Richard Attlee (Kenton Archer)
We had a long (some might say tedious) build up about Kenton last week – on Monday he was helping David with some lambs and tells his brother that he has been thinking about Mum and Dad a lot. David later confides in Rooooth that Kenton appears restless and "I just hope he's not going to chuck everything away in Ambridge just to chase some dream elsewhere." What, like seeing his daughter for the first time in decades, do you mean?
On Tuesday, Kenton talks to Tony about the forthcoming Highland Games and even Tony notices he seems distracted, so when Helen turns up, he asks her "would you describe Kenton as sensitive?" She resists the urge to laugh out loud or say "compared to what?" and Tony says "there's definitely something eating away at him." Having planted the seed, the writers then ignored Kenton till Friday (the night of the ceilidh at The Bull), when he keeps trying to talk to a rapidly-getting-frazzled Jolene on her own and is interrupted by people like Tony who want to talk.
Eventually he does get to speak to Jolene and says he's been thinking how much she means to him and he'd like to ask – Immediately Jolene yells "Yes! I will marry you!" It would have been good if Kenton had said "I didn't mean that – I just thought we should increase our life insurance" but he didn't. Pity.
Brenda proved that she is no loss to the Secret Service when she eventually rings Lilian to tell her that she's not coming back. And that's all she has to tell her, but for some inexplicable reason, she also lets slip that she's spoken to Matt and that he's in Russia. It must have been the cunning way that Lilian said "Hello, Brenda" that forced the information from her unwilling lips.
Mind you, Brenda has only just recovered from saying goodbye to her family and trying to stop Vicky from giving her things ("Go on Brenda, take it – you never know when you might need a kitchen sink"). The last straw came when Vicky gave her a Teddy Bear "to remind you of home." Bet you never knew that the woods around Ambridge contained bears – we live and learn. Brenda tries everything not to take it, but eventually relents and reconciles herself to paying a four-figure excess baggage sum.
As for Lilian, her new temp, Anthea, is driving her slowly insane, with the accent on 'slowly'. Anthea is a pedant's pedant and insists on procedures being followed to the letter and keeping regular lunch hours. This annoys Lilian, for whom lunch is a moveable feast, often ended only when Jolene says "sorry Lilian, you've drunk us out of gin" and she's desperately missing Brenda's flexibility and ability to wing it on her own initiative.
Drama at Grey Gables! While Lynda is wittering on about some watch that she's found, Caroline is obviously in great pain. Of course she's too busy to go home, so Lynda rings up Oliver, who goes up to Grey Gables and forcibly drags his wife away. Oliver thanks Lynda, but she's too busy unscrewing Caroline's name plate off the office door and replacing it with her own.
The drama boils over to the swishing! Caroline was meant to do the meeting and greeting and, just as Jennifer moans for the umpteenth time about being let down, Oliver turns up as her replacement. Jennifer feels guilty and welcomes him. Sadly for Oliver, he is given a position near the door and not in the changing rooms. On the subject of swishing, it raised £500 on the door on the night – that's 50 women trying on clothes, which begs the questions where did they get 50 women in Ambridge? And where was it held – the O2 arena? The icing on the cake was a donation of $15,000 from American Curtis Tring (he learned about the organ fund from the website); a relative of good old, old-time villager Zebedee Tring. No, I've never heard of him before either, but perhaps there are other US citizens with more money than sense that could be exploited.
By the way, Caroline went to the doctor's next day, where she was diagnosed with shingles and made to wait in a room by herself to prevent infection. Complete bedrest was ordered and, after about half an hour, she's climbing the walls in frustration and boredom, watching her box set of 'Little House on the Prairie' (what a waste of technology). But cheer up Caroline; it could have been worse – at least you were spared the swishing.
In last week's blog we suggested that Rob has Tony wrapped around his little finger, but on Thursday Rob turns up to look at Tony's MG, having earlier helped Tom move an ark and hearing about (and encouraging) his plans for world domination. When Rob leaves, Tony and Pat both agree that he is a bad influence. However, Pat means a bad influence on Helen, while Tony is worried that Rob is egging Tom on to do too much, too quickly (Tom has already invited him to the pub some night for a pint and a talk about brand stretching, new products and all the other things that used to make Brenda (and us) reach for the wrist-slitters). Tony voices his concerns to Pat, saying that if Rob carries on like this "Tom will never listen to common sense again!" What does he mean, "again"?