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.

By Campbell Mitchell, Feb 19 2017 11:32AM

We kick off with Roy and Kirsty. Kirsty’s not well and doesn’t even fancy Roy’s roast chicken. She tries to head off back to bed, but is very dizzy and in some pain. Worrying. “There’s bleeding.” Roy drives her off to hospital.

Miranda is frustrated outside the shop (shut for a stocktake) and meets Jennifer. Jennifer asks her for dinner. Miranda says dinner parties are “very old hat” in her haughty fashion. But Jennfer bigs it up until Miranda agrees to come. Jennifer then head for Sunday lunch with Brian and Miranda turns up again to provide more snooty chat. Jennifer’s ideas for her party become larger as Miranda gets snobbier. Jennifer looks on line at caterers. Brian begins to count the pennies. “Is that the total cost?” “That’s per head.” He manages to talk her down to “small and beautiful.”

At the hospital, Helen and Roy wait anxiously whilst Kirsty waits for the doctor. The consultant turns up to examine Kirsty. The baby isn’t going to make it and she’s having a miscarriage. “Is this really happening to me?” Kirsty and Helen cry. Tom turns up deeply upset and Roy helps in his solid way. Tom and Kirsty have a very tender scene. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here” “We don’t work together, you and me,” says a very shaky Kirsty. Kirsty’s mum is coming to pick her up. “Why do things like that happen, Roy?” queries Helen. Kirsty doesn’t want to go, but is already sounding more like her usual pragmatic level-headed self, whilst Tom goes to pieces. Helen tries to comfort them both.

Clarrie and Eddie have had houseguests for the weekend. “You can’t beat a dollop of Grundy hospitality.” They are still feeling blessed about staying at Grange Farm. Eddie heads out to look at Lynda’s guttering. Their houseguests have left £100. Clarrie wants to return it. Eddie is more pragmatic. He immediately wants to open up a sort of B&B. “No,” says Clarrie, “And I’m not budging.”

Shula and Miranda are out riding. Miranda is literally on her high horse. Anisha is on hand to look at a small cut on Miranda’s horse. Anisha makes a bit of an indiscreet statement about Justin and Lillian, before Shula tells her that Miranda is Justin’s wife.

Alistair gets a call from one of his clients, Mr. Hodge, who doesn’t want Anisha to return to his farm because of her ‘manner’, Anisha thinks it might be due to her colour and broods on it all day. Alistair comforts her. Later, Alistair has flowers and chocolates for Shula and confides in her about Anisha’s upset.

Snooty Miranda is at the Tea Room or Bull (?) with Justin. “Why are we here, Justin, in Ambridge? It’s so barren.” Let us count the ways, Justin…

PC Carpet speaks to Lynda about the way forward for the cricket team. “Our community requires strong leadership.” She gives him a list of how to achieve things on a village-wide level.

Eddie returns a borrowed trailer to Deep Pip. He quizzes her about B&B prices and she mentions a friend in Borchester who rents a room using “you know, one of those websites.” Air BnB by any other name.

Mr. Hodge, the racist, calls the vets again and Alastair insists on sending Anisha again. “We might lose a client.” Alistair doesn’t care.

Joe and Eddie arrive to work on Lynda’s guttering. Eddie quizzes Lynda closely about the Ambridge Hall B&B business. After the questing, Eddie reckons “we’re sitting on a gold mine.” Joe isn’t convinced and Clarrie still needs convincing.

Dirty Clarrie and Pat are in the dairy. There’s a strawberry yoghurt crisis and Pat gets upset at Clarrie and Susan, on edge about the loss of Kirsty’s baby. After work, Clarrie is pounced on by Eddie who has been busy taking lovely pictures for his Air BnB venture. She finally agrees, as long and “Oliver and Caroline give their blessing”.

