This time last year I had ‘bowed out’ of SLN, was heading into my third trimester of pregnancy, but still to be found in SL. The photo, above, is from last year’s SLN Xmas party in the company of RL & SL partner Jim, and the then recently appointed SLN editor Trine. What a difference a year makes!
Tonight, my family life has settled into a pattern that increasingly allows me to return to SL (and against all odds resume the editor’s chair at SLN) while my old pals Pookes, for so long a loyal lieutenant at SLN, is enjoying her first Christmas as a mother. Trine, who assumed the editorial chair and did a wonderful job, stepped back from that role when she, in turn, learned she was pregnant, also with her first child. I hope I don’t step on too many toes to say that it was a bit of a shock for both of them (in their mid/late 30s) to discover they were pregnant, but perhaps a sign of the times when women are often becoming mothers for the first time after having established a career, then a relationship and only then motherhood.
Traditionally, SLN has held a ‘Christmas Party’ for staff, helpers, friends and invited guests. With Howie largest exiting SL it was a little bit in doubt (although he’s remained in SL just enough to maintain and pay for the SLN building on the Eden Naturopolis Estate and…dare I say it?…showing some signs of experiencing SL withdrawal symptoms in recent months, being online occasionally when I’ve logged in) but we held it on Friday night. Due to a few changes in SLN personnel and circumstances, just as true on the blog as in-world, numbers were down this year and I found I knew practically everyone who attended this time.
In a sense, that was great, because I got to catch up with some old friends such as Pookes, Trine, Howie, Harry, Diane and others that I’ve had personal conversations and friendships over the years.
Photos will follow as I blog a bit more in the coming week, now that I’m finished work until the New Year, but I thought I’d begin our Christmas fortnight with input from two dear, special SL friends.
Here in the UK our Queen delivers a Christmas message on television each Christmas Day. It’s a tradition stretching back to 1932 and a radio broadcast from the then king, George V.
While it doesn’t have the same resonance it did several decades back, and not something I watch or hear, except by accident, it’s still important to many people.
In the spirit of reflection that Christmas brings for all of us, to successes and failures and the loss of loved ones, I asked both Pookes and Trine if they’d deliver their alternative, SL naturist Christmas messages.
‘This time last year I was in the Caribbean with my husband, never imagining that after several years without contraception I’d actually get pregnant. But I did! And earlier this year I gave birth to our first child. I fly out next week to Jamaica again with husband and baby, to celebrate Christmas, New Year, and the grandmother to my husband who predicted it. Sadly she passed away recently, but we’ll be taking the baby to her grave. I’m not particularly big on ‘faith’, but if there’s an afterlife, and my husband’s grandmother is in it, I hope she can look down and smile on our little family. Life’s a little too hectic to contemplate a return to SL, but it’s something I would like to do in the future. Never say never!
‘At this point I’ve no time to consider blogging, but I have found myself checking into SL during midnight feeds and those times of the day when baby takes a nap. I do feel so tired that by the time nap time comes around I’m also ready for a nap, and at least once I’ve logged into SL, drifted off to sleep and woken later to find my avatar bright and alert in SL!
‘Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope to reacquaint with you at some point in 2017. Hope you get all the wishes you ask for in the forthcoming year.
‘Is there backache like this anywhere else on earth???? Christmas finds me heavily pregnant with my first child. I know the sex, but you don’t and I’ll keep it that way, thanks, although I’ll share that info on SLN after the event.
‘On the downside, on a personal, RL level, my pregnancy was the catalyst for the ending of my long-term relationship with the baby’s father. I face birth, 2017 and beyond, as a single mother. It’ll be my first Christmas alone for many years. I don’t exactly embrace the forthcoming holiday period, but I do embrace the idea of giving birth to another life, and of nurturing that child over the next two decades!
‘Despite now being huge and uncomfortable, SL provides some solace and contact with an outside world and I welcome the opportunity to log in and chat with others in what is now an empty house, apart from myself and ‘bump’. Despite all of this I don’t feel downhearted or sad. Life deals us things to deal with and I know that Christmas 2017 will see me celebrate a family Christmas again.
‘SL can sometimes throw up people who are in a similar position to me. People on their own. Let’s not forget the role it can play in offering not just a social outlet, but a lifeline to some people, and on an international scale. For that, it’s a ‘game’ worth holding onto, and I personally, right now, find solace and company in it.
‘I hope this doesn’t come across as a ‘sad’ post. I’m anything but sad. I’m positive and happy (apart from the backache). Happy Christmas. Happy New Year. I’ll be sure to let Ella know when ‘bump’ becomes ‘baby’. I’ll be sure to let her know the backache has stopped 😉