Yes, it's the start of the Cold Snap Season and for Care-Home Workers across the county it can be a very lucrative period where rooms suddenly become 'available' again and the rates can go up...
Just one window at the top of the landing left open overnight can increase revenue by up to 25%.
(In fact, if you can get the caretaker to wear a cowl and carry a scythe, you could be looking at nearer 30%)
But there's another group of people for whom this weekend means a great deal, a group of people who try their damnedest to be more intimidating and terrifying than any Care Home Workers - but fail miserably.
They dress in black leather and chains, have more piercings than a randy Mrs Brosnan and tattoos on every available inch of skin.
I'm talking about Goths.
I love Goths, they're great. They have a terrific sense of theatrical style, brooding romanticism and stylish pessimism. I know quite a few Goths and they are absolutely lovely people. Goths rock. But they're not scary. Never have been and never will. Even Marilyn Manson comes across as a nice cuddly, warm and intelligent young man despite his attempts to terrify America.
In his recent Radio 4 programme 'Objective', the fantastic Richard Herring takes a look at why the simple 'hoodie' has become such a terrifying garment, a warm cotton sweatshirt with a hood has come to symbolise feral youth, a criminal underclass and yet if it's a bit nippy even my Dad wears one. On the other hand, the average Goth will be decorated in symbols of death and decay, such as skulls, have a pallid, vampiric demeanour, be covered in spikes, crosses, chains, nose rings, coloured contact lenses, actual dog-collars, and other S&M paraphernalia and it just looks nice!
I once met a couple of young Goths who had been thrown off a bus because the lad had his girlfriend on a dog-leash. The driver had objected to this apparent sexism and chucked them off his bus. The thing is, if he'd spent more than 4 seconds to speak to them he would have realised that not only was this girl far from subservient to her boyfriend, but she was definitely the one who wore the PVC trousers in that relationship! It was obvious that this girl would not be made to wear the dog-leash, in fact I seem to recall that it was her idea in the first place.
There have, over the past few years, been some truly horrible examples of Goths being bullied, attacked and in some cases, murdered simply because they belong to a subculture that others cannot, or are unwilling to, understand. This, as ANY RIGHT THINKING PERSON should agree, is absolutely despicable.
Absolutely no-one should be victimised, tortured or attacked because of the music they like or the clothes that they wear. Especially not Goths. Far from being intimidating, they are often intimidated.
No-one has ever walked home alone, late at night and suddenly got all worried and thought "Oh no, there's a Goth following me!" They can hang around shopping centres to their hearts content and will never be banned. I'd rather be in a club full of Goths than a Sports bar with Sky Soccer on.
Any. Day. Of. The. Fucking. Week.
Goths are great.
If you've spent anytime in the North of England since the 1980s then you will know a Goth. You see them hanging around The Corn Exchange, drinking cider in dingy pubs, listening to Sisters Of Mercy and generally enjoying themselves whilst simultaneously pretending to be miserable.
And this weekend they will descend upon fabulous Whitby for the legendary Gothic Weekender. The reason they've chosen Whitby is fairly obvious to anyone who has even the slightest interest in horror, but for those of you that are still perplexed by the idea of a horde of patchouli-smelling, self-proclaimed misfits descending upon a small Northern fishing port then it can be summed up in one word.
You see most Goths are very well-read, and in Bram Stoker's classic novel (which I suspect more than a few Goths have browsed-through) the Transylvanian Count is washed ashore in Whitby in a crate and then transmogrifies into a large black dog that roams the famous Abbey ruins.
Brilliant! Satanic hounds roaming about at Halloween. In Whitby!
I've never been to the Whitby Gothic Weekender but I dearly would love to go. I'm not sure I could pull off the look, but a place in Yorkshire where people dress in black and sit around getting drunk and mumbling sounds like my kind of holiday. Have a look, yourself - http://wgw.topmum.co.uk/
I hope everyone has a miserable/brilliant/happy/terrifying/fun time.
Enjoy yourselves, Goths!!
After writing this I discovered that today would have been the 98th birthday of the wonderful actress Elsa Lanchester.
Who is Elsa Lanchester?
|Elsa Sullivan Lanchester (28 October 1902 – 26 December 1986)|
Why, she's the Queen of The Goths!
What a great look.