Monday, 31 January 2011

The Archers Mon 31st Jan 2011: Elizabeth is manic

  • We missed Kate again!
  • Lewis makes lists
  • David’s on the wine
  • Minnie the Moocher isn’t suitable
  • Lock Elizabeth and Jolene in a room?
  • Bets on for Brian inviting Ruth
  • Kenton should never (ever) say “I promise”
  • Planning problems?
  • Matt wants a shooter

We missed Kate again!


Kate left for College before they turned the microphones on.

That means we haven’t heard from her for more or less the whole of this year!


But. Brian seems to think Kate’s not quite behaving like herself.

She’s leaving early to get to College. Doing her homework. And packed Phoebe off early back to Roy and Hayley.

Brian seems to think it’s wonderful:

[Brian] “Long may it continue, this exemplary diligence”

Hmmm. Sounds dodgy to me.

Lewis makes lists

And ticks things off.

There’s a chap everyone needs around.

David’s on the wine

[David] “Distribution? What does that mean? My knowledge of the wine business only extends as far as picking the grapes .. and drinking the stuff, obviously”

[Elizabeth] “I don’t want to let this slip. It was one of Nigel’s great dreams to make Lower Loxley wine a classic”

Will someone (anyone) please make Elizabeth get in a professional manager, and let David get back to his cows … and Ruth!

Minnie the Moocher isn’t suitable

For a bride.

So says Elizabeth.

Lock Elizabeth and Jolene in a room?

And don’t let them out until Elizabeth trades some of her “manic energy” for Jolene’s complete lack of interest.

Bets on for Brian inviting Ruth

[Matt on Brian at Brookfield] “I heard he’d been getting his hands dirty”

And Matt said that with quite clear saucy intonation!

Brian’s also planning a business trip to Paris, which he’s said he’ll try and meet Debbie at, but doesn’t want Jennifer to tag along.

[Brian] “it’d be strictly a business trip, straight over and straight back”

Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?

Kenton should never (ever) say “I promise”

To be fair, Kenton does seem to be very well organised for the wedding tomorrow. And he has the ever dependable list-making Lewis helping.

Umbrellas? Check. Pianist? Check. Warm rooms? Check.

He’s also completely on-top of any cake issues.

[Kenton] “I’m well aware of catastrophic cake collapse”

So all’s well?

I thought so, until Kenton said:

“Lewis and I can handle the wedding. I promise you”


That surely can’t be good …

Planning problems?

[Brian] “I know … all is take s is a Lynda Snell to discover that the site is a habitat of endangered toads”

[Jennifer, on Richard Thwaite complaining about his neighbour’s extension] “ …’Adversely affect the quality of darkness in the garden’ … and he got away with it. The application was rejected”

But never fear – Matt reckons his ‘source’ knows that the planning application for the mart will get through no problems.


Matt wants a shooter

(well, actually, a shooting)

Matt tried to persuade Brian to let him shoot this Friday, even though the season closes tomorrow.

Matt wants to take a potentially lucrative client out, but had to settle for golf, as Brian wouldn’t be persuaded to break the law.

[Jennifer] “And shooting’s something you can’t do on the quiet”


The Archers Sun 30th Jan 2011: Helen wants to go home

  • Helen surprised
  • Helen in meditative mood
  • Helen not dressed
  • Helen doing what she wants
  • Kenton forgets
  • Elizabeth still hasn’t cried
  • The glove fits!
  • The Bull’s slow again

Helen surprised

That she was (according to Pat) a “terribly grouchy baby”

I’d have thought her hip problems would have made her quite narky …

Helen in meditative mood

Reflecting back to when Elizabeth held Henry for the first time:

[Helen] “For a brief moment she could feel that everything is not utterly terrible”

[Tony] “There is still hope in the world”

Helen not dressed

[Pat] “I still can’t get used to it, seeing her still in her pyjamas at this hour, with her hair all over the place”

[Tony] “And not giving a damn”

[Pat] “What a transformation!”

And “long may it continue” indeed!

Helen doing what she wants

Tony is so obsessed with Henry that he’s being incredibly over-protective.

He wouldn’t even let Helen talk him out for a walk, because it was cold.

Tony was right that Helen also needs time to heal before she lugs Henry about, but is his obsession driving Helen away?

Shortly after their (very good natured) run-in, Helen then announced that she’s moving back into her flat next week.

Aghast, Tony can’t understand why she wants to rush away.

[Pat] “Helen will do what she wants to do … fact of life”


Kenton forgets

Kenton bumps into Kathy. During their rather awkward conversation, Kenton realises that it’s Kathy’s birthday today. He starts apologising, but:

[Kathy] “ …30th of January. As it’s always been”


Sounds like Kathy isn’t going to ease up on Kenton anytime soon.

But to be fair to the chap – they have split up, and his best mate/sister’s husband has just died.

Kathy then refuses an invitation to The Bull from Clarrie as Kenton mentioned he was going tonight.

[Kenton] “She can’t keep avoiding me forever”

Hmmm. I think she can. And anyway, why would Kenton want to even try to be friends with such an unforgiving person?

Elizabeth still hasn’t cried

I thought she had, but maybe Kenton meant that she hasn’t cried in public as yet. He reckons the kids are doing better than Elizabeth is, and that she needs to let it all out.

[Kenton] “ She thinks if she gives into her grief, she’ll just end up drowning in it”

The glove fits!

Well, gloves, actually.

Pat gave Kathy gloves for her birthday – which she’s absolutely delighted with.

Pat’s then horrified to hear that Kathy’s going to spend a night in front of the TV, and fire, with a glass of wine in celebration of her birthday.

[Pat] “All on your own? That’s a bit sad”

Steady on Pat! That sounds like quite a good plan, considering we’re all in hibernation mode anyway.

Kathy seems to be content, especially due to Jamie both remembering her birthday AND managing to buy her a card and a box of chocolates.

[Kathy] “And we had a very pleasant lunch together. Really civilised”

What’s sad about that?

I think it’s more ‘sad’ when someone pushes a friend, in need, away.

Just as Pat did to Kathy – but now seems to be changing her tune.

Pat mentioned that she missed Kathy last week, that she wants her to drop in after work on her way home and that they should go out to The Bull (or ever Borchester!) to celebrate Kathy’s birthday.

[Pat] “You’re not imposing. I’m always glad to see you, you know that”

You can’t have it both ways, Pat. Kathy knows Tony doesn’t want her around, you told her to not be around so often – but now you’re lonely without her. I think you might have to come up with Plan C.

The Bull’s slow again

I know I started the Facebook ‘We Love the Bull’ cause, but I’m starting to not even care now.

And that’s not because of The Bull – it’s because of Jolene.

Seriously – will Kenton (or Harry, or Fallon, or Lilian etc etc etc) need to keep spoon feeding that woman?

Jolene’s down yet again because everything’s slowed down after their bumper Farmhouse Breakfast Week.

And she doesn’t want to have to think of Valentine’s. Or the next opportunity to get more punters in. or the one after that.

[Jolene] “I feel that’s all my life is, promotional events. It’s just one thing after another”

Surely everyone’s life is ‘just one thing after another’? Another bill. Dish to clean. Dog to walk. Paperwork to sort. Hall to hoover …

Either way, The Bull isn’t in danger from Matt – it’s in danger from Jolene …

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Archers Fri 28th Jan 2011: David gets angry

  • Did David not learn after the roof?
  • What sort of car will Pip get?
  • And still no bloomin tray!
  • Kenton on the rest of ‘em
  • From kissing trays to loud shouting
  • Shula and Jill on the rest of ‘em
  • Nigel knew how to open mouths

Did David not learn after the roof?

What part of not doing potentially dangerous stuff in the dark/bad conditions did David not understand?

This time, he’s out first thing, in the dark, repairing a shed.

That man is a complete idiot sometimes.

What sort of car will Pip get?

Hard to tell what David and Ruth will buy her for her birthday.

Something practical or girly?

And still no bloomin tray!

No wonder David is having such a hard time with this wedding if he can’t even track down a tray.

[David] “I just wish this retched wedding wasn’t hanging over me like the sword of Damocles”

And boy, does that sword come down with a crash later on …

Kenton on the rest of ‘em

[Kenton on Jolene] “she has a really easy manner, but she still gets things done!

Which Shula reckons is also a good description of Kenton himself.

[Kenton on David] “Like a terrier with a bone over this wedding … growls whenever me or Lewis goes near him”

[Kenton on Elizabeth] “seems hell bent on running himself into the ground”

At least Shula seems sane enough these days …

From kissing trays to loud shouting

David’s rummaging through random boxes of stuff at Lower Loxley in an attempt to (finally) find the right tray for the wedding cake.

As he’s about to go spare at the lack of said tray, he finally founds one and plants a big kiss on it, right in front of Kenton.

So, job done?

Ah – turns out that’s not the end of the great tray saga. As Kenton points out to David, the cake could be round, or square, or any other shape that the blushing bride has set her heart on!

That news is just too much for David:

[David] “Square? It can’t be square! It my head it’s always been round! The stupid woman never said”

[Kenton] “Well, did you ask her? … I’m sorry David, you should have. You can’t plan a wedding on a wing and a prayer”

[David] “I do my best alright, but I’m NOT A FLAMING WEDDING PLANNER!

(big crash as David throws the tray)


“ I.





“… I’ve got to get it right.

[Kenton] “Yeah, I know. For Elizabeth.”

[David] “For Nigel …”

Phew! David was go to blow at some point, and I’m glad it was with Kenton. If there’s someone who knows how to handle erratic shouting, it’s him 9after all those years with Kathy!).

