Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Archers 31st August 2010: Fallon learns of Jolene's plans

The Archers: Jazzer's being witty ... Helen sees the midwife ... Fallon finally gets told about Jolene's plans for The Bull

  • Ugh. Tom with his shirt off.
  • Jazzer's back!
  • Patrick's still around
  • "coming out all crust and no filling"
  • At least Jazzer told Fallon!
  • Chances are 1 in 800
  • The position Helen prefers?
  • Don't let Jolene do the VAT!

Ugh. Tom with his shirt off.

That was a horrid start to today's listening.

I don't care how hot that polytunnel was. Surely health and safety, or at least food hygiene, would dictate that Tom stay firmly clothed.


Jazzer's back!

And on superb form.

"Shelly Brazil? She had to work in food with a name like that ... bit of a tough nut? Is the pieman called Julian Crust?"

"Have you seen the newlyweds? [They've been] buying paint. It turns my stomach. They're round like cottage like a pair of pensioners, with a wee pint of semi in the morning"

"That's lassie talk ... making a healthy breakfast, patting him on the heid and sending him aff to work - that isnae romance, it's penal servitude!"

"Poor wee chris has had a epidectomy if you ask me"

"This new pump jockey - is he married?"

Maybe much more to follow if he gets as jealous about Rhys as he did over Harry.

And Patrick's still around ...

Kirsty's helping out with the new hide at the nature reserve - with Patrick.

Still saying their just friends, what on earth is wrong with Kirsty, Fallon and Helen that there's been so many new single blokes turning up, yet not a hint of any interest?

Patrick. The new barperson Rhys. Harry the Milkman. The veg man's son. Gavin from North Wales ...

... why so many new men, but no distraction for the single ladies?

"coming out all crust and no filling"

Ach well Helen. That can happen to the best of us.

At least it's just the pies this time.

At least Jazzer told Fallon!

He may not have told her in the most subtle or helpful of way (could he ever be capable of such?), but at least Jazzer told Fallon what everyone else was saying.

Someone needed to tell her that she might be homeless anytime Jolene completely cracks.

Jolene's silence when Fallon confronted her about selling The Bull spoke volumes.

She's gone beyond all reasoning. While she noticed that Fallon had been working really hard, she didn't think to tell her that all of her work might be utterly wasted.

Still, Fallon's no better at times. As if a "little solo tour" would sort out all of Jolene's woes.

"it was Sid. He's everywhere I look ... every corner reminds him of me ... where he hit his head and couldn't curse because Marjorie Antrobus was there) ... doesn't matter who is pulling the pint, it's Sid I see way .. the way he folded his cuffs back ... the gray hairs on his wrist"

"I can't bear it everyday. It's just torture. Got to get out"

"It's the life I shared with Sid. Without him, I need a new life"

Which Fallon returned with:

"what about me?"

"I don't want somewhere ... I love this place ... I couldn't bear to leave ... everything I love is here ... the band, friends, the upstairs, even the old codgers who complain about the ale ... please don't take all that away from me"

Oh deary me. Fallon has managed to persuade Jolene to "give it a bit longer", but I don't think can end happily.

Either Jolene spends the rest of her days in the pub sloping around like a Zombie, or Fallon has to lose the pub.

Compromises aren't going to work.

Chances are 1 in 800

Oh come on Helen!

Amongst much, much more - your brother was killed by a tractor, your boyfriend killed himself, you were anorexic, your dead boyfriend's daughter got pregnant by your then boyfriend (who wasn't really your boyfriend - and you don't know he was the father ... yet) AND you're unlucky enough to be Tom's Sausages sister.

If I could place a bet on something against the odds happening to you, I most certainly would.

Helen's having a triple test, which "indicates certain conditions". Seemingly, it's more of a probability test than anything definite, but Kirsty was immediately worried what it could show.

So, rather than Helen miscarrying (maybe that could be Emma?), she might have a baby with a "condition".

Not that Helen thinks it would make any difference.


But I'm not so sure Helen will really cope with anything other than perfection.

Well, at least she'll have a birth plan. She likes those.

The position Helen prefers?

I agree with Kirsty.

Steady on!

Don't let Jolene do the VAT!

What crazy fool let that happen.

It'll put Jolene and Lilian in prison.

The Archers 30th August 2010: The Bull's job interviews

The Archers: Linda and Robert cook breakfast ... interviews for The Bull's new barperson

  • Nigel and Elizabeth's amorous behaviour
  • Robert and Lynda about to turn 'adults only'?!?
  • "you don't know someone until you share a bathroom"
  • Are they actually drugging Jolene?
  • Well hello Sally Citz!
  • ... why Lilian is the creme de la creme
  • Ah, that was a real shame on Fallon
  • "Balloons are vulgar"

Nigel and Elizabeth's amorous behaviour


So Elizabeth doesn't want the wins to go to boarding school for her sake (so I say!), and Nigel gave way because it gave him a rare chance to get some loving.

That makes perfect sense after all.

And seemingly 'PDA' means 'Public Displays of Affection'. So says Coriander.

Robert and Lynda about to turn 'adults only'?!?

It felt quite odd to hear Lynda actually appreciating the Grundys (Camp Grundy has meant Lynda and Robert just have the parents, while their teenagers camp).

But their wistful joy over the calm of just hosting adults could go hideously wrong if they decide to ban children.

One would require very careful wording indeed.

"you don't know someone until you share a bathroom"

But I speak too soon!

It seems that having calm means nothing when your paying guests are a tad untidy in the bathroom.

That was a short lived one then.

Are they actually drugging Jolene?

Now I'm not expecting Jolene to be all cheery and light, but she is wandering around in such a stupor that on can't help think she's got more in her tea bags than tea.

Maybe Matt is trying to push her over the edge (maybe so that he can have The Bull all to himself and Lilian. How long before he'd bar Brian?!?).

I also don't know how Fallon copes without slapping her. All that "whatever you think love" and "Oh?", "Erm ..." and "what?" would drive anyone to distraction.

"I can't see a future at the bull for me anymore"

Maybe that's what someone else really want?

Well hello Sally Citz!

So, Sally was being interviewed for The Bull's barperson position, and she:

- changed her name to Sally Citizen after the may day protest in 2000
- called The Bull a "quality pub" (in the sense of it being rather groovy, than of superior standard)
- worked at 'Frantic Annie's', 'HOM' (short for House of Metal) and Godzilla's
- and spends most of her time working for her mates catering firm at festivals

Robert thought:

"she was very friendly"


"not the type of person you'd expect behind the bar of The Bull"

Despite having bags of bar experience, and being able to stand in for Freida (oh surely not!), Lilian wasn't going to stand for such a creature getting her unwashed feet behind the bar.

So the job goes to a bloke called Rhys. Who is Welsh, isn't pierced and has "normal" hair.

He's starting next Monday.

Or will he ...?

... why Lilian is the creme de la creme

"just to recap - you've spent the last 5 years doing the festivals ... yeah, well, it obviously suits you!"

"darling, do you even need to ask? can you imagine Derek Fletcher coming up to the bar in his slacks and golfing jumper to be faced with that - he'd have four fits!"

"[she'd cook] lentil and cannabis cobbler - you surely don't think she's a serious contender"

"she'd be off next May with Loopy and Pablo, up to her knees in mud, dishing out raffa casserole"

"she's not for us"

Ah, that was a real shame on Fallon

It's easy to forget that Fallon is only a bit of an alternative chick when compared to the rest of the Ambridge residents.

I felt really sorry for her when she chipped in that Bestival was "great", but then had to clarify that she'd never actually been.

Though she had been to Glastonbury. In her mates catering van ... which doesn't sound too dissimilar to Sally after all!

"Balloons are vulgar"

Then they're not.

The golfing community should know better than to wind Kathy up!

Still, nice wee touch from Robert:

"order, counter-order, disorder"

Monday, 30 August 2010

The Archers 29th August 2010: Boarding School?

The Archers: Elizabeth can't sleep ... Nigel makes decisions ... Bert's the man!

  • To board, or not to board
  • So Freddie isn't "sporting"
  • A classic Eddie quip
  • Seriously, when is Hugh going to turn up in Ambridge?
  • Everyone knows Edgar is a flower man
  • 4 poles make one chain which is the length of the cricket pitch
  • What's the big deal about this Dairy event?
  • "Better than Boston!"
  • Oh good god! They're worried about Pip. Again!!!

To board, or not to board ...

Not one to let anything go easily, Elizabeth can't sleep for worrying about whether to send Lily and Freddie to boarding school.

While I'm on that - did we ever get to the bottom of why Elizabeth couldn't sleep before (when she ended up doing guerrilla gardening with Lynda in the wee small hours of the morning).

Nigel was still in his 'but that's what Pargetters do' mode, trying to find a compromise through sending the twins to a closer school as part boarders.

As Elizabeth pointed out, Nigel's hardly toed the family line on other occasions. Even when Elizabeth was talking about the twins missing their home and parents if they were at boarding school, all Nigel could summon from his experiences was:

"I missed nanny"

Between Elizabeth's pleas of:

"all i want is for them to be happy"

"[hate the idea of] spending a fortune to send our babies away"

You'd be forgiven for thinking there was a slight hint that this was all more about Elizabeth's needs than her kids.


When Nigel gave in to Elizabeth, he was heard to utter:

"if you'll be unhappy, that's all i need [to not send them to Boarding school]"


So Freddie isn't "sporting"

Well that just isn't cricket, is it chaps!