Kenton is out with Dim Freddie, driving lessons. Freddie gets out of the car. “I can’t do this right now.” He’s upset as there’s a parents’ evening coming up and Elizabeth will find out that he’s been fibbing about his maths result. Kenton, still only seventeen himself, comes up with a plan to keep his sister away from the maths tutor.

Eddie speaks to Oliver, although it sounds like he only asked permission for “people to stay” at Grange Farm. Clarrie (the one that will be actually doing all the cleaning and cooking) isn’t quite as excited about this new Grundy Enterprises business as Eddie is.

Miranda bumps into Lillian shopping in Borchester. Lillian raves about Underwood’s (the famed Borchester department store) Food Hall, but Miranda continues snooty.

Tom gets down with the pigs. “What are you doing here?” asks sensitive Jazzer. Tom messes with Jazzer’s system of feed bags, so Jazzer gets upset and storms off to the Bull.

Miranda snoots it up at the Bull and Jolene more than holds her own, defending their wine choices and their chef. At another table, Tom pours his guilty heart out to Jazzer. Tom feels that all the bad things that happened to Kirsty are because he ran away from the altar. Jazzer talks sense. “Stop wasting your time feeling guilty.” Lillian turns up, toting lingerie she bought at the fabled Underwood’s, ready for the next rut with Justin, who is there, lunching with Miranda. Jolene warns Lillian that Miranda may be hanging around Ambridge more. ‘We’ll just work round her,” says Lillian confidently.

Tom comes to Home Farm and wants to stay at home for a few days. ‘We’re all here and with your family behind you, there’s nothing you can’t cope with.” “Thanks, mum.”

By Campbell Mitchell, Feb 12 2017 12:03PM

We start with Helen getting a huge ‘attagirl’ from Deep Pip. Helen is remarkably calm. “Rob’s gone.” Things are good at Bridge Farm, Pat is making brownies. “Try not to worry too much about Henry.” Apparently the Synthetic One has been acting up. He helps Pat make brownies. “Mummy says you were a bit grumpy this morning.” “No I wasn’t – I don’t want daddy to go away.” Pat tries to explain. “I wish he would come back,” grumps the Turkey-Baster Boy. You are in a party of one, kid.

PC Carpet is in a terrible huff about nobody turning up for nets, Fallon is sympathetic, but not at all interested in cricket. “It’s lonely at the top.” But things get a little too heated for a discussion about the dreary Ambridge cricket team. Fallon asks about the Dark Lord and Carpet knows nothing.

Out amongst the sound effects of sheep, Pip wants her milking shifts changed with Ruth so she can go out with ‘honest and truthful’ Toby. Brookfield is gearing up for lambing. Ruth quizzes her about Toby’s Brighton flit and Pip skirts round it. Ruth is concerned about the money that she’s ‘lent’ him for the gin business.

Later, PC Carpet shows up at Bridge Farm with news. Rob has skipped the country and flown to Minneapolis. Good. At this news, the Half-Dark Child wails a bit. Carpet says that the Dark Lord is still “A person of interest” to the rozzers. Helen tells Kirsty about the good news. Kirsty wants to go out to celebrate, but Helen is still concerned about the effect that the potential kidnap is still having on Henry.

Lillian and Justin wake up together in another illicit tryst at the Dower House. Miranda is well away this time. Justin gets breakfast for Lillian. Lillian has forgotten her phone and pops out to the car to get it. She bumps into Eddie. ‘Well, well, well – fancy meeting you here.” He’s dropping off some logs for Justin. Eddie susses exactly what’s going on. Later, Lillian natters on about some work thing, but priapic Justin has no mind for business…

Lynda is next up to congratulate Helen at the shop and even buys some of the mouldy kumquats from last week – a triumph for exotic fruit magnate Helen. Eddie runs round to Lynda on some pretext and tries to drum up business fixing her guttering. Lillian arrives, demanding a chat with Eddie. She wants him to avoid any “lurid speculation” and threatens him with loss of income from the estate and from Amside if any rumours start.

