Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tony’s fine 29.02.12

The Archers Wednesday 29th February 2012

  • Jennifer feels guilty
  • What’s the diagnosis?
  • Tom feels guilty
  • Brian doing veg boxes
  • Jennifer and Tony make friends
  • How many people does it take to cover Tony’s work?

Jennifer feels guilty

At last! She’s taken a while to realise that she hasn’t exactly treated her wee brother as a sister should.

Helen has called Jennifer and Brian to let them know that Tony is comfortable, and sleeping.

[Brian to Jennifer] “Come on love, it's late. There’s nothing more either of us can do now”

But Jennifer’s guilt is keeping her awake. She thinks they should have known that this could happen, especially with Tony having looked so “tired and awful” recently.

[Jennifer] “And then I was horrible to him over the website, and I went round there and said such terrible things to him … supposing that the worst had happened and we’d never had a chance to make up”

What’s the diagnosis?

Pat’s in seeing Tony.

Seems his blood pressure is fine, and his pulse rate is normal. He’ll be getting home Friday night.

The Angioplasty (which, Tony helpfully tells us) is a line put into his artery, which ballooned to break the blockage, and now he has a metal stent to hold the artery open.

[Helen] “So it shouldn’t happen again?”

[Pat] “Hopefully not”


[Pat] “Heart seems okay. No lasting damage”

[Tony] “It means I won’t be permanently affected. I can get back to work …”

Tony is a bit perturbed that he will have to take pills every day for the rest of his life, but is very aware it could have been far worse. Here’s hope he can take it easy from mow on (here that Tony!).

Tom feels guilty

[Pat] “We’re just so lucky you found him when you did. It made all the difference”

Though Tom is very much hero of the day for finding Tony, and Pat’s telling him just to be there for Tony (and get some sleep amongst working), Tom thinks Tony’s heart attack is his fault.

(I reckon he’s right. Tom was harassing Tony, while leaving him to do all the hard farm work)

[Tom] “I know I’m more to blame for this than anyone … it’s what Helen said mum, and it’s true … I was just too preoccupied with my own stuff”

[Helen] “The best way you can help dad now is to put it out of your mind and get on with running the farm”

Aye – get some work done, young Tom!

Brian doing veg boxes

Ambridge rallies round to help Bridge Farm.

David’s helping Tom do the milking. Susan and Jazzer are doing extra hours. And Brian’s once again rolled his sleeves up to do some real work (as he did for David and Ruth when David was Lower Loxley obsessed after Nigel died). I have to give Brian his due – he can be handy at time.

[Brian on Tony] “He’s had enough to put up with, he doesn’t deserve a thing like this”

[Pat to Tony] “I had a text from Tom. Brian’s helping Helen with the veg boxes!”

[Tony] “I’d like to see that”

But there’s more. Brian then offers to also deliver the veg boxes.

[Brian] “You put me in the van and point me in the right direction”

Helen’s gobsmacked.

[Jennifer] “Hello. Gosh, look at you both, hard at it!”

Again, to give Brian is due, he’s helpful when he chooses to be so.

Jennifer and Tony make friends

[Pat] “I don’t know how you feel about this … Jennifer called again this morning, she’d like to come and see you”

Tony agrees.

When Jennifer arrives to see Tony, he doesn’t say a word to correct her when she claims that Pat called her to say that Tony could have visitors, and that he’s bored.

She’s brought him apricots, cherries and strawberry bon bons

[Jennifer] “You were always pitching mine at the cinema”

“Tony …. Oh I’m so glad you’re so much better. You gave us all such a fright … it’s made me think hard about, well a lot of things, and about the last few months and the way I’ve behaved … it’s made me realise how mean and awful I’ve been to you … well it’s all so trivial, so silly and pointless compared to the things that really matter “

[Tom] “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain. I know what you’re trying to say … and you’re absolutely right. None of it really matters. Other things are far more important”

[Jennifer] “So, can we forget about it, leave it all behind us”

[Tony] “Jennifer yes of course, if you’re happy to do that then so am I”


Happy families again.

How many people does it take to cover Tony’s work?

They’re all just about managing to keep ontop of Bridge Farm.

So Tony has been replaced by Susan, Brian, Jazzer, Tom, Tony and Helen.

Pat also isn’t at work – and they do all also have to do their own normal work – but I think it shows just how much of the weight Tony was shouldering.

They should be ashamed of themselves. Tony is hardly a young, fit man anymore.

Tony has a heart attack 28.02.12

The Archers Tuesday 28th February 2012

  • It really is Tom’s fault
  • Brian’s waving and smiling at Helen
  • Seriously, it was Tom!
  • Tony finally succumbs
  • Nic’s seeing fireworks
  • Tom finally does the milking
  • Helen keeps the Home fires burning
  • Tony’s fine

It really is Tom’s fault

Tom’s on at Tony. Again.

Something about:

[Tom] “He’s like THE Mr Chilli Pepper man”

(eh? If the chap Tom is talking about is “like” THE Mr Chilli Pepper man, who is actually the Mr Chilli Pepper man?)

Tony isn’t interested. He’s already had a long day, is behind in his work and still need to do the milking.

Tom isn’t listening.

[Tom] “Every day is costing me money … at least we can talk about it, have a discussion …”

[Tony] “I’m sorry, but I’m flat out. I’ve got other things on my mind”

[Tom] “Oh sure, what you mean is you can’t bear to spend a few quid on a poly tunnel”

[Tony] “Tom, please …”

Tom still isn’t listening. He continues to waffle on about investment, selling the surplus at a premium, they can’t lose, it’s a win win …

[Tony] “Tom, I said I’m not going to discuss this now!”

[Tom] “But why?”

[Tony] “Because I’m shattered. And if I don’t get on I won’t get finished til midnight. So will you shut up about it? Please!”

Brian’s waving and smiling at Helen

That must have been a terrifying sight.

[Pat] “I expect he was wondering how to spend his huge profits he’ll make from his evil dairy scheme”

Seriously, it was Tom!

After Tony stormed off to do the milking, Tom’s stormed off into the kitchen.

[Tom] “Talk about hitting a brick wall … Why can’t he just be reasonable for once in his life … he ended up telling me to get lost!”

His shouting makes Henry cry. Both Helen and Pat tell him to leave Tony alone.

[Tom] “No. No I can’t keep putting it off. Milking or no milking, I have to settle this now”

So off he storms to the milking parlour.


Tony finally succumbs

Tom finds Tony slumped in the milking parlour.

[Tony] “Inside my chest … and my arm … it’s bad, it’s very bad … like a crashing …”

Thankfully Tom has a wee bit of wit about him, puts a jacket over Tony and calls an ambulance.

[Tony] “The cows …”

When the Ambulance crew arrive, it actually sounds like Tony is having a stroke as well as a heart attack.

But when asked, Tony says the pain is an 8 or a 9 out of 10 (horrific agony rather than a stroke).

Tony says that the pain came on fast, and the ambulance crew spray something on his tongue for pain, do a blood test and give him an ECG. All on the milking parlour floor.

I didn’t know they could do that.

Nic’s seeing fireworks

Nic has a new passport.

Nicola Grundy.

[Nic] “So it’s official now, and we can go off anywhere in the world together!”

(no comment …)

The kids then run into the room with fireworks. Seems Nic was clearing out and didn’t notice them.

Rather than being horrified as such dangerously bad parenting, they all decide to set them off!

[Nic] “Why not? It was our 8 week anniversary on Saturday”

Just as they’re setting the fireworks on their way (after tea, and when it’s gone dark), Nic rushes over to the car to put on a CD.

Shania Twain. You’re Still the One.

(as they played at their wedding)

A little bit of a sick bucket moment, and doesn’t Nic seem a tad clingy?

Tom finally does the milking

It only took his dad having a heart attack to make him finally do his work.

Helen keeps the Home fires burning

(see what I did there … Home fires at Home Farm …. though it should be Bridge Farm … sorry …)

Helen’s called Nic to ask her to babysit Henry. She’s also called Lilian, Jennifer and David.

(why not Kenton and Elizabeth?)

She’s also having to deal with a guilt ridden Tom.

(as he should be!)

[Tom] “But we should have known Helen. We should have seen this coming, the way he’s being … it’s all down to me, the way I kept pushing and hassling”

[Helen] “Tom please it doesn’t matter why we’ve just got to stay calm and wait and hope …”

Tony’s fine

Pat calls home.

[Pat] “Dad’s okay. He’s going g to be alright …it was a heart attack. A blocked artery, but he got here in time, he’s already had a small operation … an angioplasty”

After she’s off the phone, she gets a chance to talk to Tony.

[Tony, sounding very wobbly] “Yea … not so bad. Much better than before. Did you speak to Tom? Is everything alright at home?”

[Pat] “Yes. Yes the cows are alright., Everything’s fine”

[Tony] “I’m sorry to be such a nuisance … well, for a while there, I really thought I was a goner”

Pat starts crying.

[Pat] “I thought the same. I thought …”

[Tony] “It’s alright. I’m okay now”


Must admit that I was not remotely concerned about Tony.

Not that I dislike him.

It wasn’t his time.

(it should be Tom’s!)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Gary Horrobin is a bit strange 27.02.12

The Archers Monday 27th February 2012

  • Susan turns the thumb screws
  • Neil retaliates
  • Next steps for the Super Dairy
  • Star Trek wallpaper
  • Brian gives Susan something to gossip about
  • Adam’s not for talking

Susan turns the thumb screws

As Neil is enjoying the telly not blaring 24/7, no computers on the go, or tights hung up in odd places (yay – Tracey and brood have finally gone!), Susan doesn’t let him relax for more than a moment.

She seems to agree with Bert that Gary needs him room done.

[Susan] “It’s not for himself, it’s for Gary … I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for Gary, I mean he doesn’t complain, but he’s not got much of a life, stuck at home with his model kits and his PlayStation … now everyone’s got a lovely painted room except him”

Susan lays on that Neil should be doing “random acts of kindness” for Lent.

