Apologies for the mini-post, I don't usually do this but I just stumbled across this on Facebook and HAD to share it pronto. You may already be aware of the upcoming movie This Must Be The Place, in which Sean Penn stars as an ageing Goth rock star. If not, voila, trailer:
On the Facebook page for This Must Be The Place, you are encouraged to 'Goth yourself' by uploading a picture and going crazy with virtual make-up, hairstyles and accessories. I can't decide whether this is more ridiculous or hilarious, but, well, you know you want to.
Goth yourself here.
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Apologies for the mini-post, I don't usually do this but I just stumbled across this on Facebook and HAD to share it pronto. You may already be aware of the upcoming movie This Must Be The Place, in which Sean Penn stars as an ageing Goth rock star. If not, voila, trailer:
Kitty Lovett of Bloggery of a Gothcat sent me a box of goodies by snail mail recently, and I had to show you guys the lovely purple mini-hat! (Kitty tells me that she bought this for herself but ended up sending it to me instead. I am honoured.)
|Just chillin'. In a field. That's how we roll in Britain.|
|Herp derp. >.<|
Please do not take photos of me mid-sarcastic remark. It results in this, which is scary.
That hoodie has silhouettes of fairies playing guitars on the front. I love it so.
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Continuing with the theme of 'things I really like at the moment', I thought I would share my summer reading list with you guys. Despite all the overtime that's going on, I do spend at least one day a week lounging in my back garden reading (when the weather is as good as it is lately). Lately I have been basking in the sunshine like a lizard (I was alarmed the other day by my own lily-white rear view, which turned out to be not so much elegant porcelain as pasty jellyfish, so decided that perhaps a little bit of vitamin D might be in order...), so I have been reading a lot of new books and rediscovering some old favourites.
- Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite (it's a cliche, but that's partly why I love it. Perhaps a book about pale brooding Gothy vampires is a slightly odd thing to read on sunny days, but never mind.)
- Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (the True Blood books are, in my opinion, the perfect summer reading for the darkly-inclined vampire fan.)
- Must Love Black by Kelly McClymer (looks amusing, sweet and fun!)
- It by Stephen King (I can brave re-reading this in broad daylight. I hope.)
- Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez
- Gasoline by Dame Darcy
- Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (yes, more vampire fluff.)
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (it's one of my favourite books of all time.)
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (the more I read it the more I love it.)
- The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (ahem...)
I'm sure that many Goths and other aficionados of alternative and unusual fashion have at times found themselves slipping into a bit of a rut. A signature style is one thing, but when you realise you have the same three outfits on rotation you might find things getting a little stale. Here are a few ways to break the mould and revive your passion for your wardrobe.
- Experiment with colour. Wait, come back! Whilst I know not all of you are colour-phobic, when you're adhering to a Goth look it's easy to forget that there are other colours in the spectrum that can create an equally dramatic look. Especially if you frequently shop in charity shops or thrift stores where clothing is arranged by colour! When rushing, it's easy to glance at the 'black' rail and bypass the rest. Not only might it help to make more time to browse and look out for yummy things in white, purple, red or pretty prints, but you could always challenge yourself by purchasing something in a colour you wouldn't usually wear and making it work with your existing wardrobe. Obviously, choose an item you actually like, or this exercise is pointless! But a pop of colour can bring an outfit to life, and a cream-coloured pillbox hat, pair of pink boots or a scarlet belt might be just what you need to look at your wardrobe in a new way.
- Mix up your make-up. For a breath of fresh air in your daily style, try doing something different with your face. If your dress-down outfits usually include no more make-up than a hint of concealer and dab of mascara, try dolling up your face Adora BatBrat style. Or if you usually depend on heavy rouge noir lipstick and a tonne of eyeliner, try a vintage-inspired gold eyeshadow and scarlet lipstick. Or go barefaced, if you dare! Different make-up can give a day-to-day outfit a whole new interpretation.
