Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Games People Play

The recent occurrence of the ancient game of Sausages, along with Brian and Helen flirting with Hide The Parsnip not so long ago, have led Ambridge archivists to trawl the records for examples of other games unique to this particular community.

Attentive readers will not be surprised to learn that the history of parlour games in Borsetshire is very closely allied to the discovery of The Ascent of Ambridgeman covered in these pages only last week. You may be even less surprised to be told that this formed the basis for the second of my series of lectures to Felpersham Anthropological Society and again I crave your indulgence as I quote from that lecture here:

"The Games People Play:
The Ascent of Ambridgeman ll

I am grateful to you for your very kind invitation for me to return today. I am delighted that my lecture on The Ascent of Ambridgeman was generally so well received, although myself and Lady Tuft have received a couple of rather odd phone calls in recent days.

Today I would like to address the outcome of some further research into artefacts uncovered at the BL Market site. Tapestry programmes, rule books and match reports, alongside sporting and gaming equipment, have all been painstakingly restored.

It is my enormous privilege to present the findings to you here this evening.

Most significant is that the games uncovered clearly match the various ages of Ambridgeman, and this is how we will explore them.

1. Low-life:
Scissors, Paper, Bang on Head

In the vanguard of Ambridgeman, Low-life entertained themselves with a game that required no verbal communication. It did much to help them pass the time but little to advance their intelligence. The forefather of a game still played in our playgrounds, the winner in this game was inevitably the Low-life with the largest cudgel who could exercise the heaviest bang on his opponent's head with greatest strength and largest element of surprise.

2. Horrobinus:
Musical Crimes

Groups of Horrobinus congregate around a car. The stereo plays and when the music stops, everyone piles into the vehicle. There is room for everyone but one. The one remaining must either take the punishment for the crime (Susan, the Horrobinus One, was an early victim of this outcome), or take their chance by challenging any witnesses to a game of Scissors, Paper, Bang on Head (see above) to which they are genetically predisposed.

3. Grundius Majorosus and Minorosus:
Pin the Crime on The Donkey

Grundius has a habit of indulging in petty crime but rarely gets his comeuppance. This is achieved by swiftly placing the blame for the crime on an unsuspecting - but eminently suspicious - individual, known as "The Donkey". Records show that the genus Fosterus and in particular their descendant Snatchus were often cast in the role of "The Donkey".

4. Miles Gloriosus
Roof Hockey

A complicated game for the more upright Ambridgeman. Over the years rules have evolved, but the former World Champion was deposed in the 2011 Grand Final. This match is shrouded in mystery. The weather nearly caused the event to be postponed and nobody is absolutely clear which rules were in play. However, David Archer is a worthy if reluctant champion.

5. Ambridgeman Erectus
Pyjama Games

As befits the most erect Ambridgeman, their games are played to their own rules. They are mainly adult in content, and the undisputed current champion is Brian "Tassels" Aldridge."

Once again the full text of this lecture has been placed with The British Anthropological Society and any additions, added below or direct to @TonysConsultant, will be greatly appreciated.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Tweet Clarity

Many people use the anonymity afforded by Twitter to make statements under false and misleading names. A little research has uncovered some of the accounts in use by the good people of Ambridge. Here's a selection of some of their recent tweets:

@RevengeIsMine [Elizabeth Pargetter] Voice coaching going well. That bloke who made Thatcher sound like a man has done wonders.

@LetThemEatCake [Brian Aldridge] Really, what IS their problem? Surely they can see the more money I make the more crumbs there will be for them.

@TheThormanator [Christopher Carter] Haven't had so many cold showers in years. Furnace is ablaze but not firing.

@RevengeIsMine Damned balaclavas! Couldn't see properly and think I might have clobbered the wrong person. Caught a glimpse of red hair.

@GodImWonderful [Tom Archer] Just The Big Chair to go. Who does he think he is? Blofeld? Tom Jones?

@TrimForBritain [Lynda Snell] No discipline in this village. I can see I'll have to send Robert out after dark to trim some bushes himself.

@MonaLot [Ruth Archer] Thank God for Twitter. Don't have to keep up that ridiculous accent.

@GayGordon [Gordon, kitchen staff at Grey Gables] So frustrating being Ian's Sous Chef. When I said I wanted to be under him at Grey Gables this wasn't what I had in mind.

@KneehighWithMenaces [Tilly Button] That Lizzie's an amateur. She wants revenge? Terror? My rates are very reasonable, success rate very high.

@RatMan [Keith Horrobin] You ain't seen me, roight?

If you know of, or have hacked into, any other Ambridge accounts, do please leave details below or send direct to @TonysConsultant.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Virtual Fete Virtual Pub Quiz: Eliminator

No virtual fete would be complete without a virtual Pub Quiz. We are awaiting confirmation that Bamber Gascoigne (@ThenWhatNext) will be our virtual Quizmaster, but in the meantime we need an eliminator to determine the team that will virtually represent The Bull against The Cat and Fiddle.

The first round of the eliminator is a series of 10 Multiple Choice questions:

1. What is Adam Macy's favourite position?

a) Long Leg
b) Third Man
c) Cover Point

2. Brian Aldridge has used some cheesy chat-up lines in his time, most of them plagiarised. Match the line with the original source, including the one that is original.

a) "How ewe doin'?"
b) "Come up and see my tassels."
c) "Have you seen the view from the roof?"

1) Brian Aldridge
2) David Archer
3) A new friend of Debbie's

3. David Archer's NFU colleagues have a pet name for him. Is it:

a) Badger Boy
b) Cereal Killer
c) Roof Man

4. Kenton Archer went along publicly with naming Jaxx after his co-partner, but which of his favourites was this really a nod to?

a) Jack Hobbs
b) Jackie Pallo
c) Jacqueline Bisset

5. Shula has not been heard of for some time. Is she:

a) Held hostage by Rev Alan Franks
b) Wrapped around a bell in St Stephen's Bell Tower after an unfortunate "accident" with Lily
c) Completing her six month stint as charisma coach to Ed Miliband

6. Lynda draws a veil over many aspects of her pre-Ambridge life in Sunningdale. The truth is she was actually:

a) A Madam, in partnership with Cynthia Payne
b) Disgraced athlete Ben Johnson's nutrition coach
c) Nick Leeson's investment adviser

7. Tilly Button has a picture of her greatest influence hanging in her bedroom. Is it:

a) Jemima Khan
b) Imran Khan
c) Genghis Khan

8. My Big Fat Horrobin Wedding is in advanced planning stages. Currently the bride intends to arrive:

a) On Bartleby's trap, beneath a glass globe
b) On a hang glider, propelled from the roof of Lower Loxley (with a little help from David)
c) In a Black Maria (cutting out the middle man, and it'll be useful later)

9. Tom Archer was disappointed that his suggestion of a new brand name for Bridge Farm products was not adopted. Was it:

a) Polytunnels'r'us
b) Tom'u'like
c) Brenda's Baps

10.Pip Archer is the most annoying person in Ambridge

a) Yes
b) Yes
c) Yes

It is anticipated that this will be a close contest, so please post your suggestions of a tie-breaker below or directly to @TonysConsultant.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Ambridge: The unseen truths up there with "Adam is a Ginger"

The news that Adam is a redhead has been a revelation to many this week. The fact that The Archers documentary is transmitted via the medium of the wireless means that there are other visual aspects of everyday life in Ambridge that do surprise the uninitiated.

