Thursday, February 2, 2023

Big Fun in Little Wales

The Belgian treat Speculoos is a sweet cookie, the name being derived from the Latin for 'mirror' referring to the way each cookie mirrors the shape and pattern of the wooden biscuit molds used to make them. In virtual worlds, Speculoos is a grid with Belgian roots and a long history, and it's home to Susannah Avonside, and a lovely build reflecting her native Wales. 
Apologies for the photos, turns out upgrading Firestorm was a bad idea - no big shock there.Susannah Avonside: Welcome! this is the second iteration of my build here, if you'd like an impression of what the previous build was like you can find an interview Thirza did with me some 11 years ago now on her blog. Those of you with avatars taller than 2m might find it difficult to enter the buildings, so it's a case of shrink, or do a lot of camming
Ange Menges: You are building all that alone Susannah ?
Susannah Avonside: yes, I do all my own building, this is just one of my projects, I have several on the go at the moment in OSGrid
Lavia Lavine: That's awesome Susannah, Well done
Tosha Tyran: nice build, Susannah and a big welcoming sign :)  how sweet!
Susannah Avonside: this place is supposed to have something of a Welsh flavour
Star Ravenhurst: I love the sign
Thirza Ember: welsh flavour = leeks! (just kidding)
Lavia Lavine: I like leeks.
Susannah Avonside: I love leeks and toasted cheese!
Lavia Lavine: Mmm now I'm getting hungry
Ernest Moncrieff: I'm looking forward to an Oggie at the end
Susannah Avonside: Please feel free to wander about, I particularly recommend the mansion located in the castle grounds
Lavia Lavine: Well she did say feel free to wonder around so off I go.
Susannah Avonside: Walk up the alley under the banner and turn to the right, there is a walkway
Alan Scot: avoid the naughty dungeon
Susannah Avonside: you've found the dungeon Alan? Well done! Have you seen my office Ernest
Tosha Tyran: those old fashion heaters... great!
Ernest Moncrieff: where ?
Frank Gresham: Guess I should not spend all my time sitting by the fire.
Jupiter Rowland: I guess everyone has heard that...
Thirza Ember: nice room! what does the writing around the room mean?
Ernest Moncrieff: now I can't translate that! help us out
Susannah Avonside: it says  " The environment should be the most important thing of  all for us who are created from it, get our food from it and our livelihoods. Why then do we poison it with the waste of what we suck from the land in order to  kill each other, and to enrichen those who are already too rich. "
Ernest Moncrieff: we are all enriched by each other?
Tosha Tyran: did you see the caged Lindens? Very funny! but imagine living in a mansion like this and - having to clean it! That's why I love VW
Jupiter Rowland: That's why I've never wanted a mansion this big. Although I'll probably end up with a music room myself, only that mine will be more cluttered.
James Atlloud: I can imagine that Tosha - I struggle to clean my little house!
Tosha Tyran: lol, so do I, but it really is a great work, Susannah
James sitting on the Linden Cage
Susannah Avonside: this place was inspired by Michael Linden's house in SL, I just got a bit carried away...
Tosha Tyran: even dungeons... for the ex-husbands I suppose?
James Atlloud: This house is wonderful. I like the creaky door sounds!
Susannah Avonside: the plan is to offer a version of this build as an OAR
Ernest Moncrieff: clocks for Cardiff, San Francisco and Sydney.. Not Cardiff, Bangor and Wrexham ;)
Susannah Avonside: well even if I was being pendantic Ernest, there would be less than 5 mins difference between Cardiff and Bangor and Wrecsam
Tosha Tyran: boah... it is mostly prim made! wonderful
Ernest Moncrieff: 'I do everything in Welsh!' you mean 'everything' :-O
Susannah Avonside: yes, everything.. giggles
Ernest Moncrieff: a Miner lamp, you have Pit Ponies too?
Susannah Avonside:  nah, only a couple of horses, But I also have a bigger lamp...
Jupiter Rowland: Yes, there's a lot of Arcadia stuff here.
Thirza Ember: what is your favorite part of the build
Alan Scot: the writing on the wall ?
Tosha Tyran: mine is the dungeon! I could name you half a dozen I would like to see in there
Susannah Avonside: ok, now we go to see the forest walk, this way please
Ernest Moncrieff: hope its not the Beacons didn't bring my coat
Jupiter Rowland: By the way, do you need some Ruth2 v4 nail polish for the body shop?
Thirza Ember: what a great view
James Atlloud: Yeah, see the whole town.
Tosha Tyran: its absolutely lovely here !
Welsh phone box
Mal Burns: lots to film plus lots to walk around - great sim
James Atlloud: I really like the walk over the hill - very unique!
Star Ravenhurst: I like the all the pathways. You never know where you will end up!
Susannah Avonside: thanks James, I'm still working on that, I love building pathways
James Atlloud: The experience reflects that, Susannah
Thirza Ember: do you favor a particular part of Wales, Suzi? the North, Center, or South for example?
Typical Welsh Chapel

