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Planet Alice

The world according to me.

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day God Knows What – A Picture of Yourself

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Crikey, do the days even matter anymore?  Yes it’s Day 18, and I get to put a picture of myself online, for the whole world to see.  So, for the sake of fairness, I’m putting one up of my three best friends too.

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This was taken at Rosie (second from the right)’s leaving do, before she set off on her amazing adventure to Australia.  These girls are absolutely everything to me, so a) it was lovely for us to all be in once place and b) to get a photo of the occasion.

If and when I get married, these gals are my bridesmaids, alongside my little sister Hanako.  There’s a saying about how “friends are the family you choose” – and it’s so true.  These guys are my world, and get me through all the dark times.  I couldn’t be a luckier girl, to have these pals by my side.

HAPPY MUSHY POST DAY.

 

What The Heck Is Going On, Girl? – Gone Girl Review

It’s fairly safe to assume there will be plenty of spoilers within.

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Gone Girl is one of the most gripping, chilling books I’ve ever read.  And I loved every minute.  It’s an English student’s wet dream to have notions of the unreliable narrator – let alone two (or we could say three) of them.

It’s safe to say that America’s sweetheart Amy Elliot Dunne is a goddamn psychopath. Vanity Fair actually did quite an interesting video on whether she has Munchausen Syndrome.  But other way, she’s a total fruit loop.

The book sets the scene on the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary.  Nick comes across as a bit of a dick, but essentially harmless.  He reports his wife missing (as you would when she’s, y’know, not there) and goes about his business helping the police where he can.  To be fair to Nick he handles it all quite well which rings alarm bells for the reader (particularly as the cover tells you it’s “Thriller of the Year”, so there’s bound to be a twist or FIFTY MILLION).  Nick also repeatedly tells us how “it’s always the husband” – I thought you wanted us to believe you Nick?  Stop talking…

And then BOOM, first twist – Nick cheated on Amy with his fawning student, Andie.  Beautiful, naive, incredibly annoying.  You can imagine how Amy took it.  Except Nick can’t, because he has no idea she knows.  Gasp.

Second twist; Amy’s diary is revealed, and we believe Nick, our flawed (to be honest, I’d say douchey) narrator has hit her previously, she’s frightened of him, and wants to buy a gun to keep herself safe.  Missing woman wants gun – husband is still around.  Doesn’t take Sherlock to piece that jigsaw together.

Third twist; Amy is alive, and has set the whole damn thing up.

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Admittedly from the film, but Rosamund Pike is a goddess and deserves to be recognised.

Bitches be craaaaaaaazy.

 

You could be fooled into thinking the plot could be summarised as:

  • Man cheats on wife
  • Wife gets angry and plots revenge
  • Man and wife live happily ever after

…and to an extent you’d be a little bit right.

BUT THERE’S JUST SO MUCH MORE.

Amy is a delicious psychopath, to Shakespearean levels of drama and plotting, up there with the greats of tragedy such as Iago and Lady Macbeth. Gillian Flynn has brought together two highly unlikeable characters, and managed to get them to vie for your sympathy and attention – everything Amy craves.  I can kind of see where Vanity Fair were going with this.

But the most terrifying part of all comes when Amy has finally returned home – bringing tales of her (relatively innocent) ex boyfriend kidnapping and repeatedly raping her.  Once home with Nick she shows no guilt or regret, but sees it as what she had to do to make him love her again.

Not even content with her power play, Amy has herself impregnated with Nick’s IVF clinic sperm (yeah, here’s where it gets  a little far fetched, if abusing herself with a wine bottle wasn’t already there), and threatens to never let him see his child if he doesn’t drop it.  Drop what?  THE FACT THAT SHE’S A NUTBAG.

Seriously, bitches be crazy.

I needed a few minutes after finishing reading to just digest what the heck had happened.  It’s a fast-paced, drama filled romp through morality, that leaves you questioning whether anyone in the whole story is remotely likeable, and yet you STILL keep reading.  Of the main characters only Nick’s twin sister Go (bit of a shrew, but look at the alternative) seems to be remotely innocent of psychological defects;

  • Nick’s dad was abusive,
  • Amy’s parents spent too much time analysing their fictional creation of their daughter and idolising their dead children to focus on their living daughter (probably the reason she’s a total loon),
  • Nick is a douchey loverat who craves attention from women in a slightly less harmful way than Amy craves adoration (although you can argue he drove Amy to the brink of madness)
  • Amy.
  • Detectives Boney and Gilpin are too busy fitting the evidence to their theories to listen to anything other than “it’s always the husband”
  • Desi might have come across as relatively harmless to begin with, until his superhero complex kicked in, and he did sort of hold Amy prisoner…albeit in a lake house with food, shelter, wifi, TV, attention and basically everything she wanted except a car and Nick.

