Tuesday, 5 April 2011

You Try And Do A Friend A Favour…

Sara Coward (Caroline Sterling)

And what do you get? You get shafted, that's what. Consider; Caroline has lent Elizabeth Roy for a couple of weeks and he is proving invaluable, while the staffing at Grey Gables is going to Hell in a handcart. How does Lizzie repay this kindness? By offering Roy a job, that's how – and if you wouldn't mind just standing still, Caroline, while she plants this dagger in your back…

Roy has feelings of loyalty towards Caroline, but Hayley thinks it's a great idea and this polarisation of opinion is reflected when Shula and David discuss it. Shula is horrified that Lizzie could treat Caroline so badly (the word 'Judas' wasn't actually used, but it was touch and go) while David is all for it and, when Shula asks "but is it ethical?" he goes off on one.

Mind you, David is a bit miffed because he still can't let go of the idea that he is being helpful to Elizabeth by turning up like a spare part. "Is there anything I can do?" he asks Roy when he fetches up at Lower Loxley yet again, mooning around like a lovesick calf. "No" says SuperRoy, refraining to add "so why don't you sod off back to Brookfield and look after your own business?"

At Brookfield, four cows have been sent for slaughter and Ruth is at the end of her tether, because her new cleaner is specifying special polish and brings in her own equipment. Ruth longs for the days when Emma used to rearrange the dirt in little piles and her idea of dusting was to walk into a room and vaguely wave a cloth about for a few seconds.

We had the inquest on Nigel and the verdict was "accidental death", although I'm surprised the Coroner didn't add "overacting" because of the duration of Nigel's final scream. In what sounded like the triumph of hope over experience, Ruth told David that "this has to be an end to it – it's over." Ha! She wishes! Although to be fair, David did wait until the next day before going over to Lower Loxley again.

Kenton and Jolene's relationship moved on to the next level (or should that be 'the next horizontal'?) as he said that, when Jolene was ready 'to move things on' just say so. As he is leaving, Jolene says "I'm ready" and you can imagine Kenton swinging round, clearing the sideboard of ornaments and leaving the smell of a melted zip in the air. It must have been worth it, as two days later, Kenton has booked them a three-night stay in Monte Carlo.

Unfortunately, every silver lining has its cloud and the snake in this particular Eden goes by the name of Kathy. Jamie has gone along to the Bull, as Kathy is working late, and Jolene invites him to stay for tea. Kathy comes home early and rings him. When she finds out where he is, she says "stay there, I'm coming to get you" and storms into the pub, telling Jamie to go and sit in the car while she has words with Jolene. All Kathy's frustrations pour out as she accuses Jolene of tempting Jamie away as well as throwing herself at Kenton. Jamie, she says, will never come back to the Bull as "I don't want my son around someone with the morals of an alley cat."

Alley cat she might be, Kathy, but Kenton never took you to Monte Carlo, did he?

It seems that Jamie prefers alley cats too, as he tells Kathy he's going back to the Bull that very night and he's staying there. In what might be termed a 'full and frank exchange of views', Jamie tells his mother "Dad preferred being with Jolene, Kenton prefers being with Jolene and so do I." Come on Jamie, no need to hold back – tell it like it is. Jamie storms out and the week ends with Kathy leaving a tearful message on Jamie's voicemail, asking for forgiveness and begging him to ring her. Had it been anyone else – with some obvious exceptions, such as Kate – it would have been quite touching, but I'm sorry Kathy; you just don't know when to stop pushing and you deserve all you get.

On a lighter note, the Grundy's plans to cook Sunday lunch descended into farce as Clarrie came home early. Kathy and Jamie (this was before the split) watched them running around outside with plates of food and dirty pans and Jamie gave us a glimpse of the relentless tedium of his life and the emptiness of his soul, when he said "The Grundys are the best thing about living in Ambridge." We only have three Sundays left in Lent for this story to limp along and next week we are promised that Jim will come up with a plan in which Joe and Eddie get their comeuppance.

It appears that Ambridge can say 'goodbye' to two flighty residents, as Lynda has found two Peregrine Falcon's eggs on the path and is very afraid that they have moved on. They'll never get a speaking part now.

Better news – after the visit of the Duchess of Cornwall, there looks set to be another landmark visit, as Gardeners' Question Time might be visiting Ambridge! Jim has been instrumental insetting this up, but I'm worried about his capability, as the man obviously doesn't know what day it is. Consider; on Monday, Jim tells Lynda that his choice for the Book Club is Ovid's Metamorphoses. On Friday, he reveals that it was an April Fool's joke. Er, Jim, the date on Monday was 28th March. What are we to expect next – on Christmas Day will he pour petrol over the pudding instead of brandy, lighting it with a cry of "April Fool!"?

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