Today is Belatne, so I decided to leave everybody with a Beltane gift, my scattered memories of Caledon.
I first discovered Caledon last April in the SL Forums, while suffering from SL withdrawal symptoms because SL was down for most of the night. Almost immediately, when SL reopened, I went to explore this Independant Nation. I was intrigued with the idea of a virtual nation, and a Victorian one at that.
I was still basically a newb, and just begun a virtual pregnancy. At that time, Caledon only had two sims, Caledon Prime and Caledon II. If memory serves me correctly, I tp'd into Caledon II. The first person I met was Raine Dalidig. I asked her where I could buy Victorian clothing, She took me to Silver Sparrow. I believe I bought the "Nachtmouse" gown (as my partner at the time, Tyrus Collingwood was into Vampyre scene, and I wanted to please her, I was rp'ing in that genre as well. That is where I then met Lord Puck Goodliffe, a friendship that remains in place to this day.
I then later took two of my friends to Caledon Prime, to the Silver Rose, and we met Josette Sullivan and Bastillion Bachman. Bastillion invited us to his hedge maze. I still cherish my friendship with Bastillion, the epitome of a furry gentleman, though at that time, I had no idea what being a furry was, other than having an andro-animal avatar. We had a splendid time, and by now my love for Caledon was fixed.
The next time I visited Caledon, I took Tyrus there, and showed her Silver Rose. We visited Kashai Steinbeck's bookstore across the street (I bought Tyrus a copy of "Dracula" there). I was fascinated by this wall clock, which I learned was built by Shaunathan Sprocket (I later contacted him, and he tp'd me to his shoppe, then in Caledon Prime). Then Tyrus and I checked out Yakkity Yak cafe, which soon became my favourite hangout in Caledon.
Those early days in Caledon were simple, just two sims. But it didn't take long for Port Caledon to open, then Caledon Highlands. That is when I first met Raivyn McLean, with whom I had a brief but wonderfully pleasant time as her submissive, after I left my partner Tyrus for various reasons I would rather not get into. Staying at Raivyn's manor in the Highlands was a highlight of my time as a non-official Caledonian, before I sold my mainland Barony and became one of Caledon's Landed Nobility.
I remember the day I met Desmond Shang. I was roaming Caledon, and he was giving a group of people a whirlwind tour of the four sims. I told him I was interested in Caledon, and he added me to the group, and invited me along on the tour. It was jolly fun, especially when he took us into the catacombes of the Academy of Virtual Wizardry, and took us past a wickerman (it must have been last Beltane, now that I think about it....it might or might not have been Lord Puck's Wickerman). He also showed us the wonders of the Port, and the then still -in-planning stages trolley station. By now I was positive I had to move to Caledon.
It was thrilling to reserve land in Tamrannoch. Offiically being a Caledonian is one of the greatest of honours in SL in my opinion. 95% of my best memories are in Caledon. running around as a tiny with Desmond and a bunch of others and "terrorizing" Mr. Sprocket as he was working, the mad hatter's party at Yakkity Yak, cupid hunting with Mystical Cookie, the unofficial yard sale in Port Caledon overlooking the Tesla Coils, toilet paper and snowball and watermelon shoot-outs with Lord Puck and Mysti (mystical Cookie), the hours of Victorian gossip rp with Dr. Holiday, Rogue Desmoulins, Absinthe Nesfaratu, David Petrichor, Aldo Stern, Bastillion Bachman, Khashai Steinbeck, Jeremy Pertwee, Lord Puck, Mr. Exrex Somme, et al, at the Yakkity Yak (god and goddess, I would sit there for hours, people watching and gossiping, and showing off my latest finery). At that time, Yakkity Yak was THE place to see and be seen in Caledon. And the seasonal grand balls held at the Leosanni Somme's and Cavalo Udal's Crystal Pavillionwere awesome!
