Me: Why are you being so grumpy?
Nell: I’m not talking to you.
Me: What have I done now?
Nell: You know perfectly well what you’ve done.
Me: Is it about Toby the Puppy? He’s such a sparkling little chap. So happy and friendly.
Nell: How could you drive over to Tony and Sue’s house without taking me? My sister Maisie is his grandmother, you know.
Me: We thought it might be too much for him.
Nell: Too much? David and Harriet are heartbroken not to see him.
Me: No, they aren’t. They’re absolutely fine. They know they’ll meet him soon.
Nell: They are his uncle and aunt. Their sister Mist is his mother. Toby is family.
Me: You’re making far too big a deal out of this, Nell. You’re just out of sorts because of Lionel King.
Nell: Don’t mention that lion to me.
Me: How on earth did he manage to be chosen as the fourth judge?
Nell: That’s what I said to Anton Du Bark. I mean who has a lion as a judge?
Me: To be fair the other judges are a seal, a Labrador and a whippet.
Nell: A lithe whippet.
Nell: An extremely experienced Labrador.
Nell: And an over enthusiastic but optimistic seal.
Me: That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said about Princess.
Nell: Anton says there has to be a nasty judge and Lionel fits the bill. He’s also an excellent dancer, which I can vouch for, and has a certain je ne sais quoi.
Me: He’s definitely got charisma.
Nell: Show me those photos of Toby again.
Me: Isn’t he gorgeous?
Nell: Yes, and it’s lovely to see Tony and Sue looking so happy.
Me: Am I forgiven?
Nell: I’m going with you next time.
Me: Yes. Sorry.