A classic Eddie quip

"you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it bark"

Seriously, when's Hugh going to turn up in Ambridge?

So Nigel has decreed that allotments shall be in Lower Loxley's grounds.

Feeling a tad shy about owning so much land, when so many families have teeny gardens, Nigel still seems to be coming across as a Laird who has finally realised that 'his people' are starving while he eats kobe beef.

Commoners with a right to use Lower Loxley ground? Julia Pargetter-Carmichael would never have accepted such an affair.

Everyone knows Edgar is a flower man

Can't believe Nigel was so blissfully unaware ...

He was being a bit dim in not asking Bert in the first place, but Bert soon corrected Nigel's belief in Edgar Titcombe:

"Edgar Titcombe is a flower man knows his petunias but not so hot on his onions"

So all's well. Bert is Nigel's allotment adviser.

Jolly good.

4 poles make one chain which is the length of the cricket pitch

And who said The Archers wasn't educational.

It's just a few decades behind.

What's the big deal about this Dairy event?

Eddie seems to be obsessively keen about getting to it (for free, with Ed and driven by David).

Is it really just about having a few pints?

"Better than Boston!"

Which means 'better than good' in the Black Country.


So one burger van called 'Boston Burger' is angry that the other burger van 'Better Burger' is handing out leaflets at Lower Loxley's steam event with "Better than Boston" on them.

This is revenge for when 'Jolly Dolly Donut' (owned by the same chap of 'Boston Burger') complained at Lower Loxley's vintage car rally about the fumes from 'Better Burgers' choking their customers.

Whatever the truth (which we must be told!), both burger vans have a slight barny, which Elizabeth sorts out.

Maybe just have one burger van next time?

(oh the heady trials and tribulations of Ambridge!)

Oh good god! They're worried about Pip. Yet again.

Maybe this was just me, but is sounded like Pip was about to go back to Primary School, rather than College.

David and Ruth are worried about Pip being worried about her College friends taking the mick out of her:

"your boyfriend hated you so much he ran away to another continent"

Well, it's perfectly not true (as Jude ran away because he was utterly devoid of any emotion for Pip, whether that be love or hate).

And surely College students are above playground taunts?

Just please. Don't give Pip another reason to start whining again. It's been so serene since she stopped.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Archers 27th August 2010: The Carter and Aldridge supper

The Archers: The Carter and Aldridge supper ... allotments and boarding school

  • The Aldridges prepare ...
  • The Carter's prepare ...
  • "The Aldridges not Albert Pierrepoint"
  • The supper begins ...
  • "the natives are restless"
  • Lilian and her gin
  • Elizabeth says 'yes' ...
  • ... and then 'no'

The Aldridges prepare ...

Popping on a "dull grey tie" for the occasion, Brian sounds in a jovial mood ahead of their supper with Susan and Neil.

Jennifer just sounds suicidal.

"we'll race through the pudding and refuse coffee home, then be home in time for the evening news"

The Carter's prepare

"The starter looks ... very ... interesting"

Oh dear. That's not a convincing noises coming from Neil.

Neil also gets the music wrong (though I would have personally preferred The Phantom of the Opera over the Three Tenors)

And Susan has had to resort to Bert Fry's "cast off veg" in making a vegetarian lasagne rather than the Lamb Tagine she'd planned.

Safer ground, but not quite the hint of sophistication she'd been looking to create.

"Aldridges not Albert Pierrepoint"


I must have heard that wrong.

If not, what a very odd thing for Neil to say.

A hangman? for dinner? Which would be worse than having the Aldridges?


The supper begins ...

Brian compliments the veg lasagne:

"I appreciate a well cooked meal made with fresh ingredients"

Neil likes the wine, but makes the mistake of thinking Brian got it from the Village shop (as if! Of course Brian has a bloomin' wine merchant on hand!)

Neil and Brian have a discussion about the Cap Reforms while Jennifer insists on Helping Susan with the dishes (if at all interested - Neil thinks it's only big farmers like Brian that benefit)

And when's all done, Jennifer asks Susan for the "anchovy starter".

The post-Supper Analysis




"You were fantastic, Neil Cater" (for standing his ground with Brian over the farming discussion)


"tonight went really well"


"that was absolutely ghastly"

"what was that fish pepper starter thing?"

"we won't have to sit through for a very long time to come"

So - no change there then. Susan thinks they're all the best of chums, Jennifer can't abide this whole situation, Neil just doesn't want the stress.

More of this to come then. I only hope that next time, such a supper is worthy of such a massive build up. A few quite amusing moments, but not the hilarity we'd all expected ...

"the natives are restless"

So says Brian, due to rumours about The Bull closing.

Rather than seeing Lilian as its savour, he reckons Jennifer will have no ready funds to buy out Jolene (due to Amside Property).

Closure shall surely not come to pass ...?

Either we'll see another shareholder of The Bull, or it could go the way of the majority of village pubs these days.

Turned into flats.

By Matt???

Lilian and her gin

And on Lilian, Brian reckons she's no longer susceptible to spilling all of the inside information on Matt after a few gin and tonics.

Nope - she hasn't stopped drinking.

Lilian has just got a real vested interested in Matt's dealings. If he fails this time, he'll drag her down with him.

Elizabeth says 'yes' ...

to allotments at Lower Loxley.

Nigel wasn't letting his allotment idea go, so Elizabeth has consented.

Seemingly Nigel feels "privileged" for having his land, and feels this would be a good way to help the community.

(not a hint of the Laird providing scraps of land to stop his peasants being completely wiped out from starvation. No, not at all ...)

All very nice. And they really should call Hugh to get signed onto his Landshare scheme.

... and then 'no'

to the twins being sent to boarding school.

All Nigel could initially muster was "gosh", but managed to pull himself together to drag out all the usual arguments of "tradition", "opportunity", "advantages".

Elizabeth seemingly heard Lily saying that while she wasn't bothered about going to boarding school, Freddie is already dreading it (with a whole 12 months to go).

"doesn't feel right anymore"

"i can't bear for them to live so far away"

"we will lose touch with them"

Nigel's comeback of

"surely you don't want to deny them"

Felt like it was being said to a mum who has already made up her mind. "Tradition" won;t stand a chance.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Archers 26th August 2010: Lamb Tagine and Artichokes

The Archers: Lynda and Elizabeth plating … Litter, Litter everywhere … Lamb Tagine

  • Lynda and Elizabeth come out
  • What’s all this litter?
  • Bank Holiday weekend fun
  • Lamb Tagine
  • Eddie’s “professional development”
  • Lily chooses her career path
  • Hurrah! Ed get’s his artichokes!

Lynda and Elizabeth come out

Unlike their last planting foray together, this time Lynda and Elizabeth are plating during the day, out in public.

(seemingly, is the land is a bit dry – dig deeper and sprinkle it with water)

What’s all this litter?

A kebab? The horror!

First there’s litter in the playground, then another of David and Ruth’s cows get cut by a broken bottle.

Who’s the litter lout?

Bank Holiday weekend fun

Joe and Bartleby are out and about with signed advertising their campsite, while Lower Loxley has a steam rally.

Lashings of ginger beer it shall be!

Lamb Tagine

I think that’s what Susan said she’d decided to cook for Brian and Jennifer, but she did seem to pronounce it differently every time.

Whatever it is, even Lynda thinks it’s quite ambitious. Which doesn’t at all bode well.

Saving no expense, Susan’s determined to go ahead with cooking a recipe she hasn’t tried before.

Though her trial run didn’t go at all well.

“ is it supposed to taste like this?”

says Neil

“Oh it’s …. You can’t serve that … it’s the spices …can’t put my finger on it… just tastes all wrong”

says Emma.

Whatever Susan’s managed to do to the recipe (which she claims she followed step for step), she’s now in a panic that it’s wrong, but she doesn’t have time to try it again before the big night.

She should’ve stuck to Steak and Kidney pudding.

Eddie’s “professional development”

As much as “Eddie ‘Subtly is my middle name’ Grundy” often has cunning plans which cost him more than he earns, you got to hand it to him that he knows his way around David Archer.

Managing to persuade David that he needs to go to the diary event for he “professional development”, he also gets David to buy Ed’s ticket as well.

Every penny saved …

Lily chooses her career path

Whereas Freddie doesn’t like boarding school, Lily seems to be quite a robust young girl who takes everything in her stride.

She’s decided she wants to be a vet who writes in her spare time. Which will leave Freddie with Lower Loxley.

Let’s hope he’s grows into the gorilla costume well in time.

Hurrah! Ed get’s his artichokes!

I did say to try Underwoods, but Ed’s finally got his artichokes.

Apologetic because the hollandaise sauce was out of a packet, Ed surprises Emma with this most prized of vegetables.

Very sweet that Emma also didn’t know how to eat them

(“not in a quiche like last time”)

Ed’s already in the know after asking Alice and Jennifer.

And after all that effort, Emma really likes them.

“let me eat my artichokes in peace!”

she demanded of Susan.

If this was a pregnancy craving, let’s hope she finds something a bit more easy for Ed to find and deal with. The poor man will be run ragged.

The Archers 25th August 2010: The Girls' Night Out

The Archers: Tony gets his mower conditioner … Ed’s still on about Artichokes … The Girls’ night out … Jamie offers to do the shopping

  • “Great conditioner to cut ratios”
  • Why has no-one asked Ed about his artichoke obsession?
  • Natural or high tech birth?
  • Is this a permanent ceasefire between Kathy and Jamie?
  • Surely The Bull isn’t shutting!
  • Steady on there ‘Girls’!
  • And in case you’d forgotten …

“Great conditioner to cut ratios”

Phew! I was worried there that the ratio would have been rubbish (!).

