Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Archers Wednesday 31st August 2011: Even the Village Shop’s volunteers are turning

(against Bridge Farm)

  • The Young Farmers rummage sale
  • It’s fine. The Wetlands article will sort it
  • Isn’t there a guinea pig rescue centre nearby?
  • “Blind prejudice”
  • Someone who natters even more than Vicky?
  • Redundancy and Retraining is big business
  • Tom, the educator
  • Joe 90
  • Badgerwatch (with Bert)
  • Roy doesn’t want Phoebe to go

The Young Farmers rummage sale

Is ahoy!

So Pip is collecting jumble.

Though she should have thought before bothering Pat for some. Hardly the best of times.

But, Pat said it was fine. She has spare time on her hands these days.

It’s fine. The Wetlands article will sort it

So thinks Pip, Tom and Brenda.

While I agree that keeping positive, and doing what they can to push the Bridge Farm website, makes sense – it’s small efforts that will add up over the years, rather than bring sales in here and now.

Which is what Bridge Farm needs.

No here and now – no future.

[Pat] “I’m not sure how much good that sort of thing’s going to for us”

Isn’t there a guinea pig rescue centre nearby?

If so, Bridge Farm should take their surplus lettuces there, instead of composting.

“Blind prejudice”

Mike’s been in telling Pat that Jazzer and Harry have been taking more cancelled orders when on their rounds – and it’s not just yoghurt. It’s everything.

Pat’s appalled at ignorance of folks – that one E. coli batch of ice cream makes them think that everything from Bridge Farm is infected.

Worse still – the Village Shop sales are slow, which is nothing new these days, but customers weren’t buying even when Susan marked the Bridge Farm products well down.

BUT even worse than that:

[Tom] “I suppose if people don’t want it, they don’t want it at any price”

The example of which is the fact that even the shop volunteers wouldn’t take the Bridge Farm products home when they were completely free!

[Tom] “Someone’s got to tell them”

[Pat] “What’s the point? It’s just blind prejudice. Even our friends and neighbours are turning on us”

[Tom] “That’s a bit strong mum”

[Pat] “Well, that’s how it feels”

[Tom] “New customers elsewhere won’t have the same prejudice, will they … Brenda and I have been working on our website … Brenda’s been tweaking the keywords on the site …”

And off Tom goes again – blah, blah, blah about making the website better.

Brenda such know that it’s a marketing MIX that works best.

Someone who natters even more than Vicky?

Surely impossible?

But Mike reckons not (hello Mike! Welcome back to the microphones).

Vicky will likely be late home in the evening as her mate Tina is even worse when it comes to nattering.

Mike’s none too bothered.

He gets a steak pie at Roy and Hayley’s, and a beer with Roy in the garden beforehand.

Happy chappy.

Redundancy and Retraining is big business

Which Lower Loxley can attest to.

Elizabeth’s away, leaving Roy in charge.

He had a Redundancy and Retraining seminar which had to be moved to a smaller room.

Roy reckons Elizabeth made a mistake in giving them such a small room in the first place, but he sorted it.

Ah. Heady times at Lower Loxley!

Tom, the educator

Oh be scared, very scared …

Pip meets Tom out the village shop.

[Tom] “I wasn’t shopping. I was just trying to do a bit of education, explaining to the volunteers about E. coli"

Seems “Aunty Jill” understood – but Neville Booth has started bringing how own gloves to the shop, so that he doesn’t have to handle Bridge Farm produce.

Bad Neville.

But I don’t think Tom muttering away at him will really change minds.

Neither will his, Brenda and Pip’s obsession with bloomin’ websites!

Though one did have to chuckle when Pip informed Tom (through knowledge he gained from Jude … so he wasn’t a complete waste of time, after all?) that him and Brenda spending so much time clicking on their website was a waste of time.

He didn’t know that he was supposed to delete his internet browser’s history so that it made any difference. But being Tom, he didn’t let Pip know that he didn’t know …

Joe 90

Mike on Joe’s birthday:

[Mike] “We’ll have to call him Joe 90, eh?”

[Roy] “You what?”

Come on Roy! You may not be that old, but even folks my age would get that one!

Badgerwatch (with Bert)

[Roy] “Is Bert still on badger watch?”

[Mike] “No. Stayed up one night, felt so bad the next day he got a bit clever, he borrowed an electric fence from David”

Roy doesn’t want Phoebe to go

Roy and Mike are having a beer.

And a bit of a father son chat.

Roy isn’t looking forward to Phoebe going to South Africa.

In fact, he really wishes she wasn’t going at all.

Roy’s remembering when Phoebe and his mum Betty won a certificate for their silkies – Blossom, Snowdrop and Alfred.

[Roy] “How many moments like that am I going to miss over the next year … I’m dreading it, dad … It’s like cutting a piece of yourself off”

Roy’s now questioning whether he agreed to Phoebe leaving for her sake – or whether Kat has managed to get him to do her bidding yet again.

But Mike reckons it is a great opportunity for Phoebe, and:

[Mike] “She’ll always be your daughter Roy, wherever she is, whatever she’s doing, and she’ll always love you”
Aw. Nice words Mike.

Welcome back indeed, you nice man.

The Archers Tuesday 30th August 2011: Mia goes walkabout

  • Woken up by Robbie Williams and Harry Mason
  • A job is a job
  • The Shiny Shop lures Mia
  • Joe’s birthday plans
  • Seems James and Leonie won’t be welcomed back to Ambridge
  • Spencer’s sun glasses haven’t been the same since to go carting
  • Dubrovnik

Woken up by Robbie Williams and Harry Mason

At 2am.

Poor Jazzer.

Harry was making a mixed tape (or was it CD? Not sure anyone makes mixed tapes anymore as most folks are not likely to have something to play on. What is a shame, I reckon. A tape is far more tactile)

Jazzer has to do the milk round tomorrow, but Harry doesn’t. Harry didn’t think, but also reckons it fair do as Jazzer often plays his music early hours as well.

[Jazzer] “I play decent music, bit Robbie flipping Williams!”

Oh dear. The Odd Couple look like they’re heading for divorce.

Jazzer is later complaining to Pip and Spencer.

[Jazzer] “Life in the flat has become hell on earth. I thought Harry was alright, bit pernickety maybe, I got used to his funny ways, but since he got off with Zofia, I don’t know the man naemare”

(all together now – I’ve grown accustomed to his face …)

They reckon Zofia’s right enough to be spending all this time at Jazzer and Harry’s flat – after all, the alternative is her shared caravan with all the other girls.

But, Jazzer reckons she’s always in the bathroom, and she hands her underwear out to dry in there …

[Jazzer] “Time when I was really keen to see it, but no like this. It’s torture, I’m telling ya!”

And what’s more - Jazzer can’t use the living room as them cuddling puts him off his larger.

Aw. Poor Jazzer.

A job is a job

Jennifer may have been horrified at the thought of Alice going for the cleaning job (as advertised on a card in the village shop), but Clarrie would have been glad of it. But she was too late. The job had gone.

Nic suggests Clarrie put a card up saying she wants work. Clarrie seems quite interested in that.

Is it just me, or is Clarrie sounding more positive?

The Shiny Shop lures Mia

Mia, Jake, Nic and Clarrie are off to town (on a rather noisy train) to go shopping.

The kids need stuff for school.

[Mia] “Can we go to the shiny shop?”

[Jake] “No, it’s girly”

But Nic says yes – it’s Mia’s favourite, and it’s just an accessory shop. Clarrie reckons she can get Rosie something for her 60th there (Rosie Mabbot, Clarrie’s sister), but doesn’t reckon it’d do for Joe’s upcoming 90th birthday.

[Clarrie] “I can’t see him going for a pair of sparkly earrings”

[Nic] “Or deeply boppers”

Clarrie’s feeling bad as she can’t afford to spend much on presents – which she’s unhappy about especially as it’s special birthdays. And not to worry about Joe – Jim and Bert have special plans.

Anyway – Clarrie finds a wallet for Joe in a shop. She and Nic are chatting away, then also chat with Harry when he comes in.


Nic notices that Mia’s not there anymore …

Clarrie stays wonderfully calm – Nic panics – so Clarrie gets Nic to stay put in that shop with Jake, while she and Harry head off to try and find Mia.

It’s a tense few moments – Jake was worried Mia ran away as he was nasty to her – and Nic gets increasingly hysterical – but all’s well in the end.

Clarrie finds her as Nic is having a nervous breakdown. Mia has gone back to the shiny shop. Seemingly:

[Clarrie] “A nice little assistant saw her come in by herself and was keeping an eye on her”

I’d say ‘phew’ if this all hadn’t happened quite quickly. Not quite suspense – more of a blink and you’ll miss the high drama …

Joe’s birthday plans

Jim and Bert are sorting a Special meeting of the cider club. They’ll be decorating the shed, Eddie will break out the “good stuff” and Clarrie will do bread cheese.

Sounds marvellous. Spot on for Joe, I reckon. Especially as it will:

[Clarrie] “Let Joe hold court a bit, you know how he likes to do that”

Seems James and Leonie won’t be welcomed back to Ambridge

Jim and Bert are seemingly still very unamused by their behaviour. They were still “moaning” about it while they were telling Clarrie their plans for Joe’s birthday,

[Clarrie] “I don’t think they’re being too clever bout it … I don’t think they was going about it diplomatic”

I hope the residents manage to chase the odious James and Leonie away.

But, knowing how thick skinned they are, I doubt they’ll notice – even if the pitchforks come out …

Spencer’s sun glasses haven’t been the same since to go carting

I really don’t know what to say about (or make of) that.


Pip and Spencer offer to tell Jazzer about their holiday plans.

[Jazzer] “Anything to take my mind off Ambridge’s Posh n Becks”

When they tell him they’re off to Dubrovnik – and explain it’s in Croatia:

[Jazzer] “You’re joking? Is there no a war on there?”

