Mavis and Derek and Norris
Norris has been sleeping in his car all night outside the Wiltons' house and when morning comes he staggers out to greet Mavis, who is not entertained by his dirty grey HOODED tracksuit. Apparently he has left Angela after spending all week hiding in the spare room and manages to bully Mavis into letting him stay for a couple of days. Mavis wrings her hands and alternates between looking guilty and furious, but can do very little.
Later, Derek and Norris discuss Angela - Norris says that Angela was always being rude about Derek and that was the reason why they had so many arguments. Angela also told Norris to see if Mavis had a sister, as Derek and Norris are so alike. Mavis gets tired of hearing about Angela and tries to make a stand. But it's hard to be assertive in a cardigan. It really is.
Fiona and Raquel and Tony and Maxine and Vicky
Have I missed "National Display your Masculinity Week" again? Tony Teeth obviously hasn't because he's packed his mechanic's torso into a tight black t-shirt and thrusts his big forearms about at every possible opportunity. Even Kevin gets a little bit distracted. It's all because Fiona is acting "funny" over Steve's incarceration. Tony is beginning to feel threatened.
Meanwhile Fiona is playing with Maxine's hair (I hope she didn't get nits) in the salon, and Maxine tells Fiona that Steve still fancies her and asks her if she'll tell Tony about it. Fiona says she won't and then Raquel comes in to ask if she can use the back-room to carry out her aromotherapy skills. Fiona says that she can and they'll split the profits 50-50. "So if you made ten pounds, you'd get five and Fiona would get five," says Maxine patronisingly. When did she suddenly become a card-carrying member if MENSA? Raquel has a "word" with Curly about Fiona's offer and then accepts. Fiona decides to go and see Steve making it perfectly plain that all the pectoral muscles in the world will not keep her with Tony if there's a chance of a prison relationship story-line.
Vicky has decided that she will take the hotel course in Switzerland and is saying goodbye to all her friends (ie Raquel).
Alma and Gail and Audrey
Josie whirls into the Cafe, bringing some letters for Mike, and a fax from America! Alma reads it and melts. "It's from Stephen!" (We had to have a commerical break here so we could all calm down). Stephen is coming back, having spent the last 2 months living among real Canadians and promises this time that he will have a bona fide Canadian accent and will be able to pronounce "Toronto" "Trawna" or whatever it is.
Audrey appears, looking glam (see awards) and Alma tells her that Stephen is coming. Audrey is hurt that Stephen did not tell her first, and demonstrates this by being rude to Alma. Gail overhears and takes Audrey for a drink where she says "Mam, leave Alma alone - she doesn't want to see Stephen. She wants to save her marriage. Now don't you go putting your foot in it." Audrey agrees (once the gin and tonic's taken effect she'll agree to anything) but the words "Mutton Dressed As Lamb" are hovering pregnantly over this story-line, ready to burst on-screen at any minute and saturate poor Alma with intentional malice...
Andy and Anne and Mr and Mrs Malone
Andy is "hurt" because Anne's parents have decided that he is too common and his family are a load of thugs (I like them already). Anne is "making a stand" which means she is being nice to Andy and not to her parents. Andy wants to go round and see them, to "talk" but Anne doesn't want him to.
However, Andy disobeys Anne and goes to see the Malones. In an appalling scene of surburban domesticity, we see Mr Malone, sitting half-way down a chair, and Mrs Malone (wringing her hands and being under the thumb). Phrases like "the lad's asked a straight question and he'll get a straight answer" are used gratutitously, and we begin to realise why Anne is such a stern (I'm being kind) little madam.
Anne comes in half-way through this "interview," and is not suited. But Andy manages to convince her parents that he is not a thug like the rest of his family, and they decide that he will probably "do".
But there's a twist, and Anne does a great big "Tick-tock" (ie - changes her mind completely and irrationally) and decides that Andy can continue his relationship with her parents, but she doesn't want to see him...ever again. Credits.
The Glamour Tirara:
It was a three-cornered battle between Rita, Liz and late-arrival Audrey. Liz had claimed the colour pink, and wore a short pink dress, pink lipstick, pink nail-polish and even little pink globe ear-rings. Very tacky, but also predictable. Audrey had a little white scarf draped around her 80s-power-suit, and looked as if she'd spent 3 weeks in a beauty salon, but the winner, as usual was Rita, who came up with a novel style of jewellery which even had me shocked. She had exhumed the corpses of her "men," Len, Alan and Ted and strung all their bones together to make a pretty little necklance, which went around her neck. Or maybe Fred Elliott had been delivering little parcels of meat again. The Big Red Wig was even more over-laquered than usual, if someone had stuck a match, the whole Kabin would have exploded.
Best line: Gail: "Mam!"
Derek and Mavis and Norris
Norris is making himself at home in the Wilton's middle-class living room, and has decided that he is not going in to work for a while. Mavis and Derek, being as spineless as they are, are powerless to get rid of him but spend every spare moment complaining about him to each other.
Derek, however, has worked out that if Norris and Angela get a divorce, one or both of them may leave the company and this will create an interesting opening for Derek.
Later in the Rovers, Derek says that Angela has "mysteriously" taken a few days off, without telling anyone about it, or where she is going. Mavis does not want to talk about Angela - but Derek says that he might go round to her house to see how she is, and it might earn him a few brownie points at work.
At Angela's house, we are treated (yes treated!) to a montage of Derek, peering through windows, trying to open doors, examining the garden - there is even one of those rare above the head shots which we sometimes get these days.
The excitement of it is too much for Derek to bear alone and he gets out his mobile phone (really! this is Wetherfield not Soho) to tell Mavis that something is very wrong at the house.
In the Rovers (again) Derek tells Mavis that Angela's car was in the garage but there was no sign of Angela - and best of all, he came over all funny while he was in the garden. The plot thickens - or rather, it is now about as thick as it is going to get.
Alma and Gail and Audreh
Audreh is in a good mood because Stephen has finally phoned her to tell her that he is coming so it is now "official". She comes into the cafe to tell Gail that she was/is/will be spending money like there is no tomorrow in order to get that Glamour Tiara back from Rita. "Where's Alma?" She asks, and Gail says she has gone to Kendal to buy some clothes. (we all know that Kendal is where the smart set of the Northwest flock every year to buy expensive designer fashions). Audreh is not pleased, but Gail calms her in the Rovers buy telling her to "lay off" Alma, and that Alma does not want to see or be seen with Stephen. Audrey agrees to be nice to Alma.
