Radio Times: Is Nigel overindulging?Characters: Bert, Elizabeth, Janet, Jennifer, Julia, Nigel, Shula
- It’s the day of Janet’s leaving party, and Shula is borrowing some serving plates from Jennifer. As they wait for Bert to turn up there are a few oblique references to Jennifer’s situation – breaking plates, Brian in the lambing shed, and Debbie going off to her conference. Bert arrives, having been over to Janet’s last service in Darrington. Jennifer responds with a sigh to the news of Oliver and Caroline spending a romantic twelfth night in Italy, juxtaposed with Bert’s search for a word to rhyme with Herald for his farewell poem to Janet.
- Shula is collecting a painting for Janet from the Lower Loxley gallery. Julia is moaning about the lack of heat in the gallery, whilst making small talk about the health of Phil and Jill, and the new housing development. A distinct lack of sincerity in her voice though, one feels.
- Elizabeth is lamenting Siobhán’s departure, whilst Nigel is starting on his first drink of the day. Nigel defends his excessive consumption, though it does not seem to cut much ice with Lizzie. She reminds Nigel that she is out at Janet’s leaving do tonight, so he must not forget to read the children their bedtime story. Julia arrives to complain about the lack of heating in the gallery, so Nigel goes to take over. When he has gone, Lizzie talks to Julia about Nigel’s drinking. Surprisingly, Julia is very supportive, to the extent that she suggests taking the key to the cellar herself to prevent Nigel access. Elizabeth does not see this as the best solution but it seems Julia is not to be dissuaded from her course of action.
- Bert is running through his poem at Janet’s leaving do, to much polite applause. Shula finishes off the proceedings with a short speech, full of compliments to Janet. She presents Janet with her gifts – the antique table, and the painting of St Stephens. Janet gratefully accepts the gifts, and the buffet commences. Elizabeth has a stilted conversation with Jennifer, who exits rather pointedly. Elizabeth and Shula console each other about their part in the Brian – Siobhán affair. Bert and Janet have a few quite touching words – she will miss Ambridge, as will many people miss her.
- Jennifer arrives home to an empty house, and a note from Brian saying he is in the lambing shed, will be sleeping in the caravan, and hopes she had a lovely evening. With another sigh, she screws up the note and throws it in the bin….