Handbags, Hair styles and a huge number of gift ideas!

As I write this, I can’t quite believe it’s a month to the day before Christmas day and if it ties in with the time, it means it’ll all be over bar the washing up!  A month ago I didn’t think I’d be even remotely looking forward to this time of year, but thanks to you and your kind and thoughtful comments, and also my colleagues here at QVC, I feel far stronger and able to move forwards. And I guess that’s just the way life is really, even when we are struggling and feel as though we standing in cement, life carries on moving around us and so eventually we move with it.  It was my sister’s birthday on the 14th of November and we went out to lunch together which was lovely. My brother has emailed us quite a few times since he returned to Sydney in Australia, and while we struggle with the greyness and pouring rain here in the UK, he has been coping with bush fires and heavy smoke!  Mercifully I think the worst of it is over now, and he will once again be enjoying blue skies and bright sunshine with a temperature closer to 30 degrees…. Jealous? Me?  You bet 🙂

I had a lovely time with Honey last weekend and arrived in time to pick her up from school.  She looks so grown-up in her black pinafore dress and it took me back to when I was five and attended Mrs Dovey’s nursery school on the Walton Road.  I used to wear a grey pinafore dress with little Scottie dog buttons on.   That was in 1965 and yet the memory is crystal clear.  Strange how these days I sometimes struggle to remember what I’ve had for breakfast! Honey writes and draws beautifully, and here we are posing with the picture she drew of her and I.

She insisted she put on the sparkly dress I bought for her as she loves sequins almost as much as I do!  Lucy and I broke the back of my Christmas shopping list and then I spent Sunday trying to remember whom I bought what for! I’d pretty much cracked it when I got a phone call from Lucy to say that Honey had come out in spots and it had been confirmed that she has chickenpox! Poor little scrap! She is now being given antihistamines and dobbled with calamine and I will be heading there on Wednesday to take over babysitting duties while Lucy works. I had another flashback – this time 30 years – when two days after I’d given birth to my second child Sam, Lucy – who was 3 1/2 years old then – broke out in spots and It transpired she too had chickenpox. So there I was with a brand-new baby, trying to breastfeed (which luckily gave Sam immunity) and coping with a little one who looked like a pink and white dalmation!  Lucy called the spots chicken pecks (which I’m sure you’ll agree sounds much nicer) and believed that a hen had pecked her and that’s why she had the spots bless her… She had 82 of them, I remember because we used to count them each time we dabbed them with calamine, but she was such a good girl and didn’t scratch and so luckily there were no scars.  I wasn’t quite so well behaved when I had it and ended up with a scar right in the middle of my forehead, which is why I keep my fringe long!

Talking of hair, I’m not sure if you saw the photograph of my slightly shorter style on my social media pages?  I got home after having it cut and coloured and found myself looking at this pencil drawing of my paternal grandmother that my grandfather had sketched in 1922.  I couldn’t believe how uncanny the likeness was.   What do you think?

Of course last weekend was all about hair with our amazing Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer Today’s Special Value that sold out in record time.  It really was one heck of a deal, and, if you missed this hair tool, don’t worry because we’ll have a Babyliss offer later in December – details to follow, so watch this space!

If handbags are more your thing, we have this Ashwood Katie cross-body bag as one of our Big Deals until Sunday 1st. It’s leather, and comes in a choice of six colour options, is so stylish and would make a lovely gift.

You’ll also soon be seeing Doris Dalton the founder of Doll 10 cosmetics, as she will be back in the building this Sunday the 1st December with her pre-Christmas TSV – a five piece Hydralux Collection (239594).  No-one does foundation quite like Doris, and If you want a light yet full coverage then I would highly recommend you have a look at these products.  The shade I tend to wear is Medium although I have been known to sport Tan if I’ve been away somewhere sunny!  Doris is an absolute hoot to work with, and I’m delighted that we have the 2pm show together this Sunday. Do join us if you can.

