Joanna van Kampen (Fallon Rogers)
I approach this week’s blog with trepidation, as along with a number of our regular correspondents, I feel that the story lines are getting rather weak – with Lily’s affair with the deputy principle, the current nadir. The affair is still going strong, even to the point of Lily interrupting her revision time to go out with him. It might develop into a more interesting story though, as Russ has told the police about drug dealing on the premises. Lily thinks it’s an opportunity to get rid of Ellis but I can’t help thinking Russ wants to get Freddie out of the picture instead, and he’s going to take Lily abroad while it happens.
Fallon’s new bugbear might sink to new depths though, as she’s gone all ‘blue planet’ after the quantity of plastics discarded by the last party they catered for which, incidentally, they supplied all the single-use plastic for. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m appalled by all the plastic in circulation and the collective inability of governments the world over to do anything about it, but come on scriptwriters, you’re lagging behind the trends. Adam agonising over the composition of his strawberry punnets would be marginally more interesting, but this? Harrison demonstrates the size of the challenge and Fallon’s naivety when he points out that the gum she’s chewing is itself made of plastic.
Shula and Alistair are both going to be at the single wicket this afternoon. They both enjoy the competition so agree to make the most of the day, but they don’t count on Susan turning up to lend a hand with the teas. It doesn’t take her long to start making condescending remarks to Shula and counting herself lucky that her and Neil have had ‘decades of happiness’ (I think someone should seek Neil’s opinion on that). Harrison gets caught in the slips by teenager Molly Button (sounds painful) but Alistair’s on form. He makes it to the final and is up against his business partner Anisha. The two vets don’t slog it out for long though as Alistair hits a six on the second ball to win the competition. It’s a tad awkward as Shula presents the Mark Hebden Trophy and her speech, all five words of it, is hardly gushing and the situation’s made worse when the pair of them do an awkward kiss or handshake manoeuvre. They do however unite when the washing up’s done to send Susan ‘village gossip is nothing to do with me’ Carter off with a flea in her ear.
Open Farm Sunday’s coming around again and one of the highlights on Bridge Farm is going to be Tom talking about Kefir. I for one am surprised they’re still managing to sell the stuff, but could it be about to serve a higher purpose? Helen invited Hannah over to Bridge Farm for dinner with her and Tom, and while she’s there Tom takes her into the dairy to show her how they make Kefir. All that talk of fermenting milk products spurs Tom on to invites Hannah to the Bull for a drink on the way home. However when he tries to push it further she makes it clear that she consider them to be friends only.
Brian and Jennifer are back together in the marital bed (we were spared the details) and it’s the morning of their 42ndwedding anniversary. Jennifer’s bought him a pair of personalised cufflinks and doesn’t seem bothered or even expect anything from him. He is going to take her out to dinner though.
Someone else taking their wife out to dinner is Robert Snell, to La Femme Du Monde no less. Lynda’s missing having a dog around the house so Robert takes her to the dog shelter. They see a Cockapoo and a Beagle, but the one that really catches Lynda’s eye is a Doberman! It offers her it’s paw and tilts its head exactly like Scruff used to, and Lynda instantly feels a spiritual connection with it. I must admit that when I think of Dobermans I think of Zeus and Apollo from Magnum PI, not Scruff, but then again they are the sorts of names Lynda goes for. They take him into the field and Lynda says he looks like an elegant and steadfast warrior and as a bonus doesn’t get her face ripped off. They decide to adopt him and she names him Montgomery, or Monty for short, after the author of Anne of Green Gables, for reasons that, quite frankly, I couldn’t bother listening to.
Brian’s restaurant booking was cancelled at the last moment and he manages to get a table at La Femme Du Monde too. Now, considering this is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in Borsetshire, how believable is it that a) they have a 2 for 1 night, and b) Brian manages to get a table on the day? We eavesdrop on the two tables; Lynda and Robert are discussing Monty, while Brian and Jennifer are talking about offering Home Farm as a venue for Ruth’s 50thbirthday party.
Ed reckons he’s got a potential champion Texel ram and considers calling it, wait for it, Champion! Poppy shows more imagination, possibly too much, by naming it Peppa Pig. The poor child sounds confused to me, but there’s no doubt she’s becoming obsessed with Peppa - the lamb. Someone else obsessed is Will who’s working himself up over the fact that Jake and Mia’s father, Andrew, has just taken them to Disneyland Paris and can’t compete with that. He’s fearful that he’ll lose Poppy because ‘the authorities’ might think she’s better off living with her older sister. I’m not saying he’s panicking over it, but he’s decided to apply for custody of Jake and Mia.
Back to the soon to be plastic-free tea room, and Christine’s made an appearance offering to take care of the table flowers for Harrison and Fallon’s soon to be plastic-free wedding. Fallon has to move her car (typically about 10% plastic content by weight) and Christine looks after the counter, although ‘look after’ turns out to be the exact opposite of what she does, serving camomile tea instead of earl grey, putting coffee in the teapot, and mixing up the gluten-free and normal biscuits. Harrison thinks something’s not quite right with her – no shit Sherlock!
Adam’s got a fungal infection - a slight touch of septoria on his maize, but should still get a bumper crop, and his strawberries are looking good. But don’t be fooled that everything’s now coming up roses at Home Farm. There’s a visit from the Environment Agency and Jenny calls Brian and Adam back urgently. They’re there to inform him that the contamination has spread into the groundwater and is coming out in the spring near the deer paddocks. The clean-up could now last until Christmas at the earliest. Brian’s exasperated cry of ‘how are we expected to survive’ trails off into the theme tune and we are left to ponder how much more land can he sell off to BL, and at what price?