Kenton then finds Nigel’s gorilla suit, calming both of them down. He then tries to placate David by saying how much more David is needed to help manage the estate, and that wedding planning is:

[Kenton] “boring and any idiot can go through the list”

[David, on what he thought wedding planning would be like] “ if not easy, at least logical. And then I encountered ‘The Mother of the Bride’ …”

[David] “I’m just in the stage where I want to throw dung at everyone … you know when a footballer wears a suit, and you just want to say no mate, it’s all wrong, go and put your strip on … that’s how I feel. I’m the wrong fit … you should MC it,”

[Kenton] “You don’t know how happy I am to hear you say that”

[David] “You’d do it much better than me, you old charmer. I’m sorry I bit your head off.”

[Kenton] “It’s the right decision and it takes a big man to say it”

Kenton sounded over the moon to be taking over the wedding – he finally gets to do something practical for Elizabeth, that he’s actually good at.

And at long last, David’s accepted that he can’t be everything for everyone. Ruth will be glad to hear that …

And just in the middle of their joy, Mrs Barrington-Hughes called David:

[David] “Can I pass you over to my … boss … Kenton … it’s been a pleasure working with you too”

[Kenton] “(under his breath: Cometh the hour, cometh the man) … Mrs Barrington-Hall, Kenton Archer at your service”

Shula and Jill on the rest of ‘em

Shula’s worried about Ruth trying to hold everything together by herself (at last! Someone, apart from Brian, has remembered Ruth exists!)

[Shula] “She told me he’s started making mistakes on the farm, but he won’t let up”

[Jill] “Neither will Elizabeth. She can’t just plunge in like this, surely, she has a weak heart”

Oh – there’s a point.

The twins surely won’t be left to the mercy of the trustees …????

Nigel knew how to open mouths

Helen finally takes Henry to meet Elizabeth – and he did manage to cheer her up a bit.

Elizabeth tried an old trick that Nigel used to use on the twins to get their mouths to open.

Seemingly, if you stroke a baby’s top lip, they’ll open right up.

Which worked nicely on Henry.

There you go. The Archers – practical help for parents.

The Archers Thurs 27th Jan 2011: Coughing Baby Calves

  • Still no tray!
  • Will nobody think of Ruth?
  • Don’t pick on wee Henry!
  • Smiley baby
  • Bizarre Helen moments
  • Temperature 106
  • Berlin, Barcelona and Salzburg (on my)

Still no tray!

I’m starting to agree with Mrs Barrington-Hughes.

Third day of the great Tray request – and David still hasn’t sorted it.

Is it any wonder she’s stressing out and phoning him so often.

[David] “Do you know how much mind numbing trivia I’m holding in my head at the moment. That woman has got an unnerving instinct for phoning me when I’m just about to start a job”

David – give up the wedding. For everyone’s sake.

Will nobody think of Ruth?

Come on – the woman is clearly on the edge of a breakdown. She doesn’t even recognise the value of cold pizza for breakfast.

And as we all know, pizzas are Ruth’s only speciality (the frozen variety).

She’s having to manage Brookfield with only sporadic help from David, Eddie and Brian. And the kids. While she’s also grieving for Nigel.

David’s not only hardly around to do his work at Brookfield, he’s only being utterly dismissive of Ruth’s struggles:

[David] “Ruth, you’ll think of something”

[Ruth] “Well, I’ll have to. I’ll phone Brian”

(Oho! Maybe Brian is due another affair …)

Later on, Ruth has a right go at Pip when she tries to defend David over his calf mistake.

But is there anyone noticing that Ruth is having to cope completely alone?

Even after she’s sorted out David’s calf mistake, after she’s herself had a long day and was supposed to be coo-ing over Henry and as she heads off to help Josh with his homework, it’s still David that gets the tea and sympathy.

This could lead to far, far more.

Don’t pick on wee Henry!

[David] “He’ll be around for a few years, I’m sure I’ll catch up with him by the time he’s 12”

Oh that’s cold David. Very cold.

And you also don’t even have the time to ask Pip about how her exams went. After all the fuss you made about her retaking them. And, she is your daughter.

I think David might be on track to lose grip of more than just his sister’s husband …

Smiley baby

Helen’s round at Brookfield introducing Henry to Ruth and Pip.

Seemingly he’s already talking back and Helen is healing up just fine (even though she does have to have someone else carry Henry up the stairs).

Pip reckons Henry:

“has got such a smiley face”

and that he makes folks happy.

Though of all the people who need that sort of pick-me-up (Elizabeth), Helen seems to be avoiding.

Still, Henry’s Snug suit sounds great!

Bizarre Helen moments

There was a few odd moments today when Helen said:

[Helen] “I’ll never know what his dad did, of course”

[Helen] “I want to socialise him … I make him sound like a puppy!”

Hmmm. How is an anonymous donor ‘dad’ (and is she now having regrets about not knowing the biological father?), and what’s with the puppy?

Still – at least she’s kept her new found ability to laugh at herself.

Temperature 106

Thank goodness indeed for Eddie. He managed to notice the ill calves that David had missed in his haste.

It turns out to be viral pneumonia, which could have spread between the claves if Eddie had spotted it in time.

And it was all because of a draft due to a gap in the shed cladding – which David soon have seen to.

David’s about to collapse from exhaustion, Ruth’s about to go banshee and, to top it all, looks like costly mistakes might be made along the way.

Berlin, Barcelona and Salzburg (on my)

Brenda and Tom are soon off to Berlin in celebration of Brenda’s 30th.

Now Pip’s planning a trip to Barcelona for her 18th (with Gary and Izzy, who must be back together again .. regardless of how ‘boring’ Gary can be at times).

And, Tony and Pat are off to Salzburg for Tony’s birthday.

My word! Ambridge is really jet-setting these days.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The Archers Wed 26th Jan 2011: Clarrie turns nasty

  • Bring back our Clarrie!
  • Elizabeth redeploys David
  • How could he forget the tray?
  • We know “your lot” likes cheese
  • Clarrie doesn’t want to give up yoghurt
  • Kathy in a huff?
  • Who is more fragile?

Bring back our Clarrie!

Now I know I’m saying that Clarrie’s a Saint, and should spend more time on herself, but I’m really not liking this grump and quite snide Clarrie.

She’s still looking after her menfolk to the nth degree:

[Clarrie] “Joe, I’ve warmed your socks up”

But she’s keen to again get to work early to “beat” Vicky, later somehow managing to then trick Vicky into loading the delivery van the wrong way round

(well, Vicky claimed “Well it wasn’t my fault … she misled me!”)

However, that was nothing compared to the quite uncomfortably hard time Clarrie gave Emma:

(as Emma turns up on her doorstep)

[Clarrie, sounding irritated] “Oh. Emma … this is a surprise”

[Emma, sounding unsure] “I nice one, I hope”

[Clarrie] “You look rough”

[Emma] “Turnips and shortbread … not a great combination …”

[Clarrie] “Anyway, what did you want, cause I need to get on”

[Emma] “I just wondered how you’re coping?”

[Clarrie] “Fine, thanks for asking”

[Emma] “Cause if there’s anything you need …”

[Clarrie] “It’s a bit late now, ain’t it!. It’s when I had the plaster on that I needed the help, Emma”


Entirely Emma’s fault for not caring or helping when Clarrie broke her arm.

And she’s only trying now because she’s jealous of Nic and Clarrie becoming so close.

But that was not our ‘usual’ Clarrie.

Elizabeth redeploys David

Keen to crack on with planning (seemingly it’s time to bet on with Easter!), Elizabeth suggests to David that his:

[Elizabeth] “strengths lie in managing the estate”

Which is quite right.

So off David goes, back outside, back to dealing with beasts and fences.

But, he does insist on keeping the wedding.


How could he forget the tray?

After the fuss Mrs Barrington-Hughes made, and the anger David then felt, over finding an antique tray big enough to fit the new cake – how could David forget to check whether Lower Loxley actually had a suitable one?

The tray, David. Don’t forget the tray.

We know “your lot” likes cheese

What is it with the Grundy lot and cheese?

First they must have cheese on their cauliflower.

Now they won’t touch anything other than cheddar.

Maybe Clarrie’s new skills will inspire new culinary delights?

Clarrie doesn’t want to give up yoghurt

But Pat insists that she learns-up about the cheese making, so that she can help out while Helen isn’t at work.

But Clarrie isn’t interested, as she thinks it’s a ploy for Bridge Farm to keep Vicky.

[Clarrie] “I wouldn’t ever want to give up making the yoghurt … just so you know”

Then – all change as Pat explains Vicky is only there for that week, to help ease Clarrie back in. After then, it’s back to normal.

And … our Clarrie is back!

She even offers to bake a cake for Vicky’s leaving tea.

That’s better.

Kathy in a huff?

Kathy hasn’t been over yet to see Henry.

I can’t really blame her – Pat telling her not to come round so often must have hurt and made it difficult to visit again.

Who is more fragile?

[David] “I sorted out the foods fads … sorry, dietary requirements … of this orchestra … a vegan piccolo player and a trombonist with a nut allergy”

[Lewis] “Well you’re doing Elizabeth a big favour”

[David] “I have to”

[Lewis] “Why did this happen. Why? It’s so senseless”

And both Lewis and David agree that Elizabeth is still too “fragile” to be back at work.

I don’t think there’s anyone at Lower Loxley who is ready yet to take on daily life after Nigel.

The Archers Tues 25th Jan 2011: Burns Night

  • Mrs Barrington-Hughes
  • A sewing kit?
  • Harry likes Jazzer in his kilt
  • Banter, Tucker style
  • Still not a peep from Kate
  • Appreciating shortbread
  • Burns Night, Jazzer style
  • You slagging my mum?
  • What recipe was Harry following?

Mrs Barrington-Hughes

Is driving David to distraction.

She’s the mother of the bride for the forthcoming ‘society’ wedding at Lower Loxley that David’s been sweating over.

And I’ve got to give David his due. He’s doing a great job of turning on the charm to keep Mrs B-H sweet while he’s concurrently wrestling with cattle.

A sewing kit?

David sounded quite perturbed that he’d need a sewing kit on hand for the wedding.

The devil is most certainly in the detail.

Was it just me, or did Emma sound like a natural event organiser? Maybe there’s no need for a ‘professional’ to be brought in.

Harry likes Jazzer in his kilt

Well, to be fair, kilts do make most blokes look dapper.

Banter, Tucker style

[Vicky] “Me and Brenda are ‘like that’ now since the party”

[Mike] “It’s Roy’s birthday next week an all”

[Vicky] “Ooh, that was bad planning”

[Mike] “Behave”

(and one assume ‘like that’ was Vicky crossing her fingers. Hard to tell hand actions when one’s eavesdropping)

Still not a peep from Kate


She’s seemingly been keeping out of Roy and Hayley’s way, but it’s marvellous she’s also been keeping away from those secret microphones.

May it continue!

Appreciating shortbread

Yikes! When a gift becomes a menacing threat … Vicky sometimes can be a bit of a scary lady.

Burns Night, Jazzer style

First Jazzer changes the words of A Man’s a Man for a’ That (at least, it sounded like he did), then ended it with “Go!” to get everyone to down their drink.

Then we were treated to Jazzer’s actually quite lovely singing (which hasn’t been heard since Ambridge Has Talent)

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
O I will luve thee still, my dear
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand miles.
(Robert Burns, A Red, Red Rose)

And once Mike and Vicky had departed – the real party started (with Ed and Emma staying, more of Jazzer’s mates, including Chris, arriving – and a rather tired Harry accepting his fate of another late night.

But was Harry’s efforts to give Jazzer a good Burns Night in vain?

Ed reckoned not. After all, Jazzer had been given:

[Ed] “Food and drink and chance to show off!”

You slagging my mum?

The potential show-down between Ed and Vicky at Harry/Jazzer’s Burns Night didn’t happen, but Vicky seemed to be keen to try and wind up Ed.

Well, to be fair, she seemed to be keen to wind anyone up!

After saying she was finding it difficult working with Clarrie, as it was sometime hard to get a word in (!)

[Ed] “That’s my mum, Vicky”

She then went on, at some length and detail, about how great Nic had been at helping Clarrie when she’d broken her arm, and how Nic and Clarrie were having a nice time properly bonding.

That’s despite Emma also being in the room.

Then Vicky had a bit of a claw at Harry.

[Vicky] “I misjudged you … I didn’t take to you. I thought you were a bit of a know-all … but now, I could just adopt you”

[Harry] “Hah-ha ... that’s an 'interesting' proposition”

I can’t get a firm grip on whether Vicky’s a good or a bad ‘un, just as I can’t seem to get a grip on Harry.

Maybe they are actually related.

What recipe was Harry following?

Veg around the haggis?

Surely no.

Veg near the haggis, but never on the same serving plate.

And gravy?!?

No, no, no!

Still, Jazzer reckoned Harry did manage to get the haggis to look like a haggis, so I suppose I shouldn’t be a puritan.

The Archers Mon 24th Jan 2011: Henry’s home

  • Clarrie’s back at work
  • Five weeks grace
  • Slimmers and sweet sellers
  • Henry meets his first cow
  • Only cauliflower with cheese

Clarrie’s back at work

And jinks does she mean business!

She immediately sets to doing a deep clean of the yoghurt making area, as she doesn’t trust the job Vicky did on Friday.

And when Henry finally arrives home, Vicky is no-where to be seen.

[Pat] “Clarrie was very odd this morning … very keen to please … I don’t think she told Vicky we were bringing Henry home today”

As Clarrie told Nic:

[Clarrie] “She was getting on my nerves all day .. she’s got her feet well under the table at the dairy”

Clarrie’s worried that Vicky will be kept on at Bridge Farm, meaning less work for her.

[Nic] “Well, you’ll just have to show her who is boss”

I wonder which side Susan will take …

Five weeks grace

David has got agreements from all three schools that Freddie and Lily don’t have to sit their entrance exams for another 5 weeks.

I’m still not sure that’s a good thing.

Putting off an unwelcome task surely just leads to prolonged insomnia.

Slimmers and sweet sellers

Ha! Surely that’s not too groups of folks you want to have at Lower Loxley at the same time?

Seemingly Nigel used to say that the slimmers were hypocrites (as they ate like horses), but the sweet sellers (CASA – Confectionaries and Sweet Sellers Association) are actually really sweet. And have a chairman called Mr Honeydale.

Now that’s more like it! Gentle comedy, Ambridge style.

Henry meets his first cow

Bless him.

Home at last to Bridge Farm – though I assume he’ll be at his real home soon enough (above the shop).

And isn’t Tony just bursting with pride!

[Tony] “He has my sense of humour, He must have … coming into this family!”

It even sounded liked Tony wasn’t fazed on walking into a room when Helen was breastfeeding (I think she was breastfeeding – though it could have been a bottle. But, it is Helen we’re talking about …).

[Tony] “Come on Henry … your first night under my roof (kiss) and let’s hope it’s a good one!”


Only cauliflower with cheese

Seemingly Clarrie’s ‘lot’ will only eat cauliflower with cheese, as it “brings out the flavour”.


The Archers Sun 23rd Jan 2011: The Bull’s Farmhouse Breakfast

  • Now Neil returns
  • A new dawn for Brenda and Vicky?
  • Harry is in a stew about haggis
  • Kate’s back (grrrrrrrr!)
  • I wonder what Ruairi’s accent would have been like …
  • Kenton and Jolene bond over toast
  • Molly has mushrooms
  • Quarter Peal *sniff*

Now Neil returns

That’s odd.

Months of Susan and Vicky – no Mike and Neil.

Now Mike and Neil return (more or less) together.

That must be one big attic they’re being kept in.

A new dawn for Brenda and Vicky?

Brenda had a grand birthday thanks to Vicky – has she really “turned the corner” in beginning to accept (and even like) her step-mum?

Harry is in a stew about haggis

Silly muppet.

They’re not meant to be stewed.

Kate’s back (grrrrrrrr!)

Actually – steady on (I tell myself).

She’s being picked up, but we didn’t hear a word from her.

Which is fine. She’s more than welcome to return, just so long as she doesn’t speak.

I wonder what Ruairi’s accent would have been like …

… if Nigel and Elizabeth had adopted him.

Couldn’t really be any worse, I suppose.

Kenton and Jolene bond over toast

[Kenton] “There’s nothing worse than cold toast”

[Jolene] “Better than burnt”

[Kenton] “I quite like burnt”

[Jolene] “Really?”

Oo-er – will this difference stop love blossoming, or a case of opposites attract?

(actually – is this Kenton and Jolene thing ever going to go anywhere at all? I have my doubts)

Either way, it’s great to hear Jolene a bit more enthused by The Bull (ha! take that Mr Crawford!), and having Kenton to bounce ideas off of.

And I never realised “the oldies” (Kenton’s words) were offered ‘budget’ meal deals because they eat less.

Well, apart from Joe Grundy.

Molly has mushrooms

Molly Button has mushrooms on toast, Freddie and Lily get special hot chocolate and a (non-edible) penguin.

Knowing that Molly, she’s probably already on a diet.

It’s good to see Elizabeth back out in the village, even though some folks (like Neil) are a bit lost for words.

Jolene and Fallon more than made up for it by being ‘normal’ with the kids – and Neil is organising the quarter peal in memory of Nigel:

[Neil] “Nigel’s missed in that bell tower … he was such good fun”

Quarter Peal *sniff*

That was bonny, even though it was a bit of a sneaky tearful moment.

The Archers Fri 21st Jan 2011: Brenda’s 30th Birthday

  • Mike’s back, and with a chainsaw
  • Brenda has low expectations
  • What a surprise!
  • Delaying the pain?
  • David and Ruth have an early night
  • Harry is a heathen and a Sassenach

Mike’s back, and with a chainsaw

It’s been a while since we heard from Mr Vicky.

But then again, I suppose we really couldn’t have had Brenda’s 30th birthday without him.

Anyway, welcome back Moike, and be careful with that chainsaw.

Harry’s also popped up again, but chainsaw bereft. Which I think is good. Still not sure about that chap …

Brenda has low expectations

[Brenda] “Is it Borchester or Felpersham”

Ah, bless her. She’s trying to guess where Tom’s driving her.

But then again, I suppose she does have her trip to Berlin to look forward to.

And at least Tom does blindfold her (which I assumed would at least display her disappointment!).

Brenda the Unassuming – Tom the Man of Mystery …

Or Sir Jasper … according to Brenda.


She wears her silk pyjamas in the summer when it's hot,
She wears her woollen nightie in the winter when it's not,
But later in the springtime, and early in the fall,
She jumps between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

"She's a most immoral lady,
She's a most immoral lady,
She's a most immoral lady,
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
Oh, Sir Jasper do not touch me,
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper do not!
Oh, Sir Jasper do not!
Oh, Sir Jasper do not!
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper do!
Oh, Sir Jasper do!
Oh, Sir Jasper do!
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir Jasper!
Oh, Sir Jasper!
Oh, Sir Jaspert!
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

Oh, Sir!
Oh, Sir!
Oh, Sir!
And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

And she lay between the lily-white sheets with nothing on at all.

What a surprise!

[Brenda] “Oh my god – it’s … it’s …Willow Farm! … Oh Roy … Kirsty … Gabby from Radio Borchester!”

Brenda was genuinely delighted to be going back to the family home for her birthday party, for her neighbours and local friends to be there AND she loved the memories Vicky had collected.

I was a bit surprised, but then again – Brenda’s not exactly one of living the high life.

Question is – why did Tom get it so wrong? He was sure Brenda would hate everything Vicky has organised for her. It’s almost like he doesn’t know Brenda at all …

Delaying the pain?

It would seem Freddie and Lily may not have to take their entrance exams … well, not for a wee while, at least.

Elizabeth’s worried it’s all too much stress for them, and wee Freddie isn’t sleeping. So she’s tasked David to call the schools to see if the twins can get a stay of execution.

I wouldn’t know what would be worse – having to do them now, or have those exams hanging over their heads for even longer.

