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Nectar-making is SUCH FUN!

PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
I've never properly used the gardening and nectar-making skills so far, and after getting a lot of farm-related content from the store I decided to play a farming household in Riverview - but a Riverview made up to look a little like Champs Les Sims.

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The household I decided to play is based on the BBC sitcom Miranda, written by and starring comedian Miranda Hart. The sitcom has nothing to do with either France or gardening, but I've been wanting for some time to play a sim based on Miranda's character, because her personality translates so well into sim traits. So my household and a few townies will be based on characters from the show.

This is Miranda. She is clumsy, a couch potato, childish, a hopeless romantic and has a good sense of humour.
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This is the character on the show. In the sitcom, she comes from a middle class family and went to a posh girls' boarding school, but doesn't want the kind of life her mother imagines for her (a respectable office job and respectable marriage). Instead she decides to open a joke shop. In my game she will decide she wants to be a nectar-maker.
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Miranda keeps falling over or losing her clothes in public places - that's why I think she'd make a good sim:
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This is Miranda's best friend Stevie. In the sitcom she's the manager of Miranda's joke shop; in my game she will be in charge of consigning the produce and nectar.
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She is ambitious and flirty (in the sitcom she calls it "having The Allure".) She should be tiny, but I'm not using height sliders, so she's just thinner than Miranda.
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And the third member of the household is Gary, a friend Miranda has long had a crush on. He works as a chef in the show, which is convenient because that profession exists in the game, and because cooking goes so well with gardening.

Miranda is a old-fashioned sitcom in many ways, inspired by BBC sitcoms from the seventies and eighties, but very different in one aspect: there are many female main characters, each of them funny in their own way, but only one main male character, whose role is not to be funny but to be the eye candy. That's Gary!
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The non-household characters are:

Miranda's snobbish mum Penny who would love to arrange a good marriage for her:
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I think that of the sim versions I made, Penny looks the most like the character:
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And there's Tilly, Miranda's friend from the posh boarding school, who appears to be successful in life in the ways Penny would like Miranda to be.
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In her case the sim I made doesn't really look like the actress. She has a distinctive face shape, but I found it hard to copy and in the end I settled on a sim whose face fits Tilly's snobbish and outgoing personality.
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Comments

  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    edited May 2016
    The beginning of the story finds our heroine, Miranda, pouring some nectar in the Riverview nectary. Her mother Penny wanted to buy several crates of nectar for a charity soiree, and has brought Miranda along because - who knows - she might find a husband! Men are much less picky when under the influence of nectar - those were Penny's exact words.
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    Her mother's intentions aside, the nectar tasted really good.
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    "Hey, Mum! Why don't you come and sit next to me?"
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    "Don't be ridiculous, dear. If you have a glass too much and start singing, I don't want people to know I know you."
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    "That was actually very rude, Mum."
    To get away from her mother for a while, Miranda decides to explore the greenhouse and garden.
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    The plants in the greenhouse look lovely! Since her mother is a good customer, Miranda knows she's welcome to pick some fruit and try her hand at nectar-making.
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    Why not? She starts with some delicious-looking white grapes.
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    Meanwhile, her mother is chatting to the nectar merchant.
    "Your red nectar is the colour of rubies. I love rubies, by the way. Emeralds are so overrated."
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    Miranda picks some more grapes in the garden, and takes the fruit into the nectar cellar.
    "Hmm, the instructions say I have to change into swimwear. That's so embarrassing! But I'm alone in here at the moment, so why not..."
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    "Ooh, this is actually really fun."
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    "Such fun, as my mother would say."
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    After squishing the fruit, she runs upstairs full of enthusiasm.
    "Mum! I have found my dream career! Nectar-making!"
    "You mean, you want to buy some shares in a nectary? That's an excellent idea."
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    "No, Mum, I want to actually make the nectar. With my own hands. And feet."
    "Now you're being ridiculous, Miranda!"
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    "You've never been good with your hands. You'd probably find a way to fall into a jar of nectar and drown in it, ha ha! Such fun!"
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    "Can you see how ridiculous she is?" Penny is thinking. "How am I ever going to find her a husband?"
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    Later, Miranda meets her best friend Stevie and tells her about her nectar-making idea. Stevie is much more supportive. In fact, she would love to join her, but neither of them has the funds for it.
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  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    edited May 2016
    The new day is about to bring a change into Miranda's life.
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    The morning post arrives...
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    It turns out that great-uncle Archie - an distant relative they almost forgot about - died and left Miranda and her mother 50,000 simoleons each.
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    Dear old uncle Archie! Suddenly the nectar-making dream doesn't seem so impossible.
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    Miranda meets Stevie to tell her the good news.
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    She checks the paper for properties for sale, and one immediately catches her eye.
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    An old farmhouse by the river is for sale. It costs just a little over 80,000 simoleons.
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    "Consider me in!" Stevie says. "I have around 15,000 in savings. We'll have to find a third partner, of course... Hey, you know what? That Gary Preston you used to have a huge crush on is back in Riverview!"
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    Miranda gasps.
    "Oh, no! I was never able to speak to Gary without making an utter fool of myself! Do you remember that time in the club you came up to me and told me Gary was there?"
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    "You said I should make a move quickly before another girl gets him."
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    "So I boldly walked up to him..."
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    "He turned around and said hi, and only then did I realise I had no idea how to make a move."
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    "I decided to jump into his arms. I thought that was sweet and romantic, until I heard him groan."
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    "I think I seriously injured him!"
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    "He seemed terrified of me for weeks after that."
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  • ADWilsonADWilson Posts: 5,572 Member
    Am not familiar with the show, but I like how you presented the Sims with their show counterparts and gave us insight into the concept of the program. Definitely looking forward to reading more!

