Hogmanay

Everywhere else in the world it’s New Year’s Eve, but in Scotland it’s Hogmanay.

In terms of celebration ¬†(in Scotland) it probably outshines Christmas, not that we’d be comparing like for like.

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Midnight fireworks over Edinburgh Castle

It’s an excuse for even wilder drinking than the wild drinking Scots already are famous for overindulging in, quite often, and to my mind there’s a case to be made for the Scots being wilder drinkers than the Irish.

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Not everyone overindulges, but many do. Some -even if they have been overindulging, and even if they’re still under the influence of alcohol- participate in a New Year’s Day swim.

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With the Firth of Forth rail bridge (Edinburgh) in the background, Scotland’s New Year’s Day swimmers take to the water at Edinburgh

This year, Jim and I will have Granny looking after the children while we spend the night at a Hogmanay dinner in a castle not too far from home. While Burns Night has a very rigid menu (haggis, tatties and neeps) the Hogmanay menu is rather more flexible -with vegetarian options, not so readily available for Burns Night although this is changing with the introduction of vegetarian haggis.

Whiskey, of course, features on the agenda of Hogmanay (and Burns Night). I’m not an enthusiast and have previously voiced that view, on SL and in RL, something that drew a sharp intake of breath through gritted teeth from the assembled throng in RL. I am, after all, a Sassenach. Sometimes I feel I’m barely tolerated amongst Jim’s friends ūüėČ for daring to be an Anglo-Saxon blow-in.

When we got married, Jim adopted the full Scots regalia…kilt, sporran, even the sgian-dubh, a ceremonial dagger.

It’s not regalia he wears regularly, our wedding and Hogmanay dinners being the exception.

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I also wear something of a Scottish style of tartan dress for the occasion. While I’ve not got any Scottish blood I know of, there’s a tartan for a clan whose name is quite similar to my own, and very similar to the one I bought on the Marketplace for L$199, more coincidence than me choosing one similar to that I wear on occasion in RL.

Jim’s outfit also came from the Marketplace for L$190.

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Jim and Ella celebrate another year.

I have to say that when a few Scotsmen and women get together for a bit of a party, and some highland dancing, the No True Scotsman fallacy is often in evidence.

This runs as follows…

Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
Person B: “But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge.”
Person A: “Ah yes, but no¬†true¬†Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”

Consider this in the context of kilts…

Person A: “No Scotsman wears anything under his kilt.”
Person B: “But my uncle Angus wears tartan boxer shorts under his kilt.”
Person A: “Ah yes, but no¬†true¬†Scotsman wears anything under his kilt.”

And just how true is that?

A survey found that 70% of Scotsmen ‘go commando’, wear nothing, under their kilts.

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Imagine, if you will, several large, burly Scotsmen, slightly drunk (or more than slightly drunk),  taking to the dance floor in kilts, and performing, shall we say, with exuberance.

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Those kilts can, and do, like to fly up. ūüôā

And when they sit down, they also tend to forget they’re in a kilt sometimes, as Queen Elizabeth can probably testify…

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And yes, I can also testify…

What does Jim wear under his kilt?

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Nothing in worn under kilt…it’s all in perfect working order! :-O¬†

Lucky, as a naturist, I’ve seen all of this before. and not easily shocked.

Listen, I love Scotland, its people and its culture, and even though I’ll always be a blow-in Sassenach, my children are firmly Scottish, given that the older two have learned Highland dancing at school, love the skirl of the pipes, my older son (London born, incidentally) loves his kilt and Scottish heritage and both have learned some Gaelic at school. I think we’re here to stay, and I, for one, am happy with the lovely lifestyle we lead away from the grime, noise and sardine-tin existence of London.

For all of the above, written with a slight twinkle in my eye, there’s a serious, naturist-related point, though. In the context of local cultures, there’s often a long tradition of semi or complete nudity. No policeman in Scotland is ever going to step in and arrest a kilt-wearing Scotsman for inadvertently ‘showing all’.

