So ends the quote from Winston Churchill about Viscount Montgomery, but he could have been talking about Rob Titchener - or rather, he could have if he hadn't died in 1965. I had a comment from a reader called Colin about Rob trying to put Helen off working, along the lines of 'radical thought, but what if Rob is innocent and just wants what's best for his partner?' and, when Rob was proved not to be the father of Jess's child, I had pangs of doubt - had I been too hard on Rob? Was he really quite a nice guy?
On Wednesday, I breathed a sigh of relief, as the answers to these two questions proved to be 'no and 'no'. Rob rings Jess and taunts her with the news about the baby, saying that she sounds like she's falling apart and accusing her of sleeping around. Jess retaliates by saying that Rob is doing the same with Helen, but Rob says that she cannot compare the loving relationship he has with Helen with Jess's one night stands. Jess protests that they did sleep together one night and she honestly thought he was the father and that he loved her once, to which he responds "To be frank Jess, I really can't remember."
Rob continues to turn the screw, saying that his mother, who has become the doting grandmother, is bound to blame Jess when she finds out and that she won't appreciate being lied to. Knowing her as he does, Rob suggests that his mother will want all the presents back that she's bought for the child. Jess threatens to tell Helen about the night they spent together, but Rob just laughs, saying "She didn't believe you last time and she certainly won't now - nobody will believe the rantings of a mad woman." Rather unkindly, he adds: "Poor Jess; you sound so desperate" and hangs up.
Later the same day, Jess rings him (he is out buying Helen some flowers - a fact which he soon tells Jess) and she tells him that she's not feeling well, and why did he have to be so hurtful? Rob tells her that Ambridge has now become his home and please don't ring any more, his solicitor will be in touch about the divorce and he hangs up again. Later, Rob tells Helen that he has spoken to Jess and she was "Showing remorse" and "We had a reasonably amicable conversation", which is stretching the truth somewhat. A triumphant Rob tells Helen to put on her glad rags (with no restrictions about hemline length or bosom visibility, although he's probably thrown out all unsuitable frocks) as they are going out to celebrate.
On Sunday, Joe and Eddie are in The Bull when a stranger comes over and asks them if they are farmers (I assume Joe wasn't wearing his pink cords) as he - Rex Fairbrother - is thinking of moving into the area with his brother Toby. Rex offers to buy them a drink, thus upgrading swiftly from 'stranger' to 'new best friend'. He buys them another drink and Eddie is ready to adopt him, while warning him that farming isn't an easy game. Rex says that he's looking for 30 - 40 acres of reasonably flat land and Eddie says they will keep a look out for him. Rex then mentions that he and Toby will be farming geese and ducks for the Christmas trade and, while he is at the bar, a dismayed Eddie tells Joe that that will take business away from the Grundy's turkeys. Joe says that depends on whether or not the turkeys can put up with a bit of competition. Expect even more bizarre Christmas marketing plans.
Good news - Kate is moving out! Bad news - it's only to her cottage on Home Farm. She has managed to talk Fallon into letting her help with Fallon's business on an ad hoc arrangement and, to celebrate, Kate has bought an expensive table lamp. Brian thinks it is horrible, but Kate says "Phoebe likes it, don't you darling?" "Not really" is her daughter's laconic reply. Jennifer comes in and asks what is that monstrosity? Kate replies that it is "so on trend". In reply to Jen's questioning, Kate says that she is definitely moving out because she needs her own space and "Phoebe agrees, don't you darling?" Quick as lightning, Phoebe answers "definitely", Kate then says that Phoebe will stay over at the cottage as much as possible and, equally quickly, Phoebe says "I never said that." I love that girl!
Kate has a job with Fallon to go and see Susan that night to discuss the catering for Emma and Ed's wedding. Kate wants Phoebe to come along and, even though Pheebs protests that she has homework to do, she is railroaded into attending. At the meeting, Kate keeps interrupting, saying that they must have gluten-free and Vegan options, while Susan tells her that half the guests would willingly eat raw meat and none of them are Vegans. Kate then talks about how difficult it is to predict the future and how it usually ends in tears - look at her and Lucas; they "went through all this fuss and now our lives are in ruins." She then adds "But Emma's an old hand - she's been round the block, so she totally gets it." A word of advice, Kate - the phrase is 'The customer is king', not 'The customer is a bit of a slapper.'This could be the shortest employment on record.
Shock horror! Lynda texts that the Maypole has gone missing! Don't panic; it is found again and Lynda ropes Fallon in to help paint it. The Button girls give it a final coat, so it will probably be pink when they've finished. Lynda's nose is put out of joint when she learns that Jennifer, who Fallon refers to by her nickname of 'The Boudicca of Borsetshire', will be attending the May Day event and that should ensure that The Echo and Radio Borsetshire turn up on the day. Sniffily, Lynda says that SAVE is a community campaign and there's no place for 'a cult of personality.' When she speaks to an enthusiastic Jennifer later, Lynda says that "Battles are led by generals, but won by the foot soldiers." Quite right Lynda, now smarten up, get those buttons polished and get out there and shake that tin.
Adam has a plan for the 15 hectares that were flooded; a 'herbal ley'. What do you mean you don't know what a herbal ley is? It's sowing grass, with deep-rooted herbs to get the soil back in shape. Kate thinks it's a good idea (which should start alarm bells ringing) and says that she will invite her uni friends there for a picnic. Brian, meanwhile, is troubled - while he can see the sense in the idea, where's the profit and will the land be ready to go back to wheat production next autumn? Adam says again that it's about improving the soil structure and it's not about making money. A mystified Brian goes off to look up the meaning of 'not making money'.
Back to the Grundys. Susan and Fallon worry about Clarrie - apparently Clarrie 'left all her posh frocks in the wardrobe' and they were ruined in the flood. Sorry? 'All her posh frocks'? Clarrie? That's the first time I've heard 'one' or possibly 'two' referred to as 'all'. Fallon says they will come up with something and Clarrie will look lovely at Emma's wedding.
There were a number of references to the ditches that Ed is clearing; including one where the debris removed was quickly taken away by unknown forces. Apparently, a woman form the Environment Agency is getting involved and David says "Perhaps she can shed some light on it all." Things could get difficult, Ed.
Eddie and Ed talk and Eddie suggests that his son offers Rex Fairbrother the 50 acres that he used to rent off the Estate, assuming the Estate doesn't mind. They show the Fairbrother brothers the land and Eddie tries to put them off the idea of Christmas poultry, talking about "David being crushed by Goliath", which is not only strange, but totally wrong. Never mind, when Eddie and Ed are alone later, Ed says that all he wants is for Emma to have the best day ever. He also confesses that he knows there were times when he could have been a better son (thank God he didn't list them - that would have taken a week) and he would love Eddie to be his Best Man. Eddie accepts, saying: "You've just about made my day." Come on Ed; I'm sure you can do better than that - bloody hell, even Will managed to find one friend to do the honours!