Action stations! Call Jemima. ‘Could I possibly borrow Cinder for half an hour?’ Race up the road to collect her, race back, sit on the sofa, open the laptop and…
‘Hi,’ I say, clicking my tongue to summon my menagerie. ‘Look what I’ve got in my charge…’ I pan the laptop around my knees and feet, taking in one old black labrador, one young black labrador and Dusty.
‘Congratulations, sweetie! Is this in your new role as dogsitter?’
‘Yes it is!’ I say proudly. ‘Three dogs. Not bad, eh?’
‘Are they £10 dogs or £15 dogs?’ enquires Meredith.
‘Um, well Dusty’s mine, of course, so she’s a no pounds dog. But the other two are £15 dogs – in fact, Cinder’s an £18 dog, because she’s a puppy. There’s a premium for puppies because they chew your slippers and the skirting board.’
‘Sweetie, if they’re doing that, I hope you charge damages, or you’ll lose all your profit.’
‘Oh yes, it’s all in the contract.’
‘You’ve drawn up a contract?’
‘Yes, everyone does it round here.’
She’s nodding, clearly impressed. ‘Good. So, how long do you have them for?’
‘Sweetie! Let’s see! 33 times 14, £462! That’s wonderful!’
I report back on my other achievements of the week – all the job applications, the ad in the local paper, writing the blog, completing my Mission Statement…
‘And have you signed up for an online dating agency?’
‘Sweetie, I sense this fear barrier. You need to break through it. Action steps. That’s your next task.’