Saturday, 29 June 2013

What I brought in Camden

In my previous post I mentioned that whilst I was in London I spent an afternoon shopping in Camden. Whilst I was there mostly to hunt for vinyl to give to my dad for father's day (I scored a rare Jefferson Airplane double LP for him =]) I popped into Sai Sai. They stock a range of goth and alternative clothing, and also some lolita stuff from GLP and Red Queen's Black Label. The quality is pretty variable and often poor, but the prices are far lower than brand; comparable to bodyline but without the shipping cost to pay and the chance of actually trying things on to check they fitted.

I therefore decided that I would buy this Red Queen's Black Label blouse even though the quality wasn't fantastic because it was £32 and some of the worse offences to the senses were so easily fixed:

As you can see I've already removed the largest part of the jabot bow because it was just faintly ridiculous. It was far too easy to remove the bow (held on by 2 stitches!), tug the large part out of the central band and then stitch the bow back onto the jabot. (far more securely!)

The lace on this blouse isn't fantastic but the collar lace is small so it doesn't show too badly and most of the ruffles are made from dotted tulle instead =]. I'll probably remove the lace from the sleeves and replace that eventually, but for the moment I'll just hide them under a jacket or cardigan.

My black and white Meta skirt arrived too!

I wanted to post another picture too that included my shoes, but blogger is playing up...

Next time I post I will have some much better pictures anyway I hope! A professional photographer friend of mine just built a new home studio and wants a guinea pig, so I'm making my fabulous modelling debut (gulp). 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A magical week in the cemetery

I've just returned from my fieldwork in Highgate Cemetery. I spent an entire week measuring memorials, drawing maps and photographing everything. I would love to show you all the photographs I took but I have an agreement that the photographs I take are for research purposes only.

However I also took some photographs of friendly local wildlife, who just happened to be in the cemetery... So I think it's OK to post those here! 

This fox was sunbathing on the catacomb roof on the first afternoon I arrived and after that he came to check on me whenever I was in his part of the cemetery; when he wasn't in the courtyard by the chapels (unsucessfully) begging for food! The cemetery is a nature reserve and so it's also something of a fox sanctuary, where an old mangy fox like this one can live out his days safe from dogs and other hazards. Apparently someone does feed him too, so he doesn't have to chase after the cemetery squirrels (who were too quick to photograph).

On two different afternoons I was followed around by a cheeky robin; he hopped from stone to stone, cocking his head to stare at this strange girl with her tape measure and compass. He was a very willing models for these photographs. 

I also spotted this beautiful black cat slipping between the memorials. He paused momentarily, fixed me with a look of pure cat-like disdain and continued upon his way, leaving me little time to capture him on camera!

I'm also going to include a couple of bonus images of the cemetery because this kind of image can be found in many other places and so I don't feel like I'm breaking the rules too much =]

This is the entrance to the famous Egyptian Avenue.

It is lined with catacombs.

And leads to the Circle of Lebanon; a ring of catacombs surrounding a Cedar of Lebanon tree which Pre-dates the cemetery, having been planted when the land belonged to a manor house.

Although I had a wonderful time at Highgate I am very happy to be home to my boyfriend, with my comfy bed and somewhere to put my tired, tired feet up. I could also finally get back to feeling like myself and put all my practical clothes in the wash! This is what I look like when I am doing fieldwork; very glamorous!

That's right, your eyes do not deceive you, I am indeed wearing a full set of waterproofs and carrying a hard hat (I only have to put it on in high winds when there is a risk that branches might fall on my head!) and a walkie talkie (so that if I fall down a vault I can call for help!). My trusty doc martens protect my feet from injury with their steel toe caps. The rucksack holds my equipment, notes, first aid kit and lunch.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and having a small insight into both this beautiful place but also the world of archaeological research! My next post will be about something lovely I brought on my one afternoon off in Camden Market!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Red and Black week: My first Lolita

OK so it's not completely my first Lolita. There was this, when I was 17:

With my rubbish petticoat and plain H&M blouse. Such an ita!

