Clearly the script-writers, like the rest of us, could take no more of Jude. With brutal speed they dispatched him to roam America, sans Pip. Go West, young man. No, a bit further than Penny Hassett. If only he could have taken Brenda and Helen with him, my cup would have runneth over. Just imagine the three of them in a Thunderbird convertible, barrelling along the Big Sur Highway. They could fuel the car on whinge-gas alone.
The departure of Jude and his irritating text-speak was an occasion of great delight for everyone, particularly me, David and Ruth. Everyone, in fact, except poor old Pip, who has lost her Fizz. Her wailing reminded me very strongly of being dumped myself, at seventeen – even though surely I must have been quite pulchritudinous and fascinating – by an older man. Well, he was eighteen but he’d been to Belgium, so he seemed very worldly. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? No, I don’t mean to Belgium.
I thought Ruth did a fair job of comforting Pip, at least until she started banging on about college again. I’m learning a lot of parenting techniques from Ruth, though I’m mainly filing them in the ‘how not to do it’ section. I also learned a lot from David, who, when confronted with his post-Jude daughter, decided to focus entirely on a cow he was grooming. Grooming as in brushing it and tying ribbons on its tail, rather than preparing it for an illegal relationship. At least, I think so. Their skirting-around conversation about forelocks and rosettes was meant to be a metaphor for everything being okay between the two of them, but it just made them seem completely suppressed and weird. Which is accurate enough, on reflection.
It’s not just Pip sobbing into her pillow, of course. Ambridge is a veritable vale of tears at the moment. Jamie, for instance, is in something of a doldrum. Not only is his dad now serving pints to St Peter, but his Mum has become an over-protective boring harridan (what do I mean, has become?) If I hear Kathy say ‘Jaaaamie’ in that infuriating ‘I’m super-caring’ tone one more time, I’ll probably do what he did and storm out, slamming doors and yelling that nothing means batshit any more.
Kathy too, has joined the Crying Crew, making Sid’s demise worse for her and Jamie by choosing this moment to fall out with Kenton. Normally I am not in the least bit sympathetic to Kathy, but it did slightly break my heart when she admitted to Pat that Kenton was ‘like a shell’ when he was with her. How poignant, Kathy, and how true. So remember, if you love someone, set them free. Or try and work it out together. Whichever makes for better radio.
Queen of Sorrow is Jolene, who has been literally struck dumb by the loss of Sid. Her already husky voice has completely disappeared so that, on the rare occasions she does say something, everyone has to turn the volume up to maximum. Only to have their ear-drums blasted out straight after by Fallon’s thousand-decibel reply. Actually, having gone through this several times, I can confidently state there’s no need to adjust the dial: Jolene’s not saying anything of any interest. She’s just sad, basically, and that’s that.
There’s another recent widow in Ambridge. However, in defiance of the norm, Jill is not sobbing into her bread and butter pudding, but skipping round the village like a young calf. If she’s not starring in bizarre cookery videos on Youtube, or offering teen counselling advice to Ruth, she’s chillin’ with Josh down at the beehives. She seems to have blossomed somewhat since Phil took his astronomy interest to the next level and joined the starry constellations. Far be it for me to point up the comparison, but in terms of dragging a partner down, was Phil to Jill what Kathy is to Kenton? I merely raise the question, but would urge Jill, as his mother, to have a word with Kenton about cutting loose. As Jill and Jude seem to understand so clearly, being alone can sometimes be considerably more fun than the alternative.
Posted by Qwerty