Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What? No Etchings?

Paul Webster (Ted Griffiths)

Peggy is moving ever so slightly closer to Ted and she tells Pat that he is going to show her the studio where he does his enamelling. Oh yes? Run out of etchings, have we Ted? Actually, he seems a really nice man and why shouldn't Peggy enjoy herself a little?

There was riveting radio when Peggy and Kathy discussed the merits or otherwise of the AV referendum, but even better radio was when Phoebe started talking about – and showing – her photographs, taken in South Africa. I had a moment of panic when she let slip that she'd taken 400 photos, as I was convinced that she was going to talk us through all of them, but we got away with a lot fewer than that, thank God.

Phoebe is obsessed with South Africa and keeps banging on about when – not if – she goes back to live there. This alarms Roy and Hayley but I say go for it Phoebe, the sooner the better; as long as she takes Kate back with her, of course. Kate encourages Phoebe in her ambitions and you can't help feeling that we are heading for another blockbusting Roy/Hayley v Kate domestic.

From one moody youngster to another, as Kathy is doing everything she can to keep Jamie sweet (tea in bed – in the afternoon – a choice of breakfast). She described it to Pat as "walking on eggshells". Even so, she can't resist another little dig, telling Jamie that perhaps he should print out his exam timetable so that he can plan his revision. For God's sake leave it alone, woman! Jamie has already planned his revision and, if he had printed a schedule, it would read "Revision? Nah!"

The nausea-inducing story of Will's urge to procreate is still rumbling on and poor Nic is frantically thinking up excuses to avoid talking about the subject. First of all it was because she had forgotten to buy milk; soon she'll be reduced to saying that she unexpectedly has to wash her hair. Will keeps whining on about how it never seems to be the right time – he sounds so miserable that I'm surprised he isn't following Nic around, with his bits hanging out (and that's an image which I know is going to haunt me for a long time).

If Will can't get started on producing a new sibling for George, he intends to forge an ever-closer relationship with his son. This involves asking Emma if he and Nic can have George to stay over more often. Emma agrees like a shot, but Ed isn't happy and says that Will is taking advantage and he (Ed) will go round Casa Nueva right away and sort Will out. Fortunately, Emma persuades him not to, so we are spared yet another Grundy sibling confrontation scene – for the time being, at least.

It was the end of an era – or the end of 14 years – as Roy bid farewell to Grey Gables and is looking forward to fresh challenges at Lower Loxley. He said he felt "shell-shocked" when he left for the last time and I must admit that I was pretty gobsmacked when we learnt that his leaving present was a home cinema system. "Phoebe's gonna love this" he says. Not if she sods off to South Africa, she won't.

Election fever gripped Ambridge, with seemingly everyone standing for election as a Parish Councillor. Well, maybe not everyone, but certainly Lynda, Jill, Lilian and Richard Thwaite. There was bitter rivalry over their plans for the village – Jill wants to enter 'Britain in Bloom', Lilian wants to get local businesses to tidy up the verges and waste areas, but Lynda says they are vital wildlife habitats and "shouldn't be suburbanised to gain cheap publicity for local firms" What, like AmSide, do you mean?

I can't help thinking that, if this is the most pressing thing affecting the village, then they are bloody lucky. In the event, Jill, Lynda and Richard Thwaite were elected, but Lilian missed the boat. Does this mean that Richard Thwaite will get a speaking part? Probably not, as he ran his election campaign without once being heard.

Over at Brookfield, not even the local election could cheer David up, although Ruth doesn't really help, remarking that the cricket team lost because their star player (David) didn't play. However, she has some sure-fire news that is bound to give David a lift – the milk yields are back on course! Way to go! But not even this can lighten David's mood and the best he can say is (begrudgingly) that "we're moving in the right direction". He's obviously determined to be miserable (must be the Tony Archer gene kicking in) so just leave him to get on with it Ruth, although I'd lock up the shotgun.

David is even underwhelmed when Pip says that she has arranged for Spencer – her new boyfriend – to drop in for a cuppa. Remembering David's reaction to Jude, you have to admire Pip's courage. But we need not have worried, as Spencer not only calls David and Ruth "Mr. & Mrs Archer" but he has finished university and he plans to work on his father's farm – David knows his father. As Spencer and Pip leave, Ruth describes him as "a really nice man" and David shows a flicker of interest and says approvingly "he could have had two heads – he's so not Jude." Praise indeed – I reckon you're in there Spencer.

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