Finally, Twelfth Night has arrived, which means that the almost pathological need to tear down the Christmas decorations that’s been growing over the past few days can now be sated. No, i’m not superstitious, neither can i come up with a compelling reason as to why i feel the need to eke out every last moment that i can realistically keep the things on display, but i’m fundamentally a person of order and method, and if 6th January is traditionally the prescribed day for de-Christmasatising, then that’s the way it’s going to happen around here – logical, or not!
Now that i’ve decided to get on and do the job, it can’t be done soon enough, and my resolve has been further bolstered by spotting the appearance of the first Easter eggs in the shops this week – i kid you not. Tempus Fugit… and, of late, it seems to be fugiting at a pace that threatens to leave me far behind if i don’t apply myself to keeping up.
What applies in the real world applies in sl too – on my own patch of land, the snowmen, Christmas trees and holly wreaths have all been returned to their boxes for another 12 months and Spring has not so much burst, as exploded, across the parcel as a result of my fervour to do away with the festive fripperies. Even my glorious Winter willow – which really deserves more than a brief few weeks’ outing every year – has been dug up and sent back into hibernation, such has been the zealousness of my desire for a clean sweep, all of which is a bit odd, when you consider that here in Britland, winter hasn’t even got into the swing of things yet, and is going to be hanging around until at least July.
You’d think that, with the pains i take to mimic reality in the virtual world, i’d not have a problem with leaving the odd winter tree standing and the snowdrifts lying deep and crisp and even… but the truth of the matter is – despite my previous assertion that i’m a person of order, who likes to do things according to their proper, natural scheme – i do exercise a fair bit of artistic licence at times, although there’s no real rhyme or reason to it.
A short walk around my virtual garden reveals my lack of discipline in all its glory: It’s January, yet flowering cherries bloom, their roots tangling with thickets of lavender and field poppies. Butterflies flit above the corn, whilst pumpkins flourish in the vegetable patch. The forest floor is carpeted in the Autumnal hues of the leaves that drift gently from the trees. It is a horticulturist’s nightmare, and about as close to reality as the winter scenes we see depicted on Christmas cards – yet i wouldn’t have it any other way; for me, it works – artistically and aesthetically, and it feels right, even though it’s really very wrong.
Yet, at times, i can be completely obsessive about depicting the virtual world in a way that is as close to reality as possible. One of the joys of the location of my parcel is having one side open to the sea, which prompted me to build Echo Beach. Everything about it has been planned to mimic the real world as closely as possible… from the salt-corroded beach sign, to the seaweed hanging from the jetty posts; the wiry seagrass tufts and the gulls reeling overhead: in every aspect, i’ve striven to make it look and feel like a real beach… but i’ve never been entirely happy. This week, i’ve finally got around to giving Echo Beach waves – and the difference it’s made is huge! Finally, my little rowing boat has a reason to bob about in the water; at last, the sound of surf has an origin, and now the sea doesn’t simply stop along a straight line where the beach begins – i’m so pleased with the difference it’s made.
It did take a fair amount of tweaking, adjusting, prodding and fiddling, for a good hour to get everything as i wanted – and there’s probably still some wiggle-room before it’s perfect – but it was worth it, and the inner perfectionist in me is, for the time being, satisfied with the results. Even so, please don’t ask me why it’s been so important to me to make this little bit of my virtual world as close to rl as i can, when the whole area surrounding it is a pure flight of fancy – i really couldn’t tell you.
Isn’t that one of the great things about sl though? There doesn’t have to be a reason, just so long as it makes you happy.
On a silent summer evening
The sky’s alive with light
Building in the distance
On Echo Beach
Waves make the only sound
Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach