Getting up, getting on and The Great QVC Giveaway!

So, we got through it! 2020 that is, and having read all the uplifting comments on social media in spite of everything that’s been flung at us since December 19th, we’re all doing our best to stay positive. Because it’s the only way to be isn’t it really?

I know Christmas was different for most of us, but very difficult for some and if you were on your own I do hope that somebody reached out to help. I’d be lying if I said our Christmas was as we had intended or even what we’d hoped for, but I did manage to see all three of my children at various points last month, and stay overnight with Lucy and Honey in our support bubble.

It was also the first New Year in many that I wasn’t able to see my friend Jo. We’ve known each other since we were 11 years old and as it’s her birthday on New Year’s Day we invariably spend New Year’s Eve together, but everything is on hold until better times. Realistically I didn’t celebrate my 60th birthday at all last year so in my head I’m still 59! 🙂

Part of that positive mindset was definitely boosted for me when we passed the winter solstice on the 21st of December. Shorter nights and longer days definitely help, and I’ve already enjoyed several country walks this year.

More good news came to us from Australia where my lovely niece Clare had her baby on her due date – 17th of December! She gave birth to Agatha Fletcher who weighed exactly the same as Clare did when she was born and both mum and baby are doing well! My brother Peter and his wife Sarah are over the moon to be grandparents, and I’m thrilled skinny too, even though I have no idea when I’ll ever get to see them and baby Aggy as she is being called.

Way ahead of time I sent a gift for the baby that I posted on the 1st December but it didn’t arrive until the 26th December! It was from a wonderful company called BabyBlooms and they create bouquets using cleverly folded baby clothes to look like flowers! Stupidly I hadn’t tracked the parcel and I’d almost given up on it ever arriving but I was very glad as it did as Clare thought it was a great gift.

Talking of gifts I have to tell you about The Great QVC Giveaway! It was launched at 9am on Monday and will run until 23.59 on the 24th January. Anyone can enter and as soon as you’ve bought anything from us you go to, put in your order number, house number and postcode and then you get the chance to Spin the Wheel that will pop up on your screen. There are literally hundreds of prizes you could win and you’ll also be in with a chance to take the £10,000 cash prize in our Grand Prize Draw. Give it a go! You might well be lucky.

I was trying to think of what to make for dinner this evening and was horrified at how many leftovers I still had in the fridge! Most of them were definitely way over their ‘best before dates’ and had to be binned with mince pies being the only exception! We managed to motor our way through at least six of them today so they are out of the way now. I’ve decided on a vegetable casserole for tonight, but when I got home from work on New Year’s Day I was presented with this fabulous beef Wellington that Colin had made for me. It was absolutely delicious – he followed a Gordon Ramsay recipe having bought two pieces of beef fillet the day before. I feel he should take over cooking duties from this point forward!

Staying with food, we’ve got something exciting coming from Wilfred’s Pies next week – their first ever TSV! You’ll be able to choose between a selection of steak, chicken or vegetarian pies and the fillings sound fabulous! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as I’m getting the chance to taste them prior to the launch!

We’ve also had major price reductions in our January sale on almost everything – check out the website to see what’s on offer from your favourite brands. And while you’re there, I do recommend you click the link to ‘Stories’ and listen to the first podcast in a series of four that focus on mental health and wellbeing.

Will Gowing is talking to Nicola Elliott, the founder of the Neom brand, who is the first contributor – it was fascinating hearing her describe how she coped with panic and anxiety attacks. Perricone’s Kara Beck and Marjelene Brugman, the familiar face and demonstrator of Pilates at QVC will both feature in the coming weeks, and I am very humbled to tell you that I will be with you for the final podcast of the month.

It’s the second time Will has talked to me about my life and we will be looking back over the years to several significant events that shaped how I now cope with my mental health and life generally. The events of the past year have shaken so many of us, and its very difficult to know how to cope at times. Hopefully by sharing our experiences it may help those of you in similar situations.

Sometimes all it takes to make you feel better is talking with a friend or someone close to you, and one of my closest friends at the Q is Kathy Tayler. Obviously we’ve not seen much of each other over the Christmas break but we’re in touch regularly. She’s just finished promoting the re-launch of her Morning Style Show and had some great photographs taken after being styled by Stine Wintnev – here’s the link to see more.

Loving the Ruth Langsford biker jacket in tan – I have mine in taupe 🙂 I must admit to having become more than a little obsessed with the Cuddl Duds range of leisurewear. I treated myself to their fleece leggings and several tunic tops just before Christmas and have spent most of my time wearing them while lounging about or staying snuggly in them when I’m out walking. They are SO much warmer than jeans or my usual walking trousers and I’m more inclined to walk for longer when I’m warm!

