Friday, 30 October 2009

Old Bert's Day Off

Old Bert quickly settled into his new routine, going off to work, playing trivia and continuing to explore the metaverse. At the end of one workday (and a very jolly workday it had been since it involved testing beer!) Old Bert decided to take a peek at the Nation of Victoriana, a sim he had found while checking profiles. He enjoyed thematic sims, so he was very much looking forward to this little outing.

The Nation of Victoriana is a collection of sims created in the style of the Victorian period. It is a beautifully built place, done with great attention to detail by the owner and mayor, LittleBlackDuck Lindsay. Old Bert tp’d to Victoriana Square, the heart of the sims, arriving at the train station.

Facing the station and right in the center of the square was a large community hall. Surrounding the square were shops, galleries and a pub. After everything had rezzed Old Bert began to stroll around. As he got to the far side of the square he came across the start of a fox hunt, one of the monthly events held in the sim. It was a colourful scene; Old Bert made sure to stand off to the side so as not to be trampled as the hunt began. He happened to be next to an art gallery and since he was something of an aficionado he entered and had a look around, admiring the many fine artworks on display. Finding himself to be rather tired after his full day at work (!) Old Bert decided to return home and explore Victoriana more thoroughly another time.

On his next day off, Old Bert returned to Victoriana. Being a person drawn to the sea, he started off at Victoriana Harbour.

Next he went to Victoriana Carnivale, a great funfair. There were lots of games and rides for him to try – he played the coconut shy, tried the SLeeBall at which he scored 220, not bad for a first try, took a turn on the Big Wheel and went for a ride on the carrousel. He felt a bit dizzy after that and decided it was time to continue on, so he walked through Victoriana Forest and came to the entrance of the big maze at Victoriana Hedgemaze.
Old Bert spent quite a bit of time trying to find his way around and at the end felt a bit tired and hungry. As he emerged from the maze he noticed a pretty young woman tending the flowers next to a building, which fortuitously turned out to be a tea room.

Old Bert asked her if the tea room was open and was happy to hear that it was. He went inside and chose from the delectable array of food on display which the young woman brought to him along with a reviving cup of tea. Much fortified, Old Bert then continued on to Victoriana Square and the Pre-Raphaelite Gallery which he had visited the day he had seen the hunt.

As Old Bert approached the gallery he noticed a sign in the window saying “Help Wanted”. This gave Old Bert pause. He had enjoyed his time in the gallery and was quite familiar with the art on display. While he liked the work he was currently doing he found it to be physically tiring. Walking into the gallery Old Bert began to wonder “What if I applied for this job?”

With thanks to Boye Jervil for the pictures of Old Bert.

Hibiscus Hastings

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Amazing Enchantment Island

Many of the places you visit in SL have nothing much going on, although a lot of work has been put into making the sims eye catching and pretty, most are just nice gardens or beach resorts. It was with this thought in mind that I teleported over to somewhere called Enchantment Island, but how wrong could I be about this sim!

Enchantment Island has so many sights and things to do that you will have to go back time and time again in case you have missed something. Owner BambiTwice Nitely must be one of the most creative people in SL, she has crammed so much into the Island and all of it well worth seeing.

On arrival, as you click the notice board which shows all the attractions, you are given a notecard with a list of the places and landmarks to use, so it's nicely organised and you can visit each place without getting lost (which was helpful to me, because I usually get totally lost whilst exploring!).

On the Island there is the Great Marine Adventure with a Treasure Hunt and a large selection of marine life to see, including some free gifts on the way too. You can also visit the Swampy Marsh, The Museum of Amazing Illusions, go on a Sub-aqua Tour, visit the Ghost House, Alchemist's Grotto, Cave of Dreams, The Eerie Woodland Glade, the Museum of Surrealism, plus you can experience a Mega-Bubble-Mania ride. Also on the Island there is the Club Tornada and Community shops, which sell some mystical and wonderful items.

