Sunday, 11 January 2015

Counting Their Chickens

Richard Attlee (Kenton Archer)

As we said a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people are going to be disappointed if the sale of Brookfield falls through, not least Kenton, who decided that the best way to jolt Jolene out of her post-Christmas blues was to surprise her with a trip to Australia. Not only that, but the tickets are business class. Jolene is thrilled, but what about the cost? Kenton has put it on his card and says “I’ll clear it when my windfall comes through”. That muffled clucking you hear comes from chickens inside eggs.

Shula and Alistair have plans for the Stables and the vet’s practice, but at least they haven’t spent anything yet and Pip is dragging her mum and dad round local farms, looking at robotic milking systems. Her thinking is that, when they move north, they can have a state-of-the-art milking parlour, funded by Justin Eliot’s millions. But all is not well, as it appears that the new farm has a nitrate problem and a new slurry tank (or something similar) will be needed. David has obtained a quote and it will cost £140 k. He thinks the vendors have been less than transparent and tells Rooooth that the vendors will have to drop the selling price. “I just hope it doesn’t scupper the deal” she says. You and lots of other Archers, Rooooth.

It was a week of birthdays, with Jennifer turning 70 on January 7th and Pat reaching 63 on the 10th. Jennifer threw a party and, surprisingly, we weren’t told how wonderful the new kitchen is. Phoebe made herself useful, serving food and drinks. Pat’s celebration was more low key; just her and Tony at the hospital. Tony has been measured up for crutches and is getting better slowly. He tells Pat that he remembers her telling him “You mustn’t leave me” when he was unconscious. Later on Pat has a party with her children, Rob and Johnny and she tells them how good it was to see Tony up and sitting in a chair.

If I were asked to name the most pretentious character, the clear winner (and holder of the title for a number of years) would be Lynda Snell. But no longer! Last week Lynda lost her title to Kate, who effortlessly spouted meaningless claptrap day after day. On Sunday, Kate moans because Phoebe won’t join her in meditation and tells Phoebe that she doesn’t have to do so much around the house. Phoebe says that she enjoys helping, but Kate says they should make time for each other and that she wants to guide her and help her find her path in life. Phoebe decides that right now the path is taking her to help Brian with the lambing and she leaves. Kate then tells Jennifer how good it is to be bonding with Phoebe again. “I can be her guide; both spiritually and emotionally. Not just mother to daughter, but woman to woman.” Jen’s response? “Mother and daughter wouldn’t be such a bad place to start, Kate”.

On Thursday, Kate takes Phoebe to lunch and gets stuck into the vegan wine. She reveals a bit of a chip on her shoulder when she says that Jennifer kept going on at her party about what a pity it was that Adam wasn’t there. Kate also thinks that Jennifer thinks more of Debbie and Alice than she does of her and “she doesn’t understand the journey I’m on.” The talk turns to Roy, and Phoebe says she always trusted him. Kate dismisses him as ‘a weak man’, saying “he always had an unbalanced spiritual core.” What a load of pretentious twaddle!

It would appear that Kate’s journey involves getting to the bottom of the bottle and Phoebe shows that she at least is level-headed and practical when she confiscates Kate’s car keys and orders a taxi for her because she has had too much to drink. Kate screams “I know my own limits!” and “Phoebe, how dare you!” Nothing like a bit of mother/daughter bonding, is there?

Ed and Emma discuss their wedding at St Stephen’s and he seems a tad reluctant. He protests that he loves her as much as ever but Emma senses that it is because she got married to Will in the same church and tells him that it has always been her dream to marry the man she loves at St Stephens. Regarding the cost, she says “We’ll do it as cheaply as we can, Ed, I promise” and that she doesn’t care if they have to have orange squash afterwards. If I’m invited, I might find that I’m unexpectedly washing my hair that day. Regarding the refreshments, Mike still appears to be losing customers, so why not offer the guests milk?

I fear that the Rob/Helen romance is heading for stormy waters. Rob is still keen to have a child and drops unsubtle hints about Henry being lonely, with no-one to play with. Helen, however, notices that December sales figures at Ambridge Organics weren’t very good and she goes to see Tina, the Manageress. Tina is adamant that it is not her fault and Helen decides that she might have to become a bit more involved in the running of the shop. We had another example of Rob’s controlling side when Helen told him about Ambridge Organics; he thinks that Tom has been making her feel guilty and suggests that, if something like this crops up again, perhaps she and him should talk it over before she seeks advice from anyone else. This is just a minor hiccup, however, compared with what happens on Friday. Rob is opening the post and bursts out “Bitch! She never knows when to stop!” Jess has named Rob as the father of her baby in a maternity order. A distraught Helen cries “But it’s not your baby - there must be some mistake, mustn’t there?” Let’s see you talk yourself out of this one, Rob.

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