John Rowe (Jim Lloyd)
I bet you never expected to see a headline like that in this blog! Don't worry, I've not gone soft, it's just that two or three times last week the baby was giving Helen a good kicking, thus making it the envy of legions of listeners. Why is it so active? I reckon it's getting its retaliation in first, knowing what sort of life it can look forward to.
Or maybe it’s a reaction to being starved, or shaken about with all the exercising. On the subject of food, Helen said "I know exactly how many calories a pregnant woman of my height and weight should be having". I bet she does – to three decimal places, no doubt. Mind you, Helen had to cut back on the exercises as she twisted her knee, which was a great pity – it could have been her neck. Whatever the baby's motives, let's hope it keeps it up.
Helen has become the fount of all knowledge on all things gravid, even lecturing Emma on how to get through pregnancy. Presumably Helen thinks that the stork brought George along? If this keeps up, I can see Emma ringing up Annette for the number of the termination clinic. Helen also keeps banging on about wanting "a natural birth" – let her wander off alone to a secluded bit of the farm when the time comes, I say; after all, that's what animals do.
Jim has been cast as the Emperor in the panto and is researching the part by reading about some ancient Japanese ruler. I don't know what the Japanese is for 'Behind you!" (according to my computer it's あなたの後ろ) but I don't see Jim as much of a threat to the Chuckle Brothers, somehow.
Then we have the story of Jim's horse racing video night (or, as he would probably call it 'Equus circus nox noctis') which is currently underwhelming everybody. Don't you just have the sneaking suspicion that Joe Grundy will try and pull a fast one (like looking at the videos in advance) only to cock it up on the night?
Elsewhere on the panto front, we have Mike giving in to playing a part, David saying of Lynda Snell "why is it I can never say 'no' to that woman?" (because you're a great woos David, that's why) and Harry being cast as the erstwhile female lead. Let's just hope that Lynda doesn't insist on the fishnet tights.
Things are going from bad to worse for Harry on the domestic front, with Jazzer stocking up on junk food. Don't be a spoilsport Harry – you might even come to like deep-fried Mars Bars. A sign of how desperate Harry must be feeling was when he turned up half an hour early for the panto rehearsal.
Other highlights: Brian tells Will how important it is that the forthcoming shoot goes smoothly - a sure sign of impending disaster if ever I've heard one. The Grundy boys continue to move closer together; unfortunately it's only so that they can hit each other more easily and the impending Young Farmer's ball looks set to be the backdrop for further conflict.
Meanwhile we can all let out a cheer – never mind about the Formula 1 championship; Bert Fry's second place in the last ploughing event of the season saw him take third place overall. The nation can breathe again.
Kenton opens his heart to Jolene about his fears that Jamie doesn't want to have anything to do with him and she told him to persevere, citing the hard time that Sid had winning Fallon round. "She told me that Sid had been more of a father to her than her own Dad had" Jolene told Kenton. Ha! Big deal! This is Wayne we are talking about (who, incidentally has been mercifully absent in recent months, although it probably won't last). Let's be honest here, there are things living under rocks in streams that are better fathers than Wayne.
The week closed on a strange note, with Kenton apologising to Jolene for unloading his troubles on her when he had intended to cheer her up. She replied "You stay around Kenton Archer – you'll have plenty of chances to pay me back". Enigmatic or what?