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 30 May 2014

Peggy hears the news about Tom at last, and it hasn’t gone down well. It a stunning piece of irony, she points the finger at Tony about not telling her. Is that a case of the pot calling the kettle black Peggy? Well, you’ve played your part in Tom heading off as much as any of the Bridge Farm Archers have. At least Peggy got a chance to see Tom on his way to Canada, a bit more than Pat & Tony got. Now they must realise what they’ve all done. It does all seem quite strange that a man so focussed and dedicated carried on being John for so long if he hated it so much. Well, Rob hasn’t helped all that much, and Peggy’s suggestion that Rob be involved in any discussion over the future of Tom’s pigs will never go well with Tony.

Peggy does play an ace card though. Who’s business was in the first place? Oh yes, John’s. Another memory of John that Pat isn’t willing to let go easily. Will she and Peggy manage to talk Tony round and give Pat a straw to clutch at – that Tom will ever come back? Helen is being wrapped around Rob’s fingers. His suggestion of seeing Peggy is nothing to do with easing her concerns. Its all about what’s good for Rob. He’s got her upping her game with Henry’s childcare – the TV and a pile of cushions! But that aside, we have a family meeting! Just why is Helen surprised at Tony excluding Rob. He may be Helen’s partner, but just what does he have to do with the Bridge Farm business? It may be his goal to get his hands on it, but for now, its none of his concern. Its not at all unreasonable for Rob to be excluded but naturally Peggy backs Helen if it means backing against Tony. It almost sounded like Peggy, Helen and Rob are cooking it all up. Keeping secrets from Tony? Well, let’s start with Rob – he gets rid of Tom but Helen and Peggy think its wonderful and lovely. Helen is completely way off target. He’s done it simply because he wanted Tom out of the way. Then there’s the planned wedding. Despite the fact that Rob is still already married. I wonder if he’ll bother with the divorce at all?

Peggy should be careful with keeping secrets from Tony. She’s doing her best to build bridges, and her offer of money to Tony is generous. Maybe though his refusal of her offer may well antagonise Peggy to the point where she throws her lot in with Rob and Helen. It was a smart tactical move by Tony to exclude her and Rob from the meeting on Friday. Two against one? Without Rob and Peggy to support her and argue her corner, either Helen will just cave in, or will agree to nothing.

It’s a busy time again at Brookfield, and its lambs off to market and Shula is on hand to help David. Of course, Shula had an ulterior motive for turning up – the new road. Shula and David (and Lynda) are agitating to get opposition going. Charlie is being pointed at as being a man in the know. Brian and Charlie certainly seem to know more than they’re letting on. The road plan certainly has the potential to open up the usual divisions in Ambridge. Will Ruth be able to see Brian as anything other than the villain? David and Shula are doing all they can to mobilise the village, but for the rest life goes on much to Shula’s annoyance. How dare Lizze put her business first! But that won’t stop David, Shula and particularly Lynda. Lynda won’t even let her birthday preparations get in the way. She’s done her research and she’s firmly behind Penny Hassett getting the dubious honour of getting the new road. David, rather foolishly just takes her word as gospel. As long as its nowhere near Brookfield, right?

Lynda was right in her element, and she managed to get her way so the village to see the road maps, and it always seemed rather inevitable that the new road would blunder its way through Ambridge. But to David – and Ruth’s – horror, it would seem that the road goes right through Brookfield. Well, that’ll teach them for being so smug about Penny Hassett’s seeming misfortune. But Ruth really needs to chat to Kirsty about despairing wails. They’re definitely fearing the worst over it all at Brookfield. Oddly enough, Brian isn’t at all concerned. What’s losing a bit of field when it means cash – and a lot of it – right into his hand. Will Ruth ever believe he knows nothing about it? She’s always ready to believe the worst in Brian. Jennifer may get involved in the protesting, but Brian will never upset BL’s applecart.

Just when there’s a bit of controversy in the air that could land the lucky few right in a pile of cash, Matt returns to our airwaves. Whenever there’s a chance to feather his nest, Matt is always on the case. Brian isn’t giving much away to Matt, but there’s no chance Matt will believe Brian knows nothing. Matt can’t resist tweeking Brian’s nose over their kitchen debacle. Right on top of the kitchen being flooded thanks to the rogue sink, Buddy has had a little accident. Or has he? It seems pretty clear now that karma has come round to bite Jennifer for her crowing over her new kitchen. Its going from crisis to disaster, and you have to worry if she’s being well conned by Kingsley. Will she have the nerve to admit it and pass the news on to Brian?

