The good news is that the 'agreeable red' appears to be working its wonted magic (who needs blood in their veins after all?) and Francis will be returning to the fray in good time for the Essex Book Festival and a trip to Glasgow next month. (Perhaps I'll need to replace the drip with some fine single malt a few days beforehand to help him acclimatise. You can keep your morphine and extra strength pain killers, he says.)
April 4th 2011. Depressingly, Francis isn't better. A disc in the lower back is now causing great discomfort. Standing and travelling no fun at all and any illicit morphine offers would be gratefully received.