Felicity Finch & Tim Bentinck (Ruth Archer & David Archer)
Yes David, I'm talking about you, as you continue to run yourself (and Brookfield) into the ground. On Sunday he forgot to turn on the by-pass tap, meaning all that day's (and the previous day's) milk had to be thrown away. David's bad language has progressed from the "Blast!" of a few weeks ago to "Damn! Damn! Damn!" this time; he'll be ready for the f-word before long at this rate. Ruth pours petrol on the flames by taking the opportunity to nag him about talking to Elizabeth about getting a manager in to run Lower Loxley.
David replies that the time's not right ("she needs me") and a full-blown Domestic ensues, after which David goes off to – you've guessed it – Lower Loxley. Nice move Dave. Meanwhile, Ruth continues moaning to Usha about her hubby, saying that they are at the ends of their tethers, but Usha is more worried that Ruth won't have read the first book before the book club meets in three weeks' time. Dear God, if David hasn't told Lizzie by then, I might just switch off – this is dragging on longer than the panto.
David makes a half-hearted attempt to tell Lizzie on Monday, but she takes the children off to the orangery for a post-entrance exam treat. Jill says to David that the answer is to get a manager in, then says that Lizzie is against the idea (we know!) and, if David wasn't there, she'd try to do it all herself and did he remember she had a weak heart? No pressure there then David.
On Wednesday, Ruth and David are at it again and David agrees to talk to Lizzie on Friday. Screwing up his courage, he approaches Lizzie and totally bottles it when she tells him that both children have passed the entrance examination. I should bloody well think so, with all the extra studying. Lizzie then bursts into tears because Nigel will never know and David decides that perhaps this isn't the moment.
I am worried about Helen – she appears to be turning into a well-rounded, pleasant and above all thoroughly nice person and she is so laid back, she's horizontal. When Kirsty brings her figures from the shop and her ideas for promotions, Helen just waves it all away, telling Kirsty that she trusts her judgement completely. Later on in the week, Tony comes up with a cunning (not) plan to get Hel to come back to Bridge Farm. Being Tony, this ploy was as transparent as a sheet of glass, but Helen just smiled indulgently, teased her Dad gently and went along with it. Pre-Henry, she would have ripped his head off. And laughed while she did it.
Clarrie and Emma were talking about names for the new baby when he or she arrives. Emma liked Scarlett, but Clarrie said she'd be teased about being a 'Scarlet woman'. Blank look from Emma. "You know, like in the Bible" (another blank look). "It's a woman who's no better than she should be". (Blank look – I'd quit while you're behind, Clarrie). Mind you, Clarrie demonstrated her classy, epicurean tastes when she told Susan "You can't beat mini pork pies." Too right! Take that Chateaubriand away waiter and bring me a mini pork pie! With some Duchy Originals for afters!
Phoebe is becoming ever-more anxious about flying home from South Africa alone, but Jennifer comes up with a cunning solution – she'll go to South Africa with Kate and Phoebe for three weeks, or however long it is (25 years gets my vote). This will give Brian the chance to bond closer with Ruari – a prospect that didn't seem to fill him with unalloyed delight, surprisingly enough.
Finally, we come to the big story of the week – yes, the Peregrines are back. No, I refer of course to the getting it together of Jolene and Kenton. The catalyst for this was Lillian, who spent 40 minutes nursing a coffee in Jaxx's. Kenton was worried – after all, no-one had ever seen Lillian spend 40 minutes without alcohol – and Lillian confided to him that Jolene was thinking of selling her shares in the Bull and that turning it into flats was a good idea.
Kenton was gobsmacked and went round to see Jolene. One thing led to another (no, not that) and it transpired that they both had romantic feelings for each other. Kenton invites Jolene to a wine tasting, where she confides that she is now having second thoughts about selling her Bull shares. Well done Kenton, although I suspect his motives are rather more selfish than trying to save the pub.
There is one potential fly in this ointment, or perhaps grit in the Vaseline would be more appropriate, and that is Kathy. Not only did Jolene tempt her husband away from her, but now her ex-lover is panting over the landlady. Still, it will give Kathy something else to whine about. Kenton and Jolene agree to take it slow, although they did kiss on Thursday. "Half the pleasure is in the anticipation" says Kenton, presumably as Jolene shows him a bar of soap and a photo of her shower…