Sunday, 4 October 2015

Silent Sunday #10

Friday, 2 October 2015

thinking of Wraeththu - five bands that would not be out of place in Immanion.

Recently, for the wonderful Margot Meanie's rebellious self love challenge (search #rebelliousselflove on instagram, it's fabulous), we were asked to give a shout out to a role model.

I decided on Storm Constantine, because she writes brilliant books, she looks fabulous, and she gives new writers a leg up. She has long been an inspiration to me, from making me feel that writing would be possible, to just basically trying to look like her.

My Mum got the First Book of Wraeththu out of the library (Storm's breakthrough success). She was impressed, and passed it to me. I was very impressed, and hooked into the world of Calanthe (I wasn't allowed to call my first born that), and Pellaz. 

I loved the detail she went into in the Wraeththu world, creating a religion you could believe in, a cast system that could work wonderfully (or be used horribly), and a new world drawn over the top of the old. 

The difficulty of breaking away from old habits and ideas is one of the key ideas of the Wraeththu books, and I loved the way she worked through them, starting with rebellious, beautiful boys, and turning them into creatures which could move our world beyond capitalism, race, and gender.

Her books are so worth a read (and not just the Wraeththu ones).

Storm has a gothic personal style, and her characters are clearly influenced by gothic beauty ideals in the late 80s / early 90s. Today for Friday's Fabulous Five I'm sharing five videos of bands which seem to me to share the aesthetic (I love four of them, the other one makes me laugh - can you guess which?).

First up, Black Veil Brides, because I love the way that guy keeps on smiling with his gleaming American teeth: "I'm not afraid to die (chuckle)." This was the video that gave me the idea to do this post, because it's SO Wraeththu!

Reaching into the past for the next one, from Gene Loves Jezebel. Not my favourite song, but they don't have many videos. Watching this, I'm wondering if I should have put the Dog's D'Amour on the list, but they can just be a little bonus.

Next up it's The Rasmus. I so love this chap's voice.

I only came across Maryann Cotton quite recently, when I was googling information on a historical British possible serial killer (Mary Ann Cotton). The Alice Cooper thing he's trying to do is really sweet, and he's got a good band (one of those hairy axe men is his Dad). He reminds me of Pellaz (while he's working out what he's doing). Also, despite this allegedly being a shock rock band, I do like that he is the one that gets murdered (spoiler), and in another song he tells a girl that whether she wants him to or not he's going to have a crush on her. Awww. Proper modern rock boy.

Last up, it's another blast from the past, and the face I imagine Calanthe having, the very beautiful David Sylvian of Japan, with a little advice for anyone considering revenge porn.

What would you add to the list of Wraeththuites?

Monday, 28 September 2015

looking at my selfie

A while ago now I did a post on the importance of accepting, and even liking, the person we see in the mirror. You'll find it here.

We're all stuck with ourselves, so we need to love the people we are in order to live the best life we can.

Margot Meanie recently started her rebellious self love challenge - a photo a day, for a month on various topics, all related to ourselves. Lots of selfies are required. Check it out on Instagram.

I noticed it starting, and I shuddered, decided that people would think me too big headed if I did that, and forgot about it.

But, as the days went on and the interesting pictures kept cropping up, I noticed that I didn't think any of the participants were big headed. Nobody was saying nasty things to them either, despite them being open and honest about the things they liked about their, mainly fat, bodies.

I felt inspired.

I wondered if it wasn't a bit of a problem that I felt too scared to do this. I've said before that I don't want to erase myself from the pictoral history of my own life, just because I'm fat, or my hair's not just so.

I figured it's only a month.

So I joined in.

Taking all the very many selfies is a bit of a nightmare, and is making me think more about makeup and clothes and hair than I normally would. However, once I've put a bit more effort into my appearance, I do feel more confident. People are saying nice things (and people have only said nice things). One person said she wished she was as brave as me, and I felt such a fraud.

I'm not brave. But forcing myself to put myself out there has done wonders for my confidence, and I'm really glad that Margo pushed me to do it, and for the support she, and lots of other people, known and unknown, around the world, are giving me. I kind of feel pretty.

Thank you Margo.

