Caroline and Oliver's friend Ray finally took over at Grey Gables after Oliver managed to prise Caroline's hand off the door handle by breaking her fingers and dragged her off to Lake Garda. Ray is shown around by Lynda and he exhibits distinct Martyn Gibson tendencies when he eats a chocolate from the beverage tray – I'm sorry, 'hospitality basket' - sprawls on the bed in the main suite (with his shoes on), has a drink in the bar and takes Lynda for lunch, all without paying. Is the man Martyn Gibson in disguise?
However, unlike Martyn, Ray has people skills and soon has Lynda eating out of his hand, as Caroline tells Oliver. Everyone seems so happy at the transfer of power that you just know it's all going to go nads up before long. If it does and there is a crisis while Oliver and Caroline are away, then make the most of Lake Garda Oliver, because your chances of getting her away for another holiday will be zilch.
At the golf club, Kathy's cup of misery continues to run over when Lee, the Professional, tells her that the annual party for the divot repairers, to be held in two days' time, has morphed from a few sandwiches and a scotch egg to a full-blown buffet with a whole salmon. Martyn hasn't mentioned this to Kathy and, when he says that he thinks Martyn is doing a good job and casually mentions that he is thinking of adding another assistant greenkeeper to the staff, he is treading on dangerous ground. He continues to live dangerously and, when Kathy complains that she hasn't got the staff to service such an event, he is a hair's breadth from death when he replies "How hard can it be to throw a buffet together?" While we are on the subject, what's all this divot repairing business? I was always taught that golfers should replace their own divots.
Later on in the week, Martyn confirms that his knowledge of cows is on a level with his man-management skills when he visits the mega-dairy and complains that there are only two lorry loads of cows in situ and where will the profits come from? Brian tells him to go and have a look at the rotary milker. "That's that big round thing" Brian adds helpfully, adding to Rob "He doesn't know one end of a cow from the other."
Actually, Martyn was lucky that there were any cows there at all, as the transporter broke down near Frankfurt. Brian is incandescent and has a go at Rob for not sorting things out, which is a tad unfair, as he's in Borsetshire. However, it's an ill-wind, as it gives him and Helen the chance of an additional night's passion. Helen has bought a necklace (as predicted in last week's blog) and shows it to Pat, who immediately falls in love with it and tells Helen that she could have a second career as a jewellery maker. I can't help thinking that, whenthe truth comes out and all is revealed, Pat and Tony are going to have one or two things to say about how they have been deceived, lied to and used by their daughter.
Shula's volunteering at the Elms homeless hostel seems to be taking up more of her time and she comes across Darrell, who has been sleeping in the park, and arranges a bed for him. I feel sorry for Darrell and I hope things come good for him soon. We also learn that the man who shot Neil in the shoulder went down for eight years.
On Thursday we had a lesson on how difficult it is to get brownie points and how easy it is to lose them. It is the day of Alan and Usha's fifth wedding anniversary and Alan is in the shop, buying ingredients for a slap-up meal. He also says that he wants some flowers and Shula admonishes him, saying that flowers from the village shop are only one step up from flowers from a petrol station. Later on we hear Alan saying "She'll love these" as he gathers flowers from their garden. He's spot on, but unfortunately she loves them so much that they were being nurtured as her entry in the Flower & Produce Show. Oops!
Actually, I wonder if Rooooth isn't playing a lone hand behind the scenes – consider, two of her rivals in the rose category are now history with Usha and Jennifer both having nothing to exhibit. Keep an eye on our fake Geordie to see if she's skulking around with weedkilleror a pair of secateurs.
Tom's ambitions had a bit of a dent when Bellinghams tell him that they are ending the Ready Meals promotion early. Tom has gone ahead and upped production and he is worried that he might be left with a shedload of stock. He pours his heart out to Kirsty (who I can only assume does work for the Samaritans for light relief) and again, they seem to becoming worryingly close.
Finally, we said goodbye to Pip. Well, not goodbye, as she might be back from Yorkshire once a month. Rooooth and David made up a box of goodies for her, which the large forklift managed to get in the car after a struggle. Pip said "Sorry for all the times I've been a pain". Don't be silly; there's not that much sorriness (to coin a phrase) in the Universe. We also learned that Pip and Spencer must be conjoined twins, as Pip drives off (hooray!) and a tearful Rooth says, in a faltering voice, "I just hope that they survive the separation."