Saturday, 31 October 2015

Mortis Comoedia by Aurora Walderhaug



Happy Halloween! The spookiest season is upon us once again (it seems to come around faster every year) and I thought I would celebrate today by reviewing a suitably dark read.

I was contacted a week or so ago and asked whether or not I would be interested in reviewing a new comic named Mortis Comoedia by Aurora Walderhaug. As many of you know, I am always searching for new reading material and I did not hesitate to agree. I was provided with an electronic version, which was a little unusual for me (I do not own a Kindle or an E-reader) but it worked wonderfully. I did find myself reading it on my laptop when I was supposed to be filling out forms for work though! I was kindly provided with some images to use in this post so you can see some of the artwork for yourself.





The comic begins with Walderhaug explaining the background to the comic and the origin of her own fascination with death and skeletal forms, by stating that ‘those of us who want to depict the body, and the reality of life in death in a convincing way, are as capable of avoiding the skeleton as they are of avoiding death itself.’ I loved the beauty and the eloquence of this sentence. This is actually one of the nicest aspects of the comic, as I adore personal elements like this. It gives the reader a wonderful insight into the creation of the comic and gives the reader a unique connection with the author. She explains her first real glimpse of death and how this influenced her, which resulted in the publication of this comic. As somebody who has always been intrigued by the notion of death, I found this section really insightful and lovely.

Mortis Comoedia is composed of several short tales, each featuring the activities of Walderhaug’s Grim Reaper character. My favourite little short tale is ‘Mask of Death’, which is perfect for this season as it details the Grim Reaper’s antics on Halloween. All of these tales made me smile (which is a rare feat since I have quite a specific sense of humour) and I imagine these tales would delight both children and adults alike. The use of short tales means that it is a perfect read for a busy autumn evening when you have little time to spare. They have (rather ironically considering the subject matter) been brightening up my hectic October evenings!

Furthermore, one of my favourite elements of Mortis Comoedia is the illustrations between the comics. These illustrations all match the strip that precedes them, and they tie the strips together perfectly. They are startlingly beautiful, and I would love to frame some of them. The comic is a captivating blend of beauty, elegance and dark humour. It is incredibly unique, and is illustrated with a wonderful elegance and flair. The end of the comic also includes several full length illustrations of several incarnations of the Grim Reaper character, which are astonishingly detailed and capture the edgy yet witty essence of Mortis Comoedia. My favourite one of these is definitely the ‘Prim Reaper’ which shows the character dressed in a corset, long skirt and holding a compact mirror.

Mortis Comoedia is exquisitely detailed and beautifully compiled. The comic strips are elegant and charming whilst retaining their distinct dark wit, and also offer a more serious undertone through the examination of the oddities of modern life and society. This is particularly apparent through one of the strips named ‘The Walking Dead’, which shows the Grim Reaper becoming fascinated by an iPhone. It sounds ridiculous, but it really does make you consider how truly silly our obsession with technology can be! These moments promote an intriguing sense of self awareness and parody modern life flawlessly. 

I do not usually read comics, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I would actually struggle to think of a single aspect that I did not like! I would definitely recommend this comic to you if you enjoy satire surrounding death. It is beautifully presented and wonderfully macabre. I highly recommend it for those of you who enjoy satire and want to embrace the lighter side of death. It is worth looking at even if you do not like comics – I would buy this for the outstanding artwork alone. It’s beautifully decorated and is exactly my kind of dark aesthetic. It also ends with one of my favourite Shakespearean quotes from Macbeth, ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more.’ I think this quote captures the quality and atmosphere of Mortis Comoedia perfectly. Death is nothing to fear when we accept that life is merely an illusion. Mortis Comoedia captures our peculiar fascination with death and the absurdity of life perfectly and is an excellent read if you are inclined to the darker side of life. As Samuel Butler stated, 'If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death'. It’s a little too late to recommend it as a Halloween gift, but I think it would make an excellent Christmas present.

Mortis Comoedia costs £9.99 and can be purchased here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!

Disclosure: Mortis Comoedia was sent to me for reviewing purposes. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Autumn Days.



I hope you all having a wonderful start to the week. I'm currently enjoying a very busy couple of the weeks, which I love. It sounds peculiar, but I really do thrive on being busy. October is my second favourite month, and I tend to find that I am so much happier in the autumn months. The days are slowly getting darker, and there is nothing I adore more than curling up with a book and a warm drink on a chilly autumn evening. Last Thursday was my most anticipated autumn day so far. I travelled to Leeds to meet a couple of lovely ladies from Instagram and to explore the beautiful Harewood House. I apologise for the quality of some of these photos; my camera is still struggling to focus.



The house was truly spectacular. I wish I had been able to capture it through my photos, but it just wasn't possible. I loved the two libraries in particular. The level of detail was astounding, and I could have quite happily curled up in there with a book all day. The house was very quiet and peaceful. The views overlooking the gardens were especially magnificent.

