Thursday, 28 June 2012

History Nerd Facts: Puritan Names

Welcome to another episode of weird and funny history nerd facts! Today I present you my favourite Puritan names. Of course many Puritans gave their children biblical names but some parents took the whole 'naming your child'-thing one step further and named them after desireable virtues or slogans. Some of those names are still in use today, examples are Hope, Chasity, Joy or Faith. Most Puritan names however have died out....Fortunately! Here are my favourites:

- Moral

- Hate-evil

- Endurance

- The-Lord-is-near

- Kill-sin 

- Tranquilla

-  Fear-the-Lord

Aaaaaand my very favourite:
  - If-Christ-had- not-died-for- thee-thou-hadst- been-damned
That's impossible, you might think, nobody would give their child such a ridiculous name. Well, let me prove you wrong: Meet Nicholas If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned Barbon!

Horrible Histories made a great video about Puritans, you should definately watch it, it's hilarious. So is all the stuff Horrible Histories does, by the way!

The Countess

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Boredom+MakeUp+Picasa= WTF?

Okay, so I was kind of bored this evening and I own a 120 eyeshadow palette...This is the result:

Less edited
If the monster of Loch Ness and Doctor Who aliens had a love child this is how it would look like.
Don't ask me what happend there, I got a little crazy, I guess.

Well, good night,
The Countess


I wanted to share with you a picture that was taken aabout a year ago because I just found it after having forgotten that it exists. Because I like it. And because bubbles are awesome!

Have a great day and go make some bubbles!
The Countess

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pure randomness

This is an absolutely irrelevant update on my life. Nothing important, no cool outfits, no politics, just loads of pictures. So this is what happend during the last weeks and days:

I made some vegan Irish Soda Bread. Or at least I tried. The result is something that looks like the surface of the moon. Or a toad...

It did taste delicious though!

I got Young Avengers #1 Director's Cut via ebay for 3€ and a few weeks later I bought the Young Avengers Children's Crusade part 1 in a comic book store. They only had it in German but as I have already read the whole Young Avengers series in English I can now laugh about all the weird mistakes they made while translating. Billy calls Teddy "Boyfriend". In the German version. They didn't translate the word at all. No German person would refer to their boyfriend as "Boyfriend" in German. Never. Ever. Nevertheless Young Avengers is also cool in German. Not as great as in English but still...

Young Avengers #1 Director's Cut

YA Children's Crusade N°1

After a long time of being unbelievably unproductive I did not only start to write a paper about Clara Zetkin and her influence on women's rights, I also sewed a pencil case. I used to carry my pencils loosely in my bag end ended up never finding one because my bag is like Hermione's: Endless and full of misteries. 

I made it from some felt I got from my boyfriend's mum for Christmas. The wings have been lying in my sewing box for more than a year now so I thought now would be a good time to finally use them. They remind me of Wiccan's head thingy and of Thor of course. 

I had some felt left so I made another bag:

Detail shot: The little black things are parts of volcanic rock because stones are awesome.

I don't really know what to do with this second, smaller bag. Imke, any chance you want it?

I'm obsessed with a nail polish at the moment. It's Genius In the Bottle by Catrice and it is nothing but beautiful!

Because it looks fantastic with old gold jewellery I decided to wear my selfmade Oscar Wilde necklace with it for the first time. I love that pendant so much but I never got around wearing it.

Okaaay, what else? Oh right, I got my nose pierced but you won't see a photo until it is all nice and healed. Right now it is still red and half a red nose is not exactly the prettiest thing in the world... Speaking of red: I coloured part of my fringe pink but it came out more as a wine red which is perfectly fine with me.

It's the best quality I got. In all the other pictures the colour was kind of...wrong...
Excuse the bathroom picture. If Blogger was Myspace and this was 2005 I'd be cool.

Okay, enough randomness. 
Before I go to bed, hip hip hooray for 20 followers!
I'd like to get your opinion: What kind of blog posts would you like to see?
Daily random stuff? More life/politics? More outfits? I'm planning on doing more weird history facts, how would you like that? I could do the same with English...

Good night,

The Countess

Monday, 25 June 2012

Thoughts on Tolerance. And Architecture.

Please have a look at this building:

Be honest: This is beautiful, right? To me it is a fantastic  piece of architeture, the forms are amazing and the colour ads a whole lot of elegance to it. This is a digital version of the mosque that is right now being built in Cologne by the German architect Paul Böhm who won the competition that was held in order to create the best concept for it. It is built at the same place where the old mosque used to be. This old mosque wasn't a real representative mosque but rather just a plain, old building that was way too small for the amount of people who wanted to pray there. This new mosque will not only have praying rooms but also a library and a community center. I personally think that this mosque could become one of the most beautiful buildings in Cologne, a tourist magnet, a symbol for cultural diversity and the space the muslims in Cologne need and deserve.

