Sunday, 4 May 2014

Family Values

David Troughton (Tony Archer)

When you are down, feeling that the whole world is against you, then that’s when you need the support of your closest relatives. Might I suggest that, if you are in such a situation, you fall to your knees and thank God that your father is not Tony Archer as, not only would you not get support, but you’d get a tirade of abuse, pointing out how it is all manifestly your fault. Of course, you could argue that it is all Tom’s fault, but he probably doesn’t need to hear that right now.

I thought that, if Rob did the dirty on Helen, then the chorus of ‘we told you so’ from Pat would be overwhelming, but that pales into insignificance when compared to the job Tony did on Tom.

Before we go any further, let me say that this week’s blog is being written on Thursday evening, as it’s holiday time (I’m actually in Costa Rica with Kirsty, but that’s our secret) and so if anything momentous happens on Friday, I just hope that Neil will add a paragraph. Also, the following week’s blog will be late, but please bear with me.

Let’s get Tom’s story out of the way. He has become a hermit and tells his mum not to visit when she phones. Peggy, however, is made of sterner stuff and turns up at the door. I don’t think she actually kicks it in, but Tom lets her in. The place is a mess (that Kirsty going off to Costa Rica - has she no consideration?) but at least Tom has been eating - he says Roy has been practically force feeding him. I hope they were Ready Meals.

Peggy tells Tom that he needs his family. “After what Dad said?” Tom asks and Peggy replies “Your dad has a trick of saying things that hit home.” This is a reference to earlier in the week, when Tony decides to go and see Peggy and tell her that the Tom situation is partly down to her, because she left him her money and his future is all mapped out etc. Attaboy Tony! That’s the way to get yourself back in the Will (not).

Later on in the week, Pat takes a leaf out of Peggy’s book and doorsteps Tom. They talk and she takes him back to Bridge Farm. While Tom is in the kitchen, making tea, Pat asks Tony to go and have a talk with his son, telling him how Tom has felt that he was always a replacement for John. She also says how thin he’s looking. What? It’s only a week since the non-wedding and what about all the force feeding by Roy? Good old Tony goes in, shooting straight from the lip, accusing Tom of giving his mother even more to worry about and he’s never heard such a load of self-serving drivel and how dare he try to blame him and Pat? He also implies that Tom isn’t fit to lace John’s boots and, when Tom protests that John was no angel in dumping Hayley, Tony replies that he didn’t do it at the altar in front of 150 people. Tom mentions Sharon, and Tony as good as calls her a slag - the love affair with Rich doesn’t seem to have lasted very long, does it? Pat comes in - and, let’s be honest, she really shouldn’t have left Tony alone with Tom - and asks brightly “Is that tea made?” just in time to hear Tom saying “I won’t be staying” and leaving. “What the hell is going on?” she asks. Over to you, Tony. Actually, when you think about it, it’s no mean feat to alienate your son, your mother and your wife all in a couple of days. Presumably he will get on Helen’s nerves on Friday - you’ll have to let me know.

So, what else has been happening? Eddie is worries that he cannot think of anything to do for Clarrie’s 60th (12th May - all presents gratefully received and probably opened by Joe) and wonders how he can possibly top last year’s extravaganza, when they brought the seaside to Ambridge. How about buying her a card, or doing the washing up for a week? On second thoughts, the shock would probably kill her.

He asks Susan and Emma for ideas and, when they can’t think of anything, he says that he’ll ask Nic. Quick as a flash, Emma says “No need - we’ll think of something” and the idea that they come up with is a 1970s-themed party. Great idea for someone born in 1954, although Eddie reveals that Clarrie was really into glam rock “Before I converted her to Country and Western”. In my book, that’s another reason to poison his tea.

We had Shula and Daniel going shopping for his Sandhurst supplies and her worry seems to have changed from him getting himself blown up to whether the ironing board will be high enough for him. It’s tough in today’s army. Both Shula and, later on, Jennifer, remark on how much he looks like his late father Mark and I reckon there’ll be tears when he goes off to Sandhurst.

Meanwhile, Adam is working 25 hours a day, as Brian is bed-ridden with sciatica and Geoff doesn’t fancy 12-hour shifts. Charlie comes within an ace of death when he berates Adam for not getting the drilling done and I feel an altercation coming on.

Finally we have the Aga saga of Jennifer’s new kitchen. It appears that the work cannot be done until the builders have stripped the walls, or demolished the house, or something and Jennifer is stuck with her old one, She offered her existing units to Susan, who was mightily offended, saying “We don’t need your cast-offs.” Take that!

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