A Difficult Day

Me: What a beautiful photo and so good to see Tony and Dave back together again.

Nell: I thought you would like it.

Me: Dave missed Tony so much.

Nell: Well, he’s going to have to do a little more missing as Jubilee Long Weekend is coming up.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: Tony said he will pop in to see David on Saturday regardless of whether we have any post or not.

Me: Bless him. The love between them warms my heart.

Nell: Which is exactly what you need today.

Me: Yes.

Nell: Now, saying goodbye to your friend is going to be very hard.

Me: I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

Nell: But today is also a day for celebrating her life.

Me: Yes.

Nell: And the chance for you to tell her family how much she meant to you.

Me: Yes. She was such a character, Nell.

Nell: I know she was. I met her several times. Remember?

Me: Oh yes, of course you did. I just can’t believe she’s gone.

Nell: She is with my Charlie now. They loved each other very much.

Me: Yes, they did. Charlie was her boy like Dave is mine.

Nell: And she is at peace. No more suffering.

Me: It was a short but painful battle.

Nell: I know but it’s over now.

Me: I wish you were coming with me.

Nell: You know I can’t. But I’ll be with you in spirit. We all will.

Me: Yes.

Nell: When you’re on the train and later saying your goodbyes know we are thinking of you.

Me: Thank you.

Nell: And when you come home Kev and I will be waiting at the station.

Me: Yes.

Nell: You and me always.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

Nell: No need for sorry today.


Three Queens, a King and a Pavlova

Me: There are three queens and a king downstairs.

Nell: Is Poppy back from her swim?

Me: Yes, looking wild, wet and piratey.

Nell: Swimming is her new passion along with eating fish.

Me: Does she catch them herself?

Nell: No. Poppy gets her fish from Sid the Otter like everyone else.

Me: I see.

Nell: What do you think of the other crowns?

Me: Dave looks magnificent as Jubilee King. Wonderfully noble and royal. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: I agree. David is an excellent choice.

Me: Harriet makes the perfect Young Queen. She’s so pretty.

Nell: She is.

Me; And then there’s Gladys. The Dancing Queen.

Nell: With a fluffy crown.

Me: It’s only small.

Nell: Gladys has more than enough fluff of her own. Who wears a pink crown?

Me: I think it suits her.

Nell: The llamas would agree.

Me: I think The Cat has outdone itself. All the crowns are perfectly suited to the animal wearing them.

Nell: I’ve decided on the tiara, by the way.

Me: Good.

Nell: Now, I’d like to talk pavlovas.

Me: Not what I expected.

Nell: Somebody suggested passion fruit but I’m not convinced.

Me: Was it Mary Berry?

Nell: You mean Beary Merry.

Me: Are we talking about the same person?

Nell: I’m talking about a hugely beloved and extremely sprightly bear of advanced years with a wide experience of making desserts of any kind.

Me: Sounds about right.

Nell: But her pavlova contains mango and limoncello.

Me: Imagine if Dave ate that by mistake?

Nell: David is doing no such thing. A king does not graze.

Me: Does he know that?

Nell: It’s in the book.

Me: What book?

Nell: The Book of How to Behave at a Platinum Jubilee. Haven’t you read it?

Me: No. Sorry.


The Votes Are In

Me: Good morning, your Majesty.

Nell: The Cat has gone too far this time.

Me: I’m delighted you’ve been chosen as Jubilee Queen. You definitely had my vote.

Nell: While I greatly appreciate all the support, I can’t say I’m happy with The Cat’s choice of crowns.

Me: If it was up to me I would say the tiara is a little more you.

Nell: It’s not very discreet though, is it?

Me: I don’t think discreet is part of The Cat’s vocabulary.

Nell: What’s wrong with a simple hat and a string of pearls?

Me: A hat’s not enough. You’re the Jubilee Queen. The public have spoken.

Nell: At least I’m not alone.

Me: Exactly. Dave will be beside you as the Jubilee King.

Nell: It’s not only David. There’s more than one queen.

Me: I know but Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be busy elsewhere.

Nell: I’m talking about the others.

Me: What others?

Nell: That’s what Poppy was telling Kev.

Me: What do you mean?

Nell: I am not the only queen.

Me: Who else is there?

