I’ve just come back indoors having watered my pots before the sun hits them; I should have done it last night, but was playing a drawing game with Honey on Zoom and completely forgot! It takes a while as I’ve now got over 30 pots and the vegetable patch too, plus the bed in the front garden, but they bring me a lot of pleasure.
I’ve been delighted with my roses this year, particularly this one that the children bought me when mum died last October. It’s called Kathleen’s Rose, and her name was Kathleen Rose… It has just bloomed – at the same time as the rose bush she bought me for my birthday, so that made me smile.
I’ve also planted my Richard Jackson Giant Scented Lily bulbs – along with at least eight of my QVC colleagues – so am hoping that they start to sprout soon. We had to abort the official lily growing competition because of the delivery restrictions, but we’re all pretty competitive so watch this space! I’m rather glad we have a high hedge around the garden so that my neighbours couldn’t see me in my pyjamas! I do plan to get dressed soon, but my Cyberjammies are so comfortable I often find I’m still in them by midday! How are you coping? I do hope that the slight easing of the lockdown has meant you have been finally able to see those you’ve been missing? I’m still a little unclear on the distance we’re allowed to travel to visit close family, but I know that it would be impossible for me to ‘see’ my granddaughter Honey and not hold her, so for now we are making do with Zoom games and FaceTime calls. It was her fifth birthday on the 6th May, and I have to admit I struggled not being with her and making her cake, but Lucy set up a Zoom quiz with her little friends and Honey told me she’d had brilliant day. I think these photos say it all. 🙂 We are already planning how we are going to celebrate once this is behind us.
Thank you so much for writing to me last time, although I’m sorry to know that some of you have been struggling more than others. Not knowing when life is going to return to normal is what I think most of us find hard to accept, but a great piece of advice from Walt Whitman that my friend Miceal Murphy passed on was this: ‘Keep your face always towards the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.’ In other words, look towards the good, the positive and the happy. Focus on those things and the bad, the negative and the sad will fall back into the shadows. I’m trying to stick to this and it’s often the little things that cheer me up. Like this beautiful Lily of the Valley that has managed to bloom in the middle of a particularly huge fern, or this dear little calf I saw with its mum on one of my walks this week. 🙂
Something else that made me happy was sharing my Storytime with you. QVC are doing their level best to keep in touch with you all, and for my part, I thought it might be nice if we could connect through a good book. Jackie Kabler hosts a Book Club which is doing very well, and so I thought I’d read to you once a week on a Saturday evening. The first short story was by JoJo Moyes and last week I chose Rosamunde Pilcher. You can find these stories on my Facebook Page Alison Keenan QVC and I hope you can join me this Saturday for ‘Crocodile Shoes’ – another corker from JoJo Moyes.
I’ll be pre-recording this one as I’m actually at QVC in the kitchen from 7pm to 9pm presenting one of my favourite shows – Eat, Taste, Love! I know we’re going to be featuring H.Forman’s and I’m hoping to sample their Gin and Tonic Cured Royal Fillet of smoked salmon, but they also have fishcakes and chicken goujons on the menu too! I’m pretty certain we’ll have some pies too, and with so many brands to choose from it’ll be decision making time. I’ve just ordered The Real Pie Company 10 Piece Pasty collection as they are delicious but we also feature Toppings Pies, Wilfreds and Chunk of Devon. I’m going to be in heaven! It does though mean I’ll mean I’ll miss our Family Quiz which has become a regular feature every Saturday evening and is an absolute hoot! Colin is the quizmaster this week, and we invariably stay on chatting ages after the actual quiz is finished so I may get home in time to see them all.
On Sunday by way of a change, I have a Diamonique show at 11pm which will feature some of our latest coloured stone designs. The Design of the Month that features a simulated Alexandrite stone is stunning and under £25, and have a look at this hexagonal Vintage Style ring featuring simulated blue spinel – so classy! I’ll be with you a midnight too because we have a Today’s Special Value offer from Lola Rose (item number 251100) – a set of two beautiful bracelets in several different stone options so you choose. And from the pretty to the practical; later in the week we’ve got a three piece collection of skincare from SBC and also a chance to buy the latest Shark Duo Clean Upright Vacuum with Anti-Hair wrap technology! A great price and Easy Pays too and with you on Friday the 22nd. It’s worth having a look at our website as they’ve put together some really interesting features on everything from food to gardening and beauty.
