Sunday, 1 March 2015

It’s Not really Anything To Do With You, Rob

June Spencer OBE (Peggy Woolley)

Peggy wants to talk to Tom about her Will, which is lucky, as he wants to talk to her. She feels that she has made a terrible mistake in cutting her children out of the Will and she fees guilty that it might have been a factor in Tony’s accident - if he hadn’t felt so worthless, he might not have bought Otto the bull, which trampled him. Tom isn’t convinced and says that he was as much to blame, whereas we all know that it was Johnny’s inability to look after Henry that sparked the whole incident off, so blame him.

Tom goes with Peggy to see Helen and Rob, where Peggy explains that she will divide her estate between Tony, Jennifer and Lilian and she apologises to Helen because she won’t now get The Lodge. Helen assures her that this doesn’t matter, but Rob, who isn’t family, strictly speaking, disagrees, saying that The Lodge represents security for Helen and Henry’s future. Peggy says that surely him marrying Helen is her security and Tom says that surely he wouldn’t want Helen’s future to be dependent on Peggy’s death? They could have added that it’s nothing to do with you Rob, so butt out.

After Tom and Peggy have gone, Rob tells Helen that he thinks Tom is behind all this and he is surprised when she doesn’t agree with him. Helen says that Rob is doing so well that he’ll look after them. Let’s pause here and ask ourselves why Tom should want the Will changed - as things stand, Helen would get The Lodge and Tom would get everything else, so why would he want it altered?

It was a week of meetings for the Bridge Farm wing of the Archer clan, as on Friday Pat, Helen and Tom met to discuss the future of Ambridge Organics. Helen makes it clear that she feels she cannot run the shop and properly fulfil her commitment to Rob and Henry (what the hell does she have to do for them, for heaven’s sake?). Pat is not impressed, asking her daughter if she thinks that no-one else has ever had to juggle a job and a family and is Rob behind this decision? Looking for support, Pat asks Tom what he thinks and is appalled when he says that perhaps they ought to think about shutting it down. Her mood is not improved when Helen chips in “That’s what Rob suggested”. Tom reminds them that they will have to talk it over with Tony and hear what he has to say. It’s obviously not just Tom’s voice that has changed, but his character, as a year or so back, he wouldn’t have listened to anything Tony had to say and, if he did listen, he’d have done exactly what he wanted anyway.

Over at Brookfield, relations between David and Rooooth are frosty, to say the least. He keeps trying to engage his wife in looking forward to the future, saying things like “Robotic milking makes sense” and “This could be a blessing in disguise - let’s use this opportunity to start again”. Rooooth is amazed that he is asking her opinion now, having made the unilateral decision not to leave Brookfield, and she cannot really believe that having the farm split in two by a road represents much of an opportunity.

David has told Elizabeth and Shula about his decision and they are both supportive and pleased for him. Later on in the week, Rooooth calls on Usha to talk things through and says “Sometimes it feels like the whole bloody Archer clan are lined up against me”. Just wait till Kenton gets back home Rooooth and finds out that there will be no sale and no cash for him - you’ll have an Archer on your side for sure. And don’t swear.

Usha suggests that, for David to act as he did, he must have been convinced that he was right and, difficult as it seems, she is certain that David and Rooooth can get over this. Rooooth is not so sure - Pip is really angry and the boys are quiet “It feels like David has betrayed me” and “it feels like the family is breaking apart.” She is dreading telling Heather but what can she do? She can’t abandon her mum but “How can I choose between my mum and my family?” Well, I suppose you could consider who pays your wages, where you live and exactly what you would do if you moved back to live with your mother, for a start.

Kate continues to annoy me, and I am not alone. Having demanded her cottage back, she now wants it completely redecorated and mentions in passing that she has been consulting with Lynda about Feng Shui. Kate tries to engage Phoebe in choosing the decoration, with a singular lack of success (“It’s just a room” says Phoebe). Kate protests that “It’s your room in our home” but Phoebe counters with “In your cottage” and “I haven’t said I want any of this”. Phoebe is waiting for Hayley to come round and, when she does, Phoebe says “Hi mum, let’s go upstairs”. Kate, who has been asking about colours etc, says “You haven’t answered my question”, to which Phoebe replies “We’ll talk it over later, Kate”. Notice that? Hayley is ‘mum’ and Kate is ‘Kate’. Still, never mind, it’s an improvement on ‘pathetic loser’ and ‘self-obsessed, pretentious cow’.

Brian is another one who Kate is annoying, as she spoils his lunch by banging on about decorating and he tells her he wants his lunch in peace. A bit later, Kate confides to Jennifer that she is a bit short of cash. Jennifer suggests she asks Brian (it appears that, like the Queen, Jennifer doesn’t carry cash) and Kate says that he has been a bit anti about the cost of doing up the cottage. Brian appears at this moment and suggests that Kate gets a job. This upsets her and Brian says that he is not willing to be a cash machine, at which Kate storms out, shouting “You just don’t get it at all”. Quite right Kate and, when it comes to cash, neither do you, it seems.

While all this is going on, Phoebe is desperately trying - with a marked lack of success - to prevent Hayley and Roy going ahead with the planned divorce, telling Grandfather Mike that she just wants things to be back as they were (by which I presume she means ‘without Kate’) and bursts into tears. Mike is surprised, as this is the first he has heard talk of a divorce. “You just cry as much as you like” he tells her, and with Kate as your biological mother, who wouldn’t?

The news of David’s change of heart hasn’t been made public - David reveals that he had a call from Justin Eliot, who was very polite, although he described it as “a golden opportunity spurned”. Justin obviously told Charlie Thomas as, at a chance meeting with David, Charlie says “Look who it is - the man who threw away £7 million”. David tries to explain that it was never just about the money, but Charlie says that letting sentiment interfere with business is never a good idea and he asks “What’s it like up there on the moral high ground?” David’s reply (“Goodbye Charlie”) was quite restrained in the circumstances. Mine would have meant the same but have been one word longer.

Surprisingly, Charlie exhibited his caring side when talking to Ed. Charlie asked if Ed could get him some logs and Ed said that he would ask his dad. Meanwhile, Ed said that he no longer wanted to rent the 50 acres from the Estate, as he had sold his cows. Charlie says that he has to give 12 months’ notice and, as he missed the 1st January 2015 deadline, he’ll have to give it from January next year, which means he’ll be paying rent till December 2017. Ed explains that he’s saving to get married and is there nothing that can be done? Charlie promises to have a word with his Agent.

Later on, Ed tracks Charlie down to tell him that Eddie will deliver the logs tomorrow and has Charlie had a chance to talk to his Agent yet about the lease? Charlie confirms that Ed will have to give a year’s notice but there is an alternative: if Ed agrees to keep the Estate’s hedges neat and trimmed during the notice period, that will suffice instead of rent. A delighted Ed agrees at once. So why is Charlie being so nice? He says that “We try to have good relations with our neighbours” but I have a sneaking suspicion that, when Ed looks into it, he will find that the Estate has something like 500 miles of hedges around its land.


  1. Great summary.

    There is so much going on at present it is good to have a catch up, especially if it is funny and smartly written.

  2. I never miss an episode and often listen to podcasts going back years but this witty and incisive take on the events in Ambrdge adds a whole new dimension. After such an unusual week I can't wait to read the next blog. Thank you for sharing this with us! Zoe