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Thursday, 31 July 2008

Spot the Tardis in SL London

All those fans of Dr Who, the cult television series, will know that the Timelord never stays in one place for very long. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve heard a whisper that he has arrived in SL London again! Yes, he has been there before, but he has not been spotted, as his Tardis is capable of changing shape, like a chameleon changes colour, to merge into its surroundings. Well the Timelord has had a little bit of trouble and the word on the street says that the Tardis has malfunctioned, leaving it looking like, well, a Tardis! (an old Metropolitan Police Telephone Box) and the Timelord is desperately trying to get it repaired. Apparently it keeps rezzing into different locations in SL London, so with a bit of luck you may get a chance to catch it.

Virtually London (Lite) is offering a 100 Lindens to the first person who photographs the elusive Tardis in SL London this week and sends the picture to me (Janey Bracken) 'in world' by dragging and dropping the picture onto my profile. And no cheating, by the way, I have contact with the mysterious Timelord Oolon Sputnik, who will verify that this is the real Tardis and not one rezzed from another galaxy!! (picture must be sent by 6th August 2008).

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Hyde Park - An Urban Oasis in a Busy City

I’ve been continuing on my exploration of the London sims and have spent the past few days hanging out in Hyde Park, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. I’ve always thought of London as being a big, crowded city so was delighted to discover such a beautiful green space available for all Londoners and visitors to use as their own back yard. The first thing I did in Hyde Park was to visit the boat house, pick up a couple of oars and jump into a boat for a row on the Serpentine. It was certainly very invigorating and I surprised myself with my rowing prowess! But this was nothing in comparison to my diving ability, which I tested next at a little swimming area also on the Serpentine. Once I returned my boat back to its home I retrieved a swimsuit from my inventory and headed to the cordoned off part of the lake used for swimming. There on the diving board I executed the most amazing flips, swan dives, twists and the occasional belly flop thrown in for good measure. It was such fun! After all this activity I decided to slow down for a bit so I wandered along the foot paths, sitting for a while to watch the swans and ducks, swinging in a tire swing, lying on a blanket thoughtfully provided by the park owners, and sitting in a green house in the middle of the park, filled with tropical plants and orange trees. With a name like Hibiscus, you can easily imagine how pleased I was to find this little patch of the tropics. At the end of my visit I discovered a skydiving platform in the park (I had no idea skydiving was so popular in London, Janey recently wrote about going skydiving near Marble Arch), so before leaving Hyde Park I got my heart rate back up by going for a jump. Samuel Johnson once famously said that “when a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” While you may not get tired of London, it is certainly possible to get tired in London. Hyde Park “affords” us the opportunity to recharge our batteries so we can enjoy the more urban charms of Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Kensington refreshed and full of energy.

Hibiscus Hastings

Monday, 28 July 2008

'Shopping Saturday' in Mayfair

Do you love shopping? Well now you can do it in style!! This Saturday, 2 August, you are invited to SL Mayfair for a shopping experience to remember, you will travel from shop to shop by limousine, which is being supplied by the Mayfair management, and not a traffic warden in sight!! As well as the shopping experience you will get a chance to enter a raffle. The prize is a week in a penthouse apartment in SL Mayfair. I went to look at the spacious apartment and there are great views over the rooftops. The winner will enjoy being bang in the middle of Mayfair with easy access to the rest of trendy London. Regretfully, Mayfair tenants and management will be excluded from the raffle, but that doesn't mean their friends can't enter, so invite them all over to enjoy a fabulous day!!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Work Started at The Greyhound Pub

I was sitting in the office last night and it seemed quiet everywhere in the London sim, in fact not much going on anywhere as far as I could see. I thought I'd do a bit of writing but then saw another avatar some 50 metres away on my Mysti tool radar HUD (HUD or Heads Up Display is 'on screen' information about your surroundings or gadgets that you are using in the virtual world). I used my small map to locate the avatar and saw that he was just across the road so I thought I would take a look.

When I got downstairs I found that he was at the Greyhound Pub which is across the road from the virtual Daily Mail and General Trust building and also in the same position in real life. The basic structure of the pub is already there but the inside needs to be refurbished in SL. The handsome avatar I spotted went by the name of Gustavus Hapmouche and something about him seemed familiar although I had noted the name on a few builds before. He was busy starting to create the inside of the Greyhound, so I thought I would go and say hello.

