Me: There’s an awful lot of noise going on downstairs.
Nell: I know.
Me: It sounds a bit like an animal in pain.
Nell: Don’t be so rude.
Me: I’m not being rude. I’m just concerned.
Nell: If you must know Naughty Nigel is practising his birthday song for your sister Charlotte in the yellow chair.
Me; Why in the yellow chair?
Nell: It used to be his chair and it looks good in the video.
Nell: Our Penguin is filming.
Me: It’s not the nicest sound, Nell.
Nell: He’s having trouble hitting the high notes.
Me: He should ask Harriet. She can run up and down the scales like nobody’s business.
Nell: And it is nobody’s business. Harriet feels an uncontrollable urge to sing when she’s excited. It’s something Sally has asked her to work on.
Me: I suppose you can’t have a spy break into song at a delicate moment. It would ruin their cover.
Me: I thought I heard Dave’s Big Boy voice too.
Nell: David is one of the backing singers.
Me: Bless him.
Nell: Poppy is on the drums.
Me: I did wonder.
Nell: Gladys and the llamas have got in on the act as usual. I have no idea why they are all wearing leg warmers. I’m expecting Olivia Gluten Swan to turn up at any moment.
Me: Don’t you mean Olivia Newton John?
Nell: Does she have special dietary requirements too?
Me: Never mind. I’m sure Charlotte will love the video. Perhaps I can show it to her at lunch?
Nell: What lunch?
Me: I can’t take you this time. My little sister Alex is bringing Hattie Button and one dog is enough.
Nell: One dog is enough?
Me: Only at lunch today.
Nell: Words fail me.