Here are ten facts about Ambridge which may have gone unnoticed:

1. Ed and William Grundy record all of their arguments naked, wrestling in front of an open fire. Both are inspired by DH Lawrence and the cinema of Ken Russell.

2. Oliver Stirling is greatly influenced by the comedian and story-teller Eddie Izzard. He often goes off on stream of consciousness flights of fancy (he did, after all, marry Caroline) but the influence is most seen in Oliver's choice of attire. He is usually to be found wearing women's clothing, a particularly fetching sight when he ia also smoking his pipe.

3. The Laurels is actually a theme park on the outskirts of Birmingham. It has the longest and highest roller-coaster outside Las Vegas, with a particularly steep turn recently renamed "Antrobus Corner" in memory of dear Marjorie, who was the ride's most regular visitor.

4. Lower Loxley is a bungalow.

5. Lynda Snell uses the term 'bicycle' very loosely. She does in fact ride a Penny Farthing. If you listen very carefully, you will note that she is speaking from a higher level than others. She is, indeed, talking down to everyone.

6. Josh and Ben Archer are actually badgers. Part of David's punishment for his badgercide was to adopt and domesticate two badgers from the wild. So far, so good.

7. Emma Grundy smiles.

8. Jaxx is a lap dancing club. Although that won't come as any surprise, it's important that it be confirmed.

9. Jennifer drives around in a Meals-on-Wheels van, with a permanent supply of venison casserole, ready to interrupt at every conceivable occasion.

10. Lilian and Matt are in their late teens. Let that be a lesson to you.

There are of course other aspects of Ambridge life which are not immediately obvious to the listener. If you are party to any knowledge that you believe should be shared, please post it below or direct to @TonysConsultant.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Ascent of Ambridgeman

My consultancy has been awash with people for whom it appears size really does matter. There has been so much talk of the unit of "The Squirrel" which, alongside yesterday's revelation that Keith is "low-life. Lower than a Horrobin" that clarification is called for.

I therefore humbly offer edited highlights from my lecture to the Felpersham Anthropological Society:

"The Ascent of Ambridgeman

It is a great tragedy that my colleague and mentor, the late Jacob Bronowski, did not live to share the discoveries that were uncovered when Borsetshire Land excavated the land for their new Market.

These findings were hushed up at the time but I am proud to be able to unveil them for the first time this evening.

The major discovery was a tapestry - henceforth known as the Borseaux Tapestry - which clearly outlined the evolution of Ambridgeman. After painstaking restoration by the WI we can today reveal its central image for the first time:

The Ascent of Ambridgeman

We have also been able to decipher the writings that were found alongside this tapestry and we can now reveal that, from left to right, these figures are representative of the following ages of Ambridgeman:

1.  Low-life
This example is the lowest recorded. It is sometimes also referred to as "lower than a Horrobin" which is also an insult often heard bandied about at The Bull on a Saturday night.

2.  Horrobinus
Dubious, criminal classes which are of the sort so steeped in their own stupidity that they are likely to be caught and serve the punishments allotted for their crimes. Often banished from their own communities, but eventually return, usually no wiser than when they left.

3.  Grundius Majorosus and Minorosus
Often of a similar criminal intent to Horrobinus, but displaying more charm. Sometimes also referred to as "Cheekius Chappius" due to their endearing ability to charm their way out of awkward situations and avoid punishment for their crimes. Sometimes includes a bad apple, Grundius Miserablus Bastardus, as exemplified in the current generation by William. In-breeding between Horrobinus and Grundius  in whichever generation is to be avoided at all costs.

4.  Miles Gloriosus (or The Swaggering Soldier)
The happy go lucky, chancy character who places himself above the Horrobinus and the Grundius but nonetheless indulges in what can best be described as 'sharp practice'. Kenton Archer is the perfect example of this stage of evolution.

5. Ambridgeman Erectus
Finally, the fully formed, upright (and often uptight) Ambridgeman. However, don't be fooled. Although he may stand erect he inevitably bears some of the DNA of his forebears. His apparent straight talking may hide some very dubious behaviour and in fact his duplicity can often lead to more damage than the the petty misbehaviour displayed by Low-Life and Horrobinus.

And finally, as size inevitably does matter, it is interesting to note that one of the documents attached to the tapestry  tells us that Grundius Majorosus was generally held to be 'the size of two squirrels high and one squirrel wide', thus explaining once and for all the unit of The Squirrel."

The full text of this lecture is available at The British Anthropological Society and I will be pleased to answer any further questions posted below or directly to @TonysConsultant.

Monday, 21 May 2012

It's Good to Talk

The 'phone hasn't stopped ringing these last few days with people in search of advice. In fact, since Debbie set the precedent of 'phoning in her performance from Hungary everyone is getting in on that act too. Even Jill succumbed. And David was moved to report Echo-gate to Ruth on the 'phone - although in truth, one can hardly blame David for keeping his distance from Randy Ruth when she is on heat.

The 'phone is at its most threatening, however, in the Tilly-Button-with-menaces calls to David and family. My advice to Tilly is that she should take a look on Twitter and be careful who she kidnaps. She needs to be sure anyone would care. Look what's happened to Shula. Alastair still won't pay the ransom and she remains holed up in Alan's coal shed.

Tony called me to seek advice on how to deal with his stress levels. I suggested he should pass some responsibilities on to Tom, but to make sure he held on to the biggest share. His hearing's not so good.

Alan has been keen to know how best to deal with Amy. My advice has been that he should "just treat her like you should". Our line wasn't too good either and he's now planning dates with her, treating her more like a wife than a daughter. Very unhealthy.

