What I would save from my burning house

Last night I had one of those moments that you fear most in life and that you pray will never happen to you. I was in my room watching the season six finale of Suits (I know, I’m so behind) when my mum ran in. She told me “honey, pack some things and get out of the house” and then she disappeared. In that moment, you know exactly what is happening, nothing further needing to be said. As you sit there, you begin to recollect every time you have pondered to yourself “if my house was on fire and I had 2 minutes to gather every single thing I want saved, knowing that I will probably never see the rest of my stuff again, what would I save?”. Let me tell you now: when you are actually in the moment and you are flustered and confused by the sudden realisation that this is a very real question that you have very little time to answer and execute… you are going to make a whole lot of crazy choices and it is going to tell you a whole lot about what you truly value in life. So let me talk you through what I saved.

The first thing I saved: Journals

I’m not a massive journal person, I never have been. You can tell by the sporadic nature of these blog posts that as much as I love to write, my motivation is simply not there most of the time. But ever since I started dating my boyfriend over two years ago, I have logged our memories together, as a sort of timeline of our lives. What can I say? I’m sentimental. Maybe one day, when civilisation as we know it ends, the new caretakers of the land will stumble across the journals and a few generations of liberal story telling later, we will become the Orpheus and Eurydice of the modern era. One can dream. Anyway…

These journals were the first thing I saved because those memories are the thing that I cherish most in the world. Not only are they important because they’re memories of my relationship; they also have contextual value. I have lived my entire life in that one house. Every single memory I have has breathed life into the soul of that house. Some of those memories have been captured within the pages of those journals so by saving the journals, I save just the smallest thread of that soul. That, to me, is a comfort I feel I would need if I had just lost everything which had been familiar to me for twenty years and that is why I saved those journals.

Next: Laptop and Tech

Once I knew my journals were safe, I went for my laptop. Now of course, this is also important for sentimental purposes because it’s filled with my photos and various other bits and bobs from over the years, but don’t be fooled: this was a secondary benefit to me at this moment. The first thing that crossed my mind after saving those journals was “I should probably save my laptop because I have assignments to work on”. Yep. I then went on to save my laptop and phone chargers, thinking “well if my phone died, that would be terribly inconvenient and laptop chargers are expensive so I should save that.” My entire house could be burning down right now and in this particularly flustered moment, my laptop charger seemed like the biggest expense to worry about. At this point I can’t decide if I’m thinking sensibly or if I’m right up there with Kitty and Lydia Bennet as one of the silliest girls in the country. Feel free to take a vote, I’d love to know.

Finally: Clothes

In my situation, I was lucky enough to have quite a bit of time to gather my things together. I guarantee you, if there were flames licking up my kitchen walls, I would not be taking the time to grab clothes. But at this point, there were no flames so I took my chances and this is what happened:

I started by grabbing practical stuff like underwear, shorts and basic tops; I just wanted to grab enough stuff to get me through for a few days. But then I realised something. Anyone who knows me could tell you I take my clothes and style very seriously. For some people, dying their hair or getting tattoos makes them happy and gives them that little bit of personality sparkle. Clothes do that for me. So as I stood in my wardrobe I realised that if I was to lose everything and was desperate for something to cheer me up, some of these fun clothes could do that. That may sound shallow and materialistic but remember, at this point I have already saved the important memories so I’m just bringing in reinforcements right now. The reinforcements I chose were a long fluffy coat, my favourite yellow dress (so that I would still have something nice to wear to a wedding I will be attending next week) and a sequin top that makes me glisten like a Christmas bauble. Later I realised that I had forgotten to save my favourite gold sequin blazer and I was pretty disappointed in myself and my life choices at that moment. This has been noted for future reference.

So right now you’re probably a bit confused, trying to paint my character and basing your portrait off what I decided to save and my justifications for doing so. Which is exactly what this blog was designed for. However, if I’ve done my job correctly, your portrait is probably looking a bit more Picaso than da Vinci. Let me tell you why:


And people are too.

