Monday, 28 November 2011

"She hit me with a chicken nugget. ONE chicken nugget."

I know for a fact that I'm probably the world's worst 18 year old. Give me a night in front of the telly with chocolate over a night out with cheap shots and loud music any day.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting dressed up (or dressed down, considering the dress code in my town seems to be "anything that shows your ovaries") and dancing to sleazy R&B songs with my best friends in a grimy nightclub. I also love that I tend to lose every single social boundary after a drink (or two) and think it's totally acceptable to talk to the man dressed up as Rolf Harris, stood alone in the middle of the town centre. Some of my best memories, although a bit blurred, are from nights out and as much as I protest that I really would rather just have a cup of tea, I love the thrill of a proper night out.

As you may have noticed from previous blogs, I consider alcohol to be one of my close friends. I know that's sad, but I really do like the taste of the stuff and therefore, it'll always have a place in my heart. I know my limit when it comes to a cheeky tipple and I know what I should and shouldn't drink. I'm quite lucky in that respect, because as I found out last night, some people just don't understand that there's a line you shouldn't cross when you're drinking. The line I'm talking about is something I disagree with massively when I'm sober and even more so when alcohol is involved: violence.

In fear of sounding like I'm auditioning for Miss Congeniality, I'm a massive believer of banning the bomb, making love not war and doing everything we possibly can to restore a little bit of peace in this crazy world. What can I say, I'm a John Lennon fan...
The point I'm trying to make is that alcohol doesn't always have a good effect on everybody. Sure, it helps loosen people up, making certain situations slightly less awkward and allowing people to shake of some of that stress as they break it down into a Chandler-inspired dance routine, but it also has the opposite effect on others. I've seen the negative effects of alcohol turn the loveliest person into something that us Muggles would refer to as "You-Know-Who". Well, they certainly didn't do a Voldemort and kill hundreds of innocent people, but they certainly thought violence was the answer that night.

Last Saturday night, I was sat in McDonald's with a group of friends, minding my own business and getting down and dirty with a tub of BBQ sauce. It's a necessity to have dirty food at the end of a night out and it's the only time I'll let myself slip & eat that kind of food, so I think my drunken self deserves it. More focused on the food than anything else around me, I didn't notice one of my friend's talking to his ex girlfriend. Never a good thing to happen when alcohol is put into the mix, but I didn't take much notice of it. My double cheeseburger needed my attention and who was I to neglect it?
2 minutes later, out of nowhere comes a chicken nugget box. I think you honestly needed to have been there to appreciate the sheer hilarity of it all, but it was like something from a film. As the box was in mid flight, a chicken nugget escaped and hurtled towards my head. Before my reflexes even had time to address the situation, the chicken nugget had hit me and was now lying by it's box, helpless, on the sticky floor. Soon after I had been hit, the door had slammed and out stormed the ex girlfriend. She had obviously aimed for my friend and hit me instead. Not intentional, but I had still just been abused by a chicken nugget and I wasn't about to let anyone around me forget it. A 10 minute taxi ride and a 20 minute walk later, my friend's had got fed up of me ranting on about the lone McNugget and had left me. I walked home, bitterness taking over my bloodstream and rushing through my body, preventing me from thinking about anything else.

Of course I was never actually that angry about the incident (who am I kidding?), I was just confused. I understand that one chicken nugget is hardly a glass bottle in my neck or a brick in my face, in fact it's absolutely nothing in comparison to some drunken acts of violence, but it's just opened my eyes to the effects alcohol can have on people.

I'm almost certain that if this girl hadn't have been a bit drunk, she wouldn't have thrown a McDonald's box at an innocent party. The same can be said for the guys who get a bit lairy after a few too many shots of sambuca and think it's clever to square up to other guys for no other reason than to show off that they're a man. However, regardless of the situation, alcohol should never be used as an excuse for this kind of behaviour. It can ruin a brilliant night out in a split second and can demolish friendships/relationships/pride and dignity in the same amount of time.

