Category Archives: Socialising with friends

Le Louvre in Second Life

My mind is really buzzing after an educational and thoroughly enjoyable late night in Second Life discovering the rich experience available at ‘Le Louvre’, Paris 1900, and I feel compelled to share this with you!


As a French teacher in RL, I love any opportunity to develop my own language skills, and there is no better way to do this than to be in the company of native speakers who also love exploring language.  As a ‘newbie’ 8 years ago, I met loads of them in Arcachon, a community of exceptionally friendly French people who offered friendship quickly and accepted you straight away.  Devlink Garside was one of these people, and over the time I have known him, I have really valued the language he has shared with me.  He is a natural teacher: always spotting ways of introducing me to new language by deliberately introducing a colloquial expression he knows I will not know, patiently explaining it, and making reference to it some time later just to check I still know it.  There is no doubt in my mind that language ‘sticks’ better when you have been fully immersed in a situation where you came across it for the first time, whether physically or emotionally.  The situations created by Dev are random, fun and memorable! Enough of the Devlink eulogy ..I will be embarrassing him and will return to him later.  Let’s get on to Le Louvre, a project in which he has played an important role which has great relevance for language learning.

The Paris 1900 team has always impressed me with their love of culture while still having fun. They hold slick, informative and entertaining events on a regular basis, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.  I have enjoyed many tours led by lively, talented members of the group.

Louvre info French
Olympe Rhode is the curator of a new, impressive exhibition of paintings at ‘Le Louvre’.  Let me give you a short walk-through ….

louvre landmark

Here is the slurl (the website address) for the island:

You arrive in Paris 1900, and admire the instantly recognisable landmarks.  While there, why not take a little drive around in a period car?  Just imagine that the sea you see in the distance is La Seine, flowing through the most beautiful city in the world ….


Ready for some culture?  Then get off at Le Louvre and walk through the door under the sign ‘Galerie des artistes’.

galerie des artistes 1_001

As you enter, you will be greeted by a charming, handsome man, who lifts his hat to you.  Ah les beaux jours!

galerie des artistes 1_002

There are three floors, and an attic space.


The ground floor (le rez-de-chaussée) houses works from Antiquity (pre- 5th century)

The first floor displays works from the 16th – 19th century.

premier étage_001
The third floor has art from the Middle Ages.

deuxième étage_001
The attic is called ‘la Petite Galerie’ and has temporary exhibitions and space for social events.  I was very honoured to be invited to the opening of the museum.  A nice excuse to buy a new frock!

The layout of the build is superb, and well-designed for people who may be new to Second Life.  As you walk around, you see the art works clearly without any obstacles and without having to use your mouse controls.  Bravo Netpat Igali!

And now.. the really important bit which brings us back to (Saint) Devlink Garside….!

To get the most out of this art gallery, whether you are interested in art or language or both, you simply MUST take time to use the cleverly designed HUD (Heads-Up Display) into which the team has put hours and hours of work.  This way you can easily access information about every item displayed, in English or French, as a summary in the HUD or as a separate detailed notecard which you can access from the side bar of the HUD.  Here are the steps, deliberately written for those who may be new to Second Life, but also hopefully of interest to others.

Click on any one of the pillars found on either side of the staircase on each floor.


You will receive a message that you have received an object named ‘HUD Le Louvre FR/EN’.  Select the option ‘Keep’.

Open up your inventory.  Go to ‘recent items’ then ‘objects’ to find your HUD


Activate the HUD by clicking on the object in your inventory and clicking ‘wear’ or ‘add to worn’  (the latter makes sure that the HUD does not replace anything you are already wearing in that spot, and can avoid embarrassment …!)

add to worn

The HUD appears at the bottom of your screen.  The default is the French version, with the Tricolore flag at the top left.

hud appears

Click on ‘help’ (the middle right box’ of instruction on how to use the HUD in both English and French.  (These instructions are explained in the following steps)  You will also receive a Landmark which goes into your inventory.  Use this at a later date to find the museum and/or to pass on to friends.

