Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Life, Love, Hair and Hats

Heya, first let me apologise for not updating for a while- I've been extremely busy and all over the place physically and emotionally.

I meant to upload these pictures over a week ago, because I want opinions.
I love top hats:
But I also resently brought this hat; its basically a slightly modern style bowler hat, from H&M. What do you guys think? Does it suit me? Please ignore how odd my feet look in this picture.

Some happy news:

I've cut my hair. I'm donating it to Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children with cancer.


Please excuse the lack of makeup- I was worried that having 22cm of my hair cut off might cause me to weep...
So my hair is now shorter than it's been since I was 3 and I've dyed it dark auburn (pictures to follow when I get the dye off my neck...)

The Bad news:

I don't want to dwell on my personal shit, because that's not what this blog should be about, but I thought I should mention it anyway.

My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me yesterday. It's a bit of a shock because we've been so happy, but just lately he's not been himself. A friend thinks he may be suffering from clinical depression. Whatever the cause, he doesn't want to spend time with people any more, and thinks it's unfair on me to have to wait around for him to be sociable again. He won't get help, he's content to live in his room and be a hermit outside of work. He's convinced that's the real him and he has to force himself to be sociable at all. I love him, he loves me. I always thought that would be enough, but it doesn't seem to be for him anymore. I can't help but feel it's my fault, that I've done something wrong (again; this isn't the first relationship I've had that disintegrated after 2 years due to mental health issues; maybe I send men insane? At least the last one let me help him through stuff for 18 months, this time my help is not wanted AT ALL)

I'm just mentioning this in case the heart-break, crying, feeling numb etc get it the way of me posting, or all my posts are mopey for the forseeable future.

At least it's sunny today, and I'm spending the evening with good friends.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Uncovering the past at Highgate

Last week I volunteered at Highgate Cemetery. I was all prepared to spend the day clearing brambles or laying turf just for the priveledge of spending some time in my favourite place in London. As it turned out I was even luckier than that; I got to do a little digging...

Highgate cemetery opened in 1839 and is probably the most famous of the 'Magnificent 7' Victorian cemeteries around London. In its heyday, Highgate was the place to be buried for the rich and famous; residents include George Elliot, the Rosetti family, Michael Faraday, The Dickens family (except Charles himself who is in Westminster Abbey) and many more. The cemetery was closed in the 1970's when the company who ran it went bankrupt. It was taken over by a voluntary organisation; the Friends of Highgate Cemetery who are slowly working to restore the cemetery to it's former glory, whilst being sensitive to it's value as a nature reserve.

There is an original map of the cemetery showing the name and location of every grave. However due to extreme age, parts of the map have crumbled. The Friends of Highgate are working to re-map these areas. I got to spend the day clearing the ivy and the soil from the tombs which had been buried by years of leaf fall since its closure.

It was one of the most fascinating and rewarding days I've had in a long time. Revealing the names on the stones and learning a bit about their stories. The first name I wiped soil from was Mr James Faquhar Skeffington (what a brilliant name!) he was only 12 when he died.

I'm hoping to return to the cemetery a lot this year; because it is the focus of my Master's thesis. Hopefully I'll take many more photos, but I thought you all might like to see a few pictures of this wonderful, atmospheric cemetery. A true hidden gem of London.

For more images check out the offical picture gallery

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

One lovely blog award

I would like to thank Meagan Kyla and Miss Eva for nominating me. I'm really touched because I am so new to this whole blogging malarkey!

