Hair styles, summer sandals, birthdays and BBQ’s!

After another really long day in the garden planting out the water feature that Colin has now completed and a hanging basket, all with my QVC Summer blooms collection, I seem to have spent half the night going over and over things that really don’t matter at all!  I am a notoriously bad sleeper – my hot flushes purgatory on a warmer night – but I can’t imagine I’m very different to many of you.  It was a relief to have the slight easing of restrictions but I know for many of us, it’s not really made that much of a difference.  Trying to stay positive and motivated is difficult, but I had to smile at some of the headlines I’ve found online: ‘Is now the time to consider buying a second home?’;  ‘How to secure a new role and get a pay rise in lockdown’ and excitingly, ‘Thinking of cutting your own hair?  Do not do it until you read our “how to” guide’!  Well that last bit of advice was a week late for me, and having attacked my rather stylish cut with a pair of nail scissors I was really pleased to have so many folk say it looked good!

I’m not going to touch the colour  – although I do look a little like a badger up close – but I’ve decided to make do with Philip Kingsley’s One More Day Dry Shampoo to lighten it a bit 🙂  Trying to keep my nails at a reasonable length and my cuticles smooth, is proving to be a challenge.  I didn’t realise how difficult it is to get a good shape on the nail, although using my Crystal Nail File definitely helps.  I’ve started using Margaret Dabb’s Nail & Cuticle Serum for my feet and hands and am currently using Nail Envy Samoan Sand, but with all the gardening I am finding I need to repaint for work each time.  That said, my hand to eye co-ordination has definitely improved. 🙂 Talking of gardening, my huge scented lilies have finally surfaced, and the beautiful rose that Kathy Tayler bought me for my birthday has bloomed!  Have a look at the label – how kind and thoughtful of Kathy.

Thanks so much for writing to me, and keeping in touch.  It really does make me feel less isolated when I read about how you’re getting on.  I know it’s been tough for many and for a myriad of reasons, but I hope that Jo Downey is doing OK?  I  realised having answered your comments that not everyone in England, Wales and Scotland is getting the sunshine!  Forgive me, I rarely watch the TV news and weather now, and hadn’t realized.  I hope that things will warm up for you very soon, and you’ll get a sense of the summer.   We’ve had a few BBQ’s over the last few weeks, and I was so pleased to see my son Jack the week before last, and Sam on Sunday.  Very hard not to hug them, but we were easily able to stay apart and it was so good to physically see them after all this time.  There was a lovely story in the news last week about a hugging curtain.  It was basically a large sheet of plastic with two sets of armholes in it so that people could actually physically hold onto each other, while wearing a mask obviously. A dear old soul was able to hug her son and I found it really emotional to watch.  I wish I could get my hands on one with small armholes so I could hug Honey… We’re still keeping up with our drawing games, and have had a lot of fun with a memory game.  Honey loads a tray with objects and then one by one she removes them and I have to guess what she’s taken.  I am SHOCKINGLY bad at it, but it makes us both laugh.

I had every intention of sorting out my summer clothes this year, as I don’t tend to get rid of things, I just add the occasional new dress or pair of shorts to my wardrobe! I realised that I’m also bad at keeping old flip flops and Birkenstocks – so I am very excited to see that next Tuesday’s Today’s Special Value from Moda in Pelle is a fabulous pair of wedges with a peep toe and sling back (item number 183525).  They’ve been made especially for QVC and come in five different colour options.  There are two snake prints – one blue, and one metallic – and the premium quality leather for these has been sourced from a luxury Italian tannery.  There are two suede finishes in a soft blue and a fuschia pink, and one polished leather in a nude tone. They have a four-inch wedge but the platform is at least an inch so that you don’t feel as though you’re pitching forwards when you walk in them.  The wedge itself is covered in an off white woven fabric and you can see the beautiful embellishments not just on the buckle but around the base of the shoe too.  What I’m really impressed with is the shaping around the toe, so that you don’t see too much of your toes!  No chance of a pedicure at the moment, and so that’s probably for the best in my case.  I’ve gone for the nude because I think it will work with anything, but what about you?

Something else I’m equally excited about, but for different reasons, is a 15-piece Lock and Lock Airtight Food Storage set (809557).   I’m trying not to visit the shops that often, and so keeping fruit and vegetables in my Lock & Lock containers has really kept them fresher for longer.  But they’re great for freezing extra portions of food too – in fact anything you want to keep safe and watertight, you can put in them!  It’s going to be under £20 for the set, so that’s definitely on my shopping list.