David and Ruth have an early night

To get some well-earned sleep.

(well, what did you expect?)

Harry is a heathen and a Sassenach

Jazzer isn’t holding back on Harry as he tries to explain what Burns Night is all about.

[Jazzer] “You don’t just eat haggis … the haggis is the hero of the night!”

But they’re back to being best buddies again when Harry agrees they should host their own wee Burns Night:

[Harry] “I’ll cook, and you can make sure everything is suitably Scottish”

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Archers Thurs 20th Jan 2011: Lilian to sell The Bull?

  • A farmer also trying to run a stately home
  • Lilian’s on time!
  • Ian and Adam made the cut
  • “Management Consultant”
  • “I’m in a real dilemma about it”
  • David’s “to the manor born”
  • Global warming

A farmer also trying to run a stately home

David’s slept in.

It’s only 7am before he finally awakes.


He seriously does need to slow down, and accept that he can’t be everything to Elizabeth. No matter how guilty he feels about Nigel’s death.

Lilian’s on time!

Now that really did shake Ambridge to the Core!

Bless her. She’s early for Jill, yet the only person she finds is Adam.

And that man’s can only talk sheep at the moment.

He’s even got one that he reckons will need social services.

It’s dozy, and keeps losing its lambs.

Ian and Adam made the cut

What on earth is happening with Brenda’s 30th birthday party???

Susan and Neil are invited – as are Ian and Adam, but because they are “youthful enough” (Adam’s words) – but Lilian isn’t on the list.


Surely Lilian and her fine gin & tonic making skills are just exactly what a party needs!

“Management Consultant”

Cripes – Adam said “management consultant” in the same way that David used to say Jude.

They somehow take a perfectly normal word/name, and make it sound like a venereal disease!
Asking Lilian and her son James, and whether he is still a consultant, Adam obviously still isn’t impressed by his cousin.

I wonder if James will ever stumble back Ambridge way?

“I’m in a real dilemma about it”

Oh dear. Oh deary, deary me.

Lilian’s talking to Adam about Amside How it’s struggling. That they haven’t managed to fill the flats that they’ve already built, and can’t find new properties to develop.

[Lilian] “There’s one possibility Matt’s talking about …keep this to yourself … Matt says Jolene wants to sell The Bull … the real problem is that Jolene’s heart really isn’t in it anymore”

So, one potential plan is to buy Jolene and Jamie’s shares, transfer Lilian’s shares to Amside, shut the place down and redevelop as a ‘gated estate’ (as The Bull has enough land to build several properties on).

[Lilian] “Of course I don’t want to do it Adam … she (Jolene) might not have any choice … at least this way, she gets out with some dignity … to be honest, I’m, in a real dilemma about it”


I don’t know if I have the energy for another We Love the Bull Campaign …

David’s “to the manor born”

But only in the sense that he’s a natural born NFU president.

Both Adam and Brian were very impressed by David’s smooth handling of his first night in charge, and they all also enjoyed the “very volatile” subject of soft commodities.

Ruth seemed to actually rather turned on by David’s performance, and was heard to utter a Marilyn Monroe-esque “Mr President” (yuk!)

Still, it’s all too much for David.

He’s exhausted. Stressed. Guilt-ridden. And manages to finally tune Ruth out as she’s wittering on in the car heading home:

[Ruth] “Go on then pet, you have a little sleep. I think you deserve it”


Global warming

[David] “I think Global warming might be not all that to UK farmers”


That’s alright then. I can stop worrying about it.

But Brian’s right that the price of oil might damn us all.

The Archers Wed 19th Jan 2011: Jim’s not amused by Joe

  • Daniel likes Jill’s pavlova
  • Neil’s arranged a quarter peal for Nigel
  • Jim gives Joe a telling
  • The drawer of doom?
  • Shula grieves for Nigel
  • A level time
  • Pat spells it out to Kathy

Daniel likes Jill’s pavlova

But she’s run out of cream.

And barges into Joe as she rushes out of the Village Shop (or so he reckons):

[Joe] “I comes in for an ounce of baccy and I gets assaulted!”

And Jill manages to leave her purse behind – which she didn’t even notice until Jim brought it round to Shula’s for her.

Well, I think that whole side of the Archer clan gets excused for any bad behaviour at the moment.

Neil’s arranged a quarter peal for Nigel

And Freddie’s taking a dibber that Nigel made into one of his interviews for school.

Not forgotten, but life does indeed go on.

Jim gives Joe a telling

[Jim] “It’s come to my attention that you’ve been using the research I did… or more rightly, abusing it”

[Joe] “No, no - I don’t think so”

[Jim] “Do you deny that you’ve been calling door to door dressed in improbable white clothes, brandishing spray painted secateurs and posing as some sort of Druidic high priest”

[Joe] “Oh, I never said I was a high priest …”

[Jim] “ … and spouting some spurious mumbo jumbo ostensively designed to ensure the germination of mistletoe … Joe, I did that research for you ‘uberrima fides’, in upmost good faith, because I thought you were interested in the subject, not on how to make money out of it by duping local residents”

[Joe] “Well, it was only a bit of fun”

[Jim] “Well, I must insist that you stop immediately. If word gets about that this is based on research that I undertook, I’d be a laughing stock. I have a reputation to protect, you know.”

[Joe] “I didn’t mean no harm … and I’m sorry for any offence caused”

Well that was Joe told.

Though his offer to ‘do’ Jim’s apples trees wasn’t that eagerly taken up by Jim. He’s fine for Joe to try and grow him some mistletoe on his trees, but:

[Jim] “chanting will not be necessary”

The drawer of doom?

I might still be suffering from #sattc (Shock to Shake Ambridge to the Core), as I’m seeing something ominous in every wee thing in Ambridge.

Pat’s dodgy drawer sounds very worrying to me …

Shula grieves for Nigel

[Shula] “I miss him so much … but I don’t feel I have the right … to feel so low myself, not compared to Elizabeth and what she must be suffering”

Jill reassures Shula that she has every right to feel the way she does, especially considering Nigel and Shula were romantically linked before he got together with Elizabeth (well, it was more Nigel than Shula, but she was very fond of him even then).

He was also a good friend, and had comforted Shula on the morning of Mark’s funeral.

[Jill] “… and if things had worked out differently”

Now there’s a thought.

Life would have been very different for all concerned.

A level time

Kathy’s complaining that Jamie doesn’t seem to care about making his A Level choices (he just wants to leave school, play games and hope/assume something will turn up), whereas Daniel has Jim keen to coach him on his first steps into a life of academia.

I wonder if Daniel is as good as he’s made out to be? We haven’t really heard from him for a while.

And Jamie … well … anything that stops us having to suffer him and Kathy shouting at each other will be just fine with me.

Pat spells it out to Kathy

Well, pat did make herself clear to Kathy, but in a rather respectful way:

[Pat] “You k now you’re always welcome of course, but I wonder if, given the baby, we could start to agree one night each week for you to come to eat”

[Kathy] “I understand Pat … I’ve been a bit too dependent on you. Don’t worry. Message received.”


Pat was trying to explain to Kathy that they needed more family time, with Henry soon to be arriving home, and that she still did want to see Kathy.

But Kathy seemed to take it a tad more personal.

Well – what other way could she take it? She was basically being told that she wasn’t wanted in their household every night. Which would hurt. Even if Kathy should have spotted that herself.

And won’t Tony be delighted!

The Archers Tues 18th Jan 2011: Clarrie’s free!

  • Brian’s a helpful chap
  • The League of Friends are indeed always nice
  • Clarrie’s looking forward to washing a mug
  • This Ambridge eavesdropping is brought to you by Skype …
  • Mart plans are at the Council
  • “Some economist from Felpersham”
  • Joe’s made some mistletoe sales
  • Clarrie lets slip to Jim
  • Nigel was idiosyncratic at organising

Brian’s a helpful chap

It looks like Brian’s offer to help at Brookfield wasn’t just a one off – and seems to come with no strings.

Helping out this time with the strawing down (which I think has something to do with the cows being inside), he also volunteers to take over Bert’s silage duties.

Though still struggling into work, Bert’s back is too sore to let him be of much use.

So it's Brian to the rescue, again.

I'd almost be suspicious, if it was just Ruth that was the female offering at Brookfield.

Though I suppose there is Pip ... surely not!?!

The League of Friends are indeed always nice

Preferring to get going to Clarrie’s hospital appointment rather than have a cup of tea at home, Nic was quite right that the League of Friends are nice people.

They’re to be found volunteering in hospitals – information, cups of tea and often raising money for equipment.

Well done folks!

Clarrie’s looking forward to washing a mug

Concerned about her job:

[Clarrie] “Vicky’s already got her feet too far under the table for my liking … I don't want her getting no ideas about that job for the long term”

And getting increasingly frustrated about not being able to do the housework and cooking (though it has to be said that Joe managed not to poison anyone), Clarrie can’t wait to get her arm out of plaster.

She’s especially looking forward to washing up her coffee mug properly.

As much as I can understand the mug symbolising Clarrie being able to get her world back under control … there’s also a part of me that thinks Clarrie does actually sees being able to wash her own mug is a genuine treat.

[Clarrie] “There’s a mug there that’s going to be washed with an inch of its life”

Will that woman ever get a proper break? (excuse the pun)

This Ambridge eavesdropping is brought to you by Skype …

Is it just me, or is the Aldridge family being sponsored by Skype?

That was yet another mention because of Nollie’s birthday tomorrow.

Maybe the extra income is why Brian is happy to give his time for free to Brookfield.

Mart plans are at the Council

All seems to be going well with Borchester Land and Amside’s Mart plans.

Though Brian reckons Matt’s still pulling Lilian’s strings, she is “putting up a good fight” at the Board table.

The plans for the mart are finished, and are now in front of the Council’s planning department.

Surely that’s where the trouble really starts?!?

“Some economist from Felpersham”

Wowzer – those farmers sure know how to book a scintillating key note speaker for their conference!