- Get new inspiration. If you usually ogle Goth blogs on Tumblr for your outfit inspiration, try searching for a different term that interests you. I'm sure there are more 'strands' of alternative fashion that spark your interest? Decora? Fairy kei? Seapunk? 'Pastel Goth'? Mori girl? Whatever it is, try looking it up and see if you can use influences from that style in today's outfit. Try Fuck Yeah Urban Tribes to discover a whole load of styles and subcultures you've never even heard of.
- Don't stress. You don't need to look 100% perfect every day. If you need to spend a day chilling in your jeans then go for it. Everybody needs a break sometimes.
- Take inspiration from the mainstream. There are more than a few worthwhile ideas in mainstream media, including a few that I must remember to try, such as mixing prints. You could always try putting a unique Goth or alternative spin on current trends - it may not work but it could be fun! Can you imagine a Goth take on the safari look, for example?
|Le me >.<|
Hello all! Apologies for the lack of recent updates, I have been a bit scatty with my blogging lately because I'm trying to make the most of the good weather! And much overtime at work.
Just to prove I'm still alive, here are ten songs I'm into right now (regardless of genre) that I hope some of you will also enjoy.
Scarehead - HaHa
Bauhaus - Hollow Hills
KidneyThieves - Before I'm Dead
Raggedy Angry - Don't Mess With The S.S.
Method Cell - Call It Cutting
Iggy Pop - The Passenger
Rhombus - 4472
Abney Park - Building Steam
Mindless Self Indulgence - Shut Me Up
Johnny Hollow - Devil's Night (3am remix)
Thursday, 22 March 2012
I received this award from the lovely Leena. :-) Thank you!
Post the award picture with a backlink to the person who nominated you
Answer the ten questions posed to you
Pass on the award to 10 or more bloggers (I'm going to link to ten bloggers who I feel deserve this award but please don't feel you have to post it, especially if you have been awarded it already!)
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite animal: Bats
Favorite number: 7, 2, and 13
Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Chocolate milk
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
My passion: Reading
Getting or giving presents: Both.
Favorite pattern: Stripes
Favorite day of the week: Tuesday (my relaxation day!)
Favorite flower: White lillies, red roses and bluebells
Le Professeur Gothique
Midnight Waltz on a Moonlit Autumn
The Walrus Room
Early Autopsy and White Scissors
The Blog of the Dark Alternative
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
In my coffee breaks at work I have been reading a book called The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which discusses how women are bombarded every day with images, discrimination and political and social pressure all relating to their looks and what effect this has on us both personally and as a group. I'm not halfway through yet but it has been a thought-provoking and alarming read (did you know that a judge once sentenced a woman to lose three pounds a week or be sent to prison, which had nothing to do with the actual charges for which she was facing court?!).
Additionally, as I was reading through some of my favourite blogs today I came across a recent post by style blogger extraordinaire Gala Darling, taking a look at how the way we present ourselves affects not only how others percieve us but how we feel, and how strongly we can be influenced by mass media and the pressure from society to fit an image, even when we think we are bucking such trends.
Whilst I certainly don't pretend to have an equally insightful take on the topic of the pressure to be beautiful, it has made me stop and think about my own behaviour. In her post Gala linked to No Make-Up Week, and I have to admit, I cringed at the very idea. Sure, I can go out without powder and heavy black eyeshadow, but don't you dare take my picture, and I haven't been seen out of doors without foundation, concealer, mascara and eyeliner in years.
|Five years ago. Bless.|
But make-up (or fashion) shouldn't be something we feel we have to hide behind. So, OK, I don't photograph well without eyeliner, but surely the thought of seeing my friends without a protective coating of cosmetics shouldn't make my stomach churn the way it does. The fact is that I feel awful if I go out in public without full make-up. Even if I'm hungover and feeling absolutely rotten, I still manage to feel self-conscious and wonder what people are thinking.
|In full make-up. That's my 'natural' look. XP|
|My usual look - heavy black shadow.|
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I do wonder, since the alternative worldview can accept different body shapes, outlandish hair styles and body mods of all descriptions without batting an eyelid, why are so many of our visual representatives in underground media so uniformly, stereotypically classically pretty? If we can admire and accept tongue-splitting and scarification, why not cellulite, moles or crooked teeth?
Just a thought.
