I’m almost ready for Christmas!

Yay! The tree is finally up and decorated and all I need to do is to connect my Kasa Smart Wi-Fi plugs to the app so I can time when the lights come on and off! J If I was actually saying this to you rather than writing it down, you may well have noted an element of relief in my voice. That’s because when Colin and I first bought the tree, spent ages trying to get it to stand straight, and then added water to the stand we discovered the stand itself had a hole in it. Sadly, not before it leaked out onto a rather large area of carpet! Of course the whole thing had to come down, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t have already had the lights set up on it, but the hole was mended, the carpet dried and the tree is now resplendent in its stand and looking rather lovely.

I’m not quite sure why the photograph I took of it at nighttime looks like this (bit of camera shake?) but here is a better photograph taken this morning in the sunshine. I do love a real tree although the faux ones we sell at QVC get better and better each year.

So how are you? It seems as though a lot of us are far more organised this year than last and have had the house decorated, presents bought and wrapped and cards sent by the first week in December! I don’t include myself in that number as this year I seem to be chasing my tail. I’ve been gathering gifts since the middle of the year but have only wrapped a small number of them so far – I’ve got the next four days off so plan to have that all sorted by the weekend. I did though manage to get the family’s parcel sent off to Colin’s daughter Lily who lives in Bondi, Australia, and also my niece Clare who is just around the coast in Manly. Lily’s gifts arrived and she’s keeping them stashed away until the 25th, but Clare’s present was for the baby she is expecting today! Sadly the gift hasn’t been delivered although I posted it on the 1st, but she told me that everything in Oz is predictably slow at the moment due to huge numbers of people having to send presents rather than visit their folks. I’m keeping everything crossed it will get there soon, J along with the baby!! So exciting!!!

How have you been doing with your Christmas plans? It’s so difficult with the restrictions in place to decide who’s going to be spending Christmas with whom especially if you come from a large family as we do. I think we’ve managed it pretty well though so far and as we all keep saying, this isn’t forever…

Last time I wrote, I told you about the Christmas Grotto that Colin had created in our garden and completely forgot to put a photograph of it in the blog! I thought I’d rectify that now so you can see it in all its glory and also see one of the little people it was made for. We had a wonderful couple of days with Honey when she came to stay, and she was very impressed with Grandad’s decorating skills.

Her favourite thing was the illuminated dachshund which didn’t surprise me as she loves her two little Chihuahuas and her cat, Mitten. She also told me that when she grows up in addition to wanting to be a vet, she is planning to be a teacher, a singer and a cheerleader! And I bet she will be J. It was so good to have some special time with her, and we made the very best of the day making biscuits, sorting out her toys, painting and crafting all before 9am!

Last week I went back up to see both Honey and Lucy and we had a fabulous walk with the dogs – Bear Bear and Penny – around Coate Water Park. It had been pouring with rain earlier, but the sky cleared, and the sun shone and that took the sting out of the freezing temperatures. I managed to get some more of the Cuddl Duds fleecewear leggings while they were in stock and was very grateful to be wearing them. They are incredibly lightweight but warm and because they are available in navy, grey or black you could buy them for the guys too!

My son Jack is currently working outside and he’d be lost without his fleece thermals. I’m sure they’d be equally well received by anyone who watches outdoor sport or plays golf or even goes fishing. QVC are still guaranteeing delivery for Christmas if you order before end of play this Sunday the 20th so hopefully that will help.

I’m getting my hair cut and re-coloured later today – it’s just got to the stage where it’s a teeny bit too long and I’m finding it harder to style it. Crazy when I consider how long it used to be. I’m rather wishing I’d waited to have my new passport photos taken until after Jo my stylist has performed her magic. Strange to think it’s been 10 years since the last photo. I’m glad it’s being replaced though as I had the last one renewed just eight days after my cancer diagnosis. I remember sitting in the photo booth wondering if I’d get the chance to travel again… But I have, and so much more besides, and I feel very blessed.

Talking of travelling, I had the most horrendous journey back from work on Tuesday night. The M4 has been closed off in sections for the last two years as they work on the smart motorway system, and it was shut at junction 3. The diversion signs were sparse and, having left QVC at 10.15pm, it took me until 1am to get home. The journey would normally take just 30 minutes. I could have cried. I’m sure if I had a proper sat nav that constantly updated the situation I’d have been home far earlier, but sadly I had to rely on Waze on my phone and thanked the Lord and also James Murden for my Rush Charger as the battery ran out while I was pootling about somewhere near Hounslow and I’d lent Colin my in-car charging lead! I hope if you have to travel over the Christmas period you won’t encounter any roadworks.

