Saturday, 25 October 2014

A celebration of all things Gothic

Here in the UK, the BBC are broadcasting a series of programmes of all things gothic season,  and the first programme The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour was broadcast this past Thursday, the first of a three part series. It was an exploration of all art, literature and architecture of the gothic style, particularly how the Victorians were inspired by the medievil architecture that was once so out of fashion, and brought on the gothic revival style. I found this first episode immensely enjoyable,  and can't wait for next week, as well as what the rest of the season has in store.

Click here for the link to the BBC's page which includes listings of when all the programmes will be broadcast. I highly recommend checking it out if you can,  although I'm not sure about the availability for those of you outside the UK. There's plenty to look forward to, including more architecture,  a closer look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (eeeeeeee :D) and Goth at the BBC:
 BBC Four airs a compilation of performances from the BBC to explore the ‘Goth’ style of British rock and pop in the 80s. This was a period of music in which dry ice, doomy lyrics and dyed black hair tortured skywards were only some of the constituent parts of this very British ‘tribe’ that flourished alongside Stock, Aitken and Waterman. BBC Four delves into the archives uncovering classic performances from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and many more.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Caving adventures!

So the past couple of weeks my other half Rob has been working alot, meaning me and the little one haven't seen a lot of him. To make up for it, he decided we should take a family trip (also with our friends) to Cheddar Gorge. Cheddar is the birthplace of cheddar cheese, where it obviously gets it's name from. Traditionally the cheese is made from local West country cow's milk and aged in the caves in and around cheddar to give it that distinctive flavour. This apparently also means that only cheddar cheese made the is allowed to use the name, along the lines of the French champagne scenario.

One of the cheese vaults in Wookey hole caves, not actually in Cheddar but we visited here the same day. It's pretty smelly in there!

Cheddar is lovely because its little centre is basically one street full of shops and pubs and tea rooms, with a picturesque stream running through it. It also has a little cheese museum where you can watch the cheese being made, as well as eat samples and buy the produce at the end. We had a little walk up and down the shops, bought some fudge and had an amazing roast dinner in one of the pubs. It was all homemade and really tasty, and the Yorkshire puddings were HUGE. After that someone in the group suggested we go to Wookey hole,  so we drove the short ten minute journey and spent the rest of the afternoon there. Being West Country natives we had all visited many times (altough a couple of us hadn't been since primary school age!) But it's a lot of fun revisiting some where as an adult that holds so many childhood memories.

A picture from our cave tour, we were lucky enough to catch the cave divers emerging from a dive! Fascinating! The only thing was that obviously we couldn't take the pram inside so Rob had to carry the baby around the caves, I was glad I had decided to put Reegan in her snow suit. The caves serve as a fairly large family attraction and so after your cave tour there are tons of other things to see and do. They have an old paper making mill, a museum with all the old bones and artifacts found in the area, and (my favourite) the mirror maze and Victorian penny arcade. They have a huge selection of old machines that you can play on, as well as the types that read your palms, tell your fortunes, or play funny little stories out with puppets.  I had my palms read by the machine and also my fortune told by a scary gypsy puppet lady inside another machine. Luckily both readings came out very positive for me! Such fun!

The museum skulls, paper mill, and lastly a really cool jar I bought myself from the gift shop. This will go in my kitchen when I eventually have one. The housing situation is a bit of a pickle at the moment,  we are still living with Rob's parents until the council help us out, which needs to be soon because Reegan is fast outgrowing her crib. Once she's out of that there's nowhere for her cot to go, so nowhere for her to sleep!

All in all we had a pretty awesome day out, but after the whole pram/baby carrying conundrum I ordered us a baby carrier so that for future trips we can simply pop her in and not have to worry about the logistics of anything else. Plus when we can use it when we walk the dog so my treasured SilverCross won't get all muddy!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Style icon: Helena Bonham Carter

There's something about this woman I find very inspiring, she is not only talented and beautiful but her style is dark and delicate, with a dash of hippy thrown in here and there. She definitely gets the goth points for being married to the legendary Tim Burton, and although she seems type-cast into that creepy leading lady typical of Burton's work, she is a great actress in her own right and does well across many genres.

Not only does she get to wear the most wonderfully outlandish and whimsical costumes on screen, her red carpet gowns and casual fashion choices are also enviable.

This dress is unlike any other red carpet contender I've seen, and who doesn't love boots and skirts with a frock coat?

And may I also mention, she has bloody fabulous hair. I have serious hair envy of this woman. It's always very messy looking, but somehow effortlessly-on-purpose.

She rocks the curls in a way I never realised possible until quite recently, as a curly-mop myself I typically always cursed my messy ringlets and spent alot of time in my early teens obsessively straightening it. I even bought a chemical kit for straightening hair at the cost of risking serious hair damage, but it was just never enough.  I look back now and laugh because at the time I felt it was never quite perfect, when in retrospect my hair looked pretty tidy back then, when I actually spent the time and effort to do it properly.  Even before I had a baby I would still rather have extra time in bed than wash, blowdry and straighten it every moring like I used to when I was still at school.

So my envy of Helena's messy 'do actually helped me to embrace my natural hair, and inspired me to style it in a way better suited to my tastes. Not to mention the amount of peroxide abuse my hair has suffered over the years, the fact that I now straighten it less than once a week (and I don't even remeber the last time my hair dryer saw the light of day.  Probably when Rob realised it was great for styling his beard post-shower.) Now I can just let it be as curly as it wants to be, and when it's less manageable pin it up into something like this:

So I can just throw it up at the back of my head and pin it into place, and nestl accessories a-plenty in there. I this photo I'm wearing my skeleton hand hair clips, if you can see them. It's actually almost the same as the hairstyle in my previous post about Janis Ian from the film Mean Girls, except its alot less effort because rather than straightening my hair and using serum to make the ends silky and back combing the roots for volume, I just throw it up as is. I tried to find a tutorial to put a link for you guys, but to be honest there aren't many out there. As long as it's messy, just push it up at the back and put bobby pins in there until it stays. I use anything up to 20 of them sometimes.

As you can see from this older picture from the Janis Ian style post, I am embracing a slightly more natural look than i used to, lazy me!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Black and white theme post: matching outfits

I knew straight away what I was going to feature for this month's theme from Sophistique Noir.

At the time of the announcement I had just been shopping for baby clothes for my daughter, and had gotten her an adorable black and white panda outfit from H&M. It consists of stripy black and white leggings, a white longsleeve vest with a panda on it, and a little stripy hat with ears. And then, the first time I put her in it I realised I was wearing my black and white striped blouse, making for an accidental mummy-daughter outfit coordinate.

One with the hat...

And one without. She's much happier without the hat. Reegan doesn't like hats.

Funnily enough, my black and white blouse is also from H&M, which I usually wear over a plain black vest and leggings, also from H&M. Two whole oufits from the same shop! Still undecided on whether matching outfits are cute or weird though....

Not the best photo, but it was near bedtime and baba was feeling grumpy!