“Home again.” Cruella has brought her Dark Spawn back to Blossom Hill. He’s not happy and is obviously still in pain. He seems uncomfortable in the kitchen (can’t think why) and settles in the lounge. Cruella has made arrangements for the Pyrex Kid to visit and sweeps out to fetch him from Bridge Farm.

    There’s a lot of bovine squelching at Brookfield – Deep Pip is watching Ruth deliver calves and she has found someone to flog her some cattle for her grazing idea.

    Pat and Tony are getting hEnry ready for his visit to his ‘father’. It’s obviously a little frosty when Cruella turns up. Pat tries to be nice, but to no avail and Cruella stalks out, the Synthetic Child held deep in her talons. Arriving at Blossom Hill, the Dark Lord is pleased that Henry has made a ‘get well’ card. “I’m glad you’re home, Daddy – when’s Mummy coming home?” Cruella takes control, “You must do what you’re told,” and takes the poor kid upstairs to get ready for bed. Bed? He’s staying? That will be news to Pat and Tony.

    Back at Bridge Farm, Pat is beginning to worry about Henry’s return. She calls Cruella . “There’s been a change of plan – Henry is staying with us.” Pat is shocked. “ I’m not going to argue about this – Henry belongs with his father,” insists Cruella. Pat is very upset. After a chat with Tom, she’s going to call Blossom Hill again.

    At the shop (still closed) large stock orders are turning up, uncancelled. Johnny and Tom try to deal with it. Johnny offers to take time off college. Later, Jazzer turns up for a quiet chat with Johnny, but Johnny won’t talk to him.

    The next morning, Cruella has managed to get the Synthetic Child to school after a night of bad dreams. Pat calls again. “We need to talk about this reasonably.” “How dare you lecture me.” Rob takes the phone. “I am his father – I have full parental rights.” Pat says, “What about Helen?” “She has no right – its all about me and Henry.” And he hangs up.

    Johnny has discovered that the pigs have got into the polytunnel and Tom blames himself. They are trying to sort it out when a distraught Pat turns up with the news about the loss of Henry. Tom runs off with Pat and Jazzer turns up for another attempt. He is desperate for his old job back. “I’ll never open my big mouth again.” Johnny won’t help.

    Pat has spoken to the lawyers and is taking the Dark Lord to the Family Court for custody of poor Henry. Cruella turns up to pick up more clothes and toys for the kidnapped kid. Pat tells her that she’s going to court. “You must do whatever you want, Pat – we’ll see you in court.

    At the Dower House – Lillian shows off her interior decorating skills to Justin. He’s very pleased, until he spots a yellow velvet chair. That sounds just like Lillian. “A statement piece.” Miranda is coming to see it, which throws Lillian a bit.

    Adam and Brian have constructed a cattle handling system for Deep Pip and the Fairbrother’s grazing experiment. Jenny skips by, having spotted “a little elfin grotto” in the Millennuim Wood. “Have you been on the magic mushrooms again?”

    Helen’s barrister, Anna, is having another go at trying to get some sense out of her. Helen has been thrown back into turmoil by Rob’s custody of Henry, so she’s still not making much headway in terms of coherence. Her memories of the night are fractured, confused – but she does remember speaking to Kirsty on the phone, telling Rob she was leaving him and the Dark Lord giving her the knife. She collapses in howling tears at that point. “I cant’ be sure of anything, it’s all mixed up.” Anna is patient. She thinks that Helen could be facing two separate charges – Attempted Murder and Wounding with Intent, a guilty plea for even the lesser charge could mean six years in prison.

    The next day, Johnny has taken a day off college to help re-plant the pig-damaged polytunnel and Pat and Tony head for the Family Court for Henry’s hearing. Cruella is there (not Rob). The Titchner legal counsel is quite pleased that Rob’s not there (the extent of his injuries might play well), but is worried about going up against Anna Tregorran. Anna argues very well for Pat and Tony. “They have known Henry since birth – they are his blood family.” She speaks clearly and logically and it sounds like she’s putting forward a good case. The Titchner brief counter-argues very well, too and at the mention of Rob’s injuries, Cruella sheds a little tear. He drops the sledgehammer blow of Rob’s legal Parental Responsibility, granted to him by Helen. The Archers lose. The Pyrex Kid stays in the clutches of Cruella and the Dark Lord. Pat and Tony are distraught. The court are going to review things in June. If that goes in the Titchner’s favour, then Henry is set for Dotheboys Hall for sure, come the Autumn.

    Jim has finally moved back into Greenacres and is immediately set upon by Jazzer, wanting to move back in, too. Jim avoids the issue and excuses himself, unwilling to confront the poor homeless milk (and ex pig) man. Shula catches him and makes him confess that he doesn’t want Jazzer moving back in. Bossy Shula then marches the prof into the Bull to break the bad news to Jazz. Jazzer relates the St. George’s Day shennanigans at the Bull to Jim. “I’ve been missing you that much, it’s like a big black hole in my life.” Jazzer promises that he’s reformed and will tidy up and pay proper rent, if he’s allowed to move in. Soft-hearted Jim relents. “You won’t regret this – I promise.”

    Eddie is caught by Lynda outside the shop. “You and I need to talk.” The roof’s leaking on the shepherd’s hut. Later, he moans to Joe about the never-ending repairs on his shoddy hut. Joe has hit on an idea – he suggests that Eddie offers an “extended warranty” on the jerry-built piece of crap. £10 for a couple of years. Eddie thinks that this is genius. Later, they move the stone engraving for Lynda and Eddie tries to sell his warranty idea to Lynda. “Tell me you’re joking.”

    David sees Pat. He’s very sympathetic to the Henry situation. “Poor Auntie Pat, she looks terrible,” says Deep Pip. Rex has come up with ‘Upper Class Eggs, Laid by Landed Poultry” to sell their eggs. Deep Pip thinks it’s ‘genius’. David tells her that he will lend her the money to buy cattle. She’s so pleased, she kisses Rex…and then says, “Ive got to go and call Mathew, he’ll be so pleased.” Not what Rex wants to hear..

    Pat meets Anna. Anna still hasn’t got to the bottom of the Events at Blossom Hill. Pat is still deeply upset about the fact that Helen won’t see anyone. “She’s not to give up hope – no matter what she’s done, we still love her very much.” Anna then has another go at getting some reason out of her client. Helen is still focussing on the plight of the Synthetic Child and cares not one jot as to her own fate. The only thing she’s clear about is the fact that she doesn’t want any visitors. There’s more howling and tears. “I gave my son away – I’m never going to get him back.


The Week In Ambridge

The Week In Ambridge

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Welcome to my blog

I am a new listener to The Archers - my Mother started me at birth, so I have only been listening for 46 years. Apologies if I get things wrong.

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