February 21st The Cocktail hour


I’ve just made Mark his first Manhattan in a proper cocktail glass – first time for me, one of many for Mark as it’s his favourite drink. He’s found his finest bourbon from the garage, with dark, red vermouth, a splash of Angostura bitters and ice, and I’ve given it  fifteen stirs in a tumbler before pouring into the posh glass beloved by the bartenders that he has trained over the years.

No sticky red cherries, no twists of lemon. Just the drinks that he loves.

‘Delicious’, he sighs ‘ but am I allowed it? ‘
Tonight I am in charge so we will eat and drink what we like. No Mystic Meg remedies just small, nourishing dishes – maybe a few scallops with cream and mashed potatoes.
But that is after his hot bath in sodium bicarbonate – another magical ingredient with mystery properties. Mark prefers showers to bath but he troupes off next door to The Sea House and steams for a while. He says it is like visiting a Swedish sauna – the freezing winds of Seaford give his trip a Nordic flavour.
Tonight we burn beads of frankincense. The charcoal pellets smoke after a belt with my creme brulee torch then I sprinkle on the tiny beads and the grey smoke wafts around the house.  A memory of ancient times and the story of the three wise men.  The fragrance reminds me of the quiet calm of St Michael’s church in Lewes which is always a place of reflection and strength. Thankyou to Simon Monk for sourcing this gift – I would like to be more skilled at setting it alight.
Today has been an exhaustion of paperwork. Who knew about the Power of Attorney and that I would become one just by a signature?
Your messages are so kind, and we both feel so supported. So thanks.

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