Tony has got his mower conditioner, Ed’s excited about it, but seemingly Tom just glanced at it and grunted about it being unnecessary.

Poor Tony.

Why has no-one asked Ed about his artichoke obsession?

As Ed’s now asked everyone and anyone abut artichokes, why has no-one thought to ask what this sudden obsession is all about?

It’s now quite ‘Ed’ now, is it?

Also trying Tony, Ed seems to be having no luck in the shops. It seems artichokes won’t be round again until March-May.

Helen suggest that Kirsty might have a supplier. Seemingly Jaxx has a

“more esoteric menu these days”

Natural or high tech birth?

Helen’s quite taken with the idea of having a natural birth (at the birthing centre Amy’s working at), whereas Tony seems to think she needs state of the art equipment.

Tony obviously wants his daughter to be safe, but there’s the undercurrent of Tony not letting go of how Helen got pregnant in the first place:

“the child wasn’t conceived natural – a high tech birth seems more appropriate”

How long will he keep this up for? He surely has to accept that despite how she got pregnant, Helen is going to have a baby - and that everything after the conception is as ‘natural and ‘normal’ as any other pregnancy?

Is this a permanent ceasefire between Kathy and Jamie?

It does all sound very civilised.

Jamie offered to do the shopping, is doing well at his job and actually mowed the lawn when only asked once.

Kathy also seems to be a lot calmer, which must make even having a conversation with her less fraught.

Talking to Pat later on, Kathy thinks it was the shock of how upset she was last week that has jolted Jamie back into being a nice chap.

Or, maybe he’s working through his grief.

Either way, I’m very grateful there’s no shouting.

That just leaves Kenton and Kathy to sort themselves out, or split up (the latter I think is most likely).

Kenton’s agreed to go to Kathy’s golf club dinner dance. Which Kathy is delighted about.

But hold on a minute … Kenton’s seemingly been moaning to Kirsty about how the dance will be full or bores. So he doesn’t seem happy to be going.

Does this mean Kenton is finally putting Kathy’s needs before all of his own – or is he doing it out of duty, to stop Kathy moaning? If so, I would have thought shouting shall resume quick hence …

Surely The Bull isn’t shutting!

That’d be ridiculous.

Even if Jolene does want to sell her shares, surely they’d keep it going while everything gets sorted out?

Or will we see Ambridge residents having to go to Borchester for their pints?

Village riot ahoy!

Steady on there ‘Girls’!

Helen can’t stop yawning, Brenda’s picking up bathroom catalogues for Lillian, Fallon can only talk about The Bull.

Party time indeed!

It might have been better to avoid The Bull altogether to give Fallon a proper break (and started out in Borchester), but Kirsty doesn’t seem to be having much fun with her friends these days.

Where else could she find a distraction … ?

And in case you’d forgotten …

Will doesn’t like Ed.

Not even able to give more than a monosyllabic answer to Ed when they cross paths in the pub, Will is hardly going to be pleased when he hears about Emma’s pregnancy.

I’d lock him up now. Will is quite simply a violent nutter.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Archers 24th August 2010: Allotments at Lower Loxley

The Archers: the kids are getting kitted out for school … Helen’s organising a cookery demo … Susan’s trying to find a recipe … Nigel has a cunning plan

  • Is boarding school less expensive than patent shoes?
  • A female Jamie Olive in Ambridge!
  • Antique furniture should not house vegetables
  • Steak and kidney is alright for Clarrie and Eddie
  • Allotments at Lower Loxley?
  • Ed’s still on the artichoke hunt
  • Is Helen fine?

Is boarding school less expensive than patent shoes?

I was a bit confused about Elizabeth saying that she couldn’t buy patent shoes for her kids (as she didn’t have money to burn), but that her and Nigel had put both Lilly and Freddie down for private school the moment they were born.

Maybe the cost of patent shoes have gone up since I was a kid (and had to stand in that strange foot measuring machine at Clarks).

And, maybe Nigel and Elizabeth have just decided that the kids away at boarding school is a good way to have them, but not have them in the house.

Kind of like having a dog but keeping it in an outside kennel …

A female Jamie Olive in Ambridge!

Who’d have thought it!

Helen’s very excited about this Shelly Brazil. Seemingly she’s a local chef with her own book, and is doing a demo to boost takings at Ambridge Organics.

To make sure they have an audience, Helen is calling everyone she (and Kirsty) knows.

Antique furniture should not house vegetables

Especially when the said vegetables are wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper.

Was Nigel having a go at Bert about the entire vegetable situation, or was he merely offended that Bert hadn’t made the effort to at least get the most recent newspaper?

God help us if it’d been The Sun.

Steak and kidney is alright for Clarrie and Eddie

But not for Brian and Jennifer.

According to Susan.

So it’s farce ahoy! Despite Pat’s advice to stick to a recipe she knows, Susan’s determined to try something new and exotic.

Oh dear.

Allotments at Lower Loxley?

Nigel is quite good at ignoring Elizabeth’s complete lack of enthusiasm for any of his ideas.

So shall we see hordes of keen amateur gardeners descending on Lower Loxley to grow their veg?

It’s a good idea. Maybe Nigel should speak to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall about his landshare scheme.

Ed’s still on the artichoke hunt

Now he’s been trying Bert.

Is it just me, or shouldn’t Underwood’s have them?

Is Helen fine?

As I said yesterday, it’s all a bit suspicious that Emma’s pregnant at the same time as Helen.

It could mean one of them is in for a heartbreaker.

Pat thinks Helen looks tired, but Helen’s determined to be the epitome of healthy motherhood.

As much as I hope both Emma and Helen are okay, I really (muchly) hope that Helen doesn’t get yet another disappointment.

It’s be too much for any of us to cope with.

The Archers 23rd August 2010: The Carter's invite The Aldridges to supper

The Archers: The Carter’s invite the Aldridges to supper … Jennifer’s in a panic again … Ed’s still on about artichokes

  • “Oh flipping eck”
  • “Will he expect my cleaner to clean for him?”
  • Amy’s going to regret moving back to Ambridge
  • “What sort of sauce is that then?”

“Oh flipping eck”

Was Neil’s response to Susan deciding that Brian and Jennifer should be invited to supper.

Susan feels that, despite Neil’s rather uncouth comparison of Alice and Chris’ marriage to pig breeding, they need to “cement the bond” with the Aldridges sooner rather than later.

She really does seem to feel that Chris’ marriage is a new opportunity for her and Neil – and that they should be the best of friends with Jennifer and Brian to make sure that their passage into the upper classes is as smooth as possible.

If I didn’t know better, I’d have though Susan pushed Chris to marry Alice for her own gain. Of course, that didn’t happen at all …

Unhappy about having to lose his Friday night in the Bull to supper with the Aldridges (which is seemingly more than just cheese on toast!), Neil isn’t looking forward to any of it:

“In my best bib and tucker … best behaviour … dredging up something from the news to keep the conversation going”

Caught on the hop, Jennifer’s said yes to Susan’s invitation, but was then desperately hoping that Brian had already made other plans. Which he hadn’t:

“With any luck, it’s be bangers and mash and pudding. We’ll be out of there by 9”

Told not to joke like that on the big night itself, at least Brian can see the funny side of it.

Unlike Jennifer:

“It’s the thin end of the wedge”

Yes indeed. What fun!

“Will he expect my cleaner to clean for him?”

Now that just wouldn’t be on at all, would it Jennifer!

The very thought of one’s new son-in-law expecting to use one’s hired help simply is unthinkable!

Quite right.

Isn’t it amazing how a rich and successful husband has made Jennifer into such an awful snob!

After Jennifer panicked about their announcement that they’d been married … the next panic over the party … Jennifer’s now panicking about more practical issues (now that the party dust has settled).

I can see why she’s a bit annoyed at losing one of their holiday cottages, but it’s it Alice’s to use?

But that’s not the real reason. It’s all about Jennifer being worried that she’ll have to cook and clean for Chris when Alice goes back to university.

Whereas Brian

“expects him to look after himself”

Jennifer has a vision of washing Chris’ smalls.

Couldn’t she just leave him to get on with it?

Alice and Chris’ plan is to stay in her cottage while they save money for a larger house, then rent out the cottage to get an extra income.

Brian’s impressed, and is happy that Chris seems to have some “business sense”

Amy’s going to regret moving back to Ambridge

It’ll all be good experience, but she won’t be able to move for expectant mothers (and over enthusiastic fathers) asking for her advice.

While I'm on that - can we foresee that one pregnancy will go well, but the other horribly wrong?

Will it be joy or pain for Helen or Emma/Ed???

“What sort of sauce is that then?”

It’s easy to laugh at Ed’s lack of culinary experience, and it wouldn’t be fair to.

Still on about artichokes, Chris corners Alice to find out more about where he can get them, and what to do with them.

It’s all very sweet, and I do like his lack of embarrassment. He’s a good chap for asking what something is when he doesn’t know.

22nd August: The Millennium Wood Picnic

The Archers: Ed’s taking care of Emma … Alice and Chris return from Grey Gables … Debbie’s gone home … the Millennium Wood Picnic

  • Why was Ed surprised that the baby had a heart?
  • Boys will be boys
  • What the feuck was Ruairi ‘s accent?
  • Lynda’s current projects
  • Artichokes
  • Ah – it’s “Aldridge Millennium wood”
  • Vicky was very quiet about her cake

Why was Ed surprised that the baby had a heart?

