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, 27 December 2015

9 Gothic Social Ideas (That Aren't Clubbing)

As my regular readers know, I am an adult Goth in her late 20s, heading inexorably towards my '30s, and I am getting towards the age where my social circle is no longer centred around the club scene. I may be child-free, but a lot of my friends are now parents, and late evening/night life events mean childminding or babysitters for them. A lot of my friends have complex and varying work-schedules, and can't be up half the night because they'll have an early start the next day, or are simply too tired after a long week at work to want to go out.  Often, in these bad economic times,  it's also just not affordable to go out clubbing when you consider the cost of entry (for pay at the door events), drinks, food (even if it's just a kebab on the way home) and the taxi home. 

However, we're still social people, and we still want to meet up and be part of an active subculture, and as such seek alternative socials. In years past I have been the "organising type" and been the one to organise most of the things listed below, either as private parties or group functions (such as with Highland Lolitas), but I'm now a university student, and far, FAR too busy. 

1) The Café Meet
This is the simplest to organise, and depending on where you go, can be a cheaper option (I know places where it's £1.75 for tea and £2 for a food item). There are plenty of independent cafés in even small towns, so you don't have to fork out to spend extra in chain cafe and can still support local businesses. Independent cafés sometimes take bookings, too, if you're planning on more than say, 4 people meeting up - for example our Lolita group went to the Velocity cafe, where they have a large table, and 5 of us turned up (read about that ::here::). Most cafés are not fussed about dress, and will not be upset at a small collection of Goths turning up as long as they're well behaved paying customers. Café meets can be all ages, and younger Goths can have tea, hot-chocolate or other non-caffeinated beverages if they so choose, plus most café opening hours (in the UK at least) are primarily daytime hours, and include weekends. This means it can be a lunch-break catch-up, or a Saturday afternoon leisurely chat. 

2) The Graveyard Picnic
A bit of a Gothic cliche, but certainly not without reason. In the UK, a lot of Victorian graveyards and cemeteries were also intended as public parks - hence the broad paths and frequent benches.  It was seen as a way for people to remember death (part of Victorian mourning culture) and therefore be inspired to make the most of life, and also as a bit of greenery, a verdant space in the rapidly growing cities.  It was not abnormal then to visit graveyard as if they were parks, but this was in a time when public behaviour was expected to be more restrained than it is now, and these were not intended as spaces for loud games or sports. Over time, visiting cemeteries in a park-like fashion dwindled, and they became somewhere you only really went for funerals or to visit a grave. I do not think it is disrespectful to visit graveyards in other capacities, as long as one is sensible when visiting. I will probably write a more elaborate post on what I think of graveyard etiquette, but for now my suggestions are as follows:
⚰ There's no need to adhere to silence, but it is more polite to people who may be visiting the graveyard to pay their respects to deceased family members if you use quiet voices, and avoid shouting and giggling noisily. 
⚰ Respect that statuary, and do not clamber on it or over it; it can become fragile and brittle over time, and the carvings can be scuffed and damaged. It is VERY expensive to have markers repaired, and can be very upsetting for the families if they are damaged. 
⚰ Do not drop litter, in fact, if you spot litter, pick it up and dispose of it, even if you didn't drop it yourself. If you are planning to consume food, bring a bag for rubbish, or at least make sure you dispose of all waste in a proper waste-bin. 
⚰ Don't run about and act the fool; even older graveyards can still be visited both by people visiting their ancestor's graves, and by people seeking solitude and quiet contemplation. Charging about both endangers the statuary (and those who might trip over them) and spoils the atmosphere for those who wish to visit for more sombre reasons. 
Graveyard picnics may not be suitable for very young or energetic children who might find it hard to sit quietly for a while, and may be too tempted to climb on the statues. 

3) The Gothic Picnic
This is can range from grand events like Viona's famous Victorian Picnic at Wave Gotik Treffen, to just a few friends with a (black) blanket and some snacks. A picnic of the non-graveyard variety can be held in a public park, out in the countryside, or even in someone's garden. This is a very flexible idea, and can easily be made more "Goth" by selecting a specific theme, dress-code or just by music selection and aesthetic. The great thing about picnics is that they are very child-friendly for Goths with families. Things like black or themed napkins, bringing nice cutlery, and even aesthetically unusual or themed foodstuffs can really make a picnic feel more Gothic, as can choice of location. Personally, I'd go for somewhere with scraggly trees, a nice open patch of dry ground, and enough solitude as not to be bothered by anyone who thinks Goths are there for either their amusement or mockery. 

4)Exotic Pet Sanctuary Visit
A lot of reptile and exotic pet rescue centres have visiting days where people can visit and learn about caring for these sorts of animals. This is often an important means to fund-raise to cover the costs of looking after animals that people have handed in. Some of them even let you handle some of the animals. Going to the ::Skye Serpentarium:: with my father a few years back is what cured me of my fear of snakes! I used to think they'd be cold and slimy and horrible, and then actually held one, and found out they weren't like that at all. Some may allow for group bookings. 

5) The Tea Party
The Mad-Hatter's Tea Party from the wonderfully surreal Alice In Wonderland has brought this into the Gothic subculture, and with the influence of Lolita, where tea parties are a huge staple of the social scene, this is definitely now a popular form of Gothic social. Tea Parties can either be private affairs in one's own home, or be booked at many places from a café to high tea at a fancy hotel.  The cost of this will vary by venue, but there is a great flexibility for time and place, as well as for varying sized groups. The Scottish Lolita's International Lolita day in the summer was quite the grand event, both in numbers and location, but the small Highland Lolita group have been known to have tea in the Botanic Garden's café in a group of 3 or 4 - this idea can easily overlap with the cafe meet. If you live in the UK where afternoon tea is part of the culture, you are more likely to be able to find a tea house, cafe, restaurant or hotel where high teas or afternoon teas are offered. Holding a tea-party at home is my favourite version of this; it gives me an excuse to bring out the nice tea-sets, and set the table with napkins and a fancy cake stand, as well as to try and bake something nice for my guests. 

