Berry’s Memes: Double Threat Meme

Getting Ready To Go...

Time to take a break from blogging skins because I’m fair exhausted by it all (Did you spot what I did there? I have no shame..) and let my mind wander over to that special place where Strawberry Singh’s Meme Challenges reside. I haven’t done all of them yet but I do try to and I particularly like her latest, the ‘Double Threat Meme’. Here are my answers!

Two online screen names you’ve had: Well, my very first name ever online was Ookster. I had a cat named Ook, so I added to it and used that. I used that name all over the place in the early years of the internet on programs such as Pirch and ICQ, that kind of thing, so if you ever saw that name it was possible me! I don’t use either of those applications anymore, and over the years my online identity morphed into ‘Ookster the Kittywitch’, and now more often than not my online name is Kittywitch.

Two video games you’ve played: My favourite game ever was Superfrog on the Amiga. I could still play that and get happy today, it was just beautifully done and tons of fun to play. As for another game? Well, in my house there are currently 28 arcade machines, so as you can imagine I’ve played a lot! I guess my second favourite game would be Gauntlet II. We have a cracking example of of those and I always play Valkyrie as my character. Incidentally, I am USELESS at it. (Can I have a bonus? I love playing the Baby Park on Mario Kart.  It’s just the whizzing round and throwing eggs and shells at people, such fun!)

Two things you love about Second Life: Dressing up and decorating my space. I love making Kitty look good, and I find the process very relaxing and enjoyable.  It’s definitely therapy for me!

Two things you’ve done in Second Life: Gosh I’ve been here a while and done a lot of stuff! Two things? I was present for the last night of The Three Lions .  (Stop the press, that was 8 bloody years ago!! It only feels like yesterday!!) That was a very entertaining, although poignant, night for all! I hung out with Richard Hawley when he played a gig in-world too. He said I looked good, which was nice. (I’d dressed up all Rockabilly style)

Two things you still want to do in Second Life:  My ambition is to have my own pub/hangout ! Ah, if wishing made it so because I need the land and the cash to start with,  but I really want to resurrect the feeling of The Three Lions again. I want a really good quality mesh build, it has to look right, and I want it to be somewhere that people come for music and dancing and frolics just like The Three Lions of old.  As you can tell, I miss that place such a lot, and I know my pub would never be the same but I wouldn’t want it to be.  I would want my venue to be inspired by the original, but to build on the community which that founded with the friends that I miss terribly. Sadly this is a complete pipe dream because it’s not something I can afford to do, so I live in hope of finding the perfect pub in-world still that will recreate the feeling I used to get at 3L. The second thing that I would like to do in Second Life is to help a designer craft a capsule wardrobe based on Kitty’s style ethos.  That means plain but well-textured jersey frocks in great colours, shirts and denim skirts and leather and denim jackets, boots, sneakers and such BUT with one proviso: they MUST feature cats! (Dream would be that I would do this with Nylon Pinkney and Polyester Partridge.  Can you imagine how fabulous that would be?!)

Two things you like about your Second Life avatar:   like Kitty’s face. I do think she’s a very pretty avatar, and I also like the fact that her weight fluctuates just like in real life, so sometimes, depending on ‘her’ mood, she’s a bit chunkier on some days. I love the mesh bodies that are available now too, so often times I’m just lounging around in my virtual abode in my undies throwing outfits together and enjoying the view, as it were!

Two of your Second Life Pet-Peeves: Inflated egos and drama-llamas. Anything that ends up on SLSecrets really, ’nuff said!

Two things you did as a newbie that you’re embarrassed by: My original shape was ridiculous. Top heavy, super thin and hands like shovels. I thought I looked great but I looked a proper chuff.  Also, I liked face-lights a bit too much. I’m not sorry. (In other words YE GODS THE EMBARRASSMENT! I AM SO SORRY!!)

Two of your closest friends in Second Life: Two very special friends are London Callin’ and Cyclic Gearz.

Two of the most beloved things in your inventory: This is a very tough question to answer.  At the present time I have almost 58k inventory items which is an utterly ridiculous number, so thinking of something precious out of that lot is a hard task indeed! I’d be distraught if I lost my inventory, I really would and I’ve suffered that once before.  It was few years ago now (fortunately it wasn’t as big) and it really did upset me very much.  The thing is we invest emotion and money into our virtual things, so losing them can prove as hard as losing something precious in real life.  I’m avoiding the question, can you tell? OK, I guess if I lost Kitty’s shape (her face has always been the same, apart from a few tweaks here and there) I’d be gutted because I’d feel like I’d lost ‘her’. As for something else? Well, anything cat related is pretty important to me, my collection of Chibi Cats made by Allegory Malaprop take pride of place in my virtual kitchen cupboards so losing them would break my heart!

Thanks again for a challenging Blogger,erm, challenge Berrycakes!

Berry’s Blogger Challenges: First & Recent Challenge

PicMonkey Collage

Just taking a wee break from the Skin Fair 2015 posts to indulge in one of Berrycake‘s recent photo challenges, and chuff me it’s a bit of an eye-opener!

How much have I changed since 2007? How much has Second Life changed since 2007? SHEESH!! Confession time:this isn’t my first picture, but it is one from 2007 when the blog started. I wanted to feature something that included some similar colours to what I’m wearing in my more recent shot, but boy oh boy, we have textures and materials now! Look at the mesh tee; it’s creased and tied and looks practically realistic, whereas my frock back then has no definition at all. I mean, look at those cap sleeves *shudder*  Thing is, I thought I looked ruddy amazing! (Stop laughing at the back, how dare you!)

Some things never change though.  I still love my bobs and my eyeliner and my trinkets. I haven’t got such a wide mouth anymore, and although I’m a slim avatar I don’t suffer so badly with lollipop-head syndrome. I also had hands like plates of meat, I really did, and no manicures either.  HOW DID WE MANAGE BEFORE MESH?!! Having a better graphics card in my PC also helps but wow, it’s amazing how we’ve evolved as avatars.

It’s good to look back and see how much Kitty has grown. And here’s a thought, if I’ve changed this much in eight years, well, where will Second Life be in another eight?! YIKES!

If you want to see how much further Kitty has changed over the years feel free to rummage through the archives of this blog. You never know what you’ll find, you’ve been warned! 

Berry’s Memes: New Years Meme

My Angel Gabriel

New year, new Meme! Yes, time for one of the delectable Strawberry Singh’s Monday Memes.

This is the first one of 2014, so fittingly Berrycakes is asking us about our plans for the new year, but also asking us about how we feel about the one that we have just left behind. It’s got me thinking. Well, it’s actually got me following a train of thought that started with my last post, hence the picture of Jez above. I’ve decided that you’re going to see a lot more of Jezmond this year (whether he likes it or not!) Why? Because Second Life male fashion is just as captivating as female, and if there’s anything that 2013 proved it’s that there are just as many talented menswear designers out there as there are Womenswear designers.  (In fact menswear is almost eclipsing womens in terms of originality and great design, so I really hope to feature more of it on the blog, with Jez’s help, in 2014!)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  I present to you my responses to the questions posed by Berry. If you’re tempted to join in you can participate in any of the memes/challenges that Berry has posted at any time. You’ll find them all under the  Blog Challenges category on her website, Strawberry Singh.Com

  • How did you spend New Year’s Eve?

I spent it at home with my pack; that’s my RL partner Phil (Jez), my cats Piu, Pud and Mylo and my dog, Indiana. We watched Hootenanny on BBC2 as is our yearly tradition, and got slowly drunk after a sumptuous beef rib dinner cooked by beloved himself!

  • Did you keep any New Years’ resolutions?

No, because I never made any to break in the first place, clever Kitty!   I haven’t made resolutions  for a long time because I think the problem with them is that people tend to make ones that are going to be incredibly hard to keep. For some reason we believe that setting difficult goals at this time of year is the right way to go about fulfilling them; when in actuality we’ve got it completely backwards. The last thing you want to do on a cold and stormy January night is eat a salad. No, you want a massive bowl of hot soup and crusty bread, washed down with gallons of mulled wine, so setting a dieting goal at this time of year is just a nonsense. If you want to set a goal in 2014, set one when the time is right for you , not just because of tradition!

