Charlotte Martin (Susan Carter)
The Carters and the Aldridges got together to celebrate the fact that Chris will be able to buy the farrier business. Brian moaned that people kept asking him about foot and mouth, following the story in The Echo and it was annoying him. Cue Susan Carter, who comes in and promptly asks him about it. Not so much foot and mouth as foot in mouth.
Susan demonstrates that she has a talent for this kind of thing when Jennifer gets all sniffy with Alice about her buying food at a low cost supermarket. Susan comes in on the end of the conversation and congratulates Jennifer on her perspicacity in shopping at a cheapie supermarket, saying "We all have to watch the pennies, don't we?" Jennifer is stuck for an answer, as she probably doesn't know what a penny is.
The woman really is a snob and moans to Brian about Alice and Chris putting up the cottage as collateral for the loan. Brian applauds the two youngsters for trying to go it alone and he tells Jennifer that he'd never let them lose the cottage if the worst happened. God knows I don't like to encourage stories about pregnancies, but I hope Alice gets pregnant soon, as Jennifer will probably die of shame. And serve her right.
Someone else who got their comeuppance was Brenda. Pip came along and gave her the benefit of her marketing knowledge and despite not very subtle hints from Brenda ("I know most of this stuff") Pip drones on. And on. Tom and Brenda have been revamping the Bridge Farm website and are feeling quite pleased with themselves. However, Pat, who has had a trying day, with the Environmental Health making a surprise visit and Susan dropping stuff all over the place, finally snaps and yells "this business is losing money and all you're doing is tinkering with the website!" before storming out. Brenda is distraught and Tom comforts her, saying "we couldn't do any of this without you". Any of what exactly? Losing money? Infecting customers?
There's good news and bad news for Bridge Farm. Good news: Environmental Health are not going to prosecute. Bad News: Underwoods are charging them £10,000 towards the cost of the product recall. "We'll find the money somehow" says Tony, in uncharacteristically optimistic mood. More bad news: the families suffering from e.coli are suing Bridge Farm.
There has also been bad news for Clarrie (and thank you to my friend Karen, who suggested the title "Dirty Clarrie" for an episode of this blog – if only it had been three weeks earlier!) when it is confirmed that she was almost definitely the source of the e.coli. The next day, Clarrie mentions to William that Pat isn't going to be prosecuted and he has obviously caught Tony's optimism bug when he says that at this rate it might not be too long before Pat gives Clarrie her job back. Not while Tom still has his strength, I suspect.
Tom is still manfully trying to drum up sales by cold calling. Brenda has recovered her confidence and tells him to "avoid discounting – it smacks of desperation." Er, hello? Bridge Farm is on its knees and the sign marked 'desperation' is quickly receding in the rear view mirror. Tom is pleased with some of the reactions he's getting until Pat tells him that a deli owner Googled Bridge farm (other search engines are available) and it came up with "e.coli kings" or "poisons customers" or similar and the man wasn't impressed that Tom 'forgot' to mention the episode. Well, these things can slip your mind, can't they? Pat is even more despairing, saying "no matter how far afield we go, it isn't going to work."
Another person worried about infection is Emma, who tells Nic not to let Mia near Keira while she (Mia) has a cold. Nic mentions it to Will while they are flying kites on Lakey Hill (sadly no electrical storms about). He's all for sorting her out but Nic says "no". She also mentions how good Clarrie is with Keira. Ha! And Emma was worried about picking up an infection from Mia!
Daniel got his GCSE results – something like three Xs and a Z. Hey, never mind; this is Ambridge and the sixth form College will still take him, even though he apparently couldn't rearrange the words "off" and "sod" if you chalked them on a blackboard for him.
I'm worried about Harry – he's exhibiting signs of becoming as laid back as the new, improved Helen. For example, after Jazzer has cooked Sunday lunch, Harry is about to get stuck into the dishes when Zofia rings. He gets ready to go. "What about the dishes?" asks Jazzer. "Just leave them – I'll do them later". What a change!
Harry, Zofia and Jazzer (three's a crowd, Jazzer, but Harry doesn't seem to mind) walk to a gig at a pub in Pennyhasset. Except it isn't a gig, but a karaoke night and Harry has put his and Jazzer's name down to do "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. Instead of smacking him, Jazzer goes along with it, then said he's getting a taxi into Borsetshire, so perhaps there was method in Harry's madness. Certainly Zofia likes him, calling him "such a great guy". She also says "This is the most fun I've had in a long time", which presumably explains why she came to England…