On being told no – that it ended a while ago:

[Jazzer] “ … history was never ,my string point, I’m more a biology man”


Although Dubrovnik has pebble beaches rather than sandy, it’s hot and NOT in the euro – so it’s of much cheapness.

It also doesn’t have Spencer’s brother Steve (who is unhappily working the family farm, though has also started signing on. Ha!).

[Jazzer] “Just one thing … Can ah come tae?”

Oh dear.

We didn’t get to hear Pip and Spencer’s response, but Jazzer must really be desperate if he wants to spend time with those two. Love’s young dream, and also quite sensible – not Jazzer’s style at all.

The Archers Monday 29th August 2011: James and Leonie inspire quiet fury

  • “Oh you beggars!”
  • James and Leonie offend Jim
  • Elona says no
  • James and Leonie offend Bert
  • Lynda’s not keen for James and Leonie to return?
  • Lynda gets the blame

“Oh you beggars!”

It’s day two of the Open Gardens, but it’s off to a very bad start for poor Bert.

He went from humming to cussing.

[Bert] “You work your fingers to the bone, then they come along in one night … badgers!”

Seems the badgers have dug up his lawn looking for worms. They’ve also eaten his tulips and bulbs.

None of which he’d want at any time, but especially not when he wants to share the glories of his garden with the world.

Matt turns up, and lends a hand (boy – his stint gardening in prison really did change him … albeit only when it does come to gardens).

Bert reckons he’ll have to reseed, and somehow chase them off if they turn up again.

[Matt] “Sounds like a job for David Archer”


Does David have a way with badgers? A badger whisperer?

James and Leonie offend Jim

For starters, they turn up at his garden before it’s officially open, dragging Lilian and Lynda along with them to try and sweeten him into letting them be there early doors (see what I did there?).

They want to interview Jim for their book:

[Jim] “A commercial proposition, is it Lynda? … and are you offering any fee for the use of my garden in the publication?”

[Leonie] “Well, no … that’s not how it works”

[Lilian] “Jim, I’m surprised at you!”

[Lynda, somewhat sheepishly] “We are hoping that Ambridge residents will be happy to take part for the good of the village”

Jim relents.

But then wishes he hadn’t as Leonie calls secateurs ‘Clippers’ – offends him by asking where he bought (bought!) his hanging baskets from – and James then moves round his pots to make them look better and more artistic.

Elona says no


Peggy has offered her extra work. A reduced rent. And will help with the deposit.

No, says Elona.

But Elona has her reasons.

She takes Peggy to one side to tell her why she can’t accept.

Elona tells Peggy that her husband, Darrell, has been in prison. He was caught receiving stolen goods, and while he is out now, he’s still in a hostel in Birmingham for another month or two (is that due to parole conditions?).

When hubby can re-join the family, Elona wants them to move away to make a fresh start.

All of which Peggy is shocked to hear, but understands that Elona needs to think of her family first.


I’m still not convinced this is some sort of ploy.

James and Leonie offend Bert

Bert’s in pieces. His garden is in pieces. Now he has to put up with “Miss Piggy and Kermit” (Matt said that).

And what’s their reaction to Bert’s ruined pride and joy?

[Leonie] “This is great! Hilarious! … the night before he throws open his garden, badgers pay a visit!”

And she starts interviewing him. Bert is not amused.

[James] “Bert, I’m getting anger here, which is good, but do you think you can throw in a bit of pathos as well?”

The secret microphone swung away from Bert before we could hear his reply …

Lynda’s not keen for James and Leonie to return?

She sounded quite despondent that they’re planning to come back for the Flower and Produce Show

[Leonie] “Rivalry over the rhubarb!”

And that they also mention her Christmas show … as if Lynda needs any more stress at that time of year!

Lynda gets the blame

For Leonie and James’ behaviour.

Which is odd.

Lilian is most definitely to blame for encouraging everything and anything James says or does. And Robert is actually responsible for Leonie existing in the first place.

So why did Jim and Bert tackle Lynda?

[Jim] “Their behaviour today was intolerable”

[Bert] “I don’t want no book coming out with pictures of my lawn in that state!”

[Jim] “I do hope that this isn’t going to become a regular occurrence”

[Lynda] “Oh dear … I’m afraid it might … they have the bit between their collective teeth, you see. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of them”

Collective ‘damns’ are heard throughout Ambridge, the UK, the world …

The Archers Sunday 28th August 2011: Tom admits he was wrong!

  • Jennifer’s still snobbing about pound shops
  • Tom admits he was being stupid, and Brenda that she’s not an expert!!!!
  • Jennifer’s home alone
  • Peggy is setting herself up?

Jennifer’s still snobbing about pound shops

Having lunch with Peggy, Lilian and Matt, Jennifer’s still perplexed that Alice and Chris can manage to eat on cheaper brands.

[Jennifer] “Alice has even been to the pound shop … it’s so hard to plan if you shop at one of those places and apparently you’ve just got to take what they’ve got in”

(imagine that!)

[Lilian] “I got the impression she was quite enjoying it … getting the best bargain, discovering new foods …”

Course, Peggy is all for thrift. She even reckons that if more folks acted like Alice and Chris, the world wouldn’t be in as much of a financial mess as it is.

[Matt] “I don’t think everyone buying vale baked beans would have prevented the recession, Peggy”

(actually – I think Peggy makes a good point!).

While Jennifer is horrified over the thought of Alice even owning a tin of baked beans, Lilian can’t help from winding her up even further. She mentions that she saw a cleaner job advertised on one of these cards you see in shops. She suggests Alice could apply.

[Jennifer, now burst with the shame and the horror] “Suppose it’s the Stretfields, or somebody, the thought of Alice cleaning their lavatories, or ironing Baxter’s underwear … well, you know …”


Jennifer’s home alone

That’s Ruairi off to boarding school:

[Jennifer] “Ruairi is being very grown up. He wants to leave mousey at home”

(oh no - he’ll miss having mousey the moment he gets there)

And Phoebe is also off to South Africa. Everyone is advising Jennifer that she shouldn’t see her off.

[Lilian] “Oh come on Jenny. You cry when someone is voted off Strictly!”

So – what’s Jennifer going to do with her time? No Ruairi in the house – no Phoebe calling round.

Lilian is worried about how Jennifer is going to fill her time.

Though I don’t reckon Lilian’s suggestion of Jennifer joining Peggy, ted and Jill to do a spot of enamelling will go down well …

Tom admits he was being stupid, and Brenda that she’s not an expert!!!!

Blimey. Double blimey!!!

Tom’s not gone to the cricket today as he’s spending time Googling Bridge Farm.

Which he should have thought about doing before he started cold calling new potential customers … which, as he now realises, is exactly what these new customers do. Google their new potential supplier to see what’s what.

[Tom] “The worst thing is that mum and dad were absolutely right. I should’ve known better … ‘Hi, I’m from Bridge Farm, we poison our customers’ …”

Brenda now reckons they need to concentrate on creating good news, so that the bad news gets pushed off of the first page of Google.

Goodness me – is Brenda really that thick?

What good news does Bridge Farm have?

But – shock upon shock - Brenda then admits that maybe they need to get an online marketing expert.

You think????

It’s about time Tom and Brenda realised their limitations. And lucky it might not be too late for Bridge Farm to be saved …

Peggy is setting herself up?

Peggy’s talking to Lilian about Elona (correcting Lilian that she’s Albanian, not Polish – by the way).

Peggy explains that she wants to give Elona a job. Not to just to help Elona, but also as Peggy needs a hand from time to time.

[Lilian] “You don’t need a carer mum, do you?”

Peggy says no – just that she does need some help.

Peggy also explains that she wants to stand as guarantor for Elona for No.3 The Green, and that Lilian could (should) offer Elona a reduced rent. Even though Peggy would actually make up the difference without Elona knowing …

[Lilian] “Isn’t this a bit OTT … if you’re finding things difficult around the house, we can help”

[Peggy] “I don’t want to be a burden to my children … I've got the money, and this way I keep my independence … and Elona can keep looking after Jack”

I think Lilian is right that is all a bit OTT, and I’m not sure Elona doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing when it comes to Peggy.

But, Peggy says okay.

Much to Matt’s consternation.

[Matt] “What? And you said yes? … Why drag Amside into it … pay her a decent wage, and let her sort her own accommodation out … just seems like a lot of fuss to me”

[Lilian] “I’m the Managing Director of Amside … lets not look a gift horse in the mouth”

So all’s well?

Elona gets a home. Peggy gets help. And Lilian gets a tenant.

What could go wrong???

The Archers Friday 26th August 2011: Jazzer transforms into Scary McSpice

  • Not a grand day out
  • Daniel gets ice cream
  • Now Tony is shouting at Tom
  • “close encounters of the bovine kind”
  • The Spice Boys

Not a grand day out

Jazzer isn’t having a good bank holiday.

First, his aftershave isn’t in the right place. Harry moved it.

(are Jazzer and Harry swapping personalities? Since when did Jazzer care about what was where – and since when did Harry not have everything in its right place?)

Then, some lady called Nicolette had a better offer than spending the day with Jazzer (on a double date with him, Harry and Zofia). How very dare she! Jazzer was offering a hedonistic day of an early beer, a meal then a band. I’d have gone.

Even worse, Jazzer had done to a lot of effort:

[Jazzer] “I put my new trainers on an all!”

So Jazzer is now gooseberry to Zofia and Harry.

But it isn’t all bad. Seemingly the band they’re going to see has a lady drummer with more than just drumming skills to admire:

[Jazzer] “… a chest you could stand your pint on”

Daniel gets ice cream

Daniel did well in his exams, so Shula gets him Bridge Farm ice cream to celebrate (and to support her brother).

Never mind Daniel. I’m sure the “large cheque" Reg and Bunty gave you made up for it.

