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Anger Management Day

Me: What on earth is Harriet doing out there? She looks terrifying.

Nell: She’s practising her war cry. Impressive, isn’t it?

Me: It’s Monday morning, Nell. Do we have to start the week like this?

Nell: Poppy is going to her Anger Management class today so we’re all helping her get in the zone.

Me: Is that why Malcolm is wearing a saucepan on his head?

Nell: No. That’s for protection from wild Beefies.

Me: Why is Poppy wearing her suit of armour?

Nell: Paw Warned is Paw Armed.

Me: She’s going to collapse in this heat.

Nell: You might have a point. Maybe The Cat has some chainmail lying around.

Me: What’s wrong with a tracksuit?

Nell: You’ll be suggesting trainers next.

Me: Better than those big boots.

Nell: Those are her fighting boots.

Me: It’s about Anger Management, Nell not fighting.

Nell: We know the Beefies are planning something.

Me: I hope not.

Nell: Everybody has had a fighting breakfast this morning so we are all well fuelled.

Me: What is a fighting breakfast? Muesli and fresh fruit?

Nell: Don’t be silly. Steak and eggs, of course, with a mug of Builder’s tea.

Me: Malcolm doesn’t eat steak.

Nell: His was tuna.

Me: How is Poppy getting there?

Nell: Knitwear Wolf is going to take her on his motorbike. Malcolm will travel in the sidecar.

Me: She can’t wear two helmets, Nell. She’ll have to take the suit of armour one off.

Nell: Yes. This might need re-thinking.

Me: In fact, some might even say, the last thing you need after a huge breakfast is to be riding around on a motorbike in armour driven by a wolf in a knitted suit with a flamingo in the sidecar.

Nell: Well, they would be wrong.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Sunday Reflections

Me: Is Dave outside on his lounger listening to Sunday Songs?

Nell: Yes. David is having a Reflective Day.

Me: Any particular reason why?

Nell: Sunday is a day for Reflection. You know that.

Me: Yes, I suppose it is. I wonder what he’s reflecting on, though.

Nell: Poppy’s Sunday roast I should imagine.

Me: I don’t blame him. I’m glad she’s still doing one.

Nell: Why wouldn’t she?

Me: Doesn’t her Anger Management course start tomorrow?

Nell: What’s that got to do with cooking a Sunday roast?

Me: I thought she and Malcolm might be busy preparing.

Nell: They’re busy preparing the vegetables, if that’s what you mean. Tony brought us some runner beans freshly picked from his garden.

Me: How lovely. No, I meant they might be practising being angry with each other.

Nell: I worry about you sometimes. First of all Sundays are not at all about anger and secondly it’s about managing your anger not getting yourself into a fury.

Me: Yes, but if you go there all meek and mild they’ll have nothing to work with.

Nell: I wouldn’t worry. Poppy wears a very short lead. She is easily riled.

Me: Don’t you mean she has a very short fuse?

Nell: No.

Me: She’s not really taking her sword, is she?

Nell: She wanted to, but all weapons have to be left at the door, so there’s no point.

Me: That’s a relief.

Nell: What is Gladys doing?

Me: It’s just a contemporary dance, Nell. Princess is loving it.

Nell: It’s not appropriate for Sunday Songs. Now the llamas have joined in.

Me: I love it when the Welsh corgi choir do that paws over the head thing.

Nell: It’s called waving. One of the llamas has cartwheeled into the pond.

Me: Oh yes. Sorry.

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Cheer up Tony

Nell: I’m glad to see you’ve joined in our Cheer up Tony campaign.

Me: I thought an ice cream might help.

Nell: David has told him that the Only Six People rule won’t be for ever and his Old Gaffers Shanty Crew will sing again.

Me: Yes.

Nell: And Tony said, as soon as it’s safe, David will be asked to join them.

Me: I’m not sure he can make all the rehearsals, Nell.

Nell: No. As a guest star.

Me: Oh, I see. That would be wonderful.

Nell: Yes. We need something to look forward to in these troubled times.

Me: I’ll tell you what gladdened my heart.

Nell: What?

Me: Talking to a nice man called Gary at your pet insurance.

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: I couldn’t access the portal.

Nell: I’m not even going to ask what a portal is.

