Get well soon, Harry.



I checked my email earlier to find a message from ‘Harry’. Strictly speaking, it was from Harry’s wife, via Harry’s email.

Harry, our photographer, left SLN (and SL) a few weeks ago ‘for the foreseeable future’. I wasn’t privy to the reasons behind a sudden departure from SL. Now, his wife’s email has explained the circumstances.

I won’t go into the detail, other than to say that Harry had some health problems that required fairly urgent surgery, and carried some risk, hence the speed of his departure. Some weeks down the line it seems that the surgery has been a success. Regardless, his recovery period will apparently involve several more weeks in hospital followed by some months convalescing at home. His wife tells me that the two things he’s looking forward to when he gets home are her home cooking and getting back to SL/SLN.

However long it takes, Harry, get well soon, and we look forward to welcoming you back into the fold when the time comes.


The Naked Pumpkin run



We’ve covered the Naked Pumpkin Run before and from an SL context too. Yep. It was possible to buy pumpkin heads for your avatar and replicate, exactly, the real life version. As a result I’m not going to go over it much again, other than to post a few photos and suggest that, if you can find a suitable pumpkin head, you too can have your own pumpkin run in SL.

Previously, in keeping with the RL version’s campus origins, a couple of models undertook a run through an SL university campus.




If you do manage to replicate it in SL, remember to send us the photos!



Dancing naked in the rain

I don’t know if you remember the Blue Pearl song ‘Dancing Naked in the rain‘ (from 1990). A big hit in the UK and on the US dance charts, it soundtracked my and my boyfriend’s summer of 1991 because our weekends always seemed to coincide with downpours. Disappointingly, there wasn’t any actual ‘dancing naked in the rain’ in the video.

At the time I lived in a pokey downstairs terraced apartment with a very small back yard. The yard itself wasn’t overlooked, and barely saw daylight except in the late afternoon in June, so it was possible to hang washing out there nude without any fear of being overseen. At the time I was more naturist-curious than actual naturist. And so my boyfriend and I did dance naked in the rain one day. A real downpour which was bouncing off the roof, bouncing off the tiles in the yard. No, it wasn’t Blue Pearl that was on. I forget what we danced to, an upbeat dance track certainly, and we giggled like children as we got soaked. It was fun, one of those spur of the moment things where we’d been sitting chatting, listening to music, then stood up to watch this particularly heavy downpour from the window, then just deciding ‘we should dance naked in the rain’ followed by a rapid strip and a dash outside to do one of those silly things it’s great to do.

I’m reminded of this incident because I’ve heard a particularly wet and windy weekend lies ahead of us in the UK. No going out and kicking up leaves around the local parks for us. A huge Atlantic storm is threatening to reach the UK, having already caused some damage in the likes of Guadeloupe as part of Hurricane Gonzalo.

We don’t get hurricanes in the UK. Well…we do…but they’re a rare, rare event, and are usually substantially weakened before they reach us. Note that the UK Hurricane of 1987 was on…October 15th! 27 years ago yesterday!

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From my study, I have watched the rain this afternoon, and when the other half came home about an hour ago he came up the stairs and poked his head around the door. ‘Oh…back on Second Life’, he said, before heading to the bedroom to get dressed down in his jogging pants and sweatshirt. ‘What are you writing about?’

‘Dancing naked in the rain?’, I called after him.

‘Yes!’ came the immediate reply.





And so….we did! We tore off our clothes and ran outside into our garden (and we’re lucky enough not to be overlooked) to leap about like two big kids. It was fabulous.


Ella adds: I’d never been naked in the rain until last June, when we experienced a torrential downpour in Spain, beginning about midnight and lasting for a couple of hours. I ran down to the pool and sat in a corner, watching the rain bounce off the surface of the water. I found it to be a magical experience. 

No Bra Day



I missed doing this on the day due to work commitments, but I’m happy to pick it up now and fill you in on the background to the thing.

