Timothy Watson (Rob Titchener)
We all have our boundaries – things we would never say, beliefs we would never betray, principles we would fight for. Well, I suggest that you all take a seat, for what I am about to say (or type) are words that I would have laid a considerable amount of money on that they would never pass my lips and those words are: "I really hope that Helen is pregnant".
I know – when she was pregnant with Henry, week after week this blog was unkind to her, so why the stupendous about turn? The reason is that, on Sunday, an anguished Rob Titchener rang Helen and wanted to talk. He had come back from Hampshire after a row with Jess, his wife, and he was in need of comforting. Helen went round and listened and, before long, 'comforting' had turned into 'giving him the time of his life' and they ended up in bed.
So just imagine if Helen proves to be with child – how appalled and totally pissed off would Tony and Pat be? Not only would this be Helen's second baby outside a normal relationship, but the father would be the man who is running the mega-dairy and who Tony and Pat believe is leading Tom astray by encouraging early expansion of his business. I'm almost sure that it would be worth nine months of having Helen lecture all and sundry about pregnancy just to witness her parents' discomfiture.
Would they throw her out of the house, do you think? And what about names for the baby? For Tony and Pat, it would be a toss-up between 'Satan', 'Beelzebub' or possibly 'Damien', while Tom's number one choice would undoubtedly be 'Tom Archer', closely followed by 'Ready Meals'. We wait developments with eager anticipation.
Elsewhere, we learned that, like the rest of us, Kenton doesn't listen to 'Ambridge Extra' when he wonders out loud what Matt is up to these days. Kenton and Jolene are picking Lily and Freddie up from some gymkhana and Lily goes into raptures when Jolene asks her to be her bridesmaid. Freddie is not so keen on the offer of being a page boy, but they only asked him so that he wouldn't feel left out.
Actually, Kenton had a lot of lines last week and he managed to persuade Nic to make use of the stool he has provided behind the bar to minimise the amount of standing she has to do and therefore reducing the risk of night cramps. Nic was a bit hacked off that everyone knew about her cramps, but Kenton persuaded her by saying it's a choice between the stool or support stockings, as worn by Freda. Nic eventually comes round and admits that sitting down does feel better.
Kenton missed an ideal opportunity here, by the way – Will (who has been getting earache from Clarrie – worried about Nic - and Nic – annoyed that people keep telling her what to do) goes into The Bull and says "I need your help Kenton; I'm caught between two women. I don't know what to do." What an opportunity for Kenton to say "Quick, get this Hemlock down you" or "Take this one-way ticket to Tashkent". Instead, he comes up with the stool, the clown.
Pip returns from working away at a large dairy "It had a 50-point rotary milking parlour" she tells David, then starts banging on about how 'large scale and low input' could be the future for Brookfield. Like the mega-dairy, maybe? David listens to the business lecture and then decides to utilise his daughter's new-found expertise by sending her in to make him a coffee.
Caroline is on the mend and exhibiting a control freak mentality, unable to believe that Oliver and Lynda and the rest of the staff are capable of running Grey Gables without her. Or maybe she's afraid they can cope all too easily. She and Oliver have a confrontation over her over-working and Caroline refuses to get a manager in. Oliver comes home laden with travel brochures and tells her the least he will accept is her taking a proper holiday for a month. 15 seconds later, he has reduced this to three weeks and I suspect that by the end of next week, this will have come down to a picnic on Lakey Hill. If they do go away for any length of time, I smell another Ambridge Extra story brewing.
Martyn Gibson continues to get on Kathy's (and our) nerves at the golf club. His latest brainwave is to serve smaller food portions. Honestly, one minute we are told what a shrewd businessman he is, then he comes up with an idea like that.
But let us return to Rob and Helen and the paragraph I have been waiting all week to write. Tom invites Rob for a drink and, at The Bull. Tom says that sales of Ready Meals have picked up and Rob asks him if he is going to increase production, just as Tony walks in. Tony is very anti expansion at such an early time and is barely civil to Rob. Tony then rushes home to tell Pat that "Tom was hanging on to Rob's every word" and "Who does Rob think he is, sticking his nose into this family's business?" Pat agrees, saying: "Absolutely – and not just with Tom either", to which I would add: "Too right – and not just his nose either!"