6) Visiting Parks and Gardens
This world thankfully has a lot of very beautiful parks and gardens in them, and sometimes it's nice to just go for a stroll, sit on the benches, and admire the planting, statuary, etc. This can just as easily be a group activity as a personal one. Some stately homes open their gardens up to visitors (usually with an entrance fee), and some public parks happen to have beautiful gardens which are accessible for free. If you are in the UK I would suggest looking at: 
The Royal Horticultural Society's gardens ::here:: 
The National Trust's ::gardens and parks::
And in Scotland specifically:
Look at ::this:: page for places to visit with the National Trust for Scotland
There is also ::Scotland's Gardens:: which facilitates opening of gardens of various sizes. 
The gardens of old stately homes often included follies, which can be especially interesting to visit if you're Gothic in the manner of 18th and 19thC Gothic novels - about the same period as when these follies were built! Plenty of gardens include a rocky grotto, especially those from the Romantic era, or those who tried to include something "picturesque". 
There are plenty of botanic gardens and arboretums to visit too, not listed above. Most major cities have a botanic gardens, and the one in Inverness is a favourite both for Lolita meets, and just for me visiting the cactus house! 

7) The Museum Visit
There's a Witchcraft museum and a Museum of Death... More conventional museums often appeal to those with Gothic inclinations - after all, history is full of murder, torture and death, plus looking at times past is a retroscopic vision of how all things pass and how weirdly decadent humanity is. Some museums are, admittedly, far more interesting than others, however. A day trip to a specific museum can be a special occasion, and a proper trip out - however I am fully aware of how expensive this can be. Many museums are now far more child-friendly (some are still endless glass boxes of shiny stuff you can't touch, but museums are often heading towards being far more interactive and educational than they once were), and can be an interesting trip out for the whole family.

8) Ghost Walks
A lot of towns have organised 'Ghost Walks' put on by companies usually catering to tourists. If you live somewhere with particular historic interest or a reputation for being haunted, you're probably in luck.  Ghost walks or tours can cost anything from £5 up, depending on who is running them. These usually occur late in the evening during peak tourist seasons, and may need booking, especially if a large group all want to go on a tour together. You don't have to necessarily believe in ghosts to go on them, as quite a few are interesting just for the narration of historic events and local legend, especially if the guide has a flare for the dramatic. 

9) Monster Movie Marathon
"Monster" here can refer to either the content (werewolves! vampires! zombies! ghouls!) or to the amount of movies watched at once. This is best for a small group of friends at home with a common interest in a specific genre (e.g horror movies, vampire movies, film noir, etc.) and requires several hours, maybe a whole a day.  Depending on the movies, this can also be family activity, for example an afternoon of Tim Burton movies like 'Nightmare Before Christmas', 'Frankenweenie' and 'The Corpse Bride. Films like the 'Addams Family' movies and 'The Labyrinth' can be good choices for older children, too. There's quite a few more "gothic" or "spooky" films that are fun for children (and age-appropriate) but also still enjoyable for adults.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Green In The Gloom

I wanted to try and take some pictures to show my make-up, but all the pictures close enough to show it came out awful. Even in these, it just looks like splotches and all the details of the leaves are lost. I've actually got black and silver gilt leaves all on one side! As such I decided I would rather showcase that my hair has recently been dyed again and is now a green ombre effect, darker at the bottom. This photograph was taken in my new study, which is mostly lit with purple string lights (spiders, five-pointed stars, fiery swirls, bats...) and is purple and black with greyscale Gothic architecture wallpaper. It is not quite finished yet, but I hope to do a room tour video when it is. 

Selfies by the HouseCat

These photos have been subjected to filters and editing. I tried not to get too carried away - mostly just made things lighter and brighter and tweaked the colours a bit. Some of them have been subjected to a soft-focus effect in order to attempt looking prettier and more ghostly.. I am not good at this creative editing thing! 

Selfies by the HouseCat

The bat necklace is by Alchemy Gothic, and I think the winged skeleton pendant is too. I wish I had my selfie booth ready so I could have taken some pictures of today's outfit because it is rather Morticia Addams-esque, with a black wiggle skirt and a top with long bell sleeves, both in black velvet. The selfie booth is going to go into that recess visible behind where I'm sitting in these selfies, but as you can see currently lacks proper lighting. I first need to get the shelves above my desk sorted, and then mount lights onto those, angled into the corner... SO much to do! Thankfully Raven has put in a considerable amount of work into helping me with my study and the decorating and I am eternally grateful. 

Selfies by the HouseCat

I think these photographs are probably the worst for filter abuse, especially the one on the left! I was trying to look all spectral and 'spooky'... I probably shouldn't try so hard! I get quite self-conscious and perfectionist trying to get good selfies - I end up taking a whole load trying to get a small selection of really good ones, then end up disliking most of them, not being able to pick one that really stands out of the mainly mediocre ones that aren't blurry or really awful, and then collating them all into a collage because then they're tiny and it is harder to see the flaws. I'm torn between my vanity in trying to appear pretty (and find SOMETHING to fill my blog with in lieu of properly written content); and my lack of photographic ability. 

I don't smile much in photographs because even if I'm genuinely happy, it looks either goofy or fake (plus I have bad teeth, even after orthodontics) and then when I try to look serious, I either look angry or miserable. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Highland Lolitas Tea Party Club Calendar Photoshoot

A while back, our tiny, nascent Highland Lolita community was lucky enough to get a slot in the upcoming Tea Party Club. After issues finding a photographer, Laura Johnson of ::TahDah Photography:: did our photoshoot, and the location was the tropical house of the Inverness Botanic Gardens. Sadly not all of our community could make it, so our gathering was really tiny indeed. As well as the group photographs, we each got our own individual photographs. 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

I know there are others in the area who have an interest in Lolita, and when I come across people who are interested, they are usually quite surprised to find that there is Highland community, so hopefully our increased visibility will be great for local Lolitas who might want to get into the fashion, but are a bit nervous because they don't think there is a community out there for them. We're a Highland group, not just an Inverness group, and Lolitas from Aviemore to the Islands are welcome to join our group; obviously the large geographic area may make it difficult for some Lolitas to attend all meets, but we have a Facebook page and are quite social. We're not one of those communities that is all about the photoshoots - we like to sit down and chat! 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

My outfit for the photoshoot was actually not the one I initially planned - I wanted to go wearing a hand-made skirt I'd done, but I spilled tea down it and had to do a last-minute outfit change! I wanted to do something quite elegant, and I ended up with this outfit, which is a bit 'La Belle Époque' inspired, especially in terms of the curled hair, and the cape/cloak/fringed thing and my being quite cinched into a proper corset under all the layers of dress. I am not sure how I could incorporate one of those big hats into Lolita, even if I owned one, so I went with pinning fabric flowers into the hair of my wig instead. I know I'm a bit older than a lot of Lolitas, who seem to be in their late teens or early twenties, and I feel that what I wear in Lolita ought to suit my age a bit more, so I am going for more A-line skirts, a more classic feel (even when I always wear black) or a very definitely Gothic feel, rather than a 'cute', 'adorable' or 'kawaii' feel. I don't have a 'cute' face any more; it's more rectangular and angular (useful for Ouji!), and my figure has got curvier as I've got older (even without the corset). I used to have a very boyish figure, more angles than curves, but now I've filled out a bit more. I actually quite like going for an elegant look. I think it fits in better with my overall aesthetic preferences. I feel like it is more a kuro Classic co-ord than a Gothic one. 

