Tuesday Snugglings

Nell: There’s a lot of Snuggling going on here for a Tuesday morning.

Me: Yes, I know.

Nell: Is there any particular reason why Poppy and Harriet are keeping you so close?

Me: I was feeling a little bit low, Nell, and missing the children and grandchildren. It will be the second year that I’m spending Christmas without seeing them.

Nell: That’s perfectly understandable. I advise a nice cup of Earl Grey with a mince pie by the fire after a brisk walk on the beach.

Me: Could it be more of a gentle amble than a brisk walk?

Nell: Not in this weather. Brisk is Best. Trust me.

Me: But I’m not feeling Brisk. I just want to be lazy.

Nell: You soon will be. Now, where’s your all-encasing hat?

Me: It’s hanging up by the stairs.

Nell: You’ll need a warm coat and boots too and one of Knitwear Wolf’s soft scarves.

Me: I was feeling really comfortable all snuggled up with Harriet and Poppy in my chair remembering the happy times.

Nell: No, you weren’t. You were Dwelling on the Past and Dwelling simply won’t do.

Me: It’s fine to think back to the good times.

Nell: Yes, but only if you do it in a positive way. We don’t want any ‘What Ifs’ or ‘If Onlys’. There is no point. It is what it is and we are going to make the best of it.

Me: I suppose you’re right.

Nell: I am. Now chop chop. Let’s get a spring in your step.

Me: I’m not a hardy llama you know.

Nell: What are you talking about?

Me: They’re out dancing in all weathers. And they’re only wearing pyjamas.

Nell: Nonsense. They have ski suits under their dressing gowns. Do keep up.

Me: I see. Sorry.


Keep Your Enemies Close

Me: You seemed deep in thought down on the beach.

Nell: I have a lot on my mind.

Me: What were you and Poppy talking about?

Nell: Poppy is finding keeping our enemies close rather exhausting, as am I.

Me: You should have seen your face when Lady Anwen arrived for lunch.

Nell: Fortunately Rupert took me to one side and explained.

Me: I never knew that The Queen pardoned a Bad Corgi once a year if they promised to be Good.

Nell: Seriously?

Me: Yes. I knew about the US President pardoning a turkey and I know Lady Anwen is a royal corgi but it was quite a surprise because she’s been awfully Bad.

Nell: I worry about you sometimes I really do.

Me: Why?

Nell: You’ll believe anything.

Me: Isn’t it true then?

Nell: No. Sally organised her release. Lady Anwen has been masterminding the tainted biscuit operation from Dartmoor Prison and needed to be stopped.

Me: But she showed us her Royal Letter of Pardon.

Nell: An easy forgery. Rupert and Poppy brought it to her having convinced Myfanwy it was real.

Me: Clever. And now she is free?

Nell: She had to promise to be Good. At the first sign of Badness she will be back inside.

Me: Does taking the last Yorkshire Pudding without asking count?

Nell: No. Unfortunately. It is only a matter of time, however, and Poppy is on the case.

Me: At least Malcolm and Alejandro don’t seem too upset about being eliminated from Strictly.

Nell: No. It was the correct decision. Alejandro is fine with the Latin dances but ballroom was always going to be a challenge.

Me: The Llamas seem to manage and they have hooves.

Nell: Alejandro is an alpaca and llamas have toes not hooves.

Me: Oh. Sorry.


First Advent and Cauliflower Cheese

Me: Why is Poppy is looking so fierce?

Nell: Somebody ate the cauliflower cheese.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: She made it earlier to go with the roast beef for lunch and was letting it cool down on the kitchen table.

Me: Very wise. Hot things can’t go in the fridge.

Nell: That’s not the point. When she came back from Sunday Songs the bowl was empty.

Me: If she went to Sunday Songs it must mean the Welsh corgi choir have got their voices back

Nell: Yes, everyone has.

Me: How wonderful. The nastiness must have worn off.

Nell: Going back to the cauliflower cheese incident.

Me: I was hoping you wouldn’t.

Nell: David was late singing his solo.

Me: I expect somebody waylaid him.

Nell: I haven’t heard anyone say waylaid in a long time.

Me: It’s an interesting word isn’t it?

Nell: Anyway, when David finally arrived he had cheese on his chops.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: And a full looking face.

Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: He will be questioned later. Poppy is too busy now. We have several guests for lunch.