Me: I couldn’t get online. Anyway, you know how you can wait for ages and have to press 1, then 4, then 1 again?

Nell: I get the idea.

Me: And some dreadful music keeps repeating and a voice says ‘You are 156th in the queue. We will answer your enquiry as soon as we can.’

Nell: I think you’ve done this before.

Me: Well, none of that happened.

Nell: Good grief.

Me: I chose a number and there was Gary. Friendly and chatty and talking to me like a real person.

Nell: You are a real person.

Me: People don’t always take the time to listen.

Nell: That’s exactly what I said to my friend.

Me: Pamela, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog?

Nell: No. Marjorie, the Springer Spaniel.

Me: Oh.

Nell: I said ‘Marjorie, sometimes it’s like talking to a squirrel.’

Me: A squirrel?

Nell: Squirrels never listen. Everyone knows that.

Me: I didn’t. Sorry.

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Hide and Seek

Me: You walked so well yesterday.

Nell: Yes. Chloe is extremely pleased with my progress.

Me: I wonder why the cows were galloping across the field?

Nell: They were playing Hide and Seek. Cows adore that game.

Me: They did actually disappear at one point.

Nell: Exactly.

Me: They were behind the trees at the bottom of the valley, though. We knew they were there.

Nell: Could you see them?

Me: No.

Nell: You have to find them. It’s called Hide and Seek. Not Hide and Lazily Decide to Guess from a Distance.

Me: But Poppy and Harriet saw them.

Nell: Yes. Poppy and Harriet were playing the game properly. That’s why the cows galloped back up the hill.

Me: There aren’t a lot of places a herd of cows can hide, to be honest.

Nell: There are more than you think.

Me: Has Poppy come to a decision about the Anger Management course?

Nell: Yes. She’s going and she’s taking Malcolm with her.

Me: Malcolm? He’s the politest flamingo we know.

Nell: Yes. He is going to act as a buffer.

Me: Does he know? Is he even allowed to go?

Nell: The answer to both questions is yes.

Me: Malcolm won’t like it. What if everyone starts shouting?

Nell: It’s called Anger Management. Voices will be lowered not raised. He’s a good influence on Poppy and he’s used to her ways.

Me: I’m glad she didn’t ask me.

Nell: You would be dreadful. You know how fierce you get if someone criticises a loved one.

Me: Is Poppy going to be criticised then?

Nell: Her anger issues will doubtlessly be addressed.

Me: But it wasn’t her fault. It was those lying Beefies. They make me so angry.

Nell: And that’s why she didn’t ask you.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Poppy receives a letter

Me: Poppy is upstairs with a fierce face.

Nell: I know.

Me: I nearly said Cheeky Animal because I saw her tongue, but I decided against it.

Nell: A wise decision.

Me: It’s about that letter, isn’t it?

Nell: I told you she doesn’t want to discuss the letter.

Me: But I need to know.

Nell: No, you don’t. You just want to know.

Me: It’s the same thing.

Nell: It most certainly isn’t. As I said to David, ‘There is a big difference between wanting bacon and needing it.’

Me: I’m not sure there is, as far as Dave is concerned.

Nell: If I tell you, then you have to promise to keep quiet.

Me: I’m not sure I can.

Nell: Well, try.

Me: I will.

Nell: Poppy has been asked to attend an Anger Management course.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: Don’t laugh.

Me: I hope she can take her sword.

Nell: Don’t be silly. That’s what got her into this mess.

Me: It was a frying pan.

Nell: You know what I mean. Those wretched Beefies reported her for wild and aggressive behaviour.

Me: Troublemakers. What is she going to do?

Nell: She says she’s not going and she will fight anyone who tries to make her.

Me: That’s not going to help her case.

Nell: No.

Me: I wish Mutley was here.

Nell: Yes. He is sadly missed.

Me: What about Knitwear Wolf? He is wearing a particularly reassuring knitted cardigan today. She might listen to him.

Nell: She won’t. She is refusing to listen to anyone.

Me: I do hope she comes round and agrees to go, otherwise she might be facing a lengthy imprisonment.

Nell: Imprisonment? She only bashed a few Beefies. It will be a fine at the most.

Me: Oh, I see. Sorry.

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Wednesday lie-in

Me: Have you seen the carpet in Kev’s studio?