Now Tony is shouting at Tom

Tom’s being a bit in Tony’s posterior.

He’s going on about the surplus Bridge Farm is producing

[Tony] “Well, if you’re just going to stand there and point out the obvious!”

Bridge Farm manage to get the local co-op to take half of the surplus, but the rest have to be composted. Which is a shame, as much as it is a waste.

So with a surplus they can’t shift, and ever less orders coming in, Tony reckons they’re going to have to try and get by on the milk cheque and what the co-op pays for vegetables.

Which is not a great situation. So he certainly doesn’t need Tom making even more trouble.

Seems a very angry Deli manager left a message at Bridge Farm. He was furious that Tom wasn’t “straight with him” when he called to sell him Bridge Farm products. After he’d spoken with Tom, he’d checked Bridge Farm on the internet so, surprise surprise, he found out about the E. coli, and now doesn’t ever want to hear from Bridge Farm again.


It sends Tony off on a rant about how it proves that Tom and Brenda’s work to cold call and re-do the internet is a complete waste of time.

[Tony] “I just can’t believe how naive you’ve been. If you thought that all our problems could be solved by being economical with the truth, you couldn’t have been more wrong”

[Tom] “I haven’t been economical with the truth. And at least I’ve been proactive. Not just stuck my head in the sand waiting for it to blow over!”

[Tony] “No, you just thought you could get round it by pretending it never happened! The whole of the Bridge Farm brand is contaminated … it’s just not going to work”

Rebranding exercise, or does Tony mean they should just pack up completely?

“close encounters of the bovine kind”

Despite anticipation of the delights of the lady drummer, Jazzer’s day is getting bad again.

He’s being harassed by cows.

[Jazzer] “What’s it daein now, the cow, is it chasing me? I cannae look …”

[Harry] “It’s giving you the evils, does that count?”

Harry decided that they should walk to the pub, which has involved crossing a field with cows in it.

Though Jazzer works on farms, they doesn’t seem to be coping with these cows.

[Harry] “How does that make you qualified in bovine psychology?”

[Jazzer] “Cows can be vicious if you get on the wrang side of them”

[Harry] “What? If you support a different football team or disagree with their politics?”

[Jazzer] “You can take the mic, alright, but they’re moving here noo”

What’s more – Jazzer’s new trainers are not so new (or red) any more, after walking over the fields.

[Harry] “Another hazard of close encounters with the bovine kind”

That Harry, he’s a real wit.

Actually – he’s turning into a bit of an arse.

When they get to a kissing gate, he makes a play of having Zofia kiss him before she can get through.

That’s a bit unfair on Jazzer – he doesn’t need to see them slobbering over each other. He’s a third wheel today, and he also wanted Zofia.

The Spice Boys

So, to top it all, the band Jazzer wanted to see isn’t playing tonight. It’s karaoke instead.

Harry then signs Jazzer and himself up to sing. To The Spice Girls Wannabe. Which Harry and Jazzer are actually quite good at – and Jazzer certainly seems to enjoy, even though he’s worried about his reputation …

[Harry] “You came over really well as Scary McSpice”

The Archers Thursday 25th August 2011: Bridge Farm is being sued

  • Brian’s not front page new
  • It’s grim up Ambridge way
  • Jamie did alright, considering
  • Pat feels guilty
  • Another bad letter day
  • Tom and Brenda talk strategy … again!

Brian’s not front page new

Brian’s delighted that work at the Mart can get going again. The delay, due to the cattle bones, has cost them, but they won’t miss their deadlines – if there are no further delays …

But, Brian’s not so chuffed that the Echo “buried” a story about the Mart being cleared of the bones being dodgy, or of Foot and Mouth.

Good news doesn’t sell headlines, Brian. You should know that all too well.

It’s grim up Ambridge way

Well, it is for Pat and co, so Pat tells Kathy.

Pat’s got nothing “positive” to tell Kathy. She’s heard nothing more about the sick kids (what about the adults? They could be dead, for all we know).

Jamie did alright, considering

Jamie did better in his exams than anyone expected, including himself.

He got a B, fours Cs and three Ds.

[Pat] “That’s miraculous, considering what was going on”

Seems he certainly did better than Marty – sounds like Marty completed failed.

Jamie’s grades means he technically can’t go to College, but Natalie persuaded him to call the College, with the result that they’ll meet him to maybe give him a chance.

[Pat] “She’s good for him, isn’t she?”

[Kathy] “He’ll accept things from her he never would from me”


But, last time we heard Natalie on the secret microphones, she seemed to be a bit of a control freak.

I suppose sons sometimes do fall for women who are like their mums … ugh!

Pat feels guilty

Not sure how Pat is finding space for any more guilt.

This time, she’s telling Kathy that she feels bad she snapped at Brenda the other day.

[Kathy] “You're only human, Pat”


It’s very human to snap at Brenda (and Tom).

Another bad letter day

Pat’s received a letter from a solicitor representing both of the kids that were hospitalised due to Bridge Farm’s special E. coli flavour of ice cream.

They are suing.

Pat and Tony can pass the problem over to their solicitor and insurers. Hopefully they’ll sort it, but it will mean their premiums will increase dramatically.

And that’s while they’re not making many (if any sales). They can hardly afford more expense when (amongst everything else), even veg box orders are being cancelled.

Tom and Brenda talk strategy … again!

Goodness me. When will those two accept that they don’t know what they’re doing?

Tom’s keeping going with his cold calling.

[Brenda] “You need a proper strategy … already have suppliers … so what you need to do it talk, use plenty of open questions and listen …Hold confidence in the brand”

[Tom] “Just a case of getting them out there into the wider world “


Even if Tom can persuade one or two new orders, it’s hardly going to scratch the surface of making up for all of the old orders.

Tom won’t like this … but probably time to hit the supermarkets. Ones beyond Borchester.

The Archers Wednesday 24th August 2011: Nic doesn’t really like Emma

  • But Mia doesn’t even have a cold
  • Will and Nic’s happy time together continues
  • Clarrie gets on her bike
  • Cornwall and Hunting
  • Emma’s an irritant

But Mia doesn’t even have a cold

Emma’s said to Nic that she wants Mia to stay away from Keira, as she reckons Mia has a cold.

Nic is definitely not amused.

Mia isn’t ill, so Emma is just being a witch (with a b).

Will and Nic’s happy time together continues

And still Nic and Will are having a nice time together.

Nic’s even planning trips away together, without the kids.

Wedding bells soon enough, surely?

Clarrie gets on her bike

Norman Tebbit would be proud …

Nic’s suggested Clarrie to try at Lower Loxley for a job.

Which Clarrie tries to do, but doesn’t manage. She goes to see Elizabeth, but can only ask for a cardigan Mia left there than a job. I suppose it didn’t help that Jennifer was also there (and Mia hadn’t actually left a cardigan anyhoo).

Clarrie’s odd behaviour also twigged Jennifer onto that there’s something also odd about Susan keeping her job while Clarrie lost hers.

It’ll only be time until the whole of Ambridge knows …

Will also suggested to Clarrie that she tries Grey Gables (she reckons not) – but actually, Clarrie does seem to perk up a bit when she hears that Environmental Heath isn’t going to prosecute Bridge Farm.

Though Will’s ideas that she might now get her job back isn’t exactly realistic …

Cornwall and Hunting

Elizabeth and the kids are off to Cornwall for a holiday.

And seems Freddie wants to hunt properly next season, after spending more and more time on horseback.

[Elizabeth] “He sounded just like Nigel”

I did always find it odd that Nigel hunted. It didn’t seem to fit his gentle, soppy nature.

Same can be said for Freddie. But then again, blue blood will out …

Emma’s an irritant

[Nic] “It’s just really annoying when she says these things, you know. If I say anything, it makes me seem really touchy and stroppy, but if I don’t, it makes it seem like she’s won some sort of point”

[Will] “She tries to lord it over you because she’s the mother of both the mum and dad’s grandchildren, she’s got no right …”

[Nic] “Forget it ...Clarrie’s not taken in by her, and I can handle it”

In a fight between Emma and Nic - my money is on Nic ...

The Archers Tuesday 23rd August 2011: Bad letter day and money woes

  • Eddie’s still cheerful
  • Bridge Farm to go bankrupt?
  • Is Elona a bad ‘un?
  • Good letter day for Archers, bad for Grundys
  • … not so fast … turns out it is actually bad letter day for the Archers

Eddie’s still cheerful

I’ve been quite critical of Eddie of late – but he is still keeping a grin on while all others round him are in puddles of depression.

He’s also shouldering the responsibility of trying to make up for the loss of Clarrie’s Bridge Farm wages. Clarrie’s worried he’s working too much, but he isn’t complaining.

Good chap.

Bridge Farm to go bankrupt?

I’m wondering if Pat, Tony and co will have to live through the Grundy experience of losing their farm.
Bridge Farm’s cash flow is increasingly knackered – with Pat and Tony worried about how they’ll make the mortgage payment.

[Tony] “As long as we can ride it out for the next few months, people will start drifting back … Tom might get some sales further afield …”

[Pat] “I think they’re whistling in the dark, him and Brenda. I think those new markets just don’t exist”

I’m with Pat. Banking on Tom and Brenda saving the day wouldn’t be a good bet.

Surely Peggy, Lilian and Jennifer won’t let Tony become homeless?

What would he do without a yard for his yard tractor?

Is Elona a bad ‘un?

She hasn’t done anything to suggest she is so far – in fact, the exact opposite.

And it is Peggy who is doing all of the suggesting. Also nothing wrong with Peggy offering Elona two days a week work with her. Peggy needs the (non-family) help.

But – but suspicious that Elona said that even two extra days work wouldn’t be enough for her to afford No.3 The Green’s rent. Mainly because it then led to Peggy offering Elona the deposit for the flat.

Is Elona betting on Peggy being so generous?

