Characters: Betty, Janet, Mike, Neil, Ruth, Shula, Tim, Tom
- Mike is practising his dance routine with gay abandon while sweeping Willow Farm yard, much to the perplexity of Neil. He has obviously had his usual early morning helping of black cloud flakes and just can’t share Mike’s enthusiasm for Tom’s proposed pig expansion. They chat it over and Mike encourages Neil to give it a go – you never know what you can do if you try – and asks him a favour, another secret from Betty, will he spare an hour to go to Borchester with him tomorrow? Neil reluctantly agrees.
- Shula is buying Champagne in the village shop as a leaving gift for Tim, and some chocolates for Janet. Betty tells her that Susan is going to work the afternoon for her. Brenda may need to go to the Cricket Club Dance for the radio, so they are going to the hire shop to try on some posh frocks. (Do we smell conspiracy here?) Betty talks longingly about how Roy says the room at Grey Gables will look. Ruth comes in for banana cereal and decides to accompany Shula to see Tim and Janet off. Betty says she can’t understand why Mike has bothered with his new hairstyle – she loves him whatever he looks like!
- Tim and Janet are trying to squeeze a bike into the car – he intends to try avoiding the London traffic by cycling, though she is not too happy at the prospect. Shula and Ruth arrive with their gifts, Ruth’s being a photograph of Ben for his Godfather. They say their farewells and set off, complete with giant cheese plant on Janet’s knee. Ruth and Shula chat about Tim and Janet’s happiness, and Debbie’s unhappiness at all the work she has been left with while Brian is on a shooting trip. It’s not fair of him, they both agree.
- Betty feels that forking chicken muck is a real come down after trying on gorgeous evening dresses! Brenda had her try one on (for a laugh …) with feathers just like Ginger would wear (Neil thought she was referring to her erstwhile tame hen – nice one, Joanna!) – anyone can dream, she sighs. Neil drones on about his reservations over taking on the pig venture just as Tom arrives for his decision. As Betty goes in to cook Mike’s tea, Neil says yes to Tom, then asks him if he has noticed all the odd things that Mike has been up to recently. Is he having an affair? Tom can’t contain himself and immediately tells the newly arrived Mike – who declares it is just the opposite! The surprise is for Betty – he’s taking her to the Cricket Club Dance and needs Neil’s help in Borchester to hire a suit, not meet some fancy woman!! Mike also learns that Tom and Neil are now partners and thinks the fact that Neil has made his mind up is something worth celebrating!
Summarised by: Carol Shield