I’ve been listening to a new audio book – another of Lisa Genova’s novels. It’s called Life with the O’Briens and I’ll be honest, it’s not the easiest of listens. Her books all deal with some form of illness and this one focuses on Huntington’s Disease and is quite distressing. Before that though I listened to The Switch by Beth O’Leary, which was the total opposite – heartwarming, fun and insightful. I bought it for Jo’s birthday present as I know she’ll love it too. Colin and I enjoyed watching Roald and Beatrix on Sky over Christmas starring Dawn French. I’m a huge fan of hers and it was a beautiful tale about the young Roald Dahl and his obsession with the writing of Beatrix Potter. We started watching the new Channel 4 period drama The Great last night – VERY unusual but quite entertaining!

Hopefully QVC will continue to entertain you with all we have to offer over the coming weeks. Watch out for special deals from Alpha-H, Ruth Langsford, Phase Eight and Morphy Richards to name but a few. And do drop me a line if you have a moment. I really enjoy catching up with your news and it certainly is a leveler for me when I hear how well you’re coping in these unprecedentedly difficult times with all that comes your way.

Stay well, stay safe and do stay in touch.

With my love,

Ali xx

24 Responses

  1. Happy New Year Ali. I’ve not been up to doing very much hence me not giving you a little note on your last blog. I’m still struggling health wise and more investigations are on the way. It’s been nearly a year since all this started and I’m so wanting to be me again. I’m glad you had chance to see your family. I miss my little ones so much but we do keep up to date as and when we can. The weather hasn’t helped either with dark mornings and evenings but I have enjoyed watching the birds enjoying feeding in the garden. I have a very timid robin who gets put off by the magpies but he is gradually making his mark and shows them that he was first to find the food! Nature is wonderful and it’s quite amusing to watch. I can’t quite believe how fast 2020 went and how little I achieved on my to do list. One day it will get done but I’ve accepted life for what it is at present. I hope 2021 is a good one for you and your family. If anything has come out of the past year is that I appreciate more of the things I used to take for granted. Stay safe and well. Sending hugs and love as usual. Judith xx

    1. Judith I’m so sorry that you’re still struggling with your health, and very much hope that it will be resolved in the coming months. I’m sure you do miss your family, and you’re right these shorter days and longer nights are harder to contend with. Glad you have birds in your garden too though – our robins have been very vocal over these last few weeks and I’m hoping to record their songs. I’m totally in agreement with your observation over this last year, and I’m definitely appreciating all those things I’m still lucky enough to have. I do hope you stay safe and will be feeling much better soon. Love to you, Ali xx

      1. Hi Ali and Judith,
        I haven’t been on here either myself Judith. I’m sorry your health issues continue. I empathise and it’s so much harder when you’re on your own and in the midst of all this and work. Hopefully we will all find a little light and a little bit of peace in the coming months. Look after yourself and happy new year to you both x

  2. Hi could you please tell the item no of the red suit or dress you were wearing I think it’s a knitted jumper and skirt you had it on on the 4th January with cozee home 12 o’clock midnight, you look so beautiful in it and I would love it . Tried ringing to find out ans email but no success. Please keep well and your lovely family.
    Love Chrissie Rowe xx

    1. Hi there Chrissie, it’s a beautiful jumper dress from the Gok Wan range – item number 181700. A few of the sizes have sold out, but we do still have some stock. Thank you so much for the compliment – I hope you manage to order yours and enjoy wearing it. It’s a fabulous design! Love Ali xx

  3. Hi Alison glad you got to meet your family before Xmas we saw Gary and his wife they cooked the meal and we played cluedo etc then on boxing day we saw,Clare Geoff and the girls so we feel lucky even though its all gone a bit flat now hasn’t it but nothing we can do at least the vaccine is getting rolled out now.Lovely photo of you and Colin together hope you both have a healthy new year.We have sold the house but unfortunately the houses we wanted have gone so the buyer will have to be patient but if it falls through then so be it because we need to find something we are happy with. Anyway keep safe and best wishes love Loraine xxxx😊

    1. Hi Loraine, so glad you got to see Gary and his wife and you were able to have a bit of time together. Great too that you got to see Clare, Geoff and the girls too! I know what you mean about things feeling a little flat, so it’s important to have something to look forward to – like your house move! But, definitely don’t do anything hasty. I’m sure the right place will come up soon and you will be happy there. Do take care and stay safe, and Happy New Year to you and yours, love Ali xxx

