How I Got Free Stuff From Innocent Drinks

Ah, the great immortal question; how does one get free stuff from large companies?

Over the years, I seem to have developed a knack for getting free stuff, whether it be from Jordan’s Cereals, who sent me a crate of snack bars and breakfast cereals, down to vouchers from an independent coffee house.

My most recent acquisition? Innocent Drinks. Namely, a bumper bundle of blue spark smoothies.

So, how did I get all this for free, I hear you cry.

How I got free stuff from Innocent Drinks

The honest, simple, answer? I was a nice human being.

I sent a note to say how much I enjoyed Innocent Drinks’ online content, also to say thanks for the continued efforts of those in the supply chain who have continued to through the pandemic.

About four months after my first contact, I got an email from a delightful member of the customer services team.

Electronic email exchanges ensued. Before long I was telling them about my former mermaid housemate and then conversations quickly unravelled into our favourite scenes from the film Splash.

I say “our”, there were multiple customer service personnel involved.

Several weeks later, Innocent asked if I’d be interested in getting some freebies to say thanks for lightening their collective days (and for reminding them of Tom Hanks at his 80s finest).

This is what I got delivered:

Perfectly insulated in a compostable protective layer. So very green of them.

There was also this lovely little note:

It reads:

Hey Alice,

Here are some of your faves to say thank you for your top-notch writing skills.

Enjoy,

Innocent

So there you go. My experience of getting free stuff from the Innocent Drinks brand. Don’t be a jerk, be kind and be prepared to sit through a lot of mermaid-related media to ensure your banter game is on top-form.

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That’s When the Cleaning Fumes Got to Me

You know how it is. It’s a Friday night, you’re a single woman with the world at your fingertips and anything is possible. You could go out, let your hair down or…you could stay in and give your kitchen a deep clean.

Thing is, I’m not even embarrassed to admit this. In the same way I’m not at all ashamed to say the only bottles this girl was demolishing the other night were these:

(Obviously in non-drinking, sense. Please don’t call 111.)

With cleaning plans firmly lodged in my head, I changed out of my dress and put on a black vest, thus transforming me into a low-budget search engine result for “contemporary dancer near me”.

(No refunds for crimes against the aeroplane dance move.)

First item in my line of cleaning sight (yes, this was genuinely how I spent my Friday night), the fridge. Breaking this mighty deliverable down into smaller, manageable, chunks (who said bringing the day job into personal life isn’t exotic?), I went for the bottom drawer first.

This was followed by a healthy amount of neighbour stalking / Alice rambling (feat. actual cleaning).

Several hours later, and after inhaling quite a considerable about of cleaning fumes in a confined space, this happened.

I’m not going to explain nor apologise. I sent it to my close friends and the responses speak for themselves.

So that’s how I spent my crazy Friday night, what about you?

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Alice, The Influencer

Just had this slide into my Insta DMs…

And you know what? It’s about ruddy time. About time someone appreciated ‘My’ skills as a potential influencer (that’s what I’m going to call myself from now on, My).

One only need look at a sample of my recent work to appreciate my modelling abilities.

Sex, on, legs (or back…I can be a very malleable sack of potatoes when it comes to hospital visitations).

I can totally work basic photography functions on a modern camera phone.

And Mumma B is always saying I have eyes like the possessed child from Sixth Sense, which can only be a good thing!

Yes, I can see a lot of brands going for this. After all, everyone knows about me being a notorious snob for fashion.

Yes, that is indeed a photo of me rummaging through a box labelled ‘free stuff’.

I also perform all my own dance moves!

(Although that was cracking on ten years ago. May need refresher training on that one.)

Look out world! I’ll see you on the other side, once I go global with my first fashion brand campaign.

Update: Grace has yet to take me up on my services.

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Deleted MHAM Posts From the Cutting Room Floor

Some of the photos and posts that I wanted to write for My Housemate’s a Mermaid, but didn’t quite have enough material (pictorial and verbal) to fill.

Deleted MHAM Posts From the Cutting Room Floor

  1. The time how, at the start of the pandemic, Mumma B spent hours cutting squares of old fabric to make laundry bags for NHS key workers

2. When I stayed up so late that I ended up watching a much younger Nicky Campbell presenting a Top of the Pops episode from 1990

Some people had more fun than others.

I continued to watch it, even when this was played from the UK top twenty for the week.

