Search This Blog

18 September 2015

Miss You Already Premiere

Last night me and Lizzie popped into Leicester Square...

As always, we arrived a bit too early to be 'cool', and headed for the nearest cocktail bar before heading over to the premiere.

We only had one, we didn't want to be falling down the 'pink' carpet, especially in heels... and more to the point, there was always time after the film to make up for it...

Drinks consumed, toilet dash made, we headed out, through the people gathering along the barriers and made our way through the guest entrance.

Who else would I bring to a film premiere about the lives and loves of two best friends, than my very own best friend?

We made our way down the gorgeous pink carpet and headed into the cinema. There's always time to stop for a couple of snaps together though!

We were ushered into the cinema where the crew showed us to our seats and goody bags were provided. When you have tissues in your goody bags, you know you're in for an emotional roller coaster of a film.

The cast and crew (hola Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette), gave a little speech before the film started, although I still think there should have been a pre-warning for how much you'd need the tissues provided!

The film followed two childhood best friends through to adult life where one of them is diagnosed with cancer. But it's one of those wonderful films where you don't leave feeling upset or depressed, the screenplay is so funny everyone was laughing out loud throughout the film and although it is a teary eyed ending.. I had Lizzie on one side of me crying, a 6 foot bloke on the other side wiping his eyes, and could see the rest of the cinema dabbing away their tears. We both walked out of the cinema clinging to each other and feeling very grateful for our own lives and friendships.

To resume back to normal Alice and Lizzie mode, we popped into Chiquito's to grab some food, drink some tequila and wear a sombrero to go with our dresses.

Overall we had an amazing night! Thank you so much to Glamour Magazine, if you get the chance to go and see the film, I 100% recommend it, you will leave feeling emotionally drained but worth every second!

Ciao for Now!

8 September 2015

University Life Tips

It's September. That time of year again, where the majority of people under 21 are returning to some form of education. Remember the first day of the school year, the only day you wake up earlier than necessary and spend an extra hour on your hair and 'barely there' make up? Writing in a school book on the thickest part of the notepad, deciding you'd be motivated only to find procrastination as a better option when your teacher hands you the first piece of homework. University is not a million miles away from that world. It may have been a few years since I last put on a school uniform, but on my first day at University, I spent hours agonising over what to wear, how to greet my flatmates. I was more nervous about moving 3 hours up the road to Uni than moving to Italy. And so, to calm those of you who are taking that big leap within the next couple of weeks, I thought I'd impart some wisdom. And if you've been through the Uni thing already, this will probably resonate with you too.

The first, and most important thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat. You will hear this throughout the whole build up, and will probably hear in in your induction talks too, but it's only because it's right. I thought I was more nervous than anybody possibly could be. I walked into my halls with my last box, having said goodbye to my parents and followed behind a boy, up the stairs, through my flat door, all the way along the corridor, to rooms directly opposite each other. And we were both still too scared to say hello until later on in the kitchen, when we laughed about the awkwardness of the situation. Said boy, Josh, is now my housemate for my second year.

Open door policy is the way forward. At my university, we were all in flats of 8 across various buildings, and my halls were particularly sociable, especially in Freshers. The best night of Freshers was the second night, after bonding with our own flats, everyone headed out into the halls and just bonded with each other. It all started when a guy and a girl from the flat opposite ours came over to introduce themselves and found our whole flat stood on chairs pre-drinking and singing along to S Club 7. Naturally they grabbed chairs and joined us. Anything goes in Freshers week, it's the chance to make new friends and try out so many random sports and societies, (rowing? lacrosse? Asian society?). Some people will become your best friends, some you'll never talk to again, but making the effort is vital, nobody wants to be in the 'ghost flat'. 

When you go into your first ever lecture, a few things will happen. Around you will be a sea of Macbooks. For some reason, everybody at University has one. Bar the odd couple. Don't worry if you don't have a Macbook, having an £800 laptop won't make your essays any better. And you don't have to export all of your files into Word format, so you're the real winners. You will also probably fancy somebody in your lecture, it is not always a good idea to get with said person, because they will probably be sat next to you in a fiver person seminar later on in the year. On top of all of this, it's sometimes harder to make friends on your course than between flats. Sometimes you meet people beforehand, but a lot of it is making conversation with people in your seminars and lectures- just grin and bare it, some of them will probably turn into life long friends.