Seemingly Adam’s going to translate (he studied Agricultural economics), and the economist’s topic, “Global Soft Commodity prospects”, Brian reckoned would be:

“food for thought”

(and he said that with, again, no pun intended)

Each to their own, I suppose.

Joe’s made some mistletoe sales

But Clarrie reckons:

[Clarrie] “anyone that’s lived here a while isn’t so keen … mainly the townies that’s taking it … Joe could be up to a lot worse”


But does Clarrie realise that he’s been using one of her sheets?

Clarrie lets slip to Jim


Clarrie does seem to have a tendency of telling folks things they would probably be better off not knowing.

Though it seems to be entirely innocent on her part. Unlike when Susan tells her home truths …

Anyway, expect Jim to give Joe a telling any day now. His reaction to being told that he’d “inspired” Joe to go round the village, charging folks for his Druid services, didn’t sound entirely positive.

[Clarrie] “he’s a funny old stick”

Nigel was idiosyncratic at organising

David’s having a struggle trying to work out Nigel’s way of working.

He’s not sure what Nigel meant when he ticked something (as it would seem Nigel also used crosses for when he’d completed some tasks); Nigel had a bit of an eccentric filing system (Royal’s Rink hire was under I for Ice rink); and David is a tad concerned that all of this will mean he and Lewis will miss something important.

Lewis is a very calm chap to have around, but David seems to be edging onto panic (on top of his guilt, and sheer exhaustion).

That David can’t find a trace of the ice sculpture is his biggest problem at the moment (maybe the sculpture goes the same way as the ice? … sorry …).

Spotting that David is about to potentially self-combust, Lewis tries to suggest that David really doesn’t need to do all of this work.

After all, Elizabeth didn’t ask him to – and probably should start looking for a professional manager for Lower Loxley.

That the Lower Loxely trustees are meeting in 3 weeks sounds a bit ominous.

Maybe David should relax a bit now, in case Elizabeth will need him more in a few weeks time …

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Archers Mon 17th Jan 2011: Kenton’s help is and isn’t wanted

  • No problem with the will
  • David doesn’t want Kenton …
  • … but Jolene does
  • “Ye Gods!”
  • No tomatoes in Ambridge?
  • Jill’s worried again
  • Trouble in store for Freddie and Lily?

No problem with the will

Elizabeth already knows what’s in Nigel’s will, as she’s an executor.

David doesn’t want Kenton …

Kenton offers again to help out with the business side of Lower Loxley, but David’s having none of it.

In fact, he’s downright rude to Kenton.

[Kenton] “I’ve had a lot more experience with that sort of thing”

[David] “What, running a bar!?!”

[Kenton] “Well, with our private bookings, I know the sort of thing to expect …”

[David] “Are you saying I’m not up to the job?”

[Kenton] “No, not all.”

[David] “ … because I’m fine Kenton,. It’s just common sense. It’s all under control.”

Well, there was no need for that, David Archer.

There’s more folks than just you who need to work off their sense of guilt.

… but Jolene does

I’m not sure exactly what Jolene did to perk up Kenton after David shouted him done (for only offering to help), but it did the trick.

(actually, it sounded like it was just a coffee).

Upset that David had acted:

[Kenton] “Like I accused him of being a bad parent, or something”

Kenton also wants to avoid making the same mistake that he feels he made when Sid died.

As much as I hardly think Elizabeth and the twins would get upset with Kenton having a one night stand (Jamie seemingly still isn’t talking to him), it sounds like he has realised that even just being in the same room helps. With Jamie and Kathy, he was always at Jaxx.

So, Kenton wants to do more at Lower Loxley so that Elizabeth and the twins know that they can depend on him

[Jolene] “You’re a good man Kenton … we all make mistakes … but if you can learn from them …”

[Kenton] “I do seem to make more than most”

[Jolene] “That’s cause you’re always doing. It’s easier to get nothing wrong if you never doing anything in the first place”

Later on:

[Jolene] “You gotta deal with your own grief … it’s all very well looking after everyone else, but you gotta think of yourself too”

[Kenton] “But here … it’s just a good place to be”

Whether Kenton and Jolene get together or not, it’s nice that Kenton has someone who doesn’t think he’s an idiot or blame him for being a tad flaky at times.

“Ye Gods!”

Which was David’s cry as he realised that planning a large society wedding really isn’t that simple.

No cheesecake – how many kids? – where does the photographer take the pictures?

Yup – all common sense, and simple tasks. But, stack them all up together, realise that you should have asked the client in the first place … David’s common sense just isn’t making up for his lack of experience.

Shouldn’t have been so rude to Kenton after all, eh David?

No tomatoes in Ambridge?

Tom’s sausages and bacon – Pat’s yoghurt – and Mike’s milk for the cereals.

But no local tomatoes for The Bull’s Farmhouse Breakfast.

I’m surprised no local entrepreneur hasn’t seen that one right.

Anyhoo, at least Jolene and Kenton got a laugh out of writing the copy for the breakfast menu:

“Eggs from hens that scratch freely in the shadow of Lakey Hill!”

(I know – I didn’t think it was that funny either. Still, it made them smile)

Jill’s worried again

Despite Elizabeth now knowing she’s secure for her lifetime, Jill can’t help worrying.

She really doesn’t want Elizabeth to get back to work – but Elizabeth reckons Lower Loxley’s brand is all about her (and previously Nigel) being hands on.

I think maybe getting back to work might actually help Elizabeth.

After all, getting “back to reality” helped Lily and Freddie.

But then again, Jill is always right.

Trouble in store for Freddie and Lily?

Is it just me, or was there no mention of what happens to Lower Loxley when Elizabeth eventually passes over to Nigel?

[Jill] “But the main thing is that you’re secure for your lifetime”


Trouble with the trustees for Lily and Freddie?

The Archers Sun 16th Jan 2011: When Vicky met Henry

  • It’s Pip’s driving tests in 2 weeks
  • Henry’s in transition
  • “Dressed like that bloke out of Asterix”
  • Tom stands up for Brenda
  • Miracle of science?
  • Yikes! A broody Vicky
  • Chips and supermarket quiche
  • “There’s a great gap where Nigel should be”

It’s Pip’s driving tests in 2 weeks

Banned for speeding within a matter of weeks? Car crash? An additional door put into the Barn?!?

Henry’s in transition

Cripes, that was fast. I didn’t think wee ones could make those sort of decisions …


Henry’s been moved to the transition unit, which Tom reckons is far nicer. There’s no tubes, “and stuff”.

As Helen changes Henry’s nappy:

[Tom] “Very undignified, being a baby isn’t it? … wait until I take him from his first pint and tell him I’ve seen him like this!”

And we’ll all remember it too, as Henry grows up. That’s part of the joy of eavesdropping into The Archers for years, upon years, upon years …

“Dressed like that bloke out of Asterix”

Is what Tom reckons Joe looks like.

Sounds like Joe has been having some success with his new Druid approach to selling mistletoe.

Well, whatever floats Joe’s (and his customers) boat.

Tom stands up for Brenda

As Tom’s organising the hotel for their trip to Berlin (4 nights from the 25th of Feb), he’s also doing his best to dissuade Vicky from making Brenda’s 30th birthday party a living hell.

(well, it would just be a tad rubbish to most of us, but we all know how Brenda loves an excuse to go a bit overboard about anything Vicky related)

As Vicky starts to tick off the games she wants to play at Brenda’s party (Murder in the Dark or Sardines), Tom manages to get a word in:

[Tom] “Perhaps I didn’t really make it clear. I really don’t think Brenda would like games at her party … when it’s mainly people of our age, all we want is a few drinks and a bit of music and the party will look after itself … believe me, Brenda wouldn’t want that sort if party, not for her 30th”

[Vicky, slightly deflated but not entirely giving up] “But I’m still going to do that memory thing”

Hmmm. As Tom tried to tell Vicky previously, Brenda might also not be that enamoured of having her baby pictures, and other embarrassing images, plastered all over her party.

[Helen] “You know the first thing that shot into my mind. Her being sacked from radio Borchester …”

Yup. There’s a definite flaw somewhere in Vicky’s plan there, methinks.

Miracle of science?

As Vicky’s in seeing Henry, while Helen and Tom are also visiting him, she reckons he’s:

[Vicky] “Your miracle baby”

[Helen] “It’s just good, medical science. That’s all”

I reckon Henry’s a bit of both. A wee miracle, helped by science.

And that he can fall asleep while being held, and yattered over, by Vicky … well, that just shows how very special he is indeed.

Yikes! A broody Vicky

Mike had better watch out …

She’s also adamant that Brenda with also get broody, what with a new baby in the family. Despite Tom’s protestations.

[Tom] “Not really”

[Vicky] “You’ll have to get a move on you know, both knocking on 30”

Cheeky mare!

[Tom] “You know what’s even worse … suppose Vicky goes onto Brenda about having babies. You know how she feels about that. She’ll hit the roof!”

So Vicky is going to ruin Brenda’s 30th party by not accepting that she just needs a few cans of special brew, a bowl of nuts and a few pals – AND Vicky’s going to top that off with annoying her with talk of babies.

Oh dear.

My question – when did Brenda get so anti-baby?

That surely must mean an unplanned pregnancy anytime now.

Chips and supermarket quiche

Yup – Ruth’s cooking again.

Both David and Pip seem quietly disappointed that it’s not “one of gran’s”.

Better than pizza, folks!

“There’s a great gap where Nigel should be”

Quite agree with Ruth – “it’s heart-breaking”

[David] “We’ve got a long road ahead”

And one which is going to takes years and years to fully play out.

Aw. I still miss Nigel.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Archers Fri 14th Jan 2011: Matt’s plans for The Bull

  • Jolene’s depressed again
  • Farmhouse Breakfast Week
  • Grandpa Lewis
  • Inheritance
  • Lily thinks Nigel was careless
  • Matt Vs Lilian
  • Joe impregnated Sabrina’s apple tree
  • The kids make the decision

Jolene’s depressed again

Which is fair enough, considering Nigel’s sudden death must have brought back everything around Sid’s sudden death.

