Pillbox at Digue

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Pillbox. The name, from the shape (often circular in plan and roughly suggesting a ships conning tower) for the German Ferro-concrete small battlefield-redoubts or forts, employed from the autumn of 1917 onwards to defend sections of the line in Flanders. Some of the larger were Quadragular in shape.

It seems that I’m not the only person who finds the pillbox interesting. There is a Pillbox Study Group and copious books on the subject. This photo essay dedicated to British pillboxes from the Second World War is rather good, and this website carries some beautiful images.

Pillboxes are poignant, evocative, deathly places. There is a new one at La Digue du Braek. Like the old house – Maison du pendu loon-plage – which I built last week, I hope that the structure echoes the spirit of this place in real life.

Maison du pendu loon-plage

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The gutted, roofless building that stands on the beach at La Digue du Braek looks to all intents and purposes like an abandoned house, but there is a more complicated mythology behind it.

There are a number of stories about the house. One especially poignant myth is that the house was being built in 1940 for a couple, but in May or June of that year the wife was killed during the Battle of Dunkirk. Her despairing widower then hanged himself at the house, which has stood empty ever since. The house is nicknamed the ‘hangman’, and amidst local legend that the place is haunted, a noose still hangs inside …

It would seem that the truth, however, is altogether more mundane … albeit still colourful. An old woman, Madame Dufour, was building the house but ran out of money, and it was never finished. In the years since she died, materials from the building – such as the roof – have been stolen, changing its appearance and adding to its ruined look. The building is sometimes referred to as the ‘house of madness’ on account of the belief that Madame Dufour was insane.

Maison du pendu loon-plage also featured in the 1986 movie, Le Passage, starring Alain Delon. Here is a clip from it – the house appears after around 25 seconds …

I spent a few hours today building a reproduction of the house, and it can now be seen at La Digue du Braek in Second Life. I hope that its presence there enriches the sim and deepens its connections with the real location …

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Postcards from Furillen

The Flickr group for Furillen reached a mind-blowing 8500 pictures yesterday, posted by almost 700 members. The group has built up over a 15 month period – the first picture was posted to the group on 12 October 2015. Just spend some time scrolling back through the pages and you’ll see how good much of the photography has been – and it still goes on.

Here are some highlights from the past week …

The Lookout

Sensations1 Temptations.....Tentaciones....deben volar!

Furillen with cat

Dangling

Sometimes your scars have a lot less to do with where you've been and a lot more to do with where you're going

Freeze Frame

Flowervases

::I don't believe in failure Cause I know the smallest voices They can make it major::

Washer

shelter

Bikes and  Birds

Dawn in Furillen

Furillen. Sunrise on the pond

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Chairs - Symmetry

Lightening My Day

friendship <3

The Comfort of Furillen

Furillen Gang

Reaver

Lover, You Should've Come Over

Chairs - The three bows

...Ghosts...

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Furillen 2.0

pool side

Choices.. at Furillen

Do you really belong here?

In an afternoon

Glimpses of Summer

Endless

Isolation

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help

Frenchy and Magic talk about dirty pans.

Beautiful Creatures of Furillen

MAGIC

Eternity

Pergola on the hill

I’ve been spending spare time over the past week making small refinements at the sim – lowering the hill next to the gallery, raising the level of the swimming pool, and changing the line of colourful chairs once or twice (see more on the chairs below). But I’m especially pleased with this new Pergola-type structure which I put together yesterday …

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I had seen this in the distance in one or two pictures, but never close up enough until I found this video …

… and in particular, this frame …

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I haven’t a clue what this is or was in RL, but I like it up there on the hill.

As for those chairs … a word of explanation. First, they do (or did) exist in RL, they are not – as some people thought – a figment of my imagination. Here they are …

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Second, I previously placed them on the pier because I thought they looked good there …  and they were photographed a lot …

Furillen 6

Furillen.

Furillen People

However, as great as those chairs could look, they were notoriously difficult to ‘catch’ because of a seemingly unstable LOD (level of detail); indeed, I had more questions about this from visitors than almost anything else.

