The Pyrex Kid is in some sort of king costume, ready for the Flower and Produce and the family are waiting for the Evil One to appear for his supervised three hour weekly visit with Jack/Gideon. Rob calls nervously to check that all the arrangements have been made. At the café, the Dark Lord meets the fruit of his evil loins for the first time. “Oh, my son. He’s just so perfect and so beautiful.” Elvis sings “Love Me Tender” in the background. Jack/Gideon starts crying. He needs his nappy changed and Rob wants Cruella to come down to help. Tony refuses as it’s against the visitation rules. Rob has to ask Tony to help change the Half-dark Child. Later, Henry is upset as he can’t see his ‘daddy’, but Jack can.

    Toby bumps into Pip as Peggy crams the car with her haul for the Flower and Produce. Toby helps bring her stuff to the Show. Helen turns up at the Flower and Produce with the Synthetic Child – “Everyone’s being so nice.” Toby kisses Pip. “Yes, we are now officially an item.” Pip doesn’t want to be kissed in public. Henry wins first prize for his outfit and Jill wins with her honey and her lemon drizzle. Jill also wins the Fieda Fry Best in Overall Show for her chutney. Jill lords it over the recently-arrived Carol, who immediately spots that the chutney has been mis-labelled – hers should have won. Toby got it wrong when he was helping.

    Alice is planning a 28th. birthday party and sequesters the big barbeque from Brian’s patio. She has a group of new tech pals to impress. Jennifer is worried about Adam and makes sure that he’s invited to Alice’s party. “He’s only got himself to blame,” says practical Alice. Later, mopey Adam helps Alice dismantle the barbeque and she tries to dissuade him from coming. “I’m not proud of the way I behaved. You think I’m a total rat, don’t you?” Alice is black and white. “Cheating is cheating.” There’s a bit of a row.

    At the shop the next day, Susan and Carol lay heavily into poor Jill about the mis-labelled chutney scandal. Jill tries to defend herself and blames Toby. Later, she calls the Echo to correct the results and to try and stop them publishing the picture of Jill holding to trophy. Carol is upset as she won’t have her picture in the paper, but is pleased that the historical record will be correct – she was the first winner of the Frieda Fry Memorial Trophy.

    Adam is visited at his lonely room at the Bull by Jennifer. “Oh, darling – this isn’t a fit place to live.” She wants him to come back to Home Farm. Eyore Adam wants to stew in his crummy room above the bar and has decided he can’t face Lillina for breakfast. Actually, given the fact that Jennifer is an ex-single mother, helping raise her husband’s love child from his affair, whose sister is currently conducing an affair with a married man and whose daughter has abandoned two kids in South Africa, Adam should feel right at home at Home. None of the Aldridges are exactly shining paragons of the monogamous life.

    Rex arrives back from a trip away to see his sick Dad to try and hunt down Toby. He’s unaware of the Toby/Pip situation. Josh works out he doesn’t know and manages to steer David away from spilling the beans. Meanwhile, at Rickyard, Toby is still smarting about Jill’s criticism of his chutney-arranging skills. Pip nags him about telling Rex about their relationship. Josh and Johnny head to an agricultural sale to try and buy a new mower. Josh confides in his nephew that his ‘gap year’ might be extended indefinitely. They return to Brookfield with a two year old mower, which David is pleased with. Josh tells David he spent £3,200 on it – under the four grand limit. Later, he wangles a four hundred pound ‘commission’ out of David. A strangely soft touch from the normally tight Archer,

    Pip tracks down Rex and he gets a hug, pleased to be back. “It’s funny how much you can miss a few hens.” Toby arrives and Pip makes her excuses and leaves. Rex fills his brother in on the health of their Dad and Toby prevaricates about telling him about Pip. “What was the big news you were going to tell me?” “Some other time.”

    Rob arrives at Bridge Farm for his Wednesday Gideon visit. Jazzer gives him the cold shoulder and he gets told off for being in the yard twenty minutes early by Pat and she sends him to the café to wait. Emmar gives him the cold shoulder there, too. Emmar runs up to visit Helen and the Darkling One. “Jack, you’re just so gorgeous.” She apologises for baby-sitting whilst Helen was in prison. “I feel so bad taking money from that terrible man.” Tony takes Jack down to the café to see the Dark Lord. Emmar stays with Helen. Helen’s got a card from Cockernee Caz. She wants to go and visit her.

    Jazzer is finishing work and Pat and him watch the Evil One drive off. Pat is upset about the fact that Rob got “clean away” with what he did to Helen. Jazzer may not be the best person to tell this to…

    Toby and Rex are with the hens. Toby manages to persuade Rex not to come to Alice’s party as he will be there with Pip. At the Bull, Ed bumps into mopey Adam – neither of them is going to Alice’s party. Ed gets a persuasive text from Alice to come. At the party, Alice is greeting her guests. Pip and Toby turn up. It sounds like a good bash. Pip is curious about Rex’s reaction to the news about her relationship with Toby. Toby distracts her with food. Alice is curiously pleased to see Ed. She seems quite delighted that he’s come. She is desperate for him to meet her techie pals as an ‘end user’ and ‘man of the soil’. Ed tries to leave later and Alice attempts to steer him back to no avail. “I don’t appreciate being a token peasant.”

    Adam is still propping up the Bull bar when Rex arrives. “So how are those hens and geese?” A scintillating conversational opening gambit. The topic of Alice’s party comes up. They both decide to go, after Rex tells him about how he feels about Pip. They arrive and drunk Alice apologies to Adam. Rex finds Toby sucking face with Pip. Rex is furious. “She practically threw herself at me.” “What kind of brother does that? I’ll never trust you again.” Great party, Alice.

    Emmar sells Jazzer some cut-price donuts as the Dark Lord sweeps in to the cafe. He wants Emmar to give a card to the Pyrex Kid, congratulating him on winning first prize at the Flower and Produce. He wants Emmar to give it to Henry in the garden and bring him to the café. Emmar refuses “you know you’re not allowed to see him.” Furious, the Dark Lord tears the card up. “You’re all on her side now.” He slithers out.

    At the Bull, Jazzer and Kenton discuss the cricket – the Darrington match was postponed last week and can be re-scheduled as a ‘friendly’. Again, the Dark Lord sweeps in and asks for a large Scotch. Jazzer (a large Scotch himself) makes his excuses and leaves him alone at the bar. Rob bends Kenton’s ear about his Henry woes after what sounds like several large ones. “This is my family your taking about – I don’t want to hear it,” says an uneasy Kenton. The Evil One gets progressively drunker. Emmar turns up and Rob tries to buy her a drink. “Has my mad wife been spinning her crazy lies?” Emmar gives him both barrels in front of the whole pub. The Dark Lord beats his hooves on the flagging and lashes his tail, about the strike brave Emmar. Jazzer and David hear the commotion and get involved. Jazzer is ready to thump him. There’s a vocal stand-off and Jazzer and David run Rob out of the bar. “On you way – and don’t come 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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