In aboriginal Australia, Polynesia and Swaziland (whose ‘reed dance’ for the King was covered in SLN on several occasions) nudity is part and parcel of local cultures, and accepted as such, even within a body phobic society.

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Swaziland

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Polynesia

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If we’re ‘broad minded’ enough to celebrate elements of nudity as part of expressions of culture, why aren’t we as broad minded when it comes to accepting that, for many, casual displays of nudity are part of the zeitgeist, and that the world has moved on from uptight Victorian values that still ripple across society? When will the time come when we accept that nude bathing is simply nude bathing, without connotations of exhibitionism? When will the time come when we accept that stripping off to swim in the sea is a tradition -a cultural tradition- as old as humanity, and that the sight of a penis, vagina or breasts is part of who we all are? When will the time come when we usher the ‘offence’ caused to a minuscule minority when faced with the unclothed human body away with a chuckle and advice to ‘grow up’?

No further posts today and conceivably tomorrow, given that we’ll be ushering the New Year in and dancing (with alcohol involved) until maybe 400am. I’ll see what tomorrow, and the beginning of another New Year, brings. In the meantime, wherever YOU are, stay safe tonight and all of us involved at SLN will speak to you again in 2017!

Happy Hogmanay!

Happy new Year!

Ella and Jim

(Ella addsmuch of this post was set up during the past week. Many SL Naturist posts are set up in advance…probably not a great revelation to many of¬†you…days and sometimes weeks in advance. ¬†It’s the nature of SL with avatars on/off/on the grid according to RL. So a bit of this was set up prior to my fall earlier this week. I’m fine, but I don’t imagine there’ll be much dancing later this evening. A bit of limping in the direction of the dance floor, and looking like a total Sassenach despite efforts to learn how to do Scottish dancing in recent months. Next year! I promise! Anyway, that’s another year over with SL Naturist. We’re back next year (i.e tomorrow) with further posts and I hope, your hangover permitting, you can join us in 2017. We -Jim and I-¬†are off out for the evening, in Scottish regalia, but the dancing may be limited unless I gobble down a few more pain killers and a couple of drinks. (I’m not a huge drinker at the best of times, but I need a couple to get me on the dance floor -and maybe diminish the back pain…it’s getting better, honestly, since Wednesday but my lack of inhibition on a dance floor never leaves me, regardless of the quantity of alcohol involved). Anyway, whenever your New Year’s Eve started and finished in the context of SL -and it’s possible it’s not begun or finished by the time you read this- I hope it was great. Please, read the posts of the past week, about makeovers, naturism,¬†confidence and anything¬†else and take note. You can make 2017 in SL your best year yet. If you’re interested in naturism, in RL or in SL, and to varying degrees, note that we’ll be here throughout the new year to report on both SL & RL naturist events. Please, join us. Happy New Year! )

New Year’s Eve Party

We like to party at SLN this time of year, but with the caveat that we’re usually 24/48 hours ahead of the real life events. Our Christmas Party was a few days in advance of Christmas, but that’s hardly unique given that we all experience staff Christmas parties in advance of the big day. New Year’s Eve is slightly different. Because so many people are out in real life on December 31st, there’s not much point in holding the New Year’s Eve party on December 31st if no one is online. So we held a little get-together for friends and fellow SL naturists on Friday night, last night, the 30th of December.

We usually try and run it over several hours with people popping in and out (then returning later on, sometimes) over the course of a few hours. We all have real lives too, remember.

These affairs can be a bit hit and miss. I’ve teleported in to find no one else there, and at other times there’s a lot of lag, due to the volume of attendees.

But what we’ve found over the years is that our mutual circle of friends who frequent SL’s naturist sims connect with each other, or we connect with others’ friends. Networking, they’d call it in real life.

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As people often teleport in from other, textile locations, they often arrive dressed.

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But as all are committed SL naturists, they usually get into the mood very quickly.

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French avatar Giblette

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French avatars Giblette and Fanny take to the pool

Being based in the UK, SLN operates on GMT, while SL operates on a 24 hour basis. This means that most of our SL friends tend to be European, simply because we’ll be online in roughly the same time zones together, while America is 5 hours (and more) behind us. It’s quite interesting that I’ve got many European friends in SL naturism, but only a handful of Americans and Canadians, all of whom are based on the Atlantic seaboard of the continent, none on the Pacific side, simply because our SL ‘downtime’ doesn’t often coincide.

