Me: Poppy seems to like her new house.
Nell: Yes. David is guarding it. It’s not a palace but it does have a side window and it’s sturdy.
Me: Now, you know it’s your birthday tomorrow?
Nell: I do. There has been a great deal of whispering. Poppy has been baking all morning and The Cat is covered in glitter.
Me: I was wondering if we might celebrate today as well?
Me: Well, I have to go up to London tomorrow to the London Book Fair to meet my publisher.
Nell: I beg your pardon. And you are telling me this now?
Nell: I’m not coming with you, I can’t leave Charlie.
Me: I know but maybe next year when the book is out.
Nell: Are you aware that I’m going to be 7? A veteran.
Me: Yes. There was nothing I could do. I’ll be there in the morning for your birthday breakfast.
Nell: Will you be back in the evening?
Me: No. After the meeting I’m going to spend the weekend with my sister Charlotte.
Nell: I see. I suppose it means two parties.
Me: Yes. Three if you count breakfast.
Nell: Will there be steak?
Me: Yes, on your actual birthday and today Poppy has arranged afternoon tea with scones and your favourite sandwiches. There will be games by the fire later.
Nell: You will have to wear a hat.
Me: Of course. I even told your Bridge club and Dorothy from the Salcombe Setters says she will definitely be there.
Nell: As long as she isn’t bringing Marjorie. She casts caution to the wind after a couple of G and T’s. You don’t expect that from an elderly bulldog.
Me: I think Marjorie was a yes, too. Sorry.