Sunday, 26 June 2016

Josh is found out, Henry has a day out and Kate lets it all hang out… a chaotic week in Ambridge

Rift between old allies shocks village

Ambridge was rocked to the core this week as a bitter row put a decades-old relationship in jeopardy.
‘Things got very nasty,’ said one resident. ‘Some cruel things were said that will make it hard for both sides to forgive and forget.’
‘It felt as though you’d woken up to find you were living in a strange country,’ said another. ‘I really don’t know how I’ll explain it to the children. And to think the older generation were mainly responsible.’
‘I’ll never forget where I was at the time,’ said a witness. ‘Imagine – two stalwarts of the WI, Jill Archer and Carol Tregorran, having a stand-up row in the street!’
Mrs Tregorran admitted to the The Ambridge Observer that she and Mrs Archer had had an upsetting argument, but said this was down to a ‘misunderstanding’.
‘I’d forgotten Jill is an interfering old biddy who always knows what’s best for everyone, that’s all,’ she said. ‘I should have known she’d go behind my back to call my daughter Anna after I broke my wrist. She meant well.’
‘Carol did say some unkind things, but I don’t regret what I did,’ said Mrs Archer. ‘And now that Anna’s staying in Ambridge, she might finally find out what went on between Rob and Helen. It will all turn out as well as one of my lemon drizzles, you’ll see!’

Police investigate fowl play

Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) reported two disturbing cases of poultry-related crime at a press briefing this week.
‘Witnesses saw a young man and a teenager stuffing hens into cages and driving off at speed from Willow Farm late at night,’ he said. ‘The perpetrators, Toby Fairbrother and Josh Archer, said they were only ‘relocating’ some of Josh’s hens to meet increased demand for their egg business. But Neil Carter claimed he part-owned the birds and they’d been stolen.
‘Fortunately, all parties agreed to handle the matter informally, so Josh got off without a criminal record this time. But I’ve got my eye on him, sure as eggs is eggs.’
PC Burns said the second case was potentially much more serious. ‘I’d heard rumours that someone was trying to film a ‘fluff movie’, featuring ‘plenty of hot birds’ and ‘hen action’ in Ambridge,’ he said. ‘And then I got a tip-off that the maker of this filth was trying to coerce a young female farmer into taking part by luring her into recording a ‘voiceover’.
‘Obviously, I took swift action to prevent Ambridge becoming the porn hub of the Midlands. I confiscated Toby Fairbrother’s video camera and took myself off to my bedroom for a fact-finding viewing.
‘In fact, the footage turned out to be very disappointing – um, I mean it was all above board,’ said PC Burns. ‘It was merely a rather amateurish commercial for Mr Fairbrother’s egg business. ‘I’ve returned his equipment and closed the file for now. But Mr Fairbrother needs to watch his step or he’ll be up before the beak.’

My week, by Henry Titchener, aged 5

Thanks to Rob Titchener, flood hero of Blossom Hill Cottage, for sending us his son Henry’s charming account of how they spent Father’s Day:

We went on the Blackberry Line train and it was all noisy and smoky like a dragon. Daddy told me how sad he was that mummy had promised to take me on the Blackberry Line and then she broke her promise. That made me sad too when I remembered it.
I didn’t go to see Granny Pat and Granddad Tony on Father’s Day because Daddy said they didn’t want to see me; they wanted to see my new brother Gideon instead. I want to see Gideon but Daddy says Mummy won’t let us and that makes him sad. So I saw Granny and Granddad on Friday instead. Daddy and Grandma Ursula let me stay up really late the night before and gave me lots of sweets to eat at school because they said I needed treats if I had to go to boring old Bridge Farm.
So I was tired when I saw Granny Pat and I didn’t want to see the smelly old cows or eat her stinky food. I like the stories my Daddy tells me about how horrid and cruel mummies can be and how daddies are best.

