Lam Erin is a gifted landscape artist who is also responsible for the design of Cherishville, a Homestead region we have enjoyed visiting on a number of occasions over the past few years. This being the case, it was an obvious choice for a re-visit when we heard Lam have redressed the region for spring / summer 2020. For this design, Lam has turned to what is something of a traditional theme for the summer months in Second Life: a tropical setting that also includes a Mediterranean touch with the style of buildings selected for it.
Surrounded by off-region islands, the setting is in two parts: a smaller circular island that has the appearance of perhaps once having been a major fortification, but which is now home to a pair of stone houses and an old, copper-domed watchtower / lighthouse. Facing this, the rest of the region forms a curving finger of an island, the north-western end of which continues the theme found in the smaller island: cut-stone walls rising to a table-flat top, its paved parapet offering a walk for those so inclined.
It’s easy to imagine this area as either a continuation of the old fort – the ruins of which still occupy a part of the round island – if not actual fortification, then perhaps barracks or similar. Now, however, it home to a Mediterranean-style villa and a farmhouse-style home, each with is share of outhouses, all perhaps built using the stones that once formed the fort’s own walls.
Beyond this, the land drops to a curved beach that cups a shallow bay in its arms. Curving north and east, it forms a beach-come-sandbar backed on its east side by rocks, with a single large outcrop supporting a second lighthouse. This is not a pristine place; the sand and the buildings on it show signs of age, while the north-eastern tip of the sandbar is home to a windmill that puts its time of construction as 1918. All of this gives a further sense of presence to the region and the idea it has been inhabited for a long time.
An ageing psychedelic VW van and an old Lambretta / Vespa style scooter sitting on the beach give the suggestion that the region might have once been connected to one or more of the surrounding islands, allowing them to be driven here before being deserted.
The beach offers numerous places to sit, from deck chairs to sun loungers to rowing boats, while those prepared to explore the south side of the island will find an old fisherman’s hut sitting atop a shelved beach. It offers a little more privacy than the more open beach.
There were one or two rough edges to the setting we couldn’t help but notice during our visits – a building or wall set slightly above ground here, floating plants there, one or two unsupported flights of steps. These can be a little unsettling once noticed, and give the impression the region may have been put together in a hurry. However, during one of my return visits I did see Lam working on things, so it’s likely this ruffles are liable to be smoothed out as he has time.
As noted at the top of this article, tropical / Mediterranean themes tend to be a popular choice for region designs as spring progresses into summer in the northern hemisphere. What sets Cherishville apart is the sense of longevity / history I’ve alluded to here that is imbued in the region’s design; this allows a visitor to build up a story about where the island might be, and the past it may have seen.
- Cherishville (Villa Balderney, rated Moderate)