Sunday, 27 June 2010

Comings And Goings

Will Sanderson-Thwaite (Chris Carter)

Lots of planning of holidays in Ambridge last week, with Alice and Chris looking forward to a month away on a US-style road trip, but in Somerset. Going on past form, this will turn into a 30-day love-in and there must be doubts that one or both of them will not survive the strain.

Incidentally, did you hear Jennifer telling the weirdos from Rodways that "my daughter is going out with a lad from the village, but there's no future in it"? Ha! You wish, Jennifer! Alice doesn't appear to be looking for intellectual stimulation and seems quite happy with Chris's own brand of stimulation, thank you very much. The future's bright, the future's Carter.

When Pip went to see Jude and he told her that he was otherwise engaged in preparing his assignment, I thought "good, now she'll realise what a selfish git he is". After all, when Pip had work to do, it was all "do you have to do that now?" in that annoying, whining voice that Jude has (and doesn't he sound like a teenager, rather than someone approaching 30?), but when he is under the cosh, it's all "leave me alone, this will take ages." And what does she do? Instead of telling him to get stuffed, she cooks him breakfast (having first bought the food), to which his response is "any more bacon?" Then, having again been told to leave him alone, she offers to clean the kitchen. I'd have her round mine tomorrow, if she promised to keep her gob shut.

Still, it's an ill wind, as although they aren't splitting up, they are planning a long holiday away. At first, Jude didn't seem too keen on Pip accompanying him, but he's obviously realised that, when money gets short, he can send her out to work. Having both quit college (and what's a near-30-year-old doing at college anyway?) I hope they set off soon. Preferably to the Galapagos Islands. On foot.

Speaking of mature (ha!) students brings me, with heavy heart, to Kate's academic ambitions. Her telephone interview with the Admissions Officer went well and it's all looking horribly inevitable. Will it do any good if we all send letters to the AO (c/o the BBC) pointing out the downsides to Kate's character? Probably not, but if you should write on this subject, please try to keep your letters down to 8,000 words or 10 sheets of A4.

Finally this week we return to the subject of Brenda and her job. Having got rid of her from the airwaves for most of the week, bloody Matt Crawford tempts her back to work for Amside Properties (or, as seems the fashion nowadays, it's probably AmSide). The job description seems a tad ambivalent – to Brenda, it was "marketing, sales development, making contacts" and so on, while to Lillian it was "someone to do the photocopying, stapling and answering the phone". If I were Lillian, I might be tempted to remark that £19k p.a. of my money was rather a lot for an office drudge. I don't think she can even type, can she?

When Brenda got the job in faraway Leicester, there were celebrations by her and Tom. This time? I don't think so.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

So Long Sid

Alan Devereux (Sid Perks) 

Well, poor Sid has left us. Talk about sudden – he didn't even get the dignity of having a tearful final few moments; one minute it's "Sid's so pleased to see Lucy again" and the next it's "We're having the funeral in New Zealand."

So it's farewell to Sid; Brummie ex-wild boy, set on the straight and narrow by Jack Woolley, then mine host and part owner of the pub, fitness fanatic, cricket lover and homophobe and the first person on the Archers to be recorded making love in the shower (and he wasn't even married to Jolene at the time!).

The burning question is "what happens now?" and I have this terrible fear that the scriptwriters, who have been giving full rein to their nasty, sadistic side recently, what with Helen's pregnancy and Kate's threat to return home to Ambridge, have got another vicious twist in store. Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you now that, if it should even look like Wayne were to end up at the Bull in any capacity whatsoever, then I personally will burn the bloody place down. Preferably with him in it.

Sid's funeral arrangements gave Kenton the chance to display his caring side and demonstrate his love and support for Kathy and Jamie – a chance which, to use a football metaphor, he blazed wide of an open goal. On the one hand he had the opportunity to go to New Zealand for Sid's funeral (and, incidentally, see the daughter who he hasn't seen for ages) and on the other, he had to be present for the grand opening of Jaxx's.

With the unerring instinct of someone whose past relationships have all ended in tears, Kenton told Kathy just how much of his life he has put into Jaxx's, how important it was to him and how much it meant to him to be there and welcome everyone when it opened. Just what your life partner wants to hear when she turns to you for support – nice one, Kenton.

I mean, for God's sake, it's a bar, not the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Serves him right if nobody turns up on opening night, although I suppose Jim will be there. That will bring them flocking in – especially if he starts declaiming Caesar's Gallic Wars in Latin.

I can't help thinking that Kenton has cocked this up big time and that noise you hear is his stockpile of brownie points (assuming he ever had any) quickly slipping away. What's the betting that, when Kathy returns, there will be a full and frank discussion? That's always assuming she can get him out of the bar, of course.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Happy Families (Not)

Michael Fenton Stevens (Paul Crawford)

We have to begin this week's blog with an apology to Lillian and Paul – a few weeks ago, I accused them of making the beast with two backs after the dinner dance, but it transpired that they resisted temptation, the fools. Of course, whether or not this state of affairs will continue, we wait to see. While Matt has given Paul the bum's rush in no uncertain terms, Lillian still seems keen on a threesome – I mean that in the platonic, all-one-cosy-family sense, of course. 

I can't see Matt welcoming Paul with open arms, unless he does something like drag him from a burning building, or give him lots of cash. After all, a good example of Matt's self-centredness was when he was first let out with the tag. There he was in the garden, saying to Lillian: "This is what I've been waiting for; a cigar, a brandy and you." Probably in that order, if truth be told. 

The writers have invested a lot of effort in developing the Paul storyline and I can't believe that he is just going to ride into the sunset and never be heard of again. Let's think – Matt and Lillian are going into the property restoration business. Who do we know who runs a restoration/reclamation business? The name is on the tip of my tongue – I think it begins with P…

Being a businessman first (and second, third, and fourth, probably) Matt will probably condescend to deal with Paul, if the price is right. Not only that, but as the man has more cheek than a chorus line of Sumo wrestlers, he'll probably demand a discount on account of being family.

I'm starting to get a tad cheesed off with the 'Jazzer hates Harry' storyline, plus the fact that Harry is being built up as such a likeable, generous, kind, all-round bloody good egg that you suspect that he is going to turn into a child molester, or start poisoning the milk, or something. Failing that, Jazzer might try and kill him, but then Harry will probably whup him with one hand tied behind his back, then forgive him, before moving on to heal the sick or turn water into wine.

Never mind Jazzer; you can always seek solace with your "wee lassies", for whom you keep expressing concern and affection. "But what about the smell and dirt?" I hear you ask, anxiously. That's OK – the pigs will just have to get used to it…