Jenny’s hot, hot, hot!
Jenny had an excellent week, despite a wobbly start when Underwoods ran out of chilli oil. Her blog for the SAVE campaign went viral, with replies coming from all over the world (East Anglia). It bagged her an interview with Radio Borsetshire, allowing her to snub Lynda’s ill-judged offer of media coaching, and helped her and Jill solve the Great Brookfield Dairy Mystery.
Heady with this success, she even managed to make a joke. Taking pity on sozzled, heartbroken Lilian, she invited her sister to stay, much to Brian’s chagrin.
‘With so many women in the house, he even used the word “coven”,’ she confided to Jill. ‘I told him, at our age the only time our cycles synchronise will be when Lilian and I get our delicates ready for the washing machine!’ Encouraged by Kate, Jenny has signed up for some open-mic gigs at the Ferret’s Nest in Felpersham. Go, Jenny!
Is David regretting the robots? (part 2)
David, Ruth and Pip combined a flying visit to Heather (‘Now don’t you be selling up just on my account bairns’) with placing the mahoosive order for robotic milkers. Pip was thrilled, but now that the cash is down, David is edgier than ever. He snapped at Shula for asking when the money might come through, as she wants to train racehorses and is plotting up a winner for next month’s Cheltenham Festival, having inherited the Archer ‘delusion’ gene.
Then he failed to reassure Eddie on how much work he might keep when Brookfield is all wind farms and solar panels. ‘I’ll be lucky if I get to cut the lawn round Justin Elliot’s mansion,’ Eddie said, to an awkward ‘Well it’s only rumour pet,’ from Ruth. And Bert is still worried that he and Freda will be turfed out of their bungalow. ‘He’d get equivalent accommodation,’ said Ruth, ‘but he might lose his lovely river frontage…’ (although in fact Justin has already told Bert he can park his new caravan anywhere out of sight of the house). Is it finally dawning on David that he can’t move north and retain his Ambridge’s Favourite Farmer award?
Happy birthday, Roy!
A visit and a card from Phoebe perked up Roy’s birthday no end, until he found out that Kate is now a permanent fixture at Home Farm. ‘She had an affair. So that’s both of you, isn’t it?’ Phoebe said, turning down his offer of last night’s takeaway for tea. As Brian confided to Jim and Robert, ‘Phoebe is not too impressed with either of her natural parents at the moment.’
‘That’s all I need – Kate bad-mouthing me morning, noon and night!’ Roy fumed at Mike, accurately as it happens, because when Kate learned that Phoebe had been to see Roy, she ‘went postal’ as Phoebe, also accurately, predicted.
‘You see mum, that’s the trouble. Roy sets her such a bad example. No wonder she’s upset,’ Kate moaned to Jenny, who for once rose to the occasion magnificently. ‘Now you know I’m your mother and I love you. But sometimes I wonder, can you hear the words that come out of your mouth?’ Kate, however, had her fingers in her ears, singing ‘La la la’….
‘What’s a “little bastard”, mummy’?
Rob’s plan to keep Helen in the kitchen by putting Tina in charge of Ambridge Organics unravelled this week, when an inspector called – not from Child Maintenance, but Environmental Health. Rob spluttered with impotent rage when Helen abandoned their lovely home-cooked lunch to sort things out, leaving him to pick up Henry. This was not a good time for Jess to call about baby Ethan, and Planet Titchener nearly exploded. ‘I have no intention of taking a DNA test and I am not paying maintenance for your little bastard! No, not you, Henry, you’re my favourite boy!’
And when Rob dropped into the shop later, things were even worse. Helen was happy as Larry, talking point-of-sale material and vitamin supplements with Tina, and daring to suggest Rob and Henry might have a takeaway for tea!
Faced with such insubordination, Rob refused to go to dance practice at The Bull, leaving Helen to have fun on her own. ‘Well, an occasional pizza won’t hurt him,’ said Ian. But will it hurt Helen? Someone will pay for this!
Curtains for the cows at Grange Farm
|Will the Brookfield Bottle save |
Ed's dairy enterprise?
If things are looking bleak for Eddie at Brookfield, it was an even worse week for Ed. Mike revealed that he couldn’t sell the bottling side of the business as a going concern, leaving Ed nowhere to send his milk. After a visit to Brookfield, where Ruth and David had no advice to offer, Ed decided to sell the 36 cows he has left and buy a tractor. ‘If I can’t be a farmer in my own right, it’s the best I can hope for,’ he told Eddie. ‘Don’t beat yourself up. You’ve done so well against the odds,’ Eddie said as they surveyed Ed’s beautiful but loss-making beasts. ‘You were brave. Never knew no one so brave.’
‘I tried hard, and I failed hard,’ said Ed. In the absence of Pip coming up with a wizard wheeze from uni, or the Brookfield Milk Bottle having magic properties, it looks as though Ed, despite his best efforts, will be another sad loss to dairy farming.
Lions are full of heart!
Many thanks to the Ambridge Lions, who have kindly donated a defibrillator to be installed in The Bull. The need for this became clear after a ‘dance practice’ incident where competition between two elderly participants had nearly fatal results. Fortunately Joe ‘Beetroot Face’ Grundy and Bert ‘Goose step’ Fry were revived at the scene with Mrs Carol Tregorran’s famous Turnip Tango tea. But better safe than sorry, eh gentlemen?
Good-looking, clean-cut farming entrepreneur WLTM similar. Me: hard-working, ambitious, NSOH, tired of dating game and drunken fumbles. Now looking for long-term commitment and crop rotation expertise. You: called Adam Macy and engaged to Ian. Let’s connect! Please. Please?
This week we asked Robert Snell and Jim Lloyd, two of Ambridge’s keenest bird-watchers, for their top seasonal tips. Have you seen any of these species around the village?
• Pargetter’s booby (Tucker adulterus). The male is an excellent parent, who pines and fouls his own nest when separated from his young. Listen out for his mournful nocturnal call: ‘Hayleylizzie! Lizziehayley!’
• Long-legged thwaite (Sabrina titillata). Despite its eye-catching pale gold crest and showy leopardskin plumage, this bird is completely mute.
• Great crested titchener (Turdus duplicitus). Aggressive type. Mates with two females but sets up home with only one, confining her to the nest and throwing out unwanted young.
• Liver-spotted jillfinch (Aga domestica). Mates for life, but roosts with her young when widowed. Known for her chirpy call: ‘Hello you two! Hello you two!’
• Common or garden shrike (Carter inquistadora) Ground-dwelling bird with dowdy plumage and sharp beak, distinctive for its busy habit and incessant shrill cry.