Poppy is Over Excited

Nell: Poppy’s a little over excited this morning.

Me: So am I.

Nell: She challenged Manuel to a pancake tossing competition.

Me: I wouldn’t have thought she had a chance. Manuel’s an octopus.

Nell: She didn’t. There were pancakes flying everywhere.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: Fortunately David was on paw to help with the clearing up.

Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. Where’s Poppy now?

Nell: On the sofa playing Bitey Faces with Harriet. I asked her to calm down but she refused.

Me: What about Dave? Is he playing too?

Nell: David is far too full of pancakes to join in so he’s just watching from your chair.

Me: Why is Poppy in such a good mood?

Nell: The family are arriving today. We’re all in a good mood.

Me: I’ve been up since 5am. I couldn’t sleep.

Nell: You will tonight.

Me: Yes. I’m just hoping this dreadful weather changes. All my plans are for outdoors.

Nell: I thought you and Jonathan were going to write a story?

Me: We are. I’ve been thinking of writing some children’s stories for a long time so I thought we could do it together.

Nell: Sounds like an inside activity to me.

Me: You’re right.

Nell: How’s the fundraising going?

Me: We’re at £4,585 which is amazing. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. It really means a lot.

Nell: Don’t forget the competition is also still running. If you donate at least £25 your animal could feature in one of the Conversations with Nell stories and have a part in my movie.

Me: Here’s the link again: https://gofund.me/547e2a25. Please share it if you can.

Nell: We’re going to make this happen, you know.

Me: I hope so.

Nell: I’m not completely sure how, but we will.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Happy Anniversary Sara and Kev

Nell: You’re up early for a Sunday.

Me: I’m too excited to sleep. The family arrive tomorrow and there’s so much to do.

Nell: They won’t be here until the evening so you’ve plenty of time.

Me: I want it to be perfect for them.

Nell: They don’t need perfection. They just need home.

Me: You’re right.

Nell: Happy anniversary, by the way.

Me: Can you believe it was 14 years ago?

Nell: Time flies when you’re having fun.

Me: True. It took me a very long time to find my soulmate but I finally did.

Nell: And so did Kev.

Me: Yes. In the words of the amazing Julie Andrews ‘So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good.’

Nell: Sunday Songs is dedicated to you and Kev this morning and Poppy is cooking your favourite roast chicken with all the trimmings for lunch.

Me: Wonderful. I hope the Welsh Corgi Choir don’t get too wet in the field. The weather is awful again.

Nell: They have wellington boots and a relentlessly optimistic attitude. Don’t worry about them.

Me: Talking of optimists, Poppy was on top form at the activity field yesterday, wasn’t she? She was bouncing around like a young gazelle.

Nell: Why bring gazelles into it? Poppy is nothing like them. Nervous creatures.

Me: She was yesterday. You’d never think she was 10. I didn’t see you doing a lot of bouncing.

Nell: I’m a lady Labrador of a certain age. We don’t bounce.

Me: Dave and Harriet spent an awful lot of time sniffing the grass.

Nell: Part of the joy of the activity field is the sniffari. You know that.

Me: I do.

Nell: Now, go and join Kev for your anniversary breakfast. This is your special day.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


It’s Competition Time!

Nell: Marvin’s thrown his collar into the ring.

Me: From Toronto?

Nell: Not literally. You’re as bad as David. He’s been carrying that ring around for days.

Me: Oh, I see.

Nell: Marvin can’t be at the actual auditions so he’s going to zoom in.

Me: Like Google Earth? See what I did there?

Me: I love Marv to bits but surely the only Indiana Bones is Dave. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: Marvin is up for a supporting role. Have you shared the link to the fundraiser?

Me: Not for a few days but I will right now: https://gofund.me/42cc1159

Nell: Donations have stalled so we’re going to have to come up with a few ideas and the first is a competition.

Me: Really?

Nell: Yes. One of your followers suggested it. Everyone who donates £25 or more will have the chance for their animal to win a part in the Indiana Bones movie.

