The abbey on the hill

It’s been two years since I first blogged about Mont Saint Michel in Second Life. As I’ve been having a few issues with my GPU when logged-in the Second Life – particularly when taking snapshots with the various bells and whistles active – I stopped by the Mont in order to try things out after having fiddled with drivers and such-like, and grabbed a couple of snaps.

Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint Michel (windlight; no post-processing)

There have been a few changes over the years since my first review, with the “car park” region having long since vanished and a few more cars now on the island itself.

This is a great place to explore, with shops and parks to wander through en route up to the abbey itself and – for those willing to find it, a hidden secret which I actually missed during my original visit, but had to go back and find after several friend nudged me in the right direction.

If you’ve not paid a visit in the past, I cannot help but recommend you do.

Mont Saint-Michel (post-processed)
Mont Saint Michel (post-processed)

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SL10BCC: Get ready for a long walk!

SL10B-CC_WordPress

Hunts have always been a feature of major events in Second Life, and the birthday celebrations are no exception. This year, SL10BCC no exception.

But because this is a celebration of SL’s 10th birthday, there won’t just be any old hunt. There will be The Long Walk!

Poster by Whiskey Monday
Poster by Whiskey Monday

Devised by David Abbott, who created the Hunt in the Desert for SL9B and who acted as the intrepid explorer who guided participants through the Egyptian desert, and with the help of Rosamoo Mendelsohn of Hunt SL,  The Long Walk will lead you through the streets of the SL10BCC regions on a journey of discovery.

With 20 fun-packed regions to explore, some of the most amazing builds yet seen in SL, the tenth anniversary celebrations kick-off on June 16th, and should offer something for everyone to see, do and enjoy – and for the very intrepid, there will be The Long Walk!

Every day for the Birthday Week, David will be posting an account to the official SL10BCC blog of his explorations of the celebration regions and recounting some of the amazing sights he sees along the way.

All you have to do is follow in his footsteps. Along each stage of the journey, if you pick-up on the hints and keep your eyes peeled, you can pick up one or two special gifts. But be warned! These may not always be in the locations he mentions directly, although the clues will be there – even if they take the form of an X marking the spot!

Where will The Long Walk lead you?
Where will The Long Walk lead you?

The Long Walk will open during the birthday week, and will continue through until the celebration regions close on June 29th, with the gifts available to all throughout.

So get your walking shoes ready and pack a map – The Long Walk will await you!

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Little John and getting a bear-ing on eastern philosophy

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff of the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday 9th June, 13:30: Tea Time in Sherwood Forest

Robin-hoodIt’s June in the evergreen woods of Sherwood Forest, and with it comes a month of tales from Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, brought to us by Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen, complete with original songs by Corwyn!

An American illustrator and writer, Pyle published The Merry Adeventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire (to give the book its original full title) in 1883. With it, he helped solidify the heroic / romantic image of Robin Hood witnessed in works such as Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819).

The stories Pyle built for the book were drawn from various ballads, which he drew together to form a cohesive tale, rewriting the songs to suit a younger audience and further establishing the role of Robin Hood as a heroic outlaw who robs the rich to feed the poor – a role in sharp contrast to the way in which the ballads actually portrayed him (which was principally as a through-and-through villain).

So popular was Pyle’s work that it led to several more children’s books about Robin Hood over the next three decades, firmly establishing the legend as a respectable subject for children’s literature.

This week, Caledonia and Corwyn bring us How Little John Lived at the Sheriff’s and Little John and the Tanner of Blyth.

Monday 10th June, 19:00 – The Twenty-one Balloons (Part 2)

21-balloonsCaledonia Skytower reads from William Pène du Bois’ 1947 children’s classic, The Twenty-one Balloons.

A steamship en route across the North Atlantic comes across the strange wreckage of twenty deflated gas balloons and rescue, much to their surprise, a lone man – one Professor William Waterman Sherman.

The professor had last been seen some three weeks previously, departing San Francisco aboard a giant balloon, determined to spend a year aloft and drifting on his own.

Now, as word spreads that the professor has been found alive and well – and in completely the wrong ocean to the one he had last been seen flying towards – the world awaits the story of how he came to circumnavigate the globe in record time, only to be fished from the wreckage of twenty balloons when he had started with just the one. When he has sufficiently rested and recovered after receiving a hero’s welcome on his homecoming, the good professor tells a tale most fantastic…

Tuesday 11th June, 19:00: The Tao of Pooh (Part 1)

Winnie the Pooh may have been a Bear Of Very Little Brain often bothered by long words, but in him, his friends in the 100 Acre Wood and their adventures, Benjamin Hoff found the perfect means of introducing a western audience to the principles and ideals of Taoism.

Starting with a description of the Vinegar Tasters, a traditional subject in Chinese religious painting depicting three founders of China’s major religious and philosophical traditions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism., Hoff uses Pooh and other characters from A.A. Milne’s stories to reveal Taoism to his readers, going so far as to cite how the characters exemplify Taoist principles and concepts. For example, he explains how Pooh personifies the principles of wei wu wei, the Taoist concept of “effortless doing,” and pu, the concept of being open to but unburdened by experience.

Complete with excerpts from various prominent Taoist texts, from authors such as Laozi and Zhuangzi, the book is an engaging read which topped the New York Times best seller list for some 49 weeks. So why not join Kayden Oconnell and Caledonia Skytower as they commence a reading of this fascinating work?

Wednesday 12th June, 19:00: A Trio of My Father’s Tales

Father-talesJoin Caledonia Skytower as she reads from her newest collection, soon to be available on Kindle and in Paperback through Amazon.

A Trio of My Father’s Tales is my tribute to Fathers,” Cale states on her website, “containing three stories based on several family tales we used to begged my Dad to repeat over and over again around the kitchen table: The Little Lord Fauntleroy Suit, “Flying Down to Cour D’Alene”, and “The Skunk War.”

Kevin hated it.  He really hated it.  It was bad enough being seven years old.  It was bad enough that his family were struggling, working class Irish immigrants.  It was bad enough that he had the male trademark family ears, which where on the large side and stood out from his head.  These things he might have handled with all the random deftness of his seven years.  What young Kevin Cooney really could not manage was the damned suit. If his mother had not sewn it for him with her own hands, he would not have worn it at all.  But in 1898 all Kevin knew was that the suit was important to his mother, and it was absolute torture to wear it. – Excerpt from The Little Lord Fauntleroy Suit.

Thursday 6th June, 19:00: Poe’s Children

Poe-childrenThe legacy of Edgar Allen Poe once more takes to the stage as Shandon Lorin reads from this anthology of horror stories edited by Peter Straub, which brings together tales by some twenty-five of the world’s most talented writers in the genre today.

Poe’s Children showcases stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Carroll, Elizabeth Hand, Dan Chaon, Melanie and Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen King and Straub himself, all of which has been selected by Straub to represent what he thinks is the most interesting development in our literature during the last two decades, and which stands as a modern tribute to The Master in its style and narrative while avoiding the formulaic approach so often found within the populist end of the genre.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and additions to the week’s schedule. In May, library guests are invited to support Seanchai Library’s featured real world charity Heifer International. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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