Me: It’s an easy mistake to make, Nell. One spoonful leads to another.

Nell: A spoon wasn’t used.

Me: So, how was the semi final yesterday?

Nell: Everyone danced beautifully. I really don’t know who is going to be voted off.

Me: Did Lionel King behave?

Nell: He was a changed lion. All smiles and giving away 10’s like there’s no tomorrow.

Me: Amazing.

Nell: I doubt it but he’s coming to lunch later with Stephen Seagull, Myfanwy and a mystery guest.

Me: I hope they’re not expecting cauliflower cheese.

Nell: They’ll have what they’re given. Now go and light a candle. It’s First Advent. Christmas is on its way.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


An unusual Breakfast

Nell: You’re not going to believe this.

Me: I just might.

Nell: Tony’s downstairs in the kitchen eating chocolate with David and Harriet.

Me: They’re not allowed chocolate.

Nell: They’re not eating it. But they want to.

Me: Good. Isn’t it a little bit early for chocolate?

Nell: There’s more.

Me: Tell me.

Nell: Knitwear Wolf is at the other end of the table eating cheese and biscuits with Lionel King.

Me: Who eats cheese and biscuits for breakfast?

Nell: I know. The world has gone mad.

Me: What’s wrong with a nice bacon sandwich?

Nell: My thoughts exactly.

Me: Where’s Poppy? Surely she can’t approve of this kind of breakfast?

Nell: Poppy has her paws full filleting a mackerel for Stephen Seagull. He’s having it lightly grilled with a boiled egg on the side.

Me: Isn’t that usually Malcolm’s job?

Nell: Malcolm is far too busy rehearsing with Alejandro for tonight’s semi final. Anyway, that’s not the point.

Me: No.

Nell: It’s not the food that’s worrying me most. It’s the guests.

Me: Tony is welcome any time.

Nell: Not Tony. I mean that wretched lion and obnoxious seagull.

Me: All we need now is Myfanwy and Lady Anwen.

Nell: Don’t hold your breath.

Me: Why?

Nell: Never mind.

Me: Knitwear Wolf shouldn’t be eating biscuits.

Nell: That’s what I told him but he just smiled and said not to worry.

Me: Poppy said the same thing to me about the shortbread. Does Tony seem worried?

Nell: No. He was his usual cheery self.

Me: Only it’s not every day you sit down to eat with a lion and a seagull. Not to mention a wolf, three Labradors, and a terrier filleting fish.

Nell: It’s most days to be fair, apart from the lion and seagull.

Me: True. Sorry.


The Turning to Dartmoor

Me: Is that my cardigan?

Nell: Yes, I needed something soft for my chin.

Me: You are looking a little tired. Didn’t you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner?

Nell: To be honest I missed Rupert’s company. He cancelled at the last minute.

Me: Yes, and I know why.

Nell: Tell me.

Me: Yesterday evening Olive the Other Reindeer and I were waiting at the top of the lane ready to follow Poppy.

Nell: Did you wear the full Santa outfit or just a hat and beard?

Me: I decided to go for the whole thing plus boots.

Nell: Good.

Me: I’d just taken a bite of mince pie when Poppy sped past us on a motorbike.

Nell: She doesn’t have a motorbike.

Me: It was Knitwear Wolf’s.

Nell: The cheek of it.

Me: She didn’t steal it. He was riding it with Poppy behind him and Myfanwy in the sidecar.

Nell: Myfanwy?

Me: Olive managed to keep up until they took the turning to Dartmoor.

Nell: I see.

Me: And I had to keep taking selfies which slowed us down.

Nell: Why did you do that?

Me: It wasn’t for myself, Nell. Everybody wants their photo taken with Santa and her reindeer.

Nell: Are you eating a biscuit?

Me: Yes. Poppy’s made some delicious shortbread.

Nell: Biscuits aren’t allowed.

Me: Poppy says it’s all fine now and there’s no need to worry anymore.

Nell: What if Poppy has gone over to the dark side?

Me: She was with Knitwear Wolf.

Nell: And Myfanwy.

Me: I forgot that.

Nell: Did you say they took the turning to Dartmoor?

Me: Yes.

Nell: You know what’s up there?

Me: Beefy Mansion?

Nell: And Dartmoor Prison currently housing a certain evil royal corgi.

Me: Lady Anwen?

