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30 January 2014

Reasons to Love Being A Girl

Being any gender can have its tough moments, but generally, the rule of thumb is that guys have it better. We have periods, 9 months of putting on weight and belly ballooning, pushing out said baby, boobs (no one ever warned us how hard stairs would be bra-less), not to mention all the shaving, plucking, coloring we do to make ourselves look presentable. And then the sexism too. 
I can vouch for most females here, we spend a lot of time moaning about our misfortune in the hands of nature. Who can really blame us? But despite the moaning and groaning, I would much rather be a girl and put up with all of that, then be a bloke. I'm not saying I wouldn't change or swap a few things, but if someone had given me a choice at the beginning, to change, I would stay just the way I am. Boobs and monthly cramps included.

So I thought I would come up with a few reasons why being a girl is actually a fantastic thing. We are majestic creatures, we just need to be reminded sometimes. 

1) We can wear man clothes. See a jumper in the mens section? Go get it. Wanna steal your boyfriends shirt? Absolutely fine. If Brad Pitt walked out in Angelina's cami, a few (a lot) of eyebrows would definitely be raised.

2) Balding? Doesn't really happen to us.

3) The feeling after you shave your legs and get into bed. No guy will ever understand.

4) Matching underwear.

5) You can stare at and facebook stalk other girls alllll you want, and your boyfriend will just think you are a really really cool girlfriend. 

6) I know I know, Emily Davison didn't' throw herself under a horse for us to get free stuff.... but if you're offering to pay that bill... and buy me my drink... and let me take the first taxi... Well, it would be rude to say no..

7) Boobs. A con, but also such a positive. They're fun and they bounce and we get to play with them whenever and wherever we want. 

8) Animals and children love us. I don't know why. But they do. And the superior feeling when a puppy runs up to you instead of the guy next to you is just great.

9) Gossip Girl.

10) If we're on a really big ship that just happens to hit an iceberg, we get first dibs at life boats. See ya lads.

11) Girl talk. We can understand each other through looks, something which has taken generations of women to master.

12) Despite having to shave everything everywhere, we don't have to shave our faces. YAAAY!

13) We don't have to pee stood up with other people watching (and probably judging) you.

14) That whole circumcision thing.................................................................................

15) Not a looker? Make up. Spots? Make up. Bags under eyes? Make up. Hickey? Make up.

16) It's entirely possibly we will marry Leonardo DiCaprio some day. Or Zac Efron.

17) Beyonce is one of us.

18) Justin Bieber isn't.


Ciao for Now!
x





4

28 January 2014

Exercise and Evils

Just before you all cry out at why I have classed 'Exercise' and 'Evils' as two different things, I would like to confirm that exercise is still my idea of the epitome of evil, particularly to anyone who spends the majority of their time horizontal. And no, I have not gone crazy or become a gym bunny. Quite simply, I like a little bit of alliteration in my life. 

At the beginning of January, I wrote my 'New Years Resolution' post. Full of all the generic stuff that I am (surprisingly) keeping to. One of those in particular was the New Year New Me section. A part I didn't particularly elaborate on at the time, not because I am an illusive woman, simply because I find it all a bit personal and all very very very depressing. 

Moving to a country known for its diabolically beautiful race of humans, I have been anxious to keep up and if anything, increase my motivation to become a super hot version of myself. And so far, the move has actually worked in my favor. For a start, the family I am staying with are on an extreme health kick, despite being absolutely tiny. And due to my new apartment being on the top floor, I have found I spend more time running up and down the stairs than in either flat. 

My hardest workout is trying not to look bored while you tell me about your workout

So here is a little moan about life itself. Why am I not the kind of person who enjoys the feel of burning muscle and doesn't debate suicide after climbing a never ending staircase? I have a friend who claims to 'love walking up hill'... until I met her, I didn't know these people existed. I quickly defriended her, of course. I mean, if it's got to hurt, couldn't calories scream every time they burned to make it all more worth while and as a slight 'F**k You!' to your body? Apparently, when God created us, he decided we needed pain to stay bangin'. And then, just to make all us normal folk seem worse, there are those people who love working out. The guys and gals who post status after status about gyms and lifting and weights and running and ohmygodwillyoupleasebequiet! It is fantastic that you go to the gym. But let's not make the rest of the world feel bad for watching 1 (or 6) series of Gossip Girl in their spare time instead. 


