At the weekend, we were gifted a rather wonderful, monster-sized pumpkin. As neither myself or James had really excelled in pumpkinery before, we spent a while evaluating our ambition versus our skills. We debated cats and bats, haunted houses and temples...and settled upon, Larry David's face.
With the horrors of war still lingering, perhaps it was an inherent response to the cataclysmic upheavals of the previous decade; an empathy with violence, chaos and bloodshed, or a much needed distraction. Maybe, they just really got into the spirit of this frightful night...Either way, in the 1920s, Halloween costumes were on a whole other level of creepy.
Buried behind full body costumes and faces masqueraded by haunting, expressionless masks, these costumes are nothing less than terrifying. A far cry from the playful pumpkins and bats that frequent today's Halloween theatrics. Dehumanising their wearer, they almost look a bit cult-ish. These must surely be some of the earliest Halloween photographs too!
If you're stuck for ideas, how about this cute adult cat costume...?
After a tried and failed attempt to visit this place a couple of weeks ago, James managed to squeeze in a visit a couple of days later, before taking me last Sunday. Serious dedication, but I'm sure you'll understand why. It's one of the most unusual and fascinating pieces of architecture that we've ever seen and it undoubtedly garners some of the most spectacular secrets of our shire.
For those that love facts, we can confirm that the Triangular Lodge is rather impressively, triangular in shape. One big tetrahedron. This might not seem like a biggie but standing at one of its corners, it's seriously intimidating. The lodge was built in the 1590s by Sir Thomas Tresham, a devout Roman Catholic. With Catholicism illegal during this time, Tresham built this grand, rebellious symbol as an ode to his faith and as a place for secret worship. Later on, the lodge would also become a ground for masterminding the infamous gunpowder plot. Each of the three facets is 33 feet long, has three triangular windows and three Latin texts inscribed around the lodge. Inside, contains three floors and on top, three gargoyles perch in a Gothic-horror fashion. How this avoided mainstream attention and ultimately, avoided being demolished is beyond us.
Descending into the basement was pretty creepy. With only tiny windows just above ground level, it was really, really dark down there... and freezing cold. We had to use our phones just to light up the space in front of us. In one particular alcove (pictured above), the floor sloped downwards into the ground, away from the building. It's rumoured that this is the start of an underground tunnel that runs from the lodge into Rushton Hall, to accommodate the Catholic brotherhood's schemes of treason. It's also suspected that Thomas' son Francis was the very reason that the gunpowder plot was foiled, when an anonymous letter he wrote fell into the wrong hands. Francis was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his actions.
Would definitely recommend a snoop round if you're in the area. If you know of anywhere that beats this place - let us know!
I'm a massive fan of well shot films, with some of my favourites from over the last couple of years being 'Moonrise Kingdom', 'Inglorious Basterds' and 'Hugo'. I love the way that an atmosphere can be captured and the way the camera depicts the feel and intensity of a shot. I'm sure many keen film buffs would love the chance to make their own film, or work on set, but the industry is a harsh one, like most creative career paths.
Recently I have been playing around with a couple of cameras and just going to locations just to try out a few ideas. I'm no film maker, I just like playing with camera angles and learning about different ways you can capture things.
To get these cinematic shots that we all desire is hard, there's alot of things that make this so. The camera is of massive importance as is the lens and the lighting. It has occurred to me that the movement of the camera, or in some cases no movement at all, is also paramount .
I went to a location with Tom the other day and shot some bits of footage, which I ended up making into a silly suspense film. It's only short, but I just wanted to piece together shots and see what the outcome would be.
There's a crunch to the ground and the leaves are just beginning to change colours. Call us seasonal sentimentalists, but we're already thinking about grasping a warm mug spiced cinnamon cider, cosy nights by blazing fires with a good book. I'm currently reading The Beautiful and the Damned and Turgenev's First Love. I should concentrate on one at a time because at present, I'm getting nowhere fast with either.
Soon time to be thinking about Halloween, too! After last year's magnificent efforts as fairytale nightmares, we're gonna have to really crash our heads together to up our game this year. May have to call a team meeting.
This month's notoriety for fear and scares already appears to be infiltrating our thoughts. A couple of nights ago we drove to the Triangular Lodge in Rushton. If you've never heard about it before, look it up, the building's back-story it incredibly interesting but it looks terribly creepy. It didn't start well when I had to pull up beside bunny rabbit road kill :( It made me squeal and naturally, I took it as a bad omen. We couldn't actually see the lodge as it was shielded in pitch-black darkness behind the most formidable wrought iron gates. We'd stopped for all of 10 seconds when something white flew in front of my windscreen (looking back I can admit that it was probably discarded rubbish but it scared the hell out of me) and we drove off straight away, ha.
On other exciting news, I've just inherited my dad's Olympus Trip camera. I say inherited, it was shoved in the back of a cupboard, so I've took it upon myself to give it some life ;) Great excuse for more moonlit drives.
We like our Shire. It's quiet but filled with beauteous nooks of countryside that completely satisfies the English in us. Most of the surrounding villages boast of moss-drenched cottages, antiquated signage, Alice in Wonderland worthy gardens and idyllic looking teashops. This one is one of our faves. After a hectic week of work and gigs for both of us, we spent last Sunday clearing our heads wandering around, whilst taking pictures of quintessential English things. It was pretty nice.