Nell: Harriet has been chosen as The Young Queen.

Me: What a lovely idea.

Nell: There’s more.

Me: Really?

Nell: Poppy is appearing as The Pirate Queen.

Me: With her cutlass?

Nell: Of course. But that’s not all and you’re not going to believe this.

Me: I just might.

Nell: Gladys is performing as The Dancing Queen.

Me: With the llamas?

Nell: Yes, in full ABBA costume along with the Welsh Corgi Choir.

Me: Not in platform boots?

Nell: Oh yes.

Me: That’s an accident waiting to happen.

Nell: It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Me: I had platform boots when I was a teenager in pale blue and yellow.

Nell: I wish you hadn’t told me that.

Me: Sorry.


What was Poppy telling Kev?

Me: What was Poppy telling Kev at Sunday Thoughts? Everyone seemed awfully involved.

Nell: It’s called Morning Thoughts.

Me: But it’s Sunday.

Nell: Stop complicating things. Morning Thoughts and Sunday Songs. Where’s your hat?

Me: I didn’t know I was supposed to be wearing one. You aren’t.

Nell: The Cat wants to see yours.

Me: Why?

Nell: Rumour has it that you don’t actually have one.

Me: I have my all encasing hat and a cat one with ears.

Nell: Stop right there.

Me: I don’t really wear hats.

Nell: You’re going to have to tell The Cat. I’m not doing it for you.

Me: Okay.

Nell: Don’t mention the cat hat. It won’t go down well.

Me: Right.

Nell: And accept any hat it chooses for you with grateful thanks.

Me: I’m not sure about that, Nell.

Nell: No arguing. The Cat has enough in its bowl already.

Me: The Cat doesn’t eat out of a bowl. It likes a china plate.

Nell: That is not the point and nobody eats soup from a plate, or jelly and ice cream for that matter.

Me: Will I have to wear the hat to Sunday Songs?

Nell: The llamas are wearing theirs.

Me: And the Welsh Corgi Choir?

Nell: Of course.

Me: Why?

Nell: It’s Sunday, it’s sunny and it’s nearly the Jubilee weekend.

Me: I don’t know why you aren’t wearing one then.

Nell: There’s a very good reason for that.

Me: And?

Nell: And what?

Me: What’s the reason?

Nell: I can’t tell you yet.

Me: Does Kev know?

Nell: Maybe.

Me: Is that what Poppy was telling him? He ended up laughing so it can’t be anything bad.

Nell: You’re probably right.

Me: So what was Poppy telling Kev?

Nell: Better go and ask her.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Faye is Three Today

Me: It’s Faye’s birthday today.

Nell: I know.

Me: You aren’t waiting for her, are you? She won’t be visiting us from Germany until July.

Nell: I’m aware of that. I’ve written a poem and was just running it past David.

Me: Could you run it past all of us?

Nell: Would you like to hear it now?

Me: Very much.

Nell: My pleasure. I have included Jonathan Sky as big brothers need to be mentioned too at times like these.

Me: Yes, they do.

Nell: The carrot was David’s idea.

Me: Okay.

Nell: ‘Jonathan Sky is FaceTiming with Granny,

‘Granny,’ he says, says he,

‘My little sister Faye has a birthday today

So I need you to celebrate with me.’

‘Shall I fetch Grandpa?’ Granny asks Jonathan,

‘And Nell and the others too?

And a cake and balloons

And some birthday type tunes

And a carrot for David to chew?’

‘How old is Fayely today by the way?’

Asks Grandpa from his favourite chair.

‘I’ve a feeling she’s 3 but it might just be me.

Is that ice cream in Fayely’s long hair?’

‘I really don’t know’ Jonathan said,

‘Now it’s time for a birthday song.

And if it’s ice cream,

And I’m not saying it is,

On your birthday you can do no wrong.’

Everyone nodded and put on their hats

And sang to the sky above,

‘Happy Birthday darling Faye

You are 3 years old today

And surrounded by happiness

And love.’

Me: That’s perfect, Nell, thank you. I’m sure the children will love it.

Nell: It’s not long before you see them again.

Me: 45 days to be exact.

Nell: Not that you’re counting or updating it on big numbers on the whiteboard.

Me: Am I being silly?

