Considering that Aristasia Friends is a very special place, and one that not many people in the Pit would understand or be interested in, it is heartening to see that - even after our rather long "break", lots of people are visiting us regularly.
Most days about 50 of you drop in to Girls' Town, so considering that most of you don't come every day, there is quite a little circle of regular Girls' Town visitors, and I am sure there would be more if there were more postings.
So once again, we are asking you to contribute something to Girls' Town. Just tell us whether you like it - ask a question, anything. It all helps to keep the ball rolling. Whenever we ask this the response is always - I am sorry to say - disappointing. Each of you assumes we are talking to someone else! Well, we are not talking to someone else, we are talking to you.
If you enjoy Girls' Town, please help to keep it going by putting in your two-penn'orth. We'd love to hear from you, and so would everyone else. Make this the year you start participating in Girls' Town.
You'll be glad you did!
The Blonde Management
As this is the first meeting of the Novarian Game Friends Club for some little time, I should like to answer the question so many of you wonder about. Why games? That is - why do we have a games section at Girls' Town at all.
Well, the simple answer is that some of us like them. But really it isn't just as simple as that. Considering that the culture of the Pit is so deeply corrupt that we who reject it have no new films, books, magazines, music or other cultural expressions to turn to (of course, we have lots of films, books and music, but none that have the excitement of currency), games give us something that is new and that we can also embrace and enjoy.
Partly because of their Japanese provenance, partly because of the limitations of the medium and partly because of the essential soundness and good principles of the Nintendo company, games (at least the right games) cannot really be called bongo artefacts at all. All this is discussed at greater length here, but I just thought I'd recap for you.
Games are something current that Aristasians can enjoy discuss, take an interest in and, above all, play together.
Having got that out of the way again, some interesting things have been happening since last we spoke. A new trend seems to be developing at Nintendo, and one which I think is a very interesting change for the better (when did you last hear of any new trend that was for the better?). As a matter of fact many people deplore this new development, but I believe we should welcome it.
The trend whereof I speak is (at least in its most obvious manifestation) that towards shorter games. The great Nintendo games like the Marios and Zeldas were all vast epics that took endless hours to finish - and indeed only an elite minority of "hard-core gamers" ever did finish them. The latest Gamecube games like Luigi's Mansion and the adorable Pikmin (see picture to left) are, by comparison, short games. They can be finished, even by the not-too-good player, giving it only a fairly ordinary amount of time, in a matter of weeks.
These games are more like films in many respects. When Luigi opens a door in the haunted mansion, the camera zooms in on a white-gloved hand putting a key in the lock - just as it would in a film. It is not just a relatively static camera view of the character. The new generation of hardware allows games to become a genuinely immersive cinematic experience.
These two points may seem unrelated, but I believe they are not. The transition is from a very long difficult game, aimed at the "hard-core gamer" - who is the only person likely to see the unfolding of the entire story - to a form of interactive entertainment more like a film. Something that everyone can enjoy: a story that will be seen from start to finish by every player who is interested enough to continue with it. One that is neither so difficult that all but the most expert player is debarred from the whole experience, nor so long that the ordinary "cinema-going" player loses interest and never finishes it.
Miyamoto-san, the genius behind the Nintendo Phenomenon recently said that only a very few players had seen the whole of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and that it was better for games to be accessible to all. We heartily agree. It is objected that this makes games of lesser value. They are expensive and players want to get a lot of time out of them. To this it must be replied that: a) with the new cheaper medium (tiny discs instead of cartridges) we hope that shorter games will soon be cheaper - but, more importantly: b) Those "longer games" were only longer for the "hard-core" minority who did not get stuck or bored. After all, much of the greater length of longer games was created by unnecessary difficulty or by repetition.
I am perhaps stating the case a little too strongly. The truly great games like Pokemon and Zelda (especially, for me, Pokemon) provided many hours of happy entertainment. Their length was just more of a good thing. I found this especially true on a portable system where one could play them at all sorts of odd times. There is a place for long games, especially when they are not prohibitively hard. And I am sure they have not disappeared from Nintendo's repertoire.
But the new film-like game strategy has an important place in the development of games as a new form of entertainment, and, I believe, a new art.
A Happy New Year to All our Readers!
