Nell: Were you tracking Chris’s flight all night?
Me: Not all night.
Nell: So where is he now?
Me: He landed just after 6am and now he’s on the train. I’m so excited. I couldn’t have slept anyway.
Nell: You do realise Poppy and the puppies expect him at any moment.
Me: I know. Look at them sitting by the window. The darling things.
Nell: It will be a few hours before we can collect him from the station. They can’t sit there all that time.
Me: I tried to explain that to them but they don’t believe me.
Nell: They’ll soon move when Manuel starts tossing pancakes.
Me: How’s he getting on with Rita Pawreno?
Nell: Really well, she’s an excellent teacher. I’m afraid the same can’t be said for the Portuguese Podenco. He’s rather lacking in the necessary oomph.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: My friend Dorothy thinks he might be missing the sun.
Me: It’s been a bit rainy recently but I think we are due a few sunny days.
Nell: It’s not Portuguese sun though, is it?
Me: Maybe Malcolm could make him a few custard tarts? The Portuguese love them. Or we could find some salt cod?
Nell: Salt cod? Malcolm hasn’t got time for tarts. He’s far too busy practising lifts with Alejandro.
Me: Gosh. Dave is going to have his paws full lifting Rhubarb. I’m talking Bernese Mountain Dogs here, not fruit.
Nell: I guessed. Now, we both know there will be tears when Chris arrives.
Me: Yes. I feel teary even thinking about it.
Nell: I’ve put a few extra handkerchiefs in my handbag so we know we are covered.
Me: We? Do you think you will be teary too?
Nell: It’s Chris. We are all going to be teary.
Me: Yes. Sorry.