The serenity of Peacehaven in Second Life

Peacehaven; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Peacehaven – click any image for full size

Update, September 9th: Purr has moved Peacehaven to a new quarter region location.

Update, June 23rd: as Purr indicates in her comment, Peacehaven remains open, so the region is there still for you to enjoy, and again, if you have not paid a visit, I encourage you to do so!

I was drawn to Peacehaven after seeing it highlighted in the Destination Guide – only to find that its future is far from certain: a noticeboard close to the landing point carries the news that the region will be closing on May 2nd. This is something of a shame, as the region is another slice of rugged beauty in second Life, which lends itself to photography whilst offering a place to enjoy with a friend.

The landing point, located on the west side of the region presents two tracks for visitors to follow, one to the north, the other to the south. Both paths lead directly to little stone bridges – Alex Bader’s popular design – which arch over gently flowing streams – before offering the visitor a choice of ways forward.

Peacehaven; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Peacehaven

The northward track branches left and right once over its bridge, a tall mesa – one of two here –  blocking the way forward. Whichever branch of the path is chosen, both eventually lead the way around the mesa to a little farm huddled behind it on the north side of the region. However, the left branch of the path offers perhaps the shorter route, whilst the  right branch offers the way through copses and past a glade set for dancing.

The southward path offers a slightly different choice once over its bridge, as it turns eastwards along the bank of one of the meandering streams, while also providing access to a wooden stairway which climbs the flank of another mesa by way of a smaller butte, taking visitors to a high vantage point overlooking the rest of the landscape and again offering a place to dance.

Peacehaven; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Peacehaven

Follow the path, meanwhile, and it will take you to a wooded area and what seems like the end of the road. Wander between the trees, however, and you’ll likely come across a little glade with seats and a camp fire. beyond this, a woodland path offer a way through the trees and around the north side of a small lake, or you can continue southwards and across a greensward between the lake and a small quay, and make your way eastwards.

To the east of the region, and separated from the rest by water spanned by bridges both natural and built by human hands, lay a little country church and, just off the coast, an ancient ruin sitting atop a craggy island. Should you visit the church (and no doubt you will!), the path taking you to it will also lead you onwards to the farm, reached by passing under a heavy arch of rock linking the two mesas.

Peacehaven; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Peacehaven

Whichever route you opt to take in exploring Peacehaven, you will find plenty of opportunities for photographs, or to sit and relax or enjoy a dance if you’re so minded. While I’ve no idea how absolute the closure of the region is, considerations at the donation points across the region might give encouragement for it to remain a little longer.

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Red – Girls – Hot – Fruit in Second Life

Art on Roofs: RED - GIRLS - HOT - FRUIT
Art on Roofs: RED – GIRLS – HOT – FRUIT

RED – GIRLS – HOT – FRUIT is the latest exhibition to open at the Art on Roofs gallery curated by Terrygold. It presents a series of distinctive watercolours by LeMelonRouge (better known in the physical world as Spanish artist Francesc Palomas), balanced between images of females (mostly nude) and images of fruits, all painted using a palette biased towards red and the warmer colours associated with it.

Red is often associated with passion / the erotic – we so often refer to the “heat of passion” – and several of the nude images reflect this, albeit with a slant towards the erotic, given hand placement. Others are more gentle in both tone and colour, suggesting restfulness; whether this is innocent sleep perhaps the “post-coital glow”, is for the viewer to decide.

Art on Roofs: RED - GIRLS - HOT - FRUIT
Art on Roofs: RED – GIRLS – HOT – FRUIT

There is another emotion we associate with red as well – anger; and this is also visible in some of the images certainly also visible here, through what appears to be a cry of anguish in “Alone 3” (above right) or distress (“Alone 2”, not pictured here).

Whether intentional or not, both of these images – “Alone 3” and “Alone 2”  – seem to also depict acts of violence. Taken as a whole, the pose and red splashes to one side of the head suggest  the moment after a heavy blow has been struck. Similarly, the red marks across the subject’s back in “Alone 2” might be taken as welts of received blows.

