Sunday, 21 September 2014

It Never Rains But…

Carole Boyd (Lynda Snell)

According to Radio 4, the first half of September was the driest since records began in 1960. Obviously they didn’t include Ambridge in this, as on Wednesday we had Lynda on the phone to Leonie (who was being a pain, as usual), telling her how lovely the marquee looks for Marmalade’s (or whatever the latest name is) naming ceremony. Fallon has done a wonderful job with the bunting and, with the chairs and tablecloths all set out, it looks a treat; white and pristine.

What could go wrong? Funny you should ask that, as there’s a terrific clap of thunder and a torrential downpour. Tony, Ed and Johnny, who were lifting spuds at Bridge Farm, abandoned their efforts and rush to help Lynda. The rain, however, is of biblical ferocity and Lynda wails that her garden is ruined, with flowers and plants either flattened or washed away. The marquee isn’t looking too hot either, as waves of muddy water flow through it, giving a brown tinge to everything.

Lynda is distraught, which is nothing to what she feels later when she discovers that, in her haste, she ran out from Ambridge Hall and left the front door open, which means that Marmaduke’s naming ceremony cannot be held indoors either. For once Lynda has no plan B and is in tears, saying that “I’ve let Leonie, Robert and Mungo down - Leonie will never forgive me.” Now, while it’s true that Leonie is a first-class whinger with a grip on reality that could charitably be described as ‘tenuous’, surely even she can’t hold her stepmother responsible for a sudden and unprecedented downpour? Anyway, I have a possible solution - given that everywhere is discoloured (Lynda describes the marquee as “looking like a camouflage tent”) why not take advantage of things and change the baby’s name yet again; this time to ‘Mud’?

Two birthday boys on Thursday, with David reaching 55; still a long way behind Joe, who keeps telling people that he’s 93 and expecting them to buy him a drink - he practically has his hand out when he talks to David and David gives him the price of a drink or two. If I were David, I’d say “It’s my birthday too, so let’s call it evens, shall we?” David, however, is more generous and doesn’t complain.

Uncharacteristically, Joe gives Ed some money, telling him to spend it on himself and not the kids. What’s the reason for this out of character generosity? All we know is that Joe tells Tony later “You can right some wrongs with a grandson - or at least you can try.” Ed is reluctant to take the money at first, but Joe persuades him. Ed is never what you could call well off and he was shocked earlier in the week when Tony tells him that, should Johnny take up the agricultural apprenticeship offer, he would take home £100 a week. Mind you, Sharon has yet to give permission for Johnny to stay at Brookfield, so let’s not count chickens just yet, although if she refuses, he’ll probably make her life hell.

There was an opportunity missed when, instead of sending Wayne down for life, the namby-pamby, bleeding heart liberal magistrate gave him 120 hours community service. A photographer takes his picture outside the court and he wants to know who it is. Fallon says it was probably the Echo, adding: “It’s hardly likely to be Rolling Stone, is it?” PC Burns also turns up and Fallon accuses him of coming to gloat. He explains that he is there to give evidence in another case and asks Fallon if she’s free for a drink sometime. Her reply - “Leave us alone” - would suggest not.

A few days later, Fallon is talking to Jolene and it transpires that a photograph of Wayne did appear in the paper, Wayne went on a bender, lost his job at the bakers and his girlfriend threw him out. Wayne blames it all on “your flatfoot boyfriend” and Fallon says that she’s going to text PCB and tell him there’s no future for them. Jolene is upset, saying that PCB is a nice man. Looks like it’s still off, lads and lasses. May I suggest that the doors to every unused room in The Bull are nailed up now - I for one will be very upset if they put Wayne up; if the magistrate had jailed him, he’d have somewhere to stay, wouldn’t he?

Roy confronts Elizabeth about his severance package and is miffed when she tells him that she has already given Geraldine (the recently-hired Deputy General Manager) greater responsibility but he can have an ex-gratia payment. “What am I, a gigolo? Why should I make this easy for you?” asks an incensed Roy. In what sounds like a veiled threat, Liz says that she doesn’t have a marriage to protect, nor her children’s respect to lose (she lost that ages ago). “Do you want to risk that?” She adds, somewhat sinisterly. I’d take the money and run if I were you, Roy.

Jennifer decides to give her children £5 k each from her inheritance from John Tregorran and she tells Adam. Adam is grateful, and informs his mother that Carol Tregorran enjoyed her time in Ambridge so much that she has decided to come back and live there, renting Glebe Cottage. Jennifer says that Carol “goes back a long way” and a lot of people might regret her coming back. “Will we be deafened by the rattling of skeletons in closets? Adam asks. One such skeleton might be if Carol asks Jennifer “can you explain why my husband should leave you £50k?”

Going back to Jennifer’s plan to give her children money, she generously - and some might say inexplicably - includes Ruairi in this. I’d be careful, Jen; if you give £5 k to all Brian’s love children, £50 k won’t be anything like enough.

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