Actually, our drive has looked a bit like a building site over the last fortnight as Colin has been digging out new borders, cutting down trees and completely re-shingling everything. He’s even wired outdoor lights around the perimeter which will be a Godsend when I get home in the wee small hours. Poor man hasn’t been very lucky with the weather though as it’s been hammering down most days and I’ve had a mountain of VERY muddy washing. I know I shouldn’t be airing my dirty laundry in public, but I was given a sample of a new washing powder to try – Nellie’s Washing Soda (809822)– and being a tad skeptical I thought I’d set it the challenge of sorting Colin’s filthy work clothes. Well, I was mightily impressed and even happier to know that I’m going to be launching this product next Tuesday night at 9pm as a Today’s Special Value offer. I’ve been using a liquid laundry product for years, but this is a powder and contains a coconut-based surfactant which is natural and dissolves really quickly, so you don’t get any residue. I didn’t do any spot cleaning before I washed the clothes and put them through a 40-degree wash for two hours with just one scoop. There wasn’t a mark on them when I took them out which I thought was fabulous. I know that Kathy Tayler, Katy Pullinger and Anne Dawson have all tried it and they’ve been very impressed too, so I hope you can join me to see why it works next Tuesday.

I’ve had some great shows over the last few weeks, and because my hours have been varied, I’ve managed to catch up with a lot more of my presenter friends, some of whom I’ve not seen for months. It’s been great to catch up, but it has made me realise how difficult this pandemic has been for all of us, but in a myriad of different ways. Mental health and wellbeing have never been more important and talking things through with friends and family to my mind is imperative if we want to remain positive. I’m really pleased to have been asked to take part in a special series of podcasts that Will Gowing is putting together for January 2021. They will all focus on mental wellbeing and give us a chance to share experiences and how we manage stress. This year has been so hard for so many, and without support it can feel overwhelming. I just pray that Christmas will give us the chance to be with those we love so we can recharge and head into the new year feeling more positive. It’s all about moving forwards and not looking back…

One final thing to mention is that lovely Lulu will be joining me on Monday night for the launch of her Four Piece Anti-Ageing Hero’s Supersize Collection. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with her, but she is such a joy to spend time with and this really is a fabulous offer. You’ll be able to buy it on presell from today here.

I’ll sign off now, but thank you as always for your love, support and comments here on the blog. It’s been a tough one for us all, but together we are stronger and the network we have created has worked its magic and supported so many of us this year, more than most.

Stay well, stay safe and have the happiest Christmas possible.
With my love,
Ali xxx

37 Responses

  1. Your tree and garden grotto are just beautiful, Alison. I was quite well organised this year – gifts bought and wrapped, tree up, lots of lights, etc. Sadly we now both have the virus …. and very miserable it is too. OH has a range of health issues – amazing NHS are being very supportive. So plans are changing, I think we will now have the quietest Christmas in history with virtual get-togethers with everyone. But that’s ok … as long as we’re both well, there will be other times. Have a wonderful Christmas xxxx

    1. Dear Cherry, So glad you liked the grotto, and I fully appreciate and admire your attitude. I do hope you both stay well and enjoy your Christmas together. There’s always next year 🙂 Love Ali xx

  2. Hi Ali, lovely newsy blog as usual. Just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and hopefully next year will be a better one for us all.
    Lots of love, Anne xx

    1. Dear Anne, Thanks for supporting the blog, and for your kind wishes. I too wish you and your family an equally happy and safe Christmas and may the New Year be peaceful and healthy for us all. Love to you all, Ali xx

  3. Hi Ali

    What a great blog as usual, full of updates and lovely stories you share to cheer and uplift everyone. Tree looks so beautiful and best of all , your gorgeous Honey holding her baking. O o o , you can almost smell those biscuits. Bless her. I was smiling when she told you what she wants to be when she s grown up.. so sweet!! My granddaughter Bella told me that she s going to be a hairdresser and a lollipop lady!!! I ve no doubt she ll pull that one off..

    Colin and Honey look so cosy in the grotto, what a great idea.. more special memories made.. all treasures to have and to hold.

