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Monday, 31 January 2011

Knightsbridge Bus Fun


Mind your step as you cross the road in Virtual Knightsbridge, the big red London buses are back! I loved to see the buses again, they had been a feature in London when I first joined this blog, nearly three years ago, and in those days you would see the opened topped buses trundling around the capital with people usually choosing to sit on the top deck and having such a laugh. There was also a Chelsea sim then, and the buses used to leave the ground and fly up around the face of Big Ben, before landing back safely on the ground.
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Of course buses are one of the symbols of today’s real London, maybe the most famous being the Routemaster, now only used on two routes, but like the red pillar boxes (post boxes) and red phone boxes, the Routemaster is a bit of a London icon. The double decker Routemaster proved to be a favourite with commuters because of its open back and boarding platform, you could jump on or off between bus stops to get to your destination. London being such a congested city, it was easy to hop on the buses whilst they were held up in traffic jams. We’ve had London buses since 1829, but then they were horse drawn omnibuses provided by George Shillibeer and they ran from Paddington to the City of London. Later in 1850 Thomas Tilling also started a horse drawn bus service. By 1855 the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) was formed to regulate the horse drawn services around the capital. The first motorised omnibuses were on the roads by 1902 and along with trolley buses and trams kept London commuting with a network of routes. The trolley buses and trams were phased out, although trams had been returned to the Croydon area few years ago. Quite a few buses have been introduced to the London streets over the years, including the strange looking ‘bendy bus’ a cumbersome single decker vehicle, which is twice as long as its counterparts. It must be quite an art to manoeuvre the bendy buses around the sometimes narrow London roads.
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You don’t have to wait at some cold bus stop though, you can have fun driving the virtual buses around Knightsbridge, it’s good to see them again.

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Janey Bracken

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Happy Rez Day to Brie, Barbie and Clive!!!


A very Happy Rez Day to Clive Hissop, Barbie Bohemian and Brie Janick, who had a joint celebration at the West End Club, which featured a 1920's Gangsters and Molls night. Did I take more pictures? you bet I did, the club and the clubbers looked astounding! I'll be publishing those later in the week! Hope Clive, Barbie and Brie had a brilliant time, I know I did!
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Janey Bracken

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Protests At Speaker's Corner Support Student Demonstrations Today

Whilst students protested in both Manchester and London today, a group of demonstrators made their feelings felt as well at Speakers Corner in Virtual Hyde Park. Although not all British, the demonstrators had come to show their support of the British students in respect of the cuts the government are making in tuition fees. Avatars Temba Resident and RyogaHibiki Resident shouted out their message of encouragement saying “We stand at speakers corner in solidarity of the students and people of London England who protest now, Please stand with us; Support the students! Support your future!!!”
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From the sentiment of the protesters it was obvious that the rioting in Tunis and Egypt have added weight to their argument about what is happening in the UK. Czarny Zsun said that there should be “maximum resistance to these cuts. We need a general strike to cripple the Tories.” He continued “It’s not just students that are going to be impacted by these cuts, workers and the unemployed are going to be on the receiving end of the attacks to the NHS (National Health Service), to the postal system and to schools. The only social power that ordinary people have is at the point of production. They should use it and make the rich pay by taking strike action.” An observer Vic Arrowmint said it “won’t do any good, just means they don’t have to pay you when you are on strike and they save more money to pay bankers bonuses. Another observer, Drax Ember added “ doesn’t that (striking) hurt the normal people, those that depend on the services and wages, but aren’t students?” Tempa said “How do you change politics run by fascists?”. Vic Arrowmint told us he thought “the MPs are too busy getting their cut from big business for their extra curricular interests.”
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We were joined by Lisabeth Nikolaidis. When I suggested that people should use their votes to change policies. Lisabeth asked “What happens when the party who supposedly represents the working class and/or the liberal viewpoint makes a coalition with the Tories?” She added “what happens when the Labour party gets into bed with George Bush? Who do you vote for?” And Lisabeth seems to reflect the thoughts of many British people, they have been let down by all the main political parties. Czarny told us that “Ordinary people have very little power at the ballot box, but we can collectively change the world through struggle from below.”
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Czarny concluded “Ideas alone are not enough – most people do not agree with tuition fees or education cuts, yet the Tories are carrying them out anyway. Most about WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) was a pack of lies. Yet Iraq was bombed to the stone-age anyway. We need struggle and politics.” Tempa asked me “Janey, what I am trying to say is this: when contacting your MP’s, writing letters and petitions, phone calls and voting FAILS to make the changes you want, as has happened in Europe and Egypt, then what do you do?”
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Yes what do you do? I’d say Cameron, Clegg and Miliband had better take a close look at the comparisons being made to Egypt and Tunis with the demonstrations taking place here. It seems people no longer have any belief in the ballot box and the way ahead planned by the Coalition or the Labour Party should they gain power next.





