Me: Nell and I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.
Nell: That’s a great action photo of Harriet and I. You definitely didn’t take it.
Me: No, I didn’t, Nell. Thank you for that. It was Marian.
Nell: Lovely lady. Lovely photos.
Me: I agree.
Nell: So, it’s finally 2018.
Me: Thank goodness. Here is to new beginnings.
Nell: So what are you beginning then?
Me: I’m not sure.
Nell: Beginning to listen to me hopefully.
Me: I always listen to you.
Nell: I mean really listen and not just hear what you want to hear.
Me: You are being very harsh today.
Nell: I’m tired. I had to wait up for you to come home.
Me: You know we always leave you in charge when we go out.
Nell: It was 2am.
Me: We were only at the neighbours.
Nell: You came back smelling of cat.
Me: There was a cat. But I only stroked it once.
Nell: Once is enough. A cat. The puppies are traumatised.
Nell: If this is how you are going to start 2018 I dread to think what’s next.
Me: Do you know that a donkey used to live in our house?
Nell: I beg your pardon?
Me: Called Darcy. It used to walk through the kitchen on its way out from the garden. The neighbours told us.
Nell: Sometimes I despair of you. Honestly I really do. Aren’t 5 dogs enough for you without cats and donkeys?
Me: I was only saying.
Nell: I’m going to have a lie down.