I have my layers and you have yours. Deep down, I’m incredibly sentimental and nothing is more important to me than my memories. Just below the surface, I am a cocktail of perfectionism, drive, academic devotion, career orientation, anxiety and stress. At this level I’m basically a pressure cooker filled with lots of things to do, limited time to do them and self-expectation to do them perfectly every time. But at the same time, I like maintaining that relaxed-charm kind of life, you know? No one likes a perpetual stresser. So I cover that layer up with sequin jackets, fluffy coats and a glorious smile which makes me feel like I have some level of control over my life and brings out the “fun Alice” that everyone knows and loves.

When the firefighters told us that it was a false alarm, I went back into the house, looked over everything I saved and thought to myself “what on earth were you doing? Of all of the things you could have saved, why did you choose that?” But looking back at it now, it makes a lot of sense and I can probably say that I would do exactly the same next time if given the time to do so (this time remembering the gold sequin blazer, of course).

So, what would you save if smoke was billowing out of your roof and you had 20 minutes to pack and get out?



A charming read for a cynical individual

I was sitting at home one quiet Sunday, twiddling my thumbs and minding my own business when my boyfriend asked me to write him a story. Being the person I am, I could not think of my own topic to write about when under that kind of immense pressure so of course, he gave me a word of inspiration.

This is what happened the day I wrote a story about waffles. If this sounds boring to you, don’t you worry. It is always a personal challenge of mine to make every story I write endearing, charming and just a little bit cynical. Enjoy! If it’s too long for you, just read paragraph three and walk away. That’s okay too.

Julio: The Experimenter

Julio was a vain, self-righteous and very hypocritical man who liked to think he was an experimenter of all things. Like the honest and non-hypocritical man he knew he was, Julio did not like to limit himself to one particular area of experimentation. Julio had a theory that those who dabbled in only one area of experimentation had the right to be named curious indeed, but experimental? Perhaps not; for one can only be deemed truly experimental if they are willing to open their minds to any and every possibility; not just a select few. It was far below Julio to lie to anyone about his occupation and therefore he worked very hard to be endlessly experimental in all areas of his life. Except for one, of course.

As a true experimenter, Julio had dabbled in a great many things over the years but there was one thing that always remained untouched. Every morning Julio would enjoy a plain waffle, sprinkled with exactly one teaspoon of icing sugar, washed down with a ristretto. Every day since he had moved out of his parents’ home, 23 years ago, Julio had treated himself to this same breakfast ritual to prepare him for the busy day of a true experimenter. Julio did not see the hypocrisy in this. How could he? His vanity would not allow it.

There are a great many ways that the world can mock the habitual. One of them is through the art of distraction. If you have a lot on your mind, how are you ever expected to notice those small happenings which could potentially put an end to your beautifully crafted morning ritual of 23 years? This was the very game that life decided to play on Julio, on a particularly windy Autumn morning. As Julio prepared his usual morning waffle, the scoop of icing sugar he applied was ever so slightly smaller than his usual scoop. Julio had just used the last of his stash but unlike he usually did, Julio did not notice. One could blame tiredness, or the mere oversight that comes with being human. But I would blame the humour of life. I would say that this oversight was caused by the fact that at the very moment Julio scooped that final scoop, just nearby a man happened to be chasing after his top hat as it danced about in the wild Autumnal winds. The unfortunate soul did not see the shop sign which had been placed out earlier that morning by an inspired shop keeper who had felt a strange urge to put her sign on the other side of her store. Had life not inspired her with this urge, the following events would not have occurred in such a violent manner. But as it were, the sorry soul who was chasing his top hat was on the wrong side of the shop front that morning, tripped over the sign and landed on the road, right beneath the wheels of a very full and very heavy cabbage van. It was a dramatic end, witnessed by a truly habitual experimenter who happened to be looking out the window as he finished preparing his breakfast.

