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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Begging To Be Let Out!!

People who trespass into our homes in SL London can be a pain, but sometimes they can be comical as well, as proved yesterday. I was in my apartment and Hibiscus was in hers, which is just below mine. Our other neighbour JDDM was upstairs above me in his home.

I was chatting to Hib in IM when she suddenly had an intruder arrive, he just let himself straight into her living room. Hib, who still had a lovely ball gown on from going out earlier, sat on her sofa and the intruder, a guy called Wapeto, stood in front of her brandishing a sort of cutlass thing. He looked like something out of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ with his pirate outfit, complete with black Halo.

Cool Hib started up the conversation and I’m afraid I couldn’t resist joining in, the chat went as follows:
Hibiscus – Hi
JDDM – u speaking to me?
Wapeto – yes
Hibiscus – You like the Opera?
Wapeto – yes
Hibiscus – Oh good!
Wapeto – it’s good
Hibiscus – is there one on now?
Wapeto – I don’t know
Hibiscus – Oh
Wapeto – Know sorry
Wapeto – give me a favour please
Hibiscus – thought maybe that is why you were here
Hibiscus – yes, what?
Wapeto - can I have 20LS please?
Wapeto – I need them please
Hibiscus – what will you get with 20
JDDM – lol
Wapeto – why ejected me?
Janey – LOL
Hibiscus – no, not yet
Hibiscus – maybe in a while, this is a private home
Janey – let me get some pictures Hib

With this, Wapeto, feeling very uncomfortable, started heading for the door very quickly.

Hibiscus – you shouldn’t just come in and ask for money.
Wapeto – oo sorry
Hibiscus – ok, I will let you out
Hibiscus – sure there is no opera on now?
Janey – Begger makes front page!
Hibiscus – I am all dressed for it
Wapeto – where are the door?
Janey – lol
Hibiscus (opening the door for him) – here you go
Wapeto – OK THANKS
Hibiscus – hey, we could have all taken up a collection here, could have got at least 60.
Janey – lol, get my boot more like!!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Preparation for Chelsea Gig

Preparations were going on for the Guns and Roses Tribute Band concert in SL Chelsea yesterday. The gig is planned for the 11 April at 2pm-4pm (SLT) (10pm-Midnight GMT). Busy team members Brie Janick, Seany1235 Blinker, TD Reinard and Clive Hissop were inspecting the platform that they plan to hold the gig on. It is a raised platform, hovering above the Chelsea sim, level with the clock face of Big Ben, which will look quite spectacular, as the clock will make a great backdrop for the group.

Brie and the team were just rezzing the platform to see what needed doing and then they will de-rez it, putting it out of sight until just before the concert. Brie had the good manners of sending a notice around to the Chelsea tenants advising them of the platform’s presence in the sky near Big Ben and why it was there. Not surprisingly some people started to complain in open chat about the platform being there. It turned out that they were not even residents in Chelsea and I think they ought to stand back and just consider how much work the London team do to bring free entertainment to SL London for everyone to enjoy. I am a resident and I think we are privileged to have people who look after us the way the team do. I am sure the concert will be a great success. Brie also has plans to have a Def Leppard gig in the near future, which should also be a great event.

Someone in chat pointed out that people should be away from their computers on the 11 April to demonstrate in real London to coincide with the G20 summit. I’m not to sure if there are real life demonstrations going on that day (the 11th is a Saturday and I think the G20 is over by then), but the gig in SL is not scheduled until 10pm in the evening, so I would imagine that most people would be able to make it.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Guns and Roses Tribute Band Date

I saw them at SL Woodstock a couple of weeks ago, and the Guns and Roses tribute band went down a storm. SL London Director Brie Janick told me yesterday that she has booked them to play in SL Chelsea on the 11th April. The time and the place in Chelsea has yet to be arranged, but I will let you know as soon as I hear. Remember, it's the 11th April so keep it free and come along to see one of the greatest bands in SL.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Interview With Designer Estelle Parnall

Those of you who read our blog regularly, may remember an article I wrote a short while back. To refresh your memories, Virtually London lite’s editor, Janey Bracken gave Hibiscus Hastings and I L$500. With the instruction to go out into the clothes shops of SL London, and see how much we could get for our money. After many hours of shopping Lost Dreams of Mayfair became a clear winner for me. Not so much because you got lots of extras in your purchase! but simply because I was blown away with the styles and quality of Lost Dreams designs.