Miss Rebecca has written several times stating her wish to become involved with Aristasian events in London. We have invited you to arrange an interview, but had no reply but only further requests to get involved. It seems you are not receiving our replies. If you could write another note including a telephone number we can get in touch by older-fasioned methods!
Well, I have seen snow, but only a little, just some fine flakes drifting through the wintry sky. Actually, in the country where we usually go every week it was snowing like just anything, but somewhat sadly we didn't get there to see it.
Ah well - at least it is snowing on this page!
Now, I really should have told you about what the Star Fairy brought for me, but I am afraid I have been rather too busy playing with it. It is (hold your breath) a Game Cube. Now, if you don't know what that is - well it is that thing in the picture. You may say it doesn't look awfully interesting, but it is simply a Novarian machine that plays the jolliest lightgames ever.
I have been playing the spookiest game called Luigi's mansion, which is all about a haunted mansion with all sorts of ghosts. It looks just like a cartoon at the cinema, but you control what happens. You have to go about with a vacuum cleaner sucking up ghosts
Yes, really! And it is the most delightful fun, but really quite scary because it really is like being in a ghostly cartoon and getting scared by the ghosts yourself. You just can't understand what fun it is until you try it.
The rather sad thing in this game is that the cute little mushroom-girl Toad who is always so merry - shouting yahoo! as she zooms about in Mario Kart or announces the games in Mario Party - is found crying at the beginning of the game. So we must solve the mystery, rescue Mario and make Toad happy again.
The extra-exciting thing is that you simply cannot get a Game Cube on these shores. While in the far West and the far East they are out for Nativity, here we are not supposed to see them till next spring. I mean what an utter frost! But I've got this one already - ha-tiddly-ha-ha - and it is purple, which is the official, royal Nintendo colour.
It is the most magical thing and opens up whole new worlds. For example, soon I am hoping to meet the Pikmins, which are tiny little plants with one leaf that, when they are plucked from the ground start walking about and can help you with all sorts of things. They are just the cutest darlings and there is a game where you can have hundreds of little Pikmins, red blue and yellow (the different colours are good at different things), helping you to escape from a strange planet.
Doesn't that sound exciting - and cute? What a jolly new year this will be!
With love to all,
Oh what joy I have found this evening! I am currently spending the Nativity season with friends and they have a rather Novarian Wireless set- one which changes stations at the switch of a button, just imagine, no dials or anything! So I switched it on and it was programmed to the Third Programme, or BBC Radio 3 as it is referred to in the Pit. It was a rather droll choral something or another. Now don't misunderstand me, I often love Arcadian music, and in fact am rather partial to Elgar and some of the Russian composers, however, this evening I was just not in the mood and wondered what else was on. I didn't really think that I would find anything remotely real at all, but something drew me to the little button and so I pushed it and all of a sudden I was overcome by the sweetest Trentish music ever. Being such a ditzy blonde, I have already forgotten the singers name, but it was such a glorious surprise. I would heartily recommend tuning into the Light Programme (or BBC Radio 2) on a Sunday evening at 10 o'clock. I believe our American girls can listen through Elektraspace. I reassure you that you will have pleasant listening.
Oh and has anyone seen snow yet? I love snow but rarely see it at all, sigh. And what did Annya receive from the Star Fairy? I am bursting to know!
How exciting that Nativity is almost on us. I am terribly excited because I think I may be getting a really exciting thing from the Star Fairy. I shall tell you more about it when I properly know.
In the meantime here is a truly wonderful seasonal cover from a Quirrie magazine. Doesn't it truly capture the spirit of Nativity in a sane and civilised world?
The little girl looks just as excited as I feel. Would you like to take a closer look at her?
Luckily there is a close-up of her, so we can. She reminds me a bit of my sister Wendy -not the Wendy in the letter below - even down to the rabbit-teeth (but then my sister Wendy sometimes thinks she is a rabbit).
I think you might have found these pictures on the old Cocktail bar too. So lots of doves are coming home to roost these days!
I hope she brings you Nativity cheer.
With lots of love,
Since you posted the Star Fairy picture from Archive 50 of the old Cocktail bar, here is another one I happen to have. It shows the delightful Deanna Durbin as a Christmas tree!
The letter that accompanied it was as follows
A Singing Nativity-Tree Dear Sweeties!
How just-too-adorable to see Santa in all her finery and then that lovely picture of the darling Star Fairy all the way from Aristasia.
Do you think some of us edge-of-the-Pit-pettes will be able to hear the Star Fairy jingling through the sky on Nativity Eve at about Midnight
Oh, and Ellhedrine, would I be very clever and Aristasian if I guessed that Midnight corresponds to Mid-winter and the North, just as Noon must correspond to Mid-summer and the South?
Well, here is a Nativity picture from me to you - a human Nativity Tree no less, and who is she? Don't you recognise her? She is that delightful singing child, Deanna Durbin, and if you haven't seen any of her films make it a New Year's resolution to see one or two. You'll be in for the treat of your life!
You will find the letter in Archive 50, but without the picture.
How exciting to read about the Star Fairy who comes down the chimney and brings presents to little blondes and brunettes.
One important question - does the Star Fairy come to Aristasian girls living in Telluria - and how little must one be?
Oh - and can we see a picture of her?
But of course she comes to little Aristasians everywhere. How little? Well little enough - or big enough - to believe in her.
And a picture. Well here is a rather unorthodox but nonetheless delightful one posted at the old Cocktail Bar long ago. You will find the Archives of the old C.B. here, but unfortunately the pictures seem to be missing. We happened to have a copy of this one.
Isn't it absolutely wonderful. You take a walk in waste elektraspace, with no particular place in mind - and who do you meet? These two sweet and very Aristasian looking girls, who have apparently left their usual Province in order to show the world a little bit of good manners. Wonderful!
A difference between Aristasian Nativity and Tellurian Christmas - or rather one of those areas in which Aristasia is more traditional than Telluria - is that Nativity lasts a full twelve days, all of which are festive. I do think this is much jollier than everything being over in one day.
Avenbridge School held its Christmas Party - or Nativity Party as the case may be - on Thursday. Girls wore beautiful Quirrie dresses and began the evening by playing Mario Party, which is a sort of animated board game and quite delightfully cute. The only real fault of this game is that no one can play Kinopio, the walking, talking mushroom. She was there, however, selling stars to the girls who had collected enough coins on their journey round the board and generally being helpful.
There was lots of music - mostly Quirrie and Trentish - delightful things to eat and a fruit punch which had real wine in it.
Girls in London who would like to come to Avenbridge for the new term should write now to start arranging a preliminary interview.
I shall look forward to meeting you in class!
Karen is, of course quite right. Christmas in Aristasia Pura is in fact called Nativity. In Aristasia-in-Telluria, we tend to use the two terms fairly much interchangeably.
Santa, of course is also a Tellurian figure. In Aristasia we have the Star Fairy, who is the Princess of the North, the ruler of the Sylphs (or air-fairies). She rides a silver chariot drawn by six white horses.
And does she come down the chimney? - of course she does. There is a profound metaphysical significance to coming down the chimney, but don't ask me what it is! We could probably get some clever pette to explain it if we wanted!
And she brings beautiful things from the far North where all manner of delights can be fashioned out of air.
Love to you all and a highly happy Nativity!
I have been searching for Nativity music this year, and have found lots of exciting things, including The Twelve Days of Christmas with all the Disney Friends - Mickey, Minnie Donald etc. (it is quite surprising what you can draw down from the misty, crackling ether of Elektraspace).
However there is one song I should really like to find and haven't. It is sung by Doris Day, and I think it appears in the film Moonlight Bay (if it isn't that one then it must be the other one in the same series-of-two - is it called By the Light of the Silvery Moon?).
Anyway the song starts:
Christmas, with its trees and windows all aglow,
Christmas, with its snow and ice and mistletoe...
It is a simply lovely song, capturing the seasonal spirit so romantically, but except in the film I have never heard it. Does anyone know where one might get a copy?
Tinsely love from
Archive time again. We have now reached our tenth big volume (I know that sounds like silly advertising talk, but they are big and actually, the last one - Archive 10 - is the biggest so far).
So welcome to Volume 10 of Girls' Town - and why not join in the fun yourself your contributions are always welcome.
The Blonde Management
Some questions occur to me concerning Christmas in Aristasia. Why is there Christmas? Surely there is not a male Saviour in Aristasia? And what about Santa Claus? Is there an Aristasian Santa?
