Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Two drunk old(er) blokes in a bathroom 31.01.12

The Archers Tuesday 31st January 2012

  • Bill goes for Hassle
  • Bert and Joe have a night in
  • David talks to Oliver than Ruth
  • Neil and Susan have a night in

Bill goes for Hassle

Bill has something to do with Hassett Lamb – and he’s seemingly given the go ahead for Pip’s celebrity lamb.

They’re also going to give her some money to get it up and running.

Well done Pip.

Still not convinced giving lamb a personality will help it sell.

Isn’t it more a case of lamb being too cute to market?

Bert and Joe have a night in

(Bert Horrbin, rather than Bert Fry that is)

They bump into each other at The Bull and Joe suggests that as Bert is home alone for the night, he might as well come over and they share some of his cider.

Bert does readily concur.

They get a bit merry.

So, of course, decide to help Neil out with the tiling …

… when they finish, all seems well.

Just a small bit of grout oozing through.

Only one cracked tile. That they managed to stick back together and get it onto the wall.

And most of the border tiles are on the right way round.

[Joe] “Near enough!”

[Bert] “Ah. Job done, as the young ‘uns say”

Neil will be pleased …

David talks to Oliver than Ruth

David calls Oliver. He says he needs a word with him, and it’s something he can’t discuss with Ruth.

Oh dear.

Neil and Susan have a night in

We eavesdrop in just as Neil and Susan are finishing their bottle.

We don’t hear much about the promised chilli (and Tracey’s kids are there asleep, so no swinging off of chandeliers!), but Susan has a surprise for Neil.

After telling Neil how lucky she is to have met him (comparing her lot to Tracey – who, though had everything she wanted when she was a child, has struggled to find her place in the “real world”, including a decent man), she takes him upstairs to show him something …

… the doll house.

Though Susan has cleaned it up, Neil still reckons Emma won’t let Keira play with it. It’s still not in a good enough “state”.

A door is off of its hinges. The lino is coming up. It’s a sad wee sight.

Though Neil has plenty on at the moment, he offers to work on it – especially as they both agree Susan isn’t good at “fiddly” (*snort*).

[Neil] “It’ll be a nice little project, once I’ve finished at your dads … the end is in sight”

Ah – spoke too early there Neil.

The Green Burial site open day 30.01.12

The Archers Monday 30th January 2012

  • Mike’s loyal to his team
  • Sabrina is on the display team
  • Handsome Herdsman will sell the Super Dairy
  • The Grundys’ latest caper
  • The Orchard saga continues
  • Joe won’t be bought

Mike’s loyal to his team

He’s demanding “extra-large goody bags” for Harry and Jazzer in return for them handing out Ambridge Organics leaflets on their rounds.

Good man.

Sabrina is on the display team

Of the Village Shop.

Imagine … all the local husbands must pack the pavement out when she’s in the window.

Handsome Herdsman will sell the Super Dairy

Brian’s PR agency (led by that chap Rufus) have done a leaflet for the Super Dairy that Brian is exceedingly proud of. It includes an artists’ impression of the cows’ accommodation, which makes it look quite luxurious (according to Jennifer).

But there’s a twist.

[Jennifer] “AND a very handsome cow man looking after them. He’s rather a dish … can you make sure you get someone just like him when you recruit please?!?”

[Brian] “Jenny, you’re not meant to be ogling the herdsmen”

But Jennifer has spotted something that may attract ladies like Sabrina and Hilary Noakes to Brian’s side.

[Brian, on Holiday Noakes] “What? Brad Pitt couldn’t get her to pipe down!”

The Grundys’ latest caper


Eddie’s at the Green Burial open day.

Which is fair do, as he will be the gravedigger (does one need qualifications for doing that?). But, he is in a suit.


All becomes a bit clearer when Joe also arrives. He (a) hasn’t been invited (it’s an invitation only, don’t you know) and (b) he’s with Bartleby. Who seems to be wearing a “red Indian headdress”.

[Jim] “What have you done? Why has Bartleby got badly dyed pheasant feathers on his head?”

Joe’s joined the Ambridge craze for leaflets (not very green of anyone …) and hands Jim one.

[Jim] “You claim here you’re offering a bespoke transportation service for your loved ones … the ecologically friendly way of ensuring the departed arrives at their final resting place in the style that they wish!”

Though Joe is chuffed with himself – he even made the leaflet at Ed’s, and is now in awe of the spellcheck – Jim is far from amused.

[Jim] “It is not the occasion for heartless commercial activity!”

And makes Joe go away.

The rest of the open day seemed to go well enough.

[Brian] “Tragically enough, they didn’t have many takes for the compost toilet”

Funny that!

And as Kenton put it, after he’d heard it from one of the undertakers:

[Kenton] “All they need now is a body!”

The Orchard saga continues

To recap: the Community Orchard is on Oliver’s land. Jim has organised the cider club to help grow and pick the apples, to be made into cider using the Grundys’ equipment. So that everyone gets a fair share of the cider, Jim has been working on a system that will record who puts in what hours.

Though Jim thought he’d sorted it, Mike’s not happy that Jim has been rounding times up and down to the half hour. It could mean that he could miss out on “gallons” of cider.

Jim explains that it’s been impossible trying to get everyone to complete their timesheets, but Mike isn’t hearing him. He just wants what’s fair.

[Mike] “What you need here is a bit of discipline, Jim”

Oh give Jim a break! At least he’s trying.

Joe won’t be bought

Not one to give up easily, Joe crashed the Green Burial site post-open day at The Bull.

When Kenton won’t serve him a pint on the Green Burial site tab, he gets offended.

Well, until Brian steps him to buy Joe a pint of Shires … that somehow (miraculously) turns into a large whisky, on Joe’s say so.

Joe’s worked Brian out, though, and tells Brian that he can’t be bought.

[Joe] “I’m me own man!”

And so he is.

Joe then starts giving out his leaflets again (while wheezing and coughing as he had to climb the stairs up to the Bull’s function room):

[Joe] “You wouldn’t throw an old man out, would you?”

Susan and Neil plan a quiet night in 29.01.12

The Archers Sunday 29th January 2012

  • Tracey’s patches and cracked balls
  • Brian’s avoiding Adam
  • Rush on at Bridge Farm
  • Saucy over chilli
  • Jennifer begs Brian
  • Brian can’t even leave the dead in peace

Tracey’s patches and cracked balls

Neil’s not entirely impressed with Tracey’s decorating. Her painting is a bit patchy, which she claims was due to her going off to talk on her phone to a mate. She forgot where she’d been painting.

Neil is also a bit confused about the cracked balls Tracey is planning to have on the end of the poles her voile curtains.

(did Tracey says ‘voile’? sounded a bit more like ‘voliad’)

Tracey reckons the balls are fashionable, not just broken.

And she’s also roped Neil into fitting it for her. Even though he has a day job.

She later on tries to be his “lovely assistant” while he’s working on the bathroom, but only manages to annoy him and spill stuff. She really is quite an irritating woman.

[Tracey] “Grouting? Who thought that word up … sounds horrible, like something your pigs would do!”

[Neil] “I wish you’d stop going on about pigs”

[Tracey] “You’re so in love with them. Susan always said you were, but I never realised you had it this bad”

Brian’s avoiding Adam

And seems happy enough to do so, despite it tearing apart Jennifer. He doesn’t even want to sit down to lunch if Adam is there.

[Brian] “It would have been ghastly, each of us asking you to pass the salt”

He’s really digging his heels in.

[Brian] “Adam may have got Debbie to feel sorry for him, I don’t”

Rush on at Bridge Farm

Pat even has Susan in. On a Sunday!

They’re all working overtime to get everything ready for the launch on Thursday.

Tom’s getting posters and flyers out and about.

(really? Would have thought Brenda would have got him sorted with those weeks ago)

But Tony isn’t impressed. He reckons the family is missing the point – that the farm won’t manage to take care of itself. And without the farm, they’ll have little to sell under their lovely new brand.

But no one seems to be listening to him.

Poor man even has to try and hunt his lunch down by himself. Not that anyone else should have to get it for him – he does just seem to be the only one doing any of the hard graft.

Saucy over chilli

With Neil working all hours (between his real work and doing Bert’s house), Susan feels like she has barely seen him over the last while.

So she demands some of his time. Tuesday night. When Tracey is off out.

Actually, and quite disturbingly, Susan sounds like she’s suggesting some of an adult nature.

[Susan] “I’ll cook you a chilli”

[Neil] “Will you?”

[Susan] “Yeah”

[Neil, sounding like Homer Simpson] “Chilli …”

[Susan, sounding seductive … I kid you not] “Nice and hot. So, is it a date then?”


Nice that Susan appreciates her man. But disturbing, none-the-less.

Jennifer begs Brian

After failing to get Brian to eat lunch with Adam, Jennifer is now trying to get Brian to accompany her to the Ambridge Organic brand launch.

[Jennifer] “We’ve got to keep the channels of communication open … I want to go with you? You can’t go on alienating everyone in the family!”

But, after what sounded like a very cold and angry stare from Brian, Jennifer dropped it.

Brian the Bully?


Brian can’t even leave the dead in peace

Brian was really on a roll today. He seemed determined to scoff at every plan Jennifer has made.
She was talking about going to the Green Burial site open day tomorrow. Brian takes the Michael.

But, Brian finds an interest in going when Jennifer mentions that the press will be there.

As Jennifer pointed out, Home Farm gifted the land for the Green Burial site. She thinks that it would be good for Brian to be thanked in public. He does indeed concur (though farm more about getting any positive press, than his claims for “giving something back” and “corporate social responsibility”).

[Jennifer] “Brian, you musn't go and hijack the whole thing!”

[Brian] “Of course I won’t. Jenny, I’m going to do a bit of networking, that’s all”


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Blood is stronger for Debbie and Adam 27.01.12

The Archers Friday 27th January 2012

  • Adam’s shaken
  • Itineraries and Excel spreadsheets
  • Debbie and Adam fall out. Then fall in again

Adam’s shaken

After being ranted at by Brian.

