My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.
The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..
Saturday, 2 May 2015
Sunday, 15 March 2015
I'm usually the sort of person that opts for very monochrome eye-makeup, but today I tried doing some make-up to match the colours in my hair. My hair is currently a darker gradient than before, with Directions Apple Green at the top, Stargazer Turquoise in the middle, and Directions Alpine Green for the back and bottom of my hair.
|Not the best selfies. Photos by HouseCAT|
The finished effect reminded me of mermaids and ocean colours. Traditionally, mermaids are not always nice creatures, at least not in British mythology, where they're often a bad omen, or want to drown sailors - a bit like sirens - and are often associated with the weather turning nasty (this is Britain; the weather does that a lot, so perhaps we are overrun with mermaids? :P ). In Scottish mythology, there's a mermaid that's woman for the top section, and salmon for the bottom section, called a Ceasg or Maighdean Mhara that is a bit more benevolent, and she will grant three wishes to whomever catches her.
The photographs were taken on my webcam, and are not the best quality and are a bit hazy. They were also really quite dark despite it being a bright day, so I had to artificially lighten them in PicMonkey, so apologise if I look a bit paler than normal and a bit digital. The resolution wasn't good to begin with, and using tools that aren't meant as dodge and burn for those purposes in PicMonkey sort of smudged me further.
Saturday, 14 March 2015
Monday, 23 February 2015
1) Just because something is black, that does not make it Goth.
2) Try and get inspiration from the make-up of some Gothic icons - don't try and 'just make it up' yet!
3) Don't take every opportunity possible to rail against the failings of the world.
Also, being angry at the world is not a prerequisite to being Goth.
4) Try to listen to a wider variety of music genres.
I was into Marilyn Manson, Within Temptation, Evanescence, Nightwish... and pretty much only Marilyn Manson, Within Temptation, Evanescence and Nightwish. I was very narrow in my tastes, and oblivious to how qualities I liked (and still like in music) aren't genre dependent; right now I love Hozier's "Take Me To Church" and Coldplay's "Cemeteries of London" - not exactly Siouxsie and the Banshees or Joy Division!
I went through a phase of almost ignoring the classical genres I actually really like because they didn't seem Goth enough... oh, if only I had put together then my playlists like the "Gothic Classical: Dinner Party" one I put together a short while back - excerpts of Léon Boëllmann's "Suite Gothique", plenty of Arvo Pärt's works ('De Profundis' is a masterpiece!), the absolutely divine and heavenly "In Paradisum" by Gabriel Fauré from his Requiem mass... I put together over 2 hours of amazing classical music with Gothic atmosphere very rapidly. If i wanted to put together something all dark and stormy but classical, I'm sure I could easily look to lots of Liszt (Totentanz?), 'Night on Bald Mountain' by Mussorgsky or a whole heap of Sturm und Drang period music (Beethoven!).
5) Don't try and deliberately be "shocking" as a method of rebellion.
I was a bit antagonistic and argumentative as a teen - I tried to be deliberately "scary", to mention witchcraft in a way that was probably dishonouring my religion, and make inappropriate criticisms of the faith and institutions I was surrounded by. I was lashing out at what I felt to be a very constrictive set of circumstances, but all I was doing was provoking people in a way that was counterproductive to my interests, and giving Goth and Wicca a bad name in the process. I was a very badly behaved babybat in this respect, and I am glad I did all this before social media really took off, so my impact was geographically and socially limited. I was young, emotionally immature for my physical years, dealing with partially treated mental health issues and very, very angry at the world, which to some extent explains some of my behaviour, but does not excuse it. I felt at odds with the "establishment" world, and felt like I was being pressured to conform to a set of standards and expectations that I had no interest in (and still don't) and that as I was heading to the age where I was expected to choose a career and what university I was to attend, that my whole life was going to be shaped by these pressures from my family and those around me, to become something "sensible" and "respectable" and most of all "normal" - and as I felt powerless to take any real control over my life, I decided to just try and antagonise all those who I perceived as trying to control me. All I achieved was to create more battles for myself, more unnecessary struggles in a life already full of unavoidable struggles; I made life considerably harder for myself.
My reaction to what I saw as "being forced to be what I'm not" was to try and deliberately be the opposite of everything expected of me. Most of these opposites were all exaggerations of myself, pushed to extremes in order to be that antithesis; I was really just being childish and contrary, these things were not who I really was. If I was able to go back and tell my teenage self some advice, I would say that I should definitely remain true to myself, but I should not react to the pressures to conform by deliberately being the antithesis of everything they wanted, because that was NOT being true to myself. With time, I learnt that I was not always going to be under the control of others, and now I am very keen to be mistress of my own life, and to be in control of the various aspects of how I live. By the time I was 19, I ended up with a part-time job, doing creative things at college (after I had to leave school a year early due to health reasons and then take time out to recover), and I am still Goth, still alternative, still proudly freaky and very creative over 10 years later. Some of this happened 13, 14 years ago now! I have not had to buckle to 'the system', I have not been forced to conform, and I have learnt that I do not have to live the life that other people felt was best for me.
Hindsight is 20/20. I made my mistakes, so now you don't have to!
Thursday, 12 February 2015
|Photograph by HouseCat|
|Photograph by HouseCat|
|Photograph by HouseCat|
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
|Dulsie Bridge. Photograph by Housecat|
|Stones, photograph by HouseCat|
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
|Photograph by HouseCat. A surprisingly sunny day for Autumn in Scotland.|
| have tried to take the graves at angles where they're not readable, |
but I think it is too shallow, sadly. No disrespect ended to the deceased or relatives.
|A very bright day in Scotland. Photograph by HouseCat.|
|A photograph more akin to my usual style. Photograph by HouseCat.|
|In full colour! The sky was grey with clouds but bight.|
|Looking down the broad side of the church. Photograph by HouseCat|