Edward Kelsey (Joe Grundy)
You have to hand it to Joe Grundy - if you don’t, he’ll take it anyway - there he is at Grey Gables, where he is staying for free, having been made homeless by the flood, and he complains to grandson Ed that he has been refused room service. The ungrateful old sod should be taken out and soundly whipped, in my opinion, especially as he has had a pedicure and steam treatment at the health club.
Not only are the Grundys homeless, but all Joe’s clothes (yes, both shirts) are ruined. As such he is wandering around Grey Gables dressed in a tiger onesie. Thinking about it, if I were Caroline, I’d let him have room service as that would keep him out of the way of paying guests (if indeed there are any).
While things look bad for the older Grundys, for a change things are looking up for Ed. Charlie Thomas asks him if he wants the job of clearing the ditches and culverts on BL’s land. The words ‘Horse’, ‘Stable Door’ and ‘Bolted’ spring to mind and Charlie obviously thinks the same way, as he tells Ed to keep his mouth shut about the job. Ed cannot resist telling his grandfather that he has a job from Charlie, but he can’t talk about it and Joe reveals his philosophical streak when he says “It’s an ill wind that don’t do nobody no good”. Linguistic scholars are studying this final remark as I write.
BL are obviously worried about their image and their part in causing the flood - and more so when the villagers arrange a public meeting to air their grievances. In fact, there were nearly two meetings, as David was going to hold one and Lynda another. David goes to see Lynda and she is surprised when he says that he wants to attend the meeting. He explains that he will not be leaving Ambridge and Lynda says that she could kiss him. An alarmed David immediately contacts Rodways to put Brookfield back on the market - actually, that is a complete lie, but I bet it crossed his mind.
Adam is passionate about the way the land has been abused and he wants to speak at the meeting. Charlie joins Adam and his team in erecting the polytunnels and, over breakfast, he tells Adam that he wouldn’t want to see Justin Eliot’s name scapegoated (is there no noun that cannot be verbed, I ask myself?) and suggests that Adam says that BL cannot be blamed. This shows touching loyalty on Charlie’s part when you consider that he nearly drowned after getting caught up on the rubbish in the blocked culvert - rubbish that BL should have cleared. Adam says nothing, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, Charlie.
Elsewhere, Kenton and Jolene return from their holiday (which was brilliant, by the way) and are confronted by scenes of devastation in the village and a brand-new indoor swimming pool in the pub where the beer cellar used to be. Surely things can’t get worse? Afraid they can, as David turns up, saying “Can I have a word in private?” and tells Kenton that Brookfield is not going to be sold. All Kenton’s dreams are dashed in an instant and he doesn’t take it well, accusing David of leading him on and telling him to get out of the pub. Poor David - first of all he was accused of running away and now he has changed his mind, his brother thinks he’s a Judas.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, which gave Kate the opportunity to be even more selfish and obnoxious (yes, I too found it hard to believe that such a thing was possible). Jennifer has invited Hayley and Abbie to Home Farm for lunch, much to Kate’s displeasure, but Jennifer points out that, if she hadn’t, then Phoebe would have gone to see Hayley in Birmingham. Kate then moans because Jennifer is cooking meat and why couldn’t she have just done a big nut roast? Jennifer, who seems to have almost limitless patience, says there are eight meat eaters and one vegan. She then asks her daughter for a bit of help in the kitchen but a petulant Kate says “It’s Mother’s Day”. Instead of killing Kate (and no jury in the world would convict her) Jen reminds her that she too is a mother and she would still like some help.
Kate says that she thinks that the day should be for natural mothers only, to which Jen says “There’s more than one way of being a mother”. Kate remembers how she gave birth to Phoebe in a yurt at Glastonbury and, however far away she has been, she has always felt ‘a universal connection’ with her daughter, saying “I expect you felt it too?” I love the way that Phoebe can put her mother down with just a sentence, as she replies “Not really”. All Phoebe is waiting for is the arrival of Hayley and, when there’s a knock at the door, she runs to open it, yelling excitedly “Hello mum!”
Phoebe has got Hayley a card, which says ‘To the best mother in the world’, which contrasts with the one she got Kate, which said ‘To whom it may concern - have a nice day; or don’t, I don’t really give a toss’. Kate is at her sneering worst, having digs at Hayley over Roy and the approaching divorce and ridiculing Hayley when she says she hopes it will be amicable. Phoebe cuts her mother’s snide comments short when she asks “Will your divorce from Lucas be amicable, do you think?” (see earlier comment about put downs). Hayley says she and Abbie will pop and see Roy and Phoebe wants to go too - Kate protests, saying that, as Phoebe’s mother, she’s concerned about her emotional welfare, which is patently a lie, or else she would have topped herself shortly after the birth.
Later on in the week, Kate’s upsetting people again when she comes into the kitchen and says she needs a coffee (hangover) and will someone make her one? Brian does so, making the point that it’s only because he wants one. Kate then asks Brian if he can lend her some money and, snorting with laughter at the word ‘lend’ he says he will when she gets a job. Jennifer asks her if she has no shame, as she borrowed money off Phoebe earlier in the week? Kate blames Brian, asking how is she expected to get a job when she’s a full-time student? At this moment, Adam comes in and Kate immediately asks him if he will lend her £50? The answer is ‘no’ and Jennifer is amazed at her lack of sensitivity. I’m not and I’m not surprised that Kate is way out ahead in the list of candidates for the Pedalo of Doom.
Over at Bridge Farm there is a surprise visitor when Kirsty turns up to talk to Pat. Pat is touched, but Kirsty says that she and Tony still mean a lot to her, tactfully not adding “Unlike that cowardly, jilting scumbag of a son of yours”. Kirsty also goes to see Fallon and, on learning about the plight of the Grundys, gives her some money to buy them a drink when they come into the pub.
Friday marked Tony’s return to Bridge Farm from hospital and the whole family - Peggy, Tom, Helen, Johnny and Rob are there to enjoy the special champagne that Pat originally bought to celebrate their Ruby wedding. Rob gets a call and goes outside to take it. Earlier in the week, Rob had a meeting with Charlie, who told him that BL has had a letter from child maintenance, authorising deductions direct from Rob’s salary for Jess’s baby.
Rob’s call is from Jess and he is incandescent about the maintenance, saying “That baby is not mine” and “You’ve been shagging everything with a pulse to get back at me. “So take the DNA test” is Jess’s reply, which is what we’ve been saying for weeks. Fuming, Rob goes back inside, where his day is made complete when Peggy announces that she has changed her Will and is now leaving everything to Tony and his sisters. I’d watch out Peggy - Lilian needs money fast, so don’t accept any mushroom soup from her and check the stairs for almost-invisible black threads.