Janey Bracken

Friday, 28 January 2011

PNC Systems New Base in Virtual Kensington


I was delighted to make the acquaintance of businessman pnc Blessed when he was touring the Kensington Offices with Virtual London owner Debs Regent. I’d been standing chatting to Hibiscus Hastings, Ed Follet and Isobel Byron in our Metaverse News Office when Debs came in and introduced us to pnc; pnc has a well established business in SL called PNC Systems. Later on I took a look at pnc’s main store and he sells some wonderful SL gadgets such as media tv’s, a landmark hud, a translator and many other useful quality items. He has now opened an office base in Kensington next door to the Metaverse News Office and there is talk that he may move his main store to Virtual London too. The Virtual London capital is the ideal place for shopping as there are such a huge range of shops to pick from, if it’s an outfit you are after, something for your SL home, or a present for someone, you can’t fail to find what you are looking for there. It’s nice exploring as you shop too, as you will find many famous London landmarks as you walk around the familiar streets.

I’d like to welcome pnc to Virtual London and I hope he enjoys his stay.




Janey Bracken














Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Tranquillity of the Radio Theatre

I teleported over to New London on Monday and saw that the Radio Theatre had a show on. I tried to sneak in so as not to disturb everyone, but without success. I had friendly greetings from people already listening to the program. Hoipoloi Gurbux, the WZ Theatre Manager, and Ebak Naglo, the WZ Radio Broadcaster were sitting just inside the door and said "Hi" too. People looked really relaxed on the comfy pink sofas and I also sat down to listen. It was an episode from Dr Who and it was nice just to sit and let the rest of the world go by as the program played! The Radio Theatre has a lovely atmosphere and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a quiet hour listening to their favourite Sci Fi programs. We were joined by Teddy Darbyshire as well. Teddy has released a new edition of his Pictorial Post and you can pick it up from his stall in New London. It's a great read so don't forget to get your in-world copy!







Janey Bracken



Lots Going On!

There are some big events at the West End Club this week, Thursday promises to be out of this world, it's the Celestial Ball and time to get all those heavenly outfits ready! Saturday is a complete change of theme, those Gangsters and Molls will be partying hard! It's Also Brie, Clive and Barbies Rez Day celebrations! (Check the Club Schedule pages for times etc). There is also another fantastic hunt in the West End Club grounds. Joint Club owner Cutewillow Carlberg is having a Valentine's Hunt which starts on the 29th January and she has some amazing prizes to give away!
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Janey Bracken

Burns Night


The kilts were flying high last night, as a colourful spectacular hit the West End Club with some amazing outfits to celebrate Burns Night. There were all sorts of wonderful tartans and even some bagpipes! All the ladies wanted to know the age old question, what did those men have on under their kilts? I think some of the men had to be a bit careful with the SL dances which raised their flexi hemlines a little too high as they strutted their stuff! Burns night (Burns Nicht) is a tribute to Scottish poet/lyricist Robert Burns and is held on the anniversary of his birthday, 25th January. Burns was also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire or just The Bard. Maybe his best known lyrics around the world are 'Auld Lang Syne' sang at Hogmanay (as the clock strikes twelve on the last day of the year).

Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

YabbaDabbaDoo!!!


DJ Corolla played some ‘rock’ music in the West End Club last week, yes Clive had taken us back to cave-dwelling days with his fantastic d├ęcor in the club! It was ‘Bedrock time’ as all the Flintstone characters took to the dance floor! There were Fred’s, Wilma’s and Betty’s plus their cute kids Pebbles and BamBam! Corolla, herself a pretty little Pebbles, got together with Truthsprincess, another cutesy Pebbles and they looked full of mischief. Truths’ BamBam looked really naughty as he ran around the club! Cute was a very glam Wilma. Seany arrived as a rather large Dino, swishing his tail in time to the music. He later turned into a large rock, jumping up and down denting the dance floor as he landed! Everyone had a ‘Club’ in the club! This time it was a cave-man’s club for hitting people. It’s been around as long as I can remember in SL, the scripted wooden club; you type the word ‘Bam’ into text chat and next thing you are swinging the club through the air and hitting someone over the head with it! It’s a good job it’s virtual ‘cos it could knock your brains out, but it’s lots of fun. The trouble is, when newbies arrive and see all the clubbing going on they make a quick exit, it must be very confusing for them. One guy arrived during the evening without a stitch of clothing on and everyone thought this was stone-age behaviour taken a bit too far, so he was ejected. He tried to come back but was ejected again, luckily no one coshed him over the head with the club. I sent him a message to see what he was up to, but it was SL playing tricks, poor man, he thought he was dressed, but none of us could see his clothes. Then I did see his outfit, he was another Fred with his bright yellow cat skin costume. He came back into the club and joined in and hopefully he had a great time with the rest of us.





Janey Bracken






























































Monday, 24 January 2011

Whitechapel 1888 is Back!


The first thing I heard was the sound of birds twittering as I entered the slightly grimy street in Whitechapel. Then I spotted the sparrows as they pecked at the grain sacks left in the corner of the cul-de-sac by some passing tradesman. Not far away, pinned to the wall, was a poster of Spooks Blackburn, the owner of Whitechapel 1888. It was good to see he was back, bringing once again a wealth of information about the East End of London and the times when Jack the Ripper walked the gloomy streets. Spooks had to close the original Whitechapel site, when unexpectedly, the owner of the sim left him and some other tenants without an SL home/business, having failed to pay the tier. Spooks and the others had no choice but to leave. I had loved to visit Whitechapel 1888 and I really missed it, Spooks had unearthed some really interesting stories about the area and I had learned a lot as time went on. So I’m really pleased that Spooks has re-built Whitechapel again, it’s smaller than the original, but still very informative with lots of facts about the people and the hard lives they endured in the East End of London.





Janey Bracken




Friday, 21 January 2011

Cabaret Re-Visited!


Here are some wonderful photographs that have been sent to me from the Cabaret/Moulin Rouge night at the West End Club a few days ago. Brie Janick and Simon Seurat have commented on the evening as well, please see below. Drax Ember kindly took over taking photos for me when I simply couldn't take any more pictures as I had run into SL trouble with lag. Starting with Simon's pictures here we go, Simon said:

"It was a great night - Clive had made a stunning recreation of the famous Moulin Rouge club and everyone had dressed up in authentic burlesque outfits to complete the picture! Brie and Cute kept the party going and we all piled on to the stage to do a drunken CanCan at the end. The West End themed parties are just getting better and better! Simon"
Brie says:
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"Since Childhood I have always been fascinated by the Moulin Rouge and musicals. After watching the movie Burlesque it re-ignited my passion. That’s where the thought came from, to make it a special event. Clive took my vision and made it more spectacular than I could have imagined. The club was transformed back into time. Cute did an amazing job welcoming guests. The evening was simply magical. The Costumes, colours, music and just the general vibe was electric. My highlight was having everyone on the stage doing the Can Can.Yes we did look like a bunch of nuts that had been let out on day-release from the funny farm but, it was one of the best nights I have had in Second life so far. The Venue will be making an appearance again as we have lots more spectacular things to come...Thank you to everyone who made it a night to remember!! Brie"
Here are Drax's photos, he hasn't had time to write his thoughts, but he told me he had a really good time that night! Many thanks for the photos Drax!