Another one of my favourite female guests is Tova Borgnine, who brings to us her incredible collection of Diamonique jewellery.  It’s not just her stunning designs that make these pieces some of our most popular, but also the incredible stories that are attributed to each piece.  Many of these pieces are copies of Tova’s own jewellery that was gifted to her by her late and very great husband, Oscar winning actor Ernest Borgnine.   I’ll be with Tova on Friday 6th December at 10am (an early start for me!)  but if you want to find out more about her fascinating life before that, please do listen to our Inside QVC Podcast.  This is a relatively new area for us, but we’ve already featured some of your favourites, and I can share with you the very exciting news that I am to be interviewed by Will Gowing for a future podcast, so watch this space! I’m also getting involved in the filming of a brand new promotion for my regular Diamonique show and that will hopefully be ready to air at the beginning of next year.  It’s all go!   In readiness for this we are dedicating the entire hour on Tuesday the 10th December to Diamonique Glamour!  Some of the most gorgeous, showstopping, stunning and sensational pieces have been put together in an incredible line up of jewellery that you can order in time for Christmas.  It’s going to be fast and furious and I’d love you to be a part of it, so please do join me that Tuesday at 8pm.

And on that note, I had better go and sort out the photographs I’ve chosen to accompany this blog so that you can enjoy it and hopefully keep in touch with me.  Thinking of you and wishing you well.  With my love,

Ali xx

42 Responses

  1. I agree with you on your hair it so suits you! You obviously a strong lineage of pretty ladies in your family.So sorry to hear about wee Honey pse tell her a lollipop lady in Ayr sends her love

    1. Dear Suzi, how lovely to know that you’re a lollypop lady! I remember the lady who used to show us across the road when I was just five! I’ll definitely pass on your love to Honey when I see her on Thursday. Thank you, love Ali xx

  2. Hi Ali,
    That’s lovely to hear you are feeling stronger. You have such a massive support network so it’s clearly helping. I so wish everyone could have such a support network, especially at this time of year. That’s lovely you are sort of looking forward to Christmas too.
    I hope your brother has been safe during the fires. We all have a lot to answer for with global warming. It’s all a bit scary.
    I hope honey gets better soon. Horrible but great to get it early in her life. I’m sure Lucy is so grateful to have you.
    Take care and love your hair x

    1. Hi there Susan, thanks for getting in touch, and I too wish there was a support network out there for everyone. This blog is brilliant at keeping people connected and I know that it is has in a small way, helped quite a few folk who were struggling. Yes, Peter and Sarah are fine and I think the only issue is the smoke that’s been hanging over Sydney. It’s not stopped Peter from swimming though 🙂 Honey is back at school now, and I’m up to see her on Thursday for her school Xmas play! I hope all is well with you, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  3. Hi Alison nice photo of you and honey glad you got sorted with your presents the next month will soon go by. I like your hairi see what you mean with the photo . mine was like that but I’m growing it a bit I want to see what I will prefer for Gary’s wedding. Clare took Willa to see the new frozen film I bet Honey has seen it too hasn’t she? I think I told you we are looking after the baby on the 29th December while Clare and Geoff take Willa to Disney on Ice at the O2 quite a drive from Ringwood to London she will love it she still remembers our holiday to florida. Hope you have a nice day with Honey on Wednesday take care love Loraine xx

    1. Hi there Loraine, yes, most of the presents are purchased now, and we’re getting the tree at the end of the week. Yes, Honey has seen Frozen 2 – I was working so couldn’t go with them, but I have bought her some Frozen themed Christmas presents! How lovely that you will have the baby to look after and I’m sure Willa will have a fabulous time at Disney on Ice. Not long til Gary’s wedding now 🙂 I do hope you are all set and ready for Christmas, and have managed to avoid the coughs and colds! Love Ali xx

  4. Hi Alison, it’s good to hear you are feeling better. It’ll be another new kind of normal for you without your mum. Take care. Much love
    Karen x

    1. Dear Karen, You’re right… it will take time to adjust, and some days are better than others. But like so many of you who have had to go through the same thing, I know I’ll get there. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  5. Love the picture comparing you with your grandmother and it shows how often fashions come around! I often take photos of your lovely hair to show my hairdresser so she knows the style I want.
    Be careful Ali whilst you are a bit low – chickenpox can come out as Shingles and it’s absolutely horrid!
    Take care x

