Friday, 26 February 2010

25th Feb 2010

  • Veg Man’s Son or Gavin from North Wales?
  • Neil can’t even get a pasty on his anniversary

Veg Man’s Son or Gavin from North Wales?

There was me thinking that the Veg Man’s Son was being lined up as Helen’s new beau, when Pat started waxing lyrical about Gavin from North Wales.

All we know about the Veg Man’s son is that he’s the Veg Man’s son, whereas Gavin from North Wales:

- Is from North Wales
- Vegan
- Uses a bike
- Is very eco
- Talks to the willow
- Is laid back (but also dynamic)
- Runs basket making workshops
- Makes yurts

If he’s also potent – maybe he could be the answer to Tony’s ‘I don’t get it!’ turkey baster stance.

Time will tell ...

Neil can’t even get a pasty on his anniversary

But he’s also never been heard to talk to his weaners.

So that’s alright then.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

24th Feb 2010

  • Slow day in Ambridge
  • “These are not just any sausages – they’re Tom Archer organic sausages”
  •  Is The Archers really being run by a band of ‘feminist gods’?

Slow day in Ambridge

Course, it’s inevitable that everything would slip back a pace after Phil’s funeral.

But I did think this was a bit of a non-episode (some blokes eat sausages; another bloke is encouraged to eat his sandwich) .

However, it does look like Ted is going to feature quite significantly in Peggy’s life.

“These are not just any sausages – they’re Tom Archer organic sausages”

Also have to give a ‘shout-out’ to Alan for his M&S rendition:

Is The Archers really being run by a band of ‘feminist gods’?

Anyone read The Archers by William Smethurst?

If so – was it just me – or did he get a tad hysterical towards the end of his book when he was talking about Ambridge ‘under’ Vanessa Whitburn in the mid 90’s?

Seemingly, Mike and Brian were picked on by the writers because they were men – whereas the women came out of strife without a character blemish. One even became a ‘lively member of the WI’!

If that’s all feminism does do for women ...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

23rd Feb 2010

Left the world better than he found it

A very fitting tribute to both Phil Archer and Norman Painting.

Norman did indeed leave the world a better place, even just for his involvement in The Archers – one of the original cast members, and as Archers scriptwriter Bruno Milna. As Phil was to Ambridge, Norman was to The Archers

"Woven horizontally into the fabric of village life"

He has achieved success he who has lived well, loved often and loved much

As Jill said, this is where life without Phil really begins

"So final like a full stop"

I could also have done without Jude in this episode – David’s

“Wish she’d get off the phone to Jude. She should be circulating”

was an irritating aside that, while is pertinent to that storyline, felt like an intrusion.

That’s probably just me annoyed that my sobbing was interrupted ...
"He’ll always be remembered with love"

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

22nd Feb 2010

  • Get a grip Pip!
  • Really going to mess up my seating plan
  • Kenton the sheep

Get a grip Pip!

It’s not easy to forget that Pip’s a teenager. What a insensitive wee madam!

Even if Jude wasn’t a bloke one may suspect is a trifle suspect (what 28 year old thinks it’s okay to date a teenager!?!) – and even if David and Ruth were okay with this relationship – what is Pip thinking in suggesting she ‘sits at the back’?

David’s sense of funeral etiquette aside, Pip should have an inkling that her dad, grandmother, rest of family will need her to be with them.

Silly sausage isn’t doing Jude’s reputation any favours.

Really going to mess up my seating plan

David’s kept busy since Phil died, so it’s not surprising he is so focused on who and what at the funeral.

Should kids who are just 9 have to be at a funeral? Would attending be of benefit to them?

I’m not convinced by David’s arguments, and he’s being a tad insensitive to Elizabeth (who’s shouldered most of the responsibility of helping Jill since Phil died).

Kenton the sheep

In between the rubbish Kenton sometimes spouts, he reminds you that he’s never quite been seen to rise to the name of Archer.

“I was a black sheep in dad’s eyes – and he didn’t rate sheep.”

Bless his cotton socks.