[Elona] “Give me your hand … I never thought to meet such a kind lady as you … but I cannot … I could not afford the rent and I could never be able to save enough to repay the loan”


Wonder is Elona angling?

Good letter day for Archers, bad for Grundys

Clarrie calls Eddie in a panic, while he’s working at the (old) Mart.

She’s received a letter from Environmental Health, but she can’t “work it out”.

She’s confused as it says:

[Clarrie] “… I may have caused contamination to the ice cream”

It’s the word “may” that she’s not sure about. Could it mean that there’s a chance she isn’t to blame?

Bless Eddie. He offers to get Will and Nic to collect the letter, and drive it to him at the Mart. David’s there, and he can help interpret.

But alas – it’s not good news. David reckons the letter says that it’s 99.9% certain that Clarrie was to blame.

Though Eddie reckons that’s what done is done (and the kids in hospital will get better … no mention of the adults, note), Clarrie’s not so sure. How is she going to get another job with all of this on her record???

However – good letter day for the Archers (Bridge Farm clan).

Environmental Health isn’t going to prosecute. They’re only going to do checks every 6 months. Pat and Tony also clearly read the letter to say that:

[Pat] “ it does seem to be Clarrie that was responsible”

… not so fast … turns out it is actually bad letter day for the Archers

Poor Pat and Tony don’t even have time to let the good news from Environmental Health sink in … there’s more than one letter in the post.

The other letter is from Underwoods. It says that due to the “extra emergency product withdrawal charge”, they want £10,000 from Bridge Farm.

And that £10,000 won’t be covered under Pat and Tony’s insurance.

Oh balls!

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Archers Monday 22nd August 2011: Pat shouts at Brenda

  • Susan’s not amused at Brian
  • Brenda is back
  • Still nothing happening at the Mart site
  • Why Pip’s ideas are flawed
  • Alice is also at it
  • Environmental Health keep visiting
  • So what’s Brenda’s fantastic new idea?
  • … Pat is livid!

Susan’s not amused at Brian

[Susan] “He could have out his money where his mouth is … him and Alice are far too proud … you’d have thought Brian would have offered … people with money always … always, maybe, forget what a struggle it is …”

Susan was saying all of this to Pat, so had to try and backtrack towards the end as she realised that she was being slightly negative about folks with money …i.e. lots of the Archer clan … and possibly also because Pat is married to Tony, who is brother to Jennifer, who is married to Brian …


I reckon Susan should shush. She should be proud that Chris and Alice are managing this on their tod.

Still nothing happening at the Mart site

Brian is not best pleased.

Brenda is back

She hasn’t really been anywhere – just away from the hidden microphones – but she is already talking nonsense.

She’s annoyed that she spends time at work: “dealing with time wasters” who just want a nosy at Amside’s properties rather than to buy them.

She’s annoyed that Pip “bombarded” Helen with ideas for the Bridge Farm website. Even though the website does now look better.

Her pride is ever so slightly damaged. A job not related to her degree, and now a farm lass talking her language.

[Brenda] “But really, I’m the one with the marketing degree!”

And with perfect timing – Pip calls round to Tom and Brenda’s to talk more marketing.

Perfect (comedy value).

Why Pip’s ideas are flawed

She wants Bridge Farm to use Twitter to create a ‘club’.

But, as Tom pointed out, they don’t have the capacity to manage a full-on Twitter account.

And Pip is simply oblivious.

To Brenda’s:

[Brenda] “I don’t want to take up more of your time … I do know most of this stuff”

Pip didn’t twig that Brenda wanted her to F off.

Client relations – that’s half the battle if you want to get them to take your ideas seriously, Pip.

Alice is also at it

She’s also trying to maximise sales.

She wants to also sell scones, and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Well, at least it’s a real idea/product – unlike Pip’s idea of making the E. coli negativity go away just by using Twitter …

Environmental Health keep visiting

Which is really annoying Pat.

They turn up at least once a week, whenever they want to, without warning.

So, when Susan drops some yoghurt just as they are visiting, Pat is not as rational as one would normally expect of her.

So what’s Brenda’s fantastic new idea?

After all the fuss about Pip stepping into her area of expertise, Brenda sucks it up and reveals her wonderful idea to help solve Bridge Farm’s problems.

Customer testimonials.

On their website.

Which, Brenda acknowledges, was actually Pip’s idea …

Pat is not amused, infact …

… Pat is livid!

[Pat] “Oh for goodness sake Brenda! Wake up .. .what’s the point! This business is losing money hand over fist and all you and Tom can do is mess about on the website. All you’re doing is just tinkering on the edges, a complete waste of time”
So Brenda has a weep – Tom comforts her – and blames Pat’s outburst as Pat being on a knife edge, possibly prosecuted, might not be able to pay the mortgage, being stressed and so on.

All of which is true.

But could it just be that Brenda really should just stick to making flyers?

The Archers Sunday 21st August 2011: Jennifer is not impressed by value brands

  • The lady didn’t love milk tray …
  • Jazzer doesn’t want to cook
  • An anchovy, is an anchovy, is an anchovy
  • Harry’s standards are slipping
  • New excuses for why Alice shouldn’t have married Chris

The lady didn’t love milk tray …

… she loved milk tray.

Didn’t matter to Harry, though. He still did a James Bond trying to get Zofia some apples. But, he came a cropper when he fell out of the tree.

Scrumping, that’s what we used to call it.

Jazzer doesn’t want to cook

Jazzer calls Harry:

[Jazzer] “Whit time will you be hame? … half an hour? … I’m starving!”

But, Jazzer is right enough this time. The deal was that he’d buy the food (which he has done), and Harry would cook it.

Zofia better watch out. No woman can get in the way of Jazzer’s stomach and get away with it.

Jazzer dies crack on with the cooking (I imagine that was the only way he was going to get to eat), but strikes gold when he calls Alice to ask how to make onion gravy, and gets Jennifer.

Learn from the best, my friend.

An anchovy, is an anchovy, is an anchovy

[Jennifer] “Economising is one thing, Alice, but you shouldn’t compromise where food is concerned … you really ought to stick with the quality brand names”

[Alice] “It’s the same food, in a different tin under a different name”

[Jennifer] “Well, how can you possibly tell? I can’t even pronounce what it says on this tin, let alone understand what’s inside?”

[Alice] “I think the picture is a bit of a giveaway … If it looks like an anchovy, and quacks like an anchovy, then it is an anchovy”

Jennifer has spotted ‘value brand’ products in Alice’s, as she’s helping to cook for a celebratory lunch 9wuth the Carters – after Chris got his business loan approved).

Jennifer is, as per, being a snob – but Susan mistakes her rant as Jennifer agreeing that buying value products, and shopping at much-cheapness shops is a good idea.

[Susan] “And your mum's isn’t the only 4x4 in the car park, either”

Poor Jennifer couldn’t get a word in to reassert her need for high value brands only …

She’s only later able to say to Brian:

[Jennifer] “Personally, I’d rather stick to Underwoods food hall”

Harry’s standards are slipping

He hasn’t lived up to his agreement with Jazzer about the cooking.

He eats his dinner, at the table, in his dressing gown.

And he tells Jazzer to leave the dishes until he gets back from a night out. Before, he would have insisted they were done there and then.

Changed man, is our Harry.

New excuses for why Alice shouldn’t have married Chris

Jennifer is now worried that Alice will lose her house if Chris’ business goes wrong. And, that would mean strangers could end up buying it, and living on Home Farm.


Brian reckons all will be well, and that he’ll step in to buy the house if need be.

But, Jennifer still wishes Alice has married someone else. Of better standing. Class, And bank account. Brian doesn’t agree – where Jennifer sees poverty, he sees drive, initiative and the sense 9of Chris) to not try and go cap in hand to him.

I’m with Brian.

Chris is a good ‘un.

The Archers Friday 19th August: Pip suddenly becomes a marketing guru

  • Matt likes Moroccan chickpea soup
  • It’s okay to serve Ruth
  • Would you get a plumber to fix your car?
  • Buy from Bridge Farm!
  • Big calf
  • Pip’s worked it out
  • Jennifer is sewing
  • David still has an ego
  • Helen isn’t an auld women!
  • Lilian rips Brian a new one
  • Good smelling food in Ruth’s kitchen shock!

Matt likes Moroccan chickpea soup

Who’d have thunk it!

So Lilian’s in buying more from Ambridge Organics.

It’s okay to serve Ruth

Reckons Lilian.

As she’s buying more soup for her Tiger, Ruth comes in to buy some stuff. So, Lilian graciously allows Helen to serve Ruth first.

(Helen’s back-at-work-but-not-really-back-at-work – needs must during a time of crisis!).

Would you get a plumber to fix your car?

Probably not. Unless he was a mechanic in a previous life.

So, why does Helen (and later Pip) reckon they can solve all of Bridge Farm’s woes by doing their own marketing?

If there was ever a need for an expert (with a proven track record – hear me, Brenda?), it’s now.

(and I do declare my interest – I’m a marketing consultant!).

Buy from Bridge Farm!

As well as both Lilian and Ruth buying other items from Ambridge Organics (Ruth’s in buying Pip a celebratory lunch, after getting her exam results yesterday) – both also buy vanilla ice cream.

Surely that’s what all the locals should be doing?

Big calf

And it’s her first one.


At least David and Pip are there to lend a hand.

Hope that involves some hefty painkillers.

Pip’s worked it out

That Clarrie might have something to do with the E. coli.

Has to be Clarrie, as why would they have chosen Susan over Clarrie to keep on at Bridge Farm?

Surely Pip can’t be the only one to have thought that one through?

Jennifer is sewing

The name tags into Ruairi’s schools clothes.

The glamorous life, indeed.

Mind you, she’s doing that while Ruairi and Ben play in Home Farm’s pool …

David still has an ego

Chatting about how they would have never sent their kids away to public school – Ruth and David are being smug about Pip doing well in her exams, and also having lots of energetic ideas about how to improve Brookfield’s profits.