    Look forward to seeing Lulu!! I still wait in anticipation for the return of her Time in a bottle and miss it so much. I remember you saying your friend loves it too. Would definitely stock pile if and when she brings it back.. here s hoping!!

    Well Ali, I m going to watch the laundry edition when it airs. It reminded me of when we picked up our grandsons from school last week, apparently, two lads had a scuffle in the mud!! As our two relayed the story, one of the boys went past,. Let me say, his trousers were clinging to him like leggings , his hair, well, I can’t even describe that,. His coat must have been in his bag as he was in his shirt sleeves.. I could only think of what his mum would say as he stood oozing mud on her kitchen floor. Hopefully not the hall carpet. Hee hee, boys eh?

    My lads used to come in from football like that and I used to tell them they d be straight in the twin tub on a delicate wash!! Happy days..

    Going to try the tsv then on your recommendation..

    Have a special new hairdo and enjoy being pampered. You deserve..

    A blessed Christmas as we all reflect and give thanks and celebrate Jesus love like no other for us all. The reason for the season.. what can I give Him… Give my heart.. X X X x

    Lots of love Ali to you and all your family. All health, hope and blessing for 2021. Thank you to you and all at QVC for your company in these difficult times..

    Christine xx

    1. Hi Christine, so good to hear from you and thanks for your lovely comment. Your granddaughter Bella sounds delightful too – I have a little book in which I can write all Honey’s sayings and prophecies… It will be lovely to look back over them when she’s older. And yes, it was great having her to stay – we’ve been so lucky even in these trying times to have maintained contact with her and Lucy. I do hope you get on well with Nellie’s Washing Soda! I’m not going to be launching it now, but Miceal will and he also thinks it’s brilliant! I’m sure it won’t disappoint even on the muddiest of clothes. I hope you were able to join Lulu and myself last night. It was so good to see her again and I’m in agreement with you. I will try and mention it this evening when we are together again in the hope that she will bring back her Time fragrance. I thought is very Chanel-like! Sending love to you and all your family and getting thanks as you do fall we are lucky enough to have. Stay well and happy and I hope that 2021 will be a far better year for us all. With my love, Ali XX

    1. Hi Elaine, So glad you liked it! We’ve not had much chance to go out in it again because of the rain, but fingers crossed it will be drier over Christmas. I very much hope things with you are better than they were. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  4. Hi Alison lovely cheery blog as always. Your tree looks fabulous & love the grotto. Wishing you & your family a very happy Christmas & let’s hope for brighter days ahead in the new year. With love. Xx

    1. Hi Alison, we chose the tree from a local garden centre this time around and I think it’s going to last a lot longer than last years! It is a little shorter but smells beautiful. I wish you and all your family a truly happy Christmas and join you in your wish for brighter days ahead. Love to you, Ali xx

  5. Hello Alison, love your grotto. Colin has made a good job of it. Hope you have a wonderful xmas and a peaceful and healthy new year. Love Karen xx

    1. Hi Karen, yes, Colin did make a good job of it, and it’s nice to have a use for it during the winter too. I wish you and all your family a peaceful and healthy Christmas and New Year too. Fingers crossed it’s easier than this one has been. Love Ali xx

  6. Let’s hope for a good 2021. Loving the idea of well-being podcasts, will be tuning in. Happy Christmas to you and yours

  7. Hi Ali good to see your blog was there to catch up on. The Santa’s Grotto looks so inviting especially with the fire on these dark wet days. Looks like you had a lovely time with Honey they have so much energy it’s hard to keep up with them but it is such a precious time too. They grow up so fast.
    This Christmas will be very different as it will be our first without Keith and it is only seven weeks since he died. Lots of tears are being shed but with the support from family, friends and the hospice nurse who phones me every week I know that I am not on my own. My main problem is sleep or lack of it sometimes I only manage 2 or 3 hours. The doctor has given me some tablets for the anxiety they will take a couple of weeks to kick in. I am travelling to London on Monday to stay with Charlotte. Ivy said she will put some cuddly toys in my room… x She has a Christmas list and on it she has put a Christmas Elf that says: Happy Halloween!! We have said Santa might find it hard to find one….
    Emma is still suffering from long covid it has affected her blood sugar. Sarah now has shingles the dr has said it is all the stress she has gone through. So it seems it is all catching up with us.
    But the one thing that has come out of this is that Love encompasses all and I am so lucky to be surrounded by it.
    I watched you on the recent Lola Rose show you presented so many lovely items & you wore them so well. I ordered myself a malachite bracelet as I was lucky to receive a money off voucher from QVC so I treated myself. I already have a necklace to match & hopefully it will arrive before I set off on Monday.
    I have packed a few thermal items. But it will be a change to wear items other than joggers and pyjamas!! I have got plenty of masks and sanitizer on hand too.
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and an even Happier and Healthy New Year. Stay safe and as long as we look out for each other I am sure all will be well.
    Once again thankyou for the ongoing support you have shown me. It has meant a lot especially as we will probably never meet. I always think that kindness is far more powerful than any negativity and we have all needed that in 2020! Take care Ali much love Julia xxx 🤗🤗🤗

