Nell: When do you leave for the Isle of Wight?

Me: Soon. The funeral is at lunchtime tomorrow so I am staying on the island until Tuesday.

Nell: He was like a second father to you, wasn’t he?

Me: Yes. I’ve known the family all my life. Their eldest daughter was born a few days after me in the same nursing home on the island. Our mothers shared a room and became best friends.

Nell: Are you sure you don’t need me to come with you?

Me: No. I’ll be fine. You’re needed at home.

Nell: Make sure you keep your phone charged as I will be checking on you regularly.

Me: Yes, keep me updated on preparations for the royal visit.

Nell: Your boots idea is an excellent one. Knitwear Wolf has a friend who works at Barks and has agreed to help.

Me: I don’t think I know Barks.

Nell: You must do. We always get our shoes there.

Me: You don’t wear shoes.

Nell: I have my moments.

Me: That’s not a proper answer.

Nell: Anyway, this friend is going to pop over later with a selection of boots for the hooved animals.

Me: I hope boots are allowed in the Palace. Wouldn’t it be awful if it was one of those places where you have to leave your shoes by the door so you keep the carpets clean?

Nell: Good grief. The mere idea of walking around Buckingham Palace in a new hat and stockinged feet is utterly horrifying.

Me: They might offer slippers. You know the white ones you get in posh hotels.

Nell: Slippers? Do you seriously think that ambassadors and visiting dignitaries are expected to meet The Queen in disposable slippers?

Me: I suppose not. Sorry.

Nell: No need for sorry. Not today.

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