You know the feeling, you’re going about with the final touches on a birthday present. You’ve already got the gift (because you’re super organised like that) now all that remains is the wrapping up.
You go to your trusty roll of wrapping paper and, oh…
That amount of paper, well, that was not going to cover the item. Far too…rectangley.
But it’s okay. It’s not as if you’ve spent so much time on the present acquisition part that it’s now 18:30 and in 30 minutes you’re meant to be handing said gift over to friend. No one would be that much of a muppet…
This was around the time my improvise mode kicked in. Five minutes / mad rummage around later, ta-da! Present wrapping sorted!
(We will just ignore the fact that it came out as upside down on the ‘prettier’ facing side.)
I even made and effort and dressed-up the second gift.
*Whispers* It’s Pepsi Max.
There you go, birthday wrapping a-la Alice. Think of it this way, if you waited until the 25th December this would be perfectly normal.
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?
This is my obligatory public service announcement that I’ve now had my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Whoop! Go me/science/go-away pandemic.
And, because I’m also that kind of person, I used it as an excuse to post a number of letters on the way home. That’s right, I’m so productive!
I spent the vaccination part of my appointment talking to the nurse about my fabulous taste in dresses (best two minutes of any girl’s life) and the fifteen minutes wait time afterwards reading a book. I could have taken a photo of either one of these two activities but it really wasn’t that exciting. Posting letters in a pillar box, that was more exciting.
In short, the process to get both my vaccines was so laid back, it was virtually horizontal. All super friendly people, with big smiles and even bigger bottles of hand sanitiser.
I’m not going to get overly-preachy, but I’d highly encourage anyone to get jabbed (*if it’s something that’s offered to you and something you can medically take).
Still unsure? Browse information published on medically recognised websites, log onto your national health webpages (in the UK, anything endorsed by the NHS), talk to medicine women/men. Don’t listen to idiotic turnips, the ones who own little more in the technical department than a cheap keyboard and have way too much time on their hands to write whacky blogs (oh, wait…)
Anyway, this is my little bit to inform people that yes, I’ve had my second dose of the Covid vaccine and yes, that does mean 14 days from now there’s a heightened risk that I’ll start running around and hugging people for no apparent reason. Also, I may start crying. No reason, I just might.
You have been warned.
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By now pretty much everyone in Europe will be aware that Britain’s entrant for this year’s (2021) Eurovision scored 0 points.
For those who haven’t already seen/heard it…
Compare this to Germany’s entry…
Germany scored 3 points. At the risk of eroding the UK’s diplomatic relations with Europe further, 3 points was plenty.
And before you go all “Alice, you’re from Britain so naturally you’re going to be a sore loser about this” – well, do you remember Daz Sampson? Back from the 2006 Eurovision in Athens?
Let me refresh you.
Daz Sampson was originally part of Uniting Nations, the duo that, in fairness, brought out this one-hit wonder in 2005:
(Side note, was I the only person deeply uncomfortable with the trend to sexualise women in music videos, even back then? Why was this an acceptable thing?!)
Needless to say, the guy knew how to make a club banger.
But when it came to our Eurovision entry, we got this:
Basically the same setup from Out of Touch, but in a school setting, with DJ turnstiles, none of the tune status and, to quote one YouTube comment, “your drunken Dad trying to rap at a wedding.”
This is the edited version, in the XXX director’s cut I’d wager the women get on the desks while Daz fans their awkward dancing with cue cards and revision notes.
I mean, just look at the album artwork.
The wannabe hard guy who peddles drugs at the school gates and then tries it on with the 16 year-olds, even though he’s 45 and still lives with his mum. Tell me I’m wrong.
The best bit? We got 25 points that year, 25! By British scoring standards that’s alright, a fair crack of the whip. So please, please don’t tell me that the 2021 entry is of inferior quality compared to that. Don’t tell me it levels with Britain’s only other nil point entrant from back in 2003.
To quote the article, “will the dynamic duo make it to Eurovision?” Well no, they didn’t.
Ironically, Belarus went for another song called “I’ll teach you” which was itself disqualified on account of it’s heavy political agenda, mocking of the ongoing peaceful protests against recent election results. Lyrics (translated into English) here.
Make of that what you will.
I wonder why the country weren’t prepared to enter Daz’s number?
Honestly, I have no words left to say and a cupboard that’s now chronically low on alcohol.
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there” – L.P. Hartley
A year ago today, I returned from a London city break and published my first post. I’d spent a year living in the UK capital, so for me it marked a refresh of the best bits of city-living, including art galleries, theatre performances and catching up with old friends.
Days after my return I was left encumbered, battling a mystery illness. Those following weeks I pressed on the best I could, putting it down as another one of those viruses which circulate in densely populated environments. A year later I’m no closer knowing what struck me down; we all have our theories.
Back then, my friends and I had whimsically noted the high-adoption of face coverings being worn by the predominantly Asian tourist base. We mused on the foreign illness that was gripping other continents, but to comprehend the possibility that our own country could already be rife with disease was a step too far. We were better than that, we were British. Instead, we continued to pack ourselves into dense sweats to watch live music, feasted in noisy restaurants and embraced fondly.
If only we’d known.
So, with perhaps a naively romanticised view of what were truly the last days of normality (late January 2020), here are all four parts of London Recalling.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone who reads MHAM. regardless of faith, 2020 has been a rough year for absolutely everyone, I wish you all a peaceful time with family and chocolate and Nicolas Cage.
(Things may be terrible, but now they’re terribly wonderful.)
Oh, here’s also a highly relatable photo I took of a shop window from three years back (I’m going to guess it was Ted Baker).
So go on, stuff your face with lobster too. You’re welcome again, have it on me (the enjoyment of the photo that is, I’m not a free-for-all lobster bar or anything).
I’ll be back with new content in the new year. In the meantime, there’s always my Contents of wonderful blog posts with plenty of material dating right back to 2014! (Alright, no need to roll your eyes.)
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Another novelty of lockdown – birthdays aren’t going ahead in the traditional way, so as part of a collective project I recorded a short video to celebrate my mate turning another year older.
Well, at least that was the plan. In reality, it was on a to-do list which I may have have let slip until the last minute, when it became a 1am scramble to get filmed. Which is inevitable when you get this:
Now, even though it was stupid o’clock in the morning, I felt strongly possessed to rerecord my message, again, and again…and again. Eight attempts later, I STILL was after another the perfect VT.
“I know! My background is too plain!” I exclaimed.
Initial hurdle, I don’t have any of those fancy bookcases the boffins on TV tend to have.
However, I thought I’d try something similar. Presently I don’t own many of the classics, over than those Dick King Smith story books from when I was a kid and The Victorian Celebration of Death. What can I say? I’m a girl of extremes.
Knowing that both wouldn’t really set a great tone (“Happy Birthday!! Did you know the Victorian aspiration wasn’t necessarily to save up for a nice house or clothes? Nah, it was to have a super expensive tombstone carved out and a burial plot decided on whilst still alive. Coincidentally, the male life expectancy was 40 so, you know…chop-chop.”)
Exactly…couldn’t fit that on any greetings card.
In the end I went for this:
Did you see it? You may need to re-watch the video a few times to spot the subtle message, it’s quite well hidden on my headboard. I went and sent that one over.
So yeah, I think that’s done the job in reassuring my mate in her ability to select friends.