[Neil] “Haven’t I been kind enough already?”

[Susan] “I’ve said it now and I won’t say it anymore. I’ll leave it up to you …”

What a witch! Emotional and religious blackmail.

Neil promises he’ll think about it, but isn’t making any promises.

Neil retaliates

[Neil] “Well if I’m doing this, maybe you should try it?”

[Susan] “Me? Give up gossip? That’s not much of a challenge!”

To which we all say ‘ha!’.

Though Neil hasn’t pledged to do his ‘random act of kindness’, turning the ‘giving up on gossip pledge onto Susan was nifty. But was only really a matter of time before someone said it to Susan’s face!

Next steps for the Super Dairy

Annabelle and Brian are having lunch.

Annabelle reckons the Parish Council meeting was a good result, with Brian and Debbie fielding questions “skilfully”.

So – next step is the planning department. Which they feel fairly confident about.

But not so when it comes to:

[Brian] “There’s the green brigade, the conservation department, all we need is for them to find rare slime at the bottom of a ditch”

Ah - we all hope they do, Brian!

Brian also reckons the environment department is a “wild card”, especially if they focus on what will happen to the masses of slurry the Super Dairy will create.

Annabelle actually reckons the real wild card is Adam – that he could, and will, cause problems.

Adam does not concur. He thinks Adam didn’t turn up to the meeting because Adam didn’t want to cause problems for them.

Brian really doesn’t understand nor know Adam at all.

Neither does Annabelle. She suggests that Brian tries to have a talk with Adam to “keep lines of communication open”.

Star Trek wallpaper

Neil made his mind up about Gary’s bedroom.

He went over to Bert’s, and left tins of paint.

[Neil] “If he wants his room painted, he can bloomin well do it himself”

(so Neil didn’t buy into Susan’s many levels of blackmail)

But Bert brought the paint back later that day.

Seems Gary didn’t want his bedroom redecorated (not that anyone thought to ask him in the first place)

[Susan] “Because he doesn’t want to mess up his Star Trek wallpaper. Or the plastic model of the Starship Enterprise he’s got hanging from the ceiling …”

Goodness sake!

As they pointed out, Gary is 37! Model kits and PlayStation was bad enough, but wallpaper … unacceptable.

What’s the story with him?

Medical issue, or is he just that sad a man?

[Susan] “He did ask for a Klingon dictionary last Christmas”

Blimey! Explains a lot.

Brian gives Susan something to gossip about

As Brian and Annabelle say goodbye after lunch, they give each other a kiss. One assumes it was just on the cheek, but it did actually sound a bit slurpy …

Anyhoo, Brian spots Susan spotting him and Annabelle.

[Brian] “I can almost hear her mind working overtime. She’ll be thinking I’m having my wicked way with you”

Brian want to “really give her something to talked about”, but Annabelle said no.

Sounded like her stomach turning at the thought of anyone thinking she was dallying with Brian …

Susan gets home, and wants to tell Neil all.

[Susan] “Look very matey they were, all smiles …”

[Neil] “Susan, woah, wait. Are you sure you want to carry on … you thought it’d be a doddle didn’t ya, it might be more of a challenge than you thought?”

But Susan buttons her lip.

Better watch out Neil. She needs that gossip to relax her.

Adam’s not for talking

Brian takes Annabelle’s advice to talk to Adam.

Even though Jennifer had been begging for weeks …

He corners Adam as he’s leaving Home Farm after work.

[Brian] “It’s just to say, well, thanks for not coming to the meeting”

[Adam] “Brian, whatever my reasons for not coming, I don’t need you to thank me for it”

Brian reckons they’re all still in together as a family.

[Brian] “All these bad feelings, these warring family headlines, it doesn’t have to be like this … we do respect your point of view … you have your standards, ideals, and you’re not prepared to compromise … can we at least be civil about it and stop all this unnecessary feuding and agree to differ”

[Adam] “Isn’t it just a tiny but late for all that? Well I’m sorry. It’s been a long day and I need to get home”

End of.

Atta boy Adam. Someone needs to stand up to his nibs.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Aldridge Women are Angry 26.02.12

The Archers Sunday 26th February 2012

  • What ‘mad stuff’ is Kate leaving on Alice’s Facebook wall
  • Alice throws a strop
  • Jennifer was getting it from all sides
  • I thought Adam and Debbie had made up
  • Ruth’s in tears

What ‘mad stuff’ is Kate leaving on Alice’s Facebook wall

What a crazy gal she is …

Alice throws a strop

The ‘Old Mags crew’ are off skiing. Alice sounds a bit forlorn that she can’t join her old classmates.

But she tells Chris she didn’t really want to go anyway, as they’d only get drunk.

[Alice] “But some of us have moved on from that, haven’t we … me, disappointed? No.”

Even Chris noticed that wasn’t quite true …

Later on, as they’re out near the wood looking for catkin for Alice, she gets a leak in her welly.

She decides she now doesn’t want catkins. And:

[Alice] “I hate this time of year ice and mush and grey skies, why can’t it be spring now!”

[Chris] “It nearly is …”

[Alice] “Oh shut up, You’re not helping!”

Ooh! Touchy.

Chris pushes her to check that this isn’t all about the skiing.

Alice reckons she’s fine about that.

Chris pushes her again (obviously because he can see life won’t be worth living with Alice until she gets it out of her system),

[Alice] “Alright! Maybe it would be nice to go away and see all my old friends and go skiing but I can’t because it’s impossible, so there’s no point in even thinking about it”

And she storms off.

Later on. Alice tries to talk about it with Brian. Who really isn’t interested.

[Alice] “It’s only cause I can’t go. If I could, I wouldn’t want to”

[Brian] “Why don’t you talk about it with your mother, I’m sure she’d understand”

(Brian speak for ‘leave me alone with my whisky)

As Jennifer arrives home, so does Chris.

The wee poppet has collected catkins for her.

Alice melts, and all is right in her world again.

[Alice] “I’d much rather stay here and have a nice Easter egg with you”


But she does get partly her own way. Chris is off to book her a skiing lesson at the place Tom had taken Brenda.

Strop, and ye shall get.

Jennifer was getting it from all sides

At the Super Dairy meeting on Friday. So she reckons.

[Jennifer] “But what about me, I had Pat standing up behind me on one side, and Ruth on the other, it felt like I was under siege!”

She’s also a bit down as Debbie’s now off home, and she didn’t get to spend any quality time. Debbie also didn’t have a chance to talk to Adam.

I thought Adam and Debbie had made up

[Brian] “He and Debbie aren’t likely to kiss and make up in the near future … maybe it’s a case of least said soonest mended”

[Jennifer] “Oh come on, that’s absurd … Well, if no one else is willing to talk to him, I …”

[Brian] “Jenny!”

[Jennifer] “Well, alright”

So Jennifer backs off again from speaking to her own son about the Super Dairy because big, bad Brian has told her not to.

When did Jennifer lose her spine? She’s always been a tad subservient to her lord and master, but not when it came to her kids.

But Jennifer is allowed to see Adam, just as long as she doesn’t mention the Super Dairy.

So off she trots to Brookfield (where he’s walking David’s plants, or something …).

When she gets there, Adam has already left, and Ruth runs away when she sees her (see below).

David tries to cover, but Ruth’s departure was very obvious.

[Jennifer, quite sniffily] “Not to worry. I shan't disturb you any longer”

Jennifer is quite upset, and thinks it’s all to do with the Super Dairy meeting.

[Jennifer] “When I saw Ruth, she pretty well cut me dead. She just walked off. She didn’t even say hello. Even David looked embarrassed”

[Brian] “Maybe she’s having a bad day”

For once, Brian is right.

Ruth’s in tears

Actually, she’s howling.

[Ruth] “It’s just too much. We can’t do it … our new payment, look at it. It must be wrong, surely. They must have made a mistake … it’s all going up and up, everything, but we’ve got no more coming in”

Blimey. She’s finally cracked.

(but I suppose many of us also have a wee weep over our electricity bills these days)

David tries to calm her down. He reckons they can make a few adjustments, move some money between accounts …

[Ruth] “It just goes on and one, one thing after another, we try out best we do everything right and it’s still no good. Why is it so hard, why isn’t it working?”

David tells her that she’s tired. And stressed. And wound up after the BL meeting.

Especially as Debbie gave Ruth a verbal b*tch slap.

[David] “She did come over just a tiny bit smug and patronising”

[Ruth] “Maybe she had a reason. We’re not such a shining example of low put dairy, are we?”

David takes her off to see the lambs.

[David] “Look at them go, full of the joys, eh, And they should make us a decent margin when they go, touch wood …maybe we are just too fixed on doing things our own way, maybe it’s time to but the bullet …”


You’d think he’d at least let Ruth dry her tears before he starts on at her again.

David tells Ruth that she couldn’t have tried harder, but that may it’s time to think about giving up the cows.

[Ruth] “Can’t you see, if I give up the cows, I might as well give up farming”

[David] “Alright, I understand that’s how you feel, but we’re still left with the same problem …”

But Ruth is saved from another round with David about the dairy herd by Jennifer. Who Ruth can’t cope with seeing while she’s so upset, so runs off.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Super Dairy meeting 24.02.12

The Archers Friday 24th February 2012

  • Glebelands are pro-Super Dairy
  • Tony’s too tired
  • Ed’s speaking for Grundy Senior
  • Let the stooshie commence!
  • Pray silence … Ruth wants to speak
  • Who won?

Glebelands are pro-Super Dairy

As Debbie and Brian are driving to the Parish Council meeting about the Super Dairy, Brian’s pondering who he can count on for support.

[Brian] “Richard Thwaite … I’ve found more support around Glebelands commuters than the farming families in the village. What’s got into people? Can they see that this development could create jobs … just wish I could stuff Pat in a box for the evening. Seriously Debbie, she’s on the warpath!”