And he has the added guilt of Jennifer being caught between them. Though at least doesn’t think it’s his fault.

[Adam] “We’ve had some set to in the past, but this … he was incredibly hostile … heavens knows we’ve been poles apart on this, the debate has been about our farming philosophes, this was personal”

So Adam is also now thinking that he and Brian can’t work together.

(how would that work? Would Adam have to leave Home Farm with nothing?)

[Ian] “He was angry. You’ll find a way through this, you’ll have to. For you mother’s sake if nothing else”

Jennifer later calls round to see Ian, as she’s very worried about Adam. She and Ian have a bit of a love-in (not literally, obviously) about how good a partner Ian is to Adam.

Ah well. At least part of the family is making nice.

Itineraries and Excel spreadsheets

Jim and Joe certainly have interesting (!) conversations.

Jim’s been researching local single cider varieties for possible trees to start growing in the community orchard. Jim thinks it’s been dull having to work his way through the internet. Joe reckons he should be tasting them first.

[Joe] “Have an itinerary”

[Jim] “Or pub crawl, as it’s more commonly known”

Jim then tells Joe he’s finding it impossible to work out the equivalents for folks working on the community orchard, and getting their fair share of cider made from it.

[Joe] “You don’t need no fancy spreadsheets to tell you some folks is taking advantage … we ain't dishing out our cider on them figures, I can tell you that now”

So Joe offers to sort them out.


Dodgy dealings afoot?

Debbie and Adam fall out. The fall in again

On Ian’s advice, Adam calls Debbie to make sure she knows his side of the story.

Surprisingly, she hadn’t even heard about the radio of the newspaper article (that’s not like Brian not to get on the phone to her immediately).

Debbie calls Adam stupid.

Seems he did speak to the Echo as well. Some old school pal is a journalist there, and had called Adam just to clarify. Off the record. To get it straight.

Aye right! I agree with Debbie – Adam has been stupid (or, as Ian thinks, is trying to get his voice heard without even realising what he’s doing).

[Debbie] “You know how controversial these big dairies are, throw in a nice juicy family fall out, grrr, Adam, what have you done?”

BUT, Debbie calls back later on to apologise for being “a bit hard” on him.

She still thinks Adam has been an idiot, but can also see that he’s in an impossible situation.

[Debbie] “I know you’d never deliberately set out to hurt the family”

So, that’s Debbie and Adam sorted.

But will Brian ever forgive?

Brian shouts at Adam 26.01.12

The Archers Thursday 26th January 2012

  • Tom’s sausages make Tony furious
  • Open heart surgery in the dairy
  • Brian did want a higher profile …
  • Brian has a word with Adam

Tom’s sausages make Tony furious

Tom is still away.

So when Kenton called to get yet more sausages (Farmhouse Breakfast Week must be massive at Jaxx!), it was Tony who had to take them over.

As if he didn’t have enough to do …

When Tom does get back, it seems his pork ready meals are a goer.

Infact, he’s off to see an “upmarket café” in Felpersham for his launch.

Which means he can’t do the milking.


If I was him, I’d start charging Tom for my time!

Open heart surgery in the dairy

Is what Pat reckons the inspectors could do. If the fancy took them. It’s that clean.

And her faith in her and Clarrie’s cleaning proves to be right – they got a 5 star rating.

Pat’s world is truly on the up,

Brian did want a higher profile …

Jennifer was agreeing with Brian that he does need to be seen around the village, talking to folks, dispelling myths about the Super Dairy (and the like), when Brian opened the Echo.

He’s not a happy bunny.

Seems there’s yet another article about the Super Dairy. Not remotely positive, 2 whole columns AND a picture of Adam.

[Brian] “Read it yourself Jenny. Read it and weep!” 

Brian has a word with Adam

[Brian] “Adam, can I have a word? You could have kept your mouth shut …”

Seems the newspaper article went along the lines of:

Mega Dairy causes Mega row – Home not so sweet at Home farm. Family feud, father and son at loggerheads

And Adam was quoted as saying:

I think this is completely the wrong direction to take and I’ve told my father so

Adam claims he didn’t say that. They must have added to the radio interview.

[Brian] “How could you be so stupid!”

And there’s more – someone (not names) from Brian’s “extended family” said:

We’re all against it, Brian’s on his own with this one

Course – Brian has already guessed it’s Tony or Pat. He reckons probably Pat, for sure.

Back onto shouting at Adam:

[Brian] “You should never have said anything at all. How could you be so naive!”

[Adam, sounding truly apologetic] “I’m sorry … I never meant for this to happen …”

[Brian] “Why couldn’t you just keep your stupid opinions to yourself?”

[Adam, now angry] “Because they’re not stupid, and I’m not the only one who thinks like this! … People who are very knowledgeable about farming don’t like your plans, and you’re going to have to deal with it!”

[Brian] “I can and I will … you’re the only one on the Home farm team who does, I can deal with outside opposition, but being stabbed in the back by a member of my own family, that’s a different matter altogether”


Later on, to Jennifer:

[Brian] “All it proves he’s a dangerously loose cannon … he’s entitled to his opinion, but if that opinion is so important to him he’s going to express it without thinking through the consequences for his family and this farm, well, quite frankly, I don’t know where that leaves us … I don’t know how we can go on working together … he keeps undermining every single thing I do … it's impossible, and please don’t tell me I don’t mean that. I can’t cope with you defending Adam to me Jenny, not at the moment. Can we just not talk it, please”

Husband or son?

The badgers are to be vaccinated 25.01.12

The Archers Wednesday 25th January 2011

  • Jolene’s being tactful
  • To kill or cure the badgers?
  • Jolene jealous of Jaxx?
  • Jim doesn’t see Harry’s sex appeal
  • Even 5 pints doesn’t buy Brian friends

Jolene’s being tactful

[Jolene] “What’s said in the pub, stays in the pub”

She’s saying that to Brian who, after hearing from Jennifer that folks think he’s hiding, has made a point of coming in for a pint.

He’s asking Jolene what folks have been saying about the Super Dairy, but Jolene has her landlady code.

To kill or cure the badgers?

The NFU, chaired by David, arte having their meeting at The Bull upstairs to discuss badgers.

Mike already sets his stall out.

He doesn’t want to vaccinate. He reckons he had to get out of dairying because of badgers.

Oliver, on the other hand, has been to see another area who has been vaccinating. Seems that it has been a success – fourfold reduction in badgers testing positive.

To vaccinate – they need to put down traps, which are hidden from sight, numbered and recorded, unlocked and left with peanuts in. When the badger is in there, it gets vaccinated, stock marked, recorded and released. Which comes at a £7,911 year cost annualised, per hectare £51 to £38 pounds, and £62 per field per hour.

Even after hearing the numbers – and it’d be them, the farmers, having to get up early to check the traps – they all vote to start vaccinating.


Oliver must have been very persuasive.

Though Mike still isn’t convinced.

And David is saying nothing. Seems he can’t, as NFU Chair … he must have drawn blood biting his lip!

So next step is to get a dozen landowners to share the cost (good luck, Brian reckons), and Ed will go on a course.

The badgers will be happy.

Jolene jealous of Jaxx?

It’s only the first time Jaxx has done Farmhouse Breakfast Week – and they’re doing a storm!

Although someone else a few days ago said The Bull was also busy with Farmhouse Breakfasts, sounds like Jolene thinks Jaxx is doing better.


Trouble for the young lovers?

Jim doesn’t see Harry’s sex appeal

Jim is still on the hunt for Promises for the Britain in Bloom fundraising.

He’s a bit annoyed that he’s getting non-specific Promises from folks.

Like Harry.

Seems he’s said he’ll do four hours of gardening. Jim doesn’t feel that’s detailed enough.

[Jim] “He’s a nice enough young chap, but it’s not as if he had anything special to offer”

[Jolene] “Well, I wouldn’t say that”

[Harry] “Has he hidden talents that I don’t know about?”

[Jolene] “He wouldn’t appeal to you, but I think he’ll attract a lot of bidders. Kirsty is already saving …”

[Jim] “Kirsty? But she’s in the wildlife trust, she can’t possibly need any help in her garden”

As, bless Jim. He may be The Prof, but he doesn’t spot a woman in heat!

Wonder if Kirsty is buying Harry for Fallon?

Hard to tell. Though we have heard from Fallon over Christmas time, Kirsty has been quiet of late, and Harry hasn’t been heard of since he bagged Zofia (though Zofia went back home ages ago).

Even 5 pints doesn’t buy Brian friends

Brian was at part of the badger meeting, but left before the end to get the pints in for ‘the lads’. Well, he’d only stumbled over the meeting anyway. And didn’t exactly find it riveting:

[Brian] “It livened up when someone suggested should just be able to shoot!”

Though Brian was in to show face and canvass ‘neutral’, he ends up with a Jim Vs Brian round 2 while the meeting was finishing:

[Jim] “I’m surprised you’re even taking an interest. Those cows in your dairy won’t even get to see the light of day, let alone a badger … the highest standards of an internment camp … prisoners are well fed, but they can still go mad when they’re locked up 24 hours a day.”

[Brian] “This is illogical. We’re not cows!”

[Jim] “Indeed we’re not. We have the gift of intelligence … what you’re proposing is philosophically untenable, the end justifies the means have never been the logical argument”

When David, Ed and Oliver come down from the meeting, they leave Brian to go and talk badger.
Brian starts talking to Mike – who seems to be in favour of the Super Dairy.

But then Mike does off to play darts with Darrell.

Leaving Brian alone.

[Brian] “They took their drinks and ran. I seem to be having that effect on people this evening … art least I can tell Jenny I tried. One for, one against”

Maybe if Brian was a bit more subtle, and less of a bore droning on about the Super Dairy, maybe folks would stop to talk to him.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Thoughts still of Alan Titchmarsh 24.01.12

The Archers Tuesday 24th January 2012

  • Susan has no empathy
  • Keira cries when she sees Emma
  • They stole 200 metres of cable (blah blah blah)
  • Tracey has Neil wrapped
  • When Titchmarsh praised Clarrie
  • The Cider Club isn’t working
  • Susan has no tact

Susan has no empathy

I know we know that (at times – she can also be quite sweet).

