Inamongst working some unexpected additional hours in my usually little part-time job, my little rattie, Mister Torgue getting rather ill, loosing all of the photographs I had taken for my next few blog posts (apologies that a couple of promised adventuring posts will now never see the light of day) and a sudden bout of melancholy, I found it impossible to find both the time and motivation to post this past late August and the entirety of September. I'm now feeling so much better; the ratling is in recovery (thank you so so much for all of the concerns, well wishes and good thoughts for him) and my work hours are finally back to normal, so I'm settling myself back into my blogging routine, and bringing you an extended (rather image-heavy) Favourites post, encompassing the past couple of months to kick the blog off once again.Thank you for baring with me!
Whether it was our rather abysmal summer, or that the subtle changes of the season's change have been far more noticeable now that I'm out of the city, autumn feels as though it has crept in early this year, and I could not be more overjoyed. The first signs of the leaves changing, the chill at my fingertips and the nights slowly drawing in have sent my dark little heart a-flutter; my morning walks have been enveloped in a gentle mist, mushrooms can be found emerging from the earth and growing on rotting tree stumps, and all I want to do is wrap myself in scarves and blankets and read by candlelight and listen to darkwave, watching the sun slip behind the hills. Autumn is my favourite season and a time that always ushers me inwards contemplatively and spiritually.
I think my most favourite recent find, is this glorious set of pumpkin bowls and cabbage plates that I stumbled upon at the local weekly antiques market. I got rather giddy over these, and I have been taking every opportunity to eat delicious, warming soups and stews from their depths. They're going to look amazing once I've painted my kitchen and I can't wait to serve my All Hallows meal from them!
I'm feeling extra grateful for my two ratties, Cobweb Thistledown Fleaweed and Mister Torgue, the two little creatures that mean so very much to me. Mister Torgue, my little Himalayan Dumbo, developed a head tilt at the tail end of August, and became really rather sick and weak; I was so very worried that we would loose him. Thankfully, he's gained strength and is gaining back the weight that he lost so suddenly, and is learning to adapt to his new way of seeing the world. Rats have been such an important part of my life for many years (I can't imagine living without them) and have my entire heart. I'm so grateful that it wasn't Mister Torgue's time to go.
The new release from Rose Mcdowall, Cut With The Cake Knife found its way into my vinyl library this month; a collection of songs recorded by Mcdowall in 1988 and '89 following the break-up of Strawberry Switchblade, it features songs written for their fabled second studio album. A beautiful pop record tinged with melancholic shimmer, effervescence and a bewitching bleakness. The vinyl release was also an incredibly beautify smokey quartz colour with soft tendrils of soot grey floating upon the surface. Utter lovliness!
I've also listening to a lot of darkwave and dark synth music, and the two records that have found their way to being left on repeat the most this past couple of months are Xmal Deutschland's Tocsin, and Twist of Shadows by Xymox. Tocsin, the second album from Xmal Deutschland (1984) is a majestic soundscape of an album, rich with atmosphere; Anja Huwe's vocals are magnificent; slightly banshee-like with her signature tortured wail over pulsing drums and gloomy guitars. My favourite tracks probably being Tag Fur Tag, Derwisch and Nachtschatten, although it makes it almost impossible to play favourites with such a glorious record. Xymox's Twist of Shadows (1989) is a an ethereal and moody synthy-dance album, beautifully crafted and melodic; definitely one of my favourite (Clan of) Xymox albums. My own personal stand out tracks are most certainly Craving and the orchestral and haunting album opener, Evelyn.
A couple of books have made it to my recent literary favourites:
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Chris Riddell
A subversive fairytale penned by an author who has remained one of my favourites since I discovered him hidden on the library shelves when I was a young, and illustrated by one of my most admired illustrators, The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell could be nothing but wonderful. The story is beautifully written, rather clever (although myself and I have heard, others, were rather disappointed at that it wasn't really a queer book after all, despite the allusions to it being so in promotional images) and I loved the unexpected turns that it took. The art work is just exquisite; from the translucent dust cover to the illustrations within the pages, the pen and ink drawings, with delicate scratching lines and the slivers of gilt gold are immaculate and full of so much character, and I absolutely adored the accents of gold that decorated each and every of the illustrations. I devoured this within a couple of hours of me purchasing it when it was first released many months ago but I went back to it again this past month and can see myself continuing to do so again and again.
Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of Ways by Gemma Gary
Traditional Witchcraft - A Cornish Book of ways, looks and feels like such a special tome; I was lucky enough to snag a Special Edition cloth bound copy in delicious moss green embossed with copper foil and I am so glad that I did. A wonderfully researched and beautifully written, poetic and practical work, filled with folklore and folk magic, Traditional Witchcraft is a fantastic book on the cunning craft.
I would also like to recommend the interviews that Gemma Gary did On The Black Chair. She's a fascinating voice.
What We Do In The Shadows
I'd been excited about What We Do In The Shadows after my first trailer sneak peek, and had rather built the film up in my head by the time I finally got the opportunity to watch it; there was certainly no disappointment on my part. What We Do In The Shadows is a mocumentary following the lives of Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, and Petyr; a group of vampires living together in Wellington, New Zealand, trying to get by in the modern world until they accept a newly turned Nick into their fold.
A beautifully executed film and cleverly thought out, What We Do In The Shadows feels as though it's been written and created with the biggest amount of affection for the vampire mythos. Each and every character is so incredibly likeable and hugely quotable; I spent the vast majority of the film cackling over the wonderfully witty nods to vampire lore and film and the layers of humour worked so bloody well. Darkly, edgily funny, a little bit silly and surprisingly touching, I could watch it again and again. A definite new cult classic!
& a little round-up of some of my Instagram posts for August & September. (My username is @vonmonsta should you wish to follow me there too)