Setting Up for Writing Retreat!

OK, so I just got here and have taken a couple of hours to put things together, and you guys are not going to believe this place! We’re going to have the best week ever.

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Portal Cam!

I met the Air B&B owners at their place in Awenia, and they showed me to the portal. I don’t know if all you guys have travelled by portal before, but hold on to your stomachs. I set one of the drones up outside the front gate so you’ll be on portal cam too when you arrive.

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Automatic gates!

The gates open automagically when you approach them, which I guess would be a problem if we were anywhere but in a hidden B&B that one can access only via portal. Luckily, we are in a hidden B&B that one can access only via portal.

So you all keep asking me what the place looks like, and I can finally tell you since I’ve now actually seen it.

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Writing Area 1

This is the one writing area that’s upstairs. So whoever likes the breeze the best and needs a typewriter instead of a tablet or a notebook might really like this spot.

Everything else is downstairs; you all will love it: you have to go through a secret door to get to the living space. Just push the candle, and the panel will slide to reveal the stairs.

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Living Area

For the four of us, I think this space is huge, and it has such a cool vibe! There’s plenty of couch and chair space to stretch out on, and I don’t even think you’ll mind that it’s self-catering: the kitchen looks pretty nice, as well.

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Sleeping areas

There are four of these lounge-style daybeds. One of them is in an alcove just out of sight here, on the left. I took that one: sorry, ladies! The other three are separated by the pillars. I took it this way because I love that bookshelf. So much of the decoration here, even though it’s sparse, is really, really cool.

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Other downstairs writing areas

The picture doesn’t do this justice: once you get here, take a look at that amazing root system in the corner here: it looks like it was made for that nifty bowl of crystals, yeah?

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Sweatshirt selfie!

And just so you guys don’t think I’ve lost my marbles and been replaced with some sort of estate agent-style pod person, check out this sweatshirt! I saw it and couldn’t stop laughing, so I knew it had to be mine!

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Fae Garden

The garden is not shabby, either, and I think if you wanted to write outside in nature—well, whatever kind of nature this is, anyway, you could really enjoy it up here. This is a little fae garden display, just tucked into one of the building’s corners. I heart it!

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Garden selfie!

See, I’m not a pod person at all! The trees out here are really cool: you will love them. And the sky—I don’t know if it comes across properly, but the sky is amazing, sort of pink and blue at the same time with the pink not being to obscenely girly.

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OMG owl nails!

Also, I got these new nail wraps from Koffin, and they are so cool! I don’t know if you can see properly in the photograph, but they have little owls on them. I squeed.

Right: I’m going to portal back down into Awenia, now that I’ve got my stuff put away and sent you guys all these cool photos. I figure I’ll do some grocery shopping so when you all get here tomorrow we’ll be mostly stocked. Don’t forget to bring stuff you really like from home: Awenia is like the smallest Fae Realm I’ve ever seen, so I don’t think they deliver pizza out here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Cate Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia face, Lumae skin Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hair: Truth, Daphne
Glasses: EarthStones, The Flower Child
Tattoo: Juna: Kat tattoo (At The Liaison Collaborative)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails, Halloween Hoots (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Clothes:
Top: Jackelope, Sara Outfit (without skirt) (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Trousers: The Annex, Janae Leather Crops (This is a new release at The Annex Main Store!)
Shoes: Gos, Hi-Tops

Environment:
Location: Awenia
Outside:
Building: Rivendale, Witchy Lair (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Glass Pumpkins: Vespertine, Illuminated Pumpkins (At Collabor88)
Portal: Spell, Galactica, Portals to other dimensions
Garden Wall: Stormwood, Cobblestone Wall
Fae Fountain: Atelier Visconti, Fountain Fiora
Faery Tree: !go!, Elven Tree
Inside:
Downstairs Living Area