Monday, 22 February 2010

21st Feb 2010

  • A Personal relationship with your milkman
  • Haven’t you heard of the middle class recession?
  • You frighten me sometimes Helen

A Personal relationship with your milkman

Great start Mike, but your theory doesn’t seem to fully follow through ...
“Stupid woman! She and the poodle are both allergic to cow’s milk"
“People are thick though”
“Snooty lot”
“Two really nice woman … oh aye aye … tell jazzer not to waste his time!”

Okay, Mike and Brenda didn’t actually say any of this to their potential customers, but attitudes will out. Respect them from your core, and they will gift you mucho money.

Haven’t you heard of the middle class recession?

Erm, no Tony - I also haven’t.

I thought the recession didn’t care about your social status?

You frighten me sometimes Helen

After Pat’s decision to support Helen, Tony wades in to ‘reason’ with Helen.

It seemed like Tony was letting rip after an age of being duty bound to Pat’s opinion on ‘gender issues’ – though Helen is indeed her mother’s daughter (hurrah to that, I say!).

Whether you agree or disagree with Tony on his view that it wouldn’t be fair on the child to not have a dad, he had some classic points:

“Male role models … can’t you even call us men!”
“ It’s not all apple cheeks and miniature dungarees”
[on John and how difficult kids can be sometimes]
“Your mum could have cheerfully thrown him out the window.”

Tony is absolutely right that he’ll end up having to support Helen regardless of his view on the matter. Emotional blackmail indeed.

And he’s also right about mentioning Helen becoming ill again. That’s really the issue which they’re avoiding – but is the crux, as far as I’m concerned.

I’d have no problems about Helen’s decision if she wasn’t actually Helen – emotionally unstable, controlling, unable to compromise … indeed frightening!

Can you imagine being told that you were born because:

“It’s about continuity – feeling a part of myself moving down the generations”

19th Feb 2010

  • Respect the birds
  • You’re ready to have a baby once you know the cost
  • Tea and Tissues

Respect the birds

Where is this new storyline with Kirsty and Patrick heading?

At one point, I though Helen was about to jump in, but Kirsty seems to be taking to this new twitching lifestyle.

And not to forget that Helen's owes Kirsty one after she gave Leon his chance with Helen. Not that Helen would be one to hold grudges ...

You’re ready to have a baby once you know the cost

So, Pat’s ready to support Helen over her baby because Helen’s worked out the costs?!?

Or did I miss something?

Tea and Tissues

It’s heartbreaking to hear Jill being so strong for other folks, but grieving in private.

I think I could with a cup of tea with Jill after all the recent trauma.

18th Feb 2010

  • Susan even starts to bore herself
  • Lynda’s sucking of lemons may have lost her the chair?

Susan even starts to bore herself

This might have been Pat’s intention all along, but Susan is finally so fed up that she’s considering resigning from the Village Shop committee.

The ‘hurrahs’ heard throughout Ambridge are tinged with worries that Susan will be successful at a tribunal.

Unless, of course, Pat can buy her silence by giving her a job at Bridge Farm.

Susan has been a complete nightmare over this whole Village Shop scenario, but I do have a grudging agreement with her that she was entitled to be treated better. If she does go for a tribunal, she’d be well within her rights – even though the rest of the village will probably see it as churlish.

Best scenario would be for her to take the Bridge Farm job, but still pursue the tribunal.

Yes – the shop was losing money, and yes Peggy was right to do something about it – but the Archers can’t ignore that their actions do impact on other folks. It can’t be much fun sitting around waiting to hear if you have a job or not (though the day that Susan can shut up about it will be a happy one for us all!).

Lynda’s sucking of lemons may have lost her the chair?

Though Neil’s in for a rough ride by a very disgruntled Lynda – lemons to hand or not.

I’d have been more concerned about Jim being added into the mix. Yikes!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

17th Feb 2010

  • Jude speaks (and sounds like a …)
  • Helen’s not a heifer!

Jude speaks (and sounds like a ...)

… well, a teenage boy trapped in a 28 year old’s body. That could explain a lot.

