Annabelle Dowler (Kirsty Miller)
Let's kick off with the anti-Borsetshire Land demonstration which took place at the new market. The demo was really about the mega-dairy, but as this hasn't been built yet the market – another BL project – was the next best thing.
The demo was led by Kirsty, disparagingly referred to by Brian as "our local tree-hugger", and was having quite an impact. So much so that Brian, that arch-diplomat, decides to talk to the demonstrators to try and persuade them to disperse. Nobody does patronising quite like Brian and he tells them "you've expressed your views, so why not pack up quietly and go back to work or whatever it is you do?" While he doesn't actually pat Kirsty on the head and call her 'little girl', it was a damn close thing.
Kirsty tells him "this won't be the last time you see us, so better get used to it." Brian believes that, having shaken hands with Adam, he is now onside and Brian more or less asks him to tell him if he knows of any further planned action. Speaking of the demo, Brian says "we could have done without it" and Adam's one-word response – "We?" – spoke volumes. Brian's capacity for self-delusion is exceeded only by Jennifer's as she tells Lilian that Brian and Adam have agreed to differ and "hopefully there'll be less stress in our lives from now on".
There is another demo later in the week, but this is less well-supported, as a crowing Brian tells Jennifer when she rings him. Jenny then spoils his mood by telling him that there's a picture of him and Kirsty in the Echo and an article about the demo. The letters page is predominantly anti-mega-dairy too and Brian is not best pleased that the demo article is on page 2, while his carefully-crafted and paid-for editorial article is on page six.
Away from BL, it is a busy week for Bridge Farm – sorry, Ambridge Organics – with the launch of their new products. Tom is running around, working his butt off and my God, don't we know it! He's practically stopping strangers in the street and saying "I'm working 16-hours a day, you know". Just shut up and get on with clearing up the yard.
Friday is the launch day and everything goes swimmingly. Tony wanted to be there but decided he was too tired. The rest of the family return home in triumph and Helen asks "where's Dad?" Pat goes into the lounge and the TV is on, with Tony sitting in front of it. "That's it – he's croaked" I thought, but no, the writers were just teasing us – he was asleep. "You stay there; I'll call you when supper's ready" said Pat, which is the first time she's cooked him a meal for weeks. Things are definitely looking up – not only did the launch go well, but Clarrie got through a week's work at the dairy without poisoning anybody.
Talking of teasing, Jim tries to tempt Clarrie and Susan with a juicy bit of gossip, but they resist and, later, complain to Alan, who resolves to have a word. He tracks Jim down, trying to spot the Peregrines and takes him to task. He also challenges Jim to either give up something or do something positive and Jim eventually agrees to pay somebody different a sincere compliment every day.
What I can't understand is why Jim, who is a self-confessed (and pretty vocal) atheist, doesn't tell Alan to sling his hook and take his Lent-promoting God bothering elsewhere. Instead he resolves to do it properly and his first compliment (to Shula about her horsewomanly skills) is a real effort.
Emma has something to moan about this week when Eddie, who was supposed to be looking after the kids, went off to do a job, leaving George and Keira in the dubious care of Joe. No doubt they are already started on roll-ups and cider. Emma insists on still calling William and Nic's house 'Casa Nueva' – it was you who walked out and shacked up with Will's brother, so move on woman. She moans that she can't keep working if she can't leave the kids with someone she can trust. Excuse me? Are you saying that Eddie falls into that category?
We offered a solution some weeks ago – if the cows go from Brookfield, then Rooooth can do her own cleaning in her newly-acquired spare time and Emma can stay at home and be miserable by herself, thereby making me and countless other listeners very happy.
But wait! The cows might yet be saved, as Rooooth comes up with a cunning plan to make them pay, which doesn't involve beefburgers or steaks. I didn't understand it totally, but it seems to involve making them all give birth on the same day in September and starving them for half the year. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but I'm not a farmer. David (presumably hoping for a quiet life) agrees to give it a go and Rooooth is virtually orgasmic with gratitude. All they need to do now is find £22 K for the slurry tank.
Finally – and whisper it quietly – has anyone noticed that Kathy has gone awol over the past few weeks? Don't get me wrong – I'm not complaining; I'm just enjoying the silence - especially as she seems to have taken Jamie with her.