Susannah Avonside: I'm from West Wales myself, speak North Wales Welsh (Ardudwy) and prefer the  Llyn Peninsula the most, I spent two years in college in Harlech
James Atlloud: My last name is Welsh, but I recently learned I'm more Swede than Welsh! eek!
Tosha Tyran: lol... but swede is also nice thing to be
Susannah Avonside: Well, we Welsh like swedes.. they go well in cawl!
James Atlloud <googles cawl>
Susannah Avonside: cawl is a stew, largely vegetables
Thirza Ember: more swede, less parsnip... 
Welsh petrol

Ernest Moncrieff: did i spy a north welsh pleasure steamer in the harbour?

Star Ravenhurst: Did you plan this all out or did you just wing it?
Susannah Avonside: I pretty much just looked at the terraform that weas here and worked with that, I haven't changed the terrain much at all
Star Ravenhurst: It was already terraformed?
Susannah Avonside: yes, one of the conditions is not to change the terraforming too much, so I didn't. I did a lot of flying around looking at the land and a lot of trial an error, and as I said earlier, this is the second build here
Tosha Tyran: but the mansion... you must have planned that!
Star Ravenhurst: That is certainly a challenge, you have done an amazing job. I am even more impressed knowing you had to work with existing terrain
Thirza Ember: Speculoos has proved a good bet, when it comes to alternatives to osgrid
Susannah Avonside: it's a bit quiet here, most of the other residents haven't logged in for over a decade
Jupiter Rowland: I've seen that with Body Talk whose owner only shows up every few months or so.
Susannah Avonside: very low drama, apart from the regular visits of Priscilla.  Gudule, the owner of the grid is usually very responsive to issues, all i have to do is e-mail
Tosha Tyran: that helps a lot indeed
Susannah Avonside: I have a piece of open land here, does anyone have a suggestion about what I can do with it?
Star Ravenhurst: Do something you are passionate about. Only you can say what that is
Thirza Ember" a nice Welsh choir?
Susannah Avonside: ugh, a bit stereotypical Thirza!  'Men of Harlech' is one of the songs I loath the most
Ernest Moncrieff: smiles, Colliery brass band, an Eisteddfod !
James Atlloud: Is it zoned for residence or business?
Mal Burns: lilliput Anglesey
Ernest Moncrieff: Portmeirion would be fun... 'I'm not a number!'
Thirza Ember: a daffodil meadow, or something from the Red Book of Hergest
Susannah Avonside: or the Black Book of Carmarthen yes, something Mabiniogi themed would be good
Thirza Ember: i love it, thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your world with us
Star Ravenhurst: Thank you for such a lovely visit
Tosha Tyran: really so nice, thanks having us and again: I love the heating system in the Mansion :D
Mal Burns: yes - great visit
Ard Rhys: Thanks for the tour
Susannah Avonside: you're all most welcome, thank you all for visiting, Please look me up on OSGrid, I have a lot of builds there
Ernest Moncrieff: diolch, mae wedi bod yn lle gwych i ymweld ag ef
Susannah Avonside: Diolch Ernest

HG Address:


  1. Thanks to all who visited, and to Thirza for organising the visit. Tosha Tyran: you suggested that I planned the mansion, well, thereby hangs a story. AS I mentioned during the visit, the mansion was inspired by Michael Linden's house in Second Life, and initially it was located in the middle of a region surrounded by water. I started building the mansion in 2013, and I have still to finish it. I intended to build a house a similar size to the house that inspired the build, THAT was the plan... However, I kind of got carried away with ideas and so added the basement (and dungeon), the servant's quarters and rapidly things got a bit out of hand and suddenly I had something approaching the size of Fontainbleau! In 2018 when I was contemplating the rebuild, I was short of an idea of what to do in the castle grounds, and inspired by Cardigan castle, in West Wales, (where there is a Georgian gentleman's residence in the grounds incorporating the medieval keep) I decided to 'recycle' the mansion build

  2. Thank you Susannah - what a treat to get away from things in RL and spend time in Speculoos. It was so fun to explore!