    1. Hi Julie, So glad you enjoyed the blog and the photos. I’m hugely flattered that you show photos of my haircut to your stylist! I’ll make sure I tell Jo who cut it, when I next see her. Mercifully Honey is better now, and I seem to have avoided getting the dreaded shingles…. I know it can be awful! I do hope you’re in good health and looking forward to Christmas. Love Ali xx

  6. Love your new hair style. I enjoyed last night’s Diamonique show but have to say I prefer you on your own. Good luck with your new project.

    1. Thanks for the compliment Elizabeth. It is a far easier style to work with. I’m glad you enjoyed the show, and although I also like presenting it on my own, in the New Year, Hannah may well be joining me once a month. I hope all is well in your world, love Ali xx

  7. Hi Ali lovely photo of you and Honey she is the double of you,I am sad as I lost my father in law suddenly yesterday so it’s hard to think of Xmas atm ….speak soon love Sarah your biggest fanxxx

    1. My dear Sarah, I am so terribly sorry to know of your loss. It’s so difficult to accept or even comprehend what’s actually happened for quite a while, but I hope that you have those around you to love and support you. Take care, love Ali xx

  8. Always a delight to read your blog, see your photos and chuckle at your self-depreciation 😂. You are an inspiration and feel like a “friend” on tv. Enjoy your days off and dabbing poor wee Honey xx

    1. Hi there Kathryn, thanks for taking the time out to write to me, and I’m so glad you enjoy the blog and the photos. I do enjoy writing it, and find it hard to believe it’s been 12 years since I began! I’m glad that this connection here and through the TV means we are ‘friends’ – that’s a huge compliment 🙂 Honey is all better now, and luckily I escaped shingles! Hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  9. Hello Ali, What a lovely blog, sequins & shopping always lift the mood & I was so pleased to read your positive words. I was lucky enough to have a very special relationship with my maternal grandmother & I believe the one you share with Honey is the same. Just the term chickenpox makes me itchy; we moved house when Bex was seven weeks old, mad I know, & the little girl next door was so excited that a new baby had moved into the road that her mum brought her round on moving day… 24 hours later she was truly pecked by a chicken & within two weeks Bex had it & then I got shingles, what a summer! Colin & I had a wonderful weekend in York & even though I’d finished my Christmas shopping at the end of October I still weaved my way around the shops & the market, spending too much money on my way. Evensong was sublime, Wachet Auf is one of my favourite pieces of music & sitting in the Quire, as dusk turned the stained glass windows deepest blue, was truly magical. We had a couple of hours at home, just enough time to unpack, read the post & apologise to Sox for leaving him in the tender care of our neighbours, before going to see Prism at Malvern theatre. It stars Robert Lindsay & Tara Fitzgerald & is the story of Jack Cardiff who was an incredibly talented cinematographer when Hollywood was BIG. It’s a wonderful play & I thoroughly recommend it, even if it did shred my emotions & see me leave the theatre with tears rolling down my face. Your hair looks fabulous & that’s a lovely drawing of your grandmother, like you she had an elegant profile & how wonderful to have such a talented husband capture the moment so well. I look after Etty on Wednesdays & Thursdays, usually 11 hour days, so I’m shattered & signing off for shower & bed. Continued blue skies & sunshine. love from Jo x

    1. Hello there Jo, lovely to catch up on all your news, although I don’t know how on earth you coped with moving house with a seven week old baby, and then chickenpox and shingles! You’re made of strong stuff! So glad that you and Colin enjoyed your weekend in York -my Colin has been working most weekends since August, so there’s not been any time to shop together. I’m listening to Watchet Auf as I type this – can never resist when someone recommends something 🙂 I feel I’d like to see Prism too. I very much enjoy the theatre, and particularly plays. My all time favourite was The Breath of Life… I saw it with Dame Judy Dench and Dame Maggie Smith – incredible! Honey is all better now and back to school, and I’m with her this Thursday to watch her Christmas play and then take her Christmas shopping – can’t wait. I’m not surprised you’re shattered looking after Etty two days a week – how old is she now? Thanks for your kind words re my hair style – Nana was a lovely lady and is still missed. I hope you’ve had the sunshine today, and are feeling Christmasy?
      Take care, love Ali xx

