What an embarrassing start to the season! Having decided to attend the summer Opening Day Festival at the beach, I was press-ganged into joining the swimming competition, even discovering that I owned a pair of swimming trunks I never even knew I had. All we had to do was swim to a rock that was slightly offshore, but although I started out well enough, I was soon hit with terrible cramps, forcing me to stop and trying to catch my breath whilst the others easily swam past me. My only consolation is that upon speaking to Karen beforehand, I happened to notice that her feelings for me have increased to blue heart level.
Having completed the basic tasks before the festival, I was left free to spend the evening watering all the new crops I had planted earlier. I think I may have gone a bit overboard in buying crops for the summer, as I ended up planting one plot of tomatoes, four plots each of Pineapples and Pumpkins, five plots of corn and two plots of onions. At least I will have corn ready for Kai- he didn’t come to visit my farm when he came back to town yesterday, and so I can’t help feeling that our relationship has suffered.
After completing the basic tasks and harvesting the latest batch of hothouse pineapples, I realised that it would be prudent to stock up on fish food, a task which necessitates a visit to the supermarket. Since I knew Karen would be there, I decided to stop by the winery first and pick her up a few bottles of her favourite wine (or rather, the only wine available in this place). Unfortunately, no sooner had I bought my first bottle from Manna and approached her to purchase the second (she will only let me buy one at a time- probably because she likes to keep me talking) than she took it to mean I was giving the wine back to her as a gift! In return, she told me the recipe for greens, which perhaps would have been helpful if I hadn’t made greens long ago.
Anyway, after navigating Manna’s repetitive and talkative ways long enough to purchase eight bottles of wine, I went over to buy the fish food and talk to Karen, who is certainly opening up to me- she even said that even though the supermarket is not well stocked, she is glad it has everything I need to farm.
In the evening, I went foraging for the first time this season, collecting both Red Grass and a healthy crop of Pink Cat flowers.
Even though I went through this exact same rigmarole last year, once again I almost forgot Popuri’s birthday- it was only when I came home from foraging and saw the party food she had cooked that I realised the occasion. In an echo of last year, I rushed down to the supermarket to wrap the Pink Cat flowers I had collected for her, before whipping up some scrambled eggs for her in the kitchen- a tried and tested recipe for success. Of course, she was delighted, and our love remains as strong as ever.
In other news, something has sprouted in the field- I think it must be the tomatoes, but having planted so much, I cannot be entirely sure.
After the bustle of getting settled into a new season, I decided to take it easy today, which basically means doing all the usual backbreaking chores before going to bed before midday (I hope Popuri and Tony do not think less of me for doing this). The corn and onions seem to have sprouted, and so I may as well reveal that my plan for the corn is to use it to maximise my chicken feed stores. In an ideal world, I would thus become entirely independent of Chicken Lil’s, but since there is insufficient room in the hothouse and only one growing season for corn, I must accept that I will be buying chicken feed from Lilia for at least part of the year.
I have finally constructed the routine for summer, which first consists of handling all the daily farm tasks before heading down to the winery to purchase wine for Karen, before giving them to her at the supermarket and then heading back to forage. Since the supermarket is not open every day, I will forego visiting Karen on those days, and of course on days when crops have ripened outside, I may have to neglect her in favour of getting them all harvested.
In the hothouse, a new batch of pineapples had ripened today, whilst outside, the pumpkins have finally sprouted. I cannot help wondering why I bought so many pumpkin seeds- did Jeff bewitch me into spending money in his store? Am I the reason the Supermarket has paid off all its debts? No wonder they are so friendly towards me.
I am beginning to wonder if this whole courtship business is really worth it; I mean, no matter how many times I try to start a conversation with my girls, they only ever say the same two lines to me- and Popuri is only marginally better! How can I ever really get to know them when they never say anything else? Are they truly so boring that they have nothing else to talk about? Nonetheless, I must finish what I started, and that means getting Karen to red heart level.
Back on the farm, the pineapples have finally sprouted, which means everything in the field is coming along nicely. Tomorrow is the chicken festival, so whilst I will have less time for farm tasks, hopefully I can turn another chicken into a golden egg layer.
With the Chicken Festival at the forefront of my mind, I hurried through my farm tasks before randomly pick up a chicken to take along. The chicken in question happened to be Lemon, and so she and I made our way to Rose Square. Once again, I was able to claim victory over the other chickens (who were the same colour as last year), although the final was a tensely fought battle, unlike the easy victory I managed with Jade.
