Me: Dave’s in the kitchen with a focused face.

Nell: He’s learning how to make lasagne.

Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. Has Poppy started giving her cookery classes again?

Nell: Yes. There’s been a request from the larger animals. They feel the need to extend their skills.

Me: Why now?

Nell: A large animal cannot exist on cereal alone. Poppy’s disappearance taught us all that.

Me: Actually many of them do.

Nell: Don’t be silly. Food should not be plain and dry. What is a scone without jam and cream?

Me: Are they going to make scones?

Nell: No. Figuratively speaking. A dry biscuit is nothing without gravy.

Me: Most people dunk their biscuits in tea. I didn’t have you down as a dunker.

Nell: I am not a dunker. I’m talking about choices. We all need them.

Me: Variety is the spice of life.

Nell: I’m less keen on spices, to be honest. That chilli con carne Poppy made yesterday was a little too hot. David had to have a lie down.

Me: That’s because he ate Alejandro’s by mistake.

Nell: Yes, he likes his extra spicy.

Me: Babycakes enjoyed it.

Nell: He enjoys anything Poppy makes. She could serve him raw pastry and he would applaud.

Me: But Poppy’s pies never have soggy bottoms.

Nell: Nobody was talking about bottoms.

Me: Will Dave be learning how to make pies?

Nell: Later perhaps. Poppy wants to begin with one pot dishes like soups and stews. You need light paws for pastry.

Me: It’s a comfort food time of year, isn’t it?

Nell: It’s a comfort food time in general, if you ask me.

Me: You are a great comfort to me, Nell.

Nell: As you are to me. Now, let’s learn how to make lasagne.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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