Nell: What are you doing?
Me: Don’t give me that look. I’m just taking a few photos of you and Dave to show how big Dave is.
Nell: Everybody knows how big David is. You were up all night again with earache. Go back to bed.
Me: I need to sweep up those leaves.
Nell: Not now, you don’t. Stop being irresponsible and go back inside.
Me: People have been ever so kind, Nell.
Nell: Well, that’s most gratifying.
Me: They’ve given me all sorts of useful advice.
Me: Like putting warm buttered toast on my ear.
Nell: Plain toast. Not buttered. Good grief.
Me: It was a bit greasy. Fortunately Dave ate it.
Nell: He’s very helpful like that.
Me: And sticking a hedgehog in your ear.
Nell: Don’t be silly.
Me: Don’t worry I would never do that to a hedgehog.
Nell: It would never let you.
Me: I love hedgehogs.
Nell: You must keep your distance. Hedgehogs are solitary beings. Greta says they prefer to be alone.
Me: Greta Garbo?
Nell: I don’t know her surname. She’s Dave’s mysterious hedgehog friend. You might have seen them together.
Me: I didn’t know Dave had a mysterious hedgehog friend.
Nell: Well, he does. He and Henry visit her occasionally at the bottom of the garden.
Me: She could easily eat Henry, you know.
Nell: Anyone could easily eat Henry. Don’t worry she much prefers biscuits, or some of The Cat’s food.
Me: Don’t you mean cat food?
Nell: No. I mean fresh fruit salad if you must know, although she rarely refuses a piece of grilled fillet steak if The Cat has some to spare.
Me: Is she going to be in the pantomime?
Nell: Of course not. Hedgehogs don’t do pantomimes. Everyone knows that.