Even within Europe, I tend to find my continental European friends will be online early in my evening, the Brits beginning to log in a little later. It was no surprise, then, to find early arrivals were French avatars Giblette and Fanny.

Of course, one important facet to this NYE party is that with Christmas out of the way we’re all already plotting our summer holidays. Fanny is a real life naturist, and in conversation with her I learned she would be trying a new location on the Mediterranean coast this summer, having spent the past few years touring around naturist campsites more centrally located in France, a bit closer to her home. Such is the value, to real life naturists, of meeting similar real life naturists in Second Life.

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Franco-German relations. German avatar Dagmar chats with French avatar Ricard

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The global nature of SL. Californian Ori, living in Berlin in RL, chats with Australian Charlene, now living in London 

Our drinks waiter was very popular…

…wearing nothing more than the bow tie we blogged from Caboodle a few days back, and just as the party was beginning, I got wind that the SL Sydney sim was also holding its own party 24 hours early, almost certainly for the same reason we did – avatars are busy in RL tomorrow night. Hang on! Did that poster say ‘gifts for the new year’? Indeed it did, so I threw some clothes on and made my excuses for a few moments to investigate. And yes, they did/do have free gifts, including a lovely LBD (little black dress) complete with top hat. I headed back to the party, whispered in the drinks waiter’s ear, offered to hold the tray for him (even though I ended up only holding it one glass at a time ūüėČ )

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When he returned, our drinks waiter, in his ‘outfit’, proved to be exceptionally popular with arrivals, several of them queuing up to pose with him.

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I imagine that the freebies at Sydney will probably still be available by the time you read this on the proper New Year’s Eve.

Away back in 2013, which seems like a lifetime ago now, we blogged what we thought might have been SL’s first blogged, gay kiss.¬†My SL friends Cecil and Ringo still play SL and are still together as a SL couple -and for those homophobes who decry ‘degeneracy’, consider if you know a single heterosexual SL relationship that has endured for the same length of time. I got to know Ringo when he wrote about gay issues for Emmanuelle’s blog and I was covering naturist matters, and we’ve been great friends on SL ever since, and I eventually met Cecil through him. Indeed, all my gay and lesbian friends in SL are friendships forged through introductions by Ringo.

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And here he is sneaking up behind me, giving me a hug and whispering in my ear (i.e. a private message) about what’s to follow….

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Cecil and Ringo announce their engagement at the party. Looks like I’ll need a SL hat for a SL wedding in 2017!

…I confess I’d slipped back to real life when the big announcement was made, at the party, ¬†that Cecil and Ringo are getting engaged. It (engagement) doesn’t have the same importance in SL as it might have in RL, but their SL relationship is strong and they’d like to formalise it. No date set yet, but we will be covering the wedding of Cecil and Ringo whenever it takes place, and I’d like to congratulate two lovely, lovely fellas whose sunny personalities shine through into SL as well. And the boys look cuter and hotter than they did back in 2013, testament to how our avatars slowly evolve and improve. I can’t begin to describe the SL laughs I’ve had with these two guys, and I wish them well in their SL future.

It’s easy to denigrate lifestyles some of us don’t fully understand, be they naturist, furry, gay or whatever, but I’m a firm believer in being open to new SL experiences. I think, through SL, I’ve discovered a deeper understanding of a version of the gay scene, thanks to these two fellas.

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Ella and ‘her boys’

I find that in SL so many male avatars are so, so fixated on their ‘red blooded, masculinity’ that they studiously avoid friendships with other males, be they hetero or gay. It’s all, for some, about getting female avatars naked and onto the right pose balls that they ignore the potential to form great¬†male-male SL relationships.