Photograph by TahDah Photograph. I like the visible vine pattern!

After the photoshoot, we all convened in the Botanic Garden's café, which has wonderfully whimsical mismatched vintage crockery with chintzy florals - perfect for the sweet Lolitas, more difficult for me as I looked for a plate to match my outfit! I think the best thing about our community is how we're all very social. We're a small community, so that probably helps avoid some of the issues that you get with really big gatherings and people trying to mingle between set tables or just that large gatherings can be daunting for a lot of people (myself included). 

Photograph by Keara
I had to get at least one photograph with my Restyle cathedral handbag. It is my favourite bag and my university satchel now! 

Outfit Run Down: 
♕ Head-dress: hand-made by me Fabric flowers: various including Claire's Accessories, H&M, etc. ♕ Necklace: Phoenix1900 on eBay ♕ Blouse: New York Laundry, with collar attached by me ♕ Cape/Shawl/Thing: Blue Inc. with shoulders/sleeves altered by me into ones with pouf-y gathers ♕ Velvet arm-warmers: Sinister Dress: Metamorphose ♕ Tights: Primark Shoes: ShoeZone ♕ Bag: Restyle 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

We had a great day out at the Botanic Gardens, and I really enjoyed getting really dressed up for something. I am "fancy" by mainstream standards all the time, but I felt like I was really doing something special that day. I am working on building up a wardrobe including more layers and textures, and more elegant, flowing designs, not just in Lolita, but being a student and currently unemployed - AND having spent quite a bit recently of my savings on renovating the house we bought - means that I don't have much to spend on wardrobe expansion. 

Photograph by TahDah Photography

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting much in the way of current news on my blog. I have been decorating my study in my new house (I moved at the end of summer) and I've been really busy as a student, so I haven't had much time to work on this blog. Once I get the lighting sorted out, I will be able to use my newly built 'selfie corner' for outfit-of-the-day shots, and when I have more time to devote to writing, I will go back to writing about more in-depth Gothic things.

I really have to thank the photographer; she took on our photo-shoot at quite short notice and did a great job. Her Facebook page is ::here::, and her website ::here::. She is very professional, and does quite a variety of portraiture and family photographs. I thoroughly recommend her. 

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Highland Lolitas Velocity Café Meet

Back on July 19th, the Highland Lolita community had a meet-up at the Velocity Café which is a bicycle-themed cafe attached to a bicycle workshop. They also are active participents in the cyclist community here and run things like bicycle repair classes! I would have loved to turn up to the meet on my vintage-style bicycle, but it is currently in pieces because I was working on cleaning it up, replacing worn parts, and making it a bit special in the decoration department (plus, I would probably wear Ouji to go cycling rather than Lolita).

Left to right: Danielle, Keara, Emily , Amity Lee and I. Note my un-kawaii \m/
Photo kindly taken by Velocity waitress.

I forgot that the bus service to where I live is drastically reduced on a Sunday, so ended up having to call a taxi and was a bit late to the meet. I hate being late to meets! It was, however, my own silly fault for forgetting about the different bus timetable on a Sunday. We all had our snacks - some of us had tea and cake, but I had juice and some houmous with lovely crusty delicious bread - it tasted hand-made, and it was really, really good bread. We sat around chatting and eating for a while. One of the advantages about being such a small group is that we can have a whole-group social conversation when we meet up, rather than either ending up confined to only those we are sat with, or doing a lot of milling around. 

After our meet-up at the Velocity cafe, we walked down the hill and took outfit pictures in the alcove of the rear entrance of the Eastgate mall. It was outdoors with plants and such, a relatively plain wall, and most of all, secluded from the wind. This summer in Scotland has been mostly dreich through to plain rainy, and the weather has been most things other than sunny and still!

Full length photo by Danielle.

My outfit was another black and white outfit, but this time I was aiming for something distinctly more Gothic, rather than the more classic outfit I aimed for with the outfit I wore to the Botanic Gardens. I actually wore this outfit again yesterday, repreiving it for a shopping trip into Inverness with Raven and visit to the Blend Tea-House (my favourite place for tea in Inverness, and also does amazing bagels!). We had a lot of fun with our outfit photos, and also took a group circle-of-shoes photograph, and lots of selfies with each other. The wind was a bit blowy, and my wig rapidly got straggly; it isn't the best quality and has a tendency to tangle itself up rather rapidly. 

Keara in a yellow and pink Sweet-Lolita co-ordinate.

I took some photos of the other Lolitas. I really like Keara's amazing make-up and while I am not usually a fan of things pastel and cute, I really liked her entire outfit. Amity Lee's outfit was also really adorable, and her multicolour wigs are always so cool. 

 Amity Lee looking amazing in Sweet-Lolita

We took some selfies with each other, and generally used the moment as a photo opportunity. Lolita is a very elaborate fashion, and it takes a certain amount of effort to put together a nice outfit. Most of the other Lolitas are more experienced than I am, and better at putting together a nice co-ord (or co-ordinate; a co-ordianated outfit where everything matches together) than I am. Sweet is certainly the most popular style in our community, but Danielle wore a lovely old-school Country Lolita co-ord, and I am always the one in Gothic!

Danielle wearing Country-Lolita

As well as individual photographs, we took some selfies together! 

