Me: Are you hiding?
Nell: Certainly not. I am listening out for Beefies.
Me: What happened? Tell me again.
Nell: When I opened the door the wretched seagull started screaming in that vulgar way Beefies do.
Me: Yes. They are noisy.
Nell: I said: “Listen, Mr Seagull, in this house we mind our manners so I am asking you to do the same.”
Me: How did that go down?
Nell: Badly. He said: “Tell that feather duster to stop cowering in the corner and come and face me now.”
Me: How rude.
Nell: Yes. I said: “Mr Seagull, if by feather duster you are referring to Malcolm Martin, a much loved and well respected member of this family, then you can leave right now.”
Me: Good for you.
Nell: Unfortunately he turned particularly nasty and started threatening me with repercussions if I didn’t hand over the flamingo.
Me: What a bully.
Nell: Well, that’s when Charlie stepped in.
Me: He did?
Nell: Yes. You know how magnificent he can be in times of crisis.
Me: I do.
Nell: He walked straight up to him and said: “Nobody threatens my wife. I suggest you leave, or you will have me to deal with.”
Me: I bet he left.
Nell: He did, but not before telling us he would be back. I mean who does he think he is? Arnold Barksandbragger?
Me: Don’t you mean Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Nell: No. I’m talking about an Austrian Rottweiler. Talks with a very strange accent and keeps telling people he’ll be back before he’s even gone.
Me: Oh. Clever idea of Charlie’s to say you’re his wife.
Me: Because you aren’t, are you?
Nell: We were going to tell you all. It was just a simple ceremony. After we heard the news we just didn’t want to wait but we couldn’t deal with any fuss.
Me: I understand.
Nell: My heart has belonged to Charlie from the moment we met and his to me. For eternity, in sickness as in health.
Me: I know and I am so sorry.