From the practical to pretty and perfectly made jewellery – yes, Diamonique is back on Sunday with a full hour of Michelle Mone’s own big, bold and original designs.  Michelle won’t be able to make it in but I am going to be joined at 6pm by Lee Clarke, who is as passionate as I am about the designs.  Lovely Caroline Archer, our Liz Earle Ambassador will be with us that day because she has a four-piece Brighten & Boost Superskin Facial Collection with four EZ pays!  Perfect for the summer and at an incredible price.  It’ll be available to buy now on our website (240150) prior to the day though, so do have a look at I’m then on at 8pm on Tuesday as always with my regular Diamonique show.

Well, I must head off into the kitchen now as it’s Colin’s birthday on Saturday and I am planning to make him some shortbread biscuits and also a cake!  I’ve been ordering gifts for him online, so he has a few things to open, but like so many, families, we’ll be celebrating properly once life is closer to normal.

I’ll be recording this week’s short story for Ali’s Story Time this Saturday and it will be posted on my Alison Keenan QVC Facebook page and also on Instagram. I’m so glad you are enjoying the stories and taking the time to comment and share them.  It’s a great way to feel connected.  And thank you very much also for the overwhelming response to the children’s story my daughter Lucy introduced me to which I read and she dropped the illustrations in for.    You can find it here (along with all the other short stories I’ve read on YouTube) and if you have small children or grandchildren in your family this is a lovely way to remind them that even though you can’t physically be with them, you are always joined together.  It’s called The Invisible String…. Good for adults too 🙂

Take care, stay safe, and do stay in touch.  Thinking of you.

With my love,

Ali xxx




44 Responses

  1. Hi Ali, lovely blog as ever. Hope Colin has a lovely birthday and no doubt you will spoil him! Lovely pic of you both together – you really make a handsome couple. I think your hair is looking great. I caught you on a beauty show and you were looking fab. Cant wait for the presentations of the Liz Earle TSV. Superskin is my all time favourite moisturiser and i will definitely be ordering – havent yet as i cant decide whether to order a few or do auto delivery! You were saying on one of your shows about the importance of pampering yourself and i dont know where i would be without this. Have been enjoying lovely long baths with many of my favourite brands, luckily i had stocked up plenty, including SBC, Molton Brown, Perlier and of course Australian Bodycare. Also my saviour at this time is PK elastericizer and PK daily damage defence which have both been invaluable without our beloved hairdressers. Lots of love, take care and stay safe xx

    1. Hi Karen, I started to reply to you and think I deleted my reply! Very remiss of me 🙂 So glad you’ve been enjoying the shows and have managed to buy some of your favourite brands at the reduced prices. Lovely to have the Philip Kingsley products when our hair so badly needs them! Yes, Colin enjoyed his birthday, his gifts, his cake and over the weekend, visits from a few of his children too which was great! I hope you and yours are all well and safe. Love Ali xx

      1. Sylvia S. Friday 13 June 2020

        Evening Alison

        It is so good to read your blog full of info as usual. I have a problem that I hope you can help with. I was absolutely fascinated with the white v neck sleeveless top with deep frill around the v and, having scoured all the items on QVC as I hoped to track it down so I could take it on holiday with me I am now wondering if it was in fact your own item.

        I too am a staunch supporter of Philip Kingsley products and could not do without his Elasticiser.
        Stay Well

        1. Dear Sylvia sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner, and unfortunately the white frilled top you were talking about was actually part of a jumpsuit from the brand Phase Eight. We no longer stock this particular style but we do have another jumpsuit with duck egg blue trousers and a cream top currently in stock. So glad you enjoyed the blog and are getting good results from your Philip Kingsley products. So glad you enjoyed the blog and are getting good results from your Philip Kingsley products.Love Ali x

  2. Great to see that you’re not affected with powdery mildew or rust. Or even aphids.

    No, not you personally, Alison! The rose, Alison.

