Me: Look at Harriet cuddling Poppy.
Nell: Yes. They have become very close since Harriet’s illness. Poppy was completely distraught when Harriet was in hospital. I’ve never seen so much baking.
Me: The freezer is full and the farm dogs are expecting scones every day now.
Nell: Well, that’s not happening. They got cream on my best hat.
Me: That’s naughty.
Nell: David shouldn’t have been wearing it in the first place of course. Why are they sitting on the old carpet?
Me: I think it gives Poppy a little height so she can see what is going on. Harriet is making sure she doesn’t fall off. Bless her.
Nell: I shall be glad when the new carpet is down. The floorboards are ruining my nails and one shouldn’t have rolls of old carpet in the front garden.
Me: Is Herr Schaeferhund visiting us today?
Nell: Yes. We are having a German dinner this evening.
Me: How exciting. Will there be sausages? You know how Dave loves them?
Nell: No. We are having Weisser Spargel mit Schinken und Kartoffeln.
Nell: White asparagus with cured ham and potatoes. Siegfried has had some white asparagus flown in from Germany especially as they are in season.
Me: Gosh. That will have cost him.
Nell: He insisted. We are going to dine formally with our best china and the antique silver cutlery. It’s good for the puppies to learn. Mutley is on butler duties which is a little worrying. He tends to be over generous with the port.
Me: I remember.
Nell: Dessert is Schwarzwaelder Kirsch Eisbecher. Boozy cherries with ice cream. No chocolate for us of course.
Nell: Mutley wanted to flambé the cherries at the table but I put my paw down. He lost his eyebrows last time.
Me: Your German is very good.
Nell: I worked in Berlin as an au pair for a year. Sweet children and such an exciting city.
Me: You and Herr Schaeferhund must have a lot in common then. Do you and he speak German together?
Nell: No. Never. Siegfried is strangely unwilling to discuss Germany with me. Sad memories perhaps. He always changes the subject.
Me: How odd.
Nell: Good grief. Stop imagining things and get my handbag. We have to track down some cured ham for dinner.
Me: Yes. Sorry.