Rob Lister (Lewis Carmichael)
Well, David finally did it, telling Lizzie that he has to spend more time at Brookfield and Lizzie spent the first half of the week taking on more and more jobs, saying "all the things that Nigel used to do I'll have to do myself" and then completely losing her temper with all and sundry.
First of all she shouted at Lily, who kept interrupting Lizzie's talk with David, demanding that Lizzie tell Freddie off for going to see Topper (Nigel's hunter) which is going to be sold. Liz apologises to Lily. Later on in the week, she loses it with Lewis, who was trying to lighten her load. Lizzie apologises to him.
Further pressure is self-inflicted when she talks to Byron Chambers about not staging any more loss-making medieval banquets at Lower Loxley and he accuses her of dishonouring Nigel's memory. Then Lizzie talks to the wine expert about Lower Loxley's latest vintage and she realises that the extent of her viniculture knowledge is knowing in which draw the corkscrew is kept. The last straw is when Freddie starts crying and yelling when Topper is taken away, saying he hates his mum. "Calm down darling" says Jill to her daughter, doing her Michael Winner commercial impression, but Lizzie gets more and more worked up, her heart racing and she ends up being rushed to hospital.
Back at Brookfield, David has already been feeling guilty at deserting Elizabeth and when he learns that she is in hospital, he fears that he could soon be responsible for making orphans out of Lily and Freddie – first Nigel and now Elizabeth.
But hey, David has his own troubles, as Eddie regales us with a graphic description of the bowel movements of one of the cows. First of all "she was a bit loose round the back end." When David suggests this could be because of the move to outside pasture, Eddie says "it were worse than that – all bubbles; I had to stand well back." "Stop him now before he tells us what it tasted like!" I found myself yelling. Fortunately, they agreed to wait until Alistair had seen the beast. Alistair does some tests and tells David that the sick cow could be an indicator for Johne's disease, but not to worry, until there is definitely something to worry about. This is a disease I've never heard of and, after hearing Eddie talk, I was reluctant to find out more. There is some good news for the Archer family though, as Pip's re-sit results are good enough for her to get into college.
In the murky world of property development, Matt is coaching Lilian to ask all the awkward questions at the next day's meeting of Borchester Market Developments. Lilian comes across at the meeting as the world's expert on roofs and washing systems but Brian isn't happy. "Matt's fingerprints were all over that meeting" he mutters to Annabelle and then reveals that he believes there is a mole inside Borchester Land. It's either Andrew Smith or Barbara Gladstone, he thinks, and reveals that he has given them both a different piece of information, so he'll be able to find out who's been leaking. We also find out that his bonding time with Ruari when Jennifer goes to South Africa will be limited to one week, as caring father Brian decided that Ruari can stay with his family in Ireland for the other fortnight.
Jolene seems very content with the way things are going with Kenton – so much so that she tells Lilian that she doesn't want to sell her shares in the Bull. Skate-mouth Kenton almost gives the game away about their relationship when he absent-mindedly talks to David about pancake night in the Bull and says "we're worried that we won't get many takers." Panther-like, David says "We?" and Kenton has to make up some story about being roped in to help.
The odds on this secret relationship staying secret for long are diminishing rapidly – Fallon catches Jolene and Kenton getting a bit close in the kitchen and, when everyone has gone home, she confronts her mum. Jolene confesses that things are moving along nicely and, although she thought that it might be a bit soon after Sid's death, Fallon said "as long as you're happy mum." Isn't that nice? Are you listening, Kathy?
If it's Shrove Tuesday, then it must be time for another crackpot Ambridge Lent extravaganza hatched up in the fertile mind of the Rev. Alan Franks and this year's idea is to have frugal Sunday lunches throughout Lent and donate food and money to the needy. Clarrie signs up for it, so no doubt Joe and Eddie will come up with another half-cocked idea to get round it which will all end in tears.
Anyway, that's all for this week and,if you'll excuse me, I'll just don this rubber suit and waders and get ready to look up Johne's disease on the Internet…