When Tamrannoch finally arrived, the nature of Caledon started to change a little. Soon, there were new people, and old ones were leaving. I had my twins Raivyn Elizabeth and Elijah Bastillion in my old manor in Tam, on the hill by the monoliths, on Midsummer's eve. Dr. JohnHenry Holiday delivered my twins, with the assistance of my SL sister, Jamie Demar. It was one of the most moving experiences I ever had in SL. Before On Sea came along, it was a wonderful property. On the big hill by the monoliths, I had my manor house and gardens. Across the street I had my cafe, and a laboratory I was building. There was a lovely little tor there, and I placed a bell tower atop it, with a church bell made by Shaunathon Sprocket. I had my sheep in the fields overlooking the ocean. Soon, the Yakkity Yak faded as a hangout, and Mr. Stern's Falling Anvil Pub, and my cafe, to a lesser extent, became new hangouts. Mystical Cookie was now my neighbor, and she and I kept lovely gardens. I became the patron of a new young inventor in SL, Dominic Webb, and we spent hours, with me building, and he scripting. While I was in Tam, I became the first official casualty of the new train line. The rail sat unused for months, and I was standing in the middle of the tracks, in deep thought. I never heard Desmond and Serra shout out, "Amber, loook ouuuuuuuttttt!!!!" until it was too late. Next thing I know, I was like, "what in the..." as this train rolled over me. *grins* Ahhhh, the memories. In a way, I was kind of sad when On Sea came into existence, because it killed the charm of my property, so I split it, and kept part in Tam, and part in On Sea on a bluff. I moved my cafe across the street, and moved my manor to On Sea. It was at my cafe's new location that I met my current beau, americanpsycho98 Book, though at the time he was kinda dating my SL cousin, Copal Riel. Nerk Noonan, astronomer and horse afficianado, often stopped by my cafe to visit and chat. Messers. Somme and Sprocket were also frequent visitors to my cafe in those days.
One exciting aspect of my Caledon life was being involved in the 2006 Caledon Relay For Life team, at the urging of Leosanni Somme. She had a way of encouraging me to go beyond my fears, and take active part in the program. I particurlly remember the RFL jail, and the carnival. Messers. Bachman and Pertwee unveiled this remarkable caliope. A wonderful, magnificent invention. Sadly, due to numerous technical issues, I am currently unable to particiapte in the 2007 Caledon RFL team as much as I would like, and am missing many wonderful events. *pouts*
Alot has happened in the past year in Caledon. Many of the oldtimers are gone, and I have made new friends. My old Tamrannoch plot has changed hands several times. I sold my On Sea plot to ZenMondo Wormser. I definitely love my home in the Moors, I wanted to live in the Moors since I first heard Desmond mention it was a sim that he at that time was planning for the future. Caledon has grown into 17 sims, with many more planned. Desmond doesn't have nowhere near the time he used to have to relax with us. Each new sim is as intriguing as the last, but the character of Caledon has changed forever. Not in a bad way, but in a good and vibrant way. Still, it's always nice to look back on fond memories.
I guess I could write for hours, reminiscing, but these are some of my best memories of Caledon, in it's earliest years, when everything was so new to me. Since I have moved to the Moors, I have grown, matured, and maybe even grown a little jaded. The people of Caledon are still just as wonderful (there are just so many now, it's almost impossible to meet and know them all, as opposed to when Caledon was smaller), and their builds are just as exciting, and Caledon is still my dream-home, with my heart more loyal to this virtual nation than to any real life one. It's the spirit of the Caledonians, and Desmond's dream coming to life, that make this a wonderful place. Yet in a way, one can't help but be nostalgic, going back to simpler days, when Desmond didn't have to manage as much, and could spend more time playing with us, and Caledon was not just new to me, but to everybody. May the God and Goddess bless Desmond, Caledon, and ALL its residents for as long as we can keep this virtual Independant nation alive! *begins to cry in joy of all that is Caledon, and in anguish that she can't be there right now*