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..

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Edinburgh City Part 1: Scottish National Portrait Gallery

A few weeks ago, not long after my laptop broke, I went on a weekend trip to Edinburgh. Raven was away in Glasgow for four days, and I had nothing planned for the weekend, so took the opportunity to visit my friend K. in Edinburgh. I had hoped to meet up with my friend Laura from Sheridan's Art while she was on holiday, but she left Edinburgh the same morning I arrived, but a lot earlier than when my coach came in. 

Enough Gothic twiddles to keep me happy!

The ::Scottish National Portrait Gallery:: is on Queen St. and just around the corner from the bus station. I was struck by the beauty of the Gothic Revival building, especially the warm colour of the red sandstone and the statues of various historical figures (K. and I had fun trying to figure out who each of them were). I didn't initially know it was a gallery, and when I spotted the sign, and the big signs advertising an exhibition on Ruskin (who I'm not particularly fond of, especially in light of how he treated the women in his life, but I appreciate his contribution to the Pre-Raphaelite movement) I decided I had to go in.

And this side just faces an alley!

 The interior is even more glorious than the exterior. As a lot of the actual paintings are still in copyright and as special exhibitions areas have photography within them prohibited, I didn't take any photographs of the paintings. I did, however, take photographs of the glorious atrium with its Victorian mural of famous Scottish historic figures. It's a splendid building, glimmering with gilt and brightly coloured. I kept joking with K. that if I ever become a dark queen, my castle of doom will be as well decorated! It's so rich, such a vibrantly painted interpretation of the medieval tradition; I just adore it. My favourite things are the hanging amber lights - I guess they were once candles or gas lights, but even as electric lights they are fabulous!

Gloriously decadent in the Gothic tradition.

I was having fun playing with the saturation.
The exhibitions are informative, well lit (I hate going into galleries and museums where the light is either glaringly bright, or too dim to see anything) and the paintings are, of course, amazing. Best of all, entrance is free, which is important when you've spent most of your money just on coach fare to Edinburgh from Inverness. I did, however, donate a few coins on exiting. I thoroughly recommend it to all visitors to Edinburgh (and any residents who haven't been there already) and I will certainly be returning (probably taking even more photographs of the exterior!).

I must say, when I spend over 4 hours on a coach getting south to Edinburgh, I am strongly reminded of just how far north Inverness actually is, and there is plenty more Scotland even further north! Having traveled so far down on the coach, I really made the most of my trip, so there will be quite a few more photographs of Edinburgh architecture to come! I even went to the castle, partly to gather photographs to show the children at work as the Primary 4 class currently have castles as their topic - I do love it when work and hobbies intersect! 


  1. Oh wow, it's beautiful! O_O I want to visit so much! Beautiful shots, and I'm adding it to my list of places to visit! Thanks House cat.

    1. The interior is gorgeous, and the art is houses is really worth seeing. Edinburgh has several great galleries, and this was unfortunately the only one I could squeeze into my short trip; I really want to go back and see more of this amazing city of arts and culture!

  2. Brilliant shots as always, I might have to reconsider my dislike of Edinburgh

    1. It's really pretty to visit, and has excellent public transport, but it's still really busy. I got 'peopled out' very rapidly there.


Please be polite and respectful. Comments containing gratuitous swearing and insults will be deleted.