hud instructions

Click on the flag to select your language [Currently available in French = Tricolore OR English = Union Jack)

STEP 8 (and come back to this step for each fresh painting you visit)
Click on the painting for which you would like information

Read the summary in the HUD.

hud in French


If you would like more than the summary information, click on the ‘NOTE’ button in the side bar of the HUD – the top right box of the HUD

You will receive a message that you have received a notecard.  Select the option ‘Keep’.
request notecard in English
Read the notecard!  You can resize this so that you can see both the picture and the notes on your screen.

read notecard in English

For language lovers, take the cards in both French and English by toggling between the French and English versions, and learn the other language through comparing the parallel texts.

Before leaving the museum, don’t forget to tip the gallery, remembering how much it costs the Paris 1900 to maintain the SIM (a full region costs $1000 and costs 295$ a month to maintain.. so nearly $5,000 a year, or £3,500), and how little Lindens are worth  (10$ / £7.00 = 2,500 Linden dollars, so 1$/70p = 250 Lindens).   You will all have your own approach, but mine is to think that each visit to a venue is worth at least the cost of a big chocolate bar.  So 250 Lindens seems a very small price to pay for each visit, and if you can afford more, that’s even better!  (I can say this because I am a visitor!  I often find that SIM owners are embarrassed to ask for money .. but they are providing the means of our entertainment!))

tip jar

There is also a Guest book where you can leave your comments.  When I looked there were 8 comments.  I will return now and leave a comment and a link to this blogpost.

guest book musée du louvre

And finally.. to return to my idol, Devlink!  (Are you still reading this Dev, or have you run away in embarrassment?)  Dev has invested hours in research and helping to translate the notecards which give information about the works of art.  That’s where I came in, albeit briefly, and where I rediscovered the power of what I believe is known as ‘tandem learning’ (two equals helping each other with learning each other’s language) and immersion.

louvre translations_001

Dev and I spent at least 90 minutes looking at the notecard for one painting, debating the correct translations from French into English.  Staring at words for a long time, poring over their meaning is not only a satisfying activity per se, but it also ensures that words ‘stick’ in your mind!  The delightful ‘extra’ in this activity is that you are also learning a great deal about art and, in the case of ‘The Lictors’, about history.  Of-course I had heard of Brutus before.  I have also seen David’s painting hanging in the real life Louvre.  But to be absolutely honest, I had never really bothered to find out more.

Thank you Paris 1900 for providing this beautiful experience.  Merci Devlink pour le cours de français! Continue reading


The Crow Bar Celebrates!

The Crow Bar is celebrating its 4th birthday today, and this was celebrated last night alongside a clutch of rez-days (Gizmo, Blowie, Connie and me!) and St Andrew’s Day.  Lyndy’s choice of music reflected all the themes, one of which was ‘pink’!  (I wonder why?!) and the décor was highly appropriate (dominated by an enormous clump of pink hair .. how Clive could bring himself to prepare this, I just do not know!)

It was lovely to see so many friends from across the world ‘pop in’ and I have captured some of them in pictures and the occasional video clip which survived my many crashes!  I have uploaded pics to Flickr (and I don’t know why it will not embed the slide show, so click here for the link) and the  video to Youtube:

Thank you to Lyndy and Clive for  providing the most comfortable retreat in Second Life, and especially for tolerating me and my pinkness!  I look forward to many more Crow Bar evenings!


PinkSamurai, Karelia, Loris, Gizmo and SilentA converse amongst the flowers

I was delighted to meet with Gizmo Latte, Lluis Pignol and Anna Begonia in RL Barcelona last May. We decided that we wanted to have a regular ‘Italian chat’ on Tuesday evenings as in the good old days of Italianiamo!

We have now had four such evenings, and the following formula seems to be working very well:

ACTIVITY: General chat then an exploration of an environment which stimulates conversation.  Planned to run for an hour.

