Here’s some pages from one of the other diaries I found. I think it’s from a few years after the first one, as James seems to refer to a wife and son, who don’t appear in the first diary. I’d love to know what happened in the years between these books, but unfortunately I don’t seem to have the missing books. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Chapter two: Happy birthday!

Galen.jpgForget-Me-Not Valley has changed quite a bit since my first year here. It’s still mostly the place I fell in love with, and even in as small and insular a place as this progress is inevitable. The saddest change this year was when we lost Nina. Poor Galen hasn’t been the same since, plodding around town and tending to Nina’s grave and memorial. I try to get through to him with polite conversation and crops and milk, but he doesn’t seem interested, just grumbling and fixing me with his glassy eyes. Sometimes he stands on the bridge and stares at the river flowing away to the sea. I worry about what he might be thinking… he must be so alone.

A slightly happier change is the arrival of Samantha, Kate and Grant, a new family whose house is the middle one in this photo.

Houses in the rain.jpg

They’re a funny family really. Kate seems a bit of a spoil little brat, Grant is always running to and fro to the city (or the Blue Bar!) and Samantha seems a very uptight and proper lady. They’re a bit of an odd bunch, and it’s rare to see them together, but all the same, Forget-Me-Not Valley is richer for their presence.

Elsewhere around me I can see the effects of change. Lumina’s piano playing is fantastic now; I love hearing her play, and I’ve just noticed that Hugh and Rock seem older these days. I think in my mind they’ve been these cute little boys for the past few years, but now I can see they’re becoming young men.

Thinking about the younger residents of the Valley makes me cast my mind onto my son, Boris. It’s the hardest thing in the world to judge whether Muffy and I are doing a good job as parents, but I think we are – Boris is well-behaved (if not a little energetic!) apart from bedtimes, which have seen quite a few struggles! I think the key is not to play with him too close to “night night”.

He seems interested in eggs and milk, and anything to do with animals, which I suppose is natural growing up on a farm! All the clichés about parenting being “the greatest adventure” seem very true now!

The farm continues to grow, with new buildings, animals and crops. We have a couple of ducks called Jilly and Billy, a few new cows and a sheep. Money is thankfully no problem, so I can commit to giving Boris the best upbringing I can.

That’s all I could salvage from this second diary, but I think there are some great insights in there, and it’s clear that James has really settled into his life in Forget-Me-Not Valley, both in terms of farming and family. The next diary was much more intact, so I’m posting it up a season at a time. Click here for Fall’s diary.