Me: Happy Birthday to you my darling Nell. You are eight today.
Nell: Thank you. Shall we start with the hat?
Me: I thought it was very Sally Bowles only brighter.
Nell: I’m a Labrador not a cabaret dancer but I see where you’re coming from. Now, let’s move on to the early morning singing.
Me: The Welsh corgi choir thought you would enjoy a selection of show tunes.
Nell: I particularly appreciated ‘Hello Nelly’ and how glad they were to have me back again even though I haven’t been anywhere.
Me: It’s from ‘Hello Dolly’.
Nell: I presume Gladys choreographed the dancing.
Me: I did tell her it was rather ambitious.
Nell: It certainly was, even without the tap dancing.
Me: Now, there will be cake later and a big barbecue for everyone in the evening.
Nell: Dare I ask what happens if it rains?
Me: We will all be wearing hats and carrying sequinned umbrellas.
Nell: Perhaps I might be allowed to watch through the window with a nice cup of Earl Grey and a warm blanket if it gets too rainy. I am 8 after all, so not as young as I used to be.
Me: I don’t like to think of you getting old, Nell.
Nell: I was only joking. 8 is the new 6.
Me: I wrote you a poem.
Nell: How lovely.
Me: ‘My darling Nell
You’re 8 today.
I love you more
Than words can say.
Where there’s me
There’s always you.
I can’t be me
Without you too.
So Happy Birthday from us all
Your loving family big and small.
You’re loved around the world, it’s true,
So thank you Nell for being you.’
Nell: Charlie would have approved.
Me: Yes, I wish he was here.
Nell: He is.
Me: Yes. Sorry.