• THE WEEK IN AMBRIDGE 17/1/16

    Ruth and Jill are waiting for Alastair to conduct TB testing on the cows, readying them for the sale. Ruth is already looking for cross-breeds to replace them.

    Kirsty is visiting Helen and the Dark Lord. It’s obvious Kirsty knows Something Is Up and swears Helen to call her if she needs ‘anything’.

    Is this the first utter from Matthew the hunky cowhand? He’s keen to discuss milk yield with Pip (I bet he is). Ruth and Jill notice that Pip is ‘quite taken’ with the strapping young cowboy. Matthew for sure knows which buttons to press as regards the grown-up on the farm – even David approves. “I could get to like this boy – he says all the right things.” And doesn’t he know it. Alistair arrives, testing the out-going herd for TB.

    Tom and Jazzer zoom about Borchester, hunting for two missing pigs who are leaving a trail of destruction as they roam free. After a bit of pig hunting, they hit the Bull and decide to christen the missing pigs “Ronnie and Reggie”.

    Jill and Ruth meet in the middle of the night in the kitchen, both sleepless, worrying about the outcome of the TB tests. They also make the discovery that Pip isn’t under the Brookfield roof, and sharp-eyed Jill spotted her heading for Rickyard – Mathew’s lair.

    Jennifer bumps into Charlie and invites him to a farewell drinks party at Home Farm in his honour. Jennifer promises a ‘perfect little soiree’.

    The Fairbrother brothers are having a posh lunch, they have sealed the deal with Brookfield and will be there for another two years. “At least we’ll see more of Pip.” But even the twins have noticed that her affections might lean Matthew-wards. Then they rope Charlie into a discussion about pasture-fed poultry. Interesting. After buying some cheese from Helen, Toby gets a text and suddenly has to rush off to Brighton with £500. What’s all that about?

    Phoebe is being dumped by her boyfriend Alex because she’s off to Oxford and has a wee cry on granny Jennifer’s shoulder. “There’ll never be anyone like Alex.” Jennifer tries to sell the ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ line. Phoebe bursts into tears. She’s seriously considering not taking her place at Oxford to keep some boy. Jennifer wants her to talk to her parents.

    Kirsty, Roy and Brenda discuss Helen and the Evil One. “There’s still something not right.” Roy is sounding more and more like his dad.

    There’s a Grundy-sponsored wassail going on at Grange Farm. Phoebe discusses the Alex situation with Hayley and Roy. They are desperately keen for her to go to university. Phoebe is somehow part of the wassail ceremony. Not a virgin sacrifice, then. There’s some dreary singing and the Grundy’s are full of pagan spirit (and rough cider). There are slices of toast tied on an apple tree, which Phoebe has to climb as the Wassail Queen. Grundy cider is poured at the roots. Who is making this up? Eddie gets pissed…and there’s a fire.

    Ruth and David are with the out-going cows, remembering some Great Cow Plotlines of the past – like when they were moved North because of the flood.

    Come the morning, Eddie and Joe are surveying the wrecked and smouldering shed. Joe reckons it was kids playing with fireworks. Eddie is confident they can replace it. What sort of farm will Oliver and Caroline come back to? Charred buildings, pigs everywhere and god knows what else will happen before their return. Why would a pair of screaming poshoes like the Sterlings even consider letting the Grundys stay at Grange Farm? Tom is altered to a sighting of the missing pigs by Joe. Tom, Eddie and Joe find Ronnie and Reggie in Grundy Field.

    Tension at Honeysuckle! Ian has let Adam sleep in and is very mopey. Adam asks Ian to Charlie’s leaving do – Ian says he’s working in a very grumpy voice.

    The TB results come back – no reactors. David and Ruth are thrilled and run around setting auction dates and finding sellers for a new herd.

    Back at Honeysuckle, Adam is still disappointed that Ian can’t come to Charlie’s leaving do. Ian snaps back hard ‘you’ll just have to go on your own.’

    Rob’s tail twitches as Helen tells him that Kirsty showed concern about her health. He then tries to distance Helen from her. “Look how upset she’s making you – you’re better off without her.” Anything to further isolate her. And she’s still not eating properly. No mention this week of the Dark Lord’s Christmas expenditure.

    “Can I tempt you to a crostini?’ – Jennifer loves a drinks party more than anything. Whilst we’re at the Aldridges’s – did Ruairi put in an appearance over Christmas? Has he been left at the boarding school permanently? Ruth and David are there, but Charlie is late. The Evil One calls and says that they can’t make it as ‘Helen is tired’ – in fact, they need to say away from Charlie (Rob has spilt the beans to the Echo about the bad management at Berrow Farm) AND they need to stay away from Ian (the Adam/Charlie gossip). Charlie turns up. Ruth is gracious in victory, considering how much she hated Berrow Farm. Charlie is keeping an eye out for Adam. Later, over large amounts of Brian’s best single malt and some hot toddies, Charlie confesses to Adam that he feels a failure. It’s very intense. Charlie drags Adam outside for a huge snog. It’s the polytunnels all over again. “Just let me go.” “I love you.” Then there’s more very squelchy face-sucking. A lot more.

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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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