Summer, socialising, and the 100th QVC Podcast!

Halfway through August already – I’m finding it hard to believe! And since we got back from Malta, apart from the cracking weather when we returned it’s been so variable I’ve not known whether to put on the heating or my bikini!

So how are you? I hope you managed to secure yourself one of the fab Vax Smart carpet washers? I was really glad I gave you a heads up on it as it sold out at 8am on Saturday unsurprisingly! I took it with me when I visited Lucy last week and it did a cracking job on her carpets too. She already had a chance to use it when she and Honey had come to stay with us, and then she and Jack very kindly put my little video together for me that I posted up on Facebook and Instagram.

It had been ages since Lucy and Jack had seen each other, and it was a real treat for me to have them together with Honey too. We gave Lucy a bit of time off and took Honey out for the afternoon and had a great time in between the rain showers! She’s learned to ride her bike without stabilisers and so we’ve been out in the park too – me puffing like an old steam engine as I run alongside her, and her pedaling like mad! It reminded me of when my three were little and one by one they all learned to ride their bikes. We made a cardboard medal for Lucy and she then handed it down to each of the boys in turn when they managed to stay upright without stabilisers… good times 🙂

Talking of good times, Colin and I had a fabulous trip down to Dorset to see Roz and Chris – the first time we’ve seen each other since the second lockdown in 2020! We had planned to get together over Christmas but then everything changed of course and so we were finally able to exchange Christmas presents too. On Thursday Colin and Chris played golf and Roz and I headed to Studland Bay for the day (pictured above). It was heaving as the schools had broken up but it was absolutely delightful. We both swam and then spent the rest of the day sitting in the sunshine – bliss.

We had time in her orchard while her hens mooched about – I had to sit with my feet up otherwise they peck at my nail varnish! They weren’t laying at the time, but I did have a double-yoked egg last week which I think is meant to be lucky! Although it had been ages since we’d been together it felt like it was just the day before – a sign of true friendship I always feel. Same thing when I met up with Claire Sutton last week, and also had a wonderful evening with Liz Earle guest Caroline Archer, and then this weekend we’ve had Mitch and Ali over for dinner (pictured below) – I feel very lucky to have so many lovely people in my life alongside my family.

In fact it’s been a very sociable couple of weeks!  My sister Jenny came over and stayed with me on one of my days off and I treated her to a night out at The Theatre Royal in Windsor. Lucy had recently been there to see Hamlet starring Ian McKellen and highly recommended it and so I managed to get some last minute tickets. I’m ashamed to admit it’s the first time I’ve visited the theatre since we moved to Windsor nearly nine years ago, but it was definitely worth the wait! Sean Mathias’ take on Shakespeare’s masterpiece saw 81 year old McKellen playing 21 year old Hamlet – a role he’d mastered originally when he was in his twenties and reenacted superbly. I’d seen the play just once before in 1986 when my Dad took me to see it in Wolverhampton. I was taking my A levels at the time and reading Shakespeare and it fascinated me.

It was a cracking performance with a superb cast, but the icing on the cake for me was meeting the actress Anna Friel in the lobby as we were leaving. She wasn’t in the play, but had been watching it along with the rest of us! I know I’ve mentioned the Marcella drama series to you before in which she stars as Marcella and it was so good to actually speak with her and tell her how fabulous she is! She admitted that she too had lived in Windsor for 22 years and this was her first time to the theatre as well! We both had a laugh at that. And then last Thursday my sister’s daughter Verity came over for the day and stayed. We’ve not seen her for well over a year, and we had a great time catching up with everything. We took her out to dinner too and had a lovely meal at one of our favourite restaurants, Cote.  It was yet another fabulous evening.

Alongside all the socialising I’ve been at QVC too where I met both Ophelia Dennis and Annaliese Dayes – our two new presenters. If you’ve not seen them on-air yet, do watch out for them as they’re both great, definitely just as lovely off air too. I missed seeing Pipa though but do want to mention that she has been interviewed by Will Gowing and is the guest on our 100th podcast released this Monday! 100 podcasts! Incredible and so worth listening to every one of them… I think you’ll particularly like Pipa’s story. There’s so much more to this lovely lady and her life than you might realise…

I’m working this week with QVC’s own brand Tili – Try it, love it, and will be bringing you a very clever beauty tool that targets the fine lines around the eyes and the lips for under £30! It uses LED light therapy, vibration plus hot and cold options to work on those issues. Very clever and easy to use with 89% of those who’ve trialled it saying that within seven days their skin looked less tired! Might be worth giving it a go with our 60 day money back guarantee?

