Dear Giles,

I was always under the impression that my allotment was a space of contemplation for me myself and I. But after just a month or so, I realise that I am not alone down on the land - far from it.

So who joins me down on the proverbial 'allotment farm'? First we have a robin, large, overfed, familiar and constant - he goes by the name of Bob and I arrive and he flies instantly in. And I realise I spoil him with worms - but he prefers small ones. Next up we have a blackbird, noisy, pushy, but accommodated by Bob. The blackbird goes by the name of Turpin of course and is a regular visitor and appreciates the larger worms that Bob turns his beak up to.

Dear Giles,

It is just over a week since I wrote last but how times flies. In that week the allotment has gone from being a strip of land which I have been enjoying but struggling with to becoming a source of pride. Allow me to explain.

When I took it on it was land that had been tended, but neglected for a year or two - now it feels like a piece of land I am working. Today, as I came home, I looked back with pride on my handiwork and the progress I think I have made. Fo many days I have been unable to see what I have been achieving, but now, I look back literally and figuratively and actually can see progress and the positive shoots of my labours coming through.

Dear Giles,

It is not long since I last wrote but much changes from day to day and I am trying to work to the adage of 'a little and often'.

The raised beds left by the previous allotment holder have provided me with a basic target of things to do and given me a sense of achievement. There are 12 of them and I have sought to do one or two a day - dug over fairly deeply and then raked and prepared for planting.

Dear Giles,

Yesterday's hour or so at the allotment was a mixed bag indeed. Much of the plot is in raised boxes making the task easier, giving me a real sense of progress as I tame it back and limiting the net amount of work I have to do.

But at the end of the plot, the opposite end to my shed is a rough bit of ground with three trees standing there. I have started to clear that bit of ground slowly but it is not proving as easy as I might hope.

Dear Giles,

I realise it has been some months since I visited the old home county of Suffolk and reading over old letters from distant cousin Robert, I thought it was time I wrote myself.

The move to Chesterfield, though many months past, has gone well and we are settled in. We are close to the centre, but out enough to avoid the night-time hubbub. The wood burner was we,come of an evening and the back yard awaits the barbecues of the summer. But best of all is the addition to my life of an allotment.