Nell: Chris is an excellent listener. It’s a shame he lives so far away.
Me: What makes a good listener?
Nell: Good question. David isn’t much of a listener. He’s too impatient. He gets up and walks away while you are still talking.
Me: I know what you mean. We all need to be heard.
Nell: Harriet is very good at listening but sometimes she needs to confide and Chris knows that.
Me: Yes. It’s knowing when to listen.
Nell: Gladys is a surprisingly good listener.
Me: Is she?
Nell: Yes. We often go out together now. Sometimes by accident to be honest, as I don’t always realise she is in my handbag.
Nell: Yesterday, for instance, we were in Waterbones looking at books when a portly corgi in a Balmoral bonnet said to her friend: “That lab is talking to its handbag.”
Me: How rude?
Nell: Well, I wasn’t having it. I strolled over and said: “Excuse me, madam, but I think you will find I am talking to a black Pomeranian. Not that it is any of your business.”
Me: What did the corgi say?
Nell: She turned on her paws and left.
Me: Poppy is rubbish at listening.
Nell: Poppy is too busy to listen. She has her paws in far too many pies.
Me: Mutley likes to listen.
Nell: Mutley is deaf. He can’t hear a word you are saying so he usually just nods to keep you happy.
Me: You don’t always listen.
Nell: I think a pot of Earl Grey is needed.
Me: You have selective hearing. You know you do.
Nell: And a few biscuits.
Me: You only hear what suits you.
Nell: Digestive biscuit, or shortbread?
Nell: Good choice.
Me: You see. You heard me then.
Nell: You are a good listener.
Me: Thank you.
Nell: The only problem is you tend to write things down.
Me: I know I do.
Nell: And then you share it with everybody. So some things are safer shared with Gladys if you know what I mean.
Me: You’re right. Sorry.