Despite my ever-so-little moan about the cruelty of exercise and all healthy foods tasting like cat piss, I do fully intend to stay on my routine to a healthier body. Twice this week I have even risen early and done yoga. On a rug. Via youtube. But yoga none the less. I know eventually my muscles will stop crying out in pain when I exert it past walking to the fridge, and yes one day my taste buds will come accustom to the taste of celery and artichoke, and let's face it, those stairs are going to do a world of good to my bum (as Albina, former owner of this flat, has informed me). 

But right now, I am in the tragic January stage of my transformation. And I wanted you all to know, whether you are doing the 5:2 diet with the rest of the world, a fad diet to slim down for that event, or you are simply just wanting to change your life style and feel better about yourself. I get it. I understand your pain. And you don't have to fake smiles and enthusiasm at healthy living with me. Whenever you feel down, just remember, the chances of you catching Leonardo Di Caprio's eye are much higher when you fit into 'slim fit' jeans and don't roll back down when you attempt too many stairs.

Ciao for Now!
x


0

26 January 2014

Just a Small Town Girl...

When I tell people I am becoming an Au Pair, I usually get one of two responses... 'Oh my god, you're brave' or 'What...is...that....?' For those of you who think they lean more towards the latter question, an Au Pair is very similar to a Nanny however you usually live with the family (or they provide your accommodation), they also pay for your food and most travel expenses, pay you a small salary all in exchange to look after their children and/or teach English. 
After hearing a few horror stories about Au pairing, I was naturally a bit scared. I'd signed up to a website called 'aupair-world' and had heard from a few families (including a nudist French one). Despite the large amount of interest, I couldn't seem to find a family where I agreed with everything they wanted. As someone who cannot cook to save their life, I was happy to do a bit of cleaning, but cooking was a big no- for everyone's safety, and I also wanted to be treated as an Au Pair and not as a maid. Something a lot of people had warned me about. About a month into my search, a family of 3 popped up, saying they had a housekeeper and cook, working hours were 20-25 per week, there would be a seperate apartment 2 floors above just for the au pair, pay was 100euro p/w (the average I'd found was 80), and they only had one child, an 8 year old boy. I genuinely thought it was too good to be true. 

Fast forward 10 months and I'm on a Ryan Air flight (I know), en route to said family. 

I've been here 48 hours now and I could not be happier, or wished for a nicer, more accepting family. Albina, who was their Au Pair before me, has actually moved to Parma (this city), because she has found a whole new life out here which means I have even made an immediate friend, and have a way to meet other people my age. Having one person here who is not part of the family, is absolutely life saving. I have even gone out with her and her boyfriend and met new people. Hallelujah! Besides the first day of unpacking, which was seriously horrendous, my little apartment is finally taking shape and looking a bit more homely. I am definitely most excited about not having to share a bathroom with anyone. After being stuck in there twice due to a stiff door, I was feeling a little worried about what to do. And then I remembered. It's my apartment. I can pee with the door open or closed or ajar. 



Today I encountered my first obstacle... the shower. You always think you're fairly intelligent, until you encounter somebody else's shower. I've got 8 months to conquer mine, but today I seriously debated just getting in the freezing cold spontaneously-turning-off shower. Thankfully, it all magically sorted itself out, but I have no idea how for next time. Brilliant.

8 months is a very long time, and a lot will change and happen. But I am so glad I made this decision, even 3 days into it, I am so happy and that's what counts! This is just a little life update I thought people might like to read, but have no fear, the usual life-of-Alice-and-opinions will be back next time!

Ciao for now 
x









1

23 January 2014

My Best Friends.

Please prepare yourselves mentally for this one, grab a scuba diving mask and take a big breath, because this post is a bit (very) deep.

In life, there are a few things I know I am extremely lucky to have. I know I'm lucky to have a roof over my head and plenty to eat and drink, I know I am lucky to have parents who support me in all that I do, I'm lucky to have gone to good schools and never felt anything is too far out of my reach, and I am lucky to have two best friends. 

My best friends don't know each other, they've never met, and the only thing they have in common is me. One, Collette, lives in Bedfordshire where I grew up until I was 12, and the other, Ruth, lives in Dorset, where I have lived ever since. In all honesty, they are completely different people and have completely different personalities, which makes them 100%, irreplaceable. 

