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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Down on the farm

Can it really be over a week since I posted on this blog? Where has the time gone? I can't even remember much of what I did last week. I can remember what I was doing a year ago though, I was signed off from work as sick due to stress, following a Stevie Wonder concert and a very traumatic night in hospital in Croydon after my partner had a suspected heart attack. Thankfully it turned out to be a panic attack, but it proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back as far as the job that I was in at that time was concerned. All water under the bridge, and I can look back on those times and smile to see how far I have changed and moved on since those times. Anthony who runs the Inner Journey group that we attend each Wednesday commented the other night about the changes that he has seen in me since the start of this year when it all kicked off, and he is right, I feel and behave like a different person, and for the first time in a very long time I actually like what I see.

So, where has the past week gone? I am ashamed to say that I have spent an extraordinary amount of time on Facebook playing what has been a very addictive game called Farmville. I made the fatal mistake of joining (both Facebook and Farmville) following an invite from a friend, whom I am now wondering is a true friend at all ... Joking aside, it was my choice to join and it will be my choice to stop playing if I so choose, but actually I find it quite good fun, and a very good time to waste a ridiculous amount of time. I used to criticise people who were addicted to games (such as X-Box and so on), but am beginning to see that there is really little difference between what I do and what they also do. Well, on the surface anyway.

Actually there is a world of difference - many of the games which are played on these consoles are filled with violence and other forms of anti social behaviour, but Farmville is a peaceful game where no one gets hurt - a harmless bit of fantasy. The aim is basically to make as much money as you can - not real money unfortunately. The key is to have as many neighbours as possible, as your neighbours send you free gifts which can either be traded in for cash, or can be added to your orchard or zoo and harvested every few days. You can also earn points by visiting your neighbours farms and helping to remove weeds, scare away crows etc, and can get bonuses every time one of your neighbours moves up a notch to the next level of the game. The money that you earn can be used to buy more crops, trees and animals for your farm, which in turn can be harvested when ready for cash, or to buy buildings and other farm equipment. I have earned nearly 47,000 coins in a week and am already on level 10!

Of course playing Farmville is the perfect excuse not to knuckle down to writing that children's book that has been in the back of my head for the last few years, and also the perfect excuse not to wash up ...

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