• We begin with Jim and his new old flatmate Jazzer, preparing for a spot of birdwatching. Jazzer is at a loose end as he’s not managing Tom’s pigs any more. “I’ve nothing else to do, have I?” This will be fun.

    Fallon and MR are heading off to an exciting jumble trail. This will be fun, too.

    The Dark Lord has been woken up by Henry. “You can play quietly in the corner until Grandma comes back.” “I wish mummy was here.” “Well, she’s not.”

    As it turns out, Jazzer isn’t a natural twitcher and quickly gets bored. “You’ll get more out of it if you go it properly. I think I can hear a sedge-warbler somewhere.” Thrilling. Jazzer keeps chatting, much to the annoyance of Jim.

    The Pyrex Kid is being read to by Rob – “Hansel and Gretel”. A cheery tale about a mother trying to kill her children. Rob uses the fairy tale to try and indoctrinate the little lad. Charming. “Soon, some people are going to ask you about mummy. You must tell them the truth.” He helpfully reminds the impressionable child about the bath-time incident and Mummy shouting at him.

    Fallon and MR are looking at lamps. Thrilling, too. They have been asked to cater Brian and Jennifer’s 40th. wedding anniversary.

    The Grundy men are upset that the Sterling’s are finally coming home. Joe is fretting about being flung into a home. I think the damage they have wrought at Grange Farm should be a more pressing concern.

    Tony is trying to help Pat make cheese. He’s not doing as well as his banged-up daughter. Helen has the “right sort of hands”, apparently. They worry about Tom being overworked and get upset all over again about Helen being refused bail. “It’s up to us to keep everything going,” says Tony. “It’s insane – like something out of a Victorian novel,” shrieks Pat. Pat has been to see Peggy. Pat senses that she’s not altogether surprised about Helen’s incarceration. “Tony, what if you, me, Tom and Kirsty are the only ones who think Helen is innocent?”

    Josh is helping Jill with the bees – it’s really spring in Borchester. Josh is looking forward to the local TV news coming to interview them about the ‘hens on holiday’ internet sensation.

    MR has been enthused about the jumble trial and wants to talk to Fallon about organising one in Ambridge. She turns up at Bridge Farm to cancel Tom’s pork order for the tea room as it’s on its knees because the shop is still closed, what with one staff member on full pay sick-leave and the other in jail.

    Deep Pip and Josh are looking at hedges. Pip is upset as Mathew has cancelled his visit to Ambridge. Another opportunity for a Fairbrother brother? They have a big fight about the fact that Josh has moved a wrecked old hen house from Jill’s onto the farm to try and promote his eggs. Deep Pip puts her foot down. “It’s going to look so shabby.” “I’ll do it up.”

    Jennifer is having tea with Peggy. It turns out, she is really angry about Helen’s bail refusal, calling it “barbaric”. She just wanted to be strong for Pat, which sensitive Pat took as indifference.

    Brian is out with Adam, talking soil temperature and operating some sort of noisy clanking thing. The talk turns to the anerobic digester and everyone goes and makes a cup of tea. When we get back, Adam is taking Peggy back home. Brian is angry about whatever Adam was banging on about and is worried as Justin is bringing someone important to see the farm and doesn’t want Adam to talk to the important person – Latif.

    Jazzer and Ed are cutting the hair of the Brookfield sheep – Ed has being making all the tiny elven glades in the wood as a surprise for Keira. Jazzer is still very upset and angry about Tom and being sacked – he’s a bit rough with the poor sheep. Ed thinks he should try and talk to Tom – as does Jim.

    Helen is with her barrister, Anna. There’s a hearing tomorrow – she may be moved to the mother and baby unit, so she can keep the Spawn of Rob when it emerges, Alien-like from her womb. Helen is very nervous after the disastrous bail hearing, but sounds much more herself than before – more focussed, less timid and really, really angry about the Evil One. She’s a little stronger – only a little. She begins a rambling story about school and some stolen sweets and being accused by the teacher. “She saw how weak I am. I’m a wreck.” Anna tries to get her to buck up and fight for her baby.

    Josh has roped Bert into turning the derelict hen house into a tiny gypsy caravan for the hens in time for Open Farm Sunday. Bert is enthused as he may turn it into a ‘feature’ for his garden after its display on O.F.S. Lynda’s shepherd’s hut better watch out.

    Justin and Latif are in the Megakitchen at Bridge Farm. Latif is most impressed with it. Brian takes them on a tour of the farm. Lynda arrives suddenly, desperate to see Kate – nobody has even mentioned Kate for weeks, not even Brian has had a moan about her. Talking of forgotten Aldridge children – whether Ruairi? Nobody has visited him or mentioned the poor bastard child in months. It’s interesting that everyone got very upset about Rob wanting to send the Synthetic Child to Dotheboys Hall, but nobody batted an eyelid about Brian packing his Child of Shame off to St. Custard’s. Anyway, Lynda has come down with some sort of rash. She is worried about the fact that some of the new plants in her garden might be irritating her hayfever and her Grand Design might have to be taken down. Talk of jailbird Helen helps put Lynda’s rash into some kind of perspective. On the tour, Brian drones on about the digester and Justin uses the word ‘synergy’. It’s all very business. Latif spots Adam on a tractor and wants to talk to him. Is there a spark? Even though Latif has a daughter? Might we be back down the polytunnels?

    Ed and MR are showing Keira the tiny Elven glades in the wood that Ed has made. George has a new computer game and isn’t that interested. Once Keira heads off to look, MR voices concern about their impending homelessness. MR suggests maybe moving back in with Neil and Susan.

    Peggy visits Helen. “I hate you seeing me here.” Peggy is very calm and caring. Helen is desperate for news about the Synthetic Child. The mother and baby unit hearing has gone well – Helen has a place, so she can keep the child until the trial. Helen’s strength came from her determination to keep her child from the clutches of the Evil One and Cruella. Peggy bigs Helen up – telling her how strong and brave she is. “You’re an Archer woman – we breed them tough.”


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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