Me: Can I ask you something?
Nell: Finish your muesli first, please.
Me: I’m not really in a muesli mood.
Nell: It’s good for you.
Me: Why can’t I have pancakes like everyone else?
Nell: Let’s see.
Me: What does that mean?
Nell: I thought you had a question for me.
Me: I did. Am I being followed?
Nell: Have you been watching ‘Spooks’ again?
Me: Maybe ‘followed’ isn’t the right word. ‘Monitored’ might be more accurate.
Nell: Where’s this going?
Me: Harriet has started lurking on the stairs watching me through the bannisters.
Nell: Harriet doesn’t lurk. She isn’t a lurking sort of animal.
Me: She’s doing a good impression of one.
Nell: Harriet is simply sitting on the stairs minding her own business.
Me: She’s spying on me. I know she is.
Nell: How do you know it’s you she’s watching? It could be anyone.
Me: Well, it’s not the Veiled Corgi because I saw her walking through the fields with Knitwear Wolf just now.
Nell: With Rupert?
Me: Yes, they were deep in conversation.
Me: And at one point he lifted her over a stile.
Nell: Lifted her?
Me: Corgis only have little legs.
Nell: It sounds like you’re the one doing the spying.
Me: Anyway, just tell me if I’m being watched or not.
Nell: Harriet has been told to keep a close eye on you.
Nell: You’re going through a difficult time. We don’t want your behaviour to become too erratic.
Nell: A piece of chocolate cake was eaten late yesterday evening with a mug of tea.
Me: It was comforting.
Nell: Cake is for afternoons.
Me: And muesli is for mornings?
Nell: Correct. We’re just looking out for you. You’re rather precious to us all.
Me: Yes. Sorry.