Me: Where is Harriet?
Nell: Sitting by the back door gazing at the garden.
Me: Poor darling is enjoying her freedom.
Nell: Poor darling is enjoying that young farm dog serenading her over the fence.
Me: Really? How romantic.
Nell: It’s been going on since 7:30am. He has to stop soon I’ve got Saturday Kitchen to watch.
Me: That’s awfully sweet. He made her a garland of daisies you know.
Nell: Good grief. She will have to come in soon anyway. Poppy has made boiled eggs and soldiers. She and David need a good breakfast.
Me: I think Dave was hoping for sausages.
Nell: David is always hoping for sausages. He can have some at the barbecue later.
Me: How are the party preparations coming along?
Nell: A ridiculous number of people are coming. I hope the weather stays fine.
Me: The forecast is good. What’s the plan?
Nell: There will be a cream tea in the afternoon followed by canapés at 6 and then a barbecue and dancing.
Me: It sounds wonderful. What’s the entertainment?
Nell: Mutley will sing a few numbers at Harriet’s request. We managed to move his piano.
Me: Is Dave performing?
Nell: Yes, his band is supporting Mutley so they will be on first.
Me: What’s their name again?
Nell: Driftwood Bark. They’ve got quite a following.
Me: Those surfers love to sing.
Nell: Yes, but why do they have to bring their surfboards with them everywhere they go? I’m always falling over them.
Me: Any news from Charlie?
Nell: Richard Price is refusing to talk. Several of the cats are still on the run. Russian Blues, you know, we should have noticed.
Me: Is The Cat invited to the party?
Nell: Of course. Poppy is making mackerel pate especially. The Cat’s favourite.
Me: Do you think it is working for MI5 too?
Nell, Oh do stop! You are seeing spies everywhere.
Me: The farm dogs dropped off a barrel of cider. Home made. They are awfully excited about the party.
Nell: We are not drinking that disgusting stuff. They make it with rats.
Me: Your phone is ringing!
Nell: Stop panicking. It’s only Gareth again about tomorrow’s line-up.
Me: Gareth Southgate? The England football manager?
Nell: Yes, of course.
Me: You don’t know anything about football, Nell.
Nell: I managed the Rowstock Rovers for years. Do keep up. Now where’s my list?
Me: Oh, sorry.