October

Monday 5th October, 2020

Fallon has suffered a loss; Ben and Jill make a find.

Fallon and Alice meet at Fallon’s house, though Fallon is distracted: the winning scratch-card, worth £1,000, has gone missing, and Fallon has just found out it was Johnny’s.

Ben is happy about his Gran’s party (which was apparently lovely, with all the family together) and he and Jill discuss it, while she gives him tips about cake-making. Jill has been going through the photos she was given; her enthusiasm for her new cake-mixer is a bit muted, since she was happy with her old one.

Fallon is being advised by Alice to talk with Harrison about not wanting children, as a priority. Fallon is scared it may change her relationship with Harrison. Alice tries to lie, but eventually tells Fallon she is pregnant; Fallon is enthusiastic but is sworn to secrecy. Alice allows her anxiety (“you feel overwhelmed”, says Fallon) to show. Fallon promises not to let her become a boring “mummy” who bangs on about babies. Fallon faces up to having lost the scratch-card, and agrees to face up to telling Harrison she doesn’t want children.

Jill is reminiscing about being eighteen, when she felt she was about to start on her life of adventure. Ben tells her she is still adventurous even though she’s been past it for years (he’s clearly joking), and she ought to keep on as she has been. Then he tells her not to make him a lemon drizzle cake, because he is taking her out somewhere.

During her searching, Fallon has found a beautiful dress which doesn't fit her; she gives it to Alice, for her to wear when they go out on the town after she’s had the baby. Alice goes on telling her to talk with Harrison. Fallon has confessed about having lost the scratch-card to Johnny, who was lovely about it: he said that he didn’t have a grand this morning, and he still doesn’t have one now. Alice turns down an invitation to go out to The Bull with Fallon in the evening, because she will be baby-sitting Xander. She likes doing this and hopes she has one just like him.

Ben has taken Jill in his car to a place where they can stand in a ploughed field that overlooks Brookfield, and they talk about his experience of university. He is finding remote learning disappointing, given his expectations of the start of university life, Freshers’ Week in particular. Then Jill notices some tarnished coins under his feet. May be treasure, she says.

Characters: Fallon, Alice, Ben, Jill
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman
Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 6th October, 2020

Alice is worried about FAS. Jill and Ben are excited about their find.

Chris and Alice talk about babysitting Xander last night, and discuss their own impending parenthood "in six months' time". They will be having an online appointment with a midwife in —oops, two minutes. "Bang on twelve weeks" says the midwife, going by the date of Alice's last period. Alice is to be booked in at once to have a scan, at which appointment she will also give blood and urine samples and collect paperwork.

The coins found by Ben and Jill seem to be silver and gold, and Jill suggests consulting an expert, like the one who studied the skull found in the Millennium Wood some years ago. Jennifer got someone from the university: perhaps Ben could do the same.

The midwife asks Alice about her having collapsed and been taken to hospital. She lies, claiming dehydration as the sole cause; Chris suggests that pregnant women often collapse. Then the midwife asks how much alcohol per week Alice generally drinks; Alice lies again, and says about 14 units a week before she knew she was pregnant, none now. Alice asks if it is at all ok to drink, and the midwife mentions FAS and utters dire warnings about excessive drinking and what it does. (A Public Service Announcement read out.) Alice asks if she would be able to reverse any effects drinking before she knew she was pregnant might have had; the answer is no. Alice asks if she might have harmed it before. No no don't worry, is the previously alarmist midwife's reply. Just stop completely from now on. The midwife asks if Alice is ok; Alice lies.

Ben has had replies to his request for help about their coins on the university board, from archaeology students, and from someone who is actually an expert. Also a second year, Evie, wants to use Brookfield for her field-work. She wants to friend him and she wants more photographs. Of coins, Ben adds as Jill snorts.

Chris brings Alice a decaff coffee and says that the midwife was deliberately scaring her and he ought to complain about it, then mentions a bottle of vodka a day as "worst case" so she needn't worry about having drunk less than that. Alice admits to having broken the pact with a glass of wine at Gran's ages ago, and also with Fallon; she does not mention the rest of her drinking.

Jill remembers Eddie's metal detector, which he brought down to Brookfield once, and thinks it might be worth borrowing it. Jill and Ben agree that David pooh-poohing it all is because, being a farmer, he is risk-averse. Apparently Tony found a Roman coin on Brookfield land some time in the late sixties. Ben admits to being excited.

Alice is looking on the internet for cases of drinking in pregnancy and the baby being ok. She finds plenty of reassuring tales of excess that was followed by 'perfect' babies. Even so, Alice is going to drink no alcohol at all for the rest of her pregnancy; Christopher will do the same. She is reassured by what she has found on the internet, and grateful about the pact.

Characters: Alice, Chris, Jill, Ben, Midwife
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 7th October, 2020

Alistair disapproves of Jazzer's plans, and Ruth disapproves of Ben's plans.