Nell: No, you’re being Granny.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Sensible Decisions

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

Nell: Yes, I enjoyed myself immensely.

Me: You walked so much better after your monthly injection.

Nell: It really helps.

Me: And you were sensible and stopped now and again to gather your strength.

Nell: And admire the view.

Me: We’re very lucky to live where we do.

Nell: David was in good spirits.

Me: His little face when The Cat told him he was going to be Jubilee King.

Nell: I wouldn’t call it little, but yes, David was pleased.

Me: Is there going to be a Jubilee Queen?

Nell: Yes.

Me: Are you sure The Queen will be happy with that?

Nell: Absolutely. The last time we spoke I asked her.

Me: You talked to The Queen?

Nell: We zoomed actually, if you must know.

Me: How will it be decided?

Nell: The public will need to vote.

Me: Will they really?

Nell: Yes.

Me: Do you think I might have a chance of being chosen as Jubilee Queen?

Nell: Unlikely, but possible.

Me: I know who’s getting my vote.

Nell: Pray tell.

Me: I can’t do that, Nell. All votes have to be anonymous.

Nell: Why? You know The Cat and I voted for David as Jubilee King.

Me: You were the only ones.

Nell: Nevertheless.

Me: I’m not telling you.

Nell: You’re going to choose Harriet, aren’t you? Or Sally?

Me: You don’t know that. I might vote for Dorothy.

Nell: You can’t vote for my friend Dorothy. You don’t even know her.

Me: I know she’s one of the Salcombe Setters.

Nell: As long as it’s not Princess. I can’t take all that clapping.

Me: It’s a seal thing.

Nell: Decisions are always best made after extensive discussion.

Me: I’m not telling you, Nell. Sorry.


The Public Vote

Me: I don’t think Dave’s taking being dropped from Poppy’s team very well.

Nell: He shouldn’t have eaten the Platinum Jubilee Pudding then, should he?

Me: He’s not really interacting with anyone and he’s awfully low.

Nell: Don’t worry. He won’t be able to keep that up for much longer.

Me: I hope not. Cuddles with my Big Brave Beautiful Boy are what makes the world go round.

Nell: The Cat is doing a costume fitting this afternoon which is bound to lift his spirits.

Me: Are you sure?

Nell: Absolutely. The only thing David likes more than a top hat is a crown and The Cat has found him a lovely one.

Me: A crown?

Nell: Yes. David has been chosen by the public to be Jubilee King.

Me: The public?

Nell: Yes.

Me: When did that happen?

Nell: Recently.

Me: Was there a public vote?

Nell: Of course.

Me: I didn’t hear about it.

Nell: You should try listening harder.

Me: Hang on a minute. There’s something fishy going on here.

Nell: Don’t bring fish into this, please. Isn’t it enough that poor Malcolm was pelted with a mackerel this morning?

Me: By a Beefy?

Nell: Yes, in a Kiss Me Quick hat, would you believe?

Me: I would actually. Going back to Dave and the public vote.

Nell: Must we?

Me: I think the public is you.

Nell: I voted.

Me: I mean only you.

Nell: Don’t be silly. The Cat voted too.

Me: You can’t call that a public vote, Nell.

Nell: Yes, I can. The Cat and I are simply representing what the public would have voted.

Me: You don’t know that.

Nell: Would you have voted for David as Jubilee King?

Me: Of course.

Nell: Well then. I rest my case.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Hide and Seek

Me: You know when we were in the Activity Field yesterday?

Nell: Yes, of course.

Me: And we said it was time to go home?

Nell: Yes.

Me: And you didn’t join us?

Nell: Not immediately. I was busy.

Me: We could see you hiding behind the tree stumps.

Nell: I wasn’t hiding.

Me: Dave looked for you everywhere.

Nell: Did he?

Me: You know he did.

Nell: David likes to run. It’s good for him.

Me: Why didn’t you come?

Nell: I wasn’t ready.

Me: It’s your arthritis, isn’t it?

Nell: It might be.

Me: We’re going to have to learn to pace ourselves.

Nell: Perhaps.

Me: Take things a little more gently.

Nell: Maybe.

Me: You never have to hide, Nell. If you’re tired just let me know.

Nell: I like hiding. Everyone running around searching for me.

