2017: My Gothic Year in Review

So after the soap-opera that my life was in 2016 (if you’re curious to find out about this let me know and I’ll do a few ‘story-time’ posts for you, although they will be verging on all round depressing topics), I hoped for some vast improvement in 2017.

Of course, there were highs and lows to the year (granted there were generally more low points) and I can’t say there was much improvement from 2016. However, I want to look back at the best that came from 2017 and step into the new year with optimism for a better year and greater things to come.

For this post I want to focus on all my favourite experiences and the best things that I lived through in 2017. I know in years time it will be great to look back and see all my best memories.

The Poland Trip:

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I was so amazed at how tiny and detailed the snow was there. I’m used to it falling in big clumps in England.
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January was still Christmas in Poland and it was bitterly cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I kick-started my year off with a trip to Poland with my University. I really recommend people go there, because it wasn’t just a regular holiday. For me it was a learning experience and a really valuable insight into the past. I visited Auschwitz concentration camps, Schindler’s factory, and visited the Jewish Quarter. As well as having a guided tour around Krakow and meeting a holocaust survivor.

 

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Thank you Fed Ex Van for ruining my photo…

 

Mog On The Tyne:

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I visited my first cat cafe in Newcastle! I loved being surrounded by these adorable felines. It was brilliant to see the personalities of each individual cat from the cheeky one trying to steal our milkshakes to the shy one who would hide in a box and peek out at us. It is not just an experience for us, the money goes towards caring for these precious bundles of joy as they now live permanently in the cafe after being brought there from Rescue Homes.

Climbing Roseberry Topping:

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Seems like a simple task, but when you have the elements against you it’s a challenge. I had a really amazing day, my friend drove us all the way there and for a little while we thought we were going to be lost when we took a wrong turn and ended up on some farm land. It was a laugh trying to get up the hill, as it was so windy we thought we might die up there. My friend was freaking out saying “Lets go back down!” as even some big tough jogger gave up halfway. We did manage to make it to the top eventually, and rewarded ourselves when we got back down with some tasty parmo burgers.

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Still smiling even though we feared for our lives!
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Parmo Burgers

 

First Publication in the University Newspaper (Tside):

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I was pretty pleased with my article getting published and also creating awareness for the Gothic Subculture and Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It’s a great feeling to know someone enjoys your work and that it will be shared with others. Hopefully there will be more of my content getting publish as I continue towards finishing my Journalism degree and life as a student, and move on to finding a career.

 

 

New Piercing: 

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I was happy to get a new conch piercing. I had been debating it for a while and I can say that I’m happy I did. For those who aren’t aware the conch is the inner shell of your ear. This is my seventh ear piercing, I’ll go into more detail about the piercing and healing process in future posts.

 

 

 

Whitby Steampunk Weekend:

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My brother and I
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A renovated Volkswagen Type 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the second year that this event has been run, however it was the first I had attended. I usually go to Whitby Goth Weekend every year, so I was interested to see how the Steampunk weekend would differ. I was surprised to find that there were a lot more photographers taking my picture. I felt more dressed down than usual and as a goth girl I didn’t really own anything I would class as ‘steampunk’. However, my style did seem to grab the attention of a lot of people as we developed quite a crowd round me and my brother as we stopped to pose with people. There were plenty of interesting stalls and although steampunk isn’t really my style, I would definitely attend again as I felt really welcome with other alternative people.

 

My First Goth Club:

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Celebrating with friends: James, Luke, Zack, myself, and Jade.

As my teenage years ended and I turned 20, there was conveniently a goth night called Contagion in one of our local clubs. I attended it with a bunch of friends to celebrate my birthday. This was the first goth club I ever attended and it didn’t disappoint. I was so pleased to finally be able to dance to my type of music and to be surrounded by beautiful like-minded people, who were welcoming and happy to start up a conversation with us. It was a great first experience and something that has persuaded me to attend more goth clubs in the future.

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I’m not the best of dancers but I try haha
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My friend Jade and myself

 

More Travelling:

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Pork Of Cork

I took a cruise with my Mam and Nanna visiting France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Gibraltar and Ireland. I loved visiting new towns and cities and it was fun spending quality time with my family. I made an amazing new friend on the ship, who I still keep in contact with through video calls. If you want to see many places in a short space of time then I recommend taking a cruise. It’s so exciting to wake up to a new destination everyday. By far my favourite place was Ireland, I loved seeing Dublin and Cohb and it’s somewhere I’d love to go back to and explore for longer.

