Crumpleton: Oh You Silly Things

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I’m afraid I don’t have a real story blog today but I figured I’d do a little update with my in-game shenanigans. I’ve been finishing off the task of restocking Meadow’s Grocery so my sims don’t starve on the next round, and I thought I’d explain how I get Daric to supply the produce and take payment. Also, there were a few funny things that I thought might be amusing as I was getting ready to ply my next household. So… here we go…

Switching households is always interesting to me, because I like to see what my sims have been up to while I was away. I was surprised to find Daric in the rather posh furniture store, I didn’t really think it was to his taste!

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On his way back home I stopped at the clinic to see if his medicine had arrived, it had not. 😦 But I was pleased to find another of my sims, Mahinder, working in the clinic as a doctor. Thank you active careers! ❤

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As I was watching him at the chemistry station a HUGE bolt of lightning must have hit the ground right outside because there was a big explosive flash! At first I thought the chemicals had blown up, but Mahinder was thankfully fine and completed the potion. I wonder if his inventory will be full of potion when I switch to him.

Daric arrived at home and the game had given him one of those standard Big lemon cars. *sigh* Fortunately, I’d finally remembered to add in my modded service cars and could provide Daric with a handyman’s truck. Yay! Adair was pleased to see Daric and they spent a bit of time harvesting and tending the crops. Green dragons are so helpful!

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Daric then drove to Meadow’s grocery. First, I clicked on the grocery store rabbithole rug to check how much the produce in Daric’s inventory was worth: $2906. I noted the price but did not sell them. Then I opened the inventory of the cash register and placed the produce inside, this allows Meadow to restock from the shop’s inventory when items are sold from the shelves. If she runs out of an item, she cannot restock it. Once all the produce was transferred, I clicked on Meadow’s piggy bank (which uses the code from Ani’s tax collector donation box) and took out the $2906 payment. And this is how I make my town self sufficient! I like that the whole town has to work together to make sure things are done, and one sims’ actions have an affect on all the others. I would love for them to implement community features in The Sims 4 one day.

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Daric then visited the garden centre to pick up a bit of sunshine fertilizer, and then drove home, read a book about ‘True Fairy Tales’ and went to bed. I couldn’t resist taking a couple of screenshots of his new truck!

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Time to switch households! \o/

I’m back to playing my main households in rotation again. I’ll aim to play each family for a sim-week so they all have to pay their bills! As well as paying the normal ‘gas, electric and water’ bills at the mailbox, they’ll also have to pay their taxes for the first time in Crumpleton! Eeek!

The next household is the Dixon-Phillips household. If you follow my TS4 gameplay you might have spotted me playing with this family already. In TS3 they are slightly different: while I do play with the same sims I’ve had since TS1, they do change and adapt slightly with each reincarnation.

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I switched to their house. It was about 4am and nosimbody was home! Where were they!? Again, I love to switch households and see what my sims are doing. I tracked the whole family down to a mausoleum in the graveyard! What on earth were they doing in there!? And why was Antony wearing that outfit!? The rest of the family seemed just as confused about that last one as I was! 😄

I quickly sent them home and into their respective beds so they can be fresh and bright when I next come to play with them.

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I also found the two pet horses gallivanting around the house and looking very cheeky, so I sent them back to their stables. They seemed to race each other back, which was fun to watch! Then I tucked them up safely into their stables and said goodnight.

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Goodnight Crumpleton! ❤

Crumpleton: Meadow’s Grocery

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My sims needed somewhere to buy their groceries and my current grocery shop was a little… blah! So I switched to one of my favourite pre-mades who I use to test all my gardening/food related mods, Meadow Carpenter Rhodes! I don’t quite know how Meadow became my gardening guinea pig, but I’ve grown quite attached to her. I like that she’s a bit quirky: she’s insane and loves plants more than people (a bit like Daric) but she’s a bit bohemian and loves to play the guitar and paint. I also like that she’s naturally quite muscular, I imagine this is because she works hard on the land. Unfortunately, in Crumpleton, her mental illness seems to be more apparent than usual. Maybe this is because I’m less controlling than when I’m directing her to test things and, given more freedom, her quirky behaviour is more apparent. I’ll admit, she’s scaring me a bit! Anyway, it was late when I switched to her so she went to bed. In the morning she had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I really need to sort out the meal availabilities on my food mods… they have weird options for breakfast) and then she got to work in the garden a bit.