But when Alma gets back from Kendal (equipped with a panoply of designer labels) Audrey is not pleased, especially as it's her 19th gin and tonic of the night. When Gail is at the bar getting her another drink, Audreh goes into Cat Mode and starts clawing at Alma. "You keep away from Stephen ladeh!" she hisses drunkenly. "I know your game. The only reason why I'm not after Stephen is because he's my own son."
Audreh staggers out into the night, leaving Alma alone to emote, which means that she touches her cheeks lightly with her finger-tips and blinks a few times. "Where's Mam?" says Gail, coming back. "I told her to lay off you."
"Oh," moans Alma. "You shouldn't have. She's right. When I was trying on those expensive frocks in Kendal, I was wondering what he would think of me when he saw me in them. Oh Gail, I want him! I WANT HIM!"
Andy and Curly and Raquel and Tony and Maxine and Fiona and Steve
In the salon, a series of scenes are played out with pop-music in the background, making the setting appear more like a teenage girl's bedroom than a thriving businesss - Fiona and Maxine are still talking about whether or not Fiona should go and see Steve. Maxine tells Fiona that Steve is a "slimy little crim" and she should forget all about him, and when someone like Maxine gives you sensible advice, you know that you're in trouble. "OK, you're right, says Fiona. I'll not see him."
But she has already told Liz that she will, and when the bus pulls up outside the prison, it moves away to reveal Fiona, looking very uneasy. The little Coronation Street refrain music to signify End of Part One here seemed to be more smug and knowing than usual.
In prison, Fiona feels uncomfortable and has nothing to say. Steve tries all his usual tricks to entertain her (fluttering his eye-lashes, flicking his eye-balls around, inserting his arm into his mouth, biting his knuckles - soon the desk is covered in bits of blood, hair and finger-nails). "I don't like it here," says Fiona. "I have nothing to tell you."
"Come and see me again," Steve tells her (although why he'd want someone so boring to visit her is a mystery. He should get Maxine in, at least she'd get everyone dancing). "I need something to look forward to." Fiona is torn between feeling guilty about Tony, and wanting to put her name down for the conjugal rights cabin then and there. In the end she says "Yes Steve, I am your puppet, I will do whatever you say."
Meanwhile, Andy is moping because Anne has dumped him. He refuses to be massaged by Racquel - who is touting for business, so Raquel phones Curly and tells him to get Anne to come in the Rovers in the evening, so they can play cupid again. However, Curly is unable to get Anne to come.
Raquel is having trouble getting people to be massaged, so she offers to do it to Tony for free. Once she has him in his lair, she instructs him to take all of his clothes off. Maxine hovers around, hoping for a glimpse of bicep, and trying to hint to Tony that Fiona is with Steve. Tony is suspicious, but not enough to make trouble yet.
When the massage is over, Fiona, Tony and Maxine decide to go to a nightclub in Manchester. "Did you visit your parents or did you go and see Steve?" asks Maxine. "I saw my parents," lies Fiona. "Good girl," Maxine tells her. Credits.
Glamour Tiara: Forget Audrey and Alma - this episode, the Mave gets it - she was looking very well turned out - in an understated blue-white blouse with four silver buttons in a square on the front. Added to that, she was wearing lipstick that was 3 shades too dark for her, and had put something in her hair to make it all wavy and big. I am giving her this award on the grounds that Effort is more important than Ability. Take note Emily, Kelly and Josie.
Ratucs mention: Steve called someone a plank last night. Was he talking about Nicky Platt?
Vicky and McDonalds and other satellites of this story-line
Finally! She's going to Switzerland and Alec wants to celebrate by taking her to a posh restaurant (probably the cafe) but Vicky wants to say goodbye to all her "friends" - the ones that she complained about not having last week. This means that she goes into the Rovers with Alec. But not before saying "Am I doing the right thing Deirdre?" Like a little fox-terrier, Deirdre POUNCES on this tiny crumb of story-line and moans, "Yes, luv, I once went ABROAD, and it never turned out how I thought it would....but I wouldn't have changed it for anything luv!"
At the Rovers, Vicky says goodbye to all her chums, and receives gifts (more of that later) among which Raquel suddenly offers to give her a massage - so they have to go over to the salon. It's all a ploy so that Vicky and Fiona can have one last confrontation while Raquel is on the phone to Curly. Vicky is magnaminous and tells Fiona that it is all "water under the bridge" and that they both had the misfortune to fall in love with the same man and have had to pay the price etc. Fiona just looks sulky.
Back at the Rovers, Vicky cracks open the champagne, while Liz and Jim seethe in a corner. "Have a drink on me!" says Vicky, but Liz is (irrationally) upset at Vicky and Jim has decided to go on the wagon so that he can build a huge business empire in time for when Steve comes out of prison ("I have to have something for my boy to look forward to") How touching. Liz and Jim have also been sorting out who gets what in their divorce settlement - I would have thought it was easy - Liz gets all the silver/black/red/short/sleeveless/backless dresses and Jim gets all the broken bottles of meths that are still in the sink.
A taxi pulls up and Vicky clamours into it, unable to contain her joy at leaving the Street. If this was the "Down Under" soap "Neighbours" there would be sad music at this point, but in gritty CS we have to make do with Betty pretending to have something in her eye and Fiona looking like a chipmunk from behind the horizontal blinds of her own Business Empire.
Anne bumps into Andy in the middle of the Steet and apologises for being so stubborn and silly. They make up.
Percy and Joyce
Joyce has a hot date (I know) with Percy (I know!) and they've arranged to meet in (where else?) the cafe. Joyce is planning to put her plan into fruition, but it is all ruined when Percy mentions that there is a NEW barmaid at the legion who is useless. Instead of just smiling wanly and inventing a ruptured spleen to get out of the date, Joyce tells Percy that the only reason why she ever bothered with him was because she wanted that job and thought he could help her get it.
"If you had told me this, it could have gone through the proper channels," says Percy. "And your name would have been considered (equally mind) along with everyone else's." Joyce agrees to go on the date anyway, but Percy is hurt and says, "Good-day Mrs Smedley," and turns his back on her in a quaint, Jane-Austen sort of way. Joyce is ashamed and tells Judy and Gary all about it. "If he were 30 years younger I could have done summit with him," she says. And that's more information than we needed to know Joyce.
