As Time Goes By (1992) s05e07 Episode Script

507 - Showered with Gifts

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # - You have put the eggs on top? - Of course I have.
If you bring any back cracked, it won't be my fault.
It'll be that thing.
I'll have you know that that "thing" has not had one mechanical failure since 1959.
I'm not talking about the engine, I'm talking about the way you drive it.
I have never driven over the island of a roundabout.
It wasn't me, that was Dolly Parton.
Oh, so she was driving your Skoda that evening? She was on the radio.
I got distracted.
Thank goodness she wasn't in the car with you.
You'd have hit every signpost from here to Winchester.
When are you coming out with me, then? When the moon turns to cheese.
I did ask for strawberries didn't I? Yeah, they're on the top with the eggs.
You've got people coming for the weekend, haven't you? How very perceptive of you.
- Do you want a hand up? - Certainly not! Goodbye, Mr Wells.
Bye, Mrs Bale.
It'll be the young Mr and Mrs Hardcastle coming down then, will it? Goodbye, Mr Wells.
I'll bet it will be them.
Well, we'll be ready for 'em.
I don't see why you don't come with us now.
What? Like this? We'd let the side down.
Contrary to male opinion, women can get ready quickly if they want to.
Mum, you have been up for the last two hours.
I had to get Lionel organised.
- He was ready long before you.
- Cos I got him organised.
Mum, we'll come down later as we arranged.
"Be with you in a minute," you said.
It occurred to me the girls could come down with us now.
- I don't think that's a good idea.
- You haven't gone off us? I've packed the car, jam-packed actually.
You couldn't get a teaspoon in there.
It's just a few odds and ends of things I need.
You do exaggerate sometimes.
I don't know where all these odds and ends come from.
Nothing seems to disappear from here.
I have a secret cellar, if you must know.
It wouldn't surprise me.
- What are you doing? - Pouring myself a mug of coffee.
- I'm ready to go.
- You were nattering when I came in.
I was trying to persuade the girls to come with us.
We can't do, because we're not ready.
And also, we don't fancy travelling on the roof rack.
So, shall I have this coffee or what? - I've told you, I'm ready to go.
- Right.
Mum, you are sure that you want us to stay for the weekend? We wouldn't have asked otherwise.
You asked.
Lionel does know about this, doesn't he? Of course he does.
He said, "Fine.
" Yes, there are ways of saying fine, aren't there? I mean you can say, "Fine!" Or you can say, "Fine.
" - You haven't even stood up! - Will you settle a point? When I suggested the girls and Alistair come down, did you say, "Fine!" or "Fine"? - I said, "If you like.
" - Oh.
You know how to make a girl feel wanted, Lionel.
Well, as a matter of fact, you'll all be very welcome.
We're not popular there.
- We only antagonised half the village.
- So far.
Are we ready to go now? I think I'll just have another cup of coffee.
We've got that Dutch station again.
Doesn't seem to pick up anything in English.
- Try looking for a Dutch station.
- It might just work.
French any good? # Everyday, it's a-gettin' closer # Goin' faster than a roller coaster # Love like yours will # Surely come my way # A-hey, a-hey, hey # They're coming.
Willie! They're coming! Mr Willis, they're coming! # Love like yours will surely come my way # A hey, a hey, hey # Mr Dunn! Mr Hardy, they're coming! # Loves a little stronger, come what may # Helen, they're coming.
# True love from me # Mr Dunn, they're coming.
# It's a-gettin' closer # Goin' faster than a roller coaster # Love like yours will surely come my way # A-hey, a-hey, hey # - What's going on? - I hope it's not a lynch mob.
I'm not driving backwards to the crossroads.
Now, just keep calm and try to avoid eye contact.
Look pleasant.
We may have antagonised half the village but we're well in with the other half.
I thought you waved very regally as we drove away.
Yes, to tell the truth I felt rather regal.
Well, I haven't been showered with gifts since Well, I've never been showered with gifts.
I might have a crack at this cider later.
You'll be flat on your back for the rest of the weekend.
How did Mr Wells describe it? "Tastier than nitroglycerine but with much the same effect.
" I still don't know why all this, though.
- They said thanks for everything.
- But what? Our mere presence.
