This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 27 June 2014

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?

Week Ending 20 June.


This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 20 June 2014

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.

Week Ending 13 June 2014.

This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 13 June 2014

The big weekend arrives in Ambridge at last. It might well be the single wicket contest, but is the return of the prodigal son for Shula. Although she’s not all that pleased to hear how much Dan is loving his time at Sandhust. It doesn’t help that the rest of the family can see such a positive change in Dan – for the better. But it’s a good weekend for Dan as he wins the single wicket, and gives Shula the proud moment of handing over the Mark Hebden trophy to Mark’s son. But Dan is obviously getting sharper observation skills, although its not that hard to see Shula is troubled.
Dan couldn’t miss her ongoing concern over his career choice, but is there trouble over Alistair’s “networking” on the Friday?

But the real competition is over Open Farm Sunday. Its business as usual up at Brookfield, but after a bit of inspired thinking from Charlie Thomas, Berrow Farm – much to Rob’s unhappiness – has their own open day. Naturally with Pip back for the weekend (thankfully silent) and Jill on hand with her baking prowess, it all goes superbly for them. The Echo is on hand to see it all, and it couldn’t have gone better. More than can be said for the mega dairy. The positive PR that Charlie was desperate for went out the window with the Echo now on hand to see a dead calf. Its maybe what farming is all about, but its not image Charlie was looking for. Advantage Brookfield there I suspect.

Fresh from the Open Farm Sunday triumph, Jill is as busy as ever looking after her still dependent brood of Archers. Its Nigel’s birthday, and Lizzie is down, but never fear, Jill I on hand. But it’s the bigger picture for her family that’s concerning Jill the most. Route B worries are becoming all –consuming for Jill, and it was inevitable that the Brookfield Archers would make the opposition to the road personal. It affect them most after all. But almost making the campaign a “Save Brookfield” campaign is risky strategy. It would seem that not everyone in the village is militantly opposed to it. You only need to look to Home Farm (predictably) and the Dower House for evidence of that.

Lizzie is generally supportive of course, but she has her own concerns. Roy is still buzzing about their upcoming trip to Greenbury Fields, but Lizzie is having second thoughts about it all, although its maybe a welcome diversion from her melancholy thoughts over Nigel. That’s no concern of Shula, who is still bending ears over Dan’s army career. It does get Lizzie thinking about Freddie, and whether or not he’s ready to be the man of the house. Is Lizzie thinking on moving on? Should Roy look out for himself under the canvas with Lizzie? I wonder if there have been any behind the scenes “discussion” between Roy and Hayley over Roy’s away day(s) with Lizzie?

Speaking of away days, its all go for Adam. After an invitation from Charlie, he’s got Brian at him to go to the cereals show thing. Choices, choices for Adam. Well, he’s coming round to Charlie, and its Brian who gets knocked back. Might Brian have been a gooseberry? At least it would have got Brian away from the Home Farm kitchen. Its one delay after another for Jennifer and her Albion. Hasn’t she twigged she’s dealing with a cowboy? We don’t have an Albion at home, but it did take less than a week to install, but Jennifer’s kitchen saga is just running and running. Just how will Brian’s heart cope when he finally twigs they’re being had?

Naturally this week, Helen is full of it after having been presented with an engagement ring. She’s completely infatuated and the more it goes on, the worse its going to be for her when it all goes pear-shaped. Peggy is delighted for her of course, reflecting on her own choices. I suspect that Helen getting a “second chance” is about it as far as similarities between herself and Peggy goes. Despite her advancing years, Peggy still can’t stop worrying about her offspring, unlike Helen it seems. But it’s a tough time for Peggy, who is feeling Tom’s absence keenly – just when she is being reminded of Jack’s departure. Its all getting a bit much for Peggy and she’s finding loneliness a little hard to handle, although Fallon shows up in the nick of time to lift her spirits, but maybe its time for Tony to make his peace with Peggy. Pat is hoping that Tom will reappear – something that would really lift Peggy – but Tony is the voice of reason there for a change. There are big decisions to be made on the pigs with Neil being at risk of feeling the fallout. Neil – with his vested interest of course – manages to talk Tony round to keeping the pigs, for the short term at least. At least Tony is managing to make sensible decisions (for once) but he’s being a big blinkered on the fact that only he (or Tom) can manage the pigs. Maybe putting that responsibility Jazzer’s way is going to far, although he’ll be delighted to see his girls back.

