When I went outside this morning, I noticed that the Pineapples were progressing nicely- that is, all except a lagging bunch of three. Why must this always happen? Ah well, at least the watering is much reduced now that the pumpkins are gone, enabling me to go out and buy wine for Karen shortly after 9am, safe in the knowledge that the farm tasks have been completed.
In the afternoon, I finally decided to dismantle the fence separating crops and grass- not only does it get in the way of harvesting, but half of it has rotted now to my lack of attention to it (well, there are better things to do than continually repair fences). I also made sure to cut some more grass and ride Seiran- he must be kept happy at any cost.
Today was another of the quiet days I have become accustomed to, consisting of pottering around the farm and completing the usual tasks before cutting a little grass and then riding Seiran around the field for a while. No one can know of the private moments between a man and his horse, a relationship that provides things no woman can.
The barn is a strange place sometimes, for within its depths I have seen cows walk through each other, creating mysterious multi-cow masses the like of which few have ever witnessed. Perhaps it was this that caused me to accidentally spill some fodder today, or perhaps it was the strain of my repetitive lifestyle. Whatever the case, today was spent in much the same fashion as yesterday, albeit with a fresh tomato harvest to attend to. After neglecting him so often, I have now found a new contentment riding Seiran around the fields, and so my afternoons shall be spent in this fashion whenever I am able to do so.
Another crop of corn was ready today, and so the bulk of the day was spent harvesting it and turning it into chicken feed. I also had a visit from Barley to remind me that tomorrow is the day of the Cow Festival- I have entered Colbrech this year, in the hopes that she too can start producing golden milk. In the future, everything my farm produces shall be golden.
Since it was the Cow Festival today, I set out to complete all tasks before attending, but unfortunately my general state of exhaustion and the soporific effect of the warm sunlight, I fell asleep under my apple tree until 2pm! Upon waking up, I realised how terribly I late I was, and rushed to the festival- where, as usual, everyone spouted the same stock phrases instead of even commenting on my tardiness. As I predicted, however, Colbrech easily took the prize at the festival, and so now she too will produce gold milk for me.
The outdoor pineapples were ready today, and so the morning was spent harvesting them for pure profit- pineapples were once the making of my fortune, but now they are a mere addendum to my lucrative dairy and mayonnaise business.
The afternoon was spent clearing weeds and cutting grass, before taking Seiran for a quick ride and then turning in for the evening. Poor Karen, she must be feeling neglected, but it is her fault for having expensive tastes and a difficult schedule to marry up with my own.
The lagging pineapples and another batch of tomatoes were ready today, although I must admit that I have perhaps overdone it with storing tomatoes, as I now have 51 in the fridge. Anyway, once all the usual tasks were completed, I forced myself to go into town and buy wine for Karen- a tedious task but a necessary one if I am to make her fall under my spell. If only Manna would let me buy eight bottles of wine at once- I feel like such an idiot having to stand there and ask to buy them one at a time.
Another harvest of corn was ready today, and so the bulk of the day was devoted to turning it into chicken feed- at least until I finally filled up my feed bin with 999 units of it. I was initially going to ship the rest of the corn, but in the end I decided to store it in the fridge so that it can be turned into chicken feed at a later date.
Since it was the Fireworks Festival today, I couldn’t just go to bed mid-afternoon as usual, so instead I busied myself with trivial tasks on the farm before collecting Pink Flowers from Mother’s Hill for the first time in ages and riding Seiran for a few hours- all designed to keep me occupied until 6pm. Finally, I made my way down to the beach, only to discover that Popuri had somehow got there before me (once again, Tony was left alone at home). Just as we did last year, Popuri and I watched the fireworks together before going home- although when she wasn’t looking I made sure to chat to the other girls.
Even though I stayed up late to watch the fireworks last night, it was business as usual this morning, with all the usual tasks to complete plus a particularly virulent bunch of weeds to deal with. Once everything was done, I contemplated cutting a large “ANTON” into the tall grass, but ultimately decided this was a little too pointless and immature even for someone whose life has become as crushingly repetitive as mine.
Some more tomatoes were ready today, but bearing in mind the number I already have stored in the fridge, I decided to ship these ones- surely all but the most alarmingly enthusiastic of cooks can make do with 51. After this and all the other tasks were completed, I decided that a visit to town was in order, and so after buying a fresh batch of wine I met Karen outside the supermarket. Although Rick was watching us, I boldly gave her all the wine, and to my delight, it increased her affection for me to yellow heart level! She now seems more enamoured with me than ever, telling me how impressed she is that someone her age is running a farm.
I cannot say that it has escaped my notice that my life, and thus the diary that mirrors it, has become even more monotonous than ever of late, and therefore I shall try to add a little variety by using slow days to compile “Anton’s Guide to…”, a distillation of the handy tips and tricks I have learnt from two and half years in farming hell.
A bumper crop of pineapples and corn was ready today, and so the bulk of the day was spent harvesting them (the pineapples for shipping, the corn for storage) before cutting down their respective plants- aside from the lagging specimens, there is not time for the plants to produce any more crops before the cool autumn breeze causes them to wilt and die. Between the corn and stored chicken feed, I should be free from spending money at Chicken Lil’s for a long time to come.
The last few outdoor pineapples were ready today, and so when they were done, I decided to give thanks for the bounty of my farm by offering five of them up to the Harvest Goddess (I’m not religious, but when a goddess lives next door, it doesn’t hurt to make friends with her). In return, she promised to give me a special event with my ‘sweetheart’, but to my disappointment, all that happened was that I saw Popuri on her way to have a bath in the hotsprings. Oddly, however, she vanished as soon as she got there, and when I went home, she was already there! Was it just an illusion, or can Popuri teleport? She does move from the house to festival locations amazingly swiftly, after all.
Since the number of fish in the pond has remained at 75 for a while, it seems as if that may be the maximum I can have (still quite an impressive number for such a small pond), therefore five of them have been taken out and shipped.
In other news, today was the first rainy day for a while; how typical for it to start raining once I have barely anything left outside to water. With the lack of crops ensuring that farm tasks were completed swiftly, I had ample time to visit Karen and give her more wine- I only hope that I am not turning her into an alcoholic. I must also note that Karen’s living area is but a single room that also contains two beds- presumably one for Karen and one for her parents. Are Jeff and Sasha celibate, or is poor Karen forced to listen to their, ahem, ‘congress’, from the next bed? Surely the supermarket must be generating enough profit for them to build an extension for separate sleeping areas.
The last day of this long, hot summer has finally arrived, and to my disappointment, the tomatoes had not produced any more fruit, making the last few days of watering them a complete waste of time. At least some hothouse pineapples were ready to take away the sting of seeing those green and unripened tomatoes.
During the day, I made sure to go into town- not just to present Karen with more wine, but to pick up some seeds in preparation for the autumn planting. As well as buying one bag of eggplant, two bags each of carrot and spinach and five bags of sweet potato seeds from the supermarket, I hung around until after lunch to catch Won at the Inn and purchase a bag of green pepper seeds from him. I also discovered that my relationship with Ann and Doug has been strong enough for them to grant me access to their private living quarters, so naturally I had a good look around before going home again.