I went over to the haunted house and instantly fell down into a trap just outside the front door, it was a ditch full of spiders, not for the faint hearted! I climbed out and went into the haunted house, which was fun. Inside there is an entrance to an 'Adult' rated crypt which lies below the house, and I ventured down there with a little apprehension in respect of what I would see. You have to be age verified before you can enter this part, and choosing one of the three doors, I fell down into what looked like the inside of someones gullet. I was met with some gruesome sights there! It was more difficult climbing back up, but I made it in the end. Just outside the haunted house there is a small graveyard with some wacky headstones bearing inscriptions such as 'Not Over My Dead Body' and 'Bye' etc. There's also a memorial to Michael Jackson as well.

I moved on to see what the Museum of Amazing Illusions had in store, and this was fantastic. Bambi is exhibiting other SL inventor's works in the museum and there are many interactive things to do. I became a giant spider in one illusion and in another I lost my head in a bowl of fruit and hoped no one else came by fancying such an odd looking apple!
I met one of the museum security guards, Alf Brun, who was having a nap, or I thought he was, but he was very alert when I spoke to him. It did cross my mind that he might want to go out for a drink with our very own Old Bert, as they looked a similar age, I will have to introduce them one day! Alf told me about the other Museum on the Island called The Museum of Surrealism and he said that the Mega-Bubble-Mania ride was also great to go on. Saying goodbye to Alf, and letting him nod off again, I went on my way and came across a Hall of Mirrors. This was really nice, lots of things to look at again, including a little train travelling around the room with it's deep reflection in the shiny marble surface of the floor.

I had to go back to real life, but came back later with my friend Drax Ember who liked the sim as well. We explored the Museum of Surrealism, which had some amazing exhibits including a copy of Andy Warhol's sofa, shaped like a pair of red lips. We had a little sit down before moving on to the caves and finally to the Mega-Bubble-Mania ride. Alf was right, this ride is not to be missed, it was very exciting and well done, Drax and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Give yourself plenty of time to go and explore BambiTwice Nitely's incredible SL world. I promise you, you won't be bored wandering around Enchantment Island!

Janey Bracken

Monday, 26 October 2009

Flesh Eating Vultures and Corpse Love

I went on more haunted travels and ended up in a place called Looter's Ghost Town and Abandoned Mine, which is well worth a visit! I found two great, well grisly, I suppose, animations there. Two skeletons laying side by side, pictured above, were actually passing the rose back and forth between them, it was sort of very sad to watch and quite touching too!
Nearby were a couple of vultures and this was really gruesome, they had a little skeleton in front of them and one of the vultures was picking the remaining flesh off of it's bones. Halloween is certainly bringing out some creepy SL sights!
Janey Bracken

Friday, 23 October 2009

Home Time

At five o' clock my day's work is through and one last visit to the communal loo....

I jump on my bike and shout ‘hooray’, I’ve remembered my surgical saddle today....

A pie for dinner, what a selection, this one is worthy of inspection.....

I stop at the pub for a glass of beer, monks and all sorts come in here.....

Home at last I watch TV, sit on my bench and drink my tea....

Night draws on and so to bed, I have no sheets, the cold I dread....

Boye Jervil

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Ghostly Fun At Willow Grove

As Halloween is getting closer I decided to look around the grid for some haunted places and I liked the sound of one called Willow Grove Haunted House, so I teleported over and landed in a space just outside the building. I took the offered notecard which advised me that this was not a house that you walked around, it was a ride, and you had to rez a pumpkin car by clicking the sign.

After clicking, the pumpkin car arrived, and there was room to take a few friends too, as each car holds 5 avatars, I should imagine a crowd would have a lot of fun at Willow Grove. The ride was quite amazing, I have no idea how long it took the owners to build this maze of rooms that you go through, but there is a lot to it. Set your environment settings to midnight and sit back and be terrified. I won’t go into too much about what you will see, as it would spoil it, the same with the pictures that I have here, there is much, much more going on and it’s very blood thirsty indeed in parts. I thought I had reached Hell in one room and just about managed to cross it without the car catching on fire. The noises are scary too!! All in all, a well-done haunted house if you don’t mind too much blood and gore!

Janey Bracken

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Romantic Avilion

Come thee gently down to the lush green woods and thou will spy the faeries play, gossamer wings of rainbow hues float daintily as the sprites and elfins dance to the sound of the soft breeze rustling through the fallen leaves. Linger a while to savour the scene, handsome knights in armour and maidens fair, wild forest flowers adorning their long and lustrous hair. These are met peaceably with large scaly, fiery dragons, wisdom written in their soulful eyes, as fireflies appear like tiny glowing orbs of light, born upon the air.