Jazzer is trying to get Alistair to join him in sampling his home-brew; Alistair is doing some chores, including a wash, and doesn't feel like stopping for a drink. He's had a bad day: one of his hands has been caught in a cattle crush and the other is throbbing from having been bitten by a Pomeranian. Jazzer insists that Alistair must try the home-brew.

Ben and Freddie are discussing the coins, and all the answers about them Ben has had from Evie and others. Freddie says that all this history stuff is boring; Ben says it's not boring, he is interested in Ambridge history and so is Evie. Freddie asks about Chloe, talking about history, and Ben strikes back about Elizabeth's love-life in a way which suggests her online dating activities are common knowledge in some quarters. Then Ben starts to talk about perhaps organising a field-walk and some digging at Brookfield, with Evie and her friends.

Jazzer tells Alistair Jim has objected to the noise they are making; Alistair is clearly a little the worse for wear after having some "surprisingly drinkable" home-brew, and so is Jazzer. As Jazzer is putting his dirty laundry into the washing machine Alistair notices a scratch-card on the floor, already scratched off -- it has four lucky clovers on it. When he realises that it is a winning card Jazzer tries to claim it, but Alistair knows it's not his.

Freddie offers Ben the chance to stay to dinner, presumably at Lower Loxley, but Ben declines; he goes on suggesting that Freddie ought to come on the field-walk . Freddie says ok, then, but he wants fifty percent of anything they find. And if it rains he's out of it.

Jazzer starts to talk about how he will spend the money from the scratch-card: after a holiday, first choice seems to be some kind of wild-life to be company for Webster. Alistair says it's someone else's scratch-card and he should take it to the police. Jazzer pretends it might be his; he claims to have had black-outs and that he might have got it without knowing that he had, like that traffic-cone.

Ruth forbids the field-walk, which would be on Marneys and the other field beside it that has been recently ploughed. She doesn't want trenches in her fields; she wants to drill them at once and get new leys established, because they are running late already. The archaeological interest would be more trouble than it's worth. Ben thinks they could be sitting on millions, while Ruth thinks the schedule of the farm will be put off-kilter. She wants to know when it would happen. Ben takes this as permission to get things moving.

Jazzer comes in and tells Alistair he's sorry. He wasn't thinking about Alistair's gambling problem. Alistair says that wasn't why he was disapproving; it was because he is convinced someone must have lost the card and keeping it is simply wrong. Jazzer ignores that, and says he is going to buy something for an investment. More bike-leathers.

Ben comes to tell Ruth that he has chased up the university expert, who thinks the coins are Anglo-Saxon. He has already told Jill, who is very excited. They now have to deal with the Treasure Act, report the find to the coroner, and get a valuation. Ruth says, "I guess this changes things," and tells Ben they must keep it in the family, only people living at Brookfield, and tell absolutely nobody else. Ben seems to concur but doesn't admit to having told Freddie about the find already.

Characters: Jazzer, Alistair, Ben, Freddie, Ruth
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe

Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 8th October, 2020

Susan spills the beans, and Jazzer does the right thing.

Susan is really pleased about Alice's pregnancy; Chris has told her. Chris is being delighted as well. Alice will be telling her mother, but Chris is not going to tell Emma. He doesn't want anything to do with her after how she treated Alice. Susan is planning to tell everyone, starting with Emma and Clarrie.

Jazzer is buying up all the cakes in the tearoom, and tries to tell Fallon that he is going to buy himself leathers with a windfall, but she is preoccupied and not really listening. She tells him about Johnny's winning scratch-card having been lost by Harrison and that she is giving Johnny free teas to make up for it, and goes off with a cuppa for him to the other side of the yard. Jazzer is gobsmacked.

Jennifer is in the car on her way home from the hairdresser and is listening to Susan's programme, in which Susan tells the world about the baby. Jennifer is not happy, calling Susan an insufferable woman. She then goes to tear Susan off a strip, and they have a row. Jennifer says that giving Susan a microphone is like giving matches to an arsonist, and suggests she should learn to keep her mouth shut. Susan says she regrets having opened it, but Jennifer is not placated. She then tries to repair the damage by complimenting Jennifer on her new hair-do, but Jennifer is utterly furious, calling her a shock-jock, which offends Susan.

Jazzer telephones Alistair for advice about what to do. Alistair makes it very clear he still doesn't think Jazzer should keep the card, and argues Johnny's case. Jazzer wants to buy leather gear to impress a girl who rides a bike; Alistair points out to him how bad Fallon must be feeling, and wonders that Jazzer is not thinking about that.

Susan is feeling flattered that Jennifer listens to her programme, and butters up Jennifer as hard as she can. Jennifer is not happy with her, though delighted about the baby. Susan says it was just a mix-up and apologises yet again. Jennifer bursts into tears.

Jazzer owns up to Fallon about the scratch-card. Fallon is hugely relieved that it is found, and doesn't for a moment credit that Jazzer would have kept it. He asks her for a favour: a meal for him and his girl at the tea-room. Fallon gives him a meal-voucher and tells him not to lose it the way the scratch-card has kept being lost.