Art on Roofs: RED - GIRLS - HOT - FRUIT
Art on Roofs: RED – GIRLS – HOT – FRUIT

Contrasting with the dynamic imagery of the nudes, the painting of the fruits  – while in places suggestive of passion and heat (cherries and chilli peppers) – come across as havens of freshness and health (pumpkin and tomatoes), forming a soft contrast to the human figures whilst also offering a subtle reflection of the emotions displayed within them.

When taken as a whole, RED – GIRLS – HOT – FRUIT is a complex series of images in which more may be going on both within the images themselves and in their placement in pairs, requiring considered evaluation. The exhibit will remain open through until May 8th.

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Werewolves. witches, wars, and warriors

It’s time to kick-off a week of story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, April 24th 18:00: Magicland Storytime

Caledonia shares stories of delight and joy on stage at the newly remodelled Golden Horseshoe.

Monday April 25th, 19:00 at Fantasy Faire LitFest: The Orphan

orphanGyro Muggins reads Robert Stillman’s fantasy tale.

The werewolf is a creature of the night, a solitary, fur-covered thing. A wild-eyed, five clawed beast with a taste for blood and the soft crunch of bone between the teeth. But as little Robert, the werewolf has been adopted by a kindly farmer and his wife.

Neither Robert nor the monster could control the shifting of its form, and always, the emerged beast lurked within, ready to spring for the throat.

Tuesday April 26th, 19:00 at Fantasy Faire LitFest: The Witch’s Headstone

TheGraveyardBook_HardcoverCaledonia Skytower and Shandon Loring read this Neil Gaiman short story which originally formed a chapter of  The Graveyard Book

THERE WAS A WITCH buried at the edge of the graveyard, it was common knowledge. Bod had been told to keep away from that corner of the world by Mrs. Owens as far back as he could remember.

“Why?” he asked.

“T’aint healthy for a living body,” said Mrs. Owens. “There’s damp down that end of things. It’s practically a marsh. You’ll catch your death.”

Mr. Owens himself was more evasive and less imaginative. “It’s not a good place,” was all he said.

Wednesday April 27th 19:00: Crazy Eights: The War that Saved My Life

War savedCaledonia Skytower reads Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s children’s story.

It is the Second World War, and when nine-year-old Ada’s little brother is evacuated from London to escape the blitz, she is determined not to be left behind because her mother is too ashamed to allow her to be seen in public with her twisted foot.

So it is that Ada, experiencing her first time in the world beyond the house in which she has always lived, finds herself on an adventure, adapting to life with Susan Smith, the woman charged with caring for Ada’s little brother, and who unexpectedly finds herself with a second ward in her care.

As time passes, Ada learns to ride a pony, watches for German spies, and  finds a bond forming between her and Susan smith, a bond shared with her brother, but over which hangs the shadow of what will happen when they have to return to London and the cruelty of Ada’s mother.

Thursday, April 28th 19:00 at Fantasy Faire LitFest: Conan – Phoenix on the Sword

conan pheonixConan, having overthrown the tyrant Numedides to gain the bloody crown of Aquilonia, is finding that being a monarch isn’t really the same as being a warrior.

While the people  of  Aquilonia might have originally cheered Conan as their liberator, they have started to turn against him, regarding him as impure by his Cimmerian blood, and increasingly seeing him as a bloody interloper who cruelly killed their sainted King Numedides.

Then the Red Four come together, determined to pass the crown to someone of royal Aquilonian lineage – even means assassinating Conan in the process. To achieve this goal, they recruit the outlaw Ascalante.

But while he is willing to put an end to Conan, Ascalante has no intention of passing the crown to anyone else once the Cimmerian is dead.

Saturday, April 30th, 11am @Seanchai Kitely: Explore Anton’s Stories

Selections from the short stories of Anton Chekhov with Caledonia Skytower – grid.kitely.com:8002:EXPLORESeanchai .

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for March / April is Project Children, building peace in Ireland one child at a time.

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