Sunday, 21 May 2017

Justin compromises, Lily advises and Brian gets his gun – a thrilling week in Ambridge

A win at Darrington – but no girls allowed

Ambridge cricket club secured a precious win against Darrington on Sunday – but only after captain Harrison Burns played an all-male side.
‘It was a three-line whip for the boys, so how could I say no?’ said Adam Macy. ‘You need to be on top of your game against Darrington. And thanks to a gutsy last stand by Chris Carter and Barry Simmons, we ran out very close winners.’
Captain Burns was late for the match, as he was called to a road traffic accident in Edgeley. ‘Rex Fairbrother stood in very well until I arrived,’ he said. ‘But I couldn’t risk having any women in the team this time, certainly not Molly Button. Darrington are terrible sledgers and I wouldn’t trust Molly to contain herself at the crease. If she carried on like she does at nets, poor Bert Fry would walk off the pitch and we do need an umpire.’
Captain Burns said he has yet to pick his team for the next match but is not regretting his controversial decision to allow women to play. ‘Although if Lily Pargetter keeps badgering me about hot showers and scented candles in the pavilion I might have a rethink,’ he said.

Look out! Speedwatch is about

Motorists driving through Ambridge have been warned to stick to speed limits or face a fine, as a new Speedwatch scheme is launched in the village this week.
A group of volunteers has completed their training and will be stationed at the roadside on a rota basis. Two volunteers will be on duty, one to monitor the traffic and the other to record information about offenders. ‘It’s all rather fun,’ said Jim Lloyd. ‘I’ve already spotted a whitethroat and Robert saw a sparrowhawk. And sometimes, a car goes past.’
‘This is the best job I’ve ever had,’ said Mrs Susan Carter. ‘You won’t believe who we saw in Sabrina Thwaite’s car. Well, it wasn’t Richard, that’s for sure. I’ve no idea how fast they were going, mind. Neil was taken short behind a bush with his  speed gun.’
Borsetshire’s Rural Crime Unit (PC Harrison Burns) said it was too soon to tell how effective the scheme would be. ‘The volunteers were keen, but easily distracted,’ he said. ‘And I had to ask Kate Madikane not to advertise her ear-candling workshops by waving a placard at passing cars. But I would hope the sight of Brian Aldridge in a high-vis tabard would make more than one speed merchant think twice.’  

Bert’s top of the pots

Congratulations to Bert Horrobin of Ambridge, the winner of our latest ‘Antique of the Week’ competition. Mr Horrobin correctly valued this delightful Oriental ceramic duck (pictured) at £4.95.
‘Soon as I saw it I knew it were just like that boxed lot I picked up at Borchester Mop,’ he said. ‘Paid £5 for a dozen of ’em, so add your retail mark-up and I reckon £4.95 apiece is about right.’
However, the competition rolls over until next week as Mr Horrobin does not wish to claim his prize. ‘I wouldn’t have that tat in the ’ouse,’ he said. ‘Sold ’em on to Eddie Grundy as soon as I could. You could try that Miranda Elliott though; seems she paid him handsomely for a pair. Thought they were Ming. More money than sense, some people!’

NEW SERIES: Lily’s lore

She’s wise beyond her years, and she’s all ears! Lily Pargetter is a great listener – and she’s here to advise on your romantic problems.

Dear Lily,
Will I ever find the –

Dear Pip,
Don’t say another word! Your face tells me all I need to know. You’re worried that your relationships with sensible boys always go wrong and you fall for the bad boys who let you down and make you unhappy. It was exactly the same with Miss Lemming, our sociology teacher. All the staff confide in me, you know. Anyway, I told her what I’ll tell you – you will find The One, just as soon as you learn to be a good listener, like me. You’ll see!

Dear Lily,
How am I going to get over –

Dear Toby,
Yes, we all know Pip’s dumped you. But it’s mainly your own fault, isn’t it? You need some tough love. Take Rex’s advice and get on with making your gin. It’s good to keep busy and you might make some cash – and trust me, you’ll never impress another girl if you’re broke. Take pride in what you’re good at. That’s what I said to Mr Rowney in the art department – and look at him now. His gouaches are selling like hot cakes and he’s dating the gallery owner!

Dear Lily,
My colleague Maurice the butcher says –

Dear Tom,
Oh, tell me about it! He says you’re doomed to be a loser in love like him, doesn’t he? Just because you never really got over Brenda and then ruined Kirsty’s life twice? Well, who are you going to listen to? A man whose idea of a good time is making the Eiffel Tower out of matchsticks, or the girl who was voted ‘Most likely to marry a royal’ in the Year 12 poll? Just wait until your fermented foods business is up and running. Think of all those health-conscious ladies who’ll love you for tidying up their gut flora!

Ask Auntie Satya will be back next week. Thank goodness for that. Ed.

A lawyer writes….

Miles Moore-Costlea, family law partner at Fleesome & Leggett in Felpersham,
explains how ‘divorce without tears’ is possible – with the right advice.

The end of a marriage is always a difficult time, but heartache – and cost – can be kept in check if both parties are willing to compromise. It is always best if clients can agree as much as possible between themselves before turning to the law. (I am of course obliged to say that; we much prefer it if couples end up fighting over every ashtray in court).
For example, my client – let us call him ‘J’ – is an extremely wealthy businessman who is divorcing his wife – let us call her ‘M’. I was surprised when ‘J’ told me the outcome of a discussion he and ‘M’ had had about dividing their assets. ‘M’ is keeping the ski lodge in Courchevel and the country house in Aldeburgh, and ‘J’ is making over to her a property business in Scotland, and his race horse. For his part, ‘J’ is retaining his principal business and two Arab horses of which his new partner – let us call her ‘L’ – is particularly fond.
All they have left to discuss is their London properties, including the wine cellar  and their art collection. Although I understand ‘M’ has laid claim to two rare, Ming dynasty ceramic ‘duck pots’ that she acquired in Borsetshire.
I was delighted of course that there was so little acrimony involved. (Actually I was livid as I’ve not reached my fees target this year and at this rate there’ll be no Caribbean winter break for Mrs Moore-Costlea.)
Still, as we often say in law, it’s not over until the fat lady – let us call her ‘M’ – sings. I would be astonished (and extremely disappointed) if ‘J’ has no more need of my services before his decree absolute arrives.


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