Hi all! Go pour yourself a cuppa, there’s been some serious story this week.
Let’s start with Hayley. You might want a kleenex to go with that cuppa, if you’re like me. I swear, the dust and pollen count must have risen a thousandfold on my sofa by the end of Friday’s episode.
So, they found something wrong with her medical tests. “But I’m never ill,” says Hayley. “Well,” says the new lady doctor, “it’s about time you got your money’s worth out of the NHS.” She’s scheduled for an ultrasound. When she goes back to the flat, Roy fusses. Hayley doesn’t tell them that there’s something amiss. In a heartbreaking little moment, Sylvia reassures Roy that there was nothing to worry about after all, and he gives his mum a thumbs up in an oven mitt. Roy even falls asleep on the sofa. The next day at the café, Hayley has lunch with Fiz when Roy comes over: he’d be lost without her, he says affectionately. We’d all be lost without Hayley, chimes in Fiz. Hayley looks like she may burst into tears. The strain of keeping the tests secret starts to overwhelm her. Sylvia susses out that there’s something off, as Hayley’s been acting anxious – she forces it out of her. Sylvia quite agrees about not telling Roy, and offers to go with her for the ultrasound test. At the factory, Hayley is even short with Beth and Fiz – it’s unlike her, and it’s noticed.
When she goes for the ultrasound, though the technician tries to be reassuring, it’s clear there’s something quite wrong. The technician can’t tell her anything, though, that’s down to the new lady doctor. Hayley’s on the street after the appointment when the doctor calls her in immediately. Not a good sign. The GP tries to be reassuring, how it could be something as simple as gallstones that’s showing a blockage in her bile ducts. She needs a CT scan to know what it is, and quickly. Hayley insists she has a right to know what she’s facing, for her mental health. When she comes home, Sylvia’s covered for her by saying she went to the shops. Roy fusses, and Sylvia sends him off in her Sylvia way. Once they’re alone, Sylvia asks Hayley outright what they found, to which Hayley replies that they don’t yet know, but it could be cancer. But they don’t know what it is, how advanced, if it’s digestive system… Sylvia wants her to tell Roy, but Hayley’s not ready yet. Poor Hayley. She confesses she’s scared as Sylvia folds her in for a hug.
The day of the CT scan, Roy’s up, bright eyed and bushy tailed. “You haven’t told him”, notes Sylvia. At work, Hayley says Beth is short on her order. Beth complains so loudly that you’d think she was being persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. That would be…. unexpected. Yes, I went there. Anyway, Carla breaks it up. Hayley goes to have a word with her, asks for extra time off. She won’t get it without reason, as she just had time off. She tells Carla she’s got to go for a CT scan, but that they don’t know what it is yet. Carla is very worried, and shuts the blinds into the office. Of course Hayley can have the time, and Carla will drive her to the scan. Don’t be daft, says Hayley, I’ll take the bus. But while she’s waiting at the bus stop, up comes Carla in her car. Hop in, she says! But don’t tell anyone: “I’m meant to be a bitch and you’ll ruin my reputation.” Hilariously, Carla reads a Cosmo-style relationship quiz in the waiting room at the hospital. She says she’ll wait, but Hayley sends her back.
Finally, Hayley meets with a concerned looking specialist and a serious-faced nurse. They’ve found a tumor. Hayley has pancreatic cancer.
(Has anyone read The Last Lecture? It’s not my usual type of read, but I found it quite inspiring.)
Peter starts the week at Deirdre’s moping, he doesn’t want to go back to his flat and see Carla. Deirdre quizzes him about the foolhardy odds, and he doesn’t want to discuss it – but he does listen when Deirdre says Carla has a right to ask, as she’s invested her own money in the business. Just then, Tracy and Rob come in. They try to get a rise out of Peter, but Deirdre turns them out without letting them get hardly a word in. Tracy and Rob leave in a snit, to whit Peter snarks “Just when I thought nothing would cheer me up.” Deirdre and Peter have a giggle and so do I. Peter whines about having to take “master classes in how to do business the Carla Connor way” (So, successfully then? OH SNAP) which leads to Deirdre and Carla have a heart-to heart, of course over a glass of wine. Deirdre tells Carla to come back any time, and Carla realizes how nice it’s been to have someone to confide in. Carla’s family now, and Deirdre’s not one to judge how that came about. Just think of her as “Switzerland in glasses”. Deirdre sans Ken is really coming into her own.
Deirdre goes to find Peter, in the park looking at the Bookies’. Remembering how much grief Blanche had given him for buying the place… Ah, Blanche, you are sorely missed. Peter wants a night off, and asks for a sofa. Are things really that bad, Deirdre asks He’s really skint, as in “bottom of the barrel skint, back of the settee skint”, and another loss like the one to Steve will put him out of the business for good. So we know where we’re going.