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Dublin
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Me in the caves on Portimao beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Hairstyle:

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I’ve had a few hair changes the past couple of years and I never expected to do this, but I did. I decided to get a full fringe cut in. A lot of people were telling me not to do this as its hard for this hairstyle to suit people. But I can say that I do love the way it looks on me and I’m planning on keep my fringe this way for a while as I continue to try and regrow the rest of my hair long again. I think with all the changes made to my life, it’s nice to see a change in myself too.

So there we have it – some of my favourite moments from 2017!

Of course, I cannot forget all the new friends I have made. For a long time I was feeling lonely and, as cheesy as it may sound, they came into my life and helped to brighten it. I want to thank them for sticking around through my struggles, making me laugh, and helping create new experiences and happy memories throughout this year.

Also, the fact that 2017 was the birth of this new blog! It’s only in is early stages, but I’m loving sharing my opinions and stories with you all and I love the interaction I get from you, so thank you to all the people who read, comment and follow my blog, it means a lot to me.

If you have any experiences from 2017 that you want to share then please leave some comments, I’d love to hear your stories too.

Here’s to 2018, hope it’s a Spooktacular New Year!

 

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24 Common Goth Problems

I really enjoyed writing my ‘What Not To Say To Goths’ post, so I thought I would do another humorous list of things goths go through. Here’s my 24 goth problems:

 

  • Getting a tan when you want to look like death himself.

 

  • Not being able to wear fishnet in the sun in case you get tan lines

 

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  • Introducing your music to people and they find it ‘scary’.

 

  • When you have to use touch alone to find a specific t-shirt because everything is in your wardrobe is black.

 

  • When you think its black, but it turns out to be navy.

 

  • Getting mistaken for an emo.

 

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Toxic Tears (YouTuber)
  • Spilling white powder on your black clothes.

 

  • Black lipstick never staying put.

 

  • When your shades of black don’t match.

 

  • When goth becomes a mainstream trend and people who picked on you for dressing this way start wearing it because its cool.

 

  • When people think you are wearing a costume and ask what the occasion is.

 

  • Not knowing where the other goths are hiding at.

 

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  • When people assume you are confident because the way you dress draws attention.

 

  • When you try to have big hair but it just wants to stay flat.

 

  • Trying to DIY your fave band shirt without ruining it.

 

  • Summer being too hot to wear black.

 

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  • Having brown roots until you re-dye your hair.

 

  • People thinking you are morbid for wanting to walk through the graveyard.

 

  • When you buy something colourful and you spend the day having everyone point it out.

 

  • Goth brands being too expensive.

 

  • People looking shocked if you do something nice like holding a door for them.

 

  • Security following you around a store.

 

  • Black dye transferring from your clothes onto your skin.

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  • Feeling bald without your eyeliner.

 

Let me know any others you have below!

What Not To Say To Goths

So I thought I’d do something a bit fun and light-hearted based on the daft comments I receive regularly for being a goth. Over the years I’ve learnt not to take things people say too seriously, usually people don’t mean any harm by it.

Here’s some of the regular comments I receive and my thoughts on them:

“Oh, I went through a Goth phase. You’ll grow out of that.”

It’s not a phase, it’s a way of life. Do not try to tell me what I will or won’t be interested in. Goth is not just for teens, there are plenty of Elder Goths out there!

“When are you going to stop dyeing your hair?”

Also anything along the lines of changing my hair can be annoying. I often get comments like “If you keep dying it then it will fall out…Your natural hair was such a lovely colour…don’t get it cut like that it will look ridiculous.” It’s my hair so I’ll do what I want with it, the way I look has no impact on anyone else. If I decide to shave my head tomorrow then why is it anyone else’s concern? It will grow back, if not I’ll buy a wig…

“Don’t get that pierced/tattooed.”

I find these types of comments usually come from concerned family members. I’m a girl with 7 ear piercings and I’ve been told if I get more piercings then I’m going to ‘overdo it’. In the past I was going to get a septum piercing to which I was told it would look like a ‘bull ring’ in my nose.

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Old photo of me with a fake septum ring

I also have a few tattoo ideas lined up, to which I’ve been told “You’ll look common” or “People won’t want to hire you for a job”. Sometimes they are worried for my safety, and try to talk me out of it by telling me all the possible infections I could get. But usually their reasons are just superficial. But as most goths know, we don’t look like this to please other people. We choose to look like this because it makes us happy.

“Don’t wear that, it looks boyish”

I’m sure goth guys also get the opposite with people telling them they look ‘too feminine’. I’ve personally been told not to wear certain things because they don’t look flattering enough. One time I was told not to wear a pair of my favourite shoes to a family event because they were ‘too boyish’. News flash: I don’t want to look girly! I don’t care about which gender my clothes were ‘meant’ for, I wear them because I love them.