Fallon is busier than ever. Once the woman who had her hands full helping run the Bull and her music, suddenly she’s become the community spirited, party planner. It seems there are complete changes of character all round. No doubt it won’t be long before she’s letting PC Burns get his feet right under her table. Plans of mice & men though don’t always go to plan, and Lizzie has finally put her foot down over Roy’s plans for them to camp out at Greenbury Fields Festival. Really Roy, don’t you know Lizzie at all? Roy is hardly covering himself in glory over Loxfest. To be honest, I can’t help feeling that Roy comes across as being completely gormless. I suspect Lizzie isn’t overly bothered about the “festival experience” – just show her the money!

Charlie is still keeping the pressure on, on behalf of BL. Adam’s stellar performance over his maize has meant Charlie’s eye turned towards Rob, and Adam has found that quite easy to take. But now his roving eye has turned to the truculent Will Grundy, who really believes he is Lord of his own little manor with regards to the shoot. He can’t take any suggestion on board unless it comes from himself. But refusing a suggestion from Charlie is risky business. At least it’ll all make him happy, as it will be something to moan about. Its what he does best and he’ll get no support from Brian. Brian is a man who sees the bottom line, and if Charlie can lift that bottom line, Brian will be happy. Will better get used to it.

Lynda has a lovely end to the week. She may well be one of Ambridge’s more abrasive characters, but for me, her heart is always in the right place, and the village is lucky they’ve got at least one person who is so community minded. She’s a great one from Brookfield to have on site for the battles over “Route B” But for now, its her moment in the sun, as Robert pulls out the stops with an Alice in Wonderland garden party for her birthday. Leonie puts in a surprise appearance, much to Lynda’s delight. They may have had their moments, but they bonded over the pregnancy, with Lynda giving Leonie the courage and strength to plough on. She ended the week in the company of family and friends, and it was a timely reminder how highly regarded she is in Ambridge.

But again, the week ends at Bridge Farm, with their Council of War following Tom’s doing a runner. Helen is in no mood to be objective, and is now actively pushing Rob’s agenda. She’s so wrapped around his finger, she’ll believe anything he pushes at her. Even is layman’s view of going non-organic with the pigs topped Tony quoting the Soil Association regs chapter and verse. Helen was completely blind to that, so much is she under Rob’s thumb. Tony did come up with the goods over Rob. Helen doesn’t know him at all, despite her protests to the contrary. She is backing him over the non-organic route, and even thinks he’s the most thoughtful man ever, helping Tom get his Canadian interview. That little shocker didn’t really sit well with Pat and Tony. Helen doesn’t see how Rob’s nicely rid Helen of her support network – and how he’s piling the stress on Tony. His plan is going superbly. Isolate Helen, get rid of Tom, push Tony into a heart attack then get his hands on Bridge Farm. There’s no way in my mind he’s got any intention of living happily ever after with Helen. Is it Bridge Farm he wants, or is it more sinister. He’s carefully developed a father/son relationship with Henry. Is he thinking, push Helen into mental instability then ride off into the sunset with Jess and Henry? What a mess Helen.

Week Ending 23 May.

This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 23 May 2014

The fallout from the failed wedding and Tom’s vanishing act continues as Tony becomes even more stressed over the running of Bridge Farm, as well as Tom’s enterprises. Will Tom ever return to the scene of his crimes? But now that Rob has his feet under the table with Helen, naturally he’s got his opinion on it all. He’s backing Helen away from being there for Pat and Tony – in a way he’s right that it’s Tom’s problem, not Helen’s but with Pat & Tony having to deal with the fallout, its not as simple as Rob sees it. But Rob sees it all as an opportunity. Just what is his agenda? Does he see a future where Helen has control over Bridge Farm? Of course, Helen controls Bridge Farm, Rob controls Helen…well, I think we can see where he might see himself. Given that its yet another threat to the Bridge Farm business, it does seem that there’s a bit of a pattern forming.