Nell: Exactly. Put that biscuit down at once.

Me: Sorry.


David Smells Trouble

Me: Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the United States.

Nell: Yes.

Me: Why is Dave sniffing Poppy’s face? She looks furious.

Nell: Poppy smells of Lion.

Me: Lion?

Nell: Yes, with a hint of Beefy.

Me: Surely not.

Nell: We thought it was Tiger at first, but after closer inspection David says it’s definitely Lion.

Me: I’m sure Poppy can explain.

Nell: She’s refusing to talk.

Me: You don’t think she’s eaten a tainted biscuit and turned Bad do you?

Nell: Anything is possible. After all she wasn’t exactly Good in the first place.

Me: True.

Nell: Have you ever ridden on a reindeer?

Me: Not recently.

Nell: Well, you may have to later.

Me: May I ask why?

Nell: Rumour has it that Poppy is meeting up with Lionel King and Associates for a Thanksgiving dinner. They were seen together earlier.

Me: But Lionel isn’t from the United States.

Nell: Do you know his Associates?

Me: No.

Nell: Well then. Poppy will need to be followed so I suggested you and Olive the Other Reindeer said she’d take you.

Me: Why suggest me?

Nell: I thought you always wanted to be a spy and nobody is going to suspect you.

Me: Won’t I draw attention to myself riding on a reindeer?

Nell: Not at this time of year. Just wear a hat and beard.

Me: Why can’t you go?

Nell: The Puppies and I are having Thanksgiving dinner with Babycakes Gillespie at the Big House. The Cat has invited all the Strictly cast and crew.

Me: I’d have loved that.

Nell: You have much more important work to do.

Me: Everybody’s going to get a Thanksgiving dinner except me.

Nell: Don’t worry. Olive usually has a few carrots and a mince pie with her.

Me: Ok. Sorry.


Robins and Sunsets

Me: Is there a reason why you’re wrapped in a Small Person’s Duvet and Dave is eating the Dog Drying Towel?

Nell: David is not eating it. He is Carrying It Around.

Me: I wish he wouldn’t.

Nell: It’s his most favourite thing to do, apart from Eating and Cuddling.

Me: And the duvet?

Nell: I was feeling the cold and David kindly brought it to me.

Me: You have blankets. That duvet is for the grandchildren.

Nell: Sometimes blankets simply won’t do.

Me: I know what you mean.

Nell: Now, if you were thinking of asking for bacon this morning please don’t.

Me: But I’m sure I could smell it earlier.

Nell: I’m afraid it all went at First Sitting.

Me: First Sitting?

Nell: The early dog catches the biscuit. Or in this case the bacon sandwich.

Me: Don’t you mean the early bird?

Nell: Don’t mention birds to me. Your friend Robin is becoming decidedly rotund, by the way.

Me: Robins are meant to be round and he’s not just my friend. Did you see that beautiful sunset yesterday?

Nell: I did.

Me: Robin knocked on the window to tell me to go out and see it. Wasn’t that sweet of him?

Nell: Robin should ring the bell like everyone else.

Me: I don’t know why you’ve taken against him.

Nell: You spend far too much time with that bird.

Me: I enjoy chatting to him. He’s an excellent conversationalist and he gives me the bird’s eye view on life.

Nell: May I remind you that it is Conversations with Nell not Robin.

Me: You’re jealous.

Nell: Stuff and nonsense.

Me: At least Robin has time for me. You’re always too busy to chat.

Nell: What do you think we are doing right now?

Me: Oh yes. Sorry.


News from Terry

Me: It was glorious down on the beach, wasn’t it?

Nell: Most invigorating.

Me: And you joined the puppies for a swim.

Nell: Stop calling them puppies. David and Harriet will be 5 next year.

Me: Was the water cold?

Nell: It’s November. Of course it was cold.

Me: I’m just amazed that you can swim in it.

Nell: A Labrador isn’t bothered by the cold. We’re not whippets.

Me: You like your warm blanket and duvet, Nell.

Nell: Yes, when I get home. You won’t see me wearing a coat when I’m out. Unless I’m attending a garden party, or a wedding of course.

Me: Don’t forget the hat.

Nell: I never forget the hat. Now, Terry told me something most interesting when he delivered the calendar.

Me: What calendar?

Nell: The Conversations with Nell 2022 Calendar. Do keep up.

