• THE WEEK IN AMBRIDGE 10/1/16

    We begin the week after church with Peggy, Jill and Jennifer spouting cliché after cliché before going on about the large sums raised by ‘Calendar Girls’ for the village hall re-build and bitching about Sabrina Thwaite trying to get her hooks into strapping young officer Daniel. Jill seems to have some good news, but we’re not allowed to hear what it is, even though it can only be the new plans for Brookfield.

    After last week’s Walton Mountain moment at Brookfield, David is zooming about on a quad bike bringing hot chocolate to the more able-bodied members of the workforce. Ruth is still very enthused about the new plans, David less so.

    Brian and Jennifer are swigging (pre-lunch!) sherry, before Brian heads to Brookfield on a vital serving-dish returning mission and Jennifer heads to Peggy’s to moan about Lynda continuing to slave-drive even though the play is over.

    Justin visits Home Farm with roses and flattery for Jennifer and discussions with Brian about the financial smouldering ruin that is the megadairy. He’s also got plans for Adam. He wants Adam to run Berrow Farm when it returns to arable. He then runs round to tell Charlie about the closure of the megadairy. Charlie doesn’t care much as he’s heading to Perthshire, even though Justin is less than flattering about his management style. ‘You need to get more involved locally,’ intones Justin from the lofty peak of management perfection, innocent of Charlie’s hidden alter-ego as a potentially home-wrecking little minx. If anything, Charlie probably got a little too involved locally.

    At Grange Farm, Clarrie is trying to stem the tide of Grundy filth from invading the farmhouse and stop Eddie and Joe from wrecking the place. Eddie is building something that will make Clarrie ‘very happy’. Clarrie is on edge about looking after the new, improved old homestead which is now ‘a palace like this isn’t meant for the likes of us’. Dickens has been involved in the scripts this week. Eddie’s built a pig ark. ‘Where are we going to get the money for pigs?’

    The Dark Lord is getting ready to go out hunting, Helen is horrified about the bank statement. ‘We seem to have spent rather a lot of money.’ Later, he impresses Shula with his horse-handling skills, saving her from being thrown because of a broken cheek-piece (some arcane piece of horse tack). ‘Your husband is a hero,’ she tells Helen later in the shop.

    Helen is trying to get hold of Ian, who is refusing her calls. The Evil One has put the Pyrex Kid to bed and has made dinner ‘only the best for my beautiful wife.’ Helen refuses to eat it, claiming she has already eaten in the shop. Picking over salad, she brings up the fact that he’s burnt though two and a half grand of her money. He goes bat-shit and bins the dinner, claiming that he only wants the best for her. Helen is cowed again.

    Phoebe is being badgered by Jennifer to keep checking her email every five minutes to see if she’s got her acceptance letter from Oxford. Phoebe is totally laid back about it, Jennifer isn’t. The letter arrives, but Phoebe can’t bring herself to open it. She keeps trying to call Alex. Later, she gets Jennifer to open it…Phoebe has been given an offer!

    Helen finally resorts to confronting Ian face-to-face at work. She wants Ian to be the new baby’s godfather. Ian is still upset about the gossip about Adam and Charlie, stirred up by the Evil One and Helen. ‘I really want us to be friends,’ breathes Helen. ‘I do not want to be your friend.’ The Dark Lord’s behaviour is further isolating Helen from any support she may have had from her friends. At the shop the next day, Fallon is giving away unsold cake (difficult times at the café) which gives us another opportunity to witness Helen refusing food and tires to engage Helen in some sort of joint promotion. Helen breaks down. Clarrie and Susan put it down to the pregnancy.

    A couple of Neil’s pigs have ‘got loose’ and can’t be found. Clarrie has her suspicions…especially when Eddie gets up at four in the morning to head out for ‘a bit of business’ with Ed. Once she sees the piglets, however, her heart melts and the issue of where they came from seems to have been forgotten. Eddie wants to get some cattle next and Clarrie seems to have softened about the way they are looking after Grange Farm. Oliver and Caroline are in for a surprise when they get back.

    The Fairbrother brothers are pitching expansion plans to David and Ruth. International expansion. Nothing less than global poultry domination for Toby and Rex. After, Ruth finally gets David to talk about his doubts about the new plans. ‘Every time I look at the cows, I remember when each one was born.’ The big softy – I mean, how long to cows live for?

    Before Phoebe’s Oxford acceptance party, Jennifer has a bit of a wobble about comparing Phoebe’s bright and shiny future and her own life as a ‘farmers wife.’ Brian lays on the compliments and the praise (‘you’re beautiful…you are the rock on which this family is founded’) until she calms down.

    David and Ruth climb Lakey Hill. David is finally on side about the new herd plans for Brookfield. In a repeat of last week, it goes all Walton’s again. ‘I don’t deserve you. Thank you for sticking with me,’ says Daivd. ‘You don’t get rid of me that easily, David Archer.’

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The Week In Ambridge

The Week In Ambridge

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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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