Sunday, 19 January 2014

Adventures in London: V&A, Science Museum, and Kensington Gardens.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to take advantage of the fact I live in London, so I'm now planning on going central every week and visit different tourist attractions. Today, I decided to go to South Kensington, and to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and then decided to have a stroll around Kensington Gardens.


The rock pool in the V&A garden/courtyard
The Victoria and Albert museum was amazing, especially with the massive hall filled with sculptures when you enter (I entered through the tunnel entrance, so it was even better). I personally enjoyed the Fashion and Theatre exhibitions the most, but there's anything for anyone!

The Science museum, meanwhile, was good because I was raised with an interest towards space, so the Space Age section was perfect! My only issue is that, because I have a massive fear of heights, I couldn't go other the walkway or go on the balconies, but people clearly love them!
I loved seeing this when entering the Science Museum; that walkway in the center was really popular.

The moon lander in the Space bit of the museum.
Kensington Gardens was beautiful, even in the middle of winter. I forgot the Albert Memorial was there, so I was breathtaken when I saw it! I also walked to the Kensington Palace, which was stunning alongside the pond, which was a pretty activity hub.

The Albert Memorial

Prettiest pond I've seen thus far.
After my sightseeing, I went to browse the shops on High Street Kensington, before getting lost on the Underground; nobody told me the District line service to the station was separate to the regular route!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Two Drunken poems

Okay, so I am drunk right now, but here are two poems I have written. Feedback would be wonderful.

Drunken Poem

I threw up,
I screwed up,
But did I?

I danced,
I pranced,
Was I good?

I drunk,
I sunk,
Lower than low.

When I'm sober,
Will I remember,
That silly night?

Drunken Poet  to a Songstress

If I swam,
If I sunk,
Would I die,
In what I drunk?

A poem,
May be solemn,
But it's my home,
Away from  home.

Synthy beats,
Empty sheets,
Imagination's fading,
Is it foreboding?

I am empty,
I am lost,
Give me purpose,
But not too much.

For I am young,
Yet I am old,
I am stupid,
Yet too smart.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The History of Mary Prince - Review

This is more akin to a short story than a novel, but it's an engrossing quick read. It's a true story about a black slave in late 18th century American, and covers Mary's life up until her dictation of the story. There's no chapter structure, as it's too short and too intertwined in itself to separate into conventional chapters. Now, so as to avoid spoiling it too much, I won't tell you what happens, but I'll discuss some interesting things.

The first striking thing is Mary's speech; it's very pronounced and lacks a dialect I've come to expect from other novels with black narrators (side note: I highly recommend you read Sam Selvon's Lonely Londoners, where the narrator uses Caribbean dialect throughout the novel). She also speaks carefully, continuously refusing to repeat insults from her slave masters. On the other hand, her story was dictated by her, written by someone else, and edited by another person, which brings up the interesting point of authorship of the work. Does Mary even have a full or completely truthful voice here? Or has the writer/editor removed or altered things, such as Mary's account of her family.

Another big thing is the openness of the treatment of slaves. Whilst her first couple of maters are said to be nice, she is soon forced into a brutal cycle of hard labour and unjustified violence. In the end, she does get out, but it's not some heroic rescue or single, powerful stance of freedom. It's not drawn out or climatic, instead it's more ordinary in nature.

Something interesting, however, is that, in the Penguin version I own (I link you to it at the bottom), there is a brief narrative from another slave who was captured and sold, rather than born into slavery, called Asa-Asa. Additionally, the appendix provides Mary's appearance as a witness in a case between her last master and her employee of the time, and even a poem on slavery.

In all, I believe this is a wonderful quick read, and the wealth of additional information makes a great book for those interested in the history of slavery. I won't number rate this one, but I recommend it for audiences interested!

Book can be found here (UK) and here (US)

E x

Monday, 13 January 2014

Changes

A lot's happened during my long hiatus (sorry about that!); I am now in my second semester of university in London, I'm trying my hand at poetry, which might be posted on here, I'm no longer goth, I have eyebrows, and I'm blonde!

It's been a difficult journey for me to get where I am now. Namely, I've had a lot of stress thrown on me, a lot of friends to make, and I've had to get used to sharing a hall, kitchen and toilet with 17 other people (which, I might add, is actually easier to adapt to than you'd think). Also, I've had personal problems, which I won't go into, but it's hopefully all sorted now.

One of the biggest hurdles I've encountered thus far is finding a job. I've applied to goodness-knows how many, but nothing's even appeared likely yet. So I've resolved to find voluntary work, either from my uni or a charity shop. Until I get a job, though, I'm going to find ways to earn some money through either Adsense on here or some similar way on my tumblr. Another option is trying to publish my (frankly crap) poetry, but that's something I'll look into when I feel more confident with my skill as a writer.