Carla bails Peter out and tells him to take down the posters and offer more reasonable odds. He takes down the posters, but keeps the odds high. When Rob gets into Peter’s face, Peter threatens him. Stay away from he and Carla, or else… and he’s got his coat turned up sailor-style so you know he’s serious. Rob responds by coming into the bookies and placing a 100 pound bet on a horse. He loses, but he takes 500 pounds on an accumulator. Four races, and he has to get all of them right. It’s looking like Rob will win, to the excitement of the entire gang at the bookies. Carla comes in to check on Peter in the middle of the action and is furious at Peter not having changed the odds and for having taken Rob’s bet. They can’t pay it if he wins. On the last race, Rob loses… or does he? There’s a disqualification, and Rob’s won 35,000 pounds. Peter refuses to honour the bet, but he’s legally obligated to do so. Carla gives Rob all the cash they have to hand and begs him not to pursue the case in court. Rob is thrilled to hold all the cards, but it’s actually Tracy who comes up with a scheme that will allow everyone to extricate themselves from the situation. Rob and Tracy will take over the bookies’ shop space, rent-free (on Peter and Carla’s dime) for six months for their new shop. That’s the deal, or they’ll sue. Peter’s thinking about it.
Speaking of Tracy, the week began with her none-too-pleased that Rob had stolen her pawn shop idea. He’s got money to invest, and when she brings something more than just ideas to the table he’ll consider making her a partner. In response, Tracy goes and raids little Amy’s bank account for her stake in the business. Rob uses part of this money to bet at Peter’s bookies, and when Tracy finds out about it she hits the roof. How could he gamble their future? Don’t you mean Amy’s future, Tracy? Deirdre overhears them arguing and interrupts: “you mean you gambled Amy’s money on a HORSE?” It wasn’t like that, Tracy splutters, but she and Rob both look pretty guilty. Deirdre is heartbroken. She cannot believe Tracy would stoop so low as to steal from her own child to get into business with Rob, who Deirdre finds is shifty as heck. The bottom line, though is that Tracy stole Amy’s money. It wasn’t hers to take: that money came from years of hard work and it was set aside especially for Amy’s future. I don’t know why Deirdre is surprised, to be honest.
Paul and Lloyd start the week still at odds. At Streetcars, it’s gotten very difficult for Eileen to work. Eileen still feels obligated to defend Paul when Sophie and Jenna come in to see Lloyd. “Well,” says Sophie, “you defending him makes you just as bad doesn’t it.” It’s awkward at Streetcars, it’s awkward at the Rovers. When Eileen tries to get Paul out of the house they run into Tracy and Rob in the street: Tracy can’t resist insulting Paul. She asks if Paul wants her to go and make sure there’s no black people in the bar? Asians? Jewish people? The Welsh? Well, you know Paul, if you’d apologized straight off this wouldn’t be happening. You had to make it into a deal. And Tracy Barlow, as she says herself, is an equal opportunity troublemaker. Paul’s become quite insufferable – he’s not even able to stand Eileen and Jason joking about redoing the bathroom in the house without making it all about how everyone hates him, he’s a pariah and the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. You know what the way to handle the situation would have been? To say from the get go “Oh, that’s an expression my Dad used all the time and I was unaware it was hurtful. I’m sorry and I will be more careful in future, and may I buy you a drink, Lloyd.” Finally, Eileen and Mandy have a summit and force Paul to apologize and Lloyd to shake hands. When you hold it up against what happened this week to Hayley, Paul looks even more petty for dragging this situation on for so long.
- Emily is passing on all of the bills over to Norris. She and Rita are quite enjoying watching Norris squirm over the actual costs of homeownership. And consider – that’s WITHOUT a mortgage. He got the house for free! Well played, Emily Bishop.
- Nick and Leanne go on mini-break. When they come back all lovey-dovey, David secretly calls the Liquor Board and makes a complaint that the Bistro’s spirits have been watered down. Nick’s got to realize that somebody close is behind this sabotage. This storyline has to be coming to a swift conclusion, right? If not, David needs to grow a moustache so he literally has one to twirl.
- Marcus and Maria sighting! And little Liam!
- It’s Audrey’s birthday! Happy birthday Audrey! For a gift, here’s water damage to your house and a laundry list of repairs to the rental flat. Owen’s going to do her up an estimate.
- Jenna is tired of rowing with her mum, accuses her of being jealous that Jenna gets on so well with Lloyd.
- Tim wants to spend time with Faye before he leaves as planned, Anna is still reluctant. She grudgingly invites him over for tea.
- Speaking of Tim, Sally finally gets him over to check on her shelf. And oh, by the way, she’s single, she manages to work in. And Tim’s single too…. she leaves him with basically a honey-do list and she’ll see him later. WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE KNOW WHAT I MEAN KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
And that’s about it. As ever, if I missed anything that’s what the comments are for. John will be back with us next week for our regularly scheduled programming. Cheers!