As Time Goes By (1992) s06e04 Episode Script

604 - What's Wrong with Mrs. Bale?

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # Are there any hedgehogs here? Not unless they have oxygen masks.
Why? I can hear a sort of snuffling noise.
That's me breathing.
Shall we have a little rest? It's not far to the top now.
- I know but shall we have a little rest? - Oh, yes.
Why do we have to have a picnic on a mountain? It's Madge and Rocky's idea.
It's only a hill.
Of the mountainous variety.
Come on, Tenzing, one last thrust to the top.
We can plant a Union Jack when we get there.
If - that's an if.
There you are.
- Ah, there you are! - Ah! You know, we'd almost given you up.
- Oh! - Come and have some champagne.
Oh! The top of Everest was never like this.
- When did you set out? - Several days ago.
Two hours ago.
When did you two set out? - Oh, about 20 minutes ago.
- You're not telling us you climbed up? I'm tempted to but no, Mrs Bale ran us up in the motorbike and sidecar.
She's just nipped back for the hamper.
Ah, there she is now.
I think she could have been Calamity Jane in a previous existence.
But a word of warning - treat her with care.
She's been looking after us at the cottage and she's been distinctly peculiar.
- She's always peculiar.
- Yes, we know that but, er, this is distinctly.
I'm sorry I took so long, I had an altercation.
- Indians? - Some fool on a mountain bike.
- He's not injured, is he? - Just winded.
- Let me give you a hand, Mrs Bale.
- I can manage, thank you.
After I've taken Mr and Mrs Hardcastle Senior home I shall prepare your supper.
You don't have to - we can manage.
I shall be along to prepare your supper later.
I am not, as some people would have it, a spent force.
- You all right? - Five of us on a motorbike and sidecar.
- I thought it was fun.
- Downhill.
- That was the best bit.
- There's something in the water here.
We could become a display team.
- Oh - Are you sure you're all right? A bit heady, that's all.
Probably drinking champagne at altitude.
- Wasn't that fun! - That's just what I've been saying.
How about you, young fella? I should never have allowed myself to get talked into it.
I despair of you sometimes.
I'm going to fetch the furniture.
- Would you like a hand? - No, thank you.
I am not in my dotage.
- I didn't mention dotage.
- Just as well.
Distinctly.
- Rocky, what have you said to her? - Why pick on me? - Well, you're the most likely candidate.
- Condemned without a hearing.
- You called her a silly old bat earlier.
- I've been calling her that for years.
It's a form of endearment.
Yes, it is.
If Rocky didn't call her that at least once a day she'd feel neglected.
Well, somebody's said something to her.
It wasn't when I said the pork pie was hard? - She was fractious long before that.
- Perhaps it's a man.
A man? Yes, you know - trousers, low voice, that sort of thing.
- Mrs Bale?! - Don't say it like that, it is Mrs Bale.
There must have been a Mr Bale, and one assumes he was a man.
He was an unmitigated swine, I'm afraid.
- Really? - He was assistant manager at the Co-op.
- He ran off with a dolly bird.
- Good gracious.
- When was this? - Oh, way back in the mists of time.
She never talks about him.
Yes but I'm not talking about someone from the "mists of time," - I'm talking about a man now.
- A man now?! Don't start that again.
Well, it doesn't sound terribly likely, does it? - What's the name of the grocer? Mr? - Harris.
- No, Wells.
- Wells.
Wells.
- What about him? - He's always very attentive.
I know for a fact he invited her to the pictures the other week.
- Did she go? - Well, no.
Of course.
It's not a man at all.
A woman?! Oh, don't be silly.
No, I've just remembered two things that she said.
"I am not in my dotage," and "I am not a spent force.
" It's hardly likely that a suitor would accuse her of being those, is it? - You're right.
- Don't all look so surprised! I'm not just a pretty face.
She's a first-rate drummer, too.
- So it's not a man.
- I never believed it was.
- Then you say something constructive.
- Ask Mrs Bale.