Collette

Collette actually not-so-subtly hint at me writing a post about our friendship. And despite subtlety not being her strong point in life, I was absolutely up for it. There aren't very many things I could honestly say I can write about forever, but mine and Collette's friendship would be at the top of that list. 
We met at playgroup, aged 3. My earliest memory of her is playing some kind of dinosaur game in the playground when we were about 5, and me getting annoyed because I wanted to be a T-Rex but she wouldn't let me. From then, our little sisters, both the same age, also met in playgroup and became best friends, and our mums became friends too. Because Sarah (my sister) and Cerise (Collette's sister) had become inseparable, we never stopped being friends because we were always thrown together at parties and play dates as a four, by our parents. 

After 15 years of friendship, it is impossible to think of life without Collette. She was the first person I told when I had my first kiss, and will be the first person I tell when I have a baby. We came up with the saying a few years ago 'from Rugrats to Sex and the City' because that is exactly what we have become. We have gone from children in the playground playing chariot and talking babies, to teenagers with breakups and make ups and bitchy friends, to finally young adults with absolutely no idea what the hell we are going to do with our lives. Because I have grown up with her and due to our sisters closeness, it is impossible not to think of the Shulvers as an extended family. Even though she's not a five minute walk away like she used to be, our friendship has in no way deteriorated and we both know we don't need to constantly be on the phone or on skype every night to know that we're always here for each other. So here is your half-a-post Mowgli, thank you for your hilarity and memories, thank you for forgiving me about lying that I didn't like ham when we were 8 and thank you for being the only person to appreciate a good old Ronan Keating song as much as me. You're the best. Ever.
Me and Collette at my 4th birthday party
Skype bonding 11years later

Ruth
Have you ever started a new school or joined a college or gone into sixth form and fallen into a whole new set of friends and just had to start from scratch? Because from year 11 to 12 that is exactly what I did. I decided to leave the dark bitchiness of my former friends and find a friendship group I could rely on and get on well with, without any drama. Ruth was one of the people in the group in which I fell. I have absolutely no idea what why or how we ended up speaking, but we can both assume it was down to me talking too much and her talking not much that formed our friendship. The thing about me and Ruth is that, unlike with Collette, we are the polar opposite of each other. I am bubbly and outgoing (annoying), she is dark and mysterious (scary), I like to plan things, Ruth's middle name is spontaneity, I can cry at the News, Ruth shows no emotion, I listen to John Mayer, Ruth listens to Mount Kimbie... I could go on forever. But somehow, in the midst of all our opposite-ness, we completely work as pair. It is probably due to our only mutuality being extremely important. Both like dogs. Both like dessert. And both like tragic Miley Cyrus films. 

Somehow our friendship that started as a hanging out thing, turned into an everyday thing. New Years 2011/12 Ruth was my midnight kiss, which is true friendship firming stuff. From then onward if we didn't see each other at school we would call to find out where we were. We spent our life in Costa or at my house. My parents gave her a group hug when she broke up with her ex-boyfriend. And when we brought new toothbrushes, there were 5 because Ruth had her own one at our house. She is essentially my life partner. We bicker and shout at each other and whilst travelling there were times (specifically on a 9 hour over night bus journey with no food or cigarettes) that I thought she was going to attack me. But never once did I think 'Holy f**k, not speaking to her when I get home', because Ruth is my person. And the realisation we are not going to be able to call each other every day, or text all the time, is something that fills me with 8 months of dread. I am going to be a bit lost without Ruth for 8 months.

The pictures below are of us on the night we first became 'real' friends and the last time I saw her.

I feel like it's important to remind people how much they mean to you, so this post is partly for you all to read, but also for Collette and Ruth themselves to know that even when I'm in another country they are still my favourite people in the world. I don't know what I'd do without either of them, and I am so incredibly lucky to have them both in my life. A lot of people grow up without one best friend, let alone two. So thank you girls, you are absolutely amazing and I love you both millions.




1

21 January 2014

Life Update: How to Pack for 8 Months

Despite the extremely misleading title of the post, this is not actually about how to pack for 8 months. It's more a post just talking about the fact that I am packing, what to bring, how I am planning to get my life into a suitcase, and how I am separating the vitality's from the things I can probably live without (which sadly includes my extensive mug collection). 

If any of you have just joined my blogging adventure, haven't read a post where I mention it or haven't read my about me,  on the 24th of January I am moving to Italy. The country of pizza, the pope, fashion capital Milan, pasta, gelato and world renowned sexy men. I'm off to the city of Parma (yes, parma ham...), where I will be au pairing for a family and looking after an 8 year old boy until the beginning of September. 