Now, I don't think this girl feels guilty about hitting me because as I said before a chicken nugget is nothing in terms of it being used a weapon. But I'd like to think that a little part of her realises it wasn't cool to lash out like she did. Fair enough, she lashed out with a cardboard box but what if that cardboard box was in fact a brick? Same situation, stronger weapon. I'd probably be sat here with a broken nose.

So the moral of my story is basically that no matter how many 'Blowjob' shots you demolish on a night out, violence is never the answer. Whether your weapon of choice is a dirty processed chicken nugget or a brick, you should never resort to violence to prove your point. Check yourself before you pick up that weapon and remember, it's a lot easier to slur your sorries and walk away than it is to deal with a criminal record, or in the case of what I now call ChickenNugget-Gate, a wasted piece of food. Dipped in BBQ sauce, that chicken nugget is pretty much perfection after a few Jagerbombs, so to the girl who threw her's at me - you're a fool.

Next time a situation comes up where violence could be an option, I suggest we all put down our drinks and our processed foods and let's forget our 'male pride'. 'Cause it's always more fun to let our inner Chandler Bing rock out than it is to lose a chicken nugget:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Facts #4

I'm the queen of conversation starters. I really like the taste of whiskey. I'm stupidly paranoid and I want somebody who is completely unavaliable. Right now, I'm in one of those moods where I don't care what happens tonight because tomorrow is a different day. Eminem is my idol. I can rap/sing every single lyric of 'Love the Way You Lie' - Eminem ft. Rihanna. I can't wait to get out of this town, East London is my dream right now. A little text/tweet/Facebook message can make my entire week. I use humour to distract people away from my mood. I'm a little bit in love with my iPhone and I realise this makes me sound completely sad, but I don't care. The Music Machine are currently my new obsession and my sleeping pattern is really messed up.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Just a casual Thursday, really...

"What did you do on Thursday, Vic?" "Y'know, just hung out with top celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine...yeah, nothing special really. Totally normal. You?"

Yup yup, you read it right and no, I haven't photoshopped myself into that photo. It ACTUALLY happened and I'm still pinching myself, because I'm convinced that I dreamt the entire day. And because I need to be sure that I didn't, I'm going to bore you lot reading this with the gory details. 

2 weeks ago, one of the coolest people to grace this Earth and my mate, Gemma suggested we get tickets to be part of the audience for Gizzi's new show, Drop Down Menu. Through Twitter, we've both built up a friendship with Gizzi so it was only normal that we wanted to go see our girl in action. Tickets got confirmed, we planned the day and suddenly, 2 weeks had flown by and Thursday was all over us like a rash.

For those of you that haven't seen the show, a) why not?! and b) it's a cookery programme, fronted by Gizzi and Matt Tebbutt where the audience get to choose what the chefs cook. Basically. It's totally cool and the show itself completely engages the audience so it's a win win situation really. Being part of the audience for any show is a pretty cool experience but it's totally different when you *know* one of the presenters. 
Before the show, Gizzi grabbed Gem and myself from the room where the audience hang out before they get ushered into the studio. Amongst the gasps of "wow, that's Gizzi Erskine! That IS Gizzi Erskine", lots of people were whispering to each other about how we knew Gizzi. "They're friends with her? What?!"
It was completely surreal and I just wanted to answer back with "YES, we KNOW Gizzi." because it's not every day that I get to shout about that but I kept my cool...kinda.

Let me clear something up before this turns into more of a brag than a blog. I was SO nervous, totally uncool and didn't take any second for granted. Our aim wasn't to rub our friendship with Gizzi in any body's face, we were just there to support her and enjoy the show. It still isn't my aim to brag about it and as far as I'm concerned, Gizzi is as human as you or I, but she just happens to be on TV, in magazines and on posters in the Underground. I blog about exciting things that happen to me and it just so happens that this day was pretty damn exciting. 

