Carole Boyd (Lynda Snell)
No, not Christmas itself, but the annual Lynda Snell blockbuster seasonal extravaganza. Normally I start reaching for the sleeping pills and checking that the Will is up to date around the start of November, but this year promises to break all records as we have already had the first meeting of the steering committee and the first disagreements.
Lynda's plan is to have somebody reading from Jane Austen. If this were not riveting enough, there will also be period food and dancing and fancy dress, including a 'best decorated bonnet' competition. I don't think I can stand the excitement and Kenton invites Lynda's wrath when he suggests it all sounds a bit dull.
Jill suggests doing a panto, but I have an even better idea; how about someone goes up to Lynda and says "Tell you what, why don't we just try one year without any entertainment? Think of the grief and pain you will save." And that's just the villagers, never mind the radio audience. We know what's going to happen – there'll be the usual "it will never work, it's a disaster" and "who can we possibly get to do this" storylines and it always turns into a triumph on the night. If we were to have a disaster just once, it might make people think twice before deciding to do a show next year. Just call me Ebenezer, folks.
Another dispiriting moment last week saw Tom and Kirsty declaring their love for each other. It was the night of Alice's party at Jaxx and Jazzer (who, inexplicably, seemed to have been invited) eyeing up anything in a skirt. Mind you, perhaps he thought the price of his lager (£4.95) included a hostess for the night. His attentions alarm Tom and Mr Romantic Bighead tells Kirsty "If you have to be anyone's girlfriend, it has to be mine." Instead of replying "I'd rather disembowel myself with a rusty spoon", or "I suppose this is instead of a custodial sentence?" Kirsty says "I love you Tom, I always have" and the evening ends with Kirsty being carried away, screaming, by men in white coats. Actually it ended with Tom saying "That's good, because I love you too Kirsty." I suppose we should think ourselves lucky that he didn't add "almost as much as I love sausages and Ready Meals". Whatever, it didn't take him long to get over Brenda, did it?
While on the subject of downers, we had the return of Tracy to the airwaves. Susan's 50th birthday is coming up and sister Tracy has the bright idea of combing Susan's address book for names of friends to invite. The trouble is, most of them appear to be people she met in prison and Susan isn't best pleased. You'd have thought that Tracy might have become suspicious when she saw names like 'Fingers O'Toole' and 'Razor Eddie McGuirk' but then she never was the brightest firefly in the garden.
Darrell had a mixed week – on the debit side, he went to see Rosa and she bad-mouthed him, calling him a smelly, embarrassing failure and she never wanted to see him again. So, no Father's Day card next year, Rosa? Darrell also nearly got slung out of the pub when he went off on one, believing that Ed, Oliver and Kenton, who were having a good laugh because Ed was telling them about their cow, Poppy, who used to paint pictures, were laughing at him. Darrell goes for them verbally and storms out, knocking over a table.
On the credit side, at least Darrell knows he hasn't got to bother about getting Rosa a Christmas present, plus he got a couple of good feeds, with Alan giving him some of the stuff donated for Harvest Festival, plus a rucksack and sleeping bag and Shula feeding him bacon and telling him that her offer of a bed still stands, if he's interested. Even more of a plus for Darrell – nobody beat him up this week.
Kenton is getting concerned as there is still no decision on where the stag night is to be held. Tactful and sensitive as ever, Kenton mentions this to Jill in the shop in front of Kathy as well as asking Jill if she's done the wedding cake(s) yet. While on the subject of Kathy, how long will it be before someone realises that Kathy (good experience in catering and management and who is always at Grey Gables) might just be the answer to Oliver's pleas to Caroline to get a manager in? Just a thought.
Joe continues to be morose and Clarrie is obviously listening to a different Archers, as she says "I'd give my eye teeth to have rude, cantankerous Joe back." What does she mean 'back'? As far as I can see, he's the same miserable sod as ever – admittedly less mobile and harping on a bit about his own mortality, but still not someone you'd want to be stuck in a lift with – at least not unless you had a gun.
Midweek saw the (sudden) birth of Poppy Grundy – I have nothing against Nic, but it does mean that there are more of Will Grundy's genes in the pool, which can only be bad. Clarrie revealed that Will was a really ugly baby, which surely surprised nobody. Actually, we had evidence that Poppy might well turn out to be a gifted child prodigy as, when Will picked her up, she immediately started crying. Such taste and discernment in one so young!