Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ambridge Even Less

In the aftermath of The Fire here are ten more bits of trivial news that would otherwise go unnoticed:

To everyone's relief, the "Welcome Home Phoebe" banner which Josh had prepared was destroyed in the fire. David's offer to help Roy to hang it at Lower Loxley had sent Roy into hiding.

Mickey Mouse wears a Brian Aldridge watch.

Josh and Gina are now an item, and have applied for joint custody of the calf.

Alan Franks' curry was such a success that he is opening Ambridge's first curry house. It is to be called Frankly My Dear (I don't give a Naan). Alan was briefly taken into custody by the 2012 Brand Police for his use of the slogan: This will test your Olympic Ring.

John Terry wears a Roy Tucker shirt.

Once again Jolene has scuppered Kenton's plans to spend an extended time down under.

Rio 2016's Olympic Organising Committee have invited Lynda to join their number. The Brazilians are naturally impressed with her anti-litter activities and her bush trimming campaign and her expenses will be covered by an over-60s phone-in on Raunchy Radio Rio.

Jill came to Elona's rescue in the great damp bread disaster, providing her with one of the six spare loaves she had baked, just in case. The moral of this story is: don't leave recently baked produce out in the rain.

One of the Ambridge in Bloom hanging baskets fell on Adam's head. It has reversed previous damage, and Adam thinks he could identify his assailants from a line-up. The police have obliged, and Adam will select between Keith Richards, Keith Horrobin, Keith Chegwin, Keith Joseph, Keith Harris, Orvill and a Badger.

Eddie has been banned from selling his hybrid Borsetshire Beast ornaments. 2012 lawyers say they are too reminiscent of Fatima Whitbread.

Please add any other scintillating but otherwise unnoticed facts below or report them directly to @TonysConsultant.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Great Fire of Brookfield

The Great Fire of Brookfield has aroused great suspicion this week, with the Horrobins the obvious target of much finger pointing. Assumptions have been made about the motivation for the setting of the fire. We are all being drawn into the shared conviction that the fire is connected to the attack on Adam, and David's "will he/won't he testify" dilemma.

But these and other aspects of the Fire are nothing more than red herrings - or red kippers as they should properly be called after they were smoked in the embers of Brookfield. This was not intimidation. The real perpetrators are very happy that the focus is being drawn away from them but the truth needs to be uncovered. In true Ambridge CSI style, let's examine the facts.

Firstly, history does repeat itself. Consider the similarities with the Great Fire of London. Despite the magnitude of the fire, there were only six fatalities: a badger, two squirrels, a bat, a partridge left in a Christmas decoration stored in a corner of the barn and David's patience.

Secondly, there were echoes of Samuel Pepys as Jennifer was seen digging a hole in the grounds of Home Farm in which to hide her cheese.

And thirdly, Lynda's hay fever and various other ailments are rumoured to have been cured in the wake of the fire.

Much of this - in relation to both the Brookfield and the London fires - is of course apocryphal but take the comparisons a little further. Who gained most from The Great Fire of London? Christopher Wren and the developers of course, who had the opportunity to rebuild the City of London. It is rumoured that there were two developers in particular who made thousands of groats out of the contracts that were on offer: Sir Matteus Crawford (descended from a refugee-made-good from the Armada) and Admiral-of-the-Fleet Lord Bryn Aldridge, King Charles's Keeper of the Tassels (son of a Welsh farmer who found good fortune at court, particularly after successful land acquisitions in rural Hungary).

Sir Matteus and Lord Bryn enjoyed a chequered relationship. Conspiracy theorists attest that they came together in a plan to destroy the City of London and then profit from its reconstruction. The whole scheme was put into motion when Lord Bryn's long suffering wife, the fair Lady Jen, intentionally left a casserole on a hearth in their city apartments in Pudding Lane. The rest, as they say, is history.

Nearly four centuries later it can be no coincidence that Mattheus and Bryn's descendants are in desperate need of land for development in Ambridge - and that a serious fire hits the village.