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Meadow wanted to tend to her garden but it was raining and she was determined to wear her bikini so I let her pick something else to do, she chose to play the guitar while the rain subsided. Then she happily tended the wet garden in her bikini. *sigh*

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Then it was time to head to the grocery shop! Fortunately, Meadow chose to wear her outerwear to ride there, I really like this outfit on her, it suits her. I love looking around the world as my sims ride around town, Meadow rode past The Globe Theatre, and then spotted another sim acting a bit crazy! At least she isn’t the only one!

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(By the way… I know my screenshots are really dark and I thought I should explain why. I purposefully made some of my lighting files very dark outside because in real life on country roads in the UK it IS very dark! And I like the contrast between the dark, gloomy exterior and the bright, inviting interiors! It isn’t always like this… sometimes the world can be a lot brighter and have nice sunsets and things. But I think the rainy/cloudy weather has made it extra dark lately.)

Meadow arrived at the grocery. It’s part of a chain of shops on one lot that is kind of like the ‘high street’ or main shopping area of the town. It is in the centre of town, next to the park and near the town hall, church and main university building. I originally had the grocery on a smaller shop next door, but I realised I’d need a lot more room and converted the empty shop on the corner instead.

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I sent Meadow to the supplier (the grocery rabbithole rug) and had her buy 3 of everything to get the store set-up! In the future she will only be able to buy items that can’t be grown or produced during gameplay, like the bread, peanut butter, and flour from the overhaul mod. All other items will have to be made by my produce sims, like fruit, veg, honey, eggs, milk, etc. Those sims will then leave their produce in the storage boxes at outside the back of the store, and will take their payment of the value of the goods from Meadow’s ‘piggy bank’ which uses the code from Ani’s tax collector mod. I’ve set up the store so that sims can only ‘shop while active’ so that sims won’t autonomously buy all the produce if they don’t need it, and so that I can send my sims to get the things they need while I’m playing them. Meadow will only restock items if they are available in the cash register’s inventory.

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You shout at those pumpkins, Meadow!

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And if anyone is wondering about the mods and CC I’m using…

* The advanced retail system is Ani’s Savvier Seller Mod.

* The converted bakery stands and register are my Savvier Bakery mod.

I also converted Dot’s mesh shelves to use Ani’s savvier code but I don’t want to upload these as they clone Dot’s meshes. I’ll hopefully get time to write a tutorial on how to change the code on objects yourself.

* The storage boxes are by Around the Sims .

* The extra ingredients come from my version of the Overhaul mod. And Icemunmun’s Spring Harvest and Green Vegetable mods. Plus a few of Sandy’s décor food items from ATS (see above link) and Jennisims

* I made some vintage style posters too which I’ll upload soon for anyone who wants them. ^__^

Crumpleton: Green Leaf Tea

Only a little update today. I was playing with Daric a little more, trying to grow his vegetables, but the game was against me and the ground was covered in frost! 😄

Anyway, Daric woke up wondering if there was really a dragon in his house or if he had been dreaming. He was still feeling a little strange… was his skin a little greener? What was this strange green cloud floating around him? (You’re stinky Daric, get in the shower!)

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Daric went to investigate, there the little guy was… still in the corner where he’d left him. It seemed friendly enough so Daric picked it up and fed it a little fish.

‘I’ll call you Adair!’

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Daric took Adair to the garden to see if the dragon could fly and stretch it’s wings. To his surprise the green dragon sent sparkling lights shooting out to all the plants and magically grew and harvested them!

‘You are a clever little fellow, aren’t you!?’ Daric laughed delightedly.

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Well… there was no more work Daric could do while his garden was covered with frost, so he went to patrol Crumplebottom Park. It was quiet on that frosty morning, everything was peaceful and Daric enjoyed walking round.

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(At this point he decided to swim across the lake and got changed. Aaaah… sims and their wild routing!)