Julio was entirely unfazed by what he witnessed through the window. It came to little effect to him until the very next morning, when he went to dig out his usual spoonful of icing sugar from a very empty bag. Julio was horrified. The ritual he had maintained for over 23 years was no more and there was nothing at all that he could do. Of course he could not simply buy more icing sugar for he had already made his waffle and the consumption of a cold waffle was less than ideal, even if doused in sugar. It was all Julio could do to sit down with his plain, naked waffle and embrace a new side of life, a side of life where he could never again be a true experimenter because his morning routine was crushed. But as he went to spoon the first spoonful of waffle into his mouth, Julio realised something. You may think that he was inspired by the unfortunate man from the day before, to embrace life and make the most of new things all the time because you never know when your opportunity could be at an end. But you must remember that Julio was a hypocrite and therefore had all characteristics that went along with hypocrisy, including a selfishness and a stubbornness that prevented him from learning those life lessons in a straightforward and unselfish manner.  Rather, in the moment that waffle touched Julio’s lips, he felt an overwhelming horror at the thought of having to consume his breakfast in such a bleak way. As a valuable, giving and important member of society, the experimenter deserved so much more than the nakedness of this breakfast waffle. As the fork fell with a clatter and waffle crumbs spread across his polished wood floors, Julio felt the familiar tickle of inspiration and he knew it was finally time to experiment in yet another area of life. What an experimenter he was.

That morning was a very messy one. With the contents of his pantry spread across the kitchen bench, Julio began his hunt for the truly luxurious breakfast which he had deprived himself of for 23 years. Waffles doused in maple syrup? Too standard. Waffles with spinach? Too vegan. Waffles with curry? A mistake. He had been at it for hours and Julio’s food supply had been run almost dry, the tickle of inspiration no longer inspiring but irritating. But as the harsh afternoon sun moved in line with the window, something beautifully spiritual happened; the light of the sun shone upon the last remaining opportunity before him. An ingredient overlooked by a man who thought the idea beneath him was now reconsidered by a man driven mad with desperation. Another game life has mastered; to strip you of everything so that you are forced into something new. Life has a heartless sense of humour. But Julio, of course, had his pride to maintain and therefore was not a quitter. It had to be done.

Julio sat at the table once more, with his thirty-second waffle and ristretto for that day and tried, one last time, to find the true breakfast of kings. As the spoon entered into his mouth, Julio felt a buzz. This buzz was most likely caused by the sheer volume of ristretto coursing through his veins but Julio interpreted it as a rebirth of his breakfast routine and a discovery of something wonderful. How did he not see it before? Two ingredients, both entirely bland, one adding absolutely no flavour or value to the other and therefore superfluous to the entire breakfast experience. Isn’t it obvious? The daily consumption of a breakfast such as this would highlight the ability of one to afford the luxury of such superfluousness. In its simplicity, it was the breakfast of kings and therefore the only breakfast deserving of consumption by our great Julio.

It is at this point where I now chuckle as I reveal to you that this breakfast of kings was merely waffles with a topping of freshly cooked, plain noodles. But I suppose in all of our amusement we may as well acknowledge Julio’s achievement of finally becoming a true experimenter. An experimenter who explored and toyed with every area of life. That was, of course, not including his morning ristretto. I suppose we all need some consistency in life; does he still deserve to be called a hypocrite?

board game

The humble board game

I was having a good little ponder this morning about my blog and how it has become far too serious for my liking. Naturally I’m not a particularly serious person; I have my moments, of course, but in essence I live my life in search for a good chuckle. So why, then, does my blog not reflect this? To give credit where it is due, my blog is charming in its own little way, I won’t deny it this compliment. It’s an eclectic mix of musings, reflections and appreciations that I have grown rather fond of. But humour is missing and now that I have noticed this, its absence is getting to me. So if you will allow (and even if you will not, for by the time you are given the chance to form an opinion, the deed will already be done), I am now going to rectify this situation.

I was talking to my boyfriend about what I should write in my next blog and (bless him for the crazy mind he has) he suggested “a blog about the culture of games and how it has evolved over time”. It is an intriguing and original idea, however I must admit that on the regular this would be one of the last topics I would choose to write about… which is exactly why I am going to write about it. Allow me to take you on an adventure through my ponderings on a topic I know nothing about.