But did she really need to go on at Clarrie about how busy they are in the dairy?

Poor Clarrie lost her job. And hasn’t yet found another. And her job seekers allowance stops in March.

[Susan] “They’re not pressuring you, are they? They do hear stories”

Clarrie reckons no so. Her adviser is “nice”, and she might even retake her food and hygiene certificate – and also a catering certificate. Which she can do online.


I didn’t think Clarrie was the online type of gal.

Keira cries when she sees Emma

Seems no one believes Clarrie when she says that Keira isn’t a grumbling, moaning wee Minnie when she’s looking after her.

[Clarrie] “She’ll be good as gold all day with me, then the minute she sees her mum she starts crying”

[Susan] “Temper … makes her mum realise she left her and she’s cross”

Is Keira just bad tempered?

Or can Keira just not stand her mum?

She would be the first to react that way to Emma.

They stole 200 metres of cable (blah blah blah)

I really can’t write again about the thieves. Who took all that cable. And in broad daylight, pretending they were workmen. And that it was shocking, And that Jim was a star. Blah, blah, blah indeed. I’ll leave it to Jim.

[Jim] “To be fair, That wasn’t a problem with the technology, human nature doesn’t change so quickly”

Tracey has Neil wrapped

Neil is in such a desperation to get Tracey and her brood out of his and Susan’s house that Tracey can get him to do anything she pleases.

And it pleases her to get him rushing over to her. She’s got a painting disaster.

The paint she’s putting onto her room is turning out muddy, not lilac.

Neil tells her the original paint was too dark for her to paint onto to. That she should have out an undercoat on.

He even offers her a tin of white emulsion paint, rather than her having to buy it.

Which Tracey gratefully accepts.

Then it pleases her that Neil has to go there and then to fetch it.

Which he does, albeit grudgingly.

Then (!), when Neil gets back, Tracey claims he must show her how to put the paint on. So that she doesn’t get it wrong again.

Which he does.

That man is never going to get peace ever again, whether she lives with him or not.

When Titchmarsh praised Clarrie

Jim’s looking for Promises to sell off for the Britain in Bloom fundraising efforts.

Susan reckons Clarrie’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Flowering Plants would be perfect.

[Susan] “When Alan Titchmarsh came to the village, he particularly praised Clarrie's lilies”

[Jim] “Good heavens! We’d be honoured then!”

Ah, that’s nice.

It’ll be good for Clarrie to get something positive in her life.

The Cider Club isn’t working

Quite literally.

The deal was that the cider club would help out at the Community orchard, in return for a share of the cider Eddie and Joe would then make.

Jim’s been trying to work out how much cider everyone is due – but seems the cider club hasn’t been doing much at all. It’s mainly just been Jim rushing about.

[Susan] “Sounds like Joe and Eddie owe you a couple of flagons already”

Susan has no tact

Which is a surprise, when she displays utter tactlessness to Jennifer. She wants to be ‘close; to the Aldridges, but I suppose she can’t help her nature.

First she tells Jennifer that the shop got ever such good publicity from the radio reports about the Super Dairy. Susan had made sure the radio chaps name checked.


[Susan] “But they interviewed Adam, didn’t he tell you?”

[Jennifer, trying to change the subject] “He didn’t think he use his bit …”

[Susan, not noticing, or caring?] “They were bound to. Someone from Home Farm against the dairy … still, it’s a tricky time for you, so many people against it”

[Jennifer] “And so many people for it … that’s your impression for you, that there are more people against than for it?”

[Susan] “ … I wouldn’t like to say …”

(aye, right then)

Susan then mentions what they’re saying at The Bull. Especially that Brian is too scared to show his face.

Jennifer is horrified at the thought that people think Brian is staying away. Far more horrified that he’s seen to be scared and hiding, than at people possibly hating him for his plans …

Ah, Brian and Jennifer. The perfect match.

Brian Vs Pat 23.01.12

The Archers Monday 23rd January 2012

  • Ian’s too deep for David
  • Brian just wanted his shopping
  • Rufus is fast at websites
  • Brian wants Adam to shut up
  • Pip’s Celebrity Lamb gets the go ahead

Ian’s too deep for David

They’re chatting about Adam being on the radio, damning the Super Dairy.

Ian reckons Adam reckoned that he didn’t say much, he didn’t realise that may folks listened to local radio and that he wouldn’t be recognised.

But Ian also reckons that Adam subconsciously knew all of that. He just wanted Brian to actually hear him.

That’s what David found too deep.

Later on, David's talking to Adam.

Adam seems fairly unrepentant. He felt it needed saying.

[Adam] “Brian’s framed this debate in such a way, my quite legitimate objections keep being read as disloyalty to the family, and they’re not”

David reckons he sympathises with both sides.


But that Ruth is well and truly on Adam’s side.

(sorry – just to go back to what David said. He has sympathy for Brian’s plans? What what what?)

[David] “You can be sure of her support. She loves her cows …It’s very difficult when your head says one thing and your heart says another”


Is David starting to think that his only option is to get out of dairy?

Brian just wanted his shopping

Brian had a shopping list from Jennifer, so he need to go into Ambridge Organics. He met Pat at the door, and wished her well for the new brand launch.

But that’s where the niceties stopped.

[Pat] “Our little enterprise must seem old fashioned and small scale in the light of all your new plans”

[Brian] “There’s a place for everyone in farming Pat”

[Pat] “Do you think so? isn’t this mega diary rather going to give a lie to that? It’s going to put all other dairy farmers at risk”

[Brian] “Not at all. There’ll be plenty of room for the kind of niche farming you do”

[Pat] “Niche farming? Is that what I’m doing? I’d prefer to call it proper farming!”

[Brian] “*Huff*, well that’s debateable”

[Pat] “Not to me. I’d rather run a niche farm than a factory!”

[Brian] “What we are planning is not factory farming, that’s grossly inaccurate!”

Though Pat did wangle out of Brian that while the Super Dairy will have ‘only’ 1,500 cows at first, they’ll increase that as soon as they get the chance. But:

[Brian] “We’re not going to be keeping them like battery hens, if that’s what you’re suggesting”

[Pat] “Cows are herd animals who chew the cud, they should be outside with other cows eating grass”

[Brian] “Come on Pat, this is 2012, not 1912!”

[Pat] “The cows haven’t changed”

[Brian] “Well everything else has!”

[Pat] “No it hasn’t”

[Brian] “Okay I agree, there is one thing that hasn’t, farming is a business and it always was, businesses have to change to survive, what else is your rebranding is about”

[Pat] “It’s hardly equivalent, but that doesn’t matter does it, as long as you can feel you’ve scored a cheap point .. we’re all entitles to our opinions, but you seem to think yours is the only one that counts, you can just railroad this through without any meaningful consultation with the local community at all”

Pat goes on to say that they all only found out about the Super Dairy because the Echo broke the story. Brian reckons he was about to do a consultation anyway. Pat reckons that’s nonsense. He’d have only done a consultation when it was too late. Pat goes on to say that the Echo has done a superb job in bringing the Super Dairy to everyone’s attention.

[Brian] “Oh, you’re praising the Echo now, are you … I seem to remember you felt rather differently about our local press in the summer … you’re not so keen on the Echo’s investigative journalism When they’re investigating you!”

[Pat] “Maybe I’m not, what possible relevance does that have to what we’re talking about. If you can’t debate your case without restoring to smear tactics …”


I reckon Pat won that round.

But would seem Brian still went ahead and shopped at Ambridge Organics. Jennifer late thanked him for getting everything she wanted.

Rufus is fast at websites

He’s already got BL’s Super Dairy one up and running (though Brian did say “at last!”. He really does expect miracles!)

[Jennifer] “Makes the new housing sound like a five start hotel !”

But Jennifer is less impressed to hear about Brian’s run in with Pat,

[Jennifer] “On Brian, we’d agreed, we were trying to build bridges between Pat and Tony!”

But Brian wins Jennifer round (as per) with talk of how Pat is difficult, illogical, dogmatic. Jennifer can only concur.

He reckons it’s a complete waste of time trying to win round people like Pat. They need to go for “neutrals”.

Brian wants Adam to shut up

Though Jennifer claims Adam was not trying to cause trouble for him.

It sounds like neither Jennifer nor Brian actually heard Adam on the radio – just third hand.

And Brian seems to be taking it okay. He just seems more irritated than furious.

So, if Adam could kindly put a sock in it, Brian will be happy enough.

Pip’s Celebrity Lamb gets the go ahead

Pip was presenting to Hassett Hill today.

While they didn’t like the name of her Celebrity lamb – Hassle (!) – they loved the rest of her ideas.
So, can we expect Pip’s live to go viral soon? Or, will it just be like Tom’s pigs playing footie … no-where to be seen …

Enthused by the enthusiasm of Hassett Hill, Pip now also wants to do lamb recipes (in addition to the Hassett Hill lamb mint burgers).

Now Pip wants to do another lamb receipt (as well as the Hassett Hill mint burgers),

(doesn’t she sound just like Tom Archer … god help us all!)

BUT David reckons developing a new product takes money. Which Pip doesn’t want to hear, considering the amount they’re just about to spend on a slurry tank for the dairy side of the business.

[Pip] “£22,000 just to stay in the same place. Ugh, it just doesn’t make sense!”

From what David was saying earlier on, he’s starting to think the same.

Mind you – maybe he’ll change his mind when he talks to Ruth.

I think she’d choose her cows over David any day.

