Harold telling Madge firmly that he wants a word with her in private, as it's time they got something straightened out.
Back yard of No. 26
Jim and Beverly are sitting in the back yard. Beverly is looking at a recipe book, and Jim remarks that he didn't think she was *interested* in cooking. Beverly shrugs that she isn't – but now they've got the kids staying with them, she's got to learn to cook something besides cheese on toast! Jim tells her that he was thinking of inviting Paul and Gail over for lunch tomorrow! A look of horror crosses Beverly's face. Jim muses:
JIM: Of course, if you think it would be too difficult for you...
Beverly protests quickly that she didn't say that – it's just that she's never cooked a roast before... Jim tells her that she can still bow out if she wants to. Beverly, however, retorts quickly that she can manage. Jim smiles that they can invite Helen over as well – it's time she came. Beverly's face drops further. She murmurs:
BEVERLY: Helen's so good at things like cooking. If I muck it up in front of her, I'll feel like a fool...
JIM: How can you muck it up? All you have to do is follow the instructions!
Beverly doesn't look convinced!
Mrs. Mangel has turned up at No. 28 and she asks Mike at the front door if Mrs. Clarke is in. Mike lets her through, and Eileen, who's sitting on the couch, knitting, smiles that this is a pleasant surprise. Mrs. Mangel, however, retorts curtly:
MRS. MANGEL: I can't think *why*. Surely you would've realised I'd want an explanation?
EILEEN (blankly): Explanation for *what*?
MRS. MANGEL: For letting the side down. You know perfectly well you were supposed to be playing bowls with Reverend Sampson and myself.
EILEEN (distantly): Was I...?
MRS. MANGEL: Of course you were. I tried to ring you from the club and you didn't answer. Where were you?
EILEEN: I- I took Jamie for a walk in the park. It was a lovely afternoon, don't you think?
MRS. MANGEL: I most certainly do not. There were no spare players today, and thanks to your not showing up our team was disqualified.
EILEEN (murmurs): Are you *sure* I was supposed to play?
MRS. MANGEL (snaps): Oh really, Eileen, there's no point in talking to you when you're like this. When you're ready to apologise, I'll be at home.
With that, Mrs. Mangel heads to the front door. Mike stops her and tells her that they didn't *mean* to mess her house up at the party. Mrs. Mangel just snaps that she knows what she saw and her eyes have never deceived her yet. She marches out. Eileen tells Mike not to worry about her: she's in a bad mood for some reason. Mike points out that she *did* miss out on a bowls tournament. Eileen just shrugs that it's no reason to fly off the handle. Mike asks:
MIKE: How come you missed the game, anyway? I mean, you *always* look forward to playing.
EILEEN: Just slipped my mind. It happens to people occasionally.
MIKE (hesitantly): You're not still taking those pills, are you?
EILEEN: No, of course not.
MIKE: Are you sure?
EILEEN: How could I? Desmond threw them all down the sink.
MIKE (murmurs): Yeah, I guess so.
EILEEN: Every last one of them. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to talk about something else.
Mike doesn't look convinced...
Harold and Madge are walking through the park. They see a young couple kissing, and Madge smiles that it would be lovely to be young again. Harold, however, mutters that being young is no excuse for them to make a spectacle of themselves. Madge sighs and asks him if he's still cranky about that letter. Harold retorts:
HAROLD: Madge, you are *my* fiancée and I do not take kindly to some strange Englishman writing you salacious letters.
MADGE: What's ‘salacious' mean?!
Harold just tells Madge that the man shouldn't have been paying her that much attention. Madge suggests tersely that maybe he didn't notice her engagement ring. Harold suggests curtly that maybe she should've pointed it out. Madge snaps:
MADGE: If it'd've been a *wedding* ring, I *would've*.
HAROLD (mutters): Oh, I see. Good, fine, yes, we're back to that, are we?
He tells Madge that she's being unfair: he's talking about the unwelcome attention of a stranger and *she* brings it back to them not being married again.
MADGE: Well, marry me, Harold and I'll stop complaining!
HAROLD: I haven't got enough money – and don't say it's because I'm not trying. I spent all this morning writing that other article.
MADGE: Good! If you sell the article, will you set the date?
HAROLD (irritated): Will you stop making it sound as if I keep putting it off? I am *not*. I am a responsible person. All I am doing is building a solid financial basis for our future.
MADGE: All right – but I won't wait forever; not even for *you*, Harold.
Mike is in the lounge room, teaching Bouncer to jump up! Eileen emerges from the bedroom area and warns him that Daphne's going to be very upset if Bouncer breaks something. Mike says he'll take the dog outside. Bouncer, however, leaps up onto the couch and starts sniffing at Eileen's handbag. Eileen tries to grab for it, but as she does so and as Mike tries to grab Bouncer, the bag falls onto the floor and a bottle of pills rolls out. Mike picks it up and looks at Eileen in shock.