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Feeling a little chilly (especially after his impromptu swim), Daric decided to stop in at the tea rooms for a nice warm drink. Belinda Crumplebottom runs the café and was supposed to be tending the barista bar but she was being a little difficult and wouldn’t serve him at first. It turned out I didn’t set it up very well, I had Belinda assigned to my baker career and had used Ultimate Careers to send her to the café for her shifts, but I’d also told her to tend the barista bar with register, and the two mods were competing for her attention! I ended up fiddling with the ‘Zerbu’ settings on the town hall so that my custom baker career didn’t push sims to use interactions assigned to the culinary career. Fiddly, but I got it set up in the end! 😄

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Daric got tired of waiting for her and served himself using the tea set from the store. There is no charge for using the tea set on a community lot, so Daric paid using my tip jar. He also bought one of Sandy’s edible sandwiches.

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And a visit to the tea rooms wouldn’t be complete without having your fortune told! Belinda is a witch from Moonlight Falls so I made her a modded tea-table that acts like the fortune teller’s crystal ball. I forgot to upload this when I made it, so I’ll try and get that up asap. The prediction was a nice one and Daric was pleased. I also caught Thornton Wolff telling his own fortune, I didn’t think he would be into mystical stuff!

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Belinda finally decided to tend the barista bar! I really wanted Daric to get a ‘green leaf’ tea, so I sent him over for one. He seemed very cheerful when I left him with a good fortune to look forward too, a helpful green dragon in his garden, and a belly full of nice herbal tea! I’ll be switching households until the ground warms up and Daric can tend his garden, and I’m excited about the sim I’ll be playing next! ^__^

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Crumpleton: Nature Most Unnatural

I’m trying to set up my town to be self-sufficient. I’ve installed Ani’s No Shopping from Fridge mod so that meals will only be available if the sim has the ingredients stocked in the fridge. If the sim does not have the ingredients they have to go and buy them. However, I want to avoid using the grocery rabbithole and have my sims set up a grocery store and farmer’s market. So it’s important that I play with the sims that produce food to sell. One of my main sim families has a farm, but the plants they grow are only trees, so I needed to set up a sim who produces all the other fruit and veg. That sim is Daric Ordhen from Dragon Valley.

(Note: he was going to be a fisherman but I found another sim who I wanted to assign that role to instead. But he has the ‘green thumb’ trait and a big garden so assigning him to the gardener profession worked too.)

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I thought he should be an elder (I like having lots of elder sims in Crumpleton to make the town feel like it has had people living there for generations, and to give it that sleepy English village feel) so I aged him up. He’s a loner, so I imagined he was happy to celebrate his birthday alone, I thought it was sweet that he cheered for himself. His new randomised outfit was surprisingly suitable too! But I changed his shoes to something a little less garish. I made his skin less green too. His face is so adorable with his small chin, big nose and saggy jowls. ^__^

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Daric pottered round his little house, making a small meal and washing up, happy to follow his daily routine.

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Daric wanted to work in his garden but it was raining heavily and he was feeling a bit sniffly. It was still early and the town was sleeping so he ventured to the garden centre where he volunteers. The greenhouse would keep him dry.

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Daric was pleased to see that his friend, the dancing sunflower, had given him some sunshine to fertilise the other plants. ‘Oh, you are a good sunflower! Look how well you have done.’ He had a little dance to celebrate. (All this seemed perfectly normal to Daric, who spends more time with plants than people.)

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Then it was time to fertilise, water, and shot words of encouragement to the plants before harvesting them. Daric had completely forgotten about his cold and didn’t realise how wet he was getting!

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The rain had stopped, and it was time for one of Daric’s favourite jobs: riding the tractor in the orchard! As he walked to the reliable machine, he picked up a few seeds, including an unusual glowing seed he had never seen before. Maybe it was some kind of pomegranate? Stashing the seeds in his pocket, he began working in the orchard, the pollen haze surrounded him, but Daric was in a happy haze himself and barely noticed. As the sun rose a huge rainbow appeared over the garden centre, it was almost magical!

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Daric began to feel really rather ill, perhaps he had inhaled too much pollen after all. He went to the clinic to see if he could get a shot. He generally avoided medicine, unless it was herbal, but he really did feel particularly strange (he had a wish to get a shot, so this is why I allowed it). He arrived at the clinic a bit too early, the doctors had not begun their shift and there was no pharmacist on duty, so he read quietly in the waiting room.

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Eventually the pharmacist, Doctor Khan, arrived and Daric explained his symptoms to her (Asha is actually an alchemist from the Supernatural expansion, but I like to think of it more like a chemist or pharmacist). He explained about the itchy skin, the sniffly nose, the fuzzy feeling in his head, the strange feeling in his stomach like something was growing…..