Lynda's campaign continues and no bush in the village is safe until she has ensured it has been suitably trimmed. If she follows the Cultural Olympiad ideal to the letter, she must remember that there must be a nodding reference to the next hosts. Perhaps she should volunteer herself for the Brazilian.

There's more fete news. Edna Fry (@mrsstephenfry - still finding out if she and her husband are related to Bert) has agreed to look after the creche and we have high hopes that her husband, Stephen Fry himself, will take on an official role. He has yet to reply but he is an even busier man than me. Perhaps we should have a virtual literary festival as part of the virtual fete.

We also need to decide upon a date for the virtual fete. It has been suggested that it should take place on the weekend of celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee. Thoughts on this would be very welcome.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Tom's Totalitarianism, Tilly's Reign of Terror and Celebrity Virtual Fete News

Listeners will have been pleased to hear Tony "pardon me for not dying" Archer being well enough to feature in the documentary again. The trip to Lord's (he thought he was on a pilgrimage to France) has obviously done some good. He even managed one complete sentence without stuttering. Next week Just a Minute.

Pat was very annoyed that dinner was ruined. It took Tony twenty minutes to deliver Pat's "Dinner will be ready in ten minutes" message.

Peggy refuses to pull her punches and has backed Tom's putsch. Must have been all that talk of Stalin and five year plans. She was also mightily impressed by the size of Tom's acquisition and speed with which it had been erected.

Pip is well on her way to being a Burger Pro but the thought of her and Brenda being "left to it" is one which has forced me to put the Brownie First Aiders on standby.

Weights and Measures have been on again. Whilst they are getting their head around SQUIRREL units we are now told that Pip is worth her weight in gold. A bit of uniformity is called for.

But the two most distressing bits of news come from Brookfield. Firstly one does wonder where Jennifer is when you need her - Randy Ruth is a worrying concept to cope with. And who'd have thought Tilly Button had such a deep voice? Her threatening phone call has really put the squirrel amongst the badgers.

In Virtual Fete news we have had some wonderfully encouraging developments. Not only has The Reverend Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) graciously agreed to virtually open the virtual fete, but he generously promoted the event on his Parish Notices programme, Saturday Live. He was also instrumental in securing Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett (@AngelaHartnett) as virtual judge of the virtual baking competition.

At the same time we are thrilled that Radio 4 Newsreader and Litter Zealot Alice Arnold (@AliceArnold1) has agreed to be Honorary Virtual Patron of the Virtual Fete and the Wellbeing Clinic. We are truly grateful to her for this commitment and the assistance she will inevitably bring to Lynda as she strives for the neatest, trimmest bushes in Borsetshire.

Outstanding invitations are with Clare Balding (@clarebalding1) to judge the Gymkhana, and Jonathan Agnew (@Aggerscricket) to bring his experience to bear on the Pie competition.

Next week we will be inviting Rotary Organisations around the country to virtually "adopt" Felperhsam Rotary Club for the duration of the virtual fete and provide invaluable support. Any clubs interested in this honour should register their interest below or direct to @TonysConsultant.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Lord's Day and Shakespeare Bingo

A brief update after a day trip to London:

If you were wondering where Iffy, Alastair, Will, Rhys and the other cricket folk of Ambridge were today, I can reveal that they were enjoying a sneaky day out at the Lord's Test Match. I spotted them clambering out of a Felpersham Minibus Hire* van outside the Grace Gates when I was reporting for duty as on call medic. I think it's fair to say they had enjoyed a beer or two on their way to London courtesy, no doubt, of Kenton, who stumbled off the minibus last, just after Derek Fletcher who, to everyone's surprise, had joined the outing.

It was good of them to bring Tony for the day out, wrapped up warm underneath a travel rug in a wheelchair. Tony was waved through the security check and, once through, the other lads seemed very pleased that whatever was concealed under the rug had made it through with him. I don't think we're talking Tony's lunchbox.

William took a call at one point from Edward and seemed very pleased to - as he put it - have 'thrown him off the scent'. After another drink William appeared to suggest that he knew a little more about the BEAST than he had been letting on. "Let's just say," he said, as he tapped his nose, "that I know an oversized squirrel from a handsaw".

While most of the team scratched their beards (not a sight you want to encounter when most of them are clean shaven) the oblique Shakespearean references continued when Derek Fletcher took a call. He had mistakenly picked up his wife's mobile when leaving home, and when he answered, all he heard was Usha saying: "Now might I do it, Pat" with the sound of Alan praying in the background.

The day was not totally wasted (even though many of the players were.) Iffy thinks he picked up some useful tactical ideas which he will pass on in the nets. Alastair greatly enjoyed the lunchtime display by the children, but that's something he'll be seeing his counsellor about. Kenton was taken aback by the prices in the bars (and was even more pleased at what had been smuggled in under Tony's blanket). Tony himself failed his audition to take over the public address system and Rhys felt completely out of his depth.

Only time will tell if the trip will pay dividends for the cricket team. Watch this space.

* Other hire companies are available.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tidy Bushes, Tidy Minds

If you want a job doing well, ask a busy woman with a hangover.

It is very impressive to observe how - despite a heavy evening on Kenton's cocktails - Lynda managed to begin the process of galvanising the village into action. The imperative for neat front gardens and tidy bushes is one we must all take on board. We must ensure that @RevRichardColes is greeted by the most impressive front topiary when he comes to virtually open the virtual fete.

To add weight to this campaign, we have invited Alice Arnold (@alicearnold1) to bring her moral example and campaigning zeal to support Lynda as she strives to encourage sceptical villagers to make Ambridge a tidy example to us all.

Brown Owl has undertaken to put The Brownies at our disposal for this work and their secret weapon - Tilly Button - will be visiting reluctant households to "encourage" them to do their bit.

This also applies to the need to clean up the River Am for the Virtual Jubilee Boat Pageant. We are a little behind on planning for this event so your help would be welcome. We need a Queen, a Consort, and a smattering of seamen. Any thoughts?

We must not underestimate the impact that all of these events will have on the wellbeing of the village. In this spirit I would ask for suggestions as to how other villagers could take advantage of the opportunities offered by the virtual fete.

I would humbly suggest that a small menagerie of wildlife for the gardens of Lower Loxley would greatly benefit Elizabeth and the twins. Perhaps Eccles (the peacock) could be loaned to them by Jolene and Kenton. And we all know how much the grieving Elizabeth would benefit from a cockatoo.

Meanwhile Elizabeth is hoping that her beloved Nigel's vineyard may secure Wine of the Year. Competition will be tough in a village where Kathy, Emma and Susan have been vying for that title for many years.

