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.

It sits just six minutes walk from the house, is part of three quite large local allotment holdings and has a nice setting. My own allotment sits at the bottom of the set of holdings and slopes gently down towards a small brook that flows past. It has been actively worked in the past but fallen into neglect these past two years. But I take it over with enthusiasm and the benefit of being very new.

As I tackle the ground, turning the soil, taking off the weeds, digging out their roots, and hand picking the rocks, bricks and broken glass - I am much minded of the accounts of Suffolk farming and the seasonal cycles. This Monday gone was the start of spring and I felt very late to the seasonal feast, turning the soil for the first time this year. But press on I do and I reminded of you Giles, the illustration of a farming boy, as I try my hand at the land. A small part of the land, but the land none-the-less.  I will pause there as I have much to do a story I explore and enjoy this new town, and find my feet and my courage and my new focus and purpose.

Keep in touch my friend, and I will pass on reports of my endeavour and efforts - I shall not say labour, for that feels too grand and ambitious. I know that my mere hour or two a day, compares not at all to the farming day of a Suffolk labourer.

Until the next time, best wishes, and fond memories to my distant cousin Rob.

Yours etc,


(Footnote: Robert Bloomfield was a successful poet of the early 19th century, born in Suffolk, a farm boy himself, before going to London to work as a shoemaker and where he found great success as a poet. His success was builder on his account of the years of a Farmers Boy: Giles. Ed Fordham, is distantly related to Robert Booomfield, and knows well and fondly the local villages of Suffolk, places of Bloomfield's youth).