Raquel and Curly and Des and Gary and Fiona
News of Raquel's massage Emporium has spread around the Street and Gary Mallet is making a big joke of it. Curly is jealous, and Gary makes matters worse when he suggests that Des could afford to have a massage done by Raquel. Fiona tries to smoothe things down by saying that she might have a massage, but nobody listens.
Raquel moves away and tells Curly that she will have to educate the Street about the importance and relevance of aromotherapy in their lives. In another touching display, she adjusts his tie and simpers.
Audrey and Gail
"If you've come to have another go at Alma then you can forget it Mam because she's taken the day off to have extensive plastic surgery," Gail tells Audrey, who has whisked into the cafe, on yet another warpath.
"Don't you worry, love," says Audrey, standing very close to Gail, so we can see that even though there's only about 5 years difference in their ages, Audreh is a good 8 feet taller than Gail. "Mam" then laments that Gail always takes everyone else's side but hers and with that, flounces out of the cafe in a paddy.
Norris and Mave and Billy
Norris decides to spend the day at the allotment, in order to plant a herb garden for Derek and Mavis, and, I'm sorry but this story-line really is too silly for me to want to discuss. In short-hand, we are all being led to suspect that he is burying Angela and Mavis, a doubting Thomas at first, is beginning to come round to the possiblity. The episode ends with Norris padding down the last of the mud and looking triumphant, while Billy whitters on about alcohol as usual. Credits.
Most Self-Referential Line: Betty presents the secret recipe for "Betty's Hotpot" to Vicky as a going away present and tells her to guard it with her life. "We don't want those foreigners thinking that we don't eat good food in the NorthWest region of England," she says.
Most Badly in Need of a Haircut: Gary Mallet. What a mess! I find his hair to be completely offensive at the moment.
Glamour Addendum: Not much to write about this episode, but Deirdre was wearing a yellow and orange top-thing. Maybe she has read the "It's Summer!" issue of "Cosmopolitan"?
Norris and Derek and Mavis
The menage a trois at the Wiltons' continues with Norris, now with his feet firmly under the table, taking the role of a 1950s house-wife, cooking and cleaning for Derek and Mavis. The two reluctant hosts have escaped into their garden to talk about Norris, and Mavis is gradually being convinced that Norris has killed Angela, although as yet, nobody has thought that the allotment might be a burial ground.
After a hard day at work, Norris has prepared an Indian banquet for Derek and Mavis, who do not want to eat it before Norris does (in case it is poisoned), but Norris is too busy talking to eat and as a result it all goes cold. Norris says that he wants to forget all about Angela and that he blames Derek for foisting her onto him, and not telling him that she was cantankerous. The Wiltons just look put-upon as usual.
Mike and Stephen and Alma
Mike has arranged for Stephen to have dinner with him and Alma, although Alma does not want to go as she is scared that she will throw herself at Stephen and Ruin Her Marriage. Luckily, a filling comes out while she is chewing on some bread that has bits in it, and she has to go to the dentist, thus escaping the dreaded dinner appointment. Audrey makes comments like "wild horses wouldn't keep her away," but Gail wisely says, "maybe not."
Mike is throwing his weight around at the factory - telling Ida that the coffee-room is a mess and that there will no coffee breaks while Stephen is there. Trash particularly gets heavy treatment as she is absolutely useless at cross-stitching. When Stephen arrives at the factory we are shown him from one of those "above-the-head" camera angles which are becoming more and more popular. (Somebody at Granada must have had some scaffolding left over when they had stone cladding put up). This, however is a big mistake because it reveals Stephen's BALD SPOT, despite the fact that he immediately steps to the left to hide it behind some convieniently placed overhead pipes.
In the next scene, Alma admits that she invented her loose filling and instead of going to the dentist she drove to Accrington (!) Gail forgives her and goes home early.
Later in the Rovers, Alma is finally reunited with Stephen and goes all girly and silly again. Stephen appears to have had his hair cut, although Canadian viewers may be appalled to hear that (to me), his accent sounded just the same as before.
Alec and Rita
Alec has taken the flat next door to Rita and comes into the shop to tell her that they are going to be neighbours. Mavis, the twisted little deviant that she is, immediately starts making her usual innuendoes about living in close quarters and could this be the hint of a romance?
However, she always forgets that in the Rita-Mavis sado-masochistic relationship, it is Mavis who is the one in the eye-less rubber mask and Rita effortlessly crushes her with the comment, "It's not as if we're sharing a bathroom or anything, not like you and NORRIS, Mavis."
Vera and Jack and Mallets and Terry and Tommy
Jack and Vera are excited because Jack has decided to redecorate the outside of the Rovers with hanging baskets and little lamps - and red, white and blue paint. Vera is wearing a complicated blouse that I am not even going to try to describe, but it disqualifies her from the Glamour Award this week.
Meanwhile, Gary's motorbike has broken down so he has taken it home to tinker with it in the 1 sq ft of sunless concrete that they call a back-yard. With that pair though, you know that they can't be left alone together (or in public for that matter) without one of them wanting to have sex, and it's not long before the Mallets are jumping up and down on their sofa, snogging.
But, suddenly there is a noise at their front door, like someone trying to break in. Who could it be? Gary grabs his drums to attack the intruder, but it is Terry Duckworth looking like Heathcliff in a suit and holding onto an almost grown-up baby Tommy. "Who the hell are you?" says everyone and we have to have a commerical break because 6 old ladies in Cheadle have dropped their teapots in shock.
When we next see the Mallets they are standing in a row, with their arms folded, and explain to Terry that they now own number 9 and that Jack and Vera own the Rovers. Terry calls in to see Vera, whose IQ drops, as always, a full 15 points (to zero) on seeing baby Tommy. The old war-cry, which has not been uttered for about a year is suddenly called out: "TOMMYTOMMYTOMMY!!!" and Vera hurls herself across the counter, a huge moronic smile frosting permanently over her Epsilon-like (see Brave New World) features.
It only takes a minute for Terry to convince Vera that he is a changed man, and that he will stay the night if Vera forgives him. Before he can finish his sentence, Vera is putting new sheets on the bed. When Jack comes home, he takes rather longer to persuade, but says that he will allow Terry to stay for the sake of his mother. In the backroom (which is suddenly full of hundreds and hundreds of photos of women (Lisa/Vera) holding babies (Terry/Tommy), Jack jiggles R Tommy up and down on his knee. Credits.
Most unlikely combination: Mavis holding a poppadom.
Glamour award: Rita wins again with a big jacket that looked as if it was made of budget wallpaper from B+Q.