Pip thinks he’s perfect, but I’m not so sure.

First off, he’s dating a girl (not a woman – which, at his age, he should be)

And secondly – didn’t he come across as a bit of an arrogant know-it-all?

I can’t quite see how his ego will fit in the same kitchen as David’s. Ouch!

Helen’s not a heifer!

Superb scenes from bridge Farm – the Pat and Tony clan with some classic *snort* moments:

“Mum’s twittering around”

Hurrah! Can’t find Pat yet though on Twitter … maybe she’s there under a pseudonym

“A baby’s for life”

Too true Pat, Too true.

Tony gets top marks for:

Not understanding how Helen could have a baby by herself

“You don’t need a baby – you haven’t even got a boyfriend!”
“This isn’t an option’s madness!”
“You’re not a heifer! It’s not like sending for the AI man ...”

And, on being partly responsible for existence of Tom’s sausages and Cheesestraw:

“That was normal”

Though Pat does get a special mention for trying to be reasonable – even though Tom and Tony were about to push her into a rant.

Tony: “What sort of bloke becomes a sperm donor?”

Pat: “ A public spirited one”

Let’s hope Pat can indeed talk some sense into Helen.

While I think there’s nothing wrong with a woman choosing to have a baby solo, Helen’s simply not very emotionally stable.

Maybe that’s why Tom and Tony are reacting so badly – they know her better than most, and can probably foresee how much therapy that poor kid will need as it grows up.

Or I could be being completely unfair.

Helen does have a lot of love to give, and I have no doubt her baby wouldn’t lack for care and attention.

It just wouldn’t be able to make any sort of mess,
would be taken outside literally wrapped up in cotton wool
and would have a right old time trying to move out when it was old enough to do so.

Can you imagine how Helen would react when it brought its first boyfriend/girlfriend home? Methinks mummy wouldn’t want anyone else to take her place…

I think Tom’s was right (which is the first time I’ve ever thought that!) when he pointed out that Helen is only 30. She does indeed have plenty of time – and she needs to stop her feast/famine approach to going out and actually having a life.

I think Helen should adopt herself a retired greyhound. That way, she’d have someone to listen, adore and need her unconditionally – plus she’d have to leave the house to walk it. She might even meet the man of her dreams out walking his dog.

If you’re out there Helen – I have a foster greyhound who needs a forever home:

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

16th Feb 2010

  • “Vicar in lent Tragedy” 
  •  What's wrong with Sid?

“Vicar in lent Tragedy”

It may not sound like much, but camping out during February isn’t going to be fun.

Let’s hope Alan keeps himself well wrapped up, and doesn’t end up as a “Vicar in lent Tragedy” headline.

What’s wrong with Sid?

He could have just fancied a long lie-in, but what’s up with Sid?

Could this have something to do with the overnight change in his voice to a man who sounds like he’s in his nineties rather than his sixties?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

15th Feb 2010

  • Soups and Casseroles
  • Vicky and her little beauties
  • Kenton at last chance saloon

Soups and Casseroles
“How are you”
“Oh, you know”

It’s the practical stuff which will keep Jill busy and distracted over the next while.

And while some may scoff at the idea of neighbours and friends calling over with casseroles and soup, it’s such attention and care that’ll help Jill to look after herself and to know that she’s supported.

Still, it’ll be different once time starts marching on again and there’s no urgent ‘crisis’.

This is also the first episode such Jack died that I’m not to be found blubbing in a corner ...

Vicky and her little beauties

Luscious lashes and gorgeous brown coats – Ed and Mike’s new cows certainly sound photogenic.

Though, of course, that’s according to Vicky.

Her rant over the “disgrace” of the “little” young males being taken to slaughter might suggest further trouble to come.

Certainly, Vicky feels a real sense of ownership over “my little beauties” and might create problems when it comes to practical farming decisions.
“I helped make your dreams come true”
“I’ll be checking”

also doesn’t bode well for the future sanity, and financial viability, of Ed and Mike’s increased milk round.