    Miranda and Stevie are such likeable characters... easy to root for and hope things go well, but somehow I feel like there are going to be plenty of madcap moments and lots of laughing out loud. Not sure if things will be awkward between Miranda and Gary, but it will be interesting to find out if he even remembers the girl who walked up and jumped into his arms.

    That Penny is something else! I can only imagine the schemes she is going to come up with to "introduce" Miranda to suitable men.

    A fun read indeed, @PalmArrow :)
  • cercatcercat Posts: 65 Member
    Cute concept! I love what you did with Riverview. That must have taken some time and planning. You did a great job of portraying your characters.
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    edited June 2016
    Thank you very much, @ADWilson and @cercat !

    (If anyone wants a glimpse at desperate Penny is to marry Miranda off in the show, look at what happens in the first 20 seconds of the first episode here:
    )
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    To ease Miranda's fears of making a fool of herself in front of Gary, Stevie suggests a visit to the salon. New clothes will make Miranda feel more confident!
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    Stevie's instructions were simple: find something casual, but chic. But something more amusing catches Miranda's eye...
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    Meanwhile, Stevie sees the very person they'd just been talking about coming towards the salon. Gary Preston!
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    She goes out to greet him, and they are quickly joined by an unsuspecting Miranda.
    "Look, Stevie! I'm a hot-dog! You can get dressed up as some fish & chips and we can have a food-themed party... Gary?"
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    Stevie glares at Miranda, but their great relief, Gary bursts into laughter.
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    The three go to the pub together, and Stevie discreetly leaves Miranda and Gary alone to talk.
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    "So, Stevie and I are moving to an old farmhouse. We're going to grow our own food and make nectar. Um... would you like to join?"
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    "It has a beautiful view of the river, so we'll see Nessie if she swims by."
    (Nessie? Oh God, I'm talking nonsense again...)
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    But Gary is delighted.
    "That's perfect! I worked in a restaurant on the beach in Sunlit Tides on one of my journeys, and I decided I wanted to be a chef. Having a fridge stocked with fresh crops from the garden would be wonderful!"
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    They both smile, and it feels like they are on the verge of having A Moment...
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    ... but Tilly, Miranda's friend from boarding school, chooses that precise moment to barge in.
    "Queen Kong! Fancy running into you here, I thought you never went out! I have great news!"
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    Miranda steels herself for more rude remarks. "Queen Kong" was a school nickname she always hated. She can't see it, but Gary seems a little disappointed their moment was ruined too.
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    "I'm an intern at Doo Peas Corporate Towers! And I'm engaged to Don Lothario!! So what about you, Queen Kong?"
    (Stop calling me Queen Kong, Miranda is thinking.)
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    Tilly goes on. "No engagement ring? Aww, too bad. Do you have a job, or are you just sleeping on the couch all day, as usual?"
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    "As a matter of fact, Tilly, my partners and I are starting a nectar-making business. A joint venture! You will hear about it soon."
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    Not even Tilly can spoil this day, though: with Gary's savings added to Miranda and Stevie's funds, the three have just enough money to buy the farmhouse and start working. And they will do that first thing in the morning!