The girl, the hair, the deflated ego.


Older followers are probably thinking why I have changed my blog's name. Well, as I'm no longer identifying as a goth, I felt sticking to the alternative name was a tad redundant. The new blog title is more representative of me right now: still young, but very thoughtful and creative, and trying to grow up.

Now, being a literature student, I feel I may start doing some book reviews on here, both on books I'm studying and ones I'm reading for *gasp* fun! The information posts will still happen, and I plan on doing posts on historical figures I like, and maybe a post or two on phones/technology, as I've had way too much recent experience in that field.

Like the new look (of the blog/me)? Want to suggest things for me to talk about? Have any idea how I can change my author name on here? Then comment away!

E x

Monday, 26 August 2013

Life Update and Reduction in Practice

I really should attempt to make scheduled posts; it seems I run out of blogging steam way too fast! I'm sorry about the sudden flounce just as I became more regular with posting, but I've been worrying over getting into university and general boredom made me forget I actual have things to do, causing further boredom!

First things first: I'm going to uni! I've got a place doing Literature at the University of Roehampton down in London, and I'll be moving down on September 15th. I can't wait to be in a new place surrounded by new people and doing new things (I plan on becoming an extrovert, at least in part). This is a fresh start for me, and the amount of attention I've been given it makes this obvious.

Now, one thing that is painstakingly clear to me about going to uni is that I have way too much stuff to take, so I'm having to practice the minimalist art of reduction; less clothes, less jewellry, less home decor, you name it. I've made a little list of things to consider when reducing how much you have, or, at least, how much you travel with, specifically when moving out from home.

Wardrobe organisation in action! Source

  • What will you use?
When we moved house last year (it still feels like only last week!), I discovered that I had too much junk that I had not so much as looked at since buying it. This is a simply solved by rummaging through everything and deciding if you have used or will use it. Clothes-wise, I found trying everything on to see if it still fit helped, as my weight's been shifting a bit for a while.

Another easy way to determine if you need it is when you last used it; seasonal clothes generally aside, if you haven't used it in over a year, ditch it. Now is certainly not the time to get all sentimental and decide to hold on to it just because it's pretty or important to you.


  • The basics are the most important
People go through phases, no matter how subtle they can be. For example, I've always worn dark clothing, but the theme or style I go for changes every few months. This is easily combated by having basic items at all times: a white or black top, jeans, ballet flats, ect. are all classic garments and easy to add to or adjust.

As for decorations, some standout pieces are great, but don't hold on to too much; perhaps stick to one paperweight, one sculpture, one plant...you know the drill.

  • Organise!
Sort out your clothes in a way you can work with; this will help you expel any unwanted or unnecessary stuff, and makes your wardrobe and drawers look nice and organised. I organise my tops into vests, short-sleeved, then long-sleeved. Then comes dresses, jackets and coats, with bottoms on the top shelf of the wardrobe. Some people work seasonally, and throw their coats and woolly tights into storage during summer, and vice versa.

Also, put stuff in boxes; my room is more like a storage unit than a bedroom because of this! It's best to orgainse boxes into groups, such as a stationary box, DIY box, makeup box, ect. ect. Best bit is that you can simply stack them up and label them, so that you never lose stuff in your room again!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Kinderwhore in Heat

If you're from the UK or USA, you'll probably be aware of the insane heat some parts of the countries have been experiencing. Here in northern England, we're not used to anything above 20C, so imagine our pain at the recent 26C temperatures we've been experiencing!

When you combine hot weather and kinderwhore fashion, disaster is possible; to combat this, here's a little guide to coping in the heat whilst still looking very much like a kinderwhore princess!

  • Go sleeveless
This is a simple ides; sleeves, even the cute little cap ones, will cover your armpit, thus increasing how bad you sweat (I think that's the reason, I ain't a scientist!). I would recommend going for the sleeveless peter pan dresses that sometimes become popular in summer, though sun dresses are much better and can be turned into something more grungy! If you cannot afford to buy any sleeveless dresses, channel your inner punk and hack off the sleeves yourself! The result may also look more improvised, making it more true to the kinderwhore aesthetics.

  • Look at the material and shape of the dress
Cotton is the perfect summer material, due to it's thinness.Satin is also good for the weather, though it will stick to you in sweaty areas more than cotton. To find out the material, just check the labels; it should be with the washing instructions.

