Sunday, 15 December 2013

Just What You Don’t Want For Christmas

Jasmine Hyde (Leonie Snell)

If you’re the Snells, it’s Leonie coming back unexpectedly, but that’s what has happened. She turned up, moaning about James’s juvenile behaviour - she was trying to organise a ‘sophisticated’ fancy dress party and James just arsed around with a tea towel on his head. Apparently this is symptomatic of his behaviour and was the last straw, so she hot-footed it to Ambridge and inflicted herself on her Dad and Stepmother, not to mention us.

Lynda is not impressed, as her attention is being taken up by the Robin Hood play and Robert has never been closer to death than when he told Leonie “This is your home as long as you need it.” Leonie doesn’t want James to know where she is and so we have Lynda playing out a ridiculous charade whenever Lilian asks her if she knows. And I fear we are in for even more tragic news; when Leonie and Lynda have a heart to heart, Leonie tells her that she’ll be 39 and “I don’t want to be on my own now that I’m…” “Middle aged?” Lynda completed for her. “Yes, that too” says Leonie and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought ‘she’s pregnant’, with a heavily sinking heart. Please God, let me be wrong!

At least Lynda has found herself a new leading man, with Tom’s acting of the proposal scene reducing her to tears. It made me weep too, but for different reasons. The scene obviously gave Tom ideas and he asked Peggy whether or not he should ask Kirsty to marry him? Peggy obviously has a grudge against Kirsty, as she tells Tom to seize the day and go for it.

Perhaps Tom should look at the Titcheners’ marriage as an example - Jess is really keen to live in Ambridge, but Rob tells her he’d rather live elsewhere. This all happens after Jennifer suggests that Jess and Rob throw a little ‘getting to know you’ party and Jess can leave the guest list to her. Of course, this being Jennifer, it means that everyone in Borsetshire is invited and Rob is unimpressed. This turns to real annoyance when Jess tells him that she has engaged Helen and Ambridge Organics to do the catering. Jess has noticed that there seems to be a bit of an atmosphere between her husband and Helen and puts this down to the latter’s dislike of intensive farming. Her party will, she hopes, help build bridges. Not likely, as Helen is already formulating excuses so that she cannot attend the party.

You will be delighted to know, or maybe you’re past caring, that Darrell was taken to hospital after his overdose and there are fears that he’s damaged his liver; presumably from alcohol, rather than the pain killers. As if he hasn’t suffered enough, Shula goes to see him in hospital and she is joined by Rosa, who eventually decides that she can’t face seeing her Dad in the state he is. She also says that he’s done this deliberately and it’s some sort of revenge. Rather twisted logic there, methinks.

Shula is pleased that Darrell will be seen by a psychiatrist and given the best of medical care. In practice, this means anti-depressants and a ‘pull yourself together’ approach. Darrell reacts by discharging himself, which was just as well, really, as Alistair and Daniel told Shula in no uncertain terms that there was no way that Darrell was coming back to The Stables.

At the end of the week, Jim and Jill are out shopping, with Jim doing a fair Ebenezer Scrooge impression, especially when Jill reads off her present-buying list. But wait! Who’s that singing along drunkenly with the carols? Yes, you’ve guessed it. Jim sees Darrell pocket a purse without paying and confronts him. Darrell denies it and, when accused of being drunk, admits to having had a couple ‘to keep out the cold’. He moves away from Jim and we hear Darrell being confronted by either a security person or a copper. Jim expresses sympathy, but Jill is in her ‘and throw away the key’ mood and tells Jim that Darrell has come within a whisker “of damaging my daughter, your son and our grandson”. Old flinty-heart advises Jim to leave Darrell alone, presumably after knocking him down and giving him a good kicking. I really don’t know what’s going to happen with Darrell, but things aren’t looking good. Whatever it is that’s going to happen, I hope it happens soon, as the whole Darrell story is starting to drag somewhat.

As we approach the Festive Season, the feud between the Grundy brothers deepens. They both turn up on turkey-killing day and the atmosphere between them is of barely-veiled hostility, with Will telling Ed that George hates him (Ed). Clarrie demonstrates a truly amazing capacity for self-delusion when she says “Bless you both for agreeing to help. We’re gonna have a lovely day together.” Towards the end of the day, when the two brothers are within an ace of coming to blows, Clarrie comes in and says how pleased she is that they have put their differences behind them and she invites them for Christmas. Those rose-tinted spectacles really suit you, Clarrie.

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