Sunday, 19 January 2014

Witch Hazel

Annette Badland (Hazel Woolley)

From nowhere, Jack Woolley's daughter Hazel has moved effortlessly into first place in the 'person who you'd most like to give a good kicking to' category. What with her crocodile tears at Jack's funeral, her fleeting appearance at the wake before announcing that she has to leave (cue sound of cheering in the background) and her telling Peggy to be at the solicitor's in a couple of days time or else, the woman is a real charmer.

At the solicitor's, Hazel gets annoyed when Peggy and Toby (obviously old friends) are chatting about the family and Jack's funeral. "We all know what we're here for – let's get on with it" says Hazel and, when Toby begins by saying how complicated Jack's affairs are, Hazel cuts in with "Just tell us who gets what." Come on Hazel, don't beat about the bush – say what you mean.

Just when you hoped that Toby was going to say "Peggy gets the lot and you get nothing" we learned that Peggy gets the Lodge and some minority shares in his businesses and Hazel gets the rest. Toby tells her that she's going to be quite a wealthy woman, but 'quite' isn't enough for witch Hazel and she demands to know where the rest of Jack's estate is – where are the offshore accounts, the property abroad? She also accuses Toby of mismanaging Jack's affairs and takes her leave, telling Peggy in passing that, as Executor, Peggy should pull her finger out. But Hazel hasn't gone straight home – she's in the village "doing research". This consists of checking out Jack's property and things don't look good for the village community shop when Hazel says to Susan "Daddy let you rent this shop for practically nothing."  Changes will be on the way, I suspect.

Now I know that parents never stop worrying about their children, but someone should take Pat to one side and wrap copious amounts of gaffer tape round her gob before she alienates Helen totally. Early on in the week, Pat is quizzing Kirsty about Rob and the penny has dropped that Helen never really made the necklace that Pat likes so much and that it was to cover up the affair with Rob. "I'm right, aren't I?" Pat demands. Kirsty suggests that she talks to Helen about it.

Sadly, when Helen and her parents do talk, they are so aggressive towards Rob that it ends in an argument. Helen tells her mother that Rob isn't the scheming adulterer that Pat paints him and to cut him some slack. When Helen has left, Tony and Pat talk together and it seems that common sense might be prevailing when Tony says: "Maybe it's good for her to have a man in her life". Pat's having none of this namby-pamby attitude and spits back "It's not a man, it's Rob."

Pat's seemingly relentless urge to drive her daughter away continues when they talk later in the week – Pat hears Henry say something about there being biscuits "at Daddy's house" and she realises he means Rob's cottage. When Helen and Henry return, Pat wades in with all guns blazing and gob taking precedence over brain as she accuses Helen of not thinking about Henry and "Rob's not his father – suppose Rob disappears again?" Helen finally snaps and says that here she is, taking a big step in her life and it would have been nice to have had some support from her parents, ending with "What kind of mother are you?" My list of adjectives currently runs to three pages, but I'm sure you can formulate your own.

What Pat needs is for someone to sit her down and tell her to back off (this is after the application of gaffer tape) and, on Friday at the Wassail ceremony, the chance falls to Rob as he and Pat meet accidentally at the mulled cider tent. He tells Pat that Helen was very upset after the talk with Pat ("So was I" protests Pat) and "Can't we all pull together for her sake?" Pat says that Helen is very fragile and is surprised when Rob says he knows all about Greg's suicide and Helen's anorexia. Pat ends the conversation by telling Rob "If I find you've done anything to jeopardise Helen's health or happiness, believe me, you'll have me to answer to." Does this mean that a truce has been declared? Will Pat be able to bite her tongue and mind her own business? No, I don't think so either.

Puppy Holly went from zero to hero when she distributed the contents of a bin bag around the house. But wait! Susan spots an old lottery ticket and has won £4,500! Neil counsels not telling Tracy or Idiot Gary, or they'll have the lot. Susan is full of ideas for her dream holiday, but she does give Emma £500 to spend – perhaps they can get George some psychiatric help as he is now convinced that Ed is trying to poison Holly, having seen poisoned bait for rats lying around the farm. A short course of ECT and he'll be normal again – well, as normal as any child of Will can be.

After Jack's funeral, Kenton walks Jill back to Glebe Cottage. They hear a noise and realise that it was someone going out the back door. Sure enough, Jill has been burgled. Next day David arrives with PC Burns, who is very supportive. David says he can stay if Jill wants, but she tells him to go and, when he does, she bolts the door with a sigh worthy of Jamie in his pre-lumberjack days. Emma and Ed were talking about the burglary and she wonders if it could be Darrell, but Ed says he has an alibi, as he was at the stables, working on the conversion of the van into his des res. So who can the felon be? Speaking personally, I reckon that the police are even now beating a path to Clive Horrobin's door, notebook and handcuffs in hand.

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