Best (and most prophetic) Line: Vera: "*Things* *have* *changed*!!"
Duckworths vs Ortons (and Trash)
Jack is not pleased that Terry is back, especially as Terry's acting seems to consist of shouting all his lines with arms by his sides and looking menacing (which he does very well). "He's letting the whole family down," Jack moans, but Vera is in a blissful state, especially when Tommy presents her with a picture of "Granny", all blonde hair and stick-like legs (it's no worse than the caricature she had done in Spain which is now up on the wall.)
But it's not long before this (fairly) peaceful state of affairs is shattered by the arrival of tv's most bizarre couple (not including Ashley and Kelly), the Ortons - who run a small yet tasteless boarding house in Blackpool. And yes, they're still the same - he's still 20 stone, with a big red face and a single ear-ring (why?), and she's still put-upon and has a weird voice. They want baby Tommy back - and it soon transpires that Terry took Tommy because Mr Orton didn't pay his £2000 Tommy-tithe this year.
A shouting match soon ensues in the back room of the Rovers, and Jack escapes to the peace of his pigeons with Tommy, leaving Vera to do what she is best at - screaming like a common housewife. The Ortons say "£3000 that is my final offer, £4000 that is my final offer, £6000 that is my final offer." But Terry says, "The ugly baby is sold to the woman in the blonde fright wig" and bangs a hammer, and the Ortons are sent packing to Blackpool in disgrace and tears.
Vera says she is "proud" of Terry. Proud of what? His acting? His rather large beer gut that flops all over the place when he puts on a white t-shirt and starts strutting round the Rovers? Trash seems to like it though because before you can say "Paternity" she's worked her charm on R Terry and is practically jiggling up and down on his lap by the end of the episode. When they get married what colour gown will she wear? Grey? There must be something in the beer this evening because even the extras are more good-looking than usual, and the (relatively) middle-class values of our next four characters go flying straight out of the window too...
Deirdre and Alma and Stephen and Mike
Everyone wants Stephen (even Josie's given him a big lick earlier), and when he comes into the cafe to see Gail - she throws herself at his body too - and she's supposed to be his sister. It's all Alma can do to press her finger-tips to her forehead again and look disturbed.
Mike has arranged that Stephen goes out for a meal with him and Alma. Audrey cannot contain the odd "meow" comment, but behaves herself in general. While Mike is getting more drinks at the bar, he sees the Drear who is standing (alone - what else?) nervously looking round to see if she can bore someone with comments about Samir. "Friends?" says Mike - (remember that Drear is still smarting because Josie beat her to a job), and Deirdre remembers that she now works in a travel agents and is no longer on 'T SCRAP'EAP, so she agrees, earning a squeeze from Mike.
Deirdre takes one look at Stephen and says, "Cor, I fancy a bit of that!" Mike agrees to pimp for her and invites her along on the dinner date. When Alma finds out she is horrified - knowing what a shameless old scene-stealer Deirdre is at the moment. She will have to be content with hearing all about Stephen's underwear preferences second-hand...
Derek and Norris and Mavis and Billy
Mavis and Derek are currently living in their garden as Norris has taken over the house, and once again they discuss the possiblity that Norris has killed Angela. Norris appears and starts some Ophelia-like rant about how flowers are like people, and can be cut down in their prime, making the feeble pair even more terrified.
Mavis confides in Rita, who gets a big syringe full of sanity and injects it into the Wiltons - then she torments them in a cage for a while and sets them free, happily to the Rovers where they have big smiles and say "ho ho ho - of course Norris never killed Angela. Aren't we a pair of sillies."
But with these two, you know that they are only allowed to experience happiness in short bursts of about 3 minutes, and soon Billy ruins everything by telling them that he saw Norris working very hard on their allotment the other day and it wasn't a herb garden he was building. The Wilts drop their Kaliber and rush to the allotment, terrified at what they might find. Meanwhile, Norris comes in, has the same conversation with Billy and follows them.
At the allotment, Derek starts digging - Mavis stands there looking scared, and then everything happens at once - Derek finds an old blanket buried in the ground. Norris arrives, Mavis screams, Derek threatens Norris with his spade. Norris pulls out Angela's golf clubs from the ground and says "What did you think was buried there Dirk?" Close-up on the most thwarted media couple (even more than Anne and Nick) in the history of light entertainment. Credits.
Costume: Mavis wins in her Margo Leadbetter gardening outfit, which consisted of bright yellow wellingtons and a plastic-see-through headscarf that she probably got off the front of a magazine.
Duckworths, Trash, Josie, Mike, Ida
At the factory, Trash is talking about her "love-life" and how her husband was abusive and useless. Ida is now Trash's "best friend" and confidante, so she gets to listen to all this. Trash says that she might try her hand at R Terry, but Ida shakes her little monkey-like head and says that on her planet, men like Terry were stripped to the waist and had their brains removed. This does not deter the Trash in the slightest.
Meanwhile, Trash's love-life has got everyone in the factory all excited and Mike and Josie can talk of nothing else. Mike tells Josie that he has noticed Trash's interest in Terry, and that she should be warned. Josie says that with impudent little minxes like her, the worst thing you can do is to tell them to stay away from trouble. Josie wants to know why this sudden interest and Mike says it's because he wants to get inside the minds of women because he works with so many of them. Then they both raise their eyebrows a lot and exchange about a hundred "arch" looks.
At the Rovers, (and in a pink fluffy top) Trish and Terry are having a flirt. Trish says that Terry is "fit" (if she'd spent her family credit on an eye-test rather than lottery tickets she would realise that this is simply NOT TRUE) and wants to know how he keeps in such good shape. What follows is a simply disgusting little scene where the pair start salivating on each other and make innuendo after innuendo. It's only thanks to the moral sensibilites of Vera that it comes to an end as she shrieks "R Terry, your girlfriend's on the phone!" causing Terry to quickly scarper and Trash to look like, well, Trash, because let's face it, if you're not good enough for Vera Duckworth's son, then there's no hope left.
Andy, Anne, Fiona
Anne is having her hair done at the "salon" - although when it is finshed she looks exactly the same - and the girls discuss how they could have been sisters if both of them had married McDonald boys. Fiona asks if Anne is interested in marrying Andy, and Anne says that she wants to "get a life" first.
