June Spencer OBE (Peggy Woolley)
…You'll usually find a few unsatisfied people having a moan. Last week, Peggy called her children and partners together and they were expecting to hear what Jack had left them in his will. Peggy had put some of Jack's treasured possessions on display and we learned that his taste was, to put it charitably, not of the best. Even better, Peggy managed to get shot of lots of old tat, by presenting family members with said keepsakes, which they could hardly refuse.
As to the will, Peggy revealed that Witch Hazel gets the lion's share, while Peggy gets The Lodge and is adequately provided for. This has made her think about her own bequests when her time comes and she tells Jen and Brian that they have done well for themselves and their children are in no danger of running short. Equally, Lilian and Matt have been successful and don't need the money. Then there's Tony – what can she say about Tony?
'Not much really' is the answer – she accepts that he has done sterling work in his organic enterprise but she feels that her money should go to those who can make best use of it. Tony is just getting his wallet out and rehearsing his 'thank you' speech when Peggy drops her bombshell – she is going to leave The Lodge to Helen and everything else is going to Tom.
This goes down like a lead balloon with Pat and Tony, who regard it as a thinly-veiled accusation that they cannot provide for their children and cannot be trusted with Peggy's money. Pat especially is unhappy and she first tries to get Tony to talk to Peggy and change her mind, but he says 'no'. Later on, Pat tackles Lilian, who admits that she was slightly disappointed (especially when she and Matt ended up with the picture of the crying gypsy girl – Matt's comment "you'd never get tired of setting alight to that" tells you everything you need to know about the picture). Sensing a sympathetic soul, Pat suggests to Lilian that they all go to see Peggy and torture her until she sees reason. Lilian is lukewarm, however, saying "it's not our place to complain".
Brian is next on Pat's list, when she asks him if he has reservations. Brian replies that it seems logical to him, to which pat says "Leapfrogging Tony is painful; it implies she doesn't trust him – he's hurt." Brian points out that all the other grandchildren have been excluded and "It's Peggy's money – she can do what she likes." Pat says she was looking for support and that Peggy's making a mistake, adding "I'll just have to tell her myself."
Let's pause here. Peggy has three children, Tony, Jennifer and Lilian. All have told Pat that it's none of their business, but she (who isn't a blood relative) thinks she knows better. Please, will someone tattoo "Is this really any of my business?" back to front on Pat's forehead and give her a mirror so that she might stop and think before leaping in with both feet every time? She's already pissed Helen off big time and now she seems set on alienating the entire Archer clan.
And what of Tom and Helen in all this? Helen is very grateful, although I wonder if, when Peggy finds out about Rob and the affair, she might change her will. As for Tom, he is convinced that Peggy has done the right thing and can be found tacking almost-invisible black threads across the top of the stairs at The Lodge and leaving the gas taps turned on, while saying to Peggy how romantic candlelight is.
What else happened last week? Susan and Neil are off to St. Lucia, lucky them and at least they have got rid of Holly, as Will suggested that the puppy should live with him and Nic, for George's sake. Ed and Emma aren't happy, but reluctantly agree. George demonstrates a frightening level of single-mindedness by obsessing about seeing Holly, to the extent that he is in floods of tears at school and keeps going on about going to see the damn dog. Someone else who is not doing handsprings at Holly's re-homing is Nic, who tells Will "The last thing we need is an incontinent puppy".
You have to wonder about Ed sometimes – he spent a considerable time repairing his work boots with gaffer tape, as they are leaking and he has wet socks. For heaven's sake! His mother-in-law has just given Emma £500 to spend and, when Emma suggests buying a new pair of boots, Ed says "we should spend it on the kids". Why? George is being a right pain and Keira's not that old yet – go on; splash out on a pair of boots, they're not that expensive. Besides, gaffer tape is bloody dear, not to mention getting earache from Emma, who keeps whining about the mess on the kitchen floor.
To conclude this week, it might be possible that Jazzer will turn homosexual, as he was helping Neil out (mostly by eating his toasted cheese, it must be said) when Susan, who didn't know Jazzer was visiting, came into the kitchen, modelling her newly-bought beachwear. It was hard to say who was the most shocked. Whatever, I just hope that the inhabitants of St. Lucia are ready for this and that they know what they're letting themselves in for.