Yesterday was end of term for Matthew and Daniel, and we had a timely treat in store for the boys. How To Train Your Dragon 2 hit the big screen this week. Matthew has been waiting for this to come out as soon as he’d seen the first instalment.
How to Train Your Dragon introduced us to Hiccup, son of Chief of Berk, Stoic. Hiccup isn’t an ordinary Viking, and can’t bring himself to kill dragons. In fact, he goes the other way and befriends a nightfury dragon, Toothless. Together, they change the course of Berk and make peace between the Vikings and the dragons.
The sequel picks up the story 5 years later and introduces a threat to Berk and the freedoms of the dragons. I’ll not give out any spoilers. But any fear of the sequel to a great introduction being a disappointment was soon dispelled. The story was engaging and nicely continued Hiccup’s coming of age. The animation is good – of not better than ever, and the script gave us laughs and tears, excitement and tension.
Its rare for a sequel to be better than the original, but this time that’s just what has come out. We know the characters so well this time round and we’re right behind them – so much so that Daniel was cheering at the movie’s climactic action scene.
For Matthew – and Daniel to a lesser degree – it was more than worth the wait. We’d just come out of the cinema and they were needing us to see if there’s going to be a third instalment. There is – due to come out in 2016 – so the countdown is on already. One of the countdowns that is – Matthew is already asking for the Blu Ray version of the movie. Hopefully that will hit the shelves by Christmas.
If you’re looking for a wonderful 2 hour treat for you and your little ones, you can’t go wrong with How To Train Your Dragon 2. You’ll laugh, cry and cheer. The perfect way to get the summer holidays underway.
Its the morning after the night before and Lizzie seems to have no regrets. Same seems to be going for Roy. No thought of Hayley, or does he just want his cake and eat it? Are you sure it was just the cider Lizzie? Little wonder Roy is feeling “chipper” though. A night with the boss has done the trick for him. What happens now though? Well, lets think about Hayley shall we? Hayley is thinking about Roy and its guilt being piled onto him by Hayley and Abbey. He’s a fool. Where will it go? Lizzie is maybe thinking about it a bit more than Roy – but the gentry getting it on with the serving staff? Well, we can’t have that! Roy tries to assuage his guilt with a little present for Hayley. Will he be able to keep being “on the job” a secret? He might, but can Lizzie keep quiet?
Its time for a little trip away for Shula and Alistair, with a visit to Sandhurst to see the prodigal son. Seeing Dan so happy at Sandhurst still doesn’t really sit well with Shula, although seeing Dan in action on the parade ground certainly has her heart soaring. Maybe it’ll be a calm before a storm? It doesn’t seem likely that Shula will have wasted all that worry for nothing. Can we expect Dan to have a little accident? The trip to Sandhurst has managed to put her mind at rest for the time being. It seems that forgetting her worries was a little too easy for Shula. Still, it does seem that admitting it is sticking in Shula’s throat. There is some bad news for Shula though, but its not got anything to do with Dan. She’s been looking for a disaster to strike, only its hit closer to home. Its brought Shula back down from the high of seeing Dan at Sandhurst. Its all doom and gloom yet again.
Peggy is putting on a brave front, but Jennifer doesn’t seem that interested – with the excitement of her granite arriving at last. Finishing touches? That hardly seems likely given the track record of Kingsley. But Peggy is finding that moving on isn’t always the best thing. Jack’s death has really finally hit her hard. She’s fighting on alone. Maybe Tony should bury the hatchet for Peggy’s sake. Jennifer has too much on her hands though. Her kitchen is full on, and then there’s her holiday with Lillian. Still, it seems time for an Archers family conference! Tony aside, Jennifer and Lillian manage to see Peggy through. Which is handy for Lillian on the knitting from. Just like that, Lillian has her matinee jacket. Now for putting one over on Lynda. Her little scheme seemed to have gone down a treat, although Lynda’s “its charming” did sound like a bit of a put down. I dare say Peggy will keep her mouth shut, but will Lynda’s probing reveal Lillian’s secret? Lynda’s not convinced at all.
David is getting on with their midsummer bonfire. But he can’t resist moaning about route B though. He really needs to consider his strategy. The opposition to the road is fixated on saving Brookfield, not the overall impact upon the village. He may find out he won’t get the support he needs so easily. Mike mouths platitudes but that’s about it seemingly. David continues to be blind to reason though. No surprises who he’s got in mind for the guy with his old tweed jacket. Ruth is being the realist at last at Brookfield while David continues to bury his head in the sand. With his dodgy strategy for opposing the road scheme, Ruth’s realism might well be a something to consider for him. Maybe Ruth realises that David’s opposition is misdirected. Is he really surprised that opposition isn’t universal, given that there’s a complete lack of any argument about protecting Ambridge.
David is loving the bonfire night but maybe he’s taking Charlie’s – and Demara’s by extension – support to the road scheme just a little too far? Burning an effigy of Justin Elliot? Almost seems incredibly childish and more likely to harden the opinions of any that aren’t opposed to the road. Its not pleased Ruth though. Its all a bit Wickerman to me. He really doesn’t have a clue over opposing route B at all.
