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We went to give a talk to the hard of hearing club in Twickenham. Well, mum did all the talking, and I worked the crowd. More ‘Smudge-groupies’! They all loved me and I think they liked mum too. Mum told them all about what it’s like to live with me (fantastic), how smart I am (goes without saying), how naughty I am (she even told them I’m a kleptomaniac), how I work for her (I’m the best), and how much I’ve changed her life (lots). We met some lovely people and made yet more friends, so we ended up being the last ones to leave. Again. I had a little chat with mum about that. We agreed, you can never have too many friends. Especially when they insist on giving you a bag of yummy dog treats.

Then we went to Auntie Ollie’s for a fish and chip supper. I was given another bag of dog treats (is it Christmas?), got lots of cuddles from Ollie, and John took me for a run. Mum was drinking pink champagne with a wild hibiscus flower in the bottom of the glass, it looked so pretty.

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Ollie got her wild hibiscus flowers from Lakeland, you can also get them from Firebox, or direct from the supplier. You place a flower in the bottom of a champagne flute, add a little of the syrup from the jar, pour on your bubbly and watch the flower open up. The drink even turns pink. You can eat the flower which tastes of raspberry and rhubarb. Magic!

We had such a lovely evening, we can’t wait to see Auntie Ollie again. She has promised a visit to her allotment soon. In the era of Henry VIII it was the orchard of Richmond Palace. Richmond Palace is no more, but the soil is very rich and John grows his fruit and veg very successfully – aided by Ollie watching from a deckchair with a gin and tonic in her hand. Those must be some posh vegetables!

– Mum, is Auntie Ollie a princess?
– Oh yes!

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