One of the reasons I friended Howie is that, first time I met him, he was delivering a withering put-down of one of those ‘griefer’ avatars to used to drop into certain sims, like naturist ones, and begin asking females for sex or being obnoxious about gay or lesbian avatars. Thankfully, SL appears to have grown up and moved on in the intervening years. So Howie was delivering this elongated series of messages in local chat, each one more confusing to the griefer avatar, each one more and more amusing to the rest of us, about that avatar’s RL inadequacies as a person.

‘I’ve never like f******g homophobes in or out of SL’ was, I think, possibly the first IM I ever received from him when I congratulated him (also in IM) on his sneering contempt. ūüôā (I’m paraphrasing, it was seven years or more ago, but he’ll correct me if I’m wrong).

So…at least seven years on and we’re still playing SL, still good friends, still happy to deliver a withering put down of any homophobes out there. I’m pleased to say that, in SL, there’s much less racism apparent to me (your perception may be different) than there is homophobia. If there’s racism in SL it’s more of a media-driven ‘stereotype’ kind, though, with black avatars expected to play one of two roles – the gangsta/pimp male or female hooker.

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Of course we can’t say with any certainty that we are who we say we are in SL. Are Candi and Kew, black female avatars, as much of a rarity in SL naturism as they are in RL naturism, actually black women in real life? Am I a woman? Is Howie a man? Well, eventually you get a ‘feel’ for regular correspondents -it’s hard to keep a pretence going over a long period of time in SL- and can say that people are as they portray themselves. I wasn’t at the party when Candi and Kew were there, but I can pretty much vouch for them being what they say they are, black women. Kew (on the right in this photo) is a particularly articulate avatar (Candi may be as well but I don’t know her or have her listed as an SL friend) who has given me a long explanation about positive black female role models, starting with Michelle Obama.

‘A great, positive role model. While I do visit naturist sims, more because I enjoy the sense of fun at them more than the nudity -naturists seem to be very talkative in SL- I have a tendency to run the Kew avatar with Michelle as the role model I’d like to project. You’re right, Ella, none of us know if we’re speaking to black, white, male, female in SL, but where possible I try to project a ‘hey, get educated and be the best you can’ function. Standing on a street corner looking for Johns doesn’t have to be your real life or Second Life reality’.

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‘My whole schtick, the half rim glasses pushed down my nose and business suits, is deliberately calculated to present the image of an intelligent, academic black woman, not portray myself or any other black woman, as a ho’.

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With midnight approaching and to¬†celebrate Ringo & Cecil’s impending¬†nuptials, Howie breaks out the champagne

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There may be a few more ‘straggler’ photos in the morning, but for now, that’s the majority of the New Years Eve (-24) SLN party.

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Celebrating the chimes of Big Ben at midnight!

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Down on the beach, Louise and Duncan get cuddly with this free pose from West End (no group join fee) (the same pose Ringo used to sneak up on me and hug me, further up the page)

I will have at least one post up later today (December 31st) but my slip, trip and fall earlier in the week my curtail my ‘dancing’ tonight. However it plays out, I’m off out for the evening, dancing or not, but I’ll put that final post of 2016 up before I head out for the evening. Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I hope you’ll join us in 2017 for another year of SL Naturist!

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Ella

New Year, New Me

by guest columnist Annie

This time two years ago, as I was preparing for a New Year’s Eve Party, my husband dropped the bombshell that he didn’t love me anymore and was leaving me. He wanted a divorce. He’d met someone else.

We’d been together since High School, he was the only boyfriend I ever had, we got married after graduating, I got pregnant, he got to be a big-shot in our town, and got pretty rich doing it. He got to be mayor eventually. I enjoyed the ride, I have to say. I was a soccer mom, on the PTA, known as Mr. Bigshot’s adoring wife, raised our kids, saw them off to university and as soon as they were gone…so was he, apparently.

A 50 year old mother of four, who’d dedicated 30 years of my life to supporting him throughout. Over in an instant.

And I was being traded in for a younger model, someone our daughter’s age.

I’ve played SL for a number of years, but never did I need it more through the past two of them, living in rented rooms having lived in a huge ranch house on the edge of town, without any savings of my own, flipping burgers in a restaurant just to pay the rent.