Its a big day on Tuesday up at Bridge Farm with Neil’s batch of piglets arriving. Its time for Pat and Tony to look forward but once again Pat has her head in the clouds over an imminent return for Tom. You can be sure that Rob has made sure Tom won’t be coming back anytime soon. It might be wishful thinking but it sounds like Tony wouldn’t mind if Tom did turn up. Piglets running amok is testing his patience. Chasing around pigs has been a sharp reminder to Tony that managing the pigs without Tom won’t be that easy. Tony might be having Pig trouble, but there’s more than that on Helen’s mind. Its time to replace Kirsty. Pat can’t make the interviews, which will no doubt delight Rob. Its going to make getting his own way that much easier seeing as Helen will believe anything he says. And of course, that’s just what happens. The big question is who is “Tina”, and the even bigger question is, how is she connected to Rob?
Shula gets right to the point with Lizzie. Did she get any sleep? Well, I think Roy made sure she didn’t. Still has her festival wristband on? Hasn’t cut it off yet? Well, if the truth comes out it might be Hayley that’s cutting something off. It sounds that Lizzie telling Roy it can’t go anywhere is more her trying to convince herself, and not Roy. There’s festival woes for them both with Loxfest hit a deadly blow – no litter pickers! At least its got Roy a free lunch with the boss. There sure are benefits involved in working with Lizzie, right? Roy certainly doesn’t want to let it go. One night with Lizzie just doesn’t seem to be enough now.
Alice incredibly has time off work – anyone know the last time she actually went to work? But its a chance for Alice to widen her skills after Fallon gets a bit of bad news. Don looking to sell Jaxx? The job may go, but Alice does remind Fallon that the boyfriend issue may be going the same way – even though there is absolutely no chemistry between her and Harrison. It does seem to be the most unlikely pairing in Ambridge. Engineer, party planner, agony aunt. Come on, is there anything she can’t do? Maybe against her own better judgement, Fallon goes for her big date with PC Burns but given the lack of chemistry, the night is cringeworthy, and Fallon can’t wait to bail it seems. But is this the feisty, independent Fallon that we all know and love? Or is it a simpering imitation that needs Alice to make decisions for her? It seems that Fallon’s instincts trump Alice’s. Harrison’s Facebook page has alarm bells ringing for Fallon, and it could be that PC Burns isn’t the catch he seemed to be. There does seem to be something creepy about him. Will he just slither away, or is there trouble in store for Fallon?
We head towards the end of the week with Charlie doing the PR rounds, this time with Jill again. Of course, she’s not to be converted, but does Charlie know about the effigy of Justin? Of course he does, and his friendly little warning to David falls on dead ears. David can’t understand still why everyone isn’t falling over themselves to get behind the Save Brookfield campaign. It seems the Penny Hasset “No to Route A” campaign has taken a “Save our Village” line, and not a “Save our Farm because We’re Entitled” line. Maybe that’s why they’re getting support. David is becoming more blinkered by the day, and there’s no chance of him sharing Ruth’s realism.
The week ends over at Lower Loxley. Roy is feeling a shade guilty, but he’s had a taste of Lizzie, and he likes it and it sounds like he’ll do what it takes to get some time with her. Hayley’s bubbly-ness certainly made Lizzie feel more uncomfortable that it did Roy. Lizzie finally lays down the law to Roy that she’s not about to re-order her life to let Roy have his bit on the side. He’s pushing it a bit. How long before Lizzie decides working with Roy just isn’t working at all? If he is forced out of Lower Loxley and the tough questions at home really start coming for Roy?
The start of the week finds us up at Bridge Farm, and the World Cup and Fathers Day has Tony feeling down again, and thinking about Tom. That’s not the worst Fathers Day experience in Ambridge though, as down at Blossom Hill Cottage Helen has got Rob a Fathers Day card on Henry’s behalf. Maybe I’m the only one who considered that in the slightest bit creepy. Its certainly more than Tony will be getting from Tom. But at least Helen is planning to show her face up at Bridge Farm, and Pat warns Tony to be on his best behaviour. Pat reminds Tony that Rob is en route to becoming their son-in-law – despite there being no progress on the divorce front for Rob.
Maybe we’re all wrongly thinking that Rob is a devious sod, just out to use Helen to get what he really wants. Or that maybe we’re right. Rather than the acceptance Helen is seeing, its all grin and bear it for Pat and Tony. Rob definitely seems to be progressing his plans though. He’s countermanding Helen more and more where Henry is concerned and now he’s making decisions for her over the shop? “Oh, isn’t he fantastic” Helen opines. Just get your heads out of the clouds woman! It looks to me Rob is looking to force Helen away from the shop and into virtual captivity at home. Pretty clear he’s got no intention of going anywhere near an agency. Just who does he have in mind to fill the void at the shop?
