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The Complete Illogicality Of Hormones August 3, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Last night was lovely. I made rather scrumptious (if I do say so myself) sausage and mash, I snuggled up on the sofa watching dodgy TV (a boyfriend who admits to liking watching Britain’s Next Top Model? Ideal!) and I felt very happy and content. Then I buggered everything up.

How did I do this? Well, if you want my excuses, it was hot. The kind of solid wall of heat that crawls over you, pinning you down, making your head heavy and your mind sticky. I also felt decidedly odd – I came over all hot and flushed, with a sickness in the pit of my belly and that (worryingly familiar) ache in my head. I was hormonal, and tetchy, and something came on the TV about a series of programmes explaining some key interesting areas of science.

And, for some reason, I ranted. Which, as a scientifically open individual, I found strange. I let off a bubble of hormonally driven drivel about something largely nonsensical to do with science never proving anything (??), and priorities being wrong (!!), and other such rambling strangeness that seemingly came from nowhere, and which hit neatly on the (sensible and totally correct) wall of Andy’s analytical/scientific brain. Then I burst into tears. The last time I did something like this I ended up sobbing into my (somewhat taken aback) mother’s arms about an obscure strain of mountain Buddhism, muttering about how they’d better never make me give up material goods. It was odd, albeit good proof for the “Lauren Is Bonkers” hypothesis that I always keep on the shelf.

The evening was, of course, somewhat spoilt by the re-emergence of an old foe, “Lauren The Twit”. Plus, by that point my hormonal head was hurting, I was too hot to sleep, and all I really wanted to do was curl myself up in a dark corner with a crap book and an air of don’t-approach-her-you-never-know-what-she’ll-come-out-with-next about me. So, having cried and over-apologised and generally moped and groped, I finally fell asleep far too late.

I did have very cool Formula 1 inspired dreams though, which was something of a saving grace.

Anyway, here’s hoping that Andy won’t judge me too harshly for the escapee strain of insanity. I think it is tucked up back in its bubble. I think.


The Importance of Humdrum August 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Life is about living, they say. If you aren’t out there each and every day, experiencing everything you can, then you are missing out. Life simply isn’t as good as it could be if you aren’t deep in the middle of it, climbing obscure South American mountains, eating peculiar foods, dancing with your eyes closed whilst everyone watches.

In a way, this is true. Of course it is. If you don’t make the most out of your life, push yourself and mix things up and generally “experience”, then you probably aren’t feeling everything it has to offer. Instead you are staying safe and secure, comfortable in the knowledge of the regular and the everyday. You are limiting yourself, unwilling to embrace the dangerous and the alien just to see what comes of them.

Still, no matter how much this is the case, I feel someone needs to stand up for the humdrum. The safe, the warm, the familiar. Because this is the thing that we come back to. Humdrum is the thing that we call home. It is a hug from someone you love when everything gets too much, the relaxing mind-blank of an evening spend collapsed in front of the television set. It is coming home to security, and familiarity, and the distinct happiness of everything being normal, and alright, and good.

On its own, humdrum is boring and dull. But with people you love, trapped between adventure and mischief, humdrum can be the very thing that keeps you going.


Up and Down (on Headaches and Sleepless Nights) July 28, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I know I just wrote about how happy I am, and that is still true. However, this week has been one hell of a hard one.

There isn’t really any reason for this week to be as tough as it has been. It’s been relatively busy at work, sure, but there hasn’t been anything particularly out of the ordinary to stress and pressure me. At home it’s been quiet, just watching TV and cooking up massive batches of delicious, yummy chilli.

But then, of course, there is the headache. It set in Tuesday, and despite the best pharmaceutical intervention there it stayed, buried deep down in my brain. Every thought has been an effort, the headache’s gnarly tendrils snaking deep into every mental function, tightening and constricting and slowing. Like a heavy weight on my shoulders I shuffled around underneath it, each hour of the day stretched to oblivion, time dragging on and on and on. Yesterday I expected it to be better. It wasn’t. Instead the headache morphed, evolved. It sat, for pretty much all of the day, somewhere behind my face, grumbling and prodding and complaining to itself.