I must have been a little bit attractive, because guys in the restaurant would hit on me from time to time. Maybe it was just the beer. But I’d ‘got old’, apparently, and ‘let myself go’, apparently.

As we were now communicating through lawyers, I couldn’t hit him, so I hit the gym instead.

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I couldn’t believe the amount of hate that spilled out during those long months, and despite spending time working out, a lot, I still looked in the mirror and saw the same old me.

I was even doing what a lot of older women do, talking naked selfies in the mirror in order to try and validate myself as attractive, still youthful, still ‘hawt’.

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It didn’t appear to be working until, one day, it did. Another gym session, another lonely drive back to my lonely rented apartment, another naked selfie which I compared to a naked selfie from a couple of months before. And I was thinner, tauter, firmer, more youthful. I worked on at the gym with my personal trainer, now eating more healthily because I really couldn’t afford to live the ‘high on the hog’ lifestyle I’d been used to.

It feels like a betrayal of women to suggest that I had to be thinner, tauter, more youthful, as if we need to be slaves to some male ideal. But it made me feel better, not just in terms of looking better, but just feeling healthier, more full of energy than I’d been in years. And some guys had been hitting on me, so I mustn’t have been totally gross, beer or not. Sure, there were times when I was tempted to bed hop with one or two of them, younger guys, just to prove to myself I could still get a nice looking guy in bed, drunk or not, but I resisted that urge. One, because I’m not the type of gal to sleep around and two, I didn’t want him slapping any ‘adultery’ claim on the divorce.

My makeover continued [Annie tells me that it was a couple of ‘makeover’ stories in the back pages of SLN that inspired her to write up her own story: Ella] with me getting some colour into my greying hair, my glasses disappeared to be replaced by contacts, and I was using the tanning beds to improve my skin’s healthy ‘glow’.

Actually, given the time I dedicated to me rather than him, I felt I was looking ‘hawt’ for a Mom of 4 in her fifties.

What’s even better is that the divorce was finalised recently. It could have been finalised long before, but he fought it for a long time because it meant me getting half of everything.

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The best bit was that he hadn’t seen me since I was effectively discarded two years ago this week until we went to court. We could’ve been over and done with long before, but because he fought it and argued it in the hope that I’d fold on a tiny settlement, it dragged on and on. They’ve been two hard years, in and out of the gym, but in the end all the worry was worth it because he hadn’t laid eyes on me for two years, and my makeover took that long to bring me to a place I wanted to be for myself. I think he was shocked at how I looked. I’d like to think that he thought he could have been sharing my bed, that he’d thrown away 30 years over some little trailer park bimbo (she wasn’t from a trailer park, but I like to keep my projected images intact, thanks). That’s the trailer park bimbo who dumped him weeks after he’d lost half his assets to me, lol.

In my dreams, the phone rings and it’s him, sounding drunk and lonely, wishing me a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year, before telling me I was looking stunning and a little bit of him still loves me and maybe we could meet for a drink and start again. Because I’m ‘hawt’. And I tell him sorry, my new boyfriend and I are just going to bed. It probably won’t happen like that, ever, but a girl must have her dreams, of the future, of working hard to remodel herself having been cruelly discarded.

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And when her new boyfriend looks at her naked body and smiles and tells her she’s beautiful, the makeover is complete. And, hey, readers, I didn’t dream that last sentence.

Annie

Ella adds: Many of us SL avatars, taking advantage of the terrific freebies available at this time of year, do makeovers or tweaks to our avatars, something that generally reinvigorates SL play. A new look leads to new situations, new locations to visit, new friends. So if you’re going to do a makeover for your avatar, the time is now! You won’t regret it.

Ella further adds: Oh my goodness! Two hours after I post this, the UK’s Daily Mail post an article which echoes elements of the above post.

Whoops!

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I was at the shops yesterday when I got a heel stuck in some sort of metallic rail on a floor and came crashing down!

