Beau Belle Village

Beau Belle Village Second Life Group

Our new co-owner May reminded me that as time goes by and people come and go, the new visitors to Beau Belle might not know the history behind the island, or some of the co-owners past and present.  So I though I'd post a little bit about me, and a little bit about the history of the island, for those who haven't been around for ever.

The idea for Beau Belle started years ago from discussions between Teesa Beattie and myself; we had been residents in another sim called Hallelujah, and we had ambitions of creating our own community, based on the principles of fairness, friendliness, openness, and creative design values.  We were inspired by Hallelujah's creator, Orb. After a brief faltering start on another sim, we bought a quarter sim, which is the north-east corner of the current Beau Belle (the corner with Icarus flying above the beach).  With two other co-owners Share and Cranmillion, we started building, planting trees, renting out homes, and starting a little community.

The home rentals were doing well, and we felt it was safe to expand, and so bought the north-west quarter, which now includes our harbour and fisherman's houses, along with the Adam's Apple and mountain.  Some time later, the other half of the sim became available, and after lots of soul-searching we decided to take the risk of buying it, so we would have the whole sim (mostly to stop other people buying it!).

Our goal has always been to get it to the point where it can be self-sustaining - money from home rentals and tips would ideally pay for the monthly tier.  We've never really come close to that, and so the co-owners pay in money to top it up to keep the island alive.  Sadly it's impossible to escape the financial reality of running a sim, and so we always need new residents to help keep the island going.  We still live in hope that one day, rentals will be so popular, and tips so forthcoming that the island will be self-sustaining!

Time went by....the Leonard Cohen Club arrived as a refugee from the Hallelujah sim, which we were very happy to give a new home to....Teesa built iMatch, Second Life's popular dating service.  We built Belle's coffee shop, a tree-house, shops, the tunnel, the ancient ruins, the pond, the forest, the windmill, the tower and its various galleries.  We built a fully working cinema just underneath the clock by the Adam's Apple, which we later expanded and moved next to the tower (do check it out, you can watch full movies there for free!).  We built a cellar underneath Belle's which continues to be a popular place for board games, especially with a super-competitive Mahjong league.  Most recently we've seen winter break out across Beau Belle, with ice and snow.  Meanwhile mother nature has been hard at work, creating a new river through the island, and new mountains emerging from the sea around the coastline.

If you look up in the clouds above Beau Belle, you will find Icarus and the North Wind, two floating monuments from Orb's original Hallelujah sim that inspired us.  They look down on us and keep us on track - trying never to stray far from our original principles.

The group of co-owners has evolved over time, with Stephs, Alyx, Lill, Lore, contributing in their own unique ways, and with many others helping out along the way in one way or another.  We've had parties, quizzes, races, fancy dress events, balls, birthdays, a wedding, and memorial service.  All of life is there, on Beau Belle Island.

With Teesa and Lore recently making the decision to step down from the Beau Belle management team, Kelly and I welcome our newest co-owner, May O. Mingzi, who brings lots of exciting new ideas for taking Beau Belle forward.  The three of us intend to keep Beau Belle living and breathing as a happy, friendly, fair and pretty island community - still maintaining the vision Teesa and I had right at the start.

As a bit of background about me, I'm Bluebell, known for my hats and cosy woollen attire (and in SL too!).  I was born in Second Life in July 2007.  In the real world I work in the film graphics/effects world, and have an unstoppable passion for art, craft and design, which emerges in Second Life in the form of a passion for building.  I built many of the buildings in Beau Belle, rather than buying, and created most of the textures myself with my camera and Photoshop/Gimp.  So if you see a prim out of place, or a brick out of alignment, blame me, and I'll come and fix it!

In real life, I live in South Wales, in the United Kingdom (moved there from England last year), which means I'm 8 hours ahead of SLT.  I have a very busy life these days, so can't log into Second Life as much as I would like, but generally when I do manage to log in, it's around 2pm SLT or later.  I'm on Twitter as @BluebellBroome if you ever feel the urge to add my ramblings to your feed.

Thank-you for listening :)

Bluebell xx

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