Dairy Cows (Daisy & Buttercup)
I fear for the future of Brookfield's bovines – not only has Josh suddenly turned from stay-abed teenager to keen young stockman, getting up early to help mum with the milking, but we had Ruth banging on about how much she loves the cows (don't go there) and how there has always been a dairy herd at Brookfield.
As well as Ruth waxing nostalgic about her days as a student at Brookfield, Josh asks David "we won't ever have to get rid of the cows, will we?" David reassures him, then starts to worry because both Pip and now Josh have taken an interest in farming "and how will the farm support three families?" he asks Ruth. Talk about planning ahead! Cheer up David – Josh is still at school and you might be dead by the time he finishes his education.
With all this love for the cows flying about, I am afraid that we are being softened up for another tragedy at Brookfield and the cows will soon be toast – or rather burgers. Remember, if it happens, you read it here first.
The question is how will it happen? Foot and mouth? A deranged gunman with a phobia of cattle? Jude returns and wreaks a terrible revenge? Alternatively, perhaps Clarrie will come round and give the cows a big, sloppy kiss.
Let's face it, Clarrie will have plenty of time on her hands now that she has done the decent thing and fallen on her sword (no doubt carefully placed there by Tom). Poor Clarrie sounds so miserable – moping about the poor kiddies in hospital. Eddie tries not to bang her head on the table when she tells him she's resigned and instead tells her (rather unconvincingly) "We've been through hard times before; we'll just have to work that bit harder. We'll survive somehow." I suspect we will see a fresh wave of farting gnomes being offered for sale.
Amid the doom, gloom and despondency, there is a happy note, as Ronnie accepts Chris's offer to rent rather than buy his premises. Chris is delighted – he had anticipated being a farrier working from a van. Alice helps him celebrate.
Celebrations too at Rhys's party (what, you mean you didn't go? Everyone else did). Harry, however can think of better things to do than playing First Jack Up (or maybe the name of the drinking game gave him ideas) as he whisks Zofia back to the flat for a party of their own. It's all too much for Jazzer, who tells Fallon that he had to go to sleep wearing his earphones the other night (yet another thing that Harry is good at, obviously) and he asks Rhys if he can kip on his couch. Jazzer is totally pissed (I suspect he kept palming the fourth Jack) but he still notices Fallon's pained expression when he speaks of Harry's sexual athleticism and she admits she is carrying a torch for him, but says it's too late. Don't you believe it Fallon – when Harry has worn Zofia out, he'll be looking for a replacement.
Much speculation in the Lilian/Tiger household when James and Leone hint that there will be a major announcement at Lynda's party. James puts pressure on Ma (and don't you hate it when he calls her that?) to ditch the BBQ that Matt wants to go to in favour of the Snells' do. What will the announcement be? A baby? A marriage? Lilian is all a-flutter and tells Matt that they are going and that's that. No doubt Matt is thinking fondly of his days in chokey.
Pat has had a bad week – as well as losing customers hand over fist, she went on the radio and came across as a bit cold hearted (due in no small measure to skilful editing). Can the Bridge Farm brand survive? Lynda does her bit by ordering the cream for her party from Pat. Wouldn't it be great if everyone at the party went down with e.coli? Then it really would be 'goodnight Bridge Farm'.
A new mystery is hatching, as Will, Nic and family are picnicking by the Am and the children are playing in the river. Suddenly, an ear-piercing scheme rends the air – has Jake fallen over a weir? Has George been eaten by a crocodile? No – Mia found a crayfish in a pot.
This brings out the gamekeeper in Will, as he describes the pot as amateurish and gives Nic a lecture on how it's illegal to trap and sell crayfish (he suspects that he has tracked down the source of Kenton's crayfish dishes on the Bull menu). "It's not a native one" he says, by which he presumably means it comes from Felpersham. This puts him in a dilemma – you shouldn't put them back if they are an alien species. What to do? Eat the bloody thing man! If Nic can't cook it, give it to Kenton.
We end by quoting Will. He was speaking about events at the dairy, but it could have been a summing up of his life when he tells Nic "I haven't got a clue what's going on." How very, very true.