Brian Hewlett and Charlotte Martin (Neil and Susan Carter)
It’s been a long time since we kicked off with a story about Neil and Susan, so here goes. Susan wants Neil to take her into town to shop for stuff for Emma’s dress, but Neil has to go and move the pigs. Sadly, Tom has noticed that the pigs are churning up their patch and he and Johnny have just moved them.
Neil, who is nominally the manager of the pig unit, isn’t best pleased and his temper isn’t improved when, as he begins to give Tom his plan for the future, Tom interrupts him with his own idea. Neil says he was thinking along the same lines, whereupon Tom - showing more than a flash of the pre-Canada, egocentric ‘the world revolves around me’ Tom Archer, says “Great minds”. Neil goes home, fuming and ranting that it has been a monumental waste of time.
Now, at times like this, what you need is the support of, and words of comfort from, your other half and, when he tells Susan what has happened, that is exactly what he doesn’t get. Firstly she is unhappy that he could have taken her shopping after all and he should stand up to Tom, as he (Neil) is the manager. In a few weeks, she tells him, he’ll be walking his daughter down the aisle and doesn’t he want her to be proud of him? “If you act like a doormat, people will walk all over you” she tells him, helpfully. “I’m nobody’s doormat” Neil roars, but Susan interrupts him, saying: “You let people take advantage of you.” I suppose we should be grateful that she didn’t say “Shut up Neil, I’m talking, you doormat.” Neil says “From now on I won’t let Tom or anyone else push me around - except you dear.” I made the last three words up, but perhaps Neil’s first act as his new, self-confident, I’m-not-taking-crap-from-anyone alter ego should be to wrap a roll of gaffer tape round Susan’s gob. Just a suggestion.
There was a cameo when Jolene entered the bathroom, thinking that it was Fallon in the shower, only to confront an embarrassed Harrison, stark naked (the lock doesn’t work). Fallon and PCB are staying in The Bull while her boiler is fixed. The sight causes Jolene to go to the bar and gulp down water, telling Lilian what she saw. PCB should watch himself, as Jolene has form when it comes to showers and sex - remember when she and Sid got it together; talk about wears the soap - and she showed some of this when PCB said that he’s fixed the lock and nothing like that will happen again. “That’s a shame” she says. Whoa there Jolene; that’s your daughter’s boyfriend you’re lusting after, you minx you.
This week’s ‘I bet this will all end in tears’ story is when Helen tells Rob that she saw Adam and Charlie kissing on New Year’s Eve and that he mustn’t tell anybody, nobody, ever, promise, cross your heart? Ha! On Friday, Hel, Rob and Adam are at The Bull for the dance lessons night and Rob keeps slyly mentioning New Year’s Eve when speaking to Adam, much to Helen’s discomfort. That should be the least of her worries, as Rob has taken it upon himself to talk to Tina, the Manageress of Ambridge Organics, about the continuing disappointing sales. He told her that, if she has any problems, to talk to him. Helen, taking over the Neil ‘doormat’ mantle, doesn’t protest. Rob presses home his advantage, wiping his feet on her even more, when he accuses Helen of secretly wanting him to take the DNA test. Helen, who will in future will presumably sleep on the floor just inside the front door, protests that she will support Rob in whatever he decides. Tell him to take the bloody test, woman!
Other major stories - Ed has defaulted on his rent payments and seems amazed that he is being threatened with eviction. The answer? Sell four of the cows. He is against it, but Eddie points out that he could end up with no cows at all and Ed reluctantly agrees.
Lilian is putting on a brave face, telling PCB that Matt will be back soon - she knows her Tiger. Not that well, apparently, as on Friday she is at The Bull (giving dancing lessons to PCB) when she receives a text. “It’s Matt!” she says gleefully, then gasps when she reads it. PCB follows her outside, where she is sobbing uncontrollably. She shows him the text - Matt is in Costa Rica. Lilian wails “He’s gone, he’s left me, he’s never coming back!” Blimey; I know that revenge is a dish best eaten cold, but if this is payback for the ‘Lilian/Paul’ affair, it’s not just cold, but has been deep frozen for a few months.
There is a ray of hope in the ‘For God’s sake get rid of Kate’ protest movement when, on Tuesday, Kate picks Phoebe up from college and forces her to go for a bite to eat, while bending her ear about how she has made so many cool friends at college. Phoebe has had a bad day and expresses mild surprise that Kate has made friends with people so much younger. Kate gets a text message and it’s one of her ‘friends’ (Steph) who is inviting her (and Phoebe) to a bar in Felpersham. Phoebe wants to go home and stands firm, so Kate drops her off and then shoots off to Felpersham on her own. A very down Phoebe retires to her room, where Jennifer brings her a cup of tea and talks through her troubles (Kate never noticed or asked). Phoebe gets a picture message on her phone and it’s Kate. Jen asks what is it and Phoebe says “you don’t want to know” but Jen insists. It’s a selfie of Kate (“Getting wasted in a bar” - Phoebe) wearing pussycat ears and Phoebe bursts out “Why does she send this to me? It’s sad and embarrassing!” Go back to live with Roy, Phoebe, persuade Hayley and Abbie to come home (and Kate to go home).