Turned out I had met Gustavus before, but not as that particular avatar, and he said I could stay if I liked while he built, which was really nice of him, as I know building is hard work and takes a lot of concentration. I know that he is one of the finest builders in the grid, so it probably would not have phased him if I'd stayed, but I said I'd leave him to it but asked if I could take some photos, which he kindly agreed to.

Lots of people are interested in the Greyhound opening, its in a prime position for people like my boss Nikk, fellow reporter Hibiscus and me to go for a lunchtime drink and a cheese and tomato sandwich (plus a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, or if you are from the United States, chips not crisps!) so we can't wait till the pub opens. I know the grand opening is sometime in August, so I will try to follow the building as it goes along and keep you all informed.

Friday, 25 July 2008

London via Public Transport

While I live very far from London and am not able to visit as often as I would like, I have been fortunate in discovering London in Second Life (SL), so am able to get some of the London experience whenever I want. The London sim (sims, really) recreate the beautiful architecture and character of real life London very successfully and I was particularly pleased to see that the London buses and Tube were present and in working order, too. What better way to have an introduction to the city than by public transport!

To begin my explorations I first rode a double decker in Chelsea. I was able to find a seat on the upper deck (just click!) so had a great view. Chelsea seems to be the most residential area of all the London sims, and all sorts of accommodations are available, houseboats, town homes with enclosed gardens at the back, modern looking high rises (six storeys high) and a few magnificent large brick mansions. As well there are beautiful green spaces for sitting and thinking about life or about nothing at all.

While Chelsea appears to be more residential than neighbouring Knightsbridge and Mayfair, there are some commercial establishments too. After my bus ride, I checked out a row of shops and actually encountered one of the owners, Aston Spyker, putting together the displays in his tattoo shop. We had a nice little chat about his business, which includes some of his artwork upstairs as well as his body art downstairs. People are friendly in the London sims.

Visitors to the London sim are friendly, too. I had a great conversation, while on my bus ride, with an Australian, Boye Jervil (British expat and owner of a Pre-Raphaelite Gallery in SL) who was on a virtual visit of the capital. So take the bus, it is good for the environment and a great way to get your bearings. Plus, the bus even flies! The real life ones don’t. The Chelsea bus lifts up into the air for an up close and personal view of Big Ben (not the correct name, I know, but nevertheless the one we all use and in fact the one used on the signboard outside the tower).

After my adventures on the Chelsea bus, I was pleased to discover that there was a working underground which goes to Knightsbridge. So I hopped on that for the short trip over. That is the first working subway I have found in sl, and if it is indeed the first one altogether, it would only be appropriate since London is home to the world’s oldest subway system. This one is bright and clean, the only thing is you must be seated inside the car; otherwise it takes off without you, no standing passengers. It appears as if the owners of the London sims are getting ready to expand the system, there are tunnels going to Mayfair, with subway cars in the station, but they are not yet functional. This was a fun and easy way to introduce myself to London. I am looking forward to more exploring and maybe a little hanging out in the pubs. And just in case visitors want to feel truly a part of London, the sim owners have thoughtfully included an umbrella, with rain, in their freebie package, so now I can truly feel like a London girl.

Hibiscus Hastings

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Reporter Hibiscus Hastings

There will be a new face around SL London Town today, so be sure to make her welcome. I am pleased to say that CNN reporter Hibiscus Hastings will be writing stories for Virtually London (lite).

Hibiscus, who has been an experienced reporter with CNN since they entered Second Life in November 2007, is an 'in depth reporter' who has produced some excellent articles about Second Life and its residents

So if you spot Hibiscus as she finds her way around the city streets, say hello, ask her in for a cup of tea and tell her all about your life in SL London.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Mayfair Artists - Akibe Sixgallery Interview

I finally caught up with the brilliant Japanese Artist Akibe Sixgallery yesterday. Something I had wanted to do since I saw his wonderful work in his Mayfair Gallery at the beginning of the June Art Fair in SL Mayfair, London. Akibe uses Adobe Illustrator, 3D software and an Epson Printer to achieve his creations. I met up with him in his AKIBE Gallery. He told me that before using computer graphics he had worked using pastels and oils. He has been an artist since 1999, although he did paint as a child as well.

