The introvert goes out

I’ve never been the most confident person and that was shoved off as ‘shy’ until it was noticed that I had anxiety and was an introvert.
For that reason, and many others, that’s why 7 months into being 18, I still hadn’t gone out. Friday was my first time. I mean, I’ve been to spoons and to bars (Farborje, Walkabout) and stayed until around midnight each time, but never to a full on club (and I technically still haven’t, I guess).

 

Myself and my friend Tolia at her 18th (at a bar in Watford)
My friends took their time to turn 18; Louise and Saskia both turned 18 not long before me but it was then a waiting game, from November, until Adelaide turned 18 at the very end of February, and what would have been the point in going out without them? I wouldn’t have felt comfortable, and I don’t drink so it would have been pointless.

 

 

Living up life with my slushie in a cocktail glass to look fancy
Me and my friends found a cute themed event at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, a 9pm-3am club/party event with cocktails, dancing, all you could want.
The Harry Potter 20th anniversary fell conveniently at the end of exam period, meaning my friends wanted to go out, and Harry Potter appealed to me. Though I didn’t get to try the Harry Potter cocktails or butterbeer (there was only an alcoholic option), it was still super themed and an amazing night regardless! We even made friends with a girl called Phillippa who called us ‘friendship goals’ and said she wanted to be a part of our group, so danced to Beyoncé with us and got us to build her courage to chat to a guy she fell for.

 

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My (drunk) beauties xxx
I’ve always been scared of going out, and maybe it’s not something I’ll be constantly dying to do, but I’ve realised that partying until 3am is actually very enjoyable and a lot of people my age do it for a reason.
I admit, tonight I’d rather sit in bed and read after a nice warm bath, but I’ll be buzzing to go out next time someone asks me and hopefully won’t make excuses for once. I can do it and I can enjoy it.
This is sort of a personal anecdote but there is a message to take away from it; it doesn’t hurt to give it a go. I’ve held back from anxiety but the fear of missing out had made me feel worse when I’ve sat doing nothing, plus the anxiety’s stayed, whereas if you go, you’ll know. Leaving is an option if you don’t like it (and please do if it’s not sensible for you or your wellbeing!) but I totally encourage you to try going out when you’re of age (though be safe with your drink or like meeee simply suffer from brain-freeze rather than being drunk because you drink your non-alcoholic slushie too fast!)

Love always, Lauren xxx


Doctor Who: A series review

I’m writing this post, about to watch the last episode of series 10 of ‘Doctor Who’, after a jam packed day with other people who love the show.

I have to be honest, towards the end of series 9 I had lost a little hope; I was hanging onto Doctor Who, the show I’ve been (I guess you could say) obsessed with for years by a thread- a Clara Oswald shaped thread.

When Pearl Mackie was announced as the new companion just over a year ago however, I was over the moon. I adored her when I saw her on stage and she was one of the kindest souls I’d ever met, so I couldn’t believe the luck the show had in it’s boots. 

Still, I was skeptical. The writing (in my opinion) hadn’t been fantastic and if it was all about the companion I wouldn’t be barely clinging to Who as everyone knows how I adore Clara Oswald and Jenna Coleman herself, plus I love Peter Capaldi (I think I can safely say he’s my favourite doctor). 

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

I truly did not find one episode of this series ‘dull’, or ‘bad’ and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Not only were the storylines and, what I’ve seen of the story arc so far, amazing, but there was LGBT and WoC representation, and I have no bones to pick with it.

I really do once more feel enthused as a part of the Doctor Who fandom and am proud to call myself a fan. 

Also, after the Watford con and cosplaying with amazing people, I have been more than encouraged to get back into cosplaying, so watch this space. 

Watch this space for a post-finale blog post centred around Pride and Bill’s sexuality and the importance of that representation, too. 

What were your thoughts? I hope you enjoyed it too!

Love always, Lauren xxx

Happy Birthday NHS

Totally disregarding my political leaning, the NHS is such an important necessity. I feel this on  personal and emotional level. Today, this beautiful creation of the welfare state, a creation much older than my 18 year old self, turns 69 years old.