After hugs, pictures and general chit chat (when I say general, I mean I spent about 10 minutes apologising for looking like a prostitute. My bag had ripped my tights as I was walking to the station and it was too late to change), it was time for the show to start. To say that Gem and myself sat through the show beaming with pride would be an understatement. I know I'm bias but Gizzi (and Matt) totally rocked it. It was such a hilarious show and I fell in love with Matthew Kelly, who was a guest on the show. You can see the show here, which I think you should all do as you see me and Gem at the beginning. Whoop whoop, yeaaaaaah. 

At the end of the show, we went back to Gizzi's dressing room and chilled out for a little bit. This is the part where I ask somebody to pinch me because I've NEVER been in a dressing room before...unless you count the makeshift dressing room my year 6 class had when we performed Romeo & Juliet to the rest of the school, but that was just a classroom with the tables pushed back. After gushing about how much we loved the show (I'm totally joking, we're a lot cooler than that) and nosing at the books in her dressing room (what can I say, I'm a total bookworm), Gizzi took cool to a whole new level and asked us if we wanted to join her for dinner that evening, at her restaurant in the Ideal Home Show. Now, it's not everyday that I get invited to dinner by celebrity chefs and I can say the same for Gemma, so we obviously jumped at the chance when Gizzi asked us.

We said goodbye, letting Gizzi get on with her day job and I then spent the next 4 hours boring Gemma with questions like "but, it's ok to turn up with a hole in my tights, right?" and "do you think Gizzi will judge me because I eat with my knife and fork the wrong way round?" (the answers are yes and no, in case you were wondering). We got to the Ideal Home Show, totally transfixed by the 'snow' blowing out of snow machines positioned all around us and the Christmas trees that lined the entrance. The theme this year is Winter Wonderland and the minute you step out of Earls Court tube station, you feel like Christmas has hit you smack bang in the middle of your face.

We collected our tickets and can I just say that I was genuinely so excited by the fact that I had a ticket to collect. I felt beyond special, in a good way, and I'll never love saying anything more than I loved saying "Hi, I think there's a ticket with my name on...I'm Gizzi Erskine's guest". I'm totally joking here, because I made Gemma ask for our tickets, just in case it turned out to be a massive practical joke and I didn't want to look like an absolute idiot. But I said those words in my head and it was wonderful. 

3 shots of toffee vodka, 2 more holes in my tights and 2 hours later, we met up with Gizzi at her restaurant. Well, Gizzi, her Mum, her sister and her boyfriend. We were meeting the family and I looked like a drunk prostitute. Brilliant. 
I can't even remember the full details of what happened after introductions had been made, but let me tell you that it was lovely. I know, I know, I'm completely bias but the food really was awesome - I even lost my morals and ate meat which is a pretty big deal for me, but how can you be fussy with food when you're dining with a chef? -, the company was amazing and the whole night in itself was brilliant. 
Champagne was drunk, conversation veered from the wacky (something about chasing somebody around a forest?) to the wonderful and it really was an bloody awesome few hours. I don't think words can even express just how grateful Gem and myself were, not only for the evening but for the invitation as well.

It's safe to say that the whole day was a bit of a champagne/toffee vodka fuelled blur, but it really was super lovely. For those of you wondering what Gizzi's like *in real life*, she's exactly the same as she is on TV/in magazines. Absolutely lovely. We're all a little bit fake on social networking sites, wanting to seem better than we actually are (no? Just me then? Cool...) but Gizzi is as genuine as they come. She's completely charming, making you feel as if you're just hanging with your best friend, instead of a celeb chef and she made me feel 100% comfortable, even with holes in my tights.

Thursday really was such a nice day and I'm glad I've blogged about it because it's not a day that I want to forget (the toffee vodka and champagne are clouding my memories from this day rather well, so having something to re-read is pretty helpful). I couldn't be more grateful and as you'd expect from a day like that, I've fallen completely head over heels for Gizzi. And her boyfriend actually, but let's keep that between me and you...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

"Nothing lasts forever, not him, her, you or I." - Rox

For-ev-er: (adjective) for ever lasting time;eternally.

