Sunday, 18 November 2012

Misery? I should say so

Jasmine Hyde (Leonie Snell)

It gets worse – not only is Leonie still in Ambridge, but it doesn't look like she's going back to London any time soon. Lynda asks her, rather pointedly, what about work and aren't they missing her? Leonie plunges a dagger into our hearts when she replies that she is taking unpaid leave. "Don't worry," she says, "I'll be around for a while yet." She also mentions that her company said "take as long as you want" – I bet they are secretly planning to move offices while she is away and that profits have soared.

At Peggy's 88th birthday party, Tom and Brenda take the mickey out of Leonie, comparing her to the nurse in the film 'Misery'. Sadly she hasn't seen it, but James has and he's not best pleased with Tom and Brenda's sniggering. "I don't get the joke" says a mystified Leonie. "That's because there isn't one, sweetie" replies James, tartly. Honestly – "sweetie" – I ask you!

Lynda still tries to find out how long will Leonie be in Ambridge. "How long do broken bones take to heal?" she answers. 20 minutes. Get your bag packed Leonie – get off those crutches and get on the train, James. Bye! Don't forget to write.

Ed and Emma's financial plight gets even worse when she visits the supermarket and finds out that there is no money in the bank account. She asks the food bank for a food box, but apparently it is not enough just to be destitute; you have to be poorer than that. However, they do give her a hot meal. As she is eating it, mother Susan comes in, bringing donations and the whole story comes out. Had Susan known, she could have cut out the middleman and dropped the food off at Rickyard Cottage.

Actually, I have a plan to solve Ed and Emma's problem; we know that customers have been deserting the milk round (Mike has reduced what he pays Ed, which is half the trouble) so presumably the volume of milk needed has gone down. If you don't need so much milk, it follows that you don't need so many cows, so the answer is to slaughter one of the cows, butcher it and eat it. With luck it should last for months. Not only that, but Emma can show her versatility and good husbandry by turning the hide into shoes for Keira. The horns could be turned into Christmas presents and the hooves into ashtrays – get that gun out now, lad.

The prize for the most unconvincing about-face this week goes to Freddie. He came home from school full of gloom because that night his extra-curricular maths lessons with Iftikar were due to start. "I thought you liked Iftikar?" asks Elizabeth. "But I don't like maths" came the sullen reply. Ifti turned up and correctly divined the situation, telling Freddie to get his coat on as they would be working outside. We were treated to the description of an obtuse isosceles triangle etched on a pediment, with Ifti telling Freddie that "everything comes down to maths."

I suppose it helps if you live in a stately home – it provides more opportunities for mathematical study. You could calculate the volume of water in the moat, or divide the number of rooms by the number of servants, or work out the square root of the number of acres in the deer park. You could even go up on the roof and work out the velocity of a falling object – a father, say.

But back to the unconvincing about-face. Elizabeth comes out to see how they are getting on (can't she trust anyone to do their job properly) and, when she speaks to Freddie, he is positively orgasmic over mathematics and practically booking his university course in pure and applied maths. I'm sorry, but nobody is that good a teacher.

Lilian sloped off to meet Paul in a pub on Sunday lunchtime and he proved that he cannot know her very well by asking whether it was gin and tonic that she liked? Let's face it – if he really knew her, he would have had eight or nine of them lined up – and outside in the smoking area at that. The meeting lasted just long enough for Lilian to down one G&T (about three nano-seconds) and they both say how much they enjoyed it. The only unhappy person was the barman who, having been tipped off that Lilian Bellamy was coming, had chartered a fleet of Beefeater tankers and cornered the entire Portuguese lemon crop, only to have her leave early.

Lilian returns home, where Matt orders her to get him a sandwich and tells her that, when he met Brenda outside her house, she had invited him in (he wanted to talk over some business) and he had been confronted by Tom, singing "I love you baby", with the curtains drawn and candles and Love Hearts all over the place, in order to cheer Brenda up as she has been stressed. We weren't told, thank God, but I reckon Tom might have been in his underpants, which is an image that I'm having trouble getting out of my head. Back at the Dower House, Matt moans "I can't move for couples drooling all over each other." "It's called romance, Matt" replies Lilian. Tell you what Matt, with Paul back on the scene, I'd try a little drooling if I were you.

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