Love Letter

Snapshot_003 BLOG

LunaFae

It happens every year. Even though I try to visit all the regions in our beautiful Fantasy Faire, even though I aspire to photograph each one and write something from each one, I often end up feeling more at home in one special one than anywhere else. This year, it’s Lunafae.

Snapshot_011 BLOG

The Little Things

From the aerial vista to the little details, it’s as if every detail was placed exactly and precisely in the right place. Now that I’ve had a little experience with various bits and pieces of the Faire, I have some idea of how much time and work it takes to put all the little pieces in place in exactly the right way.

My late husband, the engineer, admires the way everything is laid out. Like a clock, he says.

Snapshot_027 BLOG

Bird On A Lamp

I say, is it a clock? If it is a clock, it is a love clock. Lunafae is a love letter to the moon.

He calls me a hippie and fluffs my very short hair. “You’re like a very soft hedgehog,” he says.

“Let’s look at the moon stones,” I say.

Each of these photos shows one of the moonstones. Each one comes with a different quote about some aspect of the moon. I love walking around the garden’s edge and discovering each of the stones as I go. My poor, long-suffering late husband shakes his head and talks about how the stones were put together and how all the maths work.

In fact, he gets so engrossed in how the maths worked and working out the phases of the Lunafae clock, I just head to a bench, stretch out, and soak up the day.

Snapshot_002 BLOG

All Day

Fact is, I could really just sit and soak in Lunafae all day. In fact, I’ve done it more than once. There are so many places to sit and write, think, daydream. Visiting doesn’t seem enough: I kind of want to live there.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death from cancer. Every year the Faire is a place where I can be with other people whose lives have been forever changed by the disease in its many forms. And getting involved with Fantasy Faire is one thing I can do both to honour his memory and help in what small way I can to make a better future or a better present for cancer sufferers, survivors, carers, and families. I don’t do a “Why I Relay” post every year; it’s wrenching for me to remember and write about the experience of watching the love of my life fade away and die.

And so, instead, I pictures us walking hand in hand through the gardens of Lunafae.

Snapshot_030 BLOG

More Bunnies?!

And, OK, we’re speculating between ourselves about the strange bunny phenomenon at this year’s Faire. We can’t decide what’s causing it, but we’re having fun making up stories about it.

Snapshot_006 BLOG

A rough year needs a soft space

It’s been a rough year. I think it has been for everyone. A series of personal blows kept me out of work for some time, and then I started working from home when the UK went into lockdown. I got a late start on Faire blogging and photographing this year because working from home in the age of Coronavirus meant I didn’t feel confident to take holiday for the first week of the Faire and had to wait until week 2 to have the kind of time I need to put together the kind of photographs and blogs I create.

Ah; he’s done with the maths! Now we can begin again. And there we are, my late husband and me, walking through the gardens. We go slow, because we have all the time in the world. Like the moon, we grow dark and bright, dark again, and bright again, and we make tides and spur seasons, and some say we make magic.

We’ve stopped now to listen to the demifae harpist play some Irish standards on her glass harp that looks kind of backwards but isn’t completely. We sit on a bench. We hold hands. We lean on one another and watch the sunset. It’s how every day should end. How every day should have ended.

Love,
Gwen

Lunafae is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life’s Fantasy Faire. You can visit Lunafae, but do so before the Fairelands fade into the mists after 10 May, 2020. Sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee, Lunafae is a wonder to behold, and I hope that when you visit there, you will see even part of what I see. Long before I got to know Sharni, I admired her work from afar, and her beautiful creation this year has brought me so much I haven’t spent a faire day without visiting the region. 

Beltane in Lunafae with The Amazing Catwoman!

Look, folks. She is going to come in here in a couple days and tell you she’s had some kind of revelation. Me, I’m just happy to be on tap to serve the Fairelands once again this year. Realms participating run the gamut, but as my first day in the Fairelands as an official watcher happened to be last night, I was happy to be assigned first to Lunafae, where there was sure to be a lovely Beltane gathering.

Lunafae_004 BLOG

Skin Paint by Petrichor, Feathers by Trap & Petrichor, Hair by Raven Bell!

I got my skin painted by Petrichor that morning, and there is just nothing better than having a singularly talented skin artist like Vae perfect your look. As always, she is at the Faire, and once you’ve stepped into her spa you won’t ever want to leave. In addition to the beautiful skin paint, she and her pals at Trap are also offering these beautiful feathers with which you can accessorise the skin paint. Maybe for the first time ever, I felt it would be perfectly all right to walk around wearing next to nothing, because wearing this skin paint is like being a walking canvas, a living work of art. I was so happy to find that one of my favourite hair colourists, Raven Bell, had a whole bunch of new dyes that would look great with this and other great skin paints. Raven is also at the Faire, of course, and you can’t ask for a better stylist if what you want to play with is colour.

