Here in the United Kingdom of Britland we’re having our usual, particularly special, variety of antisocial weather. Whereas during summertime you can pretty much rely upon howling gales, freezing temperatures and every garden barbecue being washed out, at least we can also usually rely upon our winters being what we expect, i.e. howling gales, freezing temperatures and even more rain than in the summer!
Not so this year, for the ice and snow of December has singularly failed to show itself and instead we’re experiencing something akin to a tropical heatwave. Outside my front door, daisies and buttercups are happily blooming, bumblebees and butterflies busily bob about and, this morning I was astonished to spot a flowering cherry in full bloom, seemingly unphased by the fact it’s sporting its glory something like four months too early!
You’d think we’d be grateful, but the truth of the matter is that we feel dreadfully cheated: Cheated of our brisk walks on frosty mornings; cheated of warming ourselves before roaring log fires at the local hostelry; cheated of snowball fights, tobogganing and picturesque snowy landscapes; but, most of all, cheated of being able to moan about how awful the weather is and complaining about all the snow!
At least the seasonal weather in SL is somewhat more reliable. The period from October through to the end of January has to be my favourite time to get out and about exploring inworld. As Autumn starts to assert its hold, SL enters a period of celebratory self-indulgence, festivals and celebrations merging into each other to create one long, extended party. Commencing with Hallowe’en, marked by the advent of a veritable cornucopia of pumpkins, seasonal decoration and autumnal colours, we merge almost seamlessly into Guy Fawkes and Thanksgiving, culminating in Christmas and New Year.
It’s a great time for checking out new sims and revisiting old favourites, as everyone gets into the spirit of the season and throws caution and conservatism to the wind, in favour of decoration and decadence. Come December, we’re well into the swing of things: Snow begins falling across the Grid and the Christmas spirit is evident wherever you travel… It’s a special time.
I have to admit, I’ve been rather lax with my Christmas preparations this year, both inworld and in RL. Nothing particularly unusual about this in the real world – I’m generally somewhat ‘relaxed’ when it comes to things like Christmas shopping and decorating for the festive season, although this year ‘last minute’ has taken on a whole new meaning! The same is, I’m afraid, true of my SL efforts too, and that is unusual. Normally the first snows of winter settle on the fields of Nowhere Land around the beginning of December with fairy lights and fir trees springing up all around. However, as I write these words, with barely a week to go before Christmas, it’s still Summer in my little bit of virtual world – the unseasonal weather of the real world, seems to have somehow crossed the boundary separating reality to assert itself inworld too. But fear not, by the time you read this, all will be put right and Nowhere Land will be knee deep in snow and mince pies, and of course, you’re most welcome to come over and throw a snowball or two at me for arriving so late to this year’s party!
Well I lived with a child of snow
when I was a soldier,
and I fought every man for her
until the nights grew colder.
Leonard Cohen – Winter Lady