I hope these are not silly questions, but with all the seasonal good cheer in Aristasia, I just thought I would ask.
Just a note to tell you about the dance we went to on Sunday. You might remember that some of the girls from Avenbridge School went to a dance a while ago - well, at the very last minute we heard that it was being held last Sunday (it wasn't last Sunday then, of course, it was this Sunday, but only just, as we didn't find out till late on Friday).
So, being such short notice we couldn't make up much of a group, and the grown-up who was to accompany us couldn't make it at the last minute so, what with one thing and what with another we ended up with a group of two - just myself and Beth, another girl from my class.
Anyway, it was very jolly, with lots of Kadorian music and people dressed in Kadorian fashions, and Beth and I danced, even though it was quite scary with no one else we knew there and we had fortune cookies with really nice fortunes for both of us. We were told that there would be an elementary lesson in jive before the next dance - so next time we shall try to get a bigger party and go to the lesson as well.
I just thought I really must show you this. It is a picture I found of one of the latest Novarian fashions.
I come from Infra, where we get used to girls from other provinces making remarks about how outlandish our clothes can be - but really, we don't come anywhere near this. Skirts as thin as sleeves, sleeves as wide as skirts, and those gauntlets too!
Not to mention the delightful bow at the neck - a touch which could risk looking a shade blonde - but hardly on this brunette who seems to combine the most sophisticated avant-garderie (if there is such a term) and a daring that borders on the outré with an almost military touch, don't you think?
This definitely comes high on my list of the most remarkable fashions I have ever seen.
Have any of you darlings a picture to top this one?
With much love,
Most gentle friends,
It is just wonderful to see Girls' Town alive again after a sleep even longer than her summer nap among the briar roses.
I thought I simply must lend a hand to the good work and the splendours of the season, so when I found these trees in a remote and snowy forest in a far corner of Elektraspace, I though I would bring them along.
As you see I have decorated them, so we can put them in the Cocktail bar and the Games club.
Perhaps we should try to find a big one for the Town Square in Girls' Town.
I would very much like to be informed of Aristasian events. And thank you for being back in elektraspace!
How nice for Girls' Town to be up and plipping again. And with festive lights as well, When last we were chatting there was talk of Aristasian activities taking place in that bit of the Pit that used to be London, and some of you who do not live within striking distance of that place may be wondering if all on the ground had fallen as silent as all on the air.
Well, I am pleased to tell you, it hadn't - and hasn't. Avenbridge School has been in session every week for the last - well quite a few weeks (why ask a blonde to keep count?), with the legendary Miss Martindale attending our first meeting. The suggestion to put pink ribbons on the blondes has been taken up and implemented - at least most of the time - though since the school has a high preponderance of blondes and brunettes are at present distinctly under-represented it doesn't always seem necessary. Still, start as you mean to go on as my brunette mother used to say. Still does, come to that.
Other activities are burgeoning out from the School. A few weeks ago three blonde pupils and two grown-ups attended a dance characterised by Kadorian boogie-woogie music and after some initial shyness the girls did manage to rather gingerly cut a rug.
And even as I write, our first cinema evening is to be held this very day.
And soon we shall have our Nativity Party.
So any girls living within range of London and interested in joining Aristasian activities, do get in touch.
Lots of love,
Oh dear, oh dear. Girls' Town has been so quiet lately. What can one say. We have had technical problems and blonde emotionals - the two not being in any way connected. But there, if you will have a blonde management - and a rather young one at that - you must expect the occasional emotional upheavals - and a certain level of silliness in relation to all things technical.
But the show really must go on, mustn't it? Hearts may break and so may electronic widgeries, but the show must jolly well go on. Or try to anyway.
And in any case, the Festive Season approaches, so it is time we started putting up some lights and decorations and things. Here are a few lights. There are just a few, as they are dreadfully expensive this year, but I shall try to get some more just as soon as I can.
Do write soon, all of you, as the show really must go on.
The Blonde Management
What happened to girl's town? I keep checking day after day to see if it has been refreshed.
Is there anything I can do to help get it running again?
I miss it so.
Well, the answer, very vaguely, is above. Yes, you can help - you can all help by sending your contribbers and helping to get the ball re-rolling. Some pretty pictures would be nice too!