But Andy has a surprise up his sleeve, and he takes Anne up to the flat above the salon and tells her that he wants her to move in with him. "Making presumptions again Andy", Anne whines, and instantly goes ice-cold. It's not surprising though, considering that every relationship that has occurred in this flat has ended in tears. But who can stay angry with Andy for long? And soon they're "making the most of their privacy" which is Anne's nice way of saying they have sex.
Mavis, Derek, Norris
Not much from these three dodos, with the Wilts (my new name for them - they remind me of a pair of rather feeble flowers that haven't been watered in ages) only half-convinced that Norris hasn't murdered Angela. "She might not be in the allotment, but she is still missing," says Derek. But then Norris's mobile rings and it's Angela, or so he says.
Not believing him, Derek snatches the phone from Norris and says "Hello Norris's paid stooge....oh hello Angela." (winces). Norris looks pleased.
Alma, Stephen, Dreary, Mike, Audrey, Gail
Audrey is in another designer costume and is still being saracastic to Alma. Gail tells her to stop, but Audrey is enjoying being a bitch too much to care and reminds Alma that she is a married woman and what she did was wrong. Stephen arrives in the cafe, and says that he saw through Alma's tooth-ache excuse the other day and she should not be embarrassed and he hopes they can still be friends. They shake hands, and after he leaves, Alma "sends herself" by sniffing her fingertips and rolling her eyes back.
Stephen and Audrey are in the Rovers, and Audrey is busy digging at Alma, Stephen says that if she was 30 years younger and unmarried, Alma would have stood a chance. Audrey sniffs.
Alma has decided to confess everything to Mike and back at their flat she tells him about her "crush." Mike is very cool about it, and seems to find the whole thing slightly amusing. This is not the reaction that Alma wanted, and she is too surprised to react.
At the post restaurant and to the strains of Debussy's "Clair de la Lune" Mike is trying to make Dreary sound like a wonderful person (not easy) to Stephen. The Drear is having the time of her life, lapping up the attention from two men, while Alma sulks in a corner, hating everyone.
By the end of the evening (the orchestra is playing Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof - where is this classy place?) Mike arranges for Drear and Stephen to share a taxi (and what else?) home. Alma is furious and unable to say goodbye to her "friends". Once they have left she turns on Mike, telling him that it's bad enough that she was rejected by Stephen, but it seems that even her own husband doesn't care about her and at least Jim McDonald cared enough (!) to beat Liz up when he found out about her cheating. She stomps off into the night. Credits.
Proliferation of Props: Mobile Phones. First it was just Derek, but he must have been a style-guru because Norris was using one in this episode, and Mike brandished a white one in his flat. Who next? Sarah-Lou using it to talk to Ivy?
Glamour: Forget Dreary's new hairstyle. I'm on Alma's side - this was just a device to get the attention of jaded types like Mike Baldwin. No, it was a surprise attack from Gail's brown eye-shadow that won her the award for this episode. "So very late 80s," said my sister. "So very Gail."
Emily and Percy and Audrey and Lily
There's a new character in the Street and she's wearing too much lip-stick and there's an insane gleam in her eye. But she must be OK because it turns out she's called Lily Dempsey and she's Percy and Emily's "best friend" from the next street and she's here to deliver food to house-bound Phyllis Pearce.
She seems such a sweet dear at first but isn't that always the case and later when she's in the shop, she says that she hates Alf Roberts because he beat her husband to be mayor. At that point, Audrey sails in through the door, pushes past Mrs Dempsey and says that she's in a rush and wants to pay before everyone else. "Hello Mrs Roberts!" says Maureen, hoping that Lily will get the hint and shut up, but this makes her worse.
"Do ya mind if ah pay buy cheque?" says Audreh, getting out her cheque book which is a red rag to Mrs Dempsey's bull - "She pushes in and now she wants to write her life story!" It is all water off a duck's back to R Audreh though - after all - she's been sharpening her claws on Alma for about 6 episodes now and she doesn't care.
Later in the cafe, Emily and Lily lick their wounds. Lily says, "what a rude woman, has she done that sort of thing before?" Emily says that she doesn't notice, as she's in a world of her own most of the time and she tries not to brood. "Oh, I love a good brood, me," says Lily happily. The Street has been warned.
Josie and Don and Mike and Kevin
Can you smell male pheromones? It's only Tony doing some welding, but suddenly the welder-machine "packs in" and Kevin runs over to say that he "shupposes" that they'll need a new one.
Tight-fist Don isn't happy about this, and takes out his bitterness on everyone who gets in his way. He asks Kevin to help him out and shop around for something cheaper. (Maybe they could use Vera's mouth as a welder?)
Meanwhile, at Mike's Poison Palace, he's decided that Josie will feel the sharp side of his tongue today and spends about ten minutes being rude to her. Trash asks for the afternoon off, but Mike tells her she can have the whole year off if she likes which shuts her up.
Back at the ugliest house in the Street, Don and Josie have a mutual moaning session which is interrupted by Mike who wants Josie to decipher a fax for him. Don is furious that Mike is making demands after work hours and sends him away. Josie is embarrassed and angry with Don. A noise comes out of her mouth, like tyres on gravel. I think she was complaining, but it made no sense.
Derek and Norris and Mavis
Norris is "back" with Angela and has bought her a new set of gold clubs and spent the weekend polishing them. Derek is disgusted, and tells Mavis who is also disgusted. Maybe it's time this story-line was buried too.
Mike and Alma and Gail and Audrey
Alma is still hurt that Mike isn't smashing bottles of gin in the sink and chasing her round the flat with a spade like Jim McDonald would have done. Mike decides to "make up" for being so uncaring and sends Alma some flowers at work which does not impress Alma at all - she tells Gail to give them to Martin for the hopsital. Even Gail is fed up of Alma at the moment and suggests that she takes a few days off, and they'll ask Roy Cropper to stand in for her for a while. Alma agrees.
Back at their flat Mike asks where the flowers are and Alma says that she gave them away. Then the phone rang and I missed what happened next. In the time it took for me to say "Yes. No. Fine. 5. Goodbye." the scene had ended.
Duckworths and Trash
Trash spots little Tommy in the Street and pretends to coo over him for Vera's benefit. "He's got your eyes," she says, which makes Vera happy. "But he needs a mother," Trash continues. "Someone like me who can teach him shop-lifting." Vera picks up Tommy and runs into the Rovers and bolts the door, leaving Trash to look on after her.
Jack is still unimpressed with R Terry and ignores all efforts by Terry to help, even though they are busy and a big rough (common) looking fat man is at the bar demanding service.