But Peggy does get a little fired up over Route B discussions with Jill, much to Jill’s annoyance. Peggy is being a realist over that at least, and with Brookfield making it all about them, there is no surprise Peggy can’t see the campaign having any impact at all. Jill is having none of it though, but trying to see Justin Ellliot? Good luck with that. First port of call for that is JE’s man on the ground Charlie Thomas. Its hard work for Jill, but at least Charlie gives her a fair hearing and at least promises to take her concerns to Justin, but she can forget the face-to-face meeting. Which raises in interesting question for me. No one had met Justin Elliot before the BL board meeting that saw Brian deposed.
Charlie is going all-out to get to know the key players in Ambridge, and takes on board what he hears. Could it be that Charlie Thomas is aka Justin Elliot?

At least with Charlie’s trip away with Adam, Rob is allowed a bit of peace up at Berrow Farm. But why waste a de facto day off with work, when you could poison Helen’s mind and make sure she never has a reconciliation with Kirsty. Rob is persistent in blaming Kirsty for everything that’s gone wrong at Ambridge Organics. Its turned out to be a good day for Rob with Berrow Farm’s Open Farm Sunday not making good reading in the Echo. Just who will Charlie hold responsible? That can wait for Charlie, who is in his element educating Adam to the future of farming. Adam is coming round to Charlie’s way of thinking, but is that what Charlie is really after? He’s slick, and knows how to butter up Adam. Servicing half of Borsetshire? Just what are you after Charlie? Remember Ian? Adam is being completely won over by Charlie, and is signing his praises to Brian. I wonder of Adam is being groomed by Charlie to take full command at Home Farm with Brian and Debbie getting the elbow?

Charlie’s week doesn’t end to well though as he continues getting it in the neck from the Archers. After seeing the Echo – then being reminded of it
(smugly) by David, he’s in no mood for any of it. Rob seems to have escaped the bulk of his ire. But Rob picks a bad time to try and escape to pick up Henry. Charlie isn’t impressed, and it was interesting to hear that Rob is in full agreement with Charlie’s views on the Archers. Oh Helen, you really have no idea of the contempt Rob seems to hold your family in. Rob is playing the long game nicely, and now his attention has turned to Henry.
Just what did he tell Helen in her absence? You can be sure it was nothing about her needing to hold on for a delivery at the shop. Henry’s reaction to her appearance was frosty to say the least. With Rob seemingly turning Henry against Helen, are his plans gathering pace at last? Look out Helen!

Week Ending 6 June

This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 16 May 2014

The week started up at Bridge Farm, with no sight of Tom yet, much to Tony’s annoyance. The pressure is starting to build on both Pat and Tony, and no doubt Tony will think its personal, and that Tom is doing it all on purpose. Their organic status inspection is right around the corner, and they’re both completely flat out. Will the strain of it all ultimately tell on Tony? Or on Pat? Tony’s optimism that they’d get through without Tom seemed out of character for him slightly, but will it sustain them in the weeks ahead? It did seem that things were moving remarkably well for Tony, and he was getting Maurice working nicely on sausage production, although perhaps it was for the best that Tom was away and didn’t get the benefit of Maurice’s advice although maybe it would have spared Kirsty the public humiliation. But would a divorce just month into the wedding been any better in the long run?

Loxfest talk is gathering pace, and Jolene’s reunion of the Midnight Walkers is fast becoming the talk of Ambridge. It seems to be enough of a draw that Jazzer is talking about it, though his primary interest in Loxfest seems to be relating solely to his stomach. Its proving harder that Jolene thought though, but the potential absence of the Walkers might not be the only thing going south over the festival. Roy has hardly covered himself in glory so far, and Lizzie isn’t taking it at all well with all the major food providers heading elsewhere, which Roy missed. And did Roy really think that Lizzie would be happy camping at a weekend festival? I suspect Roy doesn’t know Lizzie as well as he thought he did.