I'll admit it. I'm a twenty year old female; my body image and self esteem are not great. But honestly, nobody's perfect, and looking like a human being shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of. I know I'm treading around the edges of cliche territory here but I was frankly a little upset to find that some of my day-to-day choices about how I present myself are governed less by personal preference and more by fear of how I might look to others. I want my experiences with make-up to be about fun and expression, not about creating a candy-coated suit of armour.
|Four minutes ago. The word you're looking for is 'derp'.|
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
To begin with, let's have a look at seven great posts from around the blogosphere:
- In December, Darling Violetta wrote this post with the attention-grabbing header, "Goth is a phase". But don't panic - this is an interesting take on the number-one woe of young Goths everywhere ("everyone thinks it's a phase!"), reminding us that growing up and changing is not necessarily a bad thing.
- Another of my favourite bloggers, The HouseCat, always pens incredibly insightful posts, and an offering from February entitled Goth, Subcultures, and Middle-Class Rebellion is a perfect example of why her blog, Domesticated, is such a must-read.
- I'm sure many of you are as excited as I am about film-project-in-progress My Summer As A Goth! Mary Rose at The Everyday Goth has posted her own thoughts on the project, as well as sharing with us a test scene from the film! You may have already seen the delightful Gothy-makeover scene, but if not, I highly encourage you to go and have a look.
- An outfit dump post from PastelBat at Carousel Dreams includes some of the most inventive, colourful and thoroughly spookycute outfits I've seen this month! I love this lady's style! My favourite is the outfit with the aqua wig and black lipstick.
- Tenebris in Lux of Never-Ending: Playlist of a Psycho loves her some music (she works in radio, so this is not a huge surprise), and recently came up trumps with a post discussing what she refers to as the 'strays' of Goth music, covering other genres that many Goths are likely to enjoy listening to and why it's OK to experiment outside the realm of specifically Gothic music.
- Juliet's Lace has so many lovely posts that it can be difficult to pick which to feature in each linksplosion, but I can't resist sharing with you this quintessentially Juliet post answering some of the most ridiculous yet frequently asked questions about the Goth scene.
- Katelynn at The Life of a Baby Bat addresses some of the concerns that the parents of young Goths are likely to have about Goth dress, and offers tips on how to handle them in a mature way in her post Compromising with the Parents.
- Let's start with something really eye-popping! This stunning feather headband from Bubbles and Frown has me crossing my fingers and praying for overtime. What an entrance you could make wearing this to the club. Also just the ticket for faerie festivals.
- Combining Beetlejuice stripes, octopus tentacles and some lovely lime-green accents, I absolutely adore these tentacle earrings from deceptions.
- These coffin rings from AliceDearArts look just lovely in ivory and lavender.
- I think that these spinal column earrings from bonejewellery would perfectly accessorise almost any outfit.
- I don't know about you, but most of the time I just can't get enough of make-up! Purple lipstick is definitely a staple in my cosmetics bag, and I'm not sure I can resist a shade called Morticia.
- I may not be the biggest fan of Joy Division out there (although Love Will Tear Us Apart is growing on me) but some of you, I'm sure, will appreciate this Ian Curtis tank top from TheRockerShop.
- Give your gift-giving a spooky flair with these lovely vampire bat gift tags from brandywine.
- Respirators and goggles are fairly standard accessories for cybergoths, and it can sometimes be hard to find anything a little, well, different, which is why I like this skull respirator from olnat31sun.
- Speaking of different, this syringe earring and necklace set from EssemDesign is really unusual and would go with a lot of different styles, although I don't suggest you wear it to work.
- Last but not least, I love this skeleton cameo coffin-shaped flask key chain; what a gorgeous gift idea!
- These two are both beautifully dressed! You may have noticed that I love a well-coordinated couple and this pair look simply amazing! (From Goth Underground.)
- You can never have enough pink, and this fabulous lady shows a real dedication with this incredible hair. I'm fairly sure it is fake, but does it really matter when it looks this incredible? (From Fairie Tail.)
- I love the elegance of this outfit (and what a beautiful photograph, too!). (From Happy Un-Birthday.)