  10. Hi Ali ah poor Honey, bless her little heart. Wishing her well soon. Love your new hairstyle. It really suits you. Wow what a lovely pencil drawing of your grandmother – yes the likeness is uncanny! xx

    1. Hi Karen, thanks so much for your kind words about Honey and my Nana. I’d never really seen the likeness until now I’m almost 60, although Nana would have been in her twenties when this was drawn. Keep in touch, love Ali xx

  11. A lovely blog Alison, I am so glad that you and your family are starting to move forward after your devastating loss. It would have been my dad’s birthday yesterday, hard to believe that it’s been 6 years since he passed but swarm glow in my heart suppresses the saddest of feelings and I shed a tear because I was so lucky to have him.
    My son got chicken pox at 6 weeks old, then passed it on to my husband who had never had it and he was proper poorly for a month..we had to cancel the christening but the vicar, who had also married us said we could get Jack christened during the Christmas Christingle service..oh my lord, me and my mum sobbed as the children surrounded the font and sang Away in a Manger..makes me cry whenever I hear it.
    Sadly I have been very poorly with chest infections and breathing issues due to my asthma and COPD..but also have been without a voice for 8 weeks now..I am feeling totally fed up and debilitated and am waiting for a referral through the cancer pathway for some tests..I did have a two week spell free from chest infection and did manage to enjoy my xmas shopping last weekend however my sister did the bag runs to the car and looked after me. But I have come down with another chest infection, which I am sure I got from hospital from visiting mum who has been in hospital 2 weeks now with sepsis and it’s all been a bit fraught…she’s slowly improving but mobility is now virtually non existent as she’s been in bed for 2 weeks…its going to be a long road to some sort of recovery but we are staying positive.
    I am sure Homey will be delighted to have grandma dab her spots. Wishing her a speedy recovery. Love Mary xx

    1. My dear Mary, I am so sorry to know that you are still very unwell, and will now have to have more tests… I pray it won’t be anything sinister, but far better to have a clearer idea of what it is so that you can be treated. I’m not surprised you’re feeling debilitated… you are such a doer! It must be dreadful to be laid low like this, and with no voice either, and obviously it all exacerbates your COPD… What a relief though that you had a brief respite and could get away with your sister for your annual trip. I know how special that time together is for you. Poor mum… and I know how the loss of mobility can affect them when they’re older. You must take it easy though and rely on the rest of the family to do the visiting while you’re poorly. I do hope you are getting some help at home too? I’m sending you a big hug, and please do keep in touch, and let me know how you’re getting on won’t you? Thinking of you and sending my love, Ali xx

  12. Sorry to read your not feeling to well Ali. I’m sure spending time with Honey will give you a lift. Nothing like young ones to make life sunny again.

    1. Dear Josephine, you are so right. Honey always lifts my spirits, and spending time with her makes me happy. I know how lucky I am to have her, and all my family, and being together definitely brings the sunshine back into my life. I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  13. Dear Ali,You are such an inspiration as you know I read your book sometime ago ,I have found myself reaching for it again now to help me draw from your strength and dignity during difficult health times.I have not been well and am waiting for test results to come back as i have an immune problem and severe anaemia which is leaving me exhausted.So i wanted to thank you for helping me .Ive managed to organise myself and get all Christmas shopping done and tree is up!! Very early for me however i have realised that i cope much better if things are done then i can face anything else.As ive mentioned before im a carer for my adult daughter so with the thought of me possibly being in hospital for treatments I also have to reassure her that all will be ok.
    So again thank you for give me motivation and a bit of your courage .I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a happy healthy new year xx

