Puzzles, Garlic Bread and Surprise Parties

Guess what guys?

I am now officially 22, which means my bones are clicking and my hair is turning grey.

Okay, so I’m lying about that, but I am struggling to get out of bed. Though truthfully, I think it’s due to the bitter winter mornings that have made a sudden appearance, but it could also be my age. Which is why I have a jar of Nutella on my bedside table, ready to fuel me through the day.

I went back up north for my Birthday, it was nice to see my family and we all went to the pub. But my presents were questionable. My sister gave me those puzzles where you have to rearrange letters to make words. She told me however many I got right would be the amount of Euro’s she gave me for Disneyland. They were impossible. I spent all day, literally ALL DAY doing them and still couldn’t figure them out.

Then, about an hour later my mum gave me my second present which was a puzzle and a word search. At this point my brain was frazzled and even Google couldn’t help me. Turns out the wordsearch had nothing to do with anything and she ‘just wanted to keep me busy.’ Because, you know, I hadn’t already been busy all day with puzzles a 13 year old made.

I think I’m just bitter that my 13 year old sister outsmarted me. To be fair though, that doesn’t take much.

I still don’t know what my brother got me. When I got back from the pub I was pretty drunk and then he decided to give me his present. I unwrapped it, it was garlic bread.

But here’s the thing, about 3 years ago my family went for a meal at Nando’s. Jak had garlic bread with his meal.

The meal was great, very tasty, 10/10. But Jak went to the toilet and had a little bit of garlic bread left on his plate. And I mean a tiny bit, it was kind of like a crust.

Everyone had finished and the waitress came whilst he was in the toilet and took the plates away. Jak returned, disapointment in his eyes.

‘Where’s my garlic bread?’ He asked. And that’s when Mum said it. The thing that has haunted me for years:

‘Lucie ate it.’

I was confused. Betrayed. Horrified. But he believed her over my sincere disbelief. Everyone joined in. Ruby, Harley, Ian. They all plotted against me, and Jak is the type to hold grudges.

His birthday card to Ian said: ‘It must be hard living with a garlic bread theif.’

I have a notebook in my shower, on which he wrote ‘I steal garlic bread.’

He brings it up every. Single. Time we’re together.

So it seemed perfectly believable that he got me garlic bread for my birthday. So I put it in the freezer and forgot about it.

Until it was time for me to leave the next day. We popped into my mums work to say our goodbyes, and she asked me if I had the garlic bread for lunch. When I said no, she asked whether I was taking it home. I said ‘No. Because I trust you not to eat it and there’s no room in our freezer.’ To which she almost screamed: ‘You put it in the freezer?!’ Before dashing onto the phone to Ruby, telling her to get it out the freezer.

I still don’t know what is in that box, all I know is that it isn’t garlic bread and it isn’t freezable. I feel like this whole thing could have been avoided if they’d just given me my present like normal people.

When I got back to Crewe, celebrations with Ian began. We got a train to Alderley Edge to go to The Alchemist because I love cocktails. But when we got there, we found it had shut down in June. Thank god we had a meal booked at The Botanist after, so we just had a few drinks at their bar instead.

I don’t know how they make their Crispy Onion Petals but they are the literally food sent from above. We had a bowl of them each and some sausages, that was just for starter. I have a feeling I eat far too much, life would be so much cheaper if I hated food.

My birthday was on Wednesday, and Natalie’s birthday was on Friday. (Remember Natalie? My friend that can’t say no?) So Sadia, (Nat’s girlfriend) planned a surprise party for her. I thought it was a pretty good idea until I got there and remembered that Nat doesn’t like surprises, or attention. But she seemed to enjoy herself after she got over the initial hatred.

Sadia went all out, and got us a joint birthday cake. I mean, Natalie doesn’t like cake but since it was also for me I thought it was lovely and I will eat so much of it that I’ll hate cake until Christmas. Which isn’t that far away but would still be an accomplishment.

When they lit the candles all the fire alarms went off, so people went from singing to screaming. Turns out drunk people and fire alarms do not mix. Me and Nat then held hands and cut the cake like we were married, but watching the footage back, it wasn’t that graceful. It was mostly us trying to figure out how two people can hold one knife.

Today I had a spring autumn clean and bought some fake plants from Aldi, which is why the photo at the top seems random. I have this thing were if I get really stressed, I will clean frantically.

Nothing can stop me doing it, Ian has tried many times. I think it’s just my way of having a mental breakdown.

The plants were a bonus because I don’t trust myself with real plants, and they’re perfect for the calming atmosphere of the bathroom. Or at least, that’s I told myself when I was convincing myself to buy them. I almost didn’t because I thought: ‘No Lucie. You don’t need them.’

