathy. Beautifully written without being too gushing.

    Thoroughly enjoy your blogs. Always interesting.

    Take care.

    Graham x

    1. Thank you Graham – I meant every word of it too 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the blogs and thank you forgetting in touch. Take care, love Ali XX

  7. Hi Alison, I wont say much as you’ve yet to read my rather late reply to your last blog…but thank you for sharing the chilli vinegar trick for the Rose’s.. mine have little white flies on them!
    Thanks also for the TSV heads up next friday..I’ll be getting mine ordered asap..
    Happy Bank Holiday weekend avd well done on your book completion.
    Mary x

    1. Hi Mary, yes please do read my response and at least this time I’m a bit more up-to-date! I hope the chilli vinegar will work for your roses, and yes don’t miss Richards TSV – great value! My garden will be lost without it. I hope the weather was kinder to you over the bank holiday then it was to us. And thank you for your kind words about my book. Love Ali XX

  8. Hi Ali, so pleased to hear that you and Colin were able to meet the new family member! and have quality time with them all. This is something we have all missed so much.
    So sad to hear Kathy is leaving, she will be greatly missed, please give her my best wishes for the future. Merche x

    1. Dear Merche, I will make sure I pass your kind words onto Kathy – you’re right she will be missed but never forgotten. I’ll be keeping in touch with her anyway so I can let you know how she’s doing. Yes it was wonderful to meet up with baby Cory and we are looking forward to getting together as a family for Colin’s birthday at the end of May. Take care, love Ali XX

  9. Happy Saturday Ali, Today is a double birthday, my Treasure’s 3rd & Joanna Lumley’s 75th – I’m sure she won’t mind that being announced, the woman’s more glorious & life-enhancing than ever. Happy Birthday to Honey for next week. The Book! How very exciting & I can’t wait to read it, I’ve just bought ‘The Missing Pieces Of Nancy Moon’, the reviews are wonderful & it sounds unputdownable. Losing your room mate will be strange, even if you didn’t occupy the space at the same time, but how nice to have more time to meet up with each other, has Kathy’s retirement put thoughts into your head? It’s going to be a chilly washout Bank Holiday weekend here so my gardening will be confined to planting vegetable seeds; we’ve never had an issue with rabbits but the slugs must each be the size of a single bed judging by the bite holes & have meant that I only plant those I know will survive an gastropod attack. I’m pleased that your nails are improving, mine are showing a sliver of free edge & Miss Crook would have said they were too long & thrown me off the netball team, not a hardship as I’ve always thought it’s the most tedious game & would rather have run through 5 miles of mud rather than put on the GD vest! Love from Jo x

  10. Dear Joe, your, just had me laughing out loud. I too hated netball – I played Centre because I could never remember where I was or wasn’t allowed to go! Thank you for the book recommendation – I have nearly finished my latest listen by Lisa Genova – Still Alice. This is the fourth book of hers I have listened to and was her debut novel and also made into a film. Kathy Tayler recommended I look into her writing before I started writing my own book. It has been extremely helpful to me. I think the time is right for Kathy to retire but not for me just yet… I hope your vegetable seeds planted out well? I have just got the beginnings of my lettuces, beetroot, sunflowers and tomatoes showing. I’ve never grown from seed before so fingers crossed! My nails to have a sliver of free edge… Still very very weak. I lovely that you also call your granddaughter your treasure – it’s how I always greet Honey. 🙂 still blowing a Hooley here but heading into work later this afternoon. Take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  11. Hi Alison,
    I was so sad to hear that Kathy is retiring yes. Though lovely for her and her family. I’ve always enjoyed watching her when I’ve been able to, as she’s so down to earth. You’re so right that you’re both so lucky to have such good friends in your lives. Such wonderful jobs too. I can’t imagine having fun and doing what you do to earn a living. A different world as they say! Let us know how she’s doing once in a while.
    Lovely too that you’ve been able to have family over. Such a lot of family! Hope joe is doing ok.
    Great that your nails are improving and maybe you’re right about the sun. I could do with some myself!
    Wish Kathy lots of luck and take care x

    1. Dear Susan, I know you’re not the only one to be sorry to see Kathy leave our screens, and they broke the mould when they made her, but it is absolutely the right time for her and perfect for her family too. I hope to see more of her now that her mornings are free, and I agree – we are VERY lucky to have a job that is as much fun as this one. Joe, Hayley and the baby are doing really well and we will all be getting together as a family for Colin’s birthday at the end of the month. I hope you’re able to see your family and that the sun has made an appearance too! All the very best to you and yours, Ali xx

  12. Hi Ali a belated reply but for a happy reason – Edith Elizabeth was born 26th April at St.Thomas Hospital Hospital London 8lb 13oz. She was delivered early because of gestational diabetes safer for Mum and baby. Charlotte has had good care from hospital and midwife & are both doing well. Ivy is over the moon in her big sister role. I arrived on the 24th April just in time so Adam was able to be with Charlotte in theatre and afterwards. I am staying on until May 23rd. She is a beautiful baby & is a much needed amount of positivity after all the sadness. Tears were shed remembering Keith and Adam’s Mum & Dad not here to share but they are certainly never more than a thought away.
    It sounds like Kathy will be greatly missed both as a fellow colleague and friend. We often make life long friends at work and it looks that is the case for you both and you will relish your get togethers all the more.
    My hands and nails have been really sore and nails so brittle. It must be a reaction to ,lockdown! I have been using L’occitane shea butter hand cream which seems to have helped.
    Take care lots of love Julia xxx 🤗🤗

