Our winter wonderland

If summer naturism is defined as ‘sun, sea and sand’ then winter naturism must be defined as ‘snow, santa hats, saunas and skis’. Yes, naturists can be a hardy lot, particularly those in Scandinavian countries, or Russia, where proper winter descends. The Finnish sauna sometimes ends with a plunge into an icy lake, sometimes with a hole cut into the ice to allow the sauna to be completed in an appropriate fashion.95b2409f82e882222d8c7a7066303ff9

A post sauna snow bath in Vermont.



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NAKED SKI INSTRUCTOR CALENDER © EuroPics[CEN] Twenty-four hunky male and sultry female instructors braved the Alpine cold over 6,000 feet above sea level in Austria's stunning Arlberg region to strip to down to nothing more than their birthday suit and some strategically placed skis for the 'SkiInstructors Calender'. -- europics@cen.at -- +4318121287 --


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Second Life look fantastic in the snow. So I took the opportunity to follow up on Trine’s earlier post and capture myself in the Second Life winter wonderland.

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I would encourage all readers to grab some photos of themselves at some very photogenic winter/Christmas sims right now and submit them, as Trine suggested earlier today.

 

Abigail.

First snowfall!

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First snowfall of the winter here in the north of England. It’s hardly deep and crisp and even, but it’s cold!!!!!!!! Rising to a real life challenge, I even stepped out into the light dusting we received this morning in my birthday suit 😉 and posed for photos for that special family album. We’ve got photos of myself and my significant other swimming, sunbathing, BBQ-ing, all manner of summer naturist activities in all manner of naturist locations, but not one in snow before today. Before you ask, my S.O also posed, and we also put the self-timer on to capture ourselves as a couple. Yes! It was really cold! No! I’m not posting them here! 🙂

But it got me to thinking about how Second Life is bedecked in its winter glory and maybe we should try to capture a sense of a naturist wonderland.

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I teleported into Frisland, looking fabulous under a blanket of the white stuff, and grabbed a few snaps there to kick off a little pre-Christmas challenge to staff and readers alike. Send me or direct me to your naturist winter photos (if you use something like Tumblr, Flickr or Instagram) and I’ll post a gallery of them. I’ll add a few more myself, and hopefully we can publish a little gallery before the end of the weekend, and a bigger gallery next week.

 

Trine

 

 

Some presents arrive by bike, rather than reindeer

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Apparently, Howie holds a ‘Christmas party’ at his SL home each year. In reality, this takes place over several days as not everyone is online at the same time of day, or even the same day., and the event has previously been photographed for SL Naturist. Plans are already underway for this year’s party, and it appears there will be a ‘Photo Special’ on SL Naturist this year, published on Christmas Eve. Howie invites all of his naturist friends, and apparently it’s legendary for a bit of SL ‘networking’ with new SL friendships often made.

In advance of it, model Malgorzata has turned up on her bike, laden with presents to put under the tree which has just gone up.

This three pose Christmas bike set is available on the Marketplace for L$50.

While much of the grid is now covered in a blanket of snow, the nice thing about living in a naturist paradise like the Eden Naturist Estate is that the sun shines all the year round, and it’s warm enough to pursue the naturist lifestyle.

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Presents delivered, Howie helps Malgorzata set them under the tree

Abigail

Thanks to the Fab Free blog for highlighting this pose set.

‘All fur coat and no knickers’

Here in the UK there’s an expression ‘all fur coat and no knickers’. It generally refers to people who have a veneer of substance and style but are impoverished in reality. That impoverishment does not necessarily refer to money either. They will buy something expensive, for show, without necessarily looking after the fundamentals. They will talk up their job as the ‘administration co-ordinator for corporate insurance for the south of England region’ when the reality is that they’re a secretary in a hardware store in Brighton whose responsibilities last week included getting buildings insurance for their single shop.image

The FAD Fashion Event offers a variety of free group gifts, one of which is a short fur jacket.

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Below, our model demonstrates that she is definitely is ‘all fur coat and no knickers’.

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Abigail

Meeuwenstrand

Meeuwenstrand (it translates from Dutch as ‘Gull Beach’ or ‘Bird Beach’) is a new ‘naturist’ location to me, which has been highlighted courtesy of Howie. I’ve no idea how he discovered it, as it doesn’t turn up on any naturist searches I’ve done, but I’m grateful for the heads up.

Before I set off to explore it, let me begin with a photo from there :-

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Since taking over at SL Naturist I’ve been researching as much as blogging, and the ‘tiers’ (for those who don’t know) are the weekly rental costs of having a sim (or part of a sim) and the opportunity to have your own sim build. These do appear to be quite high, Currently, an entire region costs $195 US dollars a month. Some regions might be $295 per month. That’s a lot of money, £195 per month (for the $295 region fees) or €270 (euros). Can you afford over £2000 a year to run your own sim? Doubtful. It’s a lot of ‘disposable income’ to find and justify. The price of a two week holiday for two, including spending money. There’s a lot of commitment to shell that out each month.

I wouldn’t do it. I’d be hard pushed to look at tier fees of any more than something in the region of £1.oo per day, the price of a newspaper, for example. It seems to me that one of the main reasons why Second Life hasn’t exploded into the public consciousness as it should have done is the cost of tiers. With storage space allegedly getting cheaper by the day and servers cheaper, how can such costs be justified? Perhaps the sense of ‘disposable income’ is different in the US than it is to Europe, or the rest of the world. Linden Labs, who operate Second Life as a game, are presumably making profits, but you know as well as I do that we’re constantly getting in-world messages, or blogger notices, that x, y or z store is closing. Tier costs must be a prime reason, much more than people outgrowing the game.

