Saturday, 30 September 2017

Curries, Art walks, and Infest. A weekend in Bradford

Last Month, the Boyfriend and I ventured down to Bradford for the cities infamous Infest Festival.  That features music acts ranging from Industrial, electronic, EBM, synth and future pop music genres.

The festival began in 1998, with some local students working with the union Entertainment manager, Floyd Peltier. They organised a festival to feature local Goth bands from West Yorkshire. Originally, the students gauged the local Whitby festivals patrons and sellers after receiving positive feedback the event turned into a two-day festival after getting Alien Sex Fiend to perform. The next year the organisers focused more on industrial and electronic bands. 

Back in 2000 a local independent Goth/ industrial promoter, Mark Gus Guy stepped in to take over the festivals running and establishing Infest to focus on more Industrial and EBM styles. Ever since Infest has gained an international renown for its music act with patrons and bands travelling from all over the world to attend or perform. (Source) 

For me and the boyfriend, it was our first time attending the festival, which was surprising considering the boyfriend loves early Industrial and electronic music. We mainly attended to see the Die Krupps, which rarely tour outside of Europe. I was really looking forward to seeing them. The boyfriend booked tickets purchasing for the Saturday night, as the full weekend ticket was £75, to be honest, we weren't particularly bothered about the other bands so much as we like some industrial, and EBM but not massively. Either way, it was still great getting away as work had been very stressful for me. 

Personally, I wouldn't recommend Bradford as a weekend destination I think it's not worth visiting alone. It's worth exploring if there is an event going on. I was surprised about some of the hidden little gems.  


We arrived at 3 pm and stayed in the Victoria Hotel that was centrally located, it was a minute walk from Greggs (very important for me and the boyfriend).  The train station. Surprisingly, it only cost less than £70 a night but quite comfortable. One of the hidden gems had Bradford's awe-inspiring town hall. The hall's tower had me intrigued as it seemed to be more of a  Spanish/ Florencian Gothic style which looks rather odd in the Yorkshire landscape but I like it. One of the photos is now hanging on my wall.  

These were a few pictures, I had taken these photos when I visited Bradford back in April.

This is the photo hanging on my wall. 

I had a quick gander around the local charity shops I didn't find anything. I headed to the market for fabric. I was surprised the seller remembered me from the last time I visited. I usually love going to the Asian fabric shops as I tend gorgeous fabric and it's quite cheap. I purchased lace for 50 p a metre, the lace fabric was £2 and the scuba fabric has a lovely jacquard pattern and was £3 a metre.

I met the boyfriend at Jacob's Ale and Cider House, definitely Bradford's best-kept secret, as it has won CAMRA Best cider pub of the Year with nine different ciders. I managed to settle on the Snail Bank Tumbledown.which was a pleasant cider.


Since we were in Bradford, which is famous for its Asian community, we opted for a curry. Bradford's best curry house Karachi, a Pakistani restaurant. At first sight, the restaurant is not much to look but once you taste the food it's superb. The food is more authentic than other curry restaurants it tastes almost like what the local Asian ladies have cooked at my local community centre. The meal for two came to £17, very cheap. 


We had planned to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture park permitting on the weather, well the weather turned out to be perfect as it was dry and not too hot. A couple of our friends had visited the park last year and highly recommended it.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a spectacular trail for all senses; it uses the traditional beauty of the Arcadian style park grounds while displaying modern sculpture to create an open-air gallery. The unique concepts illustrate how new and old work seamlessly to a create wondrous visual spectral that kept surprising me at every turn. While simultaneously enticing my whimsical child and inner romantic.

YSP opened in 1977, it was the UK's first open-air sculpture park, which regularly changes its exhibition regularly. The estate was even mentioned in the Dooms Day Book in 1088. In 1407 the Wentworth inherited the grounds by marriage from the Dronsfields. Until it was passed to the Beaumont family in 1792. (which were viscounts Allendale. Their estates had many connections with county Northumberland. One point  Newcastle belonged to Northumberland ). In 1949, Brenton Hall became an art college and was apart of Leeds University Campus.

I love these apples that had been made from bronze and how the metallic colours compliment the colours the tree. The apples conjured memories of the Nordic tales I used to read about Idun and her golden apples. Idun was is the owner and dispenser her magical apples that have healing and immorality properties

This sculpture my favourites along with my partner we perplexed by the Cthuloids sculpture.

I took this photo, as I liked the contrast of both the shapes and colours of sculptures in the distance. 

I was fascinated by the pond and the water lilies looked gorgeous the pond looked so tempting to swim in.

My partner photographed me taking a photo of the pond.

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The clock was a part of the Brenton Manor, I love Barque style and oval shape of dome amongst the surrounding countryside.