In 1948 the National Health Service was formed in the UK. Shockingly, not all countries benefit from a system similar to our NHS (and I’m talking about in the western world, too- just take a look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- commonly known as ‘Obamacare’- in the US and the controversies surrounding it). Personally, I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want such a marvellous system- paying for extraordinary money funding through tax, rather than having to fork out hundreds to potentially save your life when the chances are you won’t be able to afford it, or I know in my financial and medical situation I would be totally screwed; quite honestly the thought of having to start paying for prescriptions next year is terrifying because I already know the hefty monthly bill will be more than I can afford.

Of course, the NHS has it’s issues; The mental health waiting list is quite frankly unacceptable, waiting times can be hellishly long in A&E and to try and get a surgery appointment unless it’s classed as an ’emergency’, but that’s not actually the fault of the NHS, it’s more so the government. The medical profession is something highly competitive (I know from having friends apply for medical courses to uni this year) so it’s not as if they don’t have potential resources, it’s just the government’s choice not to allow the NHS to access them.

Anyway, I’m moving on from that for now as this is a positive post about the NHS rather than a rant about the government.

I think the recent events in the UK have also highlighted the importance of our emergency services; the incredibly quick responses to the recent terror incidents and equality of treatment by the NHS highlights how important the service truly is. But we shouldn’t just thank the staff in times of national crisis. My good friend Steph works for the NHS, and though I haven’t ever been treated by her, I’ve thanked her even so, for being a part of the NHS. The treatment to patients she gives is so important and she deserves to be thanked. Every staff member deserves to be thanked on the daily for their amazing treatment of patients and how hardworking they are. So, here: Do you work for the NHS? Well. Thank you. Thank you so much for everything.

The truth about the NHS is that without it, I have friends who wouldn’t be alive. My mum made a joke about how I always seem to make friends with unwell people, but unfortunately it is true that I do have quite a few close friends who are unwell. My two best friends are severely chronically ill, for example, and if you’ve seen my recent blog posts, you’ll know I was friends with a beautiful soul called Hannah and despite losing her, without the NHS her life would not have been extended so far. Aside from even my friends, I myself suffer from many disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health issues, and it really does suck. Being ill sucks and not knowing how to respond to ‘get well soon’ when you know you won’t goddamn sucks. But without the NHS would I be here? Probably not. I would be in a lot more pain, I’d be a lot more ill and with no help with my mental health. It would not be a fun situation, and I hate to admit it but I have friends who would probably not be here without the NHS. Hell, tlking about it any more is too close to home because I know who I would have lost for sure and I can’t bear to even think about that or recall the ‘nearly’ memories.The NHS is close to me personally as I may have lost many friends and family members without the NHS, and as horrible as it is to think, you, reading this, probably can relate to that.

It also shouldn’t take the threat of someone’s life being taken to treat a patient or that would be a flawed system, hence how important even getting antibiotics for, say, tonsillitis is. There are other important things the NHs can help with too, for example, I have a few friends who are transgender. In other countries, transitioning would be so hard. It would be unaffordable- my trans friends here have a chance to transition on the NHS which is so important. I can’t highlight the importance of someone transitioning who wishes to enough, and they really do deserve to be able to do that under a safe service such as the NHS.

Yes, some of those people may have been able to afford private healthcare if our welfare state service wasn’t an option, but I know many of us wouldn’t. Hell, in my families financial situation I dread to think how life would be right now with family members, my own illnesses… We couldn’t afford even the basics.

I just really wanted to highlight the important of our NHS on a personal level, no politics involved. It’s probably not even coherent because it does encounter real emotions and experiences, so I’m sorry about that, but our NHS is so important.

If you want some NHS stats, this Evening Standard article is quite interesting.

Also, it would be great if you sign the NHS birthday card to help us save the NHS and highlight it’s importance!

So, Happy Birthday NHS. I hope you live on.

Lauren Curr.

For Hannah; A tribute, one year on.

A year and two days ago we lost the beautiful soul that is Hannah Baqar.

Many of you may recognise her name- either from me mentioning her before or because she was the top Clara Oswald cosplayer and quite frankly the nicest person in the Doctor Who fandom. She was my first ever friend in the doctor who fandom, 4 or 5 years ago now and got me into cosplay and many other things surrounding my favourite show.  Hannah was always there for everyone and calling her my friend gave me so much happiness and pride.

