London. Life.

“How’s my boy?” exclaimed Kellen, wrapping his arms around Harry and lifting him off the floor. “You’re my favourite. So gorgeous!”

“Sometimes I think that you only ever come to Forest Hill to see the dog, not me…” smiled Niall, planting a kiss on Kellen’s cheek while Harry was still snuggled in Kellen’s arms.

“You can’t be jealous of Harry!” insisted Kellen. “You have to admit, he’s a pretty cute dog!”

“He just threw up on the kitchen floor…” shrugged Niall. “That wasn’t particularly cute. Anyway, come in - it’s all a bit chaotic, the builders have been back today fixing a few things.”

“I thought you were all done with the renovations?” asked Kellen, taking off his hat and scarf as he followed Niall through the house. “Nice tree! That’s enormous!”

“It’s alright, isn’t it?” grinned Niall, pausing to admire the brightly decorated Christmas tree that filled one end of the living room. “It only cost £60 - I got it from the place where I get everything for the garden, so they gave me a discount.”

“That’s a good price…” agreed Kellen. “I got mine from Columbia Road and paid £45 for something about a quarter of that size. So, what have the builders been fixing today?”

“The under-floor heating in the kitchen has stopped working…” explained Niall. “They think a rat has chewed through one of the pipes or the power cord or something. You know what they say, in London you’re never more than a metre away from a rat!”

“I thought it was never more than a metre away from Beverley Knight?” smiled Kellen.

“What does that mean?” asked Nick, opening a bottle of red wine and pouring them both large glasses.

“Oh, it’s a theatre joke…” explained Kellen. “You know, she’s in a lot of musicals. I think the joke is something like - if you’re in the West End you’re never more than a metre away from Beverley Knight.”

“If you have to explain the joke then it’s not really a joke…” dismissed Niall. “Cheers! Merry Christmas!”

“Can we talk Brexit?” asked Kellen.

“Do we have to?” replied Niall.

“I was caught up in stuff this afternoon, so I haven’t really followed what’s happened with the latest update that May gave to Parliament…” explained Kellen. “Has she set a date for the vote?”

“Yes, she’s said the vote will be sometime in the week beginning 14th of January…” said Niall. “It seems like she’s going to try and bring the same deal back, but she’s given herself maximum time to get the numbers.”

“Probably about all she could do…” nodded Kellen.

“But get this…” said Niall. “Corbyn moved a vote of no confidence!”

“What? In the government?” asked Kellen. “That’s major!”

“No, it was a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister…” explained Niall. “It’s a bit of a non-event really. The government doesn’t even have to allow time for the motion to be debated. Even if it was successful, it doesn’t really change anything. It almost seems as if he wanted to be seen to be doing something, without actually doing anything.”

“Weird…” nodded Kellen. “I guess their strategy is to just sit back, let the Tory party implode, and then be the only viable option to form a government. It’s not a bad strategy, but I’m not totally sure that it’s going to work.”

“Stop feeding that dog crisps!” scolded Niall. “If he throws up again, you’re in charge of cleaning it up!”

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