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Asha seemed concerned, she waited until Doctor Landgraab arrived for a second opinion. Geoffrey did some more tests and also seemed a it concerned, he wanted to give Daric an experimental new drug, but Daric refused! A shot was one thing… but he wasn’t about to trust some new-fangled scientific experiment!

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Reluctantly the Doctors agreed to give him a shot and some allergy medicine. Asha was still concerned and said she would try and work on a herbal remedy for his symptoms. (I was hoping Geoffrey could give Daric the shot but the option wasn’t available, so he had to go to the rabbithole rug hidden at the back of the building).

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Daric went home feeling uncomfortable, the shot had helped his sniffly nose but the uncomfortable feeling in his stomach was getting a bit painful. He decided to work on his garden a while to take his mind off it. Daric lives on the edge of Crumplebottom National Park, and is the park-keeper, his garden overlooks the park and I love the little path that leads down from his garden). He planted lots of new vegetables like cabbage, leeks and asparagus (from icemunmun).

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His stomach was really rumbling now and he was feeling very dizzy! Daric thought maybe he was hungry so made a green salad with herb sauce. Then… something strange happened. The rumbling stopped. The pain was gone. And through the haze in his mind, Daric saw…

…the green dragon.

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(Note: I was as surprised too! I didn’t place the dragon, it just appeared! The lot is from Dragon Valley so it must have had an egg hidden on it somewhere. But the timing was so perfect, and it fit the story I was going for which was that Daric spent so much time with plants, inhaling pollen, that something supernatural was happening to him! So… he had a dragon baby. 😄

I don’t ususally play with the supernatural elements too much, but Daric’s green skin, his love of plants, his loner trait, and the allergy moodlets prompted the idea and I couldn’t resist!)

Crumpleton: A Few Loose Ends

It was an eventful morning for the Vanderburgs. In the wee small hours of the morning a burglar crept up to the house, but she had made a big mistake! Choosing to steal from a home inhabited by a police officer and judge is never a good idea! Sabastian was woken by the suspicious noises and his fellow officers were quick to respond! I followed the officer and the perp as they drove away, hoping to follow them to the police station where I could have Sebastian process her, but unfortunately the car turned and vanished. ;_; Typically, Renauld slept through the whole thing!

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The next morning, Catarina visited the Town Hall offices where she was hoping to secure funds to improve the library services. She had also arranged to meet Roxy there before her court appointment. But when she tried to speak to councillor Phillips he brushed her off, making some excuse about being late for a meeting and saying he would discuss it another day. Well, Catarina would just have to do her best with the existing funding then!

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(Time to use my newly built court house, woo!)

Renauld drove to the court house to sit Roxy’s trial. Catarina made sure she was there on time. It was only a minor offence, and taking into account Roxy’s mental health issues and impassioned defence statement, Renauld went easy on her. He charged her a small fine, which was the minimum punishment, but he felt bad as Roxy was already short of money and the fine would only worsen her situation. He also ordered her to attend a weekly counselling meeting with a social worker, hopefully that would do her some good.

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Troubled over Roxy’s situation, Catarina went back to the office and arranged the library service improvements. She contacted the local telephone company and encouraged them to upgrade the lines. Then she arranged to have the old tree at the library clipped so it no longer damaged the roof (I moved it back a bit). She even had a small unobtrusive extension built onto the side of the library to hold the bathroom facilities. Finally, Catarina visited the high school: she didn’t have much money left in the community fund but the school desperately needed new computers! In the end, Catarina used her own money to buy second hand computers for all the desks! It wasn’t the best solution, but it was the best she could do. Unfortunately, the students and some of the richer parents didn’t seem impressed! 😄

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Next time I play I will be choosing a different family. I played a little bit longer than I should have with the Vanderburgs, but they turned out to be quite interesting! I wanted to make sure they did their roles properly, attending the correct workplaces and such-like.