- Ballet pumps and bloomers was a combination that for some reason never occured to me until I saw this photo. (From Mora Wintersoul.)
- I really love the use of colour in this make-up! Her hair is just gorgeous too. (From All Things Goth.)
- Now THIS is what I call a concert outfit. This ensemble was put together for an Emilie Autumn concert, and I take my hat off to this lady! (From Lydia BatFiend.)
- This is another simply mind-blowing outfit; this lady looks like a real fairy gothmother amongst all those feathers. (From Goth Style.)
- I can't decide which is more awesome; the pink-and-black striped bustly ensemble or her beautiful hair! (From Sweep The Cobwebs From My Mind.)
- Ereshkigal never looks anything less than perfect, so this picture proves no exception. (From Ego-X.)
- We're used to well-dressed Gothy couples, but how about a whole family unit? All together now: d'awwwwww! (From American Goth Girl.)
- This lady looks incredibly beautiful with a shaven head; another epically-dressed couple. (From Decomposition Dance.)
- Kato is flawless, and I do love a white steampunk ensemble. Yummy! (From Mazemind.)
Monday, 19 March 2012
Many of you who also read Siouxsie Law may already have been aware of the shocking news that teenagers in Iraq - reportedly an approximate 100 - have been murdered by militia for their mode of dress or their sexuality. Members of the LGBT community and those who wear emo fashions have been targeted. Some have also been reported kidnapped or tortured.
Posters had been seen on streets and cafes in Baghdad containing threats to young people belonging to such groups, according to Gay Middle East. An Iraqi blogger says that the threatening messages told teens that they had four days to change their behaviour.
Eyewitness accounts mention horrific violence being used against the teenagers, including beating them to death with concrete blocks and pushing them from the tops of tall buildings. An LGBT activist claims that five youths who survived the attacks were subsequently murdered as they lay in their hospital beds.
More frightening still is that these attacks are apparently sanctioned by the Iraqi Interior Ministry's community police. The director, Colonel Mushtaq Taleb Muhammadawi, said to the Iraq News Network, "Research and reports on the emo phenomenon has been conducted and shared with the Ministry of Interior which officially approves the measures to eliminate them."
UK newspaper the Guardian says, "Starting last year, mosques and the media both began raising the alarm about youthful immorality, calling the emos deviants and devil worshippers. In early February, somebody began killing people. The net was wide, definitions inexact. Men who seemed effeminate, girls with tattoos or peculiar jewellery, boys with long hair, could all be swept up. The killers like to smash their victims' heads with concrete blocks.
"There is no way to tell how many have died: estimates range from a few dozen to more than 100. Nor is it clear who is responsible. Many of the killings happened in east Baghdad, stronghold of Shia militias such as Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (the League of the Righteous). Neither, though, has claimed responsibility. Iraq's brutal interior ministry issued two statements in February. The first announced official approval to "eliminate" the "satanists". The second, on 29 February, proclaimed a "campaign" to start with a crackdown on stores selling emo fashion."
This blogger (link contains graphic images of the victims, please be warned), who wrote the above-quoted article, has more information on those targeted during the recent attacks - many victims are not what we in the West might think of as 'emo' but were simply sporting hair gel or skinny jeans - and says, "One thing that strikes me in reading about Emos is how much other adolescents target them for bullying in places where the subculture genuinely has flourished, like the US. Emo style (unlike the comparatively hard-edged cynicism of goth) emphasizes open emotional vulnerability coupled with a certain nervy fearlessness in displaying it. You can see how, in a society with repressively stratified gender roles like Iraq or high school, this would be a comprehensive recipe for not fitting in. Boys aren’t supposed to be vulnerable at all; girls would face reprisals from more confidently feminist girls for reveling in their weakness, and from boys for the covert, armored bravery with which they reveal it. Equally, you can see how, for those who feel at odds with those gender straitjackets, Emo would be a way to find a community, and an Archimedean point from which to start saying “no.” No one should slight the heroism in that."
|From Shafaaq News|
Source (another related article worth reading)
In 2008 several hundred people in the city of Queretaro formed a mob and went on an 'emo-bashing' spree. The rioting spread across Mexico, warranting police protection for the youngsters. A video of an emo teen being battered with a brick or rock even ended up on YouTube. The Guardian also mentioned an incident which I was not aware of. Last year in Saudia Arabia emo girls were arrested for 'imitating men'.