Well that was several weeks ago now, and I thought it was about time that I got in touch with Estelle Parnall, the owner of Lost Dreams and see if she would like to drop by our office for a little chat. Now getting in touch with her was the easy part, but sorting out a time was proving to be a little tricky. 'Why?' I hear you ask, well unbeknown to me Estelle lives in Australia, and to see her at a suitable time in London I would have to work the night shift, and we all know I need as much beauty sleep as I can get! At last we sorted out a conveniently mutual time.

Estelle turned up at the office slightly early and was wearing, to my surprise, one of the outfits I bought from Lost Dreams when I was on my mammoth shopping quest, she looked fantastic. Estelle apologised for turning up early and was very complimentary about our office. I asked Estelle how long had she been in business in Second Life? "Well" she said, "in clothes since last November, so that's around five months". So Lost Dreams isn't your first business in Second Life? "Not really" she replied," I had some art galleries, and I decided to make sculpted picture frames, I thought they were something new! turns out they weren’t lol. Then I got an island with a friend and did the rental thing! it was then that I opened my first Lost Dreams". Do you design all your outfits yourself, and what inspires you? I enquired. "Yes I design everything" Estelle replied, "I really enjoy my work and get inspiration from everywhere I look, from magazines, television or sometimes I just have to touch a fabric and an image appears in my mind, sometimes its the texture, or just what ever adapts to the avatar well". I wanted to know how business is, and is she busy? "Business is really great" she told me, "it just keeps getting better and better all the time. Last week was phenomenal, especially with the fashion fair". "That's really good because I love your designs, as you know lol" I said. "Thanks so much" she replied, "its a really nice feeling when people like something I've created". I asked Estelle "what was it that made her first start designing". "Well" she thought for a while---"I'm not really sure, I just kept learning more and more about Second Life, and clothes seemed the next 'big' thing. I thought about houses and furniture, you can only have so much of those things but everyone needs clothes, we all like fashion". (try telling that to the naturist!)

"What made you choose SL London?" I asked? "Oh I love London" Estelle replied, "The people are so friendly and there's always plenty of traffic (avatars), you are always going to be surrounded by quality designers, and not forgetting the prestige. I don't think I could have chosen a better place for my first clothes shop, I mean as soon as I opened my first shop in SL London I immediately had plenty of sales". Estelle has a web link and you can catch her at: http//

"Do you design your clothes with a certain age range in mind?" I enquired. "Not really, I tend to design what I would like to wear, some of my clothes are a little on the conservative side, but there is a big market out there for that", I wanted to know how Estelle felt when she sold her first item "I still get a thrill even to this day when something sells" she said, "its such a buzz, especially when people come back". I know Lost Dreams can be a very busy shop, I needed to ask Estelle if she needed to employ anyone? "No I don't normally, but there is a fashion parade coming up next week and I do have someone helping me to get ready for that". Estelle has promised to let me know where and when this fashion parade is to be held, as I would love to cover it. "Do you have a best selling item, something that really sold well?" I asked Estelle. "Yes I have" Estelle explained, "there was a little tartan dress from my earlier designs that sold really well, and the retro dresses seem to be very popular". I asked Estelle if she had not turned her talents towards designing clothes, what else would she have done in Second Life? and without hesitation she replied "Probably still going out, socialising and slowly going broke", she laughs! Estelle's real life work is completely different to her Second Life work. In real life Estelle works in finance as an IT manager. She is also involved in her families building business.

I asked Estelle if she thought it was a good thing that she could use Second Life in this way for business. "Yes" she said, "first of all it’s fun, then its lucrative, and the possibilities are endless. I think the crossover between Real Life and Second Life is very interesting, and the most challenging. I hope to open more shops in the future, but probably with a different brand, maybe something like lingerie or even urban wear? I'm not sure yet. I don't like large stores, and I don't think many others do either" Estelle went on to explain. "I think everyone in Second Life is in love, or at least looking for love, you just have to read their profiles! trust me, lingerie is here to stay". Meeting Estelle Parnall turned out to be a real pleasure for me. She is the sort of person who makes you feel good on the inside, and her clothes certainly make you look good on the outside, you could say she has everything covered!