    Blooming marvellous

    1. Thank you!! Yes, all good here Matthew and I hope you remain aphid, mildew and rust free too! Love Ali x

  3. Lovely blog as usual Alison, love your flowers, and lived your arrangement, very stylish, I wish I was brave enough to cut my hair, it is doing my head in, it has got so thick in myneck I hate it, I used to have dog slippers and if I still had them I would definitely use them and suffer the consequences, ha take care and happy birthday to Colin for Saturday,

    1. Hi Maddie, i’ve been really lucky with the flowers this year – so many roses, and some pretty bud vases to place them in. I think you must have meant dog clippers not slippers for your hair?! But either way, I feel your pain – I made do with nail scissors but think I may well have to attack it again soon. Take care and stay safe, love Ali x

  4. Hi Ali. You are lovely. I love reading your blogs. This is the first time i have ever wrote a comment though but thought i would give it a go. Your hair looks lovely i am having chemotherapy at the mo for breast cancer so i haven’t got to worry about hair cuts as i haven’t got any😂😂. I am hoping it comes back thicker than it was as i did have fine hair and very oily. Take care and keep safe.

    1. My dear Alison, I am so sorry to know that you are going through the same treatment but I can completely reassure you that once the cycle has finished, your hair WILL grow back and if it’s anything like mine it will be thicker, have a beautiful wave in it, and grow really quickly. Stay strong, keep looking ahead and please keep in touch to let me know how you’re getting on. Love Ali xx

      1. It has been an emotional few months for me. I was doing ok before this virus came and then put in lockdown for 12 wks. I have shed so many tears these last few months as i have also had a mastectomy on top of all this and not being able to hug and see my family has been really hard for me. I was then admitted into hospital on 30th May with suspected Neutropenic Sepsis but it was just side effects of my chemo but what an awful few days i had. The good news i had though that i had been longing to hear was that i was allowed out once a day 😂😂 it was so lovely to get out xx Take care and stay safe xx

        1. You poor thing I’m so sorry to know you have been through all of this on your own because of lockdown. The support my family and friends gave me following my mistake to me got me through it and it must’ve been so much harder for you not to see those you love. I am relieved that the sepsis is better now – I had neutropenia for 18 months following my treatment in my fingers and toes and it’s horrid. I’m so glad you’ve been out to get out once a day and I hope that they’ll be somebody within your social bubble you will be able to see who can support you. Sending you my love and thank you for letting me know how you are, Ali xx

  5. Hello Ali
    I’m sitting in the garden under the sun umbrella as it’s very hot here, and especially hot for up here in the North East. The garden has been a god send to me over this awful lockdown time and it has been lovely receiving my QVC plants to put into various containers. Your blogs have kept my going even though I didn’t reply to your last one. Yet again health issues have knocked me again. Hopefully now I am slowly recovering. What is the Saying? “ you can’t keep an old dog down for Long!” In the hope of better days to come I bought aRuth Langsford maxi dress. It would have gone with me in June for a cruise we had booked now it will have to wait a little longer. Hope Colin has a lovely birthday and I’m sure you will spoil him with a fab cake. Until next time, take care and sending lots of love and hugs. Incidentally your hair looks great. Want to come and tackle mine? Lol🤣 judith xx

    1. Hooray Judith – you’ve finally got the sunshine! I felt so bad for wittering on about the glorious weather in the South when it had been pretty grim in the North. Very pleased to know that you are now recovering from your health issues although sorry you’ve been going through it again. Such a shame you can’t go on your cruise, but it will be all the better for the wait I am certain. We enjoyed Colin’s birthday in the sunshine, and are adjusting to the rain today. So glad you still enjoy reading the blogs, and thank you for keeping in touch. Take care and stay safe, love Ali xx

  6. Hi Ali lovely blog as usual,the garden is looking lovely and the rose from Kathy is beautiful! My husband is busy at the moment setting up two new Nokia phones that was the Tsv last week,one is for me and one is our daughters. I have been struggling lately and yesterday kept bursting into tears but thankfully feel a bit better now. Can’t say I’m very impressed with being able to meet up with family in our gardens but still being two metres apart, TORTURE!! Glad all your family are doing well and happy birthday to Colin. I’v managed to cut my husbands hair and trim my fringe but I’m not attempting anything else. The Moda in Pelle sandals are amazing am sure they will sell well. Am back out to the garden now as I have just had some plants delivered from Richard Jackson so know they will be great! Take care and fingers crossed we can do some hugging soon. Love Debbie 💋😊 X

