Roger May (James Bellamy)
The break I refer to is that of James Bellamy's leg – the unlucky bit is that it wasn't his neck. Honestly, I never thought that I would ever see a character replace Will Grundy as the character I'd most like to slap repeatedly, but James is right up there with the whiny gamekeeper. It's not just that James calls Lilian 'Ma', annoying as that is, but he hasn't got one redeeming feature that I can think of.
The really depressing thing is that he is now ensconced in the Dower House and looks set to stay there until he is better. How long does a broken leg take to heal? Can nothing be done to speed the process? How about if we amputated it – would that heal quicker? Brenda spoke on behalf of five million listeners when she spoke of James being in Ambridge as being "total misery".
Matt went up in my estimation when he reminded James that neither he nor Lilian are James's servant. He could have saved his breath, though, as James has Lilian running round, making coffee, charging his phone and sundry other errands. This is of course after he sent her to London to pick up some stuff from his flat. A tired Lilian is cheered when Paul rings her to enquire after James's health – expressing such concern makes me think that obviously he has never met James.
There was a tedious storyline when Tom and Brenda were trying to come up with a novelty food item for the Christmas season. As it turned out, it was Peggy who came up with the idea. And what was it? Ready Meals. Now I know you're thinking "but Tom's already producing Ready Meals" but Peggy's plan is to market them to busy housewives as a guilt-free, wholesome meal in the busy days before Christmas. From Tom's reaction, this is an intellectual achievement on a par with the Theory of Relativity.
Later on in the week, the all-conquering progress of the Ready Meals towards global domination took a bit of a knock-back when Tom and Brenda sampled the first, professionally-cooked meals. The casserole is fantastic, but the meatballs were a disaster, with way too much salt. "You can't afford to take your eye off the ball for a minute" says Tom, the philosopher. No doubt that was what he said to the footballing pigs. Does this mean that Tom will be standing over the chef when he prepares the next batch?
Ed and Emma continue to roam the streets and lanes of Ambridge, presumably clothed in rags, visibly losing weight, rummaging through waste bins and begging anyone who passes for work. I hope they make good soon, as I am starting to feel sorry for them and I never thought I'd feel that about Emma. The horror in Ed's voice was apparent when Tom told him of the Ready Meals debacle and mentioned that he had dumped the lot. You could almost hear Ed thinking "that would have fed us for weeks – I quite like salt."
What else has been happening? Elizabeth contacts Iftikar to see if he is willing to give Freddie some extra-curricular coaching in maths, which is reminiscent of the days when Nigel used to keep his children chained to desks, going through old exam papers. Ifti is willing, although one assumes that Freddie is not over the moon at the prospect. In passing, we learned that Daniel is either a crawler trying to ingratiate himself with the man who picks the cricket team, or that he doesn't have many friends, as Ifti says that he has been invited to Daniel's 18th birthday party. The birthday is 14th November, in case you want to send a card.
Fallon got the manager's job at Jaxx's, much to everybody's relief and she and Rhys are rehearsing their lines for the Shakespearian Christmas Extravaganza and Rhys muses how the play (Much Ado – you can't have forgotten, surely?) is about two people who don't realise how much they have in common. "Just get together!" we all yelled at the radio.
Sunday was Apple Day, with the likes of Eddie Grundy telling an enthralled audience "this is an apple" and introducing Joe to talk about cider making. Joe is still having troubles with his false teeth and he takes them out. Unfortunately, no-one can understand what he's saying sans teeth and Eddie tells him to put them back in. Disaster! He cannot find them and there is a suspicion that they have fallen into the apple scratter and have been pulverised. No more cider for me, please.
Whatever the fate of his dentures, Joe becomes a talking point in the village when he appears with his second-best set. Apparently these are a tad noticeable and David and Neil have a good laugh at Joe's expense in The Bull. Phrases such as "big bad wolf" and "practically fluorescent" are bandied about but David and Neil aren't laughing when Joe lets slip that they might have been pulverised in the apple scratter – let's hope that they manage to forget before the next batch of cider is ready for drinking.