Sunday, 23 February 2014

See How You Like it Tom

Tom Graham (Tom Archer)

Ambridge's answer to Richard Branson and Alan Sugar got a dose of his own medicine last week and he didn't like it, immediately throwing his toys out of the pram. I refer of course to Tom ('Ready Meals') Archer, who had his nose put out of joint by his father.

It happened when a shedload of cows turned up at Bridge Farm and Tom tells the delivery man that they don't belong there. Wrong! Tony turns up and tells Tom and Pat that he has bought them and he's going into beef production. Tom is incensed because this is the first he's heard of it (and Pat too, incidentally) and he cannot believe that Tony could take such a step without consulting him. For 'consulting' read 'asking Tom's permission.'

Tony points out that he is still very much part of the farm and he's not the loser that Tom and Peggy seem to think. Oh and by the way, the expense of the outlay means he won't be able to contribute as much to the wedding as he previously thought. Tom is convinced his dad has lost it completely and is still angry at not being consulted. Let's just pause here and reflect – this is the same Tom who came up with the plan to sell the dairy cows, which he presented to his rather surprised parents. It is also the same Tom who wants to expand the number of pigs (he's had his eye on the barn which now houses Tony's cattle) – again this was presented as a fait accompli. It's the same Tom too who has grandiose plans to grow his own feed for the pigs on land freed up by getting rid of those pesky cows. Once again, Tony wasn't kept in the loop over this decision. Tom is really in no position to moan about not being consulted, but moan he does and, in a fit of pique, he rings up the marquee company and cancels the wedding marquee, saying "we're not having the reception on the farm any more." I bet he even stamped his little feet when he said it.

Tom isn't the only one who thinks that Tony's gone slightly mad, as David asked him if he was absolutely sure that he's doing the right thing? Indeed, the deal was concluded with almost indecent haste, from initial idea to delivery and this might be the only time that someone has impulse-bought a herd of Aberdeen Angus crosses.

Tony and David did their Noah impression when they rescued a flock of sheep from a farm 40-odd miles away, which was under water, and brought them to Brookfield. In fact, the weather was very much the topic of a number of conversations in Ambridge, as indeed it has been in real life.

It's because of the weather that Kenton is in the doghouse – almost literally, as Jolene won't let him in the bedroom. It wasn't really his week, as he moved Jolene's highly-prized stage outfits (and wasn't it horrible to hear Eddie reminiscing and leching over how skimpy they were) into the cellar. That wouldn't have been so bad, but Jolene asked him to clear the gutters and inspect the drains. He did the first, but not the second and the result was a flooded cellar and the closure of the pub. To say that Jolene was not amused is an understatement as she really let him know how pissed off she was and she cut off his conjugals – he was lucky that was all she cut off.

Before it closed, The Bull was the setting for a nice cameo between Brian, Jennifer and Clarrie. Jen had made some remark earlier about how some people can't deal with money (she still thought that Susan had won millions) and Clarrie decided to wind her up, telling her that Susan and Neil were thinking of buying Netherbourne Hall. Jen was surprised, as it's not on the market. "Everything has it's price" says Clarrie and Jen is getting more and more put out. Clarrie eventually cracks up, having just told Jen that George has had his name put down for Eton. "Your face was a real picture" Brian tells his wife, which she'll probably make him suffer for.

David and Rooooth are worried about how they can persuade Jill to come and stay at Brookfield for a couple of weeks. As it turns out, they are pushing at an open door, as Jill not only agrees, but packs her case in about three nano-seconds, barely giving David time to check that the chain in the Brookfield kitchen is the right length so that Jill will easily be able to reach the Aga, the fridge and the kitchen sink. If Jill is looking forward to a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation, I fear she is in for a bit of a shock. At least that will stop her walking in on David and Rooooth when they are getting amorous, as happened when they last all lived together.

The jury is still out on Rob's character – Helen confronts him and asks if he went to see Jess the other week. He says 'yes' but denies sleeping with her. He then says he didn't mention it because he wanted to protect Helen, as Jess had threatened to kill herself and he knew about Greg's suicide. Even more – Jess had tried to top herself some time earlier and he found her in time to save her life. Helen believes his story and they kiss. Rob realises now why Helen wanted a new bed. So what do we think – is he telling the truth or not? One thing's for sure – if it is a pack of lies, you've got to admire the speed with which he thinks on his feet under pressure.

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