Over at Home Farm, Brian is the source of concern for Jennifer and Alice.
His sciatica flare up has them worrying he might be over doing it although Brian seems more than happy to come up with any reason to get out of the Home Farm kitchen/bomb site. Brian is happy enough to let Adam off the hook over his continuing run-ins with Charlie. Brian is delighted though to take in the deer if it means being away from the house. Lucky for him though that Alice is concerned enough about her dad to be on hand with a difficult birth for one of the deer. Alice is certainly branching out – whatever has happened to her day job? At least Alice has deflected Brian from the woes surrounding Jenny’s precious kitchen re-fit. Will Brian’s sanity be able to cope with talking light and shade? Its all turning a bit white from Brian.
Bless Jennifer being completely wrapped up in her First World problems.

Speaking of Adam as I was, he was certainly in for a surprise after receiving praise from Charlie. Is Adam starting to relent? Well, after Rob getting a roasting from Charlie over childcare provision and falling milk yields, it seem that Charlie casting his eagle eye on Rob will let Adam off the hook somewhat. Rob will no doubt think that its all down to Helen (via
Henry) that he’s getting grief from Charlie. At least he’s managed to get rid of any responsibility for getting Henry to anywhere for the time being.

Which brings us to Helen. She’s still wrapped up in her own little world that she has no time to understand the plights of others. Pat (and Tony) are fighting to keep theirs and Tom’s business running smoothly in Tom’s absence, and Helen has the nerve to have a go at Pat because a couple of things are missing from her delivery? Can’t she be a little bit more understanding? Well, when Kirsty walks through the door, it would seem not.
I was incredible that after all that had happened over the wedding that wasn’t, that she thought Kirsty would swan in and just get back to work and they’d carrying on as if nothing had happened? Kirsty was really stung by the fact Helen knew Tom was having major doubts, but she kept them to herself? Kirsty was spot on – Helen has an incredibly narrow vision of how friendship works. Its another friendship bridge that’s been burned. This time Rob had nothing to do with it, but he’s got what he wanted and Helen becomes a little more isolated. Will an under pressure Rob take it out on Helen? Rob has spun it differently to Helen though, and he’s still the blue-eyed boy as far as Peggy is concerned. He more surrendered meekly to Charlie than put his foot down. I wonder how much longer he’ll be wonderful in Peggy’s eyes. When it finally goes pear-shaped, I wonder how Tony will see it all, given that Peggy gave Helen and Rob her blessing.

Alice continues to be the woman on the spot though – does she still have her day job – this time for the coldly furious Kirsty. Tom’s continuing absence has at least let Kirsty get on with the process of moving on.
Anything related to Tom is bin – or burning – fodder, and predictably Tom’s letter of explanation gets short shrift. But at least Alice managed to narrow down Tom’s location somewhat. Will she remember to tell Pat? But for Kirsty, she is quite literally burning her bridges with Ambridge – even if it does mean making a bit of work for Will. It seems that Kirsty has finally remembered that she is fiercely independent and not the meek Mrs Archer to Tom that she seemed to becoming.

Eddie though hasn’t considered Alice to help plan the party for Clarrie’s 60th. Scenes involving Eddie and Joe are always capable of providing a bit of light relief, although I’m not absolutely certain that Clarrie will be too delighted to see Adele in the photo of her grandchildren. Still, if George gets what he wants, then why not Joe? The party can’t really come soon enough for Clarrie who is down with the thought of turning 60. Not even an evening out with Eddie can lift her spirits, and he can’t help noticing. Has Tom gone and infected Clarrie? The day of the party finally arrived though, and the village was whisked back in time to the 1970s as Eddie manages to pull it out for Clarrie again, although his Charles Aznevour was a bit on the painful side again. But it does the trick, and it lifts Clarrie’s spirits. Well done Eddie. Still, with things looking positive for the Grundy’s for the time being, you have to wonder what will upset their apple cart next. Little has been said about Hazel becoming their landlord. Will that still come back and bite Clarrie?

But the week ended where we started, back at Bridge Farm with the day of the organic status inspection. Tom’s continuing absence has inevitably let some things slip at Bridge Farm and Pat’s strategy of explaining Tom’s absence was a risky one. Tony might have had a point that it would be viewed as excuse making, and a reason for the inspector to look just that bit more closely. Turns out it did, and the bombshell that Tom had been playing fast and loose with the pig feed has rocked Pat and Tony and they are faced with the real prospect of losing their organic status. It seems that Tom has really gone and done it this time. Will Tony’s heart be able to cope with the fallout?

