Me: What are you doing by the gate?

Nell: Taking part in the RSPB Birdwatch.

Me: How exciting.

Nell: Yes. You have to spend an hour noting down any birds, or interesting creatures that land in your garden.

Me: I presume you have included Malcolm and Timothy.

Nell: Certainly not. They are part of the family. Gladys and Harriet are writing things down, although Gladys is a little confused and insists on doing everything from my handbag. “Not in the air, dear. On the ground.”

Me: It’s Tony’s birthday today, by the way.

Nell: Yes. David has made a card. I tried explaining that Tony will not be delivering the post until next week but David is still hoping.

Me: Why is Gladys jumping up and down?

Nell: “Don’t be ridiculous, dear. They can’t fly. Put your glasses on.”

Me: I didn’t know Gladys wore glasses.

Nell: Only for long distance and driving.

Me: Oh, I see.

Nell: Gladys says a large black Labrador just flew over the house.

Me: That is a little far fetched. There’s a ginger cat circling over us now, though.

Nell: Not funny.

Me: And the Labrador is back.

Nell: What? Wait a minute. That Labrador has a beak. Where’s my iBone? I need to call Robin Hoot.

Me: I would definitely record a flying Labrador with a beak if I were you. I know it’s supposed to land but you don’t see that every day.

Nell: That’s not a Labrador. It’s a Beefy wearing a mask with paws painted on its wings and a false tail.

Me: The ruffians. The cads. The buffoons.

Nell: Would you mind returning to the 21st century and taking some photos on your iBone please, so we can save David’s reputation?

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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