The headache alone, and all the drugs, wouldn’t perhaps be that bad, were not for the lack of sleep that has accompanied it. What is strange is that this sleeplessness seems unconnected to the headache – it has just manifested itself in a bright, chaotic awakening, a sense that my brain has forgotten how to turn off. I’ve lain there, tucked up in my  bed, the hot waves of sticky air crawling over my body. I’ve closed my eyes, breathed deeply, listened to soft and gentle music purely designed to send me to sleep. And I have stubbornly stayed awake.

It’s been a tiring week, to say the very least.

Dress Lust July 26, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage.
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Oh but… please… can I have it? Please?

This may just be my favourite dress lust (after all the other ones I’m lusting after, of course). Will someone buy it for me?!

Gorgeous vintage 50s dress from Posh Girl Vintage

Gorgeous vintage 50s dress from Posh Girl Vintage

Happiness and Anticipation July 25, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Travel.
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Well well well, who’s got a little lax with the posting? I seem to have disappeared off here somewhat!

The reason, my friends, is because I am (remarkable as it may well be) actually happy. Not that I have been miserable at all much lately, but currently my mood has blossomed into something that is undeniably exuberant and chirpy. Every day I wake up, and though my body may be desperately craving more sleep, my mind is mellow. I float through work blissed out, I come home and watch tv, grinning all the way. I keep catching myself wiggling to cheesy tunes in the supermarket, and I’ve noticed on more than one occasion a happy-but-inane humming emitting from my person. I don’t even complain as much, finding annoyances somewhat less annoying, my foibles less pronounced.

It is wonderful to be like this. And yes, so the fear of my upcoming trip is setting in (three weeks to go peeps), but even that is starting to be accompanied by a sense that, most likely, everything will work out. I’ll chat to people in the hostel, and before I know it I’ll be making friends and having adventures. Watching the sun set over the ocean and scribing postcards to make their way home.

The only downside to all this happiness? That it means I am going to miss people when I go away. Because, though I wouldn’t change my plans for the world, certain newcomers to my life have managed to make themselves rather too integral to my happiness, and rather too missable. Still, that isn’t much to complain about, is it?!

What to read? July 19, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Books.

Apologies if you’ve already read this, but it is a carbon copy of my Tumblr post – I thought you guys might be able to help!

I am currently trying to work out what books to take with me on my travels. I have a Kindle, so don’t need to worry about the weight, but Kindle books are pretty pricey and I don’t want to buy anything that I am likely to dump down the digital charity shop (great idea, btw!) at the first opportunity.

As soon as I have gotten past the mental hurdle of paying for a book that I will never see on anything but a digital screen (I can’t bring myself to buy a digital album either!), these are the books I am currently thinking about.

The list is short – I can’t think of any books, so these are largely the suggestions of my lovely Twitter friends. Any suggestions, therefore, gleefully welcomed!

  1. Stephen King short stories
  2. Some Irvine Welsh (Marabou Stork Nightmares & Reheated Cabbage)
  3. Trudi Canavan
  4. How To Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran
  5. Kraken – China Mieville
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Any more suggestions?

Little Miss Contradictory July 18, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
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I often wonder what the people who read my blog think about me. Do you assume, because of all the morose posts, that in real life I do nothing but whine and sob? (Not true by the way, although I’ll always have a penchant for the odd cerebral wobble, mainly kept to myself). Perhaps you’ll assume I’m relative capable of forming a coherent sentence, what with all the writing. (Also not true by the way, I can often be found wordless and mumbling insanely in a corner).

I feel that when I write this blog, I categorise myself. This day I’m trying to be witty, this day I’m being endearing. This day I’m kind of bright, this day I’m down in the dumps. This day I’m more than a little bit thick, and this day I’m a geek to the nth degree. Is there any sort of consistent and reliable me that is the same day to day, or am I really a bunch of contradictions and mysteries?

