Farewell to Digue

As promised, La Digue du Braek closed last night without ceremony, and we’ll be clearing the sim later on today. The sim was built in about three days; it will take just a few hours to clear. Such is SL! But as I said in my last post, there are some aspects of the sim we liked a lot and they will reappear in the future.

Meanwhile, farewell to Digue!! Here is the latest batch of pictures, which I’m pleased to say is as strong and as varied as any I’ve posted on this blog. We are not closing the flickr group because there are bound to be more in people’s files, so this won’t be my last posting of postcards from Dunkirk …

Good girls

In waiting Close

Tower Cranes

#233

Untitled

Hot Summer

High Thigh

on my way

Remote Control @*La Digue du Braek

Cole

La digue du Braek

La Digue du Braek,

La Digue du Braek

Cultivating love

A bit of life in the middle of chaos

Commit no nuisance

It was sounding "Love song"

La Digue du Braek

Opera, sculpture and literature

We are not yet born, so let’s descend.

Parallel energy...

Lady stained red

I'll Make You Laugh Whether You Want to Or Not

*I'll keep gettin' up when I hit the ground...

Farewell at La Digue

Farewell

a gloomy morning

La Digue du Braek

plus ça change

plus-ca-change

Furillen moved into a new region this week, so if you haven’t done so already, reset your landmarks to here. The move was simply a question of giving ourselves more scope to expand, with more prims to exploit (20,000, rather than 5,000), and for events, a higher avatar limit (100, rather than 20). Having ‘relaunched’ Furillen in early January with a major new layout including the hotel, fishing huts and pergola on the hill, I resisted the temptation to make further changes now. So the sim was simply replicated, and for a few days I had a the slightly bizarre experience of teleporting between two sims that were exactly the same … so much so that at once stage I began putting things back at the old sim, mistaking it for the new one.

There are, of course, some very small changes, but you’d need to have quite an eye for detail to spot them. No doubt somebody will!

So … what next?

The first priority is to close La Digue du Braek. I won’t be writing sad epitaphs for the sim, and we won’t be holding a ‘goodbye Digue’ party, as SLers are sometimes wont to do. Digue started quietly and it will end quietly (and we’ll be stealing bits of it for Furillen). The Flickr pool speaks for itself : well over a thousand pictures from 241 members in less than three months.

I always wondered about how the two sims would interact, and it was fascinating to watch. For a while we thought that Digue was going to overtake Furillen and it would be the latter that we’d have to close … but Furillen has an incredibly dedicated following, and for whatever reason the sim appears to draw in a steady stream of visitors who stay at the sim for long periods of time, day in day out. So when it came to deciding which sim to let go while we ‘re-allocate’ resources, it was a no brainer.

Furillen has changed a lot during the seventeen months of its life. It appeared quietly, with no big announcements, and grew partly because of the incredibly strong Flickr group – great photography is still a major feature of the sim, and the flow of pictures has never dried up. Then there have been popular (and, in their scale, quite unusual) events – weekends devoted to Bowie, Radiohead, and Pink Floyd when the entire sim was transformed, and the recent Star Wars rebuilds we staged over the winter vacation.

An important truth about these events was that I like building and designing sims best of all, so any excuse to rip things up and rebuild is welcome. I don’t see the point of having a sim and just letting it stand, unchanged …

There were photo competitions, parties, and a bar – all great fun, but they involved more work than I can realistically do given my real life commitments. So, more recently, Furillen has settled into just being itself, and I must say that I like it best this way.

Having said this, we all like to tinker and the sim will doubtless see more changes in the coming months, and – quite possibly – more events. We will see …

So once the last rites have been read and Digue has been closed, we’ll be messing about in the sky above Furillen and coming up with something that will enhance the sim as an interesting space to hang around, explore and enjoy art, culture and the company of others.

And if it sounds as though I haven’t much of a clue about exactly what we’re doing up there, you’d be absolutely right …

 

Drive-by shooting: pictures from Digue

While Furillen seems busier than ever lately, La Digue du Braek has been going through a quiet spell. It’s an interesting Second Life dynamic, though. These sims often have a similar daily visitor count, but while Furillen seems constantly busy, often with between 10 and 15 avatars there at any one time, you’ll usually find Digue with only a handful of visitors.