  • What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? 

Real life was pretty steady for me this year and trundled along in its mundane way. Second Life’s been interesting in that I’ve achieved a lot with the blog in 2013. I’ve surpassed 165,000 hits on the blog, have over 200 blog-followers and that really does mean a great deal to me. I also blogged more events this year than I ever have before. I blogged Skin Fair 2013 which was a real high-point for me, but I’ve also blogged some other truly amazing events such as Gothmas By Gaslight and The Homes And Gardens Expo For RFL.  The whole point of blogging events is to arouse people’s interest enough to encourage them to visit so that the creators can make sales, and I really hope that I have in some small part contributed to their success this year. I’m an ardent supporter of the content creators we have in-world and nothing pleases me more than seeing hard work get rewarded. If I can publicise someone’s work on the blog and encourage a reader to go and check them out,and buy something then that’s my job done. And nothing makes me happier than that!

  • What was the best thing you bought?

In real life? That’s a tough question. I don’t have that much cash to splash around so I tend to be cautious when making personal purchases (cash goes much farther in Second Life!) so it has tended to be little treats that have given me the most pleasure. For example, with some money I was given for Christmas I bought myself a USB salt-lamp that sits on my desk and changes colour. It wasn’t even that expensive, but I have this weird fascination with things that change colour, or glitter and sparkle, you know like lava lamps and that kind of thing, so I’m pretty chuffed with it. I bought a necklace of the Gayer-Anderson Cat from The British Museum last time I visited (to match the earrings I bought the year before) and I’m rather keen on that too. Oh, and some really geeky tee-shirts have made me very happy this year as well! <chuckle>.

In Second Life the best purchase I made in 2013 was undoubtedly my Bazar Arizona House. Even though I’m living in a different style of dwelling at the moment, it’s the one that I will continue to hold dearest to my heart. It’s just perfect in so many ways (the only way it could be made any better is if Ria Bazarmade an Arizona 2.0 and made it bigger, or added another floor..*hint* My review post of it was so enthusiastic, and I got a lot of feedback about it that I got to know Ria and have reviewed a lot of her work since, and I have to be honest and say that she has become one of my favourite designers in-world. I’ve also gained a lot of pleasure in 2013 from seeing the development of Sienia Trevellion as a designer too. I’ve known Sienia since for a long-time and she has consistently crafted beautiful builds, clothing and artefacts throughout her SL design career but in 2013 she went stratospheric and made some of the most amazing items I’ve ever seen on the grid.  Her contributions to The Arcade have become legendary, and I can’t wait to see what she releases in 2014. It’s sure to be equally amazing!

  • What do you wish you’d done more of?  

I don’t honestly know. I have a great life ; I live with my fella and our pack of animals. I have a good real life job and friends and family whom I adore. Had I had money to spare I would have been able to accomplish more in the way of going out and travelling, but I’m happy with my lot and satisfied that I did what I could to make 2013 an acceptable year for me. It wasn’t great by a long shot, in fact it only really became fun later in the year, but it’s over and done with now. The past is just that.

  • What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating probably! I’ve become a little too tubby for my own liking in RL, and it’s time to get that in check. Not because I want to be a size zero or anything ridiculous like that, but for health reasons. I’ve noticed my back gets a wee bit more uncomfortable if I’m carrying a few too many extra pounds, so I need to pay attention to my body more.
In SL? Nothing. I keep away from drama as much as I can and I’m glad that I do because I’ve seen it cause so many issues for people, and so much hurt too. I don’t really have an opinion on what other people think of my SL persona or my blog, because my primary audience is, and always has been myself.  I blog because I enjoy it. The fact that people read my random thoughts and jottings is a fabulous bonus.

  • What was your favorite movie you watched this year?

Hmmm. I normally go to the movies a lot but had to keep an eye on the purse-strings in 2013, so I wasn’t able to see as many films as I liked. I missed ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ on the big-screen which is unheard of for me! But the movies that I did manage to see I really enjoyed, especially ‘Man Of Steel’ and ‘Iron Man 3’. (I do like my comic-book heroes!)

  • What did you do on your birthday in 2013?