It's incredibly distressing that homophobia and alterophobia (fear of 'the other' - that is to say, anything that's different) should lead to such terrible attacks against innocent people - or should I say children - belonging to one of the most harmless modern social groups that exists today. My deepest sympathies are with the families of those who lost their lives to such sickening, senseless violence.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
I saw this at my bellydance class and had to share it! My class is held in a community hall and some of my friends from the class drew my attention to this picture on the wall.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
After telling the family to relax, I'm not actually planning a wedding any time soon, I got stuck into reading Steff Metal's e-book, The Gothic Wedding Planner: A How-To Guide For Dark Couples in Love. Steff, a well-known writer and blogger, has combined a talent for writing and a wealth of personal experience to put together this handy guide.
What about the e-book itself? Personally, I thought it was great. A lot of the information contained within is simply practical advice, presented with a refreshing lack of jargon or floweriness - handy facts, tips and guidelines for budgeting, avoiding common pitfalls and most of all, creating a wedding day that really reflects you as a couple. Better yet, it's not aimed at Goths alone; punks, Pagans, metalheads, steampunk enthusiasts and even Gothic Lolitas receive a nod from Steff, with suggestions for themed weddings, decor advice and even catering suggestions to please each of these subcultural denominations and more.
As someone not planning a wedding in the immediate future, I enjoyed dipping in and out of chapters (each helpfully broken down with headers to help you find precisely what you're looking for at a moment's glance) reading segments such as 'Gothic Food' and 'Body Modifications', but those with a date looming will also find plenty to calm that perfect-day panic, not simply to entertain.
I loved the combination of sensible, no-nonsense advice (right down to worksheets) with whimsical suggestions on designing every aspect of your perfect wedding (without breaking the bank), however outlandish or unusual your style, aesthetic or chosen theme - right down to a list of darkly delightful song suggestions for your first dance (everything from The Cure's Lovesong to, ahem, Monster Mash) - all presented in Steff's trademark warm, witty manner. Very enjoyable, and I'm keeping it on hand for future reference!
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
I got an award! The One Lovely Blog Award was given to me by the all-round charming Professeur Gothique. The rules for this award are simply to list seven random things about yourself and present the award to fifteen other bloggers. I'm sure that many of you have received this award already, but that just goes to show how lovely you really are. ^^
- Beribboned Cupcakes and Tattooed Bats. Courtney has beautiful clothes, pretty hats and is a genuinely nice, sweet person. This blog contains some of the loveliest outfit posts, ever.
- Midnight Waltz on a Moonlit Autumn. Currently my favouite Gothy blog! Lots of smart, well-thought-out posts on a variety of subjects. Darling Violetta has a tendency to say what we're all thinking or point out what we haven't thought of yet.
- Sincerely, Boots. Boots is awesome. Her blog is awesome. Nuff said.
- Allison Paige Eckfeldt. I love Ali's great fashion blog, and the lady herself is a real sweetheart.
- Bloggery of a Gothcat. Kitty Lovett sends me tiny hats; how could I not include her?
- Cemetery Sandwiches. Detailing Chloris's explorations of the Goth scene and beyond.
- Color Me Goth. Dismantlynn has been updating like a mofo lately!
- Confessions of an Australian Goth. What's not to love from someone who's blogging name is Dani Deathbiscuit?
- Gothica Gothique and the Emporium Gothica. Hmm, I wonder what this blog could be about?
- If Alice Were Into Platforms... Almost too much pretty for one blog. >.<
- Juliet's Lace. Amy of Juliet's Lace has been a constant source of great posts and good advice since Ye Old Piczo Dayes... that's, what, five years ago now?
- Siouxsie Law. Everything from news to nails goes on here.
- Sophistique Noir. Another of my favourite bloggers, ever.
- The Everyday Goth. I am still working my way through the archives of this great blog!
- The Gothic Embrace. Ponderings of a generally Gothic nature from a wonderful gentleman.