* You can grab my social worker mod here: http://modthesims.info/download.php?t=552261
* I’ll hopefully remember to upload my law career soon, but you can find a great one here by Missy Hissy: https://missyhissysjobcentre.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/lawyer-career/
* I used Ani’s Tax Collector mod a lot here to transfer money between individuals and civic buildings, particularly the donation boxes. You can grab the mod here: http://nraas.wikispaces.com/Tax+Collector

Crumpleton: A Close Encounter

The next morning, Ella nervously made jam sandwiches for breakfast, se would have to ask for money to buy more ingredients and look up a few recipes soon, she couldn’t keep making jam sandwiches for long! (Note: the combination of Ella’s low cooking skill and Ani’s No Shopping From Fridge mod mean there are not many options available yet.) She was surprised when Renauld invited her to join him for breakfast. Little did she know, the old man was feeling sentimental: Ella looked so much like his old friend, with the same delicate mannerisms. And having a young girl around the house reminded him of his own missing daughter.

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When Renauld and Ella left, it made me laugh to see Catarina looking at the sandwiches in confusion. She didn’t know her husband had hired a housekeeper! Sebastian was still in bed, so who had made the sandwiches?

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It was the day of the Spring Fair, so Catarina made her way to the park to check on the set-up. She was dismayed to find the rain had dampened everyone’s spirits, and nobody had bothered to supervise the arrangements. (Note: I actually hadn’t set up the spring festival yet. I wanted to make it part of my gameplay and make a sim responsible for it).

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By early afternoon Catarina had taken charge of the event, contacting the hot-air balloon supplier, the traders, the puppet show, the food vendors, and all the various people who needed prodding into action. She was pleased with the result! Even if the event was a total wash-out that day, hopefully the weather would brighten up for the remainder of the holidays. It made me laugh to see the newspaper vendor running home at the end of his shift.

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Catarina was invited to the Vicar’s house for tea, so she popped by the flower shop to buy a gift. She met the TS3 version of Adelia Clausen there, I love it when my sims bump into each other around town!

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Catarina then drove to the vicarage and met Vincentio Pantalone, it seemed the Vicar had also invited a few ‘troubled’ guests to the gathering, perhaps in the hope of introducing them to people like Catarina who might be able to help them. One of these guests was a young girl who gasped when she saw Catarina arrive. It was Francisca Vanderburg, Catarina’s missing daughter (although the vicar did not know this). Francisca quickly locked herself in the bathroom before her mother could spot her. (Note: all this was entirely coincidental, the invite and Francisca’s appearance. Francisca was already in the bathroom and I may have locked her in.)

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Catarina offered to help her friend Mrs Pantalone in the kitchen and everyone loved her meal. While the guests were sitting at the table, Francisca sneaked out of the house and slipped away before her mother spotted her!

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Catarina found Roxy Hunter eating outside in the rain, she obviously felt awkward at the party. She confided to Catarina that she was worried about her court summons the next day, and Catarina reassured her that she would meet her before to lend her some moral support.

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After a tiring day, Renauld suggested that Catarina join him at the country club for a relaxing evening.

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Crumpleton: Cinderelli Cinderelli

Poor Renauld, he was pleased his wife Catarina had busied herself with her work but she was so distracted that she wasn’t doing as much around the house as she normally would. Now, Renauld wasn’t sexist enough to think housework was a woman’s responsibility… he was just not very good at picking up the pieces. He was tired of jam sandwiches for breakfast and he was tired of his back creaking when he loaded the dishwasher. He decided to hire a housekeeper! He’d heard the Kensingtons had hired one, why shouldn’t he?! He rand a few of his friends to see if they knew anyone. To his surprise, Lonnie Pertridge (the wife of his old friend) suggested her own step-daughter for the position.

‘It will do the lazy girl some good to know what real work is like!’ she remarked.

Well, this was hardly a glowing reference for the girl, but since Lonnie implied the girl would work for free as long as she was provided with lodging and food, sort of like work-experience placement, and because Lonnie said he would be doing her a favour, he felt obliged to agree!

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Over the next few days, Renauld began to regret his decision and worried about what the girl would be like. But when Ella Carlisle turned up at the house he was pleasantly surprised! She seemed very polite and reminded him pleasantly of her father, his old friend. Feeling much more cheerful about the whole situation, he directed her into the house and decided to congratulate himself with a few games of chess at Crumpleton Library.

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Poor Ella! A bit confused by the old man’s instructions, Ella explored the house until she found her cabin room. Fingers trembling, she nervously changed into her work uniform. Sighing, she looked at herself in the mirror, anything had to be better than living with her wicked stepmother, right?! Although she was practically working as an indentured servant, with no pay, this was her chance at freedom!

