Kate's karma is stretched to the limit
‘Alex is gorgeous, polite, charming, easy to talk to… it looks like Phoebe is a better picker of men than her mother.’ So said Kate of Phoebe’s boyfriend, who dazzled assorted Aldridges and Tuckers at Phoebe’s 17th birthday party, complimenting Hayley on her apple crumble, and even putting up with ‘I’m Phoebe’s mum, but you must call me Kate’ and her gory tales of giving birth at Glasto. Phoebe was mortified, but Alex had his eyes on the prize: getting Phoebe into bed later that week.
‘Will we have, um, everything we need?’ said a nervous Phoebe, as Alex appeared at Home Farm bearing flowers for Jennifer (an appropriate gift as he was about to deflower her granddaughter). It’s to be hoped that Alex did come properly supplied (can we rephrase that? Ed) because he and Phoebe were in flagrante when Kate, bored on a Friday night, popped over for a chat.
‘Oh, Kate!’ gasped Alex. ‘I’m Phoebe!’ wailed Phoebe. ‘Don’t you Kate me!’ yelled Kate. ‘Get your clothes on and get out!’
No amount of Tai Chi and meditation on the lawn with Lilian could have prepared Kate for such a stressful scene, let alone Phoebe, who is now officially the owner of the Most Embarrassing Mother in the World.
And Kate, of course, shed her liberal principles as fast as Alex pulled his jeans back on, Free Love not applying to her own teenaged daughter.
What next? Kate’s vision of a holistic retreat of yoga and yurts has already melted away on first contact with Brian and Jennifer; now her fragile relationship with Phoebe seems to have suffered another wounding blow. Will Lynda, who recognises in Kate another trapped, creative spirit, offer support? Will Roy punch Alex on the nose? Will Brian shut himself in the wine fridge with a corkscrew to escape the Monstrous Regiment at Home Farm? (Enough speculation now. Getting silly. Ed).
Letter to the editor
I just wanted to say how pleased I am that, unlike that other local rag the Borchester Echo, you don’t waste valuable newsprint on my backstabbing siblings Lizzie Pargeter and David Archer. Nobody wants to hear his deadly dull opinions on the new road, and everybody knows the Ambridge fete has been deliberately moved to Lower Loxley to ruin my pub. I’m enclosing several dozen shots of our new picnic hampers, ranging from the ‘Anyone for tennis’ to the super-luxurious ‘Mixed Doubles’, which I hope you’ll publish in full. And can I assure your readers of a warm welcome at The Bull this summer. Unless they are called David, Lizzie, or Jill. Kenton Archer.
(Note to subs: don’t use pix. And can we big up the next story’s headline. Thx. Ed)
David Archer, hero of the flood, takes to the airwaves
David Archer, chair of the Ambridge Flood Action Group, revealed to Radio Borsetshire this week his belief that the independent report into the flood risk of ‘route B’ will sink the plan for a new road through the village.
‘We don’t need to remind everyone of the devastation in February,’ he reminded listeners, many of whom sobbed as they gathered round their radios. ‘But the council and road developers can’t argue with the facts and can’t afford to ignore them. Oh and while I’m on, Lynda Snell asked me to ping in a mention for the fete. It’s at Lower Loxley on July 19, by kind permission of my lovely sister Lizzie. Thanks folks!’
Mr Archer’s broadcast was greeted with delight by flood-weary Ambridge residents. ‘We might really have them on the back foot now,’ said Mrs Carol Tregorran. ‘The hard facts of this report will have more impact than butterflies, collecting buckets and even the Boudicca of Borsetshire. Would you like some seed cake?’
Borsetshire County Council said: ‘We shall take careful note of these findings and decide if they materially affect our proposals.’
(Note to subs: can you check Justin Elliot’s PR guys are OK with this? Ed).
New series: From the message boards
A quick look at what's got Ambridge talking on the web this week...
Hey guys, can you believe there are 250 new hot birds at Brookfield? No, I don’t mean Pip Archer, though I would, wouldn’t you? And my bro Rex so would. No, I mean 250 little fluffy goslings, all ready to be lovingly nurtured and fattened up by our new Gorgeous Goose Company in time for Christmas. Check out our website (when it’s ready) and place your orders guys!!! Tobes Fairbrother.
It’s disgusting the way rich kids can swan into the village and start taking the bread out of the mouths of decent families by setting up a rival business. Everyone knows poultry is the Grundys’ birthright. They’ve been known as the pluckers of Ambridge since God was a boy. It ain’t right. Bartleby.
‘Swan’ into the village? Don’t you mean goose-step? Lolz. Krazy Kenton.
Does anyone on here believe in ghosts? I keep thinking about my husband’s first wife, Grace Archer. Now that those Fairbrother boys are back in the village, it’s like a goose walking over my grave. Aunty Jill.
Have you been to Grey Gables recently? If you have, would you mind giving us a quick review on ‘Howsyourhotel.com’? Thing is, we’ve had a few negative comments recently about guests behaving as if they own the place, wearing pyjamas in the bar, having barbecues in their room, letting ferrets run round the lounge – nothing much, but we’d like to post some positive feedback on there too. Thanks everyone. Rover Roy.
Jeez Louise, kid, are you for real? My wife is still having trauma counseling after we stayed at your place back in the spring. And my oldest buddy Sol Berkowitz hasn’t spoken to me since I recommended it to him. I can’t believe that hell-hole hasn’t been shut down for good. Wilbur M Cornstalk, West Virginia, USA.
Please, kind people of Ambridge, do you know anything about my cousin Stefan? We have no news of him since he failed to come home on leave in May. He was very good worker, at Berrow Farm. But he got in some trouble with his boss, Mr Titchy. He was nervous, I think. His family miss him. Can you help? Magda, Warsaw.
Ode to the Flower & Produce Show by Bert Fry
Since I lost my Freda, I’ve been very low,
I wasn’t even interested in the Flower & Produce Show.
But Mrs Carol Tregorran, she really made me think,
So I’ve bucked up my ideas, and now I’m in the pink.
Back at our little bungalow, the roses are a-bloom,
I pictured my dear Freda, sitting in our living room,
If she was here beside me now, she’d be full of happy chatter,
Telling me all about the things that really matter,
Like beating Derek Fletcher to the ‘Biggest Marrow’ prize –
I could just see the pride beaming in Freda’s lovely eyes.
So I decided me and Mrs T would make a go of it,
I’ll do most of the work, and she can weed and hoe a bit.
We’ll get her garden shipshape, and the bungalow garden too
With delphiniums and azaleas and lupins red and blue.
Losing my Freda did nearly drive me over the edge,
But now I’m going to win that trophy for Mrs Tregorran’s veg!