But I’m glad I did in the end.

Simon says: ‘You’ll never escape.’

Okay, first thing’s first:

Yes, I haven’t written anything in like two weeks.

Yes, I am ashamed.

And yes, it will happen again. I could make plenty of excuses as to why I Hobbit-holed myself (Well, I am never saying that again.) But the truth is that I’m lazy and up until now, I’ve done well to hide that fact.

But fear not, as I have returned with stories of dark rooms and floating chairs. That’s right folks, I got myself locked in another escape room. This seems to be becoming a problem, and I should probably seek help. I would say it’s because I love working as a team and bonding with people, but in reality I probably have some sadistic dark side that has become BFF’s with my competitive demon.

This time it was with a new company, Lucardo (The name kind of reminds me of that blue ninja – fox Pokemon.) and I had a fresh team: Ian, his brother Ali, and my sister, Ruby. To be honest, I had no faith in us. I thought we’d just end up bullying each-other and the guy would just let us out before anyone died.

Lucardo’s building is pretty scary. You have to press a button to get in, and once you step inside there is what looks like an abandoned reception desk. It looked like a huge corporate company (Wait, are they the same thing?) with white walls and the smell of an empty hospital. I guess you could say it looked apocalypse-y, and you had to climb up a lot of stairs until you found the massive Lucardo sign.

Inside ‘the waiting room’ was nicely decorated, but then black and red are my favourite colours so maybe I’m biased.

The staff were friendly, Luke was our own personal Oversee-er. He was very helpful and clear when giving us clues, though if anything I think maybe he was a little too helpful. Without him, we wouldn’t have escaped, as he gave a lot away, compared to other escape rooms where they would help us through riddles.

So thanks Luke, if not for you and health and safety laws, we would still be stuck in that room.

The room we did was called The Dream, though personally I think it should be called ‘Wasted’ or ‘God, I should not have smoked that.’

The story is basically that you’re dreaming you’ve won the lottery, but to actually win you have to wake up and escape your subconscious, or be trapped there forever. Sort of spooky, sort of random.

Our newfound buddy Luke blindfolded us before leading us into the room, and when we took them off I didn’t know what to look at first. The floating chairs, the sheep (Toys, not real. Though that would have been a twist), the bike wheel or the watering cans full of balls. It was insane.

A few of the decorations were just there to throw you off, which was different to the other escape rooms I’ve done. I also spent a good ten minutes playing Simon says before Luke told me that I was supposed to do that later. I’m glad he told me, because I would have been touching my toes and lifting my arms for the whole hour.

And my team worked surprisingly well. I stood around sounding stupid, Ali and Ian figured out the puzzles and Ruby put the codes into the lock. It was pretty smooth and we escaped with two minutes to spare.

I feel like the room was decorated amazingly, and it has a lot of potential. I think the two problems I had was that the website description didn’t really advertise it well enough, and the numbers don’t really work with the dream theme. Maybe it should be called The Lottery, because saying you’re getting ‘locked in the dream room’ doesn’t sound very PG.

Overall it was a fun experience, and definitely worth a try. I feel like Lucardo is much more suited to families than Breakout, and would be great for kids as well as adults.

We finished our day with a victory Nando’s, and I totally dragged Ruby along to see Hotel Transylvania 3. You can tell from this photo how much fun she had!

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FYI: Yes, I know Ali is prettier than me. Damn him.

Swimming, Assassinations and Ice Cream

So, I’m writing this in the back of Ian’s Dad’s car, which is good news as it means I haven’t pucked and been banned from it forever.

The south was great, and I discovered I’m a bad person because I desperately want Ian to inherite his grandparent’s house.

They have many rooms, a lovely garden (Though I couldn’t help but think ‘Oh god. The maintenence, it must take hours to cut. You can tell you’re an adult when thoughts like that cross your mind. But that’s a crises for another time.) And even their own swimming pool.

Ian has asked me politley not to kill them off, but I can’t call the assassins now, they won’t give me a refund.

I do think if I had my own pool I would be much healthier because I love swimming but hate public pools. It’s the only exercise I enjoy. But my generation is doomed to never buy houses, so I will be a poolless widow forever unless we inherite thiers. Ian won’t ask for it though. He still has a thing called pride, whereas I’m happy to grovel at their feet and tell them all the health benefits it will give me.

