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All is OK, and Moving On November 17, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family.
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Hush, little brain. Things are OK. Thank heaven for parents though.

I arrived back in the UK last week – I’ve never been so glad to see the rolling hills, to hear the copious pleases and thank yous (O America, how rude you seem!), and to rejoice in the wonderfulness of being back. I went straight home to see the parents, of course, and it was there that advice was expertly dispensed.

I had been questioning my relationship decisions since they were made, checking the boy’s Facebook page like an addict, and generally moping and whining. Which, you know, I’m fond of doing. And the parents made me realise that which I already knew… that expecting everything to feel the same after a trip like that was naive in the extreme. Time had passed, and I assumed because life was more fluid and different, that must mean I wasn’t in love. Turns out I am, quite a lot, but I nearly missed it because I got scared and presumptuous.

So, I think I have started mending things and fixing woes. I think everything will be OK. Better than OK maybe. Thank god for parents!

On another note, I think the time may have come to move on from this blog, to organise my life. I’ll still be blogging, but I’m going to do it somewhere else – I’ll let you know the link when I do! It’s just clean slate time… moving away from the depression and life that was on this blog, and starting afresh. I hope you’ll come with me!


Can’t… Stop… Laughing… August 9, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Photos.
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1 comment so far
Old school photo tavistock primary school

My Old School Photo!

Oh what a wonderful weekend. Jasmine visited, we charity shopped, I bought a bright pink trouser suit, we painted, we laughed, and I ended the weekend reading at the park whilst a brass band played Abba melodies in the background. I can’t see a weekend getting much better than that really!

Let me tell you about Jasmine. Jasmine is one of my oldest friends, I have known her since year 3 and, with a few years of vague estrangement in the middle, we have always been friends on some level or other. She is incredibly cynical, bright and funny, and in all the time I have been alive I have yet to meet another person who has the ability to make me laugh quite so much. In fact, many of my childhood memories of her involve the two of us in absolute fits of hysterics, hyperventilating in the back of my parents old Volvo. Of course, that is when we aren’t designing and selling ink tattoos in the school field or befriending herds of beautiful bovines.

This weekend was no different. Despite not having seen each other for months and months, we chatted and joked our way through the weekend. Whilst tucked up in bed and theoretically falling asleep we both had one of the best laughs we have had in years, giggling and snorting our way through a variety of largely nonsensical and hysterical jokes and comments. We kept forgetting to breathe, and it was fabulous! I love that we, without fail, always have a brilliant laugh, yet at the same time we can have intelligent discussions too. In fact, Sunday we had a discussion on the relevant methods of the main political parties and their marketing efforts – so we have brains as well as insane humour!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to Jasmine for a) coming and looking after me (and helping me to do some painting!) and b) for making me laugh. I had a fabulous weekend!

Loneliness March 10, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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This post was originally going to me a long overdue edition of my “Make me a…” vintage series – I was going to tackle the 60’s mod trend, and have damn fun doing it. However, something got me thinking differently, and I decided to put down a lot of what was going on in my brain (don’t worry, it is never much!).

As most of you know, life is slightly up in the air at the moment. Ben and I are doing OK again and hopefully this will continue to be the case, but we are both still shaken by the near calamity of the other week’s events. At the same time Ben is very close to something that I can’t really talk about, but which would mean a lot of changes and upheavals in our lives. Uncertain and scary times like this, with the potential for all those safe and comforting routines to be completely destroyed, are when I feel the loneliest – a feeling that was compounded this weekend.

Every year for my birthday I insist on hoping that people will come and visit, uni friends and home friends and friends from around Leamington. Every year I am disappointed because I got my hopes up, and whilst some do visit it is never as much of a reunion as I have in my head. On top of this I live a way away from my family, to whom I am very close, and it costs so much money to be able to head home. So, as you can see, I build myself up about it.

The thing is, really, that I don’t have many close friends. I have 3 from uni, 3 from home, and a few around Leamington, something that has been changing in the past few months. And although that sounds like a decent amount, I will only see one uni friend on a semi-regular basis (I love you LAURA!). Home friends I only see when I visit my parents, and we have drifted so far away from each other that sometimes the distance feels unmanagable. I see friends around Leamington, but when I am fee,ling broken and lonely and down in the dumps I hide. I sit at home and curl up and eat and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist.

I often wonder if there is something about me that means I don’t make friends easily. Maybe I am not very good at being a good friend to people? The guys at work are always telling me that I am odd, and I suppose I am. I say what I feel and have never pretended to be anyone but me, and maybe that is too much for people to be friends with me. I would never normally feel this, but I am told so often I am odd nowadays that I am starting to wonder!

Maybe, just maybe, I am a little hormonal.

Family life July 9, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I was reading this delightfully eloquent  (if a little controversial) post on Cie’s blog, and it got me to thinking about the role of families in our lives in this modern age. It wasn’t quite the point of the article, more a little non-sequitur at the end, but it sure got me thinking.

For me, family is an incredible and vital part of my existence. There aren’t many of us, pretty much just a nuclearbase with a few estranged cousins, but we are tight and loving and brilliant. I happily call my mother “Mummy” and my father “Daddy”, and ring them every other day just to chat and jibber away.

I live quite a way from home now, at least 3 hours, and as such don’t get home that often to see them. Whilst I survive quite happily as just me, I love them very much and miss them regularly. It was once said to me that as I had moved away from home, I mustn’t be very close to my family. In fact, I believe the opposite is true. Because I am so close to them, and they know we won’t lose each other, it makes it easier for me to move a long way away yet still feel connected and part of the unit.

