Animal Crossing New Horizons Update

Some months ago, My Haven achieved a 5-star island rating. Imagine, therefore, my surprise and, indeed, alarm upon recently consulting Isabelle to find that I’d been demoted to 4 stars!  My island hadn’t changed at all since my last consultation, but Isabelle informed me that the prevalent opinion was that My Haven was ‘cluttered’ and ‘littered’ with far too many things.  Littering?  Moi? (to use a Biancarism.)  I was gobsmacked. I’ve never littered in my life and, what’s more, My Haven is a symmetrical, uncluttered paradise. However, a few weeks later I noticed a lily of the valley blooming again and My Haven was restored to its 5-star status, despite the fact that I’d added even more clutter and litter to it in the interim period.  Had Isabelle just been playing a cruel AC mind game?

A couple of days ago I received a Gold trophy from the Happy Home Academy, that group of invisible board members who rate our efforts at interior design.  It’s taken me 9 months of game play to achieve a Gold rating.  Not that I was particularly bothered about my home’s rating.  In fact, I had become deeply suspicious of the Happy Home Academy, surmising that their interior design credentials may be the kind that you can buy off the net for a few quid.  On a regular basis I would receive HHA missives, via my natural wood, country cottage type post box, advising me that I should use furniture of the same colour within each room, or adopt a bit of feng shui in order to score more highly in their estimation.  Have the board members not heard of accents for goodness sake?  Are they not aware that a splash of contrasting colour can make a room, and I certainly wasn’t about to spend hours researching Feng Shui for anybody, particularly when those anybodies are just bits of code.  No. Happy and content was I with my living arrangements, bedecked as every room is with middle-aged, comforting décor.  There’s not a pinball machine/jukebox/pool table/lurid new-fangled settee in the place.  Instead, your eyes will be confronted by walls adorned with the likes of the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer, The Milkmaid (also by Vermeer), The Night Watch by Rembrandt Van Rijn.  I must here own to the fact that these noted works of art are all fakes, sold to me by that cunningly dodgy fox who occasionally moors off My Haven, but what care I – I love them.

My walls are lined with towering bookcases.  My settees are leather. My furniture is what ACNH calls ‘antique.’  My kitchen is delightfully country cottage, even if a lurid green argyle rug was my only option in the rug-stakes.  ACNH really needs to up its rugs game. I can’t count the number of times that spivvy camel (who is actually female I’ve now learned) has sold me utter rubbish rugs-wise, and let’s not even contemplate the abominations that are her mystery flooring and wallpaper.   One fateful day I accepted a mystery wallpaper from Saharah only to find it plunged my living room into absolute darkness and removed my windows!  Such was my horror that I actually clutched  my chest,  in the manner of someone about to have a seizure.

Determined to stick with my own design plan and contemptuously ignore the HHA’s questionable advice, I was then surprised, and far more delighted than I should have been, to receive that Gold trophy in the mail.  The missive even stated that it is I who should be giving the HHA advice.  That’s more like it, was my smug and superior reaction. It says a lot for my state of game immersion that my next thought was: ‘I know just where to put this’ (on top of a little bookcase in my bedroom.)  Yes, my ACNH house is now my second home. In fact, it’s my first home, being it surpasses my actual home in every possible way.  Here are some pics of my Gold standard, fairly uncluttered abode.

Living Room. I had to move the Mona Lisa to hang my Xmas stockings.

Bedroom

Kitchen

Bathroom, which is a star spangled affair as I wanted to use at least one of my star recipe walls.

But enough of the HHA.  Christmas blessings are upon us!  Today my island was covered in its first layer of actual thick white snow.  It’s been snowing sporadically on My Haven for about a week, but nothing much to shout about.  But today. Oh today!  My holly bushes, of which I’d planted millions a couple of weeks ago to ensure My Haven was absolutely covered in the things, were resplendent with their caps of thick perfectly white snow and their bunches of little red berries.  The roof of my pink and palatial cottage was similarly adorned.  My trees are covered in snow.  The skies are full of snow clouds, giving a delightfully grey and darkened hue to my island, just right for sticking lamps up all over the place.  I spent a couple of days crafting bamboo lamps and had previously crafted thousands of ‘mush lamps’ during November.  Yes, November had seen the mushroom update and now every house on my island boasts a delightful toadstool lamp in its garden.  I have a section featuring mushroom tables and a mushroom parasol.  It felt like I was turning My Haven into the ACNH version of Enid Blyton’s toy town. I also built a snowman, imperfectly as he informed me. I’d seen a couple of snowballs on my hill top and, when I walked towards one my welly boot kicked it forward. Delighted with this new turn of events, I continued kicking the snowball towards one of my waterfalls, not realising how close it was to the edge and it promptly fell in – calamity! I watched helplessly as my snowball slowly sank beneath the water. This prompted one of the few times I look anything up ACNH related as I wondered what the purpose of snowballs is. It turns out that two snowballs make a snowman. You have to roll them around to just the right size then push them together to form a snow boy who will give you giant snowflakes. Well, I desperately tried to roll one so that it reached the top of my eyes, and one so that it reached my ears (as instructed via the internet) but, once made, my snow boy informed me that he wasn’t perfect (but after all who is?) but I got a giant snowflake and a DIY recipe all the same.

But all of this was as nothing compared to the day I received the DIY recipe for a plain wooden shop sign.  I’d seen this item on YouTube islands but never been granted it from the balloon Gods on high. Then, last week, I shot down a balloon thinking, well this present’ll contain the usual shoddy clothing/item/DIY recipe I DON’T WANT, only to turn a cartwheel in the sand (in my own head) on finding it was a sign that I could customise.  So now I have signs for my various landscaped features. A long time ago I landscaped my favourite real-life Chinese restaurant and placed it on a hilltop on My Haven.  And now I’ve named it.  I’ve rushed around naming all sorts of things.  The only downside is that I’m useless at the custom design feature, hence my signs all feature very dodgy sign writing. 

My outdoor orchestra

My restaurant sign.

I still don’t have all the recipes I’d like but I’m assuming I’d have to play ACNH 24/7 to be there for every balloon and every resident hammering away on their domestic DIY workbench.  Oh, the emotional angst of continually being confronted with a DIY recipe you’ve already got.

Visitors come regularly to my campsite and I ignore their pleas to come and live on My Haven. I instead play a wearing card game with them in order to win yet another piece of crap.  Crap like a Ninja Hood; or even worse the Ninja costume; or even worser a wrestling outfit, I mean what are they thinking?  But what is even more incomprehensible is that I’ve come to think kindly of my crew of 10 animoo villagers.  I no longer look on Bianca and Lionel and Olaf as an affront to animated character design, but see them as actual people milling around my island.  Ok, I skip through their repetitive daily banter as fast as possible but I’ve met worse offenders in real life. This means I am loyal to my animoos and will never kick them off my island, even if Ryan Reynolds turned up in my tent.

It also means I’ve gone slightly mad.

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