Song To The Siren

It’s been well over two years since I last blogged.

Blogging, especially about Second Life, can become an incredibly time-consuming holiday, and life events conspired to make it impossible to continue. But I always thought I’d be back, perhaps not to publish updates as frequently as before, but still writing about the virtual world that is still my second home.  What’s happened since I was last here?

Well, it’s been, as that often quoted Chinese curse warns, ‘interesting times’ and you would be inclined to think that after living through those interesting times I’d stop being so surprised by how the universe works and just go with the flow, but occasionally something kicks me up the butt and the synchronicity of it is just so plain weird that it’s worth noting. 

The exterior allows for great views of surrounding islands if you have the graphics capability!

A year ago, August 23rd, 2021 in fact, I relinquished the little pied-a-terre that I was enjoying at (the sadly now defunct) Burrow because in real life my Dad had just had a stroke. I had an ominous feeling that I would be taken up with real-life matters, so it seemed only fair to let someone else have the opportunity to rent there.

As it turned out, I didn’t log in for a while because a few weeks later, on September 2nd, my Dad died.

It’s approaching the one-year anniversary of his death and I’m reflecting a lot on events of this time last year, and on what has happened since.  I’d booked a cheeky mid-week day off from RL work today without any plans other than chilling, reading, and perhaps a little Second Life. Little did I know that by when I logged in today I would discover a place that made my heart happy when I visited, that coincidentally has been created by the people behind Burrow, Harlow Heslop, and Harvey Blackwood.

A quick side-step: Burrow has been replaced by ‘Eleventh House’, a similarly welcoming community space for all to enjoy, although it’s currently closed for  Autumn renovations. I’m a group member, so was delighted to receive a group notecard informing me that it has a sister venue,  ‘Salt & Siren’, a coastal café that opened for business on the 17th of August, so of course I immediately decided to pay them a visit, and I am so glad that I did.

It’s a small space, actually the perfect size for hanging out with friends and enjoying all SL has to offer

Reader, it’s an incredibly lovely place. Imagine New England coastal town vibes coupled with relaxed modern, yet ever-so-slightly sophisticated, dining spaces and you’ll have pictured what ‘Salt & Siren’ is all about. It’s not a large venue, certainly not as big as the behemoth that Burrow became, but one compact, islet space where you can hang out with friends, or perhaps make some new ones.

What makes ‘Salt & Siren’ so special, apart from the absolutely exquisite landscaping and the stunning interior design, is that it is located on the Blake Sea. 

Now, I’ve been in Second Life since December 2006 and have dabbled very infrequently with sailing, but when I did give it a go I enjoyed it immensely.  More on that later, but I know that it’s a very popular pastime in our virtual world, and there are a lot of avatars who take it very seriously indeed.

If you’re lucky enough to have the kind of graphics card that allows you to ramp it up all the way to eleven, then ‘Salt & Siren’ is an absolute must-visit. You’ll be gifted with a spectacular view that you can enjoy while drinking a virtual coffee and enjoying a slice of pixel-cake while sitting in one of the comfortable chairs that surround the exterior of the café.  Inside, the space is decorated with a gentle nautical theme with splashes of both the traditional and modern reflected in the choice of fixtures and fittings.  The counter area is resplendent with treats of all kinds and there’s a gorgeous sofa that you can sink into while enjoying a muffin and a conversation with a friend. 

Climb up the stairs from the dock and you’ll find a different kind of treasure.

That’s the key here: ‘Salt & Siren’ is the kind of place you want to enjoy with a friend, and if those are in short supply visit alone and you’ll be made to feel extremely welcome.  It’s a safe, inclusive space where you can feel at home.

This brings me back around to my Dad.

 If you’ve been a regular Kittywitchin’ reader over the years, then you’ll know that I actually got my Dad to join Second Life, and he used to meet me in-world in the evenings and we’d go and play ‘Seven Seas Fishing’ when it was all the rage, and funnily enough go sailing on the Blake Sea.  Dad was briefly in the Merchant Navy as a young man and would regale me with tales of his seafaring adventures, so it made sense that we bonded in SL over somewhat soggy sea-faring pursuits.  We had some fun and lots of laughs along the way. As Dad got older he found SL too taxing. Still, I do treasure those memories of him being in-world with me, because joining and experiencing SL was something really outside of my Dad’s skillset. He found it incredibly daunting initially, but once he got the hang of it he wanted to enjoy it with me, and that meant so much.