I felt this photo captured the ideal Acadian landscape where man is in harmony in with nature. I almost feel I walking through a Constable landscape.

This part is dam was installed after Sir Thomas Wentworth inherited the property he carried major landscaping work including the waterfalls, the lower and upper sections of the lake. The work was carried out by canal engineer Luke Holt.

As I walked it around the woodland with a plethora of wildflowers attracting numbers of butterflies allowing for some fantastic photographic opportunities.

I love this stunning view of the lake permitting a gorgeous view of Bretton Hall. It feels like a scene from a Jane Austen Novel. That coincidentally she was distant relative to the Beaumont Wentworth family and is believed to stayed here on occasions and served as great inspiration for her books.

These some of my favourite photos of the lower side of the lake in the woodlands.


I loved walking around the park it had a fantastical quality that made forgot about the work and transport to an ethereal world tranquillity and beauty which is a time so hard to find, Fortunately, we were very lucky that weather seemed perfect with the gentle breeze making it comfortable to enjoy the splendid scenery. 


Infest started about from three in the afternoon with a game of laser quest, offered Kari okie, stalls and other events We decided to turn up sevenish and managed to get lost, however, we saw people clad in black and PVC, saw we knew we were in right place, who kindly directed us to the festivities. When we first arrived picked up some our tickets and saw a familiar face Tim Synster who was reviewing the entire weekend.  You can read about the weekend if you're interested. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The boyfriend and I had a quick chat about how awesome the bands and event had been so far.


The Next band was announced with Synster quickly preparing to review the next band. The first band was Wulfband a surprisingly Swedish industrial band.Everything about this band screamed German, obviously the band and their sounds reflect heavy influences of German Industrial. Their first performance was god dawn awful, I absolutely detested their first song. It sounded like a low-budget song for a second rate 64-bit computer game that not even pound land would sell. As the band quickly improved after the second song. Each song transitioned to a harder and faster tempo of aggressive death vocal, distorted guitar riffs and incessant synth sounds.with each song get me stomping my New Rock heel. The Boyfriend defiantly enjoyed the band. The audience appeared to mesmerise by their enigmatic performance with the crowds screaming encore. However, the band left the audience wanting more and were unable to perform an encore as the band were reminded to about the schedule.




The next DJ the End.user used a mixture of EBM with a lot /jungle music with extreme mashup and a heavy use of drum and base, an interesting experimentation reminiscing of the late 90s. It was interesting to hear the mashing up and I enjoyed the part where he mixed up the classical vocals. I quite liked to begin with the start but after ten to fifteen minutes of identical and constant sounds, it started to wear down on me. I left with my other half. I assumed most of the audience had similar experience and only the most hardcore fans remained gyrating emitting iridescent colour from their glow sticks and luminous clothing.   I summed this up by stating to my partner and his mate this wasn't it wasn't my cuppa of tea.

The finale of the night and our main reason for attending was to see the Die Krupp's. I don't have much to sum an awesome spectacular performance, which had me dancing and of the audience dancing throughtout their performance. I've actually used my partner's review which I couldn't even articulate let alone attempt. We treated a twenty minute encore.

 "Die Krupps - Metal Machine - just stunning, had a little fear they wouldn't be which vanished pretty rapidly". My partner a man of few words but is very succinct.

Me and the boyfriend posing for a self by then he was rather merry and surprisingly I was sober as I wasn't feeling great, so I was on lemonade. I'm complete party animals. For an absurd reason, we starting debating the imperative nature of a salvoy dip being a northern thing or North Eastern thing. Sadly, I ended asking a couple people Finland and Holland who turned out to be vegetarians. I did apologise and a quick chat about the show and weekend. I have to thank them for accommodating my ridiculousness. Our debate was settled by someone walking past with a kebab (Gross) since the boyfriend was having the merry nibbles. Anyway, the guy, was originally from Bradford and lived in Darlington and explained he never heard of it until he moved to the east coast. It our chat he said had a post punk industrial band and they would be playing at local bar in our area in september, so I amd defintly going to check them out.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Upcyling With Sticky Back Plastic.

For a while, I was searching for a wardrobe and somewhere to store my fabric for my guest bedroom, so a couple of months ago. I found a small wardrobe at a local community shop it cost £25. It fit the bill perfectly and was already painted black. 

I love the small inlay detail it looked lovely. 

I felt it was boring and need some excitement, so I purchased some sticky back plastic from Lidl for £2.50. I bought this because it was cheap but I loved the black and white floral print with butterflies. 

 I decided to use it to decorate the doors. I rolled the full roll slowly applied to the door, I removed the backing and wiped with a cloth to prevent the sticky back plastic from puckering. 