  • ADWilsonADWilson Posts: 5,572 Member
    Miranda dressed as a hot dog cracked me up! Whew... thank goodness Gary enjoyed her sense of humor.
    Stevie is such a good friend.
    It did seem like Miranda and Gary were close to having A Moment. Maybe.

    Wow... Miranda is so calm and collected when Tilly tossed her catty remarks. I don't know if people could show the same restraint as she did when facing a similar situation. Point gladly given to Miranda. Me-ow Tilly take those claws elsewhere... you might want to with having Don Lothario for a fiance. **snicker snicker**

    So glad Gary enthusiastically joined the household. Looking forward to seeing what happens with this trio.
  • SimburianSimburian Posts: 3,579 Member
    I really appreciate what you have done with the show - being a Miranda fan from the uk. Good likenesses.

    It must have taken a lot of time and skill. It's a pity we cannot change Sims to her height isn't it!
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    Thank you, @Mchap353 ! I'm glad you're a Miranda fan too! It would have been great to be able to make a really tall Miranda and a really tiny Stevie.
  • thuggishsplicerthuggishsplicer Posts: 1,343 Member
    edited June 2016
    It looks awesome!
    I'm enjoying this new family of yours!
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    It's a rainy morning, but Miranda, Stevie and Gary are in the best of moods. They have bought the old farmhouse and they are moving in!
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    The building is beautiful, but it's equipped only with the barest necessities.
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    Miranda goes out to see the view from the back door.
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    All the land from here to the river belongs to them now! There is plenty of room for an orchard, a vineyard, a greenhouse and anything else they might wish for!
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    They will have to work hard to achieve this, though. After buying the house they only have 500 simoleons left, and there will soon be bills to be paid! There is nothing on the upper floor of the house but beds and lamps (the house is copied from Champs Les Sims; the original made no use of the upper floor at all).
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    Also, I have given all three some skill points in several basic skills using Master Controller, but they will have to learn the skills relevant for their goals from zero: gardening and nectar-making for Miranda, gardening and consignment for Stevie, and gardening and cooking for Gary. It's just more interesting to play that way!

    So, the first thing they do is go to the library and read skill books: Miranda and Stevie learn gardening, and Gary learns cooking.
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    Gary immediately applies for a job at the Bistro.
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    They go home, and while Gary is preparing supper...
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    ...Miranda and Stevie plant the seeds they got for learning the gardening skill.
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    They dine together, feeling sleepy. Working in the fresh air makes you tired!
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    "Yes, Mum, we've settled in, thank you. No, I'm not engaged yet. Good night!"
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    By the morning the garden has sprouted little plants.
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    "Miranda, I apologise for coming down to breakfast shirtless. It's just a habit I got from living alone."
    "Yes please thank you very much! Um... I mean, it's all right, I don't mind, Gary."
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    Miranda and Gary water the flowers...
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    ... and Gary leaves for his first day of work as a kitchen scullion.
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    Stevie and Miranda spend the afternoon at the nectary: Stevie picks fruit, and Miranda makes a batch of nectar. A nectar-making machine costs 1500 simoleons, so they will have to triple their funds before they buy one of their own!
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  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    It's Leisure Day in Riverview. The garden has begun to take shape.
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    Miranda, Stevie and Gary visit the summer festival at The Cannery.
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    Miranda and Gary decide to take part in the hot dog-eating contest. "Mmm, hot dogs," Miranda is thinking.
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    But Gary doesn't like it. He sees cooking as a form of art; food should be prepared and eaten with respect. Although he's hungry, he gives up and goes away.
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    "Don't be such a food snob, Gary!" Miranda says. She wins the contest and gets a week's supply of hot dogs.
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    She tries rollerskating later, but it doesn't go nearly as well.
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    As the evening starts to fall, Gary approaches Miranda a little awkwardly.
    "Um... I've been offered an opportunity at work. If I dine there with a friend outside my work hours, I'll be nearer to my first promotion. So... would you... it's not a date, of course."
    "Of course not!" Miranda quickly says. "Because that would be yucky!"
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    Gary is a little taken aback at the "yucky", but he adds:
    "And I would really like to show you that food can be a work of art. So, what do you say?"
    "Yes, please!"
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    So they spend a pleasant evening at the Bistro. It's Totally Not A Date, but they have a very good time and the food is delicious.
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    The next morning - a Sunday - the garden is almost grown.
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    Stevie goes to the consignment shop in town.
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    She and Miranda had harvested some crops at the Nectary. The fruit is all stored for future nectar-making, but Stevie now consigns most of the vegetables.
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    While Gary is at work, Miranda and Stevie brave the afternoon rain, because the garden needs weeding.
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    While they are working, they get good news: all of the vegetables Stevie consigned have been sold. They earn their first 69 simoleons, and both girls get promoted in their self-employed gardener jobs.
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    But working outside in the rain is risky: Stevie is feeling ill and has to go inside and warm herself.
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    Time for entertaining guests! Penny, Tilly, and Tilly's fiance Don Lothario are coming for dinner. Look at Don's glowing eyes! It seems that womanising is not his only dark secret.
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    Don has the Attractive Company thought cloud... but is it for his fiancee, or for one of the other ladies present? Miranda's mother Penny is the one standing closest to him.
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    Stevie and Miranda have a short, panicked conversation.
    "Did you know he was a vampire? Do vampires even eat autumn salad?"
    "Well, he'll have to! We're not going to offer him any blood!"
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    Don doesn't touch the autumn salad but, thankfully, doesn't attack anyone either.
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    Miranda's mum inspects the interior decorating.
    "Hmm, it's almost shabby chic! Well, I don't know about the chic, but it's certainly shabby, ha ha! Such fun!"
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    And Don definitely is interested in Penny. During all this, Gary comes home from work and sits down to eat. He is too tired to even notice how awkward this dinner has been.
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    But now that it's over, there is a harvest to look forward to tomorrow!
  • KandyKandy Posts: 2,008 Member
    this is hilarious. all the characters have wonderful dynamics with each other. keep this amazing story up!
  • ADWilsonADWilson Posts: 5,572 Member
    When this happened...
    "Of course not!" Miranda quickly says. "Because that would be yucky!"
    I started shaking my head and thought ~ Miranda, Miranda, Miranda you really are socially awkward around Gary.
    Cute. But definitely socially awkward.