- That's not very likely, is it? - Not hardly.
- Someone's left a firkin on the doorstep.
- Is that good or bad? Very good.
It's a barrel of ale.
What is going on, Mrs Bale? Don't you see? The other week at that barbecue, when you put those parvenus in their place, word got out and it went down well with the rest of the village.
They're showing appreciation.
It hardly warrants all this.
All we did was speak our minds.
Word has it, Mrs Hardcastle, that you threatened to set the dogs on them.
Yes, I did, but as we haven't got any dogs, it was rather an empty threat.
What about Mr Hardcastle throwing somebody over a hedge? I did no such thing.
I suggested he might if he was sufficiently enraged.
- I can't throw people over hedges.
- They didn't know that.
According to the butcher, you threw two people over the hedge.
How many did Jean throw over it? - I have no hearsay on that.
- That's a relief.
Mr Norris in the post office is telling everyone you put out their barbecue with a fire extinguisher.
No, I did nothing of the sort.
- Who started all these wild stories? - You, Mrs Bale? I refute that allegation with every fibre of my being.
- Well, who then? - I must pick some herbs.
Mrs Bale? There's something about this place.
We leave London as sane, reasonable people, half an hour later we're Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
What else are we supposed to have done? Well, somebody's started all this.
Whoever it is has a warped sense of humour and no regard for the truth whatsoever.
Oh, God.
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, the pair of you.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
That's a good one.
You're both old enough to know better.
Piffle! If you ever think you're old enough to know better, you ought to have yourself put down.
- There's some sense in that.
- No, there isn't.
Why spread all these wild stories? We didn't spread them at all.
We may not have discouraged anyone from believing them.
I keep asking.
Why? It does no harm to be held in a little esteem, does it? Not as a couple of tearaways.
Perhaps it did get a little out of hand, but you know what small communities are.
You sneeze at one end of the village.
By the time the story gets to the other, you're dying of pneumonia.
Isn't there a way to get it back into hand? You surprise me, Jean Pargetter.
That's a very dull thought.
Your husband is now known as the people's champion.
I don't want to be.
Leave it to Nigel Benn.
He's as nutty as a fruitcake.
He was going on about forming a people's militia to guard the factories a few years ago.
Not Tony Benn.
Nigel Benn, the boxer.
- How does he figure in all this? - He doesn't.
Lionel is simply saying all we wanted here was a quiet life.
Not a lot to ask.
So we got drawn into that so-called county set.
- Yahoos.
- Agreed.
But when we found that out, we told them Well - We told them what we thought of them.
- That's all.
We didn't throw people over hedges or go berserk with a fire extinguisher.
- We know that, dear.
- Could you let the village know it? I shouldn't think so.
They prefer the juicier version.
- Human nature.
- Think of the new friends you've made.
It can sometimes take years in a village to do that.
- You're wavering.
- Rocky has a point.
The wind is veering northeast in the Irish Sea.
- I'm lying of course.
- Why would you do that, Mrs Bale? I've already been called an inveterate liar once today.
I just thought you might have started those rumours.
And we're very contrite.
Mrs Bale.
Come down off your high horse, or I'll give you a good tickling.
Very well.
I accept your apology.
I am, as always, telling the truth when I say that the young people have arrived.
Oh, jolly! Mum, what on earth is going on? I'll tell you over lunch, a long one.
- Big Tom, he said his name was.
- Who did? The guy who asked us to deliver this piglet.
Oh! Oh, Mum, please let's keep him.
Oh, he's so sweet.
I know he's sweet, but I'm not keeping a piglet in Holland Park.
Lionel can build a little house for him in the garden.
He's only tiny.
Whatever happened to elementary biology? He'll grow.
Tell them about keeping a pig.
You've got to be practical.
Fatten him up and he'll fill your freezer one day.
- Freezer? - Oh, no.
It's what happens to pigs.
We can't do that.
We've met him now.
Well, it isn't a social thing, dear.
I shall be serving lunch in Oh, thank you.
Mrs Bale, you wouldn't look after the pig for us, would you? In a word, no.
I gladly embrace a wide range of duties but tending livestock is not one of them.
We could have him at the cottage but we're away such a lot.
Yes, you can hardly expect a pig to self-cater.