The fat man complains that there is something in his pint and instead of saying "Yes - your brain must have fallen in there - would you like some kitchen roll to dry it off," Jack pours the man another drink. This time the glass is dirty (what a prissy ruffian this is) and before Vera can scream "Get the Police!" the man has slammed Jack's head into the bar and holds him in his "vice-like" grip. Trash screams, and for some reason Audrey is flung across Alf's lap - even though they are sitting miles away from the "action."
But R Terry shows that when it comes to flab and guts, he's got plenty and he's soon made mince-meat of this trouble-maker. Vera is excited, Trish is delerious "that were great that were!" and Jack is reluctantly impressed. Terry runs out to make sure that the villain has cleared off, but then meets him in a snicket (or a ginnel) and it turns out that they were best friends all along (probably shared a bed in prison or something) and Terry gives him £20 and says that he will return the favour some day. And I'm so very ashamed to say that I was a little bit surprised - at what should have been a predictable outcome. Credits.
Best mispronunciation: "Minnellium" by Audrey. She said it twice. Twice!
Best character: Mrs Dempsey. A sugary hypocrite with a pair of sharp fangs, and all packed into a lovely cardigan. Watch out Mavis.
Best use of North-West-Region-Dialect: The word "us" instead of "our" was used twice, e.g. Vera said "We're trying to better us-selves." I love it.
It's an average day at Number 9 and Gary is looking for his boot polish under the sink, but instead of finding it, he is amazed to discover hundreds of oddly shaped pieces of tupperware. Judy seems embarrassed but claims that they are for cleaning lettuce and for keeping old carrier bags safe. Gary is disgusted "Salad's rabbit food - it's bad for you." (Does Granada know that millions of people will hear this and take it as gospel?)
When Gary has gone, Joyce appears, with a catalogue - it appears that she is a local representative, and has been feeding Judy's addiction to tupperware because she gets a 10% commission. "That's nice," says Joyce, pointing to some piece of over-priced rubbish. "Colourful, but classy. Just like you." (!!)
When Gary arrives home, he discovers a gaudy lamp on the table - Judy claims that the other one was too bright. A row ensues and Judy says "Shut up Gary."
At the Rovers this entire scene is repeated when Gary finds out that Joyce is a "tupperware-pusher". Judy tells Gary to "Shurrup" and "Get lost."
Mike's factory/Don's garage
Mike is trying hard to be nice to Alma who does not want to know. In fact she tells him to "drop dead." This puts Mike in a foul mood and he decides to take it all out on Ida Monkey-Woman. "This stitching is shoddy!" he screams, ripping all her hard work to shreds. "You'll have to do it again."
But Josie's big nose senses conflict and she rushes in to defend Ida. "It's your fault Mr Baldwin," she says. "There are guidelines and quotas and you're making these women work too fast." "In my office!" says Mike.
Meanwhile, Kevin cannot find a cheap welding machine for Don, who is also in a bad mood. Kevin and Tony put on sun-glasses and pretend to do no work so that Don will react. Don regrets ever buying the factory etc.
In Mike's office, Josie repeats that Mike is being hard on the women - a very nasty cat-fight ensues - but then a horrible smile appears on Mike's face and he says "You shouldn't believe everything you read - like letters saying that garages are worth £50,000." Josie smirks and says that she did read a letter - and that she conned Mike regarding the sale of the garage. "Oh did you," grins Mike, and then Josie realises that Mike conned her and Don by forging a letter. She is livid.
In the next scene, she is struggling to put her coat on and leaves. The slaves in the factory think that she has been sacked.
Although Roy is helping at the cafe it seems that Alma can't keep away because she is in there having a conversation with Gail. Trish arrives and says that Josie lost her job and Mike is in a bad mood. Alma is repentant and goes to see Mike. They exchange gifts (it is their anniversary) and he boasts that he took out all his anger on the women in the factory, which somehow makes everything ok and they make friends.
Josie arrives home early and tells Don that she quit. She does not tell him the whole story though - and he thinks she resigned over some lofty matter of principle. This makes him even more angry.
Duckworths and Trash
It's time for Terry to leave, and Vera has become hysterical wanting Tommy and Terry to stay so that they can be a proper family. "'E's changed Jack," she crows. "Let him stay." Terry listens at the door and smirks - maybe he is acting so badly because he is "acting" at being a nice person - ie it is the character acting, not the actor? Jack is adamant that Terry must go, so Vera whines and shrieks through the entire episode, becoming more and more desparate.
"Hi sexy," says Trish. "How about you and me have a night of ram-raiding?" But Terry uses the offer to show to the other members of the cast that he is now a good boy. "I have a girlfriend and am a respectable gentleman. I don't go in for that sort of thing no more," he says.
Terry says he will not stay unless Jack gets down on his knees and begs - and of course, finally Jack cracks and says "please stay Terry and make our lives miserable again." "Oh Jack JACK!" wails Vera, attaching herself to him. Credits.
Best actor: Jack: For once, despite having that huge piece of sellotape on his glasses, Jack is dignified. It was an excellent end scene - Jack knows exactly what will happen, but allowed the evil members of his family to have their way. I felt for him.
Use of non-standard English: They were all at it in this episode. "us" for "our" was used by at least 3 different characters.
The Mike Plowman award: Roy Cropper on marriage (paraphrased) "I have considered the benefits of it, from a purely financial perspective of course. Two can live as cheaply as one, and in my small abode this would have been possible. There were the tax benefits too to consider. I was once interested in a librarian. We never spoke outside of the library though..."
Glamour award: Chunky gold jewellrey and Big Hair! No it's not Rita, but Gary Mallet - the first ever male winner of the diamonique-encrusted tiara. He might have been berating his wife's laughable addiction to mail-order tack, but it seems as if he'd been down to Argos too, judging by that piece of toilet chain round his neck.
Jack has escaped to his old house to be where "things used to be so uncomplicated" and is having man-talk with Gary Mallet. Gary asks if he should "pal up" with R Terry, but Jack says not unless he wants to. Meanwhile, R Tommy has crawled into that chasm under the kitchen sink and has discovered fresh stores of illicit tupperware. "Sorry Gary," says Jack. "I think our lad's put a dent in that deep fat fryer?" (What? When did this child suddenly become Mike Tyson?) But it turns out that the deep-fat-fryer has found a friend as there are two of them. Gary realises that his wife's "problem" is more terrifying than he first thought.
