Elizabeth is keeping busy: standing in at Lower Loxley and almost spilling the beans to Ruth.

Radio Times: Nigel stands in.

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  • It is Daniel’s sixth birthday so Shula is not going out with the hunt and she rides close to Grange Farm hoping for a clue about the new owner. All she learns is that Mike’s latest grumble is about Neil, who has favoured the muck business with Eddie over a tree nursery with him.
  • The conference manager at Lower Loxley has gone down with flu. Elizabeth insists that she will cover rather than get a temp in; it will keep her mind off the operation. Julia and Jill will look after the twins and her appearance at Daniel’s party will be necessarily brief.
  • So Nigel need not cry off the hunt, where he is the whipper-in today. He manages this in typical Nigel fashion, losing sight of the hounds at one point until Debbie puts him right.
  • Daniel’s party is a great success, with Jill’s fantastic cake and Alistair in full control. Elizabeth escapes to the quiet of the kitchen to join Shula and Ruth, who are slaving over sandwich production. She seems very cool about next week’s heart operation but when she asks about the return visit of the consultant to Brookfield, Shula applies a forceful change of subject.
  • In the Bull, Nigel is persuaded to accept a celebratory drink from Debbie; opinions of his performance at the hunt range from ‘brilliant’ to ‘no major blunders’. Meanwhile Bert takes the opportunity to have a word with Shula about some manure for his garden; Eddie had asked too but has not turned up to collect it. But who is having a word with Caroline over at the bar? It’s the new joint master of fox-hounds, Oliver Stirling. Interesting!

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