A return to Whimberly in Second Life

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Whimberly – click any image for full size

Caitlyn and I first visited Whimberly, the Homestead region designed by Staubi (Engelsstaub) in January of 2017. Back then, both of us were struck by the elegance and serenity of the region. So seeing it back in the Destination Guide with an updated image suggesting a make-over, had us hopping back at the start of August for another look; and it was well worth it.

The landing point to the north-east of the region places visitors outside a flat-roofed summer-house surrounded on three sides by an ornate wall while the fourth sports a wooden deck build out over the water. Cosily and elegantly furnished, the house suggests a summer getaway or a lover’s tryst.

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Whimberly

An old fountain sits alongside this summer-house, birds chirping happily (or perhaps in a demand for food!) while hopping along the retaining wall, while beyond the fountain, a stone arch provides access to one of several seating areas suitable for individual visitors or couples, all of which are scattered far enough apart from one another to offer a sense of seclusion.

A stream, crossed by three bridges, dissects the land into two halves of unequal size. The northern part with the landing point, offers a walk east and south, passing both the seating spot mentioned above and then another, further to the east, before the smallest of the three bridges provide a means to rejoin the larger part of the land. Westwards, past a wooden jetty were one can rez a little motor boat to putter along the stream, the land turns hilly.

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Whimberly

A grassy path climbs the gentle slopes of the hill, revealing an old barn looking to the north-west and overlooking a tiny islet where a picnic awaits on the far side of the little rope bridge. The grassy trail then continues southwards between the shoulder of the hill and the water to where another bridge – this one crafted from the interlocked trunks of two trees –  crosses the stream and offers access to a grand house.

With a paved courtyard, terrace to the rear, the house presents an idyllic place to live, the full height conservatory to the rear offering a magnificent view. Board walks point the way to where a deck extends out over the waters of a bay which cuts deeply into the land. A humpbacked finger of land points back to the north-eat from the house, and visitors can follow the grassy walk along the flank of its slope above the stream, or walk along its ridged back to where another cosy snuggle point sits within the ruins of an old tower, and stone step present a route up to the highest point on the island.

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Whimberly

A stylish barn conversion sit at the top of the hill, offering a view to the south and west, back towards the big house. Shaded by fir trees and with the peak of the hill just behind it, it sits as a cosy café where a break from exploring can be enjoyed. For the adventurous, a zip line offers a rapid descent to the little farmstead in the south-eastern corner of the land,  located not far from where another summer-style house is built out over the waters surrounding the island.

Set within the confines of surrounding hills, Whimberly sits as an island on a lake somewhere – I’d say at least – deep in Europe. A place to while away the summer days and unwind from the demands of everyday life; where nothing really matters other than the presence of nature around you.

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Whimberly

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Vampires, the “bleshed”, family and shorts

Seanchai Library, Holly Kai Park

It’s time to kick-off another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, August 6th 13:30: Tea-Time at Baker Street

Tea-time at Baker Street continues with readings from The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the final set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories first published in the Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927.

This week: The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

Do vampires really exist?

In 1896, Mr. Robert Ferguson believes they do.

After writing two letter to Sherlock Holmes about vampires, he arrives at 221B Baker Street with a strange tale about his second wife, a Peruvian, who has apparently taken to sucking the blood of their recently born baby. Prior to being discovered in the act by her husband, she has also been found beating Ferguson’s 15-year-old, partially disabled son from his first marriage. Now she has locked herself in her room, and refuses anyone but the maid to see her.

Deducing the reality of the situation, but keeping it to himself, Holmes agrees to travel to Ferugson’s Sussex home with Watson. There, and with the family all gather together, he seems more interested in gazing out of the window than in dealing with the situation at hand …

Monday, August 7th 19:00: More Than Human

Gyro Muggins reads Theodore Sturgeon’s genre-bending 1953 novel which brings together three of her earlier works   to weave a story about people with extraordinary abilities which can be combined – “bleshed” (itself a blending of “blend” and “mesh”) to make them even more extraordinary.

Take, for example, Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people’s thoughts and make a man blow his brains out just by looking at him; or Janie, who moves things without touching them. Then there are the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles, and Baby, who invented an anti-gravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience.

Six people struggling to find who they are and whether they are meant to help humanity, destroy it, or represent the next step in evolution, the final chapter in the history of the human race. Through them, Theodore Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging, with suspense, pathos, and a lyricism rarely seen in science fiction.

Tuesday, August 8th 19:00: Keep It Brief

With R. Crap Mariner.

Wednesday, August 9th 19:00: Secrets of the Divine Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Caledonia Skytower reads Rebecca Wells’ 2014 tale.

When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she’s directed, her mother gets described as a “tap-dancing child abuser.”

Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

As Sidda struggles to analyze her mother, she comes face to face with the tangled beauty of imperfect love, and the fact that forgiveness, more than understanding, is often what the heart longs for.

Also presented in Kitely (hop://grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai/108/609/1528).

Thursday, August 10th 19:00: TBA

Check the Seanchai Library blog for updates.

 


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

The featured charity for August and September is Little Kids Rock, transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in schools.