A short time later, Eileen is sitting on the couch, looking upset. Mike comes in after taking Bouncer outside and sits down with her. He tells her gently that she doesn't have to talk to him about this if she doesn't want to, but he really thinks she should tell *someone*. Eileen sniffs and murmurs:
EILEEN: Michael, I am so ashamed. I- I'm a drug addict.
MIKE: Come on, it's not that bad – you're *not* an addict.
EILEEN: Then why can't I stop taking those pills?
MIKE: You *can*.
EILEEN: I *can't*. You don't know how I felt when Desmond threw them all down the sink.
MIKE: You *told* him to.
EILEEN: Only because I didn't want him to know how much I needed them. And then I got so desperate I went to a doctor and got a prescription for *more*.
MIKE: Look, I really think you should go and see someone about it.
EILEEN: I *can't*. I can't stop taking them. I can't cope, even if they *do* make me forget things.
MIKE (realises): That's why you forgot the bowls tournament.
EILEEN: *And* that you'd taken Jamie out. Oh Michael, I know it's wrong and I'm a terrible, terrible woman, but I don't think I can stop.
MIKE: In that case, I really think you should see Dr. Marshall about it before it gets worse.
EILEEN: I know. I was going to – truly, truly I was – but I was so afraid.
MIKE: *Why*? I mean, she can help you more than *anybody* can.
EILEEN (sobs): Yeah, but everybody in the neighbourhood would know and I'd never be able to face them...
Mike assures Eileen that Beverly wouldn't tell anybody: the only people who'd know would be them and Des: *he* ought to know. He adds gently that they'll help her. He then heads to the front door and says that when he gets back, they'll ring Beverly and tell her to come over tonight; he's just going to go and see Jane and tell her that he can't see her tonight; she won't mind.
A few minutes later, Jane is standing in the hallway of No. 32 with Mike. She shrugs in annoyance and says:
JANE: I still don't understand *why* you have to stay with her.
Mike just replies that Eileen *needs* him over there. Jane comments that she's got to learn to cope *sometime*. Mike insists that he wouldn't've called it off if there wasn't a good reason. Jane sighs that she's not going to see him for two weeks and tonight was their last night. Mike gives her a hug.
In the lounge room, Mrs. Mangel is sitting on the couch, reading, and Harold is sitting at the writing desk. Mrs. Mangel exclaims that she was right: there's something peculiar going on with Eileen Clarke – Mike wouldn't turn down an evening with Jane unless there was something seriously wrong. Harold says he thinks Eileen is just embarrassed over the cancellation of her wedding. Mrs. Mangel, however, replies that it goes deeper than that: from what *she's* seen and heard, the shock may very well have turned her mind. Jane comes in and sighs heavily:
JANE: Oh... *men*!
Mrs. Mangel asks what the matter is. Jane mutters that Mike just stood her up because there's something wrong with Mrs. Clarke. Mrs. Mangel asks if he said what it is, but Jane replies that he wouldn't go into it. Harold chips in that he finds it very commendable that a boy that age should take his responsibilities to his elders so seriously. Jane mutters:
JANE: *I* don't.
MRS. MANGEL (chides): Jane!
JANE: Well, I *don't*! It's all very well to be sensible and to do the right thing, but gee, it can be boring sometimes.
Harold says *he* doesn't see it that way. Jane assures him quickly that she wasn't talking about *him*. Harold, however, mutters that he's heard good old- fashioned decency derided once too often tonight, so he's going to work in his room. He heads out, leaving Jane to ask her nan:
JANE: What's wrong with *him*?
Mrs. Mangel, however, just says:
MRS. MANGEL: More interestingly, what's wrong with Eileen Clarke?
JANE: Who knows?
MRS. MANGEL: You don't think she's going prematurely senile?
Beverly is sitting on the couch with Eileen, who tells her sadly:
EILEEN: I'm a drug addict.
Beverly points out to Eileen that she's been going through a very difficult time recently – but she *will* get over it. Eileen, however, just repeats:
EILEEN: I'm a drug addict.
BEVERLY: No you're not. You've only been taking those pills for a very short time. You're certainly not physically dependent on them.
EILEEN: But I *am*. I can't cope without them at *all*.
BEVERLY: Nonsense – you just *think* you can't cope. You've been coping all your life without them, haven't you?
EILEEN (admits): Yes.
BEVERLY: Then you can do it again.
EILEEN: But whenever I *don't* take them, I think about Malcolm and the wedding and then I get tense and depressed...
BEVERLY: Well, that's only natural at this stage. It's certainly better than going around in a permanent fog...
EILEEN (murmurs): I suppose so.