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I immediately knew I’d hurt my back so, unbelievably and embarrassingly to my mind, I was made to lie still until an ambulance arrived and I was carted off to the hospital’s casualty department (i.e. Accident and Emergency or the Emergency Room in your part of the world) in a neck brace and on a stretcher (see the pic below as to how I was carted off the the hospital) with the idea I might have done some damage to my neck. Five hours later I emerged (our National Health Service isn’t quick, but it’s thorough, free and first-rate) with some x-rays that show I’ve certainly damaged my back, but the neck is fine. Happily, a week or so of rest, a few pain killers and some gentle exercise to aid the healing process should suffice.

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It was an accident. No one needs to get sued over an accident, incidentally. Too many are quick in our modern society to phone for a lawyer before they phone for an ambulance.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that last night, despite posts ready to go, I didn’t feel up to being in the computer chair and I slumped into a recliner to veg in front of the television, something I never do.

Today’s been better, pain wise, although I certainly know I’ve been in the wars, despite sitting around most of the day doing nothing. Fortunately it’s a holiday period when both of us are off work and I have been able to sit, rather than child caring, although I’ve had to do some of that with the youngest one anyway.

I’ll see what this evening brings, in terms of being relatively pain free, and that will be the measure of whether I get more posted tonight.

Ella

Ofra

Politics, in a narrowly defined sense, is what we avoid at SLN where possible, although clearly some posts do have a more general political thrust regarding issues like feminism, Free the Nipple, and LGBT rights, issues we support without being party political.

2016 has been a seismic year in the political landscape, with divisive votes in the US Presidential Elections and the UK’s vote to leave the EU, but we’ve sat on the fence regardless of our own views.

However, matters in the Middle East have rumbled on and on and on, with the focus less on Israel/Palestine this year than they were firmly focussed on Syria and what we hope is the imminent defeat of the inhumane, bloodthirsty, crazed minds of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. We can but hope that they are destroyed in 2017; that would be a good news story for all of us, not least the Muslims living under their yoke of terror.

But let’s swing back to Israel and Palestine for a moment.

I was at a naturist sim the other day when I encountered Ofra, an Israeli avatar who is currently serving in the Israeli Defence Forces, often on patrol along the border with Palestine. ‘Hang on’, she interjects, ‘sometimes I’m doing really mundane stuff. It’s not like I’m dodging a bullet every time I’m out of barracks’.

Like everyone else in Israel, Ofra must serve in the army as part of her National Service and despite going into the process with a deep hatred of ‘uniforms and authority’, she has found she’s rather enjoying the experience.

‘I don’t enjoy it in the sense of us being in a state of readiness, and under attack, all the time. I enjoy the camaraderie, the friends I’ve made. I would much prefer to be in Palestine in peace, as people’s friend, helping, rebuilding, rather than being seen as an instrument of hatred. Almost all my friends feel the same way. It’s something we have to do, but it’s something we’d prefer we weren’t doing, and just coexisting peacefully’.

Ofra refuses to be drawn on the rights and wrongs of the situation.

‘That’s for the politicians. We get attacked, we step up security in a hard, proactive manner, the Palestinians resent us more…attack us more…it’s a never ending cycle’.

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We meet in a bar in SL to talk, and her sense of weariness at the situation is palpable. ‘My parents did National Service. Eventually I’ll have children and they’ll do National Service, and the situation will largely remain the same, I expect. I’m caught up in that just as much as people in Gaza are. In the main, they’d love it all to stop, as would I, but we’re left in this awful situation for all of us because of the politicians’.

But we didn’t just come to talk politics. As I said earlier, I met Ofra in a naturist sim, and of course I asked if she was a real life naturist. She laughed and said she’d gone skinny dipping in both the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, but there wasn’t much opportunity for naturism as SLN would understand it. And it was Spencer Tunick who sparked her interest in naturism.

‘He came to Israel about five years ago and did a shoot. I so, so wanted to take part, but I was only 16 at the time, hahaha and was rejected when I applied’.

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‘I would have loved to have been part of that. He came back again, but it was on a smaller scale and by this time I was doing my National Service and even had I been picked I might not have got the time off.’

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‘If he ever comes back I’m determined to be part of it, whether I’m 25 or 65!’

