PLAYGROUND MEETS EYEWEAR DESIGNER & MAMA LAURA

We caught up with the lovely Laura and family remotely, during lockdown to find out how they are getting on. We loved hearing her level headed words. 

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Tell us about you and your family set up

I live with my boyfriend Stuart and our two children, Rafe [4] and Cissy [11 months] in South Tottenham. I'm on maternity leave, however I usually work from our home running my eyewear business Larke Optics, which I founded back in 2013.

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How is Corona virus affecting you right now?

We take each day as it comes. There’s not much else we can do.

Luckily we don’t have the added pressure of home schooling, but my main concern is for Rafe and his lack of human contact – he is 4 and misses his friends terribly and is obviously too small to rationalise the situation and comprehend time scales.

We have just celebrated both mine and Rafe’s birthdays, which was emotional as the reality of having no family and friends at what would usually be a big social occasion really hit home. That said we made the most of what we do have; a bbq in the garden, birthday cake and front gate visits from his little friends.

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How are you coping with the change?

Thankfully I mostly have up days, but I do allow myself to cry if I feel the need. Admittedly, I have been a home bird to some extent with having a newborn not many months ago and nap schedules etc but the lack of seeing family and friends and ultimately freedom of movement remains difficult to accept. 

For now, work has come to a standstill so our days consist mostly of entertaining the kids. We don’t get much, if any, me time with having two small children so we indulge in cooking, watching movies and documentaries, a daily crossword and a bottle of wine when the kiddos are in bed. We are fortunate to have a garden and it has never looked so good!

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Any tips to survive the next few months?

I often wonder whether the lockdown is harder with kids or not.. it’s exhausting but ultimately a positive distraction to all of this disorder!

Keep in touch with friends and family - send letters to loved ones, I love receiving them back.

Consider volunteering [if you can] – Stu is helping to prepare meals to feed the NHS staff at Whitechapel Hospital

Take this unexpected time to learn something/ cook something/ make something/ read something/ fix something – do the things you put off, as you usually have no time.

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What have you learnt from the experience, so far?

Keep busy but slow down, evaluate the areas of your life that may need to change or improve.

Ultimately, be thankful for your wellbeing and humbled by the incredible front line workers who are keeping the country moving and healthy in this uncertain time.

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What / who do you miss?

Freedom of movement, human interaction and eating out.

Top three things you do to lift the spirits? Can be tunes / activities / video calls / whatever..

Sharing – my mates have a group whatsapp sharing music, movie and series watch tips, recipes, all the stupid memes, we set each other challenges of self portraits and making films.

Painting – I’ve discovered a new found calming influence in painting. Literally with Rafe's kids paint set watercolours – nothing professional ha! .

Cooking – We’re working our way through Anna Jones' recipes and have managed to fire up the bbq due to the glorious weather we’ve been having.

Zoom – We play Bingo on a Friday night – which is hilarious chaos, mostly due to our mate who appears as the naked bingo caller ! The hangovers seem to be worse than actually going out!

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What’s the best thing that’s happened since you've been in lockdown?

My family and friends are healthy, that's the best thing we can ask for at the moment.

First thing you’ll do when out of isolation?

Probably leave London for much needed change the scenery and flow, to visit my loved ones and hug them!

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What are you wearing in lockdown?

On the hot days, I wear oversize cotton dresses as we’ve spent the whole day in the garden. Even though we are in lock down, it’s important for me to get dressed and apply some basic make up – that way I feel ready for the day ahead!