Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year. It's 2019

I can't believe 2018 is almost finished, yet we're entering 2019 for me it's been a phenomenal year. I'll write review tomorrow or in the next week with my aims and goals for my personal life and blog to follow.

Anyway have fun one and great new year.




Friday, 28 December 2018

My Christmas

Christmas has been a quiet affair spending time with the other half and my kitties. I've had an odd rota this week which has been in for one on,  one off for two back to work I find two nights off isn't enough my first night takes time to reset my body clock and spending my time sleeping this occasionally happens with this shift patterns. 

Anyway, the best present is our odd little family has extended with the addition of Princess, our new cat. She's not from a rehoming centre, but from a friend's daughter who has been wanting to rehome her. We've had  Princess for about two weeks, it's taken time for her to settle and for Phoebe to adjust. We've finally allowed Princess time to have free roaming of the house due to Phoebe's social anxiety. semi-feral nature and for the last 18months has been the only kitty in the house. We'll see what happens.  


Princess 




Phoebe

I was rotated to work Christmas, the boyfriend and I had Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, that was quite simple and pleasant with both of us comfy in pyjamas dossing about on the sofa while watching BBC's rendition of  Watership Down. I highly recommend watching it were an emotive watch and had me tearing up, it definitely an excellent watch. I didn't take any photos of our dinner, but we had duck and several different meals from it. Later we watched Krampus, surprisingly had fantastic morale reminded of the importance of Christmas, and it was far more enjoyable than I anticipated.





On Christmas morning, we exchanged presents and cuppa of coffee with some mini stollen bread and ginger biscuits from Poundland. We kept things simple regarding gifts, as we have so much planned for next year. The Boyfriend booked up to for the HRH Vikings Royalty package that was on the special deal for next year We decide after seeing  Cruchen, Skyclad are playing, and the Boyfriends excited to see Finntroll. 






My presents, I got some a new hat, scarf, gloves, black gloss and satin spray paint. I got a book and anime DVD. I also got some letter stamps for crafting and a furry snood. Short from Mam as she paid for my trip to Scotland. 





When not sleeping, I've just sat around watching recorded Christmas show specials or films while dossing on a sofa and eating a lot of crap. All I want is just relaxing at home with the other half and the cats. The allure of the Christmas bargains hasn't appealed to me either, it's nice being at home for a change.   





Monster Inc














I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas, Yuletide, Soltices and fantastic New Year. 

Monday, 24 December 2018

My Budget Christmas

The last few years, I don't go overboard for Christmas anymore as I don't see the point of getting into debt. My personal value system has completely changed it was about spending money unnecessarily to impress people. My partner is far more practical and doesn't see the point of unnecessary items.  

This year, I've been a bit of a tight git, however, I have spoken to my family and offered to purchase presents all have agreed on feeling indifferent and partly financial.   Also, we're not sure what to buy each other, as we have everything. I'm picky anyway. The only person I've purchased presents for is my partner, and even that came less than £50 



For my Mam and younger sister, I made some jewellery with bits I've already bought. I purchased some amethyst beads from eBay since her birthday is in February.






 I also found a lovely, cheap priced scarf in one of the local Asian shops. I highly recommend checking them out sometimes they have the most beautiful and unusual. Items Also, it's quite lovely knowing  I'm supporting a local business. 


I made my Sister a pair of unicorn earrings, I only added the earring setting to the unicorns.  




I also purchased her hot chocolate set from Primark. I think Primark do some beautiful gift sets that are quite reasonable, particularly if you're on a budget. 



Saturday, 22 December 2018

My Christmas Decor.

I can't believe Christmas is almost upon us again, it seems to have come around from nowhere. This year I haven't gone overboard with the decor, but I have only bought a couple of thing without breaking the bank. Most of the stuff  I have slowly gained over the last few years and intend for many years to come. 

I've placed all the Christmas decor around the fireplace one for space, but two it seems to make sense. I initially used my Halloween bat decor and a couple of stockings. 


I  also had my Russian dolls of the Nightmare Before Christmas 




I added my Nightmare Before Christmas tree ornament.


I found some holly ribbon from Running Tiger, I love this shop so much, seriously it's amazing and cheap. I used this holly Christmas decoration on the fireplace.  



I bought this 

I purchased these Halloween decor items on sale from Primark. 


I bought a kitty skying 


I also purchased a set of angel wrings from Poundland, I spray painted black. 



I also made an upcycled reef with ribbons and old tinsels at the time exchange. I also made a small mini reef from holly tinsel ribbon I got from the Running Tiger, I love this shop since one has opened in Newcastle. It's not great, but,  I like it, I can reuse it for years, and it upcycled from old Christmas decor.     

 



Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Gary Numan and The Skaparis Orchestra

A couple of weeks ago I saw Gary Numan. I have never been a huge Numan fan, after hearing My Name Is Ruin on the 35th anniversary of The Old Grey Whistle Test, I felt urged to purchase Savage. After first hearing the album, I was addicted and dominated my music choice for the last six months.

