Eddie and Mike are planning Christmas on a big scale, but Neil refuses to go Dutch – ?

Radio Times: A tiff on horseback.

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  • Eddie is thinking big about their Christmas market and trying to persuade Mike to do the same. They’re decided that Mike will take all the entrance money, Eddie, all the rent for the stalls and they’ll share the profit from the Christmas trees. Eddie thinks they should maximise on the stalls – get Betty and Clarrie to bake, have holly and mistletoe, and what about the eggs? etc.etc. That might get Neil on their side – and how about Mike asking Neil if they could use his Dutch barn for more stalls undercover? Mike is sceptical but will have a go. Joe tries to hurry the conversation along as he needs to go for his free ‘flu jab.
  • Caroline is having trouble with a stirrup. Shula and Oliver have pulled up to wait for her, and the talk turns to Italian as Oliver hums a snatch from Cavalleria Rusticana – not La Traviata as Shula suggests! Caroline is derogatory about Oliver’s progress – their teacher still flirts outrageously with him and constantly flatters his ability. He thinks she is wonderful – superhuman even, she chides. She persuades Shula to rejoin the hunt, then really lets fly at Oliver when he affirms the teacher’s opinion that he is making good progress. In furious haste she gallops off, leaving him standing in amazement.
  • Debbie has finished spraying and is going to meet Simon for lunch. She tries to engage Brian in conversation about a FWAG proposal for countryside stewardship – there is an arable option for conserving farmyard birds, which would attract good money. And Jennifer could give the farm a plug with an article on Ambridge birds on the website. But Brian seems on another planet, she remarks.
  • After the hunt, as they enjoy a cup of tea, and a bit more sarcastic banter about Verdi (or should that be Mascagni? Sorry to be so pedantic … !), Oliver apologises for upsetting Caroline and suggests they should perhaps give up the classes. Caroline is sorry too, for saying what she did. They can’t give up yet or they’ll never get past the first page of the libretto! (What?)
  • Joe is potting up lilies for Clarrie, and feeling sorry for himself after the trauma of the ‘flu jab. Mike has arrived but doesn’t look as though he is bringing good news. As expected, Neil’s Dutch barn is a complete no-go area where Eddie is concerned but Eddie is not going to be put off. He reckons they should clear Mike’s outbuildings for the covered stalls. If Neil doesn’t like it he can stuff it – and he’ll be smiling on the other side of his face when he sees what he’s missed out on!

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