You’d think that a chap who’s been around cattle all his life would know a bit more about pregnancy.

Anyway, it’s nice to hear a genuinely happy couple.

They’re keeping Emma’s pregnancy a secret. I wonderful if that’s anything to do with Will?

Just how will he react? Especially if Ed and Emma’s baby just happens to be born on George’s birthday.

If there was ever a candidate for the murder rumoured to be happening in early 2011, I think Will murdering Ed has to be the top contender.

“Hello tiny Grundy … I’m your daddy”

Here’s hoping Ed and Emma are left alone to enjoy their baby, that Will keeps well away, and that wee George doesn’t get left to one side …

Boys will be boys

Ah, bless Chris. He may now be a married man (to an Aldridge, no less), but he still gets excited by a big plasma TV, with all the sports channels.

It sounded like he was sensible enough not to sit and watch it the entire time he and Alice were in their luxury suite at Grey Gables.

So he may be a boy, but at least he’s a boy who knows when it’s time for sports, and time for romance.

What the feuck was Ruairi ‘s accent?

As warming as it is to see the teeny tots starting to have their friendships (George and Ruairi), what on earth was going on with Ruairi’s accent?

I know he’s bound to have a bit of a Irish hint, but it sounded like he was a bloke down the pub trying to do a Father Ted.

Most decidedly odd.

Lynda’s current projects

As well as a leading light of the Millennium Wood picnic, Lynda’s also now going to be planting around the village, is going to encourage the Peregrines to return, and will still have time to enter the flower and produce show.


First Ed is being a bit over enthusiastic about helping Emma over fences, then he gets obsessed with artichokes.

Which is fair enough, as Emma was very over excited about Jennifer’s quiche. Which seemingly had artichokes. Which Ed has never had before, but wants to get hold of.

We can only assume he thinks Emma has an artichoke craving.

What a sweet man he is. The baby is only the size of a fingernail, yet he’s already well and truly committed to making sure Emma is properly looked after.


The only slight concern I have is that we’re now in for 9 months of loved up Ed and Emma. That could be a very nice thing, or we could be the ones with nausea …

Could there also be wedding bells?

Ah – it’s “Aldridge Millennium wood”

Thanks for the clarification, Jennifer.

Is there nothing they don’t own?

Vicky was very quiet about her cake

Infact, she didn’t even utter a peep.

How odd.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

20th August 2010: Alice and Chris' Party

The Archers: It's party time!
  • Clive Horrobin ...
  • The Carter's taste the good life
  • Has Emma got news for Ed!

Clive Horrobin ...

... wasn't even invited!

It was all a joke on Jennifer.

Thinking back on it, I probably should have spotted that it's quite unlikely that Clive would've been let out just for a family party, but I was as clueless as Jennifer.

Cheeky of Alice and Chris, but served Jennifer right for being such a snob.

Her (and Brian's) snobbery didn't really abate as the party progressed:

"Reading isn't one of the Horrobin's skills"

(over them choosing to sit where they liked instead of as dictated by Jennifer's table nameplaces)

But at least all of their concerns were unfounded.

Now all they have to do is survive the Horrobin's at Christmas, birthday parties, anniversaries, christenings ...

The Carter's taste the good life

After all of Jennifer and Brian's snobbery, it was funny that Neil assumed that their 'posh' set as being more likely to create havoc/damage.

"At least they'd have the money to pay"

Susan's cup cake went down a storm, and Neil decided to make an impromptu speech (after panicking that he's have to make one).

After Brian said:

"Chris is a real credit.

Neil returned with:

"Brian must be pleased and proud {Chris has] chosen his lovely daughter to be his wife"

And good on you! Quite right that the Aldridge's understand that Alice is just as lucky to have landed Chris.

While then going on about this marriage being a union between "two great and long established families", Neil then managed to slightly slip up and liken the marriage to being "like pigs ... or any other stock".

Bless. He was just trying to say that Chris and Alice are two prize breeders!

"this is what life will be like from now on ... hobnobbing with the county set"

Ah deary me. Jennifer's going to have to have a whole suitcase full of excuses to avoid Susan and Neil assuming they'll be even invited to hobnob.

Has Emma got news for Ed!

I hadn't really noticed Emma being anything other than Emma recently (Josh's stalking escapades aside).

But there it is.

Emma's pregnant!

And this time it's most definitely Ed's.

Isn't it?

Friday, 20 August 2010

19th August 2010

The Archers: Pip gets her exam results … Brian shows Debbie his project site … Kathy’s in a panic … Jennifer’s making special preparations for the party

  • Pip’s not being a madam!
  • “Catering company is the least of my worries”
  • A party on Friday, picnic on Sunday
  • Debbie couldn’t be happier
  • Kathy goes bonkers

Pip’s not being a madam!

Pip took her rather disastrous exam results really well. There wasn’t a shout or whine to be heard!

B music
C chemistry
B one of biology
D in the other
E business studies

David took it quite calmly as well, but he was right in saying:

“Things would be pretty bleak if this was really the best you could do”

Let’s just hope there’s no other Jude characters lurking to put Pip off this term at College.

Catering company is the least of my worries

After all that fuss about Tom’s burger van, Jennifer seems to be utterly preoccupied by the chance that Clive might be coming to the party.

After Brian discovered his malt whisky had been moved, then noticed a painting had also disappeared, Jennifer confessed that she’s been locking “things of value” out of sight.

Claiming it was to avoid damage, Brian pointed out that the Horrobin’s will only be getting drunk, and that

“The only Horrobin who’s a real head case is safely banged up in jail”

Isn’t he?

Jennifer didn’t seem convinced …

A party on Friday, picnic on Sunday

How spoilt we shall be!

Especially after the fillers of the last few episodes. Brian showing Debbie round his project site, and Kathy’s calls to Kenton and Jamie, were a bit of a waste of time.

Debbie couldn’t be happier

Hmmm. What’s the catch?

Kathy goes bonkers

Kathy wasn’t able to get Jamie on his phone. He’d left in the house. Shame Kathy didn’t notice the ringing as she was trying to call him – we could have had at least 2 minutes of our life not wasted!).

Also unable to get Kenton on his phone (quell surprise!), Kathy goes completely doolally. Lucky Clarrie was around to calm her down.

As Jamie calmly pointed out later on, she knew where he was. He was just a bit late. I’m just grateful that neither he nor Kathy ended up shouting at each other again – nice to see them being a bit reasonable with each other.

This has been building for some time, but Kathy’s becoming increasingly open about Kenton just not being up to Sid’s standard.

Where Kenton is “like a big kid himself” and is “not solid and dependable”, Sid was “so good with Jamie …always there”.

Kathy’s seemingly lonely and lost without Sid.

“You Mustn’t talk yourself into believing it can’t be mended”

Says Clarrie.

I don’t think Kenton can compete with the sheer height of the pedestal Kathy’s put Sid onto. What’s more, I don’t think he’ll even try to fight for Kathy against a dead man.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

18th August 2010

The Archers: Slow day in Ambridge … Fallon needs to go to the hairdressers, Brenda has a sandwich, Jamie wants “spag bol”, Kathy runs out of petrol, Adam/Kate/Debbie buy Alice/Chris a hotel room …

  • Did we need the entire job description read out?
  • Jamie finds a kindred spirit in Fallon
  • Alice’s alternative favours
  • So that’s what was wrong with Marshall
  • Kenton is second best

Did we need the entire job description read out?

This will be a recurring theme throughout today’s posting, but why such a  slow day in Ambridge?

After helping Fallon to write the job advert for a new barperson, Brenda then read out the thing in entirety.

I thought that only happened in the old days with new instructions from the Agriculture Department …

It doesn’t seem like Fallon had heard Jolene might be selling up, but at least she has a ‘girls night out’ to look forward to at some point.

Jamie finds a kindred spirit in Fallon

It seems like more and more people are starting to understand what Jamie’s going through.

Last night Kenton, tonight Fallon.

“you got your guitar from your dad - I got my cricket bat”

Over a plate of spaghetti, Fallon’s able to coax Jamie a bit more out of himself, and encourages him to writer (a song, poem or story) to deal with what’s going on.

Now that Jamie is able to talk to folks, does it mean that Kenton is about to split with Kathy, and Fallon has to leave because Jolene sells her share in the pub? That’d send Jamie right over the edge …

Alice’s alternative favours

Which are a donation to an Alzheimer charity on behalf of each guest.

Debbie, Adam and Kate have also gifted Alice and Chris a couple of nights in the honeymoon suite at Grey Gables.

It was a nice chat between Alice and Debbie (hurrah to Debbie being home!), but not exactly the most scintillating of conversations (I’m most perturbed to report!).

So that’s what was wrong with Marshall

Is it just me, or do we really care that Marshall’s gone?

Anyway, Debbie split up with him because his

“agenda was different than mine”

Seemingly, his baking cakes and ‘new man’ attributes were all an act to

“get him where he wanted to go”

In other words, he was playing nice with the aim of getting Debbie pregnant, then barefoot in the kitchen.

Ah well. At least they split up quietly and away from our ears. Maybe Kathy and Kenton could learn a few things from them.

Kenton is second best

After the drama of running out of petrol (steady!), Kathy finally admits that Kenton is not the same as Sid. And that Sid was the “real hub”.