I thought I’d leave you with something that will hopefully make you smile. Every Thursday along with the rest of the country, we clap and make a noise for all the front line workers and the NHS. Last week Colin set his drum kit up in the garden (as you do!) so we could say thank you in a slightly different way. I don’t think Phil Collins has anything to fear, although in my defence it was the first time I’d ever played the drums!
Colin, though can play any instrument and to play us out, click here and you’ll see him with (remotely) the other members of Sid Sideboard and The Chairs (yes that really is their name) playing that old David Essex hit “Going to Make you a Star”. Enjoy 🙂
Take care, stay safe, stay home and keep on moving forwards. And please do keep in touch – together we’re stronger.
With my love,
Hi Allison, thank you so much for sharing your lovely blog. I look forward to reading them. Your rose is beautiful I just love the color. You are a very inspirational lady. I have learned so much from reading all the blogs and podcasts. Thank you all so much. Stay safe and God bless you all. Antoinette
Dear Antoinette, always good to hear from you, and I am glad that you continue to enjoy the blogs and the podcasts too. It’s a great way to find out more about people we know isn’t it? I also love audiobooks – find it so much easier to get engrossed in a story as I never seem to find the time to sit and read! I hope you’re coping ok in these strange times, love Ali xx
Hi Ali lovely blog as usual. What a beautiful rose a gorgeous colour! I have plants in my garden that my parents bought us for special occasions and a clematis that my dad planted over 30years ago,when we had new fencing put in 3years ago I thought I had lost it as the workmen dug out great chunks of it!!!😢but I have saved it and this year its going mad and is in flower now. Plants can be a great reminder and comfort,can’t they? Would you mind me asking what your birthday present from Kathy Taylor was? She mentioned it one day on a gardening show and was very excited about it but said she would let us know what it was after she had given to you,in case you were watching. I have lots of pots in the garden too,they do take a lot of watering but it’s worth it. My husband and I are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary on Tuesday 20th and I am hoping the weather will be good and we can have a lovely lunch in the garden.🥰 I agree with you about seeing the grandchildren,they don’t live far away but i’m staying away because it would be even more difficult seeing them and not being able to hug and kiss them,so will have to be patient. You said in your last blog that you enjoyed Maeve Binchy books, I agree,have you read any books by Marcia Willetts? They are very good too. Anyway had better go,oh great drumming by the way. Take care and fingers crossed we can meet up with our families soon. Debbie Xx
Hi Debbie, lovely to hear from you and I hope that you and your husband had a fabulous wedding anniversary yesterday! If you have the weather we did you will have been able to celebrate with a lovely lunch in the garden. Completely understand your feelings as mine are the same but it won’t be too much longer before we see our grandchildren. I have not ever read any of Marcia Willetts books, but I love a recommendation! I’ve literally just finished listening to The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – it was VERY clever and very well written. She wrote Big Little Lies which was a huge success on TV. If you like human dramas and stories then you will very much enjoy this. I hope you’ve managed to catch a few of the JoJo Moyes short stories on a Saturday? I read them on Facebook but have them also on YouTube if you’re interested. I’m glad you enjoyed the drumming – it was a bit of fun – and sweet of Colin to set the drums up for me. Finally, my birthday present from Kathy Tayler was also a rose. It’s called Alison and she put it in a beautiful part for me. It means a lot as does our friendship. Take care, enjoy this lovely weather and enjoy your garden too. Thanks for keeping in touch love Ali xxx
Hi Ali it’s Debbie again just want to correct my earlier message to you, it’s 48years my husband and I have been married,don’t know how I managed to forget 10years!!! I better not tell him. Ha ha. Debbie Xx
Ha ha! It’s probably because it feels like yesterday! I really hope you enjoyed your anniversary and were able to celebrate in the sunshine. A x
How are you? I hope you are all coping. I’ve been wondering how Sam, jack and Lucy are? And joe? I love the rose your kids bought you. Absolutely gorgeous memory of your mum. There’s nothing nicer than a floral memory. Beautiful. I hope joe is ok. He’s been through a terrible time.