Lunafae_034 BLOG

Speaking of colour….

Speaking of colour, Lunafae is full of just the richest greens, greens that remind me of my time in the great forest before I ended up working for Her Uppity Majesty full time. It’s not a bad gig, you understand: I just like this one better and I wish it were year-round. That said, Good Queen What’s-Her-Name does shut down the tourist trade in Awenia Faerie for the whole of the Fantasy Faire, which means that happily I am drawing two paycheques for this period I’m working at the Faire. Most of which I’ll donate to the American Cancer Society by the end of next week, anyway. But that’s how it goes when you live in a world where folk just get sick and die. You do everything you can to help science find a way to save them, lengthen their lives, more gently manage their pain. That’s just what you do.

Lunafae_019 BLOG

Do I seem soft to you?

Do I seem soft to you? I’m feeling soft this year. Maybe it’s some kind of ageing thing. This may be why the pointiness of all these feathers is making me happy.

Lunafae itself makes me happy, to be honest. I find the whole place eerily soothing. Certainly from up on the ridge, you could not ask for a more peaceful place. Not really my style, but hey; I’ve had worse. And it’s just tempting fate to tell you about any of those times, so we just won’t go there. Walking down the water stairs in the late spring sun is a lovely thing, though: I recommend it to you. Don’t mind the statues in the arches: they are mostly not wearing a lot of clothes, plus they are four hundred bajillion times bigger than you so it stands to reason you could outrun them.

Lunafae_011 BLOG

So much to see!

When you reach the bottom of the steps, there’s so much to see. Ridge upon ridge of beautiful mini-meadows, lovely places to sit and shoot the breeze with the many demifae that populate the region, and a not inconsiderable number of bunnies. Enough bunnies that I wondered briefly if Sonya Marmurek were secretly wandering around just sort of introducing bunnies into the local ecosystem.

Lunafae_016 BLOG

But enough conspiracy theories….

But enough conspiracy theories: I’m sure that you, like me, are weary of them at this point. I’m really sick of that one about the mysterious globe in the Zodiac realm; I really do not believe you will be turned into an astrological rabbit if you pass under it 7 times… or is that where all these bunnies are coming from? They’re everywhere, all over the Fairelands. We will investigate this further; I’m sure of it.

Lunafae_006 BLOG

Bunnies! Everywhere!

There really are bunnies everywhere. Not that I’m complaining; who doesn’t like bunnies? OK, I do know a few people who do not like bunnies. But if you choose to avoid the bunnies, there are plenty of other creatures to interact with here: notably, the demifae are everywhere, and as they’re my close relations, I’m often up for spending time with them.

Lunafae_028 BLOG

Inspired to Dance!

Of course, demifae are known for their singular dancing ability, so it’s always a good time to dance (well, maybe stumble!) along with them. They never seem to mind if you miss a step, as long as you do not step on them.

Lunafae_023 BLOG

A Beltane Frolic

Worthy of a Beltane frolic and able to produce one whenever you might visit, Lunafae is pure magic. And there are so many lovely little spots, you could miss something if you didn’t take the time to explore absolutely everything.

Now, it’s true that the shopping at the Fantasy Faire is unmatched in all the Realms, and the opportunities to support a great charity are innumerable here as well. But while you have time, while these Realms are within your reach, take the time to explore. Somewhere, hidden in the details, you’ll find that thing you didn’t know you were looking for.

Lunafae_029 BLOG

Harping Fairy And Fae Harpy!

I couldn’t resist the play on words this photograph called up, so to end my first report from this year’s Faire, yes, late but not too late, here is a photo of Your Amazing Catwoman as a Fae Harpy, hanging out with a Harping Fairy. You’re welcome!

Credits & Notes:
Location: Lunafae, one of 18 Regions in the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire. Sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee. You too can visit Lunafae, but come before the 11th of May, when the Fairelands will fade into the mists once again, only to reappear in new guises next year.

Items featured at the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Stellata (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Body Feathers: Trap & Petrichor, Viscivorus Harpy Body Feathers (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore, or at the Trap Store, also in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Umbriel (Find it at the Raven Bell store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Head Sparkles: Raven Bell, Umbriel (Find it at the Raven Bell store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Eyes: Rainbow Sundae, Beautiful Creature Eyes, Bright 05 (Find them at the Rainbow Sunday Store in Mistakes Were Made!)

Other Stuff In This Look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Erin
Wings: Egosumaii, Archangelum Alis (medium size) (Egosumaii Main Store)
Clothes: Enfant Terrible, Lumen (at The Fantasy Collective)