Heather Bell (Clarrie Grundy)
Last week saw Clarrie’s 60th birthday party and everyone seemed to turn up - even Tony, who came as John Travolta, although Joe (Clint Eastwood) didn’t recognise who he was supposed to be. David was Marc Bolan, complete with glitter, and a good time was had by all, especially Clarrie. Two days earlier, at birthday meal, Clarrie was feeling despondent when she looked back on her life. Or maybe it was because she was having to watch Eddie eat.
Eddie wanted his wife to know how special she was and began crooning ‘She’ by Charles Aznavour. Clarrie was overcome and I must say that it affected me somewhat too, but fortunately we didn’t hear the whole song. Eddie asked Clarrie whether, when she was younger, if she’d been able to see the future, would she have been disappointed? Clarrie’s response was “No, I must be the luckiest woman in the whole wide world.” Let’s stop and think here - Clarrie is married to Eddie, who isn’t what you’d describe as a new man, and, of her two sons, Ed is living with mega-whinger Emma and Will is someone who you’d never get tired of kicking. And this makes her the luckiest woman in the world? Other women of the world, I weep for you.
The person who featured most strongly in last week’s episode was Tom, who didn’t even appear. We learned later in the week that he was in Wales and, wherever he was, his ears must have been burning as people heaped abuse on him. Most of the invective came from Pat and Tony, who are working all the hours God sends to keep all the plates spinning. Tony has been telling sausage customers that Tom is away on honeymoon and will be back soon. To make matters worse, at the end of the week, Bridge Farm is being inspected by the Organic Society (or similar) and Pat and Tony (and Helen, with Ambridge Organics) are frantically trying to tie up loose ends and track down paperwork. Tony has been ringing Tom, with no luck, and Pat tells him to stop, as he’s putting pressure on Tom. “What about the pressure on us?” Tony screams.
As it turns out, the Inspector (Lindsey) finds an open non-organic feed bag. Shock, horror! Pat tells her the whole story about Tom, but if she’s hoping for sympathy, she’s in for a disappointment, as Lindsey says she will have to recommend cessation of organic status for the pig operation. As she leaves, Tony and Pat wonder whether the whole farm will lose its organic status. Tony rants “In Lindsey’s eyes, we can’t be trusted now - what the hell was he thinking, Pat?” If I were Tom, I wouldn’t bother coming home just yet.
Going back to Clarrie’s party, Maurice was telling Tony that what Tom should have done was to go through with the marriage and then give up on it after a few days or weeks. Somehow I don’t think that a directorship is being kept open for Maurice at Relate.
Kirsty is back from honeymoon and she goes to see Helen at Ambridge Organics. Rather optimistically, Helen tells her to take as much time as she likes before coming back to work and Kirsty tells her in no uncertain terms that she’s only come back for her back wages and to collect a few things. “I’ll never come back here again” says Kirsty, as she storms out.
Next day sees Kirsty burning her bridges - literally, as she and Alice go to the house that Kirsty shared with Tom and cleans it out of everything that reminds Kirsty of their time together. Kirsty tells Alice to sell the wedding dresses online and she burns a stack of old photos and some clothes, as well as deleting all photos and Tom’s contact details from her phone. The smoke from the conflagration attracts Jill who, when she realises what’s happening, tells Kirsty how sorry she is. Kirsty, who has found the obliteration of her previous life a cathartic experience, tells her not to be, as Kirsty isn’t feeling sorry, adding: “I’ve finished with Ambridge - I’m leaving here and never coming back.” Why can’t Tom take that attitude?
Charlie Thomas continues to make his presence felt - he told Rob off for being late and wasn’t impressed when Rob said it was because he had to take Henry to playschool. Charlie says that yields are down and he notices that costs have been increasing. “Perhaps it’s time to start upping your game, Rob” Charlie says, ominously. Rob’s version of the meeting, as told to Helen, was that he told Charlie in no uncertain terms that family comes first. What a fibber!
Charlie also joins Adam on the tractor and tells him that he’s doing a good job. They talk and it turns out that Charlie is interested in cricket, which surprises Adam. Charlie rather cryptically remarks that there’s a lot that he (Adam) doesn’t know about him (Charlie). Adam tells him about the single wicket competition, but Charlie declines the chance to take part. Later on, talking to Brian, Adam remarks that at least Charlie is hands-on, rather than being chained to a desk. “You’ve changed your tune” says a surprised Brian.
There was some good news as we learned that it looks like the Midnight Walkers won’t be reforming - the drummer has joined a Danish Thrash Metal band and the rhythm guitarist has been arrested for smuggling geckos.
We had riveting radio when Jennifer was showing Brian a colour swatch of off-white colours, but my favourite moment was when Roy, who has persuaded Elizabeth to attend a music festival, tells her that it involves two days of camping. The contempt in Lizzie’s voice when she said “No thanks” couldn’t have been bettered; two days under canvas with the hired help - what was the man thinking of?