Charlotte Martin (Susan Carter)
It was Susan Carter's 50th birthday party this week and we can only assume that there weren't many females there, as Neil, when talking to Darrell later in the week, said that Susan "was the belle of the ball". Mind you, Darrell reminded Neil that he (Neil) had known Susan for more than half his life – let's face it, you don't get that for murder, do you?
A good time was had by all, especially Tracy, who said "I'm young, free, single, and I want to mingle". Let's analyse that shall we? 'Young' – compared with Joe Grundy, yes. 'Free' – presumably she doesn't charge. 'Single' – is Tracy divorced? 'I want to mingle' – I've never heard it called that before. Neil spent most of the evening trying to give Susan her special present of a locket and he eventually cornered her. "It's like you" he said, handing it to her. What? Dense yet shallow, did he mean? No. "Solid gold" he breathed, thereby inducing nausea in millions of listeners.
One good thing about the party – Joe didn't attend, which must have made it go with a swing. He was his usual miserable self for most of the week, only brightening up when Jim took him down to the orchard and he witters on about how he planted this tree or that fifty years ago. On the subject of Joe, Jolene is the latest inhabitant of the village to have seemingly forgotten what a miserable old sourpuss Joe is when she says "I hope the old Joe is back sooner rather than later." Why? It can't be for the money, as the mean old sod invariably gets someone else to buy him a drink.
There was a despair-inducing moment for the audience, when Lynda casually revealed that she would be holding auditions for Robin Hood later in the week. It's at times like this when I feel Scrooge was a much-misunderstood person and I really wish Lynda would go away for Christmas; in fact, I wish she'd go away for Autumn, or for ever, come to that.
Bad news for Ed Grundy, as he has had two cows abort their calves within days. Apparently they are among those owned by Vicky and the cause is a mystery, although one suspects that it could be a reaction to Vicky talking to them. We await the results of the tests on the samples taken by Alistair. Elsewhere in the Grundy family, Eddie persuades Joe to reject Grey Gables' offer of £1,500 compensation for his accident. The way Eddie's luck runs, it's a fair bet that Joe will expire suddenly and no-one will get any money.
Someone who did expire was Rob Titchener's father-in-law, causing him to rush down to Hampshire. He returned midweek and contacted Helen, suggesting they meet up. Helen is just about to rip his clothes off when he tells her that the experience has brought him and his wife Jess closer together and he and Helen will have to call it a day. "I owe it to Jess and to our marriage to make it work" he says. Ha! He didn't think like that when he and Helen were indulging in marathon bonk-fests, did he? Helen is distraught and her mood is not improved when Rob comes into Ambridge Organics a couple of days later to check that she is all right. "Leave me alone Rob" she snaps. How quickly these women change!
From love's young nightmare to love's young dream – yes, Kirsty still hasn't come to her senses and is still with Tom. They are in bed on Friday morning and Tom says he can't believe it, waking up with her. I find it pretty incredible myself. Kirsty replies "I'm a lucky girl", which led me to think that Tom had just jumped out of the first floor window, but no – it's just her being love-struck. Later on, when Kirsty goes to work in the shop, Helen breaks down and tells her about Rob leaving her. To her credit, Kirsty doesn't say "I told you so" but blames herself for being so wrapped up with Tom.
At the stables, Darrell gets a phone call from Anna, his youngest daughter and, for some inexplicable reason, this makes him go awol for a couple of nights, sleeping in the park. When he returns, he goes to collect his tools from his friend and assures anyone who listens that this time he's really going to sort himself out. How true this is, we don't know, but things didn't get off to a good start when Shula suggested that they look for jobs online and he demurred, saying he'd only just come back and hadn't got his head together.
Over at Brookfield, we can safely assume that, if David has a favourite song, it isn't 'Who let the dogs out?' as he sees a dog worrying his ewes. He and Rooooth get there as soon as possible, but there is no sign of dogs or owners and he has to rescue some ewes from the river. Back home, Rooooth finds consolation in eating cakes made by Jill – trials to see if they are good enough for Emma's cookbook. That means that the cookbook will now contain two cake recipes and David's ragu sauce – a slim volume thus far.
David comes off the phone to the Police and tells Jill and Rooooth that letting dogs molest livestock is a criminal offence and the Police are taking it very seriously indeed. So the squad car is on its way? Well no – they're not taking it that seriously. "Did you tell them that we have notices all over the farm?" asks Rooooth, obviously forgetting that dogs can't read. Jill remembers that, earlier in the day, a couple came into the village shop with two dogs and she had to ask them to take the dogs outside. All she can remember is that they were a bit rude - presumably the owners rather than the dogs.