Maybe the commuter chaps do support the dairy because they don’t actually spend enough time in the village.

Tony’s too tired

[Pat] “Come on love,. Stir your stumps. The meeting starts at half past”

But Tony doesn’t want to go. The poor man is exhausted, and just wants a bath and bed.

Pat isn’t impressed, but relents. She does, however, take Henry out of the car and tells Tony to look after him. Seems Helen had been worried anyway about him being at the meeting.

[Pat] “It’s the least you can do … democracy can’t afford to sleep”

To make matters worse for Tony, henry is also in a lively mood. So will need entertaining.

Seriously – unless everyone lets up on Tony, he’s not going to be with us for much longer.

Ed’s speaking for Grundy Senior

Seems Joe is feeling too old and cold to make the meeting, so Ed’s speaking up for him.

[Ed] “Look at the size of it. Whatever happened to the lowly cowboy?”

Seems Will doesn’t concur.

[Ed] “I swear he’s only taking Brian’s side to spite me!”

Aye, probably

Let the stooshie commence!

We didn’t get to hear all of Debbie’s opening speech, but it end with - drive for exports – create jobs – economy recover – great Britain play role in feeding the world …

[Debbie] “Ladies and gentleman, the big picture!”

To which she receives a smattering of clapping, but sounded like the same amount of grumbles.

Pat’s up next:

[Pat] “I found it quite hard to picture one hundred thousand, five hundred cows, that sounds so much more than fifteen hundred doesn’t it?

“Then I thought of the opening credit of Rawhide, hundreds and hundreds of steers crossing the horizon, silhouetted against the plains of Texas, or should that be Hungry, then I remembered that the cows in this dairy unit won’t be moving across America on a cattle drive, they’ll all be cooped up together in a tin shed up the road.

“ It’s not only the monstrous scale of this project that offends people, it’s the power it represents. We haven’t asked for something the size of an aircraft hangar to blight the landscape”

Debbie claims the shed is a “beautiful” design that can also be screened with trees. And it must be god, to ensure economies of scale.

Ed asks Debbie about the impact on smaller dairy producers.

[Debbie] “No competition Ed. We’ll be sending milk power to Asia, not putting pints on doorsteps”

Brian tells Ed to listen to Mike (who is in favour of the Super Dairy), which earns him a few boos.

[Debbie] “But it’s a bold vision. You shouldn’t be afraid of enterprise”

Pat then points out that Debbie won't have to live with the Super Dairy, as she’ll be managing it from Hungry. And most of the BL Board also don’t live locally, so again won’t have it on their doorstep.

[Ruth] “Where’s the local accountability?”

Debbie answers that they’ll have staffing and onsite management.

Pat asks about the all the building, and the access roads.

[Pat] “It’s more tarmac over the countryside”

[Brian] “It’s our lands, not yours”

Ed’s worried about traffic on the small country lanes. He needs to move cows twice a day.

[Ed] “That’ll be a daily hazard for my herd, and then my livelihood. So much for me not being affected!”

[Pat] “I can well see the shareholders wanting to milk the cash cow even more, and wanting to extend. And what if you can’t compete with the US economies of scale Debbie? You’ll be looking to dump the milk cheaply on the supermarkets, and that’s bound to impact in the small dairies”

And Ruth reckons that Debbie actually wants smaller local dairies to go under so that they can switch to growing arable for the Super Dairy.

[Ruth] “Not everyone agrees with your grazing system Ruth … so why are you trying to stop us doing things our way?”

Pat asks why there are less than a dozen Super Dairies in Britain? She thinks it’s because welfare is less than to be desired.

Debbie answers with - own water trough - room to lie down and move round - locally employed staff trained in husbandry - spend much of time indoors, standards of care far higher than smaller dairies (blah blah)

[Pat] “Except the high yields that you want mean yours will be worked far beyond their natural capabilities … cows in intensive units have to be dosed up to the eyeballs with antibiotics”

[Brian] “I assure you there’ll be the most pampered cows in Borchestershire. And we don’t anticipate any problems with hygiene. Unlike some local enterprises which have experienced infection problems in recent months …”

That gains Brian’s a lot of boos, and a “that was below the belt” from Ed.

And good on Pat – she doesn’t rise to the bait. She focuses instead on the issue at hand.

[Pat] “But, are people aware that this development has a pollution potential of a small town … What guarantee are there that the digester can cope with all the slurry”

[Brian] “Environmental safety is our biggest concern … “

Which raises a lot of laughter.

[Pat] “Well I’m not reassured!”

Pray silence … Ruth wants to speak

[Ruth] “Cows belong on crass. That’s what they do.

“They ruminate, and grass allows them to express their natural behaviours. However modern the breed, it’s in their genes.

“I agree a well-run zero grazing system can produce high yields as well as high welfare, and I wouldn’t accuse Borchester land of cruelty, but it's plain wring to regard cows simply as vehicles for milk production. If it’s to produce high quality and nutritious food, a dairy farm should be part of the landscape, in tune with the natural rhythms of the animal and the seasons. Not just a food factory, however well run”

Well done Ruth. Beautifully put indeed.

Who won?

Hard to tell.

If it hadn’t been for Brian being a complete boor (as per), Debbie might have been the voice of reason.

But, the Pat, Ed and Ruth combo was (I felt) just that bit stronger.

Debbie thanked David for his neutrality as NFU President (then got a dig in about badgers – just when did Debbie get so bitchy?). And Brian was thankful for small mercies.

[Brian] “Thank god Adam didn’t show up .. Annabelle seems to think it’s gone okay”

[Debbie] “Relax Brian. Just keep hold of the big picture”

Neil finally gets rid of Tracey and brood 23.02.12

The Archers Thursday 23rd February 2012

  • 12 Balloons
  • Tracey’s taste in men
  • Tracey’s sense of humour
  • At least Susan cares for Tony
  • Tony V Jennifer: (5-3)
  • Neil and Susan get fruity

12 Balloons

Neil has driven Tracey, in his van, to collect her and her kids’ stuff from Den’s.

She reckons Den can “turn funny”, so she makes Neil sit and wait in the van with her to see Den leaving the flat, making sure it’s all clear.

Den does sound like an odd ‘un.

[Tracey] “He hid my hair straighteners in the microwave once, just for a laugh”

They spot Den leaving, so get Tracey’s stuff shifted.

[Neil] “If you’d warned me about the size of Ryan’s bear, we’d have hired a pantechnicon. It’s like wrestling King Kong!”

Seems it’s a teddy Ryan got when he was a toddler, but:

[Tracey] “He was so terrified, I’d hidden it in the loft til now”

Which begs the question (as Neil does) why it needs to be moved now.

As the van is packed (in all manner), Tracey comes down with 12 balloons that Den has bought for the kids.

Neil reckons there’s no room, but Tracey insists. So the balloons go into the cab, with Tracey trying to hold them down.

Just as they’re about to leave, Tracey then remembers that the kids’ bikes are in Kev’s (the neighbour) shed.

So they have to try and jam those in as well.

Just as Neil is about to lose his temper, Tracey makes him duck down and hide. She’s seen Den returning.

She’s so stressed, she lights a fag. Bursts a balloon. Which scares Neil. Who hits the horn by mistake (all while on the phone to Susan).

[Tracey] “That’s it now. You’ve blown it!”

Den comes over …

… we don’t get to hear what was said, but Neil later tells Susan that Den just wanted to give Tracey a bit of money for the kids.

But Neil eventually managed to get Tracey to, and left, at Bert’s. Though they ended up with only 10 balloons (Tracey burst another one to even them out for the kids).

Tracey’s taste in men

As they’re sat in the van, Tracey spots a gentleman she would like to make an acquaintance.

[Tracey] “He’s fit. With the Staffie”

[Neil] “Well, if you like the bouncer look”

Tracey also has an eye for Harry. She was going to bid for him the other day, but reckoned she didn’t stand a chance with the amount being bidded.

But she reckons Neil can help her out with Bert’s garden, so not all’s lost.

Neil is not amused …

Tracey’s sense of humour

Tracey reckons she gave up smoking for lent.

[Tracey] “Well, it was ash Wednesday, weren’t it …”

[Neil, getting the ‘joke’] “Fag ash Wednesday …”

At least Susan cares for Tony

Susan blurts out to Tony that he looks very tired. Then apologies for being a bit rude.

[Tony] “Why should I mind, that’s the most concern anyone has shown me. Oh, ignore me. Everyone does”

(Tony does make it hard sometimes to be sympathetic. He has a point, but he does so moan)

But at least Susan gets him to sit down and relax. Even if he should be tidying the yard, as ordered to by his ‘boss’ Tom.

Tony V Jennifer: (5-3)

Jennifer storms into Bridge Farm to have a (not very sisterly) chat with Tony. She’s a wee bit annoyed (!) about Pat’s petition being on the village website.

[Jennifer] “It’s a totally inappropriate use of the site, she is so obsessed with opposing she’s lost all perspective!”

[Tony] “Don’t talk about Pat like that”

[Jennifer] “what a ridiculous and puerile thing to do”

[Tony] “she has every right”

[Jennifer] “of course you’d stick up for her!”

[Tony] “you’re sticking up for Brian!”

[Jennifer] “Well I know what’s behind it. Spite! Because I wouldn’t let you money last year!”


[Tony] “Oh my … you really think I’m that petty … if you can't distinguish between our personal differences and my objections to this ghastly diary, then you’re thicker than I thought!”

[Jennifer] “What? Sticks and stones Tony. This petition is nothing but a rabble rousing tool to subvert the debate”

[Tony] “Oh no no Jennifer, it’s a legitimate and democratic tool to fight an inhumane system of farming. You know, you had principles once, but now you just follow the money”


[Tony] “You’re so wedded to the elite now you can’t see it”


[Jennifer] “And you’re still so jealous at Brian’s success. It’s pathetic at your age”


[Tony] “If that’s success I’d rather be a failure”


[Jennifer] “It’s funny his money wasn’t a problem when you needed to borrow some”


[Tony] “There’s a moral difference between need and greed Jennifer, and I know what side I’d rather be on”



Tony might be tired, but he’s holding his own very well at the moment.