With my absence of knowledge or opinion on this topic, as any perfectionist and/or curator of useless information would do, I googled it. Due to the wonders of the internet and people with opinions on topics that are wildly under-acknowledged, your girl now has a basis for reflection.

From what we know, the first board game was invented in Predynastic Egypt, around 3000BC.  It was the early form of Backgammon, called Senet. However, this is also something we don’t know for sure because some people argue that the first board game was in fact a form of dice, originating in Turkey around 5000BC. Whether or not we know the exact date is beside the point. What I am here to point out is that no matter how much our lifestyle has transformed over the last few millennia, we still share with our ancestors an appreciation for the ever-humble board game. What is interesting, however, is that in these ancient times, board games were tied into politics and religion because even then the human race had a tendency to spoil even the most simple of things with these very topics.

Senet was used by Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs who believed strongly in the concept of fate. The people related a win in a game of Senet back to the strength of the Pharaoh’s protection under the great Egyptian gods. If you lost… well they probably didn’t make that publicly known; preventing widespread fears of godly smitings is always a good idea. In 3000BC, when the working class began to join the board game bandwagon, they started being tied into religion with a key example being Mehen. This game represented the deity Mehen who was known to the Sun Cult as a huge serpent who liked to wrap himself around the sun god (Ra) to protect him. But then somewhere in there, the god and the game became so tied up with one another, no one really quite knew which one came about first. Was the game inspired by the god or was the god inspired by the game? If the latter, I hope one day that there will be a seat for me in the great church of Catan.

In modern times, although some of us may find an interest in playing a round of Monopoly with Trump (or dabbling in the online game brought to you by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), essentially we have simplified the board game (and for modern time’s sake, the online/video game) back down to its true essence: away from politics and religion and back to a mode of socialising. Even video games, which were once known as the tool of the antisocial to avoid society, have now become more open to interaction with an increase in multiplayer and interactive gaming (my heartfelt condolences to the antisocial).

It’s funny how simpler times brought about a complication of the simple things and in more complicated times, the simple things are appreciated for their simplicity. I am personally very grateful to the humble board game. Thank you for taking away the awkward silence in a dull party. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to appreciate the wit and brilliance of the people we surround ourselves with. And thank you for flipping tables since 1902 (the invention of Monopoly). I am glad that there has been a resurgence in board games and social video gaming. It brings about a moment of happiness for everyone and draws out the side of a person’s personality that is so often crushed or hidden under the weight of every day. So thank you, games, for making humanity great again.

So there you go, friends. That has been my pondering on a topic I now know a little too much about.

Stay fun,
Stay brilliant,
Play a board game.


That one person

Sometimes it is important that we reflect on things that make this happiness so wonderful. Those moments of emptiness, moments of inexplicable sadness and moments of incomprehensible loneliness that add a touch of brilliance to every smile, to every laugh and to every friend.

Some of you might recognise those words. They’re an excerpt from the most popular blog I ever posted, The beauty in sadnessI want to ponder this concept again, from a different angle. I would like to focus on the brilliance in one particular smile, one particular laugh and one particular friend.

The luckiest people in the world have the privilege of having that one person. The one person who makes you feel safe, who melts your troubles away with a simple laugh and whom you just want to hug when things aren’t right. They could be a sibling or a best friend or a partner. Up until this year, I could never boast the privilege of having that one person. I was both perpetually single and terrible at maintaining friendships outside of group contexts. Whilst there were people to hug and people to share inside jokes with, they weren’t that one person.

Now I find myself sitting here in a moment of exhaustion-induced melancholy. Overwhelmed by a desire to just curl up in a ball and disappear, the fault of life rather than circumstance. In this particular moment, I find myself craving the warm glow of that one smile and that one laugh from that one person. The overwhelming happiness that seems to exude from them when they enter a room. Their positivity and their good humour that just draws people in. The personality that seems to weave its way through everything, even their carefully maintained hair. The cheekiness in every smile and gesture. The warmth of every glance. The safety of their arms.