Couch, chairs, coffee table, end tables: Trompe Loeil, Cobble Hill
Round table and crystal ball: Rainwood, Shadewoods (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Wall art: Oubliette, familiars (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Star lanterns: Spyralle, Halloween Star Lanterns (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Daybeds: DaD, Vintage Paris Daybed
Nifty crescent moon bookshelf: Circa, Midnight Coven Moonphase Wall Shelf (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
White desks: MadPea Writer’s Corner (desks, blotters, typewriters, phones, chairs)
Kitchenette: Tia, Olivia Kitchen
Bowl of crystals: MadPea, A Tale of Two Sisters, Bowl of Crystals
Upstairs Writing Area
Wall Candles: Rivendale, Wall Candles (Rivendale’s trick or treat gift for Trick or Treat Lane!)
Desk: Violetility, Lorkyn’s Desk
Books: Stormwood, Literati Book Set
Red-Eyed Owl: Contraption, Wainwright’s Toys, Messenger Owl
Cat with Witch Hat: HalfDeer, Requiem Moon, The Essentials (At the Arcade)
Lavender Spell Book: Birdie, Little Witch, Magic Book, Mystic (At the Arcade)
Typewriter and Lamp: Aisling, Bric-a-Brac Desk
Sun and Moon Statues: MadPea, Return of the Light
Kitteh in a bag: MishMish, Kitties Go To Market, Princess
Poses: All from An Lar (I’m saddened to see that An Lar Poses is closing its doors after several years of offering some of the nicest, most subtle, and most versatile poses in Second Life (in my opinion). Everything at the An Lar Main Store is 50% off through the 31st of October.)

 

 

zOOm at Trick Or Treat Lane!

Now, I’ve never been a “picture + credits” blogger, but I did know I wanted to use this background, and I did know I wanted to photograph the zOOm “Sarah” dress (you can get it at Trick or Treat Lane!). But it’s a full-stop kind of thought, and I guess the story is up to you.

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Spell

Of course I was thinking of the song, because I don’t think it’s possible to see this phrase and not think of it if you know it. But you can think of any story you like.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, Elentari Tone(All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Athena
Eyes and Eyeshadow, CowTea, Swan Lake
Lips: UniCult: Spooky Gloss (Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Gloves, Dress & Shoes: zOOm, Goth dress, gloves, and shoes(Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Leggings: Livid, Witchy Leg Violet (Omega applier)(Available at Trick or Treat Lane!)
Photo Background: Joplino, I Put a Spell on You Backdrop
Pose: Bauhaus Movement, Into the Deep Immerse Yourself, 21

Trick Or Treat Lane Opens Tomorrow!

There are so many cool things to show you, but for now, I’ll just let Angharad gush about this insanely cool hoodie from The Nerdy Birdy.

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And it comes in pink!

Angharad argued that she would not show off this hoodie unless it could be produced in pink, and luckily, Skeleton (kitori.unplugged) made a colour called Pastel Fury that suits Angharad just fine!

Of course, it comes in other colours as well. Angharad would only agree to be photographed in all of them if we let her wear the pink one first!

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Blood Lust!

Here’s the Blood Lust colour; it’s a combination of reds and greys that Angharad said made her feel like devouring the flesh of her enemies, and possibly even a few friends!

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Frosted!

We figured we’d intersperse colours Angharad was likely to like with colours she might not like so much. She loved the combination of white and blue here and even insisted on wearing the cosmic tights. Again.

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Nightshade!

“This makes me want to have a seance, immediately,” Angharad said when she tried on the Nightshade colour. “Seriously. Ouija boards at midnight!”

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Pumpkin Passion!

This one is so candycorn Angharad couldn’t possibly hate it, even though she did comment that it’s not fair to make someone with yellow skin dress in orange. We compensated by adding the green leaves. Pumpkin Passion is 31% off at Trick or Treat Lane.

Trick or Treat Lane opens tomorrow! There’s a lot of great stuff to see and experience, and BCreative Wilde has as usual done a bang-up job on the event layout and decoration. It’s fun just to walk about, but don’t forget to bring a bit of dosh….

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne, Sunshula
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Charm Eyes
Leggings: Ama, Shades of My Soul Leggings
Boots: G Field, Posy Scalloped Boots
Amazing Dragon Hoodie: The Nerdy Birdy, Dragon Hoodie

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Background: CYMK, Pastel Magical Studio
Leaves: Persefona, Fantasy Leaves
Poses: All from An Lar

The Job that Wasn’t There

I’m not the one who ends up in situations like this. Usually, I hear such stories from The Amazing Catwoman. Her scrapes and follies with insane handlers and crazy situations are great campfire tales, but I would not want to live through them. Of course, she handles these situations with rage, whereas I have always tried to look at the ups and downs of my life with humour—and often it doesn’t matter whether I am laughing at myself, someone else, or the universe as a whole.

Not long ago, I got my chance to experience this level of frustration for myself.

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The dock was in poor repair.

The dock was in poor repair. That was the first clue. Even stepping carefully and slowly, some boards had to be avoided altogether.

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My senses told me something was awry.