And Jennifer should know better. She used the website for her (well, Brian’s) own ends as well. Tony is quite right that she’s blinkered.

Neil and Susan get fruity

That’s at least twice in as many months!

[Susan] “You’re a saint Neil Carter, you know”

After Neil got home from dropping off Tracey and her kids, they started off with a nice cuddle.

After Tracey and her kids, Ivy dying, Clive returning (and the rather nicer appearance of Kylie), Susan and Neil have been through a lot recently.

And now they’re alone.

[Susan] “Just listen to it Neil. The silence”

Neil suggests they go out to the new Chinese Restaurant, but Susan has a glint in her eye …

[Susan] “It might be nicer to stay in and er, enjoy our privacy”

[Neil, sounding quite throaty in what I assume is lust …] “What a good idea!”

Nice that they still like each other that way, but *shudder* …

Jim does some nifty calculations 22.02.12

The Archers Wednesday 22nd February 2012

  • Lilian doesn’t like ugly food
  • Lilian and Matt are pro Super Dairy
  • Still laughing at Lynda and her Llamas
  • Sabrina wants Harry to strip off
  • Eddie ‘the shark’ Grundy
  • £723 raised for Britain in Bloom
  • Jim’s cider formula
  • Tom’s going on. Again.

Lilian doesn’t like ugly food

Tom’s delivering Lilian’s veg box.

[Lilian] “What’s that ugly thing under the leeks?”

It’s celeriac, which Lilian reckons she’ll give to Jennifer.

[Lilian] “To be honest, a lot of it goes to waste, especially when it’s very muddy. I vet it out of loyalty really, left to myself I’d live off of titbits from Underwoods food hall. Still, Matt likes a square meal, so I make the effort”

Tom asks Lilian whether she would like the veg boxes more, and waste less, if the boxes had more “exotic” things like chili, aubergines and blueberries.

(Exotic? Really?)

[Lilian] “Blueberries are supposed to keep you alive forever”

Or at least able to keep you alive a bit longer if you’re overtly fond of G&Ts …

Lilian and Matt are pro Super Dairy

As Brian mention the other day.

Lilian tells Tom that they’re in favour because it’ll create jobs. And create more work for the construction industry.

No self-interest involved there then!

Still laughing at Lynda and her Llamas

Which I think is cruel.

[Eddie] “Who in their right mind could think a Llama could do an even job of cutting the grass … mind you, dad would have fancied their droppings for his veg patch”

[Mike] “Llama beans!”

Oh ha ha.

Sabrina wants Harry to strip off

In fact, she’s asked him to wit to do his 4 hours with her until it gets hot.


[Eddie] “Women used to think of me like that”

[Mike] “Yeah. Now they ask you to keep it on”

Eddie ‘the shark’ Grundy

Mike’s showing Eddie what water feature Vicky has chosen.

It’s called a Trevi. So Vicky’s now going on about Roman Holiday …

So now that Vicky has chosen her water feature:

[Eddie] “I’d prefer cash if that’s alright …or a cheque, made out to me”

Mike’s stunned.

[Mike] “What do you want, the shirt of me back? … You’re a shark Eddie.”

Well we all saw it coming.

Eddie meant to offer his labour, not to pay for the whole thing.

And what do they expect? Clarrie’s on the dole, for goodness sake.

£723 raised for Britain in Bloom

From the Promise Auction, which is great. Though no one knows where the £3 came from.

And it’s meant they don’t have to even consider Brian’s offer for BL to sponsor.

[Jim] “I’d rather we raised our own money than took Borchester Land’s shilling”

Jim’s cider formula

Jim’s telling Mike that the Cider Club are now filling out their forms. But, they still need to agree a %.

Mike’s horrified to hear that Joe was asking for 80%, though Jim got him down to 70%

[Mike] “You see that’s greedy … 50/50 more like”

Mike then mentions that Jim needs to create a formula to make it fair. An idea which Jim gets very excited about.

Jim goes away to do a few sums, and calls an urgent meeting of the Cider Club.

(I never knew Lilian was a member, by the way. Doesn’t seem she’s been doing much to earn cider from the Community Orchard …)

We then spend the next few hours (or so it seemed) listening to Jim presenting the new formula that’ll fairly solve who gets how much cider.

I’ll admit I went to sleep for most of it. Jim was waffling on about pictorial representations and circle graphs and the like. The few snippets I did catch:

[Lilian] “Pretty colours!”

[Jim] “Working on the principle of Pythagorean principle …”

[Lilian] “Oh, quotient groups eh?”

[Jim] “Does that answer your question Mike?”

[Mike] “I don’t know”

At the end – Jim had worked out that, according to his complex formula, the Grundys get 60%, everyone else 40% pro rata.

[Mike] “Well you’ve been round the letters of the alphabet, I suppose it’s fair”

[Joe] “You're looking gormless Mike Tucker”

[Mike] “I’m not sure what happened there …”

Lilian and Jim go off to get more drinks in.

She’s having a guffaw.

[Lilian] “Where did you study? The university of hokum?!?”


Well done Jim. All sorted.

Though that was mighty dull eavesdropping …

Tom’s going on. Again.

This time about expanding the poly tunnels. Again.

[Tony] “ I can’t just magic up new produce”

[Tom] “So we can capitalise on this window of change!”

[Tony] “Do you remember than time when you wanted to produce organic nuggets and kebabs!”

But Tom reckons they were just novelty ideas.

[Tom] “Now is the opportunity, this is a revolutionary time for the Ambridge Organic brand and you want to talk about nuggets!”
[Tony] “Seems I can’t even have a joke with my son anymore …”

[Tom] “You obviously think it’s all a joke. I’m telling you, the veg is the weak link in the operation”

[Tony] “Don’t you dare patronise me Tom,. It's all very well this big talk, but who’s paying for these shiny new tunnels eh. I’m already in hock to Lilian and the bank!”

[Tom] “Oh just forget it”

And Tom storms off.

He later returns, to ask Tony (again) and tidying the year.

Tony agrees that it will get done. But he is more interested in treating one of his cow’s foot which has a blister. He’s using arnica and witch hazel.

At least there’s one farmer in the family.

The Promise Auction 21.02.12

The Archers Tuesday 21st February 2012

  • The cows are out!
  • Jim’s not impressed with random acts of kindness
  • Ed and George’s Slug patrol
  • Eddie’s water feature
  • Lynda’s Surprise
  • Ladies queue noisily for Harry
  • Less women queue for Oliver
  • Brian bought Clarrie
  • Ruth’s drunk

The cows are out!

Yay! One of my favourite times of the year. Ruth’s too:

[Ruth] “They skipped onto the grass this morning. It’s always such a great sight”

[Usha] “And a natural one”

[Ruth] “Exactly”

[Usha] “Makes me shudder to think of row upon rows of cows not being able to row around”

Though Ruth hates to do it, she does correct Usha’s misconception, which is a common ones. The Super Dairy cows will be “loose housed”, which means they can move around.

But they won’t ever get to skip on the grass, eh?!?

Anyhoo – Usha promised to be at the Super Dairy Parish Council meeting, and asks Ruth to lend her support to Alan by coming tonight’s Promise Auction. Ruth doesn’t sound keen, but is persuaded to at least have one night out.

Jim’s not impressed with random acts of kindness

Nor the ban on gossip for lent.

[Jim] “One man’s gossip is another man’s need to know”

[Alan] “It’s all to do with intention, though Jim”

[Jim] “And as for that woolly random act of kindness nonsense, straight out of a Californian self-help book!”

[Alan] “ … To give and not to count the cost”

[Jolene] “I read that most women can keep a secret for precisely 32 minutes”

(I think Jolene missed the point of the conversation …)

[Vicky] “I’m not really one for gossip”

[Lynda] “No. Me neither”


They then go on to gossip about Brian only being at the Promise Auction to “flash the cash” to get support for the Super Dairy!

Ed and George’s Slug patrol

Which they’ll do every night for a fortnight.

The bidding goes:

£2 Lynda
£4 Susan
£6 jean (who she?)

Might have gone higher, but they moved the microphones.

Eddie’s water feature

Here we go.

We all know that Eddie has only offered to fit a water feature. Not to buy the whole thing and fit it.

Alan even says that Eddie’s is an “unspecified generous offer”, but then goes on to say that the highest bidder will then get to choose a water feature from it – even top of the range.



£10 Vicky
£12 Jim
£14 Christine
£16 to ‘sir’ (who he?)
£18 Christine
£20 Usha
£25 Vicky … finally ending up with Vicky at £65

Seems Mike wasn’t looking too pleased.

Lynda’s Surprise

Before the auction, Alan had been heard to mutter that Lynda’s Surprise (an unnamed item for the Promise Auction):

[Alan] “It’s a typically weird one from planet Lynda”

And when it comes to Lynda’s item during the auction, it turns out to be Lynda offering her Llamas to come and cut (well, eat) your grass.

[Jim] “Oh for heaven’s sake! It sounds like something out of the Flintstone’s!”

Though Jolene starts off the bidding at £5, everyone else is in fits of laughter.

Lynda rather tearily heads off to hide in the toilet.

Poor Lyndee! Really quite ashamed of Ambridge for taking the Michael out of someone trying to do something different.

Lynda and her Llamas are welcome round mine anytime.

Though the Llamas can just relax. I have false grass rather than real (4 greyhounds + fairly small garden = mud)

Later on, we find out that Alan bidded £30 for the Llamas, and calmed Lynda down by telling her that:

[Alan] “people didn’t knew how to react”

Lynda seems to accept that explanation, and seems quite chuffed. They just now need to arrange a date.