Me: I didn’t know it was out yet.

Nell: It isn’t quite. Just almost and needs checking. Where was I?

Me: Why are we using Book a Beefy to deliver them? I thought people were going to buy them online from our World of Nell shop?

Nell: This was a one off. Anyway, that’s not the point. Terry says The Beefies are most unhappy about the biscuits.

Me: Why?

Nell: Nobody wants them.

Me: Good.

Nell: They are having to eat them themselves.

Me: Serves them right.

Nell: And now Portliness is becoming a Problem.

Me: I noticed their tummies seemed rounder but I thought it was just this time of year.

Nell: Terry says the suppliers are most annoyed about the lack of sales.

Me: The suppliers should have thought about that before they tainted the biscuits and made people lose their voices.

Nell: That was the whole point of it though, wasn’t it?

Me: Oh yes. Sorry.


Harriet needs protecting

Nell: It’s good to have you home.

Me: Harriet hasn’t left my side.

Nell: She needs protecting.

Me: Why?

Nell: Didn’t you see the dance off yesterday?

Me: No. I fell asleep.

Nell: After Lionel King’s appallingly low score Harriet and Beauregard found themselves in the bottom two.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: That’s not the worst of it.

Me: It isn’t?

Nell: They were up against Poppy and Stephen Seagull.

Me: Oh my goodness. Was Poppy very fierce?

Nell: She was terrifying. Never mind the quickstep she had that seagull running for his life.

Me: Good for her.

Nell: It was a dance off.

Me: Oh yes.

Nell: When it came to voting who to save, Anton sensibly chose Harriet and Beauregard.

Me: Good whippet. And Lionel King?

Nell: He chose Poppy and Stephen Seagull. No surprises there.

Me: What about Princess?

Nell: The foolish seal chose Poppy too. She said she’d never seen such an exciting dance on Strictly.

Me: So it all came down to you as head judge?

Nell: Yes, I had the casting vote.

Me: What did you do?

Nell: I saved Harriet and Beauregard of course. Poppy might be fierce but this is a dancing competition.

Me: What happened?

Nell: That wretched lion went wild. Roaring away about biased judging and Labradors and tigers sticking together.

Me: Silly animal.

Nell: Quite.

Me: Was Stephen Seagull very angry?

Nell: Not at all. I’ve never seen anyone more relieved.

Me: And Poppy?

Nell: She winked at me.

Me: So all is well.

Nell: I’m afraid not. Threats have been made and someone threw a stinky mackerel into Beauregard’s tree house.

Me: It’s actually Oliver’s tree house and Beauregard is a guest.

Nell: That’s not the point. We all need to be on our guard.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Suspicious Sightings

Nell: When will you be home?

Me: Later this afternoon.

Nell: Poppy and the Puppies are waiting at the window.

Me: It’s far too early to be doing that.

Nell: There are no Sunday Songs today so they might as well.

Me: No Sunday Songs?

Nell: The Welsh corgi choir have lost their voices. Why else do you think we allowed those awful rooks to sing at Strictly yesterday?

Me: Was their singing awful?

Nell: Yes. Worse than The Beefies which is saying something.

Me: How was the dancing?

Nell: Malcolm fell off Alejandro’s back in the middle of their Charleston. Princess clapped which was both annoying and unnecessary.

Me: It’s a seal thing. What about Harriet and Beauregard?

Nell: They danced beautifully but Lionel King still gave them a 3. A ridiculously low score. The lifts alone deserved at least an 8.

Me: Who is at risk?

Nell: If it was up to me Poppy and Stephen Seagull would be in trouble.

Me: Didn’t their quickstep go well?

Nell: Chasing someone around the dance floor with a sword is not dancing in my opinion, although others disagreed.

Me: Who?

Nell: Lionel King gave them a 10 and so did Princess.

Me: Why?

Nell: She said she loved the drama of it and she always gives 10s. The lion just did it for badness.

Me: Dreadful animal.

Nell: Can you see the island and the hotel from your balcony?

Me: In the distance.

Nell: Well, get your binoculars because there have been some suspicious sightings.

Me: I don’t have my binoculars with me.

Nell: Borrow some. Think on your paws.

Me: What am I looking for?

Nell: A ship, a lion, some rooks and a corgi.

Me: A corgi?

Nell: Stop questioning everything and get the binoculars.

Me: Yes. Sorry.