The house is also home to a bird garden and a variety of other beautiful gardens, complete with fountains and beautiful red ivy. There is also a cute little tearoom (with delicious food) and a gift shop. There is also a bookshop, but it was sadly closed. I ought to be thankful as this prevented me from attempting to bring as many books as possible home with me on the train. The bird garden was really interesting. It did seem a little odd to see penguins in the grounds of a beautiful house though!



Before we headed back to the train station, we decided to explore the little church nestled in the grounds of Harewood House. It was empty, so we took a peek inside. I am not religious, but I've always found churches to have a serene quality. This church was small and quiet, and very beautiful. It also had quite an old and interesting graveyard hidden around the back. It is such a beautiful little church.



I cannot put into words how much of an enjoyable day I had. It was so nice to spend the day which such lovely people and to explore such a beautiful house. We actually ran out of time and were not able to fully explore the gardens, so I think a trip back would in the future would be wonderful. It really is a magnificent place to visit, and I highly recommend it if you are considering visiting!

I hope you all having an enjoyable October. I cannot believe that Halloween is only a week away! This year has flown by. I'm looking forward to seeing what the final two months of the year bring. Autumn always leaves me feeling refreshed and excited for the rest of the year.

Have you visited anywhere interesting this October?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Crypt of Curiosities

Hello again! I know I said that I would post something other than jewellery reviews, but this one has been floating around in my draft folder for so long that I thought I would finally edit the photos and get it posted.



The Crypt of Curiosities is one of my favourite small businesses to order from. I wear my other Crypt of Curiosities necklaces I own at least twice a week. Clare is one of the nicest people I have come across on Instagram, and her work is beautiful. I ordered a pair of earrings a few months ago and she very kindly included a necklace in my order. She recently released a new collection of black and white hand painted items titled 'Black No.1' and I couldn't resist ordering a new piece to add to my collection.


This necklace is from the new 'Black No. 1' collection. It features a black bat lined with white, with a heart cut out of the centre. It hangs on a black chain, which is adorned by two beads. It is a hand painted piece. I have never seen a design like this one before. It is a lovely piece. It hangs beautifully and is incredibly eye-catching. The paint work is neat and the black and white combination is incredibly striking. It is sophisticated whilst retaining an edgy aesthetic.



This necklace features a purple faceted stone wrapped in a detailed silver frame. Two little purple beads hang from the end of the silver chain. This piece is unbelievably beautiful. It's stunning. The purple glass stone sparkles in sunlight, and the silver detailing on the necklace is delicate and intricate. This is one of my favourite necklaces in my collection. It's dainty yet striking. It is just the right size, and complements a pair of dramatic earrings wonderfully. It suits both formal and casual occasions. It was incredibly difficult to photograph, and none of my photos do it justice. It is too beautiful to truly capture.


I also ordered a pair of the ankh dangle earrings. They feature a little ankh cross suspended from an elegant silver connector and framed by a delicate silver chain. They are incredibly elegant, and for such detailed earrings are not at all heavy. They are comfortable to wear and look especially striking when accompanied by an eye-catching necklace. Most long earrings get lost in my thick hair, but these stand out beautifully. I may end up wearing these for my graduation. I have not managed to find a way to wear these to casual events yet, but they are wonderful when paired with a formal outfit. They have definitely filled a gap in my collection of earrings!

I'm incredibly pleased with all of these pieces. The purple necklace in particular has become a favourite in my jewellery collection. All of these items arrived incredibly quickly and were beautifully and carefully packaged. As always, the quality is wonderful for such affordable pieces.  I adore the necklaces from The Crypt of Curiosities as they all fit my petite frame without needing to be adjusted. They are all the perfect size. All of these pieces are affordable, and would make wonderful *whispers* Christmas presents.

The bat and heart necklace costs £9.00 and can be purchased here. The ankh earrings also cost £9.00 and can be purchased here. The purple necklace is not currently available but I will update this post if it comes into stock again.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Disclosure: I purchased the bat necklace and the earrings myself. The purple necklace was included in my order when I purchased the earrings.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Autumn.

It has been a long time since I posted one of these little updates hasn't it? September was a very hectic month for me, as I handed in my dissertation. We've now moved onto one of my favourite months, October! December is actually my favourite month (Christmas is my favourite holiday) but October is a close second. I adore seeing the leaves fading to orange and red, and being able to walk in the quiet. I find Summer a very uncomfortable season.


I took Bree out for a long autumn walk today. Elvaston Castle has always been one of my favourite places, and it is especially lovely when the leaves begin to turn and fade to red. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Bree loves it, and happily played with her ball and swam in the stream.


We had a wonderful day. They had added several new carvings around the park, and I loved the book one shown above in particular! I love the peace that autumn brings. I'm really looking forward to having a few more autumn walks this October in some beautiful places. 

I also started writing for Altvenger Magazine recently, which I am really enjoying. We have a wonderful little team. I recently posted a review of John Boyne's This House is Haunted, which you can find here


I hope you are all having an enjoyable weekend, and I hope you like these little update posts! I have several jewellery reviews to post, and some fashion and cosmetics reviews, so I am hoping to get this blog organised this month. I hope you have a wonderful start to October. I promise I'll update with some more in depth posts instead of these little tiny posts soon!
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