When people think of Italy, most picture blue skies, hot summers days and extremely tanned humans, basically the polar opposite of England. However, although the summers are like that, as I am off to the North of Italy, it is very climatised and the winters are cold, wet and snowy, and the summers are hot. Which creates a slight dilemma for me, as I am having to pack for two completely different seasons. Although I appreciate I will be able to buy things out there, it is nice to have home comforts and clothes I know I can rely on to feel good. 

I started packing yesterday and have already almost filled my suitcase. Shoe wise, I am bringing, Chelsea Boots, Dessert Boots, Nike Blazers (low) and practical sandals for when it gets warmer. I bought some nice ones for when I went travelling and even though it's important to look good, I have a very weak ankle due to a recurring injury, so I have to have support in all my shoes... no Primark plimsolls for me sadly. However, Primark underwear and socks is a totally different matter and last weekend I took a cheeky trip to Bournemouth with my aunty, and invested in about 10 pairs of socks, and 123423623 pairs of knickers. Seriously, if anyone is ever underwear-less in Parma, come a'knocking and I will have a brand new pair waiting for you. My clothes-picking has been a lot more tricky. I didn't even realise how much I had until it was all in front of me. I went through each draw and picked out the necessities that I knew I would need and wear. These included mostly jumpers, leggings, tights, jeans and tops but I also packed a summer dress and my favorite pair of denim shorts for the later months! The task I have yet to come to is packing 'bits', like photos, DVDs, books, posters etc... As my 'host family' have said I will have my own apartment, I am really excited to decorate it a little with pictures, bunting and fairy lights, just to make me feel that little bit at home. However, considering how full my suitcase is already, I may have to re-evaluate how much I can realistically bring. Once again, mugs and notebooks will be extremely limited. 

Ironically, I am writing this post as procrastination from actually finishing packing. Choosing things is becoming tedious and I am at the point now where I would honestly quite like to be on my way. In other news however, I have suddenly become the most popular lady in my little Dorset town and my last 2 weeks have been a series of lunches with friends and family to say farewell. Anyway, I best resume packing up my life and/or avoiding it with other activities such as Netflix and food. 

Ciao for Now! x
1

18 January 2014

23 Reasons to Live Whilst Young

When our parents were our age, they came to a cross roads in their lives. The intelligent ones who wanted to pursue a 'professionalism' went to University, the rest moved out got a job and worked their way up, or alternatively, they settled down into family life. 

Our cross roads have plenty more than 3 paths to take. We can still go to university, we can still settle down, we can still start at the bottom and work up. But now the options are wider, go travelling, become an apprentice or an intern... stay at home as long as you can and feed off your parents, fall into the same patterns as everybody else. And whilst everyone is so busy making life decisions and trying to find out what they want to be, people are forgetting to live. As a girl who has spent her past 4 months living in onesies through the winter months, neglecting all social interactions and spending more money on Love Film than on wild nights out, I can completely vouch for this half of society. 

The reasons I below are for everybody. (Cue motivational music) They are for our generation who are finding it so easy to slip into ordinary life styles and every day jobs and forgetting that we are young, we are able and we should completely grasp this with both hands. Because on our death beds we aren't going to regret what we did do, we will regret what we didn't.



1) You can go on a girls or boys holiday anywhere whilst you aren't tied down, have no commitments or inhibitions and if you do have inhibitions, forget them.

2) You can kiss someone you think is out of your league... kiss models and medicine students and high flying entrepreneurs with houses in the South of France and don't worry about if they're going to call you afterward. 

3) You can be a mentor to someone, anyone, of any age and when they succeed, feel proud because you helped them. Go you.



4) You can suck it up and buy that Macbook Pro/Jimmy Choos/Bronze statue whilst you don't have someone breathing down your neck and judging you on every penny you spend.

5) You can leave the country with the premise to 'Find Yourself' and come back the exact same, without people labeling it as a midlife crisis.

6) Get in shape. My mum always says there comes a time where you have to pick between your face and your ass. So pick both whilst you still can. 

7) Find your own style and embrace it because later on people are going to expect you to start wearing calf length skirts and ties that are only one color.

8) Hate your job? Quit it. You have time to find another one. 

9) Find your 'friends' aren't so friendly? Ditch them. You have time to make more.

10) Realised your relationship doesn't bring out the best in each other? Break up. It's easier when there's no paper work. 

