Sunday, September 29, 2013

Goth Ethics?


Here is my latest vlog post on goths with a social conscience.

Ms. Lou

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Petticoat Duels

A while ago I wrote a post about fist fighting girls and women boxers during the Victorian era. Read here
Today I'm going to talk about a similar topic - women duellists. While men typically duelled over the love of a woman, women's duels tended to be a way to resolve disputes over honour or gossip. Some women even duelled men who abandoned them.

Duelling women goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece when there were reports of women duelling each other with sticks to settle disputes. Romans also wrote about Gaulish women fighting each other, and men, with both fists and weapons.
During medieval times Vikings would sometimes settle disputes with one on one combat. To even the odds, if a man and a woman were in dispute, they would bury the man up to his waist while the female could move about freely.

Duels became a tool of the upper class during the 17th,18th and 19th century to settle disputes of honour. While this was largely the domain if men, there were ladies who participated in this practice as well. One of the most famous female duellists was Julie D'Aubigny or "Mademoiselle Maupin" (1670-1707). She was an opera singer who was initially taught fencing by her father as a means of self defence. She went on to study (and have affairs) with various fencing masters. She was known for duelling anyone who affronted her, from shop keepers, to young male aristocrats. One man she injured in a duel was the Count de Luynes. He sent apologies to her and the two became lovers after. Her life story is quite extraordinary.

Not all duels ended so well. Often they ended in injury, arrest or even death. One young women abandoned by her lover (I accidentally wrote liver lol) fought a duel with him and let him take the first shot, he shot into the air and then she shot him point blank. Another two ladies fought over a man and were arrested. They later fought again with the agreement the man would be forced to marry the winner.
A famous upper class duel between women, was one between Lady Almeria Braddock, and Ms. Elphinstone at Hyde Park in 1792 over one telling the other she used to be a beauty. Apparently the offended did not like the use of the past tense.

Probably the most famous is the one between Princess Pauline Metternich and Countess Keilmannsegg in Lichtenstein in 1892. The dispute - floral arrangements at an upcoming musical exhibition. What made it famous wasn't the ridiculous reason, but that the women fought topless. No, it wasn't to titilate men, but for health reasons. The seconds at the duel were all women and the male servants were ordered to turn their backs to the combat. Baroness Lubinska, who had a medical degree, observed that many soldiers succumbed to minor injuries as a result of clothing being pushed into wounds, causing them to become septic. She ordered the fighters to go topless for their safety.
When the fight started the princess scratched the other's face with the blade drawing blood, and threw up her hands in horror. The countess took the moment and pierced her through the arm. The seconds apparently fainted and the male servants tried to run over and help. The Baroness though feared they had other motives and hit them with her umbrella shouting "avert your eyes! Avert your eyes! You lustful wretches!"
The princess eventually won, however there is no word in how the flower arrangements came out.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Autumn Top Ten

Hi everyone, it's been a little while since I blogged, but I am trying to get back on track. I'd like to wish everyone a very happy fall season. The official start is tomorrow, but for those if us more northern latitudes, it is definitely already here. I know it's a favourite season for many of us, including yours truly. My favourite time of year has always been from around now until Christmas. Here are just some of the reasons I love fall so much.

1. Back to school
While it's been a long time since I was in university, there's something about September that makes me want to stock up on journals, pens, books and art supplies. The deals at this time of year are usually good, and with the colder months coming, I like making sure I have enough as I like to spend more time inside writing and doing art.

2. The return of sweaters, mitts and boots.
With the weather getting cooler, it's time to layer up with cozy sweaters, tights, boots and jackets. I prefer the cooler weather to the heat and humidity of summer. Plus, there's so many great Halloween themed clothes this time of year! Like the kitty and skeleton mitts above I purchased recently.

3. It's beautiful outdoors!
As mentioned above, I appreciate that it's cooler outside. The leaves are changing colour and look amazing. I love the crunch and smell of the fallen leaves, and the crispness in the air. It's getting darker sooner too, another bonus for me.

4. Getting Cozy Inside
The darker evenings and cooler weather make it ideal for being cozy and cuddling up with a blanket (and loved one), and lighting some candles or a fire.

5. Hot Drinks
Hot chocolate, tea, and yummy flavoured treats like pumpkin spice lattes, and salted caramel mochas! I love them all. I also recently received a fancy espresso maker and will be trying to make some of these treats at home. Wish me luck.

6. Pumpkin everything!
From the above mentioned lattes, to pies, cupcakes, scented candles and bubble bath, I embrace this lovely scent throughout my home.

7. Ghost Stories
With Halloween approaching there are more spooky and scary movies on the tele, and paranormal type series. Watching tales of hauntings, ghost hunting shows and shows about psychics are a guilty pleasure for me. Besides TV, you can usually find ghost tours and seances offered around town at this time of year.

8. Mabon/Fall Equinox
For the first day of fall, my friends and I get together some time near the actual date,and make a lovely fall like dinner, usually with chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie. It's a sort of Thanksgiving with friends.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is in early October, on the second Monday of the month. What's not to love about this holiday of feasting, family, and friends.

I don't have to say too much about this. Who doesn't love the decorations, costumes, candy, spooky movies, scary stories etc. etc. ? I could go on and on, but it really is the highlight of the fall season.

What are your favourite things about autumn?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 Things Tag

I was tagged by Little Black Hoody
a blog you should definitely go check out.

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Tag 5 blogs with less than 200 followers
3.Get them to tag more bloggers and keep this thing going!

5 Things You Need Everyday
1. My boyfriend. Yes it's a bit sappy, but he really is the perfect partner for me.
2. Coffee. Wether it's a quick cup on the way to work, a French press cup on a day off, or a fancy Starbucks or Second Cup desserty drink, a cup in the morning gives me the kickstart to get going.
3. A good book. I always have one in my book bag. You are never lonely when you have a good book with you. I am currently reading Game of Thrones.
4. My iPhone. It's my music player, my camera, and my computer all in one.
5. My organizer. How would I get anything done without this? I know you can get organizer apps for the phone, but the act of writing things down just works so much better for me.

Mmm... coffee

5 Books You Would Recommend
1. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Who doesn't love these?
2. A Song of Ice and Fire series better known as Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin. So much better than the show. And the show is pretty damn good.
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A great classic gothic romance.
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Yes that's two Brontes, but who doesn't love a story with ghosts scratching at windows and Heathcliff digging up a dead body?
5. The Artists way by Julia Cameron. A great book for creative types of all stripes.

5 Materialistic Christmas Wishes
1. More art supplies. I could always use more paint, brushes and canvass.
2. Pens and journals for writing.
3. Money for clothes.
4. An expresso maker. So I can make fancy coffee at home.
5. A car. A VW beetle, electrified. Okay maybe that's a little over the top.

5 Places You Wish To Visit
1.London. I've been there a couple of times, but am planning to go back again soon.
2. Edinburgh. I'm also planning to go here soon as well, for a taste of Scotland.
3.Paris. I would love to look at all the great art and architecture.
4. Australia. It would be great to go see my relatives down under.
5. Egypt. Hopefully things will calm down there soon. I would love to see all the ancient temples and the pyramids.

5 Adjectives That Describe You
1. Creative
2. Sensitive
3. Effervescent
4. Determined
5. Organized

5 Things You Would Say to People About Life
1. Follow your dreams
2. Don't work do hard
3. Keep in touch with your friends
4. Honesty is the best policy
5. Happiness is a choice

Here's some adorable baby bats to make you smile.

I'm supposed to tag others, but I think most people have already been tagged. If you haven't been yet, consider yourself tagged now! I'd love to see them. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone