Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lizzie The Grass

Alison Dowling (Elizabeth Pargetter)

When will people in Ambridge learn that telling even one person a secret means that everyone will know about it within minutes? Kenton confided in Nigel about his one-night-stand with Holly (actually he was boasting, if truth be told) and Nigel just had to tell Lizzie.

Lizzie met Kathy, who asked "have you seen any change in him (Kenton)?" What, apart from being totally shagged out, you mean? Lizzie had to tell Kathy about Holly ("I couldn't lie to her" – why not, you're a woman?) which went down like a pair of lead knickers.

When you think about it, this was a colossal blunder on Lizzie's part, as it means that, with all chance of a reconciliation with Kathy seemingly out the window, probably Kenton will stay on at Lower Loxley, not least because he's nowhere else to go. Naughty Kenton – I just hope Holly was worth it. I reckon the only way back for Kenton is if he heroically saves Jamie's life – presumably rescuing him from a vodka-fuelled bout of Hide trashing.

Joe cocked it up again when his plan to shaft Bert Fry over the vegetable show backfired somewhat. Bert congratulated Joe on his fairness – what is the man on? This is Joe Grundy we are talking about. Joe also managed to upset Jim, so that'll be a few less free drinks in the future.

Elsewhere, we had control freak Jennifer ringing Brian on his mobile at the airport. "Have you got the right terminal?" she asked and our spirits rose when we realised that he couldn't see Kate anywhere. Had she missed the plane (please God)? Sadly, no and the hopes of millions were dashed when Brian said "I can see her". Damn!

Thoughtful as ever, Kate announced that she had brought vuvuzelas for Ruari (yes, I had to check the spelling) and Phoebe. Presumably the bagpipe shop was shut? Can you imagine how thrilled Hayley will be when she finds out? I can't imagine that Jennifer will be too chuffed either.

Yes, it's sad, but it has to be faced – not only is Kate back, but it's scheduled to be for a whole year. Think of it – twelve months of frustration and wanting to give her a good slapping. We can only hope that Kate is overcome by motherly love and flies back to her family (unlikely on previous behaviour) or gets thrown out of college. Where are education cuts when you need them?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Catching Up

Andrew Wincott (Adam Macy)

Hello there – sorry that there have been no postings for a couple of weeks, but we all need a holiday. Luckily, I was back in time to hear most of last week's Omnibus edition, so I have managed to catch up on at least some of the stories.

Firstly, we have happenings at the Bull, where Jolene is in danger of becoming a new Miss Haversham, as Jolene keeps saying "why don't you go upstairs Mum?" Never mind; Harry to the rescue! His "We love the Bull" website practically went viral a few seconds after he created it. Fallon was so pleased that she not only gave Harry a kiss, but put him in charge of arranging guest beers, much to the dismay of Jazzer, whose plaintive cries of "I can help with that" were totally ignored. Watch out Harry, or your lifeless body will be found on the milk round, next to a blood-stained bottle of gold top with Scottish fingerprints on it.

Talking of jealousy, Will isn't happy about Nic's extra hours at the pub. That probably makes around 346 things that Will isn't happy about. When he finds out about Emma's pregnancy, that'll be 347. In the meantime he seems to have developed a new catchphrase, as he keeps saying "what's going on?" every time he appears.

Have you noticed Adam recently? Of course you haven't, as he seems to have become Mr. Elusive; always being talked about, but never heard. As such we get Jennifer saying "Goodbye Adam" as he (presumably) goes off on the Combine, Brian saying "I've just spoken to Adam" and everyone else referring to him in passing. Wherever he's gone, he seems to have taken Ian with him.

What else has happened? The bird hide has been trashed twice – what is Ambridge coming to? First the graffiti, then ecological vandalism; let's hope the police catch up with the culprits before Lynda does, for their sakes.

The BL/market development story panned out as expected, with Matt buying the land needed for access. Nice one Matt; let's hope that, now he has the BL Board's (and, more importantly, Brian's) goolies in the vice, he doesn't forget to keep tightening it. Not that I want to see Lillian on the BL Board and I'm sure they don't – her expense account alone would wipe out the annual profits.