So perhaps we should be a little less swift to blame the Horrobins, and look a little closer to home. Or, indeed, to Home Farm.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ambridge Less

With the return of Ambridge Extra bringing us all those exciting "added bits" that we have all been simply dying to be acquainted with, it must also be time for a session or two of Ambridge Less. This is where we hear all the bits and pieces that are too trivial to make it into the regular wireless transmission from Ambridge. Yes, as regular listeners, you may be surprised to learn that there are things even less interesting than that which you hear on a regular basis. So, while Brookfield burns, elsewhere.....

Tom has a verruca
Nothing much has been heard from Tom recently. This is because Brenda has confined the Polytunnel King to isolation since the discovery of a rather nasty verruca. On a testicle.

Kathy has nothing to moan about
Kathy is happy. Up at the Golf Club she has discovered that life can be good, and that even when you are in a bunker the green is only one shot away. Her new found chirpiness is just too much for most people to handle.

Tony sits in his chair
Tony sits in his chair all day long. He has soup delivered by Pat on the hour, every hour. He says he feels fine. "Super" in fact.

Matt has a small one
In The Bull, Matt confounded everyone by ordering a single scotch. Lilian mocks the fact that he has a small one.

Jill bakes a cake
Although of course this really means that Jill bakes seven cakes. Always have six spare.

Jazzer has a night in
Jazzer has a quiet night in with a book, a cup of cocoa and his Graham Norton hot water bottle.

Gay Gordon's Yorkshires Drop
Ian's sous chef at Grey Gables has had a disaster.

Ruairi staples Brian's tassels
Impish Ruairi staples Brian's tassels together - Jennifer is very amused.

Chris soils his apron
It's not what you think. He spills casserole.

Henry crawled
Don't worry if you missed this. Helen sold the rights to Turkey Baster Weekly.

These are just the top ten of the dullest moments in Ambridge that didn't make it into the transmission of the documentary. Please list below any other examples you are aware of, or send them direct to @TonysConsultant.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Great Ambridge Cheese Mountain II

The good people of Ambridge have responded valiantly to the call to arms to deal with The Great Ambridge Cheese Mountain. Circumstances have helped. Sending Ben and Josh to the North East disguised as a giant Edam was inspired. Cheese specials at both The Bull and Jaxx have kept the cheese moving. And even Bartleby has done his bit, thanks to Joe's very clever move of sprinkling cheese cubes with sugar.

Even the community shop is doing its bit. It was Christine who had the inspiration to stock the shelves with DVD titles that will keep cheese at the top of everyone's agenda. These include:

Brie on the River Kwai
Edam in Dagenham
Cheese Straw Dogs
Whatever Happened to Babybel?
Saving Private Rind
The Grater Escape
Return of the Cheddar
A Brie Too Far
East of Edam
The Mousetrap

and the whole of the Edammer Horror series.

But there are some problems that come with these developments. Sadly over-indulgence has led to some residents having nightmares. Some have reported them to me in total confidence and therefore, as you would expect, I share some of them with you here:

Alastair's worst nightmare was that someone paid the ransom and Shula was returned to him, like a galleon in full sail. I was able to reassure him that this was utterly ridiculous and even he hadn't done enough to deserve that.

Amy dreamed that Qarl was married, had children, was beastly to her and dumped her. I've recommended therapy. And offered to personally pay for a one-way ticket to a destination of her choice.

Lynda, worryingly, reported a dream that she had seen William Grundy naked. This is a matter of some concern. Whilst we all know that this indeed did happen, Lynda must never know its veracity. She is a frail and vulnerable woman and she would not survive this. Can Twitter keep a secret?

Christine's dream was that Jim only wanted her for her scones. My advice was that she should spice up her scones, and add a bit of spice to anything else that might win him over.

David dreamed that he was awoken by a giant badger which spoke in a Geordie accent. I think we all know what's going on there.

Daniel was tossing and turning most nights but never gets to sleep, so he still lives in his daydreams of West End and Broadway musical successes.

Please report any other cheese related news below or direct to @TonysConsultant.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey Gables by Caroline Sterling

Fifty Shades of Grey Gables
The Girl Who Likes To Say "Yah"

When Oliver Sterling married Caroline he knew he was taking on a woman with a past. Caroline has settled down now but she has enjoyed a very full life which she has chronicled in her candid memoir.

Here we publish an excerpt as it appears in an exclusive serialisation in The Echo [*Echo*].