At the vets, Anisha beards Alastair – Anisha is upset as her drinking contest with Jazzer has made her famous. She confesses to cheating to win. She wants to do something to change her image. She hits the shop to find Susan and confesses to cheating in the drinking contest. “That’s all strictly between ourselves.”

Josh has found a load of badges and parts for Tony’s Fordson. He wants £360. Tony is a bit stunned. Josh hits the chicks with Rex, very happy about his huge business deal – he has marked up the tractor parts by 40%. Rex is upset by the unreasonable profit margin.

Susan and Dirty Clarrie are yoghurt-making. Susan immediately passes on the Anisha gossip as she was supposed to do. Susan and Clarrie are happy that someone got one up on Jazzer. Clarrie almost spills the beans about Justin and Lillian, but says too much anyway. “You don’t have to spell it out for me, Clarrie, I can guess.” The cat is well and truly out of the bag and scampering about the village. Kenton quickly finds out and drops the hint to Jennifer in the shop. Ambridge is a tiny, tiny place. “You are really not helping, Kenton.”

Tony is with his beloved Fordson and Alistair. He’s fitted the parts and has the cash ready when Josh turns up. Gentleman Josh gives him £50 back after his chat with Rex. “That sounds pretty fair to me.”

PC Carpet is still worried about recruiting a full team and still bickering with Fallon. Fallon suggests trying the fairer sex. “You’re a genius.” He instantly tries to recruit Fallon, who demurs.

Justin has taken Lillian racing, but unfortunately Miranda is heading back to Ambridge for the weekend. “I’m going to miss you terribly.” Meanwhile, Jennifer is moaning to Brian about her sister’s indiscretion. Lillian turns up half-cut from the racing, dressed to the nines and is taken off for a lecture by Jennifer. Justin calls Brian and invites him and Jennifer to a dinner-dance with him and Miranda. Jennifer jumps at the offer as a way for showing that Justin and Miranda are a happy couple.

The Pyrex Kid is still acting up. He calls Jack “that smelly baby.” Helen is with Kirsty and Jazzer. Peggy turns up and Henry is rude to her. Peggy gets some time with Kirsty after speaking to Tom about the pregnancy. Peggy was “really sweet and kind” and has given Kirsty a large cheque from Tony’s inheritance, then she says how proud she is of Helen. The Pyrex Kid brains Jack with a toy brick and runs for it. Peggy totters after him and has a “nice little chat.” That seems to have changed him. Peggy tells Helen that The Evil One told Henry that he wasn’t his real daddy and that’s what’s been upsetting him.

Jazzer has a problem with a pig and Anisha turns up to have a look. Jazzer is very sniffy with her about the rigged drinking contest - “it’s a code of honour.” Jazzer then asks her out. “There’s nothing doing.” She tries to stalk off and she falls over in the pig shit.

Jennifer is rummaging through her closet, picking a dress for the dinner dance, wanting to outdo Miranda. A straining at the seams, silver-sheathed Lillian barges into the room – Miranda can’t do to the dance and Justin has invited Lillian to partner him. Jennifer is crushed. “Oh, Brian.”

Helen and Pat discuss the psychological damage inflicted on the Synthetic Child by Rob “I am not your father, Luke” Vader. Later, at bedtime, Henry asks “why did daddy say he wasn’t real?” “Because he wasn’t there when you were in my tummy.” Fair enough, Helen. After Henry is put to sleep (not like that), Pat suggests counselling for the little tyke.

At the dinner dance, Jennifer is still very down. Justin and Lillian are having a ball. Lynda is there, which upsets Jennifer even more. Lillian and Justin hit the floor, dancing extravagantly. Brian and Jennifer chat to Lynda but…”Look at Lillian and Justin.” She leaves. “Oh, Brian – that’s not dancing – it’s shameless.” Brian, a very old hand when it comes to conducting affairs is less worried.