- Frontal attack? - Over the top with fixed bayonets? - She'll never tell us.
- We won't know if we don't ask.
Don't go at it like a bull in a china shop.
What? When you ask her.
- Come in.
- Afternoon, all.
- Oh, come in Lol.
- I better not, I've been composting so I probably pong a bit.
I just came to say I'll be off now.
- Oh, right.
See you next week then.
- Oh, er, right, er - I'll be off then.
- Bye, Lol.
Have a nice weekend.
Oh, er, right then.
- Er, I'll be off then! - Ahem.
The boy needs paying.
Oh! Oh, I'm sorry, Lol.
Why didn't you say? I didn't like to.
Mrs Bale usually handles that.
Oh, er Oh, my handbag's in the kitchen.
- I'll wait there.
Afternoon, all.
- Bye, Lol.
- Now there's a source.
- He only wanted his wages.
No, the other sort of source - local knowledge.
I wonder if he has any idea what ails Mrs Bale.
- Worth a crack.
- Well l'll ask.
Don't go at it like a bull in a china shop, will you? Lol! - Yes? - Oh.
I didn't mean to startle you.
You had a hook loose.
Fine.
Now, where did I? Oh, there.
There we are.
- Thanks, Lol.
- Thank you very much.
I'll be off then.
- Would you like a cup of tea? - No, I've got to wash Mother's hair.
Perhaps something stronger? Whoa! No, she smells drink on my breath before sunset there'll be hell to pay! - I'll be off then.
- Lol, just a minute.
Erm, I want to ask you something.
Oh, er, is it of a horticultural nature? Well not exactly.
Only, I'm I'm not a lot of good outside that.
No, it's it's about Mrs Bale.
- Oh, dear.
- Why "oh, dear"? Well, she-she-she-she's a woman.
- Yes, I know.
So am I.
- That makes it worse.
I'm out of my depth with women.
- No, this isn't a personal question.
- What then? Do you know anything that could have upset her recently? - That is personal.
- Yes, I suppose it is but this is not a prurient enquiry.
Pr r Isn't it? I'm not just being nosy, I'm very fond of Mrs Bale and if she is upset I'd like to know why.
Well, that's very tender of you.
Thank you.
So would you have any idea what it is? No.
- Oh! Mind you, there was one thing.
- Yes? There was talk of a balloonist.
- A balloonist?! - As I say, it were just gossip.
- Quite.
What happened? - I'd have to ask Mother.
- 'Tis 15 years ago.
- Oh.
It can hardly be that then, can it? Probably not.
Er, erm Is it all right if I go now? - Oh, yes, of course.
- See you next weekend then.
Right.
- I've just had a thought! - Yes? There is one way of finding out what's bothering Mrs Bale.
- How? - Ask her.
- I'm not very hungry.
- You're not angling for a custard tart? No.
To tell the truth, I don't feel 100% at all.
You don't want to talk to Mrs Bale.
- No.
- Oh, no? I mentioned it over soup - which you ate heartily.
- Drank.
- Drank, drank.
Over the main course we decided to talk to her after pudding.
So you start picking at your lamb.
Now you're pushing the crumble around and saying you're at death's door.
- If you - Winds are strong in Shetland and Why do you both stop talking every time I come in to the room? - Coincidence.
- The end of a sentence.
I refuse to believe that "if you" is the end of a sentence.
"If you did," that was a whole sentence.
Did what? Hop.
We're talking about hopping.
- Really? - Yes.
Our conversations are far-ranging.
Your rhubarb crumble is not digested, it's merely disturbed.
- I don't feel very well.
- Nonsense.
A large brandy will do the trick.
- No, I don't think - Shall I serve the coffee now? - Now, please, Mrs Bale.
- As you will.
You can continue your conversation about hopping.
You see? She said nonsense.
She's always said that about illness.
If I walked in here with a spear in my chest she'd say, "Do pull that out, it's ruining your shirt.
" It's illness now? Not just not feeling well, it's illness? - Call it what you like.
