May 27, 2009

Rez Day Party Location Announcement

Well - due to some technical difficulties at the super sekrit location of the party for Kate and me, the soiree will be held high in the sky over my island. Despite some initial disappointment on my part, it is all coming together very nicely.

So - we'll see you tomorrow night from 6:30pm-9:30pm SLT at Isle of Skye, Winterfell Anodyne.

Please tp to the exterior of the castle where you will find the long range teleportation device to the party platform.

See you there!

My Knight Protector Sends a Message

Sir Telemachus - though out of the region on explorations - is still in contact. After I sent a message about some griefing that has taken place on my lands to the Knights of the Red Rose and officers of the Lancers of Skye, and my clan, I received a letter bearing his seal.

This morning when I awoke, I found a copy of the letter tacked at the door giving notice to those who might harm me.

Thank you, Sir Tele.

May 24, 2009

Pray DO Save the Date - May 28th 6:30p-9:30p SLT

Far more details to follow, my friends. Far more. But here, at least, is the basic invitation.

Kate Nicholas and I look forward to hosting you this time as we celebrate 3 years on the grid. Our theme is STEAMY. So begin to think Steampunk (obviously), burlesque (likely), and hot (definitely). Everyone is welcome! Join in the fun of the theme or come as you are.

And yes, I know that the place for the party is not yet announced. Those details are under tight security at the moment. :) I will let you know.

Looking forward to having fun with you next Sunday!!

The Honourable Kate Nicholas: Rezzed 5-24-06
The Lady of Skye, Eva Bellambi: Rezzed 5-28-06
Lady Eva's typist: Born 5-31-69 (yep - turning 40!)

May 23, 2009

And While Caledon Was Dancing (1863)

My typist and her children took today to travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as part of their Memorial Day Holiday remembrances. Initially she thought that doing so on the holiday might be ill advised due to the expected numbers of tourists visiting, but despite greater numbers of people there than she generally has experienced at the National Battlefield, she and the kids learned and grew, and enjoyed the day together.

Some of the monuments seen today:

You might recall another article posted here about her travels to Gettysburg just before Veteran's Day in 2007.

(OOC voice)

Gettysburg now has a new Visitor's Center and Museum, and I highly recommend started any tour you do here. The new film which precedes viewing of the Cyclorama is quite moving as Morgan Freeman narrates the brief history of the battle. Tears welled up in my eyes as he described the 2 and a half hours of cannon fire on the third day of the battle. During the description, cannon were heard all around us in the surround sound of the theatre, the music swelled, and then portraits and photographs of some of the men who died were displayed across the screen as the reenactment of the battle displayed beneath them. It was very moving.

At the end of the movie, my oldest told me that she had been "nearly crying".

"What made you feel that way?" I asked.

"When Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was read - it was just so beautiful."

Now THAT makes a mother proud.

from the Cyclorama
The Third Day of the battle and what was left of the 12,000 men in Pickett's Brigade
attempt to take the high ground being held so well by some 7,000 Union soldiers

Union Reenactors at Meade's Headquarters along the High Water Mark trail

Putting the men through their paces



Pickett's lines being nearer, the impact was heaviest upon them. Most of the field officers were killed or wounded. Colonel Whittle, of Armistead's brigade, who had been shot through the right leg at Williamsburg and lost his left arm at Malvern Hill, was shot through the right arm, then brought down by a shot through his left leg.

General Armistead, of the second line, spread his steps to supply the paces of fallen comrades. His colors cut down, with a volley against the bristling line of bayonets, he put his cap on his sword to guide the storm. The enemy's massing, enveloping numbers held the struggle until the noble Armistead fell beside the wheels of the enemy's battery. Pettigrew was wounded but held his command.

General Pickett, finding the battle broken while the enemy was still reinforcing, called the troops off. There was no indication of panic. The broken files marched back in steady step. The effort was nobly made and failed from the blows that could not be fended."

Lt. General James Longstreet, Discussing the end of Pickett's Charge, Originally from "From Manassas to Appomattox" As quoted in "The Civil War Archive", Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, p429

The Copse of Trees in the midst of Codori Farm. The furthest north that the Confederate army would ever be. This was the climax of the Battle.
Lee's forces began retreat on the following day (July 4, 1863)

A very good day all-in-all. And I look forward to my next visit to this historical place - this sacred ground.

May 21, 2009

Lainy Voom Creates Beauty Yet Again

This time with her adaptation of W.B. Yeats' The Stolen Child. One of my favorites of his works (although I confess it, I have many favorite Yeats works).

The Stolen Child from Lainy Voom on Vimeo.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

W.B. Yeats' The Stolen Child

May 19, 2009

From the Royal Society's Mainland Adventure Files

Well you tell me, does this not seem suited for SL machinima?


May 8, 2009

The Heartbeat of the Falling Water


Hand in hand we walked the needle strewn forest path.
Rough Caledonian pine trees reaching to azure skys.
We progress as birds sing serenading us with their chorus,
Hearts now skip a beat, tuned to each lovers sighs.
Distant roaring, plunging power now rents the air,
Huge discharges of spent river water dive majestically.
Raw power pounding on mist covered rocks below.
My love and I transfixed by raw nature hands clench tightly.
Suddenly the scene, illuminated by a late evening sun,
A huge rainbow spectrum, split as many colours drape the falls.
Gift indeed of transitory beauty as is nature's way.
We watch the sun merge with the darkening horizon,
Turning the waters into straw gold, as is my true love's hair.

Sid John Gardner

Perhaps I'm missing the falls of Loch Avie just a little bit, but I enjoyed finding this lovely poem along the way.