Grieving is a funny business, and as I’m discovering it changes as the days and months pass. The wound stops being so raw.  It’s like a scab that you have to be careful not to knock off because you’re still healing. Most of the time I’m OK, but occasionally, like at the moment with the anniversary of Dad’s passing looming large, I’m a bit wobbly, so discovering ‘Salt & Siren’ couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m really looking forward to hanging out there, and perhaps even going sailing again.

But most of all I’m happy to have found it because it’s the kind of place that I would have enjoyed with Dad, and I know he would have loved it too.

SKIN FAIR 2020: NAR MATTARU 'Aela'

Skin Fair 2020 is something that I’ve covered frequently over the years and it’s always a top notch event, and this year looks like a corker. Of course it’s always a nightmare getting into the event for the first few days, so joining the Pale Girl Productions group is an absolute must to get your demos while you wait to get in.

I’ve always loved designers like AMARA BEAUTY, PINK FUEL, BOLD AND BEAUTY but I have a special place in my heart for NAR MATTARU, and when I saw the preview of their exclusive SKIN FAIR 2020 release, ‘Aela’ I knew come hell or high water I had to get it. I didn’t fancy my chances of getting in, but I was surprised that after a few minutes of frenzied attempts at TP’ing in I got, and straight over to the NAR MATTARU booth. Hurrah!

It’s a gorgeous skin, it really is. I hope you can tell that by looking at this photo, and it’s comes with a load of extras for a remarkably reasonable price.

Included in the face package (Incidentally, I’m wearing it on the original GENUS ‘Baby Face’ head) are four brow colors (plus no brows version), an HD nude lip applier and few extra treats including moles, freckles, eyeliner and lashes. (I’m wearing the liner and lashes and brows in this shot, I’m just wearing a bog standard GENUS applier lipstick from the ‘Baby Face’ HUD) There are 8 tones available, I decided to purchase ‘Glow’, and it really does.

Face applier (Genus + BOM) costs L$1099, and body applier costs L$349

Stunning, isn’t she?

Hair by Doux
Outfit by Oubliette
Rings by Yummy
Pose by Kokolores
Attitude? Kitty’s own…

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Kitty’s Tip Of The Month: February Group Smash!

Here’s one that’s super useful but your either going to really love me for it, or hate me. I hope it’s the former rather than the latter because it’s pretty useful! Get into the habit of going through your groups once a month. I know this seems like a ludicrous chore, but here me out on this. For one, you may have missed out on messages or gifts sent out to the group while you were offline, and for another you can see which groups remain active in-world and are worth your time staying in them. If they’ve not sent out any group messages for a few months I’d say that it’s a good idea to dump the group, thus leaving you with a group slot or two that you may be able to put to better use. Of course, some groups require a fee to join, it’s up to you if you leave these but bear in mind that if you wish to rejoin them you’ll have to cough up your Linden dollars all over again. Go on, make yourself a brew and start going through your groups. It won’t be as bad as you think and will actually be worth it, I promise!

FLF: Let’s go out tonight!

Sometimes Fifty Linden Friday has some absolute belting offers included in the weekly sale, other times not so much, but I’m happy to share with you this cute outfit which is perfect for a Friday night out that I created using items from this weeks sale.

I’m wearing the ‘Andrea’s Set’ from the always outstanding CYNFUL which is available in two colour packs, one featuring four lighter toned items, the other pack featuring darker tones. Naturally I bought both seeing as they were a mere L$50 a pop BUT for this look you’ll be needing the cream shade from the pack first pack. The set is very skimpy, it’s just some sleeves, a tie-top and a very mini skirt, but it does come with optional panties which will prevent any unseemly mishaps on the dance floor. Nobody likes an unexpected view or your virtual growler, especially when you’re in a conga line.

Next up you’ll need to pop on over to TETRA, where you’ll find the ‘Sophia’ heels. Again, there are a couple of colour options available, a cream and a coral ( I got both, because of course I did) and you’ll find the cream shade goes really well with your newly acquired CYNFUL attire. These are really nice shoes as well, with a lovely suede finish and a bow to the rear, so they’re perfect for adventures of the booze variety.

I went home and got ready for my night on the tiles before hitting up one of my absolute favourite places in Second Life, Burrow Coffee Company. It’s the perfect place to meet friends, drink virtual coffee and catch a live gig or DJ set. I grabbed a Macchiato and burned the dance-floor, quite literally.

I spilled coffee and had to go and have a sit down. You can’t take me anywhere, but hey, at least I looked good, right?