Stop press – Ambridge fete cancelled!
The Great Flood continues to wreak havoc in the village. This week, it claimed its latest victim: the annual Ambridge fete. Drainage works to be carried out over the summer will put the village green out of action for the season and the organisers fear another venue cannot be found. Enthusiastic new committee member Alice Carter said: ‘It’s such a shame! I was planning to borrow a Eurofighter Typhoon, the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft, from work for the day! The kids would have loved it!’
New series: Kate Madikane, My Ambridge Week
Party planner, hardworking student, cool mum and committed social activist: how does Kate Madikane do it? (Don't you mean 'Why'? Ed). Home Farm’s answer to Jemima Khan shares a week of her sparkling summer season with us:
Local community events, like Open Farm Sunday, are really important to me (especially if there’s a chance to chat up Charlie Thomas, Ambridge’s cutest mega-dairy manager!) But I never miss a chance to stand up for social justice, so when my soppy cousin Helen gave her little talk about solar panels I had to speak out. ‘You can’t believe Berrow Farm’s a nature reserve!’ I challenged her, waving my plastic cup of free Pimm’s (Pimm’s is vegan, right?). ‘It’s a massively subsidised industrial complex. You’re just spouting pathetic capitalist propaganda!’ I could tell the crowd was with me by the way they waved their fists, but my spoilsport bro Adam told me I was out of order. He wouldn’t treat Bianca Jagger like that!
Some family time with my lovely daughter Phoebe today (although we’re such good mates, everyone says we must be sisters!). Respect for your parents means everything to me so I was only too happy to help when Dad asked me to clean the purple dye out of the swimming pool. (Don’t ask how it got there – what a craz-ee party that was!)
Some great coverage in the Borchester Echo today – they printed a wicked picture of me in my Fairtrade hemp lingerie and Toby Fairbrother in his Calvin Kleins, having a wild time in our pool at the Young Farmers’ bash! Mum couldn’t see the funny side but I told her it’s all good publicity for her boring old SAVE campaign. ‘Chill, mum!’ I said. ‘Judi Dench just posed nude with a fish, and you love her!’
I went to a lecture at world-renowned Felpersham University this morning, where I’m studying on a highly prestigious, intense diploma course in International Development. My lecturer Dr Matthewson said it was a delightful surprise to see me in class, and I know he values my insights from my years in Africa. But I’m beginning to wonder if academia is really in tune with my dharma, and whether I need to find a new spiritual path. Kate Moss says… (is there much more of this? Ed)
Unfortunately, someone with my high profile and charisma tends to attract men like moths around a flame, and young Toby Fairbrother is no exception. The poor boy is completely smitten. I had to phone him 10 times get him to meet me, so I could let him down gently. I even graciously invited him to my party, but his brother Rex said: ‘Leave it, Tobes. She’s way out of your league.’ Or something like that. Sensible chap!
A highlight of the Ambridge social season tonight – my housewarming and smudging party! Everyone who’s anyone was there (well, apart from all my friends, who couldn’t make it) and it was a deeply spiritual moment when I began the incantation: ‘Spirits of sage, cedar and sweet grass; infinite power of the divine, protect and bless this house through time.’
As an expert party planner, I’m all about the element of surprise. So I was thrilled to see people’s faces when the fire alarm went off! And calling out the paramedics and fire service is a great way to get rid of your surplus vegan sausage rolls! Smoke inhalation is only Nature’s way of clearing out your chakras, anyway. (An extra tip, girls: pretend you don’t know vintage burgundy from Vimto – then daddy can’t mind if you ‘borrow’ some of his bottles!)
Letter to the Editor
Adam Macy of Home Farm, Ambridge, writes:
I thought your readers should know that although I took my massive machine to Berrow Farm’s Open Farm Sunday event, my friendship with the manager Charlie Thomas has no bearing on my passionate views about the damage that high-tech farming methods are doing to the environment.
It’s about time someone spoke out about the way that big-scale farming is slowly wrecking the ecosystem, which will soon quite literally explode! We will end up farming useless, infertile dust, which won’t produce crops no matter how many expensive chemicals you put on it. Farmers who claim to love the countryside, like my stepfather Brian Aldridge, are slowly working the soil to death to pay for the next load of fertiliser and no matter how many lunches Charlie Thomas buys me, I will not change my mind on this. You may call my herbal ley a hare-brained hippy experiment, Brian, but I will not stand by and see Ambridge turned into a dustbowl of locusts, radioactive badgers and giant bald chickens with five legs…. (That’s enough, Ed. Justin Elliott’s not keen on this kind of thing and his advertising contract’s up soon.)
Ask the doctor
Our GP replies to a reader who first asked her advice last week:
Q Since you diagnosed me with ‘Peggywoolley Irritans’ last week, my friends have taken me out for the day to discuss my ‘fuchsia’. They insisted we go to visit a garden full of ‘fuchsias’ and even made me buy one, saying they would support me whichever ‘fuchsia’ I chose. How can I tell them it’s my future I’m worried about, not some stupid plant? ‘Christine’, Ambridge.
A Oh dear. At your age people do get hard of hearing; perhaps there has been a misunderstanding. But I suspect you’ve been a victim of ‘Metaphoris Unsubtlum’, which can be hard to treat. Tell your friends to forget about your ‘fuchsia’ and look to their own.
FOR SALE: Unique patented rat trap! Handmade and fully functioning (no bait). Plus sundry DIY equipment: wire netting, fence posts, saw chains, creosote. House clearance: our old mate Mike doesn’t need them because he’s moving, and although we promised to keep them for him, we’d rather have the cash. It’s what he would have wanted. Apply: Eddie Grundy and Neil Carter, c/o The Cider Club, Ambridge.