Week Ending 9 May 2014

This Week in the Archers – Week Ending 2 May 2014

Tom is feeling down, and rightly so. Hardly any surprise to him that Kirsty isn’t returning his calls. Roy is trying to act like a friend, but trying to put a spin on it that it wasn’t Tom’s fault. But why be surprised that Kirsty has gone on the holiday? At least she was has had something out of it. But “its only money”? Well, when you’ve got a cash machine at the Lodge, it certainly is. Tony is still taking it badly, and surprise, surprise, in the cold light of day, Tony has taken issue with Peggy being involved but not thinking to pass on the info to him and Pat. Tony can’t resist taking it a step further though – naturally its all Peggy thinking that he can’t hack it as a parent. I do feel Tony has a point on Peggy thinking on her part in it, but taking the will line is a bit of a mistake – again – by Tony. But with Peggy promising to give it all some thought, will Tony ultimately get what he wants?

Tom is doing his best to shut the world out. He’s managed to keep Pat from his door, but of course not his beloved gran. Peggy comes up with a tactic that Pat didn’t think about. Just turn up on the doorstep. Peggy’s advice to Tom is just what he needs, but is her intervention the best thing to do after her last failed effort? She’s trying to do the right thing though, and building bridges between Tom and Tony is just what is needed. But is trying to get the two of them to see eye-to-eye beyond Peggy’s capability? Peggy is right at the heart of it all though, and she’s in a position to put them all right. Any chance she would put Jennifer straight? She’s probably too worried about her kitchen to pay it any heed.

The Archers over at Brookfield don’t have the failed wedding on their minds, as its the day for Jill officially moving back into Brookfield. Its heavy work for Kenton, which has never been his thing, but despite his chequered past, he’s loyal to Jill, as much as any of the Archers. Jill though is happy being back where she belongs. I can’t imagine Ruth would appreciate a rota that would include her being in the kitchen. Nor would David, Josh and Ben! The sounds of family around her might just be what Jill needs to lift her spirits yet again. There will always be thoughts of Phil, but Jill is home again.

Its not all Tom for the Bridge Farm Archers though. Its a big day for Helen. After a few years of palming Henry off on anyone who would take him – including one of Rob’s employees – its official this time, as he’s off to nursery. Rob is playing nice guy this time, and manages to see off Clarrie nicely. But is he hoping that if Helen ignores Kirsty that another one of her close friends will abandon her, leaving her without anyone to turn to when Rob reveals his true nature? Kirsty will be the last person Rob wants to hear about. He’s started separating Ian from Helen, and Kirsty will complete that little set. Clarrie is a persistent soul though – she and Susan would put MI5 to shame in ferreting out secrets. Helen at least has the chance to put Clarrie right and let the village know about Tom. Will anyone want to listen?

Meanwhile, the pressure is continuing to grow on Adam, with Charlie really cracking the whip and Adam working all hours. Its all too much for Brian, who’s back gives up. But worse news is on the horizon at Home Farm. Jennifer is facing another Kingsley related delay to her dream kitchen, and its poor old Brian’s stomach that is suffering. Jennifer is hardly getting any support from Peggy either. Is she doubting the wonderful Kingsley? Well now Peggy, the crème de la crème of builders are worth waiting for, don’t you know that? Jennifer can’t wait though, and it seems that Susan can’t wait either to see Jennifer’s new kitchen. A bit cheeky of her to invite herself round for one of Jennifer’s kitchen suppers! But her enthusiasm was cooled somewhat with Jennifer’s well meaning offer of her old units. Naturally Susan would see it as being looked down upon. But her hasty refusal didn’t go down that well with Emma, although she has cake on her mind.

There’s reconciliation in the air over at the Stables. Shula has rather quickly accepted Dan’s decision to head to Sandhurst and join the army. She’s going to give him ironing lessons? Well, isn’t he a lucky man? It seems to be Shula’s way of coping though and it seems she is headed for a tearful parting with Dan. Never mind Shula, Jill will be on hand for you!