So I've been trying to think of 7 interesting things about me and failing, so I'm sorry if these are a bit dull:
  1. I'm a post-grad archaeology student, studying Victorian cemeteries. Tomorrow I am going to be helping out at Highgate cemetery in London; I'm going to be clearing brambles so expect pictures soon of me looking like an extra from Rambo!
  2. I love shoes but I have really narrow feet so I find it hard to buy them. I have compensated for this by collecting hats and coats instead. Oh so many coats...
  3. The furthest I have ever been away from the UK is Spain; and that was for a Geology fieldtrip. We looked at some rocks in the Tavernas Basin, which is the desert they used for filming the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  4. I have only ever broken one bone, but I have broken it repeatedly. The little toe on my right foot. I got stood on by a horse, didn't realise it was broken and went trampolining... Since then it has been generally unlucky and been broken 3 more times; including once when I was onstage acting.
  5. I have been to many gigs and met a few famous people, but normally I've managed to act quite cool about it. Expect when I met Peter Hook, the bass player from Joy Divison/NewOrder. He's my bass playing idol and I got all star struck. I couldn't stop smiling for about 2 hours.
  6. I have been vegetarian all my life.
  7. I'm a proud Auntie. This is my nephew Logan when he was 1 day old:

I've not been blogging that long, so I don't follow all that many people; although I've discovered some new blogs to read by looking at other One Lovely Blog winners. Everyone I wanted to nominate has already won, so I'd just like to say thank you to everyone for making me feel welcome in the blogosphere!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Antiques and captives

This morning I was very excited to find that the t-shirt I ordered from Restyle.pl had arrived!

I'm wearing:
Raven in a cage t-shirt: 12 quid including p&p!
Skirt: 7 quid in H&M sale
Cardigan: New Look. Was a present.
Necklace: Some ribbon I had lying around
Headband: Birthday present 2 years ago.

I'm also pretty happy because I have finally repaired my antique dressing table.

I found this abandoned on the pavement on the road I lived on in 3rd year. My housemate and I immediately decided to carry it home. We put it in the living room because we had nowhere else to put it (one more reason the landlady hated us- she made us put a sign on it saying 'property of the current tenants- doesn't come with the house' every time people came to look round). We couldn't just leave it there for the bin men, it's so lovely.

The middle mirror was missing so I finally got a new piece of mirror glass cut the other day. The top varnish was very badly scratched, so it still needs some work. As you can see I've started sanding it down for re-staining (but I can't find quite the right colour to re-do it with at the moment).

Still pretty cool though right?

My room is really coming together now. I should be able to take pictures for a guided tour in a couple of weeks =]

Monday, 5 March 2012

Decorating can be distressing...

Since I finshed my undergrad degree and moved in with my Dad I've been slowly decorating my room.

The walls are  deep red, the woodwork is black. Can you tell that I got a bit over-excited about being allowed to paint, because I no longer had a landlord breathing down my neck?

I had to buy a new bed too, because it was that or sleep on an inflatable mattress all year. I ordered the second cheapest Argos bed; having slept on the cheapest Argos bed in 2 student houses, I thought I'd splash out and get one that looked nice =P.

When the bed arrived I realised that the bedknobs I had imagined to be silver, were in fact antique brass style. Not usually a colour I go for, but it looked so nice with the red walls that I decided to run with it. I found the candlestick in a chairty shop for 3 quid, and the lamp was from Homebase in the sale.

I even added some brass handles to my new wardrobe (which deserves it's own post if I ever finish it), they were also from Homebase, 3.79 each. The butterfly handles were from Urban Outfitters (3 quid each in the sale). The heart was made my my friend Pip.

Getting carried away with the whole decorating thing, I decided to swap the very ikky old white plastic lightswitch and plug sockets for brass too. I found some cheap from Wilkinsons.

When they arrived they were just too shiny, so I decided to distress them to match the rest of the room. I attempted to remove the protective coating with acetone nail varnish remover. I then gave them a good scrub with salt and lemon juice. The results were disappointing; it only worked in small patches, creating very dark spots. This is because the damn things aren't actually brass at all; they are steel with a brass coloured finish. So instead of a nice patina, I was just getting rust.

In the end I just decided to use a very fine grade sandpaper to dull the surface a little. It's hard to take a good picture of it though.

I think they look OK, and will probably age more quickly to a good finish than if I had just left them alone.

If anyone has some tips I could try before I go ahead and wire them up (or rather Dad does, because I am not to be trusted with electricity) I'd be very grateful.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Tag, you're it!