Maybe time for her now to realise that they need to split up? (at last!)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

17th August 2010

The Archers: Matt’s up to old tricks … Kenton has a result with Jamie … Jolene talks of selling up

  • Oh dear. Here Matt goes again.
  • My word, Kenton understood!
  • Wonderful moments to cringe worthy ones …
  • Jolene just “ain’t got the stomach”

Oh dear. Here Matt goes again.

Moments after he’s officially a ‘free man’, Matt’s already doing deals on the side and trying to hide it from Lilian.

I suppose he does have to have all ‘his’ money in their joint account (or else the law shall return), but that means Lilian can see when he makes any withdrawals.

The money he had put in from his offshore accounts has gone out again, but he claims he “forgot” to tell Lilian that he was doing a deal outside of their joint business.

Claiming that it was “no big deal” and that he doesn’t have to tell Lilian about what he’s doing when he’s not on their time, it seems Matt is back to his old dodgy self.

Can we all foresee Brenda being duped into helping Matt, Lilian finding out, then Paul returning to offer his shoulder?

My word, Kenton understood!

That was a lovely moment between Jamie and Kenton.

Someone finally listened to Jamie, and realised that he’s just not coping with Sid’s death.

His whole reluctance to cricket is because that’s where Sid’s ashes are scattered. Rather than trying to just force him to go (as Kathy’s been doing), Kenton listened and talked it through.

Talking Jamie round by saying that Sid would be upset that Jamie wasn’t playing cricket because of him, Kenton manages to get Jamie out of his bedroom, and down onto the cricket ground.

“be close to your dad just by doing something you enjoy”

Is this a breakthrough? Will Jamie stop shouting? And will Kathy manage to be pleased rather than angry?!?

Wonderful moments to cringe worthy ones …

But, after this very moving moment between Jamie and Kenton, it was simply ruined by:

“I think I can hear your dad’s laugh on the wind”


I get that Kenton might have been trying to relax Jamie even further, especially as he went onto say:

“laughing at me”

(over Kenton’s bad cricket)

But it was a crass and skin crawling moment. Of Hollywood proportions.

Oh the shame.

Jolene just “ain’t got the stomach”

While trying to keep tabs on the every slippy Matt, Lillian’s also been trying to push Jolene to get back into running the bull properly.

After seeming to not know anything about anything, Jolene then simply says “no” to Lilian. She “doesn’t want to think about it” and can’t cope.

It sounded like Jolene has the same problem as Jamie – being somewhere (or doing something) that is so synonymous with Sid is too painful. But unlike Jamie, Jolene’s just expected to cope.

“Sid’s gone. There’s no heart to the place”

But instead of dipping back into her aimless wandering, Jolene tells Lilian that she’s going to sell her shares in the pub.

Well, at least she’s making decisions!

That, of course, throws up the question of who will buy the shares – what will happen to Fallon (and how will she feel about it, considering she’s really got into running the pub) – then what will Jazzer do if Fallon has to leave?

On Lilian telling Matt, he sounded like he’d snap Jolene’s hand off for those shares. Questions is, would he want to convert the pub into flats?

Or would that be too obvious?

Who else has the money to go into business with Lilian? Brian (eeek!)?

Or how about Paul …

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

16th August 2010

The Archers: Susan and Neil simply don’t know what clothes to wear … Chris takes marriage seriously … Kathy and Kenton Argue (pt 752)

  • “But what does ‘smart casual’ really mean”
  • Neil is horrified by changing rooms
  • “A bit smarter than the average barbeque”
  • Is it the Home Secretary I have to write to in support of Clive’s day release?
  • Does Neil and Susan have a good marriage?
  • Please. Just split up.

“But what does ‘smart casual’ really mean”

Susan’s getting herself into yet another flap, this time over what her and Neil should wear to the party.

Although Susan knows

“what it means literally”

she somehow can’t translate that into reality.

While not wanting to “outdo” Jennifer (as the mother of the bride), Susan also doesn’t want to “compromise and wear a skirt”


As Neil out it

“Is it just me - or is she speaking in tongues?”

There is nothing on this earth that Susan can’t find something to panic of complain about. Seriously.

Neil is horrified by changing rooms

So – do we think Neil has lost the power to think for himself because of Susan, or was he always like this?

The man can’t even choose a pair of breeks by himself!

I know it’s a generational thing (as Chris was happily managing to choose his own suit), but what was Neil on about when he refused to use a changing room, preferring to take it home (chancing that it might not fit, which would spiral Susan into a demonic presence of huge proportions).

Did Susan create Neil, or did Neil’s ineptness create Susan?

“A Bit smarter than the average barbeque”

And this is why Susan is panicking.

For all Jennifer’s claims that it’s not formal, the wee touches she’s adding to the party makes it far from a few sausages flung onto a half-hot grill.

Jennifer seems to think that a seating plan is informal, helping to ensure everyone “can relax” and not “feel awkward” because they’re guaranteed to be sat next to someone they know/like.

Hmmm. That sounds formal to me, and also full of pitfalls.

What one woman sees as two friends, another knows is just polite tolerance.

Is it the Home Secretary I have to write to in support of Clive’s day release?

Now I know Clive’s not a very nice chap, but it’d be worth it just to see Jennifer’s face.

It’s nothing less than she deserves for her current heights of snobbery.

Desperately trying to get Susan to confirm whether Clive is being allowed out of prison for the party, all Jennifer could get was that the ‘yet to be confirmed’ were:

“just the ones who have more complicated arrangements”

But Susan then went onto say:

“ none of them will say no - you can bank on it!”

Sounds like Clive could be on his way …

Does Neil and Susan have a good marriage?

As much as Neil is a bit flaky, and Susan a lot irritating, I suppose they do.

Aside from the slight aside Neil had when Susan was in prison (can you try and fix that for us again, Clive?), they’ve been pretty solid.

Chris cites their marriage as an example of why he knows what it’ll take to make his marriage to Alice works. And that he’s committed to her. And that he loves her.


Sham his sister Emma didn’t have the same approach.

Please. Just split up.

Kathy and Kenton are arguing yet again, this time over Jamie.

Kenton is being a bit dim again (he was telling Kathy that Jamie should be getting out more, playing cricket, seeing the lads etc), which is not news to Kathy.

And Kenton also seems to think that it’s okay with Jamie to be angry with Kathy, but it wouldn’t be okay for Jamie to be angry with him. Maybe that’s because Kenton thinks Kathy doesn’t deserve anything better?

“chill out and just back off a bit Kathy”

I think we all agree with that, but I’d be spitting hot coals if someone said that to me. It’s almost as bad as ‘calm down, dear’.

Come on. Gives us a break, and make the break.

Monday, 16 August 2010

15th August 2010

The Archers: Debbie returns … will Clive Horrobin also return? … Emma’s being stalked

  • “The one who does Ozzy in a Black Sabbath tribute band”
  •  Clive could really be coming for the party
  •  Someone’s in the bushes …
  •  The immaculate conception
  •  Is anyone bothered that Marshall and Debbie have split?

“The one who does Ozzy in a black Sabbath tribute band”


Chris’ family sound colourful indeed.

Whatever will the neighbours think?

Clive could really be coming for the party

Seemingly Chris is sure he’ll be allowed to attend. It’s seen to be good for his rehabilitation.

Putting any discussions of text payers money being spent on a prisoner going to a party (I’ll leave that to the professionals), is anyone thinking about how folks who Clive robbed/attacked/tricked will feel?

I’d imagine the folks must unamused will include Christine (firebomb attack and many attacks on George), Kate and Debbie (post office raid), Peggy (Jack’s collapse at the post office raid), Neil (Susan being forced to hide Clive will on the run).

Any I’ve missed?

The biggest question is, will Susan be pleased to see him again? Or, is all forgiven?

Someone’s in the bushes …

After the anonymous presents, Emma’s not getting silent calls.

Later on, while she’s hanging out the washing, Emma hears someone the bushes.

After Ed rushes back home, Ruth pops over and happens to have an idea …

As expected, it was Josh.

Though it was a bit disturbing that he moved from gifts to stalking so quickly.

I thought Emma was lovely to Josh (when Ruth forced him to admit what he’d been up to). He hadn’t meant to frighten her, and she realised that this was just a teenage crush.

Ed was a bit of a cheeky chap though. Although he didn’t give Josh that hard a time, how could he say that he

“Shouldn’t go round chatting up the girlfriends of your mate”

and keep a straight face?

Or, was he just trying to make sure that Josh doesn’t make the same mistakes that he had made?

I felt so sorry for wee Josh. It must have been excruciatingly embarrassing to have to confess.

But, I’m also a bit concerned about how far he took this. He could be going in completely the wrong direction with his filming …

The immaculate conception

Alice was explaining Helen’s pregnancy to Debbie, but I agree with Jennifer that she did make it sound rather strange (“no man involved”).

I was a bit surprised at Jennifer’s attitude. Saying it was “foolhardy”, Jennifer seems to think that Helen’s a tad bonkers for taking on all that work by herself.

And there was me thinking Jennifer would be supportive after her experience with Adam. Maybe she just can’t remember any of it being a positive.

Is anyone bothered that Marshall and Debbie have split?

Well, Jennifer seems to be really upset.

Alice thinks she saw it coming because Debbie wasn’t waxing lyrical about Marshall, in a loved up manner), and Brian reckons Marshall was

“far too namby pamby”

for Debbie anyway.