I’ve not done a lot of research on the age demographics of Second Life, other than to note that the 45-55 age group (who might have disposable income) appear to make up a sizeable proportion of Second Life’s users.

Then there’s the issue of global economics. Second Life is based on a north American economic model, an issue Ella previously picked up on in response to a posting by Canary Beck. With regard to Second Life 2.0, in the planning stage as ‘Sansar’ (rather than being called ‘Second Life’) Ella said:

‘Sansar’ needs to encourage (other) economies by re-modelling its economy to reflect these emerging powerhouses (certainly the Brazilian and Indian markets, Russia appears to be increasingly insular and China is fairly closed as far as the internet is concerned) and get players building and developing ‘Sansar’. We need to be able to wander through multi-sims of Indian countryside, of Brazilian rain-forest, to get back to the SL I remember when I first started playing. That is, sims where ‘education’ played a role.

I would agree. What is ‘disposable income’ for Americans, $295 a month, is almost 20,000 Indian rupees, for example. The average Indian wage is the equivalent of…$295!!!!! Or just shy of 20,000 Indian rupees. It’s little wonder that an emerging economy isn’t being reflected in the number of Indian based (or architecturally similar) sims on the grid.

The economic disparity is also reflected in other countries’ average incomes.

If western, north American or European based stores are closing because the economics don’t make sense, what chance do emerging economies have to make a mark in Second Life? We’re pretty much left to a few westerners with an interest in certain locations or cultures grasping the nettle of giving India, or Mexico, or Argentina, or central Africa a presence in Second Life.

So Epoxylady, who appears to be the owner of Meeuwenstrand, is quite correct in her assessment of tiers being too high.

What of Meeuwenstrand itself? My opening sentence referred to it as a ‘naturist’ beach in quote marks because it is, strictly speaking, a ‘clothing optional’ beach. The entire sim is peppered with ‘bots’, as you can see from the photos, and they’re in a variety of swimwear, or not, underscoring its clothing optional credentials.

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The sim, rather delightfully, acknowledges that we’re not all of a uniform size.

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Trine joins the C-O queue at the cafe

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A pregnant bot uses the ATM

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Several naturist bots outside the cafe.

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A group of ladies chat outside the cafe

What I particularly like about Meeuwenstrand is the sense of space and simplicity in the building of it. Usually, a Second Life beach means one thing -the tropics and palm trees- so it’s delightful to come across a very real and different sense of what a build should include. In this instance it’s typical Holland. Sand dunes, wind farms, pill boxes (a legacy of WW2) being an inspired piece of beach ‘furniture’. It’s also very like the English coast directly across the North Sea.

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Meeuwenstrand’s wind farm

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A house on the coast, also typically Dutch with its stepped gable.

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The Marram grass is typical of sand dunes.

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A trawler registered in Sunderland, north-east England, ploughs the water off Meeuwenstrand.

This is possibly the least realistic element of the build 😉 as the EC have pretty much destroyed Wearside’s fishing fleets over many, many years.

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An unexploded WW2 mine washes up on the beach 70 years later. Even this is a realistic touch, as beaches in Holland, France, Belgium and England are occasionally closed while the military blow up a mine that may have washed up.

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I finally get out of my clothes to enjoy a beach cafe

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Sunbathing time!

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All in all, it’s a magnificent, inspiring build that so much can be achieved with so little and accurately reflect an area in doing so. It deserves recognition and a wider audience. Go visit!

If you know of a naturist or clothing optional beach that SL Naturist has written about or discovered yet, please let us know and we’ll do our best to give it some publicity.

Trine

Valkyries

Sorry to poke into the normal order of SLN, but I was interested and excited to read a post on the Valkyrie Kiss blog page. Apart from being SL players, they’re also musicians and have a record out, available on iTunes, amazon and the usual musical outlets.

Why does it interest me?

Prior to setting up SLN, and being someone who creates his own music, I toyed with the idea of having some sort of crossover between SL and the real world, and establishing an in-world record label, or music blog page on which to promote the music made by SL’s players.

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What I dreamed of, Valkyries have done. I’d urge you to visit their website or their bandcamp pages to hear their album, or their merchandising page to show how talented some of SL’s musical players are, and how they integrate their real world endeavours with Second Life.

Congratulations to everyone involved. I am thoroughly impressed by their crossing between SL & RL.

Howie

King Ca-nude

Here in Merrie Olde Englande, we learn about British history when we’re in primary (elementary) school. William the Conqueror and his forces killing King Harold with an arrow in the eye, Henry VIII and his six wives, King Alfred (burning his cakes) and one of the kings who preceded Harold, William and the Norman Invasion, and also of King Canute, more properly King Cnut.

Canute, who also ruled Denmark & Norway, is usually attributed as a king gone mad, sitting in his throne at the sea, convinced his royalty gave him supernatural powers and he could turn back the tides. Apparently this is untrue, and it’s accepted that he did have his throne set on a beach in order to prove to others that he didn’t have any super powers, and was a mere mortal as with the rest of us.

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Here we have our own King Canute of SL, more properly King Canude, crown on his head, ‘throne’ by the water, attempting to turn back the SL tides.

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Diane