Mum? I'll think of something.
Funny, I hadn't envisaged carting a piglet about today.
It's your fault for becoming the local hero.
Put him down for a bit.
- Oh, Mr Ferris.
- Ah, good morning.
- Good morning.
- Morning, Mr Ferris.
We brought the piglet back.
We can't really keep him.
It's just not practical.
We can hardly take him for walks in the park, can we? Oh, dear, Big Tom will be upset.
- He won't be offended, will he? - No offence, but having a gift rejected He may be six foot eight, but he's got feelings.
We're not rejecting the gift, we just want somebody to look after him.
We'll sponsor him, of course.
- Sponsor him? - Pay for his keep and education.
It's the girls, you see.
They'd love to visit him from time to time.
- They've even given him a name.
- A name? - Roland.
- Roland? It's a nice name, isn't it? I never really thought of a pig having a name.
So, would you look after him? Yes, of course I will.
I've got an orchard round the back.
He'll be as happy as a pig in - An orchard? - An orchard, that's it.
Just one more thing.
We don't want him turned into bacon or sausages.
Just keep him, you mean? As a pet, really.
Lol Ferris keeping a pig called Roland as a pet? Wait till word gets round - There'll be laughs about that.
- We know it's not the country way.
- We know we're townies.
- Don't get that wrong.
The townies we don't like are the sort that come here claiming they like the country life and then do their damn silly best to spoil it.
Like that lot you sorted out.
We just had a row.
Whatever you've done, they've kept a very low profile ever since.
That suits all of us.
Look around you, there's not much wrong with it, is there? No, there isn't.
Well, now, I'd ask you in for a cup of tea but mother's cutting her toenail.
Oh, well, we'll leave her to it, then.
- Thank you for looking after Roland.
- Don't you worry.
Funny name for a sow.
It had to be pork for lunch, hadn't it? I just pushed mine round and round the plate.
I kept thinking of Roland's little face.
Roland's fine.
Lol's mother will probably knit him a little sweater for the winter.
But I wanted to talk to you.
I'm sorry, young fella, we're doing a time trial on the tandem this afternoon.
We'll have a natter down the pub this evening.
You're all coming, aren't you? It's not a country-and-western night, is it? There are times when I despair of you.
No, it's not.
See you all this evening.
Hang loose.
Bye! Good luck! Time trial on a tandem.
I don't expect it will be a fast time trial.
The timekeeper will probably use a grandfather clock.
It's a lovely afternoon.
I think I'm gonna slip into a bikini and catch some sun.
Good idea.
I think I'll join you.
- I'd rather you didn't.
- Alistair, are you feeling unwell? I thought you'd be out with three towels.
I just wanted everyone to hear my idea.
You see, Lionel was telling me earlier how this house is a white elephant, and I have had an idea.
This isn't really any of my business, so I'll You've met our mad relatives and haven't flinched.
- You're part of the family now.
- Oh, gee, Daddy.
- Almost part of the family.
- What's your idea, Alistair? - Can I call you Daddy? - I'd sooner you didn't.
- People, please.
- Let's get Alistair's idea over with.
- Over with? - No, listened to.
Listened to.
Thank you.
Now, your prob as I see it is that this house is empty for, what, It should be earning money.
If it's a hotel, Lionel's already thought of it.
A hotel? What, with Lionel running it? I'd die to see that.
I then rejected the idea, all right? I wasn't thinking of a hotel anyway.
My idea is a conference centre.
Any more funnies, or shall I go on? No, go on.
Li, there are corporate people out there who'd give up their Rolexes for a spot like this.
Conference centres are in! Firms do seem to be having a lot of conferences these days.
Have conferences about conferences.
The best our office can manage is a spritzer at the local wine bar.
You may be a member of the family but you're not irreplaceable.
You've gone very quiet, Li.
Well, I wouldn't want a load of lager louts trampling all over the place.
I should have said, executive conference centre.
- They'd still trample all over the place.
- What exactly would this entail? An attentive staff, headed by someone who is Mr Charm personified.
I wouldn't want to get involved in running the place.
I didn't actually have you in mind, Li.
- Lionel can be very charming.
- I know.
But it's not that often, is it? Well, he's never tried it on a professional basis.
