It’s Christmas Eve

Me: Happy Christmas Eve, everyone. What a great photo of you all on the beach. Where’s Mutley?

Nell: He was back at the Gastrobus having a cheeky mulled wine with Ernest.

Me: Do I know Ernest?

Nell: Probably not. Elderly Jack Russell, spectacles, smokes a pipe?

Me: No. Doesn’t ring a bell.

Nell: Now we are performing the Nativity at 6pm so please make sure you take your seat in good time.

Me: Are you playing Mary?

Nell: Of course not. I am the narrator. Harriet is Mary and Jim is Joseph.

Me: Lovely.

Nell: David, Malcolm and The Cat are the Three Kings in crowns and sequinned cloaks.

Me: I didn’t imagine Malcolm as a king.

Nell: He wanted to be a shepherd but the farm dogs had already been cast.

Me: And Poppy?

Nell: She’s the Innkeeper and to be honest her performance is a little too forceful for my liking. I don’t think a sword is necessary.

Me: Is Gladys in it?

Nell: She wanted to be the Baby Jesus in my handbag but when we explained he can’t do a contemporary dance she opted for Herod.

Me: Who is Jesus then?

Nell: The Cat’s chihuahua. It’s small and well behaved.

Me: You’ve forgotten Mutley.

Nell: Of course we haven’t forgotten Mutley. He is the Archangel Gabriel. I’m not sure about flying him in but he says he will be fine.

Me: I hope so.

Nell: Ron Gilbert, the Great Dane, is stage managing with John the Doberman assisting so we are in safe paws.

Me: It’s going to be a lovely Christmas, isn’t it?

Nell: Yes, it is.

Me: We shall be thinking of those we love both near and far. Even if they can’t be with us they are here in our hearts.

Nell: Yes. Always. Now get your coat on there’s a turkey waiting to be collected.

Me: At the butchers?

Nell: No, at the station. He’s called Timothy and he needs a safe place for a few days.

Me: Of course. Sorry.

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