I had been asked to come and tell stories about the stars from the Rom at a planetarium celebration. Now, of course we have many stories about the stars, and I was looking forward to the chance to tell them to an audience not well versed in the affairs of the travelling folk. It was the planetarium’s 25th anniversary, according to the island curator who approached me, and so they wanted not just any Romani, but a “famous” Romani. They told me to come in armour, because the island was largely uninhabited and just below the planetarium, there had been an unfortunate incident where some eccentric’s menagerie had got a bit out of hand. Well, all right, I replied, though armour isn’t really the traditional dress of my people. Don’t worry, they said. You’ll only need it for the walk from the dock to the planetarium; then you can change into something you like better.

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I walked through an arch and arrived in a deserted town.

I walked through an arch, as instructed, and arrived in a town that appeared wholly deserted. Of course, there was nothing in the information the curator sent that had even hinted at a completely deserted town.

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Deserted for some time?

I surmised that this part of the island, at least, had been deserted for some time: I mean, how often have you seen a town with a pay phone booth that didn’t offer free wifi or credit payments lately?

Still, I shook my head and walked on. There was always the possibility that only this part of the island was deserted. My instructions told me to proceed up a hilly path, then turn right to take the steps up to the planetarium on the island’s highest point. The warning about the menagerie-gone-terribly wrong scenario suggested this was a place of danger and the reason they had insisted I arrive in armour.

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I wore armour for this?

By the time I reached the top of the hill, my body was complaining about the dense armour and heavy cloak. I ditched the cloak but kept the armour on, just in case, and soon found myself in the company of two massive stone elephants. I scanned the overgrown, thorn bush-laden area and saw the tops of other stone figures on the train above.

I could not help it: I sat down on a half-broken stone wall and laughed my arse off. I wore armour for this?

A walk up the further steps confirmed it: there were stone zebras, stone antelope, stone tigers, stone lions. It was easy to conjecture a history where someone’s menagerie did indeed go wrong—and then some event changed things and turned all the animals to stone. It could have been That Event We Don’t Talk About, but that was months ago. It is a pity that Dyisi has faded into the mists: she might have some insights about other connected events, possible repercussions, and all those other things I prefer to understand only on a subconscious level.

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Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted.

Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted. And not just deserted: it was also falling apart. Inside, the orrery-style mechanism continued to operate, and that gave me pause. Had this event, whatever it was, happened very recently? And if so, how could it be that the disrepair of the planetarium looked to be months if not years old?

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Only one thing left to do

In my mind, there was only one thing left to do. I dragged my mostly-new drone out of my backpack and took a selfie in front of the broken-down planetarium to send to the guy who had hired me. Yes, I channeled TAC’s rage and used it for myself.

Then, I just walked back down to the pier, got in the little motorboat, made my way back to the mainland, and got the first transport back to Awenia. I wonder if I’ll hear from that guy.

Something tells me… not.

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Andrea
Skin: The Plastik,
Skin: The Plastik, Drazaren Skin (Homme), Alloas
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Lucent Eyes
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Dairon Ears
Hair: No Match, No Bills
Clothes: Noble Creations, Glory Armor (includes boots!) (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)

Location: Erebus Harbor, a beautiful region created by the folks at Dirty.Pretty

Autumn Reminiscence

I miss my Gran. Of all the people in my (adoptive) English/Welsh family, it’s her I’d really like to talk to. Because she’s the one who knows how it all happened, I’m sure of it. She handled the deal with the Sidhe, she arranged the “private” adoption for my London parents. And that means she might know who my father is, or at least be able to tell me a good story.

But I’ve followed that advice given to me by the Ferryman years ago. I’ve never tried to find my old family, and that includes Gran. At first, it was hard, but living in Realms without technology created some distance. Now that I do have access to technology again, I’ve too much to do to waste even a few hours on what I suspect would be either fruitless—or painful.

She had the best house in mid-Wales, set back, and in October I’d visit her, from about mid-October through the first week of November. Going to the University school had its perks, and one of them was being able to take holiday without them getting all uptight about it.

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Now I can see it only in memories

Now, I can see it only in memories. And when I remember it or dream of it, I’m always some funny amalgamation of who I am now and who I was then. Here I’m in one of my Elf-Clan outfits (though when I look more closely, it really looks like the work of Senzafine, and I’d know that stuff anywhere). I remember that tree being the tallest tree in the world, and the little lighted garden shed my grandmother tended plants in all year round.

