Me: Do you think that’s Lionel’s yacht anchored just off the island?
Nell: Possibly. He mentioned sailing it over here to Rupert at dinner last night.
Me: Talking of dinner, Nell. I thought Knitwear Wolf was absolutely magnificent.
Nell: I’m not sure magnificent is the right word but Rupert was certainly on form.
Me: He was wearing a simply beautiful conker brown cardigan.
Nell: As were most of you, including Sally. Don’t think I didn’t notice.
Me: Mine wasn’t conker brown.
Nell: You know what I mean.
Me: Did you also notice the way he said, ‘Shall I carve?’ to Poppy?
Nell: Rupert always carves the roast. He has done since we lost Charlie and Mutley.
Me: And the very particular way he said, ‘May I give you the first slice, Nellie?’
Nell: It was kind of him.
Me: And later ‘Could I possibly offer you another slice?’
Nell: You’re making it sound like it was only me. He offered everyone a slice. Even Lionel.
Me: But not in the same way. Not with a twinkle in his eye.
Nell: Nonsense. Rupert has excellent manners which I can’t say for everyone. Poppy was extremely rude to Lionel.
Me: Was she?
Nell: She could have asked him quietly to remove his hat instead of bellowing out ‘No cowboy hats at the table’.
Me: Most hats should be removed at the front door, to be fair.
Nell: David was wearing a top hat all evening.
Me: You know how much Sally loves him in a top hat.
Nell: You can’t have one rule for David and another for Lionel.
Me: I don’t see why not.
Nell: It must have been extremely hard for Lionel to sit hatless at a table full of cardigans.
Me: He’s not getting any sympathy from me. Sorry.