Saturday Delivery

Me: Davey’s sitting by the window again.

Nell: David is waiting for a bacon baguette. Well, that’s what he’s hoping it is.

Me: What did he order?

Nell: One of the llamas did the actual ordering. It was in the queue already and speaks a little French.

Me: What queue?

Nell: Haven’t you seen it? Look out of the window. It goes right up the garden and into the farmer’s field.

Me: Is that a guinea pig?

Nell: Yes, I’ve never seen it before either. Animals are coming here from far and wide.

Me: Poppy can’t be pleased.

Nell: She’s furious. Babycakes Gillespie is doing a roaring trade in coffees in the car park, however, while customers wait for delivery.

Me: How is it delivered?

Nell: By balloon.

Me: Excuse me?

Nell: Each order is dropped from the sky attached to a tiny little balloon. It’s rather clever.

Me: Mine was just sitting on the doorstep in a brown paper bag.

Nell: Maybe it varies.

Me: Does Dave know what he ordered?

Nell: I think it was a Bark Monsieur.

Me: There’s no such thing.

Nell: Well, he’s just gone outside to collect something.

Me: Gosh, it is a bacon baguette. I was expecting a toasted cheese and ham sandwich.

Nell: Did you order one then?

Me: No, I thought it was a croque monsieur.

Nell: Don’t be silly. Who would order a crocodile?

Me: Never mind. What does it say on that serviette?

Nell: I have no idea.

Me: ‘Merci d’avoir choisi Le Champignon Bleu, David Martin.’

Nell: Which means?

Me: Thank you for choosing The Blue Mushroom.

Nell: Does Le Champignon Bleu mean Blue Mushroom then?

Me: Yes.

Nell: Why didn’t you say before? That’s the name of the new French restaurant in town.

Me: I see. Sorry.


Nell is Annoyed and Sara Places an Order

Me: You’re rather lively for a Friday morning.

Nell: Something stripy is wandering around the garden.

Me: It’s probably just Beauregard. Tigers need to stretch their legs.

Nell: It’s much smaller.

Me: Kev said he saw a marmalade cat in the back garden.

Nell: Not that animal again.

Me: Do you know it?

Nell: Everyone knows Beaujolais Higgins. He has his paws in all sorts of pies.

Me: I wonder if he speaks French, with a name like Beaujolais you’d think he would.

Nell: Don’t start that again. Talking of French, have you been to see the blue mushroom?

Me: Yes. It has a very small voice. I’m surprised Dave heard it.

Nell: David has keen ears and of course it has a small voice. It’s a mushroom. What did it say?

Me: ‘Avec quoi puis-je te tenter aujourd’hui?’

Nell: Meaning?

Me: What can I tempt you with today?

Nell: Bit forward.

Me: I agree.

Nell: I hope it explained itself.

Me: It said ‘Que diriez-vous d’une savoureuse baguette ou d’un délicieux croissant ?’

Nell: Which means?

Me: How about a tasty baguette, or a delicious croissant?

Nell: What did you say?

Me: ‘Comme c’est gentil. C’est difficile de choisir.’

Nell: Just tell me in English, please, or we’ll be here all day.

Me: I said ‘How kind. It’s hard to choose.’

Nell: If you dilly dally around like that at the drive through you must be very popular. Did you make a decision?

Me: Yes. I decided on a baguette because it gave me more options.

Nell: So, what happened then?

Me: It thanked me for my order and told me my baguette should be with me in the next half hour.

Nell: And was it?

Me: Yes, and it was really tasty.

Nell: Ever heard of sharing?

Me: Sorry.


We’ve Been Expecting You, Mr Bond

Me: You could definitely be a villain in a Bond movie.

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: When I woke up this morning to find you three doing your ‘We’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond’ faces you were the only one keeping it going.

Nell: Nonsense.

Me: Harriet tried her best but my darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy couldn’t do it.

Nell: Do what?

Me: Stare at me in the unwavering way you do.

Nell: We have urgent matters to discuss.

Me: My bed is lovely and warm.

Nell: Never mind that. How’s your French?

Me: If you think I’m going outside in the rain to talk to a blue mushroom then you’ve got another think coming.

Nell: David says it mentioned a pain au chocolat. I know that’s your favourite.