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Taking a deep breath to steel her nerves, Ella thought she should provide breakfast (one of the few vague instructions Mr Vanderburg had given her) and made her way to the kitchen. Oh my! A man was already in there and he seemed startled to see her! He was in his underwear, so Ella averted her eyes and acted as though she hadn’t seen him. The man quickly darted out of the other door and Ella giggled to herself. Perhaps life in Crumpleton would be better than she imagined!

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What made me laugh was that Sebastian seemed eager to impress Ella! He autonomously went to work out on the treadmill straight after this encounter!

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(Note: this is my second ‘housekeeper’ sim in Crumpleton. I was worried about the game using these sims to fill service roles so wanted to give them a named job. I thought about giving them the Nraas ‘homemaker’ profession but it didn’t seem quite right. At the moment they are ‘unemployed’ but I noticed my other housekeeper, Florence Taylor, was used to fill a service role. *sigh* Looks like I need to mod another career!)

Crumpleton: Library Funding

Catarina Vanderburg is the town’s community development officer: she works for the town hall and controls the community development fund. Today she is holding a public meeting to discuss whether the library needs any improvements. A quick phone call to the head librarian Beatrice Crumplebottom to check she would attend the meeting, and Catarina hopped into her waiting car (a bright pink limo! This did not make me happy as it is far too ostentatious for the little town of Crumpleton, so I quickly gave them more suitable cars).

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When Catarina arrived at the library her friend Beatrice could not be found. The only person who has arrived on time for the meeting was Sabrina Funke, a slightly flaky local mother who complained that there was no children’s section in the library. Catarina made a note of this very good point. The library was an extremely old building and was protected by the heritage association. She explained this to Sabrina and promised that she would do what she could and would also look at providing better resources at the local primary school. Sabrina seemed pleased with this and left.

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Alone in the library, Catarina looked around the old building. She remembered reading there as a child and was full of fond memories of the place. It may not have had all the modern technology of the newer libraries, but it had a famous collection of old books and an interesting history. Catarina picked up a book on Roman rhetoric and settled down to pass the time until more people arrived.

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Soon after, Catarina felt a gust of cool evening air as the old doors were pushed open. There stood an unexpected visitor to the meeting, Diana Jones.

Diana was quick to complain about the poor wifi connection, ‘Back in Bridgeport we had this amazing library with all the latest technology. There was a coffee bar, fast internet access, electronic journals and study-o-cise. All this library has is a load of mouldy old books!’

Catarina was tempted to say, ‘Well, you’re not in Bridgeport now my dear’ but she bit her tongue and replied, ‘I’ll take your suggestions on board.’

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But who was that, hiding in the bushes outside? It was Beatrice! What on earth was she doing? It turned out she had seen Diana entering as she arrived and wanted to hide until she was gone. She was tired of listening to her complaints about her beloved library. Beatrice avoided eye contact with Diana as she walked in and quickly scurried over to her friend.

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‘Oh Catarina!’ she cried after enquiring about her daughter, ‘I’m so glad you are holding this meeting! The library feels like it’s falling apart around me! The branches of the old oak tree outside have knocked tiles off the roof and water is dripping in each time it rains! I worry about the damage the damp may do to the books. Also, we have no toilet facilities because the building is so old! People are having to use the one across the road at the community centre. Then I have people like Mrs Jones complaining about the slow wifi! She’s lucky to get an internet connection at all here in Crumpleton!’

(Note: there really is a tree clipping through the roof so I decided to leave it and write it into the story)

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‘Beatrice dear, why have you not approached the council about the roof?’ Catarina enquired.

‘I did!’ cried Beatrice, ‘I spoke to councillor Dixon at church a fortnight ago. He said he would look into it but I haven’t heard anything since.’

Catarina encouraged Beatrice not to worry and reassured her that she would speak to Mr Dixon personally. She would certainly secure the funding for the roof. Catarina also gave her a gift, a new book by her favourite author.

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Catarina took one last look around the library. Considering the lack of a specific children’s area, the two boys seemed to have found whatever it was they were looking for in those old dusty books! And Catarina was surprised to find Diana hidden in a dark corner of the library with a very old book indeed! This seemed odd, considering her passionate complaints about the facilities. Perhaps there was more to Diana than she first assumed.