  4. Happy new year to you all..I have watched qvc for 18 years and bought so many things, I have enough lotions and potions to open my own little shop..haha!!!. I have multiple sclersos for ten years now, so I’m no longer working.
    Every day I really enjoy watching qvc..
    It would mean the world to me if I won the competition….😊🥰

    1. And happy New Year to you too Jill! Wow 18 years! That’s a long time and I’m so glad that you still enjoy watching. I’m sure you must have faced a few challenges with multiple sclerosis but you sound very positive. I hope you might have a win if you spin the wheel, and then be in with a chance of the £10,000! Thanks for writing to me, love Ali xx

  5. Hi Ali wishing you Colin and all your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year xx
    What a great blog with lovely photos as always, The ‘grotto’ in your garden looks very inviting. It reminds me of the Christmas markets we were once able to visit serving mulled wine – those were the days!
    What a gorgeous photo of baby Aggy a new life and new hope that all will be well in the end for all of us.
    Colin’s meal looked delicious. My neighbour who is Scottish came round on New Years Day with a steak and mushroom pie with flaky pastry. It was so kind they said I could have gone round to theirs to eat but as we couldn’t it was the next best thing. She said it was a tradition in Scotland to have steak pie on New Years Day. As it was my first Christmas without Keith the kind gesture meant so much to me.
    Christmas itself was both very sad and uplifting to feel the love for each other and lots of talk about Keith meant he lives on in all of us. There were lots of tears and smiles thinking of him. Of course I was so disappointed that I couldn’t go to London to see Charlotte Adam & Ivy but my case is still packed ready to go as soon as I can. Hopefully I will get the vaccine soon I am 3rd or 4th on the list. I’ve never been so keen to get an injection!
    I too enjoyed Dawn French in the programme about Roald Dahl (thers is a new film coming out soon about him and his wife Patricia Neal) and Beatrix Potrer. We are only an hour away from the Lakes and for Ivy’s 3rd Birthday we all met up for the little show that was all about Jemima Puddleduck it was so good for any age.
    I am trying to keep my pecker up but I am still very up and down. Keith was a lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC and You’ll Never Walk Alone was one of the songs played at his funeral so over the last few days it has been played a lot in tribute to Gerry Marsden so once again many tears were shed. But the hospice nurse who rings me once a week says the tears need to flow and isn’t good to hold any emotions in.
    I would recommend watching on catch up the Julia Donaldson programme about her life & how The Gruffalo came about. Some very sad parts but as a family we all enjoyed it (we viewed separately in our own homes)
    From QVC I bought the skincare Elemis TSV. I love the cleansing balm I chose the neroli option. It was such good value and lovely to use definitely a treat for the senses. QVC in lockdown has been a constant and to see familiar faces in your own home – albeit a virtual visit is both comforting and enjoyable. It brings some normality into our very abnormal world at the moment.
    I was still able to have a walk on the prom yesterday with a friend although it was cold the sun came out & we were able to have a takeaway coffee sitting on separate benches! Once again we are in lockdown and the last one was shared with Keith so this one on my own will seem very different. It seems to emphasise the loneliness but I will try and adapt but afte 46 years it won’t easy. At least now we have more ways to communicate. and if it all works then it is a small price to pay to prevent more people from catching the virus.
    Emma my middle daughter is still suffering from long covid. She teaches and when she went back to work she caught it then. She is 50 and had no previous health issues but she now has to use an inhaler her breathing is very laboured still and still very tired. Hopefully it won’t leave long term damage.
    Take care and stay safe with much love Julia 🤗🤗 xx

    1. Dear Julie, lovely to hear from you, and to know that in spite of everything that conspired against you, you still managed to pull the positive from your Christmas. So glad that everyone is talking about Keith, and sharing memories, and bolstering each other up. And how lovely that your neighbours also took time out to include you too – all these occasions are so hard for you and it’s such a blessing when someone else steps in. Thank you for your recommendation oft he Julia Donaldson programme – Lucy and Honey love those books, and I’d be very interested to know what her inspiration was. We watched a documentary on the actress Natalie Wood – obviously sad at the end, but very uplifting too. So glad that you’ve managed to treat yourself to some lovely products and we’ve all been able to keep you company during lockdown. A bit of a way to go yet, but that’s kind of you to say how much you appreciate it. I will pass that on to my colleagues. I think you should be very proud of how you’re coping… 46 years is a lifetime, and so hard to adapt to life without your soul mate, but you have your girls and your grandchildren and their love will see you through the darkest times. I do hope Emma will be feeling better soon – it’s tough on the teachers as my daughter knows only too well. You take care, and thank you for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