So how are the children? Jack was so clever to make those masks for the midwives. I meant to say that to you before. I’ve been wondering how Lucy is getting on with honey and with teaching work. I can understand you not wanting to see them yet without hugs. We’re all the same but hope you get to see them soon. At least England has relaxed your rules.
Really love your garden photos and I can’t believe you gave 30 pots!? I felt sorry for gorgeous Miceal on his blog. He has made a beautiful balcony but said he’s getting the green eyed monster with all the garden talk. It made me think could qvc not do some shows on container gardening for balcony or patios or even window boxes? Just a thought. I think the news said a quarter of Londoners don’t have outside space at all. Look forward to your next chat. Keep safe x
Dear Susan, thank you for taking the time out to write to me and straightaway I will pass your suggestion on to our garden product buyers. I think it’s a cracking idea! Yes Miceal is doing so well considering he is stuck on his own and we keep in touch regularly. Thank you for asking about my children, Jack has been finding it quite hard as he is completely on his own but we do keep in touch and he has recently repaired his bike so regularly goes out for rides. I did see him last week and we had a walk and socially kept our distance. That was hard. But I think we both felt better for having had the time together. Sam moved in with his girlfriend Elise just before everything changed and they are very happy, and Lucy is managing extraordinarily well with Honey at home. It’s not easy for the little ones to understand why they can’t see their friends or go out as they would normally do but as we keep saying, it won’t be forever. Joe is actually in really good form. He is being cared for by the bluebird carers, and we speak regularly as he does also with my sister. I’ve been sending him a little treat through the post which he really appreciates. His neighbour mowed his lawn for him just the other week but now that the rules have relaxed we may be able to go and help him in the garden ourselves. I do hope that you and yours are well and coping? Thank you for keeping in touch here – it’s such a lovely way to support each other. Love Ali xxx
That’s so good to hear that joe is ok given all he’s been through. It’s hard for everyone. I think it’s right each country lifts their own restrictions are the right time for them even if it seems confusing to some. Just listen to your own rules to make it easier. You’ve had really sunny hot weather which must be a treat. I hope we get some too!
I really feel for jack. It’s terrible being on your own and the impact to the young generation is potentially going to be around for decades. Doesn’t bear thinking about and yet we have to. There seems to be so much opinion and negativity towards the government and rule makers in general. I for one wish there wasn’t and am glad I don’t have to make such unique and monumental decisions. If only there wasn’t such ease to put your opinion out there!
So admire Lucy so please pass that on. Working as a teacher won’t be easy in these times either. And that’s lovely same and Elise are together. Take care of yourself too and it was just a thought about patios, balconies and window boxes as so many have no space and must be fed up hearing about sun and gardens!x
Like you Alison, I have a white rose in the garden called Dorothy, it”s been there since we lost our mum in 1993 and looks lovely when in bloom. I will also miss my granddaughters 16th birthday on the 25th of this month and my baby sisters 60th in June, but we can celebrate them all together when it’s allowed. I see deer whrn I go on my walk and upto now feel lucky we’ve had good weather. Hope you and your family keep safe and well and look forward to your story tomorrow, take care Theresa x
Dear Theresa, I’ve always liked the name Dorothy, and as you say it’s a fitting tribute to a lovely way to remember somebody by having a rose named after them. I’m so sorry you missed your granddaughters 16th birthday and your sisters 60th. But like so many others, those celebrations can just be postponed until better times are with us. I’m quite happy to stay 59 years old for the moment! 😊 how lovely for you to be able to see dear when you’re out on your walk – I did see five of them once run across the field where I walk but it was much earlier in the year. Take care, stay in touch and stay safe. Love Ali XX
Hi Alison your flowers are looking great sounds like your green fingered which I’m not I do cut the grass sometimes when Les is at work and read head the flowers but he’s the one that grows things. Anyway at the moment he’s still furloughed but is also looking for another job he’s had enough where he is the others don’t pull there weight and the boss doesn’t listen so we are hoping something comes up they won’t want him to go but they should have thought about that before they took advantage. Glad your seeing Honey on zoom like you said not sure how far to go I know the locals in Bournemouth were dreading the weekend as,there were a lot of people planning on going there who don’t believe in the lockdown and nothing the police can do apparently. We have been walking in the new forest although some car parks are still closed we are lucky to go there. We said if we worked in london and had to use the transport we would definitely wear a mask and g!oves. Loved your drumming by the way hidden talents.Willa sent us a,video she was on her guitar and she said she misses spending time with us brought a tear to our eyes. Hope you all continue to stay well and enjoy the weather when you can I have been using the Ultra Sun and I have an elemis voucher Clare gave me for mothers day which I haven’t spent yet, I do envy you trying lots of things so lucky. Take care love Loraine xx