It helps, of course, that I get on well with my sister and parents, particularly now that Jessie and I are out of the horrible hormonal years of teenage outrage and sibling rivalry. I’m just the kind-of-cool older sister now!

Being in a relationship with Ben has opened up my mind to a whole different world – a world with extensive (and daunting) family trees, millions of cousins and even more second cousins twice removed! It is amazing to be part of it, and in the doing so I have gained new members to my family, namely Ben and his lovely siblings.

Families as a whole, however, have changed a lot in the past few decades. The original nuclear family has been replaced with new networks – step parents, biological parents and more. The unit of Mum, Dad and 2.5 children has slipped away into a world where people follow their emotion and no longer have to stay together for fear of being socially blacklisted and regarded as fickle.

In many ways, this is fabulous. After all, it theoretically brings happiness and choice into an area where once if you were in it you were in it for good. Of course damage occurs in new areas as children take the brunt of messy breakups and as affairs become easier, simpler and more “acceptable”. In principal, however, the move towards flexibility, change and relationships based on your feelings and situations are great.

But then I realise that nothing is ever as simple as the overreaching statements that I am trying to make. After all, here I am, a country girl from a tight family who have had their problems, but have fought through together. And my parents aren’t married. I know so many people from all walks of family life, some who love their families, some who claim to hate them. Some, more disturbingly, where the family environment is dangerous and unhealthy, despite it’s seeming innocence and textbook set-up.

Essentially, whilst everything has changed and grown and evolved, families have always been, and will always be, complex beasts. All we have done is introduce new and exciting obstacles and challenges to the mix. The times have changed, but families still exist and are vital to society, whatever form they may take.

For me, I am lucky enough to have a small but brilliant family. My mum, with her wicked sense of humour and her ability to understand whatever weird message I am going for. My dad, with his quiet nature  and personality dangerously similar to my own. My sister, who now the hormones are wearing off is a brilliant and intelligent young girl who I look forward to seeing carve her path through the world. Ben, who has slotted in just like he belongs, and taken me for all I am – and my lack of persona appropriateness! Cie, who I never assumed I would know as well as I do, and who I couldn’t have survived without in Leamington. My family includes my friends too – Jasmine, Charlie and Stephen particularly from home, because they will love me no matter how long it has been since I last saw them, and Nommi, Laura and Vicky from uni for being my rocks and my savours.

It is nothing to do with blood – but my family make me who I am.

Happy Bank Holiday! May 25, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Happy Bank Holiday everyone! Summer is my favourite season not just because of the theoretical potential for sunny days, but because there are so many 4-day weeks! What more could you want?! (Aside from 3-day weeks, obviously!)

Anyway, this weekend was spent down at a family do of Ben’s. I spent the first day in a state of tense panic – he has thirty odd cousins (the majority of whom were al at this party!), whilst I have a grand total of three! I was so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn’t even see its walls in the distance! What an amazing thing to have such a huge family tree – and how strange it must seem to them for someone to just have a little happy nuclear family!

Thankfully they are all a little bit bonkers and very approachable, so soon enough (once a few glasses of pink of white dutch courage had been swallowed) I was chatting way happily. I cant say I remember all their names, but I know a few of them! Impressive eh?

The party was made all the better by a large bouncy castle slide. When I was little these slides started being quite regimented – we paid our 50p and were strictly allowed 3 slides, with no more than a minute at the top. It was lovely to be allowed to clamber up and slide down as many times (and in as many positions) as possible!


Note: the PJ bottoms were to ensure Ben’s family didn’t get to know me too well that day!

Unfortunately for me, clumsiness and stupidity has a habit of following me around. A mere few hours into the night, I locked the car keys in the car. What followed was a lot of mocking (justifiably!!) and a discovery that together, 10 tipsy males can eventually get one pair of car-keys out of a locked car – as long as they have 2 wire coat-hangers. It was hilarious and I do believe I will never be forgotten – or live this one down!

car keys

Lots of male bonding!!

Thankfully, the weekend did have a more positive lasting memory – a dress for Richard’s wedding the week after our holiday.  I found a Ted Baker dress in a size 8 (a size 8 – haven’t fitted in one of those for years!) that fit like a dream, and cost a huge (not) 6 quid! I’m not putting a picture up, you’ll have to wait to see the full effect (with tan) in a couple of weeks time.

The Art of Absconding May 18, 2008

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
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Missing people is a complete bugger. 

That’s not perhaps the most eloquent way of putting it – I should instead spout reams about the constricting of the heart strings, the feeling of longing to be with them. Ringing them up simply to hear their voice, and being quite happy to sit without talking, knowing that they are on the other end being all you need. I should explain about the way I hate saying goodbye because I know it means I’m alone again, and how I try to fall asleep as fast as I can so that I have a shorter time to lie in bed staring at the ceiling and pray for a shoulder nook to snuggle up in and fall asleep on. However, all that adjectival hocus pocus misses the real point. The simple honest truth that you miss that certain person like crazy, and wish you were with them. It’s that basic.

Being at uni I miss lots of people, though I tend to bury it deep inside – I miss those people from home, whom I have known since Primary school and with whom I never fail to have a laugh. I miss my family, because thye have been around me all the time since I was tiny, they know me better than I know myself, and although I love running my own life I don’t see them enough. I miss Ben, more than anyone else, because not only do I love him, but I’m used to spending my time with him, and feel “right” when I am. I miss knowing who I am, and what I want to do. I miss that sense of certainty about my life, where I know it will always work out in the long run, or that the sun will rise. I hope that certainty will come again.