Amy of Stripy Tights and Dark Delights has invited us all to tag ourselves in this challenge so here I go:
How does it work?
  • Post the rules on your blog
  • Write 11 things about you
  • Answer it
  • Create 11 new questions for the future tagged ones
  • Put a link to the tagged blogs
  • Prevents them by leaving a message on their blogs
  • No information about us in the "tag" section
  • Tag 11 people
11 Things About Me
  1. I'm a total bookworm; I think I may have an addiction to the printed word. I get uncomfortable when I'm too far from books =P
  2. My favourite animals are mice (especially harvest mice)
  3. I'm an archaeologist; studying victorian cemeteries makes me really happy
  4. I'm rubbish at computer/video games even though I love them- my characters are always walking into walls/falling off stuff
  5. If I could live in any city it would be Paris
  6. If I could live somewhere remote I'd buy a croft on the Isle of Harris
  7. I don't ever want to learn to drive; cars are scary
  8. I can't wait to own my own place. No matter how small it is one room will be a library- even if that means having no living room =P
  9. If I could time travel, I'm hop back to the 60's, live through to the 80's (to see all the amazing musicians live) then retire to Victorian England, with occasional day trips to other time periods =P
  10. I'd make a great housewife. I love cleaning and cooking- kind of embarrasing considering I'm a strong independant modern woman =P
  11. I want to get a tatoo even though I'm terrified of blood and needles.

Amy's Questions

1. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Ooh tough question. Probably Neil Gaiman and Jillian Venters
Neil because his writing is so wonderful and insightful, he has filled his life with wonderful things and wonderful people and because his entire basement is a library.
Jillian because she shows that it is possible to be a sophisticated, grown-up goth who never compromises on style and because she's a lovely person who just wants everyone to be a bit politer and kinder to everyone else.

2. Describe your style in ten words or less.

Lace, Frills on everything, Layers, Antique, Eclectic, Dark, Slightly dishevelled

3.What was your worst ever style disaster?

Age 8: Orange floral leggings and a bright orange jumper. Favourite outfit. Oh the shame!

4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?

The list of places I want to visit is huge. Can I say the whole of Europe? No? Ok. The Pyramids then =P

5. Have you ever been in love?


6. What are you currently coveting?

A tailcoat. I've wanted one for years but can't find one that fits.

7. What is your funniest childhood memory?

I really can't think of anything hilarious. I was clearly a boring child.
Apparently when I was about 4 I told my Dad I knew everything in the world there was to know except how to make Jelly! I think that's pretty funny. He showed me how to make jelly =P I wish that the world still seemed that simple.

8. What is your guiltiest musical pleasure?

Vanessa Carlton. I really like some of her songs, especially  A Thousand Miles, White Houses and Ordinary Day. There goes any shread of Goth credibility I ever had...

9. What is your favourite way to unwind?

With a good book, preferably fantasy or Sci-fi so I can forget the world for a bit.
Severe stress requires a re-reading of ' The Dream-Quest to Unknown Kadath' by H. P. Lovecraft

10. What was your most recent embarrassing moment?

I got drunk and did the entire dance to Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang with my friend Bethany at a party. Because I'm just that cool....

11. What is your favourite movie?

Hard choice. Either Labyrinth, Pan's Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal or 10 things I hate about you =P

11 Questions
  1. If you could be any fictional/historical character, who would you be?
  2. What is your favourite animal and why?
  3. If you could time travel, what would you do?
  4. Which band/musician do you most want to see live?
  5. What body mods. do you have/want to get?
  6. If you had to pick one outfit from your wardrobe to decribe your style best, what would it be?
  7. What is your dream job?
  8. What was the best holiday you're ever been on?
  9. What's the worst haircut you've ever had?
  10. If you won the lottery what would you spend the money on?
  11. What is your favourite quote?
I don't have anyone to tag, and I doubt it'll even get read but it was fun to do =]

If anyone does want to join in, drop a link in the comments.