Monday, 17 October 2011

I May have To Go Away For Christmas

John Rowe (Jim Lloyd)

Why? Because, despite resolutely beating off Lynda's requests to do something at the Christmas Show, Jim finally agreed to read a poem – in Latin. Be still, my beating heart. The Harvest Supper went better than expected (for me, at any rate) when we learned that James and Leonie were stuck on the motorway. Lynda and Robert to the rescue! Robert will take the photos and Lynda craft the words, so the Harvest Supper will feature in the proposed book after all. Having said that, all Robert's photos were of Sabrina Thwaite, which did not please Lynda.

Jim was quite active this week, tapping up Oliver about turning the orchard over to the community, telling him that it's just what Joe needs. A kick up the backside, more like. What about Ed's cattle grazing in the orchard? Sod them – Joe will be able to persuade him to move them and Oliver is definitely weakening.

Elsewhere, it was assuredly not a case of 'happy families' in many Ambridge households. Chris and Alice came the closest they have ever come to a row when Alice said she wanted to give up studying to get a job, as she feels guilty that she's not contributing. Chris came over all manly and absolutely forbade it and Alice eventually agreed.

At Bridge Farm, Tom was practically orgasmic when Underwoods agreed to take on his new, rebranded sausages and he kept crowing to his parents, telling them that rebranding was the way forward. Pat and Tony hid their enthusiasm remarkably well, but Tom was too hyper to notice. He couldn't have been happier if one of his footballing pigs had been picked for England, the annoying little jerk.

Tony was able to pay off Underwoods (thanks for the 10 grand, Lilian) and he had an upper and downer with Jennifer, who really is at a loose end with Ruari away at boarding school. Having ignored Tony's hints to provide money, Jen goes to see him "to see how you are". Tony takes umbrage and tells her that Lilian has been helpful and Kathy offered them her life savings, while Jennifer hasn't even offered them a fiver. Jennifer explains that all the money is Brian's (does he do the food shopping then?) and it's all getting acrimonious. Eventually Jennifer goes away, presumably to try and find out what a fiver is.

While Jennifer is falling out with her brother, her children are in disagreement. Debbie comes over to present her super-dairy idea to the board of Borsetshire Land. They are all for it (I think it was the word 'profit' that swung it) but the scheme involves Home Farm's involvement and Brian hasn't mentioned any of this to Adam. When he does tell him, Adam goes spare and, when Debbie turns up, he accuses her of betrayal. Debbie tells Brian to take a hike and she talks to Adam one to one. He's still not happy and, unless they can get him onside, the project won't happen. While Debbie tries to persuade her brother with rational argument, Brian is out buying thumbscrews.

Nic and Will have a heart-to-heart about Emma and Nic reveals that she plays this game with herself called "Guess what Emma will complain about this time" and they have a bet that she will say that George needs an early night. Sure enough she does and later rings Susan to complain that Will and Nic have been winding her up.

However, cow Emma is in for a shock when Susan says that Clive (who has gone back to his bail hostel in Felpersham) has said that he would like to meet nephew George and niece Keira. Furthermore, grandmother Ivy thinks this is a spiffing idea. Emma thinks Rickyard Cottage would be the best venue, as Ed can be there, David can be on hand and, presumably, the armed Swat team can be hidden in the barn.

At first, David isn't keen when Ruth mentions it, reminding her that he had to pull his mother and aunt from a burning building that Clive had torched. Come on David, live and let live – did you never do something a bit naughty when you were younger? David eventually agrees and he is joined on guard duty by Tony, who is trying to get away from Tom's triumphalism.

Clive turns up bearing gifts – a bracelet for Keira and a Playstation for George, who asks his uncle if he was a burglar. Clive replies that he used to be, but he realises it was very naughty and has stopped now (where did the Playstation come from, Clive?). George is taken by the romance of the whole thing and tells everybody that he wants to be a burglar when he grows up. During the visit, Clive reveals that he has a disturbingly full knowledge about recent events in Ambridge – he knew of Nigel's death and that Lily is keen on hockey. Presumably he's been casing Lower Loxley. That would be a good way to heal the David/Elizabeth rift – David could follow Clive as he breaks in to Lower Loxley and come to Elizabeth's rescue. Perhaps he could push Clive off the roof – that story has a certain symmetry to it.

Finally, we tasted the bitter dregs of disappointment when David revealed – almost in passing – that Bert only came second in the ploughing competition. Ah well, there's always next year, sadly.

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