Nell: What do you mean?

Me: Poppy and Dave are lying flat out in the middle of bits of straw and cardboard.

Nell: Harriet and I weren’t involved.

Me: I can see Harriet’s paw.

Nell: Probably an optical illusion.

Me: I know you were there, too.

Nell: Have you any evidence confirming my presence at the scene of the crime?

Me: What crime?

Nell: I don’t know. I wasn’t there.

Me: When you start talking like a High Court judge then I know you’re up to something.

Nell: There may have been a brief game of Open the Box and some necessary Chasing but this is mere conjecture on my part.

Me: What box?

Nell: How should I know?

Me: Poppy and Dave seem exhausted.

Nell: You try chasing antelopes before breakfast.

Me: See, I knew something had been going on.

Nell: If you must know, several bandaged Beefies were spotted riding antelopes in the top field near Kev’s studio.

Me: By whom?

Nell: Walter Pigeon. But that’s not the point. They were pretending to be roosters which was particularly annoying.

Me: Were they cockadoodledoing?

Nell: No. But they were wearing red combs and shouting.

Me: Same thing.

Nell: Anyway, they woke the chickens and disturbed the larger animals from their Wednesday lie-in.

Me: Who has a Wednesday lie-in?

Nell: The larger animals. I just told you. Tuesday is their busiest day. Honestly, do keep up.

Me: I didn’t know.

Nell: Fortunately some of us were already taking part in our Morning Exercises so were able to chase the Beefies away.

Me: I didn’t know Morning Exercises involved tearing up boxes.

Nell: That’s because you never do any.

Me: It’s my writing time.

Nell: Just saying.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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A Tuesday Chinwag

Me: All’s well in Dave’s world.

Nell: Why?

Me: Tony is here.

Nell: Those two really are the best of friends.

Me: It’s lovely to see.

Nell: Yes. David likes to talk things through with Tony.

Me: I wonder what they talk about?

Nell: Bacon and Beefies.

Me: Tony was attacked by one once, you know.

Nell: Nasty creatures. Have you seen them on the hill parading their bandages?

Me: No.

Nell: Riding on antelopes because apparently they can’t fly.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: All I can say is Poppy must have been wielding an enormous frying pan to have injured that many.

Me: Yes.

Nell: Tony left a letter. Is it for me? Only I’m expecting one from Dorothy.

Me: No. It’s addressed to Poppy.

Nell: She’s out with Knitwear Wolf getting supplies.

Me: I wonder who it’s from.

Nell: You are going to have to wait. She’ll be back later.

Me: Are they going to stop at Starbarks for a quick cappuccino and a chinwag with John the Doberman?

Nell: A quick chinwag? What are you talking about?

Me: It means chat.

Nell: I know what it means but why say it? It conjures up images of a Dogue de Bordeaux.

Me: Isn’t that the dog in ‘Turner and Hooch’?

Nell: I have no idea what you are talking about, but neither Poppy nor Rupert have wiggly chins.

Me: I’m glad John has been able to reopen.

Nell: Yes. It’s been a tough few months for the hospitality industry.

Me: What a strange world we live in, Nell.

Nell: Please tell me those lycra clad chihuahuas are not coming over here?

Me: I’m afraid they’re carrying an exercise ball and waving at Gladys.

Nell: Well, tell them to leave their wellington boots outside the door.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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A light breakfast

Me: What’s the matter with my Big Brave Beautiful Boy? Has his ball rolled under the chest of drawers again?

Nell: He had a light breakfast.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: No bacon. Just toast and scrambled eggs.

Me: Sounds lovely to me.

Nell: Well, that’s not something I see every day.

Me: What? Scrambled eggs?

Nell: No. A whippet in wellington boots.

Me: The grass is a bit damp in the mornings so it’s probably wise.

Nell: Whippets don’t like wellingtons.

Me: Why?

Nell: They have delicate feet. They prefer a more fitted boot.

Me: Maybe it’s wearing two pairs of socks.

Nell: Possibly. It’s carrying a cake tin.

Me: Is it coming here?

Nell: No. It’s going towards the Big House. The Cat is probably having one of its Bridge mornings.

Me: I’m surprised you aren’t going. You enjoy a game of Bridge.

Nell: Yes. My Bridge partner Dorothy is an excellent player but unfortunately she is away visiting family.