Susan comforts Jennifer with tea and tissues. Jennifer tells Susan how awful and worrying it was for her while Lexi was pregnant and she feared that Lexi would keep the baby and not come back to England; she over-reacted because of that, and ends up thanking Susan for listening to her and understanding. They decide not to interfere in the pregnancy and to support each other. Jennifer is looking forward to things being far less complicated this time.

Characters: Chris, Susan, Jazzer, Fallon, Jennifer, Alistair
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe

Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 12th October, 2020

Machinations are under way at Brookfield and Beechwood.

Philip comes home unexpectedly and finds Kirsty looking at a gambling clinic online. Philip says that's not necessary. She persists and says she cares about Gavin, and also about the effect his behaviour is having on Philip and has been for months. She is relieved to know what the matter really is. She assumes the gambling came to a head because of Grey Gables. Philip claims he has been protecting Gavin; Kirsty says she knew he was keeping secrets from her and it might have done great damage to their relationship. She is sure that she knows better than Philip does about this. She ominously says they can sort it out.

David answers the phone to Vince Casey. David immediately starts telling Vince that he wants the Borchester abattoir up and running again, but Vince says that's not what he rang about: he is in the area and wants to come over and see David.

Kirsty has called in Alistair. Although Philip voices some misgivings Kirsty insists Alastair is welcome and needed. Alastair maintains that he is happy to help: after all, he and Philip are "brothers of the pantomime horse". And he wants to repay his debt to the people who helped him deal with his own gambling.

Vince turns up at Brookfield. He spins an obvious lie about his daughter now wanting to go elsewhere for a no-fuss wedding; Vince thinks she'll regret that decision. But he says it will take another reduction to change her mind. The old price is not sitting well with her newly-discovered frugality.

Philip tells Alistair and Kirsty that that Gamblers Anonymous wouldn't suit Gavin. Alistair says it saved his marriage. Alastair talks about living a lie and asks Philip if he can imagine how awful it feels; Philip says no, he can't. Alistair talks about lying to his loved one Shula and how terrible that felt (this whole conversation oozed conscious irony). Philip says Gavin knows what's true and doesn't tell lies. Alistair offers to talk with Gavin. Kirsty is relieved; Philip rather less so.

David doesn't offer a low enough price to suit Vince, but says that's as low as it gets, and he's not prepared to give blood or body parts to keep the booking. Vince annoys David by mentioning rumours about the value of the coins, which David firmly says are nonsense since they are not "doubloons" but a few coins of historical interest and no more, and then Vince takes his leave saying that he will try to talk his daughter round.

Philip tells Gavin he has got to go and talk with Alistair; if nothing else, he might pick up some tips on how to portray himself convincingly as a gambler. Gavin absolutely doesn't want to do it, but Philip points out that her belief that Gavin has been gambling is the thing that has been making Kirsty stop looking for the real reason Gavin and Philip have been so tense. Philip says he has seen a way out for them, but Gavin has to start by calling Alistair Lloyd and arranging to talk with him.

Characters: Kirsty, Philip, David, Vince, Alistair, Gavin
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 13th October, 2020

Vince Casey and Elizabeth visit Brookfield and Kate visits Alice.

David is grumbling about Vince's lies and an additional 10% discount he's had to offer. Elizabeth tells him it's just business, and suggests to him that having an actual wedding booked for 2021 is a big deal. She's pleased that Lily is organising Halloween for her. Elizabeth then says that David will be fine anyway since he is sitting on a hoard of coins, which annoys David a fair amount, especially when she tells him that she knows about them from Freddie, who had it from Ben.

Alice is not all that grateful for some special green tea Kate has brought for her. Kate proceeds to give Alice a pep talk about how everything affects the baby, which doesn't seem to go down particularly well. Kate says it will be the best pregnancy ever and asks what Alice thinks about yoga for pregnancy. Kate is all-knowing about pregnancy of course, and gives her smoothie samples made by one of her friends. One of them is detoxing, to get her off caffeine, apparently.

Vince turns up looking for David and encounters Elizabeth. Before she leaves she and Vince have a short conversation in which he seems strangely interested in Lower Loxley Hall, and apparently also in Elizabeth.

The smoothies are undrinkable, even to Kate. Kate discovers that Emma and Alice are at outs; Alice takes the blame for it and tells Kate about thinking Ed fancied her. Kate sympathises with Alice and says Emma deserved Alice having a go at her, thus making Alice decide that it is clearly all her own fault. Alice admits she is worrying about the baby and bursts into tears.

Vince is giving Brookfield another once-over and Ruth is helpful; he expresses an interest in Lower Loxley, thus turning the screw on David and Ruth, who say when he has gone that he was in a strange mood because he is a strange man. She's had a text from Ben; he is on his way back from Borchester museum, where he has been told that one of the coins is a gold thrymsa and the silver ones are sceattas, both quite rare. And he has arranged for some archaeology students to do a field walk later in the week; Ruth is less than pleased that there will be an influx of students, which they are too busy to cope with. Ben will have to deal with them, and she hopes the whole thing will be kept low-key. The Museum is not going to announce the exact location of the find. They have a quick joke about there being bound to be a girl involved if it is Ben.