By Campbell Mitchell, Feb 5 2017 11:39AM

We get up with a very bouncy Deep Pip and a lethargic Toby. She wants to re-vamp the cottage and buy a new couch. Toby has to steam-clean the still room with Josh. Toby wins out and later, Pip turns up as Josh and Toby use David’s borrowed steam-cleaner on the potential still with the offer of a late meatball lunch. After Pip leaves, Toby gets a disturbing text and runs off. Josh arrives at Pip’s – Toby has vanished without returning the steam-cleaner. “What’s he up to?” Pip is narked.

Pat and Lillian are crowing about Pat’s no-holds-barred firt-round K.O. of Cruella. Lillian is very pleased that Pat sent her packing. Helen turns up with the Half-Dark Child and all is sweetness and light at Bridge Farm. Pat calls Kirsty to congratulate her on getting up the duff by her son during a one night stand. Nice. They are meeting up later in the week.

A luxuriously bathing Lillian gets a call from lover-boy Justin. Miranda is going away for a few days, allowing time for some extra-marital rutting. “I can hardly wait.”

Eventually, Toby calls Pip. The meatballs are ruined and Toby is heading to Brighton in a rush. “What’s so urgent, why can’t you tell me?”

Susan is gossiping with Alistair about the Kirsty pregnancy. Tracey is there and thinks it must be Roy’s. Tracey is impressed with Anisha’s performance on Burns Night and Alistair hurries out. Tracey tells Susan about ‘dumping’ Roy. “Poor Roy.”

Rex is offered tea from Anisha as he is cutting her hedge. He’s brought some of his gallons of dahl as lunch. Anisha still seems quite keen on him, she even tries to tip him for the hedge work. Starving, poor, noble Rex refuses. Anisha leaves for a meeting and Pip turns up to tell Rex about the Toby Brighton flight. “I’ve got to know the truth about Brighton.” Toby tells her that he thinks his brother is heading down to see “his mates.” “You’re still holding back.” “If you want to know more, you’ll have to ask Toby.” Mysterious.

Anisha’s meeting is with Alistair – she wants to spend a fortune on new vet kit. “We need to invest to compete.” She wants to spend quarter of a million. Not sure Alistair has that kind of cash lying about. He’s obviously reluctant, but Anisha is convinced that this is the way forward. After a day to think about it, Anisha and Alistair go through the books, looking at the client list. Alastair has been giving discounts and has been tardy in chasing up payments, so Anisha wants to smarten things up and go hard after the late payment clients. “I still worry that we’re taking it all a bit too fast.” But eventually, Alastair agrees to go to the bank.

Lillian and Jolene are wallowing in a mud bath at the spa. Lillian is looking forward to her tryst with lover-boy tomorrow. Lillian confides in Jolene about Justin’s imminent arrival. “Don’t you with it was more permanent?” Lillian doesn’t think so and likes the clandestine antics. This reminds Jolene about cheating whilst she and Sid were carrying on.

Shula, out riding the next morning, sees Pip and Ruth feeding the pregnant ewes. Toby obviously hasn’t turned up and Pip is upset, but hasn’t told anyone about Toby’s Brighton flit yet. Pip is there for the birth of the first new lambs. There’s a great deal of squelchy sound effects. Pip breaks down in tears and tells Ruth all about the Toby crisis. Ruth tries to calm her down, but Pip is very, very upset. She confesses to giving Toby the five grand from the cattle sale. “I still love him, but what if gran was right about him?”

Justin and Lillian share vintage champagne. “To us.” Luckily, there’s no repeat of the squelching effects from the lambing scene. There is a breakfast scene later with Lillian in something very skimpy. Miranda turns up suddenly and Lillian scarpers in a fur coat and her wispy silk nothing, giggling.

Jennifer is with Helen in the shop. Business-brain Helen tries to punt her the new exotic fruit line. “Why don’t you try the kumquats? You can have the first one for free.” Waitrose must be trembling.