Finally, we have the continuing story of Kathy, Kenton and Jamie. Kenton's moved out to Lower Loxley (bet Elizabeth is delighted!) and, quite frankly, the story is getting on my nerves. Plus, out of the three, I'm not sure who is the worst. Actually, that's a lie, as it has to be Kathy; true, Jamie is a pain and Kenton is a complete prat, but, for sheer, day after day, constant whining and whingeing, it has to be Kathy. Kenton may have moved out, but she still moans at him on the phone. "Jamie needs a dad", she says, then marches off to occupy the moral high ground when Kenton gets thrown in jail for a few hours after leading Nigel astray on a drinking spree. Fortunately (?) it seems that Jamie has adopted Kenton as a role model, as he storms out and gets totally rat-arsed one night. Not surprisingly, he's not up with the lark next morning and super-sleuth Kathy suspects something. "Is that alcohol I can smell?" she asks. Zut alors Inspector! Straight to the truth, as always.

Poor Kenton continued to get an ear-bashing, being told "I want you to act like an adult" and "you should stay there till you grow up". Get real, Kathy; this is Kenton we're talking about – if he stays there till he grows up, then Jamie will be in his dotage.

The Kathy etc story line gave us two memorable quotes. First Jamie flounced out, saying "No-one cares about me." Let's have a show of hands – yep, Jamie, spot on my old son. Then Kathy asked (rhetorically, I assumed) "Am I so terrible to live with?" I'm not even going to ask for a show of hands on this one…

Monday, 6 September 2010

Cookery Lessons

Barry Farrimond (Ed Grundy)

As if we don't get enough cookery programmes on TV, last week's Archers seemed obsessed with the subject. I suppose Emma's bun in the oven could be loosely grouped under this heading as we all contemplate yet another Grundy appearing on the scene.

Anyway, Emma's pregnancy led to what can only be described as "the great artichoke hunt" as Ed moved heaven and earth in his search for the elusive vegetable. "I'll find them somehow – I've got to" he said, as if he were a ‘copter pilot searching for climbers lost in the mountains. And find them he did – and just in time, as I was wondering whether the programme had been sponsored by the British Artichoke Growers Association. While on the subject, don't you think it odd that very few eyebrows were raised when Ed (the man who put the 'F' in sophistication) was asking all and sundry for artichokes? Perhaps people assumed that Ed thought it was some new kind of drug.

More cookery with Susan's Lamb and aubergine (what, not artichokes?) tagine or, as it turned out, vegetable lasagne. Susan, whose capacity for self-delusion has reached Himalayan proportions, said that the Carters and the Aldridges were "One big happy family and we should cement the bond between us." If Jennifer had her way, the bond would also include a bucket and an expanse of very deep water. Just how wide the gulf between them is was illustrated by their comments after the meal. Susan: "Tonight went really well". Jennifer: "Well, that was absolutely ghastly".

"I can't serve tasty and wholesome to the Aldriges" Susan told Neil, which is a novel approach to entertaining. When she did produce the lasagne (the tagine having been pronounced disgusting) and Neil said "It looks very nice", she replied "It's OK for people like you Neil". Oh yes, now the Aldridges are family, you just remember your place, my lad!

Brian was complimentary, saying: "I appreciate a well-cooked meal made from fresh ingredients". I bet Jennifer has noted that and filed it away for future reference when they next have an argument. Jennifer isn't happy, is she? Not only was there the meal at the Carter's, but she's fretting about what Chris will do when Alice goes back to uni. She's worried that she will have to cook and wash his clothes, but I reckon that she's such a control freak that she'll be following him around with food and picking up his dirty laundry before it has a chance to hit the floor.

There was also the post-wedding celebration party when Chris and Alice spent two nights in the Grey Gables Honeymoon Suite, courtesy of Alice's siblings. "It's out of this world" said Chris. Actually, it isn't even out of Ambridge, but it's the thought that counts.

Away from things domestic, we had Kathy and Pat talking about Jamie and Pat uttered the immortal line "grief's a funny thing…" That's why you see so many stand-up comics at funerals no doubt.

Tony is rapidly becoming the village expert on – well, on everything, really. First we had the mower/conditioner (which Ed popped over specially to have a look at, the saddo, taking valuable time off from the artichoke hunt). Then he (Tony) pontificated about the type of care and birth that Helen should have, tactfully pointing out that, as the conception wasn't natural, why not have a high-tech birth? Seconds later, he's coaching Jamie on his batting stance. God, the man knows everything – except where to find artichokes in August, of course.