"Chapter Seven
Home Farm Home Truths

As a descendant of the Netherbonkers I have a healthy libido and need a strong man to satisfy my needs. While I was waiting for one, I had a torrid affair with Brian Aldridge.

I always worried that Brian was only interested in my heritage. In whispered tones he would often ask me about my Netherregions. We had to find our pleasure where we could, forever seeking private places to hide. We had to try to avoid Jennifer so Brian was always trying to take me round the back.

I had to endure Brian's rather odd dress sense. He often got his tassels caught and many's the time I had to unravel his cravat.

For Brian business always came first. Well actually, if the truth be told, Brian always came first, but that's another story.

Brian is a kind man. Sorry.....Brian is a kinda man. When you've led the life I have you are used to a man with stamina and staying power. Brian always seemed exhausted by the time we met, and I realised why whenever I saw Jennifer with a smile on her face and a venison casserole in her hands.

Lambing time was always difficult. He promised me the sheep meant nothing to him but I saw him doing things with those animals he would never do with me."

In deference to our younger readers we draw a close to this excerpt here. If, however, you wish to comment upon this then please write to the editor of The Echo, add comments below, or write in complete confidence to @TonysConsultant.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Great Ambridge Cheese Mountain

This week listeners have been disturbed to learn the true extent of the Ambridge Cheese Mountain. As Guardian of the Cheese (an ancient title bestowed upon the wife of the biggest landowner and the wildest philanderer, therefore clearly Jennifer Aldridge by a country mile) Jennifer has been keen to begin the process of......well, processing the cheese.

As a cook of some note, the author of a number of recipe books and the custodian of the village website, Jennifer is well placed to suggest ways of shifting the cheese. Here are her top ten suggestions:

Cheese Rolling Competition
Kenton will be encouraged to include a Cheese Rolling Competition in his "Olympic Games". As one of the cheesiest in the community, this should not be a problem.

Cheese'n'Badger Burgers
"Where there's muck there's brass and where there's cheese there's dosh" is one of Brenda's more clumsy marketing slogans for Gourmet Burgers. Utilising cousin David's freezer full of some "other offences to be taken into consideration" and Auntie Jennifer's cheese, Tom has come up with a new delicacy.

Peacock Cocktail Surprise: Bloody Peacock
Having finally lost patience with Eccles, Jolene has come up with a new cocktail. Vodka based, it is given body by Peacock's blood and topped off with cheese and pineapple on a stick. It'll catch on, but onto what or whom nobody can be sure.

Easter Island Cheese Statues
As the bottom has fallen out of Eddie's gnome market, he has busied himself carving Easter Island-inspired statues out of cheese. Fine all the while he can keep his ferrets from eating his handiwork.

Cheese Fondue for every conceivable occasion
Home Farm is low on venison, the game isn't as well hung as Brian had promised (story of his life) but there is cheese in abundance. Jennifer has therefore taken to preparing Cheese Fondue and arriving at ChrisTHORpher and Alice's at the most inopportune moments.

My Big Fat Horrobin Wedding Catering
The social event of the year is striving to be posh - like Will and Emma's (nothing like aspiration, is there - and this is nothing like aspiration) and Jennifer has offered an unlimited supply of cheese for the event. There will be cheese omelette, tuna cheese bake and cheese cake. Cheese and biscuits are optional.

Cheese and Wine for the Book Club
Usha will announce her full return to the social scene with a meeting of the Book Club. They will discuss Caroline Sterling's raunchy memoir, Fifty Shades of Grey Gables accompanied by cheese and wine (and indeed whine if Amy is at home that evening.)

Beast Bait
While the search continues for the Beast of Borsetshire and William and Nic continue their nocturnal activities, time can be saved by the young lovers wearing cheese based clothing as bait for the beast. Cheese cloth shirts, of course.

Cheese Ice Cream
Pat can do her sister-in-law a favour by creating a cheese ice cream, which Clarriecoli can produce. That'll help keep the numbers down.

Cheese Surprise
Everyone can play their part by helping with Cheese Surprise - purely and simply using cheese in the most surprising circumstances. Cheese Soup for Tony; Cheese communion wafers at St Stephens; Cheese......you get the picture.

This is a huge task for the good people of Ambridge, so if you have other suggestions please list them below or communicate them directly to @TonysConsultant.