Still, Vicky sounds like she has some perspective. I suppose that she could be right in thinking that watching cows give birth can’t indeed be worse than looking into people’s mouths ...

And I never realised some farmers named their cows. Hmm.

Kenton at last chance saloon

Kenton’s feeling the strain of suddenly becoming the oldest man in his family.

Not that he sees himself as the new patriarch (David would never let that happen!), but there must be something inherently unsettling about realising, through the horrific experience of losing a parent, that you’re fast becoming the older generation with all of the responsibilities associated.

Shula’s right that, these days, being 51 is no barrier and that your life is far from over.

But with all of Kenton’s previous escapades, it’s easy to see why he’s putting such weight on the new style Jaxx being a success.

Monday, 15 February 2010

12th & 14th Feb 2010

He was such a lovely man

It doesn’t feel right to say anything other than to repeat Jill's sentiment on finding her Valentine’s card from Phil.

"He was such a lovely man"

Friday, 12 February 2010

11th Feb 2010

  • Turning a stunt into an opportunity
  • Hurrah to Eddie’s luck turning!
  • So, if Ian won’t be the father ...

Turning a stunt into an opportunity

Eddie – Alan’s camping out for lent is just a publicity stunt

Joe – Alan’s camping out for lent is an opportunity for us

You have to admire Joe’s entrepreneurial spirit and optimism.

Completely on the ball about the potential of a campsite to capitalise on ‘staycations’, you can rely on Joe to work out where the brass is.

I’d be happy to camp with the Grundys. It’d be worth it just to be able to have their cider within staggering distance

Hurrah to Eddie’s luck turning!

Clarrie does get a special mention for keeping calm during a hard time:

“We ain’t no worse off than we were”

is a great response to thinking that Eddie hadn’t got the job.

Great that Eddie has got the job – but, as we all know, Grundy life is just never that simple.

So, if Ian won’t be the father ...

There have been lots of rumours that Ian and Helen would go down the turkey baster route – but did tonight’s episode spell out that this isn’t going to happen?

“Kids aren’t for Adam and me”

seems fairly final.

However, Helen is not one to let an idea go (if that is indeed what she’s thinking) and perhaps we might be in for cracks starting to appear in Ian and Adam’s relationship?

Or – is there another candidate? Lest we forget that it’s not just gay men who can ‘assist’ a woman with having a child ...

Mind you, Helen’s not actually said she wants to have a go at being a single mum. Maybe the veg man’s son is in for a rather surprising consequence of an unusually friendly and willing Cheesestraw?

10th Feb 2010

  • It’ll be a sad day indeed
  • Ambridge sorted Annette out
  • You never know who you’re going to meet next

It’ll be a sad day indeed

Looks like the rumours are true that Phil will be leaving us. Jill’s already heading down memory lane.

The difference between Jill and Peggy will be stark and awkward. As Jill said, Jack’s still here.

The last scene Norman Painting recorded, Stir-up Sunday, was a lovely one. He’s sorely missed, just as Phil Archer will be.

Ambridge sorted Annette out

“She was a real mess when she turned up. As least she sorted herself out.”

Come now Helen – even without you knowing who the baby’s father was (that bombshell will keep) – one can hardly say that Ambridge was a good experience for Annette.

Being treated like a shag-buddy by Jazzer, having to put up with Susan’s continuous moaning about the new arrangements for the Village shop, living with Helen (constant nagging about tidiness, stimulating (!) nights in with wine and DVDs, never being left alone to sort out her own thoughts etc), all the memories of her dad, not really making any friends of her own age, having an abortion ...

All Ambridge has done is scar Annette even further.

And, leaving to go and live with your Gran is hardly going onwards and upwards (no disrespect, but it’s still hardly the life that a young lass should be leading).

You never know who you’re going to meet next

Kirsty’s bird man is back, seems like quite a decent bloke and has a name (Patrick).

For a moment, it sounded like Kirsty was going to turn him down, and Helen seemed interested enough to volunteer to take her place.

Perhaps a bit of a cat-fight over a man in the offing?

