Nell: Have you seen Harriet? Poppy is looking for someone to help with clearing up.
Me: I haven’t really seen much of her at all lately.
Nell: I’m sure she said she was going up to the top garden for a swing in Alejandro’s hammock.
Me: Did she? Well, there we are. Maybe David can help.
Nell: What does ‘there we are’ mean? It’s more like ‘there we aren’t’.
Me: It’s just a saying, Nell.
Nell: Poppy needs help now. And no, David, can’t help. He’s not good with washing up. He gets far too excited about the bubbles.
Me: What about Malcolm and Manuel?
Nell: They’ve gone to the Dash and Hurry with Rupert to stock up on necessities.
Me: Don’t you mean Cash and Carry?
Nell: Certainly not. Nobody uses cash nowadays. Do keep up. Why are you shaking your head?
Me: Am I? I must have water in my ears.
Nell: Nonsense. You haven’t even been swimming. You’re up to something.
Me: No, I’m not.
Nell: You’re signalling to someone in the back garden.
Me: Why would I do that?
Nell: Where are my binoculars?
Me: You don’t need those. You can see Harriet perfectly well without them if you look hard enough.
Nell: Ha! I was right.
Me: You tricked me.
Nell: I knew Harriet was out there all the time. I just wanted to see how long you could hold out before telling me.
Me: I think she just wants some alone time, Nell. She loves thinking thoughts in the garden.
Nell: There’s a time for thinking and that’s after the clearing up has been done.
Me: You often sit and think.
Nell: I am a senior Labrador and the head of this household. I have a lot more to think about.
Me: Yes. Sorry.