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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!

Christmas and loneliness December 21, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I love Christmas. I love the snow, and the crisp coldness. I love sitting in front of the fire, watching the flames dance in the grate and the coal spark and crackle. I love the travel, watching a DVD on the train as I wind my way along the stunning Devon coastline. I especially love the smells of the spices, the fruity tang of mulled wine, the sweetness of Sloe Gin, and the delicious buttery goodness of Christmas lunch cooking in the oven.

However, despite all the wonder of the holiday season, it is also a time for people to be alone. I find that in the build up to the big day I start to feel lonely, start to realise just how much of my time is spent alone. What is silly is that I will see friends, I will even run out of time to be myself, and yet still I will somehow manage to feel slightly down in the dumps. I suppose it could be that the SAD kicks in around about now, the darkest time of the year, when the long nights stretch out well into the day so it is dark in the morning and dark at night. However, I think a certain part of it is to do with the fact that  Christmas is a time for love, and if you don’t have anyone to love you then you become more aware of it than you ever have before.

Please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t actually a mopey grumpy post about isolation and misery. I have so many friends around me, I am wildly happy being single – but sometimes at this time of the year it would be lovely to snuggle up under a blanket with someone special. Hearing all the plans of the couples that surround me (I am the only single person I know around here at the moment, a particularly strange feeling!), I am bitterly aware that my plans worry about me and me alone. Freeing, most definitely, but not perhaps the most conducive to the Christmas spirit!

Still, a few weeks of feeling slightly lonely has actually shown me that I made the right decision ending my relationship. To be fair I have never doubted that for a second, but it is nice to know that in months of singledom I only really get lonely at extreme times like that, and also that this loneliness is nowhere near as bad as I felt when I actually was part of a couple. In comparison, this sort of mopeyness is easy to deal with, but when you look at someone and all you feel is regret and guilt, then that is a worse place to be.

Of course, I have to be careful not to forget all the good bits that were part of my relationship. Certain lies, events and bitterness post-breakup have given what was a loving relationship a sour tint, and sometimes I look back and wish that none of it had happened. I can see it brimming, this feeling that I have changed so much since it happened that I can’t understand it, that I have to battle to keep the fondness and good memories alive. Perhaps if there is anything I learn from Christmas alone it should be this – relationships past, present and future are all a major part of what makes me, me. The opposite of rose tinted glasses (muck tinted?!) is just as bad as over-optimism.

Hmm, did that post make any sense at all? It was a bit of a verbal splurge on the page, clearing out the cobwebs of my mind! Apologies!

Simple Exhaustion November 10, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Well. I am in a funny mood tonight. I have spent the afternoon in a barely controlled state of hysteria following a very long and very tiring meeting down in the delightful area of Croydon. Having finally got back (and having a grand 10 minutes in the office), I then proceeded straight to the downer following the huge Red Bull I swigged in the car on the way home.

Now I am feeling kind of funny. Just a bit simple and empty and tired, and in need of a good hug, a bar of chocolate, and someone to look after me a little.

How strange. How odd that these moods over come me, and that all of a sudden I will need a hug. And I don’t really have anyone to hug me at times like this, and that can be really hard. How strange!

I’d better be chirpier tomorrow!

Make Love Not War October 19, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Graphic Design, Inspiration, Photos.
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Had to share this… a stunning juxtaposition between the violence and ugly nature of firearms, and the friendship and love implicit in an origami crane.

 gun and origami crane tattoo

So the hobos love me, at least… August 2, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Hi guys. Sorry for the absence, no internet at home makes for a lack of blog posts! Anyways, expect some self-indulgent introspective pieces this week, as I am having a hard time, but for now…

I have noticed a worrying chain of events. It seems that for some unknown reason in the past few weeks I have become incredibly attractive to a few certain subsets of Leamington’s inhabitants. Not the young, good looking men, nay, but the hobos and the chavs.