Me: Why on earth is it talking about pastries?

Nell: That’s what we want to know.

Me: My French isn’t very good, Nell. I can speak fluent German if that’s any help?

Nell: It isn’t.

Me: Do we know any French Bulldogs?

Nell: Right, we’ve had this discussion before. A French Bulldog is a breed. It doesn’t mean it speaks French. Jeremy is a French Bulldog and he doesn’t speak a word.

Me: Who’s Jeremy?

Nell: Never mind that now. You don’t think all German Shepherds speak German, do you?

Me: Charlie did.

Nell: Charlie was exceptional.

Me: True.

Nell: So, are you going to try?

Me: Try what?

Nell: Try and talk to the mushroom.

Me: Can’t I have my breakfast first?

Nell: It’s all about breakfast, although the baguettes could be for lunch I suppose.

Me: I’m confused.

Nell: We think the blue mushroom is taking orders.

Me: Like a drive through?

Nell: Yes.

Me: Without the driving?

Nell: Obviously. It’s in our garden.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Strange Goings On

Nell: You’re not going to believe this.

Me: Is it snowing?

Nell: No, I think we’re too close to the sea for all that.

Me: What’s happened?

Nell: David just told me something extremely troubling.

Me: If you’re referring to the scrambled egg disaster, I already know.

Nell: What are you talking about?

Me: Dave ate Sir Roger Blubbery’s scrambled eggs.

Nell: What was Sir Roger doing here for breakfast? He usually has his with Princess in the pool.

Me: It’s too cold this morning, Nell.

Nell: They’re seals. They like the cold.

Me: They’re Devon seals and they’re royal. It’s completely different.

Nell: They’re not royal. Poppy knighted Sir Roger. Remember?

Me: Anyway, what did Dave tell you?

Nell: He found something odd in the back garden.

Me: That’s not news. I’d be surprised if he didn’t find something odd in the back garden. We’ve let it grow wild.

Nell: It was a blue mushroom.

Me: A blue mushroom? Now, that is odd.

Nell: Told you.

Me: He didn’t eat it, did he?

Nell: Of course not. It wasn’t real.

Me: How did he see it then?

Nell: I meant it was a fake mushroom.

Me: I see. Very interesting.

Nell: And that isn’t all.

Me: Go on.

Nell: It was speaking French.

Me: Okay, now I know you’re winding me up.

Nell: I am not.

Me: Are you seriously trying to tell me that Dave found a French speaking fake blue mushroom in the back garden?

Nell: Yes. I have the photos to prove it.

Me: Well, I’ve heard it all now. What was it saying?

Nell: He doesn’t know. David doesn’t speak French.

Me: It might not even be French then. It could be Swedish.

Nell: It mentioned a baguette.

Me: Right, that makes complete sense. Sorry.


Different Approaches

Me: I’ve been thinking.

Nell: Here we go.

Me: When we go down to the beach we all approach it in different ways.

Nell: No, we walk over the dunes together.

Me: I mean in the way we behave. For instance, I always say hello to the sea and my mother.

Nell: I know you do.

Me: I feel she’s there. I think it’s because she loved the sea so much.

Nell: She did.

Me: Kev likes to see how far away the island looks.

Nell: Yes.

Me: Harriet dashes into the sea as fast as she can.

Nell: Always.

Me: Poppy checks for Beefies, or other annoying creatures.

Nell: Like innocent dogs enjoying a walk.

Me: You like to walk at your own pace and stop occasionally for quiet contemplation.

Nell: I do.

Me: And Dave sticks his face in the sand and his bottom in the air.

Nell: He does.

Me: It’s his most favourite thing. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: It’s extremely ungainly. Nobody wants to look at that.

Me: Anyway, I was thinking that maybe we approach the beach like we approach life.

Nell: I see.

Me: I tend to lose myself in memories and my fantasy world.

Nell: You do.

Me: Kev likes to see what the day brings.

Nell: He does.

Me: Harriet rushes in full of hope and joy.

Nell: She does.

Me: Poppy is ready to attack.

Nell: Always.

Me: And you take your time to sniff and savour.

Nell: Life should be enjoyed. What about David?

Me: Dave just sticks his bottom in the air and his face in the sand and lives for the moment.

