We are at The Stables with Alastair and Shula. Richard Locke has arrived for lunch. He has brought wine AND flowers. Alastair is with Joe in the surgery, hiding. Joe is looking for ‘flood-damaged’ vaccines for Bartleby. Lunch finally goes ahead and is as stilted as you would imagine, what with Alastair and Richard being love rivals. It’s painful. Finally, Dan turns up and it relaxes a bit. The conversation focuses on Sandhurst and Dan’s forthcoming tank training.

    Out on the Megatractor, Ed is halted by the Evil One. He and Helen are donating a huge cheese board for the wedding. He also warns Ed about ‘talking to strangers’ regarding the culvert work for BL, in a vaguely threatening way. Joe wanders down to Bartelby’s paddock and tells Ed about Dr. Locke’s lunch engagement with Alastair and Shula - “like two terriers fighting.” Ed tells Joe about Rob’s threats.

    Will visits Lynda and Robert to talk about doing some off-road driving for them, for the bird-watching contest. Jim, the rival team, has roped Kenton into his team for the same duty. It’s Ambridge Aviators against the Bull Birders. Later, in the shop, Jim and Robert have a pissing contest about the contest. Jim makes accusations about Robert’s honesty regarding spotting birds. They agree to meet together on the Green on the day.

    Ed is out chain-sawing when Rex Fairbother turns up. Rodways have asked for double the rent for the land Ed is renting. It looks like Ed is stuck with the useless pasture. The conversation turns to brotherly relations. “When the going gets tough, you’re always there for each other,” says Rex.

    Deep Pip beards the Dark Lord in his lair at Berrow Farm. She wants some advice about large-scale farming for her interview. He gives her the full tour and some good ideas for her interview. He sounds almost human. Almost.

    Peggy and Carol are having coffee at Glebe Cottage. Bert has been a demon in the garden and Carol is very pleased with the work. They discuss such thrilling topics as Lillian’s new hairstyle – “she had it done at Fabrice”

    Jolene and Kenton are at a very quiet Bull. They have let one of their bar-staff go. It’s someone who has never been mentioned before, so it’s not too painful. Kenton is very down. He couldn’t give Merrill any money for college. “She deserves a proper dad, not a waste of space like me.” Poor Kenton. Carol turns up for lunch and there’s yet more chat about Lillian’s new hair. Jolene tries to be positive (about the Bull’s finances, not Lillian’s hair). “What’s happened to your positive attitude?” David has called – he wants to see Kenton. “It would be mush simpler if we weren’t related.”

    Jim is out with his binoculars and is caught by Carol, snooping at the Dower House. She borrows the binoculars. “Oh, my goodness, that is impressive.” It turns out, Jim was spying at Robert’s new 500mm lens (with extender). “Fancy gadgets are no substitute for a decent eye,” sneers Jim. “Big telephoto lens – small tick list.” After Jim goes, Robert gets both barrels from Lynda about spending a fortune on the lens, but Robert whines on about the stick he was getting from Jim and the steely competitiveness always just beneath Lynda’s carapace comes to the surface and she relents.

    Charlie meets Ed. Ed is still very disappointed about the Faribrother brother deal falling though. He thinks that the estate was asking too much – they asked for double the rent they are charging Ed.

    Tony waiting for the new bull to arrive. Jazzer is there. He invites Jazzer for dinner. “Three lentil bake with side salad.” Jazzer doesn’t sound to chuffed and makes his excuses. Johnny and Tony are very pleased with the new bull when it arrives. Johnny wants to call him ‘Cooper’ after the toy Brabham Copper Peggy gave Tony.

    Back at the Bull, Jolene reports than there’s been a possible bunting sighting. Jazzer arrives and orders a steak pie and a pasty. He has managed to avoid the dreaded lentil bake. David turns up to a stony reception. Kenton doesn’t want to talk, but David persuades him. David attempts to make an offer of a loan. “I’m trying to be practical – I want to help.” Kenton says that they don’t need any help. “So I’m a charity case now, am I?” He’s very upset and kicks David out.

    Joe and Eddie visit the ferrets at Roy’s to clip their claws. They are worried about Roy’s state of mind and think that maybe a ferret would help stop him being lonely. Yes, a small, aggressive rodent will help replace his wife and child. Grundy logic. Also, to help keep the ferrets distracted whilst clipping their claws, they smear some of Roy’s butter on their tummies (the ferrets’ not theirs’). And then they scrape it off and put it back in the fridge.

    Deep Pip’s interview went pretty well – she is one of eighteen candidates for two positions. She even managed to have a chat with that nice Fairbrother brother that she’s keen on.

    Finally, Ed makes the effort and meets William. He comes straight out with it – “Do you want to be my best man next week?” “You’re not serious – this isn’t a wind up? I never dreamed you’d ask.” William brings up the obvious problems and they start fighting. No great surprise, there. Ed heads off to see Joe and Eddie – he feels like a failure - he can’t get rid of his fifty acres and he can’t get on with his brother. ‘He’s a complete idiot and I can’t stand him, but he’s my brother.”


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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