Hi there Lorraine, good to know that your garden is blooming – I’m sure you could grow anything if used Richard Jacksons flower power! That is my hidden weapon! I’m glad that Les enjoys doing the garden and maybe the situation will mean that he can find a more rewarding job. It’s not good to feel you are being taken advantage off so I hope that something will come up. I hope the beaches around Bournemouth weren’t flooded with people at the weekend – it looks as though a lot of folk went out yesterday there in the blazing heat! I can understand I need to get close to the sea and being open spaces but it is very difficult to socially distance. I agree with you about travelling on public transport – I think it should be obligatory for folk to wear masks. So glad that would’ve sent you a video – what a clever girl to play the guitar! I’m sure she’s better at that than I am at drumming. Take care of each other, and thank you for keeping in touch. Love Ali xx
Another lovely blog thanks Ali. I have been struggling trying not to listen to too much news however the garden keeps me going. What a lovely rose ! My father used to sing I’ll take you home again Kathleen yo my mum her name was Agnes I never was told why but she loved it! Didn’t Honey look regal in her tiara just like her gran take care all
Dear Suzi, I am completely in your camp when it comes to avoiding the news. I ration myself to one report a day and I try not to read all the sensationalist reports that pop-up on the Internet. It’s funny how different songs mean different things to people even though the link isn’t always obvious to us! Bless your mum 😊 and yes, honey loves a tiara! I’ve got a lovely photograph of her sitting in a supermarket trolley when she was just a year old with a tiara on – miss her. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, Love Ali XX
Ali you were fantastic Colin and the guys were great too stay safe love Marilyn x
Hi Marilyn, thank you so much for your comment – I passed it on to Colin – and yes, I think I may take up the drums! Hope you are safe and well, love Ali XX
Hi lovely Ali great blog as ever – have been enjoying reading it as i have just come in from my daily walk – is so lovely and sunny out there. Ah bless Honey she is so adorable and growing up so quickly. What a lovely pic of her and Lucy. Love you planning the drums – very good for your first time! Lots of love xx
Hi Karen, glad you’re able to get out in the sunshine to go for a walk. I hope that if people aren’t able to get that far they can at least open the window and let the fresh air in. I am going to print off that photo of Lucy and Honey as I also thought it was a particularly sweet picture. You’re very kind, but I think I might need some more practice on the drums! Stay safe, love Ali xx
Beautiful pictures Alison.They really cheered me up as I have my 10 year old daughter poorly at the moment with what we suspect is tonsillitis.We couldn’t go to the doctor because of the coronavirus so have had a prescription for antibiotics after a telephone consult.I find we are definitely in our pyjamas til lunchtime at the moment as everything is a bit of a struggle.Shes had awfully high temperatures and as she is autistic and non verbal she can’t express easily how she feels.
Hi Rachel, gosh I am sorry to hear that. It really puts any other struggles I might of thought I was having to deal with into perspective. It’s always frightening when our children are poorly, but even more so when they are not able to express how they are feeling. In the light of all that is going on I can understand your fears will be heightened. I very much hope that by now she is feeling 100% better and the antibiotics have worked. Do keep in touch, and thank you for taking the time out. Stay safe, love Ali xx
Hi Ali,taking the antibiotics was a struggle as it tasted so foul!nevertheless she was an absolute star and understood she must take them to get better.Shes almost 100% now which is a huge relief.Thank you for your kind words.Love Rachel.xxx
Reading your blog really cheers me up. Loved the drum playing! Well here in Wales the lock-down has stayed much the same with the exception of the garden centres re-opening. We’re still advised to stay home and just go out to exercise and do essential shopping etc. I think it is wise advice as we don’t want to tempt fate and undo all the good that’s been done so far. It is hard but we have to carry on. It seems such a long time now. I watched one of my favourite Welsh soaps today and they had filmed ( before the lock down ) at our favourite place, Porthcawl. We normally visit twice a week but had to make do with seeing a fleeting glance of it on t.v.