[Ruth] “She’s her father’s daughter alright”

[David] “Yeah, she is”


Surely David’s answer should have been that she actually takes after her mother?

Is he that much of an amateur when it comes to wifely relations?

Or is his ego just that big?

Helen isn’t an auld women!

Pip seems to think that because Adam mentioned her marketing ideas were okay, she now knows all and every!

She calls Helen to talk her through a marketing strategy.

Specifically – about how Bridge Farm should have a mobile website (one that’s specifically designed for mobiles, Pip helpfully explained to Helen). As, after all, mobiles will have overtaken computers in accessing the web.

Thanks for that Pip. I’m sure Pat and Tony will sleep easier at night knowing they’re 2 years ahead of the pack. Sure that’ll make a difference when they have no sales at all tomorrow …
Pip rambles on about keywords – social networking profiles – how you should update your website very often – that social networking should be friendly and conversational, inviting readers into your world, growing your customer base organically – that you should monitor traffic to your website …. (and on, and on, and on)

Hang on a second – Helen isn’t of retirement age!

Actually, most folks of retirement age will know everything Pip mentioned (if they’re in business). If they didn’t already know, they could just as easily check the same articles online that Pip has obviously printed off.

But, Helen seems to be happy that Pip has taken the time to tell her all of this wondrous news.

And Pip has taken the time to help.

Is it just me, or does this all suggest that Pip is going to be insufferable when/during/after she goes to Uni?

Lilian rips Brian a new one

It’s the Board meeting. Brian has to explain what’s going on with the Mart.

Seems that when they move the bones, it has to be a right type of covered wagon, then taken to a rendering plant (category one ABP) … which Lilian helpfully explains is:

[Lilian] “like cooking at a very high temperature, darling”

(cheers Lilian!).

The Board are obviously not happy about all the delays and the hassle. Lilian is of the opinion that “the whole affair has been badly mishandled”.

[Lilian] “The Police should have never been called in … it should have been obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that what they were looking at were animal bones “

She’s not buying Brian’s explanation of “protocols and process”. Lilian thinks that both Brian and Cliff should have known about the bones beforehand.

Brian does his best to defend himself and Cliff – but ends up having to fall back on the fact that the Board voted to go ahead with this project, even though any (even slight) delay could spell disaster. Which was why he didn’t vote the same way as the rest of them.

Saying ‘I told you so’ may feel good – but I doubt it’ll help this situation, Brian.

Financial ruin for Home Farm? Surely not …

Good smelling food in Ruth’s kitchen shock!

Ruth’s made roast lamb with garlic and rosemary.


She’s also been drinking champagne.

Maybe Ruth can only produce good food when drunk?

The Archers Thursday 18th August 2011: It isn’t just about the money for Brian …

(… aye, right then!)

  • Muntjac nearly ruins Will’s day off
  • Another Ambridge related Echo headline
  • Nic’s a wee gem
  • Pip’s off to Uni
  • Alice and her lucky layby
  • Brian gets all noble
  • Who buried the diseased cattle?

Muntjac nearly ruins Will’s day off

It broke one of the estate’s fences, so Eddie called Will.

But not to worry – Eddie is going to fix it, so Will doesn’t have to head out.

He shall go to The Blackberry Line!

Another Ambridge related Echo headline

Blimey. You’d think there was a lot going on in our favourite of wee villages!

This time it isn’t Bridge Farm:

“Foot and mouth threat to Borchester Market”

Nic’s a wee gem

She’s gone through her freezer, and given what she can to Clarrie.

Clarrie doesn’t want to, but needs to take it – so Nic makes like Clarrie is doing her a favour. That the kids are fed up of that food, so it’s best Clarrie takes it to stop them going on hunger strike.

Then Nic invites Clarrie (who is at a very loose, and morbidly depressing, end) on her and Will (and the kids’) day out.

[Clarrie] “You’ve got a real treasure there, William”

[Will] “I know, don’t you worry”

Funny thing is, I actually believe Will when he says that he appreciates all that is Nic.

Later on, Nic is talking again about how glad she is that she moved to Ambridge, and that she is very fond of the Grundy clan (well, one would assume Ed and Emma aside).

[Nic] “And I love you Will, I feel so lucky I found you, and that we’re together”

Will concurs.

I really am starting to think that Will has become human, after all these years …

Pip’s off to Uni

She got her B and two Cs.

Alice and her lucky layby

Don’t worry – it’s all good, clean fun.

Alice is selling strawberries in the layby in which she and Chris planned their trip to the states. Which was the one they got married during.

And now the strawberries seem to be shifting well.

It’s just onwards and upwards for that lucky lady!

Brian gets all noble

Brian’s frustrated by the delays of DEFRA giving the okay for The Mart to be worked again:

[Brian] “If the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, the wheels of bureaucracy seem practically dormant”

But it’s not just the money Brian is worried about:

[Brian] “It’s about more than just the bottom line for me … this is an exciting project for someone like me. In a way, it’s a legacy … some for the future farmers of this generation, it’s a way of paying back what we’ve gained … contributing to the local economy and global food market long after I’m gone”


There was me thinking that you were just worried about missing deadlines and losing the healthy Council bonus.

Silly me.

Who buried the diseased cattle?

Was Dan Archer involved at all?

The Archers Wednesday 17th August 2011: It’s only pigs and cattle

  • Will and Nic’s grand day out
  • Saul Bradley sounds like a twat
  • Peggy’s making a dragon, disparaging remarks about Pat, and plans for Elona …

Will and Nic’s grand day out

Nice to again hear Nic and Will having a nice time together.

They’re at Lower Loxley with the kids. And they are most definitely not clock watching.

They send the kids off to make kites, while they get to mess around in a boat.

Though Nic left her drum and cat o’ nine tails at home (Will is complaining about her forcing him to do all the rowing), she didn’t need them to keep Will in check.

Actually, Will was genuinely nice and living.

My oh my.

It’s almost as if Will is a sane human that one could warm to …

Saul Bradley sounds like a twat

Excuse my language, but he really (really) does.

He’s the archaeologist sent to check the bones found at The Mart. He’s a right patronising wee know it all.

Seems he agrees that the bones are just pig and cattle. So that’s fine. But:

[Saul] “On thing puzzles me though … the date … the bones are buried far deeper than I’d expect”

And what does that mean?

The theory is that the pigs and cattle were slaughtered, and buried on the Mart site, way back in 1967 when foot and mouth hit. Which explains why it’s so deep.

The good news is that the site is therefore of no archaeological importance, but DEFRA still needs to be called.

Calling DEFRA.

That doesn’t sound like a fat thing to me.

And right enough – DEFRA needs them to get an exhumation order, from an inspector, before they can move the bones and get back to work.


Common sense from public agencies.


Peggy’s making a dragon, disparaging remarks about Pat, and plans for Elona …

The dragon fly is for Pip getting her exam results (Peggy is enamelling again).

[Peggy to Ted] “I know Tony’s made some silly decisions in his time, but I always felt Pat could be trusted to run the dairy, but something has badly gone wrong there"

(eh? Tony is acceptable as a bit of a screw-up at times, but Pat gets the blame for not overcompensating for his failings?)

And on Elona:

[Peggy to Ted] “I often feel Elona sees Jack and Violet as the people they once were, rather than simply as victims of the conditions”

Ted concurs. Elona is wonderful, so shouldn’t leave.

Peggy is also talking about how she isn’t quite coping at home. She’s having to let things slip 9which she abhors), and doesn’t want to bother her family about it – or, probably more importantly, lose her independence.

[Peggy] “I don’t believe people should be a burden to one another”

So – Peggy put her and Elona's problems together – and reckons she can solve Elona’s problems by giving her some work. Not exactly as home help, more of a helpful friend that she pays.

Sounds reasonable enough.

The Archers Tuesday 16th August 2011: Bones found at the Mart site

  • But what about Ruairi’s sports kit?
  • Pat had to wear lady shoes
  • Are archaeologists really that busy?
  • Jennifer gets excited about old bones

But what about Ruairi’s sports kit?

Brian gets a call from Cliff Alladay (The Mart’s Project Manager), and heads straight off to deal with a problem.

Jennifer’s not happy about that. It means he can’t go with her and Ruairi to buy Ruairi’s school kit.

Would seem it’s a seminal moment in any young (public school) boy’s life.
Pat had to wear lady shoes 

To her and Tony’s interview at Environmental Health.


Pat’s also worried about the interview. It could lead to a prosecution..

[Tony] “This is environmental health, not Scotland Yard … try to not let the situation intimidate you”

Easier said than done, but quite nice to hear Tony being the positive one in the know.

It sounded like most of the interview went well. Pat only sounded unsure (and a bit panicked) about the last time she’d put her staff through a refresher course – including 48 hour rule and such.

After their interview, Pat and Tony find that the village shop in Penny Hasset and the whole food shop in Darrington have cancelled their orders – AND the wee girl ill in hospital now has kidney problems.

So what’s Tom’s solution?

Take Bridge Farm’s confidence in their product further afield – places like Birmingham and Bristol (where, one assumes, they haven’t heard of the E. coli outbreak).

Hmmm. Wonder if German salad folks found that they managed to survive by finding new markets …

Are archaeologists really that busy?

Cliff has been trying to get one out to the Mart site to have a look at the bones one of the workers discovered.

But seems they’re all out on calls.

Surely not? I’d have thought their work could wait … after all, it’ll have been there for a fair while already.

Anyway – first signs are that the bones are cattle (they found a cattle skull).

But, finding the bones, having to report them, trying to find an archaeologist who doesn’t have another archaeological emergency, all means delays. Which can’t happen if the Mart project is going to hit the Council deadlines.

