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Synopsis

Ricky leaves for Paris, Well'ard and Sonia share supper, and a troubled Pat goes walkabout. Meanwhile, Arthur tries to burn away his worries on a bonfire. Firstly, yesterday's fiasco with Ian and his children. I forgot to mention, Ian was extremely surprised to find that Phil had looked after his kids all day. However, after his initial horror-struck look which was probably reminiscent of the first time he saw the hamster which had taken up residence on his upper lip, he thanks Phil rather sincerely, in a rare moment of thoughtfulness.

At the Mitchell/Hills household Kathy is making breakfast for the horde. Tony wants full cooked, Sarah just wants coffee and Phil is being hounded out of his own kitchen. Ted comes in with a "headache" from the night before at the Vic, which was a good night apparently and only wants black coffee. Tony makes snide remarks about hangovers. Phil loses his seat to Ted. The doorbell rings and Phil gets it, it's Ian plus screaming brats. Phil tells him they're both working today, and Ian asks if he can still ask Kathy. She says yes, of course, and adds that she's not working 'til later and there is a family here so they can sort it out between them. Sarah has already taken one of the twins. They continue to scream, and Phil leaves, to Kathy's disappointment, as she asks him what about breakfast. Phil says he'll have it somewhere quieter thank you.

In the Jackson household, Well'ard is thrown a piece of sausage by Carol, and greedily gulps it down, just before Robbie walks in. Alan offers Robbie a sausage and they all laugh at him. Robbie asks Carol for 2 pounds to buy a special tin of vegetarian dog food for Well'ard. Carol says that if he wants to buy expensive stuff he will have to earn the money himself, they can't afford it. And he should get another paper round. He goes to the café and stands around hopefully, so Blossom asks him what he wants. He says he has no money so can't have anything, but could she possibly lend him some money for vegetarian dog food. Blossom can hardly suppress her giggles, but she suggests that it's a bit expensive and Carol can't afford to keep them as it is and perhaps Robbie should get another job to support his new fad. But, she adds that when they couldn't afford dog food in Jamaica she made cornmeal and the dogs loved it and were lovely big healthy dogs. She offers to make some for him. Robbie is thrilled. Blossom reminds him to look for another job, and he goes to visit Felix, who says business is slow. Robbie looks around and says well, perhaps you should get rid of this old stuff and be a bit more modern, it may bring customers in. Felix smiles and says without a hint of sarcasm, "Well, I shall think very carefully about your suggestion". Robbie leaves and doesn't go to the paper shop to ask for a paper round.

Felix turns the sign to closed, looking unhappy. He goes down his trapdoor, and Clare sneaks into the shop and looks around furtively. Seeing no-one she picks up a cut-throat razor and looks at in wonderingly. She then picks up the set of keys off the hook, but quickly puts them back when she hears a noise, and Felix appears from the trapdoor. He says hello, and Clare asks him what he has in the cellar. He says it's a secret, he keeps his private things there. Clare is terrified and runs away.

Pat is in a bad mood at breakfast and Roy notices but she won't tell him why. She disappears all day, having a brief conversation with David in the square, during which, with his usual sensitivity, he notices nothing unusual, and he tells Roy that she was fine when Roy comes looking for her later.

Bianca is in a horrendous mood and Ricky, insightful as usual, doesn't know why. She says he's going off on holiday for 2 weeks and she's stuck here, so they're going shopping. Ricky reluctantly goes along, and they argue all the way back after Bianca has "gone mad" and bought two reduced price dresses. Ricky whines about where is she going to wear two new dresses. Bianca says she'll think of somewhere while he's left her and is off having a nice time in Paris. He says it's not like that, Diane needs him to go, it's not a holiday. They go home, Ricky packs, Bianca sulks. She goes to the square to sit and sulk in the freezing cold. Ricky finds her an hour before he's leaving for Paris, and asks her what's wrong. She says "don't you know?" He says no, of course not. She says she can't believe he's going without her. Ricky says "You mean you want to come too?.. [DUH!!] ..Why didn't you say so?" She says she's been hinting all day. Ricky says well, OK you can come if you want, no-one's stopping you.

Bianca says "No-ones' stopping me??" Ricky says yea, come if you like, you have 45 minutes to pack if you want to come. Bianca, who has the cliché of cutting off her nose to spite her face down to a fine art, flounces off saying she won't come then. Ricky looks confused of course, as it was all way over his head.

Arthur is uneasy when Willy tells him that he is to be interviewed by the police, and wonders why he isn't.

Willy is interviewed by the police, and manages to stitch Arthur up subtly whilst saying what a good bloke he is. He says he has no idea how he could afford the holiday to Greece, or Pauline's trip to America. Willy gives a specimen signature. Willy says he has savings and does freelance work, while looking after his mother. He says Arthur is a street cleaner and Pauline works part- time in a launderette. The policewoman suggests that this is not the sort of family to afford so many foreign holidays.

Arthur has a bonfire at the allotments.

Blossom cooks cornmeal, and leaves the saucepan on the stove. Sonia comes in with Carol, and is hungry, so she tastes it. She says it's nice, is it for tea? Carol says leave it alone, it's nothing to do with you or me. Carol goes off busily. Later, Robbie finds he and yells that Sonia has eaten Well'ard's food. Carol rushes home, to find Sonia on the sofa feigning illness. She asks what's wrong and where does it hurt. Sonia plays up to all this attention. Carol is furious with Robbie, who can't understand it. Blossom appears at all the shouting, and Robbie says "tell her". Carol says what's this got to do with Blossom, it's your dog food. Blossom explains that she made cornmeal for Well'ard, and it was unflavoured but with a few tomatoes, etc.... Sonia looks sheepish and Carol looks annoyed. So it wasn't those tins of vegetarian dog food then? Alan says to Blossom that she should make some cornmeal for them all, it's a nice Jamaican dish. Carol tells Robbie that she's seen the newsagent and got him another paper round. He's not very happy, Sonia smirks.

It's now late at night and Pat's been wandering all day, finally she goes into the café to see Kathy when she's just closing. Kathy offers some pearls of wisdom about relationships being hard, and Pat says it's not that, and shows Kathy the mysterious letter she got. Kathy reads it - it is from a psychiatrist who is looking after Frank, and it says that he has asked to see his "wife and kids". Kathy asks Pat what she's going to do, and Pat says well...and tears up the letter.

Credits

Main cast

  • Pam St. Clement as Pat
  • Gillian Taylforth as Kathy
  • Bill Treacher as Arthur
  • Todd Carty as Mark
  • Michael Tudor Barnes as Willy
  • Sid Owen as Ricky
  • Patsy Palmer as Bianca
  • Michael French as David
  • Tony Caunter as Roy
  • Adam Woodyatt as Ian
  • Steve McFadden as Phil
  • Brian Croucher as Ted
  • Lindsey Coulson as Carol
  • Howard Antony as Alan
  • Dean Gaffney as Robbie
  • Natalie Cassidy as Sonia
  • Mona Hammond as Blossom
  • Harry Landis as Felix
  • Gemma Bissix as Clare
  • Alexia Demetriou as Janine
  • Daniela Denby-Ashe as Sarah
  • Mark Homer as Tony
  • Marty Cruickshank as D.S. Peters
  • Graeme Edler as D.C. Rice
  • Bert Crome as Sid
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