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..

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Photographic Collaboration With Raven: Haverfordwest Castle

In April, Raven and I went to Wales. It was more a family visit than a holiday, and I was mostly doing work (coursework, too) but we also went on a day-trip to Haverfordwest (yes, that name is all one word). We went by train and were supposed to meet up with one of Raven's friends, but they ended up having to cancel, so we got the afternoon to wander around the town.

Train selfie with Raven.  Photo and editing by me.
Raven is reluctant selfie person!
Haverfordwest has a very prominent castle. It was pretty much the first thing I saw walking from the station, and I am, as you probably all know, quite obsessed with castles, so I really wanted to visit the castle. The weather was coming in, however, so we couldn't stay too long. 

Church with storm clouds. Photo by me, editing by Raven.
On the way up to the castle, I spotted the storm clouds above this church, and borrowed Raven's mobile to take a photograph. The photograph is my work, the editing is all Raven's work. He really brought out the impending doom in those clouds - shortly after this there was a terrible downpour. We were at the castle at the time and got thoroughly soaked!

Clouds and windows. Photograph by me, editing by Raven and I.
Another photograph of the castle ruins. This is one by me, with editing by Raven and I. Raven did the contrast and colour adjustments on the architecture, and I did the editing on the sky. I would imagine that the castle was once quite impressive, with grand Gothic windows, and quite a large building indeed. I had fun editing the sky on this one - it is deliberately a bit fantastical, although those are real clouds. 

Clouds above the ruins. Photo probably by Raven, editing by Raven.
This another atmospheric photograph of the castle. Neither Raven nor I can remember which of us took this photo, as we both tried to photograph this view. The flag flickering was the Welsh flag. Personally, I believe it was Raven who took this photograph. Raven certainly did all of the editing on this one. 

Raven in an alcove. Photograph by me, editing by Raven.
This is the portrait I took of Raven in another one of the alcoves. The original composition I tried was with him at the end of a row of several alcoves, but he was too tiny on the camera phone photographs. It took several attempts to get him in focus, too, as it is hard to use a touch screen when it is raining! Raven's always dressed in black, but he's a lot less elaborate than me in his tastes. Raven thinks this looks like what an album cover photo would look like if he  ever released one. 

Me in an alcove. Photo by Raven, editing by Raven and tweaked by me.
This is the photograph Raven took of me hiding from the weather in an alcove. Most of the editing is Raven's, but I tweaked the contrasts on my outfit a bit. I didn't have space in my luggage to bring chunky Lolita shoes, so I am wearing Gothic pikes with a Gothic Lolita outfit here! Walking around a castle in pointy shoes with stiletto heels was not comfortable, and not easy for someone with a co-ordination issue! I wish I had brought some flat Lolita shoes with me. 

Stairs. Photograph and editing both by Raven.
This last photograph is all Raven's work. I didn't go down the stairs because it had a used condom at the top, and all sorts of litter down at the bottom. I don't think Raven went to the bottom of the stairs either. As beautiful as the ruins are, it is clear they are not well looked after - so much litter, some if it quite grim, such as several used condoms, broken glass and plenty of cans and suchlike indicating people had been drinking heavily up there. There was also dog mess. It is a shame because it is an amazing ruin, a jewel crowning the town. Visiting it in such dramatic weather should have been sublime (in the more archaic version of the term), but it was marred by having to constantly watch my step, and not just because of wearing heels. There is a museum on site, and I am surprised there are no wardens or stewards to prevent people from abusing the ruins. 

Altogether, it was still a pleasant visit, even if the rain soaked us (we scurried away to a gallery and cafe to dry out and warm up) and the ruins were besmirched by those who don't respect them. The skies were beautiful and dramatic, and the castle itself is a stunning ruin. 


  1. The photos look sufficiently spooky for a castle adventure!

  2. Oooo! Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!

  3. Either photo of you or Raven in the alcoves would do well as an album cover, IMO.

    1. Raven plays guitar and I play flute, but we play quite different music. I don't think either of us will be recording an album any time soon, though. Who knows, maybe in the future.

  4. I love your photos it's appears to capture the ominous weather beautifully. I love the pictures of you and Raven. I partially, adore your gothic Lolita outfit, it works fantastically with the surroundings. Hope you had a nice holiday.

    1. Thank-you very much. Everyone whinges about the weather in Britain, but I think it's great for photography; almost guaranteed to be interesting in one way or another.

      That is probably one of my favourite co-ords; I probably wear it far more than I ought to!

      Raven is lovely <3

      My trip to Wales was spent mostly on coursework and helping family with stuff, so it wasn't amazingly fun, but it was a break nonetheless.

  5. Definitely beautiful, atomspheric shots! I looove your makeup-! How horrible about people abusing the ruins with waste!

    1. Thank-you.

      People littering the ruins made me really angry. It's desecrating our heritage and I have no patience with people who would treat it so poorly.


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