As for the shape of the dress, go for something that hangs off the body. My summer survival dress is a sack-like dress, though you can go for more babydoll dresses, i.e. tighter at the bust and baggy from the waist down. Length-wise, anything below the knee is not a good idea.
Britney Spears, who was the most unlikely kinderwhore back in the ol' days, shows that bralets and short shorts can look kinderwhore if done right!
  • Colour is key
Blacks and very dark colours, as any goth or emo will tell you, is the worst in summer. This is because black absorbs heat, making you considerably more sweaty. The easy solution is to wear light colours, such as white and pastels; combining this with thin materials and loose dresses could create a dreamy, Virgin Suicides-esque look.


  • Lose the heavy makeup
Thick powder and red lippy is not that good an idea in high temperatures, as it will melt and look worse than you may ever intend to make it look! Instead, opt for glittery lipgloss or heroin chic eyeshadow. Alternatively, go bare-faced; the rest of the outfit can do all the talking.
Ms. Love knows what's up when it's summertime.
  • Put your hair up
Long hair in the heat is not ideal, what with how sweaty your neck will become. Instead, opt for pigtails, ponytails, or plaits. This is a good chance to use your arsenal of childish hair accessories, especially ribbons and bobbles. Speaking of children's accessories...

  • Kid's summer stuff!
Summer is the season in which colourful plastic sunglasses become a common sight in shops, so don't ignore it! Also, take advantage of the summery girl's hair stuff, such as pineapple hair bobbles or sun-shaped hair grips. At the end of the day, ignoring the kinder in kinderwhore will lose you brownie (or should I say grunge?) points.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Going Past the Babybat Phase

Rule 1 of Goth: You will regret every choice you made during your babybat phase.

This truth is ignored or denied when one first delves into the subculture, sometimes followed by proclamations of how one "knows better". This is very rarely true, as some new goths will have a helping hand, either in the form of a goth friend or the internet. In my case, I relied on a short Wikipedia article that didn't really explain much, hence why my babybat phase lasted much longer than I like to claim. This is going to be a mix of story-time, common mistakes, and tips I wish I'd either known or listened to.

STORY TIME

I discovered goth after my dad died (I'm not one to delve into sob stories, so moving swiftly on). I initially spent my first week of being a babybat claiming to be emo, though I knew even less about that subculture, but "decided" goth was better when I realised that emo hair was just darker scene hair, or something like that. After becoming a brief but dedicated Within Temptation fan and reviving my inherited love for Evanescence, I finally found out about actual gothic rock. Long story short, I fell in love with many classic and modern bands, like the Sisters of Mercy and the Cruxshadows. Since then, I've expanded my tastes, though I prefer EBM more thanks to my pre-goth love of electronic music genres.

As for the fashion side of the subculture, well...I was here, there, and everywhere; Trad one week, Romantic goth the next. I made plenty of mistakes in this area, including the cliche bondage pants and studded chokers. The difference between my experiences in music and fashion, however, was that took a long time, up to right now actually, for me to realise what I enjoy to wear. One thing I found difficult about combining the two, however, was that, whilst I used to dress in long skirts and ornate tops, I was listening to mostly dance-based genres.
Me during my babybat phase. I thought the whole one-eye-showing thing was cool for well over a year.

COMMON MISTAKES, AND TIPS


  • Thinking you must wear certain things to "look goth". The first goths ever didn't have any brand names or templates to follow, so perhaps start by getting ideas from the first-wave folk rather than charging towards the first pair of Tripp pants you see. Try Googling for photos of goths from the 80s, and I'd also check Tumblr; there are blogs dedicated to the original scene. If you already want to go for a certain look, just search around using terms closely relating to the fashion.
  • Only sticking to gothic metal. Goth rock and goth metal are very different, including origins and components. The best advice I can give here is to listen to Bauhaus, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Sister's of Mercy; they are the first bands to be described as goth (even if Andrew Eldritch denies he is). However, don't feel limited to just gothic rock itself! It's common for goths to branch out their musical tastes and find their ideal genre, be it ethereal, new-wave and industrial. Again, just snoop around until you find something you like.
  • Acting creepy or spooky doesn't really work. Just be nice to people. Better yet, just be yourself. Just because you dress in black and listen to rock, doesn't mean you have to act out the stereotype. As a well-known Lady (of Manners) once said, people are more freaked out by a polite goth than a scary goth!
  • Don't go around yelling about how goth you are. This is something both babybats and elitists do. It's okay to say that you're goth, but don't be pushy about it. In a way, this is just an extension of the politeness thing. Additionally, you are free to tell people that you're goth when you're ready, not necessarily when you first join the subculture. I'd also recommend mentioning when asked about how goth you are (if you are) that you are still new to the subculture. When faced with elitists, especially online, this could prevent any drama going on.
FURTHER READING