How do I know I am attractive to them at the moment? Well, every time I leave the house I receive tooting horns, whistles, and comments of appreciation. I average about 5 comments by the time I reach the cross-roads leading to town. This is flattering, of course, but the incredible specificity of the groups I appear to be appealing to makes me wonder if perhaps I am looking a little bit like a vaguely attractive slightly insane chavvy hobo. Yesterday, for want of a better example, I was called over by a pair of very friendly homeless guys, who proceeded to inform me that if they could have any flower, they would pick me, because I was a rose. Flattering, yes. Poetic, yes. Confusing? Totally!

What I find strange is that I am still dressing like me, in my strange vintage outfits. I am also wearing very little make-up at the moment, rushing out of the house with bare skin and hastily brushed hair. What is it about this image of me that makes the chavs and hobos find me worthy of comment?! Surely, typically, I ought to be plastered in make-up and wearing Uggs?

What on earth has changed so that now I am being found attractive? And why the hell am I only appealing to hobos and chavs?!

Do I look like a homeless chav? Do I?! Do I really?!

The wonder of boy hugs June 10, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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two cats having a hug

The world's cutest hugging cats!

(image from here)

Hugs of all descriptions are one of the most healing acts that I think there are in the world. I am not talking about the little meaningless hugs that you get on a day-to-day basis, but those hugs where people fully envelop you in their arms, acting as if by enclosing you within the circle of their grip they can keep all of the bad things in the world at bay. As soon as you are swaddled in a proper and true hug you feel safe, sound, protected, and like all of the dark shadows creeping around the edges of your life are being held at bay, unable to sneak any closer.

Whilst hugs like this from anyone are brilliant, I find that noone gives better hugs than boys. Nothing silly or inappropriate involved, I mean true honest hugs from a boy that you know. It must be because generally they are bigger and a bit stronger, but if you want a hug that makes you feel safe, then a boy is most likely to be able to deliver on the challenge.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t some anti-feminist stance, an “I’m only a weak little woman” position – it is just where the physical difference between the genders can be used to make someone feel utterly secure, and to stop them worrying.

Whilst life may be on the up, I still feel I need a real bone-crushing soul-saving hug from a boy to set me on the right path.

How I am Me May 13, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Wordy Business.
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Thanks to the wonderful Cie and Nat, I have been musing today. Musing, and perhaps moping a little, because I doubt I will ever be able to write anything half as eloquent as they have. In spite of this, however, I have decided to see if I can scribble down some of the things that have made me the person I am today.

I often wonder if I have always been “me”. Thanks to my wonderful parents, I had it drilled into me from a young age that I can be anything, and anyone, that I want to be. I spent most of my childhood trying to decide between being a fireman (yes, I hadn’t quite grasped gender) and a writer. Later on I set my sights on being an architect, until I realised I found the nitty gritty a little boring. If I had had any interest in being an astronaut, I have no doubt that I would have believed completely and utterly that I could do it, if I just put the effort in. For this, I salute my parents. Despite the fact that (as with most people) I had low self-esteem, my parents had still managed to instill in me a sense of self belief, and because of this I am quite grounded in who I am.

In fact, I think the me I am now is almost entirely down to my parents. Their views, their beliefs, the fact that they love me no matter what – this has created the me that has a well-rounded collection of opinions of my own. Without them I doubt I would be someone I respected, and I am so glad I am lucky enough to be close to them.

However, there is more to me that just the way I was bought up. Sixth Form was what really shaped me, discovering groups of friends and a social side to myself that I never knew existed. In a matter of weeks I suddenly established a network of friends who I was inseparable from. Never before or since have I known a group quite so close-knit – they saw every side of me, and supported me through all the dark times without hesitation. This was followed by uni, a time that hard, and sad, and brilliant and fabulous – with people to match.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my friends, although I see them far too rarely. People at home in Devon, who stopped me drifting away, are only seen a few times a year. My uni friends too are seen too rarely, although I love that they let me be as mad as silly as I want, and that they will join in. I hope that one day we will all live closer to each other, so that I will be able to see you more – and I promise that I will phone more often so that we can keep in contact. Thankfully now I have friends in the area who are shaping up to be very important people in my life, and of course I have Ben, who knows me inside and out – and has been house training me for some time now.