I asked Akibe how he describes his work, he told me that he draws beautiful Bezier Curves and expresses a Japanese sense of beauty by using new technology. And beautiful his work is. The graphics are clean areas of vibrant colours with shapes that only a professional artist could achieve. Using graphics, making it look as if he uses freehand to perfection with a paintbrush, rather than software, to make the curves flow into the shapes of the subjects. Although Akibe creates his work from his imagination, you can clearly see a link with nature, which he says he loves. He said that nature is the theme of Traditional Japanese Artwork.

One of his pictures is entitled ‘Myaku Myaku’ and Akibe tells me this means ‘Incessantly’ It’s a landscape with delicate colours twisting and turning to form the flora and fauna expertly blended into the scene.

Another one of his pictures entitled ‘Mutsumi’ shows a graceful bird and flower, the sleek curves and movement in the picture bring it to life. His picture called ‘Meisou’ is just incredible, the human head has a haunting quality about it and how well the curves come together to make the features, this would be a piece of work that you would never tire of, as it pleases the eye each time you look at it.

Akibe has achieved a great deal in the real world and listed below are details of his history:

1999 - JACA Japan Visual Art Award 1999 winner
2000 - JACA Japan Visual Art Award 2000 winner
2001 - Mukoujima Art Expo 2001 "KOTEN"
2002 - "HEART to ART vol.4" in Koenji
2003 - BUTAI-NINGEN" Stage Art
2005 - "HEART to ART vol.10" in Koenji
2007 - Art gallery "HITORI KOMORU" in Ginza Gallery House
2008 - Art gallery "MYAKU MYAKU" in Niigata Ikeda Kinen Museum

Akibe arrived in Second Life in November 2007 and he started his ‘in world’ galleries after buying virtual land. He says that Second Life gives him a nearly ‘world wide’ chance to display his work, saying that more people should come into Second Life as well. He is also inspired by artists Klimt and Ito Jakuchu. Akibe uses Second Life to have fun as well, making a good combination of enjoyment and business. Akibe’s web site is and you can visit his galleries ‘in world’ at

AKIBE 123/110/511

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Speakers' Corner

Have a chance to 'put the world to rights' in SL London. There is now a 'Speakers' Corner' set aside for SL Groups where you can meet up to have your say or just come and listen to others discussing their hot topics. England is traditionally known as a country of 'freedom of speech' and there has been a 'Speakers' Corner' in London since the right of free assembly was recognised in 1872 in the Royal Parks and Gardens Act.
Although Sunday mornings is the recognised time for the real life gatherings, where people get up on their 'soapbox' and talk about their political views or any other subjects that they care to talk about, you can usually find the discussions going on throughout the week as well.
Legend has it that Karl Marx, Lenin, George Orwell and William Morris had all used this spot in real life London to express their beliefs. 'Speakers' Corner' is located on the corner of Park Lane and Cumberland Gate, opposite the Marble Arch tube station. By the way a 'soapbox' is a raised platform and originates from the time when speakers would stand on a wooden box meant for holding soap. For information regarding using the SL 'Speakers Corner' send an IM message to Unsigned Writer 'in world' or email ''.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Skydiving In London!

Wandering through SL Mayfair I spotted a strange round object with a ring of seats on it. On closer inspection I saw it was a skydiving platform. I'd used one in SL a long time ago and still had the parachute in my inventory, so I decided to have a go and see if it was as good as I'd remembered. You are suddenly propelled up into the sky high above the city, even above the clouds and start to free fall, which feels like you are out of control.

It's ages since I used the parachute and I stupidly didn't read the instructions, I knew you had to type a word in text to get it to open, but tried 'Open' and nothing happened, so I continued to tumble to earth.

Then luckily it came to me, obvious when you think about it! the word was 'Pull' and suddenly the chute opened and I had the sensation of being pulled upwards as the chute slowed my speed down to an enjoyable pace. I'm not saying the word is the same with the parachutes you get in Mayfair, best to check before you leave the ground. I'm always the same, never read instructions when I can get myself into deep water by trying to guess how something works!!

