Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter)
Let's get Helen's story out of the way first this week – she was going on so much about "feeling energised", deciding to work up to two weeks before her due date and swimming miles every day that you just knew something bad was going to happen. And it did, when the midwife told her that the baby was too small.
That brought the smug madam down to earth; earlier in the week she told Tony in great detail about her ante-natal class and pelvic floor exercises. An anguished Tony, in what was probably a Freudian slip, told her "I've got to go; I've got the AI man coming round". But there is good news – "the new lights have arrived" Tony told Helen. Thank God! Now we can sleep nights!
Anyway, Helen broke down in front of mum Pat and blamed herself, saying "suppose I've done too much and harmed my baby?" Er, hello? Isn't that what everyone has been saying for months? Pat tells Tony and adds that Helen is scared because of the past tragedies in her life and she feels like something bad is bound to happen again. I must say that she does seem to be a bit of a Jonah, but I couldn't help feeling that the tragedies (brother John killed on a tractor, partner Greg shooting himself) were worse for John and Greg – at least Helen is still alive.
We had nostalgia and a tear for Phil on stir-up Sunday, while back at Lower Loxley, Nigel was getting heavy about extra lessons for Freddie to make sure that he passes the school entrance exam. Just to be fair, he will make Lily take them too, even though she doesn't need them. I suppose the children are too big to go up the chimneys now? The 'Deck the Halls' event is fast approaching and the fact that there will be a German-style Christmas market prompted Nigel to say "we'll be bringing Bavaria to Borsetshire." Ever since then, I haven't been able to shake off the image of Nigel in lederhosen, clutching a weisswurst and a lager.
Eddie was prominent again this week. First of all he had the hookey Christmas trees in his van. Will mentioned the fact that there was a chainsaw there too (presumably still warm), but Eddie protested his innocence. He made £300 from his ill-gotten gains and told Joe that he was going to get some more trees, so you know that it's all going to go pear-shaped and he'll end up out of pocket.
Nathan Booth exacted sweet revenge on Eddie for the horse race sting by replacing the bucket of confetti that Eddie was to throw at Sabrina in the panto for one filled with wallpaper paste. Call me Mr. Picky, but I would have thought that Eddie might have noticed the difference in weight. Anyway, Eddie was fired on the spot, only to be reinstated when Nathan walked out, his revenge complete.
Back at Brookfield, we had the drama of the steer being shown. Would it get first prize, or third? What suspense! "He's got a beautiful straight back" said Pip. "And look at those legs", added David. For God's sake man, get out more! The steer was named Supreme Champion, in case you were wondering. It looks like Pip might be studying at Felpersham. Bloody typical! The country is full of universities and agricultural colleges and she ends up just round the corner. What with her and Kate both studying locally, truly our cup runneth over.
Jennifer slipped up by telling Susan that she had nothing planned for Christmas Eve – in a flash, she was pinned down for drinks and nibbles at the Carters' gaff. "I haven't told Brian yet" Jennifer told Neil later in the week, which explains why we haven't heard the explosion.
Elsewhere, Jazzer's meal that he cooked for Jackie was a triumph, to the extent that she stayed the night – now that's what I call a recipe for success.