Souad Faress (Usha Franks)
Lower Loxley must be bursting at the seams, there are so many people helping out and visiting Elizabeth. One of the latter was Usha, in whom Lizzie confided that she was having trouble in choosing material for the funeral service. Usha suggested that Lizzie made it a celebration of Nigel's life and what about having his favourite poems as readings? That conjured up the surreal image of the congregation of St Stephen's lustily singing "Twinkle, twinkle, little star".
Lizzie demonstrated the Archer control freak gene by wondering if David and Lewis were running the business properly. Surely, if Nigel could cope, how hard can it be?
There was also the "will they, won't they?" saga of whether Freddie and Lily would attend the funeral. Jill was adamant that they should go, she having been denied the chance to say 'goodbye' to her own mother at the age of seven, and, under a combined Archer/Franks campaign of nagging and emotional blackmail, Lizzie gave in.
The funeral went off well, with Kenton (a last-minute draftee speaker) getting them rolling in the aisles, or rather, aisle. He certainly showed why 'funeral' is an anagram of 'real fun'. Afterwards Lizzie thanked him, saying "You brought Nigel to life", which is a neat trick at a funeral. She also took Freddie and Lily up on the Treetop Walk, presumably to get them in training for the traditional Pargetter rooftop excursions when they are older.
David is spending most of his time at Lower Loxley and he assumes the Chair of the NFU branch next week. Better get that bulk order for Pro-Plus in now, Dave! But don't despair, as people are rallying round at Brookfield too, with Brian even cancelling going to a conference. Ruth tells David that Brian is looking forward to doing some "hands on farming" again. I'd be careful Ruth – the last time Brian was 'hands on', Siobhan got pregnant.
Instead of David helping at Lower Loxley and Brian helping at Brookfield, wouldn't it have been better for Brian to help Elizabeth instead of people wandering all over Borsetshire, standing in for each other?
Away from the funeral, we had a bit of light relief with Joe dressed in a sheet, pretending to be a Druid and impregnating Sabrina Thwaite with mistletoe. I'm sorry, that last bit should read "impregnate Sabrina Thwaite's apple tree with mistletoe". Good old Joe – this mistletoe impregnation is cock-eyed if you ask me.
Elsewhere, super sleuth Susan Carter tells Vicky of her theory that Henry's father is really Ian. Not only is his middle name Ian, but apparently "he's got Ian's chin". Zut alors, inspector! That proves it!
Speaking of young Henry, Helen says wistfully "I haven't even been able to bathe him yet". What? You mean he's two weeks' old and can't even bathe himself yet? Shape up lad!
Vicky is reverting to annoying mode and planning a surprise 30th birthday party for Brenda. Tom is taking her to Berlin for a few days and keeps dropping hints that Brenda wouldn't want a party, especially when Vicky asks what sort of games Brenda likes. If Brenda finds out about the party, I reckon Hangman would be favourite; that or Murder in the Dark.
A promising story line is Matt's plan to take the Bull off Jolene's hands (at a rock bottom price of course), knock it down and build flats. Lillian is aghast when he tells her, saying "but everyone would hate me". This of course isn't a problem for Matt and he is probably already having the nameplate prepared: "Judas Court" or "Pariah Towers" both have a nice ring to them. Good job he didn't tell her of his plan to torch St Stephen's, buy up the burned-out site and erect condominiums. Never mind, perhaps in the meantime he can find some widows or orphans to evict – best to keep him away from Lower Loxley for a while.
Returning to Lily and Freddie, they took Nigel's death very well and, brave little soldiers that they are, they both said that they want to take the Cathedral School entrance exams. "It's for Daddy" said Freddie. OK, he's only a youngster, so I can forgive the use of 'daddy' for now. But be warned – if he doesn't quickly grow out of it, or if I once hear him utter the word 'bravo', then it's a quick trip up to the roof for him, I'm afraid.