Inara, unfortunately I have to inform you that Sheepville is gone. Since my retirement, I can only commit to running half a region, and I think that eight years of running Sheepville are enough 🙂 . I hope that you will visit my new location, I think it looks nice also even its just half of a region.
With these words, Micky Woodget both informed me of the sad passing on Sheepville, his charming village setting I first visited in 2013, and to which I returned in 2021 (Return to Sheepville in Second Life), a timeless setting both in terms of them mix of eras found within it and in terms of Second Life, where regions can so easily come and go or change beyond recognition from build to build, and invited to visit Seagull Rock, his new setting – and invitation I could hardly refuse.
Although “only” occupying a quarter Homestead, Seagull Rock captures the spirit of Sheepville perfectly; while the buildings may be more modern in looks than the Tudoresque shops and houses of Sheepville, they sit around a piazza shaded here and there by mature trees and with a fountain sitting towards its centre, all of which helps the setting provide an echo of Sheepville.
Unlike Sheepville, however, Seagull Rock abuts the sea via a small fishing harbour tucked into the south-west corner of the town and from which fresh fish are delivered to the local restaurant as it sits just behind the wharves, and the fish market next door. In fact Seagull Rock takes fresh food very seriously, as can be seen at the local butcher shop, bakery and fresh produce market shop, all of which suggest the local countryside has some rich farmlands tucked away beyond the trees.
North of the square, a country track winds its way past a meadow that has been given over to a camp site that allows visitors to make use of the local beach, to arrive at a set of steps leading up to a country pub – the Sheep Inn. This again offers a hint of Sheepville in its look and feel; and although this appears to be a popular stopping-off point for locals (and visitors!), it doesn’t prevent the local fallow deer wandering out of the woodlands (which are presented as a backdrop image to one side of the parcel) and availing themselves of the local pond.
The deer, together with some of the signage to be found within the setting (perhaps most notably at the Post Office, complete with its distinctive pillar box outside) once again suggest this is a place for be found somewhere in the UK – although one of the town buildings offers a touch of Tuscany in its lines.
South of the town, and passing by way of an arch, another track leads to a small cottage. Whilst it might stand empty, the track that connects it with the southern headland’s lighthouse suggests it might have once been the home of a lighthouse keeper, a role that might no longer be required in this age of automation.
One of the things that gives Micky’s builds a certain charm is that although he uses mesh extensively in his designs – the majority of the buildings are those he has made himself – they carry with them a nostalgic feel of being “classic” Second Life, something that can catch the eye and raise a smile among long-term SL users.
Also, with Sheepville, Micky added a degree of depth to the setting through this use of his own animated characters; with Seagull Rock he continues this theme, but using static characters of the kind that have, over the course of the last year or so, become a staple of many public regions. While no longer his own creations, these characters nevertheless again give Seagull Rock a further depth.
Nicely photogenic under a number of EEP settings, easy to explore, rich in detail and nostalgia, Seagull Rock is a delightful successor to Sheepville, carrying much of its memory while offering something entirely new to appreciate. My thanks to Micky for the invitation!
- Seagull Rock (Adana, rated Moderate)