It’s Lynda’s birthday and Robert has made her breakfast in bed. Unurprisingly, she wants to spend the day working on her garden.

    At Bridge Farm, Pat is entertaining Jennifer. She swanks it up about her big anniversary party – Pat isn’t sure that they will make it. Peggy arrives back from the shit hotel near the Mother and Baby Unit. The Synthetic Child is lurking about on the farm somewhere with Tom. Peggy sounds exhausted, having to try and cheer everyone up and calm everyone down. She thinks Helen is being “very brave”. Pat tries to get as much information as she can from Peggy about the Half-Dark Child. Peggy comes clean about Helen’s lack of interest in the bairn. Diplomatically, Peggy suggests printing off some baby pictures for The Dark Lord and Cruella. Pat isn’t keen.

    At Ambridge Hal, Eddie is having to slave to get rid of the mushroom compost which set off Lynda’s hay fever. He is reminded about the work he has to do to finish the garden and the sodding shepherd’s hut. The Snells swan off to the Jumble Trail. It seems quite busy. Even the Aldridges have come to see, although I fail to see why Jennifer would be interested in old village tat. “A fresh take on a rather tired idea,” is her rather snooty take on it. Lynda gets sniffy about Brian’s eco-survey of the Aldridge/Ambridge/Millennium Wood in an attempt to evict the Elves. Like everyone else, she feels that this could be more to do with protecting his shooting that anything else.

    Deep Pip is watching over her innovative ‘cattle eating grass’ idea. Tom is there to help move fences about. He asks about Hunky Mathew and it seems he’s well in the rear view mirror. Tom is very pleased to have Jazzer back, but he’s still working pretty hard. Even so, he’s now going to take part in Open Farm Sunday. Johnny wants some time off to take part in the Single Wicket. Tom’s going to enter, too.

    The Mark Hebden Memorial Trophy Single Wicket has sixteen entries. The Evil One is going to be a commentator. He has brought Henry and warns Tom and Johnny to stay away from him as they are only allowed contact one day a week. Tom and Johnny are pissed off with Kenton for allowing the Dark Lord to be part of the Single Wicket. Rex has entered the Single Wicket and oils up to Deep Pip, telling her how great she looked in Toby’s egg video. Rex ends up bowling to Pip and soft lobs the ball for a four. The Dark Lord makes sarky comments on the Tannoy, much to the annoyance of the Archers. It looks like a Tom/Johnny final. Johhny wins. Rob presents the trophy, bigging up his own coaching input. Johnny graciously thanks the Bridge Farm lot and invites Tom up to share the win. Johnny refuses to shake the Dark Lord’s hand and there’s a H.E Bateman-style gasp from the crowd.

    Jennifer is humping furniture about for the arrival of the pickers. Adam and Ian are there. “Adam always makes the pickers welcome,” says Ian. Ain’t that the truth. Ian is making an anniversary cake for Jennifer’s party. A red velvet cake for the ruby anniversary.

    At Grange Farm, Joe is surveying the enormous crack. “A bit of flexible filler should do it,” opines Eddie. Joe has bought a dismantled rocking chair at the Jumble Trial from Neville Booth and can’t work out how to put it together. Eddie fills the crack with bright white filler on a cream wall. Eddie has wind of Brian’s proposed eviction of the elves from the Millennium Wood. He wants to move them to Grundy Field and call it Elf World. “Like Disneyland, but smaller and with less mice,” says Joe. “It’s a licence to print money,” beams Eddie. Another sure-fire winner from Grundy Enterprises.

    At Home Farm, the Polish fruit pickers have arrived and are being shown around by Adam. They are there to work the polytunnels. They are there to pick, but will Adam pick one of them again? Later, Adam and Ian are having a bit of a cold row. Adam is taking the latest crop of hunky young men to the Bull. Ian asks about Pavel. Pavel was a witness to one of the Evil One’s dark acts. Yes, where is Pavel? I foresee a star surprise witness in Helen’s trial…

    Peggy is visiting Rob and Cruella. “You are always welcome here, Peggy.” She describes the birth of the Halfling for them. She gives them a framed picture of the child. The Dark Lord is overcome. “He’s beautiful. My boy.” Peggy tells them that the baby is called John Antony Archer. This enrages Rob. “That insufferable woman – I WON’T HAVE IT!!!” he shouts, lashing his scaly tail about and beating his cloven hooves on the flagging. Peggy, a little upset, beats a hasty retreat as the smoke begins to pour from Rob’s enflamed nostrils.

    Toby pitches his egg video to Lillian, not to promote the eggs, but to promote his new career as a corporate video director. Lillian is less than impressed. Peggy arrives very upset about the towering display of rage she brought forth from The Evil One. “I’ve never seen him like that. He seemed to think the baby was called Gideon. I feel terrible now.” Lillian tries to calm her down and takes her out for lunch.

    Deep within the dark, brooding towers of Blossom Hill Cottage, Rob has spoken to his solicitor about the legality of Helen naming the Half-Dark One without his consent. All legal and above board, apparently. He wants eventual full custody and immediate visitation rights to his spawn.

    Eddie is woken up by Clarrie. She doesn’t think that he’s done a good enough job on filling the crack. He’s used cheap paint. The Sterlings are back in two weeks and Clarrie is upset about the pigs, the bullocks, the crack, etc.

    Preparing for Open Farm, Pip is furious with Josh as he has produced enormous bill boards, promoting the eggs. Ruth tries to calm her down.

    There’s a rare appearance from William as he treats Clarrie to lunch at the Bull. He has a proposition. He wants to move Clarrie, Eddie and Joe into his rental property on the Green. There’s not room for MR and Ed and the kids and newly-sensitive William is worried that Ed will view the offer as a slight. Might they be heading back to MR’s folks?

    It’s the day of Jennifer and Brian’s party and Jennifer is lugging stuff about. Brian gallantly helps. He’s bucked about the environmental impact report on the many-named Wood. Looks like the elves are off. Grundy Elf World takes one lurch towards reality. Lillian’s off to Fabrice’s for a party hairdo. She returns looking ‘different’. “Nice colour.”

    Helen is finally talking properly to her counsel. She describes the enforced throwing-away of Thomas the stuffed Easter rabbit. “So cruel – Henry loved Thomas.” She wants the Pyrex Kid back with her parents and point-blank refuses to let Rob see Jack/Gideon. Anna tries to persuade her that supervised visits might look more reasonable to a judge, should the custody battle make it to court before the Darkling One reaches his full powers and the End of Days will be upon us all, oh woe.

    The Anniversary Party is finally upon us. Justin arrives (without Miranda). “Is that Lord Elberry?” Lillian talks shop with Justin for a bit. Brian makes a soppy speech to Jennifer, mentioning their marriage’s “ups and downs” – Betty Tucker? Caroline Bone? Mandy Beesborough? Marie-Claire? And, of course, Siobhan…talking of which, was Ruairi at the party? Was Kate? Was Debbie? No mention of his family, other than long-suffering Jennifer, in his speech. Justin toasts the couple and Brian bungs his wife a big ruby ring and swanks it up about their planned holiday to Venice on the Orient Express – not bad for a girl brought up above the Bull and single mother to an illegitimate Adam to boot.

    After the speech, Justin corners Lillian. He describes his marriage as a ‘practical arrangement’ (he seems to live in a Bronte novel sometimes) and, bluntly, wants to make Lillian his mistress, his fancy woman, his bit on the side.


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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