There’s a fab Moda in Pelle ankle boot launching at the end of the week with 3 EZ pays, and during the week we have luxury jewellery, Julien Macdonald Home shows, Monsoon and Finery Fashion brands, and plenty more besides. So have a look through our programme guide on and keep in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and I’ll let you know what’s on its way!

Thanks so much as always for keeping in touch and I very much hope that even if you’ve not had the chance to go abroad on holiday you’ve enjoyed your staycations.

Take care,

With my love,

Ali xxx

18 Responses

  1. Your holiday has done you good Ali you look so well in these pictures. I am looking forward to trying the Tili TSV I do hope it will help my lines around the eyes and mouth.
    Take care lovely Ali
    Linda xx

    1. Dear Linda, How did you get on with the Tili TSV? I really appreciated the red light warm setting – I hope you did too. Take care, love Ali xx

  2. Hello Ali, This August certainly has been mixed, however, I think it’s often a mismatched month & because I was tied to school holidays we usually spent half of it in the land of romance, Campari & sunshine… Honey can now ride a bike, where did those years go? I’ve always seen it as a milestone & love the hand on badge of honour. I also love the photo of your rose, is it David Austin’s Munstead Wood? I lost mine last year & was hoping to get a replacement only to find out that it’s been retired, I’m hoping the company will have some bare rooted ones available in late autumn – fingers crossed. It’s so wonderful to be able to get out & pick up the thread of life & you’ve made the most of it, friends, meals out & Shakespeare, what a lovely combination. Love from Jo x

    1. Dear Jo, Life has very much got in the way of life this last month, and although my reasoning would have more to do with the weather, I can quite see why you view it as a mismatched month! Here’s hoping you can get back to the land of romance, Campari and sunshine – treat yourself and read Sarah Winman’s ‘Still Life’ – part of this incredible novel is based in Florence and I know you would appreciate it. And if you enjoy that I would highly recommend A Year of Marvellous Ways… equally astounding. Well done you for recognising Munstead Wood! Is there any way I could grow on a cutting for you? More than happy to do that. It has such a beautiful scent. I hope that September will bring some more sunshine and that you will have places to go and people to see. I am sorry for the delay in responding but thank you for always taking time to write. Love Ali xx

  3. Hi Alison what a,busy bee you have been, like you said the weather is a bit hit and miss certainly not like summer .We have had brother and sister in law to stay and family things going on so that’s helped pass the time, hence why we thought a holiday would be nice, thank you for the Malta,information you gave me, it’s just all so confusing I’m still not sure where the best place to Get the day 2 test from that gets delivered to your home address we want one to do at home then post back we are flying on the 19th September staying in Sliema. Clare Geoff and the girls are going to Cyprus in October fingers crossed albeit it’s in the amber zone. We are all going to Somerset bank holiday weekend Friday to Monday so should be nice. Hope you continue to all keep well and Get out and about with love Loraine xxxx😃

    1. Hi Loraine, how was your Somerset bank holiday? I think you had the best of the weather – it was very grey here! Check the Government Covid website for the Day 2 tests, but I am going to try Boots the Chemist as I was told they also run a PCR testing service and are quite close to where we are. You will be in Sliema while we are in Gozo! We’ve decided to return to get the last of the sunshine 🙂 I hope Clare Geoff and the girls enjoy Cyprus too – things may improve re the traffic light situation – we just have to keep tabs on it. Take care and enjoy your holiday. Thanks for writing, love Ali xx

  4. Hi Ali – you sound like you’ve been very busy as usual meeting up with family and friends. Great that Honey can now ride her bike without stabilisers! I love Dorset and lovely that you were able to go swimming at Studland Bay – luckily you seem to have picked a perfect day.
    You have made me laugh about having to sit with your feet up otherwise the hens would’ve pecked at your nail varnish! How lovely to have fresh eggs and a double yolk!
    I am counting the days until I am able to get away to the IOW.
    Take care and I look forward to seeing you on the Q and to reading your next blog.
    Love Tina xx

    1. Dear Tina, I am sorry it’s been such a long wait not just for this response but for a new blog! The month has run away with me what with one thing and another but I will have a new blog for you next week. Glad you enjoyed this one and my photo of Studland Bay – and yes, we were very lucky with the weather – the sea was pretty warm. How was the IOW? I seem to remember you were heading there towards the end of August? Take care, love Ali xx