Toby eventually turns up at the cottage. Pip is furious and wants to kick him out. He pleads to be allowed to explain himself. He explains about his ex – Stella. She was a drug user and cleaned up when they were dating. “I treated her badly, I messed her around. She went back on heroin.” He ran down to Brighton at Christmas because she’d OD-ed. And the same this time. Pip forgives him. “Does that mean I can stay?” “You must promise you’ll never lie to me again.”

At playtime at school, a darkness falls over the sky and The Evil One turns up to see the Pyrex Kid. “Daddy!” He’s been doing it for some time, it seems. He’s a bit of a mess – “your hairs funny - are you growing a beard?”. He has a “surprise” planned for mummy and sounds even more deranged than usual. This doesn’t sound good…

At the shop, Helen is with the Synthetic Child and the Half-Darkling. Pat is worried about meeting Kirsty and saying the wrong thing and upsetting her.

Kirsty is with Kate, who is excited about Kirsty’s pregnancy, but worried about her chakra’s being out of kilter. It’s Roy’s birthday, but he doesn’t want to go out as Tracey has labelled him as ‘boring’, but is eventually persuaded. There are special ‘birthday cocktails’ at the Bull and Kate swipes through Tinder to find him a date. Pat turns up, being all friendly and helpful to congratulate her on the bairn. Kirsty is very pleased that Pat is on her side and Pat promises not to be ‘interfering’. Sure. When she leaves, in the rain, her car won’t start.

Helen is packing the kids into the car – Henry is off on a play date. Henry says he’s left his books behind and Helen runs into the house to get them. Whilst she’s in the house, the Dark Lord turns up and tries to remove his spawn from the car seat. ‘Why can’t I come?,” pipes up the Synthetic Child. “Because I’m not your real daddy,” intones the anti-Darth. He swipes the Half-Dark Child and runs off in the rain, the Synthetic One hot on his heels. Helen comes back and finds Henry running about in the rain. “Where’s Jack?” “Daddy came and took him.” Helen is frantic. The Evil One gets Jack into his car and drives off. He’s foiled by a fallen branch and gets the car stuck as he’s trying to turn. Helen and a grumpy, hungry Henry find the stricken car. “Give me my baby.” The Dark Lord and Helen face off in the rain. “Where’s the kitchen knife now?” There’s a huge fight. Kirsty, driving Pat home, come across the warring pair, just as Rob puts Helen down. Pat realises what’s going on. “You’re trying to steal my grandchild.” Kirsty wants to call the police. Helen doesn’t want her to. “Was this your idea of revenge? Take a look at yourself – you’re pathetic.” Helen is extremely strong. “I know what you did in the flood. There’s nothing left for you here – you’re finished.” The Dark Lord wilts, the flames go out, his wee leathery wings fold up and his tail droops, dripping in the heavy rain. “If you come back, I will destroy you – now go,” say nine-foot tall Wonder Woman Helen. A defeated Rob scuttles off.

Later, at Bridge Farm, Tom and Kirsty and Pat want to call the cops. Helen doesn’t care. “The boys are safe and Rob has gone.”

By Campbell Mitchell, Jan 29 2017 11:42AM

We begin with the star-crossed lovers discreetly making a phone call. Justin has ‘taken care’ of Stefan and an arrangement has been made which leaves Stefan “very happy”. Lillian is very pleased that the Evil One has gone. Justin has a secret ‘burner’ mobile with which to call his beloved. How very ‘The Wire.’

Peggy hits the church with and finds Jill. They remember Phil and the passing of the generations by talking entirely in sentences torn from cheap greeting cards. Then it gets interesting as they want to lob a brick through the Grace Archer memorial window.

Lillian is out riding with Shula who introduces her to Anisha (the new Scottish vet). There’s some dreary bolted-on horse chat and they trot off. Someone silent called Delia falls off and near-cripples her horse, luckily they have a vet with them. What are the chances? “It’s horrible to see a horse go down like that.” Maybe don’t make them jump over hedges, then.