Me: But not the part of Indy?

Nell: Of course not. It will be a supporting role. They will need to put ‘Indy’ in the comments though so we know they are taking part.

Me: Just to be clear the winner will feature in a Conversations with Nell story?

Nell: Exactly.

Me: With photos?

Nell: Of course. They can be emailed to you once the winner is chosen with information about the animal so you can write a conversation.

Me; And it doesn’t have to be a dog?

Nell: No. It can be any animal.

Me: We can print out the conversation and sign it.

Nell: Yes, and send it to the winner.

Me: How long should the competition run?

Nell: Let’s give it until 16th August.

Me: That’s Kev’s birthday.

Nell: I know and he will announce it. Do keep up.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Ridiculously Early

Nell: What are you doing up so early? Is something going on?

Me: It’s a medical sort of day. I have an appointment with the nurse first thing this morning and then Kev and I are off to the hospital later for a scan.

Nell: I see. Well, I hope you’re not expecting any deep conversations. I haven’t even had breakfast yet and Poppy is still resting.

Me: Dave seems tired too. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: The responsibility of being Mayor of Kingsbridge is weighing heavily on him at the moment.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: He’s afraid he might be forced to decide between movie stardom and mayoral duty.

Me: Can’t he do both? It’s an animation series.

Nell: Indiana Bones and The Raiders of the Lost Bark is an action movie of the highest order.

Me: If you say so.

Nell: Should David be cast then he will be performing his own stunts.

Me: That doesn’t sound like a very good idea.

Nell: Competition is fierce, however, so he may not get the part.

Me: What part?

Nell: Indy, of course. Word has spread across the animal kingdom.

Me: Did you say ‘kingdom’?

Nell: Yes. Animals of all shapes and sizes are keen to throw their collars into the ring.

Me: Don’t you mean hats?

Nell: Some might be wearing hats, I suppose.

Me: They’re not all coming here, are they?

Nell: Of course they are. We’re holding open auditions.

Me: But the family arrive on Monday.

Nell: Never fear. We’re going to erect a marquee in the field.

Me: A marquee?

Nell: Yes. It’s all under control. Babycakes Gillespie will be on hand with drinks and snacks for the queues.

Me: Queues?

Nell: Kindly stop repeating every word I say. It’s awfully tiresome.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Harriet is Feeling Better

Me: Good news. Harriet and I went to up to bed really early yesterday evening and slept the whole night through snuggled up together.

Nell: Yes, in fact Harriet is still asleep. She certainly seems to have got over whatever it was.

Me: We both feel so much better for a good long rest.

Nell: So, can we finally show everyone the photos we took when we went to the beach?

Me: We can. It didn’t feel right to share them when Harriet wasn’t well.

Nell: Everything was looking beautiful.

Me: Yes, and I was especially glad to see the island was still there.

Nell: Where else would it be?

Me: It’s up for sale, you know.

Nell: Whoever buys it isn’t going to pick it up and take it anywhere. It’s an island.

Me: I know that really but in my head I thought they might.

Nell: I worry about you sometimes. I really do. Goodness only knows what’s going on in your head.

Me: Anyway, it was lovely to be back on the beach and to see so many people enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

Nell: Which seems to have disappeared again, by the way.

Me: Yesterday was awful, wasn’t it? Lots of useless rain.

Nell: What does that mean?

Me: Not enough to help the garden but enough to make you feel all damp and miserable.

Nell: You were tired.

Me: True.

Nell: Harriet wanted me to say a big thank you to everyone for the get well soon wishes. They meant a lot to her.

Me: Yes, and thank you for your ideas of how to raise funds. Kev and I are going to open the shop again soon and I have a few ideas too.

Nell: We will get there. Just believe.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Harriet is Poorly

Nell: How is Harriet?

Me: Absolutely exhausted. I think we’re just going to have to let her sleep.

Nell: You don’t look that good yourself.

Me: I’m very tired. I was up with her most of the night.

Nell: I wonder what made her so sick?