It was my 40th this year, so I was treated to a trip to London and tickets to see ‘The Book Of Mormon’, as well as a couple of fantastic meals out in the city and some amazing presents. It was brilliant, I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday!

  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned.

I don’t think I learned it but I almost did. My Mum has always said that I am too trusting and that I “..make too much of people..”, and as much as I HATE to admit it she is of course correct. I have experienced a few reminders of that this year and have been let down by a few people. My problem is that I am a tad too trusting, and have 110% faith in people. I’ve thought about this for a long time though, and I confess that even though it causes me hurt on occasion I don’t want to change my personality and be cynical, or feel differently. So perhaps the life lesson is that I’ve learned to accept myself and understand aspects of my personality may leave me vulnerable and perhaps more prone to disappointment than the average Joe, but hey, that’s ok!

  • What does 2014 hold for you?

Who knows where the frog jumps? It’s Phil’s 40th this year, so I am looking forward to that. It’s also my Father’s 70th and my Mother’s 80th birthday too! This is proving to be slightly problematic in that I don’t have an unlimited source of funds with to work with, but I’ll try my best to ensure that they all have a great time on their special days. I am hoping for more fulfilling work challenges and I’d love a pay-rise, and also a ginger kitten!

In Second Life I’m looking forward to the big events like Skin Fair 2014, but I’m also looking forward to seeing fabulous new releases from my favourite designers, as well as discovering exciting newcomers too. I hope my writing and photography skills improve and that the blog continues to grow, after all I have so much fun with it.

But most of all I want to spend the year loved up with my pack and being loved, and giving it back ten-fold, every single day.
Here’s wishing you all a fabulous 2014! Allons-y!

Phil, Lisa and Indy

Strawberry Singh’s Memes: The Winter Season Challenge!

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Apparently Kitty has been VERY Naughty this year! 

Time for another Meme courtesy of Ms. Singh! This one was a lot of fun to  write because it took me back and helped me remember some snow-related events!

Of course, I’m writing about real life here, but hey, I do have one of those you know..(Admittedly not as fun as my Second Life, but still…) Why not have a go at one of Berry’s Memes?

They’re always an enjoyable challenge! Thanks Berrycakes!

1. What is the December/Winter season like where you live? I live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. We’re practically bang smack in the middle of England, so we’re well insulated against the kinds of nasty storms that they get along the coast.  However, just because we’re in the middle doesn’t mean we get mild weather.  We’re a hilly county, and Chesterfield is right on the cusp of the Peak District National Park, so when it snows here boy does it snow! I can recall a really bad Winter when I was a Saturday girl in a store in town.  The weather was so bad the store had to shut early, and to make matters worse all the buses had been taken off the road meaning  I had to walk home.  The trek was  a good three miles in deep snow, snow that was so bad the telephone lines were swooping down onto the ground, they were so laden with the stuff.  It was exhausting. It was also really dark because there had been power cuts, and I remember being a little scared as I walked home. The only light was that which was reflected off the snow, an almost dull glow to navigate by.  I recall that I was most perturbed by how incredibly silent it was; my walk home meant I walked alongside a road that would normally be busy with traffic, but there were no cars or vehicles of any kind  to make a sound. The only sound was the crunching of my feet as I crunched home through the snow. We haven’t had bad winters like that for at least 20 years, and honestly I never thought I would see the like again, but then in 2010 *WHUMP* we had a massive snowstorm. I live on the very top of a hill at the end of a long winding street, and the snowfall meant that we became a little island, completely cut off from the main roads. It was pretty inconvenient, but it was so beautiful, and the snow was deep and crisp. We had a few power cuts but I seem to recall that I  managed to do LOTS of serious Second Life-ing during those snow-bound days! One of the more charming occurrences was the sound of school-children playing in the snow on the nearby school fields. The schools had to close because of the weather obviously, but that didn’t stop the children from making the most of it, and listening to their laughs and gleeful giggles was really lovely. The sound carried over to my house so that it became a soundtrack to my snow days. Those excited squeals would start in the early morning and only end when it was dark. (I’m hoping for a repeat of that this Winter actually:)

