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, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. 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.

Goth 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, the expression of that in Goth rock. It 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 (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, 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. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Cat Pictures And Cat Adoption

I have probably one of the most cliche pets for a Goth, short of having a bat. I've got a black cat called Kuro (after the Japanese word for the colour black). He's a rescue kitty, and as such we're not entirely sure how old he is, except that he was a medium-sized kitten when I got him. I was told that by his size he must be quite old, and wouldn't grow much larger - he certainly proved that wrong! 

I strongly suggest that if you are planning on getting a cat, that you adopt from a shelter, rather than buy a bred kitten. There are so many cats out there who deserve a loving home but who are waiting in shelters. Black cats often wait the longest, perhaps because people in some places consider them unlucky or sinister, or perhaps because they don't look as cute as the more colourful cats and kittens. I did not pick Kuro because he was a black cat, as he was one of the cats "matched" to me when I was quizzed on what sort of cat I wanted and my circumstances. Kuro is very much a cat that wouldn't want to share his home territory with any other cats, and is a playful and active cat that is quite independent, so was suited to a home with no other cats, and one that would be happier to explore a rural garden rather than stay indoors all day.

Nom. Nom. Nom.
Please think of adopting an adult cat - kittens always quickly find homes, but adult cats are less sought-after, despite how they often quickly adapt to a new home. Kittens might be cute when you get them, but they do grow up, so either way, you will be caring for a cat. Many adult cats are already house-trained and very friendly and socialised, plus less sociable cats are often very happy to go to rural homes where they live as "farm cats" - free to roam the countryside with a lower level of human interaction, but fed and looked after, instead of living in a shelter where they are confined to a run and are in close proximity to humans frequently. With an adult cat, their personality is more established, so you know what kind of cat you're getting right away, whereas kittens often mature into cats very different in personality from who they were as kittens. 

Think very carefully before adopting a cat or any pet - are your circumstances stable enough to make the commitment? Are you likely to still be able to afford a cat a year on from now? Are you likely to move frequently and perhaps move somewhere you can't take your cat (as unfortunately happened to me)? Can you afford pet insurance or unexpected vet's bills? Are you living somewhere that's cat-compatible? Remember, cats are a commitment of years - I've known several cats that have lived between 15 and 21 years! It is still the case that people take on cats as kittens, not prepared for the long term commitment, and for the fact that they don't stay babies for ever.

These pictures are from my trip to England at Christmas. Kuro currently lives with my Dad, as my apartment in Scotland is strictly "no pets", the journey to Scotland would probably be quite stressful for Kuro, and he is keeping my Dad company as my Dad now lives alone. 

As you can see, at the time I had dark purple hair... Stay tuned to this blog to see how that has changed!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Forres Mercat Cross

Finally! Another instalment of Photographic Friday...

Photography by the HouseCat

The mercat cross in Forres is a Victorian Gothic Revival piece built on the site of the original mercat cross. A mercat cross was built to designate a market town or village, and larger and fancier towns had larger and fancier crosses. Forres must have been a lot less quite and sleepy in the 19thC, for it has a lot of lovely Victorian architecture and a rather fancy mercat cross. Back in 2011, the cross was restored.

Photography by the HouseCat

As per usual, I saw something pretty and historical and clambered around it trying my best to photograph it. There are plenty of photographs of it in full - that's the standard tourist shot of it - so I decided to try some more interesting angles and capture some details. I'd have loved it if the sky was something other than uninteresting, misty grey that day, as I think some dramatic clouds would have really improved these shots. Any feedback on the photography from a technical aspect would be much appreciated. 

Photography by the HouseCat

I'm hoping to go back to Forres at some point as there is plenty of interesting architecture there, including an empty and derelict church and the Tollbooth. As I was in Forres for other purposes that day, I only had limited time to take photographs, and so my next trip will be completely for architectural photography purposes. 

Photography by the HouseCat
I will be on more travels in the near future, so stay tuned for more architectural photography, and other things. I sadly don't know much about the mercat cross in Forres, so there's not much historical information in this post - sorry!