Susan is with Clarrie, hunting mayonnaise. They are preparing for Joe’s 95th. birthday, happy to be settled at Grange Farm, thanks to the Sterlings (Oliver, mainly). Joe has even called light-fingered Alf for the beano, but he has “a prior engagement.” Good.

    Tom and Kirsty are finding new ground, following their ‘totally understandable’ bonk. Kirsty feels that it was a “one off”, whilst Elvis sings “Always on my Mind” in the background. Tom isn’t so sure. Shouldn’t have left her at the altar, then. Tom is worried about his Nuffield Scholarship interview. Kirsty helps put his mind at rest, as usual. The Synthetic Child is back at Bridge Farm and is ‘unsettled’, according to Tom. Kirsty and Tom head off to Joe’s party, Tom’s mind whirling with ‘what-if’s and what might-have-been’s. Surely he can’t expect a return match?

    Joe’s party is in full swing, even Caroline and Oliver turn up with a bottle of good malt. Caroline still doesn’t sound convinced by the Grundy’s occupation of their prime property. Drunk Eddie gets her line dancing. Not quite Caroline’s thing. I’m sure. Later, she makes her excuses and tries to leave the drunken horde. She is made to stay for Eddie’s speech. Eddie thanks “our good friends, the Sterlings.” Joe gets all tearful – “four generations of Grundys here at Grange Farm.” No word from grumpy William and the continuing ‘foraging’ feud with Eddie.

    Back at Bridge Farm, Pat and Helen are watching the Half-Dark Child drop off. Helen is very pleased to be back and out of prison. “There’s an awful lot for you to take in.” Pat gets the Pyrex Kid ready for school. “Where’s my bag? Baby Gideon is asleep.” “His name’s Jack.” He’s worried that Helen will vanish when he heads for school.

    Justin interviews the Dark Lord for the Estate Manager job. “Things have become delicate.” Rob tries to fight his corner. Technically, he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Idiot Justin gives him the job. Justin was worried he might be leaving. “Leave? Why would I leave – my son his here.” Rob has surgery scheduled for early October, so won’t be able to start until early November. Having been branded a wife-beater and rapist, sure business mind Justin feels that the Evil One is perfect for running his estate.

    Adam and Jennifer are clearing out the picker’s cottages. Adam is very down about the state of his marriage. “I was such an idiot.” Is he talking about horny-handed Pavel or Charlie? “These things happen,” sighs Jennifer. Don’t they just, Jennifer. Witness Adam – the fruit of Jennifer’s “these things happen” approach. Not to mention Brian’s little Ruairi (not that anyone does these days – where WAS the little chap over the Summer?). Adam is hanging around Home Farm, loath to go home. Jennifer wants Adam and Ian to go to counselling to save the marriage.

    David is steaming in the cow shed, upset that Toby has vaguely insulted him, comparing him to “a fine wine, or a maturing cheese.” Josh rolls in, off to check the sheep. David wants him to formalise his plans for his gap year. Josh maybe looking at mushrooms. David shoots him down quickly.

    Adam approaches Iain about counselling. “I don’t need a counsellor to find out what I feel.” Iain is still very, very hurt and grumpy and storms out.

    The Good Rev Alan and Usha are discussing Blossom Hill and the fact that it’s still the Dark Lord’s lair. Usha wants to chuck him out, the practical God-botherer suggests that given the past stabby nature of the property, it might not be a successful let, having been branded “Blossom Hell Cottage” in the press. Usha still feels Rob is a “psychopath” who has “abused the trust of the whole village.” Eventually, Usha talks her husband round.

    After Iain’s long shift in the kitchen, he gets home to Adam. Adam has packed his bags and leaves it up to Iain to decide whether he stays or goes. “Just go.” Poor Adam. He heads to the Bull and stays in one of the guest rooms. Kenton consoles him in the morning. It looks like he’ll be in the Bull for awhile, he doesn’t want to go to Home Farm.

    Kirsty is with Helen and the Darkling. “You are lucky, Helen – two gorgeous boys.” Tony is going to supervise the Evil One’s visit with Gideon/Jack on Sunday in the tearoom. Kirsty and Helen go for a practise drive. The cops have been in touch, asking Helen is she wants to register a complaint against Rob, regarding what came out at the trial. Helen isn’t so sure, but Kirsty thinks she should speak to Anna when she gets back from holiday, concered that the Evil One may hurt other women. “You always know what to do,” says Helen, admiringly.

    Burt is preparing for the Flower and Produce, supervised by Joe, dead-heading roses at Carol’s. There’s going to be a chutney prize this year in honour of Frieda Fry. Burt has keys to Carol’s whilst she’s on holiday with Anna, so they go in and Joe raids the larder for cheese, biscuits, tomatoes and gingerbread. Naughty Joe. Later, at the Bull, they spot Adam. Joe has been told by Eddie, having been told by Wayne, having been told by Kenton that Adam and Ian have split up. Kind Burt asks Adam to join their pub quiz team.

    Emmar is cleaning at Peggy’s. “You don’t seem quite yourself, dear.” “I feel so awful about Helen.” Emmar feels bad about looking after the Pyrex Kid for Rob. Sensible Peggy calms her down. “Really, dear, you musn’t worry.” Jennifer arrives to take Peggy to Fabrice’s hair salon and they drone on about Pheobe heading to Oxford.

    David researches mushroom farming – “there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.” Jill ties to temper his criticism. Jill heads to the shop, only to meet Peggy and Jennifer on their way to Fabrice’s. There’s some underhand skulduggery, regarding the chutney options of the Flower and Produce. “It’s always cut-throat.” At the hairdressers, Jennifer tells Peggy about the Adam/Iain split and Justin’s idiotic decision to employ the Evil One. Peggy is surprised and worried about Lillian’s take on the latter. “At least Justin and Lillian’s relationship is purely professional.”

    Josh and David meet over a broken tractor. There’s another fight about mushrooms. “I’m thinking of exotics.” David shoots him down again. Josh fights back, “Did you have a five year plan at my age?”

    Caroline is pushing Oliver to formalise the rental agreement with the Grundys. She wants a proper one-year tenancy agreement. Oliver points out that they are minted compared to their impoverished tenants. The Sterlings turn up to find Eddie and Joe, lumping an Edwardian chaise into a shed to use for the Cider Club. Caroline turns very frosty and stomps off. Oliver gives them the tenancy agreement and accepts an invitation to sample this year’s crop for the Cider Club. Turns out they don’t have the money to pay rent on Monday. Oliver comes back later to take rough cider with Eddie and Joe. “It’s a grand thing you’ve done for us, Oliver Sterling.” Pissed Joe gives him a hug, sitting on an original Edwarian antique in a farm yard full of manure and rusting junk. I can see Caroline’s point.

    The Evil One is pouring over baby development websites before his meeting with ‘Gideon’. Cruella tries to calm him down and not expect too much. He’s upset about the first meeting with his son being in a public place – the Tea Room - “a room full of yokels, gawping.” A hand-delivered letter turns up. It’s Usha’s termination of the rental agreement with two month’s notice. Rob isn’t upset at all and was planning to move to somewhere bigger, maybe even buy a house. “A permanent home for my son.” He is still delusional about getting ‘Gideon’ and the Synthetic Kid back and imagines that he will be able to ‘bump into’ them in the village. Dream on, Rob. “I’m not going anywhere.”


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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