And it’s not just her mood that’s hit another downer.

As Matt’s in The Bull have a coffee, Jolene tells him:

[Jolene] “We’re in a big post Christmas slump – the worst I’ve ever known it. Looks like we’re back to square one”
Jolene reckons The Bull only picked up during Autumn because of the We Love the Bull campaign and she’s now just not in the mood to try new ways of getting the punters in the door.

Her heart very much going out to Elizabeth having to manage with kids and a business on her own, Jolene thinks she knows how Elizabeth must be feeling about Lower Loxley (as a business):

[Jolene] “Wishing someone else would just take it all off your hands”

Probably not the most astute move to say something like that to Matt – and he does manage to twist what Jolene says for his own ends, later on.

[Matt] “Don’t despair - something might turn up, you never know”


Farmhouse Breakfast Week

I’m not sure where Harry has been of late. Surely it’s his style to be helpful when there’s a major crisis?

But he hasn’t been seen at neither Lower Loxley, nor The Bull.

Fair-weather friend?

But not to worry Jolene – Kenton’s still interested.

Which is just as well. Jolene needs someone to ‘spark’ off of, and Kenton reckons he’s just the chap (even thought the three ideas he has before he’s finished shaving only result in at least 2 being rubbish).

Kenton’s idea is for The Bull to take part in Farmhouse Breakfast Week. It’s all about the benefits of having a good breakfast – and Kenton’s idea is for The Bull to serve hearty English breakfasts, all using local produce.

He’s even offered to help with the cooking.

I’m still not totally convinced that Kenton’s interest in Jolene is anything more than mates, but at least someone’s there for her.

(also a bit worried about Fallon. We haven’t heard from her since Harry went quiet …)

Grandpa Lewis

Ah – I’d utterly forgotten that Lewis had actually married Julia Pargetter, not long before she died.

That explains a lot. I did wonder why the ‘hired help’ was taking such an interest!


I was wondering if inheritance would be an issue after Nigel’s death, but it seems he worked that one all out.
He’s left Lower Loxley in trust to Elizabeth and the kids.

It’s a wee shame that Freddie and Lily thought they might have to leave Lower Loxley, with it passing over to Aunty Camilla (Nigel’s sister). I suppose there’s no real reason why it should – Lily and Freddie are true Pargetter’s (with a hint of Archer).

[Freddie] “(did he put it in trust) because he trusted us to look after it?”

Lily thinks Nigel was careless

[Lily] “He should have been more careful, then we wouldn’t have to (look after Lower Loxley) … it’s true, he shouldn’t have gone up on the roof!”

[Elizabeth] “Lily I wish he hadn’t too. But he only wanted the house to look nice. Listen, you mustn’t blame him, it just happened”

[Lily] “Why did it?”
[[Elizabeth] “I don’t know sweetheart, I don’t know”
[Freddie] “You shouldn’t ask mummy things like that”
[Elizabeth] “You can ask me any questions you like. I tell you what I do know. Daddy loved you both more than anything in the world, and he still does”
Oh dear. Can we foresee Lily holding back her anger towards Nigel dying for a few more decades? Wonder how that will resurface …

Matt Vs Lilian

Amside Properties doesn’t seem to be doing that well at the moment, mainly because of a lack of suitable properties to develop.

Matt has a cunning plan, which he puts to Lilian

[Matt] “(Jolene) actually said she wished someone would come and take the place off her hands … she’s being realistic, she’s tried and it hasn’t work”

[Lilian] “So what’s the alternative?”

Of course – Matt wants to close The Bull and turn it into flats. The cheeky devil also only wants to pay Jolene and Jamie “bottom price” for their shares. How very neighbourly of him.

Now we didn’t see that one coming …

[Lilian] “So that’s your solution? I close the Bull? There are other things to take into consideration ..>"

[Lilian] “Aren’t you overlooking one tiny little drawback to this grand plan? At the cost of everyone hating me? Shut the bull – people would never forgive me!”

Matt thinks the residents just have a “sentimental attachment” to The Bull, whereas Lillian (quite rightly) knows it’s the centre of village life.

So Lilian calls in her “power of veto” to stop Matt even talking about closing The Bull (he isn’t a director, so technically has no right to overrule Lilian).

But Matt’s not the sort of let his beloved Pusscat get in the way of making a few quid.

As soon as Lilian leaves the house, he’s straight on the phone to some chap called Liam, asking him to research what the options could be for developing the site of The Bull.

It’s a hard one to call. Matt has a tendency of getting his way with Lilian (and seems to have forgotten all the strife he got himself into last time when he want behind her back).

But, it’s The Bull. It’s where Lilian spent part of her childhood. She’s also quiet right in knowing she’d be an outcast if she was behind it closing.

Could this be the final straw for Tiger and Pusscat?

Joe impregnated Sabrina’s apple tree

Blimey! And seemingly Sabrina was really impressed.

Jolene’s telling Kenton about how Sabrina wanted to try and grow her own mistletoe, so Joe turned up at her house dressed like a Druid High Priest.

[Jolene] “Clarrie said Joe got his ideas from the Harry Potter film. Took her best dressing gown and draped himself with a sheet … then he impregnated Sabrina’s apple tree … chanting and everything”

Seemingly Sabrina will believe anything if it seems rustic. The slight failing in Joe’s plan was that word was surely to spread about what nonsense he was telling the unwary buyers.

In fact, Sabrina actually told Lynda:

[Jolene] “Lynda said Joe was posturing, had no basis in natural history whatsoever. And if Sabrina’s trees grew mistletoe toe she’d personally become a druid”

Oh, that’s a dangerous thing to have said Lynda.

What’s more – if, by some bizarre fluke – Sabrina does manage to grow mistletoe, I can’t see you backing out of your bet.

The kids make the decision

Well, you have to give credit to Freddie for certainly not lacking in loyalty and bravery.

Although obviously not a fan of school, and certainly not having a particular aptitude for schoolwork, he’d determined to keep on at the entrance exams.

As is Lily, but she’s never really struggled with the work.

Elizabeth was prepared to let them not do the exams if they didn’t want to, but they’re both adamant they should, as it’s what Nigel wanted.

[Freddie] “Yes, we have to. For daddy.”

Aw bless your wee cotton socks.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Archers Thurs 13th Jan 2011: Nigel’s funeral

  • The brooch of doom
  • “You were right, mum”
  • David’s beyond maudlin
  • Kenton’s worried about being disrespectful
  • Shula and Joni Mitchell
  • Those we didn’t hear from
  • “They think daddy’s helping God with his allotments now”

The brooch of doom

Turns out it was a lasting memory, rather than a curse from Julia Pargetter.

Ah well. I think a lot of us would have preferred a cursed Nigel and Elizabeth to a dead Nigel …

“You were right, mum”

I’ve said it before, but Jill is just always right!

Seemingly the kids told Elizabeth that they had wanted to go to the funeral, but did think Elizabeth wanted them there.

David’s beyond maudlin

David was never going to have an easy time at the funeral (which is why he didn’t want to speak at it), but he seems to be diving into the ‘dark pool’ after Elizabeth.

Before the service, he was depressed that Jill had never before spoken of her grief and anger at not being allowed to be at her mother’s funeral:

[David] “So much goes on in this family Ruth, so much that the family doesn’t talk about”

Later, as he’s at the funeral tea, he seems to be getting even more depressed at the sight of the sheer number of people who come to bid Nigel farewell.

[David] “It’s such a waste … if ever anyone made the world a better place … it’s so wrong he’s gone”

Oh dear.

Now, David has some guilt to carry for being up on the roof in the first place, but it would seem he’s comparing himself with Nigel.

Apples and kumquats, I think.

Is David heading for depression? Does he think he should have died in place of Nigel (as the lesser man)?

Will we ever see our usual confident (and a tad self-righteous) David return?

Kenton’s worried about being disrespectful

Which is a first.

But I think his speech at the funeral was perfect.


“I suppose we should have guessed Nigel might become someone special in Elizabeth’s life when he helped her scape from boarding school …

“ …there was a bit of a wobble in their relationship when they become rivals in what became known as the ice cream wars … yes, they each had their own van, and Nigel’s jingle was, of course, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic in honour of his own beloved teddy bear Tiddles.

“But, they got together in their own good time, and for Nigel and Elizabeth, the romance never died”

“He told me his music master used to say, ‘spare us the caterwauling Pargetter, just mouth it silently”

So, as we sing, let’s imagine Nigel beside us, miming”
And Kenton's speech even managed to comfort Elizabeth.

[Elizabeth] “You brought Nigel to life … gave me back some happy memories”

Nice one Kenton.

Shula and Joni Mitchell

While I still feel very odd about actually liking Shula at the moment, it was Shula’s speech at the funeral which finally brought my tears:


“Nigel was green long before it became fashionable. But he combined this with a great love of tradition, which we saw beautifully expressed in the way he made his last journey here

“On a wicker coffee, in a waggon, pulled by his beloved shire horse

“He was very conscious when he inherited Lower Loxley that he was a custodian for future generations. Handing down what was best of the past, but taking great care to safeguard this for the future

"Nigel was my very dear friend for so many years … if ever anyone was a child of the universe, it was Nigel Pargetter.

“To quote one of his favourite songs:

‘We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden’

“Well, he’s back there now”

*sniff a lot*

Those we didn’t hear from

Debbie was back – as she’s Lily’s godmother

Alistair – who’s Freddie’s godfather

Jolene (bless)

Lewis, and his daughter Felicity

Camilla (Nigel’s sister), her husband and his aunt,

I still think there might be an inheritance issue, by the way …

“They think daddy’s helping God with his allotments now”

So what now?

