Gelukkige St Nicholas dagen

That (I hope) is ‘Happy St Nicholas’ Day’ in Dutch.

Because today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day, and in some ways it’s more important than Christmas Day in Holland. The Dutch ‘Sinter Claes’ (or Sinterklaas)…well, I shouldn’t need to spell it out that this is where this…santa-claus


…jolly gentleman gets his name!

Incidentally, Sinterklaas has a helper called ‘Black Pete’,sinterklaas-and-zwarte-piet-black-pete and this has become a topic of debate in recent years as to whether Black Pete (‘zwaarte Piet’ in Dutch) is a racist or derogatory term, and portrayal, particularly as the character was often played by a white person ‘blacked up’.

The saint is also celebrated (also with gifts) in the likes of Poland, as Dzien Swietego Mikolaja. Historically, in Poland, children would be tested on their knowledge of the catechism, and rewarded with ‘pierniczki’, cookies in the shape of St.Nicholas (a bit like gingerbread men).

How do I know this? I’ve just read a notecard from SLN publisher Howie, who is a noted Hollandophile or Nederlandophile, and is hosting a St Nicholas Day Party at his SL home. I’ve managed to grab a couple of photos of early arrivals from Harry, who has opted to be in residence all evening! and plans to be partying with Howie’s naturist pals for most of the night. I, sadly, have RL commitments (it’s approaching Christmas and parenting requirements to concerts, providing a taxi service and so on preclude me having much of a presence there tonight!)

Expect, however, to see an elongated, collective piece (and photo essay) from the staff in the next couple of days about the party, along with what I expect will be a fairly lengthy and comprehensive report from tonight’s premier SL naturist party!charlene marjorie2_001charlene marjorie_001




Winter Sports

I don’t think it will be too much of a spoiler to tell you that I’ve been busy all afternoon shooting the longest photo session I’ve ever done, for ‘Day 11′ of our forthcoming ’12 Babes of Christmas’ series.

We visited the Soraya’s Winter Enchantment sim, and did a lot of action shots of the delightfully patient Esme’s skills at ice skating and downhill ski-ing. While not naturist, no one was around for most of the time, lol, so Esme braved the chill and stripped off for an elongated photo session. I did feed her brandy and mulled wine, to keep her warm, so by the time we got to the ice skating shots it wasn’t just the blades and ice that were contributing to her poor balance 🙂 [PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A PG SIM, SO EXERCISE ANY NATURIST ACTIVITY WITH CAUTION]

Once it was over, I returned to my little studio to sift through the results and, I’ll be damned, there were so many great shots, in a fabulous looking sim, that I decided to scrap her as our ‘Day 11’ girl -hence the fact that it’s not too much of a spoiler- and post up several shots as a standalone post.

I must say that this has been a terrific series to shoot. Not just for the lovely looking models, but to visit so many wonderfully constructed sims in their full winter splendour. The light in winter sims -just as in RL photography- makes for a different perspective. I particularly like the light at the Mykonos naturist beach, the white buildings and summer skies adding a luminescence to the SL photos, and these winter shots have been the same. The snow adds a brightness and brilliance to the photos, and I hope I’ve captured some of them in the ‘Babes’ series.

Sometimes, we can get jaded by SL, a case of ‘been there, done that’, but I have to say that Soraya’s sim excited me. To watch Esme experience downhill ski-ing, ice-skating and sledging and then try it for myself was a lot of fun. Winter1winter2winter3winter4winter5winter6winter7winter8winter9winter10