11) If you want to go to University then go. If you think it's expensive now, wait until you're 25 and are getting no help from the Government people. 

12) You can go into a club and dance like nobody is watching, and nobody will judge you or think you're a bit too old for that. Everyone will just think you've been on the vino too long. 

13) You are allowed to eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's just because you can. And again, and again and again.


14) You can develop interests in eccentric hobbies, or learn a new instrument and it doesn't matter if you're sh*t because people will always figure you'll 'just grow out of it'. 

15) You can make a batch of cupcakes every day of the week and people will think it's cute. Not that you're a crazy old lady who probably owns a lot of cats. 

16) Take the chance now to dye your hair any color you like, because when you get older, the only acceptable colors are blonde, brunette, ginger or grey.

17) No paper work. 

18) You can go on reality shows without people at home thinking 'What would her children think'

19) You can spend too much money and promise yourself you will save next time. Because the beauty is that there will be a next time.

20) There is still time to identify your fears and stop letting them dictate your every move. Think of all the places you could visit if you conquered your phobia of flying now, rather than in 20 years time. 

21) You can get that tattoo or piercing. When you have a wife or husband, you can guarantee decisions like that will not be made alone. So do it for you. Now. 

22) Late nights or late mornings or both. With nothing and no one to get up or go to bed for. 

23) You need to learn to take care of yourself, before you can take care of someone else just yet.

I have no idea what I want to do or who I want to become. But I do know that I don't want to settle down into a routine 9-5 life when I'm only 18, or only 21. Settling down when you're young does work for some, the kids, the husband or wife to come home to every night. But the reality is, in the UK right now, settling down is not always going to work in your favor and if you're 22 and not dying, then that fantasy won't be any less fantastic if you give it 3 or 4 years. People often have a dream job in mind, something they'd love to do, the person they'd love to be. But you're not going to get there without hard work and without some lessons in life. And if you can, then you need to dream bigger. Why would I spend this time making do with the life around me, when I can go out explore and find a life that I want, not that I've just settled for. 

Food for thought my lovely readers.
Ciao for Now x











5

10 January 2014

The Travelling Post- Istanbul

I've decided to split this into serveral blog posts, Istanbul, South Turkey, Greek Islands and Mainland Greece. I did have plans to write it all in one post, but I've realised there is far far too much to cram in.


August 7th 2013, I found myself on my second ever flight, and my first flight longer than 45 minutes. Ruth (middle) found herself sat next to me, having her fingers broken as I clenched my hand around hers praying we wouldn't die. And Tess (right) found herself sat 5 rows back, on the other side of the plane, sitting next to  a balding middle aged Turkish bloke, having booked the wrong flight seat. 


the adventurers set off

We should probably have known in the first few hours of landing in Istanbul that this trip would by no means run smoothly. Mistake number 1: I picked up the totally wrong bag from luggage pickup and was poked by a tiny, spectacled american girl, who told me I actually had her bag. Mistake number 2: We took a 5 minute taxi ride, didn't tell the driver to put the meter on and were charged 30TL. Mistake number 3: This wasn't really our fault, but we got off at the wrong hostel in the wrong district and had to make our way across to the other side of  the city via 3 buses, a tram, and about an hour of walking.

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and easily the most beautiful I have ever visited. Despite our first 24hours (I also managed to lose the key to our room which meant not getting our 15euro deposit) of problemos, our stay in the city turned out to be an eventful one. Which is what happens when you ignore every single rule ever set out to you by your parents ever.





After a very long day of sightseeing, we decided the time had come to take the World Famous Bosphorus Boat Tour. Tess, prime barter-er of the group, managed to get the prices down from 20euro each to 8. And despite a meeting with a less-than-pleasant greasy boatman (of course Ruth befriended him) we decided to take the deal. After all, what's the worst that can happen to three white european girls in a foreign country?

The boat tour was beautiful. Made even more beautiful by the fact the captain of the boat took a shining to us. He saw the three of us standing on the jam packed boat deck and got one of his 'crew' to invite us on in to the cabin. There, we had the best view of the Bosphorus. We were offered drinks. And we even all got a chance to drive the boat. I completely get that Emily Davison did not step out infront of a horse so that girl like us could drive boats because a bloke liked the look of us. But really, who were we to deny that kind of opportunity. 