It seems Jennifer isn’t so much about upset about Marshall per say – she’s more concerned about Debbie being single when she’ll be 40 this year.

“too late for happiness”


Doesn’t Jennifer watch any TV or films? Does she not realise that 40 is the new 30, with women (and men) living very full lives without a partner?

Honestly. Jennifer sounds more and more like Peggy …

13th August 2010

The Archers: Susan is upset … Jamie’s Angry … Brian’s taking the mick

  • Jennifer apologises (and she meant it!)
  •  Jamie’s being a tad petulant
  •  Is Clive really going to return?

Jennifer apologises (and she meant it!)

After Alice tackling Jennifer for hijacking all of the party, firmly leaving Susan out of everything, Jennifer comes up with the perfect idea for Susan to get involved.

Discounting the decorations, after having seen Susan’s previous attempt, which seemingly included “florescent banners … tinsel … teddys with messages on their jumpers”, Jennifer decides that the cake will be Susan’s mission.

And what a sales person Jennifer is. She not only convinces Susan that the cake is the ‘centrepiece’ of the whole event, a “great opportunity to express creativity” she also manages to make sure Susan will order a cake which Jennifer has already decided is the right one.

So it has to be a ‘cup cake tower’. That only leaves Susan to choose the colour.

Doesn’t it?

Or, is there still an opportunity for Susan to make it garish?!?

Jamie’s being a tad petulant

I really don’t expect Jamie to get over Sid’s death quickly – but he is starting to sound just like your average teenager (angry over absolutely nothing).

“I had a nice time until you spoilt everything”

“Why you asking me stuff? Why are you so interested”

“There’s no-one on my side now”

Jamie has a point that Kathy really should have called him to see where he was, rather than his mate’s mum. I’m not sure why she thought he wasn’t where he said he was going to be – has he ever done something to suggest he’d lie?

If Kathy does keep on like this, Jamie will start behaving as she expects him to. After all, he is just a teenager.

Is Clive really going to return?

Brian can’t help himself taking the utter rip out of the Horrobin’s.

While Jennifer has had a complete change of heart (she really is accepting that Susan and her family have as much right to Alice and Chris’ marriage as she does), Brian isn’t going to go down as easily.

While Brian’s joking about “entertaining a nest of Horrobins”, “locking up the silver” and checking “what else we’ve for that’s easily liftable”, Jennifer now sees the Horrobin family as having a “few colourful characters”.

Telling Brian that it’s

“Your sense of humour you need to keep under lock and key”

Jennifer’s very much taking the moral high ground.

That’s until Alice mentions that Clive’s getting an invite.

“They wouldn’t let him out just for a party … would they?”

Oh my! This could be even more fun that I imagined.

12th August 2010

The Archers: Matt’s foot is finally free … Amy advises Helen … Trouble getting staff at The Bull

  • Top dog?
  • Trouble afoot now that Matt has his own money?
  • “I thought I saw you taking sneaky peaks at my stomach”
  • Is Will really that busy?
  • Fallon will sort it
  • “ I Love Lillian – but I wouldn’t take any advice on motherhood from her”

Top dog?

Isn’t that always Bea Smith? I don't see either Tom or Tony able to match her style.

“The things farmers find to worry about”

Indeed Matt. Though an argument over a £7,500 spend will happen in any ‘partnership’ business.

Trouble afoot now that Matt has his own money?

As well as having his foot set free, Matt has also put some money from one of his offshore accounts into his joint with Lilian.

“A free man and not a kept one”

Which must feel great, but doesn’t that also mean Matt can get to money which Lilian doesn’t know about? Next step, secret shady deals using Brenda?

“I thought I saw you taking sneaky peaks at my stomach”

Looks like Amy will have a fine career as a midwife, considering she was one of the very few (only?) folks to guess that Helen was pregnant.

And at least Helen’s pregnancy is getting her out from her DVDs to the pub.
Although it was nice for her to have someone (a) enthusiastic about her pregnancy and (b) in the know of her options for the birth.

Birthing pool, music and soft lights – that does indeed sound like a “day at the spa”!

Is Will really that busy?

Nic can’t do as many shifts at The Bull because Will is too busy to look after the kids.

Is he actually that busy, or was it just a good ploy to stop Nic getting out and about?

He’s a jealous man, is our Will.

Fallon will sort it

With Nic not able to do that many shifts, Lilian also less available as Matt can go out of an evening, and Jolene wandering around like a “shadow” – Fallon’s going to have to take control.

That’ll mean hiring in a new member of staff (which I don’t see why there’s a major issue about).

But Lilian seemed to be suggesting that they need to shock Jolene back into reality:

“Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind – get her back in the real world with us”

What could that mean? Everyone disappears for the night, forcing Jolene to run the bar by herself?

“ I Love Lillian – but I wouldn’t take any advice on motherhood from her”

Is James really that bad?

At least Lilian and Matt congratulated Helen and seemed genuinely pleased for her. Even though Lilian saw the whole experience as a way to get a new wardrobe …

Thursday, 12 August 2010

11th August 2010

The Archers: Tom and Tony fall out over a mower conditioner … Helen’s news is spreading … Jamie’s huffy

  • Tom didn’t get his way, for once
  • “Convince her she’s got one sane grandchild”
  • “Helen’s been happy, settled, calm. That’s all that matters, isn’t it?”
  • Kathy wouldn’t even talk to herself
  • “Who needs social networking when you have Susan Carter!”

Tom didn’t get his way, for once

I still can’t quite get my head around the Bridge Farm arrangements, but it sounds like Tony doesn’t understand them either!

It must be difficult having to listen to someone else’s opinion after having been your own decision maker for years. Then again, hasn’t Tony always has Pat to try and clear before he could do anything?

Either way, Tom’s nose is out of joint because Tony went ahead and bought a mover conditioner when Tom had said they didn’t need it.

Seemingly a bargain at £7,500 – I think Tom is more angry that Tony completely ignored his opinion, rather than the money. His claim that he didn’t go ahead with the veal and ham pie because of cost was bit tenuous (wasn’t it because no-one would buy them?)

And where does Helen and Pat stand in all of this? Or is it just the men folk who get to do battle?

“Making decisions by mutual consent”

Hmmm. That seems to be a long way off.

“Convince her she’s got one sane grandchild”

I’m really not liking the way the Tony pack of the Archer clan is treating Helen.

I understand that Tony is dead set against it, and Tom thinks it is a bit barmy, but surely Pat needn’t also be so too faced.

It seems like they’re almost giggling at her, while be horrified about what the neighbours will think.

And even Brenda, who is supposed to be Helen’s friend, has called it “weird”.

Peggy’s still on about it all being “unnecessary” and “such a hard road”

Tom reckoned:

“Doing things the easy way never had any appeal for her. But if anyone can pull this off, Helen can”

Which is nearly getting close to be supportive, but still not quite. I can’t quite help feeling that Tom’s going to milk his new found ‘perfect grandchild’ status for all its worth. Which will probably end up being a nice chunk of Peggy’s savings, knowing Tom.

Thank goodness Helen has real support from Kirsty and Ian. Even Vicky’s has more genuine understanding and excitement for Helen than her family does – what a warped situation this is!

“Helen’s been happy, settled, calm. That’s all that matters, isn’t it?”

I’m just not convinced you believe that yourself, Pat.

And also have to add that what matters is the baby. It’s all well and good Helen finally being happy, but there’s something a bit murky about that happiness depending on a baby.

Kathy wouldn’t even talk to herself

“When I don’t get any response, I started trying too hard. I sound desperate. I wouldn’t talk to me”

Well, at least she sees what she’s doing. It’d be nice if she could now stop actually doing it.

As much as Jamie has had a horrible time recently, isn’t a lot of his problems with Kathy down to him being a teenage lad?

What self respecting teenage lad wants to hang around with his mum? Or go outside, when there’s computer games to play? Or be happy about getting a job?

At least Kenton helped Jamie see that a job would be a good thing. It’s also good that Helen’s pregnancy gave Kenton and Kathy an “interesting conversation” rather than a row.

“Who needs social networking when you have Susan Carter!”

I’d see Susan as more of a jungle drummer than a slick social networking platform.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

10th August 2010

The Archers: Helen tells Susan and Vicky … the Aldridges and Carter’s clash over what is a ‘good’ barbeque

  • Helen might as well have put it in the Echo
  • “Of course you’re not a gossip - but you do take a keen interest”
  • Susan and Vicky then chew this new information over
  • Then Jennifer is told
  • “I suppose that is rather Helen – she’s always been original”
  • Roasted swan and grilled peacock

Helen might as well have put it in the Echo

That was crafty, Helen.

Telling Susan and Vicky is better than it being in the local paper – it’ll be spread within seconds!

Creating a bit of consternation for Susan that folks might think Alice and Chris had a shotgun wedding ,

(“that's not why they got married - they're in love!”)

Helen then tells Susan her news. Though, she didn’t quite present Susan with arguments that she’s ever agree with:

“who needs men when we've got science to help us out”

“think of all the woman who have to shackle themselves to unsuitable men just to have a baby”

“Of course you’re not a gossip - but you do take a keen interest”

But where Helen failed to recognise that any opinion said to Susan will be taken to heart (without a man? What’s wrong with my Neil!), she came up trumps in wooing Vicky.

I though Helen was being too subtle at first, but Vicky finally twigged … and was genuinely delighted!

Who’d have thought that Vicky would prove to be so understanding. She’ll be a grand, and very loud, supporter for Helen in the coming months.