Nell: Not a bad approach to life. Are you going to share that toast now? It needs to be eaten.

Me: Of course. Sorry.



Me: What on earth is going on here? I heard lots of barking and thought something had happened.

Nell: Keep your distance, please. We’re in the middle of an important game.

Me: You just bit Dave in the bottom.

Nell: I did nothing of the sort. It was a little nip.

Me: You were like a wild animal.

Nell: Nonsense.

Me: And then Poppy picked on Dave too.

Nell: Of course she did. We’re playing Shenanigans and David is ‘It’.

Me: Harriet looks scared.

Nell: That’s just a cover. She’s very good at looking innocent and then ‘woof’ she’s got you.

Me: How do you play?

Nell: Someone is ‘It’ and they have to catch you before you catch them.

Me: I don’t understand.

Nell: That’s because you’ve never played. Well, not knowingly, anyway.

Me: What do you mean?

Nell: Sometimes we involve you in the game without you realising.

Me: How?

Nell: Only with the odd lick, or an occasional gentle bounce, but not recently.

Me: I see.

Nell: Kev is an excellent player.

Me: He is?

Nell: Oh yes. Just when you think you’re safe he strikes.

Me: It sounds awfully violent.

Nell: It’s just play fighting.

Me: Why can’t I play then?

Nell: You don’t like rough and tumble and you can’t be jumped on at the moment.

Me: That’s true. I don’t expect The Cat likes it either.

Nell: The Cat is an amazing player. It comes out of nowhere and boxes your ears.

Me: Gosh.

Nell; The llamas are dreadfully dramatic. At the slightest growl they fall over.

Me: I don’t blame them.

Nell: Henry and Horst are unbeaten. We never see them coming.

Me: I’m quite glad you don’t let me play.

Nell: I knew you would be. Best just watching

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Poppy has Fun and Nell has Choices

Me: It was lovely seeing you all having fun in the activity field.

Nell: We enjoy it there.

Me: And especially good to see little Poppy running around happily.

Nell: Yes.

Me: Although there’s more sniffari than activity going on for some.

Nell: Excuse me?

Me: You do like to sniff your way around the field.

Nell: At my age, one prefers to take one’s time.

Me: Talking of age, is there anything in particular you’d like to do on your birthday?

Nell: Lionel was asking me that.

Me: Was he indeed?

Nell: He suggested a little trip on his boat.

Me: No way. We’re not having you kidnapped again by that dreadful lion.

Nell: Don’t be so dramatic. He was merely suggesting a sail around Burgh Island and a lovely lunch at the hotel.

Me: I hope you refused.

Nell: I did nothing of the sort. I said I’d think about it.

Me: What about Knitwear Wolf? He might have planned something.

Nell: As a matter of fact Rupert and Tracey suggested a trip up to Dartmoor.

Me: That sounds wonderful.

Nell: Rupert offered to take me on his motorbike and Tracey has promised me one of her lovely apple pies.

Me: There’s nothing better than a good homemade pie with Dartmoor clotted cream. Did you agree?

Nell: I thanked them and said I’d consider it.

Me: Well, I know which option I would choose.

Nell: Fortunately the decision is mine and what I choose to do now is listen to Sunday Songs followed by one of Poppy’s excellent roasts.

Me: Is Dave helping?

Nell: David is on Yorkshire puddings which spells disaster to me.

Me: Yes. Maybe Tracey’s brought us one of her delicious apple pies?

Nell: The only pies in this house are Poppy’s.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Saturday Breakfasts

Me: You’re such a classic beauty, Nell.

Nell: Most kind of you to say so.

Me: It’s no wonder wolves and lions are falling in love with you.

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: You’re like Helen of Troy. ‘The face that launched a thousand ships.’

Nell: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Could we concentrate on our breakfast order, please?

Me: The usual bacon sandwich is fine for me, thank you.

Nell: No, it isn’t. David is on eggs and needs to be tested.

Me: A dippy egg then with soldiers on the side.

Nell: I think I’ll have a bacon omelette.

Me: That’s mean.

Nell: It has to be done. The last bacon omelette he made me had no bacon.

Me: I expect he forgot.

Nell: He ate it by mistake.

Me: The whole omelette?