Alice is still weeping. She eventually tells to Kate that her body isn't a temple, and that she is afraid it might be a bad body because she hasn't looked after herself properly — she is still not coming clean to anyone about the quantities she had been drinking and the midwife told her a lot of things that have scared her. The midwife, says Kate, will have meant extreme stuff rather than coffee or a glass of wine. Kate gives good advice about not tempting herself by going to coffee-shops or pubs, or buying things she ought not to have. Then she produces chocolate, for "my little sister" who is stressed out.

Characters: David, Elizabeth, Alice, Kate, Vince, Ruth
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 14th October, 2020

Is Emma in the right? Has Gavin seen the light?

Kirsty is reassuring Gavin about meeting up with Alistair, and making much of his doing it. They are going to meet at the Seven Bells pub, which Gavin says is a real dump. She is upset about a robbery at work, and came in to tell Gavin she's sorry she hadn't realised he was fighting an addiction when he was being vile earlier in the year, and so she was nasty back. She praises him to the skies, and he is clearly embarrassed by this. She tells him his dad is proud of him, and that he is one of the good guys.

Alice is preparing to feed her horse Banjo, and trying to to contact Emma, who eventually answers the phone to say that the reason she is not answering the phone is that she doesn't want to hear from Alice. Alice tries to apologise about the message she left on Emma's phone; Emma is not interested. Alice stops Emma from hanging up by saying she wants to put things right "for Chris's sake."

Gavin is late for the meeting with Alistair. He denies being an addict but admits to having a problem with gambling. He answers everything Alistair says in his character as a slave-dealer, which can be heard by Alistair as the answers of a gambler, and admits the lying gets him down. He constantly says he is wasting Alistair's time. Alistair proceeds to give him the benefit of his own experiences with gambling. He talks briefly about the difficulty of growing up without a mother, and the difficulty of pleasing his father.

Alice says she wishes she could withdraw the voicemail. Emma is unimpressed. Emma says she has never liked Alice, and likes her even less after what she said about Ed and about Emma's children; from what she says it seems that she did hear the rest of the message, which she did not play to Susan. She has started to soften slightly, even so, until Alice says something about not wanting a bad atmosphere to hurt the baby, when she decides that it's emotional blackmail by Alice to suggest the baby might be harmed by Emma's unkindness, and warns her that she knows about Alice having been completely hammered ("dehydrated out of your skull") and that she had better not be drinking any more, because whether they are speaking or not, Alice is carrying Chris's baby: if she starts getting wrecked again, she will answer to Emma. Emma hangs up; Alice sobs in shock.

Alistair again complains about always trying to get Jim's approval, and his motherless adolescence; Gavin, whose mother left when he was in his teens, agrees that when you're young, you'd do anything to please your father. Alistair is proud of having made a better job of bringing up Dan. Gavin doesn't think he'll have a family and that his children would be ashamed of him if they found out what he's really like. He says he's a bad person, and yet again talks about his slave-running as if it were gambling. Then he says that he knows things have to change but he doesn't know how. They continue to talk at cross-purposes for a while until Gavin suddenly decides to leave, saying that he knows exactly what he needs to do now.

Characters: Kirsty, Gavin, Alice, Emma, Alistair
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 15th October, 2020

Students arrive at Brookfield; Philip wants to leave Ambridge.

Elizabeth rings Ruth to ask about the students who have arrived at the crack of dawn to do the field-walk: Ruth got Ben out of bed to look after them, and says the person in charge knows a lot and Ruth is impressed by how exciting it all is. Elizabeth says Freddie wants to join them after work. Ruth makes fun of Ben's school-boy crush on Evie. She also offers to give Freddie a health and safety talk for the Panto, since he really will be stepping into Lynda's shoes.

Philip asks Gavin, who is being a sulky schoolboy, for another bag of cement, and tries to be cheerful. Gavin is not interested in his rosy reminiscences of country walks, and camping. He tells Philip it wasn't really like that at all.

Elizabeth arrives at Brookfield with Freddie. Jill is filling in the paperwork about the coins; Ruth is hoping for twenty-first birthday party bookings by the students. And Eddie has wangled his way into it all, with a metal detector. Ruth is being hopeful about their find being perhaps like the Staffordshire hoard.

Gavin remembers the cycling, which he says he hated, and that he was scared by the camping. Philip disputes that and says Gavin always loved it, and Gavin says he lay awake listening to his father snoring. He was afraid of wolves and bears. Near Port Talbot? says Philip; I was young, says Gavin. Gavin points out that everything unpleasant, telling lies to Alistair and living with the horses during lockdown and taking Blake for his hospital appointments, is always put on him while Philip does nothing. Philip says he knows Gavin is taking all the flak but that he is grateful. He says they mustn't fall out, and they have to hang in there.