[Brian] “We’ve been knocked sideways by something entirely unpredictable”

Brian is angry, but one also assumes slightly pleased to be able to tell Annabelle ‘I told you so’.

Jennifer gets excited about old bones

After getting back in from the Mart site, all Brian wants is a large whisky (though he should get it himself rather than telling Jennifer to get him one. Lazy so and so. And I do hope it is whisky rather than whiskey …).

What he also gets with his whisky is a side order of rather inappropriate excitement from Jennifer.

[Jennifer] “Was anything else found, I mean pottery or jewellery … how interesting!”

Brian hopes it isn’t anything ‘interesting’:

[Brian] “Then it’d be littered with people in dungarees with teaspoons”

With her old local historian hat on, Jennifer reckons that the Mart site was part of a major roman road and that the Earl of Essex’s army billeted nearby in 1642.

[Jennifer] “There could very well be ancient remains, it could be a very important find”

Brian is most decidedly not excited nor amused. He’s only worried about delays, and what it could cost him.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Archers Monday 15th August 2011: Eddie staggers on … in a good way

  • Clarrie couldn’t even face the nettles by the ferret run
  • Chris needs to bet the house
  • Hope Nic’s mum’s dog is okay
  • Nic feels guilty
  • Pound shops or not?
  • Folks couldn’t get enough of Alice’s punnets
  • Hurrah for the Grange Spinney woman with the Jack Russell!

Clarrie couldn’t even face the nettles by the ferret run

Eddie’ seems to be doing all of the earning at the moment. He’s working 2 mornings with Will. Has his job at the Market. Part-time at Brookfield. And does the odd patio job.

Which is what partners do – pick up the slack when the other is not up to par.

Clarrie can’t get motivated to do the simplest things, and sounds very down.

[Eddie] “What’s dad been up to now?”

[Clarrie] “It ain't Joe. He’s been good as gold. I left him smoking his pipe in the lean to, before he tackles Bartleby’s stable”
(actually - what has Joe been up to? Looking more and more like a Sid-gate ...)

But, Clarrie couldn’t even bring to sort out the nettles at the back of the Ferret run.

Imagine that.

Chris needs to bet the house

Chris has been to see the Bank Manager.

They’re very happy with him. They’ll give him the £40,000.

BUT only over 5 years. And he has to put Alice (and his) house down as security.

So – business goes belly up – they have to put a £40k mortgage on their house.

Which is still pretty good going, considering what a lot of other folks have to cope with.

However, I do think Chris needs to get a new business bank manager. Mine would have given him 10 years, and wouldn’t have even mentioned the house …

Hope Nic’s mum’s dog is okay

Doesn’t sound too good. She’s had to let down Nic in looking after the kids, and take her dog to the vets.

Nic feels guilty

Not about having to dump the kids on Clarrie (though she does feel a wee bit bad about it – but what can one do when there’s a sick dog?).

Nic reckons she feels guilty having to work at The Bull during school holidays.

So wonders if Clarrie could do some of her shifts.


More about helping Clarrie than feeling too guilty about the kids (quite right too!).

But Clarrie isnae daft. She knows what Nic is up to and, while appreciative, also knows that the Bull is more than just a job to Nic:

[Clarrie] “You said yourself, the Bull is a bit of an oasis … a woman needs a bit of independence”

(especially when that woman is living with Will Grundy – he’s sweetness and light at the moment, but it only takes one wrong look … I also thought Clarrie was about to launch into a rendition of Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own').

Folks couldn’t get enough of Alice’s punnets

At the Farmers’ Market.

But she still had enough to give a freebie to Clarrie. Very nice of her (though a tad patronising as well)

Pound shops or not?

Alice doesn’t seem to approve. She reckons it costs more in petrol to get there than it saves.

But Clarrie’s having a go. Needs must. And Clarrie is believes in buying in bulk.

I reckon it depends on what you’re buying. I recently discovered that it’s cheaper to buy 6 rolls of Andrex toilet paper than a 12 roll of cheap stuff. Andrex has more sheets per roll, you see.

And who’d have thought we’d ever see the day where Alice could sympathise with Clarrie Grundy about trying to get work.

Of course, Alice isn’t quite skint. She does own her own home. And has a husband with his own business. And a dad who’s minted …

Hurrah for the Grange Spinney woman with the Jack Russell!

Eddie quoted her weeks ago, has given her a chase, and has persuaded her to do it now rather than in the Autumn.

[Eddie] “So, if we can stagger on a bit like this, you’ll have found a proper job before we start feeling the pinch”


All Clarrie need to do now is find a job.

That’ll be easy enough …

The Archers Sunday 14th August 2011: Tom and Helen take control

(not really – they’re just going to do a plan)
  • Big difference between “being tougher” and just plain evil
  • The spiral of doom
  • I want a rummage box
  • Elona is sad
  • Nic and Will are lovely to each other
  • Tom’s great plan is to …
  • Eddie’s charming ladies on lawns

Big difference between “being tougher” and just plain evil

Helen’s talking to Tom about how worried she is about the forthcoming Environmental Health interview Pat and Tony have. If there are any failings with their hygiene and such, it could mean more legal shenanigans.

They’re also bemoaning that the Underwoods contract has been lost.

[Tom] “Maybe you and I could have (done something to keep it) … we’d have got tougher much earlier, that’s for sure”
For “tougher” read ‘flung Clarrie to the wolves’.


Yes, this is Clarrie’s fault – but naming, shaming and firing wouldn’t have made a difference. In my opinion.

The spiral of doom

Ambridge Organics has got to move more stock to try and make up for the loss of sales elsewhere.

But that won’t make up the difference.

And it’ll get worse, according to Helen.

They be selling less – so will make less – word will get round that they’re making less – so the customers that are buying their stock will start to think they’re making less as they’re about to go under – so will find other suppliers …

[Tom] “Let’s stop the rot now, before it gets too far”

So Tom and Helen arrange to meet later to strategise .

I want a rummage box

Sounds great.

Jack has one. Peggy brought more for it – a picture of Christine’s garden, and stems of winter barley (to touch and smell).

Sounds very groovy.

Elona is sad

She reckons she has to leave The Laurels.

Her flat is too small for her and her family – they’re all starting to feel squished and are starting to argue – but she can’t afford anything bigger locally.

Peggy obviously adores Elona. Jack adores her, and she’s an all-round very nice lady.

[Elona] “I feel like I’m abandoning him. But I must think of my daughters”

But Peggy has a cunning plan – No.3 The Green. Which currently has no tenant, and belongs to Lilian (Peggy’s’ daughter).

Elona thinks it’s still no good as she couldn’t even afford the deposit.

So, Will Peggy persuade Lilian to drop the deposit? Will Peggy pay the deposit? Will Elona then turn out to be a bad ‘un?

Nic and Will are lovely to each other

Nic makes Will Sunday lunch.

Nic has plans for later on (she’s got rid of the kids to their dad, Andrew). But, Will also has plans – to help Eddie leaflet for doing patios and the like. But rather than getting shirty about it, Nic reckons she’ll help. They can spend time together, and also help out Eddie and Clarrie.

After leafleting, Will offers Nic a nice cold beer (yum!) at the Duck and Drake, which has a nice stream in the beer garden, and also a bit of something to eat.

Will was then genuinely grateful and quite humbled at Nic “helping my family out” without complaint, nor being asked.

Will he make them her family proper soon?

Love very much seems to be in the air between those two. And nice to hear Will being nice.

Tom’s great plan is to …

… make a plan!

Over cold lemonade and lemon drizzle cake (yum!), and a quite vocal Henry:

[Tom] “Mum and dad running on the spot just to keep up … but they haven’t been thinking outside the box … what we do, if we move out of the area, out of the reach of the bad publicity”

Which is a bit of a hard push. They also reckon their USP is that they’re a local company, so starting to sell beyond means they have to come up with a whole new marketing plan. One which they’re not going to tell Tony and Pat about until it’s done.

Aye, I can see that going down well. It’s just what Tony and Pat need – more secrets, and being told what’s what by their kids.

Eddie’s charming ladies on lawns

Cause that’s the kind of chap he is.

But it’s all in a good cause.

(it’s to get more work in for his family)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Archers Friday 12th August 2011: It gets worse for Bridge Farm

  • Did Lilian say callous?
  • Cold callers of the world – take Pat off of your lists
  • The little boy is okay
  • Adam’s playing safe
  • Freddie reminds Shula of Nigel
  • What do you mean Daniel has already had his work experience?
  • “Nothing worse than silence in a wheat field during harvest”
  • Alice has found work
  • Anything else for Bridge Farm?

Did Lilian say callous?

I thought she said to Pat that she’d sounded “cold” when she did the radio interview.

Cold callers of the world – take Pat off of your lists

Calling Pat right now will only result in a right old ear bashing.

The little boy is okay

Shula tells Pat.

Well, that’s at least one bit of good news.

Adam’s playing safe

Pip has finally cornered Adam. She wants to talk through her ideas for Brookfield’s marketing of its lamb.

Her main idea is for Brookfield to break from the Hasset Hills co-operative – go it alone – and market the lamb as “pasture fed rather than a generic commodity” alongside its beef.
Adam’s not so sure. He thinks the co-op works best for all involved, and it provides a degree of safety.
But, not a chap to be completely negative, Adam suggests that Pip make a difference by working within – and she could start off by doing it as a college project.

Which she seems happy enough with.

Freddie reminds Shula of Nigel

Freddie’s been helping out a lot at Shula’s. She’s finding a lot of Nigel in Freddie – his sense of fun, and his “innocent” eyes.

Nigel was also quite a clever chap (which he tried). Wonder if Freddie is just a late bloomer in that department?

What do you mean Daniel has already had his work experience?

Blimey – I sound like a broken record saying that there’s been a lot of damp squibs in Ambridge recently – but they just keep happening!

Now it’s Daniel.

