Primp Powder Pout - a Make-Up Artist's Life: Elusive guest blogger returns with tales of : Asylums and Trespassing in my new frock!


Primp Powder Pout

Primp Powder Pout
Ashley Kay Gifford Make-up & Hair Artist

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Friday, 22 November 2013

Elusive guest blogger returns with tales of : Asylums and Trespassing in my new frock!

Hello love cats,

Lena Mae here, Ashley's best burlesquing Geordie and sometime guest blogger. Been a while, eh?

My apologies for leaving you hanging, it's been a real frenzied Summer, a non stop party shop. Now it's getting a bit brisk out there I'll be hibernating a little more - and perhaps cosying up and writing for PPP! Let me tell you about a little adventure I had recently.

Some time ago my brother alerted me to the fact that Si, an old friend from back at school had gotten into urban exploration and photography - he travels to abandoned buildings,fearlessly and respectfully makes his way inside, then documents the beautiful decay on camera. I just had to get in touch to tell him how much I admired it. There was one place in particular which captured my imagination - a deserted Edwardian asylum which the earth is slowly reclaiming.

The hospital from outside

Well, one thing led to another and myself, Si and my pal Lili La Scala (a beautiful songstress) found ourselves in Colchester and on our way to the asylum. Both Lili and I had imagined we'd saunter up a beautiful tree-lined drive, sneak through a handy gap in the fence and we'd be in, however this was not to be the case! After climbing gates, hurdling felled trees & wading through a mile or so of thick, deep mud we reached our entrance : A 7ft high spiked metal fence just ripe for impaling. Absolutely terrifying. Of course we all were boasting our lionhearts and fearlessly(!) scaled the barricade, exhilarated with relief when landing safely in the long grass on the other side. We were in!

Some views from inside c/o Lili La Scala

Getting into the grand and imposing building itself was the easy bit, the doors all invitingly ajar - curiosity and a little fear stirred at the sight of them. Brave Lili stepped through the first door and the floorboards literally caved beneath her feet. She fell to the floor, thankfully unharmed aside from a bonk in the eye from her gold tipped walking cane! We moved onto a different entrance! It's like magic in there. Stone cold and silent, paint peeling, not a window unbroken, ivy creeping in through any hole it can find and inching up the walls. Some rooms even housed fully grown trees! It really was like a movie set.

Si photographs Lili in a beautiful vintage gown.

Naturally Lili and I had packed a veritable dressing room of gowns and headwear - Well, I mean it's not often you get a photo op in a location like this! So with one ear always open for the footsteps of the security guard (or I'll admit, the monsters from every horror movie I've seen over the last 29 years) we wandered and posed in any location we fancied! It was great fun. I wish we could have learned about what went on in each room, and who had gossiped in the corridors. I'm sure some of the stories those walls hold are horrific, though I know some will be heartwarming and frightening and lovely.

One of our shots : taken in the gorgeous decrepit conservatory. 

It was bloody cold. Let's say 'refreshing'!  And as the sun moved across the sky, the shadows started skulking into the building - my creature fear began to escalate! I kept it cool though : ICE COLD, and we all agreed it would be better to get going before the dark arrived. (phew!).

And another.

After getting slightly lost in the labyrinthine corridors, we finally emerged back into the outside world and stood a while gazing at the enormous building, feeling a little sad that it will soon be gone. I know it sounds hackneyed but i really felt invigorated by the whole experience. Huge thanks to Si for being our host and for taking such lovely photographs - and to Lili for being a little powerhouse! 

Si's favourite shot of me from the day

As an NB I'd just like to add that anyone thinking of doing some urban exploring PLEASE take care. My brother rightly told me off for not wearing a hard hat! Just go careful x x

                                   You can check out Lili's work here :
And Si's here:


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