    1. My dear Vanessa, I am so sorry to know that you’ve been poorly again, and are feeling exhausted and unwell. It’s never easy coping when you’re tired, and of course you have your daughter to look after too. I very much hope that when your results come through, you can be properly treated and get better. I’m the same as you – things that need to be done, I have to tackle there and then, otherwise I’m lying awake at night worrying about them. It’s brilliant that you’ve got your tree up and all the shopping done. Maybe now you can take it easy? I am so glad that my book has helped motivate you, although it sounds to me as though you are an incredibly courageous and positive person. Thank you for your kind words too – it was very much a labour of love. Take care, and I wish you and your family a truly Happy Christmas too. With my love, Ali xx

  14. Life is made up of memories and those are what our loved ones leave behind when they go on a journey to the “seaside”. Munch love to you and yours.

    1. Denise, you’re right, and your words have moved me… wherever the journey takes you, it’s those memories that mean those of us left behind can hold fast to them and take comfort. Much love to you and yours too. Ali xx

  15. Hi Ali poor Honey got chicken pox, my niece came out in spots as wells thank goodness it was not chickenpox, but she on antihistamines.
    My god the likeness is unreal you look so much like her.
    Christmas is getting nearer loads to do, where does time go.
    Take Care x

    1. Dear Christmas – what a fabulous name! I do hope your niece is feeling much better now and that the antihistamines worked? And I take that as a mighty compliment that you think I look like Honey 🙂 I am starting to feel a little panicky as Christmas is so close and there is still a fair bit to do, but at least the tree is up now. Take care and thanks for writing, love Ali xxx

  16. Hi Ali so glad to hear your starting little by little to enjoy life again, it’s a strange thing as I felt at the time you feel guilty for smiling or laughing at something silly, but then you realise it’s ok they would of laughed with you!. I was in our under stairs cupboard looking and getting the tree and decs sorted something blew the door shut and for some stupid reason I couldn’t get out again haha so there I am sat waiting till my husband got back walking the dog to rescue me mobile phone on my table so I couldn’t call him! I thought to myself surrounded by coats and meters my dad would of howled in laughter as he did at my stupid antics , mum would of been very sensible and serious asking what on earth I thought I was doing! Memories of them never leave Ali they live right there in our hearts and in our minds and as such I was quite happy been locked in a cupboard for a while because in the business of the day I had them and their faces right there with me in the cupboard!!
    Take care have a peaceful week Ali hope honey feels better soon
    Love always
    Lynn x

    1. My dear Lynn, such a lovely story, and thank you so much for sharing it with me. You’re right. There have been more than a few occasions when I’ve heard myself laughing, or seen myself smiling at work and felt guilty, but I realise we’re all the same there. How wonderful that you keep your mum and dad with you all the time – I love that 🙂 I hope that you are all set for Christmas and will be able to spend it with those you love, please do keep in touch. Love Ali xxxx

  17. Hi Ali ; yes, you do bear a resemblance to your dear granny (bet she couldn’t present on TV as good as you, though!) but I am always amazed at the likeness between little Honey and yourself, as well. Take care xx

    1. Hi Kim, I’m realising more and more the family resemblance, but I must find a photo of my Lucy, because Honey obviously looks very like her mummy did at the same age too! My Nana was a really quiet soul, and definitely one for the smelling salts, so you may be right about a job choice 🙂 Wishing you the happiest of Christmases with your family, love Ali xx

  18. Hi Ali, l hope that Honey is feeling a little better, it’s so hard at her age not to scratch the spots, the trouble is at her age it’s hard to understand that they could leave her with a scar. My daughter was younger than Honey when she had it and she was left with a scar just below her ear. The drawing of your grandmother is lovely and I can see the likeness. Take care. Merchexx

    1. Dear Merche, it does seem as though most of us, or definitely our children, have chicken pox around the same age. Luckily Honey hasn’t scratched her spots although she still has a few left on her back and in her hair. Her lovely little face is unscathed mercifully 🙂 Lucy definitely inherited the family skill when it comes to drawing, and I think Honey may well follow! Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas, love Ali xx