Neil’s skip runneth over 22.01.12

The Archers Sunday 22nd January 2012

  • Pat’s placards
  • Mind the hunks of cheese get put out
  • Tony still doing Tom’s work
  • Who filled Neil’s skip?
  • Another gloryhole!
  • Susan’s prince is a pigman digging a trench
  • Susan can cope

Pat’s placards

Pat was saying today that she was just nervous, and doubtful, about doing the speech at the Ambridge Organics brand launch.

She’s also preoccupied by the forthcoming HEF inspection (for obvious reasons).

But – our Pat is most definitely back.

She’s having a right good go about the Super Dairy.

[Pat] “It’s got to be stopped!”

[Tom] “Dusting off your placards mum?”

[Helen] “Stocking up on spray paint?”

[Pat] “Someone’s got to do something about it!”

[Tony] “Yes love, but not this week, eh?”

(that would be all Tony needs – Tom away, Helen with a baby, Pat off on a march …)

Mind the hunks of cheese get put out

Or else the launch of the Ambridge Organics brand won’t mean much to anyone!

Tony still doing Tom’s work

Tom’s away next week for three whole days. Which means Tony has the joy of doing his work. Again.

Tony’s infuriated to also hear that Jazzer will get a bonus if he manages to do his work.

Jazzer gets a reward for just doing what he’s supposed to do. Tony gets extra work for nothing (not even a thanks).

Poor Tony can’t even hear that Brenda had a great time on her snowboard lesson without thinking it’ll mean he has to burden the load yet again if she and Tom head off on holiday.

And to top it all – Tom can’t even do his milking shift this afternoon. Kenton needs more bacon and sausages, due to overwhelming demand for Jaxx’z farmhouse Breakfast Week.

I tell you – heart attack or family split is ahead.

Who filled Neil’s skip?

The skip that Neil has set in the front garden of Bert and Gary’s (and soon to be Tracey’s plus brood) is full. Neil has even begun to start filling it with his stuff.

[Neil] “You don’t think the neighbours have been putting stuff in?”

It could have been a mystery to keep us all occupied for months – but it was Tracey. She’s been going through the house finding ‘rubbish’ to dump.

[Neil] “MY skip. You can’t just fill it up with rubbish!”

[Tracey] “Why? What were you planning to do with it?”

Fair point indeed.

But Tracey could have asked.

Another gloryhole!

Does anyone in Ambridge know what that term is now common parlance for?

I hope not.

Otherwise, they’re really taking the Michael out of us eavesdroppers.

Tracey was complaining that the family has been using her and Susan’s old room as a “gloryhole”.

Good lord – I hope not!

Susan’s prince is a pigman digging a trench

Jackie and Bunty

Ah – remember those?

Susan and Tracey are going through their old room. They’re merrily binning old copies of Bunty:

[Tracey] “The Four Marys … what a bunch of losers!”(oh – bit harsh!)

But they both seem to melt when they find copies of Jackie. Susan, because she loved reading them so much – Tracey, because they might be worth some money. (Susan reckons not, they’re tattered after being read so much)

Tracey also finds what sound like a massive collection of Valentine’s cards.

[Susan] “Keep ‘em, you flaunted them!”

[Tracey] “All these nice lads, and I had to choose Den”

[Susan] “I didn’t think anyone was going to choose me … I thought I was going to sit in me bedroom, reading all of these stories about romance and never have one of me own. I wrote to Kathy and Claire about it once … ‘don’t give up Susy, one day your prince will come’ …”

[Tracey] “Oh. Well he did!”

[Susan] “Huh, that’s not what you said about him at the time”

[Tracey] “I wasn’t to know he was a prince disguised as a pigman!”

[Susan] “Yeh, he was. Just like in the stories”

[Tracey] “Your prince came, and he’s in the garden filling in a drainage trench”

Susan can cope

Neil and Tracey were a bit shocked to see Susan carting off the family’s rather old and tatty dolls house back home.

She reckons it will be a family heirloom for Keira.

[Susan] “God heavens, if you and Tracey can renovate number 6, I'm sure I can decorate a doll’s house!”

I’m sure you can, Susan.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Brian Vs Jim 20.01.12

The Archers Friday 20th January 2012

  • Tom is beyond selfish
  • Ambridge is back online
  • Phoebe lives!
  • Brian is not really a ‘grassroots’ type of chap
  • Well done Jim
  • Glee at Bridge Farm
  • The main event: Jim Vs Brian
  • Scones do the trick

Tom is beyond selfish

We all know he’s smug. And righteous. And a bit of a bore.

But Tom is now taking being selfish to new heights.

He’s got an order from that local food supplier – Octagon. Though he claims he also took in the Ambridge Organics brand to sell to them, he somehow only came out with an order for Tom Archer’s. And a sizeable one at that.

He’s also saying all of this in front of Tony. Who, as well as having to stomach Tom after he took his part of the business and ran when the e- coli hit the fan, is also doing extra work because Tom is gallivanting round, getting sizeable orders for Tom Archer’s.

[Tony] “Can’t say I’m enjoying doing your milking as well as your own!”

But worse is yet to come for Tony. Tom’s away next week. “opening up new markets”.

[Tony] “Do you have to do so much work off the farm … to be honest Tom. It’s really getting me down!”

But Tom isn’t listening. Or caring.

This will either end up with Tom being forced off the farm for not pulling his weight (unlikely), or Tony having a heart attack (possible?).

Ambridge is back online


Though if one more person uttered that the thieves had stolen 200 metres of cable, I might have had to switch over.

(just jesting!)

Phoebe lives!

Apart from Roy mentioning that he’d missed her over Christmas, we’ve had no evidence that she’s still alive out there in South Africa.

But Jennifer saw her on Skype when she was talking to Nolly on her birthday. Jennifer reckoned Phoebe was looking very grown up.

Brian is not really a ‘grassroots’ type of chap
Anything but.

Brian doesn’t seem to recognise that. he seems to think he has the common touch.

[Brian] “Me operating as BL’s man on the ground, listening to people’s concerns”


Well done Jim

With everything back to normal, even Bob Pullen called Jim to thank him for everything he’d done to make sure the vulnerable and older folk were okay without being able to summon for emergency help.

In celebration, Christine asks Jim to tea and scones.

The main event: Jim Vs Brian

After being given shirt thrift by Jill, Brian’s visiting Jim to try his luck.

[Brian] “BL’s always looking for good local causes that might need a bit of sponsorship”

[Jim] “Yes I’m sure they are, especially at the moment. I’m always pleased to make links with local businesses, Brian, but in this case., frankly, I think BL is a bit of a hot potato at the moment. I think we’d rather wait before linking up with you for Britain in Bloom”

[Brian] “Why?”

[Jim] “A lot of questions will be asked about the merits of this new dairy idea. Brian, it would taint the event and make it too political”

With his Britain in Bloom hat off, Jim also lets rip about what he personally thinks about the Super Dairy.

[Jim] “I think I’d take some persuading about that, It seems to go against nature … an animal which is naturally bred to be out in the air, grazing at will, must surely suffer from being packed in a shed with concrete under its hooves”

[Brian] “The animals are housed on sand!”

[Jim] “But the principle is the same isn’t it? I’m keeping an open mind, of course, but it certainly seems an unnatural method of farming to me”

Brian’s now 2-nil down.

You’d think he’d work out that folks don’t want to touch BL’s money. Especially as he’s openly saying that “any venture” will do. Hardly suggests he and BL care for anything more than a few positive column inches in the Echo.

Glee at Bridge Farm

Pat and Tony were overjoyed that Adam’s interview on Borchester Radio has been aired.

[Pat] “Susan had the radio on in the shop. She said she was gobsmacked when she heard him”

[Tony] “Good for Adam!”

[pat] “That should set the cat amongst the pigeons”

[Tony] “Well, what did they expect!”

Tony’s cup overflowed with joy later on when the Echo calls to ask him what he thinks about the Super Dairy!

[Tony] “I said most people were against it. Including members of Brian Aldridge’s own family”

Pat starts cackling at that.

Ah, payment time for when Brian and Jennifer wouldn’t help Bridge Farm.

Scones do the trick

Round at Christine’s, Jim’s a bit wound up about his argument with Brian.

[Jim] “I couldn’t believe it Christine. He was trying to steam roller me into agreeing with him”

But, he finds Christine’s scones “very restorative”.

As they turn their attention back to why they’re celebrating with scones, they feel content at the way the village rallied round when they had no phones or internet.

[Jim] “It did seem to bring out the best in people”

Christine remembers there being no water supply in the 60s. And Jim remembers the electricity winter of discontent.

But they reckoned neither were “such a catastrophe” for them and their generation, as the recent communications blackout had been recently.

[Jim] “People have actually got out and talked to people this week. Quite a novelty in itself”

Ach well.

Back indoors now (at least while it’s still winter).

Adam, the radio star 19.01.12

The Archers Thursday 19th January 2012

  • David’s accosting Police
  • The drain covers may have gone in Penny Hassett …
  • Emma’s turning into Patsy
  • “Lower Loxley, where the phone lines run free”
  • Caroline’s excitable
  • That’s fighting talk, Adam
  • Brian sooks up to Jill
  • Adam speaks up

David’s accosting Police

Demanding to know what they’re doing about these 200 metre cable thieves.

He tells Jill the Police said that they were optimistic about catching them. Although there’s an epidemic of such cable being stolen, the Police are also putting a stop to it by using snitches and making sure dealers know that they know.

Later on, he’s having a chat with Adam:

[Adam] “We’re programmed aren’t we, make coffee, sit at computer, go online check the worlds still there”

[David] “It’s a great excuse not to start in on any real work, all that online chatter”

I resent that remark! Not all of us can have outside jobs. And the internet is, for some, a key tool for their “real” work.

It’s just all those Twitterers and bloggers that don’t know what real work is like … ;)

The drain covers may have gone in Penny Hassett … 

…(stolen) … but at least, over in Ambridge, they have each other.

Though it would seem Borchestershire is experiencing a high level of rural crime, Ambridge’s home fires are keeping everyone warm and safe.

