Me: Why do I have the feeling I’ve done something wrong?
Nell: Does St. Nicholas Day ring any bells?
Me: Oh no. It was yesterday. I forgot.
Nell: You did.
Me: Did you put your boots out?
Nell: We did.
Me: Did you clean them beforehand?
Nell: We did.
Me: Were you expecting to find presents in them in the morning?
Nell: We were.
Me: And were they empty?
Nell: As soon as I realised you had forgotten I had an emergency meeting with Poppy, Malcolm and The Cat and we decided bacon was the answer.
Me: It usually is, although bacon in your boots might be a bit greasy.
Nell: Credit us with a little sense, please. Each animal received a note in their boots telling them to collect their present from the kitchen.
Nell: Poppy and Malcolm were waiting in their chefs outfits with bacon sandwiches and pots of tea while the Welsh corgi choir sang carols and The Cat distributed sequinned crowns.
Me: What about the non-bacon eaters?
Nell: Freshly shelled prawns, or a selection of garden leaves. We covered all bases.
Me: You saved the day.
Nell: There was a brief altercation with a bombastic Beefy in a bowler hat but it was dealt with swiftly.
Me: What did it do?
Nell: It joined the queue for bacon sandwiches with a forged note and a wet mackerel.
Me: What a cheek.
Nell: Poppy was having none of it. She said: ‘Go back to where you came from Mr Beefy. And take your smelly mackerel with you.’
Me: Good for Poppy.
Nell: It’s time for you to come home now.
Me: I will be back tomorrow afternoon. Will you be collecting me?
Nell: You know I will.
Me: Yes. Sorry.