These good friends live in our street, and we used to spend several mealtimes each week with them before Rose became ill. Now we are managing to do that far less frequently, and our dining relationship continues more indirectly, via their drops of meals and snacks on our front verandah.

"What a lovely surprise yesterday to receive the enormous slab of cake and the precious rhubarb. I was in my bedroom trying to sneak a bottle of formula into Rose while she slept, when I heard some mysterious rustling and footsteps and faint children's voices on the front porch. Sorry I didn't come out, but Rose won't drink her formula if she's awake, the little blighter!"