Speaking of Jill, its roads that are the talk of the shop between her and Shula, but that’s not what’s on her mind when Pat makes an appearance. Tom is still the talk of Ambridge, and it finally resolves Pat to repeat Peggy’s trick by waiting at Tom’s door. It finally works and we’re treated to a tender scene with her and Tom as he at last gets out his feelings about John, and his resentment at having to assume his role. At least Pat tries to understand Tom. But getting Tom and Tony together – despite Peggy’s advice – was surely too soon. Would Tony and Tom meet halfway? Of course not. Pat’s attempt at reconciliation and helping Tom move on was always doomed. Instead of attempting to see Tom’s side, Tony can’t resist giving him both barrels. How DARE Tom even think on pointing out John’s shortcomings? Well, it was a disaster waiting to happen. It maybe wasn’t the best of ideas either for Roy to take Jazzer round to see Tom either – not that they got the chance. Has Tony’s short fuse gone and pushed Tom over the edge? He’s tried to reassure Pat with his little note, but he’s in a fragile state of mind, and will it yet end in tragedy? Well played Tony.

Week Ending 25 April 2014

This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 25 April 2014

It was the biggest week we’ve had in Ambridge for quite a while. It was the week of the Wedding of the Year – and Alan marks his Easter Sermon, and the new organ, with a name check for Tom and Kirsty. Kirsty of course is delighted, as she’s carried Tom in the wedding excitement stakes for weeks. The pressure seemed to be building now for the wedding to go ahead! The Sermon seemed all about the Archer clan this week – not just Tom, but Jill got a little mention with Alan giving a nod to Phil regarding the organ. Will it give Jill full closure over Phil just after she’d cut her ties with Glebe by moving back to Brookfield for good?

Its not all good for the Archers though. Shula is still having a tough time accepting Dan’s decision to head off to Sandhurst and join the army. She should be delighted he’s remembered he’s an entitled Archer who ignored going in as a private and going for the officer class. Dan makes an effort to get Shula to understand, but she seems unable – or unwilling – to do so.

Its all hands to the pump at the Bull for Easter – well, at least those of another Archer, Kenton. His mind is on Jolene with her bumper Easter egg, but at least he’s got time to pass on some wedding advice to Tom. I think there’s no doubt that Kenton and Jolene are happy together, although Tom just sees the bickering. The thought of them making up just can’t bbe stomached! Still, it sounded like Tom is just trying to convince himself that he and Kirsty can be the same. Kirsty isn’t thinking on holding back, but Kenton hardly seems any help at all for Tom.

The wedding plans were – no surprise – gathering a head of steam, but so were the omens. Tom’s ring not really fitting – he made a pretty poor fist of telling Kirsty that it fitted fine. Tom hasn’t been enthusiastic about the wedding for weeks, and the buying of the rings didn’t help hm at all. What is even more bizarre is the fact that Kirsty wasn’t picking up on it at all. Maybe, just maybe they weren’t in tune with each other at all in the first place? Kirsty couldn’t wait for the wedding, and her little surprise with the rings didn’t impress Tom too much and neither did Pat’s suggestion to get a surprise for Kirsty. It was already sounding that it was much more likely to be a shock than a surprise. Still, at least Tony had his priorities right. You can rely on the carrots. They’ll definitely need drilling, and will definitely grow. Focus on the positive. There was certainly precious little of that coming from Tom at the run through with Alan down at St Stephens.

The omens continued to pile up – by the day it seemed. Kirsty’s larks were being slightly overshadowed by the the negative ones. Surely Joe must have had one for the dead pheasant? When the pheasant is dead, ye shall not wed? Well, maybe not. Still there was always likely to be worse to come, and it was Helen, using Henry as her little proxy for disaster. Honestly, giving Henry a cup of blackcurrant and have him sit virtually next to Kirsty in her dress? Predictably, disaster did strike right on cue, with Henry’s juice landing right on Kirsty’s dress. “Its all off” wailed Kirrsty. Well, maybe it was the warning she needed. Still, Helen came to the “rescue” by getting a change of dress – and saving Kirsty’s designer dress for herself?

