Monday, 16 August 2010

(Jail)birds of a Feather

Charlotte Martin (Susan Carter)

Have you noticed that every time Jamie is in a scene, he either precedes every comment or ends every sentence with a sigh? Whether this is to remind us that he's still grieving, or a reaction to Kathy's limpet-like attention, I couldn't say, but to me it just sounds like he's got asthma.

It had to happen – Helen went public over the baby. Very public – and all it took was a word to Susan and Vicky and pow! - the whole of Borsetshire knows. Susan didn't seem to be able to get her head round the fact that you don't actually need a man for conception and I think she suspects Helen of signing a pact with the Devil. If she did so, he'd presumably have to smarten up a bit, clean his hooves and iron his wings.

Peggy was equally unenthusiastic, but at least we now know where Tony gets it from, as she told him how upset she was. "Why couldn't she wait?" Peggy asked. Wait for what? Peggy was also muttering things like "…when the right man comes along…" There could never be a right man for Helen, as nobody is that perfect, or patient. If Helen ever got married, I reckon the first row would break out during the walk down the aisle, when she'd probably tell him off for not being in step.

While Peggy agrees with Tony about Helen, she wasn't so happy when John grassed him up (Boom! Boom!) to her about Tony's impulse purchase of the mower/conditioner. And no, I don't know what one of those is either, but at £7.5 grand, it should be pretty good. Tony's protestations that it wasn't really much money didn't really ring true, when you consider that you very rarely hear him buying a drink for anyone in the pub. The man's tighter than one of Jordan's sweaters.

The story about Chris and Alice's party is simmering nicely, with Jennifer going from "it-will-all-end-in-tears" mode to raving control freak in the blink of an eye. At first she was too busy to organise anything but now if Susan even offers to choose the toothpicks, she's slapped to the ground and trampled on until she knows her place. As Brian put it to Jennifer, with masterly understatement: "You did rather take over her idea." The words "Hitler" and "Czechoslovakia" spring to mind.

But hey, Alice has invited everyone she's ever known, and then some (don't worry, your invitation is probably on its way) and we have the frisson of fear that Clive Horrobin might be let out of jail to attend. Just keep him away from the matches. Actually, there could be a touching meeting of soulmates, what with Clive, the recently-untagged Matt and ex-jailbird Susan swapping stories about life inside over the champagne and canapés. That is unless Jennifer has put them on the Horrobin table, in which case it will be brown ale and pig's trotters.

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