May revels and sex on the Farm
Interesting weekend so far. Country pub lunch on our annual trip to see our favourite bluebell wood was a shade disappointing. New landlord, scaled-down menu, but terrific Everards Sunchaser beer - a bitter brewed with lager hops, apparently. Highly recommended.
The bluebells, now at their best, have yet to recover from the Forestry Commission's work in the woods last year, so that was a minus, but we heard our first cuckoo and watched gliders being towed high into the air and catching thermals.
Sunday lunch was a great Indian buffet (kids with an adult eat free) in a neighbouring town reached by a fairly stiff bike ride all on a good cycle track. Head wind out, but we fair hurtled back in spite of a long, steep climb. In fact, Rebecca frightened herself by arriving back ten minutes before everyone else and having to wait. A chain incident delayed the rest of the party.
So, good stuff so far. And yes, my sex change has worked out well. Although it's rather freaked out the grandchildren and amused my daughter.
Yes, you deserve an explanation. It's been a fascinating experiment - and a valuable lesson for the youngsters. I won't bore you with all the sordid details, but it's Farm related. In order to earn wodges of cash to progress in my Facebook game of choice, I've been trying to pick up work as a jobbing harvester of other people's crops.
This is done by getting your online self, your avatar, to stand in the so-called Market Place, rather like a Thomas Hardy hiring fair, waiting to be picked to work by other farmers. As Soilysid, my Farm name, with my grey hair and grey eyes (all men have identical blue overalls and wellies, choose your own hair, eyes, nose and mouth) I had very little offers.
I noticed that women got work. Men picked women, for whatever reason, and women picked women. So, being quite bright, I hatched a cunning plan. I nipped in to my account and became Soilysydney, with short blue rinse hair and female purple overalls. Note, I never claim to be female, and unlike many would-be harvesters, I never beg for work.
The upshot is that on Saturday I kept being asked to work and amassed thousands of coins (Farm Town's currency) while waiting for my wildly-lucrative pumpkins to grow - they take four days as opposed to the four hours of grapes.
Fascinating psychology involved, I think. I think males feel there's no competitive edge with an old lady and females feel secure and unthreatened by possible testosterone posturing. I've 'come out' to some people I've worked for - a Mormon lady in Utah thought it was hilarious. Her onscreen farm looked like a cross-stitch sampler, by the way. Scary.
But I thought it was interesting when I dropped in to my daughter's online farm. She often gets the kids to do work there - they are dab hands at computers, and chatting online - but they were stunned when they realised that the person behind the figure they were seeing on screen was their grandfather.
As I pointed out, I could have been anyone who had the expertise to hack into the programme. Unlikely I know, but it could happen. Online appearances are, indeed, very deceptive. I told them to ask me a question only their grandfather could know. Valuable lesson in internet security - and this weekend Rebecca has also learned not to lose contact with other members of her cycling group.
And there's still no school until Tuesday!