Nell: What do you mean we can’t stay here?
Me: My Wednesday Writers workshop is scheduled on Zoom soon, Nell.
Me: I can’t have you barking at the farm dogs.
Nell: They bark at us too, you know. Jim the Farm Dog is particularly loud at the moment. Ask Harriet.
Me: I need to be able to hear what’s going on.
Nell: So do I.
Me: I’m sure you and Harriet have got lots of things to be getting on with this morning.
Nell: Not particularly.
Me: Wasn’t Bumper organising a Keep Our Fields Tidy session?
Nell: A ridiculous waste of time. Nobody will attend apart from that stuffed tiger.
Me: The llamas and the sheep are gathering already.
Nell: Llamas are notoriously fickle and sheep never listen.
Me: Actually they do. They’re famous for getting involved.
Nell: Without ever really doing anything.
Me: If one sheep started tidying up they probably all would.
Nell: If one sheep walked over to a banana skin they would all walk over.
Me: There you are.
Nell: But they wouldn’t pick anything up. They’d just eat grass and watch.
Me: It’s a form of participation.
Nell: Well, I’d like to participate in your workshop. I shan’t be eating grass but I’m happy to watch.
Me: That’s not the idea.
Nell: I’m hoping there might even be a cup of Earl Grey and a biscuit in the break.
Me: We write in the break and then read out what we’ve written afterwards.
Nell: Excellent. I’m extremely good at critiquing as you know.
Me: You can’t join in. You’re not registered.
Nell: Don’t worry. I’ll give you my notes later. I’d put the kettle on if I were you. The workshop’s starting soon and we’ll need a pot of tea.
Me: Yes. Sorry.