Whilst it is an honour and a privilege to say that I have that one person, I must now add that it is quite an inconvenience when they are otherwise disposed and all you want is a hug. But as I have sat, curled up on my bed, describing to you that one person and pondering everything about them that makes me so incredibly lucky, melancholy has turned to contentedness. Contentedness to happiness. So thank you to my curly haired legend of a boyfriend for cheering me up when, at this particular moment, you had no idea it was even necessary. Thank you for giving me every reason to smile and every opportunity to laugh. Thank you for having a personality that is so incredibly friendly and happy that it has an overwhelmingly positive effect on other people, not just me. Finally, thank you for being generous, kind hearted and curious. Thank you for being brilliant.

I hope you all find that one person. Whether they are a sibling, a best friend or a partner. In that person,

Find happiness.

Find laughter.

Find brilliance.


On a pondering that shouldn’t have been outwardly pondered

It has been a very long time since I last updated this blog. That is because I use it as a way of artistically communicating my thoughts so that people can not only be engaged but can be carried on a journey through my thoughts, my imaginings and my emotions whether they be happy or otherwise. Honestly, nothing has inspired me enough to take this challenge on, these past few months. Until now. So y’all had better sit down, strap in your seat belts and prepare yourselves.

Before I begin, you must understand that I have an immense fear of confrontation. As well as this, if I am in a conversation where too many strong opinions are being expressed, I start to feel physically ill. When I was in grade 12, I had to leave my Study of Religion classroom because I felt so unwell from all of the feminist arguments being tossed about the place that I feared I was going to throw up. This is the level of discomfort I get to.

So anyway:

When you are like me, and you have differing views on many things, you get used to staying silent. Especially when you know every idea or concept you voice will just be crushed under a stampede of the standard ideals. Occasionally, however, in the hopes to bring back thought and fire to an otherwise one-sided and wildly repetitive conversation, you may make the mistake of voicing your thoughts. What then happens is the inevitable. The stampede. An innocent challenge-to-thought is seen as a direct and wounding blow to the other side. Is received as either condescending, misguided or in other (more wounding) cases, inferior and uneducated. Every time this happens, I get this feeling inside. It’s not anger. It’s not irritation. It’s not pain. It is simply emptiness. The kind of emptiness that reveals itself as disappointment. Disappointment because when you are placed in a situation that encourages talking and thinking and challenges, you are still forced to stay silent. Disappointment because no matter how hard you try to be respectful of everyone else, of their thoughts, of their beliefs, you know you are never going to receive the same back. Disappointment because you know that you have to pick the right time and the right place to pose these kinds of cognitive challenges but you also know that no one will ever be pleased with your selected time or place, no matter how seemingly reasonable. Disappointed because in a  moment of complete desperation to overcome the discomfort inside you, you do the one thing that will bring you to an even higher state of discomfort, opening every back door to every form of fear residing within the idea of confrontation.

It is one of the most crushing things to have my kind of analytical-mindset mixed with my heightened fear of confrontation. But at the same time, I suppose my fear is a blessing. Because from one bad experience to the next I am consistently reminded that it’s not worth it. My food for thought is not worth the trauma and the discomfort that its voicing brings. No matter how carefully I phrase something so that I can shape it later, if I have to, to make everyone else happy… No matter how much I sit back and analyse a situation before I even consider voicing a contrary thought… No matter how much discussion is encouraged, it is never worth it. It is never worth that crushing feeling. That loss. That discouragement. That complete and utter emptiness. The accusations that you are there to start an argument, to belittle someone else or to make some kind of point just to be contrary.

My ideas on many things are unconventional. My views on many things are vastly open, carefully justified and immensely understanding with regards to other, more conventional trains of thought. I suppose that is all that needs to be known. As long as people understand this, I need not move to specifics. And I know now, that I will do my best in every situation to avoid specifics. Because it is not my intention to judge nor to hurt. Nor is it my desire to be judged or to get hurt.