Danielle and I. Best vampiric look. Photo by Danielle

A few random strangers wanted their pictures taken with us, both when we were taking outfit-pictures in the alcove before the footbridge, and generally when we were in the mall! I do wonder about what happens to all these pictures - they must be out there on the internet somewhere! A lot of little girls especially think that we're just fabulous. I have notived that sweet Lolitas get asked if they're princesses a lot, and I get asked if I am a witch! (I am a good witch, of course! :P). What would probably either frighten or confuse the children that ask if I answered honestly with anything that wasn't something along the lines of "no, this isn't fancy dress, I just like wearing clothes like this" is that technically, yes, I am actually a witch too, but my appearance is completely unrelated. Neo-Paganism, Wicca and modern Witchcraft are such alien things to most people that I don't want to bring it up, lest my Gothic appearance confuse them, or frighten them by correlating with negative stereotypes. 

Amity Lee and I, photo by Amity

We decided to go into the mall itself because the weather looked inclement, and because we could get ice-cream! We went to Mackay's which is Scottish ice-cream chain. 

Afterwards we all split up and went our separate ways home. I took a bus with Amity Lee, and then tried walking from the bus-stop to my house... the path is very uneven, and I was wearing heels I can only just walk in on flat, even ground. I sadly fell and turned my ankle badly, but I was near a friend's house, so I managed to get them to give me a lift back to my apartment, and they helped me up to my door and into the house. I wasn't too scuffed up, but I laddered my tights. It was quite sore, though. 

Here I am before the wind ruined my wig. I'm less keen on the straight fringe than I used to be; I'm starting to think it doesn't really suit my face-shape. The lipstick was a colour I really liked, and stayed remarkably well despite eating and drinking while wearing it. 

Outfit Run-Down:
☠ Canotier: Alice & The Pirates ☠ Wig: bought on eBay, not sure of manufacturer ☠ Blouse: Bodyline ☠ Neck-bow: hand-made by me ☠ Gloves: secondhand on eBay ☠ Jacket: Putumayo ☠ Dress: Bodyline ☠ Tights: from the Hallowe'en shop last year ☠ Shoes: Demonia ☠ Bag: gifted, not sure of supplier or manufacturer. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

I've been tagged! 13 Halloween Questions Tag

::The Everyday Goth:: nominated me to take part in this.  As Hallowe'en is my favourite time of the year, this looked like fun. 

1. Favorite Halloween song?
It has to be 'Halloween' by Siouxsie And The Banshees from the album JuJu. I am a big Siouxsie fan, and love how frenetically, chaotically upbeat the song is. It is clear that the narrator's perspective is actually quite unhappy and disturbed, and so the almost-happy-but-broken music the lyrics are set to make it unnerving in the best way. 

2. Witch or Vampire? 
Well, I'm already a real witch of the Neo-Pagan sort - a Wiccan who switched traditions to something based out of various British and Brythonic/Gaelic traditions, so I'll go with vampire! I like the the idea of being some immortal, sensuous, beautiful creature that is also monstrous and deadly at the same time; elegant, classy and impeccably well mannered, but secretly a vile blood-drinking predator that kills to survive in a terribly gruesome manner - it's the duality that appeals to me; sex and death, beauty and monstrosity. 

3. Favourite thing about Halloween?
Probably being able to easily find home décor that I actually like without trawling the internet for hours! The idea of well-made, elegant and non-tacky Hallowe'en decorations appears to be an American thing with many department stores and supermarkets there stocking a wide range of decorations that include things I would certainly have as décor outside of the Hallowe'en season. Sadly, this is not something that occurs much in the UK, where the holiday seems mostly marketed to children and young people, so there are fewer shops carrying items that I would find suitable for year 'round décor. This is beginning to change, though, and this year I have managed to pick up a lot of nice things for my new house! I think I will actually make a haul video for my YouTube account. 

4. Hallowe'en party or scary movie marathon? 
Definitely Hallowe'en party! Each year we host the Grand Annual Vampire Soirée, which is a practically dusk-'til-dawn party with a Romantic Goth aesthetic and plenty of drinkable forms of fake blood, some alcoholic, some not, all vegetarian. Everyone dresses up as a fancy vampire, and we have a lot of fun. I'm also always going to several other parties around Hallowe'en. I don't do big parties much around Christmas and New Year's; just the dinner on Christmas, the Solstice as a religious celebration, and New Year's as time to stay up late at home and have some fizz, but Hallowe'en is a time of year where I turn into party animal. 

5. Skeletons or Zombies? 
Skeletons, without a doubt! My partner and I have a bedroom with a skull theme, with a good few skeleton ornaments around the place, too. I like them as a symbol of our mortality, a memento mori, and because the human body is a beautiful, sculptural, structural thing under all the flesh. Zombies are all rotted, decaying and gross, whereas a cleaned skeleton is much less disgusting. 

6. Favourite Hallowe'en candy?

7. Favourite Hallowe'en Movie?
Tim Burton's 'Nightmare Before Christmas'. I've loved it ever since I was young, and although I didn't get to see it in the cinema when it first came out, because my parents deemed it too weird for me, but I did see it at home, and it was definitely a spooky influence on the younger me!

8. Favourite Hallowe'en costume?
I went as a flaming-maned, black-furred Night-Mare when I was 15, and hand made the entire thing, from the fur-suit to the papier-mâché head and hooves. I looked out of the thing's neck, and wore heels under my hoof construction, and was about 6'6" in the whole thing, maybe taller. I won the school Hallowe'en costume competition and a giant plastic pumpkin filled with sweets that I still had not finished eating by the following Easter... 

9. Favourite Hallowe'en store? 
Hallowe'en-specific stores are not really a thing in the UK. There's a temporary shop in the city in a vacant storefront that sells discount costumes, but it's not something that really interests me because I like making my own costumes, or assembling them out of my usual clothes. I do like the Hallowe'en range that has been in TKMaxx this year, though! 

10. Jack-o-Lanterns; yes or no?
Yes! I, like the Everyday Goth, am clumsy with a knife, so I collaborate with my partner; I draw the design onto the pumpkin with a permanent marker, and he cuts it out. My partner's a nurse so has to deal with enough injured people at work, without needing to fix me, too! He can handle the sharp things, I'll handle the Sharpie. 

11. Bats or Black Cats?
My cat, Kuro Shinigami, being all floopy, photographed by my Dad

12. Is Hallowe'en your favourite holiday?
YES! YES!! YES!!! BEST HOLIDAY! It's Samhain too, which I celebrate as a Neo-Pagan, but the commercialised spook-fest that is modern, Americanised Hallowe'en basically turns everyone Goth for a few days and means there are enough scary movies, skull-chocolates, spooky costumes and funky things I love to keep me stocked and stoked until it comes around again the next year. It's a celebration of all that is creepy, freaky, spooky and kooky. I love it. 

13. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Hot Chocolate? 
Chocolat chaud! Made with proper melted chocolate, milk and cream, and with some praline syrup. 

Witching On A Monday

Last night I went to the local open Circle's moot. The Circle is an open discussion groups for Pagans, Witches, and Occultists of various traditions. The Moot is basically a pub meet-up where we talk about mostly on-topic stuff, but the conversation has a tendency to deviate (often to cats... ) 

Yesterday was Aleister Crowley's birthday, and that was the theme of our discussion. Personally, I'm not really very fond of Crowley as a person, but I respect his contribution to the Occult. One member brought the deck illustrated by Lady Freida Harris for Crowley's Thoth project. Lady Harris was an amazing illustrator, and I loved the mixture of early 20thC and late 19thC styles used in it (and rather wish I could use a few of them as prints!). Another discussed the Abremelin ritual, and I asked about Boleskine House and we discussed sense of place. Discussion wandered a little off topic with a conversation about how the mythology/reports of experiences around aliens is often very similar to that around faeries. 

We sit in a quiet corner of a local pub, and I'm probably the only member that looks "witchy"; you'd probably think we're just a group of slightly eccentric friends having a chat to look at us; a Goth (or two), a few hippies and a few more ordinary looking folk, on comfy chairs with pints, having a giggle. It would only be if you overheard us that you would know we're not just a group of friends out for a quiet Monday drink. 

Selfies taken on my laptop's webcam. Edited with PicMonkey

I rarely wear this much religious jewellery at once, but felt this was an opportunity to wear the pentacle bling! I got these new pentacle earrings recently, but I feel like they're actually a bit ostentatious to wear out and about much, so they're probably going to end up as mostly ritual jewellery rather than decorative jewellery that I would wear on a daily basis. The beaded charm necklace (nearest my neck) was actually from Claire's Accessories! I guess they were selling them as part of that rather problematic 'occult trend' going on in Goth at the moment, but the mixture of a pentacle with celestial symbols is actually rather suitable - only problem is the pentacle is inverted so I think I may swap that charm out for a properly point-upwards pentacle. The top point of the pentacle in the tradition I follow, symbolises the fifth (energetic) element, Spirit which is in balance with, but above, the four (material) elements, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. The circle is symbolic of the cyclical nature of life, and how all things are one interconnected thing, with the knot-like interlace of the pentagram star itself also symbolic of that interconnection and fluidity. As such, the orientation of the pentacle is important. An inverse pentagram or pentacle is a deliberate inversion or upsetting of that balance; sometimes that is a positive force for change, but often it has been used to symbolise Fire and Earth being prioritised in a carnal and greedy manner - lust, rage, violence, greed, jealousy, etc. Of course, in Neo-Paganism, interpretations aren't fixed, and are varied between traditions. 

The inverse pentagram and pentacle, while they have been used in Satanic contexts, are not by any means exclusively Satanic, or necessarily negative symbols, but as they are popularly associated with Satanism of an erroneously understood anti-Christian variety, I choose not to wear them, as it only adds to greater confusion about my religious affiliation and the stereotyped assumptions about my morality. Very few mainstream people I encounter understand the differences between LaVeyan Satanism, the inverted Christianity of the anti-Christian variety, and the other religious and spiritual paths that see Satan as either an archetype, or part of a polytheistic pantheon, or as a positive symbol of rebellion and individuality, etc. Very few mainstream people I encounter know that those paths are rather different from Neo-Paganism, Wicca, and Witchcraft traditions like Cunning Folk, either. I'm rather fed up of fielding questions about curses, animal sacrifice and ritual sex! 

You may also note that my hair isn't its usual colours in these selfies; I have not dyed my hair copper, but am wearing a wig on account of my dye having faded and blurred, my roots having grown out fairly significantly, and my being in dire need of a hair cut! The colour also reminded me of the turning leaves now that autumn has arrived, so I thought it seasonally appropriate. I am actually wearing shimmery eyeshadow, too, in browns and purples, with a bit of gold shimmer - yes, warm tones! - but it didn't show up very well in the photographs. 

There's a visual pun in those photographs; if you spot it, you get a kudos but no physical prize :P

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Makeup Of The Day: Peacock Blue

I am still revelling in the ability to wear elaborate make-up to university. 

I haven't been wearing it as much as I like because I have been ill, and if I am coughing and sneezing I do not have a steady enough hand to apply my usual make-up, plus I am liable to poke myself in the eye, and my eyes are already watering and my face is all puffy. I am not going to try and cake myself in make-up to hide it, because it will make it worse. 

Selfies by HouseCat
I have been playing with making my makeup a bit more colourful to match my hair, and this look incorporate both blocks of dramatic, dark colour and my usual swirlies. As you can see by the top two pictures, I am trying to wear my glasses in my makeup photographs because that is both how I usually look (I need my glasses to see what I am doing at university), and because I think it is interesting to see how my makeup and glasses work together. As my glasses are quite swirly and dramatic themselves, my makeup has to be quite strong to still be the main visual element. 

Gloss black lipstick is currently something I really like doing, but sadly it is not something that lasts very well for clubbing, and certainly not eating out. It ends up matte very rapidly at college, but at least it remains black. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Makeup Of The Day: Being batty!

Hallowe'en is coming! So I experimented with something a little bit kitsch and Hallowe'en-y.

As such, on Monday I decided it would be a good idea to draw bats on my face. I was right; bats ARE a good idea. I need MORE bats, in a greater variety of arrangements! I recently bought a selection of vinyl bat stickers for my study window, which I have arranged in a sweeping colony swirling around the edge of the glazing, and I figured that this sort of arrangement of bats would be good for curling down my cheekbone. 

Selfie by the HouseCat

I used greens and blues for the eye-shadow because that matches my hair. I was thinking of using purple for a more stereotypical Hallowe'en colour, but I think slime-green has become somewhat of a traditional Hallowe'en colour too now. Orange doesn't suit me, so it would never be orange. 

