Monday, 25 July 2011

Clarrie The Carrier

 Rosalind Adams (Clarrie Grundy)

The week started so well for Clarrie, with her granddaughter's christening on Sunday. Even better – Eddie's embarrassing brother Alf couldn't make it.

We realised that Nic, Will and children obviously don't go to church very often when Mia kept asking "why is that man (Alan the vicar) wearing a nightie?" Neil tells Alan that he feels it is the wrong way round, having the child christened before they are even married. Alan, however is more relaxed about it, saying it's just nice to welcome a child into the Church. Yeah – like Emma and Ed will ever go again.

Ed is alarmed when George lets slip that Will is making three goats and a troll for the scarecrow contest and Emma moans (yes, I too found it amazing) because Keira won't sleep through the night. She also cries a lot – Nic picks her up and she stops at once. Jake asks Nic if he can have a baby sister – No! Nic promptly gives Keira back and she starts crying again. She's probably starting to recognise her mother.

Monday saw high drama, when the Environmental Health people swooped on Bridge Farm mob handed. It seems that people at the gymkhana at the weekend went down with e-coli and they had all had Bridge Farm ice cream. The EH demand access to all areas and Pat agrees to a voluntary recall of all Bridge Farm products.

Susan and Clarrie are interviewed by the EH people and Clarrie said that she had a stomach upset on Saturday and came back to work on Monday. She didn't tell Pat because she hadn't missed any work days. It looks bad for Clarrie, as you are supposed to wait at least 48 hours before returning to work. The EH leave, bearing lots of samples and with the ominous news that they will call back when the results are known. In the meantime, Pat sends Susan and Clarrie home but is still paying their wages, which is good of her.

Perhaps we can see where Bridge Farm are making economies as the next day is Jack's 92nd birthday and we learn that one of the cards is from Tony, Pat, Helen, Tom, Brenda and Henry. Six people on one card – how cheap is that?

Despite the fact that there are no Bridge Farm products in the shop, and that Pat has told the fete committee that they will have to find another supplier, and that Underwoods are unhappy about the product recall, to the extent that they have cancelled their order for Tom's sausages, nobody in the village seems to have spotted that something's up. Mind you, Jennifer does wonder why there's no cream at the shop and does Susan know why? Susan doesn't, but sees this as an ideal opportunity to tell Jennifer what a wonderful chance it would be for someone to invest in Chris's business. Jen appears not to be listening, but next day she moans to Lilian about the unsubtlety of Susan's approach.

Jennifer can be a nasty cow at times and she blames Chris, telling Lilian that "I can see that he will be looking for a leg up at every stage of his career." Jen also says that she thinks Alice was disappointed at 'only' getting a 2:1 degree, instead of a First. We know who the disappointed one really is.

In case you were thinking that it was all about Bridge Farm last week, over at Brookfield Josh is acting strangely – apparently leaving the house clutching a backpack and a plastic bucket. Perhaps he's leaving home? I await the outcome, whatever it is, with interest. Ruth also gives David the news that the milk yields are down again, making him even more depressed, if that were possible. "Sometimes I feel like jacking it all in", he says, despondently.

Back at Bridge Farm, the product recall notice appears in the Echo, plus there is a story about people being taken ill with e-coli at the gymkhana. And still nobody makes the connection. On Thursday the EH ring up and confirm that the cleaning was OK and it looks like Clarrie is the source of the outbreak. Pat has a rant, telling Tom (who has started speaking again, by the way) "Why was Clarrie so stupid? She's put the whole business in jeopardy!"

Why not ask Clarrie herself? Pat storms round to the Grundy's, where she tells Clarrie in no uncertain terms that it's down to her. "You do realise how serious it is?" Pat asks a horrified Clarrie. Just in case she doesn't, Pat tells her that her thoughtlessness has put lives at risk, plus the whole business, which they have been building up for years, could go under "And it will be all your fault!" she screams at Clarrie. So, no employee of the month award, then?

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