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..

Monday, 20 July 2015

Highland Lolitas Botanic Garden Meet-Up

I organised my first meet for the Highland Lolitas community for the 7th of July. We are a very new and small community. We had our first proper meet up as high tea at the Royal Highland Hotel back in March, but this was just before my hiatus and I did not get to blog about it. If people request a retrospective blog post about the first ever Highland Lolta community meet up, then I can probably do a blog post about it. I have organised a mini-meet at the Botanic Gardens before, and I blogged about that ::here:: but that is when there were only the three of us and we had not formed a community because our numbers were too small. There are now about 8 active memembers in our community, and our meets are usually between 3 and 6 people in attendance, so it is still a very small community. 

Photograph by Danielle
There was actually a meet up in Culloden for International Lolita Day, but I chose to go the big Scottish Lolitas community meet in Edinburgh instead (I felt a bit like I'd accidentally ended up as the 'Highland representative' as I got a few questions about our small community) and while I don't regret going to Edinburgh, I wish I could bilocate and have gone to both! A few of the girls met up on the same day as ZombieNess, which again put me in the position of having to choose, and as this was the first ZombieNess and the council were trying to guage interest to see if it would be run again, attending that with my friends seemed like a priority as we wanted to show our support on hopes of it happening again in future years. I was left feeling like I was abandoning our nascent Lolita community, and thus decided to organise a meet-up myself. 

Better size view. Photograph by Danielle

I chose the Inverness Botanic Gardens (Floral Hall) because it is a very beautiful location, has an on-site cafe that serves teas and cakes (with delightful antique-style crockery), it has both indoor and outdoor sections so we could have an enjoyable visit regardless of the weather, and because when we had our mini-meet before, they were very welcoming of us despite us all looking so very unusual, and seemed intrigued in a positive way rather than thinking we might be a detriment to their custom. It was also an all-ages venue, and as the youngest in our community is 14, I did not want anyone to feel left out. 

Sitting on a bench with my umbrella as a parasol. Changeable weather!
Photo by Danielle.

Organising the meet-up is actually quite a bit of work; I was helping girls with their travel arrangements (like which busses to take), ran a poll to find out the most convenient date and had to work out where we would meet, whether there were going to enough of us to ring ahead and book tables, etc. I think organising a meet-up that involves a booking, much larger numbers and perhaps group travel would be a really large amount of work, so I am very grateful to all those at the Scottish Lolita community who organise things like the tea-parties at the Willow Tea Rooms and the recent International Lolita Day meet (which I blogged about ::here::). 

Danielle, in a lovely Sweet Lolit outfit. Photograph by me.

We met up at the Eastgate Centre in Inverness (the shopping mall), as it is a central public space, and open enough for us to all immediately recognise each other by our outfits (quite distinct from the regular fashion in Inverness!). The initial plan was to meet up in the food-court, but all of us seemed to have the idea to go into Claire's and look for floral head-decorations, beforehand so we ended up meeting up there instead! Before I got into the mall, the weather was a bit dreich, but it had been sunny earlier, and I thought perhaps it might only shower lightly. When we got out of the mall it was more than mere drizzle, and it rapidly became downpour. We rapidly got totally soaked - or "drookit" as it is in Scots. We had our umbrellas with us, but they were useless against wind-driven rain that just blew under our umbrellas and drenched us. We did not get as far as bus to the outskirts of town in one go - we gave up, and decided to hide in the So CoCo cafe until the rain passed, or at least stopped raining quite as hard. It transpired that nobody else at the meet had tried macarons, so I bought a box of macarons to share. Once the rain died down, we walked the rest of the way to the bus, and then took the bus to the botanic gardens. The rain had flooded many of the paths, so we had to walk around the long way. Once we got to the gardens the weather started to improve. 

I'm growing! I'm growing! Photo by Danielle

I am considerably taller than all the others in the group; I am  5'9½" without heels on, and I was wearing 4½ inch heels above that, making me approximately 6'2" with heels on! Even without heels I am quite a bit taller than the other group members with their heels on, so I towered like an giantess over them. Within the hot-house, there is a room that is part of the staff area and is underneath the waterfall section and mezanine terrace; I would presume it is the pump-house for the waterfall and pools. The entrance is a door that is under the average door height, and I had fun standing in the doorway and pretending that I was suddenly growing like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, when she eats the 'Eat Me' cake!

We had a wander around the hot-houses of the Botanic Gardens, took lots of photographs, admired the flowers and the fish (there is an indoor koi pool in the hot house, and several ponds in the outdoor gardens), and then we visited the cactus house, which is my favourite part of the botanic gardens. After we had visited all the indoor parts, we visited the outdoor gardens, which are quite extensive. Several visitors took photosgraphs of us; all our outfits were on themes that fitted in with the aesthetics of the gardens, so we must have looked just right for photographs! One chap with a rather fancy camera took photographs for us, which was very nice, and then we had them e-mailed to us, which is very nice! I have been photographed hundreds of times while out and about elaborately dressed, but I have only seen about 5 of those photographs taken by strangers. In this age of smart-phones, wi-fi hotspots and social media, it is really not difficult to send me at least a link!

We then had cake and snacks in the cafe, before finally heading back into town on a double-decker bus, being quite silly and sitting at the front of the top deck and pretending we were super-heroes flying through the city! When we got back to the town centre, I found out that Danielle and one of the other girls are street performers in Inverness too - I busk playing the recorder, and they do dances and singing. I watched them perform, and then went off (and actually did some performing of my own as I often carry my recorder with me in case the opportunity comes up!).

I apologise for the lack of group photographs, but most of them include group members who are quite young, and I did not feel it was appropriate to post them on my public blog. 

PicMonkey collage of Danielle's photos. PicMonkey's clip-art.

I went for a Classic Lolita in old-school black-and white instead of outright Gothic as I was aiming for something more summery. The weather started off sunny, then went through torrential rain (hence the umbrella) complete with sideways rain (the umbrella was useless), then to rather sunny, and then back to rain again! It was really hard to try and dress for the weather because it was so changeable. The only thing that was constant about it all was the warmth and the humidity. Oh the Scottish summer!

Outfit rundown: ❀ Wig: Coscraft ❀ Old-school headdress: handmade by me ❀ White hair roses (not part of the bush!): Claire's ❀ Choker: cheap lace choker from eBay which I modified by adding a cameo from Rock and Roar and removing some of the tacky beads from ❀ Blouse: Metamorphose ❀ Black fabric ❀ Rose pin: thrifted ❀ JSK: Baby, The Stars Shine Bright ❀ Tights (rose-pattern): I've forgotten, but it was some bridal supplier ❀ Shoes: Fiore ❀ Gloves: Claire's ❀ Umbrella: Primark 

I would love constructive criticism! I would really like for suggestions on how to improve this outfit. Please remember I was dressing for summer, hence why this is not a very elaborate outfit, and why I am only wearing one petticoat with my dress. I am 5'9½" before heels, so the dress is a bit short on me, but the weather was so clammy, and all my underskirts are quite thick so I decided to just bend the rules a bit instead.

4 comments:

  1. I enjoy all the photographs with the lovely flowers! The gardens make a perfect backdrop for your outfit photos!

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    1. It was so pretty there :) I love going to the Botanic Gardens :)

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  2. I love your outfit! Definitely the kind of style I feel like I'm getting back into. Garden visits are always lovely!

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    1. Thank-you :) I try and get down to the gardens quite regularly as they are rather beautiful.

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