Barry Farrimond (Ed Grundy)
Ed and Emma's plans to buy George a puppy for Christmas went nads up when they drove to the farm where the litter had been born, only to be told that they couldn't choose one before New Year, as the farmer had promised another family first pick of the litter and they were abroad till early 2014. Presumably they are farmers as well, as they seem to be the only people who can afford foreign holidays.
One wonders how closely Ed and Emma have consulted Neil and Susan (with whom they are living) about the puppy plan, as later in the week, Susan talks to Helen and says how down Ed is about the whole thing but, if it wasn't for George she (Susan) wouldn't have a puppy in the house anyway. Yes, I foresee tension when the puppy arrives at house-proud Susan's des res. Perhaps all will be resolved if they get the puppy and Will shoots it – we wait to see.
Ed finds Darrell in the cider shack (amazingly, he hasn't drunk their stock for the year) and Eddie shows his caring side by saying to his son that "Darrell is our responsibility now" and lets him stay in the hut. Not only that, but later in the week, Eddie brings Darrell eggs and bacon for breakfast and some old jumpers of Joe's (he quickly tells Darrell that they have been washed). And good for you Eddie – you've gone up in my estimation.
Even better, Eddie cajoles Darren to accompany him in the van when selling turkeys and Darrell – who was reluctant to even leave the hut until Eddie tells him he won't take 'no' for an answer – scales the heights of making up for the satnav's failures and even giving a turkey to a customer and taking money and giving change. However, Eddie pushes it a bit too far when he persuades Darrell to drop in on Rosa and mend a few fences with his daughter. He agrees, but it ends badly when she calls him 'smelly' and 'tramp' and 'thief'. OK Rosa, but apart from that? Well, plenty, really, as she accuses him of being "disgusting" and "you're shaming all of us." Showing a bit of spirit, Darrell hits back, saying: "You're still my daughter, whether you like it or not." Rosa's seasonal reply to this is "You know what Dad, whether you like it or not, I wish you were dead." Sharper than a serpent's tooth, indeed.
What to think about the relationship between Jess and Rob? The 'if you can get here and live within 100 miles of Ambridge' party arranged by Jennifer for Jess and Rob – well, for Jess; Rob would rather stick pins in his eyes but he's been presented with a fait accompli – is arranged for Thursday. Even worse, Jess has decided to get Ambridge Organics to supply the food. Even worse than worse, when Helen and Kirsty turn up with the food on the night, Jess asks them if they'd mind serving it to her guests? The woman is either totally innocent or a sadist on par with Torquemada if she knows what's been going on.
Suffice it to say that the party does not go with a swing and Helen and Kirsty take the earliest opportunity to make an excuse and leave. Rob and Jess bicker when it's finished (no-one had Jess's salmon, even though she had borrowed Jennifer's fish kettle) and it fell on the floor. Rob tells his wife: "Your party, your salmon, your mess" and he goes upstairs with a large whisky, telling her not to follow him. The frosty atmosphere didn't pass unnoticed, even by Susan, who didn't even go to the party, and she prattles on to Helen about how Jess seems to be "a bit of a cold fish" and how nice Rob is.
The same day, Rob turns up at Ambridge Organics and apologises profusely to Helen about the hard time she must have had at the party. Rob says it was the most ghastly night he's ever spent since coming to Ambridge and he blames Jess for being in a foul mood and blaming him for the "whole sorry mess." He also thanks Helen for being so nice (the conversation is very formal) and says "I don't deserve it." The jury's out as to whether Rob is a nice bloke with a manipulative wife or she is a nice person with a cheating dirtbag of a husband – if Helen believes the former, I can foresee a New Year of adultery, deceit, lies and jewellery making.
Our worst fears were realised when Leonie – who has been moping around at Ambridge Hall and being generally like a wet weekend - let slip to Lynda that she's pregnant and that James doesn't know. Let's be honest – if James did know, he probably wouldn't know how it happened. Lynda was all concern, but there was a glimmer of hope for us listeners, when Leonie replied: "To be honest, Lynda, I'm not even sure that I'm going to have this baby." Anybody know how you get one of those e-petitions up and running? Mind you, the site would probably crash within minutes.
Finally, to all our readers: have a good Christmas and it's probably best to keep away from any meeting involving Will and Ed Grundy!