Pal Aron (Iftikar Shah)
Iftikar and Elizabeth seem to be getting closer, sharing a day out at the Felpersham Science Museum, with Ifty having set Freddie and Lily science and maths trails to follow. While the kids slog round the museum, Ifty and Lizzie talk, drink coffee and laugh and she invites him over to Lower Loxley for dinner next week.
Later on in the week, Ifty is talking to Alistair (who is trying to poach him for the cricket team) and Ifty admits that he is developing an affinity with Ambridge. Alistair, demonstrating a lack of subtlety and tact that is reminiscent of Tom, asks if Ifty and Elizabeth could become more than just friends? Instead of telling him to mind his own business, Ifty says that it's possible and let's wait and see.
Alistair retails this story to Shula, who immediately dismisses it, saying that Lizzie is still grieving and not ready for another relationship. "Besides, he's not her type surely?" If by that she means his not like Nigel, Shula is spot on, insofar that Ifty has a brain and knows how to use it. What else has he got going for him? Well, he doesn't say 'gosh!' or 'bravo!' and doesn't refer to his mother as 'Mummy' for a start. We await developments with interest.
Chris is home from hospital and he and Alice are telling everyone how they feel about the Canada situation. Unfortunately, this is becoming a rather large elephant in the room, as they won't talk to each other about it and there's only two weeks left to make a decision. If you listen to Jennifer, there's only one choice and, when bringing yet another cooked meal to her daughter, she is aghast when Alice said that she hasn't made her mind up yet. Jenny calls her 'selfish' to even think about it and "the fact is you're a young couple and you need your friends and family round you." Yes they are and no they don't is the short answer. I would have thought that if Jennifer wants you to stay, then that's a good reason for going, especially when we know that Jennifer's real reason for opposing the move is that Vancouver is too far away to deliver a casserole twice a week.
Jennifer demonstrates her unerring instinct for getting the wrong end of the stick when she tells Lilian that she is 'positively glowing' and that 'Matt must be looking after you'. I wanted Lilian to say "no, but his half brother is giving me a right regular seeing to" but the affair with Paul remained a secret. How much longer can they keep it up, if you'll pardon the expression?
Crisis at Willow Farm when Bethany develops a cough, which was cured by Mike filling the bathroom with steam, or holding her under water for 20 minutes or something similar. One consequence of this drama is that Brenda doesn't get to join Tom at the Cassandra Lopez concert. Tom went to a lot of trouble to get the tickets, as he tells Brenda, plus they cost him an arm and a leg (ditto). "You should be here with me" demands the sausage king, but Brenda says "I'm not in the mood." That could well be her mantra for the future Tom, as Brenda appears to be getting more and more cheesed off, both at AmSide and at home. Feed her some sausages to cheer her up.
Some weeks ago I remarked on the fact that silent characters are being bumped off and we had another one last week, as Benjamin the donkey, was replaced in the Palm Sunday service by Belinda – who said there were no equal opportunities for females?
Over at Brookfield, Pip gets a wake-up call (literally) when the Uni Head of Agriculture rings her early in the morning to tell her that she's failed two of her modules. At times like this, you need the support and sympathy of your parents and, sure enough, later on David takes her to one side and tells her how disappointed he is and how she should never have failed and it's all because she hasn't tried hard enough and has been out to all hours. "You've changed, Pip", he says, adding that it all went wrong when she came back from the skiing trip.
Pip counters by saying that, if she hadn't got so much to do on the farm, she could have devoted more time to uni work. David is astounded at her brass neck and the discussion becomes acrimonious before Pip flounces off. Later, Rooooth has a quiet word with her. "I've let everybody down" sniffs Pip. Rooooth is sympathetic and an uneasy truce is called at Brookfield, with Pip promising to try harder next year. David says "Let's have a good Easter – it's time we all made a fresh start."
Elona catches Darrell with a wedge of cash and he cannot satisfactorily explain how he came by it. Elona breaks down in front of Neil (who has come round to talk about darts with Darrell) and she tells Neil that Darrell has spent time inside for receiving stolen goods. "Please don't tell anybody" she pleads. The burning question is whether or not Neil can keep it secret from Susan – if she ever finds out, Darrell might just as well take out a full-page ad in The Echo, under the headline "My name's Darrell and I used to be a fence."