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Monday, 31 July 2017

50 Years Ago Today Sergeant Pepper Taught The Band To Play! - Summer '67 At The HangOut Tonight!

Summer '67 at the HangOut Tonight, Janis says:

remembering the magical summer of 1967 when pop stars roamed Carnaby Street with regular folks, where clubs were filled with amazing bands and the music was absolutely fabulous. It's 50 years ago that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play - but to some of us it's just a millisecond ago...dress sixties and be there for a fun Monday party!

Janey Bracken

Sunday, 30 July 2017

My New SL Home 'Tintagel'

I'd started searching for a new parcel of virtual land straight away after I knew I was leaving the Jamaica Inn sim.  Sometimes things are meant to be, just as real life events that you consider bad or disruptive usually open up new avenues that you would never have gone down had you not been forced out of your comfort zone.  Luck, coincidence or synchronicity, there is nearly always a reason for change.  I rented a small place from the Jamaica Inn landlord so I would have a base for the time being, but soon realised that I missed the size of the quarter homestead.  Hibiscus too had rented another place, she did have the same quarter homestead size that she had left, but it was a sandy sim and not grass, which she had really wanted.  We discussed that if we could, we would find a sim where we could be neighbours again, so we had plans to carry on searching for two adjoining parcels.

Most of the adverts were for parcels in full sims, which come with lots of prims for building, but for the amount of rent we wanted to pay you got much smaller areas. So I scrolled down the list in Land Sales looking for  homesteads, which are more restricted for traffic and prims, but more spacious.  You still get 1250 prims for a quarter of a homestead, which really is plenty for me.  I started to visit the parcels that I fancied on the list and as luck would have it I found a quarter of a homestead which suited all my needs. It was grass and not sand and the people in the other parcels had divided their land off with rocky cliffs  and high ridges, there were none of the dreaded ugly tree screens being used.  I contacted the estate agent and bought the parcel straight away.

I am calling the land 'Tintagel', named after a seaside town in North Cornwall.  The real Tintagel is famous for its vast castle ruins, which sit right next to the Atlantic ocean on top of the steep rocky cliffs.  For anyone visiting Tintagel Castle in real life, it's quite a climb up those rocky slopes to see this fascinating relic from the past, but it is a magical place.  Legend has it that Tintagel Castle is closely linked with the mythical King Arthur and his Court.  I have started to build my own castle ruins by the sea, not such a climb and lots of fun, artistic licence is alive and well in Second Life

One of the parcels next to me in the homestead had just one house in the middle of the large plot, so they hadn't done any building or landscaping which I thought was a bit odd.  However when I arrived at my new home last night the house had gone. Clicking on the ground I could see that the land was for sale. I contacted the estate manager who confirmed that the land was back on the market. I asked him to hold onto the land so that I could contact Hibiscus to see if she was interested.  I left her a message and when I woke up this morning I read her reply; She had bought it and we are now neighbours again, we are both delighted! 

Janey Bracken

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Losing Our Virtual Home - Leaving Jamaica Inn And Moving On To SL Pastures New

It had been way back in February 2011 when I moved to my first large piece of Second Life land, a quarter of a homestead in a sim called Jamaica Inn. I have been neighbours with Hibiscus, Drax and Cliff for quite a few years now. We loved Jamaica Inn, celebrating the different seasons, especially  Christmases when we applied the snow texture instead of the usual summer's grass. We enjoyed arranging our Christmas decorations, trees, carousels, ice rinks and more, including Hibiscus's famous ski slope and of course not forgetting Santa himself who was always there to greet our visitors. As soon as Christmas had passed I had been eager to see the Spring grass again, planning on making changes to the sim was always such fun, a new pond here, a rose garden there, summerhouses for people to sit and chat in and my dance pavilion where couples could dance the night away.  Each SL season had been a joy and I loved the landscaping, especially as the years went on and the grasses looked more real and the flowers and trees became mesh so I could do a lot more gardening which didn't use up my precious supply of prims.  We installed skyboxes for privacy, somewhere to chill without the odd visitor  or griefer intruding, although some did try to trespass into our private space only to be ejected by the security system a few seconds later. 

I placed a Skippo games table near the little beach and soon I had quite a few visitors drop in to play the tricky card game, most of them came back on a regular basis and I liked the thought that they enjoyed hanging out at my place in Jamaica Inn.  Then, just as everything eventually ends in Second Life, a couple of weeks ago one of my SL neighbours told the rest of us that he had to give up Jamaica Inn because of real life commitments.  He has some remarkable plans in the real world and we wish him the very best and lots of luck for the future, though we were sorry to see him leave our little bit of virtual paradise.  So we could not really keep Jamaica Inn going as we would have needed someone else to take on the vacant parcel. It was decided for each of us to search for somewhere new.  There is so much land for sale in the virtual world that searching can be quite time consuming, also your first impressions are pretty much influenced on what the neighbouring land owners have put on their plots, those ugly tall buildings or horrible screens that are supposed to look like trees, but look like what they are, a massive flat prim with a tree texture. And of course you never know who will move next to you after you have bought a piece of land, and what they will put there. We had been lucky all those years in Jamaica Inn, we had left most of the sim pretty much open so the landscaping had a sympathetic amount of symmetry throughout. 

Is it sensible to get attached to a piece of land that isn't even real, but just virtual? Well I guess not, but when you have friends sharing land and  it has been your base, it feels almost real.  But then that is the reality of SL, your immersion into the virtual society can produce all of the feelings that the real world can offer, love, hate, sadness and joy because we interact with other people; So why not love something that you have created in the digital world, copying the style of the home you would really like to own in real life if you had the power and the money to do it.  Some scientists now maintain that we are in fact living in a complex virtual reality world in what we call real life anyway, now there's a thought! (If only I could fly or teleport!)

So yes, we feel sadness at leaving Jamaica Inn, where we have spent many happy times together, but everything and everyone moves on so I am feeling positive! I'm looking forward to landscaping my new virtual home whilst remembering those very precious 6 years with my mates in Jamaica Inn. 

Janey Bracken

My notice telling visitors I was moving

Rent office locked

Friday, 21 July 2017

Songs from the Heart at Zorro's Tavern

It was a warm hearted evening at Zorro's Tavern tonight as dj Brain played some awesome 'heart' themed tunes!  Everyone loves a romantic song and Brain found a great collection to set the mood.  Catriona was doing a fantastic job of hosting in Rob's very popular Tavern.  The theme  got me wondering when the first tune in the world was written, and apparently it was called The Hymn for Nikkal written in ancient Syria dating back to 1400 BC. Nikkal was the Akkadian goddess of orchards. The hymn was inscribed on clay tablets around 3,500 years ago.  I wonder how many of our love songs will be remembered 3,500 years from now! We may have gone full circle by then and be writing our stuff on clay tablets again! Make the most of those DVDs and vinyl records! 

Janey Bracken

Monday, 17 July 2017

Fabulous Music Festival at the HangOut

 Love and Peace ruled the planet tonight as we partied at the Music Festival in the HangOut.  Just like the real deal, the grass was scattered with litter from the crowds who donned their wellies to combat the traditional muddy conditions.  Dj and HangOut owner Janis Short played some fabulous tunes from famous rock bands who have played at festivals such as Glastonbury.  It was a great party, thank you Janis!

Also I'd like to wish Csar a Happy belated Birthday!  I hope you had a lovely Birthday Csar.

Janey Bracken