Or, is Helen about to sample the delights of the veg man’s son?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

9th Feb 2010

  • Star Wars Episode VII:The War of the Dopeys
  • Van goes like a whippet, Eddie is quick as a ferret
  • Clarrie over the bonnet
  • Pat ignoring or was she told?

Star Wars Episode VII:The War of the Dopeys

The battle lines are drawn – David as Darth, Jude as Hans Solo, Pip as Leila and Ruth as Yoda.

Nice to see that the kids of today still use Star Wars references, though I must insist that ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ is the first movie, and is called Star Wars. Petty, I know ...

Van goes like a whippet, Eddie is quick as a ferret

I reckon Eddie’s just struck gold with his new business plan.

Though Bert was right to steer him away from using the word ‘Logistics’ in his business name. That’s almost as bad as ‘Solutions’.

Clarrie over the bonnet

A representational metaphorical image of Clarrie to go with her name over the bonnet?!?

As Bert put it: Blimey!

Pat ignoring or was she told?

Did Helen tell Pat about Annette being pregnant? Was that during the tearful visit they had from Helen after Annette flitted?

Or is Pat hearing the word ‘cot’ and just ignoring it out of
(a) respect for Helen, in the knowledge that she’ll speak to her when she’s ready
or (b) she, along with the rest of us, feels ill at the thought of Helen becoming a mum (in Helen’s current, and past, very shaky mental state)?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

8th Feb 2010

  • Which one is the ancient lothario?
  • Braving the elements for lent

Which one is the ancient lothario?

Brian shouldn’t be one to scoff at Pip going out with an ‘old age pensior’. Those in glass houses ...

And Ted has a voice!

Sounds like a nice chappy, so here’s hoping all goes well (if there is indeed to be a romance). Sounds like Peggy has a very lonely life indeed.

Braving the elements for lent

I really don’t envy Alan’s plans for lent. Even with the best kit – which he hasn’t got, if he’s going to insist on still using his rather old and smelly tent – he’ll be miserable.

Then again, if he manages to absorb heat during the day, he might be alright. I once went camping during March – got sun burnt during the day, which made up for the freezing conditions at night.

Monday, 8 February 2010

7th Feb 2010

Half your age plus 5

Half your age plus 5

I thought one of the basic ‘rules’ for dating is that the youngest the other person should be is half your age plus 5.

So Jude shouldn’t (by the random rule I once heard) be dating anyone under 19 years old.

Either way – I’m well with David on Jude and Pip’s relationship being a worry. Not necessarily morally wrong – just a bit ... well, worrying.

What on earth does a 28 year old ‘man’ find attractive or interesting (etc) about a 16 year old?!?

Being very general and stereotypical here – but teenagers tend to be very self-centred, introspective, moody and rather lacking in conversational skills.

I know Jude might be just after the more obvious ‘charms’. But, with Pip only turning just 17 (and a full 11 years between them), I’d put Jude into the Humbert category if that were the case.

Of course, I could have Jude completely wrong (hard to tell when he hasn’t spoken yet), and he might be a very immature 28 years old.

And I haven’t forgotten that Pip isn’t just an innocent bystander in all of this

BUT she’s not exactly the type of 17 year old that has experienced enough to cope with an adult relationship.

5th Feb 2010

  • The Great Escape
  • Annette needs her shoes on to write notes
  • Jazzer limbers up 
  • New gentleman friend for Peggy?

The Great Escape

Can’t say I’m disappointed that Annette has escaped BUT it ain’t over until the emotionally scarred teenager, or the Aussie lothario, sings ...

Poor Helen couldn’t quite believe that anyone would want to leave Ambridge. Funny that she turned to her mum rather than Brenda or Kirsty – both of them are also very well rehearsed in helping to nurse Helen’s fragile sanity.

Still – not sure that you could say that going to your Gran’s in Sheffield is quite the great escape one would expect of a young lassie.

And lest we forget that Leon still lurks somewhere in Borchester ...

Annette needs her shoes on to write notes

Well – that is what she said!