  5. HI Ali,
    You’ve been really making up for your lost socialising! How lovely that you’ve got so many family and friends as you say. It’s nice Lucy and jack saw each other too after so long. So nice that Jackie is finally getting to go over to her family. It’s so sad listening to some stories over the last 18 months and I can’t believe the latest disasters. The fires, earthquake in Haiti and the horrendous situation in Afghanistan.
    Hope you have a good week. Take care.
    Susan x

    1. Hi Susan, Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about and having time with everyone and realise how lucky I am to have been able to organise it. I know it’s been an eternity for Jackie and so many others but let’s pray things will continue to ease and travel will become simpler. My brother lives in Sydney and is struggling with the lockdown situation there and friends have a property in Portugal which just escaped the forest fires – as you say so many other parts of the world in turmoil… I hope that things are good for you and yours though and that you managed to spend time with each other. Thank you for writing to me – new blog next week. Love Ali xx

  6. Hi Ali, so pleased to hear that you have had some great times recently with family and friends. I think it’s what we have all missed in one way or another over these troubled times. Although he had been double jabbed my son had Covid-19 a few weeks back, his wife had been in contact through a work colleague, she didn’t have any symptoms other than loss of taste and smell, but he was quite poorly with it, but pleased to say he is better now, we are going to see him for the first Thursday it will be lovely to catch up.
    We are managing a short break in September to see people who we met on holiday in 1978 at Paignton and have been long distant friends ever since. Merchexx

    1. Dear Merche, I am sorry to know that your son has been poorly with Covid but relieved that he’s on the mend. I’m sure the vaccination will have meant his symptoms weren’t as harsh as they might have been, but tough considering he’d been double jabbed. I’m not sure if you’re already away with your friends whom you met in 1978, but I hope if you are the weather is kind to you. It’s good for all of us to take time out to be with family and friends if at all possible. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  7. Hi Ali, a lovely blog and I do enjoy your stories and beautiful photos. I’ve just seen your fb post of you, Honey and Bear..adorable. so my school holidays end next week..gone so quickly! For the most part i have gone through the To Do list and the bulk of it is ticked bedroom needs to be finished but at a standstill until the plasterer comes next week but I have all the furniture (sitting in the dining room), bedding and a couple of niknaks already. I bought the paint yesterday as apparently deliveries are random so I’m all ready to go as and when.
    The sun is out and I am sitting in the garden crocheting a blankets for a friend for Xmas but the peace has been shattered by a heavy metal band practising a few doors down and it’s hurting my ears!! I hope you got the photo i sent on twitter of my lillies..they are sadly all finished now but I am enjoying the lasting colour in the garden as long as I can.
    John and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary on 24th Aug avd had a lovely meal with our children and their partners..Anna is only 8 weeks away from giving birth..very excited.
    I hope the sun is shining where you Mary.

    1. Dear Mary, I’m so sorry I missed the photo until now! Just seen your lilies and I have to say how fabulous they were! Mine this year were a little sorry for themselves and I had far fewer blooms on the Calla lilies too but I had separated them out last autumn and maybe they weren’t as happy 🙂 Well done for cracking on through your To Do List and hopefully your plasterer will have been able to finish the bedroom this week for you. I bet it will look fabulous when you finish painting it. Very many congratulations to you and John for your silver wedding anniversary – I and delighted you were able to celebrate with the children, and yes, you must be so excited about the pending birth of your grandchild… wonderful times ahead. Thanks for always keeping in touch – rather late this month with my blog but will have it for you later this week. Take care, love Ali xx

    1. Hi Martin, good to hear from you, and I’m guessing you’re back at work full time now? Glad you’re not too bad, and I’m happy to report that we’re all well here and trying to arrange another get together. Take care, love Ali xx

  8. hi Ali and everyone , its been some time since I sent a message. I hope all the girls and boys from years back and now are safe and well.
    Youve kept us going as per usual with your writings and on screen good humour .Ive had many a chuckle listening to some of your anecdotes. Your lovely family are keeping well I hope, Little honey bee will be giving you great joy.
    my grandaughter Ella is such a chatter box [which I love] She is 9 in October, how time passes.
    Well I hope everyone is fully vaccinated, I am sure it does help but precautions still have to be made. My eldest daughter had a birthday party. her boys and girlfriends attended. [non vaccinated]. A couple of days later her sons became ill with coronavirus. My daughter fully vaccinated thought she would be alright. How wrong she was ,she developed coronavirus and was quite ill for two weeks but then became much worse. She was admitted to hospital with pneumonia, treated with IV antibiotics, dexamethazone, plus many more life saving drugs. Shes now on her way to making a full recovery ,It was mentioned that some immunity from being vaccinated would have helped her fight it, something to be thankful for. Love to all for now, Tricia.

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