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Two perspectives

In my memory, I can look at it both with the sense of wonder I always felt going there, and from a more calculated, adult perspective. While we visited at other times of the year, my Autumn trip was always just me, alone. My parents, unlike me, couldn’t get away from their lecture halls for three weeks in October and November. No; for that time, she wanted me there by myself. She wanted me for Samhain.

I used to think Hallowe’en was pretty naff, and Gran used to make jokes about it, too. But, she said, it was also the old New Year, and she wanted her granddaughter there with her, to celebrate that time.

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What do I remember?

I don’t remember us doing anything particularly special or anything that in my child mind felt strange or weird around that time. We had a nice dinner, sometimes with my Great-Aunts from Aberystwyth when they could be bothered to come. Gran always set an extra place at the table: she said it was for Granddad, whom I never met. Eventually, I read about dumb suppers, probably in secondary school, and I recall asking her about it.

“Clever clogs,” she said. And there the discussion ended.

We never went to the village Bonfire Night celebration. Instead, Gran got my uncle Huw around to build a huge bonfire in the back garden, which was once Granddad’s barley and vegetable patch, she always said. Now I think of it, it was a bit too big for the usual back garden, but mid-Wales is much more spread out than London, so I never questioned it. I’d watch from the window of the big house: you could just see the garden area if you looked just-so through the trees. He spent hours building a tower of logs while Gran and I made the Guy out of straw. She’d invite all her friends and a few children I knew from the village, and we’d have our own fire, far from the crowds and the fireworks.

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October

I’m sure I’m thinking about this now because it’s just turned October, and though Faerie doesn’t change with the seasons as profoundly as other places, we still celebrate them and consider the cyclical nature of the world and the Realms around us. Lately, I’ve been thinking: if I could relive any event from my childhood, it wouldn’t be Mum’s lavish birthday parties, or getting my PhD, or even that first kiss from Richard. It would be staring, transfixed, at a fire that seemed ten times as tall as I was, sparklers in my hands. But I wouldn’t go back to one of the ones with loads of people. I’d go back to the last one, the year I was twenty-one, the one where it was just Gran and me. She got village boys to build the pyre, and we made the Guy same as always. The boys scampered off to the village celebration, so it was just us, staring up at the fire, silently watching the effigy burn. Uncle Huw had died just a few months earlier, so it felt like a sombre occasion. Gran had tears in her eyes for part of that fire, and I thought at the time she was grieving for her son.

Now I wonder if she wasn’t also bracing herself against the knowledge that I too would disappear from her life before the next Bonfire Night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Tahari
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Tunic: Senzafine, Velista Tunic (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Leggings: Senzafine, Alaire Applier Leggings
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Homecoming

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box (platform)
Autumn scene, including large tree, garden shed, couch, lights, bridge, pumpkin, swing, and boulder: Trompe Loeil, Ceres Outdoor Scene
Poses: All from An Lar

 

 

Awenia’s Peculiar Magic

It’s hard to believe I live in a castle now. Well, I live in a castle for the moment, at least until this internship is over and I have to go on to … to whatever’s next.

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Waking up in a fairytale

Right now, it still feels as if I’m waking up in a fairytale every morning. I’m sure that will change—even if, right now, I can’t imagine ever getting used to waking up in a freaking castle.

Anyway, that’s not even the point of this. I’ve been trying to perfect my image, my persona, for when Awenia opens to the public. The Queen is off on some recruiting mission; she’s trying to get more Fae to be part of Awenia’s staff. She wants to get them all moved in and settled into their roles before the whole place is teeming with tourists, as she says. I have a feeling it will take a while before we are at the “teeming with tourists” stage, but what do I know?

And again, that’s not even the point of this. Because I’ve been trying to perfect my image, I’ve been spending a lot of time wandering around Awenia. And I can tell you right now, it’s weird up in here. Stuff changes every day. And I don’t mean like, someone comes along and plants flowers.

I mean, like, a whole  building disappears overnight. Or sometimes just for a few hours. Small forests come and go here.

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Beyond the Queen’s roses

And today, beyond the Queen’s roses, a circle of stones appeared. Now, I am one hundred percent, bona fide pureblood Lios Alfar, but I’ve never seen a place where stuff changes like this. It’s like the whole place is made of some kind of magical liquid or something, and sometimes stuff just oozes into other …. no, that sounds pretty foul; forget I said it like that. I’ll work on a new metaphor.

