Cherishville’s coastal spring in Second Life

Cherishville II, March 2021

We were drawn back to Lam Erin’s Cherishville on the advice of region super sleuth Shawn Shakespeare, who noted to me the region has relocated since our last visit in mid-2020, and has been redressed for the spring season.

The last time we visited, Cherishville has been given a look of tropical splendour that mixed a splash of the Caribbean with a twist of the Mediterranean, whilst also carrying a sense of timelessness. For the new setting, the region – now referred to as Cherishville II – has moved to a somewhat more temperate climate in terms of its setting. However, while sporting a new look, it retains that air of timelessness.

Cherishville II, March 2021

I say this because as you explore the region elements pop-up that give cause to consider it to be in a certain period, but then others appear to suggest something else. For example, on arrival I felt I’d dropped into a coastal setting that is in the immediate post World War II era. A 1940s Citroen is parked at the roadside, whilst a worn-out 50’s style car is slowly being overtaken by grass and weeds. Similarly, a boat moored close by has that 40’s / 50’s styling about it, whilst across the water the ruins of a large house look as if they are the result of ordinance of some kind having struck it. But then, in looking around, other details surface that suggest the region is placed in a more recent period.

Take, for example, the ruined house; it sits on one arm of the local harbour’s cove, the east and west ends still standing, the middle long gone, the wreckage having been cleared so that the space created might be used as the outdoor forecourt to a café-bar. This sits slightly set back from the ruin as you look at it, and is of a distinctly modern architectural form – that of a giant coffee mug, complete with handle, its brickwork almost pristine – suggesting it belongs to more recent times then the post-war years. Similarly, the two motorbikes parked outside of the old walls to the property suggest they are far more recent than the 40s or 50s, particularly given the off-road looks of one of them.

Cherishville II, March 2021

These dichotomies extend to the overall design of the region, which tends to suggest it might lie somewhere along the Atlantic coast of France (allowing for the presence of the surrounding mountains, hardly a feature of the western coast of that country!), but which can also awaken thoughts of the more remote parts of the North American continent, or in my case (again allowing for the off-region mountains)  in places brought to mind thoughts of Cornwall or Ireland. Thus, a further layer of magic is added to the scene.

The bay mentioned above is home to both the landing point and a small hamlet that might have once seen fishing as a potential mainstay, although those times may well have passed. While there is a fishing boat present, it is out of the water and up on stocks; whether it is undergoing repairs or restoration is open to debate, but it’s ageing condition matches that of the buildings close by, suggesting that it and they no longer see regular working use.

Cherishville II, March 2021

The hamlet’s presence spreads beyond the curve of the region’s inlet, extending eastward from where the café bar sits on the northern coast. Here again, the buildings offer a sense of age as they huddle around the foot of a narrow hill to reach an old stone built farmhouse. The flank of the hill directly behind this farmhouse has neat rows of lavender marching up it, as if going to war against the remnants of an ancient fort the crowns the hill. With its circular walls standing without evidence of ever being part of a larger structure, this put me in mind of the promontory forts of Cornwall and Devon – although similar ruins may well be found elsewhere in Europe.

While the slope from farm house to fort can be climbed, the best way to reach the latter is via the road that points south from the harbour and the landing point before meandering its way around the landscape. This is ideal for exploration on foot or – if you have one – via a wearable horse.

Cherishville II, March 2021

Running under tree and beside more lavender neatly arrayed in a field, this is one of those roads that, while you know you are confined to a single region, has the feeling of genuinely going somewhere. As you follow it, the bay and the buildings around it are gradually and naturally obscured by the trees and the lie of the land, whilst what lies ahead is similarly gently revealed as you explore.

It’s possible that at one time the fort offered a commanding view over the bay and the surrounding landscape, but the passage of years have seen the slopes around it become the home of trees that now match and exceed it in height such that whatever command it once had has long since passed. Now it sits with stones worn by weather and moss, a memento of a bygone era and, perhaps, the setting for lover’s trysts.

Cherishville II, March 2021

Beautifully laid out and presented, this iteration of Cherishville ensures the region retains its reputation as a photogenic highlight of Second Life.

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