Emma Woodhouse, Ems, bright, skilled, with a happy disposition and a preoccupation with jam and her friends and the Great British Bake Off (and its offshoot, the Great Australian Bake Off, filmed in distant Melbourne). She loves knitting and amigurumi, which her great childhood friend Knightley regrets ever mentioning to her after he returned from a trip to Japan, and reaches 22 with a university degree in modern art and creative writing, and the vexing, tiny knowledge that she’s never won best jam outside of the under-15s at the Swan View Show.
MR WOODHOUSE: Your jam is bonza, little one.
EMMA: Yeah but…is it bonza enough?
EMMA: Ugh. Ever since you got it on with West, you’ve been joined at the hip.
MISS TAYLOR: Ems.
EMMA: It’s just not fair! You never have time to go snorkelling any more. And my jam is suffering without you!
MISS TAYLOR: You seriously need more friends.
EMMA: And more jam?
MISS TAYLOR: Yes, Ems. And more jam.
EMMA: So what is this farmer bloke’s deal?
HARRIET: Well he has his stall at the Leedee Farmers Market.
EMMA: Ooooh an artisan!
HARRIET: He sells mushrooms!
EMMA: Oh. Okay.
HARRIET: And he makes zines.
EMMA: Ooooh zines! What are his zines about?
HARRIET: Mostly mushrooms. And sometimes drawings of his ute.
EMMA: Oh. Okay don’t be offended but that is the daggiest thing I’ve ever heard.
KNIGHTLEY: Are – are you sure about this Elton bloke?
EMMA: Scuse you he’s a great friend.
KNIGHTLEY: He’s a great bloody arsehole.
HARRIET: Martin has another zine out.
EMMA: Still daggy.
EMMA: Harriet made this ace tasting pumpkin curry with chickpeas and I have been eating it all week. Elton, carn try it.
ELTON: Oooh Emma, yes. That’s a ripper.
EMMA: I’m rapt with it. I’m gunna give it a go.
ELTON: I knew you were, like, a sheila with exotic tastes.
EMMA: I – well, it’s a family recipe. It’s based on her mum’s cooking.
ELTON: Yeah, and you are fucking fab for recognising it. It gives you, like, an air. Real classy. Hey, is that the recipe there? Praps you can make a copy for me.
EMMA: Oh SURE. I’ll email it when I get home.
ELTON: Yeah, nah, I don’t mind handwritten. I reckon it’s, yanno, classy. A bit more personal. Like your hand on mine? You can do it now. I’ll just, like, watch.
EMMA: To make sure I get it down right?
ELTON: You could always get it down right.
EMMA: It’s gunna make you think she’s even more of a lovey.
ELTON: Yeah. Sure.
EMMA: I’m so rapt.
EMMA: But you’ve got the hots for Harriet!
ELTON: Ems, she’s a fucken pathetic slutbag.
EMMA: But you wanted her recipe!
ELTON: I wanted to admire your grouse writing hand. Sides, I’d rather bump uglies with you.
EMMA: Ugh, mate, men are disgusting.
ELTON: Scuse you, not all men.
KNIGHTLEY: Wait who is this Frank Churchill? What happened to Elton?
EMMA: Oh no, Elton’s out. He still thinks trucker hats are a thing. And he’s a bit of a shit.
KNIGHTLEY: Wait, what?
EMMA: Forget about it.
KNIGHTLEY: So what, now dicking around in macramé hats is better?
EMMA: Obviously, yes.
MISS BATES: Oh. And Jane tweeted that she’s won the novice scone at the Melbourne Show! You know she’s always had a natural talent. Even when she was just four she was exceptional in the kitchen, a dab hand at coconut ices and dipping the lamingtons in the dessicated coconut.
EMMA: I have some experience in lamingto-
MISS BATES: And although she hasn’t mentioned it, I’m sure her jams were award-winning, too. In a Facebook update last month, she had mentioned that she was working on a strawberry jam to complement the scones. Maybe she’ll try for it in the Swan View Show.
EMMA: Like my mother, I’m hoping to show in the Swa-
MISS BATES: Oh. And, you know, Bullsbrook does have the best strawberries in Western Australia. Isn’t that right, mother?
EMMA: I really think it’s better known for its gra-
MISS BATES: And her cream! She doesn’t use that Masters whipped stuff, you know. She has a friend who has a simply beautiful little hobby farm. Well, she says it’s beautiful, but I haven’t had a chance to get out there. I’m sure I’ll be invited one of these days.
MRS ELTON: There’s this new bar open, you need a password and they do seasonal g+ts and have board games.
ELTON: And it’s fucken mint as.
MRS ELTON: It’s just like the best of hidden bars in Melbourne, you know them, don’t you, Emma?
EMMA: Well, my cousin moved to Melbourne.
MRS ELTON: Oh, of course, dear. And you have to come, Emma, lovely.
EMMA: Uh, sweet, I guess. But I’m gunna bring Harriet.
MRS ELTON: Oh, no, pumpkin. They don’t give just anyone the password. And Harriet, you know…
ELTON: She’s a bit of a feral.
MRS ELTON: Plus, you know, isn’t her mum Indonesian? You know how they are…
MRS ELTON: And I heard she’s gunna put a pergola up. Can you imagine it? There’s no such thing as a grouse pergola.
EMMA: Oh my GOD, that woman is a right racist fucking Pauline.
KNIGHTLEY: So that was a party, and Elton’s missus is a galah.
HARRIET: How fucking dare they? I don’t even vollie for the Wilderness Society anymore!