    1. Those Nokia phones were a great deal, and I hope your husband hasn’t had any difficulty in setting them up for your daughters. Debbie I’m sorry that you’ve been feeling low and tearful – I think it’s just the endlessness of this all this is making it difficult. Well done to you for sorting out your husbands hair and I’m sure your fringe looks great! The motor in Pella sandals were not only comfortable but as you say great to look at. I have the hayloft clematises, and they’re growing incredibly well as on my lilies from which attracts. I’ll be posting photographs soon. Take care and keep in touch, love Ali Debbie I’m sorry that you’ve been feeling low and tearful – I think it’s just the endlessness of this all this is making it difficult. Paragraph well done to you for sorting out your husband‘s hair and I’m sure your fringe looks great! The Moda In Pelle sandals were not only comfortable but as you say great to look at. I have the Hayloft clematises, and they’re growing incredibly well as are my lilies from Richard Jackson. I’ll be posting photographs soon. Take care and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  7. Dear Ali, I always look forward to your blogs and once again you didn’t disappoint 😊. Hasn’t it been glorious and lovely to get out into the garden, ours is always a ‘bit behind’ being up north but it’s beginning to get some colour now and the strawberry plants I bought last year are coming on leaps and bounds, thanks no doubt to Flower Power! Like you I can’t wait to be able to give my little granddaughter a big hug, such a simple thing, but oh how I’ve missed it. But, compared to what some people have gone through, I consider myself very fortunate. Have a lovely day with Colin on his birthday, I’m sure you’ll do him proud. Lots of love and take care, Anne x

    1. Dear Anne so Glad you’ve been able to get out into the garden and that your strawberry plants are doing well thanks to flower power! I’m going to have to put a net over mine soon otherwise the birds will get them! I’ve been so lucky because my daughter has appointed me her bubble contact therefore I was able to see honey yesterday and give her a hug. It was so special I can’t tell you and I really hope it’s not too much longer before you can have your own granddaughter. You’re right these small things compare to a great many people but it’s hard glad you’ve been able to get out into the garden and that your strawberry plants are doing well thanks to flower power! I’m going to have to put a net over mine soon otherwise the birds will get them! I’ve been so lucky because my daughter has appointed me her bubble contact therefore I was able to see Honey yesterday and give her a hug. It was so special I can’t tell you and I really hope it’s not much longer before you can hug your own granddaughter. You’re right, they’re the small things compared to a great many people but it’s hard. Colin’s birthday went surprisingly well considering, but we have great plans obviously for later in the year when we can get together fully as a family. Thank you for keeping in touch, and stay well, love Ali XX

  8. Hi Ali The weather has been great. I don’t know how you cut your hair my hair is wild has not been cut since February can’t wait to get it cut, I like a little colour ha ha. Have been cutting hubby’s hair would say it’s not bad, the things we take for granted.

    Take Care
    Christine x

    1. Cutting my hair was very much like a wing and a prayer Christine! I think the fact it was a good cut to start with and I was able to follow the lines because it’s short made it easier. The colour is driving me nuts though and I’m not able to get back to the salon until the middle of July so we’ll just have to make do until then. Looking very badger like! Take care of yourself and your husband and thank you for keeping in touch – they’ll be a new blog online soon. Love Ali XX

  9. Hi Alison and Happy birthday to Colin! I remember that memory game and am so glad miss Honey is keeping you going. Your plants look good and Iam still happily pottering in this lovely weather Stay safe .

    1. Hi Suzi, That’s great you used to play the memory game to! I look forward to having a chance to play it actually with honey rather than online – I might be a little better at it then! That’s not guaranteed though that’s great you used to play the memory game to! I look forward to having a chance to play it actually with Honey rather than online – I might be a little better at it then! That’s not guaranteed though😂 So glad you’ve had this great weather to Potter about in the garden and I hope that in spite of the heavy downpours (which of course are great for the garden) the sun will be out soon. You stay safe too, love Ali xx

  10. Hi Ali, always look forward to reading your blogs. Like you, I cannot wait to give my granddaughter a very big hug, I met her in my local park on Sunday for the first time in 14 weeks to give her a birthday gift as she was 16 on the 25th but like you said we found it very hard not to hug. Look forward to you story time on Saturdays, it’s good of all you presenters to give your time and do various things on line. .Your very brave for cutting your hair, it looks good. I don’t have to bother about hair colour as I have had silver hair since my mid 40’s and never bothered to colour it but using PK products keeps it in tip top condition. Hope Colin has a lovely birthday and enjoys his shortbread biscuits and cake, my youngest sister will be 60 on 10 June, but due to sheilding we cannot meet, but when we can we are going to have a lovely dinner to celebrate her new grandson born 2 months ago and all our June birthdays, but at least we are all safe. You and your family stay safe and well, till next time x

