Saturday, 6 October 2012

They'll Always Have Paris

Sunny Ormonde (Lilian Bellamy)

Lilian and Matt have returned from their romantic break to Paris, much
to Brenda's relief, as she has had loads of hassle sorting out on-going problems at AmSide. When Lilian goes to see the Walters, there is nobody there and she eventually tracks Arthur down at the hospital, where Joyce is a patient, having fallen and got a hairline hip fracture.

Back home, Arthur shows Lilian the missing floorboards and, very generously, says he quite understands that, when Darrell was pulled from the job, it wouldn't be possible to get a replacement straight away. He also mentions that the rent's due, but Lilian, in a phrase which would have had a dead Matt spinning in his grave, says "it doesn't matter".

On her return to the office, Lilian and Matt have a blazing row, with Lilian blaming Matt and him countering that it was her fault for insisting that Darrell was taken off the job. Suffice it to say that all romantic memories are behind them and the romance of Paris is just a distant memory.

Another row brews at Rickyard, when Emma demands that Ed apologises. His crime? When George made a face on seeing his dinner ("gruel again, I see Mum") Ed said "Me too." In vain does he protest that it was a joke – Emma feels betrayed and lets Ed know in no uncertain manner. Ed shows his deeply shallow knowledge of the fairer sex – and that he has inherited all of his Dad's tact and diplomacy – when he says that it would be nice to have something that you didn't need to eat through a straw. Laugh? Not really, and Emma's mood is not improved when Ed (see above about tact) tells her that, even when they had no money at home, Clarrie could still dish up substantial meals. Nice one Ed – that's you in the spare room, if only they had one. Of course, it didn't hurt that Dad Eddie had been known to do the odd spot of poaching at the time.

Just when things can't get worse, they get worse, as Will turns up with a guinea pig in a cage for George. Will is perfectly well aware that Em and Ed are finding things tight and says, in that smug, nasal, whining voice of his, that he can always take it back home. Emma and Ed aren't having this and decide to keep it. Rumours that they are going to call it Fricassee are totally unfounded – mind you, Will, if they tell you that it died unexpectedly, I'd demand to see the body and also ask what that cooking smell is.

Ambridge's very own tycoon – Tom Archer (you must have heard the name, surely?) – goes from mega high to the depths of despair during the week. Buoyed up by the news of the massive order for ready meals, he is chasing round to find somewhere with the capacity to cook them. An idea – open his own kitchen! "This puts the Tom Archer brand into a great place to expand" crows the egomaniac. Honestly, when he's in full flow, Tom makes Simon Cowell look like Uriah Heep.

Except there's a slight problemette when it turns out that setting up his own kitchen will be too expensive and Tom still cannot find anyone willing to drop their own work schedule to fit in the making of the Ready Meals (which I have decided should now have initial capital letters to denote their importance). Do these peasants not understand how important this is? At the quiz at the Bull, Tom is in despair, saying "I've got a ticking clock – my first big order for ready meals and I've absolutely no idea where I'm going to make them." A slight flaw in the master plan, Tom my old son, if you don't mind me saying it.

Speaking of the quiz, Tom's team, which includes David and Brenda, didn't do very well – presumably none of the answers were "Tom Archer". Having said that, the questions were set and read by Jazzer and no doubt there were lots of requests for the questionmaster to repeat the question – "and in English this time, please."

Jazzer's stay at Christine's is brief – she cannot get back to sleep after hearing him get up in the morning and he is resigned to being thrown out. Jim to the rescue! Gentleman Jim offers him his spare room for a few nights and Jazzer asks if there are any ground rules. No smoking in the house or garden, no overnight 'guests', no loud music (Mahler is OK) and presumably no pigs. Jazzer is allowed to breathe every other Thursday, however. As long as it's not loud, that is. Jazzer accepts the rules (not that he's in a position to do much else) and asks to borrow one of Jim's books on Greek Mythology, from which we deduce that his room has a wonky table. Later on, Jim is talking in the pub and calls Jazzer "admirable." OK Mr Lloyd, I think you've had enough.

At Lower Loxley, Elizabeth and Roy are worried about a falling off in bookings and Liz suggests that they get in a consultant to examine the business. Roy and Hayley talk about this later and he tells her that the consultant had had some success with another local business that was struggling (no – not Tom Archer – that was cruel of you to think it). "Didn't a lot of people lose their jobs there?" muses Hayley. Roy tells her not to worry, but you can't help wondering if he has kept Caroline's phone number at Grey Gables in a safe place?

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