- The last movie I watched was Remember Me. It wouldn't have been my choice of film (girls nights in usually result in me watching things I would never usually watch!) but I actually loved it!
- I am currently reading Stick Figure by Lori Gottleib.
- The last item of clothing I bought was this.
- I just found out that my job is being made permanent. Get in!!!
- Dan and I will be celebrating our eighth anniversary in May.
- My next tattoo is probably going to be a faerie on my right lower leg. I'm thinking probably an illustration from this book.
- In April my friend Mia and I should be meeting Courtney of Beribboned Cupcakes... at an Emilie Autumn gig in Manchester.
Over the last month or so I have found myself toning my appearance down a lot. In some ways it has been a relief - by adopting a more practical, casual wardrobe I hoped to be able to get to work on time for a change, and it has been nice to just slide out of bed, shove on jeans, boots, hoodie and hat (and make-up of course) and head out to wherever I might be going that day!
|A club outfit from December|
|Going out for lunch in January|
I never had any real problems doing my job in multilayered skirts and backcombed hair, but often when getting dressed for work I would forget that I do actually have to go outside on my lunchbreak and sometimes walk home, so I would dress up perhaps more than necessary (I'm a peacock by nature and used to make the most of having a customer-facing role) only to face major awkwardness when nipping out of doors.
Some aspects of my job have been easier without clothing getting in the way - I have snagged many a trailing lace hem at work and last time I wore a plastic-boned corset in the shop I managed to snap three bones (on the corset, not me) just getting into the car! I also find it easier to layer up and keep warm during the winter months with more sensible clothing - even layering tights and bloomers under a long skirt is simply not as warm as popping on a pair of jeans.
However, there are obvious downsides to this plan! First and foremost is that I now have a whole collection of outlandish clothing that doesn't get worn as much as it should. Secondly, people are assuming that I'm growing out of my 'phase'. I actually had a regular customer complain yesterday that I look much more 'conservative' than I used to and it was nice to see someone who looked different. And thirdly, sometimes it feels downright boring.
So personally I'm setting aside one day out of the week, most likely a working day, to dress up a bit more and pull some of the lace and chains out of the back of the wardrobe again. Have you guys ever faced this sort of dilemma? What was your solution?
Saturday, 10 March 2012
Here’s a potentially shocking fact for you: not all Goth/Alt people are angsty teenagers! Well, of course, as a reader of this blog you know that. You have seen such examples as Le Professeur Gothique, Trystan L. Bass, and Sophistique Noir so you know about the crowd of grown-up Goths (not to mention our own dear Amy!). But one group of folks that hasn’t been talked about very much is the Goth/Alt parents.
Hi, my name is Holly and with my wonderful husband (known as TeacherMan) I have a 6 month old daughter. I am a Goth/Alt parent.
|Holly and her beautiful daughter Miss Boo|
Quite honestly, I have never found that my style is scary to the small set. In fact, children are generally a source of wonderfully frank questions on the exact color of my hair, or whether “purple is my favorite color” because my hair and nails are the same shade as a grape. In my experience, children are fascinated by differences and it is only when they have been taught that “different is bad” that they react with fear. I hope to raise my daughter with the mindset that everyone is different and that is awesome, something to be celebrated. Because a world full of people who all look and think the same would be so very, very boring.
I’m not going to say that as a Goth/Alt parent, you won’t run into little issues – like being stared at because the man at the table next to yours cannot fathom the idea of a purple-haired person with a nose ring having a baby, or having everyone assume that because your beautiful daughter is wearing a black top (with purple leggings!) she must be a boy. But on the whole, I have found people to be accepting and much more concerned with how many times they can tell my daughter she is “so cute!” than with how her parents are dressed.
Amy says: Huge thanks to Holly, aka TropiGothMama, for this great post! You can read more from Holly at her blog Starlit Home. This post was suggested by Darling Violetta, so thanks to you too!