[Lynda] “Oh, they’re ever ready and willing. Like they’re mistress!”


Was that Lynda coming on to Alan?

Ladies queue noisily for Harry

Though we still don’t get to hear from Harry. He’s at the Promise Auction, but is hiding at the back.

What’s wrong with that boy? Talk of the village, but doesn’t utter a word!

Anyhoo – Harry’s items is four hours of gardening.

[Alan] “Use him as you will ladies!”

(oo-er! That’s illegal to sell that sort of thing, Alan!)

Bidding starts at £10.

£15 Jolene
£20 Ruth

[Ruth] “Purely for his practical help …”

£25 Vicky
£30 Brenda
£35 Lilian
£40 Ruth
£45 Kirsty
£50 Brenda
£55 Hilary Noakes

[Alan] “Well I think harry could make a comfortable living from the women here tonight!”

(still illegal, Alan)

£60 Usha (much to Alan’s surprise)
£65 Jolene
£70 Usha
£75 Jolene (to save Alan’s marriage …)
£85 Sabrina – and all done


So Sabrina wins.

But where was Fallon?

Were Jolene’s bids on her behalf?

Less women queue for Oliver

Poor Oliver’s item (also four hours digging) comes up just after Harry. Which wasn’t quite fair on the poor chap.

[Alan] “Come on ladies, he’s still going to save you a job!”

We didn’t get to hear the bidding, but seems Jim bought Oliver for Joe.

Well done Jim. We didn’t want Oliver to also have to run off to the toilets in tears.

Brian bought Clarrie

Though the general consensus is that Brian paid well over odd for Clarrie's advice on flowering plants.

Was Lynda right about him splashing the cash?

Ruth’s drunk

Reckons Usha, but Usha reckons she herself is just high on atmosphere …

… aye, right then!

They were both just on heat during the Harry bidding.

Kylie’s back 20.02.12

The Archers Monday 20th February 2012

  • There’s somebody at the door
  • Tony’s avoiding Tom
  • Now Helen wants to meet Rich?

There’s somebody at the door

It’s Kylie to see Bert.

She reckons she can read and visit him at the same time. (she’s back in Ambridge as she has a reading week from Uni).

[Bert] “The first one in the family to go to a u-niversity”

Bert’s very proud of his granddaughter. Especially considering she’s Clive’s daughter, who, Bert reckons, has “led a life of ruin”.

Wonder where Clive got his naughty habits from?

As Bert is chatting to kylie, he mentions that Gary hasn’t got out of his pit yet, and:

[Bert] “Eh, that’s his washing there”

So Kylie goes to put it in the washing machine for them …

Bert’s a crafty auld yin alright. And he’s very much looking forward to Tracey moving in. though I suspect that’s more to do with Bert having a cook and cleaner, rather than him getting to spend more time with his daughter and grandkids (as he claims).

But Bert also still has his eye on Neil.

He calls Neil to mention that “poor old Gary” hasn’t had his room done. So maybe Neil could come back and do it as well.

We didn’t get to hear Neil’s reply …

Tony’s avoiding Tom

After shouting at him yesterday.

Now Helen wants to meet Rich?

Kylie turns up at Bridge Farm to say hello.

She seems to be fine about Tony and Pat constantly shifting the conversation back to Rich.

Helen was behaving a bit oddly. At one point, she complimented Kylie on her earring – and how they matched her eyes … eh?

Anyhoo, Kylie is happy to be back at bridge Farm.

[Kylie] “Hey I remember this kitchen. It was always really warm in here”

Tony reckons that was because she was used to living in the caravan.

After Kylie has left to get a lift back to the village with Helen:

[Tony] “Thank god she didn’t inherit Clive’s genes”

[Pat] “She’s a sweetie”

In the car with Helen, Kylie is saying she remembers “uncle John” and his music decks.

She also tells Helen that Sharon has never encouraged Rich to find out about John because she’s so protective of him.

[Kylie] “He is curious … that he sometimes wonders where he’s come from … rich would
still like to know about his real father, he’s said it to me more than once”

But, Rich has got to the age where he doesn’t seriously want to ask his mum to let him find out more.

[Kylie] “I don’t mind. But it’s not very fair on Rich … I feel sad he’s missing out on knowing Tony and Pat. They’re so lovely”

[Helen] “They’re aching to get to know Rich Kylie. So am I … John meant everything to me … his death has left a terrible scar on the family, a scar Rich might be able to help heal one day”

[Kylie] “That’s a big ask for a little lad”

Sensing Kylie might be an ally, Helen asks her if she’ll speak to Sharon. Or, if she herself (Helen) should talk to Sharon.

[Kylie] “I’m sorry. But she’s not going to change her mind about this. Trust me”

Ah – but Kylie has shown herself to be a possible in.

And I’m surprised Helen now sounds just as keen as Pat and Tony for Rich to be a real part of the family.

As we all know, what Helen wants, Helen generally gets.

Tony wants to thump Tom? 19.02.12

The Archers Sunday 19th February 2012

  • Kirsty wants purple headed broccoli
  • Tom’s pushing Tony (and his luck)
  • Alan bans gossip
  • When did Shula forgive St Stephen’s?
  • Now Jill wants Harry!
  • David’s Choice … Pip, Josh or Ben?
  • Kylie’s coming back
  • Tony V Brian: 3-2!
  • A “phalanz” of BL
  • Alistair still in a grump with Shula

Kirsty wants purple headed broccoli

Tony sorts her out.

Tom’s pushing Tony (and his luck)

Tony is still running the majority of Home Farm by himself.

He reckons he’s only just about caught up with tasks from last week (when Tom was away …
Surely it should be Tom that does the catching up?).

But Tom either can’t see that, or doesn’t care. He’s still on about tidying the farm for pictures and videos ahead of the next relaunch.

[Tony] “Don’t worry, there’s going to be an army of fairies to help me! … just relax tom. There’s plenty of time before the Felpersham relaunch”

Tom was very generous in saying he’d “push paperwork” back to this afternoon if Tony would drop everything there and then to start tidying. But Tony needs to get the tractor out for doing something to the seeds bed.

Then, Tony intends to go to The Bull for a pint, after which he’ll have an afternoon snooze.

[Tony] “You can sigh all you want. I deserve one afternoon off”

Later on, after Tony has had his pint (though he didn’t get a doze – he had to look after Henry!), Tom has yet another go at him.

But Tony hasn’t got time to talk about the yard again … sounds like he won’t, rather than can’t.

[Tom] “Why are you digging your heels like this? Don’t you want it to be a success … I want to tick it off my to do list!”

[Tony] “Stop haranguing me … look Tom, I’m not the lowly farm hand and you’re not my gaffer, so just back off, alright!!!”

Tom’s to do list?!?

What an ar*e.

Alan bans gossip

It’s a rare eavesdropping in on Alan’s Sunday service.

He’s talking about what they (as a congregation) should do for lent – how “to prepare and purify selves” through making sacrifices.

He acknowledges that the giving up of Sunday lunch last year didn’t work too well (Eddie and Joe!), and that everyone is a tad tight for cash this year,

So – while the church will donate a regular sum from their weekly collection box to a debt crisis charity in Borchester, Alan also wants his parishioners to give something up:

[Alan] “but not quite in the usual way …

“So the first challenge to you is to give up gossip … those negative and snide comments about other people, ones we’d be mortified to hear turned back on ourselves. It takes two to gossip remember, one to speak and the other to relish listening.

“The second challenge is that you go out of your way to perform random acts of kindness. That’s not like making your spouse a cup of tea, cause I hope you do that occasionally. No, I mean something really special. Putting yourself out. Giving of your own time and energy to help someone else for its own sake, you may find your kindness is returned to you …”

Jill’s quite impressed.

[Jill] “What an original idea, giving up gossip!”

[Shula] “Well I don’t know how someone is going to manage without gossiping …”

[Jill] “Careful, he’ll (Neil) hear you!”

[Shula] “Sorry, Susan will need to take a vow of silence!”

When did Shula forgive St Stephen’s?

She seems to be going every Sunday.

Shula and Usha had a few chats when Nigel died, but I don’t remember Shula making amends and being formally brought back into the fold.

Now Jill wants Harry!

What on earth is happening to the women of Ambridge?

They seem to be on heat – and only for the (previously rather unnoticed, apart from Fallon) Harry.

[Jill] “But I don’t think I’ll be able to afford him … there’s been an awful lot of interest from the young women in the village, and some not so young …”

[Shula] “I know, what a hoot!”

And they’re right that interest in Harry will raise a lot of money.

David’s Choice … Pip, Josh or Ben?

Jill and Shula are talking about David and his woes.

[Jill] “He feels he’s been forced to choose between Pip and Josh, because one favours the sheep and the other the cows”

Seems David is also worrying about Ben as well as Josh and Pip.

Shula and Jill are right that David’s kids could want to do anything, live anywhere, when they grow up. So he’s worrying too early about making decisions for Brookfield based on all three of his kids wanting to stay on and farm.

[Shula] “He and Ruth need to plan on the basis of here and now, not the what if”

Yup. David AND Ruth.

[Jill] “I don’t know how Ruth will cope if they do lose the herd, it’s so much a part of who she is”

Kylie’s coming back

Neil’s picking her up next week (she has a reading week).

Seems she’s friends with Emma on Facebook, and they’re been getting on really well.

Suppose it is easy to like Emma when you’re not actually in the same room as her.

Kylie’s visit will set off Pat and Tony again …

Tony V Brian: 3-2!

As Tony is having his aforementioned pint in The Bull, Brian comes in to talk to Neil about the forthcoming Super Dairy themed Parish Council meeting.

Tony warns Neil not to get bullied by Brian, but Neil reckons he can handle Brian.

Just as Tony proves he can …

[Tony] “Come to nobble Neil have you?”