Me: She might have swallowed sea water, or eaten something on our walk.

Nell: At least it’s stopped now.

Me: Yes. Finally. What a dreadful night.

Nell: David wants to know if he should bring her some dry toast and sweet tea?

Me: I think it might be best to wait for now.

Nell: What about you?

Me: Maybe later. I’m not really hungry.

Nell: A quiet day is definitely called for.

Me: You’ll get no arguments from me.

Nell: You might need to sleep yourself.

Me: I might. I think I’ve only slept a couple of hours. It was a relief to watch the sun rise, to be honest.

Nell: Don’t worry about anything. Poppy and I have everything under control.

Me: Can I hear Dave calling?

Nell; He wants to give his sister a cuddle. He can’t bear it when she’s unwell.

Me: Let him come upstairs, Nell.

Nell: Fine, but he can be quite clumsy, you know.

Me: Not when someone is unwell. He’s very gentle then. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: I’ll tell him to walk on soft paws.

Me: Yes.

Nell: Try and go back to sleep now. If you need anything I am just downstairs.

Me: Will do. Thank you. And tell the others not to worry. She’s over the worst now and just needs to rest.

Nell: I will. Now, close your eyes and relax.

Me: Yes. Dave will watch over his sister.

Nell: And over you too. You’re both precious to us.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Sara is having A Profound Tuesday

Me: Isn’t it lovely to see the sun again?

Nell: It’s about time it made an appearance. It is July after all.

Me: I love the way it bathes the fields in its gentle warmth.

Nell: Good grief.

Me: And the parts where it isn’t, merely emphasise the parts where it is.

Nell: What are you talking about?

Me: The cold dark sunless areas actually enhance the warm sunlit ones.

Nell: If you say so.

Me: And the wonderful thing is that even though they are in the dark right now they know their time will come.

Nell: I’m definitely in the dark right now.

Me: Because soon they will be bathed in sunlight too.

Nell: You won’t. You have to stay out of the sun.

Me: Actually I am allowed some sun before 11 and after 4.

Nell: Only with sun cream on.

Me: Let me have a little light. I can’t live permanently in the shadows.

Nell: This is all rather profound for a Tuesday morning, isn’t it?

Me: A bit. I was just thinking that if we have to move I will miss this view so much.

Nell: We’re not going to have to move. Stop that talk right now.

Me: Has something happened to Gladys and the llamas?

Nell: They seemed fine at breakfast. Why?

Me: They’re waving their arms around in slow motion.

Nell: Llamas don’t have arms.

Me: Front legs then.

Nell: Let me see.

Me: What did they have for breakfast because it’s slowed them right down?

Nell: Pancakes and they’re meditating.

Me: Meditating?

Nell: Yes. Haven’t you ever heard of Tai Chi?

Me: Of course that’s what they’re doing. Silly me.

Nell: You’re not silly and you’re not in the shadows. Your time is coming. Just believe.

Me: Yes. Thank you. Sorry.


July’s A Strange Old Month

Me: There’s nothing like a gentle stroll beside the river.

Nell: Or mad dashing in and out of the water, if you’re Harriet.

Me: Kev was worried because the river was running quite fast.

Nell: Harriet’s quite sensible when it comes to water.

Me: It’s been a strange old July. More like autumn than summer.

Nell: Yes.

Me: I’m hoping the sun comes back for the family’s visit.

Nell: Only a week to go.

Me: I can’t wait.

Nell: Now, Poppy wants to know if anyone minds having lunch a little early.

Me: I’m fine with that.

Nell: Her sword fighting class starts at 2pm so she wants everything done and dusted by then.

Me: Is Poppy running the class?

Nell: Yes, there’s not a lot she doesn’t know about sword fighting.

Me: Who are the participants?

Nell: Quite a wide range from the Welsh Corgi Choir to members of the Whippets Institute.

Me: Why on earth do they want to learn to sword fight?

Nell: To be in my movie, of course.

Me: Movie? You usually insist on film.