[Jill] “At least we seem to be rising to the occasion in the village”

Jim’s rota has done its job in helping to keep the more vulnerable of the village safe while they’re incommunicado.

[Jill] “He’s got a real sense of what needs to be done”

As well as Chris and Alice collecting old mobile phones, and the village shop taking a collection for sim cards, Pip and Spencer have also been round checking on folks.

[Jill] “It’s lovely that everyone’s looking after each other, isn’t it!”

Yes it is, Jill.

And that’s why we all like to visit Ambridge almost every evening.

Emma’s turning into Patsy

(the other cleaner Ruth had in while Emma was off having Keira. Patsy also cleaned for Jennifer, but put terrors into Ruth, who cleaned before her cleaner turned up!)

[David] “Emma started stomping around the place, huffing and puffing about Josh leaving stuff on the floor and how there were never any clean dusters … Ruth thought she was going to hand in her notice … she sat Emma down and asked what she’d done to upset her … Emma was just miffed because Will and Nic are changing the name of the cottage, seems to be a big deal for her … she said it would confuse George, and they were being insensitive!”

[Jill] “I bet Ruth beat a hasty retreat”

Oh ho!

Emma really just wanted Will to still be darkly brooding, alone, about her leaving him for Ed.

Nae luck there then, Emma.

Even Jill agrees that Greenwood Cottage is far more tasteful than Casa Nueva.

“Lower Loxley, where the phone lines run free”

Brian really isn’t coping without his internet .

It’s a good thing Lower Loxley does still have communications. It means Jennifer can Skype Nolly on her birthday.

Caroline’s excitable

And far less stressed.

They’ve found their card reader! Caroline is over the moon.

[Oliver] “Now you want have to decipher my hand writing … and all we’ve got to deal with now is the daily lottery of who is going to turn up at the hotel!”

[Caroline, sounding quite fruity] “Exciting!”

When Grey Gables has another “hiccup” later on (some boy gets locked in a toilet), Caroline is giggling like a schoolgirl.

Oliver is her hero.

[Caroline] “You’ve been brilliant. Keep calm and carry on … you’ve got the Dunkirk spirit in bucket loads!”

Each to their own …

That’s fighting talk, Adam

Talking to David about the Super Dairy, Adam feels that Brian and Debbie first wrong-footed him and are now trying to ram their Super Dairy through.

[Adam] “They don’t seem to care if they upset the whole village in the process …So as far as I’m concerned David, they deserve everything they’ve got coming to them”

Brian sooks up to Jill

Brian pops over to Jill’s, She’s clearing up leaves to see if the snowdrops are trying to poke through.
Brian reckons it’s too early for snowdrops.

(it’s not. they were pout here already)

And he starts buttering her up with how good her garden is, that Jennifer is a great admirer (blah blah blah).

Then Brian asks Jill if the Britain in Bloom committee are looking for sponsors … from BL

[Jill, sniffing his ploy a mile off] “Oh. Really …”

She sends Brian off with a “you have to ask Jim”

Jill later forewarns Jim.

[Jill] “He realised he wasn’t getting any change out of me … he was very obvious. I was quite shocked”

Not very subtle, Mr Aldridge.

You’re acting like the Squire who treats his villagers like there’s more than one idiot.

Adam speaks up

Borchester Radio are outside the shop, asking folks for their comments about the Super Dairy, when Adam walks by.

They ask him for his comments.

He agrees.

[Adam] “Okay, right, basically I think it’s bad for the village, bad for farming and bad for the cows!”

Oh Brian will be pleased when he hears that!

Brian turns to a PR Bunny 18.01.12

The Archers Wednesday 18th January 2012

  • They still can’t find 200 metres of cable
  • Image problem with the Super Dairy? PR it!
  • Tony is cold and irritable
  • Our Pat’s back
  • Thankful for Elona and Darrell

They still can’t find 200 metres of cable

200 metres was a lot of cable to steal, but surely it can’t be that hard for the powers that be to find more?

But it would seem so.

There’s still no internet or phones.

So everyone is having to travel to Felpersham (or Lower Loxley) to get online. They’re also furious that the thieves were so brazen in kicking off this blackout.

[Annabelle] “Apparently, the thieves posed as workmen, took their time”

Image problem with the Super Dairy? PR it!

[Brian] “Everyone’s in PR these days … can’t afford not to”

Annabelle and Brian are calling on the dark arts of a chap called Rufus, of Moynahan and Parker.

They explain their slight … problem …

[Brian] “It’s become a very ... What you might call, emotive issue in Ambridge”

[Rufus] “Big is instantly equated with bad, I imagine”

Rufus advises Brian not to call a community meeting. Brian thinks it would dispel myths, but Rufus reckons it would turn into a lecture than help Brian to “engage” with the villagers. He reckons they need to “communicate … on own terms”.

So, Rufus asks Brian and Annabelle to come up with bullet points about what’s positive about the Super Dairy:

  • Good for jobs
  • Good for the economy, local and national
  • High welfare standards … happy cows

But Brian can’t keep to sound bites for very long.

[Brian] “It’ll have very green credentials; slurry into energy and fertiliser … local residents won’t be inconvenienced in any way shape or form”

After a bit of brainstorming, Rufus decides that giving leaflets to individuals are the way forward.
(did he do the same marketing course as Brenda?)

[Rufus] “So we can dispel the imagine of some sort of Frankenstein monster squatting on their doorstep”

Annabelle reckons they can use recent research from the Farms Animal Welfare Council on the leaflet – saying that they’re aren’t disadvantages to keeping cows in large herds as long husbandry and stock and such are of high standards.

Rufus shifts up a gear.

He wants to build a website. It’ll address the truth, allay fears, and stop misunderstandings. And also
use the bullet points in a newspaper advert.

Rufus also tried to convince Brian that it’s nothing personal, on either side of the argument (or the press).

[Rufus] “Never try to drown them out with a lot of noise … after all, when all's said and done, it’s a business scheme”

Brian and Annabelle are certainly impressed by Rufus’ chat. They’ve bought his ideas, his approach, his hourly rate …

So the plan of attack is now to begin:

[Annabelle] “Waging an informal, personal campaign in the village”

Part of which will be be sponsoring local societies and events. Like the village hall. Or the church …

[Brian] “If listening to local people’s concerns is what it takes Annabelle, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do”

Aye, I think you missed the point there, Brian. Buying your way through is not “listening”.

I don’t suppose he gives a hoot, as ;long as it gets the job done.

Tony is cold and irritable

The wind is cutting right through him, even with his clothes of many layers.

And he’s irritated.

With Tom.

Where Pat sees and loves Tom’s enthusiasm, Tony just sees Tom not pulling his weight on the proper work. He just wants Tom to do his fair share on the farm, rather than making up recipes for pork ready meals.

Our Pat’s back

Pat is sounding chirpier and chirpier every day.

She’s even decided to do the speech at the brand launch.

[Pat] “ …not a chore, would like to do it …”

Which seems to make everyone else very pleased indeed.

Did I miss something? Why is Pat making the speech such a big deal?

Something to do with Pat as the head of the family, finally reclaiming her throne (her voice)?!?

Anyhoo – Pat reckons it was her birthday that “really bucked” her up and stopped her “dithering”.

[Pat] “I suddenly wanted to be the Pat I saw in the photos again. I know I can’t look like her, but I wanted to her enthusiasm for things”

Hurrah! Pat’s back!

While she does want to do the speech at the launch, she’s also adamant that everyone is aware of all the hard work and commitment that she and Tony put into getting their business (their family) to this point. (some would argue that it was Pat and Tony that also nearly ruined Bridge Farm … but it was theirs to ruin in the first place, I reckon).

Thankful for Elona and Darrell

I can’t remember who said – but someone had a good point today in saying that Elona and Darrell are indeed good for Peggy. Them helping her out has given her back her independence.

(remember when Lilian was doing Peggy’s ironing … *shudder*)

Maybe I shouldn’t be suspicious of them after all?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

There’s still no phone nor internet 17.01.12

The Archers Tuesday 17th January 2012

  • Christine’s birds look like they’re in for a treat
  • Stolen cabling AND floods
  • Scrap metal? Who was after that a wee while ago?
  • Caroline’s disturbing her guests
  • That’s why Ambridge is a nice place to live
  • Is Ruth going to sack Emma?
  • Gary’s useless once more
  • Facebook withdrawal
  • Ducks have it made?
  • Lower Loxley bucks the trend

Christine’s birds look like they’re in for a treat

So says Jim.

Stolen cabling AND floods

Ambridge really isn’t having any luck

Seems it was a large amount of cable that was stolen.

(though why the size of it means it’ll take longer to fix, I don’t know. Surely the Council just buys a larger length?)

And flooding has slowed down the repairs.

Scrap metal? Who was after that a wee while ago?

[Jim] “It’s appalling that the thieves are willing to create havoc like this, and all for a bit of scrap metal”

And who do we know was trying to steal scrap metal a wee while back …

Neil was also saying that ‘they’ (whoever ‘they’ are) are putting measures into place to stop dealers buying stolen scrap metal.

That’ll be Clive and his dodgy mate Bernie might be up the swanny without armbands.

Caroline’s disturbing her guests

Caroline really isn’t having a good time at the moment.

Though they have brought the pen and paper out in swathes to try and keep track of who is supposed to be where, they still can’t take payment.

She can’t even find her old ‘clunk clunk’ card readers.

And to top that, she’s starting barging in on guests.

[Caroline] “Luckily when I opened the door there was nothing untoward going on, but the woman looked pretty shocked when the door flew open”

Caroline has misread Oliver’s writing – saw a 17 to be an 11 – and tried to show someone in a room that was already being used.

And Caroline sounded quite upset about it.

Maybe this will give Caroline the push to get another manager, and finally retire properly.

That’s why Ambridge is a nice place to live

People actually give a hoot for each other.

Jim’s in the shop, where they can’t open the Post office bit.