    1. Dear Theresa, lovely to hear from you and I’m so glad you were able to meet up with your granddaughter although my heart goes out to you with not being able to actually hug her. It’s torture and something I found very hard too. I’m so glad though to know that you are enjoying my story time – I am actually enjoying trying to find a story that fits within the time line and will be enjoyable. I also wanted to have an uplifting ending to – there’s enough difficult news to contend with at the moment it’s nice to have something that makes you smile. I really hope you enjoy your time with your sister and it won’t be too long before you can all celebrate the birth of her grandson. In a few years time will look back and find it hard to believe we went through this, but it’s the here and now and it’s difficult. Take care and keep in touch love Ali Xx

  11. Hi Alison glad your ok your garden is sounding lovely it’s certainly nice to see and uplifting in these times. You have done a good job with your hair I think I told you I had cut mine it’s not too bad but will be still glad to see Jo when she’s up and running again. I do sympathise with your hot flushes and trying to sleep I seem to wake up all of a sudden and everything buzzes through my head thinking about things that might not even happen silly really. Les thinks he may have another job sorted for now we have had a lot of long chats and decided we might downsize to a smaller house have more money in our pocket we had the house valued and the fami!y said they dont blame us it’s what we worked for no good waiting till you are unable to do things,due to ill health but it will only happen if the right place comes along preferably in ringwood or very nearby to the family it will be hard to move as,we like the house but we will see. Are you planning on seeing Honey if you can now or sticking to FaceTime for now. I have the Margaret dabbs leg serum it’s lovely the best plays havoc with the swelling but I stick to Palazzo trousers or maxis and flat sandals I bought some snake skin mode and pelle ones . Well hope Colin has a nice birthday albeit a different one than usual let’s hope things,return to normal soon although looking at the beaches round here its a bit worrying we tend to go into the forest out of the way. Take care best wishes to you all love Loraine xx

    1. Dear Loraine, Thank you for the compliment re-my hair – I think if I hadn’t of had such a good cut it would not have looked anywhere near as professional! That sounds interesting – the thought of the move – although I remember you waiting for this house to come through and being so pleased when it did… At least I think it was you?! It’s all about planning for the future and getting the very best of what we have remaining. Like you I’ve worked most of my life and it be nice to feel that when I no longer do I Will be happy where I am. Because my daughter is a single parent she and Honey are Now my social bubble therefore I was able to see her for the first time this weekend and hug her which was Incredible, especially after what’s been a difficult time for me over the last few days. I hope you enjoyed your visit to the forest and that the beaches are less busy these days. Thanks for keeping in touch, and take care love Ali XX

  12. Hello Ali, thank you for your reply on your previous blog. I must say your garden looks wonderful, wish mine was as lovely. I do try . I had Richard Jackson TSV root booster arrive last week so hoping that will improve things. Hope Colin has had a lovely birthday & cake. My shortbread & lemon drizzle cake are on waiting lists for when I can see family & friends again, I think they are having withdrawal symptoms !. My Mum’s birthday has been during lockdown so we couldn’t go out for our usual birthday meal with my Dad & my hubby, I made her a cake & left it on the doorstep & shouted happy birthday from the pavement to keep to social distancing, but it’s not the same is it We are all going to have a lot of catching up & celebrating to do when we are allowed. i will be leaving it a while after the all clear just to make sure things don’t start to go up again. Stay safe & well, best wishes Tracey x

    1. Hi Tracey, I’m sure the Richard Jackson products will work well for you and personally think Flower Power is a must. I’ve got so many of my friends and family to use it and it’s made the world of difference. Colin’s birthday went well thankyou but I’m sure he would have appreciated a slice of your lemon drizzle cake! How kind of you to get a cake over to your mum – there’ll be plenty of opportunity to celebrate once times change – but as you say, we need to make sure things are all clear before we do! You stay safe and well too. Love Ali xx

  13. Hello Lovely, I’m doing ok! I’m sorry that I didn’t reply to your last blog, I decided to put away my laptop & spend my days in the garden & my evenings with my nose in a book. I’ve since caught up with your Saturday evening stories, an absolute treat, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s kitchen discos & bought a pair of happy yellow sandals from Gabor. Hope is still AWOL but one day she’ll return so I’m sailing my dinghy without oars at the moment. Your photos are always lovely but this selection is especially pretty & your roses are sublime, I love lillies but don’t grow them because they’re are poisonous to pets & my sister’s allergic to them. The Invisible String is a beautiful story & the illustrations are divine, I’ve just discovered The Boy The Mole The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, not really a book for children but as one person wrote ‘it is a slice of calm in this hectic and mad world’ & I thoroughly recommend it. I hope Colin enjoyed his slimmed down birthday & as you said there’ll be time for a proper celebration later. May has always been a big birthday month for us, my sister was dreading her first one on her own so happy to ignore it this year, I did a middle of the month gift for her & we met up at our glorious garden centre on the day we should have been at Chelsea. Bex’s was done by post & WhatsApp video & Etty opened her gifts sitting in the hall with us standing on the drive, fortunately nobody remembers their 2nd birthday so she hasn’t really missed out & I’m going to make up for this year with every one she has from now on. Blue skies & sunshine my lovely, although some occasional rain would be nice as our lawns look like coir matting! Love from Jo x

