Chap 6: 'The Gift Relationship' in The Allotment by D.Crouch & C. Ward
From Rachel to Cllr Mahmood Hussain on 8 January 2010 copied to me:
Dear Cllr Mahmood. Just a quick note - I have had a look at the agenda for the next ward meeting and notice that Alan Orr is not listed in on the agenda to speak at this meeting. I recall that the September Ward meeting you requested that Alan attend January meeting to give you and local people an update. Alan indicated that he would be happy to attend. I wonder was he invited to Wednesday's meeting? If not could an officer contact him to some feed back as to when we are likely to have access to the site - as we were given assurances that we were likely be on site by January. Happy New Year. Rachel Chiu
From me to Rachel on Sunday morning
Dear Rachel (cc. Cllr Mahmood Hussain). Thanks for posting this. I bumped into Alan Orr in early-December and mentioned it in my blog. A few days ago, cycling home down Wycliff Road, I saw Alan Orr strolling along holding a red brick. "Alan! what are you up to with that?" "Checking on a planning application. They must use a certain colour," "I'll believe you. What's happening with the VJA (see p.8 of the FoE Newsletter)?" He told me the gardeners' shed was in place, which I'd seen before I went to Australia, "...and the water supply and the path and topsoil. The last thing will be the laying out of specific plots" "There seems no change since I've been away" "Oh yes there has been more work's been done on the playing fields." I've no way of knowing if this is so. It would be better if he attended the next ward meeting. I support your request to Cllr Hussain. We're away Birmingham from Monday but will stay informed on progress. Best wishes, Simon. Handsworth Allotments Information Group (HAIG)
From Cllr Mahmoud Hussain to Rachel Chiu on Saturday 9 January:
I will try to get Allan Orr to attend the meeting so he can give update. Thanks.
From Rachel Chiu this morning:
Hi Simon. Will see what happens - I'll attend the ward meeting anyway and make sure it is on the agenda for the nest meeting. All the best, Rachel
On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM, Councillor Martin Mullaney
passed this message on to my Handsworth neighbour John Tyrell who copied it to me. I passed it on to Rachel and others I know will be interested: From: Andrew Hogben To: Martin Mullaney cc: Darren Share ; Peter Short ; Adrian Stagg. Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 1:47pm Re: Victoria Jubilee allotments
Dear Councillor Mullaney. Further to my email below, I am pleased to confirm that the majority of works to the allotments were completed before Christmas, however holidays, weather/ground conditions and availability of fencing materials have delayed completion of some works. I am informed today by the contractor that there are further fencing works to complete which have been ordered; water and electric services to connect which have been ordered and some final works to the individual plots. I hope to be called to a 'Practical Completion' meeting on site sometime this month. In the meantime I have had the transfer plans verified and will be preparing a Delegated Authority for the Head of Landscape and Contract Services to sign which authorises the land acquisition. On receipt I will instruct Legal Services to proceed. I will let you know when I have an idea of a possible transfer date so that we can start letting. Regards, Andy Hogben, Principal Landscape Development Officer 0121 303 4764 email@example.com
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Our balcony in Handsworth looking towards St Mary's Church
The snow persists across the country. Our home here feels warmer after Lin oversaw the installing, over two days, of double glazed windows across the back of the middle floor. We're checking our lists, packing, keeping a special eye on the weather for our coach journey to Gatwick, and flights from there to Athens in the morning, where its supposed to be 16°C and sunny and Corfu, where its supposed to 13°C and raining heavily.
Yesterday Richard Hill phoned me about my planned visit to him in March bringing the carved wooden roach that he gave Jack in the early 1970s. It was fixed on the headboard, where he slept. An eye, gill, pelvic and pectoral fin remain uncarved. Richard has agreed to add these, 35 years after his original. He'll shape that side of the fish, mend the tail and add a missing pelvic fin. "There's enough wood on the uncarved side I'm sure" "Yes but also holes I'll need to fill. The wood's teak. it's from an old paddle steamer" he told me. "Your fish, being a work of art, lowers my heart rate when I hold it. It's a beautiful thing. I'd hadn't really looked at it before, giving more attention to the carved carp. I still don't who made that."