Despite it dragging my brain to mad, messed up places, I’m really glad I put Gone Girl on my list of books to read in 2017, but also disappointed I can’t read it again.  I’ll be keen to read more of Flynn’s work though, because Gone Girl certainly doesn’t disappoint!

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 17 – Your Favourite Blogs

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This is such a nice idea!  I’ve seen loads of “blog awards” posts, but this is a nice little bit of selfless promotion.  Eeek! (Obviously, if any of you want removing from this list, or the biog changing please let me know, I definitely don’t mean any offence!)

  1. Twenty Something Tenacity

A lot of the blogs I follow have a mental health theme (they were the first reason I started my own up), but this is a particular favourite.  Maria writes with such a lovely tone, her pieces are always relate-able, whether about mental health, or lifestyle pieces, and I get so excited reading about people’s wedding preparations!

2. Amy’s Lifestyle Blog

Amy’s blog was the reason I started this challenge – and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far!  We started our blogs up at a similar time, so it’s nice watching someone who came from the same place as me do so well (though she has far many followers – please give me all your tips!).  Give her a read and a follow!

3. Dead Man’s Diaries

A bit of a different one to the other two – this is a blog based on a man’s brother J’s diaries – J having died in 2004.  These are an amazing insight into J’s life, from letters between the brothers to his drawings and his favourite books.  It’s such a beautiful tribute.

 

Please, please check these out, they’re wonderful blogs that give me inspiration to keep writing and getting involved in this amazing online community.  You never know the friends you’ll make!

 

 

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 16 – Thoughts on Education

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This is a bit of a topical one, isn’t it, eh?  I’ll try and steer clear of too much politics, as I don’t know enough to make formed, educated (ha) opinions on this.  Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did the same…?

I loved primary school.  High school, however, not the best time of my life.  Teenage girls have it hard – I can’t speak for teenage boys.  One minute you’re leading the gang of nasty girls, the next you’re being picked on by it – what goes around comes around.  My second year of senior school was by far the worst, socially, and I spent every lunchtime in the library hoping everyone would leave me alone.  But I got through it, with decent enough grades to get to university…

Which I loved even more.  But don’t get me wrong, in the UK university is NOT about education.  it’s about spending tens of thousands of pounds on learning to be a fraction more adulty than you started as.  And I mean a VERY SMALL fraction.  But it also gave me the ability to spend more time on the things I actually wanted to be educated in – having picked my own modules.

But university isn’t the right choice for everyone – not all vocations or careers need (nor should they) a degree.  My Mum (a nurse once upon a time) is of the mildly controversial opinion that nurses shouldn’t need degrees, as on-the-job is the best place to learn.  Apprenticeships are on the rise over here, as they offer practical skills for your vocation, as well as an income.  Which immediately sets you up to be a functional adult in society – more so than spending 3 year drinking, partying and eating baked beans.  (Not me though, I hate baked beans).

Edd and I quite often have a discussion about whether we’d want to send our children to private school or not, and I have to say in the UK I don’t think it’s worth it.  If you can find a good school in your local area, you’re actually throwing away money by putting them in a private school.  Money which could be better spent on their future – helping them to buy a house (which an education DEFINITELY won’t help you to do), or to spend time finding the right career for them, or to bail them out of a massive hole if they ever need it.

Don’t misunderstand me – education is hugely important.  But I think we should prioritise what we educate our children in – budgeting, “life skills” (a horrible term, but things like mortgages, insurance and tax should fall in here!) and putting their bit back into society.  And obviously reading, writing and arithmetic.  That kind of goes without saying.

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 15 – Where Will You be In 5 Years?

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I really hate this question.

I have no idea.  I don’t even know where I’d like to be in 5 years (apart from married to Edd – cue the vom buckets).

I’d like to think I’d have got to a more stable part of my career – less of the climbing the ladder and more ownership in my day to day routine.  I’d like to have a lot more of a following on whatever social medium (is that the right term?) is the flavour at the time.

I’d like to have lost the weight I put on since uni, which in five years probably isn’t that difficult.  Keeping it off might be though.

Most of all, I’d like to be happy, still off my meds (in a good way, not in a bouncing off the walls way) and comfortable in my own skin.

