Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Too Many Books…

Richard Attlee (Kenton Archer)

If Kenton was expecting his moving in with Jolene to be a low key event, he will be disappointed. First of all we had Eddie mooning about what might have been. In your dreams, Grundy! Then Jill and Elizabeth sit there shaking their heads and predicting that it will never last. Actually, Jill seems to dislike Kenton – while she'll do anything for her other children, poor Kenton can't do anything right.

Never mind, Jolene seems happy enough, although when she sees Kenton's enormous collection of books, magazines, comics etc. she makes it clear that there's only so much she will put up with. Tread carefully Kenton – and stop exposing yourself to Fallon.

Going back to Elizabeth, she's delighted at being able to drive again and takes Jill out for a cup of tea and a bit of Kenton-bashing. They reminisce about Jill's 80th surprise party last year and Lizzie says how nice it was to have all the family together. So call David, bitch!

At Bridge Farm, the football is coming on a treat, but the pigs still haven't scored, which reminds me of my adolescence. Tom is confident that this will be the marketing success of the decade, if not the millennium, and shows Peggy his footage. She is quite impressed, saying "thinking big as usual", to which Tom ungraciously replies "it seems to have skipped a generation". For God's sake! It's just some pigs chasing a ball – get a grip on reality!

The generation to which Tom was referring are still keeping afloat – just. There was a touching moment when Kathy offered Pat and Tony her savings and Tony had the grace to feel ashamed of his attitude when he first saw Kathy turning up. Even better, the bank has allowed them six months' interest-only payments.

Later on in the week, Pat and Tony's cup is practically running over when Lilian turns up, offering them money – she can loan them £10k straight away. It seems Lilian didn't realise how bad things were until Brenda told her. What? She didn't notice them wandering around the village in rags and the ceremonial burning of Bridge Farm ice cream on the green? "I don't know what to say" says Tony, to which Lilian replies "that's what families are for". Are you listening, Jennifer?

Elsewhere, Jim is concerned about Joe. "His eyes have lost their sparkle" Jim tells Clarrie. That'll be the cider. Clarrie is worried that he is slipping back to the way he was when they lost Grange Farm and moved into the high rise. Shoot him now and save time later is one solution, but Jim has a plan to rescue the Grange Farm orchard from its present, sorry state and resurrect it as a community orchard. To do this, they will need Joe's wisdom and experience to tell people what to do. Jim lays it on – not so much with a trowel, but a shovel – and it works, as Joe shows glimmerings of enthusiasm.

The fact that the orchard actually belongs to Oliver Sterling and he lets Ed graze his cows there is dismissed – Jim and Joe seem confident that Oliver will do the right thing and turn the orchard over to the community. If you ask him nicely, he might let his house become a halfway house for criminals nearing the end of their sentences.

And criminals is something that Ambridge has in abundance. As well as Matt, Susan and Elona's husband, this week saw the return of Clive Horrobin, arch villain, armed robber and arsonist. Rumours that Ambridge is twinned with Wormwood Scrubs are unfounded. Yes, Clive has been let out because of the ailing health of his mother Ivy, who is suffering with bronchitis and a bad chest. "Chests can go on and on" Clarrie tells Kathy and all the men listening started thinking of Sabrina Thwaite.

Clive's return throws everyone into a state of panic – Susan is beside herself and every time the doorbell rings she throws a wobbler. In the Bull, Bert fills Rhys in on Clive's criminal past. Rhys says it's just like a cross between a western and the Godfather and is rebuked by David, who reminds him that "there are still too many victims in the village".

David also said, when he first learned of Clive's return, "has the man no shame?" Let's think. Here's a man who staged a bungled armed raid on the village shop, got six years, came out and committed a series of burglaries. When George Barford grassed him up, Clive attacked him (another five years) and, when he came out again, he started attacking horses, not knowing that George and Christine has sold the stables while he was inside, and finally torched George's house while Christine was inside. Yup, I too am surprised that he isn't covered in shame and embarrassment.

Nic and Will keep having heart-to-hearts and Clarrie tells Will that he is still carrying a torch for Emma (the fool). All this has made Will think and Nic asks him "What's going on in that head of yours?" Precious little, Nic, if truth be told. Finally, we learn that Nic's previous existence must have been completely soulless and a constant round of unhappiness and despair, as she tells Will "It's wonderful having you in my life, Will – I've never been happier." You just can't help feeling sorry for the poor little sod.

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