At the Rovers he questions Judy about the second fryer but she thinks quickly and says that it's a wedding anniversary present for his parents. This puts him off the scent for a while until Gary realises that their anniversary is not for months. If only Gary knew of a good help-line or support group - but I've researched this and the NHS does not recognise tupperware-addicition as a major illness yet. I will be campaigning for reform.
Stephen has his "nasty" face on today and is walking round the factory, examining the women's work. His first stop is at Trash's pile of clothes. "Don't mind me," he says. "It's hard not to," lusts Trash, hoping for a bit of sexual harrasment. However, Stephen's not up to it and instead declares every single garment in the factory to be shoddy and worthless (including the old rags that the women are wearing).
Mike is devastated - it will mean it will all have to be done again, and the deadline has to be extended. He has to sub-contract the work. In his usual cheery style he takes it all out on the poor women.
Meanwhile, Josie - now having nowhere to go, decides to snoop around the garage - she admits to Don about how Mike conned them into buying the garage for more than it was worth - which causes his eyes to bulge. Josie tells Kevin to buy the cheap welder that they have found - which leads to another row between Josie and Don later on.
Tony and Fiona
Fiona calls in to the garage to tell Josie and Kevin that Tony is ill but she's not very good at lying and they see through this transparent little excuse in seconds.
Matters are not made any better when Josie sees Biceps-Boy knocking on the door to the salon and literally jumping up and down with excitment at the prospect of free sex for the night. Josie frowns. "Oh dear," says Fiona. "Our carefully laid plans have been foiled. Never mind."
With Terry now with his feet firmly under the table at the Rovers, and Vera wearing that complicated blouse - poor Jack can only find solace in Tommy. However, an explosive combination of cast members gather in the Rovers in the evening - Trash, Audrey, Stephen, Josie. Trash (with new shiny hair - she's been to Netto and bought some Timotei at last) is getting drunk at the bar. She decides to take all her anger out on Stephen: "You!!! What did you say to Baldwin? He's been at us girls all afternoon! He's my landlord too. I'm going to lose my job! I'm a single parent!" and on it goes. Audrey squawks "listen ladeh - you leave mah Stephen alone!" and the Rovers gets that horrible silent watchful atmosphere. Terry is dispatched to escort Trish home. Josie looks harrassed.
By this point, Trish is maudlin as well as abusive and can't find her keys so Terry offers to "break in" to her flat. (How convienient it must be to be on a first name basis with a criminal). Roy hovers around, hoping that Trash will lock the front door behind her, and generally stalling Trash's plans to seduce Terry. Trash tells him to go away.
"It's not easy being a single parent," says Trash. "Do you want to come in for coffee?" But Terry says that he has a girlfriend and leaves. "Oh well," goes Trash, but Terry suddenly has a change of heart and comes back. They kiss - (I could see the nits leaping from one head of hair to the other) and she drags him into their flat. Jamie is left to sleep at Dreary's for the night.
Roy Cropper comes downstairs and locks the front door. He has a book for Jamie - he is about to knock on Trish's door but thinks better of it and goes back upstairs. Credits.
Best line: runner-up: Trish in mid-abuse to Stephen: "Kay-Beck! What sort of a name is that? It's not even a real word. Even my Jamie could see that!"
Best line: winner: Jamie: "What do girls want from boys?" The Drear: "They just want them to treat them nicely, show them some respect, that sort of thing." <pause> Jamie: "That's not what I've heard."
The Mike Plowman/Roy Cropper award: The infamous key-on-elastic made its long-awaited reappearance tonight - and we were treated to not one but two displays of it.
Gail, Alma, Stephen
The episode starts with a reasonably friendly conversation between Mike and Alma, although he is worried about Stephen refusing to accept the shoddy workmanship from the likes of Trash and Ida.
Alma gets it into her head that she is to blame for it all, and that Stephen is somehow angry with her and is taking it out on Mike. Actually this is just a cover so she can phone him "urgently", drag him into the cafe, touch his back as she guides him to a table, and say "be honest, did you refuse to accept the clothes because of me?" Gail, speaking for sanity frowns her little camel-eseque features and tells Alma that she is being silly. But Alma's being acting silly for about a month now and nobody has noticed.
Stephen convinces Alma that his decision had nothing to do with her and Tragedy Queen makes a great show of relief. It is now official that Alma is a nut - in a future episode she will probably be stealing Pocohontas flasks from Woolworths.
Liz is looking even more haggard than usual - perhaps it's all the worry about her son being in prison - but I thought she looked like that witch, Zelda from the Terrahawks (an 80s children's tv series with ugly puppets).
It's the "boys'" birthday - and Liz wants Fiona (new hairstyle) to visit Steve in prison and sing "Happy Birthday" to him. Fiona spends most of the episode trying to hide from Liz, but eventually is nabbed in the Rovers.
"Well," says Liz. "Will you come with me?" Fiona dares to say no, and Liz takes this as a huge insult and throws a fit (the first of so many in this conflict-sodden episode). This puts Fiona in a bad mood for later.
Racquel, Curly, Duckworths, Fiona, Trash
I'm back to hating Vera again - I always do when Terry's around. He really does bring out the worst in her. Like a stupid bleating lamb she wants to know why Terry's been out every night this week - but Terry lies and says he's been with his mates. Then he kicks over a little toy that Tommy's been building on the floor, to prove how evil he is.
Raquel sees through the "act" though, and later when Terry tries to smooth-talk his way into becoming her best friend and taking her out for a meal - she tells him to get lost. (Warning. Terry called Raquel "doll" in this scene. I haven't heard that word used in that way since 1978.) Realising that Raquel maybe daft but she's not thick, Terry decides to keep his date with some real Trash instead.
Vera wants Terry to stay in and look after the bar tonight, as she's got a hot date with Joyce at the bingo. Terry doesn't want to, as he's seeing Trash. He lies and says he's going out with his mates and can't let them down. Then he twists the knife into Raquel - saying that she should stay back, and that thousands of people need jobs, and Raquel should be more flexible.
Meanwhile, Raquel has designed a poster for her salon - and it's a bit crap really. The model doesn't have a head because Raquel can't draw heads. She shows it to Fiona who is still recovering from her "encounter" with Liz and is not interested. Raquel says she will take her aromotherapy powers elsewhere. Fiona says "good".
Raquel must be having a bad biorhythm day because, at Terry's instigation, Vera orders her to work late, but all Raquel wants to do is go home. Vera sacks her. Curly arrives and calls Terry a "wood louse." Vera ignores Jack's request for her to calm down and throws them both out.