[Brian] “Now there’s a tongue twister”

[Tony] “You know what I mean”

[Brian] “I take it you’ll be there on Friday, hiding behind Pat’s dungarees!”


[Tony] “Oh ha ha. At least we’re untied on this, unlike your family!”


But Brian reveals to Tony that both Lilian and Jennifer are in favour of the Super Dairy,

[Brian] “So that leaves you the odd one out amongst your siblings”


[Tony] “Same as Adam then! Pat’s gonnae wipe the floor with you on Friday”


[Brian] “Look forward to it. You know tony, dinosaurs died out because they couldn’t adapt”

[Tony] “That’s funny. I thought it was because there heads got so big they couldn’t hold them up anymore!”

3-2 and Full Time. Spoils to Tony!

A “phalanz” of BL

During the negotiations between Brian and Neil for the Super Dairy Parish Council meeting, Debbie and Brian each wanted a turn to present. And Martin to also sit on stage with them to answer questions on finance. The rest of BL will sit in the audience.

(lots of Martin related mentions at the moment. What’s afoot?)

[Brian] “I mean we don’t want to sit up there looking like a phalanz of polic bureau chiefs!”

[Neil] “Or a PR exercise”

So Brian decides Debbie will do the presentation.

[Brian] “Debbie will probably do a slicker, I mean clearer, presentation than me”

And Neil insists that the audience can ask questions throughout.

Alistair still in a grump with Shula

Even Jill has noticed that there’s an atmosphere.

Seems Alistair is still annoyed about Shula’s executive decision to buy Topper.

Though Freddie doesn’t know she’s bought him. Seems Shula is going to keep that secret until Freddie is old enough to ride him.

[Shula] “There was no way I was letting him go mum. He belongs in the family”

Even though it’s caused a family split in keeping him.

Wonder if Tipper is Shula’s revenge for Alistair and Erin?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Brian gets a trip to a garden centre 17.02.12

The Archers Friday 17th February 2012

  • Pip opened a tin of soup
  • Brookfield LambWatch
  • Martin Gibson’s mum has died
  • Tony really isn’t consumer focused
  • Brian just wants to feed the world
  • David chooses Pip over Josh
  • Debbie’s coming home
  • Did Pip get an iPhone?

Pip opened a tin of soup

Well done Pip.

A momentous occasion for your 19th birthday indeed.

At least Spencer is taking you out later on, for you have work to do. Because it is:

Brookfield LambWatch

It’s lambing time at Brookfield.

Expect a lot of yawning, coffee and grumpy David.

But Pip has an idea. She reckons they should allow folks to coming along and watch the lambing,

[Pip] “They watch it on television, don’t they, it’s very popular”

(after David initially grunted at her. Wasn’t listening, as per)

[David] “Lambing as a kind of tourist attraction, could be interesting”

It is a good idea. But I can’t help shake the sinking feeling that Pip is just becoming another Tom Archer.


Martin Gibson’s mum has died

Not that we really know that much about Martin, but worth a mention as Brian had gone to the lengths of buying him a sympathy card from the village shop.

Not like Brian to give a hoot. Or to not just send Jennifer.

(actually, I thought she’d be the type of have a stack of cards for every occasion already kept in a drawer at home)

Tony really isn’t consumer focused

Tom’s harassing Tony about tidying up the farm.

[Tom] “It just doesn’t look very inviting”

[Tony] “It’s a farm yard, not a hotel foyer. It’s a working environment”

[Tom] “People want to be comfortable about where their food comes from”

To which I do agree, but Tom is pushing his luck. And why he can’t just take photos of the tidy bits for the moment, I don’t know.

He even wants a wall repainted,

[Tom] “It’s all peeling, it’s like a metaphor, if people see that they might think maybe that we don’t care enough about the food we produce”

[Tony] “Well they can think what they damn well like. If they’re stupid enough to confuse being a painter and decorator with a farmer, then I don’t know why we bother!”

But Tom says to just trust him. He knows what folks want nowadays …

… including that they should change their packaging to emphases British (rather than organic). And that they should extend their poly tunnels.

Will it ever end?

Tom has good ideas, but he doesn't seem to think (or care) about expense and all the extra work involved.

Mind you, why would he?

It’ll be Tony’s (and Pat’s) money, and Tony doing all the extra work.


Brian just wants to feed the world

Brian hasn’t stepped in dog poo But thinks folks are looking at him like he has.

[Brian] “Looked at me liked I’d just walked dog muck into the place …”

Looks like he won’t be going into the village shop for a card anytime soon.

Brian is not a happy bunny at the moment. He seems to think the world is against him.

[Brian] “That son of yours can sulk for England … now I can’t even show my face in the village without being treated like a leaper … it’s so unjust … all I’m trying to do is feed a hungry world in the most efficient way possible!”

(seriously? Surely Brian can’t even believe that one!)

[Jennifer] “I think you need cheering up”

[Brian] “Oh really, thank you doctor Freud!”

She’s only offering a trip to the garden centre, which Brian first scoffs at, then accepts.

They seem to have a nice enough time. Even though that oik Tom was also there seeing a buyer.

David chooses Pip over Josh

[Ruth] “I think we need to stop pussy footing around … it’s time we faced up to reality. We need to buy that slurry tank”

David doesn’t agree./ he still think s they’ll spend £20,000 on the tank – get themselves into debt – and still not make any decent profit from the milking.

[Ruth] “What about Josh? … he’s got the makings of a really good dairy farmer, how is he going to feel if we snatch that away from him”

[David] “I’m not sure we can afford to care about that”

He reckons they can’t “nurse” the milk along for the next 10 years, just in case Josh wants to work at Brookfield on the dairy.

[Ruth] “We can’t choose the future of one child over another”

[David] “We have to … he might just be backing the wrong horse. And so might you”

But Ruth only thinks it’s obvious that they need a new tank. So they should get it.

[Ruth] “We will find a way”

[David] “Just saying we will doesn’t make it so!”

But they leave it there for the moment. Pip’s come back in, and they don’t want to ruin her birthday.

Debbie’s coming home

For a visit.

Well, to be more specific, to be at the Parish Council/Super Dairy meeting.

Jennifer’s delighted that she’ll also stay over for a few days (she’s hoping Debbie can help mend Adam and Brian).

But none of the anti-Super Dairy chaps will be pleased to see her. Debbie presents a far more reasonable (and likeable) side to Brian’s argument.

Did Pip get an iPhone?

Sounded like it. She squealed, and mention something about an app.

I didn’t think Ruth and David has the cash.

Tony’s 61st birthday 16.02.12

The Archers Thursday 16th February 2012

  • Helen has a “fine looking meat”
  • Tom’s glad Tony hasn’t started the milking
  • Another launch
  • Adam’s sending Ian instead
  • Posh meal for Tony
  • Tidy the farm!

Helen has a “fine looking meat”

So reckons Pat.

[Helen] “Isn’t it! Brookfield’s best …”

Helen’s making beef wellington as a birthday treat for Tony.

Though Pat seems a bit nervous about Helen doing the cooking. She kept offering to help, and nearly had a heart attack when Helen said she was going to pout icing on the cake.

Tom’s glad Tony hasn’t started the milking

It is Tom's turn, so he wants to be sure Tony isn’t covering again.

(aye, right then!)

Tom’s been off to Shrewsbury to finalise his ready meals. He sounds quite excited ... insufferable …

Another launch

With Tom’s ready meals (ahem) ready, he also wants Helen and Pat to step up their cheese and yoghurt production for the March launch in Felpersham.

Tom has also been thinking about making different seasonal yoghurts – that they should have a Spring line about to come out. Pat reckons rhubarb or blossom would be nice.

Tom does seem a tad overzealous about this launch. He reckons they’ll have buyers from all over the midlands coming.

Adam’s sending Ian instead

Adam and Ian are talking about the Parish Council meeting with BL.

[Adam] “In a way, I feel I should, there are such important principles at stake”

But, Adam’s worried that the anti-Super Dairy brigade will line up behind him (he is anti, but doesn’t want to be seen as one of them … odd). Plus he also feels there’s a big difference between telling Brian his objections face to face and saying it in public.

(he didn’t seem so bothered when he was being interviewed for the radio!)

[Adam] “The atmosphere at Home Farm is poisonous already, if I started sounding off in front of the whole village …”

Ian’s also worried about Adam going to the meeting.

[Ian] “It’s what the story might become … The story you want everyone to come away with is mega dairy, bad for cows bad for farming bad for the environment … the trouble is, people just love a family row, as long as it’s in someone else’s family .. .you know what the press are like … I could see them being more interested in the family split than about the issues, and then the story becomes about something else. I don’t think anyone wants that”

That’s enough for Adam to head off and call pat to tell her that he won’t be there.

She’s disappointed.

[Pat] “Given your expertise as a local farmer, your expertise will carry a lot of weight!”

But she also understands his reasoning.

[Adam] “Am I just being a wuss Ian? For all I dress it up is it really because I can’t just bear the thought of anymore unpleasantness between Brian and me, especially in public”

Ian reckons he’s done the right thing, and will change his shifts so that he can go to the meeting, and be a “spy in the camp”.

Blimey. I wouldn’t get remotely involved, if I were you Ian.

Posh meal for Tony

Or so he reckons.

Mind you, anything would look like a meal fit for a king when compared to the sad and little amount of food Tony has recently been getting. Constant reheated soup.

Brenda’s running late (something about her computer mucking up a proposal she needs to get done), so they start without her. Actually – Tom wasn’t even bothered that they set a plate aside for her.

I really don’t think those two are getting married anytime soon, if at all.

Tidy the farm!

Is what Tom wants to do, as they’ll need photos and videos for the launch.

[Tony] “Well, if you want to have a tidy up I’m not going to stop you”

Ah … but … Tom reckons he has a “hell of a lot on”, so was wondering if Tony would do it … after all, it’s probably stuff Tony has been meaning to do for ages anyhoo.