Elizabeth, who has come to collect Freddie, tells Ben it's a bit late for a coffee-break: the light is going. Ben says despondently that they've found nothing, and that the students talk about nothing but archaeology. Elizabeth suggests he should lay on a few drinks and some music to ease the atmosphere and get them having fun.

Philip comes home and says it's good to relax. Kirsty is composing an email to her bosses about the litter situation being awful, and Philip says he had a dreadful day and there are no more jobs on the horizon. He keeps his prices down, but the explosion is still standing in their way. Philip feels that everything is pointless. Kirsty pokes and prods to get him to tell her why. "When are we going to have some luck, Kirsty? When are we ever going to get a break?" He seems to want to blame all his troubles onto their move to Beechwood, and says they've had no luck since then. She says she's disheartened by the way people behave about the countryside, and she'd love to move to a little cottage somewhere miles from anywhere; he leaps on the idea of moving, back to Wales. He doesn't think he can take being in Ambridge much longer.

Characters: Ruth, Elizabeth, Philip, Gavin, Ben, Kirsty
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 19th October, 2020

Elizabeth has a date, and Philip has plans.

Elizabeth tells Freddie another silver coin has been found at Brookfield; he already knew, because he was there. Lily is talking about her planning for Halloween, Freddie about the naughty milkman pictures on the Bull website. Elizabeth is getting ready to go out and wants suggestions about which scarf to wear. And no, she is not going to take them with her she sees quite enough of the twins as it is. Freddie realises she has a date; Lily is surprised.

Philip is off out to see a client and will be back by eight. He gives Kirsty prospectuses of some cottages to look at while he is out, and when she is puzzled points out that getting a cottage and getting away from it all was her idea; he tells her that this is one dream they can make come true.

Freddie tells Lily he's been working on a panto for Lower Loxley; Lynda has given him DVDs of pantos in the 90s to look at. Lily is more worried whether Elizabeth's date will go wrong. She had no idea Elizabeth had been on a dating website, and says Elizabeth can't do that. Freddie is relaxed about it and thinks the biggest danger Elizabeth is likely to face is boredom.

Vince Casey turns up where Elizabeth is waiting for her date and seems already to be aware she is waiting for an online date who has not shown up. He claims he's been stood up too, by his daughter. Steph (who does not appear during the rest of the evening). Elizabeth tries half-heartedly to get rid of him. He offers her a drink and suggests she give the bloke who's stood her up the elbow.

Lily doesn't think much of the old pantos; Freddie agrees that panto may not be the way to go. He needs to think of something else. He's going to make this work: Lily says she will help him. She is clock-watching, and worrying about her mother; Freddie expects Elizabeth to be back by a quarter to nine.

Elizabeth is having a good time flirting with Vince, who is telling her stories about practical joking at a business seminar. They talk about networking: she is going on Wednesday to a seminar he knows about. He claims to be being straight with David. She tells him he has a reputation for ruthlessness, which he denies, saying he's a cuddly bear and would do anything for his kids.

The cottages all look run down to Kirsty, and Philip suggests that would mean they could do one of them up and get it exactly how they want it. Kirsty wants to know why now? and Philip replies that the business is grinding him down. He starts pushing his plan, telling her she has said she is disillusioned with the Wildlife Trust work and doesn't enjoy Grey Gables, and she can start again in Wales. Between them they could make it work. Philip will leave Gavin to take over the business; Kirsty says that this is really not the right time for Gavin because he needs their help and support.

Elizabeth comes home late and drunk, and demands panto from Freddie. She thinks it is very sweet that her children have waited up for her. Lily offers her some coffee, and asks point blank whether this had been a date; Freddie pointedly offers lovely strong coffee and asks was it a stranger. Elizabeth says no, but doesn't say who it was. She tells them to mind their own business and says she hadn't been sure whether she'd see this date again, but now she rather thinks she will.

Characters: Elizabeth, Freddie, Lily, Kirsty, Philip, Vince
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 20th October, 2020

Pip is fed up with her child, and Fallon doesn't want one at all.

Ruth and Pip discuss the coins: Pip is disappointed there were so few. Ruth asks whether if she had all the money in the world she would give up farming. Pip says she would and complains about Rosie waking her up all night, and hitting Pip and Toby. But she's only two. It starts to rain so they need to get on; Ruth wants a chat in the afternoon with Pip and David (Josh and Ben are not mentioned), but Pip has an interview with the Countryside Fellowship counsellor about the rewilders' grant application. Ruth has some new ideas and is easily persuaded to share them. She wants to expand the dairy herd. Pip voices doubt because the milk yields are not that great, but is easily convinced when Ruth says they would cut back on the Herefords and do away with arable so that they had enough grazing for a larger herd.