Jazzer and Roy also provide proof to us all of one salutary lesson: if you don't go to work for three months you will inevitably find it difficult to pick up the pace and will certainly have to work late.

Our sincere thanks must also go to @BroughtonLass who has secured the services of @pronterjools who, as a man of the cloth himself, has kindly offered to answer our call to "counsel the counsellor". Helping Alan will prove a test if ever there was one. I note from @pronterjools's biog that he has "just got a boat" so I think we should immediately invite him to be virtual chaplain to the virtual pageant.

Visits to the theatre and cricket (and a spot of consultancy) mean I may miss live transmissions from the village in the next day or two. I look forward to trying to piece together what on earth is going on from the invaluable, erudite and entirely reliable tweetalong. As I am sure @RevRichardColes, @prontajools and even Rev Alan Franks would all agree they are, indeed, the tweets that pass all understanding.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How young lives are scarred

Driving home from House Calls yesterday evening (Tony is still finishing a sentence he started last time I visited, and Adam is worried about Ian spending so much time with sous chef Gay Gordon) I was distressed to see a lady weaving her way along the country lanes on her rickety bicycle. Through her hiccoughs she was mumbling: "Kenton! KENTON! No more. What would the llamas say?" and was generally unsteady of speech and co-ordination.

I pulled over and suggested walking her and her bicycle home. She agreed and as we walked she said: "I do hope the Duchess of Cornwall doesn't drive by. I'd hate her to see me like this."

We agreed that this was an unlikely scenario but the lady did share a confidence, which I'm pleased to break here. She said how the reminder of her unhappy days in the school changing rooms, when teasing children had hidden her games kit in the shower, had left such a lasting impression upon her. It had made her shy away from sport altogether, something which put a lie to Robert's description of her as "a game old bird". He was referring to something else entirely, she insisted.

This led to a conversation about how other villagers have been scarred by events in their past. Jamie, for example, has never been the same since he caught his father shouting "FIRE YOURSELF UP: I'M READY FOR TAKE OFF" at Jolene in the shower. Jamie has been trying to fire things up ever since, but not in the way Sid had in mind.

Shula well remembers David playing with an Action Man as a child. He had always been angry with Elizabeth who had stolen its parachute to make a dress for a doll. David had continued to play with the Soldier figure jumping unaided from great heights well into his teens.

Susan insists that Neil should slop out for both of them every evening as she calls "lights out" and will not go anywhere near a communal shower.

Daniel spent far too much time with his Uncle Nigel's chum Tim Beacham whose unrivalled collection of Judy Garland albums had quite an impact on the young man.

Jennifer cooked Debbie far too much goulash.

And there is already much concern for the future of Tilly Button who not only crossed ribbons in the May Pole debacle, but also managed to fashion one into a perfect noose.

No doubt there will be other examples of childhood events which still haunt villagers' lives. If you're aware of them, please list them below or direct to @TonysConsultant.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Virtual Fete News: The Reverend Richard Coles to be our VIP

The virtual fete received a major boost today when The Reverand Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) graciously agreed to virtually open the virtual event. This is thrilling news for our virtual community and we are greatly indebted to him.

In accepting our virtual invitation, @RevRichardColes tweeted: "I'm yours. You'll be my fourth so far this year."

Plans are still in their infancy. Amy has already asked if he might be persuaded to take to the virtual piano, her request being @RevRichardColes's rendition of Don't Leave me This Way.

We will confirm details of when @RevRichardColes will cut the virtual ribbon and declare the fete open, and hope he will deliver a brief opening speech in 140 characters or less.

We must pay tribute to @bushman25 who has helped with lobbying @RevRichardColes. Thanks also to @PashaReflection who played her part. @Bushman25 has also suggested that Auntie Satya should have a samosa stall as she will no doubt be feeding Usha up in the coming weeks.

@BroughtonLass has also suggested a "Kick the Vicar" event but we must stress that this refers to the incumbent of St Stephens and not our VIP (Virtually Important Priest) who we hope might be able to offer some pastoral help to Alan. After all, who counsels the counsellors?

There are rumours that Jamie Perks has been invited to bear the Olympic Torch which may make an appearance at the fete. Jamie would certainly set the event alight (with his record) and these details are yet to be finalised.

What is certain, though, is that if you see a campervan, a pair of daschunds and a man of the cloth around the village, we must ask you to make them welcome. That'll be @RevRichardColes doing an early recce.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

More questions than answers

Sunday afternoon is a time for reflection. Today, as I consider my notes and plan next week's visits and consultations, I am reflecting on the fact that last week Ambridge posed more questions than answers.

There are too many to list in their entirety, but here are the ten that are nagging most at me:

1. How could Jennifer be so naive as to think Brian would take her up the valley without an ulterior motive?

2. Will Alan (aka Rev Bunter) suffer a genuine crisis of faith or just lash out around the village, delivering Evensong with intent in Darrington and menacingly chopping vegetables?

3. Who will be the wedding planner for My Big Fat Horrobin Wedding, who will hold the media rights, what part will the Brownies play and will we get an extra Bank Holiday?

4. If Keira has a mind of her own, who on earth did she inherit such intelligence from?

5. Who will offer to oil Iffy's bat even though, by his own admission, he plays for another side?

6. Is Ian's sous chef Gordon really "Gay Gordon" and how long before he joins the fun in the hot tub ("I need to check my ingredients")?

7. Will Tom ever, ever stop patronising his Father, and will Brenda see the light and tell him to stick his sausages and baps right up his new polytunnel?

8. When will Weights and Measures officially adopt The Squirrel as a unit of measurement?

9. Will Lizzie be reconciled with David long enough to invite him to open the Nigel Pargetter Memorial Roof Garden at Lower Loxley?

10.Who stands to be most embarrassed / exonerated when the truth about Carl's marital status is revealed?

No doubt there are other questions and inevitably some answers. If you know anything or just have an observation, please post below as a comment or address directly to @TonysConsultant.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Another Saturday in Ambridge, some missing characters sighted, fete and wedding plans

A number of Ambridgians have been notable by their absence in recent weeks. Regular visits to both Tony and Adam have given me the opportunity to snoop around and see what these people have been up to, especially on a Saturday when the documentary makers take themselves and their recording equipment away for their day off. This is what I have been able to find out this weekend:

Roy is still serving his community service even though he thought he had left his "racist years" behind. His penance currently is to weed Usha's front garden so he has had a front row seat to observe the comings and goings at The Vicarage.

