Michael Fenton Stevens (Paul Morgan)
Lilian proved herself once again as a creature of negotiable affection after spending Valentine's Day at a spa (followed by an excellent meal at Grey Gables) with Matt – "The toffee soufflé is out of this world – if Ian wasn't already married to Adam, I'd marry him myself" lucky escape there Ian, although they are both smokers. Matt says "I really love you Pusscat", to which she replies "I know, I love you too."
So that's Paul out of the picture then? Yes, for nearly 24 hours, as Lil and Paul meet in Forset Magna. They go for a walk, but there's a complication – Jazzer has forgotten to deliver the cream order to the King's Arms and he comes across Paul and Lil out walking. Paul pretends to be an Estate Agent showing Lil some properties and, for reasons that aren't immediately apparent, Paul adopts a Scottish accent, which means Jazz interrogates him as to his origins.
Jazz goes off (poor sod has to sleep sometime, I suppose) and Lilian and Paul dissolve into laughter. He suggests a drink and she says "haven't you got champagne in your room?" They spend some time doing what adulterers do and Paul gives her her Valentine's present – it's a key and he says that it's symbolic; he'll find somewhere for them to be together (an apartment in Felpersham, for instance). "Paul, you're such a wonderful man." Lilian says. Perhaps we were misled earlier and what she told Matt was "I love you two."
Our two trainee shearers continue to bore the tits off us with Jazzer coming up with names for the shearing team. We had 'Dreadnaught' and 'Cutty Sark' (a Clipper, geddit?) which Ed thought might be right over the heads of most people around Ambridge. Too bloody right. Be honest, with Jazzer and Ed's business acumen, why not call it 'Titanic' and be done with it?
At the end of the week, Ed has bad news for Jazzer, as he has realised that the cost of equipment for shearing would be prohibitive, plus they will need a van. What? You mean the sheep won't present themselves in an orderly line for shearing?
Earlier in the week, we had Will's 30th birthday lunch at The Bull. The conversation between Will and Edward is strained, especially when Will comments on Ed's application for a charity grant for the shearing. Eventually, Clarrie talks to them separately and (sadly only metaphorically) bangs their heads together. She asks if they can't hug each other, but they settle for a handshake and nobody gets stabbed.
Tom and Brenda continue to get dangerously close to talking about starting a family. They are impressed by how besotted Mike appears to be by Bethany (who is causing some sleepless nights). Mike has even devised his own nappy changing method – the mind boggles and I wouldn't be surprised if it involved a hose – but Tom still seems obsessed with the Tom Archer Brand and the Ready Meals and he is orgasmic on Valentine's Day to get a text from the bank, saying that they have looked at his business plan and want a further meeting. It hasn't occurred to him that this could be a meeting along the lines of Elizabeth's ('You find the first £300 K and we'll look at the rest') or even 'We wanted to see what sort of tosser could submit such a crap plan' and the mood at chez Tom and Brenda is optimistic. Mind you, he did take his life (or at least his goolies) in his hand when he told Brenda that she was having sausages for her home cooked Valentine's meal. Fortunately for him (sadly for us) he told her it was really tuna steak before she could stick the knife in.
It wasn't all lovey-dovey last week as Shula had some bad news – Bunty (late husband Mark's mother) died peacefully in her sleep while watching TV. Could have been worse – she could have been listening to the Archers. Shula imparted this information to Matt and Lilian while they were at Grey Gables, having already told them that she was feeling guilty for being there during Lent. Matt can't get his head round undergoing self-denial for 40 days (or even 40 minutes, if truth be told) and tells Lil that if you want something, go for it. It was the next day that Lilian went for it with Paul, so she obviously listens to Matt.
Finally, on Valentine's night, Rhys is working at The Bull and Fallon is working at Jaxx's. When Fallon is cashing up late at night, there is a knock on the door and there is Rhys, with Valentine's presents, protestations of love and a suggestion that she moves into the flat with him and she probably wants time to think about it. Fallon says "No!" forcibly and, taken aback, Rhys says "Well, I suppose we could carry on as we are." Fallon replies "No, I meant I don't want time to think about it – I'd love to move in." I know it was Valentine's Day, but whatever happened to playing hard to get?