And just like that… I’m retired after 23 years of presenting at QVC! Even now I struggle to get my head around retirement, as it always seemed to be something other people did! As far back as I can remember I’ve always worked: I started a paper round when I was nine, worked the weekends and school holidays in my teens, and had my first ‘proper’ job in London when I was 16 years old.
However, of the 47 years I have worked, 34 of them have been in radio and TV and 23 of them at QVC! And those of you who tuned in for my last show at the end of May will know just how much I’ve loved it. I went through a maelstrom of emotions but I know it was the right time for me to hang up my earpiece, and one of the bonuses is that I can now re launch my blog and hopefully see the return of ‘Ali’s Army’ as well! For those who corresponded with me during the 15 years QVC published my blog, we can hopefully pick up where we left off, but it would great if you’d like to be a part of our fabulous social community and social network. Just comment below to set the ball rolling!
I’ll be honest, when I first started presenting on the U.K.’s number one shopping channel my intention was to stay for just a couple of years and then maybe return to working on radio, but I got the bug! I loved the people I worked with, the guests, the on-air challenge, incredibly diverse range of products each with their own unique selling points and the excitement of presenting hour upon hour of live and unscripted TV! And the laughs – some of the funniest times and best moments I’ve ever had happened in those studios 😊 Of course, there have been a great many changes within the industry over the years but fundamentally the job has stayed the same and a part of me will always miss it – it’s in my DNA!
I started at QVC when two of my three children were under the age of 10, and like most parents, a great deal of my life had to fit in around them, their needs and their school timetables. Looking back, I don’t quite know how I managed the late shifts when the channel was live until 2 am. I’d get home around 3:40am and the kids were up at 7 am! But I was a lot younger then and the job was fun – hard work but always fun! In fact in my 40s, if I ever gave a passing thought to retirement I’d visualise myself sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of a room, keeping my arthritic joints busy by knitting! Crazy really, because I didn’t even know how to knit and although sadly I do have arthritis in my hands now, I’m probably busier than I was when I was working! Have you retired? Maybe your partner has retired – how has life changed for you?
Not being tied to a schedule means I now have more time to work on the many projects and hobbies I’ve set up over the years. I’ve written two TV dramas and a radio play; had one book published and am looking to place the second. Who knows there may even be a third! I’ve also continued with the occasional voice-over job – something I absolutely love being involved with and now have more opportunity to pursue. Oh, and I’m hoping to learn to play the saxophone! What would you choose to do if you had the chance?
But of course most importantly, and my main reason for stepping away from QVC was so that could have more time for my very large family and circle of friends. Being diagnosed with cancer some years ago was a wake up call for me, changing my habit of projecting WAY ahead to now taking one day at a time. And time is so precious… None of us know how much of it we have left, so I intend to make the very best of every single day.
I do hope you enjoy this blog, and will join me every fortnight so we can chat about anything and everything. If you care to comment below, I will always reply.
Have a great week,
With my love,