Kathy Perks is feeling very left out. While Usha is sharing her problems with Ruth there are great moaning opportunities going begging, so she has thrown herself into her regular Saturday Happiness Class at the Village Hall.

Jack is in far better health than we have been led to believe. Retired press baron that he is, he has been a special advisor to Leveson and by any measure his memory is far more reliable than the majority of the witnesses.

Shula has been.....well, actually, nobody knows, and nobody cares. Rumour has it she has been bound up in Alan's coal shed for the past year. Ransom demands have been sent to Alastair but he has yet to respond.

Rich has been opening the batting for Yorkshire. He also played up front for Leeds United for the last half of the season. Not surprised he hasn't been heard of. Have you seen the seasons they both had?

Eccles the peacock has gone into hiding. His nose has been put properly out of joint since Iffy arrived on the scene. He's never known such competition.

Meanwhile Usha - the solicitor left out in the cold - has been roaming the streets and seeking comfort in the company of anyone but Amy or Alan. She was seen deep in conversation with @TrethFamilyLaw but we can't be sure if that was for legal advice or was pre-fete planning.

Plans for the fete are coming along. @tennismajorette will be able to concentrate on fete baking once tomorrow is out of the way. She spends the football season baking lucky cakes for the Arsenal faithful - so take note, and rely on her baking for comfort eating rather than good results.

@Mudkipstoat23 is still working hard on his fantasies for the Story Telling Tent (greatly recommended) and @entersoundman has the great opportunity to garner inside gen for us when he starts work experience at Radio Borsetshire tomorrow. His greatest task will be avoiding @Brenda_tucker's advances and her attempts to get @eatmysausage Tom's products placed at every turn.

Most important, though, will be any inside information he can present us with on the plans for My Big Fat Horrobin Wedding. I've seen a glass globe being constructed on Bartleby's trap, and copious lengths of white lace being shipped into the village. Chelsea has been stalking the village with an air of greatly increased confidence and a number of people witnessed unpleasant fisticuffs between her and Tilly Button. This really will be AN EVENT and I have no doubt there will be fallout along the way which will require medical attention.

As ever, keep 'em peeled and record here or to @TonysConsultant any other sightings you may make.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Gay Abandon at the Cricket: Iffy causes a stir

It was not easy breaking to Adam the news that he won't be able to play cricket for six weeks. He saw himself playing a significant part in what promises to be a great season for Ambridge. The team are benefitting not only from an influx of interested younger people, but also the arrival of the enigmatic Iffy.

Everyone loves Iffy. The girls love his athleticism and his dashing good looks and the boys love....well, it seems they love the same things. All of the young men are beguiled by Iffy, much to Alastair's annoyance. Alastair's interest in the younger players is bordering on the unhealthy.

Even William has been in on the act. Not playing cricket, of course, just whinging in his usual selfish, possessive way. If they need a roller perhaps they should use Will.

There are talks of girls playing and even if Iffy does not bat for the other side there will undoubtedly be a cloud on the first day of the season when Sid's ashes blow across the square in protest.

Graham Gooch's lack of success at spinning the coin as England Captain led him to brand himself a "useless tosser". Jamie had invited Rhys along to try some tossing and he has proved himself such a splendid tosser that Iffy has already drafted him into the first team. Suggesting selection for Ambridge was as good as playing rugby for Wales was a little over the top, and he must think himself lucky that Warren Gatland is in no fit state to run him out of the village.

Maybe Adam will keep his hand in by helping Ian to do the teas. They could invite Iffy to join them in the Hot Tub to discuss this and tactics in general, and help Iffy to get a real handle on the state of the wicket. Perhaps Adam could persuade Iffy to allow him to kick the season off with a symbolic full toss.

Lynda could do a lot worse than attend nets and assess the talent for the panto. There's plenty of potential here.

The girls are around Iffy and Rhys like bees to a honeypot. I need to have words with Alice because if she's not careful her flirting will drive ChrisTHORpher away, particularly now Amy has cracked off her apron and headed back to the Vicarage.

Which leaves us with the dilemma of Usha. Her procrastination has done her career no favours. She does not listen to a word of the counselling she has received. She manages to speak to everyone and anyone but Alan and Amy, the two who matter. It can only end in tears.

Wedding bells and more Towel Throwing

It's crucial for any medical man to keep fully abreast of all potential patients. The arrival of Keith with news of Samantha, Ash, Donna et al and the announcement of impending nuptials has flagged up again the fact that Ambridge is woefully under resourced for adequate medical cover. A campaign to secure a permanent GP in Ambridge is essential, but there remain doubts and fears in many medical professionals' minds as they remember what happened to the previous incumbent at the hands (amongst other things) of Shula. News travels fast and lingers long in such professional communities.

The propect of a wedding to test the taste and patience of the greatest wedding planners has fired the starting pistol for a broadcasters' bidding process for a new reality series, My Big Fat Horrobin Wedding. Alarm bells should be ringing for anyone connected with Chelsea whose singular ambition in life is to be a bridesmaid. And a bridesmaid to a Horrobin at that. What will the rest of her life hold? Answers on the back of a postage stamp (although at current rates and on current form the stamp will be of far greater value than Chelsea will ever bring to the table).

Keith is another unreliable witness to the Beast of Borsetshire. Clearly nobody took his sighting seriously as no one thought to ask whether what he saw was BIGGER THAN A SQUIRREL. Neil Carter has been quiet on this subject. We are still short on detail on the first punter in the Green Burial Ground. Might there be a connection?

But while the village is concerned with what may or may not be a cheetah, the fall out from the Borsetshire Cheater continues. Where there are losers there is always at least one winner. In this instance ChrisTHORpher is breathing much more easily, in every respect. All the while Jennifer was at Adam's bedside Alice was a veritable Borserthire Beast herself. Having Amy to stay has given ChrisTHORpher the opportunity to hang up his apron and take a well earned rest.

Usha - whose "should she, shouldn't she" kept us gripped for......seconds, if not minutes - is developing a Leveson-style defence as she tries to recall what she did or didn't think or do. Carl's alleged wife - hot shot lawyer Rochelle - need not worry too much about the professional competition in her back yard.

Towels have been much on Brian's mind since the Hot Tub incident but he would have been pleased to hear Hattie berating Ruth and Pat for throwing in their towels in the battle with BL. Hattie seems determined to fight on but she should take note that low loaders, beasts and tasselled loafers stalk them there woods.

Excuse the rush but I have a protest in London to join.....