  Numan's lyrics and sound create futuristic dystopian narratives of his perspective of seeing the world transformed into a barren desert through global warming. It has such a relevant commentary of what's happening to society and appeals my pessimistic nature.  I can see Numan being a prophet for what will happen if we continue on our current path. 

We saw Numan performing the Savage tour accompanied by The Skaparis Orchestra at the Newcastle City Hall.  We had perfect seats sitting not too far back were able to to see the entire performance comfortably. 


The lights dimmed with Chirs Payne supporting along with his wife Dominque providing vocals and back up keyboards for ambient, electro, synths pieces. It resonates with the audience into a deep, intriguing trance, especially with Dominque light operatic style vocals. The style of music seems to have a world influence reminding me of Dead Can Dance. Payne performed the solemn In Red Feilds, a lamenting song, written to honour those who died in service of the first world war. The audience became reserved and silent in their demeanours to show their respect. Chris finished with lighter atmosphere with  Fade Grey with Dominque providing backing vocals. The audience danced in a row, and they cheered with rowing applause. Payne and Domqiue took a bow making a prayer gesture and thank everyone for attending. 


There was a thirty-minute interlude before Numan. The audience waited in zealous anticipation with every second, feeling like an eternity. Eventually, the performers slowly emerged taken their place.  It felt like a slow tease. The crowds began shouting a somewhere between a Geordie war cry and mating call "Numan, Numan, Numan.....". Seeing his name projected name sent the masses into fury. 


The screen dropped with Numan appearing. The audience clapped, in a standing ovation, with crowds in a ruckus and Numan revelling the crowd's admiration, with Gary smiling looking surprised and overwhelmed by the Geordie reception.

 Simultaneously, the orchestra began playing the instrumental to Ghost Nation, with blinding lights accompanied the dramatic tribal drums and the string sections deepening distorted synths.  The band join in with the instrumentation, the lights dimmed with a smokey atmosphere, with blue tinted light and green lasers gyrating. Numan's warped, strained vocals singing the first verse, suiting the dystopian sound.  Numan captivating the stage presence silences the rowdiest of crowds. Numan adopted and modern interpretive dance with influences of tia chi movements to captive and refocused the audience's attention at his command.


 Ghost Nations ends with another uproar and standing ovation from the audience. Next, Robertshaw demonstrates his mastery as a conductor precisely weaving the orchestra instrumentations transition smoothly into upbeat Metal's intro. The orchestra leads by setting and maintaining the ambient atmosphere by initiating the introduction for the band who take the lead setting the stage for Numan to start singing. 





In the second performance, the crowds fully emerge to the full force with fiery red lights and emitting blue rays lights revolve into the audience turning into artistic lighting performance. The visual background screens play abstract colours adding a dramatic flair and following the Orchestra tempo; creates an intensive cinematic experience for each song.  I wasn't expecting.  





 Next, is Bed Of Thrones accompanied with darker lighting to set the mood and compliments the song's music video airing.  Followed by Films. 





Numan tries to take fans emotive journey from high and low tempo songs.  With Robertshaw intern contouring Numan's music into a grandeur synthesis heightening the aural experience.  Through the use of string section used a deep, brittle sound to create middle eastern sounds. The percussion section brings raw tribal sounds to much of the set. 






 Numan attempted to cater for all his fans from his extensive repertoire.  Everything comes to You, morphed by Robertshaw to harsher steampunk industrial sound, clearer driven synths, and more of an even tempo. My second favourite from Savage Pray for the Pain You Serve. Robertshaw adds more prominence with the string section to the chorus lead by Steven Harris's guitar strumming, and the synth chorus has a higher pitch screeches resembling a war.   The cinematic experience continues with clips of Numan's barren future. Going To The Park, transformed with a darker industrial introduction with more distinction placed on guitars solo. 





The new symbiotic sounds with the band and Numan, he's added a much darker operatic depth to Numan lyrics and music I'm mystified. 




During the performance, even the group seemed to mesmerised by Numan with each member animatedly frolicking between, Harris, Tim Muddiman and Robertshaw. Every musician just emulates, how much they were enjoying performing through their body language and energy. Occasionally, Robertshaw headbanging along with the band during the set. Numan was incessantly smiling destroying his brooding demeanour.





The screens and lights blaring with the industrial drum beat of My Name Is Ruin, sadly no Persia. Yet, an epic performance being subtly driven by Robertshaw, and Numan gyrating on the stage.  The song I had waited long for and many of the audience's reactions indicated the same, especially since many were dancing in the rows.  The next songs played until it came to the final and iconic song. My Friends Were Elected the audience in a rampage of dancing in excitement.  






Afterwards, Gary addressed the fans describing his appreciation for everyone attending Introduced the  Skaparis Orchestra and conductor Simon Robertshaw. Numan delighted in sharing the "privilege" of working with everyone. Afterwards, everybody took a bow and left the stage. The crowd became restless again shouting encore, encore, encore. Everybody emerged with Numan body language stating "Gottcha". They finished with an encore of The Wreckage,  The End of Things, and A Prayer For The Unborn. To conclude the night, Numan played his latest ep It Will End Here; he wrote while touring. It had more uplifting and hopeful sounds compared to the pessimistic sounds of Savage. 




