Monday, 20 May 2013

The Lesser Of Two Evils

Carole Boyd (Lynda Snell)

So now we know – instead of the Regency-themed fete that Lynda wanted (and how much fun that sounded) Ambridge will stage its own Highland Games, including throwing the hammer and tossing the caber. It was the suggestion of chief tosser Jazzer, aided and abetted by Kenton, and it made my heart rejoice to see Lynda not getting her own way for once.

Perhaps this is the thin end of the wedge and we will see people later in the year saying to her "Actually Lynda, I think we've had enough of Christmas extravaganzas/pantos – why don't you give it a rest for a few years?" Oh, if only!

It was an eventful week for many Ambridge residents, beginning with Clarrie's 'Ambridge by the sea' birthday party. "It's my best birthday ever" trills Clarrie, looking at a paddling pool full of water and a patch of sand. Just then the doorbell rings and it's sister Rosie, which begs the question – if Rosie can get to Ambridge from Great Yarmouth, how come the Grundys couldn't make it to the seaside?

We also had some riveting radio when Clarrie and Nic were arranging flowers in church. Clarrie persuaded Nic to come to church one Sunday, telling her it's an hour that she can have totally to herself. On that basis, if I were Nic and married to William, I'd enter a convent.

At Brookfield, Rooooth appears to be metamorphosing into Jamie, as her every utterance is accompanied by industrial-strength sighs. If I hear her say "Ooooh, David" in a heartbroken voice once more, followed by a mega-sigh, I won't be responsible for my actions. The catalyst this week was Pip, who found out about the loan to Josh for his egg business and immediately accused her parents of double standards for not lending her the £800 she needs for her new car.

I must admit I cheered when David had a right go at her, applauding Josh's enterprise at age 15 and reminding Pip that some children of her age (20) were totally independent "and don't rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad". He tells Pip to learn to live within her means and she storms upstairs. Cue mega-sigh from Rooooth and the comment "you were pretty hard on her, David." No he wasn't, woman! Hard would have been throwing her in the slurry pit, or banging her head against the wall – it's about time the little madam realised that the world doesn't revolve round her and David is unrepentant. However, he shows that he knows exactly what his wife and daughter are like when, as he is going back out on the farm, he says to Rooooth "Don't let her guilt-trip you into anything."

It was a bad week for Tom – Jazzer left him in the lurch when they were supposed to be moving the pigs and Tom forgot to switch the electric fence back on. The pigs made their break for freedom and Tom had to round them all up. To make matters worse, as he joined Roy in The Bull, Jazzer comes in and berates him for his carelessness and accuses him of concentrating on Ready Meals and the Supermarket deal. "If one of my employees talked to me like that…" Roy begins, but Tom says Jazzer was right, plus he (Tom) had been thinking about Brenda. "She's not going to come back to me, is she Roy?" Tom says, despondently. Roy says "no", probably thinking 'for the two hundredth time' and Tom says "So that's it – it really is all over." At last! The penny has finally dropped!

There was more penny-dropping over at the Dower House, when Darrell asked Matt for some work, saying that the boss of the church restoration on which he worked would give him a reference and that Lilian knows how good his work is, as she popped in there. Darrell leaves and there is this 'clunk' as Matt says to himself "Paul – of course."

The Paul/Lilian/Matt story is working up nicely to a climax. Lilian meets Celia, who is tearing Paul off a strip. Celia says to Lilian "If you're his new girlfriend, I hope you know what you're letting yourself in for." "What a witch" is Lil's comment after Celia has left. Paul comes over all needy and says "Don't leave me, Lilian; stay the weekend." Lilian points out that this is impossible (she told Matt she was going to see James for the day) and Paul resorts to emotional blackmail, saying: "Sometimes I think you don't care at all." Lilian agrees to stay a bit longer than planned and pops outside to ring Matt to tell him that James wants her to stay a bit longer. Matt replies "That's fine – I might be back a bit later myself, so that's all right then."

Matt is obviously working to some cunning plan - the day that Paul and Lilian met up, Matt took her tea in bed and, the day after the penny-dropping revelation, he tells Brenda that he and Lilian are going away for two weeks in June. Later that day Matt tells Lilian that they need to spend more quality time together and reveals that he has booked them two weeks in Istanbul in June. Lilian is taken aback – and she wasn't the only one, as we asked 'So what is Tiger up to?' My money's on a storyline where he has pre-sold Lilian into the white slave trade; revenge and a tidy profit – how Matt-like is that?

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