Tony is furious.

[Tony] “There’s only so many hours in the day!”

But Pat comes in and demands a “business free zone for the rest of the evening”.

Quite right.

Why did Tom felt the need to ask Tony to tidy the farm, on Tony’s birthday?

Cause he’s an ar*e. That’s why.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Brian realises he’s really upset Adam 15.02.12

The Archers Wednesday 15th February 2012

  • Fearless Freddie
  • Adam isn’t happy to see Brian
  • Shula ignores Alistair
  • Adam also ignores Alistair

Fearless Freddie

I learnt what a hack is today.

It’s when one takes one horse out for a bit of light exercise.

Which is what Daniel was about to do with Freddie.

Daniel reckons Freddie has no fear when it comes to riding.

[Shula] “He gets that from your Uncle Nigel”

Seems Freddie’s Casper took fright when he saw a Chinese Lantern in a hedge (one presumes it had been floated and crashed down. They do seem to make a regular appearance in Ambridge as a menace), but Freddie handled it well. He even walked Casper back and forth in front of it a few times to show him that there was nothing to be scared of.

Adam isn’t happy to see Brian

Infact, he groans.

Brian started wittering about something to do with “spraying off the stubble”

[Adam] “For heaven’s sake!”

Adam was furious!

He ranted about how it’s only the 15th, so he couldn’t have started before (why? Honestly, I’d like to know), that it was forecast to rain, so there shouldn’t be a hurry, and that the ground isn’t warm enough to start drilling peas anyhoo.

They then get into Brian having his meeting with the Parish Council. Adam jibes Brian that he needs to get all of his ammunition ready.

[Adam] “I expect all interested parties will want to be there”

Later on, Adam doesn’t sound enthused by Jennifer’s offer of Sunday lunch fir himself, Ian, Alice, Chris and a few other.

[Adam] “I don’t think so mum. Thanks for the thought”

And he scuttles out of Jennifer’s kitchen when Brian arrives.

[Brian] “How much longer is this going to last … a cold shoulder every time I walk into the room, he barely looks me in the eye. The only time he’ll speak to me about the day to day farm business, and those conversations become almost monosyllabic, unless he’s snapping my head off”

Brian on their slight row over the stubble spraying.

[Brian] “It was just a simple question, to try a bit of rapprochement really, but he took it the long way”

(oh hark at him! Rapprochement, indeed)

While Brian thinks he and Annabelle have managed to make it through the planning department just fine, he’s not so sure about the Environment Agency. They seemingly are a lot harder to please.

While Brian decides whether he wants a mug or a cup of coffee (seriously?), he also begins worrying about what Adam said on “interested parties” attending the Parish Council.

He’s wondering if Adam means he’ll be showing up himself …

Shula ignores Alistair

The chap who owns Topper was meeting another chap who hunts in Gloucestershire today to possibly sell him Topper. But the chap from Gloucestershire didn’t buy Topper. Shula put it off.

[Shula] “In a manner of speaking. I did … once the chap had left, I made Danny a better offer”

Alistair is a bit perturbed, and sends Daniel off to wash up before lunch. He then tells Shula that she ignored his thoughts about Topper.

[Shula] “I didn’t ignore it. I thought about it”

Alistair reckons Topper is too big a horse for Shula to use with her learners. Shula reckons Daniel enjoys riding Topper, as does Shula herself.

[Alistair] “Of course I understand why you don’t want to see Topper go. He was Nigel's horse … But we can’t afford to buy and keep Topper ourselves”

Shula does not concur.

[Shula] “It’s not we, Alistair, it’s me. The Stables is my business … I don’t tell you how to run your practice”

[Alistair] “Yes you do!”

But Shula is not interested in discussing it further. Topper is staying, and she has spaghetti to get in with.

Adam also ignores Alistair

Poor Alistair. He’s having a really rubbish day.

Shula asked him to drop by Home Farm to take back a recipe book she’d borrowed from Jennifer.

He does so on his way back from Penny Hassett (after seeing a horse with a nasty, caused by barbed wire, rather than Clive Horrobin …).

Alistair bumps into Adam, who’s trying to have a proper look at a lamb with a dodgy foot. Alistair helps him catch the lamb, not that he got any thanks for a very grumpy Adam.

He then enquires about how Adam and Ian’s Valentine’s Night was. Adam can barely be bothered to answer. Seems Ian was working.

But unflappable (sometimes) Alistair took Adam’s mood on the chin, and simply told Shula later on that he reckoned Adam was “totally fed up”.

Valentine’s Day 14.02.12

The Archers 14th February 2012

  • Neil’s final stroke … or not
  • Will and Nic’s luxurious Valentine’s Night
  • Alice and Chris’ low budget Valentine’s Night
  • Keeping the Royal fires burning
  • Lynda’s a Master
  • The Parish Council on the Super Dairy

Neil’s final stroke … or not

Bert’s pouring his thanks and deepest gratitude onto Neil for all the work he’s done on his (and Tracey’s … unknown to Neil and Susan) house.

Tracey hasn’t been getting on so well with her and the kids’ room. Seems that though the kids are on half term, they’re help with the painting wasn’t of much help:

[Bert] “No. That didn’t end happy. Just as well it were emulsion. We’d never have got that much gloss out of Chelsea’s hair … it were Brad, tried to use her as a paintbrush”

But that’s not Neil’s problem.

He makes his “final stroke” and heads off to the Parish Council Meeting.

But, on returning from the Parish Council meeting to Bert’s (to take the masking tape off), Bert is still waxing lyrical … he has an agenda.

[Bert] “Transformed this place, you have. I’d never have thought it possible … it’ll see me out, I reckon … there is just one thing … with everything else looking so grand … the hall. I can’t help thinking it’s made it look real dingy, in comparison like”

[Neil, smelling more work ahoy] “Well, it’s a case of where you draw the line, innit”

(Innit? Innit??? When did Mr Neil Carter start saying “innit”???)

[Bert] “Oh, shame to spoilt the ship for a ha'pworth of tar”
(which is something about spoiling something by prioritising a small saving).

And anyway, Bert reckons having the hall done “would see me out proper”.

Emotional blackmail. Difficult to sidestep.

So Neil agrees to also do the hall.

[Neil] “But that’s it then, definitely”

Ha! Even Neil can’t believe that one.

Will and Nic’s luxuriousValentine’s Night

Involves Will looking smart, and a four course meal at The Feathers (with champagne).

Will also gave Nic a pair of lovely earrings.

[Chris] “Yeah, after this you can coast for the next 30 years!”

At Nic and Will’s meal, Nic gets a bit overexcited.

[Nic] “Oh my god! It’s a work of art … I’ve never seen anything like it, at least not on a plate”

But there’s more. Nic's a bit worried about having another glass of champagne as they haven’t discussed who is driving home,

But she needn’t worry. Will’s sorted it.

[Will] “We’re going to stay here. I’ve booked us a room”

Clarrie’s over at theirs looking after the kids, so Will and Nic are free to enjoy a night away.

Nic reckons she’s being spoilt:

[Nic] “No you’re no. Nothing can spoil you. You're perfect”

Aw. Sweetness itself.

My word, how Will has changed.

Thank Nic!

Alice and Chris’ low budget Valentine’s Night

[Alice] “We’re doing it low budget stylely”

They got a DVD, and Double Happiness

(the name of the Chinese restaurant they’ve got a takeaway from, not something kinky)

[Nic] “Oh lovely. A cosy takeaway in front of the telly”

Though Nic wouldn’t quite be ready to swap it for her swanky night out.

Alice also tells Chris to keep his money in his pocket when some bloke (with, what I imagine, is a bucket of roses) offers them to him and Will for the ladies. £4 Alice would rather he saved.

Later, back at home, Alice discovers that Chris has made decorations:

[Alice] “beautiful like a real oriental restaurant”

And the man carved carrot!

[Alice] “Much better than some hot house rose wrapped in cellophane”

Keeping the Royal fires burning

At the Parish Council meeting, they’re talking about celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Lynda’s keen for a beacon.

Seems on the 4th of June, there will be beacons lit across the UK, starting with the Queen setting one alight. All Ambridge needs to do is apply to be one of the 2012.

[Jill] “That’s a lot, isn’t it?”

But seems they had 1800 for the Golden Jubilee.

Lynda’s a Master

Along with the beacon:

[Neil] “Oh there’s a job .. pageant master. Not many of those about!”

[Lynda] “Well I do to think of myself as Ambridge’s unofficial pageant master …”

The plan would be to have the beacon on Lakey Hill.

Which, as Jill pointed out, they’d done for the Silver. Oddly, Lynda seem to be irritated at Jill saying anything during this meeting.

When Lynda said she’d contact David for permission to use Lakey Hill

[Jill] “Or I could .. he is my son”

[Lynda] “No, as I am, as it were, beacon master”

[Neil] “Mistress”

[Lynda] “Or indeed mistress … I think it best that we go through official channels”

Eh? Why is Lynda trying to shut Jill out?

Anyhoo – they get onto who should build the beacon (Mike), and whether they should hold their own pageant. But they don’t want to clash with the official one, so settle on a street party (on the green – the ‘street’ but doesn’t matter, it would seem) type picnic just before or after the official celebrations.

There was murmurs of approval from the rest of the committee for that.

Jill and Audrey are to organise the party (which Lynda didn’t object to – she is being very inconsistent tonight), and they’ll also dig out the maypole from under the village hall stage.


Proper Britishness (without the jingoism).

The Parish Council on the Super Dairy

Well, we didn’t really get to hear what was said. Just the post discussion discussion.

[Neil] “I’m just saying Borchester Land have a light to be heard … there is an argument for this type of unit”

[Lynda] “Yes, a financial one”

But they will hear BL out anyway at another meeting. And Jill’s definitely going to be there.