KNIGHTLEY: You could though. You do you, Harriet. He’s a bloody tosser.
HARRIET: And I’m Indian!
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE DUDE: Did you know the Liberals are DESTROYING OUR LIVES?
HARRIET: Look, I don’t disagree but –
SAD: Do you care about uni fees?
HARRIET: Yes, but –
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE LADY: We’ve got a meeting tomorrow talking about the GP levy.
HARRIET: I think that’s really important but –
New SAD: Do you want a copy of the Green Left Weekly?
HARRIET: Look, I don’t really believe in hardcopy –
ANOTHER SAL: Do you have a flyer for our rally next week?
HARRIET: I – what is the rally for?
ALL SADS: UMM… EVERYTHING?
HARRIET: But… but in particular?
ALL SADS: …
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE LADY: THE GOVERNMENT IS BAD!
FIRST SAD: Do you want to buy a badge?
HARRIET: I ca-
FRANK: Harriet! Harriet! Give it a rest, guys.
SAD: Hey, mate! Did you know the Liberals are DESTROYING OUR LIVES?
FRANK: Harriet run for it.
MISS BATES: You’ll never believe it Emma, but Jane is back from Melbourne!
MISS BATES: Jane finished her patisserie Certificate VI at William Angliss in record time! And she’s already been so kind as to make us meat pies for lunch – she even made the tomato sauce herself.
EMMA: Oh I don’t really like meat pies –
MISS BATES: Oh but you’ll LOVE Jane’s pies, all organic ingredients and grass-fed wagyu, highest quality, Jane doesn’t skimp. Now let me get you two pies and we’ll slap some of Jane’s dead horse on them too. Isn’t this lovely?
EMMA. Just. Bloody. DUCKY.
FRANK: How amazing is Jane’s uke solo?
EMMA: Oh jeez not you too!
FRANK: It’s pretty amazing for something she didn’t buy herself.
EMMA: It’s not even her birthday.
FRANK: I’ve heard a rumour.
EMMA: Why you gotta string me along?
FRANK: It was a present.
EMMA: It’s a Lanikai solid Koa concert uke! It’s 900 fucking bucks! My dad won’t even let me get one until my band gets another gig at The Bakery!
FRANK: A present from one person.
KNIGHTLEY: I mean, I mean, can you believe this guy? He just shows up out of nowhere with his fixie and his single origin and HIS IRONIC GODDAMN MOUSTACHE, and suddenly it’s like the sun is radiating out his arse directly at her.
I’ve been riding bikes for years.
I’ve had facial hair.
HE MADE HER A FUCKING TERRARIUM. I COULD HAVE MADE HER A FUCKING TERRARIUM. FUCK.
JANE: Look I came by to see if you wanted a slice of this iced vo-vo tart I just created, but I can see you’re having an existential crisis so I’m just going to leave it here, don’t let the maggies get at it.
MISS BATES: Oh this is just such a charming outing, I’ve never been to Bunbury before!
MISS BATES: Bunno. What simply beautiful views to be had here in Bunno! And the highway really is so smooth now. And I’m so glad to have finally seen that church, I’ve heard so much about it! And the lavender farm, I bet Jane will make a simply beautiful cake with that. You know, I once had a simply beautiful lavender slice –
JANE: Try a tart, aunt.
MISS BATES: Oh. Yes Jane. I’m so glad you let Jane bring along some treats, these neenish tarts are scrummy, and this quandong cake –
EMMA: Oh for goodness sake I’ve had it with you being such a BLOODY RELENTLESS EARBASHER!
MISS BATES: Oh.
KNIGHTLEY: You know, Emma, you really are a gutless wonder.
EMMA: And now Jane’s even blocked me on Tumblr, this has got way out of hand, everyone hates me, I can’t even think of making jam.
FRANK: We had to keep our thing a secret because we knew my aunt would cut sick at such a fierce preserves competitor as Jane potentially having access to all the family’s secret recipes. So, you know, we had to wait.
JANE: Till she carked it.
EMMA: Well, that was unexpected.
EMMA: Harriet I don’t know how to tell you this, but Frank and Jane have been making jam together THIS WHOLE TIME.
HARRIET: That’s mint! I’m so chuffed for them.
HARRIET: They deserve to be happy.
EMMA: But you’ve got the hots for him? He saved you from PAMPHLETING UNI STUDENTS.
HARRIET: Oh, fuck, no.
HARRIET: No, it’s the other bloke in your life.
HARRIET: It’s Joh-
EMMA: Oh, bugger, I want to do the bogo-pogo with Knightley!
MR WOODHOUSE: Ems. Possum. What’s got you down?
EMMA: Just feeling a bit cut about something. Someone’s given me the flick.
MR WOODHOUSE: Probably the mozzies, love. There’s no one who’d rubbish you.
KNIGHTLEY: Emma, I do desperately want to pash you.
EMMA: Are you playing silly buggers? Are you not going at it with Harriet?
KNIGHTLEY: I swear she’s making zines with Martin this very second.
EMMA: YES. Wait, so you like me to the exclusion of all other cream-filled lamingtons?
KNIGHTLEY: Well you’re CLEARLY a jam-filled lammo, but yeah.
EMMA: Melbourne is the best.
KNIGHTLEY: And I got us a booking at Spice Temple.
EMMA: Neil Perry’s restaurant!
KNIGHTLEY: I’m pretty sure it’s not gunna be as good as Red Chilli in Vic Park.
EMMA: You’re the best. You’re wrong, but.
EMMA: I swear I’ll never piss-fart around with other people’s lives ever again.