Me: Is that Dorothy the Salcombe Setter?

Nell: Yes. Beautiful red hair.

Me: You could always take Dave with you.

Nell: David doesn’t play Bridge. He finds it hard to concentrate without eating.

Me: Kev likes card games.

Nell: He’s a cribbage man. You know that.

Me: Well, Poppy then?

Nell: Poppy only plays for money. Usually poker. But since we lost Mutley she hasn’t really bothered. If I was taking anyone, it would be Harriet.

Me: I used to play a long time ago when I lived in Africa.

Nell: Exactly.

Me: What does that mean?

Nell: It’s been over 20 years since you last played.

Me: Gosh. That’s actually rather shocking.

Nell: I know.

Me: I’m getting old, Nell.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: Time is passing me by.

Nell: Have you quite finished?

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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The Full Works

Me: Cheeky Animal!

Nell: I haven’t done anything.

Me: No. Harriet. She was pretending to be Thinking Thoughts but then she stuck her tongue out.

Nell: Well done. Harriet is exceptionally skilled. What else would one think but thoughts, by the way?

Me: Has Knitwear Wolf come back from the island yet?

Nell: Of course he has. Do you think I would be sitting here discussing Cheeky Animals with you if Rupert was stranded on Beefy Island?

Me: Probably not. Was he successful?

Nell: I’m afraid not. Stephen Seagull refused to meet him. He said he wasn’t prepared to talk to ‘hot headed hooligans.’ His words.

Me: Poppy is the hot headed hooligan. Not Rupert.

Nell: Apparently there were several Beefies walking around the island with bandages so Poppy obviously did some damage.

Me: Oh dear. Let’s hope they don’t retaliate with frying pans of their own.

Nell: Talking of frying pans. Can you smell sizzling?

Me: No, but I can definitely smell bacon.

Nell: That’s what I meant. David was allowed to choose our Sunday breakfast today so we’re getting the full works.

Me: A full English breakfast? Bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs and toast?

Nell: Yes. Not forgetting baked beans and red, or brown, sauce.

Me: We haven’t had one of those for ages.

Nell: I know but Poppy said whacking Beefies has given her an appetite. So, when David asked, she agreed.

Me: How marvellous. Why did Dave get to choose?

Nell: He showed Patience and Fortitude during the recent Beefy attack. Even though we have all been applauding Poppy’s wild and reckless behaviour we should recognise David’s Admirable Restraint.

Me: My darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: ‘Never raise your paw when a growl will do.’

Me: Unless you are Poppy.

Nell: Obviously.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Saturday Mooching

Me: Do you know what I love?

Nell: Us?

Me: Yes, and the fact that you always wait for me when we walk back from the beach.

Nell: You can be a little slow.

Me: I’m often taking photos.

Nell: So you need someone to gently chivvy you along.

Me: I do, and so do you nowadays.

Nell: I like to sniff the air.

Me: You like to mooch.

Nell: If you ask me, the world would be a better place if we all mooched a bit more and hurried a little less.

Me: True.

Nell: Anyway, have you heard what happened in David’s queue?

Me: No

Nell: Poppy came out of the kitchen with a frying pan and whacked the Beefies off the antelopes’ backs.

Me: She never did.

Nell: She did.

Me: What did they do?

Nell: Screamed and flew off.

Me: Do you think they’ll be back?

Nell: Why do you think we are all wearing armour?

Me: Henry and Horst often do.

Nell: Theirs is a dangerous world.

Me: Does Knitwear Wolf know about the latest developments? Wasn’t he going to try mediating with Stephen Seagull?

Nell: He’s not best pleased to be honest.

Me: He wouldn’t be.

Nell: He is still going to try and talk to Stephen on the island later.

Me: I think that ship might have sailed.

Nell: Don’t be ridiculous. He’s not sailing there. He’s riding down on his motorbike and paddle boarding over.

Me: Never mind.

Nell: Anyway, after we carried out an extensive audience survey and the overwhelming majority recommended Whacking the Beefies his paws were tied.

Me: I hope not. Isn’t he helping Tony’s wife Sue in the Craft Marquee at the Kingsbridge Show?

Nell: Yes, but it’s all online. You never listen, do you?

Me: No. Sorry.