Harrison and Fallon are having a day off and driving to the Cotswolds. She says she had trouble getting Emma off the phone: Emma was going on and on about having had a falling out with Alice without saying what about. Harrison wants to go out one evening to celebrate Chris' impending parenthood with him, and also has to sort out a present for his nephew Marcus. It seems there are babies everywhere! Fallon finally starts to talk about not having a baby, starting from the wrong end. She says that Alice being pregnant has made her think, and he butts in and doesn't let her finish saying that she doesn't want kids; she fails to do so for a bit, then finally says if it's now or never to have a baby, for her it's never.

Pip wants Rex to get ready to come to the interview with her, but Tom wants a meeting with Rex about quality control which sounds urgent and Phoebe has a meeting with a BL board member, so Pip will be on her own for her meeting. Pip says she is the shadow of her former self, and contrasts this with Ruth's constant energy.

Fallon continues to agonise, trying to explain to Harrison why she doesn't want a baby. She says that apart from the planet being a concern, she just doesn't feel she needs one. Harrison is agreeable: if she doesn't want children, that's fine. But she thinks Harrison looks disappointed and sad. She demands to know how he really feels, and he says he doesn't know. She pushes him to say he doesn't want children, and when he does say that she doesn't accept it and tries to find out what he really feels. He did see them having children, and thought that eventually she would want them too. He says he'll get over it because he loves her. She says she loves him, and then starts crying and apologising. He tells her to stop it. Then he suggests they turn round and go home, because the rain is getting worse.

Pip thinks they have got the grant: she has been told they can expect an official agreement in the post any day now. Rex claims he always knew it and suggests a pint at the Bull to celebrate; Pip says yes, she is free as a bird because Toby has Rosie for the evening. Then Toby texts her to say Rosie is saying she wants mummy, and is screaming in the supermarket, so she has to go there instead.

Fallon wakes Harrison (with an owl hooting in the background) to go on talking about her not wanting babies: she would understand if he wanted to leave her for someone who did want them, she wants him to be happy, she wouldn't stand in his way.... She wants to talk about it properly; he denies what she said was a shock and denies having looked freaked out. She keeps on telling him he won't get over it; he keeps on trying to reassure her that he doesn't need to. She wants him to really really think whether she's the right thing for him, and tells him she wants him to think about it carefully. She says he must do that for her sake. He says a sleepy "ok".

Characters: Pip, Ruth, Fallon, Harrison, Rex
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 21st October, 2020

Harrison falls into line, and Elizabeth emphatically doesn't.

Lily is quizzing Elizabeth about her wearing new earrings for her seminar. Elizabeth gets a text message and giggles, and Lily decides she should go to the seminar too. Elizabeth tells her she is not welcome, and prepares to leave; Lily asks whether she is really going to a seminar and not to meet someone, because she looks nice, and goes on about it until Elizabeth, who is now late, finally does leave.

Harrison has run up Lakey Hill with Rex. Anisha has sent a message saying that she is pregnant and Rex is feeling ambivalent and inclined to think he is wasting his life. Harrison promptly tells him Fallon doesn't want kids. Harrison says he doesn't know how he feels about it, but is clearly now in fact feeling pro-kid: he says he has daydreamed about having one. Counsellor Rex says that if she doesn't want kids and Harrison does, the real question is what do you do? They agree they don't know. It starts to rain, so they set off home.

Lily is hassling Elizabeth by ringing her repeatedly during the seminar, and is also being bad-tempered at Freddie and telling him to get on with the Christmas show. She decides to go to the seminar to ask Elizabeth whether they should get more pumpkins for Halloween or not, which Freddie rightly thinks is crazy, but eventually admits she wants to see who Mum's new man is. Freddie thinks she is being unreasonable and freaking out about nothing. She claims to be worrying about Elizabeth, and justifies herself by saying how scared she was when Elizabeth was depressed. This is phrased in a way which makes Freddie feel guilty about having been in prison, although Lily denies that having been her intention. She acknowledges that her behaviour might seem over-protective, and asks Freddie to go with her; he says no, you have to trust her. After all, she chose their father.

Harrison tells Fallon he does want a child; she instantly assumes that means it's all over and starts taking on, but he says that isn't it at all, that he doesn't think it's over and he doesn't want a child if it means losing her. He can't imagine his life without her, and he can imagine it without a child who doesn't even exist. The non-existent child can just disappear. He's been really thinking about it; she'd be proud of how hard he's been thinking about it. It may take a while for the dream to fade, but she is all he wants. She cries and asks him to kiss her.

Elizabeth arrives home furious. Lily has gatecrashed the seminar and seen her with Vince. Lily throws accusations about not socially distancing, and once he has been told who it was Freddie comes in against Vince too and they both lay into Elizabeth, who fights back with her usual style and viciousness. Lily has embarrassed her, by saying, "I can't believe you're dating a slimeball like Vince Casey!" in a loud voice. Elizabeth truthfully says it was coincidence that she saw him in the first place; Lily tries to claim she was trying to save her mother from more stress, Elizabeth asks her whether she thinks she managed to, and Lily flounders. "So what did you achieve?" asks Elizabeth. "You made me more stressed." She announces she is going to have a bath, with candles and floaty music, and when they tell her that's a good idea says she doesn't need their approval. Before she has it, though, she is going to ring Vince and invite him out for lunch tomorrow so she can apologise for Lily's behaviour.