Pixi Piers

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Cameron's New Look

Hibiscus and I had lots of fun on Wednesday, we had been chased from sim to sim by Seany who was restarting each one to get rid of lag (well Seany wasn’t literally chasing us!!). We ended up in SL Mayfair and stood chatting on the corner, when a newbie, Cameron Forsythe, came up to us to say hello. Cameron who had arrived in Second Life the day before, looked every inch a newbie with his neat haircut and brown shirt.

Cameron proved to be a very interesting person and we had quite a discussion about places of interest to visit in SL. I told Cameron that it was best to change his appearance as soon as possible as there were so many clones of his avatar about in SL. I also pointed out the fact that not everyone gives newbies a welcome throughout the grid and that it was a good reason to improve his appearance. Hibiscus then suggested to Cameron that I liked giving people make-overs, well suppose I do a bit, and I suddenly thought of the Freebie Skins in the Burlington Arcade. With Cameron’s agreement we all went over there so he could pick up his new look.

Cameron picked one of the skins that also had free hair, eyes and clothes all thrown in and I told him to click them to wear them. Silly me, I forgot that it may be boxed and poor Cameron stood there with the box attached. Getting rid of the box, we explained to him that some things have to be opened before they can be worn and Hib found a sandbox so that Cameron could open his stuff.

The skin and hair looked really good on him except that he was very short for a man. Hibiscus told him how to go into 'appearance' and make himself taller, which he did and he looked quite presentable in his new outfit. He told us he was really after a corporate look, wanting to dress more formally. So we explored a few free places and found some business suits in the end, that were just a few dollars. It was a good investment as Cameron looked a million dollars in his new suit. We left him looking around, I hope he found some nice shoes to match.

We told Cameron about the great social life in SL London and the Underground Club where everyone is so friendly. I expect he will come back to the London sims to enjoy some of his time in SL there. So if you see a very well turned out and handsome avatar called Cameron say ‘Hi’ Thanks Cameron, for putting yourself in our hands, you were a good sport!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The UGC Launch Party

The Underground Club was the site of two big parties during the last week. The first was the St. Patrick’s Day party on March 17. The club was packed, and it was a wonderful way for everyone to celebrate not only the holiday, but also to say goodbye to the old club, because not long after the newly decorated club was put in place.

The new club is open and cool looking, with blue a predominating colour on the center of the floor (which changes design periodically) and behind the dj’s booth. The ceiling seems much higher and the whole interior looks brighter, too, due to the huge glass windows on two sides, etched with London scenes. The Union Jack appears throughout, on the front of the dj’s booth and over the bar, and there is even a London phone booth tucked away at the back of the host area, leaving no doubt that this is a London club.

The re-launch party was kicked off by dj Boone Blanco and host cutewillow Carlberg. Avatars crammed in, dancing and chatting, all to dj Boone’s great music. A best in dancewear contest was held, Clive Hissop won the men’s prize and the ladies’ prize was shared by Isabella Elcano and Suzi Gravois. Next up was dj Brie Janick and host Emmah Skytower, who kept things going, with a colourful costume contest and Brie’s dance music, although Brie did move away from dance to play Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” for Pink Bachem. The male winner of the colourful outfit contest was Clive Hissop, in a subtle interpretation of the theme with his black on black choice of clothing, whereas the female winner, Jaine Avro, went with a more traditional approach, as a beautiful rainbow coloured butterfly. Congratulations to both. Estelle Parnall of Lost Dreams donated two dresses for prizes and two pairs of boots were provided by Zhao shoes.The new club looks fabulous, thanks to the work of all concerned. It was designed by TD Reinard, who is also responsible for some of the other builds in SL London. He has done an outstanding job on the new UGC. Nils Tomorrow created the beautiful new uniforms. However, the heart of the club is in the people there and that remains unchanged. The Underground Club is still the best place in SL to meet friends and have a great time.

Hibiscus Hastings

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Griefer Tries to Play Race Card

Arriving in SL Knightsbridge Sunday night, I could see a group of people up near the roof of one of the buildings behind the main thoroughfare. As I approached I could see someone actually standing on the roof with members of the SL London team hovering in the air in front of him. As I got closer I could see team members Seany1235 Blinker, Clive Hissop, Elizabetta Westland and Xstorm Radek. Seany was talking in ‘voice’ to the avatar on the roof, a Mr Babii. There was a heated discussion going on as Babii accused the London team of ejecting him because he was Scottish in a London sim. Seany strenuously denied this and rightly so, all visitors are made welcome to the London sims whatever their nationality.