In typical Alice fashion, I will round this blog off with a nod towards the reason I started blogging in the first place. I have always said that there is brilliance in everything. The big, the small, the happy, the otherwise. I suppose there is brilliance in this too. Because as wounding as it was and, in fact, still is, I learnt something and I helped others to see something maybe a little bit differently. Even if it didn’t go too well, it was still an experience worthy of acknowledgement and further pondering. That, to me, makes it brilliant.

That is all from me
Be happy
Be thoughtful
Stay brilliant

– Alice

Musings on a train

Sometimes I have days where I just want to write. I have no agenda, no purpose and no story to tell. Merely an urge to get words on paper and feel the familiar click of the keys beneath my fingers. Now how does one go about writing a piece for which they have no purpose or prior plan? The only thing for it is to just write. To type without a further thought. To look away from the screen and gaze off into the distance as you type whatever comes to your head.

As I write this, I am gazing out the window of a train, on my way to the middle of nowhere for another day of work. From where I sit, I watch the steady transformation from sleek inner city suburbs, to industrial sites, to dirt hills and rundown sheds. From this gradual transformation, one would think that I am on a long journey, to far away from home. However, it is a mere 25 minute trip. It is funny that such a massive transformation can occur within such a short distance. That one group of people are living an entirely different lifestyle to those only a 10 minute train ride away.

When I was younger, and I admit I still do it on the occasion, I used to pass my time by watching people. Now as creepy as this may sound, it was actually a rather good exercise in imagination and creativity. I would sit and watch someone going about their business. I would observe how they pour their tea, how many sugars they take, how long they wait for it to cool before they drink it. I would observe how they react to other people and how they communicate with them. After all of this I would begin to develop a life story for them. What kind of childhood they had, where they grew up, what their happiest and saddest memories were. I would think about what they might be doing that day – did they have an important interview or a 25th wedding anniversary or was it just another day. All of these things would rush to my head and I would feel a familiarity in that person. I would see the importance of their existence in the vast web of time and humanity. I would realise that they were not just a person. They were a person who thought thoughts, who made decisions and who influenced people in a way that could change the entire shape of the present and of the future. They were a cog in the clockwork of existence.

Even if the story I gave them was entirely inaccurate, there was always one thing which stood true. The implication. The implication that every person has a connection with people and an influence on the world which no one else could mirror. Every aspect of their life, the big and the small, has the power to alter and transform the web of time and the clockworks of existence.

I am now at the point where my musings must conclude for my journey is almost to an end. I have not looked once at my computer screen or my keyboard, but merely written every thought that has flourished, as it has come to me. It is incredible what the mind comes up with as you stare out the window of a train. Thankyou for joining me on my journey and I hope that you will take the time to make some of these observations yourself. It has the power to liven up your perspective of life.

Be happy and gaze out a window.


Of friends and fun

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article called ‘the beauty in sadness’ and I talked all about how there is an importance in having a contrast between the happy and sad moments in your life, so that you can fully appreciate the happy times. Well prepare yourselves to witness this contrast in the form of a far more happy blog post, because yesterday I had one of these wonderfully happy moments and I thought I had better share.

Have you ever just looked around a room full of your friends and family and thought to yourself ‘by gum, I have an amazing taste in friends and I can’t believe all of these people are in my life. I’m the luckiest person out’? Because that was me last night.

You see, it was my birthday. Actually that’s a lie. It was a few days prior to my birthday but we were celebrating anyway. For weeks I had been cooped up in the house; not seeing many people; spending my days cleaning and baking and performing general party preparations. It was exhausting and by the end of it, I was sad and lonely and longing for the opportunity to see people again. So when I was suddenly surrounded by so many wonderful people, it made me reflective.

For this reflection to make sense, I should probably explain something. I see myself as a floater. I have a lot of different friends in a lot of different places. I love them all. I drift from group to group and have a great time with everyone without ever being ridiculously close to one or two people. I have never been the sort of person to have a best friend. I just have a million amazing friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything. But this also means that I have a fear. I have a fear that as a floater, there will be a time where I drift away or where I will be left behind because I was the fun drifter who made life interesting but never had a particularly close bond to anyone. Now this is ridiculous because I love everyone so much that I would never allow this to happen but in the human mind, this fear is sometimes inevitable.