    1. Hello Jo, I’m so glad to know that you’re okay and although may still feeling a little down understandably, I’m keeping everything crossed that with the changes we’re seeing every day you will soon feel more hopeful. The beautiful book you mention – The Boy The Mole The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, was given to me as a gift by Kathy Tayler. She highlighted the page she thought describes me best which meant the world. When people really understand you and make you feel loved it’s a very special feeling. You are really good at understanding people and I
      m sure your sister was relieved to have time with you in the middle of the month without making a huge issue of the day of her birthday. These significant dates are always difficult to work around… Etty though opening her gifts in the hallway is something I’m sure you’ll always remember although as you rightly say, it won’t be one she’ll have to contend with. I hope the rain has come to refresh your lawn, and thanks so much for getting in touch. Good to know you’re there and well and enjoying the Saturday stories – one to come tomorrow. Love Ali xx

  14. Hi Ali first of all thank you for your last reply it means a lot that you take the time to answer despite such a busy life!
    The book readings are a real comfort & I have just listened to The Invisible String & it seems appropriate for us grown ups as well as children. Another one I would recommend for children is called ‘While we can’t hug – Hedgehog & Tortoise want a hug you can find it on youtube. Im sure Honey will enjoy it. My daughter who works at a primary school sent it especially for my granddaughter Ivy (4 in August) who lives in London & we are in Lancashire. We haven’t been able to see her since Christmas. Ivy painted us some pictures & off she went with her Mum to post but she thought she was posting them through our front doors – so there was a lot of tears … Today I posted her some banana loaf.
    The weather has been lovely here but unfortunately the crowds have filled the beach and there was definitely no social distancing going on which we hope doesn’t undo the good that staying home has done.
    As there aren’t any social activities going on at the moment I have decided to wear my ‘best frocks’ for my daily walk and it actually makes you feel better changing out of joggers (but still wearing comfy sketchers from QVC of course)
    Although today I was very brave & wore long shorts usually only for the garden but I noticed the gatineau false tan that I thought had applied very well appeared to be in stripes on the back of my legs – maybe a new trend?!!
    Take care everyone & stay safe lots of love Julia (Smith) xxxx Happy Birthday to Colin!

    1. Hi Julia, thank you so much for your recommendation of the Hedgehog and the Tortoise book – I did find it and forwarded it to Lucy, although you’ll see on the new blog I have been very lucky and they are both now in my social bubble so I have been awarded my long-awaited hug. In contrast your story about little Ivy made me well up… it is really hard for the little ones I appreciate. I am sure though she will LOVE her banana loaf 🙂 Great idea to wear your ‘best frock’ for your daily walk. I like you have been living in joggers or jeans but hopefully when the weather changes next week I can get out into the garden and put a sun dress on. Sorry to know your Gatineau was in stripes!! Maybe rub it in circles next time. Stay well and I hope the beaches will be less busy in the months to come and thank you for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx

  15. Hi Alison watching you presenting the Assam range on Tuesday night ,can I ask where you got your necklace and is it a QVC item.Absolutely love it and would really appreciate any information about it and where it could be purchased.Thank you Fiona x

    1. Dear Fiona, it is from the Frank Usher collection, and unfortunately it sold out that night! Do check our website though as there are many other fabulous designs available. Take care, love Ali xx

  16. Hi Ali ,I’m just watching you with Frank Usher ,so many lovely things ,while I’m writing this it’s as though I’m speaking to you at the same time as your on the telly box 😂,do hope you managed to get all your backing done for Colin’s birthday, I know he will have had a brilliant day, even though you can’t have a party, I like you have been spending lots of time in the garden, meals outside too ,I just love alfresco dining, because it’s barbeque weather I don’t have to cook ,its easy to throw a salad together 🤗I’m just looking at your hair ,you’ve done a good job there girl well done as an ex hairdresser myself it’s brilliant, I’ve not cut mine yet but it is just a longish Bob it’s not too bad, I have had to colour it though, as you see what it’s like on my fb picture, we still can not see Harry yet but he did send me a lovely message the other day to see how we were ,which from a 17 year old I thought was sweet ,I’m so desperate to see him ,I know now we could go to Simon’s and sit in their garden but I would be mortified if we did and then Harry suddenly became I’ll, so I will be patient a little while longer ,well my friend stay safe and well, lots of love Linda F xxx

