So, I thought I'd take a few moments out to look back (as best I can) at some of this bunny's highlights of the previous 12 months.
It seems to have flown by, but then I have been fortunate to be involved in so much over the last year, that much of it seems like it happened so much longer ago!
Mardi Gras was fun. The whole Mardi Gras square seemed to spring up in a matter of hours, given all the hard work that Tea, Akay, Stillpink and Pan put into making the buildings. The parade of floats was a laggy, grinding affair, but seeing all the wonderful displays was an awesome sight. No two floats of a 30-plus strong troupe were remotely alike. All of them highly detailed and utterly brilliant.
Having our own Space Station, and being allowed to assimilate a level for my tiny Borg collective was awesome! Awor and Zayn did an increidble job constructing the thing!
The Summer Olympics in Beijing were heralded as a great success, due in part to the spectacular opening ceremony, but the whole thing had nothing on Raglan's take on it. From our fantastic torch run, to the whole host of tiny-centric events that took place. Seeing everybody step up and take part was brilliant.
Halloween is typically celebrated over just a single night, but we managed to stretch it out into something fun and exciting for almost a whole month! And getting to film the Thriller video was a joy that gave me an opportunity to try something different but equally creatively rewarding.
And I have watched with an envious smile as Winterfest - which was supposed to be a 'rest event' - has turned into a series of well-co-ordinated parties, activities and general messing about in the snow. I was sad to miss most of it, but incredibly happy to see how much fun it brought everyone else.
I got to make loads of things this year, as my confidence with my ability to do so greatly improved. I am always very happy to hear nice things being said about my stuff; I'm almost as happy to hear bad things being said about it too, because it makes me try a little harder the next time.
But overall, Second Life would be nothing to me without the people around. From long-standing pals like Bo, Etheria, Lani, Zayn, Xerxes, Panacea, Minea, and Awor (and many, many more), to the new faces around, every experience is only made better by other people's continual prescence.
I was so sad to see both Greta and Peaches have to leave SL, for their own personal reasons. They both brought so much joy to my experience, and I still miss them both terribly. Hopefully 2009 will see me become reacquainted with both of them in-world, but for now, I hope they both know how much I hold them in continual high-esteem in my heart and soul. Jaid Marsi has been in-world less as the year has gone on, and again it has saddended me, as she is such a brilliant, creative individual who always saw the beauty of SL and could capture it brilliantly in a snapshot; I have my fingers crossed that she is able to find her inspiration in-world once again. I have also been concerned by the disappearance of Merriwether, a tiny whose constant over-exubarant mood made my smile bigger every time I saw her. I hope she is OK. The worst thing about seeing someone leave is often not knowing why they have gone.
My good friend Sakurasnow has also been on less and less over the year too, but I have kept in touch with her by e-mail. I still miss her though. Another friend whose energy is infectious.
But I have also been blessed to meet so many new folk this past year. It would be impossible to name everyone, but it was fantastic to help Misa set up her Pumpkin Patch on Morning Shire; I am always pleased to catch up with Mutley (the only fellow tiny, other than Kitti, who I have met in RL!); my entire olympic Green Tigers team were a joy to meet, and from such were borne some wonderful friendships which I intend to keep ongoing; Eleanora, Awenbunny, Josephine, Eren, Teal, and Qyhat have all provided The Shire Times with more content and brilliance than I could have ever have hoped for; folk like Karmagirl, Azelle, Isis, Catten, Kul, Xandra, Summer, Sedona, Shady and so many more always provide me with much-loved company and inspiration; the whole of the Events & Activities Group, who challenge and help nuture my creativity, and offer constant support; and I made it a point, no matter what I'm working on or heading to, to give at least 10 minutes of my day to any new tiny I see taking their first few tentative footsteps around the Shires. Linden Lab keep going on about how they want new resident's first hour experience to be the best it can be - my advice, send them directly to ExtroVirtual and then despatch them off the the Shires. We know how introductions should be made, and I will continue to do my upmost to ensure that our community continues to grow and thrive.
Kitti joined me in SL this year too. It has been wonderful to see her develop friendships with my own in-world friends, but with a wholly different approach. The joy that she has enjoyed around the Shires is always a sight to behold.
Many times this year I have been asked by Zayn to contribute to events. As much as I respect everyone's opinions, when I know how deep the talent pool is that he has to dip into, to be asked to contribute anything at all is always a wonderful honour.
And then there is Bo. She is my longest-standing tiny friend. She has been through so much in her RL over the last 12 months. I don't know how to express how much her friendship means to me, but there have been times this year when the thought of SL without Bo would be like Wallace without Gromit.
If 2009 is half the joy that 2008 has been for me, I shall be writing a year review in a year's time that could be even longer than this one!