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Friday, 30 April 2010

Queen Tribute Band to Play West End Club

We have a great gig to look forward to on Saturday, the Queen tribute band are appearing at the West End club at 2pm (SLT) (10pm (GMT)). This is one definately not to miss!!!

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Frying Pan Has a Tale To Tell

There is no doubt about it, I love learning about London history, the little bits that affected ordinary people’s lives, not all the big newsy political stuff, but how people lived, people who we could have been related to, who lived a few generations back. Times were indeed very hard in Victorian days for working class men and women and each time I visit Spooks Blackburn’s ‘Whitechapel 1888’ sim I learn a little bit more about the real streets of London Town.

Spooks has done some great research and this time I learned the history of a gin house called The Frying Pan Public House, that was located at the corner of Brick Lane and Thrawl Street in the East end of London. One of Jack the Ripper’s victims Mary Ann Nichols had been a customer in the pub and was seen leaving there shortly before her body was found in Buck’s Row.
Spooks informative notice tells that the pub goes back to at least 1811 and the owner was Ann Pybus from Spitalfields.
It was a regular haunt of prostitutes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. So poor Mary Ann had left the pub that night and three hours later her body had been discovered, if only Mary Ann could tell us who the mysterious Jack was.
The real pub is no more, it closed down in 1991 and has been opened as a balti restaurant, but you can visit the SL pub in Whitechapel 1888. Spooks shows pictures of the real building and you can still see the name of the original pub on the outside.

You can leave Spooks a message as well while you are visiting Whitechapel, there is a soapbox you can stand on and recite how you feel about this great sim. I did leave a message as I stood on the soapbox shouting it out for everyone to hear! While you are there check out Spook's brilliant store as well, he makes some wonderful Victorian furniture and other items.

Thanks Spooks for this a great insight into London lives.

Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Latin Passion Up West

There they stood in line, the whole club was full of dancing figures all around them but they looked like they were queuing to go to the loo, well I think Ed may have been in the wrong queue. They were on the dance pose balls in the West End club and everyone was enjoying a fantastic Latin night last Saturday. There was a spare pose ball at the end so I clicked on it, but didn’t dance either, I just joined the end of the queue. I told Hibiscus that we were all just standing around and she told me that on her screen everyone was dancing all over the place and she couldn’t see anyone just standing there, oh dear it was me then!! Second Life does do some odd things, I took an in-world snap to pass around to show them what I could see, quite amazing really.

After a little while everyone did dance on my screen too and I once again joined them and we wizzed around the room doing the Salsa. It was a very colourful and popular night, lots of people turned up with their bright costumes and the music was hot blooded and passionate. Naharim did a great job of translating some of the romantic phrases from the songs which added to the atmosphere.

With guys in sombreros and girls in colourful frilly silk dresses the place looked a picture, the club drapes were red and tall green cactus's set the scene with gaily coloured Mexican style rugs littered around the floor. All in all a terrific night and I’m glad the pose balls finally worked on my viewer and I could join in the Salsa with the rest of the happy people!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Kerhop's Innovations

As Hibiscus, Drax and I stood in our virtual Kensington shop on Sunday we had a visitor, Kerhop Seattle, who dropped by to say hello. Kerhop had the most enormous pair of glasses dangling on his nose and when I remarked on them, they grew to new proportions almost blocking off the street, Kerhop told us that he was setting up his shop just down the road, it's called Kerhop's Innovations, and he said he sells business and personal gadgets. He explained saying “appointment reminders, texture sorters, panorama texture viewer, survey kiosk, etc...” Kerhop had to log, but I went along later to see his store and he is selling some really unusual items. Right in the middle of his shop there is a large gadget that you step inside and experience panoramic views all around you, you can change the themes too from pretty woodland to sunlit seas, what a clever idea. Kerhop has many great gadgets to choose from, go and see for yourselves, it seems we now have a very clever inventor in Virtual London! Nice to meet you Kerhop, glasses and all!!

Janey Bracken

Monday, 26 April 2010

St George's Party Rocked

St George would have been proud! it was a great party held in his name down at the West End Club, the theme was red and white and there were a few variations like Clive's greenie av, but at least he had red trousers on!! Brie had a giant hat that swayed about all over the place and Sarah looked stunning in her 1960's op art dress, in red and white of course!! Truths and Princess had found some red outfits too, and looked brilliant. Seany famous for his Cornish pasties and not so Cornish kebabs, was given a Cornish flag by Sarah which he waved with pride, Jayjay dj'd and Amourette hosted as the house rocked. Near the end of the evening it felt just like the 'Last Night at the Proms' when Jayjay played a very serious rendition of Rule Britannia! St George's Day was well and truly celebrated!