For the drawers I measured and cut the plastic to size, I neatened the edges with a Stanley knife.  On the large door, there was a small gap, and I used decorative tape around the edges. I'm not sure whether to use the decorative tape on the drawers and the other cupboard. 

For the large door, I used a floral handle.  

I used small metal knobs from Ikea. I purchased last year, I think Ikea has ceased producing them. I really like the effect it looks amazing and it suits the decor in my guest bedroom. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

An Evening of Halloween Pottery

Well, I just can't believe it's that spooky time of year; where the nights draw and time for my aromatic Halloween tea. I have to confess over the last few years, Autumn and Halloween are definitely my favourite times of the year.  My other evident passions have to be crafting; I like trying to out different disciplines and learn new skills. 

Last week, I saw a community class advertising for Halloween pottery, two of my loves.  I . know what you're thinking Halloween pottery in September it's a bit early, not really. It takes around a month for the clay pot to be processed in the kiln.  I'm excited for next month. 

 Originally, I planned to go with a friend but she felt ill. I went alone. To be honest, with how quick the session lasted, over an hour, there wasn't time to talk. 

 I arrived late, and the class was preparing their clay, they were kneading it and separating the clay to the remove the air bubbles. The techniques seemed very similar to baking dough. Then, the class was ready to mould the clay.  The tutor explained we could make pumpkins or a variation such as a small bowl or Jakel lantern candle holder. I decided to make a pumpkin pot. 

This was the beginning of my pot, I slowly moulded to give the pot to resemble a pumpkin shape by manipulating the centre to raise the sides. This reminded me of being in school and doing clay modelling. 

This was my pot by the end, I think it looks more like a cabbage, I'm still happy with it. I made a lid for the pot from a separate piece of the clay by moulding it around the pot and supporting on to a paper bowl. I used icing cutters to cut leaves out from the clays to decorate lid and made a small stroke. 

This was my favourite post from the class, I love the handle it looks perfect for Halloween.  

The tutor was amazing she came across very friendly and knowledgeable about her craft. She was quick and efficient in teaching us the techniques while being attentive to the learners  Overall, she made a wonderful experience. 

I loved the whole experience from start to finish I  found it very therapeutic. I like how it was short class and within an hour I made a pumpkin pot. Also, it's a great way to excite them mundane Monday Night.

There running children's classes on Sunday between 10- 11 £10 per person. 

On Monday night from 6- 7 for adults it's £10, I highly recommended. This includes all the materials and kilim firing. 

It's held at the Coxlodge Community centre with ample car parking. If you rely on public transport the stage coach 30 runs every 15 minutes and drops almost at the front door and less than a minutes walk from the bus stop  

Check out the Facebook page. 

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsed post, I just like sharing my experiences and try to support independent crafters where possible. Or just like to share my crafting experiences.  

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Darkling Tag

As many in the goth and alt blogging community people have been doing the darkling tag. I was kindly nominated by Mary Mourning from Autumn Moon Enchantment and Lesthi thanks to you so much it meant a lot to me. 

What is your favourite candle scent? 

I don't really buy smelly candles, I have a couple that smell of lickerish, which are gorgeous

Do you have a favourite book? 

I would say Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 

What is your favourite brand and colour of lipstick?

Collection Plum sensation and Blackberry Fool.

Are you a tea or coffee person? 

In the morning, I like a cup of coffee and rest of the day, I am tea addict. 

What is your favourite perfume/cologne? 

I rarely wear perfume as my partner hates most fragrances and complains. For the summer I loved Britney Spears  Fantasy, which is a  light fruity scent. During the winter, I used to wear Christian Dior's Pure Exliar from the poison range.  

Do you have a celebrity crush? 

I've always had a thing for Gerald Butler particularly in Beowulf and Grendel.


If you had to give up the colour black, what colour would you choose instead?

Probably charcoal or purple.
If you could change your name to a stereotypical 90s/2000s gothy name, what would it be?

 I am not very good at nick names but my Grandad always called me Sahara, not very gothic but it has a lot of sentiment since it was a family pet name. 

 What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad? 

My first tips are to use children's 50-factor sunscreen.  I used to use Boots kid brand for £3, it's gross to apply but worth it, as it's almost impenetrable. 

I always wear light and natural fibres like cotton, linen and some viscose I  try to limit this as I feel really uncomfortable. 

During the spring and summer, I wear a lot of dresses and skirts. I find my legs chafe badly so I would recommend thin shorts or short legging for extra comfort.   

What song always makes you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band?)

Xandiers Sister of the Light.

Sisters of Mercy More

Are you active in the arts (eg. Play an instrument, paint, write, etc)? No, when I was a teenager I played the double bass, I wish kept it up. I make my own clothing and do a lot of dying. I wouldn't consider within the arts but it is expressing my creativity.