Lynda and Lillian’s little trip to London for the Chelsea Flower Show – and of course a little visit with the lovely Leonie was the subject of some chat at Ambridge Organics, but it was Lynda’s request for a joint of organic pork that brought the Bridge Farm difficulties sharply to the front of Helen’s mind. It was too good of an opening for Rob to pass up of course. He’s clever enough to know that with her views of Tony’s efforts, and her dim view of organics, that Peggy was always going to prove to be a valued ally in his efforts to further his own agenda. Naturally Rob puts on a charming front to Peggy, who is completely taken in by him. His faux concern expressed to Helen for putting Peggy in the picture was interesting. Maybe shouldn’t have said? Oh, I think he knew exactly that saying something was absolutely the right thing to do. And so it proved as Peggy came firmly down on his side on his suggestion that abandoning organics is the way forward. It did make you wonder if the pig feed fiasco was an honest mistake by Tom, or something altogether more sinister. In a way, it was no real surprise that when Tom got in touch, it was with Rob.
Maybe Tom will take the blame for the feed, but taking advice from Rob?
That’s sure to make Tony explode – you can be sure the advice will be for Rob’s advantage, not Tom’s.

Tony and Pat are having more restless nights over it all, with the decision over their organic status in the offing. Pat’s concerns are more basic – she just wants Tom home, but will she ever get what she wants. Tony is still being eaten up by Tom’s screw up over the pig feed. There’s no let up for them though as the news is as expected, and Tom’s pigs have lost their organic status but there’s some relief at least as the rest of the business has kept its organic status. A minor fly in the ointment for Rob’s plans?
Peggy isn’t making it easier, and the news that Rob was the one keeping Peggy in the loop was never going to sit well. That’s not enough for Peggy though, she drops the bombshell suggested by Rob that the organic status be left by the wayside. Its a powder keg at Bridge Farm, and how long before Tony explodes? Rob does his bit to keep things bubbling over nicely. Drop the bomb and run. Helen can’t find it in herself to fully back Tony. I doubt Rob will support her in that.

Road matters are still concerning David – and Lynda. Brian may no longer be Chairman at Borcester Land, but he’s still got his fingers well and truly stuck in that particular pie, and it certainly looks like he knows more than he’s letting on. Often, no news is good news, but on the matter of the new road being proposed, I suspect its quite the opposite for David and Lynda. Is Brian ready to take on Lynda again? He can put his feet up perhaps with the Chair being taken away, but the new kid(s) in town at the helm may have no such qualms. David can’t wait for the Council meeting over it, but will he get the local farmers’ backing? With BL buying up land from those farmers, he might find it difficult to persuade anyone away from Ambridge. The kitchen did manage to give Ruth an excuse to get up to Home Farm gauge Jennifer’s opinion. Jenny is non-committal – its non-kitchen related you see. Jennifer managed to see through it, but Brian is still keeping silent. He might keep quiet and know nothing, but Charlie?

It all may be a welcome diversion for Brian though over the ongoing kitchen renovations at Home Farm. Its getting too much for Brian who sees risking a flair up of his sciatica as a risk worth taking as he’s back in the tractor helping Adam keep Charlie happy. Facing Lynda is one thing, but dealing with Jennifer after her getting wind of Brian being back behind the tractor wheel is something altogether different. Jennifer isn’t overly sympathetic that Brian is needing pain relief. Its relief from Buddy and Steve (x 2) that Brian needs after their little robin sets off the Home Farm alarm. Will Brian be able to resist giving them a piece of his mind?
If he wants peace from Jennifer he will. Its all catching up with Brian, and discussion over brass fittings and shades is enough to send him to sleep.

The road is at the back of Lynda’s mind at the start of the week as she is in her element with Lillian at the flower show. Lillian doesn’t sound as keen as Lynda as becoming a grandmother. The break might give Lynda the energy for fights ahead. Not even an onset of hay fever for Lynda has her down for long, but Lillian has James on her mind and her past. Lillian surprisingly thinks that James might not cope with being a father but its Lynda that comes up with the pep talk. Lynda seems to have covered herself in glory over Leonie’s pregnancy. She’s perked up Lillian and has brought them closer together.