So once I’d moved the chairs to their ‘right’ place next to the airstream … and given that the previous line of chairs had been photographed … well, to death, really … I decided to rotate different sets of chairs. So we began with this line of plastic chairs last Sunday …

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The watcher

Stand in line

… and then I reverted to these …

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I’ll be changing them again very soon. If you have any recommendations, please get in touch.

News from the ‘new’ Furillen

After staging three Star Wars-inspired landscapes – Hoth, Tatooine and Endor – over the vacation period, Furillen will re-open later tomorrow as … itself. Or to be more precise, Furillen will re-open in a form that is closer to itself – i.e., the real location in Gotland, Sweden that inspired the sim – than ever before.

Signature features of the sim of course remain in place, with the emphasis recreating the ‘real’ Furillen in Second Life, as with the pier built by KT Syakumi …

508px-Furillen,_Rute,_Gotland_06

fabriken-1_019… the airstream …

furillen-trailerfabriken-1_020… and those chairs …

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… which been moved to where they should be …

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Other landmarks that I haven’t touched include the two structures made by Megan Prumier …

furillen cafe 2 copy

Furillen_13 copy

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… and KT’s ‘utility shed’ …

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… and shelter …

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There have also been some significant changes, however. Perhaps the first thing you will notice when you land at the sim will be the tree line, which now consists – as it should – of these beautiful, tall Maritime Pines …

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And as promised, I have made a building that echoes the Hotel Fabriken, both outside …

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… and inside …

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I have also tried to recreate that beautiful line of old mine carts around one of the slag heaps …

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FABRIKEN 1_011.jpg

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Finally, in the northeastern corner of the sim – in place of the radio tower and house – I have recreated a cluster of small fishing huts, which seems to be a feature of the Gotland landscape, as these pictures testify …

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As always, I’ve taken liberties in the Second Life version, partly out of necessity (space, scale, etc.) and partly out of taste.

This was a lot of work, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Furillen is a very special, unique sim, and I honestly believe that it has never looked better.

Oh, and one more thing – it’s now spring in Furillen …

Enjoy!

 

Furillen 3.0

I’ll be dismantling Tatooine later today in order to free up some prims while I start building again. Endor will stay in place for a few more days, and then I’ll be restoring the sim to its more recognisable form.

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But it won’t be exactly the same as before. The latest building from the ‘real’ Furillen that I’m aiming to reproduce in Second Life is the Hotel Fabriken

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I’ve wanted to recreate this building for quite some time, having previously relied on this prefab from Soy …

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I’m a little bit reluctant to lose that building. It became quite a fixture at the sim, and we had fun decorating the rooms. But the aim has always been to reproduce as much of the original Furillen as feasible, and the main hotel is next in line. Judging from the images I’ve studied, the hotel is a low level structure – probably reclaimed – which is distinguished by clean lines and white plasterwork …

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The inside space seems to be characteristically minimalist, so I’ll be having fun with the decor once the outside structure is complete …

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I can’t say for sure when Furillen 3.0 will open, but expect the Endor exhibit to run for a couple more days and then I’ll close and refurbish the entire sim. The overall layout, too, will be have to be a little different to accommodate the hotel.

Meanwhile, Endor has proved every bit as challenging for photographers as I thought it would be. It was designed as a space to walk around – everything was placed from eye level – so landing and simply camming from the TP spot isn’t likely to yield much. This was always a forest to get lost in, a tangle of roots and dead leaves which throws up some beautiful angles on the main structures.

The colours, too, are spectacular, as is the light, as the following images testify …

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

Dance me to the end of the year

Qiana and Goliath

In the Forest of Endor

planet ground

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/images/work/N/N05/N05659_10.jpg

forest of furillen

Endor is open

Sneak Peek

Congrats to all of these photographers for capturing Endor so well. It’s a space I have loved spending time in, and I’ll be a little bit sorry to see it go.