I don't intend to start.
I'm not going around beaming at people all day.
That's my point.
We'll get someone.
I'll headhunt a face from somewhere.
I don't fancy a conference going on while we're here, however executive it is.
Li, you book conference dates around your dates.
We'll need to speak to Father and Madge.
We decided that when Lionel flirted with the idea - of becoming a latter-day Basil Fawlty.
- He gave us the house That's why I wanted them here before they tore off on their tandem.
We'll catch them later.
Now, any other frowns I can iron out? I shall be serving coffee in six and half minutes.
Mrs Bale! Why is everyone staring at me? How can I put this? Mrs Bale, if, and it's a big if, if we were to use this house as a conference centre during the week, would you stay on as housekeeper? Provided there were no shenanigans in the rooms, it might prove to be quite exhilarating.
I wonder what she meant by "exhilarating".
We'd have to jazz her up a bit.
Try it, Alistair, and you value your life very cheaply.
I wonder what she meant by "shenanigans".
Li, are we in orbit with this one? Perhaps not in orbit but it's worth thinking about.
Great! So, why don't you girls go and lie out in your bikinis and we'll talk about life.
The sun's gone in.
The sacrifices I make for this family.
You know, Alistair, you do make sacrifices for our family.
- That was just a joke.
- Yeah, I know it was.
But you're always there for us.
Any problem and up you pop like a guardian angel.
Well, perhaps not quite an angel.
Maybe you're the family I never had.
Alistair, you did have a family.
You told me about them.
- Don't have, then.
- You're not a very convincing orphan.
OK, then, I like you guys.
Really, I do.
I like Li.
I like Jean.
- I like - You were chasing her, once.
You even sent her a gorilla-gram.
That was just a phase.
Didn't work, anyway.
She made him take his head off but you - I don't want a gorilla-gram.
- What I'm trying to say is you are the reason.
Well, our history doesn't exactly back that up, does it? Why don't we sneak off together for a quiet meal? Just the two of us, this evening.
I think I'd like that.
It's always been you.
You know that.
Sometimes Oh, Sandy did put her bikini on, after all.
Reflex action.
Reflex action! - May I help? - Oh, sorry, Mrs Bale.
- May I help? - Oh, sorry, Mrs Bale.
I was just helping myself to a drink.
- You should have called me.
- I couldn't find you.
- In that case, we'll overlook the matter.
- Thank you, Mrs Bale.
Actually, I was in the garden, talking to Ernie.
One of Lol's brothers.
The next one up, I think.
He brought this note for you.
I've never met him.
It's addressed to Miss X.
Just as well he didn't slip it under the door.
Might have fallen into the wrong hands.
"Dear Miss, Please do take this amiss, miss, "but the pleasure of your company "would be greatly esteemed at the Stag And Huntsman this evening.
"Assuring you of our best intentions at all times, "your obedient servant sorry, servants, "Lol, Tom, Ernie, Harry, Willie, Jack, and Dennis Ferris.
" How quaintly phrased.
I've just been invited out by all seven Ferris brothers.
- Very flattering.
- Well, I suppose so.
But seven?! I've never been asked out by seven blokes before.
- And you probably won't be again.
- That's true.
It says, VSOP at the bottom.
I assume that means RSVP.
A phone call will do.
I won't have to phone all seven, will I? Just Lol.
Oh, one word of warning.
The drink tends to flow rather freely at the Stag And Huntsman.
I suggest a large helping of mashed potato before you go.
Compliments of the Ferris boys.
- Oh, no! - We'll never get through all this.
They won't take no for an answer.
We'll be legless by closing time.
Oh, don't worry about that.
Big Tom always brings his tractor and his trailer.
- He'll drop you off.
- I shall look forward that.
Toast time again.
- Cheers, lads! - Cheers, boys! Thank you! - Is Sandy all right over there? - She looks happy enough.
- They won't get out of hand, will they? - I hope not.
Oh, of course not.
They may look a bit rough but they're some of nature's gentlemen, the Ferris boys.
- Was their mother a big woman? - No, no, a tiny little thing.
But still quite capable of giving them a good clip round the ear.
May we get the conversation back to where it was? Yes, of course, my boy.
