Nell: Would you mind asking Poppy for a pot of Earl Grey and some of her shortbread, please?
Me: Of course. Is everything alright?
Nell: Harriet is having one of her intense days. I have been involved in deep and meaningful conversations since early this morning and now I need a cup of tea in front of the fire and the Archers Omnibus on the radio.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: Harriet is of the opinion that not allowing walks is affecting her whole outlook on life. The world is a grey and gloomy place.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: Fortunately I have a few ideas. One of them being a short walk on the beach tomorrow and a swim in the sea.
Me: She will love that.
Nell: Don’t tell her yet, though. I am monitoring her progress and can only make the decision spontaneously. David has offered to check the beach with his surfing friends before we go.
Me: Check it for what?
Nell: Trip hazards. You know what seaweed is like. Wretched stuff. He is going to clear a path to the sea for her and place pebbles along it to guide her way.
Me: How sweet.
Nell: He’s down there most days. Gladys is learning how to surf.
Me: Gosh. How brave.
Nell: I prefer to call it foolhardy. Black Pomeranians are not made for surfing but Gladys insists. I just wish she would hang her wetsuit outside it keeps dripping on to the utility floor.
Me: Why does she wear one? You all don’t?
Nell: Gladys is the size of a small cat with long flowing hair. She needs to be contained. Do be sensible.
Me: Swimming will be excellent exercise for Harriet.
Nell: Yes. I will double check with Tom the vet first, however.
Me: Maybe I should learn to surf?
Nell: Could you please just stick to gentle swimming? I’ve got quite enough on my plate with Harriet and Gladys. You surfing? Whatever next?
Me: Yes. Sorry.