Dunottar Castle

My work had an outing, where we hiked through the woods in Stonehaven, visited Dunnottar Castle, and then came back for dinner in the village. It was a gorgeous day and I took some pictures. Dunnottar Castle is one of the first castles I visited when I came to Scotland over the summer of 2005, and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s in ruins, and its starkness makes it feel more real and historic compared to some of the castles that are frozen in the Victorian era.

Yes, I realise my photography skills are not the greatest. The horizon is definitely not level in a couple of these photos.

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Birthday under the Big Top

It was my birthday on the 4th, and so Craig and I went to see the circus.

The last time I’d been to see the circus was during the summer of 2010 when the Chinese circus was in town. I took non-stop notes when I last went because I was about 1/3 of the way through the first draft of what would become Pantomime.┬áNow, two years later, I was just about finished with the edits of that same book as I went to see the Dutch circus. It was a cool feeling.

I love seeing circuses from different countries. The Chinese circus was flashier, with painted dragons and more contortionists and unicycles and the like. The Netherlands’ circus featured double-Dutch, naturally, and was a bit more understated but no less skilled. They also had a live band above where the performers came out, which I thought a nice touch.

Some photos:

The Big Top in mist.
Yes, this is Scotland. In August.
That is my face.
The contortionist. Blur to the left is the arrow.
The Flying Aces! Urge to run away and join the circus as an aerialist: strong as ever.

It was a lovely birthday.

Random Research: Finding my Characters in Vintage Circus Photography: 1899-1923

One of my favourite go-to blogs, the Retronaut, posted some vintage circus photography set around the same historical timeperiod of the world I’ve set my book, Pantomime, within (late Victorian, though some photos are newer). I’d already written the book by the time these photographs went up on the blog, but they helped cement the atmosphere in my mind when I started editing again. My favourites are re-posted below. I’ve captioned the images after some of the characters that they remind me of.

Aenea on the tightrope
Aenea on the tightrope
Nina the Snake Charmer
Nina the Snake Charmer
Karla the Equestrienne
Karla the Equestrienne
Drystan the White Clown
Drystan the White Clown
Aenea The Aerialist
Aenea The Aerialist
Aenea and Micah
Aenea and Micah

Aenea and Micah in the Big Top
Aenea and Micah in the Big Top