• THE WEEK IN AMBRIDGE 13/3/16

    The week starts with Mothers’ Day – Helen getting flowers from the Dark Lord. Cruella interrupts and Rob’s attention moves to his own Mother. After a bit of manoevering, The Evil One, Cruella and the Pyrex Kid head to the Bull, excluding poor Helen.

    At the Bull, David and Ruth are treating Jill to lunch. Ruth has been givena pendant and Jill gets acomedy baking apron form Kenton. Deep Pip spends the whole lunch mooning at her phone, waiting for texta from Hunky Mathew. Jill has a wee chat with Cruella and pronounces her “a lovely person.” Really, Jill??? Over lunch, Cruella and her godless spawn plot against Helen. “ I can’t imagine how Helen is ever going to cope. She can’t be trusted.” Cruella wants Rob to send the Test Tube Child off to boarding school – she will pay. Even Rob isn’t so sure, but Cruella keep battering on. Deep Pip moans on about the lack of contact with Hunky Mathew. Ruth and Jill, have a chat, but Ruth isn’t on good form – first Mothers’ Day without her mum. Jill helps a bit.

    The Dark Lord and the Test Tube Kid do the Clean for the Queen thing. Henry is very quiet. “Stand up straight Henry.”

    Robert returns from a walk with Scruff, to see Lynda’s sketch book of her plans for her new garden. There’s going to be a rose arbour with a stone engraving and (obviously) the Grundy-built shepherd’s hut. She heads to Oliver’s place to see how it’s going on.

    At Grange Farm, Clarrie is busy sewing the new curtains for the Village Hall. Lynda corners Eddie and demands to see the nascent shepherd’s hut. “The basic shape’s pretty much there.” “Isn’t it a bit wonky?” “It still needs smoothing down.” Lynda isn’t so sure. Fast Eddie talks his way out of it as usual. In spite of his obvious shoddy work, Lynda now wants him to help work on her new garden. Whilst this is going on, Clarrie, Joe and Ed plan a barn dance for Eddie’s 65th. Ed suggests asking David if they can use a barn at Brookfield, so they can keep it quiet from Eddie. There’s even talk of inviting Eddie’s black sheep (even for the Grundys) brother, Alfred. Once Lynda leaves, Eddie moans on that she wants “Versailles on wheels.”

    Back in the stifling atmosphere of Blossom Hill Cottage, Cruella is ‘tidying up’ (hiding things from Helen). She’s making toad in the hole and Helen lightly criticises her use of enormous quantities of dripping. Cruella sweeps out to buy vegetables and entrusts Helen to put the toad in the hole on for half an hour.

    Josh is full of dreamy-eyed future plans about county egg domination with Rex and Toby. He has made an automatic hen-coop door-opener. Toby is impressed and they do a deal – 50/50 for Josh to distribute the eggs.

    The Evil One secretly calls his old prep school to find out if they can take Henry. Helen catches him and asks who he was calling. The smoke alarm goes off – saved by the buzzer. Helen has burnt the dinner. “But I set the alarm for half an hour.” Cruella arrives back to find her much-criticised meal burnt. “Oh, I see.” Helen is pathetically craven in her apologies. Did the Evil One tamper with the oven timer? “I didn’t burn supper deliberately.” “If you say so.” Helen is very upset. Cruella heads off to bed with a headache.

    Susan is with Jennifer in the shop. Susan, the font of all gossip, tells Jennifer how lovely Cruella is and how much they are looking forward to hanging the village hall curtains. Jennifer raises the stakes by rubbing it in about her old kitchen (the one Susan rejected) is going into the Village Hall. ‘Maybe there should be a plaque,” sneers Susan. One nil final score.

    A mysterious girl is hanging round the village. Elizabeth finally recognises her as Dr. Locke’s daughter, Sacha. She’s waiting for the bus to Felbisham. There’s been a bit of a row at home with the good doctor’s ex-wife. Elizabeth drives her home. Richard and the ex-wife are waiting for her, very angry.

    David and Ed are up to something agricultural and a long, dreary chat about milk ensues. David is admiring of Ed’s hard work and asks him to lunch at the Bull later.

    Cruella ‘helps’ a fragile Helen fold clothes. “You don’t fold shirts that way.” Helen finally snaps, feeling stifled, and goes out. Blossom Hill Cottage is like a Polanski nightmare – ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ crossed with ‘Repulsion’. Helen heads to Pat. Pat doesn’t really help. There’s lots of questions about Helen’s choice to have a home birth. The last thing poor Helen needs is more questions and more pressure. “That’s enough.” She snaps badly at Pat. “It’s my body – it’s my baby – I wish you’d all leave me alone.” I think Pat is getting in the neck as Helen feels she can’t blow up at the Evil One and Cruella.

    At the Bull, Kenton is still unsure about Wayne in the kitchen, in spite of the increased lunch trade. Jolene knows it’s because of Wayne’s cooking (they are even baking their own bread at the Bull thanks to Wayne). Kenton weakly parries that the increase in trade might be the weather. Even David and Ed (the Ambridge Roux brothers) have noticed the difference. “I could eat that all over again.” “That chutney was well tasty.”

    Clarrie, Lynda, Neil, Susan and Eddie are all involved in hanging the new Village Hall curtains. Susan is holding the ladder for Neil, but keeps being distracted much to Neil’s terror. They hang the curtains wrong.

    Helen heads home and hides out in the bedroom – away from Cruella. The Dark Lord arrives and desperate Helen tries to persuade him to send his mother home. “She’s been here for four weeks.” Helen has finally puts her foot down. ‘Ursula has been here too long – it’s time she went home.” It is good to see her finally stand up for herself. The Evil One fights back. “How can you be this ungrateful? I always knew there as something wrong with you.” The Dark Lord unfurls his wings, thrashes his tail and grows his horns. “Look at you – you’re a wreck. It’s amazing you were ever allowed to bring a child into the word.” “You utter bastard.” Maybe, finally, finally Helen will stand up to him ……….and then…….and then……..he hits her.

    Later, Rob is hiding away, pretending to cry. “All I want in my Helen back,” he dribbles. Helen has calmed down, unfortunately. Rob, as usual, manages to spin things round so it’s all Helen’s fault. “How can we bring a child into this mess?” “Do you really think there’s something wrong with me?” “I think it’s time we found you some help, some psychiatric help.” She’s not the one that needs help, pal.

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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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