Felicity Finch (Ruth Archer)
Helen decided to go back to the flat this week, much against Tony's wishes: "You tell her Pat – it's madness!" he rants. Gosh yes – the flat's so far away; in an emergency it might take as long as five minutes to get there. Ever the realist, Pat says that they can't stop Helen doing what she wants. She also adds, in a statement that surprised nobody, that Helen was "a really grouchy baby". Henry, however, is a little angel and Helen is sure that she can cope.
Wrong again Hel! Every time she leaves Henry he howls and, on Friday, when Ian turns up, she is still in her pyjamas and at the end of her tether. Saint Ian takes charge and looks after Henry while Helen takes a shower. Ha! Motherhood's not the piece of cake that you thought, is it Helen? Never mind, they say that the first 30 years are the worst.
More famous last words from David as he tells Ruth: "I feel as if I've really got on top of things at Lower Loxley." So confident is he, that he tells Brian that his services are no longer required at Brookfield and they can cope from now on, thank you very much. Ruth is less than chuffed to hear that Brian has been given the heave-ho and reminds David that lambing starts in two weeks. You can just hear a faint "no worries" carrying back on the breeze as David shoots off to Lower Loxley again.
Sadly, the Titanic that is David's confidence is shortly to come into contact with the iceberg that is Nigel's filing system. Bank statements are filed under 'S', for 'statements', which is one of his more logical moves. "Try 'Tiddles'," suggests Elizabeth, as David is tearing his hair out, trying to guess one of Nigel's passwords. "In his head it all made perfect sense", adds Elizabeth, which speaks volumes about the inside of Nigel's head.
Anyway, all this makes David late back at Brookfield, where Ruth has a go at him and says sarcastically "You might like to know that your daughter passed her driving test." At least David didn't say "what daughter is that?" Pip is going through one of her helpful phases, putting up the lambing pens (well, David hasn't got time to do it). He also neglected to get in any of the veterinary stuff needed for lambing. Ruth is doing her impression of a pressure cooker and if I were David, I'd be very careful about what I said around her. The sheep might have to learn to cross their legs as well.
A scenario that seemed ripe for disaster was the Barrington-Hughes' wedding, with Kenton saying that everything is under control and telling Elizabeth "Lewis and I can handle this wedding, I promise you". We all smiled knowingly and sat back, waiting for the inevitable disaster and – it didn't happen. Lewis described Kenton's MC-ing as "absolutely wonderful" and Kenton told Jolene that the wedding had been "a triumph". It's nice for Kenton to do something right, especially after the embarrassing start to the week, when he ran into Kathy and it transpired that he had forgotten her birthday. She was quite short with him, which seems a tad unfair – if you throw someone out of the house, you can't really expect them to buy you a big present. Whatever next? Will she put his goolies in the mangle if he doesn't get her a Valentine's Day bouquet?
One scene I'd like to see is a meeting between Matt and Elizabeth, in which he explains his suggestions for running Lower Loxley. So far he has said (not to Elizabeth) that a manager should be brought in and this week he suggested to Brian that Lizzie should sell off bits of the Pargetter estate – to AmSide, no doubt. After you with the mangle, Kathy!
I am becoming increasingly apprehensive about Kate – we have been told that she is back from South Africa, yet we have heard nothing from her. I'm conscious, however, that she is there, like the sword of Damocles, or a garden rake in the long grass and it worries me.
Have you also noticed that Oliver seems to have gone AWOL again? You'd have thought that he would have been around to celebrate this week's big news, which is the impending visit to Grey Gables by the Duchess of Cornwall. Lynda is distraught when she realises that she will not be on duty on the day of The Visit (February 16th in case you want to send your Union flag to the dry cleaner's). Perhaps they should take the DofC to Brookfield as part of her visit – after all, she is a country girl at heart and, by my calculations, she should be right on time to help out with the lambing.