Me: We really must do something about that chair? It looks awful.
Nell: Feeling fragile this morning, are we?
Nell: Only asking. I hope you and our guests enjoyed dinner out.
Me: We couldn’t take you, Nell. There was no room.
Nell: It’s fine. We had an excellent evening in front of the fire making plans. Poppy made some delicious Welsh Rarebit which we ate on our laps.
Me: I didn’t know you liked rabbit.
Nell: Not rabbit, rarebit. Posh cheese on toast. Do keep up.
Me: I see. What were the plans?
Nell: The main topic was this year’s pantomime.
Nell: The Cat wanted Puss in Boots for obvious reasons and David wanted Wonder Dog.
Me: I’ve never heard of that one.
Nell: That’s because there is no such thing. We finally settled on Cinderella.
Me: I love Cinderella.
Nell: Yes. Harriet will be perfect as Cinders and Jim has agreed to be Prince Charming. Mutley will play her father Baron Hardup.
Me: What about the ugly sisters?
Nell: David and The Cat. I’ve told them they can have as many sequins as they like. They were over the moon.
Me: Will you be treading the boards?
Nell: Yes. I have been asked to perform this year as the Fairy Godmother.
Me: You will be wonderful. What about Poppy?
Nell: Poppy has agreed to play Dandini, the Prince’s best friend, as long as she can carry a sword. Ron Gilbert will be stage manager.
Me: And the cafe?
Nell: Malcolm will take over the running of the cafe. The whippet has proved to be extremely capable and we have a couple of willing spaniels home from university who will help out.
Me: You seem to have organised everything.
Nell: Yes. Except we had forgotten someone.
Me: Of course.
Nell: We were on the iBone confirming dates with Ron Gilbert and his team when she popped out of my handbag and said “What about me?”
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: And that’s when Harriet remembered Buttons.
Me: Yes, of course. Gladys will make the perfect Buttons.
Nell: She will. She has an endearing quality. Rehearsals will start soon.
Me: Who is directing? I could give it a go.
Nell: It’s fine. Kev has agreed. With his experience as an actor he was an obvious choice.
Me: Oh, I see.
Nell: Do stop sulking. You have your book to finish not to mention some very special visitors coming soon.
Me: Yes. Sorry.