    1. Hi there Linda, I’m going to head over to your Facebook now to see your new colour, and thanks for the compliments re the cut! I have to give credit to Jo my stylist as I basically followed her lines. It’s getting a bit thick now though as I have no idea how to thin it without thinning scissors. Still, I have an appointment booked for the 15th July so all will be well 🙂 I like you love a BBQ and always try and have a fair few salad ingredients in. I’ve stopped buying the bags of salad as they seem to go soggy really quickly and have reverted to good old fashioned lettuce. I’m hoping to grow my own rocket too! Very glad that Harry has been in touch with you, and although it’s right, I think staying safe and staying away is the only thing to do at the moment. Patience is a virtue so they say, and Heaven knows we’ve all needed a lot of that just recently 🙂 Colin really enjoyed his birthday and the sun shone all day too which was lovely. Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  17. Hi Ali,
    It’s been lovely having the beautiful sunshine , but like you, I have been finding it hard to sleep. Between the hot flushes and churning things over and over with all the things that have been going on! We had some much needed rain today so it has been cooler so am hoping it will be better tonight for sleeping. I try not to put the fan on as it disturbs hubby. There’s a wonder he doesn’t suffocate as he puts the pillow over himself to stop the draft. I sometimes wish men had to go through these things then perhaps they’d be a bit more sympathetic.
    I shouldn’t moan about him really. For weeks I’ve been saying I was going to cut my hair myself. Well I couldn’t stand it any longer so with the help of hubby I used his clippers and did a short back and sides. It doesn’t look too bad now I’ve got used to it. I usually have my hair quite short but it was scary using the clippers. I coloured it a reddish brown colour for a change so I feel a bit more human now. So I will cut it again in a few weeks so it should be easier to keep in check.
    I have been ordering quite a bit from QVC as we still can’t shop as normal yet. My Skecher trainers came today and I also ordered the Lock and Lock TSV . Well I have saved on petrol as we haven’t been going out as much. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!! LOL.
    I hope the book shops re-open soon as I am on my last one before I run out of things to read.
    I have been watching Spring Watch and must say am really enjoying this time round. They have referred to nature as helping at times of stress and have included a piece to do with mindfulness. Just listening to the sounds from nature with nobody talking over it. It really has been a tonic.
    Hope you have a lovely time for Colin’s birthday and hope it won’t be too long before everyone can meet up again. My sister-in-law called to see us today (keeping social distancing ). She baked us a chocolate sponge. We had a piece each for tea but I froze the rest of it. We’re really going have to start going for more walks to work off all the cakes etc.
    Well , here’s hoping for a better night sleep. Take care and keep safe.
    Love and best wishes, Tina S. (S. Wales) xx

    1. Hi Tina, lovely to hear from you although I’m sorry you’re still struggling with the hot flushes. I don’t have a fan, but just make do with flipping the duvet on and off myself! Sometimes I manage to get the window open once Colin’s asleep but he hates ‘a draught’ too! Have you thought of reading books online or maybe via Audible? I listen to books all the time, and then there’s my short story reading every Saturday if you fancy 15 minutes escape? 🙂 Completely in agreement re Skechers and Lock and Lock, but I bought the last TSV and as we’re not seeing anyone else I still have them all. Usually I’m packing up meals for the children etc. to take with them! I don’t know if I could have taken clippers to my hair, but it sounds as though you did a good job. Mine is hanging on in there, but I will be very glad to have it professionally looked at! I do hope you can find something to help with the flushes – Black Cohash or Evening Primrose maybe? Take care and stay safe, Love Ali xx