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Hot Tubgate, Scones and Baps

It's amazing how unsettling a simple Hot Tub can be, and the ripples go out in more ways than one. Brian's shock and discomfort may have had something to do with where the towel had been hanging. We'll probably never know how Brian would look in Ian's trunks, nor whether he would keep his cravat on at all times, but those sights, along with memories of Jennifer donning her swimsuit at Grey Gables recently, are not good for a balanced mind.

It's encouraging that Brian should have stayed on for refreshments. But Ian getting his scones out for the lads, hot on the heels of Brenda and her baps and Tom having trouble with his balls in the air, all add to the general unease of the week. The news that Pip wakes at the crack of Dawn was also a little unsettling. But she has agreed to help Tom with his flippin' burgers, or rather take over his entire empire if she has her own way. Just remember Pip: part of the deal will be teaching Tony how to create spreadsheets. Reckon you can cope with that? Hah! Not so cocky now, are we?

Jolene was again heard shouting "Kenton. KENTON!" as her beau dashed through the beer garden knocking over everthing - even Eccles - in his wake. Truth is he was running for cover. Kenton's a canny old cove, and one of the few Ambridge residents who actually listens to The Archers. He is deeply concerned that Hot Tubgate might bring back memories of happy showers for Jolene, and he's not sure he's up to it. Sid, after all, was never the same man....

Good to hear that the police have tracked down the dogging party that Adam stumbled across. Borsetshire Constabulary is obviously feeling the pinch, as all their work is now being done by 'phone. Will the doggers be back to exact revenge? Is one already back, dressed as the apparition that has confronted Lynda? Come on Adam - were your attackers BIGGER THAN A SQUIRREL?

My offer of counselling for the Vicar and the women in his life remains open, but they don't return calls. They need to go to the Debbie Aldridge School of Telephone acting. Already this week it's clear that David and Tony have completed the distance learning module.

Meanwhile, in other Parish Notices we are indebted to @katbrown82 who, on behalf of her Mum, has given notice of the East Meon Flower Festival 22 - 25 June, describing it as "JUST like The Archers." Take a look: Bell ringing, poetry, village tours: must be plenty of tips for us. It's in my diary. Any other takers?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Debbie's return, and other things that happened while your back was turned

Adam's return to good health was always going be to be aided by a visit from his step-sister. If you blinked you will have missed reference to the fact that Debbie did in fact deign to visit him in a flying visit over the weekend, another of those events that sneaks in under the radar when we're not looking.

In other similar news Shula and Alan were briefly reconciled, only to fall out again over another trivial difference of opinion (Alan's refusal to beatify Shula, apparently); someone visited Jennifer and was offered tea rather than coffee; Ruth was positive; Eddie Grundy filled in a tax return but Peggy used it as a litter tray; William and Edward went for afternoon tea at Grey Gables only to fall out over who should lead in the tea dance; and Jim and Christine finished The Times crossword (set by Vicky, of course.)

Adam was well enough to be discharged and the village laid on May Pole Dancing (it was obvious from the lascivious look on his face that Eddie had misunderstood the nature of this particular branch of Pole Dancing) and a Morris Troupe to welcome him home. He was also overjoyed to see the Gay Gordons - a lovely group of chaps who came by the coach load.

At least, Adam thought all of this activity was for his benefit. When he was told that it was a standard Ambridge Bank Holiday, he went into one of his famous sulks and pretended to lose his memory in order to be the centre of attention. Adam has no more lost his memory than I have.

When Adam realised the village was full of activity to celebrate May Day he pretended to lose his memory in order to be the centre attention. He has no more lost his memory than I have.

Whilst it was encouraging to see the Vicar and his daughter speaking it is obvious there is much counselling required for that family. Not far behind them are The Archers of Bridge Farm. It is difficult to establish which is more of an issue: Tom's inability to trust Tony to do anything right, or Tony's inability to do anything right. The latter has sensibly taken a leaf out of his niece Debbie's book and now prefers to phone in his performances.

We can understand why Alan would not beatify Shula. All the while the omnipotent Tom is in the village no one else will ever get a look in. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to be a Saint like Tom and he and Brenda's realisation that another pair of hands is needed for the Burger Van has started speculation. Any suggestions? Ken Livingstone and Princess Grace of Monaco are amongst the least likely candidates nominated so far.

More plans for the virtual fete. @tennismajorette is already baking Vicar's Tarts and @Mistress_Fiona (who claims to be part of Team Tom, poor woman) has offered to help with his sausages. @TrethFamilyLaw has suggested cheese and pineapple chunks fashioned into the Queen's head and we are greatly indebted to @TreacleToo who has been sacrificing live visits to Ambridge in order to research appropriate food by tuning in to The Great British Menu. The success of community events is based on such sacrifices.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Fete plans, Adam's progress and a family in crisis

Plans and suggestions for the virtual Ambridge fete continue apace.

@Dark_blue_box has proposed that we extend invitations to Nelson, Nigel, Walter and Uncle Tom, an idea which wouldn't be feasible if it weren't for @SidPerksGhost's offer to deal with issuing the invitations in person. Views on who should officially open the fete - whether one of the above or not - would be appreciated.

It has also been suggested that the fete would benefit from being themed. @tennismajorette has proposed Vicars and Tarts. Other thoughts?

It has been agreed with Brown Owl that The Brownies will support the St John's Ambulance volunteers and that their endeavours will count towards their First Aid badges. This event will benefit the wellbeing of the village in so may ways.

Meanwhile May Day Bank Holiday continues to be a special day in the life of the village. There are plans for special events later which we all look forward to.

Adam continues to defy the specialists with the speed of his recovery. Today, however, he has woken in lower spirits as he realises the people who have NOT visited him. He has been particularly disappointed not to see Helen and Henry. It makes him wonder if Helen, for whom he has been such a great support, might - just MIGHT - have a bit of a selfish streak. He and Ian will have to bear that in mind next time she needs a babysitter or, God forbid, a good basting. Nonetheless there have been more messages of goodwill, which he greatly appreciates. They include:

* Brian: "Just sign the enclosed forms would you, there's a good chap. Sick pay doesn't grown on trees, you know."

* Usha: "Oh God! Hurry and go home. I need your bed."

* Christopher: "I need your bed. Different reason to last week. I'm worn out!"

* Tony: "SAVE! S......A......V......E......!"

* Eddie: "Thanks for finding m'ferret. Sorry about the intravenous drip."

* Iffy: "Where are your wrong 'uns when we need them?"

* Joe: "We can take you home on Bartleby's trap. Reasonable rates for you, Adam Macy."

* Tom: "Sorry I couldn't visit you - busy busy - but you're welcome to come and visit me with the pigs."

