Jon Glover (Martyn Gibson)
Ladies and gentlemen, it's official – the baton for 'most annoying and unlikeable character' has now passed from Will Grundy to Martyn Gibson (probably only temporarily). What is the man up to? Having made Kathy give up her weekend to prepare a report on wastage, he doesn't look at it for two days and, when he does, he casts doubt on Kathy's methodology and the accuracy of her figures.
One thing Martyn has achieved – and this is no mean feat, believe me – is to make me feel sympathy for Kathy. She defends her report valiantly and with spirit, telling Martyn that he's welcome to check the stock and can even count the lemons behind the bar if he likes. Hasn't the man got a job to do? He's spending more time at the golf club than the professional and a lot of it seems to be behind the bar, helping himself to drinks.
On Friday, Martyn reveals his latest master strategy, which is to rearrange the staffing rota so that there are fewer on duty at any time. Kathy thinks this is a non-starter and says that she wants her opposition noted. Fat chance! His comment to Kathy is "don't worry your little head about it." And you thought Brian was Ambridge's arch-patroniser! Kathy does get in a dig, saying "shall I put the drink you've just helped yourself to on your tab?" Later on, at Grey Gables, Kathy unburdens herself to Lynda, who tries to be optimistic, saying "this could be the darkest hour just before the dawn". Kathy isn't cheered up, however, saying "It's as if he's deliberately trying to grind me down." Actually Kathy, there is a way to improve cash-flow and profits – make the patronising git pay off his tab.
Over at Home Farm, there is a crisis, as Jennifer's part-time gardener is off ill and how will she cope? This I find hard to understand, as all she seems to do is wander around the village, annoying people (and us) and occasionally dropping in on her mother or taking meals round to Chris and Alice. Anyway, back to the gardening crisis and Jennifer is reluctant to pay for a proper gardener and asks Adam if any of the pickers would like to earn some money doing part time work? In the end, she gets someone, but it isn't a success, as Brian comes home on Thursday to find no dinner on the table. The reason is that the picker sprayed her roses with weed killer. You should have paid for a proper gardener, Jen.
Lilian abandons all AmSide work and goes off to London in order to see Matt. Incidentally, we have another example of how out of touch Jennifer is as she tells Brian that Lilian and Matt are having a fabulous time, but we know differently, as Lilian calls Jolene and tells her that she and Matt are at different hotels and she has begged him to come back to Ambridge, but he says he has to "sort things out". "You can call me any time" says Jolene – a comment that might come back to bite her in the bum. You can just imagine it, can't you – just as the Registrar gets to the bit about kissing the bride, Jolene's phone rings and she says "I'd better take this, Kenton." Could be the first row of the marriage.
At Brookfield, Pip is excited because things are going well and she's full of plans for expansion. David reminds her that milk prices can go down as well as up, which they are at the moment. Talking of milk prices, Brian is crowing, as the mega-dairy looks like it's going to make mega bucks – like he had anything to do with it, the cakey sod.
Rooooth joins David and he gets all philosophical, saying that he'd like all three of the children to make a living from the farm. Let's see – we could yoke Josh and Ben to the plough and buy Pip a new milking stool. Later in the week, Pip is in tears as she realises how much she will miss Spencer when she goes to Yorkshire. Rooooth says, if she and Spencer can get through this, they will be even stronger. For God's sake – she's going for a summer's placement at a farm less than 100 miles away, not sailing solo round the world nor undergoing life-saving, but very risky, pioneering surgery. Get a grip for heaven's sake!
Meanwhile, things are still going swimmingly (albeit clandestinely) between Helen and Rob and on Thursday, Helen gets Pat to babysit while she sneaks round to see Rob. He is making a beef stir-fry and she goes to have a bath, inviting him to join her. Oh yes - and who's going to stir the stir-fry? Helen has told Pat that she is going to jewellery-making classes and her babysitting services might be required twice a week. This could be expensive, as presumably Helen will have to buy some jewellery in coming weeks in order to prevent Pat getting suspicious. Just remember to destroy the receipts.
Finally, I had the following comment from a reader: "Kind of hoping (uncharitably) that Tony walks in on Helen and Rob 'at it' and it's all too much for his poor old heart!" Blimey! And I thought I was cruel sometimes!