Eri Shuka (Elona Makepeace)
Thursday was the night of the 'thank you' dinner/farm supper at Home Farm for Neil and Susan and Darrell and Elona. It was a 'come as you are' evening (makes it easier for the guests to do the washing up) and presumably Brian has made sure the good wine is safely tucked away. Jennifer tells Elona that she and Brian have meant to have them both over for ages and adds how talented Darrell is, not to mention brave.
It would appear that Elona disagrees, as on the way home she tells her husband that all she gets from him are worries and stress and "You and me are finished – I can't live like this any more; I want a divorce." I supposed it could have been worse – she could have told him before the meal and that would certainly have ruined his appetite.
Elsewhere, Eddie is unusually caring when he asks Clarrie what she wants for her 59th birthday (12th May). This could have been a dangerous move – what if she had said "a fur coat" or "a new husband"? Clarrie, however, has no illusions and says that she'd really like to go to the coast. She then backtracks, saying that it's too far to go for one day. Knowing Eddie, he'll probably give her a bucket of salt water and some plastic seaweed.
Now, I could be wrong, but I always thought that, wherever you are in Britain, you're never more than 75 miles from the sea and, unless you are going to walk it, that's not really much of a trip, even in the Grundys' broken down jalopy. Or here's an even more radical solution – why not stay overnight – Joe can look after the ferrets for a day. Talking of Joe, have you noticed that he hasn't been featuring much recently? Good thing too.
On the "Oh what a tangled web…" front, Paul and Lilian are apparently heading into trouble. Matt has a round of golf with Andrew Eagleton, who casually mentions that he saw Lilian at Felpersham Races the other week "with a builder chap." This is news to Matt and, when he gets home he mentions it to Lilian, who tells him that she went with her friend Fiona. Matt doesn't mention that this seems an odd name for a builder chap and Lilian induces nausea in five million listeners when she simpers "You're not cross with me, are you Tiger? I've been a naughty pusscat." Too bloody right, but fortunately Tiger doesn't yet know exactly how naughty.
But he is obviously becoming suspicious, as Brenda finds him checking Lilian's work diary in case she has been having medical treatment on the side. He also asks Brenda how has Lilian been with her? Bren admits Lil has been a "bit touchy", which is a masterpiece of understatement. Matt reckons Lilian has been overworking and "we'd better watch out for her – she needs looking after."
This isn't going to make things easier for Paul and Lilian and, anyway, Paul is having troubles of his own: when he is on the phone to Lil, his doorbell rings and it's his son Charlie, who tears his Dad off a strip because Paul doesn't want his children to go to their mother's wedding. Paul demands respect from his children, but Charlie says "after the way you've treated us, you're not entitled to anything."
An incensed Paul tells Charlie that he will not inherit any of Paul's money, or his business. Paul tells his control freak father to swivel and that he doesn't want his money. Charlie storms out, with Paul demanding he come back. Father's Day is 16th June, Charlie, in case you are interested.
Paul immediately rings Lilian's phone and leaves a message, ordering her to meet him in Felpersham next Thursday, saying "No excuses this time – just be there!" What a sweet man! It might be a little tricky for Lilian, Paul.
At Bridge Farm, Pat, Tony and children talk about who should be told about the sale of the dairy herd. Pip and Trevor (who will both be losing their jobs) are told, much to Pip's dismay, as she was hoping for more milking work so that she could buy her new Porsche, or Roller or whatever prestige marque is taking her fancy this week.
Pat also tells Susan and Clarrie and, in what is obviously the triumph of hope over experience, she urges everybody to keep the news to themselves. Ha! This is Susan we're talking about Pat! As it is, Pip immediately gets on the phone to Spencer, telling him that she won't have any work, because they are getting rid of the cows. Nice one Pip! Later on Clarrie rings Pat to say that Lynda has heard that, not only are they selling the herd, but the whole farm and will be retiring. Pat is a tad unhappy and wonders who could be spreading these rumours. "It can't be Susan" says Clarrie. Oh yeah? I know who my money's on.
Finally, the Award for extreme self-sacrifice goes to Kirsty; Tom goes to pitch his Ready Meals to Bellingham's but, when he comes back, of course there's no Brenda to hear all about it. Kirsty, who is either a saint or very, very drunk, says that he can tell her about the meeting. Noble, noble girl!