Sara Coward (Caroline Sterling)
I hope that Caroline is enjoying herself at Lake Garda, because I reckon it will be her last-ever holiday – when she finds out what Ray Franklin has been doing to Grey Gables, she will go gorilla-pooh. Ray would be more at home in the heyday of Holiday Camps and it is probably only a matter of time before he arranges a knobbly knees contest. In vain does Lynda stress that Grey Gables' USP is its class and its customers are quite happy to eat in reverential silence.
To Ray, silence means that people aren't enjoying themselves and he comes up with half-baked ideas to "add a little sparkle". His cocktail night is woefully under-attended and 'woeful' is apparently a good description of his cocktail invention, the Paradise Sunset. Meanwhile, standards are going to pot and Kathy gets shirty with Lynda when she turns up for a swim, to find the changing rooms are a mess with dirty towels piling up. Lynda is all apologies and offers Kathy a free Paradise Sunset to compensate, which was cruel of her.
Ray's latest scheme is to hold a Mexican night, with people encouraged to come in fancy dress. Ray tells Ian, who is totally against the idea for two reasons; firstly Grey Gables is renowned for its high-end cuisine and secondly, they have people who have already booked and might not want to go Mexican. No problem – Ray says that they can be screened off by artificial foliage. Get back soon Caroline!
Everybody keeps saying how tired Kathy is looking and Brian is surprised to see her waiting on tables when he and Jennifer go to the Golf Club for lunch. The service isn't very good and, when Martyn asks him if he had experienced any problems, Brian is loyal to Kathy and says "no". Actually, when you think about it, he may have done Kathy a disservice – had he said "yes", Martyn might have rethought his strategy, but as it is he probably thinks things are going swimmingly.
Kirsty and Helen are busy, trying to make some jewellery for the Flower & Produce show and they're not making a very good job of it either. Come on girls, this isn't ever going to work, is it? It's very good of Kirsty to help, as she doesn't really approve of Helen's affair, telling her that she shouldn't let Rob spend so much time with Henry. Helen thinks everything's fine. It will all end in tears (and I hope they're Pat and Tony's).
Tony demonstrated his 'I told you so' nature when Tom tells him that Bellinghams have ended the promotional offer. Instead of offering him his support, Tony launches into a "this is exactly what we warned you about; taking Rob Titchener's advice instead of ours" speech. This is exactly what Tom needs to hear and he decides not to stay for a cuppa, presumably because he can't be doing with the earache. It gets worse; Tom tells Kirsty that he is having cash flow problems and could do with a £1,200 loan. Kirsty suggests that he asks Pat and Tony to help – myself, I reckon he'd rather crawl over broken glass, or circumcise himself with a rusty spoon.
Over at Brookfield, Rooooth and David are having trouble coping with the influx of newly-born calves and there is something of a crisis when Rooooth has a difficult birth to cope with. David goes off to find Alistair, but is out of luck, as he's off on another call. David returns to tell Rooooth that he has rung Rob to get help from his trainee vet students, whereupon she goes off on one, saying that he should have consulted her first. Do you want this cow to live, woman?
As it turns out, the student, Steph, is brilliant, saving both cow and calf. Rob came over too and he helps David on another difficult birth. Rooooth thanks both Steph and Rob, but I bet it stuck in her craw. I wonder if, when the mega-dairy is up and running, should there be a crisis, whether Rob can count on David and Rooooth to come and help?
Meanwhile, the decimation of the would-be entries in the 'roses' category continues apace; Jennifer and Usha have already fallen by the wayside and this week Lynda became the latest victim, when Constanza the llama ate her Peace roses. Going by Lynda's reaction, you'd have thought that the world had come to an end, or she had received notification of a terminal disease. As it is, the field is clearing for Rooooth to take the prize.
More and more people are getting worried about Darrell and Neil finds him sleeping rough in a bus shelter. Neil takes him home for a sandwich, but Darrell is embarrassed when Susan comes home and he leaves. Later on at the concert in St Stephen's, Neil talks to Shula and says how shocked Susan was at Darrell's appearance. Shula wonders whether or not there is any church money or grant that they could get Darrell to get him back on his feet? Well, there's around £15k in the organ fund for a start - that would give him a handy boost.