Me: Why is Dave wearing his top hat this early in the morning?
Nell: Is there a particular time when wearing a hat becomes acceptable?
Me: I suppose not.
Nell: Alejandro just walked past in a sombrero and you didn’t comment.
Me: I’m getting used to it.
Nell: Malcolm is wearing sunglasses inside again, by the way.
Nell: I beg your pardon? Malcolm doesn’t drink.
Me: He’s been known to have a sweet sherry.
Nell: Only at Christmas. Someone thinks they saw Sven Gully, so he isn’t risking anything. Anyway, who is the lovely young lady with your book?
Me: It’s Jamie from Schiffer Publishing in the US. She chose ‘Conversations with Nell’ as her book for World Book Day yesterday.
Nell: Well, that’s extremely gratifying.
Me: Yes, it is. I was very touched. Anyway, why is Dave wearing a top hat?
Nell: The Daily Growl just called about the results of Handsome Hound 2020.
Me: Oh my goodness. How exciting.
Nell: Yes. As we all expected, David won the public vote.
Me: My Big Brave Beautiful Boy is the Most Handsome Hound. What about your admirer?
Nell: If you mean Boone from Vancouver, Canada, he was voted Most Handsome International Senior.
Me: Was Dog Marley placed?
Nell: You’re not serious? That animal hadn’t even brushed his hair.
Me: He’s a Bergamasco, Nell. Don’t be so judgemental.
Nell: I’ve just remembered. You and Jamie had lunch together and I wasn’t invited.
Me: It was a working lunch to discuss publishing the book and it was over 18 months ago.
Nell: And now she is holding your book in her hands.
Me: Yes, she is.
Nell: Those had better be happy tears. You have been waiting for this for a very long time.
Me: Yes. All my life. Sorry.