    1. Dear Julia, so many congratulations to you Adam Charlotte Ivy and baby Edith. Wonderful news and exactly what you as a family need. I’m so sorry that Keith and Adam’s mum and dad were not there to share your news but I am certain they were following it. You’re right, Kathy will be greatly missed but she will never be forgotten and I am very privileged to have the opportunity to carry on seeing her. I’m so sorry to know that your hands and nails are sore but I’m certain using the Shea butter handcream you should see an improvement. Take care and enjoy your special time with your family. Thank you for taking time out of it to write to me, with my love, Ali xx

  13. Dearest Alison. Have watched and adored all your appearances on qvc over the years and have recently undergone a double mastectomy which has left me totally bereft. I was a model for two high end couture houses in the 60’s and 70’s and have therefore been overly interested in fashion and my appearance always. I am now totally unable to wear any of the beautiful clothes that I have collected over the years and hate and despise the look of my breasts now. I am so very proud and in awe of the way you have handled your cancer and all of the on going problems which I am sure you must have been left with. I like you am a Pisces (my birthday is 2 days after yours ) so you know how much appearances and self worth mean to us. You are a wonderful example of how we can recover in the light of doom.
    I wonder if I may ask you a question about your appearance on the morning show last week when you bid farewell to Kathy. You were wearing a really beautiful.cream top which floated serenely over the trousers you wore. It looked like a Marla Wynn item but I wondered if you could let me know if it is available on qvc or maybe it was one of your own pieces. You looked as always simply amazing and I admire your ethos continually.
    Hoping to hear back from you sometime if you have time… Thank you. Alexandra Anne. Xx

  14. Dear Alexandra Anne, I’m so very sorry to know that you too have had to undergo this brutal surgery and understand totally your feeling of bereavement. Because that’s what it is, and so much harder for you to accept having working having worked in the fashion industry all those years, where your shape and figure were key to your career. It has taken me a long time to accept the changes, and even now it sometimes makes me sad, but I have so much else in my life to be grateful for – including still being here 10 years on – that it sits where it needs to be. Behind me. Can most certainly help you with the cream top that I was wearing on Kathy’s final morning show. It is currently available on our website and is part of the brand-new petite range from Danny Minogue. It is the high low hem shirt – item number 186928 and the colour I was wearing was the winter white. It’s a fab jersey fabric and very flattering. Thank you for your kind words, and it sounds to me as though you’re being incredibly positive in spite of all you’ve been through. My book A New Kind of Normal may interest you – it’s just my my story of how I dealt with life at that time. Some folk have found it helpful 🙂 Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  15. Dearest Alison as joyful and sweet as ever. It was so very lovely to hear from you and so quickly too. Your words of encouragement have meant so much to me, particularly as I have no family or loving husband for support miserable moments are spent alone with my wonderful animals, who love me no matter how badly I behave or how awful.i look!!! How grateful i am every day for their very existence.
    I rushed to order the top you had worn and can only hope I look a little bit as good in it as you did. I figured it would hide a multitude of sins and possibly make me feel a little more feminine. And yes you’re right I am still very interested in my fashion and am trying very hard to deal with all the changes and challenges that this ghastly operation leaves us to face. Believe me my many diamonique pieces (mostly bought on a Tuesday evening during your shows) do help to lift ones spirits.
    You are a truly lovely warm and supportive woman who should be immensely proud of herself. Maybe one day I will be able to walk a little way in your shoes. I have also just bought the chain bracelet with the little roll of diamonique which was on the show this week, in gold, and look forward to a little surprise through the letterbox soon!
    Thank you again for your very endearing words of wisdom. Signing off as AA as my friends xx

    1. Dear AA, Thanks for writing back and I’m so glad that you’ve ordered the top. I’m certain it’ll become a firm favourite in your wardrobe, and most definitely when teamed up with some Diamonique – the bracelet is lovely! Good to know you watch on a Tuesday and hopefully we’ll have some longer length necklaces soon which will work well with the top. I’m sorry you don’t have anyone that close to you, but those friends you mention who call you AA are, I’m sure, doing their best to look out for you. Sometimes people find it difficult to know what to say, but being honest about how you’re feeling even if it is unhappy or fed up I found to be the best way forward. You’ve done the hardest bit… keep on doing what you’re doing and it will get easier I promise. Take care, love Ali xx

    2. Hello Alexandra,
      I just wanted to add my wishes to you after all you have been through and continue to go through. Illness is only made so much worse by being on your own and I only hope that this last year perhaps make some people think more and help more. I hope you have some healthcare professionals you can talk to and your furry friends too. Sending thoughts x

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