Rob passes the test – but is this the last of Jess?
After her awkward birthday supper, this week began with another difficult encounter for Helen: Ian confessed he was worried about Adam and Charlie. ‘Tell me I’m wrong Helen; I’m just being paranoid?’ he asked. Which of course she couldn’t, having witnessed the Snog in the Shrubbery on New Year’s Eve. ‘He’s asked you to marry him, of course he loves you,' she said, with fingers crossed.
Then she was mortified when Tom told her about his man-to-man chat with Rob in the pub. ‘You had no right to tell Tom we were trying for a baby!’ she said, furiously mashing potatoes for Rob’s supper. ‘We are. Aren’t we?’ ‘No!’ But instead of tipping his dinner over his head, she soon forgave him. ‘I’ll always be here for you, Rob’ she cooed, and promptly phoned Tom to put off a meeting about relaunching Ambridge Organics at Bridge Farm.
This plan seems to make financial sense and Pat and Tony love the idea as it reminds them of their pioneer hippy days, but Helen’s now less keen.
And when the results of Rob’s DNA test arrived, showing that Rob is NOT the father of Jess’s baby (what? Surely some mistake. Ed) it was celebrations all round. ‘We always knew she was lying; now we have proof!’ said Helen. ‘But we didn’t need proof,’ said Rob, ominously. ‘No, no of course not darling,’ Helen corrected herself hastily. Rob now claims he will push through the divorce so he can plan his wedding to Helen. But will there be more twists on the way to the altar? It remains to be seen…
Adam, Adam, give me your answer, do…
Meanwhile, Charlie is continuing his campaign to lure Adam away from his path to the altar with Ian. He'd invited him to a farm tech open day, where he planned to turn his head with talk of drones and teat-temperature detectors (what they? Ed). So he was slightly miffed when Pip tagged along. ‘Here, Pip, why don’t you apply for this job on the other side of the world?’ he said, handing her a magazine and a road map. (Being more co-operative than Adam, she’s followed his advice to the letter and is off in search of robotic parlours new, much to Ruth and David’s surprise).
‘If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll convince Adam that he needs to be with me… erm, I mean, that technology is the future of farming,’ Charlie mused, munching on an ostrich burger. But Adam is playing hard to get, so Charlie changed tack. He got the beers in and laid on a special video guaranteed to get Adam’s juices flowing – and it worked.
‘Wow, that’s amazing! He’s increased fertile soil depth from 3 to 20 inches in just 15 years!’ Adam marvelled at the farmer from Ohio, who’s grazing cattle like bison. ‘We farmers have to stick together, even if we don’t always see eye to eye!’
Their next date is at the nets, where Charlie has suddenly rediscovered a passion for cricket.
‘You just fancy rubbing shoulders with farriers and farmers,’ Adam teased him. Just the one farmer will do for Charlie, Adam!
When Shula met Richard…
Over Earl Grey for him and a flat white for her, Dr Locke and Shula met for a chat and a catch-up in Felpersham. We soon learned that Richard has split up with his wife Chloe (sympathetic clucks from Shula) and is keen to see Dan, who recovered so well from his juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. ‘You did so much for him, said Shula. ‘It wasn’t entirely selfless,’ twinkled Richard.
When she got back, Shula tried to interest Alistair in a family lunch, but he is far too busy moping about having to rebuild the surgery and being pensioned off from the cricket team. ‘I said I’d find some dates and let Richard … know,’ Shula said to the room Alistair had just left. It looks as though it will be just her and the good doctor again then. Never mind Shula!
Flood committee is in full flow
The survey of the Ambridge flood, being carried out by Jim Lloyd and Jennifer Aldridge of FAG (Flood Action Group) is now being analysed. Preliminary results provide a searing indictment of events:
• there was a flood in which some people were affected quite badly
¶there was damage to the bridge, but it’s been repaired now
• the emergency services were quite helpful, if a bit late
• the authorities deliberately conspired to XXXXXXXXXXXX and leave Ambridge XXXXXXXXXXX ensuring more votes for XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX in Borchester (this section has been redacted as FAG does not want to upset anyone on the District Council. Ed).
A full meeting of the flood committee is to be held as soon as Kenton Archer has stopped sulking. Expect more valuable insights and fearless action from this dynamic group!
TV special: Ambridge does Gogglebox
Ambridge residents were very excited to be asked to take part in a special edition of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, in which families are filmed watching television. (Are you having a laugh? Ed.) Here are the highlights:
• The Snells are watching Countryfile at the Dower House. ‘Look Lindy, there’s a chiff chaff!’ says Robert. ‘Robert! How can you concentrate when that spiky-leafed plant is ruining the feng shui in this room?’ sniffs Lynda.
• At The Stables, Shula is watching Doctors on catch-up. Alistair is at the opposite end of the sofa, snoring.
• Rob is watching the rugby and Helen is snuggled up to him, reading Brides Magazine. When his team scores Rob leaps up and knocks over his chicken sandwich. ‘Helen darling, now look what you’ve made me do!’ he says.
• In the lounge at Grey Gables, the Grundys are watching Grand Designs. ‘Ooh Eddie, will Keeper’s look like that when Hazel’s done it up?’ says Clarrie, who is sewing a button on a pair of bright pink cords. ‘Course it will, Clarrie love!’ says Eddie.
• At Home Farm, the Aldridges are watching Masterchef. Jennifer is taking notes on roasting squab pigeon. ‘Mum, how could you? Meat is murder!’ says Kate, nibbling kale crisps. Brian sighs and slurps claret. Lilian is on her iPad, flicking through Tinder, tears rolling down her frozen cheeks.
Items for sale
Vintage sideboard. Much-loved heirloom, no longer needed as family is downsizing to a park home. Utility style, some wear and tear but skilfully restored by craftsman vendor. £5. Will deliver. Enquiries: E Grundy c/o Grey Gables, Ambridge.