    1. Dear Julia, it’s so good to hear from you, and I am keeping absolutely everything crossed that in spite of the changed tier situation you will still be able to spend Christmas with Charlotte. I’m guessing you are in a support bubble with her? I am sure you will sleep better once your tablets start to work, and probably being with Ivy will be a comfort too – and the cuddly toys 🙂 So sorry to know that both Emma and Sarah are struggling with their health… Grief and illness combined take a long time for the body to process but it is wonderful to hear you say that you are ALL being supported and surrounded with love and although nothing can ever replace Keith, his presence and love will always be with you. Fingers crossed your Lola Rose bracelet turned up in time. They really are beautiful and tactile pieces of jewellery and a comfort to wear. You are very kind to say such nice things about the blog and our friendship here. Kindness is tangible and just as precious whether it comes from someone we know or as you say, someone we will never meet. It is the only way forward and you can rest assured that it will always be here for you. Take care and stay well, love Ali xx

  8. Hi Alison hope you all have a,lovely Xmas we all plan to , glad you got to see honey and Lucy what a lovely grotto must admit our outside lights and tree are cheering me up no end and seeing Willa and Ottilies faces with their presents at xmas will too. Best wishes to you and yours much love Loraine Les and family.

    1. HI there Loraine and Les, our Xmas plans like so many others have been somewhat scuppered, but we’ll work around it and if not this week, then we’ll meet up with the rest of the family when we can. I am praying that where you live is still in Tier 2 and that you will go ahead and have the Christmas you’ve been dreaming of with Willa and Ottilie. Sending you love for a happy and healthy time and a better year ahead. Thanks for all your support this year.
      Ali xxx

  9. Hi lovely Ali , what a lovely xmas tree and i love the grotto too – looks so lovely and cosy and how clever Colin is. Honey is such a cutie bless her. Lets hope 2021 is a better year for everyone. I sadly unexpectedly lost a friend two weeks ago. Was such a shock and is the fifth person i have lost this year, none of them to the virus. Such sadness all around but oh so important why we all try to have the best time possible this xmas, safely and treasure those close to us. Wishing you a lovely xmas and all the best for next year. Thank you for all your great blogs and the fact that you take time to reply and thank you for all the laughs – I enjoyed watching you on a Molton Brown show recently and the pair of you were hilarious! I love Jemma, shes so informative but funny too! Take care Ali. Sending you a big virtual hug and lots of love xx

    1. Dear Karen, I am so very sorry to know that you have lost so many friends this year… So difficult to stay positive when there is such sadness but looking forward rather than falling back into that place is the only way… easier said than done I’m sure. So glad you enjoyed the Molton Brown shows with Jemma and I. She is an absolute hoot and I love working with her. I very much hope that you will be able to spend Christmas with those you love and that the New Year will be far happier and healthier for us all. Thanks for taking the time to keep in touch, love Ali xx