As I fell slowly I reached the clouds above the city and the sky had a beautiful rosy glow to it. As it's SL you can set the time of day to anything you want, I usually go for sunrise or
sunset as the effects are stunning. However, it's worth trying midnight and midday as well, have a few goes to see what you like best.
Quite soon London Town was rushing up at me, tops of buildings zooming into view. What fun, as I landed back in Mayfair. I'll take a few friends back and have another go. I should imagine skydiving together would be a real buzz. Take yourself along to Mayfair and have a go, oh, and don't forget to read the instructions on how to open your chute before you leave the ground!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

SL London Couple get Married

Brie Janick and Seany1235 Blinker both work in the Underground Club, Knightsbridge. Brie is not only Head Host at the Club, but she is also the Knightsbridge sim Manager, so she is a very busy lady. I bumped into Seany, who works as a DJ and a Host at the Club and we got chatting. I had met Brie, but this was the first time I had spoken to Seany. I knew that Brie and Seany were an item in SL, but Seany went on to tell me that he and Brie had got married 2 weeks and 3 days ago! Brie joined us and she said that the wedding had been amazing and Seany agreed, saying it was a great day. Brie told me that the wedding took a lot of arranging, but it was fun picking her dress and doing all the other bits. They are a popular couple and all of their friends from the London sims attended the wedding.

Seany has just opened a shop just near the Underground Club. He has called it the 'House of Blinker' and he sells ladies clothes and boots as well as Neko items. I went over with them to have a look and he has made a good start with a nice selection of outfits and boots. He tells me that he also plans to design his own range of clothes in the near future. Seany and Brie are clearly a very happy couple and have lots of friends in SL London. You can usually find them having a good time down at the Underground Club. Check Seany’s shop out and get yourself some nice clothes. I wish to congratulate them both on their wedding and wish them the best of luck for the future.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

'Solitude' Short story by SL London Director Nala Tenk

One night, I was walking back home very late. The streets of Catford, South London were empty. Darkness and solitude surrounded me. I could only hear my footsteps. Doors closed, windows shut, trees sleeping. I liked this street. Long and wide, but not too much. Nice gardens. Semi-detached houses. As I kept on walking, I began to think about the stories that may fill each of those homes. The sight of lights from a couple of houses made me focus on them. The image made me slow my pace down. I found it funny. These detached houses share the wall that separates their lounge on the ground floor. There was light coming from both lounges. I was coming closer and I could distinctly see two people. One of them was a man sitting at a table. He seemed to be using a PC. The other one at the other house, a woman, was lying on her sofa. She seemed to be using a laptop. And I found this image so funny because if the wall dividing their houses had been removed at that very moment, they would have found themselves looking at each other's face, almost at their hands reach. But they didn't know it, and I was not going to knock at their doors to tell them. I just continued my way home with the image of these two people virtually looking at each other in my head. The man typed pressing the space bar longer than you have to. His words were too separate. He enjoyed his Second Life. He truly believed that he looked like his avatar very much... And so he let his girlfriend believe too. His girlfriend was very much in love with him. She thought he was special and typed smileys almost at the end of every line. When he was offline, she spent hours looking for clothes to please him, hours looking for romantic sims with slow dance poses, and hours and hours. She was totally addicted.

'One of these days, I'm going to find you in Real Life! :-)'
'One - of - these - days'
'Will you be around tomorrow then, love?' asked she, while wiggling her back to make her cushions in her sofa more comfortable.
'Not sure, but most probably', replied he jumping off his slow dance ball and then adding kisses and good night wishes...
A sad blue square popped out "Artemis Hound"'s screen: "Orion Imsohandsome is offline".
The lights in both lounges of both semi-detached houses went off.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Celebrating Bastille Day