Janey Bracken

Friday, 23 April 2010

Happy St George's Day 2010

Happy St George’s Day!! Today we celebrate all things English and Virtually London (lite) is flying the flag in our virtual shops in Kensington and Tropical Harmony. The English flag of St George was adopted by Richard the Lion Heart in the 12th Century. St George, who was born in Turkey, was a Roman soldier who bravely protested about the Roman’s torture of Christians. He was imprisoned and tortured, but kept his faith, he died for his cause and was beheaded at Lyda in Palestine. Celebrate the English way, with a pint in the Union Jack pub tonight, so get your red and white costumes on and head over for a great night.

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Re-Building of Big Ben

How do you go about building something like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in a virtual environment, well with great difficulty as far as I can see. However, the task isn’t all that daunting if you have a couple of builders who think perfect detail is the way to go, plus they have the building skills to surpass the majority of the SL population!! Well New London Village sim owner Kat Kassner and Manager Laredo Lowtide have torn down the old Big Ben that had been in the sim and recreated a stunning new one. Kat told me that they had been putting off re-doing Big Ben for months, however Laredo said it had “come together really quickly” He added “It was a pleasant surprise”. Kat said “It wasn’t as hard as we thought it was going to be.” She also told me that it only took 60 prims, and that is some achievement in itself for such an outstanding building! The structure of the building is very impressive, it’s a large and dominant feature just as it should be, and very much like the real life Houses of Parliament. The textures are detailed and sharp and certainly look 3D rather than flat and lifeless. I asked them how they worked together as a team and Kat told me that she builds, and Laredo said that he does the textures. They said they had started off building the ‘Police Boxes’ in the beginning (from the Dr Who TV series). Kat wants to build more London landmarks and I am looking forward to seeing what will be built in the near future. Kat and Laredo put on many events in the sim, I had just missed a World War 2 themed week, which was a shame, but I will let you know of any future events coming up. The Dr Who style London sim works very well, Kat and Laredo have provided the right atmosphere and re-creating the London buildings with such detail makes it a perfect place for travellers in time and space to spend a lot of real time there.

Janey Bracken

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Guilded Gobbler Lights Up The Sky

I had a nice surprise from my friend Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire the other day, he sent me a present, it was a Guilded Gobbler, a magnificent flying machine, all steampunk and delightfully eccentric looking. Johnny's business partner Alphonso Pidgeon had updated the original version, they are very clever, the pair of them! I decided to take it for a spin over the roofs of Virtual London. Rezzing it into the road outside of our shop in Kensington was the first shock, it was huge! fellow writer Ed Follet was with me at the time and he jumped on board as I took the controls and launched the massive vehicle up into the clouds, but I've no idea where Ed went, he seemed to disappear. Then I asked Hibiscus to join me and she managed to stay on board by sitting down. Hib didn't say much as we lurched forward at speed, but I think she was enjoying it. I could see Mayfair below and then Westminster as I came dangerously close to the edge of the sim hovering over the A-list club at the foot of Big Ben. Then suddenly I found myself ejected from the vehicle and at the bottom of the sea, good old SL. Hibs suffered a similar fate and the Gobbler just hung there in sky. After trying to get my avatar back to normal by trying all sorts of tricks, going into Appearance, closing the SL window into the task bar, stopping animations, I was finally able to fly up to the Gobbler, and with relief, take it back into my inventory. It doesn't look as if my driving has improved and I should have read the instructions so carefully put together by Johnny, but it was fun flying this vintage vehicle, so if you see a big shadow of an airbus crossing your path you'll know that I'm up there again cruising around the SL skies!

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Events for the West End Club and Horsing Around!

You will want to put on your red and white outfits on Friday to go over to the West End Club, they will be celebrating St George’s day, it’s your chance to support all things English, whilst having a great time, I’ve also heard that there may be a live singer too!! On Saturday the club is being decorated by Brie and Gen for a Latin night, so you Latin lovers out there can smooch the night away whilst Brie and Gen dj. All you ladies (or men!) who fancy being a May Queen, can get your gowns ready as well, as the club will holding a May Queen night on May 1st for the May Day celebrations.

The club was packed with cowboy and cowgirl line dancers the other night and dj Gen rocked the house. It was a little unusual though, as a couple of drunk horses took to the stage and some of us rode our own mounts into the club to join in, it’s surprising how those horses managed the dances, keeping in perfect time! I could even see a dancing cow in there too! It was another brilliant night down at the West End club and Seany had the biggest cowboy hat I had ever seen!

Janey Bracken
(Editor's Note - The St George's
Day party will be in the Union Jack
pub near the West End Club -
Editor's mistake, lol, sorry!)