Estate agents call for extra security

The Borsetshire Association of Estate Agents has warned members to send valuers out in pairs after a number of ‘distressing incidents’ involving staff.
‘Emotions can run high when a home is being sold but that is no excuse for intimidation,’ said spokesperson Trudie Key-Hole.
‘For example, an agent visiting a farmhouse in Ambridge was met by an old man who’d barricaded himself in the kitchen with some pigs and feral ferrets, yelling: “You’ll never take us Grundys alive!”
‘Obviously, this made a successful viewing impossible and we had to respectfully decline the client’s instructions.’
Mr Joe Grundy, currently a tenant at Grange Farm, said he couldn’t comment as he was too busy protecting his family’s birthright.

Summer Fiction Special: The Trials of Princess Kate

In the latest chapter of our romantic saga, by award-winning novelist Lavinia Catwater, our heroine is torn between her twin destinies as a mother and eco-entrepreneur…

Princess Kate surveyed herself in the mirror, pleased that she’d got her look – Coachella-cool with a hint of Glasto-grunge – just right. She turned to the window, where she could see the yurts in a neat circle round the firepit and the lovingly-carved totem she’d commissioned from a dear little shaman in Penny Hassett. All was ready for her new business, Spiritual Home, and the super-cool summer solstice party she’d organised, the VIP guests all hand-picked by advertising for them on Facebook. Could she already hear the rumble of campervans and Harley Davidsons in the lane? She was about to skip out into the warm June evening when she heard a shriek. ‘Mum! There’s no milk!’
Reluctantly, Princess Kate went to the kitchen. Phoebe was in her dressing gown, hair like a bird’s nest and ink stains on her face, brandishing an empty bottle. ‘Don’t you get it Mum? How am I supposed to do my revision in this… pig sty!’
‘Oh, chill Phoebe,’ Kate sighed. ‘Come out and have some fun with the guys – Skymoon and Tweazle are on their way from Avebury! It would do you more good than those boring old books…’
But Phoebe had stomped back upstairs and slammed her door. Oh, why did her daughter have to bring her mood down like that, on her big day? Life was so unfair…


‘Phoebe – Feebs darling – where are you? You’re not at Home Farm!’ ‘No mum. I went to stay with Dad and you were so busy doing your fire ritual you didn’t even notice!’
Typical. Once again, Phoebe had managed to ruin Princess Kate’s day with her petty worries about sleep and good grades. ‘Well, never mind that now. I need you here to help with the guests. They’ve all got a bit… well… over-excited…’
Princess Kate ducked as her totem pole flew over her head and shattered Home Farm’s kitchen window. ‘Um, cool it, yeah… I thought you Hell’s Angels were about peace and love…’  Ignoring her, a bunch of guys in leather and chains started throwing the yurts into the swimming pool.
‘Phoebe! Phoebe! You’ve got to come! I need you!’ But her daughter had rung off. Oh, why did life have to be SO unfair?

To be continued…

The Ambridge Observer Brexit poll: results

Fine; never did like that fancy foreign food                                    10%
Weren’t we lucky to buy our euros for Venice just before?            10%
Worried; years of uncertainty for farmers                                        10%
But they do OK in New Zealand, pet                                             10%
Sorry, what?                                                                                    60%


  1. Once again, this is a work of genius with just the right blend of laugh-out-loud parody and chilling realism (Henry's bit).

  2. Thank you for making me laugh. A brilliant resume of the goings on in our favourite village.

  3. I hope Pat and Tony are on your mailing list Christine. It would be a shame if they missed Henry's account of Father's Day.

  4. More glorious than the solstice sun over Lakey Hill. Thank you.

  5. Thank you very much for lovely comments everyone - our court reporter has broken out a fresh notebook for the hearing this week.... with a sketch artist to capture Helen's new haircut!

  6. It's time little Henry told Daddy Rob and Grandma Ursula that he wants to see the view from the rooftop at Lower Loxley ... and over 70 and half crippled I may be but I'll be the first to offer to go up first and fix the trip wires! Henry seems to be pushing open the door to 'revolting little boy' so it's time to return him to Grandma Pat and Grandad Tony, FOR GOOD!