Barry Farrimond and Emerald O'Hanrahan (Ed and Emma Grundy)
I can see why Emma and Will were once attracted (and married) to each other; they're such miserable sods. To be fair, Will is on cloud nine this week, having somehow persuaded Nic to marry him, but Emma's nose is way out of joint, especially when she meets Will and Nic. Emma congratulates them (presumably through fiercely-gritted teeth) but later complains to Ed that Nic was flashing her engagement ring. Ed shows that he has inherited all his Dad's tact and diplomacy when he tells Emma "at least it takes the pressure off us for a bit." Wrong answer Ed!
It hasn't been Emma's week really, as she runs into Clive at the cinema and he invites George to go bowling. While Emma stands there flapping and making "er…no…" noises, Clive and George have agreed that Thursday would be a good day for it. Emma and Ed resolve to go to a ploughing match that day to keep away from Clive. You can't run for ever, people.
At the ploughing match, Bert comes second overall and George is getting into the spirit of things, wanting to sit in the tractor cab. Mind you, he probably just wants to nick it. David and Ruth remark that Emma seems uptight – David thinks it's because of Clive, but Ruth (perceptively) says "Emma's happy when she's the centre of attention, but she won't be for a few months, will she?" Better get that proposal speech finished off, Ed.
Will and Nic can't wait to tell Caroline their news and that they would like to have the wedding and reception at Grey Gables and New Year's Day seems like a good date. To his credit, Will doesn't remind Caroline that she is his Godmother, but the cynic in me reckons they picked Grey Gables, hoping for a freebie. As for Caroline, this will involve her in much extra work, juggling things around – sorry Oliver, it doesn't look as if she'll be giving up work just yet.
There were mutterings of dissent among the members of the Cider Club regarding the community orchard. Eddie had been dreaming of reaping the rewards of their extra labour in increased production and profits from selling the cider, but is a tad peeved when, at a meeting with Mike, the latter makes it clear that the other members are expecting their cut as a reward. Jim the peacemaker to the rescue! He says he will keep accurate records of who has done what, so that cider can be appropriately apportioned.
Jim seems to be in every storyline – not only is he determined to declaim something in Latin for Lynda's Christmas Show, but his sojourn at Christine's is the talk of the village. Well, among the Neanderthal element that is, as both Jazzer and Eddie refer to him as Chris's fancy man. Even more unsubtle was Nathan Booth who, when Christine went into the shop, referred to "your gentleman caller – only he's not just a caller any more, is he?" I should point out that we don't hear Nathan say this – it is a flustered Christine who tells Jim. He just laughs it off and tells her she will need to grow a thicker skin.
Apart from the still on-going rift between David and Elizabeth, other branches of the Archer clan seem set on a course of conflict; Adam goes to see a smaller version of the proposed Home Farm mega-dairy in action and comes away still largely unimpressed. He speaks to Debbie on the phone and she offers him another 100 acres for arable use. Adam regards this as a sop to get his agreement for the project and starts banging on about who would be in charge, to whom would he report etc etc.
Debbie tells him that she is putting the report before the BL board anyway and that she and Brian are for the scheme, or to put it another way, you're outvoted 2-1 Adam, me old mate, but hey – you can still ride on the tractor. Debbie then phones Brian and says it would be good to have Adam onside and why doesn't Brian talk to him? She also warns Brian not to be too heavy or cock it up. As if!
The other split is at Bridge Farm, where Tom is orgasmic because a previous customer has bought a sausage or two after seeing the footballing pigs video. "This proves that my rebranding works" he crows, meanwhile making plans to rename Bridge Farm "Tom Archer Towers" or "Tomorrow the World". Tony tells him to sod off, so he goes bleating to Pat, who also tells him to sod off. It turns out that he has also spoken to Helen, as she confides to Ian that she finds the name "Tom Archer" a bit butch for yoghurt and ice cream. Ian, who is playing with the baby, suggests 'Henry' for a brand name and Helen is impressed. Watch this space.
Finally, and with heavy heart, we come to Lynda's Christmas Round the World show. After hardly anyone turns up for auditions, she is at her lowest ebb (cancel it woman!). Rhys goes bananas when told he is in it – it really doesn't take much to please some of these people, does it? – when Lynda and assistant Vicky go to the pub for a consoling drink. Lynda is in despair, but Vicky comes up with a few names (Usha and Elona's musical daughter). "We don't do despair – not when I'm around" trumpets a triumphant Vicky. Speak for yourself, woman; speak for yourself.