    Unsure whether Gary and Miranda like (only as friends) or like like (something more than friends) each other. Time will tell.


    Another enjoyable update! Keep them coming :)
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    Thank you, @ADWilson ! Gary and Miranda aren't sure if they like or "like like" each other either! :smiley:
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    It's time for the first harvest in my Riverview household.
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    After a part of the harvest is set aside for nectar-making and seed, Stevie consigns the rest.
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    Miranda, who has the childish trait, entertains herself with toys from an old box the previous owners left.
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    Stevie rests by the fire; she is still feeling a little ill. But good news comes from the consignment shop: a lot of the produce has been bought.
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    Miranda makes a batch of lemon-and-orange nectar at the nectary. She has fun doing it, but it turns out to be not such a good recipe.
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    Overnight, the summer changes into autumn. It's a lovely morning, but the hardships of living on a farm are about to hit them all at once.
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    Sleeping on the cheapest beds, preparing food on a cheap stove and keeping it in a cheap fridge has its toll on their moods.
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    Stevie is feeling better today, but Miranda has woken up feeling ill, and they can't afford flu shots yet.
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    On top of all that, their bills have arrived, and after paying them they are back to square one: they have a little under 500 simoleons, the sum they started with! Living on an expensive property and earning small wages doesn't seem to be getting them anywhere.

    Still, they're not giving up. After hearing the news that there is a sale at the bookstore, Gary buys the recipe for ratatouille for 16 simoleons and learns it immediately. It's an investment into all of their futures!
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    Miranda and Stevie harvest more crops, although Miranda isn't feeling well.
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    Stevie is worried about their finances. Miranda consoles her. She believes everything will be all right.
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    The two visit the Al Fresco Street Market in the afternoon, while Gary goes to work. The autumnal colours have already begun transforming the town.
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    Stevie picks more fruit from a public orchard...
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    ... while Miranda practices chess. The science lab has offered her an award for raising her logic skill, but she will have to work hard to achieve this.
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    In the evening they meet Tilly at the Catania cafe.
    "Queen Kong! I've earned a bonus at work! What about you?"
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    "I'm really enjoying gardening," Miranda says. She isn't about to admit to Tilly that financially it's not going that well.
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    Tilly seems to resent this answer. Her fiance Don Lothario is standing all alone, so Miranda decides to chat to him instead.
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    Don seems to enjoy Miranda's humour... or maybe he's just hungry?
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    But there is a bit of good news after all! Gary gets a promotion and a bonus, and the household now has about 900 simoleons again. Not much, but still a step away from square one!
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  • thuggishsplicerthuggishsplicer Posts: 1,343 Member
    AWESOME!
    I like how you're playing this story. I'm totally rooting for them!