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Almost caught up with the BatFit challenges now! The fifth challenge is entitled 'Brag-Fest', and is exactly that. In the words of Le Professeur Gothique: "For the next two weeks we will be having a BRAG-FEST! Yup, in the spirit of the ancient Celts we will raise our tankards in a toast to ourselves and all that we do! We will stand up and say, "I am awesome at xyz!" "I successfully accomplished xyz and I'm damned proud of myself!" Your challenge, if you chose to accept it, is to blog about, comment here about, or talk about with your loved ones those accomplishments that you are most proud; what makes you special; and what you love about yourself, etc. Everyday for two weeks you will celebrate YOURSELF. Pop the cork on the champagne and raise the glass high, for you are awesome."
...oh. I just sat staring at the screen for ten minutes there. This is harder than I thought! OK, let's do this:
- I am good at prolific blogging and journaling. We are always told that to be writers we have to write every day. I got that in the bag!
- I make time to help my friends. Just this week I let my trainee hairdresser chum attack my locks in the name of friendship (actually a deep conditioning treatment and a trim, very pleased with the results).
- I learn things quickly; I can now handle all the Saturday paperwork we have to take care of in the shop.
- Despite leaving school early due to my safety being at risk (and therefore not being able to get into college since I had no GCSEs) I continued my education on my own with correspondence courses and managed to get respectable employment at a time when unemployment in my country is at an all time low.
- I rarely cook but the results are always excellent. If I do say so myself.
Welcome to my first ever attempt at Things I Love Thursday, or T.I.L.T.! I've seen this on many blogs I enjoy and feels like a nice, positive way to start the day (yes, I just got up) so I thought I'd have a bash at it. :-) Gala Darling says, "I would LOVE for you to try writing a gratitude list to see how it helps you & changes your perspective. I know it sounds too simple to ever work, but it really does; it totally alters your mindset. In fact, the more you train your brain to focus on the good things, the better it becomes at looking for those positive things, & this is a way in which you can learn optimism!"
- I love that, although my life didn't turn out the way I planned (college, then uni, then being a rich and famous author before I was twenty-five - ha!), it has worked out exactly fine, as though the pieces just fell into place anyway. I have a group of friends that I love wholeheartedly who never cease to make me smile; a boyfriend whom I utterly adore (and we are approaching our eight-year anniversary, holy batcrap!); and a family who offer endless support and guidance. I have a job that I enjoy, a roof over my head, and a slightly grouchy cat. It may not be everyone's idea of perfect but it works just fine for me.
- Shopping! This week's buys include a new leather jacket, wide-brimmed floppy hat, a metallic pink handbag, some books, and a pair of aviator sunglasses. I will get rid of some of my old stuff... eventually.
- Spring is on the way. I'm generally not a fan of spring fashion and it's not my favourite season but this year there is something so uplifting about sunnier days, bluer skies and bikinis popping up in all the high street stores. I'm longing for warmer weather and it feels like it's almost here! Time to start stocking up on suncream!
- Mysterious packages from fellow bloggers. I recently had a parcel in the post from none other than Kitty Lovett... photos coming soon! I love that our blogging community is ever-growing and pretty tight-knit (most our Aussie Goth bloggers go partying together now) and that there's always someone to offer advice, have a laugh or just chat about random stuff...
- Spending time with my dad. Dad and I now hang out usually twice a week; Saturday lunchtimes he meets me from work and we go to a local cafe for fry-ups and a chat, and on Monday nights we go out to dinner and then back to his house, where we slob on the sofa, drink tea with too much sugar and watch Have I Got News For You, QI, Mock The Week, A Question of Sport and Never Mind The Buzzcocks. (I also rummage through his piles of eBay stock for new shoes, natch.) My dad is pretty awesome.
|Eternally greatful for my awesome friends (wayyy old pic!)|
(Front to back: Spice (sadly passed away); Jena; Jodie; Vincent; Lucy; me; Dan.)
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
So the fourth challenge for Le Professeur Gothique's BatFit is to be good to yourself.
Le Professeur says, "You absolutely must try to forgive yourself. You can't be super critical of yourself, your work and what you do. And you need to cut yourself some slack and be proactive in your life. You also need to celebrate yourself and the good stuff that you do everyday. And you must do something FOR YOURSELF once a day."