Also very revealing that Vicky had also pondered having a child by herself one.

And very ominous that Vicky later didn’t entirely dispel the idea that she might still feel like that … Good God!

Susan and Vicky then chew this new information over

“Such an attractive girl - not natural she has no man in her life” (Susan)

“only got her word that there wasn't – it could be a cover story for one night stand” (Susan)

“It’s weird … it’s not the normal way” (Susan)

“we don't all meet the man of our dreams when we're barely out of the classroom” (Vicky)

I loved the way that Vicky explained the difference between donor insemination and IVF before Susan could fully get her rant on.

Great stuff.

Then Jennifer is told

By Vicky and Susan. Nightmare!

Thinking at first that they’re talking about Brenda, all Jennifer can muster when realising that it’s Helen who is pregnant is:

“Oh good heavens!”

Then rushes off to call Lilian and Peggy.

I wonder how the Archers clan will fall into camps about this?

For: Helen, Pat, Lilian, Adam, Ian, Deborah, Kate, Alistair, Kenton, Ruth, Elizabeth, Nigel

Against: Tony, Peggy, Jennifer, Alice, Shula, Kathy, David

Non plussed: Tom, Brian, Matt


“I suppose that is rather Helen – she’s always been original”


And despite my own horror when this was first mentioned, I’m putting myself in the ‘for’ camp.

In saying that, I won’t be held responsible for how the poor wee mite will turn out. One can only hope Helen has a complete personality change by becoming a mother.

Lovely girl, but oh so controlling …

Roasted swan and grilled peacock

I know Brian was just jesting, but he wasn’t too far off in spotting what Jennifer expects of a barbeque. And of course, a good one doesn’t involve Tom’s burgers.

And here’s the problem. While Jennifer thinks that Susan should know Tom’s grill would be “appropriate” for the party to celebrate Alice and Chris’ marriage, she couldn’t be further from the truth.

Looks like the mothers-in-law need to spend a bit of quality time getting to know each other. That’ll be interesting …

9th August 2010

The Archers: Helen breaks her news … The party planning gathers pace

  • A new mower!
  • Helen tells Peggy
  • Peggy takes it to Tony
  • A Barbeque in a marquee?!?

A new mower!

What’s Tom so upset about? Why the big stooshie over a mower (though I am aware it’s not the garden variety)?

Is this taste of things to come as Tony and Pat step back from Bridge Farm to let Tom and Helen take over?

Though I would have thought that was a wee while off yet.

Either way, it doesn’t look like it’ll be a harmonious venture.

Helen tells Peggy

Ah, I do feel sorry for Helen.

There she is, growing nicely plump with child and feeling rather delighted with it – but half of her family doesn’t want anyone else to know.

“I don't want to open my Echo and find it in the coming events”

Said a horrified Tony. But what did he think was going to happen? That Helen was have her baby without anyone else noticing? It had to be said sooner or later.

Thinking that Alice was pregnant, Helen’s now determined to spread the news about her own pregnancy. Though that does smack a bit of ‘look at me, look at me, not at her!’

I was also a bit surprised at Peggy’s reaction. I expected all of the:

“But why?”

“I don’t understand”

“It seems like such an extreme thing to do”

And her then relating it to how difficult it was for Jennifer to bring up Adam (can anyone remind me if Peggy was supportive of that pregnancy at first? I know Dan had to sort everyone out about it, but was Peggy difficult about it before that?)

But, I didn’t expect Peggy to give into Helen’s pleas so easily to ‘support’ her, even if she didn’t approve, then to be a tad two-faced and called Tony to let rip with her horror.

That doesn’t suggest to me that Helen’s really going to get much support from Peggy.

At the end of it all, as Helen said:

“ I wanted to get on with my life - this isn't second best”

Surely that should be enough for everyone?

Peggy takes it to Tony

How relieved was Tony that he finally has someone else to pour disapproval and horror onto Helen’s decision?

“Pat is supporting her daughter”

Note the ‘her’ of that statement from Tony.

“But this is so wrong for her … it's so unnecessary … why couldn’t she wait?”

Which is everything Tony’s been saying since Helen announced her plans, but he now has the joy of hearing Peggy say it.

I can’t see how it’ll help form them to gang up together – the bun is in the oven, the baby is on its way.

Or, will tragedy strike, leaving Peggy and Tony feeling a bit guilty about their attitudes?

Impossible to tell at the moment, though Helen does have an uncanny knack of attracting bad vibes.

“everyone will know soon”

“it’s not going to get any easier”


A Barbeque in a marquee?!?

Bless Susan. She knows barbeques are best done in your back garden, with a wee smattering of rain and your dog trying to steal the sausages.

It’s not quite what one would expect of the Aldridges.

But that’s the point. There’s such a gulf between the families that this can’t ‘come off’ without tears.

Especially when Susan wants to involved Tom’s Sausages …

8th August 2010

The Archers: The bells ring for Alice and Chris … Kenton and Shula’s birthday … Amy’s coming back

  • Kenton’s not even happy on his birthday
  • My goodness. Jim made sense!
  • Amy’s coming back
  • Helen’s a bit funny
  • Knew it’d be cricket
  • Chris doesn’t get a say

Kenton’s not even happy on his birthday

Well, I suppose you can’t blame him. With Kathy as his partner. And it’s also fair that Kathy’s face is tripping her, with Kenton as her partner.

So Kenton stayed at Kirsty’s yet again (is he now trying to make Kathy dump him?), so they’re having yet another barny at his birthday picnic.

That’s where Jim stepped in …

My goodness. Jim made sense!

Alistair was quite right that Jim can be charming when he tries – but didn’t mention that Jim can actually be quite good at understand people and their problems.

Just as I’d never thought that Kenton was seeing Kathy’s reaction to Sid’s death as her still having been in love with him (as he mentioned the other day), I also never thought about where Kathy ‘sits’ in the mourners.

“It’s hard to not quite be in the inner circle of mourners”

The basic gist was that Him sees Kathy as having a difficult time because her grief in unacknowledged by everyone else. Even more so, that she has to put her grief to one side to be there for Jamie.

So when she needed at least one person to see her and care for her, Kenton just didn’t get it.

“the child of sunshine, our Kenton. The dark times don't suit him. He'd stand by you now if he could find a way and you'd let him”

But, as Kathy pointed out, Kenton has stood by her through ‘dark times’ before.

“lacrimae rerum”

Tears for things. One of Jim’s “Latin tags”, and quite appropriate too.

Amy’s coming back

Aha! That completes the Alice, Chris, Ed, Emma set.

Frolics ahoy?

Helen’s a bit funny

Nowt new there then.

Alice though Helen was being funny with her because she was jealous of her and Chris.

But it’s probably because of the thought that Chris and Alice got married so quickly because Alice was pregnant.

Carrying on to ‘bitch’ about her cousin, Alice reckoned Helen is

“giving up hope”

of finding a man, and that she’s

“letting herself go”

Because she’s putting weight on (which is indeed “absolutely unheard of for Helen”).

Little does she know … Helen might steal her limelight yet.

Knew it’d be cricket

Alistair’s going to take Jamie under his cricketing wing.

Quite right too. Get the boy out in the air, with something to fight for and look forward to.

Chris doesn’t get a say

It might just be me, but are alarm bells already ringing for Chris and Alice’s marriage?

Rather than ask Chris what he wants for their party, Alice decides it for him. With Jennifer. Without his mum Susan.

Ever been railroaded by an Aldridge? More of that to come, methinks …

6th August 2010

The Archers: Community planting … David outs Alice’s marriage into context

  • Matt’s doing grand for his age
  • Does that explain why Kathy is such a xxxx?
  • An acre in a box
  • “at least we got a working Horrobin with no criminal record, so far”
  • Is anyone good at breakfast small talk?
  • Party!
  • Yes Kenton – you are just damned!

Matt’s doing grand for his age

63 on Saturday.

Good on you, me old mucker.

Does that explain why Kathy is such a xxxx?

She “quite fancies” some of the old folks’ trips out.

57 going on 82?

An acre in a box

That sounds like a lovely way to do some ‘community planting’.

Although, I am amazed they’ve managed to even find a wee strip of land to plant on. Between Council rules and reticent landowners, I’d have thought they’d have to do another round of guerrilla gardening to get anything down.

“at least we got a working Horrobin with no criminal record, so far”

You can always depend on Brian to find the positive side of anything (albeit sarcastically!).

And David should have given him something to think about. Chris is certainly no Jude!

Is anyone good at breakfast small talk?

Well, I know some folks are just bursting with happiness and energy first thing, but it’d hardly be easy for Chris to chat away at breakfast when (a) it is Brian and Jennifer he’s got to chat to, who are (b) fairly unhappy that he’s married their daughter and (c) they are blatantly snobs about his family.


Are you also getting the impression that this party is going to be quite a traditional English farce?

Alice is excited. Jennifer’s hoping it’ll go away. Susan is beside herself with glee. And Brian reckons that the more people invited, the more the ‘Horrobin quarter” will be “diluted”.

That’s got to spell trouble.

Yes Kenton – you are just damned!

If he does something, he’s shouted at. If he doesn’t, he’s shouted at.