3. How very surreal my office was when I went back to empty my locker

4. My sister’s attempts with one of those packet face masks from South Korea

It ripped off a load of skin, but not a lot else.

5. Squeak, the cat, being rebellious

6. The time I saw my old/favourite History lecturer from University on the BBC and I absolutely lost my cool

I mean, WITH LUCY WORSLEY!!

7. The time I found this in a shop and it perked up my mood

(But not enough that I bought it.)

8. The generous gin measures down the local pub

9. The generous measures of lunch portions while living with family

10. The thinking behind this at the Travel Lodge Hotel in York

It was in the foyer for several days…

11. A post detailing the contents of my bookshelf

12. Everything about this account that started following me on Twitter

How did it take you to spot that’s a semi naked woman?

13. A post on me rekindling my creative mojo during the pandemic

14. The importance of good friends who call-out when you have really bad body odour

15. The ‘what the fudge-ness’ of this targeted advert

Yes, I did tap the link and yes, I am still getting adverts for werewolf fan-fiction as a result.

16. Lockdown birthdays

17. The large number of self-published books with Covid themes

18. The other strange things being self-published

Although I am still a bit in love with the title of this book.

19. My attempts to have a massive clear-out

…which were ultimately foiled by a mixture of procrastination / charity shops being closed / Bubble the cat.

So there you go, a snippet of how much gets filtered before making it onto this website. What can I say? You get what you pay for.

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For Anyone Questioning The Quality of My Work

Remember the post I did, titled Very Cotswold Problems, #3001? It turns out Mr Maverick Lawn Mowing services (catchy name) liked the video upload, and they liked it a lot.

24 seconds of top-notch video footage of my Mumma B and her lawn mower shed antics and the dude has both liked and subscribed to my YouTube channel (still working on getting them to like the actual blog content).

If that doesn’t scream quality comedy, I don’t know what does.

Hang on…have they liked this just because of my Mum?

Seesh. Anyway, moving on…

UPDATE: Maverick has taken down their comment. Rats.

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My Take on the England Vs Scotland Game: Welsh Cakes Would Have Helped

Now, I’m no super fan, nor am I Scottish-leaning (I’m actually part Welsh. 75% English, but I like to pull the minority card when stuffing my face full of Welsh cakes – “I can’t help it, I’m genetically programmed!”)

Twenty seconds in the old popty microdon and seriously, I’ll do pretty much anything for these sweet babies.

*Deep sigh*, God, I love Welsh cakes.

Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, football.

I’m not a massive football obsessive, BUT I couldn’t help watch the outcome of tonight’s Euro match of England versus Scotland and be strongly reminded of a series of targeted advertisements that were doing the rounds earlier this week.

All I’m going to do is put this here:

And all I’m going to say is this: hahahahahahahahahaha.

My final thoughts? Pelting both teams with plates of Welsh cakes would have made the match more interesting. (Just sayin’.)

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Fancy Chinese Footwear

So here’s a bit of background for you, on the jazzy socks featured in Why Alice is *Still* Single…Probably.

Back when I was living in London I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Tate Modern’s critically appraised exhibition Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy. It ran between 8th March – 9th September 2018.

I didn’t attend “1932…” until late on, days before it was due to close. Why? Because I’ll be honest, Picasso had never really been my bag. I appreciated his reputation and there’s no denying Guernica is a masterpiece of political demonstration, but otherwise I just saw the man as someone who took a lot of credit for not a lot.

Don’t shoot me.

In the end, it was a little voice inside my head that urged me to go, that I’d only regret it if I didn’t. (Also, because at the time I could get in for £5. Minor detail.)

I’m so very glad I went. For one, turns out the man is just as trigger happy on the paint brushes as I am on my blog. In one year he produced over 100 works of art (mostly of his mistress). Secondly, some of his work isn’t too shabby.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had questions. Most of my secondary school art projects were on par with Yellow Belt.

And yet God knows, you never saw my Art teacher praising me as the Second Coming. I took a snapshot and sent it to my Mum, she still insisted I keep the day job.

So what has all this got to do with socks? Well, sometime after the exhibition I was browsing the wonderful world of Far Eastern shopping when I came across some socks printed with the iconic painting The Dream.

I’ll spare you my cobble-dash description on this painting but yep, the way he painted the face is intentional (classic playboy Picasso). More information here.

