(Sam Johnson) Steve Wilkes
Lots of two-wheeled action last week, with Harry proving that a bicycle can be an aid to wooing, as he went off on a ride with Zofia, who promised to call round one night with a bottle of cherry brandy, as long as Jazzer wasn't around. From the gist of their conversation, it seems this wouldn't be the first cherry she's given him.
We also learned that Phoebe will soon be on her bike – on the evening of the party for her 13th birthday, we were told that Hayley had agreed to let her go to South Africa for a year. Result! And she and Kate are going on 6th July. There was one heart-freezing moment when Kate revealed that she would be doing a Masters at Felpersham College. "No!" I mouthed wordlessly at the radio, and the scalpel was fast approaching the wrist when Kate added that it would be long distance learning, from South Africa. Phew!
Kate actually behaves like a normal human being and thanks Hayley for letting Phoebe go. Later on Hayley and Roy talk of how happy Phoebe is "and I even had a nice moment with Kate" Hayley adds, and you don't hear that very often. We should congratulate Alice, on achieving a 2:1 degree and she too will be doing a Masters at Felpersham, always assuming that she can leave Christopher alone long enough to go to college.
The older members of the Aldridge family were involved in getting things ready for Phoebe's party, where Jennifer was distraught to learn that the Fete Committee has lined up Carinthia Hart, author of Mistress of the Paddocks, to open this year's fete. She will be signing her books on the day but I suspect Jennifer won't be buying.
We had merry japes when Caroline surprised Oliver by taking him out on their fifth wedding anniversary and all along he thought she was going to work. The couple talk about Ed's offer of being Keira's Godparents and Caroline says that she doesn't think she can make the religious commitment and will have to say 'no'.
Bearing in mind that Caroline was a bit of a goer in her time, this sudden attack of morals seems strange to say the least. Oliver agreed to go and tell Ed that he's up for it but Caroline isn't and we gain an insight into the reverence and respect that Ed and Emma have for their child's christening when both profess themselves amazed that she could be taking it so seriously. Presumably all they want is someone to turn up on the day with the silver mug and hopefully not forget the Godchild when it comes to will-writing time?
Kenton becomes the latest village person to try and make Lizzie see that she is being a moody and vindictive cow by suggesting that it is unfair on Lily and Freddie. Elizabeth's reply is that she's not stopping them going to Brookfield, it's just that she herself will never set foot in the place again. She wasn't so fussy when we had the inheritance row a few years back. Just in case Kenton hasn't grasped the point, she says "There isn't going to be a reconciliation between me and David." Kenton says he feels sorry for her and is no doubt wondering how quickly he can decently leave to move into the Bull.
It proved quite a busy week for Kenton, as on Thursday a distressed Jamie called him – Jamie, friend Marty and Steve (brother of the too-good-to-be-true Spencer) were in a pub. Steve (who is under age) had a couple of lagers and nicked a customer's car keys. Jamie didn't get into the car as Steve drove off like a man possessed and knocked Harry and Rhys off their bikes (I told you there were a lot of bikes this week) as they were having a friendly race along the lanes of Borsetshire.
Kenton says "It’s time I had a grown-up conversation with Jamie." What? You couldn't do grown-up if your life depended on it, Kenton!
Eventually Kenton takes Jamie back to see Kathy, who was so relieved that he was OK that she forgot to moan at him. Jamie has to give a statement to the police and feels guilty for grassing up his mates. He's worried too that he might have to give evidence in court but the week comes to a happy end as he tells Kathy "Mum – you've been amazing" (changed his tune, the little git), while she says "I'm so proud of you – you go and call Natalie while I cook omelette (and chips)."
Things look bad for Steve – drinking, driving, no insurance, stealing a car – but it could get even worse, as Inspector Clouseau-Snell is hunting high and low for whoever sprayed hair dye on the llamas and is seeking justice. Never mind Revenge of the Pink Panther; if Steve isn't careful, I can see him being fitted up for the Pink Llama job.