There was plenty going on in SL London yesterday. Celebrations were taking place to honour Bastille Day, only in an English sort of way. People were invited to meet in Mayfair and it was requested that they dress in period costume to suit the era. I searched around for a long dress and a powdered wig, but couldn't find anything I liked. Then in one store I found a tricorn hat with white feathers in it, and to add to my joy it was free. Well I have a medieval costume, more like a boy's outfit, so it went nicely with the hat, bit of a cheat really, but it made riding my horse easier as I decided to ride round the sim to see how people were getting on. So I was going dressed as a bit of a peasant! When I arrived I was met by Brie Janick who had the prettiest period dress on in pastal colours. We were joined by Gloriana Congrejo who also had a beautiful blue dress fitting the occasion. People started to arrive, although not all in costume, but they were made very welcome by Brie. She explained that there was to be a Treasure Hunt, people had to find the French cakes and click on them for the clue of where to go next. The final cake at the last location would have some questions and the first person to answer them would be the winner of 1000 Lindens. Not only this, but the cakes all contained free stuff that you could collect on the way round. Nala Tenk arrived and she looked absolutely gorgeous, the dress was amazing, a blue satin underskirt with a blue and cream tapestry bodice and overskirt. Nala also had an elegant powdered wig to complete the outfit. After chatting with them I decided to take my horse around the sim to see how people were doing. I came across an amazing site, there was another fishing contest going on and I spotted a panda sitting among them. I went over and spoke to him, his name was Heromyth Magic and I asked him if he had been fishing, as it was unusual to see a Panda with a fishing rod, and he assured me he had, saying that so far he was winning and holding the gold cup at the present time. Good Luck to Heromyth, lets hope he can retain the cup until the end of the competition. There was also a prize for the best costume at the Underground Club, plus a firework display over in the Chelsea sim. All in all a great day in SL London.

Beautiful Big Ben

One of the nicest buildings in SL Chelsea is 'The Clock Tower', best known, although incorrectly, as 'Big Ben'. The real life Clock Tower is the biggest four-faced, chiming clock in the world. The tower is situated at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Big Ben is the name of largest bell inside The Clock Tower, although this is only a nickname, the official name of the bell is 'The Great Bell of Westminster' and its the third heaviest bell in England weighing 13.8 tonnes. As I pass SL Big Ben (which is really SL Clock Tower, but I'll call it Big Ben!!!) quite a lot, I noticed a new teleport station close by. It had a sign saying that you could now teleport to the top of Big Ben and see inside the clock. I clicked on the teleport button and was instantly transported to the bell room. (the top picture shows me looking over the balcony, I'm the dot circled in yellow on the left).

The Big Ben bell is an amazing sight with the four smaller bells all round, a really nice SL build, the architecture is stunning as well, not to mention the view from up there is worth going to see in itself. I noticed there was a staircase behind me so I went down to see what else I could find.

The room below takes you behind the actual clock faces and the detail is fantastic, plus you can still see the lovely view of the Thames and surrounding London buildings through the ornate dials. Take some virtual sandwiches and a flask of tea and stand out on the balcony and admire the reflection on the Thames at sunset, you'll be glad you paid Big Ben (or The Clock Tower!) a visit.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Reporters wanted for London Articles

I am pleased to say that I have been promoted from Assistant Editor to Editor (Yay!!) As part of my new post I’m now able to invite other avatars to write interesting stories and reviews about SL London. Any of you ‘Newshounds’ out there fancy sending an article to this blog? I would be pleased to receive your writings, plus a photograph or two to go with it. (Forward your article to me on a note card ‘inworld’ If the article is accepted (and there is a standard of acceptance!) then you will be paid 400 Lindens for each story, remember, it can be about anything you like (Fashion, work, clubbing, architecture, good things, bad things, relationships, touring, live gigs and anything else you think of) as long as it’s related to the London sims). Any queries please contact me inworld.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Fishing contest in Chelsea

There is a pretty stretch of the river Thames near SL Big Ben and the Swan Pub. Like the pub's name there are also a few swans swimming there and you can feed them from a little box on the shore which contains the swan food. On Tuesday I saw a notice announcing that there was a fishing contest to be held along that part of the embankment, as it's not far from my houseboat I had a stroll down there to have a look. I spotted avatar Kwame Oh, (Kwame is the Landlord of 'The Greyhound' Pub, Kensington W8 in real life and the SL version of the Greyhound which is opening soon). Kwame was having a go at fishing, but said hello and told me all about the contest, that's him sitting next to the winners' cups. The contest was to go on for 24 hours until the winners were announced. I popped back now and again to check how things were going, and just like Kwame said, it was a 24 hour event and they were even fishing in the dark at one stage. I was joined by one of my friends Ruskin Thor who also had a go at fishing, and it seemed a very popular competition, as quite a few avatars seem to be turning up to try their luck. I went back when it was all over to see who had won. Congratulations to to Gold Cup winner Akamu Lurra and Biggest Fish winner Kol Triellis!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Phoenix J Plays Live in Second Life

When Phoe Nix sang live in SL Piccadilly Circus a few weeks ago, I had trouble with my sound and only heard a few seconds of each song, but I knew from those few moments that she had a beautiful voice and a lot of talent.

