Looking through my chest of drawers earlier I found some old books bound in cracked leather under a pile of dusty blankets. The pages flaked in my hands when I touched them, but as I read the blotty handwriting I felt a sense of a story coming together. They appear to be the diaries of a farmer by the name of James, and as a service to him I thought I’d post what I’ve found. Some chunks seem to be missing, but what’s here is, I think, genuinely fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Chapter One: The Beginning

I moved into Forget-Me-Not Valley a few years ago to take up the farm my father left me after his death. Those first few years were hard – I had to learn a new trade in a place that was completely foreign to me. I didn’t know anybody, and the pace of life seemed so different to what I was used to.

For the first year I tried to focus my efforts on making money from the farm. Wow, I remember what it was like back then; a run-down, ramshackle sort of place with a cow and a tiny house. It took a lot of effort to turn it around, but within a few months my cow was happier and I’d successfully grown my own crops for the first time. Whoever said that homegrown crops taste better should have tasted mine back then… I guess every rule has its exception!

That year went so fast, and by the end of those first four seasons I’d begun raising chickens, sheep, had a pond installed and even got engaged to my dear Muffy. Quite an eventful year!

Click here for the second diary