Freddie and Lily have had a chance to say goodbye to Nigel, and

[Elizabeth] “Tomorrow’s the first day of the rest of our lives”

Although Elizabeth is keeping them off of school tomorrow, there’s still the ever looming entrance exams.

So what will Elizabeth do?

Let Freddie escape the hell that is public school academia (after his success as a rat, maybe an early entry to stage school would be more apt) – or stay true to Nigel’s firm wish?

As Jill said:

[Jill] “And now the hard part starts, doesn’t it”

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Archers Wed 12th Jan 2010: Jill at seven

  • Poor Kenton
  • Joe in vestments?
  • The simple pleasures
  • Guilt’s not attractive on David
  • Those early hurts are the deepest

Poor Kenton

[Kenton] “I wished she’d asked me … well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to bother her now that it’s sorted … she knows that (David’s) the reliable one”

[Shula] “Well, he clearly didn’t want to do it which is why I offered … why, what did you want to say?”

[Kenton] “Well, just what fun he was”

It’s not nice being Kenton sometimes.

The black sheep of the family, to the point where he believes that he no-one else will trust him to say the right thing at his best friend’s funeral.

It’s a shame that neither Shula nor David thought of Kenton. Elizabeth is hardly best placed to think of anything …

Joe in vestments?


Still, at least Joe is providing some light relief to the Archer clan.

Kenton and Shula are guffawing away at the fact that Jim hasn’t as yet spotted that Joe’s more interested in a few extra £ than ancient history.

And, at the idea of Joe trying to make more money by becoming a Druid priest:

[Kenton] “ …a priest in white vestments climbs an oak tree and cuts down the mistletoe with a golden sycle”

[Shula] “Sounds quite beautiful”

[Kenton] “Well, not when the priest is Joe Grundy”

While Shula is tempted to get Joe in to do his new found magic on her trees, Kenton's more in the mood for a sing song.

Quite bizarrely, Shula joins in:

“Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green-o”

Odd, as that was quite a prominent song in the last run of Lark Rise to Candleford.

Maybe Kenton and Shula watch it (Shula, I can imagine, but Kenton? Is he that ,lonely?)

And even more bizarre yet, Helen walks in as Shula and Kenton are singing, making them both behave like naughty school children caught misbehaving.

Still, any laughs right now must be welcomed.

The simple pleasures

At first a bit perturbed to find Shula and Kenton singing in a house of mourning.

[Helen] “They seemed in an …odd … mood”

Helen soon settles down to both comfort Elizabeth, and also make much of her wee boy Henry.

Not that Helen went overboard, or Elizabeth was not welcoming a happy diversion.

All Helen wants to do it to be able to care for Henry, but that’s difficult when he’s still in hospital.

She just wants to be able to give him a bath.

[Elizabeth] “Nigel said it was lucky we had twins as we both had one to bath”

It’s the simple moments that stay with us.

Guilt’s not attractive on David

I’ll admit I reckon David’s quite right to feel a bit of guilt (why else where they both up on the roof?), but he’s going to drive himself insane if he keep being so down on himself.

Despite putting his entire life on hold to run Lowe Loxley with Lewis (including a big society wedding which sounds a bit tricky – likely more of that to follow), David can’t give himself a break for not wanting to speak at Nigel’s funeral.

Would anybody actually expect him to?

Those early hurts are the deepest

[Jill] “You know I was brought up by my mother’s cousin …”

[Elizabeth] “Yes, aunt Daphne, because your father died when you were a baby”

[Jill] “Yes, and then my mother .. she struggled to keep out little family together, but it was too much for her”

“I’ve never talked about how I felt .. .what it did to me .. .it went too deep”

Jill’s talking to Elizabeth about her own experiences of death as a young child.

Her father died when she was a baby. Her mother when she was but knee high. And her Aunt, in trying to protect her from the pain of her mother’s death, decided to keep Jill away from the funeral.

[Jill] “I know what it’s like to not say goodbye … it made me think people could disappear without any explanation .. people you loved, people you thought loved you … you couldn’t trust them ..

“I used to be a very wary person Elizabeth, I didn’t want to be hurt again …but then I met your father, and he showed me I was wrong. He ;loved me, and I know he’d never leave ,me.

“He taught me to love again, so I could start to forgive my mother .. .for abandoning me, for leaving me without a word and never coming back …”

[Elizabeth] “But she couldn’t, you must have known that, she was dead”

[Jill] “I was seven, Elizabeth”

[Elizabeth] “Oh mum, I wish you’d told me before.”

[Jill] “But I had to tell you how important it is – give Lilt and Freddie that chance. Let them say goodbye to their father, please …”

All of which was a bit of a teary moment for me.

Jill was crying at her own pain, and at the thought of her grandchildren having to feel the same.,

Elizabeth was crying as her mum crying.

But, as sad as it all was, at least Kenton managed to both help Elizabeth out, while also being able to find his proper place at Nigel’s funeral.

Lily and Freddie are now going to the funeral. Which means Elizabeth doesn’t want to speak (in case she breaks down).

Which means Kenton will have his chance to pay homage to his mate, properly.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Archers Tues 11th Jan 2011: Nigel’s funeral plans

  • Is Brian genuine?
  • There’s no point arguing with Jill
  • Exams ahoy!
  • Funeral plans, so far
  • Why not Kenton?

Is Brian genuine?

It’s been a while since Brian went a-wandering.

Do we think he’s moving in on Ruth – a female farmer in distress?

Probably not. But it’d be funny if those two paired up …

There’s no point arguing with Jill

Not that Shula was arguing. She was only trying to get Jill to see Elizabeth’s point of view, about the children not being at Nigel’s funeral.

[Shula] “Elizabeth might have a point. They are her children”

[Jill] “And she’s mine!”

[Jill] “It’s really important there all together. That they say goodbye together”

Jill sets David onto Elizabeth – who fails.

Even his reminder that he found it comforting to have his children at Phil’s funeral – for both his and the kids’ sake.

[Elizabeth] “I can’t imagine everything after the funeral. It’s just a great big black hole … (when she mentioned the funeral) Freddie went totally silent, and Lily changed the subject … I’m doing this for them”

Jill also sets Alan onto Elizabeth – who (in his very gentle and understanding way) fails.

[Alan – relating what Mabel had said about Amy being at his wife’s, Mabel’s daughter’s, funeral] “Jesus loves little children, and he’ll be holding Amy’s hand”

[Alan] “I think the ceremony would embrace the children”

[Jill] “Rather than shut them out in the cold”

[Alan] “Grief is such a maze …”

[Jill] “They’d be lost in it for ever … I know it. And I have to change Elizabeth’s mind”

My money’s on Jill.

Exams ahoy!

Pip was off today to her re-sits.

Freddie and Lily have entrance exams to do for three schools.

(it doesn’t sound like Elizabeth is about to let Freddie off the hook).

Who said childhood was the best days?

Funeral plans, so far

Donations to environmental; charities

Hymn: Dear lord and father of mankind (as Nigel was a peacemaker)

Hymn: All creatures of our god and king (as Nigel loved the natural world and was joyful)

Alan’s doing the eulogy

Elizabeth will try and speak

The funeral tea will be back at Lower Loxley – with Lower Loxley wine

And they’re on the track of the harpist who played for Nigel and Elizabeth’s anniversary.

I did say that Nigel would normally hire a harpist to cheer Elizabeth up.

Why not Kenton?

Elizabeth asked David to speak to Nigel’s’ funeral, but Shula interrupted to say she would.

Saving David from having to refuse (I imagine he feels too guilty, can’t wipe the image of Nigel falling out of his mind, too emotional etc), Shula did well.

But what about Kenton?

Wasn’t he Nigel’s best mate?

The Archers Mon 10th Jan 2011: Ian’s the dad?

  • Susan can manage her own jugs
  • At least Vicky has sympathy
  • Freddie and Lily back to school
  • They’ve let Helen out
  • Tom and Brenda to leave the country!
  • “I’d like it to be a big one”
  • Phoebe’s being very good about it
  • Elizabeth can now hear Nigel
  • Dan or Ian?
  • Should the kids be there?

Susan can manage her own jugs

So says she, but she’s still happy to have Vicky around to help out elsewhere.

At least Vicky has sympathy

[Vicky] “What a tragedy … those poor children”

All Susan can find to say about Nigel dying is that she’ll have to re-arrange the Village Shop rota, as Jill’s too busy with Elizabeth.

(and I don’t mean this to be an anti-Susan posting – she just sets herself up sometimes!)

Freddie and Lily back to school

Seemingly the biggest problem was that they seemed more worried about leaving Elizabeth.

Which has, in turn, helped Elizabeth to realise that they are better off in the ‘real world’, rather than looking after her.

So, Jill was right (again!).

And bless Ruairi’s wee socks – he made sure Freddie joined in his football game. Because he “knows what it’s like”.

Aw. How’s a nice, sensitive chap like that being brought up by Jennifer and Brian?

They’ve let Helen out

We didn’t get to hear her having to say her goodbye to Henry (for the time being).

Helen still sounds perfectly happy and sane (I’m still hoping it lasts), and is still acknowledging that she was a bit of a madam to Tony and Pat during her pregnancy.

It’s Pat’s birthday today, and Tom reassured:

[Tom] “But, you can do no wrong know that you’ve presented them with Henry!!”

Later on, Helen’s proving again that she’s changed.

[Helen] “I don’t expect everyone to find him as interesting as I do”

Cripes! Helen. Not expecting someone else to be as obsessed with something in her life as she is. There’s a change and a half.

Tom and Brenda to leave the country!

They will return – as it’s only a treat for Brenda’s 30th birthday – but I’m amazed they’re actually going anywhere. They generally don’t venture beyond The Bull

“I’d like it to be a big one”

So says Vicky!

She’s decided it’d be a great idea to throw Brenda a surprise party.

The guest list so far includes Susan, Neil, Chris and Alice (all great friends of Brenda’s … hmmm), and Vicky’s enlisted Susan’s expertise to make sure the party is spectacular.