Justin meets Brian and lets him know that the Dark Lord is off. Justin’s story is that he’s been head-hunted. “That’s very sudden.”

“It’s pouring,” moans Neil as Susan puts on the slap for some reason. After he leaves, Tracey calls Susan, sounding urgent. She runs round to discuss the on-going Roy situation, still upset about the “interfering cow”, Kirsty. The Susan portrait is haunting Susan herself, feeling she can’t live up to her own image. Should have stuck to “Yachts at Sunset”. Neil has to lay in on with a trowel to keep her calm. “I feel I’m the luckiest man in the world.” “Oh, Neil.” The solo portrait is being moved and the group shot will replace it. Susan hits the shop and immediately starts spreading the Dark Lord gossip. Helen comes in and Susan tells her about Rob’s departure. She didn’t know. Like Brian and Adam didn’t tell her the good news.

Alastair swaps shifts with Anisha so she can go to the Bull for Burns Night. “So, are there any other Scots in the village?” Jazzer is referred to as a “local character.” Alastair and Anisha run off to look at the injured horse. “That looks infected, what do you think, Anisha?” “Looks that way to me.” Professional vet chat. Anisha wants to do something called a “joint flush”, saving a three grand bill from the vet hospital. She does it with Shula’s help and seems to be successful.

Helen and Pat discuss the Dark Lord flapping away. Helen doesn’t think that he would scarper and leave Jack behind. ‘What if Rob hasn’t gone anywhere and just wants us to think he has?” The paranoid husband-stabber heads to the cheese room, worried. Later, Tony checks out the Evil One’s lair and its cleared out and empty. Helen, still not convinced, seems tense. Tom tells Pat and Tony about Kirsty being up the duff. Initially they are pleased and then they find out that Kirsty and Tom are not together. Then they are less pleased. Given the provenance of their other grandchildren, they should be happy about this one being near-normal.

Roy drives past Tracey in the rain and stops to pick her up. She wants to go to a new boutique in Felbisham. “I didn’t recognise your car – I thought you’d have something better.” On the drive, Roy tries to come across as incredibly dull (or maybe he just is) and Tracey ditches him. Roy is relieved. After, Roy tells Kirsty, who seems to be more relaxed about the Tom thing, as he came to the latest ultrasound.

Rex touts for work from David, but no dice – even at lambing. Then he calls Toby who hasn’t paid him for the vermin-proofing work he did last week. He promises that he’ll be paid at the Bull at seven. Rex is even considering minicabbing. The lack of paternal hand-outs is hitting the Fairborther brothers hard.

Kenton is manning Burns Night at the Bull, Anisha meets Jazzer and, after slagging off his kilt and mouthing some special ‘Glaswegian’ dialogue, they seem to get on pretty well and then there’s a non-stereotypical shot-for-shot drinking game. Anisha makes a bee-line for Rex. Later, much later, Anisha and Jazzer seem to get utterly smashed until Jazzer collapses. Anisha wins, but Rex has spotted Anisha substituting water for vodka.

Jill visits Toby. “I know we’ve not always seen eye-to-eye…” but Jill invites Pip and Toby for dinner. She is trying to reform. Toby agrees, but isn’t sure Pip will agree. He cons her into attending. Jill is delighted and the family have a lovely Walton-like dinner. Then, Jill thanks everyone especially Toby for “looking after me when I had my fall.” Pip and Jill make up – Jill has even made her some flapjacks. David and Ruth are very happy that the family war is over, although David still has doubts about Toby.

David and Ruth are preparing the lambing shed. Josh has started a website selling second hand farm machinery. Ambridge e-Bay. Josh wants to see Brookfield’s bailer as a first item. Weirdly, David agrees.

Helen is out with Jack for a walk in bad weather. The Synthetic Child had a disturbed night. Helen is still very paranoid about the Dark Lord’s sudden disappearance. “He just wouldn’t do that.”

