Saturday, October 28, 2023

Love in Ruins

 In the midst of fitful dreams, mysterious voices summoned me to the Priory ruins of Dudley.  They were persistent...I felt compelled to obey their ghostly calling.

By the time I reached the Priory, it was daylight, but ominous clouds and an eerie silence - save for the low moaning wind caressing ancient stones - made me feel somewhat out of step with time.  Should there be any question that the barrier between the spirit world and ours was weakening, just around a darkened corner, the sight of a windswept harpist upon her lofty perch, removed all doubt.

Ms Lewis-Freeman was watchful, beneath her blackened veil, in mourning for her lost love, but answering a time transcending calling from him.

She felt his presence on the wind.

Noa, the harpist, too, sensed time and tide shifting; something was about to unfold.

Some kind of energy crackled, like electricity, on the breeze.

Ms Lewis-Freeman began to walk through the ruins, where several lifetimes before, she had confided her love for the elusive Mr Moore.  She searched high...

....and low.

Noa, initially fearful of the strange forces that had conspired to bring her here, hid her own face behind a veil.

Whist Miss Lewis-Freeman and Noa joined forces to find the former's lost love...I encountered a pale stranger, seated on the old garden bench.  I walked alone, back towards the ruins.  I swear the stranger had remained seated...

...but suddenly, he was there in front of me again.  I confess I was startled.  But then, a momentary distraction - the calling of a crow - and I found myself alone once more.

At once, the music started...mesmerising, like a siren's call.

Could it be?  

Could it really be?

Together at last...

...they fed off each other...both for sustenance and in an ungodly act of vampiric intimacy.

They roamed and reminisced like the old acquaintances they were...  

...entertained and bewitched by Noa's playing.

Immortality requires endless patience.  Noa observed from a distance.  She now had a better understanding of her otherworldliness and the complicated feelings created by eons of solitude.  She had found her kind.  The undead.

And so the music played on...and nothing else mattered.

                                                                                                        THE END

And back to reality!  These photos are the result of a Steampunk elopement shoot I had originally planned for a late September Sunday at a different location.  Forced to postpone due to the abysmal weather forecast, those of us located closest to each other, namely Sonia, the make-up arist, (Sensual Passions), Noa Harpist and Tracey and Kevin, major players on the Steampunk scene (and all round good eggs), were keen to risk it.  We hurriedly hatched our plan B, a Spooky Season photo shoot amongst the atmospheric Priory ruins in Dudley.  

In spite of the deliberately dour expressions, we all had a blast and attracted a fair bit of attention on the day.  Numerous people stopped us to ask us about the shoot or requesting photos.

The hours passed quickly and the whole team brought their A game.  It's not every day you get to hang out with Dracula and his missus to the heavenly sound of harp music.  

Because my skills don't stretch to fading out a soundtrack and overlaying an alternative audio track, I'm sharing a clip here of Noa playing the Metallica classic.  Isn't she great?

Winter Peach Photography (@winter_peach_photography) | TikTok

Thanks to all involved for making a miserable Sunday so memorable!  


  1. Love these atmospheric photos, can almost hear the harp and the wind.

    1. Thank you Sarah!
      Hopefully you are able to play the little snippet of Noa playing. When she placed the harp on the ground, the sound of the wind hitting the strings and making its own strange music was ethereal!

  2. totally fabulous!!
    love a good spooky story and your athmospheric photos.... and i´m a bit envious of the fun you all had playing around those ruins :-D
    thanks for sharing with us! xxxxx

    1. Thanks Beate!
      I'm glad you appreciated it!
      Happy Halloween! xxx

  3. Loving the haunting story accompanied by your atmospheric photos. Fantastic!
    Well done, Claire and team. Happy Halloween! xxx

  4. Absolutely incredible photos, Claire - so atmospheric! Everyone looks wonderful, loving Noa's Metallica cover! xxx

    1. Thanks Vix. I loved hearing Noa's take on contemporary rock music! xxx

  5. What an amazing post! It reminds me of my own "Vampire Anniversary" photo-shoot that my husband and I did at the start of the pandemic (in case you missed it: - my pics don't compare to yours, of course). Your pics are amazing, Claire! I enjoyed the atmospheric prose (although I had to enlarge my screen fonts, gads, my eyes, ha).

    Good to see you, thank you for dropping by!

    1. Thanks Sheila! I just had a look at your post - what fun you had! You are both natural models - love how you got into character!
      I feel you on the print size. I'll go bigger next time! x

  6. Flying veils ahoy!!! What a wonderfully spooky hoot! Gorgeous pictures Claire xXx


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