Dan Hagley (Darrell Makepeace)
I feel sorry for Darrell, forced to work for Matt Crawford at some highly dubious and unethical tasks, and no-one could blame him for wanting to escape AmSide's clutches. And things were looking good, as he has the prospect of carrying out some church restoration work in the near future.
Actually, I would wager a large sum that that previous sentence will have to be amended to "had the prospect…" as what does the clown do? He only goes and tells Matt that he won't be working so much for Amside and then, unbelievably, he tells Matt that he (Matt) knows his future employer and gives him his name. What do you reckon the chances are of Matt giving this guy a ring and just happening to mention that Darrell has done time, or else rubbishing his work? Upwards of 99% is my guess. Ah well, back to taking up Arthur and Joyce's floorboards and looking for non-existent leaks, Darrell.
Vicky and Mike continued to hold diametrically opposing views over the new baby, with Mike saying things like "it's a life sentence" and telling Neil it's like "a dark cloud". Neil points out that Vicky really, really wants this baby and she's been so good for Mike in recent years and that he is in danger of losing her if he persists in his attitude. It seems to work, as Mike performs the biggest about turn in Tucker history and tells Vicky that he is on-side now and what can he do to help? Presumably Vicky goes away to consult her list, or the first 43 pages of it.
There is even a rapprochement between Elizabeth and David when the latter goes over to Lower Loxley to visit his injured nephew. Elizabeth is out on business but returns early to find David and Freddie talking and playing (badly, in David's case) a computer game. Instead of screaming at David and dragging him up to the roof, Lizzie invites him to stay and soon they are reminiscing about how they used to play Monopoly at home and, if Lizzie couldn't get Mayfair or Park Lane, she'd tip the board over, the spoilt little madam. David tells her how much it means for him to be there and that he's missed her. "Me too" she replies, which makes the past few months even more futile.
While the last two stories have happy endings, poor Pawel seems doomed to disappointment – he asks Adam for a private meeting and reminds Adam that he will be going back to Poland next week and is angling for one last night of fun. Adam's response is along the lines of "don't bang the door on your way out" and his mood is not improved when Pawel suggests that perhaps Ian might be up for some 'fun'. Suffice it to say that Adam doesn't turn up to the pub to meet Pawel later. I think you're on a loser here, Pawel me old mate – I just hope he doesn't tell Ian out of spite about the night that he and Adam did spend together – I couldn't bear another few weeks of drama about a broken relationship.
Mind you, that might be preferable to the on-going saga of the entries for the bread baking competition at the flower and produce show. There is mystery and speculation about what Jim is up to, with bangs and flames coming from his shed (it turns out he's trying to build an authentic Roman oven) and Oliver seems to have become obsessed with flour, yeast and water. I know he has cut down on his work, but surely he must have something better to do? Shouldn't he be out vaccinating badgers or something? Oh no, that's Ed's job - and he seems quite cheerful about getting up at the crack of sparrows – weird, when you consider he's not being paid for it.
Last week saw the return of the ready meals saga (boo!). But wait – there's a problem – there's nowhere to cook them (hooray!). No spare capacity at the Bull (hooray!) and Ian's kitchen has no room (hooray!). Then Kirsty (whom I had previously held in high regard) said that Tom can use the kitchens at Jaxx's (boo!). I don't think you've got the authority to sanction this Kirsty – why not run it past Kenton when he returns? Actually, I suppose that Tom could always have used Jim's Roman oven.
Finally, snoopy mum Kathy confronts Jamie, who hasn't been at college for the past two days. Kathy knows this because she checked with his tutor – whatever happened to trust? OK, so Jamie has a bit of previous when it comes to bunking off, but I'm surprised that Kathy hasn't got him electronically tagged, or fitted with a tracking device. "Come on Jamie, you've been in that toilet for 15 minutes – what are you doing?"
It turned out that Jamie had been on an advanced chainsaw course for two days, which he paid for himself, using money earmarked for driving lessons. Kathy is incensed that he never told her, to which he replies, with impeccable teenage logic "but you wouldn't have let me go, if I had." "You're staying at college" Kathy tells him. Come on woman, lighten up – what's two days, after all? If I were you Jamie, I'd make sure I kept in practice with the chainsaw and, looking ahead, can you get courses in butchery? It would certainly come in handy the next time your mother goes off on one.