Also, these pictures are a somewhat edited, and not necessarily particularly well, because they were phone-cam selfies that turned out washed-out, faded and weirdly blue because I didn't adjust the white balance & exposure right. I tried to make the dark bits darker and the colours right, so that includes darkening up the makeup a little and putting the vibrancy back in my hair, but I know that on some monitors it looks like I have over-compensated and the pictures are too dark in places. As per usual, edited with ::PicMonkey::, which is a free online picture editor, and has a neat collage tool.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Makeup Of The Day: Baroque Swirls

Since resigning from my job, I have had the opportunity to wear elaborate outfits, and even more elaborate makeup on a daily basis. Sadly, I haven't built my selfie booth/self-portrait corner yet, so there have not been plenty of 'outfit of the day' updates, unlike how I planned. Here is a particularly swirly example of my makeup from the weekend just past. I did something very similar again today, but did not have chance to photograph it. I have been working on improving my swirl-drawing skills, and working on my lipstick, too. Since I did the vampire-doll-like lipstick for ::this:: look, I have been experimenting more with blended lipstick. Using black edges around a dark colour is something that was inspired by ::Sophistique Noir::, who I remember doing something similar with red. I have used iridescent purple, and I hope the blue sheen shows up well in these photographs.

Baroque-inspired asymmetric swirls. Selfies by HouseCat 

I hope to get more posts written. I have ideas for more serious posts, but so little time. I have to prioritise university, so this blog is something I don't get much time for. When my self-portrait corner (with lights, tripod for a proper camera and suchlike) is set up, I should find it easier to take good selfies and thus have more fashion/style content for this blog.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Half A Spectrum In My Hair

My hair is currently a bit more faded than this. The purple, which ended up being neon pink over blue as the purple dye washed out with the first wash, washed out even after being pinked, and is now a royal blue. The hair at the top ended up less neon green, and more citrus yellow. I used several different dyes, mostly Stargazer, but also a Directions dye. For the greens I used Stargazer African Green and then Stargazer UV Green for another coat over that once the African Green faded. For the turquoise I used Stargazer Tropical Green and then Stargazer UV Turquoise over it.  For the blue I used Directions Lagoon Blue and Stargazer Royal Blue. The purple at the base started off as Stargazer Plume, but was then colored over with Stargazer Magenta because it faded to blue. I had to bleach my hair twice to get it pale enough, and to get enough of the existing turquoise/verdigris dye out. The UV Green washes out really quickly, and the African Green is more permanent. I find it really hard to get any purples to stay in my hair. 

Multiclour Hair. Selfies by HouseCat

This is a very, VERY, high-maintenance thing to have done to my hair. Because of how vividly bright and light the top is, my nearly-black regrowth shows very rapidly, and the colours all wash out and muddy together. I will have to re-do all the roots at some point, and touch up all the colours, but will need to get someone to help me separate my hair where I separated the first time around, so that the colours are all over wherever I had the same colour the last time. The purple just will not stay purple! Whenever it has been freshly touched up, and when I did it originally, the colours were stunning, but it is rather hard to keep it like that. I have also bleached my hair too many times, and will need to get all the hair at the ends trimmed out where it is fried.

It was also incredibly time consuming to do. It took two goes with bleach at its longest allowable leave-in time to get my hair pale. It then took a while per colour, with each colour separated with lots of clingfilm during the curing time, and then I had to wash it all out, and then touch it all up the next day during proper daylight because I'd missed bits trying to colour it in the poor artificial light of the bathroom. I think it was approximately a day's work, just to have multicolour hair.

I did it for my friend's wedding, and I am very happy with how it looked that day. I then re-did it for the start of university, and I think knowing my hair was looking awesome really boosted my confidence on my first day. As such, it was worth it.

Will I do it again?

Maybe, maybe not. It is a LOT of work! I may just try and maintain what I have until it gets unsustainable, and then start again with a more simple variation, with fewer colours, less of a gradient. I am also thinking of having my fringe reinstated, so that will probably alter what I want to do with my hair. But for now, I will enjoy the fruits of my labours. I did gradient hair with three shades of green once before, ranging from lime green through to emerald green. That was a bit less time consuming; maybe next time I will only pick three colours.

Pictures are selfies, and I tweaked the contrast and such a wee bit (mostly to make them all consistent), then made a collage of them, in ::PicMonkey::, which is free to use, although you have to subscribe to the paid-for Royale version for stuff like better bat clip-art. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wedding Belle

Outfit of the (wedding) day (of one of my friends)

During the recent mini-hiatus, I went to Wales to visit family and attend a friend's wedding. The bride (my friend) had recently experienced some tragic losses in her family, so I didn't want to wear black to her wedding because I felt it would be inappropriately funereal, and she had requested that I be bright and be myself. Well, as much as I am a Goth, I do like colours, so I decided to put together an outfit in green and purple - my two favourite colours. I went with brocades lovely fabrics of the sorts that I love, and in styles that would express the sorts of things that I like in terms of fashion, just in colours other than black. 

Photo by Raven, taken in an alcove at the museum next to Cardiff city hall. 

The jacket is one you will probably recognise; it is one of my fancier jackets and is from DarkStar. I've had it a while, and I wear it relatively frequently. The green dress was quite hard to track down! Initially I planned on wearing a dark green Lolita dress, but tracking one down that was both in my price-range and in my size proved too difficult to do by the wedding, so instead I went in search of a vintage style dress. There were some modern vintage-styled dresses that I liked, but then I suddenly found this dress; an actual vintage dress from Austria, by Madl of Salzburg. I adore the fabric it is made from, and it is a rich emerald green with a fabulous pattern. The sleeves are puffy at the shoulders, but not hugely puffy.  I bought it on eBay for approximately £25 including shipping, which I think is a bargain! The skirt is quite long, and I think would fit a petticoat, but I don't have any of the right style and length to go with this dress, nor did I want to wear one to an August wedding! The tights are (if I remember rightly) from Primark, and the shoes were also bought on eBay. I can't remember who made them though. Cat handbag is from H&M. Raven necklace is from Restyle, but that particular style has been discontinued after with an issue with their supplier over the metals used for the alloys. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Starting University, Update Schedule, And The Future

Monday was my first day at University smile emoticon I have been ridiculously happy these last two days. The more I hear about the course I am on, the happier I am. A few years ago, studying any part of the field of architecture seemed beyond me; some mysterious technical skills and art that would forever be out of my reach. I didn't think I could go to university, and I didn't think I was good enough to get in as a mature student. Now, I'm actually starting!