Jazzer limbers up

Good to see Jazzer getting back to himself – albeit through the attentions of yet more females.

“My heart is broken – but it is time I checked that the rest of me is working.”

Good lad. And starting up again may have an interesting impact on Fallon ...

New gentleman friend for Peggy?

Ideal – a lovely gent who’s experiencing the same circumstances with his wife.

I hope he helps Peggy to slow down a bit, and take out more time for herself.

Friday, 5 February 2010

4th Feb 2010

  • Not particularly interested in incontinent pigs
  • Pip’s getting on very well with one of her tutors

Not particularly interested in incontinent pigs

What a nightmare Susan must be to live with at the moment. I hadn’t spared a thought for Neil at all. Poor man.

Not sure about Susan going for unfair dismissal. Didn’t Usha say she’d have a case, but that there wouldn’t be much money in it?

Sometimes it is better to walk away, but sometimes is also right to fight for what you’re entitled to.

But, it sounds like Susan’s isn’t just aiming to get what she deserves.

Pip’s getting on very well with one of her tutors

Jude must be a very old looking 20 year old!

I’m with Pip on this one, but can see how hard it must be for David and Ruth. I wonder if they would have reacted so vehemently if they hadn’t actually seen them snogging – I don’t think any parent particularly wants to be witness to that.

So Pip’s right to be so annoyed at her folks for stalking her, then flipping their lids – but I do also understand why they’re worried. It’d all be far different if Pip had shown any maturity over the last few weeks.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

3rd Feb 2010

  • The Archers: where ballroom dancing is scarier than fight club ...
  • The Ambridge Banksy
  •  Like father?

The Archers: where ballroom dancing is scarier than fight club ...

Poor Moike is so knackered that he’s getting harassed for being ‘an embarrassment’ at the dancing.

That might spell real trouble. After all, it was over a mambo or two that Vicky and Mike fell for each other.

Tired feet have go no rhythm, but is Vicky reasonable enough to understand?

The Ambridge Banksy


What will they tag next?

Can they spell right?

Like father?

Ah – that’s why Helen has been so full-on with Annette. She’s worried that Annette may be heading the same way as Greg.

So, after all the time, care and attention she’s lavishing (forcing!) onto Annette – just how is she going to react when she finds out about Leon?

Annette needs to confess soon. The longer this carries on, the more horrific Hele's reaction will be. And let’s face it, no-one’s is safe when Helen’s on a bender ...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

2nd Feb 2010

  • Susan’s new job: stopping all those blessed do-gooders getting lost in the stock room
  • Brian shows his hand
  • Will: the damn good son

Susan’s new job: stopping all those blessed do-gooders getting lost in the stock room

Which, surely, will be amply covered by 2 mornings a week?

Brian shows his hand

Aha - annoy Susan enough in the hope that she’ll walk away. You old rascal you!

By-the-by: someone needs to tell Brian that very few retailers pay their staff extra for the weekend as ‘unsociable hours’. That was the norm back in the good old days, but most retail staff are lucky to even get a lunch break nowadays!

Will: the damn good son

Which I won’t argue with – but there may be trouble ahead …

Money and family. Ouch!

1st Feb 2010

  • That’s why Helen is Hellin!
  • Don’t pounce like a rabid ferret, David

That’s why Helen is Hellin!

“We decided to go away next month”


Didn’t Helen notice that Annette showed no enthusiasm, which was no surprise as the holiday talk happened during a very prolonged Hellin attack of "what shall we do? How about this? Or this? Shall we eat some snacks? Watch a DVD? Which DVD? Go for a walk? Where?"

Perhaps if Helen was better at noticing when someone isn’t showing any interest in her plans/ideas/DVDs, maybe she’ll be (in her own mind) let-down less often, and be a far happier bunny!

Don’t pounce like a rabid ferret, David

That fell on death ears Ruth – but I think many of us would be eager to know more about a student who can afford a convertible!

I did particularly like David’s and Ruth’s reaction to Pip’s description of the film

Pip: it was about “dreaming about a better life – about the human spirit”.

“Huh”: David and Ruth