One thing I must question is the existence of the seven other entrants in the tournament, these mysterious men who come from other farms just for our festivals. Where do they live? Why can’t I talk to them before and after the festival? If they are attached to other towns, why am I never invited to participate in their festivals? I have so many questions about this, and yet have no idea who could possibly answer them to my satisfaction.
I never anticipated how tedious buying wine for Karen would be- I simply have to switch my brain off when talking to Manna, for the repetitive prattle I must go through just to buy a single bottle at a time would otherwise drive me mad. Why can’t Karen have a taste for things picked up off the ground or easily prepared from farm produce like the other girls?
In consolation, this morning I got to see the splendid sight of two golden eggs in the henhouse, although I got so excited about this that I managed to spill one pot of the golden mayonnaise thus produced on the ground. Oh well, if all goes well, in eight years’ time I will have all golden eggs.
The onions were ready to harvest today, and so I decided to forego a visit to both the winery and Karen in order to collect and store them, before heading back out in the afternoon to cut grass and thus replenish my fodder supply. I must admit that my fridge is quite impressive, for it has 64 slots which can take up to 99 of an item, and thus it must be the only fridge in the world that can take 6336 normal sized food items. My cabinet is able to achieve the same for non-food items, although I wonder why flowers can survive in a cabinet when food that should be stored at room temperature has to be placed in the fridge. Whatever the case, nothing ever spoils within their confines, and so perhaps I should just accept this good fortune.
It was the first rainy day of summer today, which not only saved me several hours of watering, but left me disinclined to do much else in the way of work. So it was that after finishing the usual tasks and harvesting the season’s first crop of tomatoes to store in the fridge, I decided to head back to bed at the early hour of 7:50am, ensuring that I had gone to bed before most people even get up. Hopefully the following 22 hours and 10 minutes of sleep will do me good.
I once again decided to spend the entire day attending to farm tasks, and so after the regular tasks had been attended to and a new batch of pineapples shipped from the hothouse, I pottered around the pasture, cutting down weeds and grass, and riding my horse around. I have effectively given up on foraging, since I no longer really need flowers and the like for the sake of courtship, and I already have plenty stored anyway.
It was the Tomato Festival today, and whilst I happen to think this particular festival is the biggest waste of time ever to grace Mineral Town, I decided to attend in order to inject some variety into my monotonous life. Determined to erase the shame of my instant loss last year, I joined up with Popuri and Rick (forcing Kai to the sidelines- how dare he get close to my wife?), but alas, it was not to be, for after the first volley of tomatoes, my team was eliminated. Ultimately, it was Manna and Duke’s team that won, and as expected, Manna wouldn’t shut up afterwards. I can’t help but feel sorry for Duke, and I completely understand why their daughter left for the city as soon as she could.
After the disappointment of the Tomato Festival, I was all too ready to avoid human contact today, and so I once again focused purely on farm-related tasks, including tackling the ever present weed problem. The grass has largely eliminated the weed issue, but even so they still take root in the crop area of the field, and the hot summer days seem to lend them a particular viciousness.
During the afternoon, I rode brushed Seiran and rode him around the field- he seems to have dropped to nine hearts of love for me, and so I must pay him special attention.
Today I forced myself to go into town and see Karen, and thankfully my efforts were rewarded, for not only has she reached the green heart level of affection, but she has stopped going on about the supermarket and revealed some juicy details about her parents often fight and make up.
In other news, Seiran is still down on the embarrassing nine heart level, and so I made sure to brush and ride him around again after the usual tasks were completed. No one, animal or human, must waver in their unquestioning love of the great Anton.
As predicted, Kai showed up today, eager to have a sample of this year’s corn harvest. I’m not sure what he wants the corn for since he already has a supply of it to create the popcorn he sells, but perhaps he just wishes to see if my harvest is superior to his other sources. I am sure it must be much juicier and sweeter than the average corn, but sadly I will not be shipping much this year- most of it is to be turned into chicken feed.
Anyway, as well as doing all the usual tasks, today I had to turn 39 cobs of corn into chicken feed (take that, Lilia!) and harvest four plots of pumpkins (three for shipping, one to be put in the fridge)- a workload that ensured I didn’t have time to leave the farm all day. Happily, Seiran is back up to ten hearts, as I didn’t really have the time to ride him either.