 I get to spend the next four years on a subject I have a huge, obsessive passion for. I can get excited about hollow tiles for cladding and their insulation/heat transfer properties, I can get excited about how a three-story atrium works visually like a cathedral nave, I can get excited about weight distribution and support in complex curves, and all these things I get to learn about how they work. All that technical, structural, practical stuff about /how buildings work/ that I find fascinating is something I actually will have as my main focus, hopefully for the rest of my days! It's amazing! I can't believe it's actually happening. I will hopefully finally get to dedicate the rest of my life to stuff that is awesome, and I've got it because I've worked for it. I'm really proud of how far I've got, and I'm fully aware of how much nose-to-the-grindstone work I have ahead of me, but I also know that if I put in the effort I will get what I want. 

A lot of stuff has stood in my way in life, I've had to deal with a pretty bad start and a lot of neurological and mental health issues, and I've had to deal with some truly awful people, but I've got past that. My friends have helped, my Dad and my sister have helped, Raven has helped, and I don't want to ignore their contribution too. There was a time when I didn't have many friends (if any), where I didn't have much at all in the way of support, where it seemed like all I had was problems on every front, and prejudices and hatred surrounded me; but I fought through that, and won my life for myself, and even better I met some super-duper people the other side. I won't be as active as I was before on my blog, but I won't be ignoring you; it's just that now that I have this opportunity, I will need to make the most of it. I didn't think this was something that would ever be accessible to me; I didn't think this would be something I would actually get to do.

 But it's real. 

And now I have to work really hard to keep it, and make everything flourish. I might not be around much for a while, but I haven't forgotten you all!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Summer Garden Goth

An Outfit Of The Day Post

This is actually last Friday's "outfit of the day" - well, I actually wore three different outfits that day for different things; work, rest and a dinner date, but this was the one I photographed, and I think it would be a bit weird if I posted every single outfit I wear. This one was a bit a fancier, and I think it looked quite nice, so I am posting it up here. The skirt is familiar - it is my favourite skirt, from Restyle, but you will see that my hair has changed quite a bit. This outfit has obvious Gothic Lolita influence, but I wouldn't class it as actually Gothic Lolita because of the stripy tights, hair, and lack of accessories. 

I no longer have a beautiful meadow right near my apartment to be photographed in, but I now live in my own house (well, Raven's and mine) and we have our own garden. It was left untended for quite a while 0 I think the property was vacant for some time over the growing season, and now it is a bit unkempt. There are some lovely rose bushes that I really must photograph, but for the most part it is scruffy and a bit overgrown in places with weeds. There are some nice fields near where I live, but I would need to be photographed by a second person, whereas I just plonked my laptop on top of the bins and used the timer function on webcam for these. There was not much time between having to poke the laptop and it taking a picture, so getting far enough away from the laptop for my whole body to get in shot while wearing platform boots was a bit tricky, especially as I am co-ordinationally challenged at the best of times! Scampering about the garden in ridiculous boots is not exactly something I am good at. 

Selfie by HouseCat
Outfit run-down: ☠ Blouse: HellBunny ☠ Cincher: Restyle ☠ Skirt: Restyle Stripy stockings: can't remember who made them, bought them in Osiris, Glasgow ☠ Boots: TUK ☠ Gloves: Accessorise ☠ Necklace: secondhand on eBay, not sure who made it. 

It's not the best set of photographs to show my new hair-dye off (I will make a post soon just about my hair), but it is now violet underneath, then a layer of royal blue, then turquoise, then spring green on top, with gradiation. I did it myself, and it took a whole day of dyeing to get it done, and lots of bleach to get my dark, nearly-black regrowth to blonde. In the next few days, expect a proper blog post on my hair in all its rich colours. The filters I used on editing these photos washed out quite a lot of the colour. In real life, it is quite vibrant. 

Selfie by HouseCat
I wasn't wearing the most complicated make-up that day. It was just thick eyeliner with wings and points, basic foundation and some lip-gloss. I was going to work later and I did not want to spend a long time on elaborate makeup just to take it all off again! 

Selfie by HouseCat
As mentioned, these are taken on my webcam, which is not the best camera. If anything, it's somewhere about "potato quality" and both low resolution and poor at handling varied lighting. I edited them in ::PicMonkey::, which is what I edit all my selfies with. The only way these could be worse if I had taken them on my phone-cam. When I have my new house set up, I am going to mount a camera opposite a relatively blank wall so that I can have somewhere to take decent outfit of the day selfies. This blog will probably end up with more outfit posts on account that I will not have as much time to write extensively. 

Selfie by HouseCat
This outfit was something of a trial run for what I am going to wear to my induction day for University. I don't want to wear a completely fancy "vampire queen" sort of outfit, nor do I want to look too plain, because then I will feel like I am giving a false impression. I think the changes I will make are to wear a plain black blouse rather than the feather print one - something less visually cluttered - with a statement necklace. I will also swap out the striped stockings for plain black tights or over-the-knee socks, and swap the platform boots for something a bit easier to walk in. As much as I love my big platform boots, I do have quite severe dyspraxia, and wearing them out and about is impractical for me.  I have a tendency to try and pretend that wearing very high heeled footwear is a good idea and do it anyway, but it always ends badly (and often painfully). I will probably also wear more extravagant makeup, and braid my hair so that all the colours show through more. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

My Reflection On The Oxford University Study Into Depression and Goth

A lot of newspapers yesterday were publishing articles based on ::this:: recent study in the Lancet by Dr Lucy Bowes at the Department of Experimental Psychology of the Oxford University, and her team, that saw correlation between teen depression, self-harm and Goth. The study was statistically modified to account for other upbringing/personal background data on the participants that may contribute to an increased risk of depression. 

First of all, I have a two things that, as a member of the subculture at the time these inquiries were made (and in Bristol in 2005 and 2006) and only a few years older than those being asked (so still a teen at that point, and interacting with other subcultural teens, possibly including a few of the cohort asked, with which I wish to mention about this study itself. Psychology and anthropology are not my areas of expertise, but I feel that I have well over a decade of experience of the Goth subculture and have tried my best to fully educate myself on the subculture I belong to (it is part of my obsessive tendencies to thoroughly read anything I can on whatever subject I fall in love with, whether it is cathedral architecture or the Gothic subculture). 