[Jill] “Pat rang me earlier. Geeing me up. I was going to be there anyway!”

Quite right. Jill was the original agitator, after all.

[Lynda] “I think it’s vital anyone opposed to this plan, which is really anyone who cares a jot about animals or the environment, needs to be there. Borchester Land have money and resources on their side. We need to match them. If we can”

There we go.

BL has nae chance. Lynda and Jill have joined the affray!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Bit of a snooze day 13.02.12

The Archers Monday 13th February 2012

  • What film wouldn’t Ruth have liked?
  • Tom has broken a cow
  • A feature of oil and vinegars
  • Brenda helps cooks tatties and has some non-British wine
  • Proper sleeves on asparagus
  • Tom’s spicy meatballs are bland
  • Josh wants to be a dairy farmer
  • Will Grundy offers mole trapping
  • Sabrina Thwaite’s desperate for Harry
  • Now they’re going to write a letter!

What film wouldn’t Ruth have liked?

But Josh really enjoyed as a wee half term treat.

(seriously – very slow day. That was the biggest question of the lot!)

Tom has broken a cow


He finally does a milking shift, and comes back saying cow 373 looks lame.

A feature of oil and vinegars

Is the most exciting thing Helen had to say today.

She’s going to make a feature of oils and vinegars, teaming them up with herbs and mustards.

Heady times …

Brenda helps cooks tatties and has some non-British wine

I was losing the will to live …

Proper sleeves on asparagus

Gets a premium of 50p-60p, so it seems.

But organic status doesn’t really fetch much up.

[Tom] “It’s premium products and local … we’ve got to deal with the world as it is, mum”

Tom’s spicy meatballs are bland

Which woke me up a bit.


Josh wants to be a dairy farmer

He was talking about how kids should follow their parents’ job.

[Josh] “It’s nice if you do though. Sort of feels right”

Ruth didn’t say anything about Brookfield possibly not having a dairy herd.

Will Grundy offers mole trapping

(for the Promise Auction)

Which is as functional and ordinary as it sounds.

Sabrina Thwaite’s desperate for Harry

Though it’s Brenda who can’t seem to shut up about bidding form him in the promise Auction.

She’s being very saucy indeed. She was saying that you get 4 hours of Harry’s time:

[Brenda] “As long as it’s in the garden …”

Well, living with Tom is bound to make a girl wander eventually!

Pat tells her that Sabrina is also going to bid:

[Pat] “Willing to pay handsomely”

[Brenda] “I’ve got no chance have I? She’s got loads of money!”

[Pat] “She’s desperate …”

Which Pat changes to “determined” after Brenda guffaws.

And what would David say to Harry sweating away in his garden? Ruth reckons not much. He’d just be glad someone was doing it.

Now they’re going to write a letter!

Guerrilla warfare indeed from Ruth, Pat and (now) Brenda.

The online petition is 3 figures, and they’re also now going to write to all of the Councillors on the planning committee.

Though Pat is worried that Debbie might join the affray.

Sounds like Pat and Ruth will also get to talk to the Parish Council alongside BL, and they’d really prefer it if it was just Brian presenting:

[Pat] “You know how Brian can have that attitude …”

[Ruth] “You silly little thing, you just don’t understand”

[Pat] “That might play right into our hands”

But, they both reckon Debbie would do far better in winning folks round.

So they’re going to use an Adam strategy.

Though they won’t outright ask Adam to support them:

[Pat] “Much as I’d like to rub Brian’s nose into it …”

They will at least mention how the Super Dairy divided Brian’s family, while Pat “strongly encourages” Adam.

Tough action indeed.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bleak Times courtesy of David and Tony 12.02.12

The Archers Sunday 12th February 2012

  • Tracey is a dirty stop out … at her dad’s
  • Phew – Tony had a spare shackle link
  • Interesting NFU initiative
  • Pip’s 19 on Friday
  • Tony and David have a (morose) swift one
  • The New Zealand system
  • Kim Kardashian

Tracey is a dirty stop out … at her dad’s

Aye, think Tracey missed the point there.

Tracey was out with her mate Marlene, who had been chucked out by her bloke because she’d trashed his fishing gear.

[Neil] “Well I’m not surprised!”

[Tracey] “She only did it because he wasn’t really going fishing, he was seeing this slapper from the tanning salon”

So TLC turned into cocktails, and Tracey crashed with Marlene at Bert’s. leaving her kids at Susan and Neil’s.

Well, she did text. Though Susan had to miss church because of having to sit Tracey’s kids.

[Tracey] “Won’t hurt once in a while”

You wouldn’t spot that Tracey is a Horrobin, would you?

Phew – Tony had a spare shackle link

Thank goodness for that.

Though why either he or Pat were grateful to Tom for helping Tony fix the trailer is beyond me.

Tom broke it in the first place.

And he only fixed what he broke in the first place was because of Helen telling him to go easy on Tony.

Interesting NFU initiative

Is to get more seasonal fruit and veg into the local markets, so says David (to Pat and Tony).

Pat seems quite enthusiastic.

[Pat] “We need to break down this idea that you’ve got to have everything all year round”

Doom and gloom Tony thinks folks will never catch on what seasonal means.

But Tom is a bit more positive, he reckons that folks will respond to have a break from things (so they enjoy them more when they can get them again), and Pat points out that seasonal means better quality.

Pip’s 19 on Friday


Tony and David have a (morose) swift one

They’re going down the pub …

… but it doesn’t lift their spirits. They’re both feeling a bit “challenged”.

[Tony] “Challenging? Isn’t that was they say when they mean disaster”

[David] “It’s an unmitigated challenge”

The New Zealand system

Is what David is now pondering.

Something about outdoor lambing.

Ruth will be pleased … it has nowt to do with cows.

Though I did learn today that mixed farming does not mean breeding cows with lambs.

That’s not possible, so it seems.

Kim Kardashian


Tracey reckons she was distracted when this Kim Kardashian come on the telly – Tracey then didn't hear what Susan was saying about Kylie coming back down.

In fact, Tracey seemed a bit over keen to get in touch with Kylie.

Why is that then?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Will no one think of Tony? 10.02.12

The Archers Friday 10th February 2012

  • Tom made the trailer sag
  • Brian’s missing the point
  • Jennifer doesn’t want kids
  • What’s wrong with seeing the pigs?
  • Helen knows her dad

Tom made the trailer sag

And didn’t seem very apologetic about it, or willing to put it right anytime soon.

Tony is (quite rightly) angry with him.

So Tom does the only reasonable thing – blame someone else.

He now reckons “he can’t do right for doing wrong”.

[Tom] “Maybe I should just change my name to Rich. Perhaps that might please him … I need to do the milking, I don’t want to give him any more proof of how second rate I am, do I!”

Brian’s missing the point

Actually, the whole of the BL board are missing the point.

Brian’s come back to Neil to say that the BL Board is happy to talk to the Parish Council. But only the Parish Council. They don’t want a public meeting until the Planning permission has been considered.

[Neil] “It does feel as though it might be leaving it too late … the longer you leave it, honestly Brian, people are going to think you’re just trying to hide something”

Brian reckons he has already been open, so won’t achieve anything with a public meeting at this stage.

Still don’t understand this U-turn. I think his instinct to talk to people, and hear their views, was a good one.

But then again, Brian hasn’t provide very good at the listening bit …

Jennifer doesn’t want kids

For Chris and Alice.

Or she at least didn’t sound too keen when Susan mentioned the prospect of Alice and Chris having kids (that they can’t really at the moment as they’re saving).

I suppose Jennifer is hoping they’ll split up before they have a chance to breed, leaving Alice to find her a blue blooded bull.

What’s wrong with seeing the pigs?

Susan was telling a (rather keen to escape) Jennifer that she also fancies bidding on Eddie’s water feature in the Promise Auction.

(ach – I’ll stop saying it – but Eddie only said he’d install one!).

Susan reckons it’d create a nice focal point at the end of her garden. She asked Jennifer what she thought.

[Jennifer] “Yes, I suppose, I mean providing the pigs aren’t in view … I’m sure it’d look lovely Susan”

What a witch that woman can be!

And what’s wrong with seeing pigs?

Especially when they’re weaners. Cute!

Helen knows her dad

And takes the time to actually talk to him.

Everyone else just seems to be ignoring poor Tony at the moment, while expecting him to do all the hands on graft.

Tony is upset. Especially since Rich has been abruptly back into their life because of Kylie’s letter.

[Tony] “It’s just hard … there’s nothing we can do anyway, and for you mum’s sake … you know how distressed she gets, how low … we've just got to find someway of moving on”

Tony has been brooding about Rich. He can’t get the fact that Rich likes things like cricket lout of his mind.

[Tony] “It makes him all the more John’s boy for me …There’s so much I’d like him to know Helen, about his dad … he’d barely started his life, and now that we know about Rich, it feels as if …”

Tony starts crying.

[Tony on Rich] “I just wish he knew we’d have been there for him”

Oh Tony. You poor, neglected wee man.

Tony is also careful to make sure Helen knows that his feelings for Rich (and John) doesn’t mean he loves the rest of his family any less. Especially Henry.

[Tony] “I promise you love, he brings me happiness everyday”

Helen later corners Tom.

She tells him she now realises how much Rich means to Tony.

Tom starts to tell Helen that he has a mind to write to Kylie to tell her what hassle and stress she’s created, but:

[Helen] “Please listen … I don’t think we’ve appreciated how hard it’s hit dad …He was the one that found John, and there’s this lively lad, smiling at him … he’s trying so hard to bury his feelings. Who has he got to talk to … he was so lonely … just try to go a little bit easy on him”

Tom softens, and agrees to try and not get into any more arguments.

But that’s as far as he gets. Tom is still adamant that they must get on with business (literally)

[Tom] “I’ll do my best to be there for him, but dad’s going to have to be there for us too”

Tom is such an odious little twerp! Tony deserves better (thank goodness for Helen).