Fabulous collage of the 3 of us driving the boat

The next night, we found ourselves sat at the same restaurant we always went to. A place called 'Shadow Bar' in Sultanahmet. The people who ran the bar had taken a similar shining to us as the Bosphorus boat captain, and so we got to eat there for pretty much free. On this occasion, one of the bar staff actually gave us 20TL to buy ourselves cocktails. It was whilst drinking our Tequila Sunrises that we noticed an American guy sat next to us. We got chatting, as you do when everyone around is speaking Turkish, and after a bit of chit chat he told us his name was Joey and he was an architect living in Dubai, but orignally from California.
Just so you have an understanding of the type of guy Joey was, here is a quick quote: "I saw Sting does pilates. So now I do pilates.'' Yup, he was that guy.

The three of us and our new best friend left Shadow Bar in search of new things. We'd all heard rumors of a club uptown, so we thought we'd check it out, but to no success. After sitting in a random, dead, club for the best part of an hour (and having all our drinks bought for us), Joey turned to us and said in his 90210 accent, 'Girls, I'm not really digging this vibe. Let's get out of here. Tonight is all on me.' And with that, we left, he chucked us all in a taxi, down to the wildest part of the city (seriously, the Turkish are about as classy as the British) and paid for our entire night. Including the cab fare home.

Now, I can't go into detail about what happened for the best part of six hours. Mainly, because I can't remember. But here are 3 photos to sum up that night.

please note Joey, on the right, wearing Tess' scarf.



You know what they say, pictures speak a thousand words! We even had time the next day to drag ourselves out of bed and visit the Haigia Sophia, one of the Seventh Wonders of the Ancient World. (History lesson here) it is a church turned mosque, completed in 500AD and still standing today. 1477 years old. Mind blowing, I know. 



Three very tired, very hungover teenage girls pictures above. Note to self, do not pose for photo's when looking as rough as you feel. 

I promise Part 2 will come soon. Patience is a virtue!

Ciao for Now! x


2

8 January 2014

Goodbye Old Me

On monday I started 'first day of the rest of my life' phase trillion. Because I have done this a trillion times. However, and please do not hold me to this, this time, for the first time, I have motivation from myself. Not just from other people. Me, me, me, me. Terribly selfish I know. 

Over the Christmas hols, I took the festive season as the chance to work just enough to justify spending lots of money on myself, and then spending the rest of the time horizontal eating left overs and watching endless amounts of Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives. Whilst that is the agenda I would love to be leading for the rest of my life, in the real world, it creates thunder thighs, muffin tops and breakouts. And although that sometimes feels like a small price to pay to avoid human interaction, live in over-sized knickers and have Ed Westwick inches from you, realistically, I had to put an end to it. So on the morning of the 6th, I set my alarm for 8, got up at 9, and started my brand new life.


So what life changing actions did you take on Monday 6th January Alice? Well, for starters, I bought notebooks. Lots and lots of notebooks. As many will know, stationary and mugs are the keys to my heart. Notebooks of all shapes and sizes, I have no limits. Which is how I came to stand in front of the counter in the WHS sale with a total of £30. Thirty-bloody-pounds. Do I regret a penny? Absolutely not. And will I do the same again in a couple of months? Absolutely. I bought my notebooks for a number of purposes, a real grown up 2014 diary for starters (v. swanky), a couple of A4 sized notepads to jot down lists, songs, story openings that I never finish and I also bought two A5 notebooks, one of which will be an every day, write down your life, diary. I kept a diary for about 6 years, before slowly slipping out of the habit, and writing whilst travelling just reminded me of how much I enjoyed noting down my thoughts. Not to mention, the entries are hilarious when you read them back five years later.

Before I start sounding like a crazy notebook human, in two weeks I will be moving to Italy. The country of pizza, history, the leaning tower of pisa, and millions of sexy dark tanned italian men. Don't mind if I do. And the one question I get asked every single day is 'Are you prepared'. And the answer was, until this week, no. I have learnt the bare minimum of Italian (Hello, My name is Alice, How are you beautiful chicken), I had not started packing or sorting out clothes, I had no idea of what I was going to do about university finance thingymabobs etc. But today I took my first step in the right direction, straight into a building terrifying to anyone with less than twenty quid in their account, the bank. I sorted out account options for Italy (well, the nice lady behind the counter did). I also went into a phone shop and sorted out my phone life, as it is a terrifying thought being without my current one, but the family I am moving into have promised me a phone on an Italian contract. I even popped into Specsavers to get some contact lenses so when I get off the plane, I can see the family without ginormous bug eyed spectacles. 