Kirsty’s little disaster was a big warning for her, but Tom was fighting his own demons. It seemed that his heart to heart with Tony might be the thing he needed to give him the courage to plough ahead with the wedding, but no. Sadly Tony had to get that hideously wrong. When Tom needed his dad to tell him he was proud of who Tom was, he just had to go and tell him that he and Pat more-or-less saw him as John come again. John this, John that. It was a complete disaster, and certainly had Tom more confused than ever. When the dust all does settle, I think we’ll find that this was the single moment that tipped the balance for Tom. As if that weren’t enough though, his “best man” Roy’s wedding/marriage disaster anecdotes weren’t really what a man who’s nerves were already frayed needed to hear. After his chat with Tony, it was the completely wrong message. As the confusion mounted, where else could Tom turn than to Peggy? At last it came out, and that Tom wanted to put a stop to the wedding was no surprise. Turns out he had always resented being put in the position of John II, and Tony’s words of wisdom were just the last straw. Peggy did give him the advice he needed, but Tom only thinks of himself, and there was no chance he’d speak to Kirsty before the big day. He couldn’t even bring himself to confide in Helen. The thunder storm was ominous, but would Tom follow Peggy’s advice?

Finally, the day itself came. Kisty was full of the joys, which should have forewarned us all. Just as her joy was unconfined, Tom was dealt another blow with a reminder of John arriving in the form of the tractor that killed him. A reminder that it killed the Tom that was and may have been? It was the end for Tom, but he waited until the very last second to drop a shocking bombshell on Kirsty on the very verge of her wedding Kirsty’s agonised scream was sadly the expected end to this saga.. Sad is it may seem, it saved from greater heartache, but the humiliation visited on her by Tom was awful.

The aftermath might go on for some time, but it didn’t take long for Kirsty to start pointing the finger. Helen’s revelation that Helen knew of Tom”s doubts was a touch paper being lit that lead to a huge explosion. The possibility that Tom may end it maybe never occurred to Helen, or she wasn’t that much of a friend to Kirsty in the first place. Kirsty was enraged by it all, and the their friendship is the first casualty of Tom’s me, me me thinking. It seems though that Kirsty is just at the head of a line, Helen was surprisingly furious at Tom for crushing a friendship that she valued – despite Kirsty”s opinion on Rob. Kirsty stood by her, but Helen couldn’t stand by her.

Predictably, Tony was similarly furious. He gave Tom both barrels, but couldn’t resist reminding Tom of John again. You have to wonder what this is all going to do to Tom’s current fragiile mental state. But was was a bit of a surprise was Peggy. She has always seemed to pander to all of Tom’s whims, but her controlled anger at Tom refusing to listen to her advice clearly shocked Tom. He was being nicely isolated by his own family. Well Tom, as a farmer, you’ll just have to reap what you sow.

Week Ending 18 April 2014

The Wedding that Never Was

It was meant to be the wedding of the year. Another on of the Archers was
due to marry, this time it was Tom who was due to make another Mrs Archer,
this time Kirsty being the “lucky” girl. It seemed like Kirsty had never
really gotten over Tom after their first break up – well, when Tom went
behind her back with a supermarket buyer. She caught Tom at the right time
from his break up with Brenda. Even that far back, Kirsty should have had
alarm bells ringing. Tom was right on the rebound from Brenda, and his
desire to immediately jump back into bed with Kirsty should have been a
warning, but she saw it as her chance to become an entitled Archer, so
maybe she chose to ignore the warning.

From her side alone, the wedding did seem like a dead cert, although her
humming over the wedding dress did seem like she wasn’t absolutely certain
it was the right thing to do. Was her subconscious telling her that she was
about to make a titanic mistake? Tom seemed to be making all the right
noises, but as we all know, there is one person that Tom loves beyond all
others – Tom himself. Memory of their first break up might have been
another warning that Tom will just put himself first, irrespective of the
cost to others. His current fight with Tony over the direction of Bridge
Farm and their business was indicative of that. To hear Tom complain to
Tony that he would listen to no one, and would make unilateral decisions
was a big case of the pot calling the kettle black.