Now intrigued by the whole aspect of being naked outdoors, Ofra says that she would go off to isolated beaches when she learned to drive and would swim naked. ‘It’s such a wonderful, freeing, liberating feeling’, she tells me. ‘Sometimes I’d go with friends, sometimes alone. When I was 18 I spent the whole summer obsessed with being naked as often as I could. I would go out to a place called the Beit Zayit reservoir (East Jerusalem) and swim there. Don’t forget Israel is a small country. Ashdod, on the Mediterranean coast, was only an hour’s drive from where I lived, so it was easy to get to isolated beaches on the coast. One of my friends in the army is from a place called Nir Am, which is about 2kms from the Palestine. We still spent the afternoon sunbathing topless in her garden, haha. I know people have this weird idea about Israel but most of the time it’s pretty normal. Less normal when you’re in the Army, but still pretty mundane. It can have its moments though’.

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The Arab she has the closest relationship with her in her life is through Second Life! ‘And I bet I’m the only Jew he’s spoken to at length. I was walking through Second Life Israel one day and another avatar IM’ed me. That was Omar. He’s been a great friend in SL for about a year now.’

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‘He’s not Palestinian, I won’t say where he’s from, but we got chatting and we’d more in common than divided us. Naturism was one of the key common interests. Omar had spent a summer in Europe and had experienced communal naturism first hand. I was very envious, hahaha. Strip away the politics and the clothes and we’re all just human beings. We’ve shared quite bit of time at different SL naturist sims over the past year. If we’re both online at the same time it’s generally where we’ll meet up’.

Naturism as a common denominator?

‘In our case, yes. Naturism transcends me being Israeli and Jewish. Naturism transcends Omar being Arab and Muslim. It’s not going to work for the whole world. Maybe if it did we’d have a more peaceful world!’

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Ofra guards a mall in SL Israel.

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Ofra on helicopter training

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Arabs and Israelis. United in naturism?

Diane

 

 

 

Formal

SL will probably do a number of ‘formal’ black tie events on New Year’s Eve, particularly around the ballroom type sims such as Frank’s Jazz Place, which actually requests formal wear all year round. It’s a nice idea to have people dressed up properly for dancing, and there are some marvellous designs on display any time you check in there or one of the other ballrooms around SL. They’re also very popular, a great place to meet new people.

Caboodle has several gifts out, including a bow tie to set off that great formal look, and it’s free (L$0) as well as the group join being free. (nb: the link takes you to a central tp spot for several stores, just check the sign, select Caboodle and tp onwards to reach the store).

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Why shouldn’t naturists be any less formal? ūüėČ

The bow tie comes in male and female sizes and with a colour change HUD.

If you’re off to any NYE events at SL’s naturist sims over the weekend, look your smartest, best dressed self. A bow tie and a birthday suit. As timeless a look as a little black dress! ūüėČ

 

Ella

12th night

I’m a natural ‘12th nighter’, when the tree and lights come down, but I’m blogging this early in case it disappears before then.

It’s a ‘tangled lights’ pose, we all know that feeling, of when the tree comes down.

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I’d have saved this until January, but as I’m not sure it’ll be there by then, I’m blogging it now. You can get your own tangled tree lights pose at Caboodle (L$0, no group fee). Grab it now, for whenever you’re taking the lights down at your own SL property.

I’d be more than thrilled if someone were to produce a wassailing pose -now there’s a peculiarly ‘local’ tradition to the UK, when people sing to apple trees (it’s even more local to the west country of England) to ensure a good harvest, a tradition that I believe predates Christianity.

As usual, the SL Marketplace turns up pretty much anything you can imagine, and wassail bowls are available, as associated with 12th night.

While searching, I looked for Morris dancers, another English folk tradition, and while there’s much less available, the local folk tradition does turn up on the MP.

I do love the local folk traditions and music, as they plug into centuries old tradition that modern life can’t shake off.

 

Many of these folk traditions have a deep seated history, developed from a pagan tradition in England, from where arises the whole Wiccan, ‘sky clad‘ tradition of performing religious ceremonies naked.

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Ella