The week starts with Shula who is still mithering over Daniel’s absence at Sandhurst. At least she’s got Daniel’s homecoming at the end of the week to look forward to – is Dan settling in, or might the stay be a little bit longer than Shula is expecting? But just when she thinks her family will be back together again on the Friday, Alistair reminds Shula of his London conference. A conference that Alistair is suddenly planning to “network” overnight at. Networking indeed?
David is feeling the heat over what might just be Brookfield’s last ever Open Farm Sunday – all thanks to route B. Ruth is in fighting mood over it, and I wonder if the rest of Ambridge feels anywhere near as strongly as Ruth and David do. Fair idea to get all affected landowners onside, but given that some of them – Brian for instance – stand to make a tidy sum over it, she shouldn’t expect them all to fall neatly in line behind her. Their strategy is a risky one. Its less about Ambridge and almost solely about Brookfield. Will their focus be a sharp reminder to others that its affecting Brookfield principally, and not the rest of the village so much? It could easily backfire. David’s attempt to get Brian onside quickly backfired. Brian is a man of progress (other than his kitchen) and he will stand to make a fair bit of cash over the road project. Adam is more sympathetic towards David, but his ties to BL certainly cloud the issue for him. David is now so blinkered over his reasons for opposing route B that he’s blind to the fact that Brian and Adam with their BL links may not be so willing to oppose the plans. Adam is getting closer to Charlie – will he risk his position? Charlie certainly has time for Adam – though he may want to be more mindful of his opinions on Adam’s family. But an away day together? Just farming business, or will Ian have reason to be jealous.
Finally the official opposition campaign to route B us under way and its still a big focus on Brookfield, and its looking more and more like David and Ruth are just looking after their own, and are just looking to get Ambridge to share their load. But fancy route B having Justin Elliot involved up to his neck. Its mist be obvious now to David he can’t rely on getting any support from Brian, but could it be a an angle for the campaign? Might their just be enough of a whiff of corruption to derail the project? Lillian is certainly backing it – she’s right behind Matt (and Brian of course) and its sounding like it could be more positive for the village at a loss to Brookfield.
Its a sad start to the week for Peggy, but at least she has Lillian on hand. But Lillian has her own little demons to contend with, as its the anniversary of Paul’s death. She’s a lucky one that Matt has stood by her, the way she stood by him when he was inside. The loss of a loved one is a common bond between Peggy and Lillian, and while Matt may not understand, at least Lillian has Peggy to fall back on to let her grief run its course.
But Lillian and Peggy aren’t the only ones grieving. Jazzer is beside himself as he says farewell to his beloved pigs. Its sounding like Tony has no plans to rush back to the business of rearing pigs but at least he’s making practical decisions over the near term future of the business. At least Jazzer and Maurice won’t suffer any more fall out from Tom’s departure. Tony isn’t the only one making decisions up at Bridge Farm though. Pat has had a little time to consider the mess that’s been left at Bridge Farm but will her decision to reach out to Helen and Rob just play into Rob’s hands? Maybe he does love Helen, but it just seems a bit to forced to me. Helen just seems a means to an end for Rob. Does he see himself at Bridge Farm, his own boss with Jess by his side, and Henry as their little add-on? His plan is progressing nicely. The pigs eventually go, much to Jazzer’s dismay but for Pat and Tony, its another reminder of John. Everything they do seems to come back to John. Will they ever be able to move on?
Pat’s attempt to start building bridges with Helen doesn’t exactly start too well, but keeping them all off balance is just what Rob is wanting to hear. But Helen’s fawning over him is stomach churning. Particularly when you wonder if Rob really feels anything for Helen. His slightly barbed comment to Helen that he’s happy to fend for himself “once in a while” was a sharp reminder that he’s a sexist sod with his own agenda. Pat is incredibly coming round to Rob and he has her well onside. But has he revealed his true nature to Helen? She has managed to catch him apparently lying. Helen is so in Rob’s thrall that she seems completely unwilling to face the truth.
The woe isn’t limited to Bridge Farm though. There’s more kitchen disaster for Jennifer with Buddy off the case (injured indeed?) its left to the two Steves to move “The Albion” on. Just how long does a kitchen take? But Lillian has a much more pressing emergency. Lynda’s baby knitwear production has Lillian green with envy, and it pure desperation she has turned to Jennifer to try and get one over on Lynda. Turns out memories of knitting aren’t exactly coming flooding back to Lillian. But not even Lillian can keep the kitchen woes at bay for Jennifer. Its going from disaster to crisis for her, and Brian is in no mood to discuss the finer points of sink design. Its looking like Kingsley is conning Jennifer nicely. Its a bigger disaster than route B.
The return of the Midnight Walkers is moving on, but Jolene is buzzing with the pre-World Cup build up at the Bull. Her encouraging of Fallon to have a night out has managed to land her with Jazzer at the pub quiz. It might not have been Jolene’s goal, but she’s managed to lift Jazzer’s spirits at a stroke. But just when Jazzer has a triumphant moment, naturally its when PC Burns appears. But Jolene’s skill at managing people doesn’t stop there. Just when it looks like Lynda will be a loss to the quiz, Jolene cleverly manipulates her and she’s part of the team.
The week ends on a high for some though. Shula is in heaven with Dan returning to the nest. Alistair’s absence for “networking” can’t dampen her spirits, even though the news that Dan is enjoying his time at Sandhurst isn’t quite music to her ears. But Shula isn’t the only one ending the week on a high. Helen has her big night in thanks to Pat and its her big chance to get the truth out of Rob. He’s evasive, and she isn’t buying it. But the truth shocks her when Rob takes out a ring. A real engagement ring (so she can be engaged to a married man.) But did he really get it from Brum? Or was he in fact down seeing Jess to borrow her ring? Is he for real, or is it just another step in a twisted little plot? He’s certainly got Helen hook, line and sinker.