2.When you think of winter, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? When I think of Winter I immediately thing of playing in the snow as a little girl. Growing up there was some wild, rambling woodland opposite the street where I grew up. It extended along the side of a hill, and it was nicknamed by the local kids ‘The Gorse’, because it was full of Gorse bushes. In summer it was great for hiding out, picking blackberries and basically doing all the things that young children are supposed to. In Winter it turned into a paradise for sledging. The best bit was the long, steep, winding driveway that led up to a house that was hidden in the middle of the wood at the top. One winter all the kids off the street, myself included, trekked over the road to The Gorse and made our very own version of The Cresta Run!   The path that led up to the house became black ice, encouraged by the constant presence of at least thirty local kids continually sliding up and down it on whatever we could get our hands on; proper sleds, plastic NCB coal bags, bin lids…anything and everything. Those poor people that lived in that house, they couldn’t have used a car on their driveway because we’d made it so slippery, yet they never complained  and we spent days walking up and sliding down this long, winding and incredibly exhilarating path. The only problem was at the very bottom of it there was a cattle grid, and then the main road. This meant that you had to be a little careful on downhill slalom runs, because you had to try and stop yourself in case you flew over the grid and into the main road. The worst possible outcome would be gaining so much speed on the descent that you couldn’t stop, so you would have to throw yourself into the snow before you hit the grid. It was like being a stunt-man, and I note we had some near misses! Hitting the grid at speed was pretty uncomfortable and it really hurt our bums, I wore through a number of coal sacks that week and I don’t think I have ever had so much fun in my life! (It wasn’t without accidents though; one lad, Craig, didn’t follow the path properly, and instead of turning he went flying into a Gorse bush. He emerge with a Gorse barb sticking out of his ear, and on closer inspection we all realised that it had completely pierced it! Cool huh? (I wanted to share a picture of the area with you so you got an idea of how awesome it was skidding down the track. THIS shot is from Google; alas, the cattle grid is no more (it’s been filled in!) but can you see what I meant about having to stop before you hit the road?! Also, the gorse bushes have all gone, which is a bit pants. Still, happy times!) 

3. Have you ever played any extreme winter sports?  Extreme sledding on coal sacks has to count, right? I’ve also gone downhill on a sled at a local country park called Rother Valley. This was way back in the 1990’s. I went downhill with my then-partner, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend AND their dog on a massive sled down one of the ski-slopes in the park. We all wore wet-suits under our clothes so we could stay dry, and also in case we ended up in the lake at the end of the slope! That was unlikely though, because we were hell bent on stopping, not least of all because of the barbed wire fence at the bottom of the hill!  It was certainly an exhilarating experience,  but it was also VERY scary because we gained so much speed on the descent. (Incidentally, such activity in that spot has been banned in recent years because unfortunately a young lady lost her life in an accident on that exact same slope a few years ago)

4.What do you like most about this season? Snow makes everything look beautiful doesn’t it? I also like to see how my pets interact with the weather. My cats look incredibly funny when they are trying to navigate deep snow, and my dog is always very unsure if she actually likes it or not! I really love Winter clothing too, and covering myself in soft, woolly jumpers and thick socks and cuddling a hot water bottle on a cold Winter’s afternoon is one of my absolute favourite things. Even better if I am drinking steaming hot Cocoa, or better still Mulled Wine, which is definitely one of the best things about this time of year!

5.Do you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday during this time of year?  I celebrate two holidays, GREEDY KITTY!  As a practising Witch I celebrate Yule, on December 21st. This is a celebration that is believed to have laid the foundations for modern Christmas festivities, which I also enjoy with my loved ones on December 25th (because they aren’t Pagan).  I consider myself lucky that I have two celebrations to enjoy, and this year I’m looking forward to celebrating Yule after a slap-up meal at the best restaurant in town. Christmas Day will be different for me and my partner this year because I’m actually working nights and technically I will be asleep on December 25th,  so because of my working hours we’re not actually seeing our parents on the day this year, as is our tradition. (One year we spend Christmas with Philip’s parents, the following year we spend it with my parents, and so on.) But I’m sure our Christmas this year will be just as lovely, even if it’s a much quieter affair.