Will Sanderson-Thwaite (Christopher Carter)
What a week it was for young Chris Carter – it started well with Jim's article appearing in Borsetshire Life. According to Susan, Jim wasn't happy with it (like you, I was gobsmacked at the news) but never mind, as Susan was proud enough for both of them. If truth be told, she was proud enough for the entire supporters of a Cup Final winning team, but that's what mothers are like.
Jennifer got off lightly – she popped into the shop to get some nice chocolates to take to Matt and Lilian's (personally, I would have bought lots of liqueur chocolates and taken out the gin-filled ones for her) and ended up with two copies of Borsetshire Life; one for her and one for Peggy. Jennifer baulked at the idea of buying a third for Lilian and fled, sans chocolates.
Actually, I'm surprised that Susan didn't arrange for Chris to make a personal appearance at the shop, autographing copies of the magazine. She is convinced that every other publication for miles around will want a piece of her son.
Chris (who described the article as 'awesome' – Pulitzer Prize-winning stuff, obviously) then returned home unexpectedly and discovered Alice talking to a strange man. The fact that he was in Canada and they were talking on Skype didn't make him feel any better. Neither did it when Alice told him later that the company (DZT in case you want to buy – or sell - your shares) had called her up and this was in way of being an interview. Alice finally placated Chris by saying that she screwed up the interview and it won't come to anything.
Sure enough, a few days later, DZT got in touch and invited her for an interview in Canada. There was much talk about how this would affect their lives – she's all for it (the get-away-from-mum-Jennifer gene is obviously kicking in) but he says that he wouldn't be able to take his customers with him. That's the trouble – no customer loyalty nowadays. Come on Chris – what about all those Mounties – someone has to shoe their horses, surely? "What about my forge?" he asks. Well, Chris, I'm no expert, but I'm willing to bet that they won't let you take it on as hand luggage.
Neil finds out about the situation and tells Susan, who has an attack of the vapours, saying that they would never be able to afford to go to Canada and see their grandchildren. Don't worry Susan – if Chris doesn't go, there won't be any. Besides, if Alice is earning the fabulous sum that she expects, she can afford to pay for you.
Tragedy in the Snell household, when Lynda discovers Wolfgang dead. It's a mystery, until she reveals that only yesterday, she was talking to him and brushing his coat for ages. An open-and-shut case of suicide if I've ever seen one. There is a monumental outpouring of grief over this dead llama – I mean, when Ivy Horrobin, Arthur and Bert Pullen died, we had a few kind words and memories, while Lynda gives it the whole Greek tragedy act.
Alistair arranges a post mortem and reports back on the preliminary results – there were lesions on Wolfgang's lungs and it could be TB. If it is, then the other two llamas would have to be tested and any positive reactors put down. "And what about the owners?" we all cried. Lynda, so often the model of propriety, decides not to tell neighbours David and Rooooth about it – it's only their entire livelihood, after all. Perhaps it's for the best, as David might pop round with his gun and dispense his own, effective medicine. Once again, all together: "And what about the owners, David?"
I can't help thinking that Matt and Lilian are going to come a cropper over the paper mill conversion. The Paul/Lilian saga thickened when he announced he'd got a flat ("a place of our own"). I worry too that Darrell has run into an old cellmate working as a foreman on a building site – I do hope he resists the inevitable forthcoming temptation to do something illegal, as I like Darrell. Elsewhere Pip continues her regression as a sulky teenager.
Pat and Tony return from holiday and Tom, loving son that he is, lets them get home and nearly get their coats off before he reveals his latest master plan – to buy in extra pig meat for the Ready Meals. But there's a slight problem – there's no spare organic meat, so he's considering buying non-organic meat. This will, of course, mean removing the word 'organic' from every Bridge Farm product and flying in the face of everything that Pat and Tony have tried to build up over the past decade or two. Tom argues that no-one wants or can afford organic nowadays, in which case, organic pork producers should be begging him to take their meat, surely?
Pat has a right go at him, unfortunately stopping just short of braining him with the poker, calling him 'ungrateful' and asking, "don't we deserve some loyalty?" A hurt Tom says "I've spent the last week showing how much the farm means to me." Nice one, Tom, but I can't help thinking that a bit more effort in the other 51 weeks as well wouldn't come amiss. Finally, if Tom is keen to sacrifice his principles and use any old meat – and he's not alone in these days of horsemeat in burgers and seahorse meat in fish fingers – then I can tip him off about a nice, dead llama that should do for a meal or two…