Joanna van Kampen (Fallon Rogers)
A number of relationships seem to be developing in Ambridge. It seems as though Jolene has finally got her rear into gear, by convincing Fallon that she (Fallon) should do the panto, thus rekindling Lynda's will to live. Earlier, Lynda was having a crisis of self-doubt, pouring out her fears about the panto to Harry and asking the question that was on so many of our lips: "Is there any point?" Harry could have said "no, you're right; it's a complete waste of time, now let's go down the pub" but instead he was reassuring, nice and kind, the twerp.
However, Harry did demonstrate that he was human when he lost it totally with Jazzer, who had just ruined £100-worth of saucepan and chef's knife. But did Harry force him to pay it back? No. Thinking of others as usual, he blackmailed Jazzer into taking part in the panto. Now that Fallon is on board, I anticipate some love interest between her and Harry. God knows Harry deserves some good times after putting up with Jazzer, although the pig-minding Scottish milkman won't be happy.
In persuading Fallon to take part, Jolene says she wants to face the challenge of running the pub at its busiest time. Could this newly-found enthusiasm have anything to do with the time spent with Kenton? They certainly seem to be getting on well together and, should things develop, that will give Jamie something else to sigh about. Jolene should watch out though, as the fact that Kenton bought some novelty-shaped cocktail shakers (I don't want to speculate) and a wind-up penguin for Jaxx's illustrates his level of sophistication. Classy or what?
Moving closer in an electronic sense are Peggy and old flame Con, who have exchanged e-mails. Peggy is delighted and full of it, but Jill is lukewarm, to say the least, making pointed references to poor Jack in the old people's home.
The tension between Will and Ed was nicely built up during the week, with Clarrie asking Nic "Is Will still prickly about the baby?" The word 'cactus' springs to mind. Clarrie also demonstrated a rare insight into what passes for Will's mind; when Nic said that there's no reason for Will to be bothered about the baby, Clarrie replied: "No logical reason." As it turned out, the Young Farmers' Ball passed off uneventfully, with the two brothers spending the evening in a state of armed neutrality, buying each other drinks with gritted teeth.
The prize for the most tedious storyline has to go to Tom's energy audit for Bridge Farm and the five hundred reasons why they need a new refrigeration unit. Peggy is deeply impressed when Tom tells her all about it, saying: "It's so refreshing to hear someone who has a plan for that farm." Take that, Tony! Refreshing it might be, but it's certainly bloody boring – I think I prefer the panto and I never thought I'd write that.
Two nominations for creep of the week: firstly there's Tony, who has taken whining to a new level, moaning (still) to Tom about the flak he took when he bought the mower/conditioner. Let's pause here to discuss what a mower/conditioner may be, shall we? I reckon it's the machinery equivalent of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner – "Take two machines into the field? Not me!"
But back to Tony, who was getting grief from Pat about not changing out of his working clothes as well as earache from Tom about the energy audit. "Are you lot ever going to let me have a moment's peace?" Tony wailed. It's true - you don't know how stressful it can be, having to put on a clean pair of jeans.
Creep number two is Nathan Booth, with his plan to fix the betting on race night and defraud the British Legion. I must apologise to Joe Grundy, who I suggested would organise the scam – I don't think it was morals that prevented him, it was probably just that he didn't think of it – and Nathan is in for the financial equivalent of a good kicking. The poor sod doesn't even get a speaking part.