January salon

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 15 January) evening at 5 p.m., SLT, Ormsby Hall on Little West Sniggery island in Caledon Murdann will once again be open for conversation. This month’s starting point is a poem by Christina Rossetti, the notable Pre-Raphaelite poet.

In the Bleak Midwinter (1872)

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But his mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.

Holiday memories

Tomorrow’s salon at Ormsby Hall, Caledon Murdann will be on the topic of holiday memories. I have plans to be at home on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:00pm SLT at least through February.

Which holidays, you ask? Well, isn’t that just the question? Diwali! Human Rights Day! Bodhi Day! Feast of Saint Nicholas! Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! St Lucy’s Day! Hannukah! Christmas!

Do come for a visit and tell us all about it.

Defender of Murdann

Yesterday the Duchy of Loch Avie celebrated St. Andrew’s Day in fine style, with festivities throughout the day. A highlight for me (and the only portion I was able to attend) was the tourney of arms between Duchy Champions. I was honored to be represented by the Protector of Caledon, Lady Whoop-ass, Diamanda Gustafson, Defender of Murdann.

Lady Dia and I confer before the contest of arms.

An inaugural salon

In just a few hours, I will be holding my first salon at Ormsby Hall, Caledon Murdann. I have plans to be at home on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:00pm SLT at least through February.

I don’t know who will drop by, but I’ve let it be known that visitors may wish to prepare by reading Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott,” which has long been a favorite of mine. And so I will publish here the 1842 version of the poem.

The Lady of Shalott

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run by
To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil’d,
Slide the heavy barges trail’d
By slow horses; and unhail’d
The shallop flitteth silken-sail’d
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly;
Down to tower’d Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, ” ‘Tis the fairy
The Lady of Shalott.”


There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal Knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.


A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel’d
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon’d baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn’d like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro’ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.


In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Thro’ the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”

Photo shoot

In order to complete my host profile for Radio Riel, I did a photo shoot of myself the other day. Here are a few of the results, all taken in Ormsby Hall on Little West Sniggery island in Caledon Murdann.

This is the image I chose for the Radio Riel profile (click for larger version):

I think this one is rather romantic and melancholy at the same time (click for larger version):

Buggy (?) races in Murdann

The buggy races in Caledon Murdann ended up a success&emdash;although less for the buggy part than for the race (and silliness) part.

Miss Diamanda Gustafson and I took a couple of turns, first she in a Stanhope carriage by Miss Virrginia Tombola and I in a carriage from AKK. The Stanhope left the AKK so far in the dust that Miss Gustafson declared it an unfair win. We tried it again in matched Stanhopes, and this time she was not only the clear, but also the fair winner.

And then the silliness began, as more people were able to make it. First there was Miss Autopilotpatty Poppy’s seahorse carriage, which was, sadly, even slower than the AKK though quite as stylish and not a little spectacular.

At some point a Ford-style vehicle (a freebie by Aimee Weber) was added to the mix, and before long everyone had one.

Miss Gustafson

Lord Primbroke dared to be different. . .
and eventually decided on an attractive red number (click for larger version).

The automobiles were just on the edge of being too fast for the track, and indeed at one point we were all flung to the depths (or heights) before the sim crashed. I had descended to -37,000+ meters before SL booted me, saying the sim was going down.

Hotspur O’Toole and his red mechanical beast:

Also making appearances were a pennyfarthing and a blitter (which did fairly well, actually).

Finally, there was a lap on a variety of animal conveyances (my yak, which seemed to have a mind of its own, is facing backwards in this photo). Click for a larger version.

I had originally thought I would dismantle the track after today, but was encouraged to leave it. I will certainly do so for the time being and will attempt to reduce its prim count by using huge prims instead of standard ones. If you TP to Caledon Murdann, there is a local TP device at the telehub, or you can fly to just over 500m.

Harvest festival events in Caledon Murdann

To all my fellow neo-Victorians of Second Life, I bid you welcome to the Maritime Duchy of Murdann in the Firth of Caledon, for events celebrating the Harvest Festival in Caledon and Steelhead, Sunday 9 September through Saturday 15 September. These are the events to be held in the Maritime Duchy of Murdann:

Sunday, 9 September
9 AM-6PM SLT: Tree-felling.
A variety of species, suitable for transplantation, will be marked for removal in order to create a more livable space. Guests are requested to take no more than two trees each. (Right-click and buy for L$0, then take the plant.) The Murdann Thorn tree is native to no other region of Second Life.

Tuesday, 11 September
8PM-11PM SLT: Caledon Sailing and Steam Society opening events.
After welcoming remarks, there will be Tako racing from Murdann to the Sound and back, followed by steam racing.

Wednesday, 12 September
7PM-8PM SLT: Tako Races, Murdann to the Sound and return
8PM-9PM SLT: Steamboat 3 Lap Races ‘Caledon Cup’

Saturday, 15 September
6AM-8AM SLT: Buggy races
The races will take place on an elevated track. A teleporter to the track will be on the dock. Any model of buggy, carriage, or wagon welcome.

Yrs, etc.

Otenth Paderborn
Duke of Murdann

Caledon Murdann/89/120/22

Duchy of Murdann

The sad disaster on 21 April that brought my cousin Hermione Fussbudget to the head of House Heidrun, as well as the Barony of Wyre, and made me Jarl of Orcadia, has finally resulted in my assumption of responsibility for the Duchy of Murdann in the Firth of Caledon. My parents, Johan Augustus Paderborn, Jarl of Orcadia, and Gudrun Ragnbjorg Heidrun Paderborn, Viscountess of Little West Sniggery and Giggleford, and my aunt, Miss Fussbudget’s mother, Ingeborg Signe Heidrun Fussbudget, Baroness Wyre, died as a result of injuries sustained when Heidrun Meadery’s experimental molasses tanks exploded, flooding production facilities on Wyre. The tanks were the brain-child of my Great-uncle Oskrr Sigurdr Heidrun (a confirmed bachelor), who died immediately in the flood. He was, all too briefly, the 5th Duke of Murdann. It is by a twisted route that I have become the 6th Duke of Murdann.

My great-great-grandmother Lydia Ormsby Aagard was the half-sister of His Grace, James John Ormsby, 4th Duke of Murdann. Because of the several lateral transmissions, including female lines, it has taken this time for the genealogists and researchers at Begonia’s Peepage to certify that I am the male heir. I have now taken possession of Ormsby Hall in Caledon Murdann, which has been somewhat neglected for several years. There is a fine old stone and half-timbered manor house, albeit in some disrepair and unfurnished, but the island itself is densely covered with trees and brush. Access is through a decrepit wooden pier.

Next Sunday, the ninth of September, I will open Caledon Murdann for a tree-felling from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. SLT. A variety of species, suitable for transplantation, will be marked for removal in order to create a more livable space. Guests are requested to take no more than two trees each.

All are welcome to visit Ormsby Hall, and know that I intend it to become once again a place of graciousness and hospitality.

Otenth Haakon Paderborn, Jarl of Orcadia, Duke of Murdann, Viscount Ormsby of Little West Sniggery and Giggleford, Thegn of Aa