TEACHING: (1) Bossy teacher who knows about methodology of teachng and learning languages and can ‘lead’ the language (Kareilia / Gizmo)
+ (2) Willing, kind Italian native speakers who turn up on time and are willing to be bossed about by said teachers (e.g. the ever-reliable Loris and SilentA!)
LEARNERS : Anyone who happens to be around at the time and is willing to be directed!

Week 1: Burn2 (collecting tutus!)
Week 2: Burn2 again (balloon tour wearing our tutus + visit to 2 art installations, including a fascinating talk with Xaan/Merlino about their Burn2 build and its inspiration)
Week 3: Edunation Plot and games (Guess who won?!)
Week 4: Dabici’s fantastic Halloween Build.

See Helen’s Flickr streams for photos.

Anyone is welcome to join us … please spread the word .. just turn up on our plot any Tuesday at 9 pm UK time.

Ciao for now!

Happy Birthday, Dear Crow Bar, Happy Birthday 2 You

Chilling at the crow bar

My absolute favourite haunt for music and off-beat, random humour, is C&L’s ‘Crow Bar’. As it gets ready to celebrate its second birthday this evening, I thought I’d write a little tribute post to its owners and regulars, fully expecting to get serious backlash over being such a creepy, goody-goody. This is, after all, the role I assume at the Crow Bar, where my innocent, positive and pink demeanour rather stands out against the backcloth of knowing, cynical and dark humour!

So …

Karelia looks up to Lyndy

Thank you Lyndy .. you are so generous in the time you give to make sure that there is always a welcome for everyone at the bar .. . you have a real gift for witty repartee .. … you are calm and measured in times of stress (like when I didn’t have any music at the start of a party, and you just sorted everything out and instructed me to be calm) .. you are the perfect reliable and trusty ‘listener’ (I cannot help but confide in you!) .. and you continue to accept me, even though I have habits which irritate you intensley .. (like saying ‘sorry’ all the time!). Quite simply the best ‘hostess’ in the whole of SL (and you’ll probably kill me for saying this).

Karelia looks up to Clive (a bit)

Thank you Clive … I’m just amazed that I have survived this long on your friends list, knowing your antipathy for things pink. I used to change my hair or wear a hat, but now I boldy continue to flout my pinkness, and you continue to tolerate me. I was so grateful for all the time you spent sorting out my internet radio and channels, and I love the spinning globe you gave me. May you enjoy many more years and gadgets in SL!

Karelia admires Ooj from a distance

Lyndy and Clive do great DJ-ing, but thanks also to the other regular DJs who produce such great play lists … Shell & Ronni (great, loud sets!) …Oojali (such an enigmatic, distant yet compelling man!) … Doc Bunyip (a real eye opener to folk music) … Kev (such a sweet man!) .. June (a great international mix and a very talented artist) .. and the rest!

And thanks to the regulars who entertain me with their comments .. amongst them, Socrates (the wise good-looking blond who introduced me to the club in the first place and did GREAT DJ-ing at a language event)

Hope, the Queen of Dances

 ..… Hope (who generously shares her dances via the huddles hud!)  …Blowie (my long lost brother .. so proud to be your big sis!) … Bozo (introduced me to some great dances ..) … Fabilène (my style guru and great French friend) … Duke & Ivanava (thanks for giving me a glimpse into the amazing dragon world!) Gia & Eddy, Fawn & Don (thanks for inviting me to your weddings!) …Lophius & Verena (thanks for the German poetry!) Dubble, John, Penfold and Brevis (great to see you at the start of this evening!)

Off to party now … watch this space for a birthday photo!

Karelia looks into Duke

And here are some piccies o fthe LOVELY evening .. we all dressed up beautifully I think!  More photos will be on Flickr soon …


Shell & Ronni


Karelia (on the left)

Duke as a tree

The Jelly Bean Girls

The Jelly Bean Girls return ...

Happy 3rd Rezzday to us!

MORE PICTURES ON FLICKR! See Carol’s stream and  Helen’s stream.