It’s the festival at Lower Loxley, not Chelsea that’s on Jolene and Kenton’s mind. The reunion of the Midnight Walkers is no longer a dream for Jolene, who is feeling down about it. Will Fallon leave Jolene’s dream unfulfilled? What a coincidence that Wayne called Fallon. Kenton seems to have gone a bit cool on a Jolene/Wayne reunion but he can be diplomatic with Jolene when then occasion calls. It seems the Midnight Walkers may yet walk again. While Jolene is occupied with her dreams, Kenton is sorting out the Loxfest bar. Lizzie’s plans on the pork front may well be up in the air
– but its Tony’s reaction that had her thinking. It seems that the fallout from Tom’s decisions may extend past Bridge Farm.

Adam is still being kept on his toes, but he’s getting more relaxed about Charlie’s approach, and it would seem that he’s enjoying that Rob is attracting Charlie’s baleful eye, but Charlie’s keeping his eye on the ball as far as Adam is concerned, but his efforts have been appreciated by Charlie – all worthwhile in the end for Adam. Charlie’s views of Rob are piquing Adam’s interest for sure, and Rob’s resistance to change would surely be an eye opener to Helen. Still, Charlie has done a great job and

We’re back to Bridge Farm, and with Maurice on his back, Tony is still under pressure with Tom still absent. Tony’s seeing through Helen but has he scored an own goal by attacking Rob’s opinion? Helen is right that its not as easy as that and oddly enough, Helen is seeing Rob’s point of view.
It must tell Pat and Tony something that Helen is backing Rob. That’s all an aside for Pat though, as the prodigal son has returned. Well, prodigal as far as Pat has concerned. Of course Tony doesn’t quite see it the same way. He couldn’t resist letting Tom having both barrels. Tony and Tom never shared the same priorities and his blindness to Tom’s identity issues makes it clear that he’s got no intention of considering what Tom has to say.

At least though Tom has been big enough to admit he’s wrong but he’s a bit optimistic to think that Tony will understand him. What chance that Tony will understand his plans for the future. Its really time for Tom to move on, and the business is going. Its Canada for Tom and has Tony finally realised what all the constant fighting and bickering has done? It was inevitable that Tom would keep running from his problems. What now for the future of Bridge Farm? And for the Bridge Farm Archers? Tony will surely believe that Rob has put him up to it. It looks like the fallout from the wedding has only just started.

Week Ending 16 May.

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 9 May 2014

Its D-day for Shula as its time for Dan to head off to Sandhurst. Dan is full steam ahead and can’t wait to get going but for Shula, its like seeing him off at his first day at primary school. Dan is happy enough – female recruits, so not all is bad. At least not for Dan. Its a tough time for poor old Shula. Can’t she take Darryl back to fill the void? Inevitably it all ends in tears for Shula. No such concerns for Alistair though on the surface. Shula feels slightly miffed that Alistair isn’t mentioning Dan at all, but he might just be trying to shut it out Shula so he can deal with Dan’s decision privately?

Over at Bridge Farm, Pat is frantic. Tony naturally feels the need to put all the blame on Pat and Peggy. Let’s just ignore the fact that Tony went blundering in, with both feet stuck in his mouth. At least Pat is able to look at the possibility that Tom has a point but Tony just can’t take any dig at his precious John. Nor will he acknowledge the possibility that Tom may have mental health issues. Pat on the other hand has no such problem. But can’t Pat think at all straight. Its unlikely that Tom would turn to Brenda – have you thought about Rich at all? Another character who seems to have made a fleeting appearance before vanishing without a trace. Incredible though that Tony has taken aim at Pat to Roy & Jazzer. Doesn’t know what he can do? I suspect he’s done enough already.

Helen is fairly optimistic though that Kirsty will sail straight back into Ambridge Organics. Everything is Tom’s fault though with Tony, and his continuing rants are starting to become dull. He’s putting the pressure on himself, and it would be no real surprise if he were to be hit by another heart attack. Will he ever accept responsibility for his role in Tom’s disappearance. Of course its PC Burns who’s now on the case. At least Pat is doing what she can to find Tom, but incredibly Tony can only think of the business. He is being beyond ridiculous. How Helen can tell Pat she can’t blame Tony is anyone’s guess. Well, Tony has even better news than Tom’s whereabouts – his cows are alright! Well, take that Tom!