May 5, 2009

My Word....It's Full of......Shadows!

Second Life Shadows Demonstration by Lordfly Digeridoo.
This is one of the most amazing things I have seen from the SL platform.

Thanks to Bettina Tizzy for posting this in her NPIRL blog. Her article may be found here.

May 3, 2009

Am Beannachadh Bealltain

I may have been the one to receive the greatest Beltane Blessing this year (as with all the years I have hosted the celebration in the ancient traditions of my forebears). That blessing was, and is, the good friends by whom I am surrounded.

What follows now is a brief transcript of the gathering and lighting ceremony (alas no pictures this year of this), and then a few still shots. Many of the photographs were put together in a slideshow format with a Creative Commons music selection (the music does little justice at all to the wonderful Carmina Burana and other fertility and celtic inspired music of last night. Diamanda created a fantastic playlist based on our discussions of my desires with this celebration. However, the music in the short video gives you the sense of the driving force that quickly overtook most of us last night as we danced, and spun, and lost articles of clothing in the heat of the moment as well as the balefire.


When we gathered in Loch Avie on Beltane 2007 in the warming breezes of spring, we witnessed the Knighting of three talented and chivalrous gentlemen: Sir Adso, Sir Telemachus, and Sir ZenMondo.

I remind us all that the strength and stability of the our communities lie in these virtues of its people: creativity, service and knowledge - for if any of these are lacking, the community fails. The fighters of the Kingdom or clan defend it with their swords, and with their honor bring it glory on the field; the scientists and artists provide avenue for advancement, and with their honor bring knowledge and beauty to the citizens and the State.

I am honored to have been able to swear my own fealty to these knights as they swore theirs to me, to Loch Avie and to Caledon. Now that I have moved to my home in the Isle of Skye, the fealty remains. Each of these knights has confirmed their ongoing fealty to me and my new lands - as well they remain at the ready for Caledon should she require them.

In the 8th century, Emperor Charlemagne cited the following duties of knights:

To fear [his] God
To serve the liege in valour and faith
To protect the weak and defenceless
To give succour to widows and orphans
To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
To live by honour and for glory
To despise pecuniary reward
To fight for the welfare of all
To obey those placed in authority
To guard the honour of fellow knights
To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
To keep faith
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
To respect the honour of women
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
Never to turn the back upon a foe

Whether in the field of science, codepoetry, or battle, the Knights of the Red Rose have indeed followed these duties. Once again, I remind them and the assembled company - that I swear fealty to them, that I will do all in my power to protect and defend them and their households until death take me or the metaverse ends.

* Recognition of Clan Bellambi
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the other members of my Clan as well. I am sworn to protect and defend them - not because of ceremonial guidance, but out of mutual honor, respect, and love.
Unlike the Clans of my ancestral home in the Highlands of Scotland where the collective heritage of the clan, the dùthchas, gave the right to settle the land to which the chiefs and leading gentry provided protection and authority as trustees for the people, I fully understand that in Winterfell and SL, I serve only at the pleasure of my Clan and my friends. I hope to be an honorable woman, leader, and an amicable friend to all in these lands.

My clan - Boyarina Kate Nicholas - My first friend in SL. Officer of my Clan. My enduring thanks for all you do (though she is not here).
My Fearless and Loyal Protectors: Hotspur O'Toole and Exrex Somme My Knights: Sir Telemachus, Sir Adso, and Sir ZenMondo My cousins: Gabriel Riel, Edward Pearse, and Christine McAllister My wonderful friends - musicians and artists, and archetects: TotalLunar Eclipse, Otenth Paderborn, Soliel Snook, Zealot Benmergui, Diamanda Gustafson, Kiralette Kelley, and Frequency Picnic. And of course all of the rest of you, you bless my house by being here tonight.

.......I greet the time of unions and give honor to
the Lord and the Lady for Their fruitfulness!
Tonight I witness the marriage of the Goddess and God.
May Their union be fertile and productive!

With the ancient words of my forebears I light the Need fires that their warmth and light might spread to all our hearths.


The dark days are cleared away
so that the May Day can now begin!

May, clad in cloth of gold, Cometh this way; The fluting of the blackbirds Heralds the day. The dust coloured cuckoo Cries welcome O Queen! For winter has vanished, The thickets are green. Soon the trampling of cattle where river runs low! The long hair of the heather, The canna like snow. Wild waters are sleeping, Foam of blossom is here; Peace, save the panic In the heart of the deer. The wild bee is busy, The ant honey spills, The wandering kine Are abroad on the hills. The harp of the forest Sounds low, sounds sweet; Soft bloom on the heights; On the loch, haze of heat. The waterfall dreams; Snipe, corncrakes, drum By the pool where the talk Of the rushes is come. The swallow is swooping; Song swings from each brae; Rich harvest of mast falls; The swamp shimmers gay. Happy the heart of man, Eager each maid; Lovely the forest, The wild plane, the green glade. Truly winter is gone, Come the time of delight, The summer truce joyous, May, blossom-white. In the heart of the meadows The lapwings are quiet; A winding stream Makes drowsy riot. Race horses, sail, run, Rejoice and be bold! See, the shaft of the sun Makes the water-flag gold. Loud, clear, the blackcap; The lark trills his voice Hail May of delicate colors Tis May-Day, REJOICE!

Pictures provided courtesy of Eva Bellambi, Adso Krogstad, and Icarus Ghost. Several others contributed pictures for use in world. Many thanks!

My blessings on you and your households. For those who could not attend, but would enjoy taking some of the light from the fires to your own hearths, please drop by the Isle and take a lantern from the vendor, approach the fire and it will light, then you may take the light and my love and blessings with you.