Nobody Puts AB in the Corner

Alice Bennett. A fabulous personality and brilliant writer but certainly someone who wouldn’t stoop to cheap and forced puns (less wordplay, more wordforce). She only writes on the most topical and important of subjects and lets the title of posts come to her rather than chase after them.

Oh who am I kidding? I saw this clip and felt the need to write something about my hair.

 

We’re half way through the year now and that, alongside my hair being due for a home-done touch up, I thought I’d give a new shade a go. After all YOLO is still a thing somewhere in this universe (right?) and if not, at work we have a new initiative called Have-A-Goness so I can always say my CEO told me to do it. There are millions of brunettes in the world so how can I make myself stand out in comparison? Do something crazy and impulsive, that’s what. I’m done with sitting in the corner so in line with this post I did a few months ago: I’m Ruddy Awesome I’ve decided that seeing as Patrick isn’t going to help me out anytime soon I need to start making myself more visible and recognised for my own talents. The colour of my hair is a quick win way to help towards that.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “what on Earth has happened to Alice? She’s off the mother-flipping chain.” Well London. London’s herds of people and a hefty quantity of exhaust fumes, that’s what.

Anyway I very recently applied a temporary dye to my hair (one which lasts so long before it entirely washes out) so I could see if longer term it was a colour I wanted to work on a more permanent basis.

This was my hair before…

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This is it now…

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For the love of God don’t ask me for another photo

 

 

So yeah, I’m a cross between a brunette, red head and a 50s dress up (I say that in a nice way). At the risk of sounding like a diva the second photo was taken in my ensuite (play your cards right boys and you too may end up staring blankly at this internal door). In natural light it is a lot redder. Muchos more.

To give you an idea of the scandal my hair has already caused, when I showed it to mumma Bennett the reaction was as follows:

“OH MY GOD!!”

“It’s red, isn’t it?”

*Covers eyes* “Oh my God, it’s so different! INDIA! INDIA! Come here!”

“What is it?”

“Your sister’s hair! Come look at it!”

“Jesus mum, the whole county will hear you. And stop laughing.”

“Oh wow, it is different. Not as bad as I thought though.”

“See, India is fine with it. Calm down mum.”

“It’s purple! What has your father said?”

“He didn’t notice.”

“He didn’t notice?! BEN! BEN!”

“For Christ’s sake mum.”

I’ve decided that while the principle of YOLO and Have-a-Goness are very valid ideas and mantras, if I do anything more scandalous than this I risk being taken out of the will (Patrick Swayze or no Patrick).

Christmas Shopping and Parties 2016: A ‘How To’ Guide

Well, who’d have thought it, Christmas has come around yet again. It’s the J man’s birthday (well, sort-of birthday. It’s really just a ceremonial event, you know, a bit like the Queen’s birthday or Dannii Minogue’s degree from the University of Southampton Solent).

Despite Christmas day occurring on the same day, in the same month, every, single, year, the Western world seems to go into mental and commercial meltdown from about October onwards. I say October, when I was younger it was November and in ten years’ time it’ll be January. Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ will be an awful reality, playing out over a rusting tannoy as mothers fight in a Hunger Games/Battle Royale blood bath to obtain the last potato to dress up with cabbage leaves. Outside, gang warfare breaks out yet again due to a shortage of indigestion tablets and mulled wine. Oh, and Borris Johnson is ruler of the not-so-free world. What a terrible, terrible world.

Still, we’re nine years away from that escalation so in the meantime here are some of the wonderful purchases one can make in Britain if still in need of a last minute, high quality purchase to give to your dog, sorry, nephew.

A good place to start is to let your nearest and dearest know what you want. You can drop them hints here and there, or maybe leave them a note. Or, you could get it written across the front of a shop window:

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(Just remember to keep the wording polite and British.)

If you know what the latest fashion trends are clothing is always a good option. Festive jumpers that state the obvious or depict animals from the homeless pet adverts never fail to lighten one’s mood:

Socks, too, remain a classic gift purchase. This season it’s all about food puns:

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But be warned, spouts were so 2015. Sales of sprout-ware have subsequently seen a massive decline as people realise that vegetables in hats on socks is neither hilarious or witty. It’s weird.

