Monday, 14 February 2011

Last Orders For The Bull?

Ian Pepperell (Roy Tucker)

At Brookfield, Ruth is getting more and more frustrated, telling Pip "I'm not sure how much longer I can go on working like this." David tells her he cannot let Elizabeth down but Ruth practically chains him to the computer to make him find a car for Pip's birthday. A car? I thought farming was going through a tough time?

Pip continues to be well-behaved and a credit to the farm and her role as petulant, whiner-in-chief seems to have been taken up by Phoebe. Last week I warned that Kate had been too quiet since her return and this week she stuck her oar in big time, causing mayhem and creating havoc when she told Phoebe that she could go with her to South Africa at Easter. Phoebe couldn't wait to tell Roy and Hayley; "They'll be so pleased" she said, excitedly.

Er, not really, as it turned out. Apart from the financial aspect (no worries – Kate had already put the bite on Brian) there was the small matter of Phoebe missing time at school. Last time Kate took Phoebe out on a school day, Roy and Hayley got a stiff letter of rebuke. And that was just for one day – presumably an absence of a week or two would result in a good thrashing or loss of a limb. Once again Kate and Roy/Hayley are at daggers drawn and Phoebe, who seems to have inherited her mother's inability to think about consequences for anyone other than herself, cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Personally I think Kate should take her – tomorrow preferably – and both stay in South Africa permanently.

Over at Lower Loxley, David has made a rod for his own back – by doing such a good job, the Trustees are content to let Lizzie soldier on without bringing in a manager. "I think they'll leave us alone" says Lizzie and David, heart presumably sinking at the 'us', tells her "I'll do whatever I can". Ruth will be pleased. As if David doesn't have enough to do, Lewis has gone down with bronchitis. Freddie and Lily also inadvertently heap more pressure on David by telling Lizzie that they don't want a stranger in Daddy's chair when she brings up the subject of a manager.

The Pargetter tendency to make your children do dangerous things had obviously been passed on to Nigel, as Freddie revealed this week that Nigel used to let him ride on the back of his favourite bull. Not during the mating season, I hope.

Pat and Kathy are firm friends once again and Pat says "What a relief – I thought you were never going to speak to me again." What an opportunity missed - there are people who would pay good money never to have Kathy talk to them again.

Planning permission for the new market has been granted and Lillian tells Brian of AmSide's vision of the future – the market is just the beginning and she has ambitions of creating a sort of Milton Keynes, from the sound of it. Brian is alarmed when Lil tells him that Matt "made sure the planning was passed" and cries off the celebratory drinks party. Just as well really, as a drinking session with Lillian could mean a new liver is needed. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?" Brian asks, obviously stunned at the thought that Matt – this is the same Matt who has just served time for fraud, let's not forget – would do anything underhand. As if.

Matt is still keen to get his hands on the Bull and has a quiet word with Jolene, uttering such encouraging phrases as "it must be hard to make a living from a pub nowadays" and (undoubtedly less truthfully) "you'd get a good price from me." While Matt doesn't actually leave the Dignitas brochure and a one-way air ticket to Switzerland on Jolene's table, he isn't cheering her up any. I have a vision of Matt going outside and setting up "pub closed" and "diversion" signs, while Jolene wonders where all the customers have gone.

She has at least one customer, however, as Harry is in the bar, telling her that he and Jazzer are going out on a double date. Will Harry never get it on with Fallon? Apparently the girl after whom Jazzer is currently lusting won't go out with him on her own. Very wise move, I'd say – not only would I want some company, but I'd also take along a Rottweiler, a rape alarm, a large hammer and a can of mace; having first handcuffed Jazzer to his chair of course.

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