It seems there are two No Bra days, one in July, one in October (October is generally agreed to be Breast Cancer Awareness month, and you’ll generally find many events in SL that are designed to raise money to eradicate breast cancer). No Bra Day, on the other hand, appears to have been some sort of novelty event about ‘freedom’ and then there has been some subsequent jemmying of it to see if it can be made to fit into October events.

I don’t think we can assume No Bra Day to have any sort of cancer awareness intention, something that Sarah Michelle Gellar commented on via Twitter, suggesting it may exist to pander to perverts

Is she right? Possibly. I’m not seeing much that can be clearly identified as ‘breast cancer initiatives’ about the campaign.

Again, there was ‘a thing’ a while back where there appears to have been some sort of urban myth that a bra might contribute to breast cancer, but that has been dismissed via scientific research.

I’m simply going to say that I kind of agree that it has no proper purpose other than an opportunity to encourage ladies to flash the flesh. As usual, though, Fox News manages to talk the greatest load of drivel about it in as few words as possible.

For the record…there is NO ‘annual holiday’ for ‘setting the girls free’. There’s no real sense of breast cancer survivors hard-selling this on social media. Additionally, I would say that almost 100% of the world’s males are attracted to breasts, so I’m not sure that looking at them makes men ‘perverts’. Rather more…normal? Even one of my Spanish friends who is gay will remark on mine (and other females too) so it seems it might not even be exclusively a hetero male thing (admittedly a poll sample of ‘1’ is hardly scientific).

I’m minded to think that it’s not really a serious attempt to raise aware anything in and of itself though, and Hollywood Life blog certainly does its bit to reinforce that idea. That link shows a parade of braless (but clothed) ‘stars’, many of whom I’ve never heard of, and ‘braless’ in a couple of photos are of evening gowns. Who amongst us has worn an evening gown with a bra? I’m no fashion victim, but even I know that you aren’t going out dressed like that!

The only positive I can draw from this is that if another tranche of braless celebrities sharing their nipples with us reminds someone to check for anything unusual about their breasts, then it’s worth it. But please let’s not pretend that ‘No Bra Day’ is a particularly serious event.






When did we get so scared?



When did we get so scared? by guest columnist Phillipa

Twenty odd years ago, as a teen, we holidayed at my aunt’s farm in rural Britain, a fairly wild, inaccessible and out of the way place. I set off with the idea that I would hate it terribly. I wanted to be hanging out with my friends for six weeks, not stuck out in the wilds for three of them.

Life on a farm seemed like it would be boring. It also felt scary. No noise at night. No light at night. Dogs….were they dogs? Might they be wolves? 🙂 …howling in the dead of night. (Note: there are no wolves in Britain)

My cousins, twins, a few months older than me, were maybe glad of a new face, but they initially seemed less sophisticated than me, a city girl.

Mobile telephones (cellphones) were in their infancy back then, unaffordable to teens and even if they had been, the idea of getting a signal there (and even now) was unlikely. So I was effectively cut off from civilisation for three weeks.

Around the end of the first week a couple of guys arrived by bicycle. They were the son of the neighbouring farmer and his friend, who lived beyond that. He’d cycled around four miles to get to where we were. I found this to be mind-boggling. Who cycles four miles to socialise? Anyway, for most of the second week we just hung out and a bicycle was found for me to huff and puff my way around country lanes in the wake of four rather fitter cyclists than this city girl.

The weather was glorious, the days long and warm. The five of us convened one day with the intention of climbing the tree covered hills beyond the farm, so we made sandwiches and set off. No drinks? No, they explained, they had mountain streams for that. After a hot morning’s climbing I was kind of surprised to see the others arrive at a stream and go face down into it, drinking the water tumbling off the mountainside. Eeuuuww! It isn’t even clean. My companions simply laughed, saying that it was cooler, fresher and cleaner than anything that came out of the taps at their homes, and definitely at my city home.

So with some trepidation, and hot and thirsty, I followed their lead. Wow! How incredible is it that one of my young life’s experiences was drinking water that had a taste of pure, clean nature to it.