Now, my home Realm of Cymrien has a lot of stone, but it’s mostly used for farm fences, shoring up shorelines (yeah, I know. We can’t always have perfect word usage), and the occasional large building. But wood is sacred to the gods, and Cymrien temples are made of wood. While I’m sure visitors from elsewhere would be amazed by some of our live wood temples, I’ve always been fascinated by monuments made of dead stone. Our templebuilders, despite some dissent in the ranks, won’t even use petrified wood for temples, because this wood has died. Many of us do wear jewellery made of petrified wood, however. But I’m getting off topic. Again. 

The point is, a freaking circle of stones appeared just outside the Queen’s castle. And I’d never seen one before, not up close anyway. I mean, there are some big stones up in the Fae Forest outside of town, but they’re mostly just single stones, or like three stones piled up together to make some kind of giant, peculiar table.

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I might have run toward the stones

I might have run toward the stones. OK, I did run. But who knows how long stuff will stay, and it was important to me to get close enough to at least take a selfie for Ma and Da back home.

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Stone Circle Selfie!

I used my drone to take this stone circle selfie. I love that you can see the Book Forest and the Awenia Treehouse in the background. I’ve not been in the treehouse myself yet, but the Queen tells me it will be a centre of diplomatic activity in Faerie, and also a place for her and her husband, Nathaniel, to get away from it all. She also says the views are great. I am looking forward to seeing it one of these days.

So, the stones. Well, they are beautiful. And the roses growing here are life-blood red, different from the roses so nearby in the Queen’s garden. Now, I’m not the most observant girl, me; but I am sure I felt some kind of presence inside the circle. It had a calming and peaceful effect, which is the same feeling I get inside of a live wood temple, which if you don’t know is a circle of trees planted just so. Their roots grow together, they are carefully tended so that their branches intertwine, and eventually they grow into a roof so well woven that it keeps rain out. Some of them are thousands of years old.

I will have to ask Her Majesty how such spirit can go into a material I always considered devoid of spirit.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll just spend a few hours lying on my back in this circle, smelling the grass, watching the changing shadows.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne Skin, Sunshula
Hair: Exile, Break The Rules
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Lizette Argent Wench Dress Set (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Rings: Yummy, Unicorn Rings
Shoes: Ingenue, Winifred Booties (Available NOW at Salem!)

Environment:
Location: Awenia, Faerie
Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field
Stone Circle: Rivendale, Stone Circle (Available NOW as Rivendale’s hunt gift at the Fallen Gods 11th Anniversary Celebration!)
Treehouse in the distance: LAQ, Serene Tree & Windmill House
Poses: all from An Lar

 

 

Rain and Rain and Rain

Autumn comes early here. Engeland is known for its early autumns and late, short summers. I tell people, if you like rain, you should come here. And please make a space for me in your nice, warm country with all the sunshine.

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This? Is a bus shelter.

This? Is a bus shelter. You’d hardly know it from the lack of signage or anything resembling a bus map on the walls. No; our village is far too olde for that sort of practicality.

In fact, I’ve been standing here for what feels like an hour so is probably about twenty minutes now. Rumour has it that the bus comes every 45 minutes, but there’s no timetable that I can find, not even on t’Internet, as Mum calls it. Be kind: she’s from Yorkshire.

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Is this a mythical bus?

I look into the distance. Is this a mythical bus? It would be about right. Why did I come to visit Mum on the train and not bring a car? Why did she get rid of hers? Where are all my school friends? OK, I know the answer to that last one: they all moved the hell away from this place. Me, I’m just trying to get into town to do more shopping than you can do at Georgie’s Cash & Carry.

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Bus-summoning spell?

Great; it’s getting dark. Maybe there’s a bus-summoning spell in my grimoire.

So. Do I wait for the bus to come, or do I walk home in the rain (why did I wear these shoes?) and endure yet another roast chicken dinner?

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I did my hair and everything!

I did my hair and everything! Sometimes it seems like there’s just no point. And that is why I’m going to leave two days early and go home. In the mean time….

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Hooray. Another roast chicken dinner.

I’m giving up and going back to Mum’s. She’ll be so pleased; she never did like my cooking.

Hooray. Another roast chicken dinner.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Hair: Exile, First Dance
Necklace: Bliensen & MaiTai, Autumn Necklace
Dress: The Annex, Autumn Dress, Oranges (This is a new release at The Annex Main Store!)
Stockings: Big Beautiful Doll, Ombre Stockings, Green
Shoes: Rhude, Jani Heels

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Photo Background: 8f8, No Place of Ours
Tree: Heart, Illuminated Oak
Rain: {anc} Drizzle
Leaves: Hayabusa Design, Field of Autumn Leaves
Poses: Belle Poses, Gwen Series