When I was little, I used to believe that every decision we made would last forever. If I chose fishfingers over sausages for dinner, in my mind, that decision would somehow effect me when I turned 40. "I'm sorry Miss, but because you chose to eat breaded fish instead of a dead pig 33 years ago, your body has decided to shut down." I can just imagine the conversation now.

As I got older, I realised that perhaps my theory wasn't correct. I mean, the graze that appeared on my knee after I decided to play 'Superwoman' (think climbing up a tree to rescue an invisible cat, getting half way up and then remembering you're scared of heights so you jump out) lasted 2 days. Hardly forever really. I laughed in the face of my theory and I continued to choose fishfingers over sausages until one day, when I had just turned 18, it came back to bite me on the bum. 
I had been vegetarian (pescatarian really, as I ate fish) on/off since I turned 13 and for a few months I dabbled with veganism. I lived off steamed brocolli, vegan rice cakes and flavoured water. To say I hadn't been gentle with my body would be an understatement. That was confirmed when the doctors told me my decision to not look after my body had caused an impact on how everything was working inside me. I won't go into details, but let's just say I think twice when I have to choose between fishfingers or sausages.

Since then, I've always struggled with the concept of forever. Some things really are for eternity, while others are simply meant just for a day. While I understand that maybe not all the decisions I make impact my future, it's the figuring out of which decision does. Placing situations in either the 'eternity' box or the 'just for today' box is what confuses me.

When you're little, you spit on your hand and shake it with your at-the-time best friend, declaring you'll be friends until the day you die. You don't realise it at the time but by tomorrow, you'll have elected a new best friend and the spit will have washed off in the bath (I've never liked that 'pact', it's a tad too unhygenic for my liking).
When you're a teenager and your crush kisses you; you may think that your love will last forever and yes, your knees might turn to jelly and your notebook will be covered in his name. But, that boy will soon lose his sparkle and you'll need a new notebook.
You soon learn, when you reflect on things, that saying the word forever is a lot easier than sticking to it's definition.

For example, your parent's relationship might seem like the strongest thing in the world, but there will always be hidden cracks that you can't see. Your friendships may seem tighter than Ebeneezer Scrooge but there will always be one moment that rocks the 'Best Friends Forever' boat.
I'm not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but recently I've learnt things the hard way. I've taken situations for granted, I've believed that some people really will be around until my final day AND I've used the word forever loosely. I've cried when friendships have dissolved and I've eaten my weight in ice-cream when relationships have ended but with the tears and the weight gain comes a new level of understanding: maybe certain things aren't supposed to last forever.
It's that simple really. If everything was forever, we wouldn't be able to grow as people and move onto bigger and better things. It might be sad ending a friendship, but there would have been a reason for the curtian call on this specific friendship and you'll thank yourself when you figure it out. In the words of Rox, the lady whose lyric I used to title this piece, "these memories we'll always treasure, for the rest of our lives...'til the day we die."

That lyric in itself sums up what I'm trying to say. You don't necessarily need something of substance to last forever; you don't need to put the phrase "forever and always" onto something in the hope that it really will last until you die, because you'll always have memories. 

My vegetarian/vegan days didn't need to last forever because I know I helped save at least one cow in the 3 years I stopped eating meat for and I'll always have memories of the funny looks I got from people at a BBQ where I just ate sweetcorn. Friendships needn't last forever because I know that for the 6 months they did last, somebody touched my heart and I touched their's. Crushes, relationships, infatuations etc aren't expected to last forever, and it's a bonus if they do, but just remember that you have to move on and make somebody else's life a misery. Besides, sometimes it's fun if something only lasts for a little while.

I've just realised how depressing/negative this blog could seem but please believe me when I say that that wasn't my aim. Read this and then hug the person next to you because they're sat next to you NOW. Don't wait until tomorrow or 'til next year to appreciate something you have at this very moment.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

"Where words fail, music speaks. " - Hans Christian Andersen

What's that, I hear you cry?! "Oh look, another cheesy, cliched blog post about how much music means to an individual."
I wish I could say otherwise, maybe change your mind that this isn't just another blog post that rambles on about how much music effects me but unfortunately, I can't. This really is just another cheesy blog.