BEVERLY: And I can help with the depression – and if you call in and see me on Monday, we can talk about various meditation techniques that can stop you from getting too tense.
EILEEN: Will they help?
BEVERLY: As long as you want them to. But above all, I think what you need is to keep busy.
EILEEN: You mean go back to work at the Coffee Shop?
BEVERLY: Certainly – and if you feel the need to take a pill, just call me and we can talk it through. Now, will you do that?
EILEEN (nods slowly): Yes, I will. I *have* to.
BEVERLY: And will you also tell Des? – because he won't be able to help you unless he knows the truth.
EILEEN (murmurs): All right. Whatever you say.
Beverly tells Eileen that she has to go now – but she'd like a quick word with Mike before she leaves. Eileen calls to Mike, who emerges from his bedroom. He asks Beverly if everything's OK. Beverly nods that it will be – she'll keep an eye on her.
The next morning, Madge is talking to her father on the ‘phone when Helen comes in through the back door. When the call ends, Madge tells Helen that her mum's got to have a gall bladder operation – but she's more worried about her dad, as she doesn't know how he's going to cope while her mum's in hospital. Helen asks Madge if she's going up there, but Madge replies that she won't at this stage; she'll see how things go. She then invites Helen to come to church with her and Harold and Helen accepts. Changing the subject, she says:
HELEN: I haven't had any response yet, by the way.
MADGE: Oh, I *saw* your ad in the paper, asking about the whereabouts of Mary Barrett, formerly of your address.
Helen smiles that she's dying to know what happened to her – and why she called her cat ‘Satan' – but she supposes she never will. Madge looks at her watch and sighs that Harold's late – or maybe he's just not talking to her... She then asks Helen if she told her about the letter. She takes the note she received out of her handbag and explains about how she got talking to an extremely nice Englishman at work and how Harold got very jealous when he saw the letter. Helen reads the letter and remarks that the man sounds gorgeous! Madge smiles that he's about halfway there! Harold comes in through the back door at that moment, catching Madge trying to stuff the letter back into her bag. He snaps that this hardly seems suitable behaviour for an engaged woman. Madge snaps:
MADGE: All right, Harold, why don't you *marry* me? Then maybe my behaviour will *improve*.
With that, she marches to the front door!
Mike puts a packed rucksack down on one of the chairs by the dinner table. Jane is standing with him and she tells him that she's going to miss him. Mike replies fondly that he's going to miss her as well, the whole time he's away. Eileen emerges from her bedroom, wearing her dressing gown, and asks Mike if she could have a word with him. He walks over to her and she tells him quietly that she just wanted to say thank you for everything he's done: she feels much better. There's suddenly a knock on the front door, and Mrs. Mangel steps inside. She tells Mike that she wants to wish him luck for his teaching round – and, having thought about it, that she doesn't hold *him* responsible for the wanton destruction that occurred during his party. Mike thanks her! Mrs. Mangel then turns to Eileen and says she just dropped over to see if she'd like to accompany her to church this morning. Eileen says uncertainly:
EILEEN: Oh no, I- I don't think I could go, not yet.
MIKE: Of *course* you can go. You *know* you can.
EILEEN: Well, er...
MRS. MANGEL: Please. Say you will.
JANE: Go on, Mrs. Clarke.
Eileen gives in and nods that she'll have to get changed. Mike follows her into the bedroom area, to grab his helmet. Left alone with Jane, Mrs. Mangel muses:
MRS. MANGEL: Well, that's that, then. Let's hope he doesn't meet another girl like he did the *last* time he was away.
Jane stands there looking slightly worried.
Beverly is busy peeling carrots in the kitchen. Jim, Lucy, Katie and Todd come in and Jim asks her if she's sure she won't come to church with them. Beverly retorts:
BEVERLY: How can I? I'm *busy*.
Lucy asks her if she can't just put things in the oven and finish them when she gets home; that's what her gran's always done. Beverly, however, replies in irritation:
BEVERLY: Lucy, I'm not gran and I haven't cooked a meal for eight people before.
Jim suggests quickly to the kids that they make a move and get out of Beverly's way. The kids head to the front door. Jim gives Beverly a kiss and tells her that they'll see her in a couple of hours. When everyone's gone, Beverly goes to the ‘fridge, takes out a joint of meat, places it in a large baking tin and puts it in the oven. She sighs heavily before remembering to turn the oven on!
Paul is sitting eating a fry- up for breakfast. He picks up his plate and holds it under Gail's nose and asks if she's sure she doesn't want some! Gail just asks if he isn't a bit old to be carrying on like this. Paul grins:
PAUL: Yeah – probably!
Gail goes on that she also thinks it's very silly eating all that cholesterol when they're having roast for lunch. Paul says:
PAUL: Not ‘we'; ‘me' – because you're on a diet, remember?