Avilion Mist in Second Life has been around since October 2006 and it is a Medieval Fantasy role-play sim. Avilion has stood the test of time and remains a very popular and interesting place to visit. You are required to dress in medieval garb, (late 16th century to early 17th century) and address your fellow players according to the language used in that period, welcoming them with “Greetings” upon meeting them, or “Safe paths” on their departure. The legend has it that the lands of Avilion have been shrouded in a mist and have been hidden away from the rest of the world for hundreds of years. Therefore its inhabitants were unaware of the changes happening beyond their lands, and lived in peace and harmony without outside influences. In recent times though, the mist has faded and travellers have entered Avilion and Avilion residents have travelled to the outside world. However, the magic of Avilion is very strong and its people have kept to their traditions and ancient way of life, resisting new world ways.

In Avilion people and creatures, such as dragons and fairies, live happily side-by-side and visitors are made very welcome. This sim bares little resemblance to the harsher role-play sims like Gor and Urban gangster sites. Avilion is a gentle place with beautiful settings, the sort of place a Knight would be pleased to take his Lady to. In Avilion Grove there is the Castle Grand Ballroom for that lovely night out with a beloved. Elegantly and exquisitely built, the Ballroom is an ideal setting for romance.

If you want to try immersive Second Life role-play Avilion would be a great place to start, it’s friendly and welcoming and frequently populated. Don’t forget to dress the part though, and learn how to speak once you are there. You can obtain some free costumes on entry, and in respect of the ladies clothes, I found the free gowns to be very pretty and nice to keep.
Janey Bracken

Friday, 16 October 2009

Old Bert The Worker

"I wake up every morning when the clock strikes eight. I'm always punctual never never late"

"With a nice cup of tea, a little round of toast, the Sporting Life and the Winning Post"

"I gets all nice and tidy then I toddle off to work",

"I do the best I can".

"Still I'm only a doing what a bloke should do, cause I'm only a working man".

Boye Jervil

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Pregnant Avatar Visitor

It must be those hormones, something only women could understand!! Sitting in my office I saw a newbie girl outside, yes brand new and about 8 months pregnant. She looked listless and suddenly took her clothes off and stood there in her underwear. She then tried on different outfits in the street, and couldn’t make up her mind what to wear. I expect when you are so heavily pregnant it must be a job finding something that feels comfortable.

A newbie boy teleported into the area, took one look at the pregnant girl and darted into the first shop he came across to get away (it was a women’s dress shop, so I figured he was trying to escape!). The pregnant girl followed him in and approached him, he hurried away with her in hot pursuit, and in the end he teleported out. Perhaps the poor girl is looking for a father for her unborn child, who knows….
Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Roach and Garciella's Neko Wedding

I went to a very special wedding yesterday, it was a Neko wedding. Nekos in Second Life are half cat and half human, and the wonderful couple, groom Roach Benelli and his lovely bride Garciella Werefox, have chosen to live their virtual lives as Nekos. I had the wedding invitation that stated that guests could wear anything they wanted, providing they had a tail and cat’s ears. So I made sure I was dressed for the part as I teleported over to the venue.

The wedding was held at Rhythm in Heaven in the Hart and Sole sim and it was just right for a Neko wedding, like something out of a fairytale, but not overdone, the chapel was sweetly decorated with little stone benches and roses trailing around the small pavilion where the bride and groom read their vows to each other. The best man, who was in fact a lady, was Willow Cascarino and the very pretty bridesmaid was Treasure Vhargon.

The clothing for Neko daywear is usually styled on grunge and Roach and Garciella’s wedding clothes were more in keeping with this, rather than the traditional white wedding dress and tux. They looked amazing though, both having so much detail to their costumes, right down to their ear piercings and studded footwear.

The small wedding party of close friends was just the right size for the sim, although conditions were a little laggy, it was fine and people could move around without any trouble. After the in-world wedding service, which was taken by Draham Muircastle, the happy couple took to the dance floor, as the guests congratulated them.

Roach and Garciella seem absolutely devoted to each other, and I would like to wish them a long and very happy marriage.

Janey Bracken