- It was your idea to talk to her.
Yes.
But not for me to do the talking.
You volunteered me.
- You've known her longer than I have.
- But you're a woman.
Why do men always say it like that? - Well - I'll tell you why, cos it's a cop-out.
"You're a woman" is meant to sound flattering.
What it really is, is "this is a dirty job and will you do it?" - I thought you weren't a feminist? - I'm not but I am a woman.
I'm not faking, I really don't feel up to a heart-to-heart with Mrs Bale.
Oh! - Oh! Oh, you are rather hot.
- I know.
Perhaps you'd better have an early night.
Yes, perhaps I'd better.
Why don't we both have an early night? - I thought you weren't well? - Not that sort of early night.
I meant, let's talk to her tomorrow.
No, something's bothering her, and I really Mid-sentence again.
- I'm going to bed.
- I really do think you should go to bed.
- It's no good buckling under.
- I'm not, I'm just going to bed.
- Open all the windows.
- Yes, Mrs Bale.
- I shan't be up late myself.
- All right.
- Er, a liqueur? - No, thanks, Mrs Bale.
Why don't you sit down and have Lionel's coffee? - Sit down? - I feel like Queen Victoria.
Well, if you insist.
I don't insist, I was just inviting you.
Shall I pour? - Certainly not! - Oh! Sorry.
- Well, let's chat.
- Chat? Yes, that thing that men imagine we do all the time.
He was a slender man with piercing blue eyes.
- Who? - The balloonist that Lol mentioned.
- How did you know about that? - Lol's mother told Mrs Tring who told Mr Wells the grocer, who told me when I went in for some eggs.
It makes e-mail look obsolete.
And in answer to your question, yes, we did have a brief but very passionate affair.
- Are you shocked? - No.
I mean, a slender balloonist with piercing blue eyes Well, any woman could No, that wasn't my question, Mrs Bale.
- I wasn't delving into your private life.
- Then what were you doing? - We're friends, aren't we? - No.
I have a great deal of respect for you and you're the best thing that ever happened to Mr Lionel - but friends? - Could we begin? - Where? - You could call me Jean.
- I most certainly could not! - And I could call you - Mrs Bale.
Yes, all right, Mrs Bale.
I'll come straight to the point.
We all know that something's troubling you and is there anything that we can do to help? Anything I can do? - I apologise.
- What for? For allowing any small problem I may have to affect my efficiency as a housekeeper.
It doesn't.
It hasn't.
- What small problem? - Mine.
Lol Ferris always describes you as a tender woman.
- It makes me sound like a steak.
- No, it doesn't.
And he's right.
- Mrs Bale.
- Yes? One day will you tell me more about the slender balloonist? Perhaps.
One day.
Shh! Shh! Who are you talking to? The door.
- Did I wake you? - No, I was just dozing.
Oh, sorry.
Oh! You didn't have to do that.
Yes, I did.
The suspense of waiting for you to bump into something would've kept me awake.
- How are you feeling? - Still putting it on.
You're not going to go all noble on me? - I don't feel at all noble.
- Mrs Bale said open the window.
- Mrs Bale is a Spartan.
- Let some fresh air in.
- Why?! - Because I used to be a nurse.
- Did you freeze patients to death? - All the time.
- Have you had a drink? - Yes.
I've got a case of Scotch under the bed.
- You're gonna be difficult, aren't you? - You can't come in here! Why? Are you expecting someone else? You might catch whatever I've got.
I'm gonna catch it anyway, aren't I? Terrible draught from that window.
Think of it as fresh air.
If you're no better in the morning I'll call the doctor.
- I don't want a doctor.
- I'll call him anyway.
- Damn.
- You'll have to swear harder than that.
No, I need a pee.
Ohh.
- Do you want a bottle? - Certainly not.
- I can manage! - Let's just see, shall we? Get the dressing gown on.
Are you trying to dislocate my shoulder? - There's a knack to this.
- You've lost it.
Let me do it.
There! Did you have a chat with Mrs Bale? More of a fencing match.
