Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Kids Aren't All Right

George Bingham (Josh Archer)

What is happening in Ambridge among the younger generation? I know that I advised Pip to get out more and have something approaching what normal people regard as a life, but the girl has gone mad. Not only is there the Jude situation, but Pip flies off the handle at the slightest provocation, stays out late and has been caught with a bottle of vodka in her bag.

Did you notice that David immediately assumed that Jude had bought the voddie? Innocent until proved guilty? I don't think so. And why pour it down the sink? Has he any idea of the cost of a bottle of spirits? If I were David, I would have kept it to drink when waiting for Pip to come back from her latest party/nightclub/Bulgarian film with Chinese subtitles. Then again, he could have given it to Lillian as a packed lunch. Failing that, he could clout Pip round the head with it when she next smart mouths him. Honestly, if I had talked to my Dad like that…

As if Pip's behaviour wasn't bad enough, we had Jamie and Josh behaving badly, being caught red-handed spraying graffiti around the village. Yet more backchat to Ed, who apprehended them. What is it with these kids? I expect Josh and Jamie to turn into the Borsetshire equivalent of the Kray twins – don't you think that "Josh and Jamie" has a sort of "Ronnie and Reggie" ring to it? Whatever next? It wouldn't surprise me if Ben was caught dealing drugs – he has just had his eighth birthday, after all. Keep a close eye on the younger generation, is my advice. I blame the parents.

While not strictly anything to do with kids, I have a horrible feeling that Kate is going to hang around and not go back to South Africa. She hasn't spoken to Lucas since she turned up in Ambridge and I fear the worst. "But she's left Nolly back in Jo'burg and she wouldn't desert her daughter" I hear you wail, to which I will just say the word "Phoebe". 'Nuff said, I believe.

Continuing on worrying story lines, where is this relationship between Paul and Lillian going? I know Lillian is lonely, but could she be unfaithful to her Tiger?

Finally on the subject of storylines, was I the only one who screamed "No! No!" when Jolene suggested Wayne as the third judge for Ambridge Has Got Talent? Dear God, will we never be rid of the man?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Hey Jude, (don't) Be Afraid

Tim Bentick (David Archer)

So at last it has happened – David and Ruth have met the elusive Jude; not only met, but taken tea and biscuits with him. Poor Jude's ears must have been aflame when he and Pip didn't turn up for tea on the arranged day – and Ruth had spent over £6 on cakes and biscuits at the shop to boot.

Cue rant from David about irresponsibility and leading his little girl astray. Except that it wasn't Jude's fault, as it turned out that young Pip hadn't actually told him that he had been invited. "We'll just have to be more clever" said Ruth. On the subject of Ruth, can't we please have a storyline where she goes to elocution classes and then we wouldn't have to listen to that irritating faux Geordie accent?

But back to Jude. The cunning plan was – wait for it – not to go to work on the farm, but to hang around when Jude delivered Pip back from college, then leap out and surprise him and drag him indoors for tea and inquisition. Fair play to Jude – he was delighted to be asked in. Not so Pip, who kept whining "You can't stay Jude; you've got to get back and do - you know - that thing." Talk about spur of the moment improvisation!

David, meanwhile, was being icily formal and speaking through gritted teeth. The atmosphere dropped to sub-zero when Jude referred to Pip as "Fizz" and became positively glacial when he called David "Dave". Why so? Kenton calls him Dave all the time without getting verbally smacked in the teeth, but then Kenton hasn't got designs on Pip.

Jude must have a hide like a rhinoceros, or the sensitivity of a cast-iron sheath, as he happily prattled away, amid the sounds of cascading icicles and grinding glaciers that were David's comments. This insensitivity rose to a breathtaking climax when he said that he looked forward to coming round for tea etc much more often. I swear you could hear David gnashing his teeth.

Poor Jude – David has really got it in for him. One minute he's too old, the next he's immature. Later David goes spare when he calculates that Jude has been lying about his age. Jude was born on the day that John Lennon was shot, which was in 1980. Brainbox David does the arithmetic, forgetting that said shooting was in December, so Jude has yet to have his 2010 birthday. I really hope that David doesn't do the farm's accounts...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Just When You Thought It Was All Over…

Colin Skipp (Tony Archer)

I have to admit that I never saw the storyline about Helen wanting to be a single mother coming – when Annette walked out, I thought that was the end (please God). Tragically, my hopes were cruelly dashed when Helen made her announcement at Tony's party.

However, my reaction was as nothing compared to that of Dad Tony; no-one could accuse Tony of epitomising the New Man and he reacted true to type, saying things like "a child needs a father" and how much hard work it will be. Helen countered by saying that she has gone into the subject thoroughly. I bet she has – it wouldn't be a surprise if she had already chosen the child's names and put its name down for public school.

Pat of course is delighted at the prospect of Grannydom and told Tony in no uncertain terms that the family will support Helen. Why all this concern for Helen? It's the baby I feel sorry for – you just know that it will have bibs with different days of the week written on them and its Thomas the Tank Engine books will be kept in pristine condition and filed in alphabetical order. The mobile over the cot will probably be a model of the solar system and, when the time comes to be weaned, the food will undoubtedly be relentlessly organic. "I have so much love to give" wailed Helen. Get a dog, woman, get a dog.

Another thing that seems to be exercising Tony is that no-one will know who the father is, but there is a solution to this. To be fair, the chances of it happening are slim to zero, but if you recall, Ian went through a period where he was going to father Mag's child, so why not enlist his aid and make him the father? How would Tony react to that? Not too well, I suspect.

There is another, more practical, reason for selecting Ian – the man works as a chef, so when the time comes, he could supply the turkey baster.