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..

Thursday, 12 January 2017

New Year, New Me?

I'm doing that modern tradition of 'New Year's Resolutions' and so far I'm managing to stick to them, but I hope I'm not one of the many people who let them drop by the wayside throughout the year. I am hoping that if I post them publicly, this will encourage me to live up to the expectations I have declared of myself - especially if people encourage me.

Recent photograph of me by Raven
My resolutions are in three main categories: healthier living, happier living, and college.

Healthier Living Resolutions:
  1. Eat less cheese, chocolate and other less healthy foods that I tend to over-indulge in. I'm actually not eating either for January - I've eaten the last of what was left over from the festive season, and I'm not buying or eating any more until at least February, and trying to replace these parts of my diet with healthier options - primarily fresh and dried fruit. 
  2. Get fitter and less fat. I've put on fat due to a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet of convenience food, something I have mentioned before. I managed to loose a little fat and ended up about 2 inches thinner all around last year, but then I gained it again. I need to make sure being a student doesn't also mean living unhealthily and not exercising enough, eating unhealthy snack foods, etc. I don't have a problem with this as primarily an aesthetic issue, but as one of me recognising that it's a symptom of my lifestyle in general having become less healthy. 
  3. Go for regular walks. I live in a beautiful, beautiful part of the world and I don't spend as much time exploring it as I ought to. Part of that is because I'm really busy with the house and college, and part of that is because I spend too much time on Faceboook, Tumblr, etc. I need to do less of the latter, and I need to do more exercise, in general, and walking is both relaxing and gets me fresh air, exercise and relative quiet, especially if I stay rural and keep away from populated areas. 
  4. Go back to martial arts classes. I have loose joints and a co-ordination disorder, and as long as I'm careful in what exercises I do (that I'm doing them properly, and that I work on having the muscle-strength to control the over-flexibility of my joints) and strap up my knees and ankles properly, martial arts help both of those issues. A complex discipline like martial arts really helps with co-ordination, proprioception and kinesthesia. It helps me become far more aware of where all of me is, basically, and what each part of me is doing, and while I'm still clumsy, and I learn things like martial arts far, far slower than my class-mates (I will never be some badass MMA fighter type!), all the time I'm practising regularly I see the improvement in my everyday life. I also found being allowed to hit things a good stress-reliever. I quit to spend more time on my studies, but now I regret it. I need the exercise, but I also need to do these things that really tax my abilities in order to improve them, otherwise I'm a klutz that trips over air, bumps her hand on the hot parts of the cooker and breaks crockery... I suppose I could substitute any other discipline that requires similar co-ordination, like dance or yoga, but martial arts fits my personality better, plus while I'm no expert, I would like to improve my self-defence abilities, especially when I know how rough things can be for those of us who choose to look different. 

This is my "the photoshoot will be ruined by rain" face.
Photograph by Raven. 

Happier Living Resolutions:
  1. Spend less time on the internet. This blog is a fun hobby, and e-mails are a useful form of communication. The internet is also a great research resource (Google Scholar is so useful!), but it has its downside; getting into arguments online with strangers, spending too much time idly on social media, being distracted by pages of funny cat/bat/snake memes, and generally wasting time unproductively. I need to less of the latter, and perhaps spend more time on this blog! Last year I only managed 29 blog posts, and that is not enough content!
  2. Learn to say "no" to social engagements. I've been trying to override my introverted nature and be too social for my own good, leaving me exhausted. Just being around people too long wears me out, and I get plenty of that at college. I have to be balanced about this, too, as I have reclusive tendencies, but I also have to respect my own boundaries and not just blindly agree to every time I am invited to see friends or have a coffee. I'm also very much not a fan of loud, busy places - so a lot of bars and clubs are more torturous than fun in my opinion, and I need to be more assertive in saying that I don't want to go to those sorts of places. I am a "yes" to cemetery picnics and a "no" to Friday night drinks. 
  3. Draw and paint more. I love art, and I love working on artistic projects, but these days I haven't done much in the way of art and crafting - a lot of the time it's because college has to take precedence, but keeping my artistic skills up to scratch is important to my architecture studies, plus it's very rewarding. I also have quite a few unfinished art projects that I just want to get done. 
This was a test photo of me looking at a tree by Raven
Studious Resolutions:
  1. Spend more time on Revit. Revit, for those who aren't in architecture, is a piece of software that is 'building information modelling' - which in ordinary terms means that it models various properties of a building as well as its 3D shape, and allows for information like which company makes something, what phase of construction it's in, or whatnot, to be included. Very powerful software, and an important part of my college course is learning to use it, but I really struggle with it; it's so different from anything I've done before - heck, before uni, I hadn't done any 3D modelling at all. Learning 2D CAD and technical drawing was more a case of applying what I know of doing it traditionally to a new medium, but 3D building information modelling is something completely new. The only way to improve is to practice, and I hate practising because it's an unrewarding battle with something that mostly frustrates me, but I have to, so I will. 
  2. Tidy my study. My study has ended up something of a storage room instead of a quiet place to work; it's full of crates, books, etc. It's hard to move in there, let alone get any studying done, so it needs a clear out! Because of the amount of junk that has been shifted in there as we decorate (and really, refurbish) other areas of our house, it's become rather cluttered, so this is a significant task. 
  3. Manage my time better. I struggle with time management - partly because I have a couple neurological issues that mean I have problems like no sense of how much time has passed, and with remaining on task (I have short-term memory issues), but I've got a tablet computer now, and apps and software to help - I use countdown timers a lot, for example, and it's easier to have one on my computer than keep taking the one from the kitchen - plus I'm trying to schedule my time better with time-tables, etc. I got behind last term, and I don't want to repeat that.  