During your time at Uni, there will be at least one formal of some kind. Girls will wear dresses, boys will wear tuxes. Don't wear heels you'll need to take off. And always wear a dress you can dance in. These are life skills you should carry with you beyond university, but I found at Uni I'd veer towards what my friends were wearing rather than what I would find comfortable. Aka my 5'2 friends are far more used to wearing heels than my 5'9 self. 

Segue, I can't help but feel I changed a lot in basic appearances throughout University. My dress sense developed, my hair, my makeup, a lot about me changed physically at Uni. And on that note, always know, the Freshers 15 is not actually a thing. There's a lot of stigma around weight and uni, a common thought is people either get really fat or really skinny and there's no in between. This is completely untrue, some people put on a pound, some people lose two pounds and some change completely. You're in charge of your eating habits so this is entirely on you. As a whole, my flat were all quite active, involved in sports and going to the gym, which motivated each other more. The only thing I found at Uni which was majorly different, was how what I ate depended on how much I'd drank. I don't usually drink wine or beer socially, so if I do drink it's usually a spirit (hola, vodka) and in preparation for a night out. If I'd been on a lot of nights out, I'd try to eat healthier, but if I knew I was in for a week of deadlines... well, they don't give you that 50% of Domino's code in Freshers for nothing...

Alongside the formals, is fancy dress. Nobody knows how to do fancy dress like University students do. We are the experts. Some people (me and my friend Sophie) may get a bit too into it. Is that a thing? Probably not. But save yourself money and bring any odd bits and bobs you might have. Cat ears, hoola skirts, eye patches, whatever it is, you'll probably use it. And if you don't, somebody else definitely will. I've been a cat, a festival hippie, the solar system, a vampire, Tiger Lily, a life guard and Scary Spice in my first year alone. Uni will turn you into the most resourceful person the world has ever seen, and this will be proved in your fancy dress and party decorations. Sophie and I made a whole giant Twister game once, to save buying the real thing.

My last few points I can leave you in a flurry of advice, Ben & Jerry's is always necessity if the Domino's is discounted, don't kiss too many people in the first week (especially at a campus uni), if you buy a Diary you probably will never use it, don't bother bringing a cheese grater- the best grater in the flat turns into the communal one, change your bed at least once a month, learn how to do referencing properly- it'll save you so much time, VKs are always a good idea, write out your lecture notes instead of typing them, call your mother once a week and most importantly, never mix a drink with sambuca.

Good luck to everyone who's returning to education or starting at a new adventure!
Ciao for Now!

4 September 2015

The UK and the Refugee Crisis

Until now, I've sat silently, I've listened to the radio, I've watched the news on the television. I've signed petitions and spoken about it to family and friends, but I know in the bottom of my heart I have done nothing, or at least very little to help the thousands of human beings seeking refuge across Europe. I've heard arguments from both sides, some comments making me feel sick from the lack of empathy towards these poor people. And although it's too late for thousands, I just want to write my own two pennies worth, because from scrolling down my own Facebook timeline and interacting with my own friends and family, I've noticed people don't seem to be as clued in as they like to think. As with everything in life, people choose what they want to hear, only this time, it's effecting an international issue.

'Cockroaches', 'Swarms', these are just some of the words I've heard and read, used to describe the people fleeing from war to the safety of Europe. But on Wednesday night, these 'cockroaches' were embodied, they were embodied by a little boy, whose body was washed up on the shore in Bodrum. And suddenly people are realising, oh shit, these are human beings. These are mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, aunties and uncles, these people are living and breathing and are like us in every single way. Except they were born into a different country, into states where you don't have the freedom of speech and you can't walk around safe at night, countries where you pick a side or you die. They are children, and they are teenagers, they are the old and they are the middle aged and they are all in desperate need of help. 