“You’d look so much prettier without all that makeup”

I think this applies to everyone, not just goths in particular. I don’t wear makeup to look pretty. I wear it because I feel it completes my outfit, I like being creative, and most importantly I enjoy wearing it and the way it makes me feel. It also annoys me when people assume you are wearing it to impress someone. Just no! I’m not going to change who I am for other people, so why would I put makeup on for the sake of them? I wear it because once again it’s a thing that makes me happy!

“Are you into BDSM?”

Please, please, please stop asking us this! First of all, I’m not going to answer that. Secondly, a person being goth doesn’t determine whether they are ‘kinky’ in the bedroom or not.

“It’s not Halloween yet”

Well, Ministry would seem to disagree with you there…

This one is just a classic. For some reason people seem to think they are being funny and have thought up a really clever original phrase to say to us. Nope, I’ve heard this one tonnes of times before. If anyone knows when Halloween is then it’s me.

“Who’s funeral is it?”

Yours…

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There was a brilliant quote being spread round the internet: “If you can dress like this without going to a yoga class, I can dress like this without going to a funeral.” That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this comment.

“Are those your real eyes?”

This may sound like common sense, but honestly some people genuinely believe that bright red contact lenses are my normal eye colour…

“You look so scary”

Sometimes I will actually take this as a compliment, makes me feel like I’ve reached full goth potential!

 

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“You look dead”

Well I am a future corpse…

“You should get a tan, you look so pale and sickly”

Believe it or not I don’t want to risk skin cancer or to end up looking like an oompa loompa, so thanks but I think I’ll stick to my ghostly complexion.

“GOTH!”

I’ve never understood why people feel the need to shout this at me. Yes, I know I am a goth, well done for noticing 👏. I don’t take the word as an insult, it was my intention.

“Look its a vampire!”

I wish I was that awesome!

*Insert sarcastic voice* “Where did you get your coat from?”

Questions are fine so long as you are genuinely interested. But otherwise I don’t see the point in asking. This seems to be a thing chavvy teens love to do. Best one I’ve heard yet was: “Where’d you get your bag from? Toys R us?”. Personally I wish Toys R Us sold goth accessories, it’d be a lot easier to shop!

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My coffin bag

“There’s holes in your jeans”

Thanks for pointing that out, I never noticed that when I bought them…

“Do you worship the devil?”

This is unfortunately a stereotype that comes with being a goth. I’ve had people genuinely ask me if goth is a satanic thing out of pure curiosity. Just to clarify, not all goths are Satan worshippers! Goths can be any religion, just like anyone else.

“Do you cut yourself?”

Hold your horses! Firstly, you should never ask something this personal to anyone, mental health is no joke! Secondly, the stereotype that all goths are depressed is so wrong. We don’t dress in black and listen to this sort of music because we are all mopey. Honestly, if I were to stop being goth I’d be even more miserable, expressing myself in this way makes me happy.

“You have terrible music taste”

I could say the same to you. Everyone has their own taste, just because we don’t listen to mainstream tunes on the radio doesn’t mean my music is any less enjoyable than yours.

I hope you enjoyed these and maybe got a laugh out of some of my experiences. If you have any others, please share them in the comments!

 

 

Music Recommendation: I Don’t Know How But They Found Me

I’m always so excited when I find a new band I love and desperate to share my enjoyment of their music with other people.

So when a new song, ‘Choke’ by I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, appeared in my recommended on YouTube, I was more than willing to give it a listen.

The thumbnail stood out to me, as it had what looked like a skull but the artwork reminded me of that on Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album cover – two things which strongly appealed to my gothic nature.

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Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

The band itself is an indie rock duo composed of vocalist and bassist Dallon Weekes, formerly of The Brobecks and Panic! At the Disco (another band which I love!). Also, drummer Ryan Seaman, formerly of Falling in Reverse.

The band name I Don’t Know How But They Found Me is a line taken from the 1985 sci-fi film Back To The Future, and so the release date (26th October) of this song is a direct reference to the film as it is the date Doc Brown and Marty McFly intended to travel to in 2010.

This is the second single in a project inspired by a series of 1980-90’s talent shows that Weekes discovered.

Weekes said that ‘Choke’ was written to describe how disenchanted he had become in Los Angeles. He said that he loved the place, but the culture was hard to navigate as he didn’t fit in so it never felt like home.

Listen to the singe here:

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