Short story, shorter, I found a pair of socks online depicting this masterpiece (or, as the sellers called them, “style #3 sleeping lady”). Don’t ask how or why, it’ll be easier for us both. Neither did I enquire as to the copyright, given the same people were also selling “magic man” socks of Jesus.

12 million months later my socks arrived, looking something like this:

First observation – no way in hell were these made for a ladies foot-size 5 (EU 38). Definitely men’s socks. But still, the print detailing was alright and the image had been flipped. Without disclosing the price, (*cough* 99p), you get what you pay for.

I couldn’t wait to try them on.

Then I looked down…

Because the socks were bigger in size than expected, I’d had to pull them up higher, and because my calves are the size of tree trunks, the print was stretched-out even more.

Far from looking mellowed after a bit of artist lovin’, Marie looks genuinely pained from having her face stretched to that of a horse. And let’s not even go there with where that places Picasso’s perceived manhood.

Oh well.

I’m still gonna wear them though. I mean, Picasso socks! How cool is that?!

…What? What’s wrong?

Thanks Col, babe. xx

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The Pubs Are Open!!

You can tell how ruddy happy I am that things are starting to open up again in England, including the pubs, just from this one picture of me and my mates.

Usually it takes 5,000,000 attempts to get something semi-passable. This means one of two things.

A) I’m very, very happy

B) My tolerance to alcohol has fallen off a cliff edge

You know what? I don’t even care. First, cider. Secondly, and this may be a minor, insignificant detail, but…

THE PUBS ARE OPEN AND I CAN SEE MY FRIENDS AGAIN (IN PERSON) AND THERE IS SOME HOPE FOR THE FUTURE AND YES THAT MAKES ME A LITTLE EMOTIONAL AND NO, I’M NOT CRYING, YOU ARE.

Mumma B’s reaction to all this?

Brilliant.

(By the way, shout-out to all pubs up and down the length of the United Kingdom, including The Hop – where above photo was taken. You’re all superstars.)

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Alice, On…

Let’s start off with some backing music:

1998 this song was released, 19-flipping-98. Still a belter but golly, are we all getting old. And please, don’t come back to me saying you have no memory of this track or, worse, you weren’t even alive then. I-I just can’t.

Any who.

After the questionable success of my previous post, My Sister, On…, here is the “me” version of that. Don’t worry if you haven’t read said post, you’ll get the hang of this very quickly.

Alice, On…

Alice, on…Responsible drinking

Alice, On…Effective conflict resolution

(For context – I picked a fight with a pavement.)

Alice, On…Tropicana on a budget

Alice, On…Workplace integration

Alice, On…All-nighters

Alice, On…Open bars

Alice, On…Bathroom fittings

Alice, On…Haircare

Alice, On…Summer

“Alice, why are you taking so long to rub the sun cream in?”

“No reason!”

“Well then, can I get up?”

“DON’T YOU DARE GET UP YET!!”

Alice, On…”Does my bum look out-of-proportionately big in this?”

Alice, On…Any kind of headwear

And finally (for now), Alice, On…Basic photography skills

Oh, trust me, you’re welcome

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Cotswold Man Versus Pheasant

So, I’m minding my own business the other day, working from home (as per usual), when I go into the kitchen to grab a coffee and spot this in the garden.

Having a spare minute or two between meetings, I pop outside to take a better look.

Just as surreal an explanation as expected. But still.

I went back to my work laptop and assumed that would be the end of that, that nothing would come of this Robinson Crusoe pheasant trap.

Half an hour (max.) later…

And a little time later still…

Unbelievable.

Shaking my head with disbelief, I bring myself back to my laptop to try and actually get some work done.

“Alice, come with me to drop off this pheasant,’ Papa B says.

“But I’ve got my next meeting in 15 minutes.”

“Well then, hurry up and get your shoes on.”

(Classic family reaction to anything of the sort. Cotswold drama > work.)

He loads the car up with the wheelie bin:

And off we go to calmly release the bird into a wooded spot up the hill.

And now, for the big finish.

We drive back down and I get back into the house just in time to join my work meeting, nobody any the wiser of the craziness that has just gone down.

What can I say? Lockdown just got weirder.

(Important disclaimer – no animals were harmed during this process. The pheasant was humanely released into the wild, flying away without injury. We stayed for a short while after the release to be certain of the animal’s welfare. He was long gone, in fact a week later the peasant actually came back. So there you go, what a success that turned out to be.)

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