Nell: Needs must when you’re directing an international blockbuster.

Me: It’s actually an animation series, Nell, and Shel’s directing.

Nell: I’m not talking about the series. I’m referring to the movie I’m making with Snoopy and Lucy.

Me: It’s the first I’ve heard of this. 

Nell: I know. You’re not a member of the Screen Animals Guild.

Me: You do realise humans are animals.

Nell: Nice try.

Me: It’s true. What’s the movie called?

Nell: ‘Raiders of the Lost Bark.’

Me: Are we talking about Indy?

Nell: If you mean Indiana Bones, then yes, and we’re looking for a lead.

Me: They’re hanging up near the front door.

Nell: That’s not what I meant and you know it.

Me: Sorry.


Snuggle Day

Me: I had the biggest snuggle with Dave this morning.. It was glorious. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: Poppy and Harriet are the same. Look at them rolling around on the bed.

Me: Maybe we should change Sunday to Snuggle Day?

Nell: Don’t be silly.

Me: Just saying.

Nell: It’s this awful weather. It happens every year. As soon as the schools break up the rain starts falling.

Me: Yes. It’s a shame. I don’t see you getting snuggly.

Nell: I’m far too busy for all that nonsense.

Me: On a Sunday?

Nell: Time doesn’t stop for us creatives, you know. Have you posted the link?

Me: Today?

Nell: Every day, please. We’re nearly at £4,000 in a week. That’s a third already.

Me: I know. It’s so exciting. Here it is: https://gofund.me/42cc1159.

Nell: People have been extremely generous.

Me: They have. I’m so very thankful for their support.

Nell: We all are.

Me: On another note, what do you feel about sweet potatoes?

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: With the Sunday roast?

Nell: Instead of real ones?

Me: They are real.

Nell: I’m not sure about that at all. I need my roast potatoes.

Me: They’ll still be roasted.

Nell: It’s not the same. You’ll be suggesting we skip the Yorkshire puddings next.

Me: We could manage without.

Nell: Absolutely not. David would be devastated.

Me: Stop being such a fuddy-duddy. Go with the flow.

Nell: Nobody is messing with our Sunday roast so don’t even think of mentioning it to Poppy.

Me: She’s the one chopping up sweet potatoes.

Nell: What? Next, you’ll be telling me Sunday Songs is cancelled.

Me: It’s still happening but the llamas are singing and the corgis are cartwheeling.

Nell: Seriously?

Me: Just joking. Fancy a snuggle?

Nell: Enough.

Me: Sorry.


You and Me

Me: I’ve been doing some thinking.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: When we were at the activity field we both felt a little tired.

Nell: Yes.

Me: So we decided to let the others run around a few more times on their own.

Nell: We did.

Me: But a part of us was a bit sad that we didn’t feel strong enough to join them.

Nell: Possibly.

Me: So we watched them from afar.

Nell: We had no choice.

Me: When they saw us waiting their faces lit up.

Nell: How did you see that from the back of a large field?

Me: I can imagine it. Stop interrupting.

Nell: Just saying.

Me: And they rushed towards us and it lifted our hearts to be reunited again.

Nell: They were only walking around a field. It wasn’t like they were gone for weeks.

Me: You dogs have no concept of time. A short trip to the shops can feel like a lifetime to you.

Nell: But we could see each other the whole time.

Me: You know what I mean. I’m trying to put a positive spin on it.

Nell: I know. Have you posted the link to the fundraiser?

Me: Do I need to?

Nell: Yes. Remember what Theresa said in our zoom meeting yesterday.

Me: Which you joined in, by the way.

Nell: Conversations with Nell. Remember? Theresa said keep posting the link because people don’t always see your posts so some might have missed it.

Me: Yes: https://gofund.me/42cc1159.

Nell: When you said ‘us’ you really meant me, didn’t you? You could have easily walked around that field a few more times.

Me: I knew you wouldn’t stay on your own and you needed to rest.

Nell: You and Me. Always. No need to pretend.

Me: Yes. Sorry.