[Jim] “Not being able to give people their pensions is very unfortunate. We’ve seen some distress today”

Bob Pullen is (we are told) very upset that he has no phone, and that his personal alarm (which he wears around his neck) can’t be used.

(don’t those things have batteries? Why an internet connection?)

So Jim decides to do something about it.

He has a chat to Neil and Chris about getting a rota together to go round checking on vulnerable folks, especially as they have no means of raising the alarm.

They’re more than happy to help out, and get others to also do so.

And Chris has the idea of rounding up old mobiles, get some sims and get a collection together to put some money on them. AND he and Alice will help folks of the 3rd generation to use them.

None of that would have happened in a city.

Or in a village where folks don’t like each other.

Is Ruth going to sack Emma?

She was in asking about what ‘cleaner for hire; cards were up in the shop. When Jim pointed out that she has Emma, she didn’t exactly utter any words of denial or that Emma was doing her grand.


Gary’s useless once more

Neil’s made a start on redoing Bert’s house. He’s called in Christopher to help.

Seems Gary is well and truly back to being a chocolate fireguard.

[Neil] “He’s being worse than useless. I think he’s doing it deliberately … if you get reputation for being rubbish,. No-one makes you do anything, do they ?”

Ah – is that’s Gary’s secret!

Anyhoo – Neil is also annoyed that Bert and Gary sat there watching the telly while he grafted – then had the cheek to ask him to keep the noise down as they couldn’t hear their programmes.

Facebook withdrawal

[Ruth] “Josh is having Facebook withdrawal symptoms”

And he wants to go round Freddie and Lily’s to be able to get onto Facebook, to talk to friends he’s just been at school with all day.

[Caroline] “Maybe he’ll read a book instead”

Aye, Ruth’s not hopeful of that.

Ducks have it made?

Ruth’s taking time out to:

[Ruth] “watch how the ducks go about things”

[Caroline, also trying to take a timeout] “Look a rather enviable life, doesn’t it, on the surface anyway …”

[Ruth] “Of course they’re paddling like mad underneath”

Which, as Caroline says, is just what she and Ruth are doing.

(I think we understood that without Caroline spelling it out)

Lower Loxley bucks the trend

It’s on a different exchange, so has internet and phones.

Elizabeth called up Caroline to see how they were coping – but the way Caroline retold the call, it sounded like Elizabeth was ever slightly crowing …

Seems she has lots of people turning up with their laptops to get online. She’s been giving them complimentary coffee. A “roaring trade”.

Caroline really needs to tell Elizabeth to stuff herself. It’s been a year. She doesn’t need to be nice to her anymore.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Communications blackout 16.01.12

The Archers Monday 16th January 2012

  • Caroline’s glitch
  • Lynda still has flu
  • The server is also down at Home Farm
  • Jennifer ran a gauntlet
  • Using a phone takes twice as long?
  • Job for Tracey?
  • The new packaging has arrived
  • Google declares E. coli over
  • Shelly Brazil has cancelled!
  • Thief! Clive???
  • Brian can’t live in the moment?

Caroline’s glitch

Turns out to be an Ambridge wide glitch.

Without broadband, Caroline can’t check anyone out of Grey Gables. Or check new bookings. Or respond to requests.

She has to resort to pen and paper. And asking Ian (the chef) to call the IT bloke.

Lynda still has flu

I’m starting to worry now.

As Caroline said, it takes a lot to floor our Lynda.

The server is also down at Home Farm

Ah, the plot thickens …

Jennifer ran a gauntlet

When she took Peggy to church.

That Brian’s got a lot to answer for.

It’s hardly ladylike behaviour, having to run a gauntlet.

Jennifer will have to get used to it if the Super Dairy plans continue.

Using a phone takes twice as long?

According to Ian, when placing a food order.

Funny thing. I always think not having email speeds up work something grand. You actually get the work done, rather than feeling you’ve got the work done by sending an email.

Job for Tracey?

When Caroline mentioned that she’d need to bring in extra help to cope without any broadband, I thought Tracey would have a shoe in.

But it was good ol’ Oliver that came in.

He did do a grand job. He even dealt (what sounded like) a very grumpy customer who, even after Oliver gave him a free upgrade in apology, still sounded like Grey Gables has torched his house.

The new packaging has arrived

Be still our collective beating heart!

Tim’s very excited.

It’s the new Ambridge Organics packaging, which both he and Helen do approve of.

Helen does have to ask Tom to tone down his enthusiasm in front of Tony and Pat.

[Helen] “It’s an end of an era for them”

Aye, as if Tom gives a hoot about that.

It’s all Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom …

Google declares E. coli over

Reckons Tom.

Seems the only mention of Ambridge Organics or Bridge Farm and E. coli is way down on page 6.


So I will admit it.

Tom did do a good job online.

Still doesn’t make him a nice person.

Shelly Brazil has cancelled!

Oh the humanity!

And if they can’t persuade Pat to do a speech, surely the whole Ambridge Organics launch will be ruined?!?

Still, on the positive side, it did make Tom calm down. He does need a disappointment once in a while to make him bearable.

Thief! Clive???

Or probably more likely, thieves.

As the day wore on, Susan was frazzled only being able to take cash and cheques at the post office.

Jennifer was concerned about the third generation:

[Jennifer] “And older people are a worry in a situation like this, if they haven’t got a mobile”

But was hopeful that this experience might encourage Peggy to finally get a mobile.

(I’m surprised she hasn’t already – what with her silver surfing)

So with most of Ambridge without internet, and also landlines, what was the cause?

Some bad person has stolen the main cable.



Brian can’t live in the moment?

[Brian] “It does feel very last century at the moment, doesn’t it?”

[Jennifer} “In a strange way,. It’s quite comforting. You can feel got at with emails zipping … we can’t see to live in the moment, can we. If it wasn’t for the awful inconvenience, it’d be a relief”

[Brian] “I suppose I’m not really good at living in the moment, am I?”


Was that really Brian talking?

He’s really blown his ability to ever be able to use the old ‘it just happened’ excuse if his trousers happen to go wondering again.

A Celebrity Lamb 15.01.12

The Archers Sunday 15th January 2012

  • Pip’s overexcited
  • New Zealand style
  • Don’t call badgers cute to Ruth
  • Top 4 Pork Ready meals
  • Imagine – he had to cut cabbages!
  • Darrell’s a nice bloke?
  • Why is Pip staring to roll her Rs?
  • Pat’s fired up
  • Will Brenda be too fat for snowboarding?

Pip’s overexcited

She’s on one again.

She’s excited about new outlets she reckons she’s found for Hassett Hills lamb.

Excited about trying to make a commodity out of wool, rather than just dumping it:

[Pip] “Luxury gear, like hats and mittens and such”

And excited about making a star out of a lamb …

[Pip] “What I thought would be great would be to market it through a celebrity lamb”

David and Ruth are almost stunned into silence!

Pip wants to choose the most photogenic lamb, and give it its own Facebook and Twitter account.

[Pip] “There’s always one that stands out from the crowd … it makes personal appearances, virtual one anyway, and I’d blog about its celebrity lifestyle … I think I could make it quite witty, going on about it needing makeovers all the time and demanding load of money to open supermarkets”

Ruth and David agree that it’s got potential, so will ask Bill Oldfield (Chair of Hassett Hills) to let Pip present at their next meeting.

It’s all because of Uni. She claims she wants:

[Pip] “this to work in the real world”

They really shouldn’t encourage her … especially when they later break the news that they might …

New Zealand style

… switch to a New Zealand style of dairy farming.

Which seemingly involves the cows out for longer, calving in Spring (which makes the most of the Spring grass) and although having a lower output, costing less.

The negatives, as far as Pip explains, is that the lower yield also makes for an uneven cashflow they’d have to expand the herd, which would mean more grazing … which would mean Brookfield’s sheep would have to go.

Devastating news for Pip, considering all the work she’s been doing have been to do with the sheep.

[Pip] “Don’t my plans mean anything? ...It as all for Brookfield not just a bunch of theories to impress my tutor!”

And Pip can’t understand why they’re talking about the New Zeeland style again when it was pondered and rejected a while back. AND while sheep prices are buoyant.

Making the dairy herd sustainable is Brookfield’s (current) priority.

Don’t call badgers cute to Ruth

She’ll tear you a new one.

[Pip] “Ben was going on about how cute badgers are, she got really annoyed”

Later on:

[David] “They couldn't have caused more trouble if they tried, could they?”

I suppose not. But I don’t think the badgers were really trying to cause harm, really.

Top 4 Pork Ready meals

After Brenda’s effort today of pork cobbler, Tom and Brenda agree that the winners to go forward are:

- Spicy meat balls red pepper sauce
- Pork cobbler
- Pork lasagne
- Stir-fry


I’m not sure when Busty Brenda become such a culinary expert, and also not sure how such odd pork meals will sell.

And as an aside – I really squirmed when Tom got a bit saucy with Brenda in the kitchen.

[Tom] “Hey you, come here, you just look so gorgeous in an apron!”


Thank goodness Brenda pushed him off. I couldn’t have listened to anymore, and really don’t want that boy procreating. Ever.

But I suppose at least we can give Tom credit for trying (grudgingly given, mind).

Imagine – he had to cut cabbages!

Tom did his milking today.

But moaned that he then had to cut cabbages.

Imagine that! The nerve of Tony asking.

It’s not as if Bridge Farm is a family business …

… oh, hang on …

Darrell’s a nice bloke?

Brenda and Tom seem to think so.

Darrell has also started doing odd jobs for Peggy.

I’m not sure about Darrell and Elona. No evidence of this – but odds on for them ripping off Peggy?

Why is Pip staring to roll her Rs?


Pat’s fired up

But still isn’t keen to do the Ambridge Organics brand launch speech. Which seems to be irritating Tom and Brenda no end. (I have no idea why)

[Pat] “The only thing that seems to be firing her up at the moment is the BL dairy”

Which Brenda and Tom are also against.

Seems Lilian and Matt are for it. So no surprises there.