Terry immediately leaves, to go and see Trash. She has been glamming up since this morning and looks quite nice. She has been expecting a night out, but skinflint Terry wants to stay in. Trish allows herself to be manipulated, and is glad when Terry says he is finished with his old girlfriend. Boo!
Alf, Audrey, Percy, Lily
Alf is to have an old people's home after him and Audrey has her hair done to celebrate. She says she is proud of him, and throws herself across his lap, but she wishes that it was something a bit more upmarket like a hospital or a leisure centre.
That pair must have been stapled to their seats in the Rovers because in 3 separate scenes they are in the same place. However, their moment of brief calm is interrupted by the arrival of Percy and the New Girl, bossy Lily Dempsey - who points an accusing claw at Alf and says "You're going to knock down that sheltered housing Alf Roberts!" Delighting in causing trouble Audrey tells her that the sheltered housing is going to have it's name changed to be the "Alf Roberts sheltered housing." Lily Dempsey is outraged.
Josie, Don, Mike
Don's sulking about all his bad luck and to make matters worse, when he confronts Mike in the Kabin, Mike laughs at him. "That were nasty," says Rita. Don goes home and takes it out on Josie - who says that bad events have nothing to do with luck and that we must all try to be more stoical. (I paraphrase for her.) Don walks out.
Josie tells Rita that she's going to bake a fruit cake in the hope that this will patch things up. (Hurrah - remember how Josie was always making casseroles when she first met Don!) But when Don returns it is just so that he can blame Josie. Josie has had enough of this boring little man and tells him that he always blames others for his bad luck, Ivy, Nicky etc.
They officially "split up." Josie says she will be back to get her casserole dishes later, but Don says he will send them to her. "No," says Josie. "We have to sort things out, like the garage. God, I never thought I'd say this but I feel sorry for Ivy." Credits.
In this dark, cross little episode, only the Kabin managed to retain its sense of humour:
Best line: (runnerup)
Rita on Mavis: "You want to ask Mavis to do your poster for you. Nudes are her speciality."
Best line: (winner)
Trash to Liz: "Can I borrow one of your clingy, stretchy tops?" Liz: "Nurr, you're not exactly my size." Trash: "Oh those clingy stretchy things will fit anybody."
Good Morning with Raquel and Curly. Raquel has kindly waited all night so that we can hear her tell Curly that not only has she been sacked from her job at the Rovers, but she has also lost her aromotherapy placement at the salon. Curly is a bit stunned, but says that she can stay and home and be a lady of leisure.
But this doesn't sound like much fun to Career Girl Raquel and she's soon in the Kabin, looking for a newspaper so that she can put an advert in to advertise her services from home. Fiona appears and overhears Raquel telling Rita the whole story, and she immediately starts to act sulky. Raquel falls over herself to apologise, and Fiona tells Rita that it's impossible to fall out with Raquel, it would be like falling out with Bambi.
Betty hears about Raquel's sacking and goes to see her, to offer to quit her job too (it doesn't take much for Betty to quit - she seems to do it every other episode), but Raquel says "no, don't" and tells Betty about her plans to set her house up as a massage parlour.
When Curly comes home he sees the advertisment in the newspaper and once again is a bit peeved, but lets Raquel have her own way.
Josie must have been pulling her hair out in clumps all night as her hair has reached a pinnacle of unmanagability. She's come back to get her casserole dishes from Don's house, but all Don can do is complain about how evil she is and how no woman will ever cross the doorway of his house again (I have informed the homosexual community of his decision. Don't expect us to have a street party Don.)
Further self-pitying goo comes from his mouth, so Josie leaves in disgust. Don hobbles over to the Kabin to cancel Josie's magazines (Reflective Stripes Anonynous and Dry Hair Now!) Rita makes some sarcastic comment, all steeped in the usual irony but Don happily announces that Josie has left him and he is now St. Don the Street Martyr. And for once, old Big Red doesn't have a pithy aphorism about Mavis to make the sun shine again.
Jim is wearing a suit - no it's not his prison suit, but his prison-vistors suit, as it's Steve's birthday and the McDonalds are going along to "cheer him up." Fortunately we do not get to see this scene, but later we learn that Steve is taking it all badly, which means that he no longer thinks he's Lady Di.
At the Rovers, Anne gives Andy a watch and then tells him how much it cost. It's nice to know that she's got no class either. She'll fit in well. Andy doesn't seem to mind, but Liz is obviously uncomfortable watching these syrupy love-birds eating each other's faces so she goes to the bar in the hope that an eligible single man will come and chat her up.
It must be her lucky day because Jim "happens by" and buys her a drink. Liz decides to end their exciting day by going back to the house so that they can divide their furniture. Jim is disappointed because he thought they were going back for sex, and so he tells Liz that she can keep everything. (Very wise - that house is a show-home for cut-price slum-living.) But then he spoils it all by seizing the most tasteless knick-knack he can lay his hands on (a little dog) and saying that this will be his share.
Liz is gutted. She wanted the little dog too.
Terry's on the phone to the Ortons to arrange a "business" deal and Jack overhears and is suspicious but what's new there?
Terry tells Vera that he's taking Tommy to Sheffield to see his girlfriend so that they can bond. Like a lamb to the slaughter, Vera thinks that it's lovely. Jack wonders why Terry has packed all of his bags, but Terry fobs him off with some flimsy excuse.
After he has gone, Vera tells Trash that she doesn't blame her for fancying Terry - but he's already got a girlfriend. Trash and Jack look disbelieving and they're right because Terry's dropped Tommy off at the Orton's house, and big fat Geoff is haggling for a price.
£10,000 as a one-off payment is agreed and Terry gives Tommy to the Ortons forever. Credits.
Best prop: The Orton's had a horrible plastic see-through phone that flashed. It was like a ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Poor little Tommy, he's damned if he does and he's damned if he don't.
Best line: Vera to Trash: "Yeah, our Terry's dead good looking he is. You won't believe me but our Jack was just the same. (pause.) Isn't time cruel! Gak gak gak"
(This is my last update for about two weeks as from Saturday I will be on holiday in Mexico and LA. But kindly Mike Plowman has arranged for a parade of ratucs regulars to stand in while I'm away. Enjoy - Paul)
Paul Baker is on holiday for eight episodes and you will
be treated to updates from several ratucs
regulars over the next two weeks.