GAIL: But darling, I've got to eat what Beverly cooks, otherwise she'll be insulted.
PAUL: Sure – if you don't mind losing the bet!
GAIL (exclaims): That's not fair...
PAUL: Do we, or do we not, have an agreement that if you break the diet, you go sailing with me next weekend?
GAIL: You *know* we do.
PAUL: Well then...?
GAIL (sighs): All right, I'll explain to Beverly about the diet, and while you're all eating roast, I'll eat salad.
PAUL: Good girl!
GAIL (mutters): I *hate* grapefruit!
Beverly has carved out a giant melon and filled it with a fruit salad. Helen smiles at her that she thought she couldn't cook! Beverly replies that that's not cooking, it's just cutting! Helen comments that it looks delicious. She then asks if there's anything she can do to help, but Beverly says she thinks she's got it all under control. Changing the subject, Jim tells Beverly that Eileen Clarke was in church today. Helen adds that it's for the first time since her marriage was cancelled; she must be feeling better. Beverly smiles that that's good news. Jim asks Helen if she'd like a drink before lunch. Helen nods that that's an excellent idea. Jim asks Beverly if she wants to join them, but she hisses:
BEVERLY: How can I? I'm *busy*.
Todd asks Beverly how come she's in such a bad mood. Beverly retorts that she *isn't*. She picks up a bottle of salad dressing and goes to pour it over the salad she's made, but Lucy says quickly:
LUCY: Don't do that!
Beverly asks why not, and Lucy explains that the salad will go soggy; the dressing has to go on last thing. Beverly thanks her. She then picks up a try of potatoes and goes and puts it in the oven. Lucy stares at the joint of meat already in there and remarks dubiously that it doesn't look cooked. Beverly just retorts that it *will* be. At that moment, Paul and Gail come in through the back door and Paul smiles cheerily:
PAUL: G'day! How's things?
Beverly just rolls her eyes, wearily!
Eileen and Mrs. Mangel are walking arm- in- arm up Ramsay Street, Eileen saying it wasn't at all like she thought: everybody was so *nice*. Mrs. Mangel exclaims:
MRS. MANGEL: Of *course* they were. They're all good Christians – well, *most* of them...
EILEEN: And Reverend Sampson wasn't even angry with me for missing bowls.
MRS. MANGEL: He's a very forgiving man.
EILEEN: So glad I went. Better than sitting at home by myself.
MRS. MANGEL: Well, I hope you've learnt from this – that it's much better for you to be out and about than moping around at home.
EILEEN: Yes, of course I have. Unfortunately, I don't have any choice today: I'm going back to an empty house. [Hesitates before asking] What are *you* doing today, Nell...?
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, I'm going to have a *quiet* day, enjoying the peace.
EILEEN: Oh. I thought perhaps we might do something *together*. [Quickly] Of course, if it doesn't suit—
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, of *course* it suits. In fact, why don't you come to lunch? I've got plenty.
Eileen smiles at Mrs. Mangel that that's wonderfully, wonderfully kind of her!
The adults are sitting at the kitchen table and the children are sitting at the kitchen counter. Everyone is trying to eat Beverly's meal – but it's a struggle. Katie asks Jim if he can cut her potatoes for her, as they're too hard. Gail tells Beverly that the salad's lovely. Beverly mutters:
BEVERLY: Thank *Lucy* – she's the one who told me how to do it, otherwise it would've been just as awful as everything *else* is.
PAUL: No, well, it's not that it's *awful*...
JIM: It's just that the lamb's cold in the middle.
BEVERLY: I don't know *why*. I did everything the recipe told me to do.
HELEN: Well, perhaps you didn't let it thaw quite long enough...
Todd pushes his plate away and tells Beverly that he's sorry, but he can't eat it: it tastes terrible. Helen warns:
Beverly, however, snaps:
BEVERLY: Let's face it, he's right. The meat's raw, the gravy's lumpy, the vegetables are mush. The whole thing's a disaster.
LUCY: The salad's nice!
Helen stands up and declares that they can save the meat: she'll pop it into the microwave and cook some fresh vegetables. She tells Beverly to bring the fruit basket out of the ‘fridge: they could all do with something to nibble on while they wait. Beverly goes to the ‘fridge and lifts out the carved melon, musing that at last she did *something* right. As she carries the melon to the table, though, the carved handle suddenly breaks, causing the basket to fall onto the floor. At the table, a grin crosses Paul's face! Beverly, though, puts her hand to her mouth and tears start streaming out of her eyes. Jim puts his arms around her and assures her that it's not the end of the world. Beverly, however, cries:
BEVERLY: It is to *me*.
She dashes out. Jim goes after her, leaving everyone to look at each other awkwardly.