 

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Credit to Melissa Collier: This candle was lit outside one of Hannah’s favourite Doctor Who flming locations, St Paul’s Cathedral, on Saturday, the anniversary of her passing.
Yesterday, at Watford Comic Con, a candle lighting memorial event was arranged in her memory and it was so beautiful. Personalised candles were made by Melissa and Brian for this ceremony and there were also multiple TARDIS blue candlesticks. I, as the other cosplayers, held one of these candlesticks alight for the silence. Following this, we all proceeded to sonic the sky in memory of Hannah. It was a beautiful ceremony.

Hannah’s father also attended and it was so lovely to speak to him about the memories of Hannah and how loved she was and still is. Having him there meant a lot to us all.

The ceremony was beautiful and just how I expect Hannah would have wanted it. Following this and the emotional hugs, we continued with our day at the con, chatting away to Colin Baker, messing around in the TARDIS… Just as Hannah would have wanted.

I actually cosplayed for the first time in over a year (having lost confidence in it) because of Hannah, and showing up there as a Clara made me feel immense pride.

For the first time last week, the sun shone. I don’t know how far I believe in spirituality but I do to some extent, and I really do believe this blessing of sun was Hannah looking down on us, showing she too was at the candle service. Just like last year when the sun shone through the heavy rain.

So many of us miss Hannah dearly but she will always be in our hearts.

I love you millions Hannah, keep shining up there.

Love always, Lauren xxx

Glückwünsche Deutschland!

Liebe ist Liebe. Love is love. 

Yesterday, the courts of Germany made a very, very important choice: to legalise gay marriage. 

It’s almost shocking to think it wasn’t legal before- sometimes it’s easy to forget that not long ago it wasn’t legal in our own country. For over 3/4 of my life, LGBT marriage was illegal, and I’m only 18- our own progressive bill was not introduced long ago. Plus, if you have a look at Europe and the general state of the world, it’s fair to say that Germany is a fairly liberal country (despite the fact Merkel voted against this bill, which was very upsetting to hear). 

Any big or little step towards equality is so important, whether defined by legislation or merely attitudes, in liberal or ‘traditional’ (the latter being questionable as it can frequently be an excuse to be homophobic when there is no excuse), and that’s why I’m congratulating Germany. 

Germany is a beautiful place, and now they’re accepting love, all kinds of love, I find it much more beautiful, more magical. I really hope I can return some day and celebrate love and diversity with them. 

Love always, Lauren xxx

Little things, big hearts.

Warning: This post contains mentions of real emotionsREAL EMOTIONS. Beware.

Hello lovely humans! So, I’ve got to say, this week really has not been the best. Heck, it seems like it’s been the worst. Just one bad thing after another. But I have been trying to turn that around in any way I can; working through it, getting myself out of the house, being surrounded by people so I feel less alone. To some extent, it has helped, but it has really been the actions of other people that have meant a lot to me. As I remember being inspired by my friend Louise to do a gratitude post a while back, I thought.. do you know what I need? I need to do it again. But this time more people focused.

Disclaimer: If you’re not mentioned, it’s not a personal thing. I very much appreciate you. This is very specific to this week.

To Sharon, the always-smiley barista in the Starbucks in Watford for giving me a free coffee, totally unexplained. It was a beautiful cup of coffee and the sentiment that came with it was much appreciated.

To the Lush destashers that sold me two Lush bombs (exclusive kitchen bath ballistics i’ve wanted for ages) and Celebr       ate from the Japan kitchen. I am in love with them both and a Karma/Lush/Celebrate bath totally got me through one of the toughest days this week.

To the Disney store for their incredible pride campaign and lovely staff members who are more than happy to talk about pride. Thank you for continually making Disney magical.

To Georgina and Gee for the livestream they did earlier this week and being the nicest human ever on it. I love your friendship. Thank you, too, for the constant validation you seem to be fueling  me with recently, it means a lot.

To Emily: We hadn’t spoken in years so now messaging again means a lot, you’re super lovely and we’re super similar and being invited out makes me feel super included too, so thank you.

To Emma, who constantly sends me love and support and solid adult advice when I’m least expecting it. This is more a year round appreciation as we may not speak that frequently anymore but every interaction is so, so important to me. You never fail to make me feel a sense of hope. Lots of love x

To Lucy  for being my absolute rock for the past 6 or so months, and giving me adult advice (despite being 6 months or so younger than me) as well as amazing amounts of love and support.