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Crumpleton: A Day with the Vanderburgs

The Vanderburg family are townies in Crumpleton, meaning they are not a family I play rotationally. Once I added my own families to the small town, I picked some of my favourite pre-mades to fill up the empty homes and job vacancies. I play slowly, so I’m still setting up the town and decided I wanted some new roles: a social services type career for all the civic needs in town like health workers, housing officers, and community development projects; and I needed to extend the law gameplay, so that arrested criminals had somewhere to go for trial. Catarina and her husband were already employed at the town hall, but I had too many sims in the politics career, so it made sense to use this family for my new careers.

I adapted their story a little. The Vanderburgs are from Hidden Springs and their back-story is that Catarina is the queen of that town. Well… Crumpleton already has it’s own founders, the Crumplebottom family! So I decided that Caterina is from a noble family who are distant relatives of the royal family. They are very rich, living in a big house in the older part of town around Crumpleton Park (the house is taken from Dragon Valley and adapted a little to suit the old English/Celtic feel of the town). The Vanderburgs don’t need to work, but they are good people who feel the need to serve their local community. More about this later!

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Caterina and Renauld’s adult daughter, Francisca has been missing for some time and the family are very concerned about her. Her brother, Sebastian, has joined the local police force hoping to be able to track her down…

It was a sad morning in the Vanderburg house. Renauld woke up to a quiet house, he wondered why he couldn’t hear the usual morning noises of his wife preparing breakfast in the kitchen. He went to investigate and found a plate of jam sandwiches instead of his usual full English.

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Odd. Where was Caterina? Renauld found her sobbing quietly in the garden, she was worrying about her daughter again. Why hadn’t the police found her yet? If Francisca was safe, why hadn’t she contacted them? Caterina had posted a large reward for information, why had they not heard anything?

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Renauld gently guided her back into the house for a jam sandwich, ‘You must eat something!’

Caterina sat quietly at the far end of the table, where she could look out of the window in the vain hope she might see her daughter pass by. Renauld filled the silence with forced optimism, talking about his colleagues in the law field and how surely someone would stumble over some information soon. Sabastian appeared in his uniform and sat close to his mother, he didn’t need to say anything, his presence alone was enough to comfort her. Caterina picked up a jam sandwich and nibbled a corner gratefully: she knew he had prepared them hurriedly as he got ready for work.

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With an encouraging nod to his mother, Sabastian left for work. As he drove his police car the short distance into town, he scanned the woods for signs of his sister. He was determined he would be the one to find her. He was sure she was alive, he knew his sister better than anyone! He knew Francisca had been feeling pressured by his mother’s pushy nature (though he would never hurt his mother’s feelings by telling her this). He was sure that if he could just find her, he could explain that their mother only wanted the best for them and persuade her to come out of hiding.

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As he arrived at the station, he noticed a smart-looking woman entering the building. She seemed to know her way around but he hadn’t noticed her before. Sabastian was new to the force and hadn’t met everyone yet. He was sure she wasn’t a police officer, so maybe she was a regional superior? He approached her and she introduced herself as Emily Mitchel. Emily was the local primary school teacher and she was trying to arrange a school visit to the station.

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Just then they were interrupted by the arrival of Roxy Hunter. Roxy was well-know to the police, she was a good person but she couldn’t seem to keep herself out of trouble! Sabastian had been looking for her in connection with a low-level crime that had been reported and her son had persuaded her to ‘do the right thing’ and hand herself in.

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Sabastian sighed and booked her in. Typically, Roxy didn’t take it too seriously. While he questioned her, Sabastian also asked if she had heard anything about his sister. Roxy was always at the station for one reason or another and knew Francisca was missing, she would have told him if she discovered anything. In a small town like Crumpleton, secrets were hard to keep, and Roxy moved in circles Sebastian couldn’t. But Roxy hadn’t heard anything either.

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Sebastian sighed again and left to write up his report. First he made coffee, he was feeling down and needed something to power him through the dull form-filling. Like his mother he chose to sit by the window if by chance his sister should walk by.

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The work day came to an end and Sebastian made his way back home. As he pulled his car into the drive he noticed his parents talking in the garden. Sebastian smiled, he was pleased their relationship was surviving the stressful time. They even seemed to be finding more time for each other.

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