[Tom] “Matt’s always going to be after the main chance, isn’t he?”
[Brenda] “Yeah, never mind what it does to the countryside and the poor cows”

Will Brenda be too fat for snowboarding?

Brenda reckons she’s put on weight.

Tom reckons it’s only a pound, Brenda reckons at least two.

[Tom] “Suits you, anyway”

[Brenda] “Stop there. Next you’ll be saying you like a woman with curves …”

Seems Brenda’s birthday treat is a snowboarding lesson for a day. She wants to do it for real on a proper holiday, but Tom needs to business to get “back on its feet” first.

Hope she doesn’t have to wait too long.

She already has a chest size issue, but added love handles would make it impossible to get salopettes on.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A new tank for Brookfield 13.01.12

The Archers Friday 13th January 2012
  • Bunny Huggers
  • Gary turns out useless again
  • Brookfield is “satisfactory”
  • Bloomin’ badgers might lose Brookfield their dairy herd

Bunny Huggers

Shula bumps into Brian skulking around Felpersham.

[Brian] “I am a bit wary of showing my head round the village at the moment”

[Shula] “Afraid you might get lynched?”

[Brian] “We wanted to handle the announcement in ourselves in our own time, present out facts and have a calm and measured public consultation”

But, the Echo didn’t get the story straight. Brian thinks it was gossip and half-truths:

[Brian] "Along with a wildly over the top rant for a bunch of bunny huggers!”

But while Brian thinks the Super Dairy is actually a good news story, Shula doesn’t sound convinced. She sounds sceptical about the benefits Brian was describing, but was saying she (and Alistair) are keeping an open mind.

When Shula is later talking to David and Ruth, she reckons the Echo was wrong to run that story.

[Shula] “I don’t think it helps, you know, portraying him as some sort of grasping money bags riding rough shod over animals right and the will of the people …”

[Ruth, laughing gleefully] “Sounds pretty much spot on to me!”

Shula also reports that Chris is in favour of the Super Dairy. He reckons it’ll be “interesting”.

So the battle lines are being drawn amongst the villagers.

Gary turns out useless again

Tracey has been out trying to find a job, but not joy so far. Though she has only been to Lower Loxley and Grey Gables.

She bumps into Neil. As she’s twiddling her thumbs, and Neil is off to the DIY store, she decides to tag along.

Well, he is choosing things for her new hoose … not that Neil is aware of Tracey’s crafty plan in getting Bert to sign half the house to her.

She winds Neil up in trying to get him to buy flowery and expensive bathroom fittings for Bert’s new en suite.

[Tracey] “Italian marble. Get what you pay for, don’t you?”

But Neil’s not having it. He’s going for simple and cost effective, which he reckons Bert would want (Bert is paying for it, after all).

Then Tracey gets a call from the school. Her kids haven’t been collected.

She calls Gary, who was meant to be picking them up, but he’s in The Bull.

[Neil] “Well I’ve said it before Tracey, he’s got no sense of responsibility!”

And Neil has to drive her there.

Well, Gary’s bout of do-gooding was short lived.

Brookfield is “satisfactory”

The Environment Agency has been back at Brookfield, going through their NVZs line by line (amongst other things).

It’s slightly good news. After all David’s work, their NVZs have been deemed:

[David] “Satisfactory”

[Ruth] “Excellent!”

[David] “No. Just satisfactory”

[Ruth] “Well that will do”

They’ve also had a letter from the Environmental chaps to say stuff like they need to fix the slurry lagoon (really!) and that they “Reserve the right to prosecute if contamination”


Bloomin’ badgers might lose Brookfield their dairy herd

Shula had been to Brookfield as she’d heard they might have to sell their dairy herd.

[Shula] “I just wanted to say … dads trusted your judgment and would have understood”

David explains the problem to Shula. That though the damage to the slurry lagoon is the badgers’ fault, he and Ruth “have to be nice” to them.

To fix the lagoon, they’d need a licence to disturb the badgers. And once it’s fixed, they’d also need to put in a one way gate to the badger set. But they can’t do any work that’ll disturb them until July (to avoid upsetting them during breeding). And, they’d also have to put chain link to protect other vulnerable bits of the lagoon just in caser they badgers decide to widen their sphere of destruction. David’s rightly fuming:

[David] “Vast amount of work, costing a lot of money that we don’t have for absolutely no return!”

Later on, David gets a price for the alternative to fixing the slurry lagoon – a new tank. It’s coming in at £22,000 which is just £2000 more than fixing the old problem.

It’s still a blow, though. It’s again money they don’t have, and won’t help make any additional profit.

[David] “Now’s the time to take step back and admit that we can’t make dairying pay”

[Ruth] “And I don’t see fit to give up on my milk. I’m just not prepared to let the cows go. Not yet”

Note the ‘not yet’.

I like badgers. But this particular set really should start a whip round.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Brian’s front page news 12.01.12

The Archers Thursday 12th January 2012

  • Pat’s against the Super Dairy
  • Jim’s against the Super Dairy
  • Jill’s against the Super Dairy?
  • The Parish Council might be against the Super Dairy
  • Tom’s against, Mike’s for, the Super Dairy
  • Promises Auction
  • Jalapeño peppers at Bridge Farm
  • Tom will do his turn at milking
  • What’s the problem with pat making a speech?
  • Did we know Eddie was a grave digger?

Pat’s against the Super Dairy

Indeed, she’s horrified.

[Pat] “Brookfield, supplying fodder …so do I, it’s awful … I couldn’t believe it, Brian was at my party and not a word!”

Jill was telling Pat that Jennifer had told her (Jill) that the front page exclusive in the Echo was a surprise to them, though Jennifer did tell Jill that they knew it was about to run, but they didn’t know who had leaked it (got it? Though why Jill accepted that explanation, I don’t know).

[Pat] “I can’t believe the Borchester Land Board and particularly Brian could contemplate such a thing”

Jill tells Pat that it’s was Debbie’s idea, as Debbie runs a similar operation in Hungry.

[Pat] “But this isn’t Hungry, this is Ambridge!”

Jim’s against the Super Dairy

[Jim] “Well my knowledge of the lifestyle of your average e bovine is, I have to admit, limited, but cows live in fields and eat grass, don’t they … So sticking them in some kind of barrack block with no access to the outside is cruel and unnatural”

Jill’s against the Super Dairy?

She doesn’t say anything against it, but does say she’s not defending it.

The Parish Council might be against the Super Dairy

Though Lynda is in bed with the flu, seems she called Neil to ensure that:

[Neil] “the PC condemned in the strongest possible terms”

the Super Dairy.

After they had agreed to Jill’s Promises Auction.

And to buy a Diamond Jubilee oak tree.

Jim tries to get them to talk about it:

[Jim] “Should we not discuss the starling news in today’s Echo?”

But Neil swerves the discussion by moving onto getting approval for the Green Burial site open day (for undertakers, ministers and “other celebrants”).

The Parish Council will formally discuss the Super Dairy when it applies for planning permission. But some are already decided:

[Jim] “I think it’s fair to say Brian is going to have his work cut out selling it to the village!”

Tom’s against, Mike’s for, the Super Dairy

Mike’s not worried about the Super Dairy. It’s a different market to his milk round, he reckons the Echo is biased and the Super Dairy will also create jobs.

But Tom reckons it’ll only create a few jobs which are specialist, so folks will come in from elsewhere to do them.

[Tom] “Come on Mike, you’ve worked with cows all your life … you care about animal welfare!”

[Mike] “Yeah, and I’ve read a lot about these sort of units. The cows are housed on sand and they really like it …”

[Tom] “To quote my sister, if you feed kids on crisps and chocolate, they really like it”

[Mike] “You saying cows don’t know what’s good for them?”

[Tom] “It’s unnatural, Mike, surely you can see that”

[Mike] “Nah, that’s like saying it’s unnatural for me to live in a house with comfy chairs and electric light!”

Promises Auction

Will be run by Alan, at The Bull, on Shrove Tuesday.

Seems it’s a money raiser for Britain in Bloom, and was all Jill’s idea.

Folks offer to promise to do something (like pruning, hedge clipping, and the like) for others to bid on.

I’d personally pay a fair amount for someone to walk 4 greyhounds once in a while …

Jalapeño peppers at Bridge Farm

Doesn’t seem likely, and Tony doesn’t sound keen when Tom put it to him.

Tom reckons they should grow exotic crops to sell at a premium price.

[Tony] “Wouldn’t it make more sense to grow seasonal veg. The stuff we grow already?”

Tony’s not for changing.

Tom will do his turn at milking

Tony tries to have a pop at Tom for not doing milking when it was Pat’s 60th the other day. Tom also won’t do milking today – the poor mite has been making sausages all day, and has “a dozen” phone calls to make in the afternoon (!).

But he will do the milking tomorrow.

Which just so happens to be his day anyway.

[Tom] “I know, and I’ll definitely do it”

[Tony] “Oh that’s nice to know …”

What’s the problem with pat making a speech?

Tom really wants her too. She doesn’t sound keen. Tony said he could. But Tom really wanted Pat.

Did I miss something?

It’s just a wee speech at the brand launch.


Did we know Eddie was a grave digger?

Seems so.

In fact, he’s the official one at the Green Burial site.

Tom’s meatballs 11.01.12

The Archers Wednesday 11th January 2012

  • Tom’s fragile
  • Why Tom so surprised to see Brenda putting makeup on?
  • Meatballs on a stick impress Tom
  • A use for uncle Gary!
  • Emma don’t want no crockery
  • George Barford and Walter Gabriel
  • Tracey makes Bert sign
  • Happy wee Grundy people
  • Clarrie’s a bludger
  • Tom’s on about kids again …

Tom’s fragile

Seems he needs a “pint or two of coffee” and painkillers.

We didn’t hear him at Pat’s Party, but sounds like he had a good time.

Though Matt and Lilian were still up when they left at 3am … when Brenda later say Lilian at work, Lilian only came down after lunchtime, asked what messages there were, then went off not to be seen again.