There's always one song, one band or one album that can change your mood within seconds and for me, it's my absolute favourite: The Beatles. I don't even have favourite songs, I just know that as the album plays on, I'll gradually feel better. So I got to thinking (always dangerous), maybe music can soothe the soul and with this, I thought about the lyrics that are always guaranteed to change my mood for the better. And then I decided it would be a good idea to blog about I'm sorry for boring you, as this is rather long...

"Nothing lasts forever, except you and me, 'cause you are my mountain, you are my sea."
(Mountains - Biffy Clyro)
This lyric instantly transports me back to July 31st 2010, with me and my best friend (the absolute love of my life in a totally no homo way) standing outside The Roundhouse, waiting for Biffy Clyro to show their faces. She's a BIG fan of the band and I willingly got dragged along to see them perform. We were on the barriers that night, after queuing for 5 hours, and despite having my ribs crushed for 2 hours, it was the most amazing night. This lyric always reminds me of my best friend (I've just realised I haven't even named her yet. Let's call her H) and that night. Eventually, it's going to be inked on my skin, I love it that much.

"I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul."
(Creep - Radiohead)
Perfection isn't achievable( unless you're John Lennon) in my eyes and after 4 years of struggling with that notion and trying to disprove it, I've finally discovered that perfection doesn't always lead to happiness. This lyric reminds me of my struggle and although some might say that that's pretty negative, I see it otherwise. The struggle made me stronger, braver and more courageous so this song will always have a positive connotation in my eyes.
PLUS one of my favourites, Tara London, did an amazing cover of this song and I seriously urge you to check that out as well:

"I don't know when I lost my mind, maybe it was when I made you mine."
(Miss You - Ed Sheeran)
Despite having a huge crush on him, this lyric made me love Ed Sheeran even more. A few months ago, I had just got back from spending an evening with one of my favourite men on this planet, who happens to be the guy I've had a huge crush on ever since I was 12. I was taking my make-up off, smiling like a crazy person and listening to my iPod when I heard this lyric. Suddenly, he text me thanking me for the evening and those words made so much sense. Even though things have changed between us (feelings, situations etc), this song always reminds me of him and that night.

"Ashtrays and smoke filled days, late nights and drunken ways: these are the things I do, but I'd give them up for you."
(Things I Do - Frank Hamilton)
Last year, on 20th December 2010, I won 2 tickets to see Frank Hamilton perform a really intimate gig in his living room. There was thick snow on the ground, weather warnings were being issued and TFL weren't keen on people using the underground but I still dragged my best friend to Clapham , where we ate Nandos looking like a couple (we shared a dessert, but neither of us were keen to put out that night) and then spent 30 minutes sat in a bus stop huddled from the cold snow. An hour into the gig, we were drinking red wine in Frank Hamilton's living room like it was completely normal. He played this song and these particular lyrics stuck in my head for some reason. It's the whole idea of loving somebody so much that you'd give up every single one of your vices for them. I like that. 
(p.s sorry Frank, I accidentally spilt red wine over your cream sofa. I covered it with a cushion and pretended it wasn't me sitting there...despite the pangs of guilt I felt every 5 minutes after the incident, you still made 20th December one of the best nights for me.)

"I don't know where I'm going, I don't want to know anyway, I just need you here 'cause you are my sundown."
(Sundown - Charlie Simpson)
I don't do 'love' easily, in fact I don't do emotions easily, but not so long ago, I was absolutely infatuated with somebody and the feeling was mutual (or so they said). We'd send each other lyrics via text and this lyric was included in those conversations. I was genuinely really happy with the confusing situation we had placed ourselves in and this lyric always reminds me of that. It's that feeling of not giving a care in the world about anything else but one person and wanting them with you, always. I don't feel that easily so it's nice to be reminded of a time when I let my guard down and became human, as opposed to a robot, for a while. 