If you had a teacup or mug made inscribed just for you, what would you have it say? I am not crazy, I am just eccentric.

What is your number one non-gothy hobby?

What's would gothy hobbies be classified as? Anyway, for years, I've collected Pocket Dragons and I still do, they're not very goth, but, I love them.


Thought Provokers:
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be and why?

I would say a possibly a demon but not the concept of the west but a spirit with the eastern sense of existing in another world.

What horror monster-bases superpower would you have?

Teleportation, I am constantly late for everything, and I get fed up of waiting for public transport.

Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or IRL )? Why or why not?I don't have problems interacting with other Goths or Gothy people or people in general, so long their vibes are reasonable. But it also depends on my mood. I am an introvert-extrovert which is a problem. Sometimes, I can be full of extrovert where people don't feel comfortable with me, and I talk excessively. Other times, I wanna be left alone. Another issue, I have is I generally wait for people to talk to me, I will occasionally go up to people usually after I've had a drink or having an extrovert day.

I do sometimes feel under-confident in regards to my Goth knowledge; include bands, music and sometimes gothic literature subjects. Despite identifying as a goth for almost 17 years, I feel I should know a lot more than I do. When I meet someone with more "goth knowledge" than me I feel slightly intimidated and often stupid.

Which is more important for a look: Great hair or great makeup?

I can rarely do anything with my hair, so it's gotta be makeup; I'm always obsessed with my eyeliner and foundation looking good.

Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture?

I wish more people in my local area would get together and meet up for coffee or somewhere that didn't always involve nights out or alcohol. Or even, a goth/ gothic craft group is my ultimate dream. It's gotten much better since Noir Castle started up, I can't complain. The last thing is more decent goth/ alt shops, considering Newcastle is home to Phaze clothing. Kathmandu one and two, that sold an amazing range of clothing and homeware. I think there should be more, as I hate online shopping. Fortunately, we do have some great charity shops and fabric shops around.

Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkness”?

When I run out of milk for my coffee, I go out with a granny cardigan and my colourful pyjamas. I don't care I need coffee.

How are you at DIY? I am reasonable at sewing, I can use a screwdriver, change a fuse and can paint walls. I can't do house diy. I get the professionals in then or ask my neighbour when he's not busy, I don't like to take advantage.

Confessional (aka True or False):

I love watching cheesy romance films. False.

I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night?

Sometimes I am too tired I just either fall asleep or head straight to bed without doing it.most of the time I very good at removing it.

I sleep with plushies.

I usually sleep with Dexi or Cookie Monster.

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I wear non-black pyjamas most nights. True. It's the only time I wear colour as most my PJs, were presented. If I am at home, I don't care as nobodies going to see me. As long as I am comfortable who cares. It saves on washing and keeps my more gothier clothes in good condition. 

I think Andrew Eldrich is overrated.

Ok, I love Sisters of Mercy and I respect Eldrich's contributions to creating their fantastic music. However, I still think Eldrich is a tit wanker due to his inflated eager and awful attitude towards former members and his fans.

I don’t like vampires. I like vampires with in fictional media and folklore term. I am not keen on the idea 0f adopting a vampire lifestyle. Such as blood exchange because of the risk of blood-borne diseases. Or sleeping in a coffin I've been around the dead due to my job but coffins really freak me out. My ex-wanted coffin to sleep in one and store under his bed. I am really not bothered by much but it was a bit too far for me. Everyone to their own.

I don’t like clubs.

It depends on my mood and work schedule. I love attending my local goth/ rock night or local goth/ rock night if I'm away for in a different town or city.

I don’t enjoy graveyards. False

It depends on the cemetery, I prefer older ones often ceased being used. I like taking photographs which are done in a respectful manner. I enjoy looking at the various tomb stones and reading their inscriptions. On occasions, I do read more recent memorials, I don't photograph recent tombs. I like to pay my respects for a moment. It sounds weird but these were once people with lives, it nice to think of that person, despite not knowing them. As you never know if they get visitors or not.

Blood makes me queasy. False Not bothered

I’d sooner faint than pet a spider. False, I like spiders they kill flies.

I don’t like haunted houses. Kind of True but I get intrigued by the personal stories of the ghosts.

I’ve never read Dracula. I started reading it last year I am still up to chapter 10.

I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a long and boring song. False, I love the ten-minute version, but, it depends on my mood

I would like to nominate Jane from the Breaking the Angel and anyone whose hasn't been tagged well you's t

Life Update.

Hi, it's been a very long hiatus, not to say the least. Since my last post, a lot happened in October. I had a death in the family ...