This Girl Doesn’t Know If She Can But She’s Going To Give It A Go

You know the stock photos of beautiful women running, hair swept up gracefully, with smiles on their faces, and a suspicious lack of sweat on their perfectly made up faces?

Now here’s a picture of Miss Trunchbull, which is a more accurate depiction of me running. 


I have never been a fan of running. I just don’t like it. A lot of people find it really good for their stress levels…I find it increases mine. 

Swimming I can do – it’s about the only exercise I enjoy. 

However, I stupidly signed up for a 10K run at the end of May, so today I started the first day of Couch to 10K. And it was hell. Edd keeps promising me that “it gets easier” and “you’ll be surprised how quickly you get good at it”. To be perfectly honest, the only thing that will surprise me is if I ever enjoy it. 

In short, I’m not entirely sure where this running adventure is going, other than to the Start Line on 29th May. Eurgh. 

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 14 – 3 Healthy Habits

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The main reason this will be such a disappointing post is that I don’t HAVE three healthy habits.  At least, not in the sporty fit and health way…

I’m the last person to preach about how to be healthier because I DON’T KNOW HOW.  I tried to do “Dry February”, and that lasted about 10 days…

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And I’m guessing from the title I’m supposed to talk about 3 healthy habits I have, rather than someone else’s, or 3 I’d recommend.  So I’m going to wrack my brains…

  1. Blogging.  This might be a bit of a redundant one to put on here, but for anyone who hasn’t given it a go, I’d thoroughly recommend it.  I’ve said it before, but I love a bit of repetition – blogging is a great outlet for feelings, thoughts and rants…especially after a glass of wine.
  2. Alone time.  I’m also an advocate for alone time.  Living with my boyfriend, working in a customer facing role and getting the Tube daily with millions of other sweaty, peeved people, sometimes it’s difficult to get some time on my own.  And I definitely need it.  My housemates used to call it “Alice Time” (though that sometimes gets misconstrued) – the time where I need to shut myself away and spend some time with my own thoughts.  Usually gets used to ram some music up loud, or watch crappy TV (/ Grey’s Anatomy) or cry into a soppy film.  But I always feel so much better afterwards!
  3. I enjoy swimming, I just always need to remind myself I enjoy swimming.  I always feel good after, when my muscles ache, and I’m a little dehydrated, and then you get that energy kick afterwards (people tell me it’s the same with every exercise but I literally wouldn’t know.  Ew, sweat.) It’s another chance where I get to think to myself, and usually use it for singing in my head, or letting off some frustration.

So there are my vaguely healthy habits, which have hopefully made for a much less  boring post than yesterday…

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 13 – What’s Inside Your Fridge

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Short answer – so much crap.

No, Edd and I have been trying to eat a little better recently, and get an ASDA shop every week, which usually consists of:

  • £20 of meat – varies between chicken, bacon, meatballs, mince, steaks, beef and sausages.
  • Fresh pasta – total weakness.  We buy 3kg bags of dry pasta, but occasionally  some yummy fresh pasta is just what we need
  • Milk – standard, boring
  • 10 calorie jelly – Rowntrees “10 calorie jelly” is the best thing ever – AND IT’S ONLY 7 CALORIES.  It’s sweet, so makes you feel like you’re having pudding, and yummy.
  • Lemonade – we both have quite a sweet tooth, so there’s usually something fizzy in there, plus it goes wonderfully with the huge amounts of booze we have on the counter.  Speaking of…
  • Vodka.  Nothing more really needs to be said
  • Wine – there’s usually a half drank bottle of Rosé in the fridge – we like a boring ol’ Blossom Hill, cheap and cheerful!

Again, super boring post – major apologies, I’ll be back with something better tomorrow.

*checks schedule*

Nope, probably not.

Changing My Layout…

Happy Saturday!

I’ve never been a particularly artsy person.  I can’t draw, I can’t doodle, and I can’t even colour inside the lines (colouring is great though everyone should do it).

I’m not very good at flatlays, but I’m working on it – this is why there aren’t many original photos on my blog – content is mostly stock images, or memes (which you should credit where you can, people!)

But I’m TERRIBLE at getting my blog layout to look how I want it.  I’ve changed it a couple of times in the last week, but it’s just so…blah.  Is it because I’m using the free version?  I want something that’s fun, but also looks professional, but manages to say a little something about me.  Yeah, I’m not asking for much…

Does anyone have any tips on personalising your blog template?  Which ones are your favourite?

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