Why Tom so surprised to see Brenda putting makeup on?

It might have just been because they had both been out so late (so why bother making yourself up when you stink of booze!), but wonder if it’s because Brenda doesn’t make an effort anymore …

… not that I think women have to wear make-up to be making an effort. Just that I’ve always imagined bust Brenda as a lady who slaps it on …

Meatballs on a stick impress Tom

He really is easily pleased, is that boy.

Tom was really taken with the meatballs on sticks served at Pat’s party last night. They came with a “yummy” dipping sauce.

Tom checked with the caterers – the sauce had tomatoes and red peppers, and the meatballs had apple and a little bit of chilli.

(what meat, though?)

So he’s off on one again.

A pork ready meal of meatballs, with pasta.

Brenda gets cooking …

Later on, as they’re chatting about Tom getting an email from a buyer he’s been chasing:

[Brenda] “The one you’ve been relentlessly badgering?”

[Tom] “The one I’ve been gently nurturing!”

(well it doesn’t seem to be working, whichever way you look at it. The chap emailed to thank him for his call, but that he wasn’t interested … don’t call us, we’ll call you)

And that Tom will also need more sausages for the Farmhouse Week promotion at The Bull and also now at Jaxx.

Tom seems to get a bit overexcited.

He thinks the meatballs are better than the goulash (shock) AND the chilli (no, never!).

[Tom] “This is just what the ready meals market has been waiting for!”

Has it really?

Ach well.

I suppose I can grudgingly admire him for his enthusiasm.

A use for uncle Gary!

Gary is driving Tracey’s kids to and from school. On time, and without prompting.

Which gives Tracey time to look for a job. And her kids think Gary is a better driver than Tracey … or at least he doesn’t swear as much:

[Tracey] “It’s not like I swear at the dad kids, cause I don’t …”

She just swears at other drivers while her kids are in the car.


It’s lucky that Gary has found something useful to do, as there aren’t any places at Lower Barrett at the moment.

[Bert] “Well. it’s nice to think of Gary being a bit of use”

George Barford and Walter Gabriel

Seems George had made the Casa Nueva wooden sign for Will (and Emma).

And Clarrie was remembering what she and Eddie were given when they got married.

Including wooden willows from Walter Gabriel. Who Nic hadn’t heard of.

[Will] “He was a proper old Borchestershire bloke”

Neil got them a recipe book (for her) and a cowboy book called Bad Men and Badlands (for him).

Nic thinks books were a strange wedding present:

[Clarrie] “None of us had much money in them days, and lists at Underwoods were not for the like of us!”

Emma don’t want no crockery

Will thinks Emma told Nic that she (Emma) had chosen Casa Nueva.

Typical Emma. Can’t stand not being thought of every time someone walked into that house.

Nic asking for their cottage’s name to be changed has made him realise how much else of Emma is still left in that house. None of which he needs now that he and Nic have wedding presents to replace them.

He has fairly decent crockery that he and Emma had been given for their wedding, albeit now a few pieces are missing. So, he thought Emma might like them.

[Will] “I don’t know if I caught her at a bad moment or not, but she gave me a right earful. ‘What makes me think she’s got room for my casts offs, there some things she doesn’t want reminding of, thank you very much’ … ”

Will was thinking of taking them to a charity shop, but Clarrie stops him to say he should give them to Eddie to sell at a car boot sale.

Just imagine the fallout if any of it turns out to be properly valuable …

Tracey makes Bert sign

Tracey is definitely more Clive than Susan …

She’s written up the housing association letter (to make her a joint tenant with her dad):

[Tracey] “I do know how to type dad. And there’s no need to bother Susan with this”

And without further ceremony, she gets Bert to sign it there and then.

Happy wee Grundy people

[Jake] “My mum is called Mrs Grundy now, so we’re going to be called Grundy too”

Seems Jake and Mia decided they want to be Grundy’s all on their own.

[Mia] “Look Clarrie, I wrote it on my school book”

Clarrie is almost in tears.

Mia and Jake Grundy.

Clarrie asks them if they want to call her grandma, like George does.

Which they do.

That sets Clarrie off weeping proper!


I’m really enjoying this wee bit of happiness in Ambridge. Especially as it’s calmed down Will ever so.

Clarrie’s a bludger

I’m only teasing.

Quite right that she’s claiming benefit.

And she’s finally received her first payment. Which she’s used part of to buy Nic and Will some welcome home chocolates.

[Clarrie] “it’s lovely to have a little bit of money of me own”

Tom’s on about kids again …


Jazzer’s been harassing him about being so hung-over. He reckons Tom’s too old for partying into the wee hours.

[Tom] “I can’t take the pace anymore, time to settle down …”

[Brenda] “You’re not allowed to talk like that until; you’re 40!”

[Tom] “Ah, when we have kids …”

[Brenda] “I intend to grow old Disgracefully, like Lilian”

Goon on ya Brenda.

Keep him off the topic of procreation.

Though, sorry, but you’ll never be a Lilian …

Pat’s 60th birthday 10.01.12

The Archers Tuesday 10th January 2012

  • Casa Nueva no more
  • Home to a good cuppa
  • Helen shocks Lilian
  • Old photos with folks that folks don’t know …
  • Pat and Tony have to work
  • Pat’s Positive
  • A Greenham Common Girl
  • Pat’s knickers

Casa Nueva no more

Will and Nic are back from their honeymoon.

Nic’s delighted to be back. Though she had a marvellous time – sunshine, warm white sand, chickpeas (which Will seemed to really enjoy) - she’s loving the full moon and the frosty tiles of home:

[Nic] “I’m glad to be home. To our lovely cottage. It looks just likes a Christmas card”

Just before Will can sweep her off her feet to carry her over the threshold, Nic suddenly blurts out that she wants to change the name of lovely cottage:

[Nic] “I always thought it was, well, a bit odd … for an old stone cottage. Casa Nueva. It’s just not right somehow”

[Will] “It’s just ones of those things that seem like a good idea at the time. But you’re right, it’d not suitable”

[Nic] “And since this is a new start for us … “

Will doth concur. And he sweeps her off her feet:

[Will] “So, come here Mrs Grundy”

Later on:

[Nic] “I just think it should be something English. Rural, maybe”

Will starts thinking of where they went on honeymoon – Cape Verde – which Will reckons means green (he is correct – Portuguese for).

And he suggests Greenwood Cottage.

Which Nic heartily approves of. And Will reckons he should have done years ago.

Greenwood Cottage.

Yes. That’s better.

Home to a good cuppa

Ah, don’t you just love the British for their ability to sample the exotic, but still whimper in delight about coming back to Britain and having a good cup of tea.

Cool Britannia?

Don’t think we ever were, or could be.

Anyhoo, Saint Clarrie has done her Will and Nic proud again.

She’d gone into their cottage, turned up the boiler, put a hot water bottle in their bed and left them eggs, bread and milk so that they could wake up to have a nice breakfast.

What a mum!

And while Nic had a grand time, she did miss her kids.

[Will] “Not used to pleasing yourself, are you?”

Helen shocks Lilian

[Lilian] “My goodness, you’ve got two of them now!”

But it’s okay Lilian. It’s only Rowan – Helen’s friend’s child who comes to stay when her mum is working, so Harry can go to theirs when Helen’s at work.

Old photos with folks that folks don’t know …


Lilian’s organised for an exhibition of Pat Archer throughout the ages to be at her birthday party. She’s showing Helen some photos that include people neither she nor Lilian can identify … ghosts from the past.

Oh dear.

But I wasn’t to worry. All was well.

The only slightly inappropriate photo was one of John when he was 11. Which reminded Pat of Rich.

Which Lilian wasn’t to know, and no harm done.

Especially when there was also plenty of Helen as a child. Looking serious and dour …

Pat and Tony have to work

Pat’s in the dairy, and Tony has to milk later on.

He agrees with Lilian that he should be out with pat, spoiling her.

But, Tom can’t do Tony’s milking. He’s seemingly got an important meeting with a butcher in Felpersham.

Selfish so and so.

Pat’ll hardly have a 60th again!

When Pat can actually out her feet up later on, she doesn’t want to. She reckons it’s no fun putting one’s feet up on one’s own. So she offers to help Tony do the milking, which Tony is more than happy to accept.

[Pat] “You never used to want to share the milking back in the old parlour at willow farm … seems like yesterday to me. Can’t believe how the years have passed. I don’t feel 60 at all”

Not so with Tony.

Seems he looks tired, and feels weary.

Pat’s Positive

Which was a welcome relief to hear her says that, after all these months.

She reckons she now feels excited about the rebranding. It’s a new project she can get her teeth into.

[Pat] “It is going to work, Tony. We can bring the business back from the brink after all”

Tony didn’t seem so sure. But then again, he is tired and weary.

A Greenham Common Girl

It’s Pat’s Party time. And it seems to be marvellous.

And she’s really enjoying her photographic exhibition.

[Pat] “What do I look like? That hair … that was my friend Rose.”

[Tony] “A Greenham Common girl”

[Kathy] “I never realised you were such a militant!”

(really? How could anyone not know that?)

[Pat] “Tony very nearly left me”

[Tony] “Only when you threatened to take the kids on a CND march”

[Kathy] “Oh, did you really?”

(Oh come on … seriously? Kathy’s supposed to be Pat’s bessie mate!)

[Pat] “You remember what it was like!”

(I don’t think Kathy would. She’s not the Greenham type …)

[Kathy] “But you gave up protesting?”

[Pat] “It was that or my marriage”

[Tony] “That was when we went organic …”

[Pat] “It was the bait to lure me back!”

Pat’s knickers

The party didn’t get that wild … though there was a mention of pants.

[Lilian, in jest and with love] “I was particularly impressed by you in your gym knickers hurling a javelin … darling, you’re still in remarkably good shape. A bit of soft lighting, you could easily pass for 45! … If anyone deserves a decent party, it’s you”

Aw. That’s out Lilian, that is.