At first I thought that doing something for myself daily sounded simple, but depending on your mindset it may not be as easy as it sounds. Nowadays it's almost expected for people, especially women, to set time (and money) aside for 'pampering' - facials, manicures, hairdressers, etc. - but it seems to me that often these 'treats' are often more about keeping up with the Joneses than actually making some time to do something nice for oneself. (Not in every case, of course!)
I do like to buy myself little (or not so little!) gifts every week; and for special occasions such as my birthday I do tend to splurge on things I could never usually afford, like the McQueen scarf I currently have my eye on. But being good to myself probably shouldn't include getting myself into debt, so I might reel in on the spending for a while.
So, in the spirit of BatFit, I made a little list of some of the ways I can be good to myself without overspending.
- borrow a good book from the library
- work a bit more on my next novel (previous novel was written in a fortnight. This one has taken a year and a half so far. Go figure.)
- go for a walk in the sunshine
- go window-shopping or thrifting
- work on a design for next tattoo
- take some photos
- write in my journal
- listen to some music / dance
- make a pretty, healthy meal or snack
- bake some cookies
- turn my childhood playhouse into a writing den (I have been itching to do this for months but I'm sure there are spiders aplenty in there *shudders*)
- record a video
- seek out some new music
- dress up just because
- go somewhere new
- eat lunch al fresco
In my previous post about dating non-Goths, I mentioned how my partner Dan (whose birthday it is today, incidentally) has always been supportive of me however I decide to dress, and although he grumbles and mumbles a bit whenever I contemplate shaving sections of my head he has never batted an eyelid at any of my modifications or sartorial choices. I received an email this month that made me realise other people's other halves are not always so relaxed. In fact, the very nice gentleman who emailed me confessed that his girlfriend is highly disapproving of his preferred Gothy aesthetic and has expressed an intent to leave him if he doesn't change his style to suit her.
|Dan and I on hols. (I get very excited about bus rides. Dan has epic duckface).|
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
I like to think I'm a happy person. Sure, I have down days, bad days, fat days, bad hair days, grumpy days and why-bother days like everyone else but on the whole I'd say I'm fairly optimistic, upbeat and cheerful. It's not always easy. Sometimes things seem to conspire to try to put a downer on me, and sometimes other people can say and do things, intentionally or unintentionally, that hurt. But keeping a smile on your face and looking for the positive side can sometimes make the bad days a little brighter and the best days even better, which is why I keep on trying.
A joyful outlook really shouldn't be frowned upon. No, not even amongst Goths! My automatic response when making eye contact with another person is to smile; you'd be surprised at the amount of unkind comments and lairy chavs that have been derailed by a megawatt cheesy smile from the girl with the frilly petticoat and spikey boots. A smile is all the better when it's unexpected.
This video never fails to make me smile... Industrial-dancing Goths strutting their stuff to the sound of... Dutch polka.
Left to my own devices I don't think that I ever would have moved on from Goth, or my version of it, filled with 'spooky cute' accessories, stripy tights, and things with bats on. But recently I came to realise that even though I still strongly identified with many aspects of Goth culture and had a strong fondness for the community as a whole, I was becoming increasingly discontent with the idea that being non-conformist to acceptably Goth standards meant listening ONLY to certain music and dressing ONLY in a certain way.
Friday, 2 March 2012
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Today, March 1st, is Self-Injury Awareness Day, a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness of self-harm and try to beat some of the common stereotypes that abound about the condition.
- Self-harming behaviour is most common amongst young people aged between 12 and 24 but can occur at any age.
- Self-injury is not about attention-seeking and not often associated with being suicidal.
- It is usually a coping mechanism; used to communicate or deal with emotional distress.
You can show your support for SIAD by wearing something orange, including a wristband, bracelet, ribbon or even nail varnish or simply drawing an orange circle on your hand.
For more information or support, visit Mind's page about self-harm. If you want to talk to someone confidentially, you can contact ChildLine or Samaritans. Please remember, you are not alone and you don't need to suffer in silence.
"Everything will be OK in the end; if it's not OK, then it's not the end." - I don't know who said this but I think it's a good thing to remember.
Posted by Amy Asphodel at 17:41