But it’s hard to feel sorry for Kenton when he’s created at least half of this mess with Kathy

“I don’t even care”

I couldn’t have said it better myself

5th August 2010

The Archers: Chocolates for Emma … Fallon has a day out with Jolene … Kenton’s a bit rough bit starts yet again

  • Flowers, now chocolates (and seemingly sweetpeas)
  • Do the punters really care about Jolene?
  • Kenton’s making things worse, and worse, and worse …
  • “Bagging an Aldridge”

Flowers, now chocolates (and seemingly sweetpeas)

Well, you could see that as sweet – or you could see it as a “bit creepy” (as Ed later said).

Bless wee Josh (assuming it is him). He even made a homemade box for the chocolates.

Tender moments, and if he learns anything, it’ll be that thoughtful gifts will eventually get him the girl. As long as he actually gives them the gifts rather than leaving them on doorsteps. And if he knows the girl might be interested. Not in a relationship. Much, much older than him …

Still, it’s nice that Ed isn’t getting all ‘Will’ on Emma. He doesn’t seem that bothered, whereas Will would be following Nic round, belting every man that looked at him (if the gifts were being left for her).

Do the punters really care about Jolene?

I think Jolene’s right – they care far more about their pints.

How long will this go on for?

It’s a bit ominous that Fallon’s now saying how much she’s really committed to the pub. That can only mean bad things are afoot.

Mind you, with Fallon’s ability to inject a sense of normality into any conversation

(“didn't rate the mardy cow at reception”)

I reckon her and Jolene will always make their way. Though the path may be a bit rough at times.

Kenton’s making things worse, and worse, and worse …

Already in trouble for getting a tad tight at the Grundy’s, Kenton takes Kirtsy’s offer of a drink and a chat after work.

So stays out late. Again. While drinking. Again. With Kirsty. Again.

Oh deary me.

Exactly what is Kirsty up to? Why get involved, or is she really that bored that she find Kenton (a) good company and (b) doesn’t worry about Kathy hunting her down to tell her to stay away?

It was interesting that Kenton admitted that he was a bit put out by Kathy’s reaction to Sid’s death.

“her reaction to his death was so big. I don’t think he ever really stopped loving him”

Can Kenton’s lack of care and attention be because he’s jealous of a dead man?

Or is he right? Was Kathy truly always Sid’s?

Or, just an excuse???

“Bagging an Aldridge”

Ah Ed. You’re a cheeky one alright!

First he calls Chris a

“jammy so and so [for] bagging an Aldridge”

Then he congratulates Chris for marrying for love “first time round”.

Lucky Will wasn’t round to hear that dig …

4th August 2010

The Archers: Let the shearing competition begin! … Kenton and Kathy argue (!)

  • Eddie gets flayed
  • The flowers came from Jill’s garden
  • I thought that was a proper gun!
  • Oh just get a shift on and split up

Eddie gets flayed

It could only end one way – as much as Eddie is our chum, he was never going to be a serious competitor against the ‘”muscle tone” of Alysha.

And so it came to pass. Alysha finished (what felt like) hours before Eddie.

Crowned “the fastest shearer in Ambridge”, Alysha also seems to be delighting our young Josh no end.

Pity he didn’t get to keep that shirt, it might keep him away from flower beds.

And on that matter …

The flowers came from Jill’s garden


Must be Josh sweetly and discreetly stalking Emma.

I thought that was a proper gun!

Okay – so it was obvious Ruth hadn’t given wee Ben a real gun to clean, but it had me going for a moment there.

Maybe she’s secretly training Ben in case Jude turns up again? Might be a better bet than David – at least Ben wouldn’t be tried as an adult.

Oh just get a shift on and split up

Kathy and Kenton are at it yet again.

After Kenton actually managing to get Jamie to talk (without forcing him to), Kathy then gets very fraught with Kenton over the lack of a supermarket run.

Which is fair enough, considering he noticed there wasn’t much in and had time during his day.

But she lost me at then turning that into an issue about Kenton not being a proper father to his daughter.


was Kathy’s inditement of Kenton.

Get a grip and split up, is mine.

You never know, it might come soon enough – especially with Kenton heading onto the Grundys for a few glasses of cider.

3rd August 2010

The Archers: Peggy approves of Alice and Chris … Susan talks it through with Jennifer

  • “love will always cross the class divide”
  • Is ‘the horsey set’ really still that important?
  • Susan Vs. Jennifer round 2
  • Neil gets a word in
  • Now that’s a great granny!

“love will always cross the class divide”

So says Lynda, so that should be that.

I have no doubt it won’t be, though. Just whoever listens to Lynda (except Robert)?

Is ‘the horsey set’ really still that important?

Susan’s over the moon that Chris is

“finally on the inside of the horsey set”

Living in a rural area myself, I’m all too aware that this ‘horsey set’ still has money and some of the local dignitary muscle, but I wasn’t aware that some folks still desperately aspire to be ‘part’ of them.

Still, we are talking about Susan here. She sees her chance to get rid of the Horrobin tint to her family, and she’s grabbing it with everything she’s got.

Sober or not.

Susan Vs. Jennifer round 2

First Susan brings Jennifer yesterday’s flowers.

Hugs her.


“do you find you burn things in an aga?”

And it doesn’t really improve from there.

I think we’re going to see a simultaneous knock-out eventually …

Neil gets a word in

“don't ever think you don't deserve her”

Good Neil. That’s the way to be a nice dad, and truly proud of your son (rather than being more excited about the potential high society cocktail parties, Susan).

And lovely that he shared his Shula crush. She should have grabbed you when she could, my friend.

Even more – Neil reminded us that the horror of being related works both ways.

“I still struggle to think of myself related to Brian”

Now that’s a great granny!

Peggy’s pleased for Alice and Chris, and helps them build their deposit for a house.

Then, she takes on Jennifer:

“oh you are a misery”

“you really are a cracking snob”

“your grandmother came from the east end of London. Look to your own roots before you criticise.”

No mention of her alcoholic publican dad though …

Still, I can’t see Jennifer changing her opinions just because Peggy has a go.

“A joint mortgage will really complicate things when they get divorced”

“She should’ve have married someone of her own class”

Mortgages and class. Looks like Jennifer has seen, judged, and set her mind.

2nd August 2010

The Archers: Emma’s getting flowers … Chris and Alice are back (with big news!)

  • Emma’s flowers
  • Oho! On yourself, Alice and Chris!
  • Jennifer and Brian’s reaction
  • Susan and Neil’s reaction
  • Susan Vs Jennifer
  • The Bull’s slipping fast

Emma’s flowers

It has to be Josh.

Or, could it be a very belated attempt from Will (now that Nic is seemingly getting more male attention).

Oho! On yourself, Alice and Chris!

With ‘Brick’ and ‘Linda-Lou’ as their witnesses, heart-shaped keyrings as part of the package - Alice and Chris got married in Las Vegas.

Classy (not!).

What a wonderful moment – Jennifer and Brian only slowly realising what had happened as Chris carries Alice over the threshold.

Brian’s right that Chris’ proposal wasn’t exactly original (“Alice … will you marry me?”), but at least it was heartfelt.

But how many years before Alice does bemoan the fact that she didn’t have the whole shebang? What will it take for her to change her mind from the lack of an engagement ring being a good thing (they afford a better wedding ring), to it being a sign that Chris didn’t ever really care.

15 minutes of fame is one thing, but I can’t see little Princess Alice always being so enamoured of her 15 minute wedding.

Or, am I just being too cynical?

Jennifer and Brian’s reaction


“How could she do this to us?”

“What the hell has she done?”

“The biggest mistake of Alice’s life”
“They must have been high on something”

“She might have stayed in the area if she married into one of the good families – not settled for the village farrier

“Aunty Chris and George Barford all over again”*
“I’m never going to see one of my children have a proper wedding”**

“At least we don’t have to fork out for a wedding”
“We can look on this as Alice’s starter marriage”

Susan and Neil’s reaction

“Never been so happy in me life”
“Wonderful news! Congratulations son”

“There’s a bottle of cava in the fridge”

“Our Christopher … a married man!”

“We’ll ring a quarter for you”
(did I get that bell ringing related term right?)

Susan Vs Jennifer
“It’s Susan – your new in-law!”

Oh that must have been a phrase which Jennifer used to wake up screaming about.

And that it happens for real.

It’d be easy to feel sorry for her if she wasn’t been such an undeserving snob. It’d be most folks nightmare to have Susan related to them, but Jennifer simply doesn’t have the excuse that Susan’s of a lower class.

Publican’s daughter. New money from her husband.

Hardly the stuff of royalty.


“Neil and I fell in love after he built me a pig pen”

Doesn’t exactly inspire a sense of decorum, neither.

So, while Susan thinks:

“The important thing is our children are united”

While Jennifer gets the last word:

“Good grief Brian – I’m related to a Horrobin!”


I nearly chocked my pint of shires.

The Bull’s slipping fast

Or, more correctly, it’s slipping because it’s not moving at all.

A menu that hasn’t changed in over a month.

How very dare they!

It’s not as if anyone’s died …

*Chris Barford, nee Archers, formerly Johnson, was Doris’ much anticipated and adored only daughter. After doomed love affairs, and a very difficult (to say the least) marriage to Paul Johnson (who died and was buried in German) she married ex-policeman and gamekeeper George Barford. Recovering alcoholic, counting a barmaid amongst his previous affairs, having also lived with a woman without being wed to her. Not entirely a Horrobin, but enough ‘colour’ in his past to make the Archer clan a tad snooty towards him.

**As Brian pointed out, Adam and Ian did have the full ensemble for their wedding. Not sure why that doesn’t count, and Adam wouldn’t be amused to hear it dismissed so easily …