And the old school lolita dress I brought off a friend later that year. I only have a photo of it from when I wore it as my improvised Blair Witch costume (see this post) and not in any of the proper co-ordinates I wore. Still an ita though =P

I decided then that I would not try to wear lolita until I could afford to do it properly! I'd saved up some money for my accomodation in London when I go to Highgate but then my sister-in-law offered me their sofa bed so I decided to treat myelf =]. 

Also in lolita fashion, finding things that fit me is difficult because Bodyline, the only 'brand' I could afford new seem to start at size M and many lolita brands only make one size, so even second hand it can be difficult. However I've put on some weight recently so rather than beat myself up about it I'll use it as a chance to wear pretty clothes without having to alter them. Maybe when my PhD is over I'll get healthy again and take in the waists a little!

Here are the things I'm buying from egl-comm-sales, they fit this weeks theme rather well! Please note these pictures are not mine, I'm using the photos provided by the sellers (I hope they don't mind!).

Dark Red Velvet Skirt by Metamorphose Temps de Fille

Striped Skirt by Metamorphose Temps de Fille

and this lovely Mini Tricorn hat!

I'm really excited and already I can't wait for them to arrive!

I have some blouses which will do for now, but I'm going to keep an eye out for a black peter pan collar blouse with pretty lace that is small enough in the bust for me! I hate being flat chested, but even though I weigh over a stone more than I did at 18, it's the one part of my figure which hasn't changed at all, so it seems I'm just going to have to accept it. =P If any one has a loliable blouse they'd like to sell with a max bust of around 82cm I'd be very interested!

Thanks again to Sophistique Noir for this weeks theme. I've loved reading all of the posts, I wish I'd had time to participate more but I've been busy preparing for my fieldwork at the cemetery.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Red and Black Week. Day 1. Too many books? Never!

Hurrah! It's Red and Black week again, thank you to Sophistique Noir for the wonderful theme! I've been putting together a post about my Red and Black bedroom at Dad's house for a while, so what better day to post it than at the start of Red & Black week!

My Red & Black Room

Red walls and black trims, it seems my bedroom at Dad's is perfect for the theme!
I have been waiting to post pictures of this room, but it never got totally finished so I kept putting it off. I can't use power tools (don't give this dyspraxic a drill, ever) so all the things I can't do myself remain undone (mostly having heavy pictures/mirrors, but also shelves). There are also a few things I never got round to finishing myself, as you will see. I'm going to do some more work on it, then bribe a DIY savvy friend or two into drilling some holes for me!

I've decided that over the next few weeks I'll post some pictures of what's finished and still to be done. Here's the first batch! The corner of the room by the door.

As you can see my large mirror is sitting on the floor underneath where it is meant to hang! The ceiling still has splodges of red on it too! I doubt I'll ever get time to re-paper and paint the ceiling though, so I may just have to paint over the splodges....

 I ran out of paint before I got to the main door. I've decided to paint when I get back from my fieldwork at Highgate.

I need frames for these posters, then I'll move them higher up the wall so there is room to hang my small gold framed mirror.

Any offers of help for this DIY dunce? Ill pay you in Absinthe!

Before I can do much serious work on the room though, I need to go through my stuff and organise it all (which will also make it easier when me and ash get our own house and I can finally move it all out of dad's =P).

Books, books and more books

Last week I had 3 days off because of the bank holiday, but I felt knackered, must have been all the traveling (Birmingham - York, York- Bristol, Bristol - Birmingham, in 3 days) and the extra hours I had to work to get time off for the conferences. So instead of going out, I spent a day being uber geeky and re-organising and cataloguing my books. I haven't finished yet, because I have so many, but this is most of the fiction dealt with!

This is the main bookcase, for my ridiculously extensive collection of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and kids books! There are a few classics in there too, honest!

I keep my poetry, folklore and culture books on the small bookcase by the bed. Because they are mostly rather lovely old editions.

There's another small bookcase under the desk and several bags of textbooks waiting for shelves as well... Do you think I have too many books? =P

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. I'm off to read all of the other red and black week theme posts, and plan a blog giveaway (just reached 100 followers yay! =]).