Me: What were you doing in that photo?
Nell: Waiting for the Beast.
Nell: No, not David. Don’t be silly.
Me: You mean the Beast from the East.
Nell: I do.
Me: Bit scary.
Nell: It’s snow and cold winds. That’s all.
Me: What if we run out of supplies?
Me: Or the power is cut?
Nell: We have candles and logs for the wood burner.
Me: I will have to cuddle you for warmth, Nell.
Nell: You will not.
Me: How will I survive?
Nell: Actually this is where David will triumph.
Me: Of course! Dave loves cuddles.
Nell: He does.
Me: I’ll just cuddle Dave all day.
Nell: I think you will find yourself in a queue.
Me: Dave loves me.
Nell: Yes, he does but Harriet means everything to David as you well know. Why do you think he confessed to misdemeanours during the trial?
Me: I don’t know.
Nell: He was trying to take the focus off his sister. This is also why he only received a warning.
Me: I see. So Harriet comes first.
Nell: She does. Fortunately there is a lot of David to go round and he gets on her nerves so he will be over to warm you up very soon.
Me: I can’t believe it was Harriet.
Nell: Yes, an eye witness came forward placing her at the scene of the crime.
Me: And Dave?
Nell: David is completely innocent.
Me: That’s surprising to be honest.
Nell: Well, innocent of this particular crime anyway.
Me: What do you mean?
Nell: During his cross examination David confessed to eating four cushions and two chairs.
Me: Oh dear. Has the sentencing taken place?
Nell: It has. All privileges have been withdrawn.
Me: Both puppies?
Nell: No. David is on a warning as he confessed.
Me: My poor little Harriet.
Nell: Excuse me?
Me: What an ordeal. She needs a treat.
Nell: No treats.
Me: A cuddle then?
Nell: You are undermining the authority of the court.
Me: I know. But it’s ever so cold today, Nell, and she looks so sad.
Nell: Of course she does she is a labrador.
Nell: You are making a mockery of the law.
Nell: Go on then. A cuddle will help with her rehabilitation I suppose.
Me: What’s going on?
Nell: Leave it be. We are dealing with it. Poppy is cross examining and I am presiding over the proceedings from the couch.
Me: Dealing with what?
Nell: The hole in the carpet.
Nell: David is giving evidence now.
Me: And Harriet?
Nell: She has already been questioned.
Me: So who did it? Was it Dave, or Harriet.
Nell: The jury is out.
Me: What jury?
Nell: Good grief. You don’t think there is a real jury do you? I’m not going to get the farmer’s sheepdogs in here.
Me: Have they got a defence? Should I help?
Nell: Mutley put in a good word.
Me: Will you let me know?
Nell: After the sentencing.
Me: But Nell…
Nell: Silence in court.
Me: Can I have a quick word?
Nell: I’m sunning my paws.
Me: I know but I wanted to check you are coping.
Nell: What are you talking about?
Me: I realise my illness has meant things have been a bit difficult recently.
Nell: It’s only pneumonia.
Me: Well, thank you for the sympathy, Nell.
Nell: You are on the mend now anyway.
Me: You must have been worried though.
Nell: Not really. We all pulled together and provided excellent care.
Me: Dave’s care was a bit full on.
Nell: I asked David not to sit on you but he felt you needed him close by.
Me: Well, it was much appreciated.
Nell: Anything else?
Me: Not really.
Nell: Only my shift doesn’t start for a few hours. Harriet is on call at the moment.
Me: I didn’t realise. You’ve been a great comfort.
Me: You still are.
Nell: I’m off duty.