The answer? Probably not?! I’m weird, and wonderful, and made up of some many odd little bits and pieces that I can be anything from day to day. I can feel a little too much, I can be terrified, I can cry and laugh. I can be stupid and clever. I love it.


Hear The Tune July 10, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Music.
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When I was younger, there was a time when music was everything. It was the only way to understand what it was I was feeling deep down in my heart, the only way I knew that the strangeness in my head didn’t make me totally, utterly, brutally alone. The singers, song-writers, musicians and producers together shared with me thoughts that I had assumed lived only on my heart, they pinned down emotions so painfully elusive that, until those chords struck through me, I had only caught glimpses of them as shadows down darkened corridors. Ideas so slick and faint that they were no more than intangible traces left on the breeze.

Then, as I grew a few years older, I left the music behind. This bible, this diary, this collection of sounds and emotions were cast aside, not consciously but as the trials and tribulations of life became my obsessive focus. I passed over musical poetry to live life as much as I could, and I battled on throughout without any comfort from my muses and idols. What had been my lifeline before, in many ways my saviour, had become yet more unnecessary hassle. Before I knew it my narcissistic self-focus had left every trace of the music behind, had rendered my world silent. I forgot how to hear the tune, I forgot how to listen.

The past few months, however, have seen a step back to the old way of thinking. First came the fact that I was, again, alone in the world, albeit in a way entirely of my own making. Suddenly I was free to listen to what I wanted, free to feel it, free to have it turned up as loud and all-encompassing as I could want. Then came the discovery that music could still touch me. It could still send me stir crazy with desire, whisper me into paroxysms of grief. It could sing me gently to sleep or charm out the darkest sides of me.

There are still beats to be drummed, melodies to weave. The difference is that now I am hearing the tune again.

The Tipping Point July 4, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Isn’t it funny how one little thing can tip you over the edge from happiness into something more akin to fear?

This morning, I was all excited about my trip. For the first time in a long time I was actually coming around to stop feeling petrified, and to feel anticipatory instead. The butterflies of terror in the pit of my stomach were becoming lighter by the day, my nerves were dancing rather than clamouring violently for attention. I was enjoying the 5-6 week count down, knowing that my trip was getting closer by the second.

Then I decided the time had come to do some of my chores. Namely to organise myself a credit card, so that I could buy things securely abroad. It was a simple job – go online, fill in the form, and get accepted. Except I didn’t get accepted, I got rejected, and that in combination with the cloying, sickly, sticky humidity has somehow managed to drop me straight into a seething pit of  grumpiness.

It is, in part, the endless certainty that something, anything, will go wrong and stop me from getting on my plane. It’s also triggered by a great number of other worries and gripes, leaving me in one of those tired, hot and headachey moods that cause everything in your brain to get all angry and jumbled.

To add insult to injury, I just bought a corset. It is gorgeous, red with a brocade pattern, and the workmanship is glorious. Despite all this though, it was too small on the waist (where I’ve put weight on recently) and far too big on the boobs. I tell you what – that does little for self-esteem when you’ve spent the entire week before it arrives wondering if you’ll look even vaguely good. So, with much regret, back it goes. That little thing on top of already feeling kind of crappy. That tipping point.

Bring on tomorrow – it had better beat the hell out of today.

What I Wore | Feeling Grecian June 28, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Vintage, What I Wore.
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What I Wore Outfit Shot Grecian Vintage Dress

Feeling all Grecian today!

I thought today’s outfit deserved an outfit shot. Last time I wore this dress it was by Christmas do at work, but I decided this morning that through sheer determination I was going to make it work as daywear. The result was actually quite day appropriate thanks to my trusty platforms, and the addition of a casual tapestry belt. It worked with the tan too, the product of a weekend well spent!

Dress: Vintage
Leopard print slip: Vintage
Platforms: Topshop
Belt: Vintage