Max Krupski (Pawel Janinski)
I have it on good authority that there will be a new entrant in this year's Flower & Produce show – Pawel is entering himself in the 'tarts' section. Not only did he spend a night of passion with Adam the other week – drunken passion in Adam's case – but on Thursday, Pawel turns up at Honeysuckle Cottage, saying that he's bored and, learning that Adam is working late, he comes on to Ian, calling him attractive, touching his thigh and kissing him. Ian, who had invited him to stay for supper, tells him he's not interested and that he had better go. Exit Pawel, still bored, but now frustrated and hungry to boot.
When Adam comes home, Ian tells him what happened, saying "I suppose I should be flattered" and he reassures Adam that he would "never want a silly kid like Pawel when I've got you." The next day, Adam takes Pawel into the office and tears him off a strip. Pawel tells Adam that Ian enjoyed the kiss and suggests (rightly, I reckon) that Adam is afraid that Pawel will tell Ian about their illicit night in a hotel. I wouldn't be surprised if Pawel's body is found in a ditch near Home Farm before long, or maybe he'll be incorporated in the newly-laid footings for the mega-dairy. Whatever happens, I submit that his chances of being invited back in next year's team of strawberry pickers are slim in the extreme.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth is in danger of running out of siblings to talk to when, while picking Freddie up at the stables, she eventually gives in to her son's constant wheedling and pleading to be allowed to ride Nigel's old horse, Topper. He tells Elizabeth about the special bond between him and the horse, which Topper promptly demonstrates by rearing up and throwing him off. Instead of pressing home his advantage and trampling Freddie while he's on the ground, Topper backs off. Shula comes out of the stables and has a major strop at Elizabeth and shows that she has got her sense of priorities right by saying that Topper could have been hurt before calling an ambulance for Freddie.
It turns out that Freddie has broken his collar bone – had he landed on his head, presumably he would have escaped unscathed – and he is confined to bed, where he immediately turns into a whining, miserable git because he's bored. Wait till Mum's not looking and get up on that roof Freddie! Elizabeth belatedly realises that it was her fault really, telling Lily (who was complaining about her brother) that, when she saw Freddie on Topper, it reminded her of Nigel. Must be something to do with them having the same mental age, I suppose. Elizabeth goes to see Shula and bursts into tears, saying that she only gave in because Freddie is so much like Nigel – my original thought was 'poor sod', but I cheered up when I realised that I don't like Freddie much anyway. Lizzie begs for forgiveness and Shula says "you're my sister; you don't have to ask." Perhaps Elizabeth will ponder those words when she next gives brother David the cold shoulder, but somehow I doubt it.
The gap between Mike and Vicky is gradually widening and things are not improved when Mike returns home early one day to find Vicky and Roy clearing out his study and his beloved, leather-bound collection of dairy magazines is stacked on the landing. For God's sake, get a life, man! Roy is having trouble moving a table and, having earlier been told that Mike knows all about the study clearance, calls on his Dad to give him a hand. Super-sensitive Roy picks up on the tension between Mike and Vicky – it must be something to do with Mike telling him bluntly to go home. Al least he didn't throw him down the stairs.
Later on, Mike has a go at Vicky for telling Lynda about the Down's syndrome, but on Friday he is helping Neil to tag a pig's ear and, when Neil regales him with allegedly-humorous stories about Susan's pregnancies, Mike tells him "We haven't been laughing much" and the whole story comes out. "It's like a big, black cloud – I can't see the way through" says Mike, who witters on about the demands they will face and that he's not getting any younger. You'd think the man was an octogenarian, when in fact he will be 63 on the 1st December. Come on Mike – 60 is the new 30!
Neil tells him that, whatever he and Vicky decide, they can count on support from himself and Susan. I am surprised that the thought of having support from Susan didn't cause Mike to throw himself under the pigs, but he resisted the urge. Whatever you do Neil, don't tell Susan, for God's sake.
In recent weeks, Jamie has been behaving less like a teenager and seemed to be growing up, while Kathy was being less of an annoying Mum. However, normal service was resumed this week when Kathy went to his room and said that dinner would be 30 minutes and he could start on his college work. Kathy was amazed (and sceptical) when he said he didn't have any. She had cooked a special goulash for him and Jamie spent ages picking every last piece of carrot from the dish. He then complained because he wasn't old enough to attend the Tug Fowler comedy gig at The Bull. "It's so unfair!" he yelled. Welcome back the real Jamie!