The big thing I was surprised at was that "Emo" and "Metal" never came up as identity categories/subcultures. Emo was much more of a big thing than it is now; it's a subculture that seems on the wane these days, but it was certainly very popular in the mid-to-late '00s, and there is also no category for "Mosher" or "Metalhead", which means that anyone identifying as those things would probably have chosen the closest category, "Goth", especially for young Emos, as there has often been confusion amongst babybats as to what is Goth, what is Emo, and to a lesser degree in terms of broader subculture, but greater degree in terms of music, what is Metalhead, because those three subcultures have a lot of overlapping features, and figuring out which subculture you identify with the most, or which combination, can be a bit complicated to begin with. Heck, when I was a babybat, I was probably closer to a metalhead/scene-kid, but mostly because I didn't really understand what Goth was, and was ignorant to its subcultural history and the broader range of things it encompasses. The age group - teens - also means that this confusion is far more likely to arise than if they asked adults (who also can be Goth, but that is another paragraph) and as such it is likely that this should be "young members of darker alternative subcultures" because I would imagine there are a quite a few in that group who might have been identifying as Goths for the purpose of the survey because they could not identify as Emo or Metal, in order to express subculture despite not having the correct named subculture. The way that the survey was conducted, in terms of being able to identify from 'strongly identify' to 'not at all' would counter that to some degree, but I do think that it would have been clearer to have these separate categories. As categories were not exclusive, those who felt they were part of more than one subculture could have identified as Goth as well as Emo, for example, so it would not have forced those who are still exploring their identity to chose. 

I have also noted a distinct difference in attitude towards negative emotions between Goth and Emo subcultures. I am no expert on Emo, nor one myself, and do not wish to tarnish them by misinterpreting what I have experienced, but what I personally have seen amongst the Emo/Scene people I have interacted with is that there seemed to be a greater tendency to glorify depression and mental ill-health, including self-harm, and a linked tendency to overly identify with the idea that a troubled soul a poet (or other creative type; I'm not being literal) makes. It is not that personal troubles do not make good fuel for the creative forge sometimes, but that I noticed this taken to extremes within Emo sometimes. Emo, by its definition, focuses on music that is Emotional Hardcore (derivative of Metal and hardcore Punk) and one that focuses on one's personal emotional turbulences, from depression and anorexia and other mental illness at one end, to the turbulences of life such as isolation from ones peers and heartbreak, and Goth is a much broader subculture, and while it does embrace the darkness in these manifestations, it also embraces the darkness in a lot of other manifestations. Emo seems to be more about a creative release for one's personal troubles, and Goth seems to be more about appreciating the darkness in the world around you. As such, the effect that joining the two different subcultures, or a combination of them, may have, when it comes to depression, may well be quite different. 

The second thing that I am surprised at is that they chose to look at specifically teens, and seem to be writing as if Goth is a youth subculture, something only partaken of as a teen and young person. Goth may be a phase for some, but it is a lifelong commitment to a beautiful artistic world of dark beauty for some of us. One thing I would be intrigued to know is the breakdown of how many of those that identified as Goths as teens would do so now, and how many of those who didn't might do now. Perhaps it would be interesting to see if there is any relation to those for whom Goth was a phase and higher or lower rates of depression; Goth and other dark subcultures can seem like a place of asylum in the original sense of the word - a haven - somewhere where they can safely express themselves with less judgement than from their conventional peers, and where the content of the culture can be cathartic, or a means to express painful emotions, and maybe if the connection is based more on having a safe group within which to express and be open about troubling emotions, as they fluctuate, or as other coping mechanisms and support networks form, and as adults can be less openly judgemental than teens and more mature in their understanding of mental health, some of those teens may have moved away from Goth. Some of them, like me, may have fallen in love with dark side, and stayed for good! Anyway, to better understand the relation of Goth and depression, it would probably be interesting to see whether those who identified as Goth as teens still did as adults, and how rates of depression continued, including in relation to whether or not they later left the subculture. 

The third thing is that more detailed inquiry into the personal relationship for those who identified as Goth and were showing high indications of depression, was not further explored. I think this was a large enough statistical study as it was, and it would have been hard to transfer personal experience into statistical data when a lot of those relationships are probably not easily quantifiable. Personal testimony and explanation would need to be examined, and that is not a research task I'd have any clue as a person outside of the field, on how to conduct, but I imagine those who are researchers in psychology and anthropology would probably have suggestions (and I image that there are probably a few amongst my readers). One thing postulated at the end of the article in the lancet was whether Goth music would aggravate depression in Goths, but personally, I don't think that "Listening to repeated music from the goth genre might lower mood and exacerbate symptoms of depression" as the paper suggest rings true for Goths; it might work if that music is played to people who don't have a predisposition to liking it, but for most Goths I have met, listening to our music makes us happy; that's why we listen to it! Some find it a release, some find it a comfort in knowing they are not alone, some find it cathartic, but I have never come across a Goth who finds that it makes them feel worse.

I think it is an interesting study to have been done, and I am very happy with the fact that the researchers were clear to state that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUATE TO CAUSATION. Sadly, some of the newspapers and other media have ignored this fundamental point of logic, and some articles have been less than favourable. I am not going to link to those articles, because every page view is revenue for them. I will, however, link to this ::article:: in the Guardian written by Simon Price, who was Goth back in the '80s in London, and I think has had subcultural leanings ever since by what he said in the article. I would also like to commend the BBC on their coverage. They even interviewed one of my friends - Holly Weeping Willow; a Gothic model and someone who is professionally a Goth in other ways - for the radio, although I haven't got a link to that audio yet. Their articles on the subject have been more balanced and the main one can be read ::here::, with a more detailed personal account ::here::. While personal anecdotes can be the "enemy of good science" as Simon Price said in his article, I think it needs to be noticed that similar themes come up in nearly all of them, including my own, and it would indicate to me that perhaps "good science" ought to come in and explore those connections better with proper research. The Independent seems to have a reasonable and balanced article, but with a clickbait headline and that is ::here::.

My main concern is that people will use these findings to target Goths as potentially mentally ill, that it will fuel stigmas that we are all 'crazy' or depressed. That is not the fault of the researchers, who seem keen to avoid this, but of the way some people will use this data for their own agenda. I can't say that I don't have my own protective bias towards the Goth community, because I certainly do (the community has protected me, and I feel duty bound to reciprocate), but I am at least aware of that, and open about it, which is more than I can say for those with a bias against Goth who report in a sensationalist manner about it.