Well, they’re both on the mend, and I have been working. Cooking, laundry, gardening and even cleaning (one of the many things I can do better for others than for myself). The most important work though was probably a mobile conversation I had with my brother about the situation. We are both framed much better to cope with the games and stresses, and are helping each other to do so.

I went to Crawley’s little Mela yesterday, at the Hawth Theatre. I went to meet Viiv Cooper, and he looked well, though he could not shake hands because his white bloodcell count was low. The mela was rain effected, but the marquee was big enough to shelter those that stayed, and the last band with drumming, juggling and comedy, called Mambena, from Africa were great. They. could have topped the bill in the days of music hall, and what they did with children dragged out of the audience was splendid.

Sunday dinner was Rick Stein’s duck in orange juice It was very good. I would post a link but it is only available as a tv show and not written out on the internet, so what I remember is below.

Braise duck pieces in a dry pan to get some of the fat out. Stein said 5 – 6 minutes, I did 12, and it was still not enough.

Add crushed garlic and sliced ginger; then star aniseed (he said 5, but one and a bit gave a strong enough taste), fish sauce (2 tablespoons seemed to be too much); palm sugar (I used brown); black pepper; and enough orange juice to half cover the pieces.

Simmer. He gave no times, but an hour and a half was only just long enough to the biggest piece, but they were tough pieces.

Add spring onions near the end.

Take the pieces out, add cornflour mixed with water and boil to thicken.

I served it with new potatoes, carrots and peas.