  10. Hi Alison, another busy blog full of beautiful photos and my, you have been busy! I loved the photos of Honey and the grotto and tree looks beautiful. Honey is certainly a little lady now with a smile that lights up the room.
    Its 6.05am on Saturday and Jack’s alarm at 5.30 woke me, he is going to work his last full weekend shift at the golf club to earn himself a bit of extra money as he goes from bring paid weekly to a monthly salary when he starts his new job in the new year..January is going to be a long month and with a daily commute of 1 hour 15 each way, rather than 3 mins, things are going to be a bit different. He will be on his mower as we speak in the dark, headlights on cutting the greens. Apparently if there is a heavy dew it’s easier to see where you’ve been cutting!
    Your roadwork hold up was shocking, we are having a lot of temporary lights spring up with local roadworks which is the norm when schools finish..There is lots of work going on at Manston airport as it’s the third Lorry park for January’s Brexit plan ..we shall see how that goes!!
    I finished school on Wednesday but we have already planned for January and will be returning to school in our small bubbles..but the rate of covid19 has risen again in our area because of this new strain and my new anxiety is twitching..the light at the end of the tunnel seems to he moving further away!
    I think that’s why I am organised this year..I am normally maniccally busy Christmas Eve but this year I am going to be organised and my only jobs will be to lay the table and make the Yorkshire puddings..yes, in our family must have Yorkshire puds with Christmas dinner. I make them then put them in a tin then just 5 mins in a hot oven to re heat.
    Chloe will make the pigs in blankets..her favourite and must be full length chipolata sausages from the local butchers which I bought yesterday and are in the freezer, we dont do small ones🤣
    I will make my puff pastry mince pies on Tuesday ( ready made pastry already rolled out, all need shortcuts at Christmas) although Wilfs mince pies arrived this week…Oh My Goodness they are yummy..I shared one with john as they are Huge! I also gladly find myself with 3 x 1 litre bottles of baileys of which I bought 1, 1 is a gift under the tree from a friend and my boss gifted 1 to me a huge hamper of lovely things, including a bottle of Baileys and a rather lovely rhubarb gin which is divine with diet ginger ale! However, to ease myself into the Christmas spirit one bottle is well and truly started.. I love it in a lovely tall class over lots of ice, unneasured of course!
    We are having a smaller Christmas like many, and my younger sister will be at home with her two grown up sons rather than at ours this year so, we are going to play our traditional game of dog and monkey bingo together ( great game for all ages, check out dog bingo on Amazon, there are lots of different ones to choose.. birds, ocean, bugs), I will deliver their bingo cards next week and with the power of tinterweb we can all play together via the ipad..should be a laugh!
    Well I think I will get up and make a coffee, bring it back to bed and watch one of the many predictable easy viewing Christmas films I’ve recorded from Christmas 24 before I walk the dog..its only just gone 6.30am and Olly is snoring away on the bed under his snowflake blanket.
    Wishing you and your Family a very happy Christmas and a healthy and happy 2021. Most of all keep safe. Mary

    1. Hi there Mary, lovely as always to hear from you and to find out what are you up to this Christmas. I’m so glad that your Jack has a job, and I hope he doesn’t find it too difficult getting up early and travelling for that long having been used to being so close to work. You’re right about the journey – that night was an absolute mare! If they were just a little more careful with the diversion signs people wouldn’t get lost, but I know it’s only part of a huge plan to improve the motorway so we just have to accept it. I’m glad that you have a little bit of time off before Christmas and try not to think about returning in January just yet! Maybe one more glass of Baileys would help? We also have Yorkshire pudding is with our Christmas lunch Although they are aunt Bessie’s – my Christmas shortcut! I’m glad you discovered the rhubarb gin – my cousin Len gave me a bottle of local rhubarb gin when we were in Saint Austell in the summer. It’s delicious.In fact a glass of that in front of the firepit while lounging in the grotto may well be where you’ll find me over the next week! I’m sorry you’re not seeing your sister this Christmas, but It sounds as though you’ve got it covered with your game of dog and monkey bingo…?! I think it’s something I should find out more about. I hope for all of you it will be a happy and healthy Christmas and as you say fingers crossed 2021 will be a lot easier for us all. Love to you and your family, Ali xx

  11. I was feeling down, but having read your blog it has cheered me up. I love the grotto and Honey’s biscuits look delicious. I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy 2021.
    Karen xx

    1. Dear Karen, I’m glad the blog cheered you but I am sorry that you were feeling low… although I do understand. The biscuits were good although I little tough on the teeth! I wish you a happy Christmas and hope that the coming year will be an easier one. Thanks for keeping in touch here. Love Ali xx