Whilst we swam, I asked Ian to take a photo of me on the whale. (Not real, you fools. Inflatable.) He had bought me a Little Mermaid bikini the day before and I have become obssessed with it. I asked him to take a nice, elegant photo of me. But instead he captured this monstrosity:

Thankfully, he had accidentally changed the video setting so it’s only a second long. I thank God for that every day.

Aside from swimming, we went into Brighton where I stuffed my face with sandwiches, ice cream and Shakeaway.
We walked through The Lanes and had a stroll along the beach.
There are only 2 big cities I would ever live in; Edinburgh or Brighton. Though the crowds at Brighton startled me a little bit.

Have you ever tried to eat a meatball sandwich gracefully, with the wind blowing your hair all over the place?

You can’t. It’s impossible.

So many people witnessed a stumpy ginger troll destroying a sandwich, leaving hot sauce on her forhead and chunks of meatball in her hair. Luckily Ian’s family had decided to stay home, and he already knows I’m a monster so it was fine.

Overall, it was a great getaway and even my attempted skin care got complimented.

What I mean by that, is that the day before I left, I mushed a banana up with oats and honey and smothered it on my face before placing cucumbers on my eyes. That was when Ian came home and found me laying on our bed with half of the breakfast aisle dripping from me.

I tried to explain that I’m too poor to buy facemasks but he didn’t understand.

The good news is my skin has been lovely and soft since so I totally reccommend it.

So that’s pretty much all I have to talk about this week. Now, please excuse me. I have assassins to tend to.

Toasties and… torture?

It has been another blazing week since I last wrote, and people have been enjoying the heat in traditional ways, with BBQ’s and beach visits. I, however, spent my day off paying to be locked in a room with my brother and boyfriend.

That’s right folks, my little brother, who is actually a teenager and isn’t very little, came to stay and I thought we’d go to Manchester for the afternoon and do an escape room.

‘But what does that have to do with the delicious sandwich at the top of this post?’ I hear you ask, even though you probably didn’t. And the answer is absolutely nothing, except that it was my brothers dinner at Northern Soul Grilled Cheese. They do delicious mac and cheese toasties for a fiver, and honestly it was so worth it. Jak’s had pulled pork added to it, whereas mine was in a pot mixed with sriracha, sausage and crispy onions. I think my taste buds had a little food orgasm, it was that good.

Anyway, that was the only photo I took through the whole day as I’m very much a ‘live in the moment’ type of person. So, let’s get back to talking about the escape room.

We booked a room called ‘Captured’ as I wanted to do a scary one. I’m a sucker for horror games and basically being scared. I actually find it interesting that humans seek enjoyment from the thing that most species avoid. You don’t see mice going up to cats for the thrill, or fish pretending to flop about on land for a few seconds. We’re so weird.

We were blindfolded and taken to the room, where a video started playing and we took the blindfolds off. We didn’t get very far after that, though I think we were about half way when the timer ran out. The room was Saw themed, and each time we got a clue the jigsaw laugh played, which got a bit annoying when I was stressed.

I won’t go through all the puzzles, because spoilers, but for one of them you had to pull a rope to lift up these little doors. This was the first thing that went disastrously wrong. I went up to the rope, and started pulling on it, and as far as I knew, it didn’t do anything.  But then, from behind me, Ian said ‘The doors are moving! I think they’re giving us a clue.’

But instead of putting two and two together, I just went over to Ian and watched the doors. They didn’t move again, so I assumed my boyfriend was a nutter and went back to pulling the rope. I heard Ian gasp and say ‘Did you see that?’ So I stopped, checked, and nothing was happening. I went back to pulling the rope, this time frowning and getting a bit frustrated. This went on for a while before Jak noticed what was happening, and informed Ian that I was the one activating the doors.

If Jak wasn’t there, I swear we wouldn’t have got past that first puzzle. Which is actually really bad, considering me and Ian live alone together and might start a family one day.  That is not a day the world will ever be prepared for.

We also broke a puzzle, and the woman had to come down into the room and fetch the key for us. We worked terribly as a team, the boys hopping from one puzzle to the other, and not listening to anything I said. I’m aware that what I say most of the time is pretty stupid, but they could have at least tried my guesses when we were stuck.

Basically, I wanted to kill them both by the end of it, and to make things 100x worse we had to run for the train.

I am not a graceful runner, and I was not in a sports bra. Instead I was in skinny jeans, docs and a low cut top. My boobs were bouncing in pain, almost hitting me in the face. I was also out of breath and sweaty, and then the guys decided that since I couldn’t talk through my panting, they would tease and insult me about the whole ordeal.

Overall, I loved having Jak over to stay, even though we do not work well as a team and I feel like I have discovered that me and Ian are as stupid as each-other. Pray for us.