Sunny Ormonde (Lilian Bellamy)
Paul moved into mega-weird mode this week when he turned up at the Dower House in a state of distress, telling Lilian "I need to talk to you" in an hysterical voice. Lil is terrified that someone might see him (Matt is off golfing) so she gets into his car and Paul drives off like a maniac, nearly having an accident and passing horses at about 70mph.
Lilian gets him to pull over into a layby, where he reveals it's Celia's wedding today and he's upset. Quite reasonably, Lilian asks why he's so upset and it can't matter to him unless he is still in love with Celia. This propels Paul to the next stage of nuttiness and he shouts at Lilian "I love you!" and you can almost see the foaming at the mouth. He also says that it's time to get off the fence and make a commitment to him and, when Lilian says that she can't leave Matt, the would-be wooer rants "Of course you can! You're just like Celia – too stupid to see it. It's just a business arrangement for Matt – he's with you for the money and sex!" Lilian objects to his insinuation that she's a prostitute and gets out of the car, whereupon Paul drives off, leaving her in the middle of nowhere and having to get a taxi home, which leads to awkward questions from Peggy when Lil turns up home in a cab.
Now, I was always taught that men gain Brownie Points singly and lose them by the dozen, but I submit that Paul's Brownie Points have all gone up in smoke in one mad moment and implying that your girlfriend is a whore and dumping her in a layby is something that a few red roses and a winning smile will not be enough to smooth her ruffled feathers.
However, nemesis may not be far behind as, on Monday, Lil leaves a note for Matt, saying that she's gone out for a ride with Alice. Her horse picks up a spike and she rings Matt to say she'll be late back. Matt thinks he's being taken for a patsy and puts the phone down, so he is a bit nonplussed when Lilian returns with Alice and the story is proved to be true. Matt has made a phone call or two and, on Friday, he notices that Lilian is in a bit of a state and asks if she's got something on her mind – something that he could help with, perhaps? A tearful Lilian says "no" and Matt goes outside to make a phone call, saying to the person on the other end: "Do you remember what I spoke about [Monday]? Well, it's on. I don't want Armageddon – just enough to warn him off. He needs to learn a lesson." I just hope that Paul has got private health insurance, or a critical injury policy.
Away from the Dower House intrigue, what else has been happening? Elona and Darrell are living apart in the same house and Elona has been offered a new job – we had a touching moment when Elona handed in her notice to Peggy and less touching when she told Darrell that they have to give one month's notice on No.3 The Green. Thinking about it, we know Darrell needs money, plus he has already dipped a toe into the dark side, so wouldn't it make sense for Matt to pay him to work Paul over? God knows he's got the tools.
Nic found church less daunting than she thought – they haven't used thumbscrews for ages, love – and Tom made his pitch to Bellinghams. They didn't immediately have orgasms and beg him to sign, but Tom was encouraged when the Chef came up to him after the tasting and asked about the blend of herbs and spices used. Of course, it might be because he is worried that he might accidentally use the same recipe, but Tom is getting back to his default "glass half full" mindset.
The love life of Tom's sister, Helen, took a bit of a knock when she eventually managed to get Jonno on the phone and pressurised him into meeting her for lunch. He declines and says that he feels they shouldn't see each other any more, feeding her a load of drivel about a former girlfriend coming back on the scene. Hel isn't fooled and, later in the pub, she tells Emma "I was practically stalking him today" and "I should never have told him how Henry was conceived." Too right – well, not on the third date. At least she didn't show him the test tube.
The Borsetshire Life interview with Brian appeared in print and it shows him in an ambiguous light. He goes to see Editor Glen Whitehouse, who demolishes all his arguments, although the village residents are all laughing at Brian. Jennifer bought up all the shop copies, but a mischievous Jim ordered more from the wholesaler.
David gives in to Pip over the loan (after Rooooth stuck her oar in), saying that they will help with the insurance, which will obviously rise. "Will it?" Pip asks incredulously, thus demonstrating a lack of practical knowledge of the wider world unusual even for a 20 year-old.
Finally, we had a barbed comment from Lynda as she prepared to host the meeting of the Highland Games Committee. She is miffed that her plans for a Jane Austen fete were rejected and Jazzer says "That's democracy", to which she replies "Yes, we must accept the will of the people, no matter how misguided." Somehow, I don't think her heart's in this year's event, but I'm sure she'll bounce back to play a leading role – sadly.