I got in touch with her and agreed to catch one of her future gigs, I also asked her if I could have a chat with her about her Second Life and real life careers. I went over to see Phoe, and we were joined by her SL friend Surazeus Thor, at ‘Phoenix Mountain’

Phoe, (known in real life as Phoenix J) who was born in Singapore and now lives in Britain, has been singing for about 15 years. She had started out singing in school choirs and small choral groups. She soon went on to take solo roles within the groups.

She told me that she later studied Mass Communications at college where she met some studio producers. This led her to being invited to work with them on some pop and rock music projects. In the meantime she had started to put together her own recording studio, writing her own songs. From her studio she produced ‘jingles’ for TV and radio, whilst working on her solo album. To date she has released two solo albums independently on her own label.

Phoe tells me that she worked with the London based band Greenhaus on their third album 'Your Not Alone' I listened to a sample of the album on her web page at and her rendering of the title song is beautiful and full of atmosphere.

Phoe told me that she is toying with the idea of releasing an album of covers of great rock songs, but with her own style and treatment of the songs. Phoe continues to write her own music, however, and Surazeus has written the lyrics to three of them so far as well.

I asked Phoe why she decided to come into Second Life. She told me that, although she had heard about it from other sources, she had later read a fiction novel that referred to it and decided to explore. Phoe Nix was not her first avatar, the original avatar she had used had experienced trouble with ‘griefers’ (bullies who use weapons and tricks on new people) and she gave up SL. As she had always had her music in the back of her mind she came back to try again, and this time Phoe Nix was created.

Phoe played her first SL gig on the 2 May 2008 and hasn’t look back since. She says that SL is a fantastic opportunity to reach a wider audience for her music, and it sure is, considering the coverage is worldwide.

I asked her where she hoped to go in SL with her music career and she told me that in the virtual world there is increasing exposure for her music and SL shows are a great rehearsal for her, a testing ground for what works with people. And work it certainly does, I went to her gig after our interview and my sound was working fine this time. She sang accompanying herself on the piano and her voice is sweet and pure, as well as having strength. She sang a range of her own songs, each one well received by the SL audience, ending with a cover of John Lennon’s Imagine. Phoe Nix’s music would appeal to any audience and Second Life is lucky that she decided to come back into the virtual world and share it with us.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Great Choice For London Fashion

I’m glad to say that we are being spoiled for choice in SL London as more shops are opening for business. Just across the road from my houseboat at the Chelsea moorings, Minx Mazie has opened her shop ‘Minx!’ with some great ladies fashions. Minx intends to sell her own designs as time goes on. Her partner Win Zeevi has also opened a men’s’ clothing shop ‘Win!’ right next door, so go and check the both of them out at the same time.

Cher Demonge who owns the ‘Bonjour’ chain of boutiques, has opened another bigger store to include his furniture and kitchen designs. He has managed to acquire one of the finest addresses in Knightsbridge, One Hyde Park, just across from the London Underground Club, so take a peep after you have been boogying the night away.

Kirsty Oherlihy and Fred Kenorland have just opened a store in Mayfair, DYN Clothing, I had a look and they have some great outfits for men and ladies, a nice trendy looking range of clothing for all occasions.

Another great store in Mayfair is SF Designs owned by Swaffette Firefly, Swaffette has a beautiful range of both men’s and women’s designs, roll on next payday!!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Metaverse Meetup

Fancy a pint? 14th of July at 5pm?

We’ll be at the RL ‘Greyhound’ pub in Young Street, in the shadow of the RL/SL Daily Mail offices in Kensington, London [RLURL] that mirrors the one in SL [SLURL], 5pm onwards.

A good SL friend of mine (and Saville Row SL London resident) Terry Lightfoot is coming to the UK all the way from California. Terry, myself, and many others coming from as far afield as Scotland, Spain, The Midlands etc. will be meeting up for a quick drink in London as Terry passes through on her way north.

Our hard-working friend Kwame Oh (who works at the RL pub as well as running it’s SL counterpart) has a table or two booked for us, and a healthy group discount sorted for us. Any questions, IM myself (Nikk Huet) or Kwame in-world :-)

Hope to see you there. Mines a Guinness. "Cheers".

