The Goth Weekend was an incredible experience, but not for the reasons I thought it would be when I booked the tickets as an enthusiastic darkling. Rather than the official events and the other Goths, I was captivated by the creativity of the traders (we attended the Bizarre Bazaar, the steampunk market at The Rifle Club and several other assorted small markets we found in our travels around Whitby), and the atmosphere of the town itself; a charm and a strangeness about the place that I am almost at a loss to describe.
I felt almost like the town, watched over by the solemn, brooding presence of Whitby Abbey, rekindled a dormant spirit in me that I hadn't realised was lost: a faith in mystery and magic, a sense of the unknown and unseen all around us. I fell in love with the winding streets, quaint buildings, hidden alleyways and salt air.
The train journey had been fairly arduous, a ten-hour affair leaving us tired, hungry and fairly cranky, but nonetheless we dropped off our bags and headed out straight away for food and a spot of sight-seeing. It was Halloween night, and couldn't have been more romantic - there was a light drizzle falling as we ascended the infamous stairs to Whitby Abbey (chili-spiced hot chocolate clasped firmly in hand) for an evening wander amongst the gravestones of St Mary's. We ended the day with a walk along the pier and a quick trip to Jumping Jack's, a 1950s-themed diner, for hot dogs and - in my case - an ice cream sundae as big as my head. Possibly my favourite Halloween ever, despite the utter lack of a costume!
I loved how much the shopkeepers of Whitby contributed to the event - almost every stall and shop was selling some kind of Goth-themed product or had hung a 'Goths Welcome' sign; even the charity shops had decked out their windows with corsets, bustles and other spooky regalia. The restaurants were in on the act too; I treated myself to a bag of purple Whitby Goth Floss on the seafront and downed a Howling Goth Chili Burger at the Hatless Heron. My favourite place to go, however, was a lovely coffee shop called Sherlocks, decked out entirely in, well, you guessed it, Sherlock-themed decor. Beautiful and cosy! We had breakfast there one morning and for me it was a highlight of the trip!
Music-wise, it was a delight to finally see the Fiend, but I also thoroughly enjoyed Mesh, Fangs on Fur, Inertia and Bad Pollyanna - I came home laden with their CDs. :-) Of course I had too much cider and danced badly - what would you expect? ;-D
(P.S. I hope the images on this post are OK; I've used Tumblr as Google says I've reached my upload limit... oops.)