Me: How are the Puppies?
Nell: They haven’t left each other’s side since Charlie told them the news.
Me: He is a bit like a father to them, Nell.
Nell: Yes, I know. But Charlie says this won’t do and he is not having his last days filled with sadness.
Me: He is right.
Nell: He was completely overcome by people’s support yesterday.
Me: I know the numbers ran into thousands.
Nell: Yes. It was truly wonderful to know how much people care.
Me: It certainly was.
Nell: But now we have to keep going. We are beginning with Malcolm and his mysterious admirer. Charlie thinks he knows who it is.
Me: Has there been another present?
Nell: Yes. A mackerel arrived this morning.
Nell: Poppy is thinking mackerel pate with wholemeal toast.
Me: Was it delivered by hand?
Nell: Of course it was. You don’t think poor Tony is going to be delivering parcels of fresh mackerel all over the county do you?
Me: Tony only delivers in our area.
Nell: That’s not what I meant. Anyway, the mackerel isn’t the interesting thing.
Me: It isn’t?
Nell: No. It came on a silver platter. Poppy is thinking late 18th century.
Me: That has got to smell.
Nell: Not the mackerel, you fool. The platter. Poppy is an expert at antiques.
Me: I didn’t know.
Nell: She is great pals with that presenter who always smiles even when there is bad news.
Me: Fiona Bruce?
Nell: Yes. Fiona Moose though why they chose such a large animal to talk about antiques will remain a mystery.
Nell: Did I just see David carrying Gladys into Charlie’s room on a silver platter?
Nell: Was Gladys carrying a mackerel?
Me: Yes, and some beetroot. It goes really well with mackerel. Sorry.