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Superhero Rocket Hits Town!


It’s not every day that I bump into a superhero and one who has started to achieve the status of having a cult following. He goes by the name of ‘The Rocket’ and he is a man of mystery who takes on fiendish foes such as Doc Terror! So I was very lucky to spot the elusive Rocket as he set up shop in Kensington, Virtual London.
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The Rocket is actually the creation of filmmaker and actor Joshua S Johnson (avatar MrMudd Resident), who, along with his team, makes the sci-fi movies about the new superhero. Joshua told me “The Rocket: Series One, is a garage Superhero Web Show that is produced in the Pacific Northwest of the United States for a budget of less than 200 USD.” He continued “The Rocket profiles the life of an unlikely superhero as he battles the likes of Doc Terror, The Agency of Assassination, the Three Card Strangler, the Gunman, and Island of Zombies, and the Warewolf Adakais!”
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Joshua told me a little about his background, he is a former Department of Defence Fire-fighter and is currently a student of Intelligence Studies. Before returning to the United States he had lived on the island of Antigua for a few years on a DofD contract. He said “While there I was able to visit Glasgow, and in 2007, because of my three trips to the UK and one to Poland, the Rocket was born.” So how did you get the idea for The Rocket? I asked, he replied “I was in the town of Paisley outside of Glasgow, visiting my girlfriend at the time. The architecture and area started giving me little scenes and sequences through daydream. Afterwards, when I had returned to the Untied States, my friend Ryan Buck who plays Doc Terror, had talked to me about making a short called 'The Rocket vs. Doc Terror'” Joshua added “Since then, five more episodes developed using the same budget ceiling, and everyone is now having a very good time with it!” Besides Joshua, the rest of the cast are Ryan Buck, Joshua Palmer, Lane Rumsey, Amy Dawn Shimanek, Ash, Stephen Bligh and Brie Morgan.
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As Joshua’s avatar MrMudd Resident is a newbie to SL, joining in December 2010, I wanted to know what his impressions were, so far, about the virtual world. He told me he was curious about the Virtual London neighbourhood (Virtual London is owned by Debs Regent) and that he thought the Kensington area is ‘wonderful’. His shop can be found in the main thoroughfare of the extremely popular Kensington sim.
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When I first spotted Joshua he had been wearing the avatar of a ‘Dalek’, one of the characters of the British television series Dr Who, which has an enormous fan base in the UK. He told me New London (another London themed sim, owned by Kat Kassner and Laredo Lowtide) was one of the first places he had come into in SL and he had been “hanging about ever since...” He explained “I'm a bit of a Whovian, and the modellers there are the best!” he said “I've become an amazing fan of Kat Kassner and Laredo Lowtide.” I agreed that Kat and Laredo work so very hard to make everything perfect in New London, and Joshua said “They really do, my digital home away from home!” Kat and Laredo have a radio theatre in the sim and Joshua was delighted, telling me “I actually heard my first Big Finish audio show today at the Radio Theatre.”
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Joshua taught himself everything about filmmaking including the visual effects, he told me that being in SL had “made me realize I need to notch up my game a bit!” I asked him in which way, he answered “Oh, in the production aspect. Being a garage series filmed with friends, there are a lot of things which take a massive amount of effort to accomplish. It's a time consumer. Plus, after being on SL, I'm seeing that I want to create a great deal more visuals... perhaps because of the work I've seen in this digital world! New London especially.” He added “For example, since being on SL and in New London, I created an aerial sequence involving an armoured weapons platform on an airship.”
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I was thrilled to meet Joshua (MrMudd) and I want to thank him for this interview, I think you will be hearing a lot more about The Rocket as time goes on!
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See The Rocket at:

Janey Bracken