He was due to have work experience at Usha’s. Neither Shula nor Usha were entirely sure how it would pan out.

Would it lead to great friction? Would Usha and Shula suddenly become mates? Would Shula return to St Stephens as a result?

I have no idea.

His work experience has happened, but the hidden microphones were no-where near.

*Lynda sniff*

Though the mention of his work experience did give Pat a very good opportunity to say:

[Pat] “It wouldn’t hurt to have a lawyer in the family one day, again”

How very true.

“Nothing worse than silence is a wheat field during harvest”

Indeed Adam. I find that all the time.

Alice has found work

Selling strawberries for her (half) brother, for commission.

But she seems to be quite good at it.

And she also has a gig running stalls at farmers markets.

For her mum.

Phew! There’s nowt like standing on one’s own two feet.

Anything else for Bridge Farm?

Susan calls Pat to let her know that they haven’t sold a yoghurt all day. Or the day before.

In fact, the only thing that is selling from bridge Farm is the Sterling Gold cheese. Which just so happens to not have any mention of the Bridge Farm brand on it.

Tom finds that most frustrating,. He claims it’s because it’s utterly ridiculous – Sterling Gold is made from unpasteurised milk, don’t you know. But I reckon it’s more to do with Helen’s brand standing up better than Tom’s …

And, there’s also been cancellations for veg boxes.

[Tom] “Clarrie’s certainly left a trail of destruction on her wake …”

But wait – there’s more.

Environmental Health telephone. They want to interview Pat (or Tony?). For food safety offenses.

[Tom] “Whatever we do, it doesn’t look like we’re going to weather this storm, does it?”


Could it get worse?


The Archers Thursday 11th August 2011: And the Secret Fisherman/Poacher is …

  • Where do the Grundys get all their car boot from?
  • Henry can crawl
  • Will’s a good son
  • Bridge Farm still making headlines
  • And the poacher is …
  • Pat’s fuming

Where do the Grundys get all their car boot from?

Don’t you need actual half decent stuff to sell every time you go to a car boot (if you want to make any money)?

Where are they Grundys getting all the stuff to sell?

Surely a blouse of Clarrie’s, which is missing a button, isn’t going to earn much?

I reckon Clarrie should go ahead and sell Eddie’s Country and Western stuff. It’s not as if he uses them much these days, and needs must …

Henry can crawl

Multiple lengths of the hall, and he almost managed to stand up by using the kitchen table.

Though it’s not all innocent fun:

[Pat] “Now he’s back in his chair, he’s in beaker hurling mood. One just missed me”

[Tony] “He’s so wonderfully oblivious to it all, isn’t he?”

Yes indeed. And thank goodness for that.

Will’s a good son

Will maybe a bit of a psychopath at times, but he does look after his folks.

He previously lent Eddie money to buy a new van – and now he wants to give practical help during Clarrie’s hour of need.

Not only has he got Brian’s permission to give Eddie casual work round the estate – it sounded like he’s also given Clarrie a cheque for a half decent amount. Clarrie doesn’t want to accept it, but:

[Will] “Don’t be silly mum. Look what you’ve done for me over the years … it’s payback time”

Bridge Farm still making headlines

Bridge Farm is again front page news on the Borchester Echo.

The paper is reporting on the victims suing Bridge Farm. And how their sales have dived. And have quoted the chap from Underwoods:

[Underwoods chap called Somerville] “Sometimes in the future, we may consider stocking Bridge Farm produce, but our customers have lost faith … and we can’t stock product won’t sell”

[Tony] “That humped up little non entity! …I feel like going round to see Somerville right now. Tell him exactly what I think of him”

Pat reckons not – as it’d give the paper more headlines – but Tony reckons it would at least make him feel better.

And the poacher is …

… Josh.

Will catches Josh in the act, catching crayfish.

And there was me thinking he had started heading down to the river because he had a crush on Kirsty.

He seemed genuine enough that he didn’t know he needed permission from the landowner, and also a licence, to catch the crayfish.

Josh was raking in £5 a pound.

[Will] “So, you were doing your bit to freshen up the menu?”

[Josh] “Well, I’ve actually been helping the environment"

Which is true. Catching the crayfish interlopers does help the native species survive.

So Josh was being a bit cheeky – but no harm done.

Hmmm. Damp squib (yet again) anyone?

Pat’s fuming

She’s finally been able to make herself (and her family) a decent meal (don’t ask why Tony couldn’t have done that). But she starts shouting at Helen to come down from her room to eat. And she shouts at Tony for … well … everything

She’s finally flipped. And no wonder. But there’s still fighting talk left in that there Tony.

[Tony] “We won’t let him (Somerville from Underwoods) destroy us”

The Archers Wednesday 10th August 2011: Jim and Christine – just good neighbours?

  • Thorns in its flank
  • Josh is impressing his folks
  • Christine and Jim – it’s a nice thing, either way
  • If Christine has guessed it’s Clarrie …
  • Pip in a foul mood

Thorns in its flank

Farming can seem an odd game. Well, it does to me sometimes.

While Ruth and David are checking to see which of their lambs are fat enough to go to slaughter, Ruth spots that one of the other lambs may have a problems.

Turns out just to be bramble thorns, but she helps it get rid of them.

Caring to kill.

Which is fair enough. I’d rather my meat was treated with such respect.

Josh is impressing his folks

He’s getting up in the morning (even on his holidays). He’s showing a real interest in the farm. And he’s signed up for milking every day, until he gets back to school.

[Ruth] “He is suddenly more … grown up”

[David] “It’s great to see him gainfully employed”

Seems Pip is slightly slipping from her pedestal. She was far from “raring to go” when she got up this morning.
Just exam results stress? Irritated by Elizabeth’s comments yesterday? Starting to realise her career at Brookfield may need more than Twitter?

Christine and Jim – it’s a nice thing, either way

I’m not sure if Christine and Jim will end up an item – but, to be frank, I couldn’t give a hoot.

It’s just nice to hear folks being nice to each other, and finding good company.

Jim’s helping Christine to replace once of her garden fence panels.

[Christine] “It’s at times like this I feel so helpless”

But not to worry. Jim measures. Takes the old panel out. Has a good gossip (he reckons Leonie didn’t look too happy on Sunday at the party – but he approved of Robert’s choice of Jazz). Goes with Christine to get a new panel. Christine invites him to tea:

[Christine] “You’ll certainly have earned it ”

Jim goes with Christine to get a new panel. Jim can’t find his screws – Christine finds them on the step. She reckons she’s finally found her role in life – “as a builder’s mate”. And after a fine tea:

[Jim] “I’ve had what they call an elegant sufficiency”

Christine and Jim show their appreciation of each other.

[Jim] “Anything to help a good neighbour”

[Christine] “You’re been more than a good neighbour”

[Jim] “It’s a two way thing though, isn’t it?”

Aw. Bless ‘em.

If Christine has guessed it’s Clarrie …

Then most other folks will soon start catch up.

Oh dear.

Pip in a foul mood.

After a bad start to the day, Pip’s mood doesn’t improve.

She shouts at Josh for going near her car with his bike. She snaps at Ruth when Ruth offered to make her a sandwich:

[Pip] “I’m not just in a mood because of my blood sugar!”

She shouts at Tig (evil!)

But at least Ruth also gets to have a rant after Pip tells her about what Elizabeth said yesterday:

[Ruth] “What on earth does she know about family farms! She obviously thoroughly depressed you …”

But – Pip, being Pip, ends her day by playing with Freddie and Lily, Josh and Tig (where be Ben?).

She just needed to have a grump.

The Archers Tuesday 9th August 2011: The proverbial hits the fan – it’s a solicitor’s letter

  • Is Bella Bridge Farm’s dog?
  • Too soon for solicitors?
  • Clarrie hasn’t got any plans
  • Blackcurrant Smoothie attack!
  • Spooky goings on in the Vineyard
  • Don’t bank on social networking as Brookfield’s saviour
  • Well done Eddie

Is Bella Bridge Farm’s dog?

Not sure. Or is she a cow?

Either way, Tony reckoned that the TLC helped her stop limping.

Good news for Bella, and good on Tony for giving his dog some TLC. Or his Cow.

Too soon for solicitors?

I reckon so.

Tony and Pat are horrified (but not entirely surprised) to receive a letter today from Milly Robson parents, and one of the adults who’d also taken ill.

They’re suing for compensation.

Pat and Tony reckon the insurance will cover them (aye – I’ve personal experience that you can’t entirely depend on your insurance paying out: have a look at this). Which, if they do pay out, will still mean that their premiums will rocket.

Is it just me – or are Milly Robson’s parents (especially) jumping the gun? They don’t even know for sure yet that their daughter will survive.

Still, I suppose that the litigious world we live in.

And Pat’s keen to know if the other kid (who hasn’t really been mentioned so far) is okay. Seems Shula might be the person in the know (with her Pony Club connections).

Clarrie hasn’t got any plans

[Eddie] “How bout a bit of baking?”

I was about to (again) rant about Eddie being insensitive, and relatively useless all round, when it comes to Clarrie’s need, but I think I get it.

Eddie’s trying to make Clarrie realise that she’s useful. And wanted. And needed.

Good lad.

Especially important now – ever more so since Clarrie noticed that hardly anyone touched her quiche at the Snells’ party (though Eddie reckons lots went untouched as there was so much of it).

[Eddie] “So, um, what about doing some housework?”

[Clarrie] “The house is so spick and span I hardly recognise the place”

[Eddie, in jest] “Yea, well I’m sure me and dad could sort that our for you”

But what Clarrie wants is proper work.

She’s not getting as many shifts at The Bull because of Rhys now working there (she goes to ask Jolene for more work – but Jolene reckons she’ll “be in touch” if they need emergency cover … that sounds familiar). She also had a not fantastic time when she went into The Bull – everyone was asking her questions, wanting to know why she wasn’t working at bridge Farm, why it was her, and not Susan, who ended up with part time work …

Blackcurrant Smoothie attack!