Why? Where was it? I asked you and Madge about this conference centre idea.
Yes, and I said, "Rock on!" - Then you talked about something else.
- Gherkins.
Well, they're jolly interesting things, gherkins.
Lionel's worried you didn't take the matter very seriously.
- No need.
- The house is yours now.
You don't have to ask us every time you want to hang a picture.
This is bigger than hanging a picture.
- It's a major decision.
- Which you made.
Well, as good as.
Well, let's get on with enjoying ourselves.
- Fair enough.
- We never asked how the time trial went.
- Oh - Something of a disaster, I'm afraid.
We came 45th out of 45.
That's not a disaster.
You're only slightly above average age.
Yes, we were but we did expect to finish at least two places higher.
It would have been more if it hadn't been for the hedgehog.
- Oh, you didn't run over a hedgehog? - No, we swerved to avoid it.
But this caused Rocky to break wind and I got a fit of the giggles and we lost valuable time.
Perhaps we should get a tandem.
- What? - Are you with us? Yes, but I shan't be much longer if people go on buying us drinks.
All health, from Bill and Molly Kindred at the garage.
- Oh, thank you very much! - Thank you! We've never even bought any petrol there.
Ah, that's no matter at all.
It's a question of finding room on the table.
Thanks very much.
Er, ladies and gentlemen.
I know that tonight is not the official singing night but I'm sure we'd all be delighted if our guest of honour would favour us with a song.
He means you.
He means you.
- I don't sing! - Yes, of course you do! You sing in the bath.
You had a very clear soprano when you were a boy.
Well, I'm not a boy now.
No, I'm sorry.
I don't sing.
- Oh, come on.
- No, no, really.
I'm very sorry Just hold on, now! If the owner of a Victoria Cross don't want to sing, then he don't sing.
What about Madge? Come on, Madge! - Come on.
- Come on.
No, no.
I've got a tickle in my throat.
She always says that.
Just one song, then.
I'll tell you what, let's do Tie A Yellow Ribbon.
# Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree # It's been three long years # Do you still want me? # If I don't see a ribbon round the old oak tree # I'll stay on the bus, forget about us, put the blame on me # If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree # How long has she been going on now? Half an hour so far.
- You didn't have to wait for me.
- I did, actually.
I don't - Good evening, Mr Wells.
- Hello, Mr Wells.
- Thanks again for that cider.
- Have you tried it yet? - We haven't had a chance.
- Go careful when you do.
- Madge? - At full blast.
I mustn't miss that.
Oh, I know what I wanted to ask you.
I know there's been a lot of gossip in the village.
I know things get blown up, but when you had that set-to with the posh folk, did you really throw six of them over the hedge? Mr Wells, I give you my word that I did not.
- Ohhh - It was only two.
Oh, that's still not bad, now, is it? - I'll see you later.
- Yes.
Why'd you tell him that? As a holder of the Victoria Cross, you have a reputation.
By this time, I'm quite surprised I was only awarded one.
- I noticed you didn't deny it in there.
- Would you contradict the Ferris boys? Fair enough.
- Why did you have to wait for me? - Fond as I am of Madge, I don't think I could stand one more country-and-western song.
I've been thinking about this conference centre business.
You've gone off the idea, haven't you? - Yes.
- I'm glad.
Are you? Why? Tell me why you've gone off it.
Well they treat you rather nice down here.
The drinking's a bit fierce, but they're good people.
What would we get at a conference centre? A lot of turbo-charged high-flyers.
They wouldn't fit in a place like this.
They'd get bored and want change.
I don't think this place needs it.
Lol said it this morning.
"Look around," he said.
"There's not much wrong with it.
" I knew you'd remember that.
How? Because by the time Madge got on to her fourth song, I was remembering it too.
- You didn't mind coming out here? - No, I was rather excited by it.
It's ages since a boy asked me to step outside for some fresh air.
- Boy? - Chap, then.
- Who was the boy ages ago? - You.
At a staff dance at the hospital.
I think there were more couples out in the fresh air than on the dance floor.
Shall we step outside for a breath of fresh air? We have.
I know.
# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # And when two lovers woo # They still say I love you # On that you can rely # The world will always welcome lovers # As time goes by #