Harrison is still on the case, and its got nothing to do with the detection of crime. He’s at the Bull for the World Cup it seems, but he’s just managed to catch Fallon at a low point. Just what does she have to show for her 30 years on the planet? At least the World Cup keeps Harrison at the Bull and it rather sounds like Fallon’s defences are beginning to crumble at last.
But Fallon isn’t the only one with a birthday this week. Birthday greetings are ringing out for Ruth up at Brookfield. Naturally it has her indulging in one of her “Oh, how lucky we are” moments. Its a welcome diversion from all her woes for Ruth, and its taken her mind right off route B. Until David goes and loudly reminds her. Talking with his foot in his mouth is a change from talking with food in his mouth, I’ll grant you. Its certainly all he’s thinking about just now, and it’s not escaping his notice I suspect, that the village isn’t universally up in arms with the road proposals.
David’s new arch-nemesis Charlie Thomas is certainly busy, and he’s got Debbie (and Brian by extension) firmly in his sights. Can Brian fight Debbie’s corner? It seems that he might but its looking increasingly unlikely that he can count on full support from Adam. Adam has been nicely talked round by Charlie, although you do wonder if there’s ulterior motives at work for Charlie on the Adam front. Its all a welcome change of focus for Brian with the disaster that is the Home Farm kitchen. Brian and Jennifer are given a surprise by the appearance of a wounded Buddy at Home Farm. Oddly enough, he sounds like a complete chancer, and comes bearing the news that something else is in the wrong place. Just when will Brian decide enough is enough? And as for Buddy’s “painkillers”, will PC Burns be paying an official call to Home Farm in the near future? The saga – and it is a saga – over the kitchen really is getting ridiculous though.
It seemed that Brian’s week couldn’t get any worse. That was until he attended the next BL board meeting that is. Charlie’s devastating report concerning Home Farm’s activities is a dagger to Brian’s heart and Annabelle is in no mood to support her former chum. Will Brian be forced out, a last potentially opposing voice to Justin Elliot? Charlie is certainly on fire, but his Olde Worlde farming anecdotes did seem to be stretching things a little too far. That’s not the end of the bad news for Brian, and he’s in for more shocks. Another AD unit AND a solar farm. Brian is finally horrified at the approach BL is taking, but what Justin Elliot wants, Justin Elliot gets? Its all fired up Brian though at last, and he’s soon doing the rounds looking for opposition to BL. Or could it be he’s just looking for a free lunch? Or any lunch at all it seems. Brian is on the search for allies though. Will he manage to pull together a grand coalition to put an end to Demara’s grand plans? Its all going horribly wrong for Brian, and even hopes of lunch at the golf club with Matt are cruelly dashed. Its a wretched end to the week for Brian after he’d had been so smartly brushed off by Annabelle.
There’s a bit of light relief during the week with the Borsetshire Show with Freddie, Pretzel, Lizzie, Ed, Jazzer and Tony all heading for the show. Ed and Jazzer are soundly beaten with their shearing efforts although Jazzer has his moment in the sun with a narrow win over Ed, and there’s some measure of success, although the news that Berrow Farm land a prize hardly goes down well. At least it was a worthwhile trip for Tony, who may have sourced his sought after bull. His efforts to show Tom and Peggy seem to be going nicely at last. But will the day be remembered for Hayley giving Roy ideas? Was it wise to point out to Roy that Lizzie is attractive, and that she deserves to have a bit of fun? Just make sure she has a good time? You could regret that unwise advice!
Peggy’s troubles with her increasing feelings of loneliness hit another low in the middle of the week though and it was fairly easy to see what was coming with Peggy being reduced to one cat. Despite being surrounded by family and friends, she’s finally finding the loss of Jack to be overwhelming. To be fair on the scriptwriters, they tend to do these tender moments so well.
Charlie rudely interrupts David and Ruth’s evening out at the Bull – you can’t fault his determination. Naturally, he gets short shrift from the both of them, but that’s not going to deter him but he’s going to find it a bit harder than that to talk David and Ruth round. He certainly talks a good game, but just not good enough. It does sound to me that Charlie is just doing the rounds to gauge opinion to Demara’s plans for Ambridge. Maybe he is or isn’t “Justin Elliot” but for someone who has nothing to do with the road, its seems he’s in an awfully good position to talk about it.
Festival time finally arrives for Lizzie and Roy. Would Roy follow Hayley’s instructions to the letter and show Lizzie a good time? He certainly was pulling out all stops for her. You’d have thought that Lizzie would be smart enough to give Roy a wide berth, but she’s getting over Nigel at last and does appear to be thinking about really moving on. But day two of the festival has a cracking end to it. Lizzie is completely overcome with the idea of a festival and is loving her time away. She’s anticipating a more surpises, and a big bang to end the night. Well, she was certainly right on those fronts. It was quite a nauseous and to the week, with Lizzie and Roy ending up in a passionate embrace. Well, Hayley ordered Roy to make sure he showed Lizzie a good time. Just be careful what you wish for.