Unfortunately, many people do not agree with me on that. And no, I do not only talk about neo-nazis and other intolerant right-winged bastards, I talk about the so called "middle of society", regular people who claim not to be racist but rather "concerned". Those concerns include such ridiculous things such as parking lots that will be used by the people who visit the mosque to pray there and therefore won't be free for the people living around the mosque. Some people were afraid that the muezzin could disturb their oh so important quiet and peace. Those people of course don't mention the church bells that make noises in every city in every part of Germany. Another "argument" that was brought up is that the mosque was supposed to be white which offended some people because to them a big white building would demonstrate muslim power over the christian western world. I know, ridiculous. I told you...

Germany is not homogeneous and neither are the people living here. 

We are diverse. 
We are multicultural. 
We are muslim. 
We are christian. 
We are jewish. 
We are budhist. 
We are atheist. 
We are wiccan. 
We are white. 
We are black. 
We are gay. 
We are straight. 
We are bisexual. 
We are transgender. 
We are female. 
We are male. 
We are old. 
We are young. 
We are ugly. 
We are pretty. 
We are smart. 
We are stupid. 
We are disabled. 
We are ill. 
We are healthy.

We all have the right to exsist, we all have the right to try to be as happy as possible. We have the right to pray. Everyone. Not just white male rich christians. This mosque is going to be a part of Cologne and so are the people who will come there to pray. To all the intolerant people who want to limit other people's rights in order to feel more dominant and powerful: Deal with it.Your hate will not change anything!

We have to be the change we want to see in this world. 
We can only do so together.
So get out and support those who need it.

The Countess

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Stuff that didn't happen in the Middle Ages

Zelde at Indigobirds is doing a series where she tries to learn more about history by revising various dates concerning important events, developements, breakthroughs in science, art.... You get the picture. I really enjoy this series not only because I study history but also because it is my passion. So I thought I'd do a little history post myself. This one concerns the Middle Ages. Or rather what people think when they think of them. So here we go, three things about the Middle ages that are nothing but hocum:

- Witches weren't burnt in the Middle Ages (MA) but in the Early Modern Age. Seriously. The Malleus Maleficarum was only written in 1486 which is the very, very late MA (Columbus went to America in 1492 which is the most popular date for historians to end the MA).

- People did not believe that the earth is flat. Want proof? Kings and emperors in the MA had so called insignia, one was the globus cruciger which should symbolize the power of christianity over the world. As you can see it is not exactly flat...

The insignia of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire (Source)
- People in the MA were actually more hygenic than in the Early Modern Era where people often thought that bathing was harmful. Many people in the MA visited public bath houses frequently where they would sit together in bath tubs and sometimes get massages. Gender, social status, religion and of course money were the crucial factors when it came down to who was allowed to use which bath house. Oh, and another fact: Nobody thought the nudity in those bath houses was anything sinful. This form of prudery is also an "invention" of the Early Modern era.

If you are interested in this, I am going to collect some more facts about history for you, maybe some funny or ridiculous ones.

Have a great night,

The Countess

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Ok, so I LOVE the Young Avengers! I mean, a bunch of teenangers who decide to form a group of superheros because the real Avengers have disbanded? Awesome! 
What's even greater about the Young Avengers is the fact that two of them are a gay couple: Wiccan (Billy) and Hulkling (Teddy). Hulkling is a shapeshifter (and half Kree half Skrull, two alien species who fight against each other) and Wiccan is a mage. He basically changes the world by just wishing really hard which is pretty much the most amazing superpower ever!

"Dear Teddy,
you are without a doubt the best boyfriend in the entire world! You're kind. You're genereous. You threaten to maim people for me."

If you want to read more about Teddy and Billy, gay superheros in general or how it is a shame that this picture up there is the very first kiss between Billy and Teddy after 7(!) years of Young Avengers, just follow the source links.

Okay, well, back to me being a fangirl. 
When Youtube make up guru and artist Klaire de Lys posted a video with a tutorial for a winged eyeliner I immediately thought of Wiccan who has wings on his head band thingy.

Because I don't have anything better to do on a regular Wednesday than doing some sort of ridiculous make up I decided to recreate this look. 

Here is the original tutorial:

Here is my variation:

I kind of like the result, hip hip hooray for a Billy/Wiccan appreciation look!

How about you, do you read comic books? Or manga?

Have a great evening,

The Countess

Gothic vs. Feminism

I don't wear trousers. I don't show much skin. I wear my hair in braided buns. I love corsets. That sounds pretty much like the perfect victorian lady, right? Wrong. I have one "flaw" that would be considered unbelievably improper for a young modest victorian woman: I am a feminist. And normally I like to let my style reflect my political and social views (Hello, bag coverd in political badges!) because to me your style is the mirror to your soul. 

The problem is: My soul isn't the one of a nice and polite victorian housewife; it's the soul of a loud, independent, intelligent woman that isn't afraid to step on some toes in order to change the world. I discuss with people on a daily basis, I am not afraid to offend people with honest answers and I can get furious when someone is plain ignorant. A few weeks ago I was told that feminism is overrated because men and women are already equal. When I asked that guy how 20% less payment for the same work, less job opportunities and only tiny chances to get into a leading position are a definition of "equal" he just looked at me with that typical "Oh my God, she is one of THOSE women"-look. 