Reception at Learn4Life

Meditation at Aeonia

Gizmo Latte and I would like to say THANK YOU / GRAZIE / MERCI / VIELEN DANK to friends who joined us on our ‘Island Crawl’ to celebrate our 3rd ‘Rezzday’ on Friday October 29th 2010, whether as fellow travellers, or tolerant hosts!  We passed out a notecard with times and landmarks and we had GREAT company all the way.

Playing at Arcachon

Royally waving at Crossworlds

We were really privileged to be able to showcase Solkide Auer’s wonderful 3D art work which he allowed us to place at the starting point of Learn4Life.  Thanks also to Wlodek, Flopsy and Graham who entertained us with rocket launchers, atom globes, dancing frogs and stilts.  (And thanks especially to Wlodek for the lovely chocolates!)

Bantering at The Crow Bar

We then lost ourselves literally in more of Solkide’s work displayed at Aeonia Arts before moving on to Arcachon, where we climbed the dune and did some paragliding.  I also learnt how to greet people

Chilling at Lunamaruna

in the authentic French way using the object which CathyChou Boa generously gave me for my birthday!  The next stop was Crossworld’s Gallery, lovingly curated by Fabilène Cortes.  We especially enjoyed taking photos

Floating in Costa Rica

Falling in love

of ourselves on the insect exhibits at Lollito’s Parade.  Time for a quick dance and exchange of playful (?) insults  at The Crow Bar (I love the music there, and Lyndy and Clive are great regular hosts!) … then we made for Lunamaruna– (click on the lunamodule) – a magical pink world of giant fish, crooked dwellings and trampolines devised by Scottius Polke.  We skilfully (!) made our way down the river in Costa Rica with two

boats and a paddle before witnessing the touching bonding between Claudio and Dev as they transformed their avatars and embraced!  There were audible gasps of delight at the beauty of the Tree of Trees installation

Breathtaking Tree of Trees

where we just enjoyed ‘chilling’ before we enjoyed Barisone’s welcome and  some more loud music in the warm company of our great friends in Sardinia.  We ended the evening back home in Edunation where we

Dancing in Sardinia

admired again Mary Roussel’s lovely disco build. 

Again .. THANK YOU to all who joined us!  To be honest, it was hardly an ‘Island Crawl’ .. more an ‘Island Race’!  We look

Reflecting on a happy 3 years!

forward to another year of friends and fun at a more moderate pace!

I’ve found my twin!

Imagine my amazement when I discovered two days ago that my best Second Life friend, Gizmo Latte, shares my rezz-day! We have decided to celebrate by visiting some of our favourite places and people on Friday 29th October during the evening. Feel free to IM us to get a notecard with times and landmarks… we’d love you to join us at any time! Watch this space for a report!

I want to go to Sardigna for real!

I am just bursting to tell everyone about the fantastic evening/ early morning I spent in SL’s Sardigna.   I had visited it some time  ago with Italianiamo (thanks Anna Begonia!), and remembered how much I had appreciated the place and the people … and I was even more impressed on my return.  A lovely group of generous, friendly, informative people looked after me .. proudly showing me around the sites and giving me the historical background, taking me on a magical air-borne boat trip around the island, telling me about the 5 different languages spoken there and – most importantly- being extremely patient with my halting Italian!  It was a special treat at the end to be shown the scene of a wedding feast and given and dressed in  a typical costume.  (See the family photo attached!)  Thanks SO much to you all for your time and your friendship! (Gavino Flores – Iceman Kaestner – Mysotis Flores -Blasco Draconia-  Pellegrina Nicoletti – Hilary Skizm – Roby Lenroy –  Ygerne Fenwitch – and many others!)

  I’ll definitely back .. and Helen has said she will definitely visit in real life… she even had the historical atlas out at tea time to understand more. 

The group has its own blog here.  Special thanks to Blasco Draconia for the language help (and incidentally he has created an ironic guide to avatar types on his blog here).