  19. Ali you were wearing a lovely silver outfit on a fashion show a couple of days ago and I can’t find it for sale . It was a silver colour, either a dress or skirt and top, maybe lurex with a pencil skirt and a blouson top. It’s just what I’m looking for. Could you let me know who makes it please?
    Thanks, Carol

    1. Dear Carol, apologies for the delay in replying, but the dress you’re enquiring about is a Phase Eight dress, and I bought it in November last year. They still make this kind of style, but I don’t believe this one is available on our website any longer. It may well be worth looking at Phase Eight’s website though as they always do a fab range of party wear. Happy Christmas! Love Ali x

  20. Hi Alison. So good to hear you’re getting back into the swing of things since losing your mum. You will always have your “moments”, I still do occasionally, and it’s 14 years since I lost my little mum. Happy memories will help sustain you. Rossetti’s Cat Duet came on the radio the other day, and brought back memories of me and my mum on a country run, and having to pull over as we were both laughing so much.
    After my mum died, I found myself with endless family photographs; some quite old and rather lovely. QVC was then running crafting shows which I took inspiration from, and I made a scrapbook of my parents lives. Photos of my mum as a little girl, pieces copied from old letters, and her connections with the baptist church,etc etc. During the process there were a few tears, but I began to see my mum as a person in her own right, who had had a life before I was even thought of. Instead of some excellent family photographs just being stuck in a box, I now have the most wonderful story book of my parents lives, which can be passed on when I’m long gone, hopefully for future generations to enjoy, and to get to “know” their forbears. And all thanks to QVC!
    Your new hairstyle is simply gorgeous, and what a resemblance to your grandmother. How lucky you are to have your talented grandfather’s paintings and sketches.
    Sending all good wishes, and a big northern hug.
    Thanks for being you…………Linda. xxx

    1. My dear Linda thanks so much for your thoughtful words about mum, and I’m so sorry to know that you too have lost both parents. But what an inspirational post. And how fabulous that all those years of bringing the craft shows to you on QVC, meant that you were able to piece together your mum and dad’s lives – literally – and have a constant to look back on. Wonderful too for the future generations. I have always felt incredibly sad that my children didn’t ever get time to spend with my dad, but perhaps I should piece together a memory book for them, so that his incredible life doesn’t disappear once I’m no longer here to talk about him… Thank you for your sweet comment about my hairstyle, and your kindness – your big northern hug is very welcome. Sending you my love, and thanks for keeping in touch. Ali xxx

  21. Hi Ali,
    Thank you for your kind words after I left a comment on your last blog. You brought a tear to my eyes . I know this time of year will be especially hard after losing your mum. As I have said previously I lost my mother at the tender age of twelve. It was difficult growing up without her but I had a wonderful doting father. He remarried when I was fifteen, and while I was happy that he was no longer lonely and had someone that cared for him it was very hard for me as we never got on. So when I met my darling hubby ( who was part of a large family) I thought at last I would enjoy Christmas again being part of that family. However it was not to be. His mother died in the November , just before we were due to get married. She had a brain haemorrhage.
    My father couldn’t understand why I was so upset as I hadn’t know her for long. As I told him I thought I would have someone after all these years to call mum ! Life can be so cruel at times. But as you say, life goes on. It has to. We didn’t postpone our wedding because no matter how long we waited we would still feel the loss of her not being there on our special day, the same as my mother not being there.
    Well I’m getting maudling now so I’ll say goodnight.
    Wishing you all the best, Tina S ( S. Wales ) xx
    ( sorry I can’t spell maudling ) Will send you a Welsh Christmas card soon so keep a look out for it LOL .

  22. Dear Tina, reading your comment I’m sure has struck a chord with many, and with the accent so heavily on family it can be a very difficult couple of days to get through. I’m so glad that you and your husband decided to go ahead with your wedding, although it must have been desperately hard for you, because as you said, it wouldn’t have mattered how long you waited you would never have not missed her. I hope that through having your own children and family around you that sadness is no longer as painful, and that you will have a happy time together. Thank you for keeping in touch all these years and for my card – your friendship means a great deal. Love Ali xx

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