Sunday, 16 January 2011
Sunday is the same. I am forced to cancel long standing plans which happened to have involved stockades of ice cream; my favourite 'food'. I am left wallowing alone in my own misery.
It's Monday before I know it, and unable to stay off work, I make my way to the Doctor. It's confirmed: I have an acute case of tonsilitis. Joy. I pick up what seems like a lifetime's supply of penicillin on my way into the office and once there I'm greeted with a 'Wow, you don't look so good!'. 'Thanks', I croak impatiently and flounce off, penicillin and Starbucks in tow.
The whole working week is like groundhog day: I can't skip work, I get in late, people tell me I look sick, I tell them that's because I am sick, I perform a limited number of button monkey tasks, I go home early - penicillin and Blackberry in tow.
I should be drafting that Freedom of Information request I think to myself as I lie in bed with South Park on in the background; the Blackberry laying silently beside me. I fantasise about munching on Haagen Dazs and glugging down a glass or two of Rioja. Hmpf. I have to turn the DVD off as it hurts to laugh even, let alone eat and drink fine foodstuffs. At least I might lose some weight I hope.
I am bored, and for the first time in the two years I've been single, I feel very alone. I look to the Blackberry for some reassurance that this is in fact not the case and that I'm being paranoid. Still silent. I pick up my mobile and realise that my last text was a travel alert telling me my train home was delayed. No one had called to see if I was feeling better and suddenly a part of me wished I were a child again. Sometimes I think it's easy to forget you're an adult most of the time, and a fiercely independent one at that. It's not until you're at home, ill and alone that you realise girl power really does belong on the early 90's reject pile - and all you really want is for someone who loves you to be there looking after you.
Failing that, the Blackberry offered me a game of 'Bubble Bubble' which clearly was an on-par alternative. Eight games later and having scored a new personal best; me and BB caught some Zzzs.
And so on it went until I was penicillin-free, thinner, bordering tee-totaldom and recognising I was in need of some change. For help, I tried not to turn to trusty BB in the first instance, even though we'd grown so close.
Instead, I contemplated re-posting an old online dating profile. Then, remembering just why I had 'unposted it' in the first place, BB's sleek contours found themselves safely back in my palm.
I guess Bubble Bubble and plenty of echinacea will just have to do for now.
Friday, 5 March 2010
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Monday, 1 March 2010
Recently featured on Channel 4's 'My Dream Farm', eco-friendly Kent based cut flower farm, Blooming Green, is all for only growing British flowers. Personally my favourite flower is the tulip, and we all know where the majority of those are imported from. Whilst they will always be my absolute favourite, they are flaky and last barely a week before giving up and drooping clean out of their vase. Enter the carnation. These are of course easily grown in Britain, which, if we are ever to become more aware and responsible about what we buy and where it comes from, then anything from 'home' is surely a jolly good place to start.
Speaking of home, my sister bought me the carnations you see in the picture. These are still looking as fresh as ever, and 16 days on, I think this is pretty good going. Cost effective, quintessentially gorgeous and with barely any sort of a print left behind after their purchase, let alone a foot-shaped one; dianthus caryophyllus certainly gets my vote.
Sunday, 28 February 2010
In short - it's the biggest time waster I have ever been caught up with. Forget teenage trysts with drink, drugs and no good boys, never before in my life have I wasted as much time on something so unproductive and pointless as Farmville. I can play it for hours and hours and bizarrely feel satisfaction from it, as if I really have done good for the day by milking my cows, harvesting my crops, plowing my land and collecting my hen's eggs. I can even perform more than one good deed for the day by helping as many of my Farmville neighbours as I have time for by fertilising their crops, banishing pesky crop-munching gophers, and ridding their land of weeds.
Community spirit is high, and there is respect amongst fellow-Farmvillers. You get to know who sends the gifts, and therefore who to send them back to. It sounds very 'give to receive' and it kind of is, but in a good way (after all why would I waste even more of my time by sending chickens and elephant-shaped topiaries to Level 1'ers who set up a Farm by accident?). It seems I'm not alone. At last count there were 82,848,181 active monthly users of the application, and 44 of them are my real life friends!
Community spirit aside, there is a corporate element to the game. Just through game play, you will earn Farmville coins and cash. This sounds like the same thing, but coins are easy and quick to earn, for example by collecting bananas from a banana tree you can add 75 coins to the kitty. Farmville cash however is accumulated much more slowly, and items in the 'Farmville Market' which can only be purchased with Farmville cash are normally priced highly, making it near impossable to earn a notable cash amount through even very regular game play. Creators - Zynga obviously want to make a buck or two if they can - which I suppose is fair enough (though nigglingly irksome nonetheless). I'm pleased to say that I draw the line at using my real life credit/debit card to buy virtual money to buy virtual 'things'. Well done me.
I am however quite embarrassed to admit that the 217,215 currently in my Farmville Farmer's bank account does make me happy. I have little disposable income in real life, so the idea that I can grow something and harvest it at a tidy profit thus building a sum of virtual money which I can spend willy nilly on some slightly bonkers things at the Market, is a fine one indeed.
The more experience accumulated means the more levels you unlock. This allows you to purchase new seeds and gifts for your neighbours. The last vegetable seed to unlock is asparagus, and you can only buy and sow that once you reach level 37. There appear to be no other levels after this point, which worries me. It worries me because I am a level 35'er, and my addiction is so that the mere thought of a Farmville rut is a depressing one. Nothing new to unlock, nowhere to go - the equivalent of a farming Groundhog Day. This may be the push I need, the clean break from the virtual farming community which forces me to go and tend to my very own 65 foot 'farm'. This will be anything but a bad thing, though a one time gardening budget of £217,215 would sure be nice.