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Hang on, I’m sure I’ve seen this before…

Of course, if you’re of the grown up variety you could splash out on underwear:

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Hmmmmm. Well even if you dispute the message, always, always make sure your pants match your jumper:

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With more and more people turning to online retailers, the high street has over recent years seen a change in its pricing policy. For the thrifty buyer this can result in great shopping deals. Unless you want orange juice, in which case you can jog on.

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Because the high street wants consumers to spend money in their stores, you’ll often find high levels of investment and intelligence factored into stock layout and price labels. This ensures you, the consumer, know exactly how much an item is at a glance.

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Sometimes no amount of reductions can ever justify the product:

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And please, for the love of God do not buy presents from pound shops, especially those who make out this is a reasonable gift to give someone:

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There are very few giftware items that embody the term ‘crapware’ better than the above.

Be aware of the stores that take to magical allusions to convince you to buy a non-existent item. It’s an easy enough trap to fall into, in the below example you may need to take a second look to establish what’s missing:

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Other stores may shrink the portion sizes:

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Speaking of food, it’s always best to stock up on the non/less perishable items as and when you can. Failing that, stock up on products that cover all bases. After all, why pay more to buy cookies and milk separately when Father Christmas could munch on these instead:

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A product with natural AND artificial flavourings? Well count me in!

And who needs a traditional Christmas lunch with all the meat and trimmings when you could buy yourself a massive tray of sushi? Not just any sushi mind, no, no, jelly sweet sushi!

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And if that is even too much then look no further than your local bar or restaurant to cater to your feeding needs. National pub chains such as Wetherspoons pride themselves on a variety of Christmas dishes (just so long as it contains cranberry or turkey):

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After all that shopping you’re probably ready for a sit down and coffee. By this point you’ll spent all your money on inappropriate underwear and Pop Tarts (if not, then hit the shops again). Drink of choice therefore? Americano with half a cereal bar you stashed away in your bag for this very moment.

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As you look out of the window you start to see the shops around you close and the natural light fade to e replaced by an altogether different sort of luminosity. The town centre Christmas lights. Take a moment to marvel at the decorations, see how awe inspiring they are. More importantly, don’t make eye contact with the crazy lady:

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Shopping done. If you’re not already like this…:

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…Then it’s time to get your glad rags on and hit the town to celebrate. Don’t forget ladies, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!

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And let’s not forget the make up/dress choice. Jazz it up, spritz and glitz yourself so that you go from looking like this:

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To looking like this:

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(Cor, isn’t she a stunner?)

If make up/clothing fail you in this mission, ply yourself with merry liqueur to make you feel like the latter. Just remember though, it isn’t all about what the boys in the club think. In the immortal words of the great philosopher Justin of Bieber:

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(And if other people can’t see that? Well, there’s a scatter cushion for that too:)

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You’ll know if the night out is a good one for two reasons. a) your shoes will look like this:

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And you will feel like this:

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And hey presto! Christmas is sorted and now all you need to do is gear yourself up for the next big event, the Boxing Day/Winter Sales. Oh wait, you actually have to wrap up presents don’t you?

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Dammit!

BONUS PICTURES: Life Choices – Christmas Shopping Special

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(Disclaimer: all items in this post were taken on location, photographer did not alter or move items.)

A Lesson in Modern Culture? High Street Fashion (Spring 2015)

With an upcoming holiday to Cyprus on the horizon, a compulsory holiday clothes shop was in order.

As a woman you would think this would be a straight forward enough task. My usual shopping pattern is enter shop, walk around, exit shop, walk to a shop at the far end of town, walk back to the other end of town, walk past Costa half a dozen times before deciding it’s quiet enough to go in, have coffee and read a my book for about an hour. (Intellectual box is ticked, however sophisticated attractive man coming up to me and saying “Hey there, reading Handmaid’s Tale I see. I personally preferred Atwood’s earlier dystopian work, but it’s better than 1984” box will remain unticked). After this I’ll then exit the coffee shop and then my retail habits begin all over again.

Even I don’t understand my walking pattern. Before Christmas I went to Bath and it got to the stage I was holding casual conversation with the big issue guy every time I walked past him in my wolf hat (which was about six times). I was his ‘wolfie’ and he was my ‘big issue man’.