Here are some of my pictures so far. Mostly of me, but there's one of Goth Girl (a gift from my brother, you can follow her adventures from time to time in my Instagram feed):

Do you fancy joining me? Or is that a really terrible idea (but you're going to do it anyway)?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

talking about the weather

Nick Cave developed an obsession with the weather when he moved to Britain, because of course, we have so very much of it.

I always thought it was the changeable, unreliable nature of British weather that had us talking about it so much, but Stephen Mangan reckons there's more to it than that.

Stephen thinks that we talk about the weather not just to avoid talking about our emotions (with our stiff upper lips and all that), but that we use the weather to talk about our emotions.

For example, when I came out of the shop the other day (I'd been shopping for another blogpost you'll find here), I was greeted by another shopper. Here's our conversation: 

Him: "Morning! Lovely day. Do you think it will stay sunny?"Me: "Doubt it. Those clouds look like rain's coming."Him: "Oh, well, hopefully it'll come to nothing."Me: "It is Scotland, you know."
If what Stephen reckons is true, then what we were really saying was something like: 
Him: "Morning! I'm feeling on top of the world this morning, I hope it lasts."Me: "Doubt it. Something is going to dampen your spirits."Him: "Oh, well, hopefully I'll be OK.Me: "You might as well give up now. You'll be miserable before you know it."
Or something to that effect. Hmm, sorry sunflower guy!

The freaky thing is that once you start thinking that people might be talking about the weather as code for how they're feeling, you start having much more interesting conversations. Have a see for yourself.

Our weather has been pretty good of late, but it's cooling down. Autumn is coming, but at the moment it is still summer, and the flowers are wearing their prettiest gowns. How's the weather with you? Sunny I hope.

School update: Miss 5 is still getting a bit anxious in the mornings before school, and when I drop her off I have to go straight away. However, she is enjoying being there. This week she's brought her first reading book home from school, and has been reading it to anyone who will listen. "Look at me." Dead proud.

Monday, 14 September 2015

getting into cars with strange men

Long ago, and far from here, my boyfriend and I decided to get a taxi back from somewhere in almost central Leeds (University area), to our horrible flat in Meanwood (otherwise known as 'close to Headingley').

I cannot recall why we got a taxi on this night, nor where we had been, although I suspect a rubbish nightclub was involved. All of that has been eclipsed by our journey home.

We used to go out pretty often, and definitely every Friday night. We would start off after Uni/work, in one of the pubs across the road, The Pack Horse, or perhaps The Eldon, at some point we might move to the other one of these two, and sometimes we might even head to The Bricklayers Arms. After a while, sometimes as late as 11pm, it would seem like a good idea to head to somewhere that stayed open later, and so we'd go into town a bit, although not far. 

Eventually, we would attempt to catch a bus, or just meander back up through Headingley and down into Meanwood (because you wouldn't do the short cut at night). Very occasionally, we'd be willing to fork out for a taxi.

One night we got into a taxi, which was swerving alarmingly around the road, while the driver kept up his cheerful banter. I was calculating how long we would need to stay in the car, and my boyfriend muttered to me that perhaps the driver was pissed, and then, he decided to do the conversation with the driver.
"How long have you been on for?" He asked."Couple of days mate, couple of days.""Long days then?""Nah mate, I've got this stuff, lets me stay awake, so I can work a couple of days straight, no worries."
I had this moment of thinking that the driver was so sick of people asking this question that he'd decided to make something ridiculous up, but as we swerved out of the way of an errant lamp-post, I concluded that he was telling the truth.

I have caught a taxi in Leeds since then, but only a proper hackney carriage, at a rank. I got changed in the back of the last Leeds taxi I got - into a ballgown, as I travelled from the train station (I'd just been for an interview for a job in Edinburgh), to some sports place for a ball. Those were the days! Happily, I got the Edinburgh job, and bid farewell to our nasty Meanwood flat. I do miss my Leeds friends though, and those nights in The Pack Horse/Eldon. Happily, I got to keep the boyfriend. Reader, I married him.

Have you had any interesting/hair raising taxi experiences?

This is one of my '50 things' posts. You can find the rest here.