All in all, a very successful day.

Tomorrow is day 4 of the rest of my life. I have fully decided that the way to not become a cocoon is to plan ahead. Obviously it's nice to have days off and throw on your onesie. But tomorrow, I have lunch plans, I have day plans, I have an itinerary which means I have to roll out of bed, shower and look presentable to the rest of the world. Three things which I should probably do more often, and will be from now on. I have put my onesie in the wash, given my neglected winter legs some TLC, and even given my room an early spring clean. And I would definitely recommend it to the rest of the Alice's in the world. 


Ciao for Now! x


2

2 January 2014

The Generic New Years Resolution Post

2014.

Twenty-bloody-fourteen.

Despite my best efforts, I am finding it increasingly difficult to get my head around that number. Without trying to sound too tragic, I just feel so old. To think people born in the year 2000 are now 13/14 absolutely blows my mind. I mean, Chicken Run came out FOURTEEN YEARS AGO.

It is also probably about fourteen years ago that I started making new years resolutions, or at least began knowing what new years resolutions are. At the time, It was probably things like 'give up chocolate' 'be nicer to mum and dad' 'do better at school'... even back then I was making resolutions sure to be broken. And that tradition hasn't stopped, as I present to you, the extremely generic new years resolution post.

1) Stop being a Sheep.
This is a big one for me, and if I learnt anything in 2013, it is that if people are your friends, they won't care what you do or what you wear or how you act. And those that do, aren't worth your friendship. I'm extremely lucky in that I don't generally feel pressured into anything by my friends. However, the downfall here is going out. Not as in leaving my house, but out out. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a recluse and I spent 99% of my time travelling under the influence of alcohol. But I have just realised, that I am not one of those people who can go out every weekend and get absolutely smashed and then function the next day. It's fine when you're abroad with no responsibilities. But here, when I have work the next day, my body just cannot handle it. Despite having a really good new years eve, I have also decided I am not going to go to events just because everyone else does. I hate drum and bass. I hate garage music. I hate hip hop. And that's OKAY. 

2) New Year, New Me. 
'Heard that one before'... the words on everyone's lips. Last year, this was the one I managed to actually stick to. I'm 2 stone lighter than I was new year 2012-2013, and I have high hopes to continue. In my opinion, just so long as the scales are going down, it doesn't matter to me how long it takes. I'm not really going to write much more on this, but health is the most important factor to me. Not being skinny, or having a thigh gap. The motivation to lose weight and keep it off last year was made unshallow-ly (great use of words there), not because I wanted to be a size 4, because I want to be healthy. 

Funny New Year's Ecard: It may be the antidepressants talking, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic about 2014.


3)Goodbye evil humans.
As it says on the tin. I no longer have to go to school and socialise with people I don't want to every day. I don't have to talk to them because we eat lunch together, or because they sit next to me in a class. Basically, if I don't get on with someone, I am just going to leave them to it. Lead your own life, have fun, and see ya later. In the words of my 16 years old sister, sorry not sorry.

4)CIAO ITALIA!
Mentre in Italia per i prossimi otto mesi, imparare abbastanza itlalian da non avere bisogno google translate più. e così sarà impressionare la gente all'università.
Whilst in italy for the next 8 months, learn enough itlalian to not need google translate anymore. And so it will impress people at university.

5)Save money. 
Saving money was something I always knew I need to do. But had never actually been in a situation where I needed to do it. Until August 2013. I was paid the day I left for Turkey, and that was all the money I had, plus about £150 I had accumulated of tips, that I had to give my mother to save, so I would not spend it. That is how bad I am at saving money. Whilst abroad, I am being paid weekly. So to keep motivated I have brought an unbreakable tin (you need a tin opener to get into it) and am going to put about half my wages into it every week. Or maybe a quarter. I WILL SAVE. 


So, these are my top 5 resolutions. I am 100% sure everyone else has at least half of these, and 200% sure at least half will be broken. But it's a New Year, who am I to be pessimistic. This time next year I could be a rich, italian speaking, model surrounded by positive people. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Ciao for Now! x

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2013 in Pictures

New Year 2012/13 to New Year 2013/14

           Happy New Year everyone! And you can bet your bottom socks there will be a very generic 'New Years Resolution' Post coming your way very very soon!

Ciao for Now x

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