Anna Piper (Rosa Makepeace)
New Year's Eve was a time of reconciliation all round at The Bull – Rosa starts talking to her Dad again and Rob and Helen saw the New Year in with a bang. Well, with several bangs actually, as Rob was looking tired on the New Year's Day shoot. Jennifer tells him that she's not surprised "because you've been hard at it." Never said a truer word Jen.
But first of all Rosa and Darrell's story. Originally the plan was to get Rosa to come to Keeper's, where she would find Darrell. He (unaware of the cunning plan) wasn't keen and wanted to stay in his shed. Then it all changed and Eddie decided they should go down to the pub, where he knew Rosa would be. Darrell is even less keen, but Eddie gets him in a headlock and marches him to The Bull.
While there, he spots Rosa in another bar and Eddie urges him to make contact. He wishes her 'Happy New Year' and gets set to leave. "Don't go" says Rosa, and they hug. Later on, Rosa tells Tom and Kirsty that she's glad her and her Dad are talking again. So what has all the drama and aggravation of the past few weeks been about, not to mention the waste of petrol?
Just before midnight, Helen slips out and meets Rob. They kiss and he calls himself all kinds of names for being an idiot and treating her so badly. "Come back to mine – come back to me Helen" he pants and she does. Game back on.
Taking the 'Getting back together' theme to new heights of tenuousness, Jill is reunited with her car when she decides to drive the short distance to Peggy's. Bad move! On the way she nearly mows down Eddie, Joe and Bartleby, prompting an incensed Eddie to call at Brookfield and demand that they stop Jill driving before there's a serious accident.
Jill is distraught and being fed tea and comfort from Peggy. Practical as ever, Peggy reminds her that "a simple operation could give you back your vision." "I should be comforting you" wails Jill.
And the reason Jill should be offering solace to Peggy is that Jack Woolley slipped peacefully away during Wednesday night. Peggy had spent much of the day with him (it was the day of their 23rd Wedding Anniversary) giving us a running commentary on their wedding, as they (or, rather, she – Jack's memory has been long gone) reminisced about the day. Not terrific radio, but quite touching. Actually, Peggy's had quite a hard life; her first husband (also Jack) was a complete lush and when they bought the pub, which, in hindsight, perhaps wasn't the best move to make, she ended up running it virtually single-handed. Then Jack died and Jack Woolley (who was a long-time admirer of Peggy) came back on the scene. They married and were happy until Dementia began to take its toll and Jack had to move into The Laurels nursing home.
Peggy tells Jill that she hopes she made Jack happy and she feels so lucky to have been given that second chance. "It's the happy memories that see you through" says Jill. "I lost Jack a long time ago" Peggy replies. Jill asks if she should stay, but Peggy tells her to go (Kenton picks her up). As they leave, Peggy tells her cats that, although people mean well, it makes it difficult to get time on her own, which is what she really wants. The last sound of the week was Peggy playing a scratchy version of 'Love is the sweetest thing' and saying "Goodbye Jack, my love".
Jack's demise threw a spanner in the works of Helen and Rob's plans to come clean to the family. Thursday is Henry's birthday and Pat, Helen and Tom are in the kitchen, making a dinosaur-shaped cake. The plan was for Helen to tell the family that she, Rob and Henry are going to live together and then Rob was due to arrive, offering moral support. It started off OK, with Helen saying "I've got something to tell you. Not now, after the party." Pat proves once again that she cannot understand long words like 'after' when she pipes up "can't you tell us now?" The party ends and Pat wants to know what the news is. Tony's not there and, before he can make an appearance, Lilian and Peggy turn up with news of Jack's death. Helen is anxious to get hold of Rob and put him off, but Pat tells her to go and sit with her Gran. Rob turns up, expecting to be castigated and possibly castrated, when Helen butts in with the sad news. Fortunately, Rob has brought a present for Henry (a toy farm set and not a 500 stall milking parlour in sight) and he tactfully leaves. Later he and Helen agree that their box of matches has been temporarily urinated upon and their news will have to wait till after the funeral.
Finally, we had a glimpse (sadly) of things to come with Leonie's baby when it arrives. Lilian was in depression at the thought of becoming a Grandmother and has to be persuaded by Matt that further plastic surgery isn't necessary. Meanwhile, when Lilian tells Lynda that she's nipping out for a fag, Lynda says that she hopes she won't smoke near the baby, nor near Leonie during pregnancy. Lynda then says that she learned a lot when Flat Leaf Parsley and Oscar were staying with them. "At least Robert and I know our way round a breast pump" Lynda tells Lilian, smugly. I suppose we all need a hobby.