Monday, 16 November 2015

No Room at The Inn

Edward Kelsey (Joe Grundy)

We start with a Remembrance Day service and a reading by Rex of the Ode of Remembrance. Alan doesn’t miss the opportunity to tap him up for a goose for The Elms Christmas dinner – it’s nice to hear that this hostel for the homeless still seems to be going strong. Christmas symbolism seems to be a theme running through the week as on-cue we turn to Eddie and a poorly sounding Joe grooming Bartleby while contemplating how he would cope with relocation and anyway, where are they going to relocate to? It sounds like there’ll be no room at the inn (Grey Gables) at Christmas, and they briefly consider squatting in Keeper’s Cottage. Probably better than moving back to somewhere like Meadow Rise which Joe says would finish him off. Eddie promises him that it won’t come to that, probably because for the storyline to reach its natural conclusion they’ll all have to move into a stable.

Eddie finishes the grooming and Joe gives him a mint – Bartleby that is; I was unsure until I heard the donkey-enjoying-a-mint sound effects to confirm it. Edward turns up and greets Bartleby, failing to appreciate his fresh minty breath, and has news that they’re even getting rid of the old shed, which Eddie takes as a sign that “sour-faced-misery” Hazel Woolley is determined to cleanse every trace of the Grundy family from the face of the earth. Edward has a plan to move them into No.1 when it’s ready while he and Emma stay with Susan Carter, but Eddie tries to stay positive and is adamant they’ll find a home of their own – even if they have to move out of Ambridge.

Robert Snell’s helping Lynda align her Chi, whatever that means, by moving her desk around the new production office at Lower Loxley. Worries turn to more tangible energy flows with the number of trailing leads there will be from her computer and desk lamp to the plug sockets. Nice try Robert, you might need a more discreet approach – perhaps you can fashion a tripwire out of some old fishing line or something. With his Chi energised, Robert then makes the blindingly obvious connection between needing to cast Celia in Calendar Girls – a drink and man chasing character – and Lillian. Perfect.

Pip needs a business partner after only being able to raise enough money for a third of the cattle needed to graze the herbal leys. Adam steps up by offering to provide the extra 100 needed and goes away to draw up a contract. It seems that Toby’s loss through over-emphasising his experience is Pip’s gain.

There’s more tension between David and Roooooth as David’s been making decisions without telling her; offering to help fund Pip’s business for example. However Roooooth gets revenge by offering Rex the use of somewhere to process his geese. If he did but know it Roooooth and he are in exactly the same position and suffering the same frustrations.

Poor Edwad has to deal with more trouble at Grange Farm, this time it’s a break-in during the middle of the night. PC Burns is soon on the case examining the scene of the crime. Apparently the living-room is in a bit of a state and Ed will Face-time Oliver and Caroline later. Borsetshire Constabulary still seem to have plenty of resources though, enough anyway to send round a forensics team and equip PCB with a tablet computer on which to report crime (presumably amongst its other assets Ambridge has very good mobile coverage).

Helen’s still beating herself up about Henry’s burnt hand, and to add to her woes it turns out the poor thing can’t even hold a pencil for very long. I’m surprised Rob hasn’t told him to man-up and bear the pain with dignity or use his other, un-burnt hand, but he finds it more useful to use it against Helen as another example of her working too hard and making mistakes. He later continues his brainwashing by first persuading Helen that taking a part in Calendar Girls and taking her clothes off in public is not a good idea; “what made Susan think you would dream of accepting”, and “think of the teasing Henry would get”. Helen further risks his ire by showing him a job advertisement she downloaded for a Product Development Manager, and to make things worse it turns out it was Tom’s idea for Rob to apply. Rob swiftly tells Helen to go home and not worry about his job prospects – a lucky escape if you ask me.

Later Helen drops into the shop with a card from Rob’s parents, who she still hasn’t met, and Rob’s reaction is underwhelming to say the least. Helen seems to be enjoying getting on with organising stock with Jennifer when Rob comes in and tries to drag Helen away, but Jennifer sides with Rob and they both persuade her to go.

Charlie gets put through the mincer by Justin Eliot over his handling of the Press and treats him to an old Polish proverb; “only fools, children and drunkards always tell the truth”. Everything Charlie’s doing seems to be in question, from the hunt ball and accommodation at Grey Gables for Justin’s guests, to his staff management and handling of Rob’s departure. After the meeting Charlie phones Adam for moral support and wants to see him later that evening for a drink but Adam’s seems to be on a promise from Ian that night. Charlie bravely conceals his jealousy.

Kenton drops by Brookfield and brings the first instalment of his debt repayment – proceeds from the sale of a few old ashtrays online – which Roooooth inexplicably stashes in a teapot.

That evening the guests are gathering for Dan’s party and Elizabeth’s busy organising the evening. Discussion of a magnificent floral centrepiece doesn’t bode well for its survival in the presence of Dan’s army friends, and sure enough a stuffed deer’s head turns up in the middle, and is positioned as if grazing the flowers. Everyone seems to be in a good mood and Elizabeth takes it well, and Brian seems happy ogling all the young ladies (especially the girl Dan reveals he wants to marry) and it seems to have gone to his head, telling Roooooth about the music “if it’s too loud, you’re too old”.

Roooooth retreats to the main house with Usha where she reveals her frustrations with David. It turns out she’s been feeling unwanted and very sorry for herself for a long time, and we end with Roooooth wondering if David knows who she is anymore. How do you feel about older women Rex? Roooooth has history and may need a shoulder to cry on while you eviscerate your fowl in her barn. It could make for an interesting domestic situation too, if Toby finally gets his paws on Pip.


  1. Ambridge became yet more remote from the rest of the country this last week in the light of the further outbreak of rural crime. Most country dwellers can't get the police even to answer the phone when there's a break-in, yet PC Burns is instantly on hand to organise scenes-of-crime investigation. And what strange place is it where approval of same-sex marriage seems to have reached 100 per cent of the population?

  2. On the subject of sound effects, who is going to be the first to break it to the Fairbrothers that they appear, on the basis of this episode, to be raising a large flock of seagulls. I know I was listening on DAB, but they didn't sound terribly edible to me.