Trevor Harrison (Eddie Grundy)
You know that you have hit rock bottom when Eddie Grundy starts giving you lifestyle advice and that's what happened to Darrell last week. Eddie stopped Darrell thieving the Poppy Appeal collection tin and has a heart to heart with him, telling him that he once lost everything; home, farm, animals, the lot. Eddie tells Darrell that he has to learn to live on his Jobseekers benefit, upon which Darrell admits that he isn't getting benefits any longer as he didn't turn up for his interview at the Job Centre. Feeling sorry for him, Eddie gives Darrell £10, telling him to "try and get yourself sorted."
Darrell obviously thought he said 'snorted' instead of 'sorted' and spends the money on drink. Not only that but he goes back to the Stables, as happy as a newt, singing and waving his arms about, spooking a horse called Otis, which runs off. Shula and Alistair are deeply unimpressed and Alistair describes Darrell as "a complete liability" and says "we can't trust him round the horses."
A day or two later, Shula confronts Darrell, who has bought her a Chocolate Orange to apologise (he borrowed £3 off Vicky). Shula lays it on the line, telling him that the Stables is her work environment and "safety is paramount". "Like a building site" says Darrell, eagerly. No Darrell, there aren't any horses on a building site. Darrell confesses to Shula about his loss of benefits and the fact that he never went to see the doctor or went to the Job Centre, even though Shula drove him into town specially. She leaves him to see to her guests (Oliver and Caroline) and the episode ends with Darrell sobbing.
Elsewhere, we were introduced to Jess, Rob's wife. Kenton was a touch embarrassed when he offered her one of his special Hallowe'en cocktails, reflecting afterwards that a drink called 'corpse reviver' isn't the best thing to suggest for a woman who has just lost her father. It's unusual for Kenton to exhibit such sensitivity – perhaps his imminent marriage has changed him for the better.
The marriage took place on Friday at Lower Loxley and Kenton's ex-wife Mel and daughter Meriel turned up from New Zealand at the beginning of the week. The day before the wedding, Kathy was talking to Pat in The Bull and the subject was Mel. Kathy said: "Jolene has had two men off me – it's only fitting that Mel will be there when Jolene walks up the aisle." Oooh! A saucer of milk over here for Kathy, please!
The wedding goes smoothly enough – Fallon's Best Woman speech goes down well, as does Jamie's efforts as Best Man. Jamie's speech contains all the embarrassing stories and insults that we were expecting. For example: "Kenton is only interested in one thing – but he's so old, he can't remember what it is." Jolene thinks that Meriel is developing a crush on Jamie and urges him to dance with her. Is it really wise to encourage a relationship between two people who live on opposite sides of the world, I ask myself?
Bad news for Ed Grundy and Mike, when Alistair comes back with the results of the tests on the cows – three of Vicky's heifers will have to be culled because of the neospora infection. Ed is incensed and, because one of the ways that it can be transmitted is through dog faeces, he becomes paranoid about canines. So much so that he seeks out Oliver for reassurance that the hunt pack will not come on his land. Oliver gives him his word.
Life goes on in the village, with Emma still looking for recipes. Rooooth says she'll get her Mum's recipe for Singin' Hinnies (I didn't know what they were either), but Joe's suggestions of past favourites such as 'Pig Trotter Pie' and 'Tripe and Onions' are deemed unsuitable. Speaking of Joe, he continues to be morose, but Nic manages to cheer him up by showing him young Poppy. Jim happens to mention what a good job Nic has done in cheering up Joe – unfortunately he says it to Emma, whose nose is once again put out of joint.
Kirsty continues to demonstrate disturbing signs of mental instability – first of all she is actually pleased to have been offered the role of Maid Marian in the panto. The way things are going with the casting, she'll probably also end up playing Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck and the Sheriff of Nottingham. However, the final proof of Kirsty's madness is revealed when Tom rings Pat to say "Hi mum, have I got some great news for you!" Great news? Is he emigrating? Going into a monastery? Quite the reverse, as he says that Kirsty is moving in with him. Kirsty, think on I beg you, it's not too late; there are drugs available, or counselling – we can help you to avoid a bleak, soulless, empty future dominated by endless conversations about sausages and Ready Meals.