Sunday, 1 November 2015

It’s Good To Talk…

Patricia Greene (Jill Archer)

If so, why dont more people in Ambridge do it? Lets start off with our self-flagellating, hair-shirt-wearing, nettle-thrashing, mega-sighing, false Geordie, Rooooth. David tells his wife that she needs some time off, but Rooooth says that there is no food in the larder, the washing wont do itself and whos going to clean the house? Nevertheless, David says that, if she doesnt ring Usha and arrange a lunch date, then he will.

Poor Usha is having her ear bent from all sides: on Thursday she is meeting with Elizabeth, who says that Brookfield could probably do with Jills help. Usha wonders, if Jill moved back, would Rooooth be upset? Usha then moves on to having lunch with Rooooth (dont these lawyers have a job to do?) and, you will be gobsmacked to know, Rooooth is feeling guilty - whenever she thinks of her Mum, she thinks of the motorway services where Heather passed away and I let her die like that. Anyone would think that Rooooth pressed a pillow over her Mums mouth. Oh, and yes, Rooooth is also feeling guilty because she cant forgive David for changing his mind over the move, without consulting her. She doesnt say it, but she probably feels guilty because the mixer wagon needs a new gearbox and if shed been at Brookfield, shed have greased it, or whatever.

Usha (presumably banging her head on the table or trying to cut her own throat with a bread knife) suggests that Rooooth will have to talk to David about how she feels and you need Jill; would you mind her being back? Rooooth says that shed be overjoyed if Jill were to return and Usha says do you really think that shed say no? and urges Rooooth to talk to her. I cant risk it Rooooth replies and Usha (by now presumably beating Rooooths head on the table) says Youve got to find out sometime.

Meanwhile, Jill is talking to Carol about how she feels, living at Lower Loxley (not very happy, and Joes totally fictitious story about seeing a ghostly dancing girl - supposedly Julia - at Lower Loxley, hasnt helped her mood any) and Carol suggests that Jill really wants to move back to Brookfield. Jill agrees, but wonders if Rooooth might not want her back. Says Carol: Unless you have a conversation with her, neither of you is going to find out. Give that woman a coconut! Please, just talk to each other, as I cant stand all this What ifbut what does she thinkwhos going to clean up this mess? scenario.

Lets move on to Calendar Girls, which I remember fondly as a good film. Lynda Snells forthcoming production has banished this good feeling. Every year - every bloody year - we have the who can I cast as so-and-so, God, its always so difficult scenario and, quite frankly, it gets on my chimes. I dont propose to dwell on the machinations of Lyndas attempts to ensnare people into her cast, but she persuaded Elizabeth to play Annie, the widow, by telling her that it could be cathartic and flattering Susan into taking the part of Chris, after Susan had said that she wasnt interested in being a member of the cast. Susan even says that she is comfortable with getting her kit off. However, maybe Lynda has been hoist by her own petard (yes please, God) as Susan rings her to request a meeting as Ive got so many ideas of how to play Chris. How this will go down with the Director, remains to be seen.

Looking back, Lynda puts all this effort into the Christmas production and it always seems to succeeds despite of, rather than because of, her production. Think back to last year - she had imbued Blithe Spirit with all sorts of pretentious nuances and it turned out to be a runaway success because Susans dress split and she played it like a farce. The year before, Lynda had a smorgasbord of Shakespeare and Bronte (if Im wrong, I prefer not to know - I try to block these out of my mind) which was destined to fail until Kenton, as the Lord of Misrule, took over proceedings and turned it into a pantomime, which pleased the audience.

Talking of Kenton, it is his and Jolenes second wedding anniversary, which we are informed is Cotton. Jill and Carol wonder what Kenton can buy her. I dont know, but given the choice between a lacy doily and some sexy knickers, I know where Id put my money. Renovation work on The Bull is going ahead and things are looking up for Kenton and Jolene - and thank God too, as nobody does a downer week after week like Kenton.

Its an exciting week for Rob and Helen, as its time for their first scan of the embryo Damien Titchener. Rob is excited and cannot understand why Helen isnt as keen as him, adding that it’s probably because it’s his first time and her second. The Rob controlling lasso gets ever tighter when he tells her that he’s going to Bridge Farm to talk to the builders and she says that she’d like to go along. He practically forbids her and gives her money to go shopping and buy maternity clothes. After the scan, Rob is overjoyed, saying that he can’t wait to show Pat and Tony the picture. Helen says that she wanted to be there as well, to which Rob says “Don’t be selfish, darling - you showed them Henry’s.” He also tells her that he is going back to the shop to talk to the builders and, after Helen’s token protest that she’d like to tag along, he tells her that he won’t hear of her going - go off and do some more shopping. Earlier, Helen accidentally met with Kirsty and the two girls meet up for a walk after Rob has banished his wife from the new shop. Helen shows Kirsty the scan and mentions that Rob is convinced the baby will be male. Kirsty says that, if it were to be a daughter, it would be a new experience for both Helen and Rob. Helen’s response is “Rob doesn’t see it like that” and, when Kirsty says that Rob would spoil his daughter rotten, Helen replies that “He can be over-protective” and starts sobbing. Kirsty is concerned, but Helen passes it off as relief about the scan and ‘hormones’. Kirsty senses that it’s more than that and tells Helen that she can tell her. Helen insists that she’s fine, adding: “Why wouldn’t I be? Everything’s going to be all right [long pause] Isn’t it?”

At Berrow Farm, cows are still dying. Charlie goes to the Harvest Supper, hoping to tell Lynda that the cause of the botulism outbreak was the dog’s corpse. Jennifer manages to head him off, by telling him it might have been Lynda’s pet and it might be better if she never found out about the dog. Why? It would give her closure over Scruff and perhaps that she was, however inadvertently, indirectly responsible for the deaths of 80 (and counting) bovines, might take her mind off Calendar Girls, or even shock her into abandoning am dram forever - I’d consider that a worthwhile sacrifice, personally.

Charlie and Adam meet and Charlie says that he is going to be blamed for the outbreak. Joe and Eddie (both the worse for strong drink) happen along and abuse Charlie; seemingly blaming him for the disappearance of Ed’s cattle. Adam tells them “If you haven’t got anything sensible to say, I suggest you leave.” He then suggests to Charlie that he should hold a public meeting about the outbreak and he (Adam) would talk on Charlie’s behalf and Alistair could give a Vet’s perspective, plus Brian could chair the meeting. Charlie is touched by this gesture of friendship and says “You’re one of a kind, Adam Macy.”

Moving on finally to Edward, he is on the verge of giving up the Grange Farm tenancy, but Emma talks him out of it - at least for the time being. Ed tells Dad Eddie and Granddad Joe of his plans and Eddie offers him a loan as he has a substantial cheque arriving. Ed says he cant accept, but thanks anyway. Later on in the week, Ed gets a phone call from Oliver (in Tuscany), who has heard about the cattle theft and is appalled when Ed tells him that he couldnt afford to insure the beasts. Oliver (who must be a candidate for Sainthood) offers Ed a loan (Interest free, of course) and begs him not to do anything rash. Everyone is telling Ed that hes a first class farmer and not to give up, while Ed says that he lost his dairy cattle and now hes had his beef cattle stolen, so is he that good? You have to admit that he might well have a point.


  1. Great round-up, as usual!
    I know! - I can't understand Rooooth being quite so self-blaming as she is, David needs to get her to get a grip as soon as and jolly well force her into a sit-down with Jill.
    Poor old Lynda, I won't hear a word against her as Director - who else would possibly do it if she stepped down (& Ambridge without a Christmas event? - unthinkable!)?
    Rob,chillingly, smarmily believable, - Helen's glimmers of resistance are weakening, come on Kirsty et al!

  2. Rooth - Huh! I thought she was just plain selfish, months ago when she planned to have her mother live at Brookfield and turfed Jill out apparently without any thought for how she'd feel. Fortunately for Roooth, Jill has more self-control and more consideration for others than her daughter in law, and although it was clearly a big shock to her, she accepted with a better grace than Roooth's attitude deserved, IMO….because that's Jill, isn't it? It was tough on her, but she got on with it. Roooth's decision/ultimatum was ridiculous - even before collecting her mother, she was wondering how she'd manage without someone (Roooth herself, mainly) looking after her most of the day, and thinking of how out of the loop she would be regarding the doings on the farm…well, duckie, you wanted it. So then her mother dies en route to Ambridge, and Roooth decides it was selfish of her to make her mother take that long journey when she wasn't well…yes, dear, it was selfish of you, but never mind, she died fairly quickly, and you were there with her all the time…and at least it saved Jill from permanent exile, pleased though Elizabeth was to have her at Lower Loxley. But no, Roooth is determined to milk the situation for every ounce of misery she can extract - first she can't cope with all the housework, then she's ratty about things people haven't told her (because you weren't THERE, dear), FINALLY she asks Jill to come back, and NOW she's being bitchy to Jill AND David AND Pip….honestly, I used to like Roooth, but I am going off her rapidly. How can your mother's death affect you SO badly when you only see her occasionally, and when you KNOW because of her illness and infirmity, it isn't likely she's going to live a lot longer…it's not as though Rooooth is a lonely spinster - and now she's feeling sorry for herself because she isn't "needed" on the farm. Well, I certainly wouldn't need anyone in her state of mind right now. Nothing pleases her, she is continually critical of everyone EXCEPT herself, and I am sick of her. I liked Heather - but now Roooth is trying to off load her own discontentment to having lost that baby rather a long time ago….Sally, above, comments that Ruth is "so self-blaming" - pity she doesn't realise that she OUGHT to blame herself for her disagreeable treatment of her family, and do her level best to welcome Jill home and give HER some appreciation. If Heather had lived and stayed at Brookfield for a few months or years, Roooth would have been feeling sorry for herself because she had to spend so much time with Heather, she was AGAIN "out of the farming loop" - I don't think Heather would have felt good about that, and who could blame her…?