And…it turns out…maybe she’s right…Cruella sweeps back in to Ambridge. She heads to the church and sees Alan. She hasn’t heard from her evil spawn for a week. She didn’t even know the Evil One left Justin’s employ and appears to have left the village. What IS Rob up to? Alan heads to the farm shop and tells Pat that Cruella is in town “Just so you can be prepared.”

Lillian then tells fretting Helen about the real reason the Evil One has left…about the flood, the culvert and about Stefan. She then swears Helen to secrecy. She only told her because “I want you to believe it – he’s gone.”

Cruella visits Pat. “Where’s my son?” Pat gets all haughty. “Your family has obviously hounded him out of the village.” Pat lays it on thick and the two of them fire broadsides at each other and each other’s families. It’s like Godzilla verus Mechagodzilla. “When I look at you and Bruce, I almost feel sorry for Rob. Your son is a monster.” Cruella crumbles. “He could be anywhere. I’ve lost my son.” “Kindly leave the premises,” says Pat, throwing her out in the rain. “And never come back.”

By Campbell Mitchell, Jan 22 2017 11:41AM

The stalking of Roy continues. Tracey has turned up to watch him rake leaves. She has a bottle of wine (Roy’s favourite, thanks to Susan’s inside shop info). She makes him open it and they start walloping the vino in the kitchen at lunchtime (Roy won’t let her get into the lounge). Tracey is very flirty and giggly. Roy isn’t. Tracey things “fate has thrown us together.” Luckily, Kirsty turns up just as Tracey is about to launch herself. Kirsty plays gooseberry until Tracey gets the hint and leaves. “Give me a bell, won’t you?” “You saved my life, Kirsty,” sighs Roy in relief. Kirsty is worried that she’s beginning to show.

Jennifer and Lillian are seeing in some new tenants and then on to a jewel sales event at Lower Loxely. They spot a vaguely familiar face… The event is very expensive, but Justin is coughing up for Lillian. Jennifer is distracted by the memory of the face they saw in the village. She can’t place it. Suddenly the penny drops – it was Stefan she saw. “I wonder what he’s doing back here?” Jennifer tells Lillian about Stefan telling her and David about (maybe) Rob diverting the culvert to flood the village and involving Charlie to try and investigate. ‘If it was serious, Charlie would have followed it up.” This is the first Lillian has heard of this.

Susan serves Helen in the shop. Jim is all excited about spotting some dreary bird and Susan bangs on about her new lipstick. “Spring Shimmer from Underwoods” Surely, volunteering at the shop is a living hell for Jim? He is made to admire the chosen family pictures- three of them now framed and installed. Susan has photographed the photographs from several angles to show everyone. “The frame’s nice,” says Jim. Where has “Yachts at Sunset” gone? Johnny arrives and buys them out of cheap lager, whilst Slow Freddie lurks outside. The lager is for the secret Lower Loxley party. Freddie has also lied to Elizabeth about his disastrous maths re-sit result.

Helen meets Kirsty at the park. Kirsty is still grumpy about Helen finding out about the pregnancy. Kirsty still doesn’t want to discuss it with her. They tramp up to the bird hide and eventually Kirsty talks to Helen – she’s worried about Helen trying to make her get back with Tom. Helen promises that she won’t. “You will be a wonderful mother,” says the husband-stabber. Kirsty confesses to hiding who the father is from her parents. “At least he’s no Rob.”

Ian and Adam get up (in separate rooms, still). Ian heads to work and is cornered by Lilly, looking for ‘left-over’ canapés “maybe with smoked salmon” for “a friend.” He suggests the obvious – go and ask at Lower Loxely. Ian quickly works out what is going on, but promises to keep schtum for her.

Toby is trying to make his potential gin shed vermin-proof at Hollowtree. He’s rushing to get it ready for an environmental inspection. He tries to rope Deep Pip into helping. No dice. He runs off to see Bert. ‘Are you busy for the next few days?” “Very.” Toby, now desperate, runs back to Pip – “I’ve run out of options.” Pip suggests asking Rex. Toby reluctantly agrees.