But last night, as 40 of my most favourites gathered to celebrate and have fun with me, all together for the first time, I was reminded of something. I was reminded that although I have approximately five different groups of friends and no best friends, they all have one thing in common. They love me and this love is returned. Also, they’re all ridiculously fun and brilliant to be around… but this is merely an additional observation and superfluous to expressing my point.

A couple of my friends said last night “wow, you have a lot of people who love you.” I do. A lot. And I love them all back, equally as much. Sometimes I think I might lose them and sometimes I think I’m not as close to them as I might think. But don’t we all share this worry? It is the simple getting together of friends, watching everyone work together, laugh together and enjoy eachother’s company which reminds us of how brilliant our relationships are and how lucky we are. So thankyou to all of the people who are in my life – you mean more to me than you could imagine. Thankyou for your smiles, for your banter, for your fun and for your personality. I’m lucky and I know it. Although I don’t have a best friend and sometimes I fear becoming lonely because of this, I know it will never happen because neither I, nor my friends will let it.

I hope this can remind you of how important you are to someone and of how important it is to surround yourself with people, whether it be lots of people or just a few.

Stay happy and look after your friends!


The beauty in sadness

You know that feeling of intense loneliness you get sometimes? When you’re just sitting there minding your own business and then something just triggers inside you and you feel empty; as though someone had accidentally left, open, the window to your soul and all the contents just flew away? I get that surprisingly often and it is often then partnered with the urge to hug someone. Someone who isn’t there.

I started out this blog with an opening post talking about how I have too much happiness in me and how I want to share this with other people so others can enjoy life as much as I do. Believe me, that happiness is still there and I still have so much to share. But sometimes it is important that we reflect on things that make this happiness so wonderful. Those moments of emptiness, moments of inexplicable sadness and moments of incomprehensible loneliness that add a touch of brilliance to every smile, to every laugh and to every friend.

Sometimes in these moments, I feel as though I put more effort and more love into people than I will ever get back. I feel as though I focus all my energy on trying to get responses from people who will always be too busy or too distracted to have much to do with me. I feel as though some people make me so much happier than I make them and that some people are worth more to me than I am to them.

But it is in these moments that I remember the others. The people who I don’t have to put so much effort into hassling for a response because they are so much more open with their love and their support. It is at these times that these people seem to be worth so much more. Are so much more amazing.

What’s more, the people who you put all of that effort into, who seem like a dead weight dragging you down… well sometimes you’re that effortless friend to them, who makes them smile in that moment of loneliness. That, in itself, is brilliant.

As I sit here writing this, I feel that void in me. But as I have written, its edges have softened and I am reminded of just how lucky I am, how many friends I have and how much I am loved. I hope that this can be a reminder to you as well.

Life continues to be brilliant, even in the moments of darkness. You just have to learn to see the light and if there isn’t one, be one.

Be happy and always love,


Boggo Road Gaol: the story of a dramatic escape

Well hello there everyone. Would you look at that. She’s back!

I wrote in my last blog update that I had been away for a bit but was back to writing weekly blogs… that was a few months ago and this is now terribly awkward. However, we must soldier on and push through this. So I am here to tell you a story.

It was a cool spring evening, the sky was clear and a blood moon cast shadows through the night. The courtyard of Boggo Road Gaol was filled with anxious prisoners, awaiting the moment they would be locked behind the menacing bars as so many had been locked away before. We refused to give away our true identities, responding only to the aliases as we were known in the criminal world.

The moment came. Marched into the walls of the gaol, put in our place by an angry prison guard and locked away, behind the dark walls of the abandoned building. With only the cunning and charm of each criminal mastermind, we were set the task of escaping. 90minutes, a series of tasks and an angry guard who could appear at any moment and ruin our whole plan. Could we do it? Of course. We are, afterall, the finest criminals in the land.

I know, this probably sounds a bit insane. Allow me to explain.