But as far as the wedding goes, it did seem a while back that Tom wasn’t
really thinking straight. For a man obsessed with his business and
controlling costs, he went all out on an expensive vanity project wedding.
Money was suddenly no object (thanks to Peggy again) but coming at a time
where there was a threat to his business thanks to potential TB at Bridge
Farm through Tony’s cows, spending thousands at such a time where there was
potential threats to his business seemed incredibly foolhardy. I’m
surprised Tom didn’t come out and say it and at least suggest to Kirsty
they control wedding costs. But no, he went and involved Alice. That’s just
going to have the opposite effect on cost. And then there was the bespoke
house, bought in a fit of pique over Tony’s direction for Bridge Farm. Tag
on a 2-week holiday to Costa Rica, and it was getting an expensive bit of
business that had the potential to drag Bridge Farm under if TB took hold
in the cows and pigs.

But all through it was Kirsty’s excitement. But it was an excitement that
Tom just never seemed to share. It seemed like weeks ago I thought it had
the air of a wedding doomed never to happen. Every time Kirsty got excited,
or had plans to discuss, Tom was almost dismissive. “Do what you think is
best” seemed his stock response to Kirsty. There were the countless chats
with Kenton, Roy, Rob etc, each of them giving him wedding/marriage
disaster stories. There was very little positivity coming his way that may
have encouraged to get him over those doubts. But it was his chat with Tony
just 2 days before the event that, for me, clinched the deal for Tom. Tony
made it clear that he and Pat more-or-less see Tom as John born again, and
not Tom himself. It seemed to remind Tom of how he’d been expected to fill
the role that John vacated just to please Tony and Pat.

After that little chat, all Tom needed was someone to support his need to
call the wedding off. Who else would Tom turn to when things were going
pear-shaped? Peggy of course. Peggy sees Tom as her Golden Child, and he
can do no wrong. She’s unstintingly supportive of him, and that gives her a
great power over Tom. His now convenient excuse that he was being made to
feel like John come again, and that he’d forgotten who Tom really was, was
laid out to Peggy. Unsurprisingly, what Tom wanted (her approval to knock
it on the head), Tom got. Maybe the marriage would have been a sham, but
did Peggy really think of Kirsty at all? Tom’s reasons for not going
through with the wedding had nothing to do with Kirsty, it was all about
himself as usual. And Peggy backed him up, as usual. If it had been about
Kirsty, he might have taken Peggy’s advice and told her before it was all
too late. Waiting until Kirsty had been paraded through Ambridge, and had
arrived at the church? That’s just about Tom.

Predictably, Kirsty was distraught when her cherished dream of becoming an
Archer had been cruelly taken away from her at the last second. Her howl of
anguish was so full of pain, in contrast to Tom’s crocodile tears. That was
bad enough, but the aftermath should be interesting. What will Tony think
of Peggy telling Tom to stop the wedding? It may well have just been Peggy
being supportive of Tom, but a suggestion from Peggy is as good as telling
as far as Tom is concerned. She slapped Tony down with her will, and now
she’s stopped the wedding of his only son? More friction coming there.

And how will Tom now react? He’s at an all time low. Maybe he did love
Kirsty, and finally ending it for good may well devastate him. But memories
of John, and how he’s been expected to fill the gap he left leaving Tom in
the midst of an identity crisis could well send him over the edge. Will he
become suicidal? Tom does think a lot of himself maybe for that, but who he
thought he was has been ripped away from him. Tony might well take the
responsibility for that. He lost John, and Tom being Tom wasn’t enough for
him and Pat. Peggy may well have something to say about that.

And then there’s Helen’s relationship with Kirsty. Helen has always been
close to Tom but how will she react after seeing him betray one of her
closest friends in such a publicly cruel way? Kirsty’s open disapproval of
Helen’s relationship with Rob Titchner did create some friction between
them. Kirsty’s continual reminding of Helen that Rob had gone behind the
back of his wife fell on deaf ears for Helen, but now her own brother has
done something even more cruel to Kirsty. Will it be the breaking point for
their relationship. All we need is for Brenda to make one more appearance
to tell them all, “I told you so.”

I suppose the wedding being called off was a slight surprise despite all
the omens – the late wedding dress catastrophe not least amongst them. But
we’ve seen in the past where we’ve expected a sad end to a storyline, only
for things to go on as normal with a tame ending. It would have surprised
no one if Tom had put doubts behind him and went through with it out of a
sense of duty to Kirsty, Tony and Pat. Ultimately though its come as no
real shock that Tom put himself first. I suppose you have to protect
yourself, as if you don’t then no one else will, but his story line has the
potential to run and run.