As I listened it appeared that Babii had allegedly been causing grief in the sim by driving his police style vehicle into other avatars and using bad language (which is restricted in a PG sim), in fact he continued to use bad language while I witnessed the conversation, in spite of being warned to stop.

SL London Greeter Clive Hissop also confronted Babii asking him why he had used a caging device on him. Babii had allegedly knocked into Clive using his vehicle and then used a cage to imprison him, not once, but twice. Babii denied these allegations and wanted to be allowed back into the main area of Knightsbridge. It seemed that the incidents had been witnessed by the other team members and there was also information coming through that Babii had allegedly been involved in ‘griefing’ on previous occasions.

As Babii continued to use bad language, Seany used his powers to ban him from the sim. Babii, who had to be ejected from each parcel of land individually by Seany, managed to grief one more time before leaving SL London altogether. He littered the middle of Knightsbridge with giant prims covering the rooftops of the buildings. I can verify that Babii was the perpetrator of the final griefing, as I inspected the prims, which did, in fact, belong to him.

The whole matter has been passed over to Linden Labs and Babii’s fate is in their hands. No doubt we will see him again using an alternative avatar, we will wait and see. Griefing is a selfish and childish pursuit and the London Team do a great job keeping these individuals at bay and making sure that the rest of us can enjoy a peaceful SL London. I have withheld Babii’s full name until Linden Labs make their decision on his case.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Freebie Treasures in SL London

The Burlington Arcade is certainly looking up with some nice shops moving in. There is one shop though that really surprised me. SL London are giving away free skins, which is especially nice for new avatars. Although the ones avatars are born with aren’t that bad, they are cloned all over the place in SL, so once you have seen one newbie you’ve seen them all!! You hear a wolf whistle or a kiss being blown in a lady avatar’s direction and there they are, newbie men in their brown shirts or light blue striped jumpers all looking exactly the same! The newbie girls, nine times out of ten will pick the girl next door look and armies of pony-tailed ladies in pink polka dot dresses roam the SL streets bumping into things. How many times have I seen a newbie girl walking about in jeans, but with the skirt still attached! (Please ladies, just right click on the skirt and pick detach from the Pie Chart menu!).

The shop has nice ladies skins and some excellent men’s skins too, I was amazed at the quality, and with the right hairstyles added and the desired shape, the virtual world is your oyster (not to mention some new clothes added of course).

Another great place I discovered some free stuff is below the DM&GT Offices in SL Kensington. There are many boxes bearing union flags in the lobby and they have lots of free goodies for the taking, not only clothes but lots of other things too, everything that you would need to start out in SL and perhaps for some older av’s too who want to pick up some freebie textures and other bits and pieces. I also spotted a ‘Lucky Chair’ near the boxes, which was giving out Lindens. You will find Lucky Chairs in a lot of sims, they usually give out things like clothes or gadgets, but the one in the DM&GT Office block is unusual to give out Linden dollars. For those who have never used these chairs before, you will see that each chair displays a letter, and in the case of the one in the office block the letter is hovering just above the chair. If the letter matches the initial of your first name all you have to do is sit on the chair to claim the prize.

All in all new avatars are being treated to a wealth of free goods in SL London, so with a bit of imagination they should be looking like a million dollars within a few days of being born.

Friday, 20 March 2009

New Underground Club Opens

I got a message from SL London Manager Seany that the new Underground Club had been put in place and is open for business. I went over for a look, and wow, it’s beautiful. The new windows are etched with London Scenes and the interior is fantastic. There is to be a grand opening Saturday and we will bring you more about that, if we can, before the big night. You can still ‘party on down’ there in the meantime!!!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

SL London's St Patrick Day Party Rocks!

It was a great night at the Underground Club on Tuesday, and a very green one!! Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, most of the partygoers had donned bright emerald green outfits and it was probably one of the busiest nights in the club I can remember.

For me the star of the evening was Gerr Finesmith. Gerr who makes his own outfits has a shop in the Burlington Arcade in SL Mayfair, where he makes and sells uniforms (you may have seen him dressed as an extremely handsome Queen’s guard on horseback riding around the Capital). Gerr had a full Irish outfit on, complete with a kilt, and he was really enjoying himself boogying in the centre of the dance floor.

