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.


The allotment itself is bordered by the charming Holme Brook water course. I'm told that far from just feeding into, it actually turns into the full River Hipper. More of that later, but for now, I can sit, stand and work on my small allotment and enjoy the babble and rush of the water as it meanders south east through the town. It is perhaps one of the most relaxing and joyous noises and situations I have found myself in and when I visit of an early morning hearing the water swish past is matter of some fortune for me.

In addition I have two very regular visitors to the allotment with me. The first a small little robin red breast. I say little, but to my naked it eye it is quite plump and energetically hungry. I have hung out some fat feed for the birds and he is a regular visitor of a morning. What is noticeable is just how tame he is - within one or two feet of where I work and I can approach and until I'm very close he doesn't fly off. Joining him, though more proud and strong is a bright golden beaked black-bird. Sharp, almost aggressive and confident, he arrives, surveys his manor and sweeps away. He is a regular returner and I have grave doubts about the prospects for anything I plant looking ahead.

But given the vibrancy of these rural joys: the river and the birds, as I turn my soil and enjoy my hour or two each morning - I wanted t share it with you, knowing you would recognise and understand such pleasure.

I am always, your good friend,


(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).