There’s a lighter side to Ambridge at the moment though, and its May Day for the village, but not after a little disaster with Ian’s sous chef! Its all hands on the pump, and not even Emma’s moaning face can bring the festivities down. Still, Ian is out of the picture for judging the contest, and there’s the little matter of getting Lynda to the show on time. Who else would step in the breach and rescue it all but PC Burns? It all went well for the village, but Lynda lurched from crisis to disaster. Poor old Lynda having her good name sullied by Emma. Still, its not Lynda that PC Burns has his eyes on. Not with Fallon about. What a coincidence though that Fallon is a winner with PC Burns giving out the prizes. Maybe Nic’s win didn’t go down so well with Emma, but Clarrie’s surprise win over Christine put Clarrie and Emma in a good mood. Shame we couldn’t say the same for Fallon. He grumpy mood where PC Burns is concerned hasn’t gone un-noticed, and its up to Lynda to give her fair warning that Harrison Burns won’t be single for long.

Adam is on the scrounge for workers as the pressure builds from Charlie. Thankfully for Adam, David steps into the breach in Pip’s absence. Poor Adam can’t even get a cup of coffee with Jennifer’s ongoing kitchen renovations getting in the way. Well, they would be ongoing if the fitters would only turn up.. Finally though, all things come to he – or she – who waits. The builders’ arrival may have delighted Jennifer, but its not meeting with Brian’s approval. Never mind Brian, you can always try to flog Jennifer’s old cabinets. Her desperation to look generous is certainly raising hackles around the village. First she managed to offend Susan, then she puts Pat down rather nicely.

Jennifer’s little visit to Bridge Farm really was vintage Jennifer though. It would seem that her definition of “nightmare” is very different from Pat’s. Tom has disappeared, but having her kitchen upside down, and unwanted old units on her hands is a DISASTER! It wasn’t enough to ignore Pat’s distress over Tom’s vanishing act. No, just go right into the story of Kate’s disappearance and the identification of a body didn’t do that much for Pat’s state of mind.

Jennifer isn’t the only one with unfulfilled plans. Over at Lower Loxley, Loxfest is starting to grow arms and legs, although looking at booking bands for an August bank holiday bash in May might not be any kind of planning from Roy at all. Its all together possible that its a shade late. Thankfully for Roy , Lizzie doesn’t have a clue either. I’m not altogether sure that taking Lizzie to a festival will actually further her understanding at all. But not all is lost. If the big boys aren’t available Roy’s little suggestion to Jolene looks like it will have her don her waistcoat in anger at last. Will we actually get to her Jolene warbling?

Poor Adam is still under increasing pressure from Charlie. His working all hours isn’t impressing Adam’s new boss, and he needn’t look to Brian for any support, despite David being right in Adam’s corner. Brian isn’t in a particularly helpful mood though. You wonder if he know a lot more than he’s letting on on the little matter of the big road
story. It would almost seem like Brian has his finger still well and truly in BL’s pie. Maybe the thought of his new bosses bringing home even greater amounts of bacon has Brian backing them against the village (again) and Adam. His dismissal of Adam’s concerns over Charlie’s cracking of the whip didn’t please Adam, and you wonder just how longer Adam will keep it all in.

Adam isn’t the only one feeling the pressure as Eddie is running from pillar to post over Clarrie’s party. Its looking like Clarrie isn’t overly thrilled with the thought of her party, although it seems its more the clock clicking over from 59 to 60 that’s bothering her most. Clarrie loves a party though, and Eddie knows her fairly well. Clarrie will love being centre of attention again after her stunning success in the May Day cake contest – even though she was driven from the Echo’s front pages by Tilly Button!

But the week ends (predictably) and Bridge Farm. Tony is on a high after the news on his cows. First he’s off the hook over the threat of TB being removed – the only disappointment for Tony being Tom’s absence so he couldn’t shove it down his throat – but we have calf number one. Tony is on cloud nine and just can’t share Pat’s concern. You’d almost think that Tony is trying to convince himself more than he’s trying to convince Pat that Tom will be fine. Still, Pat gets all the reassurance she needs when Tom is finally in touch. But with Tony around, her euphoria was never going to last long. Tony – no surprises – sees it as another opportunity to let rip over Tom. I’m surprised he isn’t saying that its just Tom staying away to spite him..When Tom finally reappears, no doubt it will be to a raging Tony. Again.

Week Ending 2 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