  12. Dearest Ali. Your grotto is just magical. Colin has done a fantastic job. I bet the little people will absolutely love it.
    Poor you, what a nightmare with your tree. All part of the fun. When we look back, it is. Maybe not so much when it’s happening lol.
    I can’t believe it’s 10 years since your diagnosis. Just look what you’ve done in that Time. Absolutely amazing. Ali’s Army all got behind you, and still here when were needed.
    Thank you for your lovely words in your previous blog. I really just did what I had to do to survive, and get Meli and I out the other side. I still have no idea how I managed it, but it was worth it. Every tear, every screaming match, every tantrum, and that was just me!!!!!
    Like yourself, I sometimes take a second, and just take it all in, and embrace it, the good, the bad and the ugly, and just blooming well appreciate everything.
    This year has thrown everything at us, and then some, but we’ve just had to get on with it like everyone else.
    Meli and Adam are with our neighbours today. They have taken them to a socially distanced outdoor Xmas fayre, and they’re on a mission to buy Xmas gifts for Graeme and I. I wonder how long they will remain secrets?!?
    We’re starting on Monday, to give Meli and Adam a little gift each day. It was all just too much for Adam last year. Poor wee soul was just totally overwhelmed with it all. It took him 3 days to open his presents. He would open a couple, burst into tears and run to his room. We all ended up getting upset. So, this year, we’re going to ease him in gently. Santa isn’t allowed in the house though. He has to leave presents in the porch. Because, we should make sure the doors are locked, and strangers shouldn’t be in the house if we’re sleeping. I’m going to have to hang Adams stocking on the outside of his door too, he was hysterical that someone would be in his room when he was asleep. It’s a minefield sometimes and definitely a learning curve. Sometime we just have to follow his lead and be mindful that he does remember his past.
    Have a wonderful Xmas Ali. However you’re going to spend it. I hope you have a lovely time.
    Let’s hope 2021 is better than this year.
    All our love as always.
    Una, Graeme, Meli and Adam

    1. Hello there Una, So glad you liked the grotto. It’s an absolute sun trap in the summer so I was really chuffed that Colin has made something special out of it for the winter too! Honey loved it. 🙂 It’s always good to catch up with you and the children and I am sure that you and Graeme are making all the difference to Adam’s life. No doubt Meli is helping too. I understand why he would have been overwhelmed by it all when his past has been so troubled. It’s all about adapting and most importantly as you say, accepting that he does obviously remember what happened before. All these wonderful memories though will help heal him I am certain. This year has been tough for us all, but the only way is forward and although the light at the end of the tunnel seems a little dim at times it is there. I firmly believe that. Take good care and enjoy your Christmas with your lovely family. Here’s to a happier New year for you all. Love Ali xx

  13. Hi Alison it’s me again Loraine sorry your lovely meal was cancelled and your stuck in the tier 4 I spent lots of holidays as a child in beaconsfield my cousin still lives there in Tyler’s green in Penn used to go to the model villige there small world isn’t it love Loraine xxx

    1. Hi Loraine, funnily enough I was born in Beaconsfield, my nanny lived in Chalfont St Peter and my Aunty Ivy lived in Gerrards Cross. It’s nice to now be settled close to where we grew up too. We’re hoping to take Honey to the model village in the New Year… once it’s open again! Love Ali xx

  14. Hi Ali,

    Thank you for your lovely blogs throughout 2020. I would like to wish you, your lovely family, and everyone here on the blog a Safe & Very Happy Christmas, and hopefully a much better 2021. Keep safe everyone.

    Love Sue Radford xx

    1. Dear Sue, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blogs and thank you for all your kind comments on them. I’m wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas too and fingers crossed 2021 will be easier for us all. Stay safe and well, love Ali xx

  15. Hi Ali this is my second reply to your blog ( not sure where the other one went) – good to read your blog & great photos. The grotto looks great so inviting especially for Honey. Great to have special times with her. It’s hard to keep up with energy but it is so uplifting seeing the world through their eyes.
    Well my other reply was focusing on my trip to stay with Charlotte Adam & Ivy in London. After such a traumatic time after losing Keith almost seven weeks ago. BUT the best laid plans …. devastated is the word we all feel. Ivy was so excited she said she was going to make me a party – she is only 4 & doesn’t understand why Grandma can’t come.
    I know there are thousands like me but has just put the tin lid on everything!
    I got through to trainline re my tickets etc & was told I was 150th in the queue but I persevered while listening to ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas!’ I actually got through and spoke to a real person who was so kind. I burst into tears & said my husband had just died – not their issue but couldn’t help my pent up feelings. They have put me on a rolling credit for 6 months so when I can go I will book & they will refund any money owed after that. I was so impressed with their caring attitude in what must be a stressful time for them all.
    My lola rose bracelet (I ordered when you were presenting with Nikki) came very quickly & it is lovely. I chose malachite. I also had a £5 off voucher from QVC. I also ordered the brilliant value Elemis TSV. So even if I am on my own after Christmas Day I can wear my bracelet and pamper my skin at the same time!
    I really wish you and your family all the very best for Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2021 ( also to anyone who may read this blog) Take care and Thankyou so much again Ali for your continued support through what has been a devastating time. Much love from Julia xxx 🤗🤗🤗