Which means games.

Sounds like Tom managed to put Brenda off of the idea of having Brenda’s baby pictures on the walls of the party.

[Tom] “It’s a nice thought, but honestly? No.”

‘Party on down’ indeed!

Do we think this will be a birthday Brenda won’t ever forget – for all the wrong reasons?

Phoebe’s being very good about it

I’d totally forgotten about Phoebe and her heartache over Kate leaving her. Again.

Vicky reckons she’s putting a brave face on it, but Susan isn’t impressed.

[Susan] “More than Kate deserves, if you ask me”

Did anyone actually ask Susan?

Elizabeth can now hear Nigel

First she was feeling, and nearly seeing, Nigel – now Elizabeth can hear him:

[Elizabeth] “I could her Nigel talking to me. ‘Come on Lizzie, you’d know I’d like a wicker one’”

Later on, coffin chosen, Elizabeth is also planning Nigel’s “final journey”

[Elizabeth] “Ideally, of course, he’d have linked to go on his bike… the next best thing would be to have the coffin on the wagon and to have Cranford Christie pull it.”

Elizabeth is doing superbly well, organising Nigel’s coffin, funeral, letting the kids go …

But as always, it’s the calm after the tragedy that often proves the most difficult.

Dan or Ian?

Having a look through some of Tony’s many (many!) photographs of Henry, Vicky and Susan are playing ‘spot the grandfather and father’.

Reckoning that there’s no Tony to be seen,

[Susan] “something of Dan Archer about him …Oh, he was a nice man. Gave my Neil his start in life, really”

[Vicky] “It’s strange isn’t it … he might just look like his father and we’ll never know”

[Susan] “Well, I think he looks like his father …”

[Vicky] “But we don’t know who that is!”

[Susan] “Don’t we? I’m surprised at you Vicky .. .you’re usually quick about these things … what’s his name?”

Vicky is still, at first, a bit slow. After Susan told her to think of Ian rather than Henry …

[Susan] “I never bought that name about the sperm donor … it was a cover story”

[Vicky] “Do you think they actually …”

[Susan] “All I can say, is they are close friends”

Yikes! Close friends. Ian likes kids. He painted the nursery. AND Susan reckons Henry has his chin.

Case closed. Though I’d imagine they didn’t actually …

It’s always hard to take Susan and Vicky seriously, but others have mentioned Ian as the potential father.

I’m not convinced.

Though the speed with which Helen was accepted and then got pregnant was extraordinary fast – if she did get a chap to assist directly, I’d doubt it was Ian.

Ian’s devoted to Adam. Adam was against Ian being a father last time. And Ian wouldn’t hide this from Adam.

And surely his reaction to Henry would have been different if he’d actually been his child?

Nope. I think there might be something in the idea that Helen didn’t have an anonymous donor, but Ian’s not the chap.

I also think there’s a bit of assumption based on Ian’s sexuality. There’d be nothing to stop a straight man (single or attached) ‘helping’ Helen out. Having a baby with a friend isn’t just the reservation of gay men …

Should the kids be there?

Jill’s very upset to hear Elizabeth say that Freddie and Lily won’t be at Nigel’s funeral.

Elizabeth’s just as upset that Jill assumed they would be there.

[Jill] “They need to say goodbye to their father”

[Elizabeth] “Not like this. Not at a huge bewildering public occasion … I don’t want those to be their last memories of Nigel”

[Elizabeth] “Mum – I don’t want to be there. I’m certainly not going to out the children through it … I don’t know how I’m going to be like on the day … I don’t know what I might do … They’re my children and I don’t want them there”

Another tricky one.

Deny your kids the chance of saying goodbye – or put them through the fairly scarring experience of seeing their mum through herself onto a wicker coffin …

By default, I’d just do what Jill says!

The Archers Sun 9th Jan 2011: Shula and Usha!

  • Elizabeth can’t really have everything she’d like …
  • When Shula met Usha
  • Email etiquette after a death?
  • Trust David?
  • When being a solicitor isn’t that useful
  • What’s not grown up about All Things Bright and Beautiful?

Elizabeth can’t really have everything she’d like …

Usha’s round seeing Elizabeth, and seems to be making way headway in encouraging Elizabeth to talk more.

[Elizabeth] “It’s so unreal Usha … how can I be planning Nigel’s funeral. It can’t be right. We should have had years and years together”

Helping Elizabeth work on the service for Nigel’s funeral:

[Usha] “Elizabeth – you can have everything you like”

Well, I know what you mean Usha, but Elizabeth can’t quite have everything …

When Shula met Usha

You could hear the crackle of frost …

But, just as Usha was about to leave, Shula asked her to stay.

Shula was aware that Elizabeth had opened up to Usha (as she’s a friend, rather than a family member), and was asking if there was anything she should know.

And Shula asked nicely. And purely out of concern for Elizabeth. Plus she even made sure that Usha knew she wasn’t asking her to betray any confidences.

The only alluding to their ‘differences’ (well – Shula’s issues with Usha) was a bit of a subtle one from Usha:

[Usha] “I wasn’t much help with the hymns … that’s still a bit of a stumbling block, I’m afraid …”


Shall we soon see Shula back at St Stephen’s every Sunday?

Email etiquette after a death?

That’s a tough one.

David’s got the fairly horrific task of going through all of Nigel’s new emails.

Problem is – who already knows – doesn’t know – should be called to be told – should just be emailed to be told???


Trust David?

With Lower Loxley opening tomorrow, Elizabeth’s stressing that David and Lewis won’t have done everything right.

[David] “I’ll do it. Elizabeth please. Trust me”

I suppose David can be trusted to be organised enough to run the business.

Just a shame he can’t be trusted not to make the daft idea of going up onto a roof. In the dark. While it’s frosty …

When being a solicitor isn’t that useful

Bless Usha for offering, but the law is an ass when it comes to farming …

What’s not grown up about All Things Bright and Beautiful?

I know it’s more of a children’s hymn – but I think it would have been perfectly apt for Nigel.

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Archers Fri 7th Jan 2011: Everyone's Guilty

  • Jill gets a result
  • The slow dance of Jolene and Kenton
  • Dismissed by Elizabeth
  • Is there anyone not feeling guilty?
  • That’s why she’s Saint Shula

Jill gets a result

That’s the thing with Jill. She’s generally right.

It felt a bit too soon to me too, but Jill was insistent with Elizabeth that the kids should go back to school on Monday.

Elizabeth isn’t ready, but Jill wants thinks it:

[Jill] “might help to have something normal … take their mind of it”

[Elizabeth] ““Normal? How can anything be normal? … I wish I could forget, just for a second.”

But Jill also thinks I’d help Elizabeth if she had time to herself.

[Jill] “off to school, then you can cry, scream, whatever you want”

I’m not too sure if Elizabeth was just too tired to argue, but she agrees.

Mum does know best.

The slow dance of Jolene and Kenton

Jolene has sent a card to Elizabeth, and Kenton was very touched that she also send him a card.

It must be tough for him. The best friend isn’t really the focal point after a death

[Kenton] “Jolene, who is going to make me laugh now, eh?”

[Kenton] “All those miserable so-and-sos that there are in the world, and God takes the funny ones”

Jolene agreed, as she missed Sid for the same reason (eh? Sid, funny? I can only assume she meant funny peculiar, than funny ha ha)

Later on, Jolene bumps into Kenton again.

He finally speaks about the fact that it was his idea to put the banner up in the first place. So he thinks it was his fault.

[Jolene] “If you think like that, it’ll drive you crazy … all this guilt, it’s no use to anybody”

Actually – I think Kenton does have a point.

It was his idea. It was his knot that Nigel couldn’t undo. If he hadn’t been busy at Jaxx the next day, the banner would have never come to mind that night. And if he had gone up rather than David, he’d have sorted his own knot.

BUT. I’m not saying it is his fault. Just that I can see why he has more right to feel guilty than many.

Anyway, so off Jolene and Kenton trotted for a wee walk up Lakey Hill.

Where many a mickle has made a muckle …

Dismissed by Elizabeth

Jill had called a family meeting, but Elizabeth interrupted it (while supposed to be having a rest) and sent them all packing.

She wasn’t aggressive about it. She just wanted to have some time to herself with her kids. And for everyone else to get a break from her, plus spend time at their own homes.

Elizabeth has even called Alan to arrange the funeral.

Progress already?

Is there anyone not feeling guilty?

Kenton – because he suggested the banner in the first place

David – because he insisted they went up on the roof that night

And now Ruth:

[Ruth] “my very first thought … thank god it wasn’t David … how do you make it makes me feel that I could be so selfish?”

Ruth also feels guilty that it’s David supporting Elizabeth when he’s also going through immense grief and guilt.

(from previous days, we can also add:

Helen - feels guilty for being happy about Harry

Pat – ditto

Pip – for also being thankful it wasn’t David)

Mass suicide pact in Ambridge?

That’s why she’s Saint Shula

After Elizabeth had told everyone to leave, she was confused to find Shula in her kitchen, getting lunch ready.

Shula knows what Elizabeth’s going through – and also knows her sister too well.

[Shula] “…I remember doing exactly the same thing when mark died … i thought it’d be alright, but I wasn’t”


“It took every ounce of courage I possessed to ring Alan.

“To say the words … just a word, how will I deal with the reality?

“ … I don’t know how to deal with the pain, the emptiness., I feel like I’m falling into a black hole ...

“ I don’t know how to carry on without Nigel.

I don’t think I can do it”

Add to that Elizabeth also feels she’s dragging the kids down with her, and we have a very frightening set of emotions.

But, Shula wouldn’t let that happen. As she showed today, she’s not going to let Elizabeth fall too far – and she has the experience which really matters.

As much as Saint Shula was named for her rather odious sense of righteousness, I suppose we can also give her the title for being rather wonderful in this crisis.

And the saddest thing … it normally have been Nigel hiring in harpists to cheer Elizabeth up.