Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Family Doesn't Count

Judy Bennett (Shula Hebden Lloyd)

The concept of keeping a secret appears to be totally alien to inhabitants of Ambridge – take Susan (please); when Clarrie told her about the Nic/Will baby thing, she swore her to secrecy. This is what Susan told Neil, who pointed out that she had broken her word. "Oh, family doesn't count," she replied, telling him that she had also told Emma.

Family certainly doesn't count with Elizabeth at the moment, or at least not that part of it that is David-shaped. She really isn't a happy bunny, is she? And woe betide anyone who tries to put in a good word for David – first of all Jill tried, saying she'd never forgive herself if she said nothing. Stony ground, I'm afraid, Jill, as Lizzie goes off on another one, saying "David has destroyed my family".

Later on Shula tries to make little sister see reason, pointing out (quite reasonably) that David didn't tie Nigel hand and foot and drag him up on the roof – Nigel could always have said "no". Lizzie's response? "Shula, you're my sister and I love you dearly, but if you say one more word about this – one more word – we're finished." Sounds like a good offer to me.

Of course, Shula knows what Lizzie is going through, having suffered after Mark's fatal crash. What with Lizzie screaming vitriol and abuse and David working himself into the ground and going round like a zombie on Mogadon (or, as Kenton described it "completely adrift, with the masts gone") the Archer family has known better times. David is determined to look on the blackest of sides, saying to Kenton: "I've smashed things up so badly with Elizabeth that it can't be fixed." Fine. Hold that thought David – accept it as true and now get over it and move on.

Ruth is worried that David is retreating further and further into himself, asking Jill: "What can I say to him that makes him realise he's still a good man?" What does she mean "still"?

From one miserable sod to another – yes, I do mean Jamie, who is distraught when Jolene cuts down his hours at the Bull. Kathy had been a bit off with Jolene, as she (Kathy) thought that Jamie had asked Jolene to reduce his hours so he could do some more revision. I don't know what colour the sky is on Planet Kathy, but she must have been the only person in the world who thought that Jamie really would ask, so Jolene decided to take unilateral action when she found out.

Jamie doesn't take it like a man, but more like Kevin the Teenager (whining, sighing and telling Jolene how unfair it is and how he needs the money). Jolene, however, remains unmoved and says to him "welcome to the real world". If she'd then given him a slap round the head, it would have been perfect, but you can't have everything.

We had a riveting book club meeting at the Snell's, with pretentious food (spinach and artichoke dips, Mexican bean pâté) to accompany the pretentious drivel being spouted by Jennifer about Mrs Gaskell and Cranford. Susan dragged things down a level or two by saying that, in her opinion, Mrs Gaskell had no idea about the realities of retailing.

The only man at the book club meeting was Richard Thwaite and we only knew this when we were told that he had gone for a walk round the garden. Poor sod – talk about the invisible man! I mean even the bloody Peregrine falcon got to give us a squawk this week. What's going to happen when it's Richard's turn to host the book club meeting? Perhaps his choice will be the biography of Marcel Marceau and the meeting will be held entirely in mime?

Speaking of Falcons, it seems that Roy has come up with a cunning marketing strategy which means that they can be kept on at Lower Loxley and that Jessica won't get the push either. If Roy keeps coming up with these brilliant ideas, he'll have to change his name to Harry.

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