Elizabeth visits Jill – going stir crazy with the enforced rest because of the sprained ankle. They go for a drive to try and cheer her up. They pass Toby and Rex working on the gin shed. I wonder how Toby persuaded Rex? Elizabeth stops the car and waxes lyrical about the past and Jill’n’Phil. Then she works it back to question Jill about her hatred of the Faribrothers and her upset about Phil’s first marriage, the fact that she was ‘second’ and Grace’s death (a mere 62 years ago) and her place in the family. She is worried that Jill is driving Pip away.

Kirsty visits Tom unexpectedly. She makes him swear that he will never propose marriage again. She does still want him to be a friend and to come to the next baby scan.

Stefan turns up at the Dark Lord’s office unexpectedly, too. He wants his money. Rob refuses. “You’re not getting anything from me. Go to the Police – you’ve got nothing.” Stefan threatens to talk to Justin and then the Press. “I want everyone to know that you drowned Ambridge to save some cows.’ Stefan now wants twice what he asked for. He has until four on Friday. Just ass he leaves, Lillian comes in. Was she outside the door the whole time? “Who was that?” “Some sales rep.”

The secret Lower Loxely party starts. Pheobe is helping with the catering. Meanwhile, at Honeysuckle Cottage, Ian is fretting about playing the ‘cool uncle’ about the party and not telling Elizabeth. Lilly is trying to pair everyone off. Johnny is trying to make another stab at the Amber situation – the girl that humiliated him at the fashion show. Johnny needs Slow Freddie as a wing-man, but he’s holed up in his room. Freddie isn’t keen in spite of Johnny’s pleading, but Johhny invokes Pargetter honour and Freddie relents. Adam and Ian attempt a surreptitious drive-by at Lower Loxely and are caught by Lilly. “Come in for a drink.” They arrive at the party just as Slow Freddie takes over the music and everyone starts dancing. Lilly is pissed off that her posh cocktail party has turned into a mad rave. Amber has run off with someone else. Freddie runs down to the lake for a skinny dip. It’s January. Ian and Adam end up staying and having a good time. They arrive home in high spirits and for the first time since the split, go to bed together.

Uptight Rob is being asked for figures about a proposal for a broiler unit. He sounds very nervous.

Kirsty is ambushed by desperate Tracey, wanting to pass a message for the non-communicative Roy. Tracey decides to help Roy and tells her that Roy isn’t interested. Tracey is immediately suspicious and gives Kirsty both barrels. “You are trying to break me and Roy up.” “ There is no Roy and you.” Tracey suggests that Kirsty is trying to keep Roy for herself and then calls her fat.

Elizabeth arrives back at Lower Loxely the day after the party and the twins are all innocent. Elizabeth isn’t stupid – she notices that the entire house is spotless. She then finds some empty beer cans outside and has noticed that the security CCTV camera system showed no activity for five hours. She quizzes the kids closely, but the angelic children get away with it.

Justin and the Dark Lord meet about the broiler unit, late of Friday afternoon. Rob is trying to get away so he can get away and meet Stefan. He squirms and keeps making excuses to try and leave. Justin finally puts him out of him misery and tells him that he knows that he’s is off to meet Stefan why and that he knows about Rob’s hand in drowning the village. There then seem to be three stages to Rob’s reaction to this. Firstly, he starts mewling on about trying to protect the business. Justin will have none of this - “You’ve made a complete hash of it.” “I thought you appreciated loyalty.” Secondly, Rob starts begging – trying to save his job. Then he works out that Lillian overhead his meeting with Stefan and that he can’t worm out of this one. The Evil One’s true colours appear and, using his special ‘serpent’ voice, starts slagging off “women in that family.” The smell of sulphur fills the office and Justin sacks him, promising to make sure that Rob won’t work anywhere Agribusiness once he’s spread the word. “You’re finished here, Rob – for good.”

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