Overall the Gary Numan and Skaparis tour is one of the best concerts I've attended, the only one that can top this Rammstein. I loved how Numan has carefully choreographed not sparing any detail to chance, to create more than a concert but spectacular cinematic art show. With Robertshaw's genius transforming Numan's songs into modern style opera. Even after 40 years of music Numan is still as vibrantly progressive and explorative as ever why he has amassed a devout following,


* My partner purchased tickets. I just enjoy the experience, writing process and mental stimulus of writing reviews. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Outfit Post


I fancied doing an outfit post. It's been a busy couple of month of events and work. I haven't forgotten to take some photo of my exciting outfits, but not all.  I like to state in previous posts, most my outfits are sourced by Geordie Goth creations (translation sewn by me because I'm a tight git),  obtained via charity shops, or stuff I've had lurking in my wardrobe for ages. 



I wore this outfit to see Vodun, a fantastic and animated tribal funk band with an excellent vocalist, I highly recommend you check them out. As I'm getting older and as the winter approaches I'm starting to prefer higher necklines, yup I'm getting an old prude and constantly frozen. The top is cold shoulder type from Next I got on sale. I sewed a velvet skirt using a cheap 20 pence Prima sewing patterns in total £10. The boots are from eBay and so comfy. I picked the waist belt is from Marks and Spencers, and I got from a car boot sale for £1   



I wore this outfit when I meet up with a friend and to see a couple of reading of two plays. We went to a tea cafe with over 250 teas, heaven. The jacket was from Primark but had since I was a teenager, I just stopped growing after 13. The skirt was found in a charity shop when I was a teenager. The ruffled blouse was another charity shop find. The belt was from eBay and the boots were Kurt Giger.



This was my outfit for Halloween, attending the Literary Salon Fight Night  I felt like letting my inner gothic Stevie Nicks, I just adore her timeless style. The top and boots were from a charity shop. The skirt was from a car boot sale. 



This I wore when I went out with my partner for coffee and cake. I love my carrot cake. The top sewn by me made using McCalls 7657 Top B I made this from Viscose Jersey, I'm releasing it's worth investing in higher quality fabric, especially jerseys. The skirt was sewn by using my 20p Prima sewing pattern that has understated handkerchief hem. The boots and belt are from Primark. At some time I will do a post about my recommendations fora sewing patterns to build that epic goth wardrobe. I haven't had the time or gotten around to it. 




This outfit I wore on a Friday night of the Leeds Goth City Festival. The top and skirt were both charity shops. The belt is definitely one of my favourites, again £4 from Primark, it looks very similar to Kill Star one I saw. I love leggings, I now rarely wear tights, if not I only wear Marks and Spencers usually obtained on the cheap. I stoke it lucky occasionally with Primark, for tights most the time their crap. Definitely worth spending that bit extra, I've had one pair for over 11 years I got on sale. I'm a terrible hoarders. 





Friday, 2 November 2018

My Halloween

With Halloween taking places on the weekday, most of the events took place during the weekends. Last Year, Halloween was very quiet, I went out with the Boyfriend for a Halloween burger. 

This year there were more events, to chose from, still not a huge amount. There was either a Halloween pub quiz or The Literary Salon at a local bar called Bar Loco, we opted for the latter. It had themes of Fright night that ranged friction, poetry, short stories and an open night mike for local amateurs to share their talents. 


We grabbed food at the bar and bargain prices a good quality meal. I had a burger that was a small, but handmade. The Boyfriend had a pizza. I forgot to take photos. 


After food, we went upstairs and found an ugly marshmallow sofa, my lord it was comfy.

 The room had high ceilings and Victorian mouldings with a bare bricked wall exposed and large open fireplaces behind the performers.  The lights were dimmed, and the candlelight offering a soft glow enhancing the eerie ambiences. 

The was a small induction from one of the Salon's organisers. 

The first performer was James Whitman, with Satirical, political based proses. His fervently, animated oratory brought the dark and grittiness to life, with his own take on that reminded of Attila, the punk poet His work despite its graphic nature there a satisfactory element of his antagonist finally getting justice. 

The next up was Paul Forbes, who wrote an interesting short story about an escaped criminal after meeting a mysterious old woman who offers him refuge. 

We then a had the open mike night with a range of people or people showcasing the poems. 

We had a small break, introduced to the talented short poems from Megan Pattie based on her fears of the darkness inspired by David Attenburgh the Blue planet and horrors of her previous experience. My favourite was her poem inspired by the Newcastle Witch trials that happened in 17 century.



The last was a horror storey based on two porters working nightshift in the Freeman Hospital. It resonates with me and surprisingly quite accurate to what can happen on nightshift. I though enjoyed the mundane beginning and the graphic climax to the story. it had me gripped to my seat.




It was a fun night listening spending Halloween listening to terrifying stories and poems. It amazes at the amount of local diverse and talented literacy that being produced.  

Darker Days 2019

It ceases to amaze me how thriving the goth scene is present, compared to a few years ago. Over the last few years, smaller goth festivals...