      1. Hi julia,
        I’m sorry I haven’t been on here but I just wanted to say I’m glad you got through Christmas and new year and I’m hoping you will keep getting support from the hospice nurse as you need it. As you say it’s the loneliness that we are all struggling with but so pleased you have a family and love surrounding you. I hope your daughter will recover. Very scary indeed. Look after yourself x

  6. Lovely to hear about all your news Alison.A very quiet Christmas for us too and hardest part was not being able to see our granddaughter Darcy who is 5 and just started school in Sept-she is changing all the time and we so miss seeing her as you must miss Honey too.But spring is on the way and snowdrops are popping up in garden-and when the sun shines things always seem betterHoping for brighter times as Easter approaches.QVC has been my salvation at this difficult time and i got majority of presents from you-marvellous presenters and very good service-would recommend to anyone.Both you.and your family stay safe and well and look.forward to watching you this year-you.always look.immaculate !!

    1. Dear Cheryl, I totally understand how hard Christmas must’ve been for you. Honey is changing almost a weekly basis, and can now read, write and it’s very articulate. I do hope you can talk to Darcy may be on FaceTime or Zoom? It’s lovely just to see them even if you can’t physically be with them. So good to know that QVC is company for you and also making it easier for you to treat those you love. I said at least 60% of my Christmas gifts were from the Q! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for sight of the snowdrops and I hope that you and your family will stay well and happy. Love to you all, from Ali xx

  7. Hi Ali I watch QVC all the time but as I live in Spain how can I buy things from them ?
    There are so many things I would love to buy.Can you please let me know if possible their phone number to phone from Spain as the 0800 number dose not work.
    Thanking You I wait your reply.
    Kathy Wilson

    1. Hi there Kathy, the good new is you can shop with us from Spain and this is the number to order on: 900 964 455. Any issues with that then try +44 151 212 4820. Good luck and happy shopping! Love Ali xx

  8. Happy New Year to you and your family. Thank you for the beautiful photographs, the baby is gorgeous. Hope this year brings all family and friends together again. Take care. Xx

    1. Hi there Anne, it looks as though we share the same birthday! So glad you enjoyed the blog and yes, Aggy is gorgeous! 🙂 I hope this New Year will eventually bring us all time together with those we love. Stay safe and well, love Ali xx

  9. Hi Ali love the grotto and what a gorgeous baby. Thank you for answering my last comment. Things seem to be on the mend🤞. I can’t settle each time we have a heart episode it knocks me for six. Always frightened I won’t be able to get help fast enough. Strange times once again. I hope you and your family keep well. Elaine x

    1. Hi Elaine, lovely to keep in touch here and I’ll always comment when you write 🙂 I totally understand how frightening it must be when these episodes happen – fear of the unknown is terrifying. Hopefully in this day and age with everyone contactable from one device or another you should always be able to find help. Wishing you and your family all the very best this January. Love Ali xx

  10. Hi Alison, a belated Happy New Year to you and your family. Christmas is packed away, I am back at work and it seems such a long time ago..
    Lovely to catch up with your news and congratulations on the new addition to the family, Agatha is beautiful. My friend had her first baby on 16th Dec ..a very difficult time to have a baby during a lockdown.
    I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed our somewhat quieter Christmas..I cooked for everyone even those who were not joining us and Jack and Chloe delivered Christmas meals on wheels to my mother in law who decided not to come up and my two sisters who, as they are on their own, spent christmas day together. We opened pressies together thanks to WhatsApp and played our virtual bingo..hilarious.
    I normally do it ll again on boxing day but was selfishly grateful for a lazy boxing day watching Christmas films I had recorded on the Christmas 24 film channel, drinking baileys and eating cheese!!
    And also, lots of lovely walks have been a crucial part of my day..the beach is beautiful in the winter although the last week it has been bitterly cold . The face oil is being slapped on with gay abandon many times during the day!
    Work have been looking after me Avs making sure I have minimal contact with kids..we start our staff testing program next week, my weekly date is 8.10am on Tuesday..
    Well, it’s a cold crisp morning and a long walk awaits. Take care and keep safe.
    Love Mary x

  11. Hi alsion hope you and family had agood xmas and new yea i had agood time
    hope you got my xmas card i did not get one from you

    1. Hi there Martin, Yes thank you it was a good but quiet Christmas – I hope you were able to enjoy yours? I am so sorry my card didn’t get to you. I certainly sent it from QVC the weekend before Christmas, but I know some of the post was held up. Sending you my very best for the New Year from here though love Ali xx

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