Here in Brisbane we have a wonderful piece of heritage called the Boggo Road Gaol. Home to some of the scariest people around but abandoned long ago, this has been a highly valued tourist destination for many years.

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Photo credit goes out to my wonderful friend Miguel, the guard of the Boggo Road Mass Escape.

However, soon it is going to be ripped apart to make way for new development. With the incredibly creative mind of an entrepreneur, this was turned into an opportunity. An opportunity to take the well loved ‘Escape Hunt’ and magnify it, for a group of 80 people, to be a thousand times more epic. What is Escape Hunt you ask? Well how about we just have a look at the description on their website:

We offer a true “experience” where you play the part of a famous London detective with your colleagues trying to solve a murder mystery. As a team you play against the clock in one of our rooms to find the guilty suspect’s identity and thereby find your escape. The adventures last around 90 minutes. The game is 60 minutes and after the game we have a little surprise for you.

Well now. Doesn’t that sound like a dandy time! Perfect for friends, family and even work outings and located in the heart of the ever growing West End, this little corner of the world is a great way to escape into a land of adventure, cunning and just a touch of style.

But just imagine this on a larger scale, with more people and in a magnificent piece of heritage listed perfection which won’t be around for much longer. I think that sounds like a pretty decent time, don’t you?

This experience is on until next Sunday (11 October) and tickets are $50 each. You can bring a group as big or as small as you’d like and there is even a couple of 18+ sessions for those brave enough.

So, I ask you: Are you prepared to take on the challenge that is the Boggo Road Gaol Mass Escape? Because it is most certainly a touch of brilliance.

Keep smiling,
Always adventure
And try something new

– A

If you would like to check out this amazing experience, visit: http://brisbane.escapehunt.com/

Disclaimer: I am not employed by Escape Hunt and I have not been asked to write this review. I am merely a friend with a good story and a good thing to share. So please be a part of it 🙂

The Good Samaritan

Everyone knows that one of the most brilliant things in life are the good samaritans of the world, who do something amazingly nice for you and just put a massive smile on your face. Well, today I was lucky enough to stumble across my very own good samaritan. I suppose it’s story time.

I was in the car with a couple of friends and we were leaving a shopping centre car park. Looking down at my phone and not paying much attention to the rest of the world, I suddenly felt this massive bump on the driver’s side. Thinking to myself ‘my my, we must have hit the curb pretty hard’, I looked up to see that I was wrong. To my great surprise, we had not actually hit a curb. We had been T-boned. With all passengers safe and sound, we drove around the corner and parked in the Bob Jane T-marts Supercheap Autobarn carpark, next door. I was guarding the car whilst my two friends went to deal with the fun proceedings of car accidents. I was summoned over to bring the driver’s licence and decided, in my rush, to leave my bag in the unlocked car because what were the chances that someone would come in and steal it.

However, everyone knows that the dear lord has a wonderfully cruel sense of humour, and when we came back to the car, sure enough, my bag was gone. Now I wasn’t shaken by the accident and I wasn’t worried about my safety but as soon as I saw my bag was gone, I was cranky. Luckily I had my phone and my beloved sunglasses but my wallet and all other bag things were missing. We checked the car numerous times and wandered around on a hunt for it but the bag was nowhere to be seen. Now I was vengeful.

In our searches, we had left the Autobarn carpark but we decided to go back to have another look. As we came back, there was a guy there, on the phone. He heard us talking about my bag, hung up and gave us quite a nice little story. He said that he was an Autobarn employee and that, a little while ago, an alarm had gone off inside the shop so he came to check it out. He saw our car and thought it had been stolen so when he saw my bag, he decided to take it into the shop and lock it under the register so it was safe.

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Sadly I didn’t get his name, but he left this card on the bonnet of the car in case I came looking for my bag when he wasn’t there. I would just like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all the people who have ever done something like this for someone before. He could have left my bag and given it no second thought but he went out of the way to protect the belongings of someone he had never even met and that is just a little bit brilliant.

So go forth and do nice things!
– Alice.