    1. Hi Julia. So nice to hear, that even with everything going on, you managed to speak to someone who showed real empathy regarding your travel plans. Hopefully you will get to see your family in the not too distant future.
      Sending love to you. Enjoy your pamper session.
      Una x

    2. May dear Julia, I didn’t read down the comments so replied to your original post…. I feared this may happen. I do wonder though if you can create a support bubble with Charlotte? You are now living on your own and vulnerable and under a doctor’s care… you may be eligible to travel and spend time with them? Maybe the government website would give you some information? I do hope so. It’s awful for you, but equally hard for the little ones. They are too young to understand. Luckily I am in a support bubble with Lucy so am seeing Honey and her tomorrow. We are trying to find other dates to see the rest of the family. I am very glad that the trainline were kind and helped you with your ticket, and hopefully you’ll be able to see them sooner rather than later. I am sure all your girls will be able to contact you via Skype/Zoom/Facetime? It makes such a difference to actually see them rather than just talking to them. I will be thinking of you, and hope so very much that there will be a way around this. Hold onto hope. You’re doing so brilliantly and it will get better. Sending you my love and a hug. Stay strong. Ali xx

  16. Hi Alison , Wonderful Blog !! Whatever this Pandemic is here for us All ! One has to be Positive that we will all get the Vaccine and A little bit of Normality back ! but that’s how Q.V.C. has been Wonderful its kept the window open with all the great Ideas! Merry Christmas to you All xx

    1. HI Mary, Thanks so much for your kind words and comment. You sound like a woman after my own heart. Staying positive about the vaccine and the world generally is the only way. Difficult sometimes but I very much like your take on QVC ‘keeping the window open’. Delighted to have helped. Merry Christmas to you and yours too Mary, love Ali xx

  17. Hi Christine, so good to hear from you and thanks for your lovely comment. Your granddaughter Bella sounds delightful too – I have a little book in which I can write all Honey’s sayings and prophecies… It will be lovely to look back over them when she’s older. And yes, it was great having her to stay – we’ve been so lucky even in these trying times to have maintained contact with her and Lucy. I do hope you get on well with Nellie’s Washing Soda! I’m not going to be launching it now, but Miceal will and he also thinks it’s brilliant! I’m sure it won’t disappoint even on the muddiest of clothes. I hope you were able to join Lulu and myself last night. It was so good to see her again and I’m in agreement with you. I will try and mention it this evening when we are together again in the hope that she will bring back her Time fragrance. I thought is very Chanel-like! Sending love to you and all your family and getting thanks as you do fall we are lucky enough to have. Stay well and happy and I hope that 2021 will be a far better year for us all. With my love, Ali XX

  18. Aw Ali

    Thanks for replying and the lovely idea to write down their sayings when they’re little. I’m going to follow you with that one. I sadly missed out on Lulu s tsv, it had all sold out when I tuned in. Gutted!!! Will wait for the next one. Definitely will order if and when she brings her fragrance back. Like you say, it’s very Chanel like yet very individual.. Love it!!

    Hope you enjoyed the best of different Christmases. Still special in its own way. We all did help ringing on Christmas Eve on our drives, lot candles and sang carols.. First time that’s happened in the 40 years we’ve lived here. Some tears shed but also joy and hope and new friendships formed with new neighbours , it started with a smile and a wave… Think it will become a thing..

    Sending much love and blessings and renewed hope for the coming year…and health and new opportunities.. And doors opening..

    To you and all your family Ali

    Christine x x

  19. Hi Iwas watching you on 4th January with cozee home 12 midnight you were wearing a red knitted suit it look so lovely I wonder could you tell me the item no please I would love it .
    Regards Chrissie Rowe.

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