"Light up, light up as if you have a choice. Even if you cannot hear my voice, I'll be right beside you dear."
(Run - Snow Patrol)
Flash back to V Festival 2009, Oasis were supposed to be headlining but due to Liam having laryngitis (we later found out, the boys had in fact split up), Snow Patrol were bumped up to headlining slot. Being my first festival, everything seemed amazing to me but words can't explain this night. Walking back to the camp site, all I could hear around me was little groups each singing this lyric over and over again. Eventually, everybody merged into one group and we had our own little choir, guiding us back to camp. I was surrounded by my favourite people, slightly tipsy and just on cloud nine. As of yet, no festival moment has come close to this one. 

"Thinking back, thinking of you. Summertime think it was June. Yeah, think it was June."
(Dakota - Stereophonics)
I was 16, with a fake I.D and the world at my feet. I was studying everything I've always wanted to study at college. I had great friends and a really great family around me and I had so many options/choices. Cut to now and all of that is just a blur of alcohol because with fake I.D comes the feeling of maturity, that really my 16 year old self couldn't deal with. College became boring, friends were only great when they had alcohol or drugs and the most important choice was choosing between vodka or gin. 
I don't have many memories of this 'phase', apart from one. Stood, in a pub, on a pool table in a stupidly short skirt, surrounded by 40 year old men (who had obviously come in for a 'quick drink' and ended up absolutely trolleyed because 2 16 (posing as 19) year old girls had forced them to do shots) screaming these lyrics out accompanied by the jukebox. This song always makes me smile, because I've realised how far I've come since then. I like to think of the 'you' as my bad phase that I'm not living anymore, just merely thinking back on.
"That I would be good"
(That I Would Be Good - Alanis Morissette)
Short and simple really, this song reminds me of being 14. Struggling to deal with the transition between child and teenager, I was lucky to have a really cool mentor who introduced me, properly, to Alanis Morissette and this song. Suddenly, everything made sense and the struggle didn't seem like such a mountain anymore. 
(If you're reading this, like you say you do, I'm hoping you realise how thankful I am.)
"A drop in the ocean, a change in the weather, I was praying that you and me might end up together."
(Drop In The Ocean - Ron Pope)
This song and these lyrics, specifically, remind me so much my first year of college. I was so naive with ideas way above my station and I met 3 girls who completely changed my life (they know who they are). They brought me back down to Earth a little bit and every Friday night, we'd listen to this, singing our hearts out and eating pizza. I was SO happy and these lyrics just sum it up so well. Whenever I hear this song now, I'm taken back to every single Friday night we spent laughing at each other when one of us messed up the lyrics. You girls rock xxx
"Breathe me."
(Breathe Me - Sia)
This is the part of the blog which I don't read out to my Mum because not only would she probably kill me as she doesn't know, she'd also kill me whilst slating this song. These lyrics are inked on my ribs forever now. Like I said, with fake I.D comes a stupid sense of maturity and with that maturity comes the stupid idea to get a tattoo. Philosophy was boring me, my iPod was playing this song and for that moment in time, I felt like the lyrics really "captured my mood". I don't know how well I can relate to them now, but I don't really have a choice as the ink is permanent. While some people think it's really stupid of me to have got these lyrics tattooed, I'm really glad because whenever I look at my ribs, I'm reminded of who I was back then and those stupid ideas that turned into reality, making me who I am right now.

With that note, I'm done. I've just realised how long this blog actually is so if you got this far, I'm in awe. Thank you for reading. What about you guys though? Are there any lyrics that stand out for you and why? 

Monday, 7 November 2011

I realise I am awful, but...

I am SO SO SO sorry! I realise I've been slacking with my blogging but I've been so busy, I've barely had time to brush my hair.
I'm writing this on my phone, so it's going to be super short as I don't really know what I'm doing. At the moment, I'm in London, staying with my brother and his lovely girlfriend, after spending 3 days with my equally lovely best friend. It's been a weekend full of craziness, alcohol and scaring myself (that leads onto another blog which I will post as soon as I'm back to reality) silly. It's been absolutely beautiful.

I hope you're all keeping well and looking after yourselves. Stay cool, beautiful people xxx