It’s that time of the year in Britland when we experience more than our fair share of ‘dirty’ weather, (coming to think of it, it always seems to be that time of year lately!). Certainly, we have our share of crisp, crunchy frost underfoot, mornings and quaint Dickensian snowfalls, prettily decorating our towns and blanketing the countryside in pure whiteness, but for the majority of the time, we tend to get landed with dark, grey, murky and wet days that have absolutely no redeeming qualities. These are days when everything, including ourselves, stays damp, cold and miserable and even those of us who enjoy the transition of the seasons and the variation they bring, who relish the cold snap of winter and bracing December walks, would rather stay indoors than face the grey dirtiness of the typical British winter weather.
If only it could be more like sl – where the demarcation of the seasons isn’t a mushy slide from ‘ahhh’ to ‘brrr’ and ‘ugh!’, but instead – as i’ve started to notice on my virtual travels this past week – an almost instant change from the russet hues and pumpkins of Autumn, giving way almost overnight to to the snowscapes of a picture-perfect Wintertide.
In sl, words like ‘sleet’, ‘slush’ and ‘drizzle’ are completely redundant, neither will you find soggy, boggy fields, filled with squelchy, slippery mud that spills over the top of your wellies and freezes your toes; you won’t find the incessant blatter of fat, grotty rain, streaming down the windows, or the misery of constantly damp clothes and hair, together with steamed-up specs and the nastiness of drip-drying all over the floor whenever you step indoors to escape the elements.
That’s not to say you won’t find inclement weather in sl – of course you will, but in the virtual world, weather has a whole different reason for being, quite distinct from its real-world counterpart.
In sl, weather is a creative tool… we use rain, storm clouds, mist and fog as an artist wields a paintbrush to build a picture, we employ the palette of weather to illustrate our thoughts and emotions, build atmosphere and suspense – to capture imagination. We never use it to make ourselves or our visitors feel miserable and depressed! Snow brings us a message of seasonal good cheer, beautifying even the dullest Sim, with none of the attendant slipping, sliding and shivering, none of the traffic chaos or the slushy muck that hangs around our streets, long after the snowmen have thawed in the real world.
We play with our Windlight, adjust night and day, and make the weather do our bidding in order to create artistic effect and the perfect scene: bringing pleasure for us and to all those who share in our hard work. We plant snow-laden pines in Winter, fields of golden corn to celebrate the harvest and lush green landscapes to evoke Spring and Summer… all purely for aesthetic and artistic effect, and – whatever the weather – nobody ever moans about it!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to do the same with the real weather? No more freezing our bits off waiting for the bus; no more wet, steaming gloves, drying on the radiators, and beautiful, seasonal vistas at every turn.
Then again… without its cruel Winters, wouldn’t Canada feel a little lost? Without year-round sunshine, of what could the Mediterranean boast? No tornadoes and wild storms – would the States feel the same place? Where would Australia be without the dryness and droughts? How would the Japanese feel without the advancing sakura in Spring? And, without our crazy, inhospitable, ever-changing and annoying weather, what on earth would we Brits ever find to talk about?
Look around, leaves are brown
There’s a patch of snow on the ground
Simon & Garfunkel – Hazy Shade of Winter