Debs Regent's Vision for SL London

I’d seen Debs Regent out and about talking to people and helping them if they had a problem. I finally caught up with Debs and invited her back to my office for a chat. It’s not easy for Debs to have some free time, as she is constantly in demand. Not surprising as Debs Regent is the owner of the sites that make up the fantastic SL London.

Debs told me that she joined SL in October 2006. Her real life friend had told her that SL was awesome, so Debs decided to see for herself. She told me that in the beginning she found SL daunting, she had looked around and felt that she didn’t have anywhere to belong to. Her friend had found her niche in one of the role-playing sims, but this didn’t appeal to Debs. It wasn’t long however, before Debs found her very own place in SL.

Due to real life reasons, Debs had been staying in the real life Knightsbridge in London. One day she had met her friend for lunch at Harvey Nichols and they shopped along Brompton Road. She told me it was a lovely day and it was one of her favourite shopping districts in London. So this was where they had the idea to build the first London sim, which was to be Knightsbridge.

Real life circumstances meant that Debs could not wander far from her house for a whole year and she told me that SL was really a lifesaver. She says that SL brings the outside ‘inside’ for people in these sorts of situations.

Debs has a nice easy manner and is good with people, she told me she studied Psychology in real life, so the way people interact with each other in SL fascinates her. To say ‘Debs is busy all the time’ is an understatement, she is in demand as soon as she logs on, answering messages from people and solving problems about the running of SL London. Luckily she has a good support team of Directors and Managers, but Debs is still the one to make the final decisions.

Of course since she created Knightsbridge, she has added Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair and the latest Hyde Park site. I asked her if she planned to add other areas, and to my amazement she produced a map showing her plan to expand London on all sides around the original sims. I was absolutely awestruck, a blueprint of the real London to be lovingly copied into SL, keeping as close to it’s original features as possible, is amazing and so exciting.

Debs Regent is a lady full of ideas, as well as being truly inspirational about her SL London Project and it was an honour to meet her and share her dreams for the future.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Gay Pride at London Underground Club

The London Underground Club in SL Knightsbridge was swinging Saturday night with a ‘Come dressed as Cher evening’ to celebrate Gay Pride day. There were fantastic prizes to be won for the best dressed Cher look-alikes. Even the DJ Taliesin Silverstar sported a great Cher outfit, although the beard and moustache were a dead give away! Everyone was up and dancing, I even dyed my hair black and boogied on down for the evening. It didn't matter if you are gay or straight, all avatars were welcome. The celebration was hosted by Manager Annie Paulse who made sure everyone had a great time.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Take a Stroll in SL Hyde Park

SL London is growing all the time and Hyde Park has now been added to the beautiful city. I went over there yesterday and it all looks enchanting. I spotted Fennel Mimistrobell (who is known as Nell) and I stopped to talk to her. Nell is probably one of the busiest people I know in SL. She is the Estate Manager for the London sims and also runs True Brits, (events group for British people) as well as British Mentors the group for official SL British Mentors. Nell had been working hard, she told me that she had created the whole Hyde Park site in just 3 days. What an achievement! it is a truly wonderful location and a must to visit.

As well as some elegant buildings and some great places for a picnic, there is a stables block. You can ride your horse down 'Rotten Row', an SL version of the track in the real life Hyde Park, where people have been riding their horses for decades. There is the serpentine lake (where Nell is pictured above, standing on the bridge). Boats are available nearby for rowing up and down the lake

I went back to Hyde Park again today, with my friend Drax Ember, to explore some more. We spotted some swings, and like a couple of kids we had to have a go!! Walking over to the lake, we decided to take the boat out for a while. Well its a good job Drax is strong and doesn't mind rowing, we set quite a pace up and down the lake, with the environment 'in world' set to sunset you get a beautiful reflection on the water's surface and the whole thing takes on a magical glow.
I felt a bit mean making Drax do all the rowing while I just sat enjoying the ride, but I think he enjoyed it too. We will be going back there for another visit. Nell told me that Hyde Park will be a place where newbies will be arriving eventually, and there will be lots of information for them about SL on the site. Nell has certainly built a fantastic Hyde Park and I'm sure it will be a favourite place for newbies and older avatars alike.