My sister-in-law popped by again last week and very kindly gave made us Victoria Sponge and some steamed cake. So it was extra nice to see her.
Have been trying to keep busy and had some books delivered last week. One of which was your book. I honestly could not put it down and had read it in 2 days.( I have sent you a letter which I hope you’ve received by now .)
Well its the start of another week and lets hope things are on the up. My tip would be to stop watching the news because we need positivity now not negativity!
Stay safe- Love and best wishes,
Tina S xx
Dear Tina, lovely to hear from you as always and completely understand how fed up he must be with his situation – I think we all are. But very wise advice and I’m completely in agreement. It will be such a shame to undo all the good has been done so far and put vulnerable people at risk. I’m glad your sister-in-law was able to pop by and I’m sure you both enjoy the Victoria sponge! I keep promising to make some biscuits for Colin but I still haven’t got round to doing it! We seem to be spending every hour of daylight in the garden which is such a blessing. Thank you so much for not just ordering my book but reading it so quickly! Your kind words mean everything, and I will look out for your letter -I really appreciate your support. In fact if you felt able, a review on Amazon would be most welcome. People really appreciate understanding what someone else has found interesting. Thank you! I think things are on the up – I’ll be it slowly but surely – stay safe and well and speak to you soon. Love Ali XX
Hi Ali great to read your blog and thank you for the positivity about life especially at the moment.
I shall be writing the Walt Whitman quote in a book I have with poetry and sayings in.
I have three daughters who have either been working at school for key workers, shielding their husband at home, & my youngest daughter whose partner is having to arrange a funeral for his Dad that only three can attend. At times it isn’t easy finding positivity BUT we have managed to have a zoom meeting on my grandson’s 15th Birthday & we all sang to him, I can facetime my 3 year old granddaughter Ivy & read her a story & post little treats to which she loves and my older granddaughter Eve has been sent lots of chocolate and I get lovely text messages back.
QVC is like tuning in to listen to a friend when you and others are on air – some familiarity in this uncertain world. I have ordered the Lola Rose tsv as a treat. Family and friends birthdays are sorted when I can send direct to them too.
Great rendition of the David Essex hit got my toes tapping. I will try and listen in to the stories if I can work out Facebook! I am meeting a friend in the park social distancing of course this week & I will get out of my joggers put some make up on and enjoy catching up. Best wishes to you and yours and stay safe with love from Julia (Smith) xxxx
Hello there Julia, and thank you for taking time out to write to me. It sounds as though your three daughters are doing you proud, although I’m so sorry to hear of your youngest daughter‘s loss. Such difficult times when losing somebody and arranging a funeral Becomes so much harder…. Sounds as though you are doing very much the same things we are doing as a family. It’s so nice to send surprises to people, and the zoom meetings make all the difference. We saw our friends Roz and Chris yesterday on Zoom for the first time in months and it was quite emotional. I hope you enjoyed meeting up with your friend in the park – so nice to see someone’s face rather than just hearing their voice. I’m glad that you enjoyed the David Essex rendition – I will pass that on to Colin! Don’t worry about Facebook – all my stories are now on YouTube – if you just put in Alison Keenan Story Time QVC you will find them. I did record a children’s story and Lucy put the illustrations in for me – this may be of interest to your granddaughters Ivy and Eve – it’s called the invisible string and it’s just beautiful. Hope you’re enjoying the current spell of sunshine, and thank you for taking the time out to write to me. Safe and well, love Ali XX
Hi Ali another week passes slowly, I think this will be a different way off life when this is a little better. What a lovely rose it looks healthy, got two lovely acers they have caught the frost, sure they will pickup.
Take Care Christine x
Hi Christine, I think you may well be right. Certain things may have to change permanently, but hopefully it will all for the good in the end. I am sure your acers will pick up. Maybe just cut off the frost burned bits and feed it a little. Good luck and stay safe, love Ali xx
Lovely to hear all your news and see you looking so well. I cannot believe Honey is 5!!! Where did the time go? She is gorgeous and looks so grown up. Bet you can’t wait to see her in person again.
Your mums rose is stunning and such a lovely way to remember her and keep her close.
Take care and keep smiling.