  18. Good morning Alison, its early Tuesday morning the birds are singing and the dog is snoring loudly in the bed next to me. A fabulous blog Alison and I can honestly say that sleep is broken for me flushes and regular trips to the loo…however I was lucky to purchase a Meaco 650 fan from QVC before they sold out and its probably the best purchase I’ve ever made..I couldn’t afford the famous D brand but this is a fabulous quiet, cooling fan and has certainly been admired by my husband and he recommended it to a friend and gave him the full demo over the phone..high praise indeed!
    Your water feature is beautiful, well done Colin for making it and you for planting it up. I don’t have a water feature.. apart from a bird bath I rescued from my mums garden which incidentally, the sparrows and garden birds are loving. I would love one..think John has fears that he comes home one day and I’ve dug a great hole in the lawn🤣.
    My giant lily bulbs that I purchased from QVC last year are in bud although the leaves are a little lacey thanks to greedy lily beetle which I have finally eradicated. The blooms were magnificent last year so fingers crossed for the same this year. I am repainting a wooden bench, again from mums garden today in between school work, in a pale sage green colour called Willow so that it matches my cabin and also finally I can order new fence panels to replace the damaged ones from the storms.
    I finally saw my best friend last week for a social distance coffee in her garden..I was very overwhelmed and in tears..I realise how much I miss and need my friends and I’m a very tactile buggy person and obviously that’s a no no. I can only imagine how difficult it is when you have a beautiful grandchild. Hopeful soon that cuddles with family who do not live with you will soon be allowed.
    I am working from home now until the end of the school year as the building I work in which is separate to the main school is the sterile area where any children in school with covid go to and await collection from parents. I would prefer to be in school as having not got an office space at home..I cant get wifi in the cabin..the dining room is not idea office space!
    I hope your daughter is ok as I know she is a friend is a teacher in junior school and is settling in to the new structure and routine and finding it mentally.
    How lovely to see your boys too..I have a socially distance meetings with my sisters and thankfully with the good weather we have been having sitting in the garden has been a pleasure..I cannot imagine how much harder this could have been if it was in the middle of winter.
    I am off to walk the dog Have a lovely day. Much love Mary x

    1. Hi there Mary, lovely to hear from you and good to know that all is well in your world. Sorry to know about the hot flushes though – we all seem to be struggling a bit with him at the moment but that fan you bought is one of our most popular and I’m glad you’re getting good use out of it. Yes I absolutely adore the water feature that Colin made, and when it’s up and running it sounds fabulous. Considering you are always adding things to your garden I’m not surprised that John is worried he’ll come home one day and you’ll have dug a hole! 🙂 We are repainting various parts of our garden in a soft grey but used something close to Willow in the past. I’m so glad you were able to see your best friend last week – although not being able to hug her would’ve been very hard. It’s not for ever, and as you will see in my new blog finally I’m able to be with Lucy and Honey because of the social bubble situation. Lucy went back to work last week, and my sister too. Jenny works in a junior school but Lucy is in a secondary school and they each have difficult but different things to deal with. We had a great deal of rain here but the forecast for next week is good so I’m hoping that each one of the boys will be able to visit individually and also my sister will come over too and we can spend time in the garden together. You’re right, I think many of us would’ve found this so much harder to bear it had of been in the middle of winter. Keep on enjoying your walks, and remember to take five and put your feet up every now and then! Love Ali xx

  19. Hi Ali, adjusting to the new format.Its good to see all the presenters are keeping well and busy.
    The only downside for me is that I spent the last two years recovery from injury and subsequent surgery.
    This year was our year to start getting out and about again, lots of plans on hold.This time we’ve got the company of the whole of our country which is a shocking phenomenal event which we all wish was over.
    I have kept busy in my capacity of being a retired RGN, NHS responder replying to emails from vulnerable people who really need comfort and reassurances. I am happy to say that everyone is feeling now that we are reaching towards a light at the end of the rainbow. I hope your family and everyone is well and enjoying qvc, I feel you are such a good constant in many people’s lives..Keep up the good work you are all Tricia x

    1. Hello there Tricia, Thank you for getting in touch, although I was sorry to know that having spent the last two years recovering from injury and surgery all the plans you made for this year to get out and about have been put on hold. The fact that you are able to respond to emails from vulnerable people via the NHS is wonderful though. I’m sure that you have given Hope to a great many people this way and as you say comfort and reassurance too. I like you believe that there is like now at the end of the rainbow and things will begin to get a little easier. So glad that QVC is a positive force, and that all of us are playing a part in keeping folk company. Thank you for your kind words. Stay safe and please do stay in touch, love Ali xx

  20. Hi Alison, I do hope you are feeling better after your funny turn. Rest up and take care of yourself. Much love x

    1. Hi Karen,
      Thank you, I’m feeling better than I was but definitely not 100% – hopefully the tests they’re running will give us a clearer picture of what is going on. Take care and I hope you enjoy the new blog, love Ali xx

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