My main concern at the moment, however, is the family that is in need of counselling and support. I will be seeing the Vicar this afternoon to see if our clinicians can help but we have much to learn before we fully understand the reasons behind the actions of certain individuals. Let's not jump to conclusions, unlike some people one could mention.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fun and Games for the Fete and Jim's Cultural Olympiad

There is much talk about the Ambridge Fete and the debate about the village's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad. Many ideas are being brought to my attention and I thought it important to convey them to the relevant people in Ambridge. I therefore took the opportunity of reporting these things to Tony, who will kindly prepare a spreadsheet and pass it to the committee via Pat.

There are already a number of offers of help. @tennismajorette has kindly offered to bake for the fete, and @Squidge1970 is up for the teas, although I am sure both would welcome help. @Squidge (may I call you @Squidge, @Squidge1970?) has also suggested various games, including Whack-a-Mole (although on radio that will sound very much like a middle class dip).

@SidPerksGhost is happy to look after the beer tent. No doubt he will be in charge of spirits too. Not at all sure what @Kenton_Archer will make of that, although he and Jolene have been nominated to look after games. Can't be certain what sort of "games" they might come up with but my car keys are firmly secured in my pocket.

We are hoping that Lily Pargetter will charm us with a thatching display, although @LizziePargetter will be sure to keep Uncle David away from that particular activity.

Hopefully Daniel and Freddie can satisfy Jim's search for "a couple of Billy Elliots" and stop Tilly Button from stealing the show. Tilly is a force to be reckoned with, and we just hope her confidence will soon match her audacious talent and that she will be encouraged to speak with her fellow villagers.

As always we need games and sideshows. "Guess the Badger's Weight in Squirrels" and "Con the Vicar's Daughter" are both already proving popular.

Of course I will be offering extra training to the St John's volunteers and would hope that those caring for the villages invalids will do their bit. I imagine that will mean @eatmysausage Tom Archer deciding between his Burger Van and his father. Alastair - sorry, William Hill- has already closed the book on that one.

It is also time to think about who should be invited to open this year's fete. Who should follow in the illustrious footsteps of Anthony Gormley and Colin Dexter? All suggestions welcome.

So, if you have services to offer, any ideas or comments on the merits of @LyndaSnell and Jim's ideas, please comment below or directly to @TonysConsultant.

What's that Tony? Didn't you save it AT ALL..........?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Saturday in Ambridge: what happens when the microphones are switched off?

Today is a typical Saturday in Ambridge but of course most listeners to the documentary aren't aware of what happens when the microphones have been switched off. My role caring for Tony Archer since his heart attack has given me unique access to the villagers and it's my pleasure to report some of their Saturday activities here.

It's an exciting day for Daniel and Freddie. Shula is being a dutiful Mother and Aunty, driving her young men to London to see a matinee of The Wizard of Oz. Freddie has often joined Daniel for a rummage in his Judy Garland collection after riding out together, and the arrival of Russell Grant in the iconic musical was the final brick to prompt Shula to organise this trip.

Meanwhile Lily, who vowed to "learn a trade" to support her mother when her father so tragically died, has her regular thatching lesson. Elizabeth insists on being present at all times, especially during the practicals.

Derek Fletcher dons his white suit and medallions to continue his ever-popular Disco Dancing class in the Village Hall, ably assisted by dutiful wife Pat and her wheels of steel. Ian has created his '70s themed refreshments (cheese and pineapple with cocktail pickled onions, fondue, arctic roll) before visiting Adam. The whole experience continues to persuade Lynda that Ambridge may be ready for a revival of her Abigail's Party which had gone down so well in Sunningdale. But today Lynda is most concerned with last minute maypole dancing rehearsals with The Brownies.

Caroline and Oliver are off whitewater rafting again, and Vickie is rushing to catch the post with the six cryptic crosswords she is setting for next week's The Times. The Livestock auctioneers at the new Market are still trying to find ways to politely decline Tony's offer to work as auctioneer but Alastair continues as Felpersham's leading Bingo caller, all part of his rehabilitation.

So life goes on, as does Adam's recovery. He remains grateful for all the messages which continue to flood in, including the delightful posy from the Button Twins (although he does wonder where exactly the flowers came from). Here's a selection of other messages that have arrived:

"As you're out of action, may I borrow your medallions?" [Derek Fletcher]

"" [Tony]

"Do you recognise any of these low loaders in this photograph? They have been seen parked on Deborah Aldridge's property." [Interpol]

"Enjoy the flowers, but you never saw us. *they tap noses* O.K.?" [Button Twins]

"'" [Tony]

"Chop chop Adam. Protests to organise, plans to scupper." [Pat]

"You're O.K. Your partner is one of the few in Borchester I don't have my eyes on." [Carl]

"If I bang myself on the head, will it all go away?" [Usha]

As always, if anyone overhears other messages, or is aware of other Saturday activities in Ambridge, please list them below or send them direct to @TonysConsultant.

Friday, 4 May 2012

House Calls, The Creature from The Slurry Lagoon and Adam's Progress

Tony continues to improve although there is a hint of tourette syndrome creeping into his behaviour. For some reason (can't decide if it's fear in his eyes or just a spot of madness) he keeps shouting "SAVE! SAVE!" mid-conversation. He's still milking every opportunity if not every cow, and can be found sleeping at the most inopportune times.

I paid a visit to Usha Franks in the privacy of her office. She sought consultation on whether she should tell Alan about Carl. I reminded her that stress can cause physical problems, not least dietary, and asked her to consider what Auntie Satya might make of that. She seems under some pressure from Ruth but again I asked Usha to consider pots and black kettles. Just mention Sam and see how Saint Ruth feels about things then.

Lynda asked to see me as she fears no one is taking her seriously. It appears she has put the cat among the pigeons, or a beast among the cattle, with her vision of The Creature from the Slurry Lagoon. It seems only she and Scruff have seen the beast so for now I have suggested Lynda takes a break and is careful what she eats (no more mushrooms and definitely throw out Leonie's left over joss sticks and interestingly different tobacco.)

In the evening I visited Adam to check on his progress. He regains strength in every way and is greatly heartened by the messages that continue to flood in. He was particularly touched by the replica Maypole (I think it is a maypole, although the lack of ribbons gives it a rather cold look. I checked the bottom, and it doesn't take batteries). This was a very thoughtful gift from The Brownies.