Me: Kev and I knew where you were.

Nell: I know. You always do.

Me: Getting older isn’t easy.

Nell: It’s the way of the world. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Me: I wish we could.

Nell: Now, stop dwelling on things we can’t change and go and fetch a pot of Earl Grey and some shortbread.

Me: We’re not supposed to be eating shortbread.

Nell: Sometimes doing what we’re not supposed to do is exactly what’s needed.

Me: If you say so.

Nell: I can’t face another Jubilee Planning Meeting without something sweet.

Me: Who’s coming?

Nell: The Cat is chairing the meeting and Harriet will be taking notes. We’re talking food today so Poppy and her team will be presenting their menu ideas.

Me: Without the Platinum Jubilee Pudding.

Nell: Yes. David is no longer on the team.

Me: But he’s such a keen eater, Nell.

Nell: And therein lies the problem.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


David Is In So Much Trouble

Me: I may have got this wrong.

Nell: Probably.

Me: But I feel that Dave might have eaten something by mistake.

Nell: Is this just a feeling, or do you have evidence?

Me: Dave has made himself very small in the yellow chair and is trying to hide behind a little cushion.

Nell: That’s never going to work.

Me: No. He should have chosen a larger one.

Nell: And a different coloured chair. You don’t hide in a yellow chair. Especially if you’re a giant black Labrador.

Me: True.

Nell: Do you know who David is hiding from?

Me: I think I do.

Nell: Is it me?

Me: Is it you?

Nell: You tell me.

Me: I don’t think it is and I wouldn’t tell you if it was.

Nell: Why are you then?

Me: Because I think it’s Poppy.

Nell: Oh dear.

Me: Exactly.

Nell: Why do you think it’s Poppy?

Me: Because she’s lying on the sofa watching Dave with her Fiercest Face.

Nell: The one with the Killer Eyes and the Slight Smile?

Me: Yes.

Nell: That is worrying.

Me: Dave looks extremely worried.

Nell: David should be extremely worried.

Me: What can we do?

Nell: We’re going to have to intervene.

Me: But she’s probably got her cutlass.

Nell: Almost certainly.

Me: We could be sliced in two.

Nell: Poppy would never harm any of us.

Me: Not even Dave?

Nell: Of course not. She’s just annoyed and is teaching him a lesson.

Me: Do you think he might have eaten the Platinum Jubilee Pudding that was in the refrigerator and isn’t anymore?

Nell: Is there an empty bowl?

Me: There’s one with a bit of jelly in the bottom but otherwise it’s basically licked clean.

Nell: David is in so much trouble.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Something To Long For

Me: I wonder what Harriet is thinking about?

Nell: The sea.

Me: Are you sure?

Nell: It’s always the sea with Harriet.

Me: It might be Jim the Farm Dog.

Nell: I doubt it.

Me: She’s awfully fond of him.

Nell: Trust me. It’s the sea.

Me: You’re probably right.

Nell: Now, I’m afraid we need to give David some difficult news.

Me: Have we run out of bacon?

Nell: No. Tony is on holiday all this week so he won’t be visiting us.

Me: Oh dear. Dave isn’t going to like that. Couldn’t we just not mention it and hope he doesn’t notice?

Nell: Not notice? David lives for visits from Tony. We need to break it to him gently and remind him Tony will be back next week.

Me: Tony’s visits for Dave are like Harriet’s visits to the sea.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: Something to long for.

Nell: Moving on, I have something important to discuss with you.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: It concerns The Platinum Jubilee Pudding.

Me: How exciting.

Nell: It’s a trifle.

Me: I love a good trifle.

Nell: You aren’t going to like this one.

Me: Why?

Nell: It’s made with oranges and mandarins.

Me: I’m allergic to oranges.

Nell: Yes, I know but this is the pudding that’s been chosen for The Queen.

Me: The Queen can have it. I’ll have mine without oranges.

Nell: Poppy said you would say that. The thing is, we would all like to try it.

Me: Oh, I see. Well, that’s understandable. I can just watch you all with an empty bowl.

Nell: How about a banana split instead?

Me: I love a banana split. It’s my favourite.

Nell: I was never going to leave you with an empty bowl you know.

Me: Yes. Sorry.