Nell: Can you spot the Labrador?
Me: Of course I can. It’s Harriet in the back garden.
Nell: Would you say Harriet is able to blend into the background?
Me: She’s not a wallflower, Nell.
Nell: No, but does she stand out?
Me: Why are we criticising Harriet?
Nell: We’re not. I am just trying to come to terms with something Sally and Charlie have told me.
Me: I don’t think it was Harriet who stole the welcome home shortbread fingers yesterday.
Nell: No. It was David helped by Gladys. He had shortbread behind his ears and said they were pencils.
Me: I know. Gladys tried to pretend hers was a cigar.
Nell: A ridiculous idea because everyone knows Pomeranians hate cigars.
Me: Those two always get caught.
Nell: Exactly. If Harriet had secretly wanted the shortbread, however, she would have taken it and we would have been none the wiser.
Me: She would have asked first.
Nell: That’s not the point. Now, I am going to tell you something highly confidential and you have to promise to keep it to to yourself for the time being.
Me: That’s not a promise I can make, Nell.
Nell: Apart from the writing. Nobody believes half the stuff you come up with.
Me: I think you will find they do.
Nell: Anyway, apparently Harriet has asked to be considered for MI5.
Me: What? Our little Harriet wants to be a spy? Our beautiful chocolate girl will be known as “Bond, Harriet Bond”.
Nell: Do stop. We’ve known for some time that there is way more to Harriet than meets the eye. Charlie says she is ideal for the job. Brave, intelligent and discreet.
Me: So that’s what she’s been doing with Sally?
Nell: Yes. She will be given a task and, if she is successful, her training will commence.
Me: What is the task?
Nell: I wouldn’t tell you if I knew. Discreet is not your middle name.
Me: Will she be putting her life in danger? Parachuting into enemy territory, or skiing dangerously fast down a mountain?
Nell: This is Devon in the Spring and we don’t have any mountains. Please try and be a little realistic.
Me: Yes. Sorry.