Everybody keeps telling Johnny that he’s not stupid and that he’s a natural stockman, so why can’t he pass his exams? Helen has a theory that he may be dyslexic and Tom notices that he has trouble in reading the numbers on the cows’ tags. But when Tom raises the subject of dyslexia, Johnny heads him off and changes the subject.
Later on, when helping Johnny with his homework, Tom asks him to read something printed on buff-coloured paper. There is a marked improvement and Tom says that he has been researching dyslexia and sufferers often find it easier to read from coloured paper. The Learning Support people at college will know more, says Tom, but Johnny is not impressed, saying “That’s for thickos”. A word of advice Johnny; your family are trying to help you and if you don’t try and help yourself, they might start getting fed up.
It was a bad weekend for Rob; much of it spent stewing over the letter about his alleged paternity of Jess’s baby. Helen takes Henry to Lower Loxley for a go on the treetop walk but Rob is in too much of a state to go with them, so he tells a disappointed Henry that he has to stay and cook lunch. Rob phones Jess and there’s the sound of a baby crying in the background. Jess says she will call him back as “your son needs my attention” and Rob just has time to snarl “He’s not my son” as she hangs up on him.
Jess does call back and tells Rob that his name is on the birth certificate as the father. Not only that, but Jess has been in touch with Rob’s mother, who is delighted with the child and says that he looks just like Rob when he was a baby. By this time Rob is incandescent, saying things like “You had no right to name me as the father” and “There’s no way I’m paying maintenance.” Jess’s counter is in that case Rob will have to prove he’s not the father, which would mean taking a DNA test. “I refuse to be blackmailed” Rob tells her, but he’s obviously upset because, when Helen and Henry return, Rob has forgotten to turn the oven on.
Later in the week, Helen tells Pat about her problem. “But he can’t be the father, can he?” Pat asks, suggesting that he takes the DNA test as “you’ll never be free unless he does.” This obviously chimes with Helen, as she says much the same thing to Rob a bit later – he is in an even worse temper, as he has received another official letter, saying that he has to take a DNA test. “It’s blatant harassment – how can they take her word? I’m not dancing to that woman’s tune!” he seethes. If you don’t take the test Rob, they will take maintenance from you in any case. If you turn out not to be the father, all well and good, but even if you are the father, Helen is so besotted with you that I’m sure she would swallow any old story, such as Jess breaking in on you one night and stealing some of your sperm. Just take the test and get it over with, there’s a good lad.
There was some good news last week, as Fallon and PC Burns really got it together. He can’t believe how lucky he is as they are together in bed and tells her that the heating has gone wrong, so they will have to stay there. Would a policemen tell lies? Good news for Pat and Tony too, as a bed has been found for him at Felpersham hospital, which means that Pat won’t have to keep making the trek to Birmingham. And how did they manage to find a bed? With all the scare stories about the NHS in crisis and overworked A&E units, it would have been more credible if they had found him a trolley in a corridor at Felpersham, rather than a bed.
Not such good news – the authorities at FelpershamUniversity have confirmed that Kate can study there for her advanced diploma, the bastards. Talking of Kate, Tom goes to see Roy (who is still in a bit of a mess; both physical and emotional) and Roy cannot understand how Phoebe has managed to forget and forgive the numerous terrible things that Kate has done in the past but won’t even give him the time of day. Leafing quickly through his book of ‘Platitudes for suicidal friends’, Tom tells him “When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up”. Luckily he didn’t add “Or on the other hand I suppose you could stay there for ever.”
More avarice from the Archer children, with Liz saying what a godsend the Brookfield money will be and how she is optimistic about the future and feels that “there could be someone out there for me”. Shula agrees that the money will be welcome and Kenton has plans to buy out Lilian’s share of The Bull. This on top of the business class trip to Australia and the refurbishment of the pub – how much is he getting, for crying out loud?
Mind you, Lilian might be needing the money. She returns from holiday and calls out for Matt. Next we hear her say “Oh my God!” and she phones the police. PCB turns up (no doubt a tad annoyed at having to leave Fallon in bed) and Lil tells him that she noticed the burglar alarm was switched off and the safe was open. There’s no sign of forced entry and PCB muses that it seems strange there’s a lot of expensive electric equipment that is lying untouched. He also spots a note saying “sorry pusscat”.
PCB leaves and Lilian rings round the banks. PCB returns later, saying he realised from the note what’s happened. Lilian confirms that Matt has done a runner, emptying the safe and the bank accounts. Does Lilian want PCB to report this? She says no – she will find Matt and they will sort this out together. Surely it’s obvious what’s happened? Think – Tom has returned from Canada, Kate is going to be here a year and it’s only 10 months till Lynda Snell’s next Christmas bloody extravaganza. Surely any normal person would want to get out while they could?