I didn't get past her guard once.
- You don't have to come with me! - Just as far as the bathroom door.
You look a bit wobbly to me.
You nurses and your professional jargon.
- And don't lock the door.
- I shan't pitch headfirst down the loo.
I sincerely hope not.
Just don't lock the door.
- What's going on? - I'm being taken for a wee-wee.
Come along then.
I can do it by myself! Well, don't lock it! I'll do a deal - I won't lock it if you'll both move away or sing.
- What shall we sing? - Let's just move away.
I know men can be awful babies but how is he? A bit babyish but he's not at all well.
Shall I whip up an egg custard? On the whole I think not, Mrs Bale.
A good night may help.
If not I'll call the doctor.
- The local doctor? - Yes.
Why? - Why not see your own doctor? - It's a long drive.
I meant go back to London in the morning.
Not if Lionel's not better.
Why, what's wrong with the local chap? - I didn't say anything was wrong.
- You made a face.
I expect Mr Lionel will be quite well in the morning.
Call me if you need me.
Good night.
Good night.
Are you all right in there? I asked you to move away or sing.
# Raindrops keep falling on my head # But that doesn't mean to say # Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Mrs Bale! That's a very silly hat you're wearing.
People who live in greenhouses Mine is functional.
Yours, I assume, is some sort of fashion statement.
It isn't.
Just something I threw on.
I should throw it off again if I were you.
- Now, if you'll excuse me.
- Going scrambling? I'm going to get something for Mr Lionel.
He's not very well.
- What's the trouble? - The trouble is that Mrs Hardcastle the younger has sent for the doctor.
The front door's open.
Let yourself in.
What's wrong with sending for the doctor? Hi, honey, I'm home! Alistair? Where did you spring from? Jean, you were a nurse, you should know.
How's my main man? Not well.
He's hardly touched his breakfast.
Shall I get him a custard tart? - I think not.
Come and have some tea.
- Right.
Incidentally do you like the hat? It looks a bit silly.
Oh! I'll go.
You have a sit-down.
No, no, no.
I'll go.
I'll go.
Oh I'm not used to Lionel being ill.
He'll be fine.
The guy's an old bull elephant.
- Mrs Bale said you'd sent for the doctor.
- He's coming after surgery.
She didn't sound that keen on the idea.
She's more faith in some old girl with a cauldron.
Where does she keep this cauldron? Ask her, if you have the nerve.
No thanks, I don't see meself as a frog.
It is good to see you but you haven't told me why you're here.
Oh, erm Li and I were going to the races this afternoon.
He hates horse racing.
Ah, no, this is, er, point-to-point.
Still horses, isn't it? Well, yes, but Ah, do I hear that bell again? I wish I'd never given it to him.
Those stairs lose their novelty value after the 15th time.
Let me do it.
This could be a a guy-to-guy thing.
Yes, like his new-found interest in horse racing.
Right! He's coming! He's coming! You rang, master? - Just trying to raise a smile, Li.
- What are you doing here? Not basking in the warmth of your welcome! We had a date, remember? Oh, yes.
Well, that's off.
Where's Jean? Having a sit-down.
I get the impression you've been over-tinkling.
As a matter of fact I've been a model of restraint.
- Rocky and Madge.
- Oh, they're all I need.
Leave this to me, mate, I'll stop 'em in their tracks.
Might as well try to stop a tank with a popgun.
Well, yes, he is rather.
How did you know? Mrs Tring's daughter in the surgery told her mother.
She told Molly Kindred at the garage.
Who mentioned it to Mrs Williams, who told us.
Remind me to start a rumour down here one day.
- We'd better go and see the boy.
- Ginger him up.
- I don't think - No point in disturbing him, he's sleeping like a baby.
Must've been a catnap.
Come on, Madge.
Gingering up, that's what he needs.
- What did he want that time? - I never found out.
- This will do the trick.
- What's in the bowl? Goose fat.
- Did you say goose fat? - And brown paper on the chest.
It never fails.