Here is a selection of other messages:

"Dahling - do hurry home. There are cocktails aplenty awaiting your attention." [Lilian]

"Many's the fella laid low, but don't fear,
It won't be too long 'ere you're not feeling queer." [Bert Fry]

"I wish you could be better so you could see how happy I am.". [Amy]

"......................................................................." [Freda]

"Oh Gosh!" [Alice]

"I truly am sorry I haven't been able to make it to see you but I had some really important washing-up to do." [Debbie]

"Come on Adam. Spill the beans. We can get publicity out of this. It'll go viral, although I don't suppose you know what that means because I'm the only person in the whole of Borsetshire who knows ANYTHING about marketing.". [Brenda]

"I'm actually quite knackered now, so I would appreciate it if you would please get better and allow Jennifer to go back to her old tricks.". [Christopher]

Watch out tomorrow for news of what actually happens in Ambridge on a Saturday - all those things that the residents do out of the glare of the documentary makers.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Adam Macey: More memories and messages

Adam Macey's recovery continues steadily. Further memories from his lost days will inevitably speed his return to good health. On my rounds yesterday evening a member of staff told me another dream recalled by Adam:

"Brian and Adam were called to a select committee after Sir Tufton-Bufton (MP for South Borsetshire and shooting partner of Brian) was unable to prevent a hearing into BL's suitability to open and run a Mega Dairy. Before proceedings had got underway Brian had put his hand on Adam's arm, leant forward, and said directly into the microphone: "This is the humblest day of my life".

"Faced with the dilemma of split loyalties - family and conscience - Adam felt it safest to play the amnesia card and claimed not to recall any of the emails, meetings or ex-gratia payments that were referred to.

"There was one potentially volatile moment when a middle-aged lady leapt from the public seats and attempted to cover Brian in yoghurt. It was only his wife's timely intervention (Jennifer was heard to say: "Pat! How COULD you?" as she slapped the attacker) that prevented any serious damage."

Such memory recall will inevitably help Adam's recovery. Equally important are the messages of goodwill which continue to arrive. Here is a selection:

* Jolene: "There's a large one waiting for you when you get your appetite back."

* Usha: "Don't be surprised if you wake up and I'm in the next bed. The way things are going I'm thinking of admitting myself."

* Tony: ""

* Christopher: "Keep it up mate. Keep Jennifer busy!"

* Eddie: "Have you seen m'ferret? I 'ad it with me when I visited yesterday."

* Tony: ""

* David: "At least you get to sleep."

* Ian: "Hurry home. My soufflé won't rise without you."

* Robert: "Please hurry home. Lyndy is so fretful and when she's not taking it out on me she's beastly to the llamas."

* Alice: "Oh Adam! You simply don't know!"

As always, further messages are appreciated and can be posted as comments below or directly to @TonysConsultant.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Adam's Dream

Over the years there has been much debate in the medical profession about what happens to the brain during a coma. Does it close down, or is it still active, but in a different form from its waking self? Due to modern technology and a pilot programme at Borchester DGH, we have been able to map the activity in Adam Macey's brain during his coma. He has viewed the results, and relates the story of his dream here in his own words:

"At first, everything seemed normal. There is nothing unusual about watching two men in a white van, even though on this occasion they weren't doing anything to each other. There wasn't anything that uncommon about the feeling of being bashed on the head either - it's a sensation I have often felt after a "discussion" with Brian.

"What was unusual, however, was feeling a regular thud on my chest and a voice (which I'm convinced was cousin David) breathlessly and timelessly singing "Stayin' alive, stayin' alive" over and over. I soon put this into context when I saw the blue flashing lights and realised we were in a disco. But I MUST talk to David about how he ended up in the sort of disco I frequent. Can't say I'm surprised. Nor am I that disappointed!

"Anyway, things then get a bit hazy. Next thing I recall is being in an armchair on a stage, with a large audience in front of me. I couldn't quite place the man with the microphone but when he started to speak I realised it was Jeremy Kyle. He was introducing the programme with the line : 'My partner is turning into his step-father' at which point Ian, with very tearful eyes, came on stage. There was a lot of argument and Ian kept saying 'Just take a look at yourself'. Jennifer was obviously finding this very upsetting as all I could hear from the wings was her shouting "Dahling! Dahling'. Eventually a long mirror was brought on and I saw that I was wearing tasselled loafers, green cords, a Paisley cravat, a check jacket and a flat cap. I took off the cap in horror at which point Ian started smoothing my hair and the next thing I knew....I was conscious again!"

Such recall is very important to a patient's recovery and it must be hoped that further memories will surface. Anyone who has heard Adam speaking in his sleep should please make notes below or address them directly to @TonysConsultant.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Adam's Messages of Goodwill

Apologies for what appears to have been a technical malfunction (these things are bound to happen following the NHS reforms). Here is an attempt to recreate the earlier notification from Borchester DGH which listed family and friends' goodwill messages, following the touching example of Debbie Aldridge, who conveyed her good wishes by voicemail:

* Brian: "In the hope of aiding your recovery, and as a tribute to your support for me and BL throughout the process, we propose to rename the project The Adam Macey Mega Dairy. [I wonder if he'll fall for that one after a bang on the head.]

* Christopher and Alice: "In all honesty you've done us a huge favour. We've taken advantage of Jennifer's bedside vigil at every conceivable opportunity."

* David: "Sorry, but I simply can't be near ill people. Dead people, yes, but not those who pull through."

* Tony: "I"

* Usha: "I do feel sorry for you but four days in a coma is nothing compared to MY life."

* Tom: "Do hope you get better soon but I can't waste time sitting by your bed. Busy, busy, busy."

* Elizabeth: "Now you know why I don't trust David. Too many coincidences."

* Tony: ""

* Iffy: "Hurry back to nets. We miss your googlies."

* Kenton: "Sorry mate, I was at Jaxx. Did I miss something?"

* Ghost of Sid Perks: "That'll teach you."

Other overheard messages of goodwill welcome below, or direct to @TonysConsultant. And we hope this technical glitch will not be repeated.

Good will messages flood in for Adam

Grateful to Elizabeth Pargetter (@LizziePargetter) for confirmation of her brother's attitude and behaviour: "It's true; he's getting more and more blatant about it!" Thanks also to Iain Thomson (@iainthomson) who overheard Lillian's goodwill message to Adam: "Know just how you feel darling, you look like I did after my last absinthe bender. Have some hair of the dog." And thanks to Jamie D (@jamspangle) who has reported Jazza's message: "4 days in a coma? Ya big Jessie, I've had hangovers worse than that - now shift ya sen and let me have a wee lie doon." Thanks to all. Please keep them coming.