It’s always time for a makeover

It’s usually around about the New Year that I will take a look at my avatar and make a change or two, usually subtle ones. I don’t radically overhaul my avatar, but maybe there’s a slight shift in hair colouring, new glasses, the very same thing I’d be doing in real life.

Of course, any of us can overhaul our avatars at any time, and it can be unexpected things that see us seeking change.

One example is my friend Liz, who hasn’t been one for spending huge amounts of cash in her Second Life, being something of a scavenger when it comes to change.

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Here’s Liz, sporting free hair, skin, clothes and tattoos (although they aren’t visible in this photo).

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And here she is without clothes, sporting freebie tattoos which certainly look extremely dated.

I’ve not been able to get into the Hair Fair yet (‘sim full’ is the message I’ve got so far, not unusual for the first few days of this fabulous annual event).

Liz has managed to get in and her eye was immediately grabbed by a free gift at the Tomboi display, a hairstyle called ‘Glenn’, which she loved, as she says it gives her more of a, well, tomboy look.

It was this one item that convinced her to upgrade her jaded look, stopping off at Artisanna tattoos to join their free group, grab some free group gifts, and re-invent.

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The tattoo she is wearing is called ‘Milky Way’. She suggests that other changes will now follow and, more importantly, she feels the new look has reinvigorated her Second Life. I suppose the lesson is that if you are feeling a little jaded, a new look, at any time, will help add a little extra something to your SL.

Ella

The world we’re living in (pre-amble)

I’m not, never have been and never will be a God-botherer. I’m quite content that others feel differently, but as long as they don’t impose their value system on my value system, I’m in favour of ‘live and let live’.

I have, however, read numerous religious texts in my lifetime, in order to at least understand the world’s major (and some minor) religions.

Sadly, the reality is that others don’t always take this view, and they feel the need to impose their values on me, in a very vocal, political and often legal manner to get their way.

For example, I’m not opposed to abortion. I don’t agree with it being ‘on demand’, used as a contraceptive, in effect, but I recognise that there are some people for whom abortion is a solution. It wouldn’t be my solution, ever, but it exists and is probably best being administered under proper clinical conditions rather than in back streets.

Yet there are some for whom abortion is anathema, up to and including murder in order to oppose what they see as murder (of an unborn child).

Chase the links in the link above and a pattern emerges. Religion sits at the back, in most instances, of the ‘justification’ of these crimes.

You don’t need a religion to have a code of morality. Agnostics and atheists seem perfectly capable of working within a moral framework – we could even call that moral framework ‘The Ten Commandments‘- while cutting out the middlemen, the religious ‘leaders’ who often corrupt the pure word of God for their own ends.

I have had conversations where a Christian will say one thing to me as indisputable fact, to which I present a counter-argument, and yes, I can actually quote from the Bible in support of my argument. The usual get-out clause is cited. ‘That’s not the true word of God, that’s from the x version of the Bible’.it-is-about-tolerance-and-respect-for-everyone-by-everyone-Pno2BO-quote

I might quote from the Tripitaka, Buddhist scriptures, to which a response might be that the Christian doesn’t recognise that, thereby dismissing the views of 488m practitioners around the globe (none of them doing much killing in the name of Buddha).

Then there’s the ‘Muslim question’. There’s the ‘Black Lives Matter’ question. There’s numerous questions about how we get back to a harmonious world in which a white Christian can freely holiday in, say, Afghanistan without fear, a Muslim can walk the streets in religious dress without hate, a black man can reach for his driver’s licence without fear of death.

We’re living in an increasingly fractured world. The temptation is to log in to Second Life and pretend the problems don’t exist, problems more often than not caused by religious divisions out there in the real world. If not directly caused by religion, they’re caused by geo-politics and the needs to extract every drop of oil from the globe (then what? Shouldn’t we be addressing ‘the future’ now and seeking an alternative to oil dependency? One of the things that the World Naked Bike Ride addresses, incidentally).

I’m working on a couple of pieces that will pull these ideas together in a way that also tags naturism and naturist ideals as part of the solution.