The most common argument when it comes to the UK's behaviour in its (lack of) assistance during the last few months, has been that we are a tiny island. We aren't even half the size of Germany and France, how could we possibly take as many? To be honest, we obviously can't take as many and not because of anything other than sheer size, if you were to play sardines in England and in Germany, more people would fit inside Germany and thus they have the capacity to take more. However, this argument is completely invalidated, when I tell you the measurements of our intake based on our population. Our 0.003% commitment, is the second lowest, after Hungary who have 0% commitment. And meanwhile, whilst we have a 2,200 people target, the number of Syrian refugees who have actually qualified so far could comfortable fit in a single tube train. Not quite Great Britain after all. 

Another dismal argument I have heard against aiding refugees, is where was our help when we were in World War I and II? I don't even want to waste my time typing these words, because if you are stupid enough to think this is a valid argument, you are probably never going to be swayed no matter what I say. But the clue is in the name of World Wars, our country went into an interstate war. It was a Governmental decision to go to war, and the men and boys killed in World War I was, undoubtedly horrendous, but the UK was actually relatively unharmed. Even the Zeppelin Raids are considered to have had minimal direct impact, considering the scale of the war. In World War II, yet again it was an interstate war, the main cities had the bonus of the sirens to warn air attacks and ensure people went into their bomb shelters. Children were sent to the countryside, because that was enough,  and they were kept relatively safe. Due to the huge differences, the war in Syria is almost incomparable  to the World Wars. The loss toll may be less and the space in which it's taking place is smaller, not across many countries. But this is a war in which the people are fighting against each other. There is no siren to warn you of air attacks, suicide bombers happen every day and millions, literally millions, have been forced from their homes, because if they don't leave, they will die. The conflict started because of pro-democracy protests, during which security just opened fire on the protestors. There is murder, torture and rape from both sides, there is no overriding good anymore. And this is why these people, the human beings who are fleeing to our countries, are so desperate. The reasons they will risk getting crushed by trains or take their children in the dead of night to cross the sea in dinghies, knowing full well they could not make it. Maybe the reason so many people are anti-refugees, is because they have no real comprehension of what it's like to be born and raised into a life like this, their situations are so desperate it's almost unimaginable.

It is so easy, when shown photos like the one from above, to dehumanise these people. Most of us can't relate to the horrors they've seen, the people they've lost, what they're running from. And I hope we never will. Photos such as the one above, make a lot of people scared. We don't want our cushty homeland to be overrun with refugees climbing fences and breaking into our £500 annual pass spa resorts. But think about where they've come from, think about what they've been through. These are human beings, and I'm sure I'm not the first, or the last to write this, but they are not coming over here to hurt us. They don't want to 'steal' our jobs or go on benefits. The benefit system doesn't even work like that, they aren't bragging about being given £5 a day to live on. They're seeking solace. They're looking for somewhere to be safe, somewhere they can one day make a living and stop living in fear. We should be thankful for living in such a country, but in no way is it our prerogative to stop others from receiving help, no matter where they come from.

To put more perspective on things, David Cameron is now going back to other EU leaders with his tail between his legs, but the damage of his initial refusal to take more refugees has been done. We are getting closer and closer to leaving the EU, dangerous territory to say the least. Without the EU holding us together, why would the French and the Dutch use their valuable time and resources stopping refugees and migrants from coming over to our island? Anyone would be able to come here without their safeguarding us. 

It's quite simple, other humans need help. People are dying, children are being washed up on shore, men are climbing barbed wire fences and getting run over by trains as they try to board them. The world is in a desperate situation. And we are not able to pie it off to a different country. Everyone needs to work together until the initial root of the problem is solved. It's very easy to sit in my warm bed, eating a piece of toast and sipping some tea, to talk about how we need to help. I hope nobody reading this ever experiences the desperation these refugees do, but it is not an excuse to ignore the situation.

Ciao for Now

DONATE TO MIGRANT OFF SHORE AGE STATION (the charity running independent rescue boats to save migrants at risk of drowning)


Subscribe to our mailing list: