Ryan Kelly (Jack 'Jazzer' McCreary)
We start the week with Jazzer at a loose end. I can’t help thinking there must have been a misunderstanding when Jim suggested they go out looking for birds together. I wonder if it was the prospect of a nice pair of tits, a shag, and the first swallow of spring. Jazzer struggles to adopt the twitchers’ mindset and won’t stop talking so Jim has to keep telling him to be quiet. After the walk Jazzer makes a fry-up and Jim concludes that he’s not the bird-watching type. He urges Jazzer to go and see Tom to see whether they can patch things up, but Jazzer says it’s time to move on. Another person who’s trying to get Jazzer to make thinks up with Tom is Ed, who tries again while they’re shearing sheep at Brookfield. Jazzer doesn’t seem to be concentrating and Ed tells him to be careful. I’d listen to him Jazzer – you’re running out of potential employers in Ambridge.
Tony’s helping Pat make a batch of Borsteshire Blue, although he makes it clear that he’d rather be moving the pig arks than cutting curds to Pat’s exacting specification. They talk about Henry, and how with each week that passes he seems to be drifting further away from them. The impact on their lives seems to be hitting home, and Pat’s worried that it’s only the immediate family who still think Helen's case is worth fighting for.
Anna Tregorran’s still fighting, and briefs Helen on her video link with the mother and baby unit admissions board, with the hope of getting in so that she can keep the baby with her once it’s born. Helen fears that it will be the same outcome as the bail hearing but Anna urges her to be strong. She runs through the sort of questions they’ll be asking such as will she be a danger to her baby, or any of the other mothers and babies in the unit. “I’d never hurt a child … I’d never hurt anyone” (to be fair to Helen, I don’t think Rob counts). Helen’s starting to open up and tells Anna that she can’t hide anything when people are looking at her and that this stems from a childhood trauma over a tin of sweets in the classroom. So it’s not all Pat’s fault – Danny and Miss Parker have to share some of the blame too.
While all this is going on Rob is looking after Henry who’s missing his mummy. They read a Hansel and Gretel picture book together – the original version apparently where it’s not a wicked stepmother, but a wicked mother – “sometimes the nicest of mothers can do very bad things”. “Like my mummy”, replies Henry. The court have been very clear about not letting Helen interfere with witnesses, but it seems as if Rob’s got free reign, and so the brainwashing of Henry continues – “you mustn’t say she was nice when she wasn’t”.
Peggy has to visit Jennifer to let off steam, so angry is she that Helen wasn’t granted bail, calling it a barbaric decision. But it sounds like Peggy’s using that anger to mount a campaign, and later on in the week takes herself off to visit Helen (remarkable, since she can’t normally even go to the shops on her own), and tells her that she’s looking much better than she expected. Peggy’s enjoying the outing, having already had a pat-down from a very nice security officer. I think she warranted more than a pat-down as she would be a perfect drugs mule – who would suspect such a sweet little old lady? I can just imagine it: “… and then he put on some rubber gloves and I said ‘what are you going to do now dear’”? However the only probing is by Peggy, trying to find out what happened during the interview with the baby unit admissions board. It must have gone well as Peggy is looking forward to visiting there too – “we’ll make a trip of it”. Peggy finishes her visit with a motivational speech; “you’re an Archer woman Helen. They breed ‘em tough”.
Josh is helping Jill with her bees and he mentions that Evie Thorne-Davis from the local TV news programme is going to visit the hens on holiday to do one of her ‘quirky’ stories. To Josh she’s good looking with long brown hair. According to Jill she’s “the one with the eyebrows” who always seems ‘permanently surprised”. Josh and Toby can’t wait to meet her, but apparently she isn’t Rex’s type. Jill sides with Josh on wanting to push his eggs on open farm Sunday and he explains that David and Roooooth think it would make the tour too long, but Jill’s not going to let it rest there. It turns out that she’s got an old hen house that’s been left to ruin, is covered in undergrowth and is falling to pieces. It doesn’t take Josh long to relocate this prime piece of real estate beside the grain store at Brookfield.
Pip’s not happy and thinks the hen house is an eyesore and accuses Josh of not being a team player by muscling in on farm Sunday. Josh goes on to show it to Bert who thinks it’s too gone to be of any use, but Josh flatters him by talking about his joinery skills. Even though it’s only going to be used for one day, Josh seems to want a major transformation; a rounded roof instead of a sloping one, a pair of shafts at the front to make it look horse-drawn, and of course it would need some wheels! So what Josh admits he really wants is a Romany caravan. Joe’s reluctant to put the effort in, until he sees the opportunity to use it as a feature in his own garden afterwards, and is motivated to do a proper job.
Brian tells Adam that Justin wants to show his friend Latif around the Estate. He’s not sure why, but apparently Justin bought his horses from him, and could therefore be a potential investor. Brian’s keen to show off the AD unit but sounds worried that Adam won’t be on-message – handy as he’s in the process of planting the maize that will end up in the AD to generate electricity. Adam tops it when he says “it’s not all about money”. Just what a potential investor would want to hear.
When he arrives Latif seems to be a pleasant enough chap, turning on the charm with Jennifer and complimenting her on her “exceptional” kitchen. He warns Brian off some caterers he used for his daughters 18th, apparently he wasn’t impressed with their torshi (pickled vegetables). As Brian shows Latif around the estate, Latif gives the impression that he doesn’t know anything about farming. This gives Brian and Justin the opportunity to do the hard-sell on anaerobic digestion and renewable energy. It’s all going swimmingly, but then Latif spots Adam driving the tractor and is keen to talk to him about what he’s doing. Adam’s actually quite diplomatic, saying there’s a strong case for using silage and food waste to feed the unit, but he doesn’t mention the maize apart from the amount of seed he’s using. Latif picks up on this and thinks it sounds excessive.
While Brian’s out in the fields, Lynda ‘the raspberry’ Snell is with Jennifer waiting for Kate to turn up. Lynda’s got a rash all over her face which she thinks might be caused by Silver Birch pollen, but instead of doing the sensible (and obvious) thing and going to see her GP, she seeks the advice of Kate. All she gets from Kate is a text to say she’s stuck somewhere else, but it does give Lynda the chance to chat with Jennifer about Pat, Tony and Helen, and put her own problems into perspective. As for an allergy to Silver Birch pollen? I’m not sure – a couple of days ago Eddie added spent mushroom compost to the flowerbeds at Ambridge Hall. Lynda hadn’t asked for this, and Lynda and Robert were out when he did it, but Eddie thought it would be a nice surprise. Yes, chopping down a wrongly accused Silver Birch before finding out it was the Grundy’s lousy compost after all, would be a bit of a surprise.
Finally, a few weeks ago I speculated about how George might have afforded his new watch (see Professional Detachment?). Well, it seems that he’s been out spending again, this time on a new computer game. Ed’s assumed that Will must be giving him more pocket money, but I’m now starting to think that Alf has taken the rap for little George.