Iris Ophelia's ongoing effort to simulate Downton Abbey in The Sims 3
Fall has drawn to a close and winter is creeping into Sim Downton Abbey. With this series approaching episode 10, it seems like a good time to do something special... A special episode, if you will. Something like a Sim Downton Abbey Christmas -- wait, sorry, a "Snowflake Day" -- Special. Given that the Christmas specials have become a tradition with the show itself, it seems fitting to celebrate part 10 of Sim Downton with one.
But before we can do that, we need to get caught up. Plenty has happened since the last series recap, so let's see what exactly everyone's been up to...
The Dowager Countess has been a strong but quiet presence at the Abbey, but she's had her share of excitement. She may have lost the summer hotdog eating contest to Mary, but she was more than eager to drown her sorrows on a trip to Champs Les Sims, France with her granddaughters. Violet and Edith bonded (and nearly emptied the family coffers) over expensive drinks on a vineyard tour, and after throwing up more than once seemed no worse for wear.
Violet seems to have gotten that wild streak out of her system at this point... At least when she's not discretely sampling cocktails at the local watering hole or cutting a rug on a dance floor.
Earl Robert & Lady Cora
Cora and Robert have developed a reputation for being faithful to each other. it gives them a good mood buff, but seems like it might be tempting fate, especially with Dr. Clarkson inviting Cora to suspiciously small parties in his garage.
In spite of Cora's social ambitions, her husband Robert, the Earl of Grantham, is a bit of a homebody. More often than not he's at home training his beloved dog Isis for hunting and competitions, or just catching up on his reading. Cora seems to pop up here and there in town much more often than Robert, even taking spur of the moment trips to the beach, rain (or hail) or shine. She also apparently throws one hell of a party herself, though you wouldn't know it from the near deathly silence that filled the house during the whole damn thing. There's just no accounting for sim taste, I guess.
Oh Lady Mary, the poor thing. She's trying so hard, and things seemed to be going so well for her at first. She made a positive impression on Matthew after some initial rough patches, and completely dominated both hotdog eating and apple bobbing competitions at the local fairs. She's become an accomplished rider, and she's well on her way to becoming a talented singer as well.
But she's also had her fair share of disappointments. Matthew has been standing her up on dates, and even though they're constantly exchanging love letters and chatting on the phone, I can't seem to nudge them beyond the "best friends" stage of their relationship. Even her super sexy Cleopatra costume didn't do a damn thing. It might be time for an ultimatum: If Matthew and Mary can't commit, a new beau may have to come into the picture...
The only member of the household less lucky than Mary might be middle daughter Edith. Although she's quite skilled, things just... don't seem to work out for her. The best thing she has going for her is her gossip blog and a relatively high tolerance for alcohol. Unfortunately now that her blog is starting to take off, paparazzi are circling to catch her in her most unflattering moments. They probably won't have a shortage of material.
After pouncing on Matthew for a heat-of-the-moment kiss (during a rather cold moment) Edith's love life is looking bleak as well. If she doesn't want to end up a bitterly single blogger (in an era before that was as cool as it is now, right?) it might be time to bite the bullet. It might be time for Edith make an online dating profile.
Youngest daughter Sybil's brush with death (and bugs) in a French tomb seems to have lit a fire under her. She's kept her philanthropic streak by donating a fortune in valuable French artifacts to the rather lame local museum (even though the Crawleys could use a bit of a cash infusion at the moment...) but she's also become a bit of a rebel. She's even sporting some fresh ink on her arm.
Her rebelliousness seems to have made her the most popular of the Crawley daughters by far, and she's constantly fielding requests for dates and outings -- though she may have found someone special already. James Hoppcraft, a local florist (probably), seems to be quite keen on her. He dresses like a gentleman but seems like a playful and fun character in spite of it. Robert might not approve of the match, but I expect this couple could bring a little more spice to the sim Abbey.
Speaking of spice, hopefully Anna's easy success at the cinammon challenge is a good omen for her burgeoning relationship with Bates. I'll admit that things started a bit poorly between them, and Bates' marriage to Vera is still a significant obstacle for the star-crossed couple, but I'll do just about anything to keep Anna from bringing home more stray rodents. There just isn't enough room in the servants' dormitory for more than one terrarium.
I didn't realize until now how badly I've been neglecting poor Thomas. The fact is, ever since he arbitrarily started to be a little more helpful and a little less obstructive, he's been quite under my radar... Except for when he shaved his head and gave a fortune teller hundreds of dollars for dubious advice, but that was at least partially my fault.
Most of the time Thomas seems to be toiling in the background, quietly doing load after load of laundry, or tending to Robert's dog and Mary's horse. Now that I think about it, he's really had his nose to the grindstone for the past few episodes.
... I wonder what he's planning.
I shouldn't overlook the newest member of the cast, Li'l Branson, who appeared in Sybil's bedroom one evening and since then has been hopping all around the house. He seems to have a penchant for cars and ladies' bedrooms. Naturally, I'll keep you updated on his whereabouts as the story progresses.
... I wonder how he feels about Mr. Hoppcraft?
That's all for this week, but I'm still looking for feedback on if and how to run Sim Mad Men. After giving me your opinion on that here, be sure to catch up on any installments of Sim Downton Abbey that you may have missed below:
- Episode 1- The Trials and Tribulations of Setting up Sim Downton
- Episode 2- Matthew Crawley Comes to Town, Werewolves Ensue
- Episode 3- Matthew Reveals His True Identity (Spoiler alert: He's a Time Lord)
- Episode 4- Violet Lets Her Hair Down at The Summer Hotdog Showdown
- Episode 5- Sybil Crawley, Tomb Raider
- Episode 6- Edith Gets Internet Famous, But Her Closest Friend is Still A Bicycle
- Episode 7- The Troubled Love Story of Lady Cleopatra and Matthew Antony
- Episode 8- Love at the Abbey: Four Bouquets and a Fistfull of Cinnamon
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Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.