Nell: No, just the bacon.

Me: Oh dear. Maybe you should order a plain omelette?

Nell: Nobody wants that on a Saturday.

Me: It would be much simpler.

Nell: The Cat has ordered a smoked salmon and scrambled eggs delivery.

Me: Delivery?

Nell: Yes, to the Big House. You know The Cat is never seen before 10am and always breakfasts in bed.

Me: I didn’t realise Poppy was offering deliveries.

Nell: She’s decided to give it a try.

Me: Is she covering all of Kingsbridge?

Nell: No, just the Big House, the Barn, the Nest and the Tree House.

Me: Has Dave got to deliver it too?

Nell: Of course not. The llamas will do that.

Me: I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

Nell: There’s nothing to worry about. They have special food containers strapped to their backs.

Me: But they’re always dancing, Nell. Especially in the mornings.

Nell: Lucky The Cat wants its eggs scrambled then.

Me: Yes. Sorry.


David is Worried about Eggs

Me: Davey seems awfully tired.

Nell: Don’t call him that, please. His name is David.

Me: Sally calls him Davey all the time.

Nell: Sally is in love. She can be forgiven for using a diminutive.

Me: Who can blame her? He’s such a catch. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. There’s nothing not to love.

Nell: Good grief.

Me: But why is he so tired? He’s been slumped on those cushions all morning.

Nell: He’s worried about eggs, if you must know.

Me: There’s no need for him to worry. Jim the Farm Dog makes sure we have a regular supply of farm fresh eggs. He’d never let Harriet go hungry.

Nell: It’s not the supply of eggs that’s concerning David. It’s the cooking of them.

Me: What do you mean?

Nell: Poppy is not quite herself at the moment with her illness so David is training as a breakfast chef to help her out.

Me: I didn’t know there was such a thing.

Nell: Well there is. Poppy had to take him off bacon and sausages for obvious reasons.

Me: Eating by mistake?

Nell: Exactly, so she put him on eggs.

Me: Eggs are quite complicated. You can have them boiled, fried, scrambled, or even poached. And some people want an omelette.

Nell: Quite.

Me: And then there’s the actual cooking of them. Soft, runny, hard, middling, sunny side up, over easy…

Nell: Stop. This isn’t an American diner.

Me: I love going to a diner. Endless cups of coffee and delicious pancakes. Oh, I forgot about pancakes. They’re made with eggs too.

Nell: Manuel is in charge of the pancakes.

Me: I can see why poor Davey is tired. I’m tired just thinking about all the choices.

Nell: Would you stop calling him Davey, please?

Me: Yes. Sorry.


Thank You So Much

Me: Can I begin by saying a huge thank you to everyone who supported us? It really does mean a lot.

Nell: David and I would particularly like to thank Brody, a black Labrador from Ohio, who asked for the money to be used for bacon sandwiches.

Me: Yes, I’m not sure Dave is going to stick to his diet.

Nell: A Labrador can’t be expected to cope without bacon.

Me: You’re right. Now, I wonder if I could ask you a favour?

Nell: Ask away.

Me: When I’m taking photos of you, like now on the beach in this glorious sunshine…

Nell: It is truly glorious.

Me: Could you perhaps try and smile a little?

Nell: I don’t do smiles. I leave that sort of things to the llamas.

Me: They are an awfully smiley lot. Bless them.

Nell: Or that dreadful hyena Mr Giggles.

Me: Nobody needs to see him smile. Could you just not look so grumpy?

Nell: I’m not grumpy.

Me: Try and pretend I’m Kev. You’re always giving him loving looks. I just get a hard stare.

Nell: You need a firm paw. Always have done.

Me: Tracey says I’m a delight.

Nell: Tracey would. She doesn’t know you.

Me: Don’t you think I’m a delight then?

Nell: You can be. I also think you have far too much imagination for your own good and sometimes get carried away and lose your grasp on reality.

Me: I wonder where those Beefies got their 99’s from?

Nell: I beg your pardon?

Me: I could just do with an ice cream.

Nell: This is exactly what I was talking about.

Me: No. Look at them flying around showing off with ice cream faces.

Nell: Those aren’t 99’s. Stop embellishing. They are simple cornets.

Me: Oh yes. Sorry.