Those are my 10 resolutions for this year. I really hope I can keep to them.
The photos interspersing these are the best photos from the first attempted photoshoot of 2017 and are all by Raven. Unfortunately, bad weather came in and ruined it all, which means I'll have to try again soon. The jacket is by DarkStar and the jabot and shirt by PunkRave. My hair is dyed with Directions Apple Green, Stargazer UV Green and Directions Alpine Green, with the UV Green as highlights at the front, and the Alpine Green as lowlights in the lower layers. It's washed out a little since I did it, hence why it is a little more pastel than my usual vivid green. 


  1. If you'd like, I could help you out with some of your resolutions. wouldn't mind going for walks out to sketch scenery and to practice photography (that strikes two in one go!) and I've been contemplating trying my hand at martial arts as a way of getting more exercise (and getting out more!) It's up to you though,if it's something you'd prefer to do solo then that's fine ^_^

    1. I'm always up for going for walks! Just P.M. me. I was going to Kung Fu classes, I can send you details of the class I was attending. Sifu is lovely if you're not very confident.

  2. Looks like an aspirational but very reasonable list! :)

    1. I wanted to make sure my resolutions weren't too difficult, otherwise I'd get disheartened and quit too soon, but also not too easy, because I do need to make big changes in my lifestyle.

  3. GOOD LUCK!!! And big, huge hugs!

  4. I can certainly relate to some of your resolutions, especially those concerning time spent on the internet and saying no to social engagements.

    For the biggest part of my life, I had trouble saying no to people and their invitations. I was miserable and simply didn't want to be there. Learning to say no thank you has been a refreshing development for me. If you dislike social events as much as I do, you won't regret keeping this resolution. It will be awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it.

    I've been telling myself that I should spend less time on the internet and take on other healthier activities. So far however, I haven't figured out what those other activities should be.

    Good luck with bringing this new you into the world.

    1. I used to be very reclusive, and my 'avoiding people' tendencies didn't help me develop good socials skills. I tried really hard to be more outgoing and to be more involved, to actually have a social life - and for so long I put in a huge amount of effort to be more sociable... but now I think I need to inject some balance because I'm not comfortable with big groups, loud places, and extend socialisation, and it just means I don't have the energy to put into stuff like college, exercise, etc. because I'm drained from too much socialising.

      Walking is an easy choice for me because of where I live; I'm somewhere rural with spectacular views and lots of lovely woodland, moors, etc. so it's nice to go walking here.

  5. First some superb photographs.

    All resolutions seem very extensive and thoroughly thought out. Everything seems a good balance of between achievable, yet stimulating.

    I can emphases with full time studying it become arduous and draining. Sometimes after long days of study and assignments. It very easy develop habits of spending time vegetating and procrastinating watching cute kitties. I'm exceedingly guilty of spending frivolous time on the computer.

    I'm dyslexic, I have similar issues as you have described. Both with the passage of time and short term memory. If it was for my smart phone and calander I would be lost.

    I wish you all the best for 2017 and great success for your resolutions. I've got my fingers crossed for your course.

    1. I think spending too much time on frivolous stuff on the internet is a common problem.

      I have a diary, and I want a wall calendar - preferably something like one of the Gothic art ones. I really need something to keep me on track!

  6. I found your blog a while back and find it so inspirational! It's fun to find other grown goth blogs online.

    I gotta say your resolutions feel very ambitious, yet thought through. I am too scattered to even consider a similar list, I would probably end up in a ball of anxiety from all the pressure =P

    1. I'm sad to hear about the anxiety issue. I try not to pressure myself too much - these are mostly about reclaiming things I've already done, so they're things that I know I can do, because I've done them already.

      I also have a Tumblr and an Instagram if you're interested.

    2. I still think your list is great, and positive! My problem is definitely sticking to a long-term list and therefore trigger all that well-known performance anxiety - so pointless! I'm taking baby steps, one month at a time with a new theme instead of the entire year =)

      I'd love to follow you on Tumblr and Insta!

    3. That sounds like a reasonable way of doing things :)

  7. I keep my thumbs up for Your resolutions to come true~~ I always fail at stuff like this, hahaha! But drawing/ painting more sounds like an awesome plan!

    1. I kept up the no cheese or chocolate diet for the month, and I'm still having a reduced cheese and chocolate diet.

      I haven't started up martial arts again because I've been ill again for the last three weeks, but now I have meds, and I'm also booked to start roller derby again in February.


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