To Amy, my lovely colleague who has just been super positive and lovely, whether i’ve been working or a customer. To Claire and Zahra for all the hugs and putting up with my endless rambling.

To Beth and Fran, and Polly and Isi: Thank you for sending me messages of love and support, for checking up on me, and being the most amazing friends a girl can ask for. I appreciate you more than anything.

To Anenti for doing normal things with me (shopping and coffee), especially after not having really spoken to you for the whole exam period. I felt less alone and totally great in your company.

To Mollie: Despite being friends for years and years, recently we’d barely even spoken, but in a time of need you listened to my fears, gave me wise advice, sent me validating messages and supported me even when I took hours to reply to your messages.

To Adie for being my absolute favourite person, for making me laugh and being  great friend, for the hugs, and for dying my hair with Henna yesterday. For the first time in a while I feel hair-confident and more like myself again. To Adie’s mum for just everything. My favourite sass-queen who is still full of validation and basically the most amazing person ever. I’ve only met you twice but you’re incredibly cool.

To Saskia for so many things. So many. For buying me a smoothie, for socialising with me, for going charity shopping with me, for getting ice cream with me (the best remedy), and for being an amazing best friend.

To Adelaide, for letting me cry down the phone to you when you were enjoying a night out. For checking up on me to see if i’m okay, for sending me loving messages, and generally, for being an amazing best friend.

To Hannah, spiritually you have helped me through this week. Tomorrow it will be a year since we lost you, and knowing your year-on memorial is on sunday has helped me through this week. I miss you and I can’t wait to celebrate your life with many of your other friends.

There are so many other people who have made me smile this week, so thank you for that too (undoubtedly going out with Felicity, Soley and Krishma tonight will bring my spirits up), but little things are so important. In a time of darkness, without these little acts, without these people, things would be very different. So, thank you.

Just remember that something you say or do can impact someone more than imaginable- kindness is free, so remember to gift it and accept any you recieve.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week. Feel free to drop me a message on my personal or blog’s Instagram (yes, I have two now!) or on twitter. My door is open and my ears are here to listen.

Love always, Lauren xxx

 

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Lush DIY: Shower gel

After not having the most amazing Monday, I decided to do some Lush DIY and count it as ‘self care’. (I’d wanted to do it for some time and needed a distraction more than anything)

I chose to turn my favourite shower jelly ‘Deep Sleep’ (from the Lush Kitchen) into a shower gel! I only had about 1/3 of the 240g pot left and for a 60g bottle maybe only used 1/3 of that, so I still have my sacred DS jelly left but now my own gel creation, too! 

Instead of following Jen’s DIY (which I have followed before and 100000000% I can vouch it is WONDERFUL) I followed a recipe I saw on instagram* this morning purely due to ingredients.

*(I can’t remember who at the current but if I find out they surely will be credited!)  

So, I will share this recipe with you, too:

  • Shower jelly of your choice
  • Water
  1. Mush up cubed pieces of shower jelly until totally mashed.
  2. Boil the kettle.
  3. Add drips of the hot kettle water into the mashed mixture.
  4. Microwave for no longer than 5-10 seconds (at a time) and check the liquid.
  5. The jelly will somewhat melt and merge with the water. 
  6. Pour this mixture into your bottle. 
  7. The gel may seem a more jelly mixture at points. If this happens, shake the bottle gently and it will return to the perfect gel consistency.

Voila!


So, I find that this gel lathers a lot more than normal shower gels. I’ve since tried it and genuinely needed no more than a pea size lump for shower gel!

I can assure you that making lush DIYs is very therapeutic and if I had more bottles I would make tonnes. I’m so happy to possess a Deep Sleep shower gel now and plan on making many, many more. 

I hope you have fun making Lush DIYs yourself! Love always, Lauren xxx

Disclaimer: My lovely boss Aida has informed me of the risks when using this method. Be aware not to use water for large quantity DIYs as there are not enough preservatives in lush products to stop bacteria from coming in, so larger amounts/that aren’t going to be used straight away are a lot safer being done Jen’s way! I also have to say I much prefer the consistency when using shower gel to make the DIY (that recipe is linked earlier on) but this is just an alt for small amounts!

PS: If you too love lush, I have a lush vid up on my YouTube, live today, so feel free to check it out! (For some reason it won’t load. Watch this space)