Sunny Ormonde (Lilian Bellamy)
We have speculated a lot recently about Justin and Lilian’s relationship, and things are obviously getting desperate as we kick off the week with Justin triumphantly announcing that he’s made Lilian a sandwich! But Lilian’s not hungry. Not hungry, not interested in discussing colour schemes, not interested in going for a walk and certainly not interested in wedding plans. The truth about Justin’s Scotland trip has hit her hard and she takes herself off to another room to be left alone with her thoughts. Justin interrupts her to get his cardigan, and the atmosphere is icy as she tells him she’s off to visit a friend’s stables, and he’s not invited.
When she gets to the stables, guess whom she sees? Yes, that’s right – Matt Crawford. He’s there to look at a couple of horses with a view to shipping them to Costa Rica. Afterwards they go for tea and cake, which gives Matt the chance to probe Lilian about Justin. He knows that something’s up, and he persuades her to spill the beans about the Edinburgh trip. To be fair, he’s a good listener and tries to get her to see Justin’s point of view, saying that if it was him he would have told her ‘where to get off’ if questioned.
Later she accepts a last-minute invitation from Matt to the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and then immediately lies to Justin about who she’ll be going with. She says she’ll be back for supper, so Justin plans to surprise her with a meal on her return, and goes to see Ian for tips. The problem is that Lilian and Matt have such a great time that they decide to stay in Cheltenham for dinner. Lilian phones Justin to say she’ll be having a bite to eat with ‘Marcia’ and he hides his disappointment very well, even though he was blitzing the herbs for a salsa verde at the time. When she eventually returns home Justin’s still up, but she heads straight off to bed.
Things are looking bleak, and on Friday 13th look bleaker still. The window-cleaner left the back gate open and Ruby’s gone missing. Lilian fears that she’s been dog-knapped, and her and Justin start ringing round and organising search parties. Guess who finds her, yes that’s right, Matt. Or rather she finds him. Matt pops in to the Bull to borrow some string to use as a lead, but who should be in there but Justin, who immediately accuses him of abducting her. Justin phones Lilian to tell her that he’s found her, but omits to mention Matt. Matt offers Justin advice on dog-handling, which could be easily construed as advice on keeping hold of Lilian. This is all too much for Justin and is about to punch Matt’s lights out when Harrison appears and breaks them up. Justin shouts “I’ve had enough!” and storms off.
On returning Ruby to Lilian’s grateful embrace, Justin tries to clear the air by apologising about his Edinburgh trip, but is defiantly unapologetic for trying to protect her from his business and divorce arrangements. He also professes his fidelity and says he has never had the need or desire to stray from her, and if she doesn’t trust him then that’s her problem. Oh, and tonight he will be sleeping in the master bedroom. And they say romance is dead!
Joe and Eddie are busy making cider out of their precious find of Tumble Tussocks, scratting (pulping) the apples and squeezing out the juice. They’re making great claims for the cider that will be produced, with Joe claiming it will be Premier Cru. Nic’s there taking this all in and asks about the turkey business (they’ve been gobbling away in the backround). Joe thinks its days are numbered, but Nic has a brainwave – label the cider as a local limited edition Christmas Cider and give away a bottle with each turkey. Joe initially bemoans the fact that there’ll be less for him to drink, but comes round to the idea when Eddie mentions they’ll be able to afford whisky at Christmas from the profits.
It looks like the appointment to the position on the Parish Council vacated by Oliver is going to be between Emma Grundy and Robert Snell. Jim, who is Parish Clerk, drops in on Emma because he’s concerned that Robert will get the position by default and doesn’t want a ‘stitch-up’. He lets Emma know that if more than 10 villagers call for an election, one has to be called, which would result in a fairer process. He also happens, by sheer coincidence, to have the relevant paperwork on him. We later hear that Emma easily got the required number of signatures and an election has been duly called.
Bad news for Alistair; a complaint has been made about him to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons after Titan died under anaesthetic. He now has to write a response to explain how the horse died during a routine castration, and to make matters worse rumours seem to be circulating amongst the clientele.
Shula, meanwhile, is having work done on her manège (it’s ok I looked it up for you – it’s what horses run around on in the stables). Phillip, who’s doing the work, notices that Alistair looks troubled and invites him to the pub for lunch while he’s waiting for the concrete to set (he must have used quick-drying). They talk about difficult customers in their respective professions and it turns into a badly needed therapy session for Alistair.
Things are fractious between Kate and Noluthando, and Kate thinks some time with her cousins, Lily and Freddie, will do her good. When they meet, Freddie calls her Nolly and Lily points out that they’re actually only second cousins, and once removed at that. But they seem to get on well and start talking about the Hunt Ball that Shula’s organising. Lily thinks Noluthando looks a bit ‘urban’ and offers to take her shopping, but Noluthando quickly slaps her down by saying “if that means ending up looking like you Lily then thanks, but no thanks”! Freddie’s impressed, and they start talking about Kwaito music and who Noluthando would recommend. I don’t know what she said, but I’d be very disappointed if she didn’t recommend Kyle Naidoo and Arthur Mafokate as good starting points.
Over in the dairy Susan and Clarrie are talking about the amount of work they’re doing, what with making ice-cream, yogurt, Kefir, and helping out in the poly tunnels and seem to be fermenting a plan to get a pay rise. When Helen comes in she’s shocked to see how behind they are with packing the yogurt and she takes Tom to task that Susan and Clarrie are too busy making his Kefir and letting everything else fall behind. Tom offers to increase their hourly rate, which does the trick, but this all seems too simple to me. If I were Tom I’d play them at their own game and make it conditional on achieving aggressive production targets.
Finally, Pip calls in on Toby as he’s bottling gin. She’s brought him lunch and is being really nice to him – which is disturbing. Toby reassures her about the bruising on her face, and Pip says it reminds her of when they were together (spending time with each other, not the bruising). She suddenly makes a move on him and Toby’s not happy, telling her not to mess around with him like that, and to go on Tinder if she’s feeling horny. Well done Tobes!