For the rest of the day -I told you I wasn’t as fit as my companions- I ended up taking the lead to drink from streams when we encountered one. The drinks were free, tasted wonderful and refreshed me every time.

Of course, all of that water going in had to come out. I whispered to my cousin that I was dying for a pee and she just shrugged and told me to go where I wanted to. But there were boys there! She laughed. ‘Pee break’, she said, and without any warning dropped her shorts, squatted there and then and did what she needed to do. I was shocked. The boys paid no attention to her, but merely unzipped themselves and began to pee against nearby trees.

One of the guys suggested that we do it again the following week and I was more than ready for that, even as I huffed and puffed my way home on the bicycles we’d left unlocked several hours before and which remained untouched on our return.


Over the course of the next few days the plan developed. We’d set off later in the day, take some sausages and make a fire, then cook our own dinner as night was falling. That sounded like a proper adventure.

We set off, minus one of my cousins who had badly sprained an ankle. We climbed, drank from streams, then climbed some more on a new route, eventually emerging in a fern covered glade beside a pool being fed by a waterfall.

‘Anyone up for a swim?’, my cousin asked no one in particular.

‘We’ve no towels or costumes’ I said, also to no one in particular.mountainman mountainman2 mountainman3 mountainman5 mountainman7

All three of my companions laughed and began shedding clothes rapidly. Oh! My! I didn’t know where to look, but still got an eyeful of the first two naked males I’d ever encountered in my life as they leapt off a rock and into the water. My cousin, having to wrestle with a bra, was a little bit behind them, but already bottomless and fiddling with the clasp.

She leapt into the water too.

‘Come on, join us’ she yelled at me. I….I couldn’t. ‘Chicken!’ said one of the boys. No. No one was for calling me chicken. And so I turned my back to them, stripped and, with one hand covering my breasts, the other my pubic hair, joined them in the water. Once in, it felt free. We splashed in the water for what seemed like ages before one of the boys decided it was time to get a fire going before the sun went down, and make a start on our sausage supper.

My cousin and I continued to swim around or now stand, rather bravely I thought, under the waterfall, while the boys got out and then scurried back and forward, naked, gathering twigs and branches to set a fire. In no time it seemed that a blazing fire was underway in fading light. Sausages were thrust onto thin twigs and then thrust into the fire. ‘Come on girls’, one of the boys said, ‘we aren’t cooking your dinner for you’.mountaingirl mountaingirl2 mountaingirl3 mountaingirl4 mountaingirl5 mountaingirl6

So we emerged from the water to be passed twigs to which sausages had already been skewered, and the four of us sat naked by the heat of the fire slowly revolving the twigs until the meat had cooked. Concentrating on the task of keeping the sausages revolving, and not falling from their skewers, I had forgotten I was naked.

Dinner was eaten and we then got dressed before extinguishing the fire and making our way back down to my aunt’s farm. Did I just dream what happened?

I sometimes wonder just when it was we got scared of nature. Scared of drinking from streams. Scared into thinking the water wasn’t clean, wasn’t chlorinated or anything else. Scared to just grab a moment or an hour and live in nature, experiencing nature fully. Scared to go for a walk and, if circumstances dictated, simply strip off and go for a swim. When did we allow our governments to scare us like that?pipps farm4_001bc

It was my only ever skinny dip, I’m sorry to say, but it was an innocent, wonderful thing which was still charged somehow by teenage sexuality. I remember every second of the day vividly. And some day, when opportunity arises, I would love to repeat that mountain waterfall skinny dip if I can.pipps farm6_001b

I’ve never had the opportunity to go on a naturist holiday, but I can relive that day in the context of Second Life. I’m not a particularly avid SL naturist person. Yes, I’ll visit the odd naturist sim but that’s not the main element of my Second Life. But when I’m exploring sims, and I come across a mountain stream or waterfall, I certainly do try to recapture that wonderful RL afternoon of twenty odd years ago.