I tried this before (and failed) when editing ‘The SL Naturist’, but this time I’m determined to see this through to the end and make a statement about how it’s an ethos of acceptance of one another, tolerance and respect -all central planks in the naturist ethos- that will see us through the awful times we currently inhabit. Part 1 should be up in 2-3 days, with the second part following 2-3 days thereafter.

Ella

 

 

Je suis Nice

memorial_001cHashtags and temporary profile photos on social media won’t change much, of course, other than for those of us who stand in solidarity against this senseless mass murder to express that solidarity.

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We’ve been here before. We probably will be again.

The ever-growing SL ‘Memorial Garden’ relating to these mindless atrocities already has Nice added to the list of placards with which to express solidarity.

There is something deeply depressing that this SL landmark appears to be something of a ‘growth industry’ when one surveys the way it has grown since the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan.

Ella

 

 

Is it safe to come out now?

Wow! What a tumultuous three weeks for those of us here in the UK.

An unexpected Brexit vote (explained in this post by Trine), resignation by the Prime Minister, a rollercoaster ride by the pound sterling (£) in comparison to the dollar and Euro, and then the anointment of our new Prime Minister, Theresa May.

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This means that, in the UK, it’s women who hold many of the top political positions.

First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister for Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Kezia Dugdale

Leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett.

As seismic change to the political landscape of the UK (and its relationship with the rest of Europe) begins to settle, I think most of us will be able to drag ourselves away from the news more often, and I’ll be trying to cover all things naturist in and out of SL while Trine remains on holiday.

Ella

 

 

σε διακοπές

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σε διακοπές…I’m off on vacation tomorrow evening, arriving in Greece in the early hours of Monday morning. Yes, it’s a naturist vacation, and no, I’ve no broad experience of Greek naturism, other than one beach in my distant past.

This time, we’re going with another couple, good friends of ours from our sun club, and we’re hiring a boat. The idea is to sail around some islands and drop anchor at secluded beaches and bays for a day’s sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. And life will be almost certainly (weather permitting) 24/7 naturism on board.

I’ve no idea what time or internet signal I’m going to get on the ocean wave, so it’s possible it will be ‘over and out’ from me for the next three weeks. Or I may get some signal if we pull into a harbour for the night and dine out, in which case I’ll try to update you.
In the meantime,  Ella will resume the editor’s chair for the short term.

Trine

Put your nipples away!

There are some weird people around. Like The Daily Mail and Twitter users.

Serena Williams, a succesful sportswoman by any stretch of the imagination, won another Wimbledon tennis title this afternoon, but all people (well, the Daily Mail and Twitter users) could think of were her nipples.

‘Distracting’.

What? I’m sorry? You had the chance to watch one of the top games in the world tennis tour this afternoon, and all you could think about, focus on, were her nipples?

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There are some silly people around. Most of them seem to have a Twitter account.

Trine

My Tunick experience

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The intention was to come home and grab some sleep as I’ve been up all night. However, the adrenalin rush from participating in Spencer Tunick’s most recent shoot, in Hull (on the English east coast), as part of their ‘City of Culture’ celebrations has left me buzzing!

The intention was to drive up yesterday, Friday, and stay overnight. However, beds in the city were at a premium, with thousands of others having the same idea, so we drove up in the early hours of this morning.

We’d been given an ‘alarm call’ of 300am, so we left the house around midnight and drove the 100 odd miles to Hull, arriving around 200am. A flask of tea and a couple of sandwiches in the car later…and it was onto the site of the shoot, at Hull’s Queen’s Gardens.

Nude models pose for a photograph by U.S. artist Spencer Tunick, for a project titled "Sea of Hull" in HullWhile I’m a naturist, well used to naturist surroundings, this experience was something different. Many, I would imagine, weren’t naturist and there was certainly a sense of friends encouraging each other for their public nude debut.

I’d also suggest that the body paint created a feeling of not being quite naked.

I didn’t feel undressed. I felt I was painted in a blue ‘suit’ of sorts, and if debutants felt the same, I’d imagine it eased their nerves.

The shoot itself was fairly ‘clinical’, but there was a sense of comradeship and camaraderie  between the shots, as we moved locations.

Afterwards, almost every conversation I heard was of how liberating and empowering it had been, and I would agree with that analysis.

More to follow…’Part 2′ takes place tomorrow 😉

Trine