Oh! Yes?! - Dr Stoker.
- I'm so sorry.
Do come in.
It's not, er, Bram Stoker, is it? I'm not being smothered in goose fat and that's final! Nobody mentioned smothering! They work wonders, these old-fashioned remedies.
- A bread poultice? - They're for cuts.
Who cares? Slap one on anyway.
- Will you undo these - Go away! - Be a brave boy.
- I will not be a brave boy! The doctor's here! - Good morning.
- Morning.
- All of you, out.
- Take your goose fat with you.
I shall be outside.
All right, let's have a look at you.
- You don't look well.
- That's encouraging.
- Hot and cold? - Yes.
- Achey joints? - Yes.
- You're not well.
- I realised that.
It's going round, this, erm - What is? - Whatever it is.
Well, don't you know what it is? No.
- What are you writing? - A prescription.
But you don't know what's wrong with me.
Well, it's worth a try, isn't it? Or we could go for those.
Might work.
You're not still sulking over your goose fat, Mrs Bale? I'm not sulking at all.
I'm concerned about Mr Hardcastle the younger.
- He'll be OK, the doc's with him.
- That's what I'm concerned about.
- He was a fat lot of good.
- What did he say? - It's something going around.
- Wonderful, modern medicine.
- He's a charlatan.
- I wouldn't put it like that.
With a bedside manner like that he should be a mortuary attendant.
- Now what are you doing up? - Having a moan.
- What was his name again? - Stoker.
He's the local man.
- We never go to the doctor's.
- What do you do when you're ill? - Get better, of course.
- Yes.
Which is what you must do.
I'm not having that goose fat.
Speaking as someone who trained with Florence Nightingale, it's a virus and you'll be fine soon.
- We don't need that prescription then.
- He wouldn't prescribe anything bad.
- Hmm - I could whizz down the chemist now.
- Oh, would you? - We've got to get down to Brighton.
- What for? - Stock-car racing.
- You're not? - We're watching! We're watching! Don't let him be a nuisance, Jean Pargetter.
- I shan't.
Bye.
- Bye.
I'll be back before you can say, "are you back already?" - I think I'm going back to bed.
- I should.
And I don't want to see Dr Death again.
"Spent force" indeed! It was him! - He upset you.
- Very well, it was him.
I went to see him a few days ago, against my better judgment.
I've been feeling a little tired.
"A spent force" wasn't his actual diagnosis, was it? He may not have used those actual words but the implication was clear.
He kept saying, "at your time of life".
- He said that to me.
- "Everything's bound to slow down.
" - And that! - Did he prescribe anything? Oh, I poured that straight down the sink.
- Oh, Mrs Bale! - Lol's mother made me up a potion and I feel as right as rain again.
- What was in it? - Who's to say? We know who to call next time somebody's unwell - Lol's mother.
Not if she ever finds out you refused the goose fat.
I am going back to bed now.
Yes, come on, soldier.
Shall I carry you up? Not at our time of life, Mrs Bale.
There.
Comfy? - Yes, thank you, Nurse.
- Would you like the curtains closed? No, I might miss Lol's mum flying past on her broomstick.
- I've been overusing the bell, haven't I? - Marginally.
- Lionel.
- Mm.
You did know Alistair was coming? Of course.
- You didn't say anything.
- I thought I did.
He said you're going racing.
You don't like racing.
Oh, this isn't horses, this is cars.
- Alistair said it was horses.
- Oh.
Unless it was horses racing cars.
- It's not fair to interrogate a sick man.
- I know.
So what have you planned? All right, if you must know.
No, no, no, no.
I don't have to know.
Well? We were going into Winchester.
Alistair knows an antique jeweller.
I wanted to find something special for your birthday.
Oh, that's sweet! I shouldn't do that, you might catch what I've got.
I think I've got it anyway.
Oh, dear.
You hopping in? No, I'm just gonna lie down for a bit.
Two things - no Dr Death and no goose fat and brown paper.
Right.
You'd better have this.
# 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 #