We recently received an invitation from Vallys Lavender to visit Valium Creek, her latest region offering a mix of public spaces and rental homes, and which follows on from [Valium] (read more here). It has been designed for Vallys by Jacky Macpherson (of NorderNey fame), with assistance from Vallys and Terry Fotherington.
The public areas of the region are located to the north and east side, with the residential properties to the west and south, the latter separated from the public areas by a set of railway tracks. The landing point is to the west of the public area, close to the centre of the region, in what appears to be the remnants of a once large stone building, now reduced to flagstones spread across the grass and the stonework from the walls reused to form drystone walls.
Up a short set of steps is an open-air movie theatre complete with barbecue, and beyond that, more flagstones amidst the grass that offer access to to a shingle beach, a wooden chapel, a public seating area and the local bar. The shingle also runs around an old fishing hut and deck, both of which have both seen far better days.
It’s an eclectic mix of a setting, suggestive of a place of great age then has since been built over but even then, has seen better days. It’s a design that works exceptionally well, offering a memory of the original [Valium] – enhanced by one or two items hat featured in that build, for those who remember it (such as the old rowing boat) – whilst presenting a wholly new environment that is rich in detail.
The west side of the region comprises open woodland, rich in fir trees and cut by slow-moving rivers, the banks of which are occupied by ranch-style houses, while away from the rivers are cabins also available for rent. Most of the homes are reasonably separated from its neighbours to offer privacy. The entire layout is suggestive of a untamed setting – lived-in, yes, but still untamed: deer graze at the waterside, birds can be heard in the trees, and while there are no beavers or otter to be seen, there is a sense that if you look around quickly enough, you might just catch sight of them.
Valium Creek donates each month to The Nature Conservancy, an international organization dedicated to preserving our natural surroundings. A portion of the Valium group join fees are donated. During 2019, Valium Creek donated the equivalent of L$80,000 and our 2020 increase to $35.00 per month will give an additional L$105,000.
– Vallys Lavender, on continuing the charitable work
she started with [Valium]
Unlike [Valium], this new design doesn’t sit alone. To the north, and reached via a bridge, is Valium Creek Park, also held by Vallys. In some ways this continues elements found in Valium Creek – the fir trees, the railway lines – even the bridge connecting the two regions. However, Valium Creek Park is also very different.
Entirely open to the public, half the region forms an art park operated by Vallys and which will shortly be opening its first exhibition, featuring the work of Mistero Hifeng. It also encompasses a series of event spaces – a chapel set for weddings, a café, and a bar. At its western extreme, the park is dominated by a house and pond that between them mark the point of access to the rest of the region, offered through a stone arch.
The arch offers the way to two bars occupying the north side of the region. The first is Bardeco, operated by Terry Fotherington and Bridget Genna, and which has featured in the Kekeland design (see here and here for more). East of this sits Bar Relax, the work of Bridget, together with NightAttack Guardian and Lillynot Jinx.
The setting for the latter is perhaps more homely than for the former; and whilst I cannot be sure, it felt as if the land around Bardeco was perhaps still in development, denuded of trees or other flora as it was during our visit. Both of the bars share a commonality, and not just in terms of those involved in building them: they each have a local camp site, for example, while one has a small circular inlet that almost resembles a fishing hole, mirrored by the other having an actual pond.
For those seeking a new home in Second Life, Valium Creek is every bit as a attractive as [Valium] was, while the park with its arts area and three bars may offer a further attraction for those who appreciate attending events. As noted, the region on which the park sits had, at the time of our visits, something of an “unfinished” feel to it – so you might well find some additional elements when visiting. However, and make no mistake, Valium Creek is marvellously photogenic and makes for an excellent visit.
- Valium Creek (Valium Creek, rated Moderate]