Characters: Lily, Elizabeth, Harrison, Rex, Freddie
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 22nd October, 2020

Both Freddie and Josh are put on the defensive.

Ruth tells Pip the dig is empty because of the rain, but they have a new calf. Pip is being unpleasant about Ben wanting to have a girlfriend, and says he is batting out of his league. She has finished the milking and says she doesn't mind the work involved in getting extra cows; they have to expand, says Pip. Josh is thinking the same way, says Ruth, who has seen him looking at spread-sheets; Pip asks sharply what he is up to.

Elizabeth is buying Vince lunch; she says Lily was unwarrantably rude. He is polite about Lily; what he sees is her looking out for her mother. He's not sure his kids love him -- a third, Beth, whom he doesn't tell just anyone about, has left home and stopped speaking to him over her boyfriend. He says Lily is ok and Elizabeth should listen to her children, but that in his experience the only way to get a lesson across is by actions rather than words.

Pip prevents Josh from going anywhere by turning off the engine of his vehicle; he was on his way to Hollowtree. She tells him he can't have the field they are in for his chickens; she wants it for her heifers. She is in charge, that field is next on the grazing rotation, and he can't just do whatever he wants. Josh says that actually he does have permission to use it: he asked his father, and David said it would be fine.

Elizabeth is talking to her children. She says she ought to listen to them. She suggests they should ask Vince anything they want to over a cup of tea at Lower Loxley. He is quite happy with the idea; they are not, but he arrives while they are saying so.

Pip has moved the heifers into the field while Josh was collecting his fence-posts. She refuses to listen to Josh's expostulations. For some reason he tells her Terry Cookham wants to sell his business; she mocks at the idea of Josh buying it and says "What with?" She is abrasive about him daring to try to run his business; he suggests they should take the question to Mum, and adds that since Pip is so sure Mum will never muck up the grazing rotation, she has nothing to worry about if they do.

Vince is one-upping the discomfited junior Pargetters, and then asks them to start questioning him. Freddie is clear that they don't want him to be there. Vince suggests they don't think a peasant like him has any right to cross the threshold of Lower Loxley; Freddie says slimeball is accurate. Vince doesn't care what they think, but says that it makes them look bad to rely on gossip. Then he brings up Freddie having spent time inside, saying he would have thought it might have made him more open-minded.

Ruth is purporting to be even-handed, but since she also wants to have her own way about more cows (which now seems to be a done deal) she is unwilling to let Josh have any good land at Brookfield. She suggests Hollowtree for Josh instead of any of the Brookfield land proper, and evicting the Fairbrothers.

Elizabeth is triumphant, but Freddie says that having met Vince he knows he and Lily were right. They need to watch Vince and so does Elizabeth, who replies they need not worry: she is perfectly capable of handling Vince Casey.

Characters: Pip, Ruth, Elizabeth, Vince, Josh, Lily, Freddie
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 26th October, 2020

Ben reckons he is well in; are Rex and Toby going to be out?

Ben is moping in the kitchen, refusing toast from Ruth; he is not pleased that the archaeology students are gone, and he's not keen on getting back to 'normal'. He feels cancelled and unimportant. She suggests he could get in touch with the the students on the dig that he got on with: for instance Evie. A text message from Susan Carter arrives for Ruth. Susan wants someone from Brookfield to talk on radio about the dig; Ruth is horrified — the last thing they want is people thinking there's treasure on Brookfield land.. Ben volunteers to do it, saying it would be the reason he's been looking for to contact Evie. Ruth says he is not to, but points out he could talk about something else.

Josh and Pip are sorting eggs. David is keen to evict Rex and Toby so the herd size can be increased; Pip says they are family. Josh points out that she should be glad if it means the herd can be increased: in the end that would mean a more substantial inheritance to pass on to Rosie. She says they don't have to be in a hurry about it.

Ruairi is going with Troy to a meet and greet, to see Trevor Drizzle; Troy managed to wangle three tickets for Ruairi's birthday. Ben is excluded, it's to be "Me and Troy and Munster", friends from Ruairi's dorm at his old school. Ben is not happy to be missing Ruairi's eighteenth birthday, which he'd thought of as an occasion he and Ruairi would do something together. Ruairi too says he should get in touch with Evie. Ben tells him that he planned to go on the radio, but Ruth vetoed it because she doesn't want the publicity. Ruairi says it's just a barrier and Ben has to find a way round it. Maybe if he really tries, he'll think of something.

Pip says it will be good to take over Hollowtree, but it should be gradual and they don't have to say anything immediately; after all, nothing is certain yet and Josh can't afford his grand plans. Josh, though, has applied to the Small Business section of the bank for a loan; Pip says that's definitely uncertain. She doesn't believe he has a proper business plan to show them, but he, having learned from the failure of his machinery business, tells her that he has all his accounts in good order and a proper plan ready for the interview that afternoon.

