Rachel Atkins (Vicky Tucker)
Well, I admit that the Vicky pregnancy storyline came straight out of the blue – I thought we were being softened up for news of a serious illness, what with her being so tired and banging on about The Change and suddenly, wham! – she's expecting. Perhaps Mike will throw her out, although it's presumably his fault. The thought of nine months of stories about Vicky's pregnancy fills me with gloom (I still remember Helen's pregnancy). Mind you, Helen has become a nicer person since having Henry, so perhaps Vicky will undergo an improving transformation. Keeping her gob shut would be a start.
Some stories, like the Mills of God, grind exceeding slowly, but the possibility of a romance between Harry and Fallon reared its head again when they decided to go on holiday to the Edinburgh Fringe together in Fallon's camper van. This must have been the quickest-ever-arranged holiday and it was Fallon who made all the running. Harry goes into the pub, says he could do with a holiday. "Me too" says Fallon and, next thing you know, she's practically tying him up and dragging him off to the van.
However, the grit in the Vaseline as far as this story is concerned is Harry's Scottish workmate, who suggests that the van could easily sleep three and why doesn't he go with them as their guide? Apart from the fact that I don't see Jazzer as someone who knows much about the Arts, I cannot believe that anyone – and I include Jennifer Aldridge in this – could be so crass and insensitive as to suggest such a thing. And why are Harry and Fallon being so nice? Instead of telling him to sod off and he's not wanted, three's a crowd, know what we mean Jazz, nudge, nudge? they are pinning their hopes on Mike not letting him have the time off. Let's face it – there's no point being subtle with Jazzer, as any word longer than one syllable goes straight over his head. If they bought him a punnet of gooseberries, his only thought would be "where's the custard?" I really, really hope that Jazzer isn't allowed to put the mockers on Harry/Fallon – perhaps a mutilated body might be found by the side of the A1.
While on the subject of the Arts, a pat on the back to the writer who decided that Lynda's cultural dramatic production should be called off – I know Lynda was devastated, but I can live with that.
The rift in the erstwhile Horrobin family grows ever wider, with Tracy getting heavy with Emma, telling her to go to the police and retract her story about seeing Keith on the night of the barn fire. Tracy is really quite nasty, calling Emma 'vindictive' and 'spiteful' and telling her that Keith is in bits and she's worried that he might do something silly. Surely that would just be par for the course?
Further pressure is heaped on Emma by Mum Susan, who suggests that Emma might have built up a fantasy and is she really sure it was Keith? "You can't want Keith to go to prison – you know what it did to me" says Susan and, in a moment of tactlessness that was breathtaking even by Susan's standards, she reminds Emma that she had been wrong before when she thought that Ed was George's father. Exactly what this has to do with an arson attack isn't immediately apparent and Emma is on the verge of giving in to the pressure, telling Ed later that, if she retracted her story "then my Mum would talk to me again." Sorry? Sounds like a compelling reason to stick to your guns, Emma.
Ed says that, if it were Keith that torched the barn and put George's life in danger, then he deserves to be banged up. This is something that doesn't seem to have occurred to Tracy and Susan – yes, Keith's in bits, yes he's crying and depressed, but he could still be guilty as well and being upset is hardly a defence, is it? I dare say Dr. Crippen was a tad subdued in the dock, but this didn't stop him being found guilty. On the evidence, things look bad for Keith, but apart from the identification evidence, there is another, overwhelming reason for his guilt – he's a Horrobin.
As predicted, we had a week of angst, soul-searching and the sounds of toys being thrown out of prams and noses being cut off to spite faces as Adam took as long as possible to decide whether or not he would be Brian's bitch and oversee the growing of feed crops for the mega-dairy on Home Farm land, or whether he would take his bat and ball away in a huff.
OK, Brian could have been a little – or, rather, a lot – more tactful and understanding, but on past behaviour, this was never likely and, if Adam expected anything else, then he's dumber than I thought. One of the many discussions that Adam had was with Ian, who pointed out that, were Adam to accept Brian's offer, he'd still be growing crops, so what's the difference? Adam seemed hurt that Ian cannot see that his soul would be irrevocably tarnished by such an arrangement and there's farming and then there's farming. Personally, I'm with Ian.
The week dragged on and Adam was still doing his Hamlet impression when he had a long talk with Pawel, who seems to think that the farm should be turned into a co-operative, with a greater diversity of crops. Instead of telling the hired help to get back to picking strawberries, Adam seems to have found a soulmate and tells Brian that he wants no part of his scheme. Unfortunately, Adam neglected to keep Ian in the loop and he's not at all happy that Adam has gone ahead without telling him. Will Adam and Ian's relationship survive? Will Adam flounce off into the sunset and leave Home Farm? If so, prepare to be nagged to death by Jennifer, Brian.