Bug hugs, Joanna xx
Dear Joanna, thank you for writing to me, and I am glad that you enjoy the blogs. Completely agree that it’s incredible to think that Honey is now five years old, and that Colin and I will be celebrating five years married in June… time moves so quickly in some respects. I have another beautiful rose to share with you in my new blog, and I agree – flowers are such a beautiful way to remember someone. I do hope all is well with you, and that you have been able to enjoy some of the sunshine. Love Ali xx
Hi Ali, love reading your blogs about family, events etc. They bring a smile to my face & a titter to brighten the day. Was looking forward to seeing you on diamonique day, didn’t seem right to have a day of diamonique & you not there to share it with us viewers. I was talking to me Mum on the day about some of the shows & that you where missing, which sparked us both realising we had not seen our second diamonique Ali (Alison O’Reilly) for some time either. Does she not do the shows anymore ? We both love Lee, you have a good giggle with him. Both of us have too many diamonique items to mention. I like yourself have brought many gifts of diamonique for family & friends over the years. Hope you & your family stay safe & well during these unknown times, best wishes Tracey
Hi Tracey, lovely to hear from you, and delighted to know that you and your mum enjoy the Diamonique shows and the blogs. I was sorry too that I missed Diamonique Day, but it wasn’t a day I was scheduled to work, but hopefully next time around I’ll be there. Alison O’Reilly hasn’t been with us for some time now as she has been unwell (not Covid related) but has been on a course of treatment and is responding really well to it. We are hoping very much to have her back with us in the studios once the situation generally is safer – yes, we miss her too. I very much hope that you and your mum remain well, and that you’ll be able to join me and Lee Clark on Sunday and then again on Tuesday for the regular show. Love Ali xx
Hi Alison, thank you for your reply. So sorry to hear Alison has been unwell, please pass on our best wishes & a speedy recovery, we will look forward to seeing her when she is well enough & the situation is safe for her. It was one of those times when you just suddenly remember you haven’t seen someone for a while & wonder how/where they are. We all need to stay safe & well at present. Will be watching you both on Sunday, always have a good laugh with Lee & I watch the Tuesday shows most weeks. Hope you & your family stay safe & well, best wishes Tracey x
I’ve just seen your lovely haircut! Well done for braving it! I saw your recommendation of Jemma forte’s book too while sitting in the sun. I can’t tell you how jealous all of us in the north and north west are of you southerners…as usual! Another storm for the last few days. We’ve not had the hot weather or sun at all so make sure you all count your blessings, big and small as they say. It makes such a difference even queuing to get your food!! No need for suncream or fans either! Have a nice weekend!x
Hi there Susan, thanks so much for the compliment re: my hair! I have to say it turned out far better than I expected it to, but I think that says more about the original cut then my ability with a pair of nail scissors 🙂 I am SO sorry to know that you’ve not had the joy of the warmer weather, and hope very much that the sun will be heading northwards very soon. You’re right about everything being easier when the sun’s out, and I for one, am extremely grateful for the rays! I hope you have a good weekend, and do keep in touch, love Ali xx
Hi Ali…firstly I must congratulate you on your drumming…that’s puts my wooden spoon and enameled tin pie dish to shane🤣. Its lovely to heat about all your activities and that you are able to enjoy your family via the internet avd I think we will all be having family parties in our beautiful gardens when we are allowed. Your Kathleen rose is gorgeous, such a lovely vibrant colour. My friend bought me a floribunda Happy Birthday rose. It’s got 30 buds on it and so far 7 have opened avd its stunning, a very pale pink with yellow stamens.
Happily Jack is back to work after his dise of covid19 and we are put of isolation and covid free..blocking jack in his room and frantically wiping everywhere with bleach worked!
I am working from home still and will continue to do so until the end of the school year..I am lucky as I know many of my friends and work colleagues who work in classrooms as teachers and TA’s are very worried about the children coming back avd I was thinking the same must be for Lucy.
I too gave been busy in the garden. One issue I have is that my giant lillies bought from QVC last year are being eaten by lily beetle and I’ve tried bought sprays and made my own from garlic and washing up liquid avd they keep coming back..
Anyway I am going to take olly out for a walk before it gets too hot and take some magazines to the nursing home where mum is.
Have a lovely Tuesday much love Mary