People come to Furillen and hang around, sometimes for hours. Why? My guess is that it’s simply because they see other people there. They land at Digue, and often move on because … they see few other people there. As ever in Second Life, numbers attract numbers, and even though we ostensibly come to places like Furillen and Digue simply to stand around on our own, even ‘AFK’, we seem to prefer it when others are also standing around – alone – in the same place.

I talked about this over a year ago. I have no idea whether I’m right or wrong, it’s just an impression.

All of which is a fairly irrelevant way of saying that those who do dwell at Digue take nice pictures, and there have been some great images posted in the group, which has reached nearly 1100 posts from 232 members. Here are my own personal favourites from the past week or so …

Bird's eye.

Mother of Mercy

Clandestino

Evening stranger

L'extérieur des clôtures

Beach Pilings at La Digue du Braek

In streams of light I clearly saw the dust you seldom see

Agressing the sky

wandering_world432

Industrial Ballet

La Digue du Braek_The docks

It's Not Worth Getting Wet

Industrial intrusion

Barflies In Hats

La Digue du Braek (SL)

La Digue ....

La Digue du Braek

La Digue du Braek

Night Rider

Nothing I do feels right...

La Dique du Braek

Windmills

My only one...

Mankind is busy manufacturing its way to extinction

@La Digue du Braek

@La Digue du Braek

@La Digue du Braek

La Digue du Braek

She is breathing

I know ...

Contrasts at Digue

The Flickr stream for La Digue du Braek has reached almost 1000 images, posted by well over 200 members. I especially like the mix of styles the sim seems to have attracted – the beach side draws some beautifully tranquil shots from visitors, while the industrial section of the sim brings out a more edgy approach. The contrast is especially clear in this latest batch of highlights from the past ten days …

wandering_world421

Kelly & Gracie

Hey, come see hehehe

*Sometimes I wanna give you up,Sometimes I want to leave you alone,Sometimes I want to run away..

Untitled

Breath

Aroused Magazine

La Dique du Braek 72

You're not alone....

... it's never too late to shoot for the stars ...

Hallelujah Morning

pillbox at digue (new)

Echo's answer

*

"Sunday morning."

seagull at digue

Containers at La Digue du Braek

La Dique du Braek 42

Horizontal

La Dique du Braek

Last one

The Visitor.

Jokelina

La digue du braek

Sister?

...The deep vast emptiness

The Dunes

#53 Happiness is like a butterfly

Red

wandering_world427

untitled

Digue at night #tableforOne

I'm On a Boat

Twilight of the Giants

No trespassing

Loneliness 1

Maison du pendu loon-plage

Untitled

wandering_world428

Don't forget me

I made a friend today

Almost a dream

Elegant contrast

The view is.....

...Favourite place

Pillbox at Digue

digue-pillbox

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

maison-du-pendu-loon-plage

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 …

maison-du-pendu-loon-plage

More pictures from Dunkirk …

As Furillen-Hoth plays host to a series of troopers, droids and the occasional Princess Leia, La Digue Du Braek has been attracting well over 300 visitors every day. One of the things that always marked out Furillen was that visitors stayed for a while, returned and found favourite spots to sit and hang; and this pattern is being repeated – much as we had hoped – at the sister sim. The warehouse is especially popular, and just like the hotel at Furillen, it’s worth visiting regularly because there will often be new things – unusual things – put out. Check out the sweet Christmas scene with Santa and the snowman on the first floor landing, for example. Stille Nacht …

The Digue flickr stream is growing fast, with well over 300 images from almost 100 different photographers a testimony to the sim’s all-round appeal. Here are some highlights …

La Digue du Braek - December 6th 2 mono

La digue du Braek

Sky

From the white zone

Eclaircie

Depot Fusion

Entre lineas

Gazing

la digue du braek

La Dique du Braek 014

...spirit cold....

la digue du braek

The Sun at Midnight

La Digue du Braek

Possibilities

Industrial landcape

Vertical power has to be wedded to the horizontal earth-Ella Maillart

The Winter Sea