Sometimes, however, I wonder what it must be like to have a friend like Cie has in Nat and vica-versa. A person with whom you have shared a long relationship, someone you love completely and who loves you back. Someone who makes you brilliant and wonderful, and the very best version of yourself that you can be. I don’t have this yet, but I hope that one day I will. For now, however, I will just keep being deeply envious, and respectful of their wonderful relationship.

Times are a’changin May 10, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Life is… well… interesting at the moment. What was a steady, stable and downright predictable way of living has, in the space of a week, been turned on its head. There hasn’t been any disaster (in fact, this was all deliberately self-inflicted), but it is quite a surreal set of events, and a set that leaves me excited and terrified at the same moment.

Let me elaborate, as I am aware that I am not making much sense.

Ben and I are not going to be living together any more. Once we have handed in our notice we will be moving out to separate flats, which is the process that I am going through today – searching for suitable flat shares and emailing to see if the rooms are still available at all. The process itself is quite exciting, it tinges the air with a scent of new beginnings, freedom and change.

However, in many other ways the decision and direction that we are going in is strange. We love each other. We really do. But for the past 6 months, maybe even a year, we have become disenchanted with one another. Where once we chatted and flirted, we have descended into a sad silence, an empty space filled with nothing more than disappointment. Living together was killing us, and it was killing our relationship. With this in mind, we have decided that we need change, and we need our own space – but the very act of embarking on this feels like it is as much a step backwards as it is a huge leap forwards.

However, without this my relationship would not have a chance to survive. We were young when we moved in together, fresh out of uni, and I realise now that perhaps we should have had an opportunity to be young, wild and free. To be boyfriend and girlfriend, rather than live in partners. The choice, therefore, is between breaking up, or staying together and moving out.

Because I love him, I think this relationship is worth fighting for, I think it is worth putting the effort in. If, after all this, we do break up, then so be it – but we will both know that we did everything humanly possible to give each other a second chance, to fight for something we really, truly believe in. Because isn’t it worth trying, if you really care?

My wonderful life (and my wonderful friends) April 23, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Family, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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I had THE most wonderful night on Wednesday. It was our Sew Make Believe Book Club meeting, and we all met in the pub to partake in intelligent and fascinating chat with intelligent and fascinating SMB women. And, an added bonus, we all actually liked the book, The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters.

It got me thinking about how lucky I am to have the life that I have ended up having. I am surrounded my amazing people – clever, articulate, funny and above all else loving., Some of these I met through existing friends, some through Twitter and some through family, but all of them mean so much to me. For the first time since moving to Leamington I feel like I have a network, who will be there for me if I need it. What is odd is that some of these girls I have only known for such a short period of time, but it feels like they have been my pals for years.

I love them, and because of them, I love my life. Even when it gets tough and horrible they still keep me up and buoyant.

So, as a celebration, I thought I would share Cie’s wonderful idea with you, and write a little slip to some of my girls to tell them just why I love them so.

Dear Cie

Here are three things I love about the way you look:

I love your beautiful curves, and how you have this womanly shape with such a tiny tiny waist. I love your hair, it glows and shines and, quite frankly, I wish I had hair just like it. I love (and envy) your fabulous cheekbones, so strong and defined and beautiful!


Dear Roisin

Here are three things I love about the way you look:

I love love love that you can wear heels all the time and never even show a moments preference for flats. I adore your short stature, it makes you so delicate and feminine and generally beautiful. I love your smile, it is both cheeky and cute in equal measure, and can be just as loving as it is foul-mouthed!


Dear Laura

Here are three things I love about the way you look:

I love your incredibly long legs, they seem to continue right up into the clouds, and they perfectly match your gorgeous height. I love your rosy cheeks, they glow in a way that mine never could! I love your hair, the most perfect shade of brown, it always seems to be deeper in colour and texture than normal hair is!


Dear Nommi

Here are three things I love about the way you look:

I love your huge and beautiful eyes, they are such a stunning shade of chocolate-brown and yet at the same time they are really light and bright. I adore your curves, so incredibly feminine and the most wonderful hourglass shape. I love you boobs, they are just wonderful through and through in a totally non-pervy way!


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.