Everyone looked great though, and the atmosphere was lovely, another very successful night in Knightsbridge’s very popular club!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Shapeshifters Can Be Fun!

Perhaps people who have never logged into Second Life would think that an avatar is a copy of a human form. Well yes that is true, probably most avatars in SL are of the human kind. Lots of people though, also like to be something called ‘Shapeshifters’, meaning that they like to change their avatars into all sorts of different creatures or even inanimate objects.

SL London, just like real London, has a very diverse mix of people and you never know who or what you might bump into. I spotted the two lovely Neko friends (main picture and side picture), half cat and half human in Knightsbridge recently, and it seems that spring is definitely in the air in SL London, as they embraced so affectionately in the street.

I wandered over the Hyde Park and met a handsome, but fierce looking black wolf type av (who was very nice by the way), he stood surrounded by mist and howled like a banshee, quite an effect!!! Leaving him and going to the Gateway in the park where the newbies arrive, there seemed to be a bit of commotion going on, people were being asked to put their guns away or they would be ejected. Looking around I spotted the culprit, a cute little bear av armed with a rifle, looking cute is one thing, but acting cute is something else, this one obviously wasn’t so cuddly!!

Back by the pond in the park I spotted a gigantic dragon with white glowing wings (one of our Manager Seany’s avs) and he towered above everyone, squawking as only dragons can!! Further on there was a conference with a large pig and a few other animals, I’ve no idea what they were talking about, maybe the price of pork!! A handsome snow leopard appeared and started chatting to me, it was Seany again with another shape! I have always been worried about changing my av’s shape, not the sharpest knife in the draw when it comes to my inventory!! (that’s why I have thousands of things I don’t use, and can’t find anything!! I am starting to put new things in their own folders at last though!!), but I thought I should try another av shape. I remember being new and just like reporter Pixi Piers, I got in a state when I first changed skins and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t just take the skin off (for those in the same state, you just find your original skin in the inventory and click to wear it again).

Someone told me a long time ago, to make a folder, take copies of all the stuff I’m wearing, i.e. skin and shape etc, and put it in the folder, so that if the worst happens and I put on a horrible skin or something I didn’t like, I could easily change back by clicking on the folder I made, and just dragging the whole folder back onto my av, great stuff!! Of course I have tried this now and after being a bunny rabbit av, I clicked on my created folder and dragged it on to myself, only to find that I had not included clothes and hair, good job I was at home, I would have cleared London in a second! A tip Hibiscus gave me, and I expect most of you already know, is to open your inventory and click ‘File’ at the top and then ‘Open New Window’. You will then have two inventory windows open and you can create a new folder and drag stuff across from one window into the folder in the other one.

Other types of animals you will spot in SL London are pets kept by avatars, I met London Greeter Dougal MacMoragh in Knightsbridge and he had a beautiful lilac coloured dragon flying around him, he ordered the dragon to chase me and it did, as I flew up, the dragon followed me and even said 'hello'. In my apartment block I can hear a little dog belonging to one of the other tenants, and if you look there is a sweet little brown dog running around in her flat.

Of course there are all sorts of human avs and not all want to be slim and glamorous and indeed, some seem to go out of their way to appear what many would say is ‘out of shape’. I spotted a woman newbie in a pink dress who definitely favoured being on the heavy side. You quite often spot men newbies, who give themselves big beer bellies, big noses and bald homely looks. We had a couple in SL London recently, who thought it was a good idea to approach people and invade their space, almost like saying, I’m ugly so I’m going to shock you and be very familiar whether you like it or not! (it’s often lady avs who are on the receiving end of this sort of behaviour). When no one takes any notice, they generally result to swearing at people before they leave to annoy someone else. So at the end of the day I don’t think they make their avs unattractive because they want to look that way, I think they do it to get a response from others. I suppose it would be a good idea to keep the names of these people just to see what they look like in a few months. It’s generally a newbie thing, you don’t often see older avs behaving like that.

So SL London is a very colourful and rich place to see what imaginative avatars people can create. Think I might go and try my bunny rabbit av on again!!! (Got my hair and clothes in my folder this time too!)