Poor Pip.

Seems she dropped her watch in a glass of water this morning. Now she has blackcurrant smoothie on her uniform after drop an (almost empty) glass while at work.

She’s out of sorts as she’s anxious about her A Level results. Which will only arrive next week.

[Elizabeth] “I’m sure it will be fine”

Which is the worst thing to say – every time Pup hears it, her stomach turns over.

Pip has worked hard, but she had a lot of catching up to do after her Juuude Shenanigans.

(funny that Pip is now starting to say Jude, with a long ‘o’ sound in the middle, as David always has)

Spooky goings on in the Vineyard

As Pip’s so stressed, Elizabeth takes her to Lower Loxley’s vineyard to chill and have a chat.

Seems the grapes are doing splendidly – quality and quantity.

The stroll through the grapes does calm Pip down.

But bizarrely, Pip’s watch also starts working.


As we all know, the vineyards are where Elizabeth still ‘feels’ Nigel …

Don’t bank on social networking as Brookfield’s saviour

I obviously don’t doubt the sheer might and power of social networking.

But – Pip’s kidding herself if she thinks social networking , for Brookfield’s lambs, will make enough of a difference to create enough work for her to also stay.

She is sensible in wanting to talk to Adam. As Elizabeth says:

[Elizabeth] “Adam is always good value”

And you also have to give Pip her due for her passion.

[Pip] “I just really, really want to be a part of Brookfield”

[Elizabeth] “Yeah, but it’s not the best of times for family farms”

Which Pip gets incredibly defensive about. She rants about how well her folks have coped – with Elizabeth trying to explain that she meant “it is just a struggle for everyone”

So she has a slight fall out with Elizabeth.

Funny also that Pip hasn’t clocked that she’s not David and Ruth’s only kid.

What about Josh wanting to work at Brookfield (which looks like he might want to do)? And Ben?

Well done Eddie

Eddie and Clarrie are sitting down to dinner.

(where is Joe? Not like him to miss a meal)

Seems their chops don’t have much on them. But they have plenty gravy. And runner beans from the garden.

[Clarrie] “We’ll be living off runner beans”

[Eddie] “Oh well, I can’t eat anything as long as it’s covered in gravy”

(hurrah! Couldn’t agree with you more, Eddie)

[Clarrie] “This must be the best diet I’ve ever been in”

It’s the worry. Clarrie’s not eating much.

But Joe has had a bright idea. If Clarrie does the car boots at the weekends – it’ll free up Eddie to get more gardening jobs.

And blow me down – Clarrie’s delighted. It’s a good idea, and a thoughtful one at that.

So Clarrie feels bright enough to eats a bit more dinner.

[Eddie] “I don’t want you to waste away to anything … min, you’ve got a good way to go!”

[Clarrie] “Hey, watch it Eddie Grundy, you’ll be cooking your own supper if you’re not careful, and I’ll be rationing the gravy”
[Eddie] “That’s more like it”

Indeed. Come on Clarrie - you're missed.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Archers Monday 8th August 2011: James and Leonie want money

(now there’s a surprise)
  • Did anyone notice Emma’s birthday yesterday?
  • The Diary of a Pretentious Modern Day Couple, Chapter 2
  • Products a go-go at Bridge Farm
  • What’s Leonie doing to make her neighbours bang?
  • What’s wrong with nettle soup?

Did anyone notice Emma’s birthday yesterday?

It would seem not. Even though Susan said it was a cracker.

The Diary of a Pretentious Modern Day Couple, Chapter 2

Everyone, apart from Matt, has agreed to meet up again to talk about Leonie and James’ fabulous (!) book idea.

I reckon Matt couldn’t be there as he just couldn’t be bothered with such nonsense.

But here, we go regardless – Chapter 2 …

[James] “That’s why she (Leonie) was so cut up yesterday when none of you seemed to get how brilliant it’s going to be”

Seems their great idea is to visit and write up village events, festivities and comings/goings – fetes, jamborees and the like.

(has Ambridge ever had a jamboree?)

They’ll interview “local characters”.

But the key to the project is photography. “wonderful photographs”.

Which means getting a really good, professional camera … see where this is going? Right enough:

[James] “So, we need some sort of investment up front … and that means you can have some sort of, limited, input”
Of course, Lilian thinks it all “sounds wonderful”. Well, she would. It’s James. She can see no sense when it comes to her boy.

But Lynda says that she thinks she’s seen a similar book:

[James] “Oh well. There’s always going to be some amateur local stuff”

He reckons his and Leonie’s book will be “high end” (hmmm – back to need lots of investment then)

[Lilian] “You never know, it might put up house prices”

(oh come on, Lilian!)

[Robert] “Can you actually take photographs of people’s property and put them in a book?”

He also asks them how they’re going to pay contributors.

Leonie just dismisses such talk as “detail”.

Lilian says she’ll make a “modest” investment, “down the line”. But reassures James, on demand, that it won’t be that “modest” and not that far “down the line”.

Hmmm. Don’t think Matt will let anything other than modest, and down the line, happen anytime soon.

Also noticeable that Robert and Lynda didn’t commit to anything.

The worst news is that James and Leonie will be back very soon – for the August bank holiday Open Gardens Sunday.

Oh, the joys.

Products a go-go at Bridge Farm

Susan and Pat have finished the first batch of products to leave the dairy since E. coli was found.

Which is great news.

But, journalists are still harassing Pat again. Looks like they want her to explain exactly where the E. coli came from.

This is far from being today’s chip paper …

What’s Leonie doing to make her neighbours bang?

Back to talking about Leonie moving into James’ flat – Leonie mentioned she’d be glad to get away from her current neighbours. They seem to be always banging on her wall.

What on earth is the woman doing?

No matter, I suppose. At least she can now express herself through her book, and redoing James’ flat in “earth colours”

What’s wrong with nettle soup?

Lilian, Robert and Lynda thought Joe was spinning Leonie a line on Sunday:

[Leonie] “His mother used to cook nettle soup on a Sunday, as a treat”

Can I ask what’s wrong with nettle soup?

Wild foraging/food for free is quite in vogue these days.

My partner does a cracking nettle soup.

O, does that just make me/us rural quaint?

The Archers Sunday 7th August 2011: The Snells’ Garden Party

  • 25 years in Ambridge
  • Tom really is a heartless prat
  • James and Leonie seem to be laughing at Ambridge
  • And the surprise music is …
  • James and Leonie’s surprise is …
  • The Diary of a Pretentious Modern Day Couple
  • So the party went well

25 years in Ambridge

[Lynda] “When I looked out the window this morning and saw the heat haze rising off the river …”

It’s a perfect day for the Snells’ 25th year in Ambridge. And for their garden party.

Tom really is a heartless prat

Tom on Clarrie resigning:

[Tom] “Pity she didn’t do it a week ago … this is isn't about feelings mum”

[Pat] “Nor is it just a PR exercise!”

Pat reckons Clarrie was brave to resign – Tom just reckons it’s good news.

So he now wants to put it all behind him, and crack on with getting more stock back into customers, and rebuilding their reputation.

He didn’t spare one thought for Clarrie (or the rest of her clan).


James and Leonie seem to be laughing at Ambridge

Leonie, on Lynda and Robert’s party:

[Leonie] “That’s so sweet, like a really quaint rural custom … guests brining food and stuff”
James then drags Leonie off to have a chat with Joe – as he reckons the “Grundys are good value”.

And they both openly laugh.


Nasty little pair.

And the surprise music is …


Steady on!

James and Leonie’s surprise is …

That they are moving in together.

[Lynda] “Well, um, is that it?”

Actually, not quite:

[James] “We really want to cement our relationships … by writing a book”

Oh, how wonderful (!) …

The Diary of a Pretentious Modern Day Couple

Seems James and Leonie mistaken family and friend politeness about their blog as a “fantastic response”.

[Leonie] “Out styles seem to complement each other”

Bloomin ‘eck! Can you imagine a blogger thinking they have a book in them?

Perish the thought …

But there’s more.

They don’t just want a book – they want to create a whole product line. Spin off products to include things like “crockery and tea things”. All of which should appeal to folks with money to spend.

(are there any of those left?).

[James] “Produce something along the lines of a Country Diary of an Edwardian lady”

Good God no!

How very dare they. I hardly think they have the class and artistic emotions to even tough such a classic. Matt concurs:

[Matt] “And pigs might do the proverbial”

Leonie continues:

[Leonie] “A little bit of heaven, a Year in an English Village”

[Lynda] “Isn’t it terribly hard to get a book published these days?”

Yes it is Lynda (I used to work in publishing – we’d have a stack of hundreds we hadn’t read, let alone rejected … many of which eventually were once we got round to reading them).

But it would seem a “mate in publishing” has given them the “thumbs up”. Probably did so just to get them to desist their wittering.

Leonie eventually twigs that neither Robert nor Lynda nor Lilian seem very excited about their book. She gets very upset. She thinks they should be jumping with joy - especially as it’s going to be about Ambridge.

Oh hang on.

Leonie mentioned “ A Year in”.

Does that mean we could end up with james and Leonie on the secret microphones for a whole, solid year?


So the party went well

Despite Leonie stropping off like a child:

[Lynda] “I think no-one noticed she was looking sulky”

The Snells seem very pleased with their special day.

[Lynda] “I’ll never forget today Robert, surrounded by all our friends and music … Ambridge has been the right place for us, hasn’t it”

They have a laugh over Neil’s pigs breaking into their garden on their first day – and Eddie charging them £10 to remove them (Robert mentioned it to Eddie – he seem scared that Robert wanted his money back – well, he would do, especially now).

[Robert] “Best move we ever made, wasn’t it”

I’d have though so Robert. I certainly have enjoyed The Snells for all these years.