I was surprised. People expect me to be weird, nerdy, indoorsy and rude. They do not expect me to be a feminist. I thought about how i could change that. How can I let my style reflect my political views without loosing the frills, the skirts and the glitter? Then I realized: I don't have to change a thing. I wear what I love, no matter what. And that's exactly what feminism is about. It is about choices. Want to be a business woman? Great! A housewife? Great? A teacher? Great! A physisicst? Great! A Riot Girl? Great! a wall flower? Great! 
There is no correct style for a feminist except for the one you personally feel comfortable in. Feminism is about breaking up gender stereotypes, we shouldn't start constructing new ones by creating a certain form of uniformity. We are all different while being all the same. That is truly great!

So I'm going to keep the glitter and all the black because that is who I am. A victorian goth. A Quaintrelle. A "feminin" woman. A feminist.

How do you stand on feminism?
Have a great day,
The Countess

Monday, 11 June 2012

Commonplace books

 As you might know I study English and history at University. One of my favourite classes of this semester is probably Early Modern English which combines both of my passions. Early Modern English is the English that was spoken between the 15th and the 17th century. It is the time when grammar and orthography were slowly standardized, the Great Vowel Shift happend and many irregular verbforms were "invented". By the wy, it is also the time of Shakespeare.

One of the topics we talk about during these classes are commonplace books.
Commonplace books were handwritten „scrapbooks“ which contained notes, recipes, quotations, letters and often little drawings. As you might imagines these things make them very personal and unique. They were often used to organize thoughts and knowledge about a poem, a novel or any piece of literature. Today we rather make notes next to the text we are reading, back in the old days people used commonplace books.

They became popular in the Early Modern Europe (15th- 18th century) but the tradition started much earlier around 350BC in Greece where commonplace books were more a list or collection of arguments on a certain topic than a scrapbook. When the enlightenment came up they became especially important. John Locke suggested that adding an alphabetical index could be useful. It was also essential to him that people should be free in what they wrote in their commonplace books, there should not be any limitations to what someone would write into a commonplace book anymore. 
When people in all classes became more literate they also became interested in reading about reading. These commonplace books reflect this phenomenon. Unfortunately, it is not exactly common to have such a commonplace book anymore but they live on in our diaries and scrapbooks. To some people who analyze the history of commonplace books, blogs can be seen as their modern version. 

Funny side note: the verb of writing a commonplace book is called commonplacing.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Life after death?

A few days ago and friend and I stumbled over some statistics on typical Germans. One of the numbers surprised us alot: 70% of German teenagers believe in a life after death.

My friend and I are not religious or spiritual so logically we thought that this number had to be way too high. We decided that 40% was a more realistic number but agreed to ask our friends the next day. We sat down with some wine and chocolate cake and discussed that number, life after death and personal believes in general. It was n imensly interesting and inspiring conversation, I have learned new things about my friends who I know up to 11 years, it was great.

I do not believe in a life after death. I think we die, we get eaten by worms, our bodies disappear. Whenever I say that out loud people tell me how sad that sounds but personally I have to strongly disagree. We are a part of nature. Our time on this earth is limited as is the life of every creature on this planet. At some point it is time to go and open some space for new creatures, new people, new animals, new plants. When we die our physical bodies become part of nature, we feed and nurish it with everything we have left to give. It is our gift to her, it basically says 'thank you for letting me live'.
As to what people call the 'soul' I don't believe it just vanishes. It lives in the  memory of other people. As a historian I know that even the simplest of all lives still leave a footprint, all we have to do is cherish it. Your great-grandmother's purse, an old necklace you find on a flea market, letters that are found in the future,
all these things leave a piece of us behind for the ones who come after us to take care for. 
I don't think that sounds sad at all.

How about you? What do you believe about death and how does it make you feel?
Have a great day,

The Countess

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Another ribbon hair style

Yesterday was friend's birthday and because she learns Swedish she decided to have a themed party. She decorated everything in blue and yellow, played Abba and made typical Swedish food. I love themed partys so much, as any other excuse to dress up as well because in reality I am just a little girl that likes to play with her mum's clothes.

I decided to make a necklace and some bracelets out of blue and yellow ribbon but the most important part of the outfit was of course my hair-do!

This one was really, really easy to do and to my delight it didn't fall apart. Those photos were taken after about seven hours but I think the hair-do still looks ok. I didn't lose any of the rose hair pins, yay! I have a whole bunch of those rose bobby pins, you can get ten silk roses for a Euro here and bobby pins are pretty cheap too so I have them in red, pink, blue and yellow but I think I have some magenta coloured ones too, I just don't know where they are.

Do you like unusual hair- dos? 
Have a great evening,
The Countess