    I'm just worried about winter. From the end of autumn to the beginning of Spring, crops will be dormant. You should find a way to raise crops inside a greenhouse. One thing I used to do: Build a greenhouse around the crops and everytime I had to plant more (you can't, because the the game says its indoors) I removed a wall, planted and rebuilt the wall. Nowadays with Into The Future and Supernatural, I can raise crops inside walls without much effort.

    Another detail, change those beds ASAP. Seriously, that's the worst bed ever. Sims don't get any sleep!
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    Thank you, @thuggishsplicer !

    I don't have ITF or Supernatural, but I do have the greenhouse set from the store which also comes with indoor planters. If the household doesn't make enough to build their own greenhouse before the crops go dormant, they will have to make do with harvesting from the public greenhouse at the nectary. But I'm still hoping they'll be able to have either a greenhouse or a nectar cellar, if not both, before the cold weather!
  • ADWilsonADWilson Posts: 5,572 Member
    Fingers crossed that they'll be able to get enough funding together to put together a greenhouse and nectar cellar as soon as possible.

    Seeing the various screenshots from around Riverview, it's obvious that you put a lot of work into setting everything up! I had actually forgotten that it was Riverview until noticing a house in the background (one where Miranda is playing chess) that was familiar to me... which made me smile. You did a lovely job of blending the two places into one :)
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    Thank you, @ADWilson ! I copied some Champs les Sims houses and built some new community lots, but with most of the houses in town I settled for just changing the roof tiles and the wall covering, and replacing the trees on the lot with olive, ash and cypress trees. During all that I was impatient to start playing. I admire players who make their own worlds AND all the buildings in them - I don't think I would ever have that much patience!
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    The first cold autumn night comes, and for the first time their garden becomes dormant.
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    Gary has two days off from his work at the Bistro, so the three have time to have some fun together. But Stevie, as their financial manager, insists that they have the kind of fun that can help them make more money.

    The first stop is the Autumn Festival.
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    They have some unspent festival tickets from the Summer festival. Now they are going to try and make some more.
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    The three of them versus one townie - that's a 3:1 chance one of them will win!
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    They take their task very seriously.
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    Success! Stevie wins, and the household has 50 tickets to cash in.

    It turns out the festival merchant is their fanged friend Don Lothario! They buy a spray-tan booth, and immediately sell it for 2000 simoleons.
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    Their first investment is a cellar, so that the nectar Miranda is making can age and increase in value. So far the cellar is equipped with a nectar shelf and two planters - the nectar-making machine will have to wait a little.
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    The next morning Gary is feeling happy and relaxed. He is also helping the girls feel happy and relaxed by making breakfast and being shirtless at the breakfast table again.
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    Miranda plants blueberries and raspberries in her new planters.
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    It's a bright, crisp autumn day, and the three decide to visit the small river island where Simhenge is located.
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    The trip is still a combination of business and pleasure: the island is full of treasures.
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    They sell the rocks and flowers at once, and Miranda stores the rare and special seeds for when her gardening skill is high enough.
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    The business-and-pleasure trip ends in a visit to a community farm, where they harvest some milk and eggs.
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    Miranda ends the day at the nectary, making another batch of nectar from a mixture of fruit.
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    The next day brings the first autumn fog.
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    Gary need to take care of his mood and his cooking skill to progress in his job, so he reads a skill book by the fire...
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    ... and then plays in a puddle to raise his fun bar.
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    In the late afternoon, while he is at work, the garden is ready for harvest again, so Stevie and Miranda quickly take advantage of it... until Miranda gets a phone call from Penny.

    "Hello, Mum. Yes, I'm feeling better."
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    "No, I'm not engaged yet."
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    "No, I don't want you to put posters with my picture and phone number around the town! Good night, Mum!
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    During the night, the year's first frost paints the roofs and lawns white.
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  • GoulsquashGoulsquash Posts: 667 Member
    I love your nectary! Nectar making is one of my favourite skills in Sims, glad you're having fun with it!
    My Blog More to come in the future
    My Wishlist :)
  • PalmArrowPalmArrow Posts: 3,126 Member
    edited June 2016
    Thank you, @Goulsquash ! I've been neglecting the nectar-making skill before this game -I only played it as part of the adventures in France. It's really fun to have it as the focus of the game.
    Post edited by PalmArrow on
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