Ben is trying to read, in the kitchen, while Ruth clatters around emptying the dishwasher. He tells her that he bumped into Susan on the Green; he told her that they weren't going to be talking about the dig, so Ruth doesn't have to give her the refusal. Susan wanted him to go on her show anyway, and talk about life as a student under covid, which he doesn't want to do; Ruth wants him to do it, and when he says he doesn't feel confident, she gets him to promise he'll think about it.

He rings to tell Ruairi that he went round and told Susan he can talk about the dig, and then told Ruth he would be talking about covid. He's already had a call from Evie offering to help him with it. Ruairi points out that he is certain to be found out, since his family will be listening to the show, but Ben says that's not a problem since he is relying on Susan to push him to tell her about the dig, and he can pretend not to have expected that.

Pip asks Josh about his meeting to try for the business plan loan from the bank. The questions about the accounts were a lot more detailed than he expected, and Pip commiserates and says he can always try again, until he says that he won't need to. They said yes to the loan. Pip says it's fantastic, and Josh that it's all systems go for the new enterprise. Pip, clearly taken aback by the speed at which things are happening, says oh good and she's sure that Rex and Toby can find somewhere else for their businesses, but then notes with even less enthusiasm that now someone is going to have to tell them.

Characters: Ben, Ruth, Josh, Pip, Ruairi
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 27th October, 2020

Freddie and Alice both have to show their worth.

Lily caught Freddie attacking the washing machine with a screwdriver because he said it was emptying too slowly, and stopped him from touching it — she then suggests that Elizabeth might want it to get her clothes ready if she's going to dress up to go out. Elizabeth crushes her, then defends Freddie as having more sense than Lily is making out, and says she doesn't have time to listen to her go on about Freddie; she has to prepare for a trustees' meeting later. Lily boasts about her great Halloween extravaganza, and then starts suggesting she wants to have oversight of Freddie's plans for the Christmas show.

Susan is giving Alice a vegetarian chilli that was a 'failed experiment' as far as Neil was concerned, and reorganising Alice's fridge to fit it in. She offers to make a nice cup of tea and is clearly fed up with Bert, who is visiting her and criticising Keira. Then she weeps because her mother is dead, nine years ago this Halloween. She wanted to show Ivy the scan photo of Alice's baby. They sympathise about missing Ivy, who was apparently an absolute sweetheart.

Bernard Lyons, the new Chair of the trustees, has stayed after the meeting. He wants the front gatehouse repaired, but more than that wants to ask Elizabeth about her having hired Freddie as an events coordinator; somebody told him about it, but he thought it unlikely Freddie would be organising a Christmas show. Elizabeth tells him Freddie certainly is organising it, and is raising money for charity. Bernard is not happy about attaching Freddie's name to a community show because of Freddie's drugs conviction. His name has the likelihood of causing Lower Loxley reputational damage. Elizabeth defends her son, but Bernard says ominously that the day is coming when the trustees decide whether Freddie is a suitable custodian of the estate, and he will be judged on the show.

Susan is complaining that Tracy left Bert on her doorstep at eight in the morning so she could go out for the day with Roman. Bert's been a great nuisance, carping at Keira as he did at Susan and Tracy when they were little; Mum wouldn't have stood for all his nonsense. Always firm but never hard, that was Ivy. Nobody liked disappointing Mum, who had a way of making you want to please her. Stewart was always Bert's favourite, and Alice suggests Bert should visit him next time, but Susan tells her they don't know where he is; probably passed out in the gutter.

Elizabeth is angry and vents about the post-meeting meeting to Lily. But the trustees can't stop him inheriting, says Lily, and Elizabeth replies furiously that they won't let them. Then she catches herself and realises she ought not to have said anything about it; pay no attention, she was just venting. She immediately goes on to say bitterly that at this rate the trustees will want to give Lower Loxley to Lily -- then tells her not to look so horrified. Lily changes the subject: Freddie has been trying out the soundscape for the Halloween walk, and approves of it. Lily now wants to say something that she assures her mother isn't sniping, and then criticises Freddie for the way he is going about things, and for not asking for her help. The trustees making the show a big deal is her new stated motive. Elizabeth says this is Freddie's chance to show the trustees he is fit to inherit.

Susan is still sounding off: Bert thought Stewart drinking was funny, and encouraged him because he wanted someone to go to the pub with. Nowadays they call it 'alcoholic' and say it's an illness, but really Stewart's just a little grabby boy nobody ever said "no" to. He rings sometimes claiming to be off the booze and asking for money for some new business or other. And is he? asks Alice. For about five minutes, says Susan with resignation. He's a lost cause, and he broke Ivy's heart. She then tells Alice that "people like you and me" would have the sense to see they are hurting themselves and all around them.

Characters: Lily, Elizabeth, Susan, Alice, Bernard Lyons (trustee)
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti


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