I must confess to my addiction. My sons and husband have been hinting at it for some time, but I brushed their concerns aside. However today, when out with a friend, we spent the first 15 minutes discussing our Farmville farms on Facebook before Anna said: “And how is life in the real world?”

I’m up to Level 27 on Farmville, with a Big Family Farm, a manor, two cottages, three tool sheds, two workshops and a Big Red Barn, and I’m desperately waiting for Farmville’s creators to get a move on and release the Mighty Plantation as I need more space for all my trees, crops and animals. I have to fit in another 13 buildings before I can get the Architect Blue Ribbon, and I could also do with more neighbours – anyone else want to sign up and friend me? – so I can get the big duckpond. My ducks, swans and turtles are looking a little crowded.

After discussing it with Anna I came to the conclusion that I’m hooked because I would love to have more space around my house, so I could at least have chickens, if not a pig or two and a pony. I miss not having animals around – dogs, cats and guinea pigs, while lovely, are not the same.

Never mind. Things could be worse. I have started with Island Paradise, but am determined to keep things small. I’ve earned enough Island coins for a beach chair and a sandcastle, and I can leave the application playing in the background to my other work as I listen to the sounds of the sea. I am resolutely refusing all invitations to Cafe World, Fishville, Mafia Wars, etc.

But Farmville has got me forever.