Anyway, I was going clothes shopping which would normally be simple enough, however this Spring the shops seemed flooded with a lot of WTF (what the fudge) clothing. It’s like the High Street has become the embodiment of the human version of the super-hipster. While some things do look kinda cool if you’re into that thing (or ‘rocking that look’ as the hip kids say), other things are just all types of no.

At this stage I’m going to stop typing so much and post a selection of photos from the wonderfully awful camera on my Nokia Lumia 635 from recent shopping trips…

This long sleeved top in H&M:

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…Because daddy/childhood issues is sooo in this season.

This bikini top in New Look that features an insect ladder at the back:

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It’s either to ensure insects can climb to safety should they get stuck in the pool, or so they can slide down you as part of their insect pool parties. It’s a two in one.

This sheep skin, long sleeve outfit, perfect for pagan ceremonies:

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You’ll by the hippiest hipster in this outfit. Darn you New Look for beating my organisation into stocking this! For an added hippy look, add flowers in your hair and skip down the main High Street. You’ll soon be pulling in the instagram followers and trending across Wiltshire.

Clothing that features puns:

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Ok, I’ll admit this is a good pun or something I’d buy just to get this reaction from friends initially:

There were a few of these around town. This one was borderline:

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Clearly all the good puns were taken though when H&M designed their Spring 2015 clothes range. They’re currently stocking this…

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Little Mer-Kitty? What on Earthhh? On the upside it’s a conversation starter. (“Hey, where did you get that top and where is the nearest petrol canister and matches?”)

Clothing which features food:

For goodness sake High Street, I thought I’d covered this in my recent blog post from when I was in Cardiff (http://wp.me/p5kuli-2I). Having food on your clothing is just weird and it encourages either obesity or cannibalism!

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WP_20150321_14_57_07_ProWho decided that this year would be the year of the junk? (The type of food on the clothing is also unhealthy). Surely this clothing breaks EU regulations on food offering? I mean where is the salad skirt or the veggie vest?

This rebellious jewellery range:

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The photo speaks for itself.

This cool cat:

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Oh sorry, this photo shouldn’t be here. I forgot this post was about awful fashion choices…

This outfit that was designed for management:

WP_20141018_13_50_39_ProYou’ll never need a name tag again! Your team will entirely respect your decision and reasons for buying this outfit.

Finally, this long sleeved crop top that is still trying to ‘find itself’:

WP_20150321_14_54_40_ProI mean is it a crop top or is it a long sleeved top? Is it French or is it English? It is probably best not to ask, the person who chooses to wear this top is probably just as confused.

The only products I did have time for were at Paperchase:

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It’s tough cookies! Because they’re cookie cutters with tattoos that traditionally tough people had. Hah!

So…

These photos came from a selection of outfits from a selection of shops. There were plenty more varying degrees of what I’d consider to be crimes against fashion, however shop assistants don’t tend to take too kindly to people who just photo products and don’t try anything on.

Overall, I have wasted a good deal of time recently gaping at hideous clothes when I should be buying my fifth dress that I really don’t need. I mean who is designed and signed these outfits off? Who is buying these clothes? Most importantly though, WHO SAT THERE AND TOLD THE HIGH STREET STORES THAT THIS IS FASHIONABLE??!!

I want to start a petition, tell the world to boycott some of these products, but then I really, really, hope that the world has an ounce of common sense to avoid awful fashion when they see it. I’m certain I’ll do another similar post to this again in the future. A mouse can’t halt a bull and I can’t halt the wrath of the fashion industry. Has anyone ever dared to tell the fashion world that perhaps they might occasionally get it wrong? Just because the emperor says something looks amazing it shouldn’t follow we accept it at face value. That said, since typing this I would love to see photos of super skinny models wearing clothing with cake designs. Two polar opposites, just like a sad clown. Now there’s something I’d like to see. Do that fashion industry and then we can talk.

Right, on the subject of fashion and being cool I’m off to eat dinner in a pair of jogging bottoms, an oversized university hoodie with my hair scrapped back into a pony tail. It doesn’t matter how fabulous I look this evening because I’ve got a box of chocolate fingers and a night in with this man…

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Aka Poldark, aka Aiden Turner, aka the only person I’d ever wear a mer-kitty top for.

Yum.