Gail telling Paul that she thinks she's pregnant.
Jim is snapping at Helen and Beverly that he doesn't *want* the trees lopped; he's fed up with Madge complaining every time a few leaves fall into her back yard. He goes on that it wouldn't be so bad if someone raked that yard of hers. Beverly points out that Henry doesn't get paid for *that*. Helen tells Jim that Madge gets bees in her bonnet from time to time, but he really should talk to her. Jim sighs that he'll pop in on the way to work. He heads off to shower. Helen then tells Katie, who's sitting having breakfast, that her lunchbox is in the ‘fridge, and she's put in some extra cake for Sonia. Katie, however, retorts that she doesn't sit with Sonia anymore: she hangs around with this dag called Brett Wilson and thinks it's so cool to have a boyfriend.
HELEN: And you don't?
KATIE: Are you kidding? I think it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of!
Helen and Beverly exchange bemused glances!
Paul is talking on the ‘phone, snapping at Barry the accountant that *nothing* is impossible; he should keep going over the books until he finds the money. He hangs up as Gail comes downstairs, and he smiles at her:
PAUL: Hey... you look pretty hot for a pregnant lady!
Gail tells him that she's going to the IVF clinic to get it officially confirmed, then she'll come into the office. Paul warns her that they've waited a long time for this baby and he wants her to promise to take it easy and not worry. Gail asks how she's supposed not to worry when they've got all those problems at the hotel. Paul, however, tells her that he's just spoken to Barry and he seems to think he's found a way to restructure the loans so they can find the money they need. Gail beams that that's fantastic!, and she gives Paul a warm hug. Behind her back, Paul looks guilty about having lied to her.
Joe and Toby are watching TV. Noelene comes in and asks Toby if he's packed his bag yet, as he doesn't want to be late for his first day back at Erinsborough. Toby asks if Katie can come round for lunch. Noelene tells him to make sure it's all right with her folks. Toby heads out to get his bag. Noelene then starts tidying up the breakfast things in the lounge room, but as she fusses around, she brushes her leg against the cable running from the TV to the plug socket and pulls it out. Joe snaps angrily:
JOE: For crying out loud, I said you could *stay* here, Noelene, not wreck my whole life. Just do me a favour and stay out of my way, will ya?
He gets up and plugs the TV in again. He then apologises to Noelene, explaining that he's got a few things on his mind at the moment. The two of them hug – just as Toby walks back in. He smiles:
TOBY: Don't let *me* interrupt!
Beverly goes to head off to work. As she opens the door, she finds Toby standing on the step. He asks if Katie's ready. Katie emerges from her bedroom and tells Toby that it's good to have someone to walk to school with. She asks if he reckons he'll be staying long this time, and Toby nods that he might be: his mum and dad were getting pretty mushy with each other this morning. He adds that he's positive that they really like each other, but he doesn't know what to do about it. Katie pauses and then asks Toby if he's seen the ad for the Post Office, where this guy writes a love letter to the girl and she cries over his photo. Toby tells her that his dad would never write a letter like *that*. Katie, though, asks whether his dad would believe it if *they* wrote a letter. Toby says he wouldn't know what to write – but *Katie* would. He asks her if she'll help him.
KATIE: Well I might... If I do, will you be my boyfriend?
TOBY (groans): Oh Katie...
KATIE (declares): All right, then – forget it.
TOBY (sighs): OK.
Katie then gives Toby a kiss on the cheek, which he promptly tries to wipe off!
Harold, Madge and Henry are having breakfast when there's a knock on the back door and Jim comes in. He apologises for interrupting and explains that Helen thought he ought to come and have a discussion about the trees. He tells Madge that he cut the trees back for her last year, and most of the leaves are down now. Madge retorts that they're still clogging the pool filter, and now the filter's broken down. Harold points out to her that they can't be sure that the *leaves* clogged the filter. Jim suggests that if she raked the back yard occasionally... Henry interrupts and says he'll cut Jim's trees back for him. Jim, however, retorts that he doesn't see why he should have to pay for something that he doesn't want done in the first place. Madge stands up and snaps:
MADGE: You cheapskate! How much do you think it's going to cost me to have the filter repaired?
JIM: If you ask *me*, I don't care if you *never* have it repaired, because the drone of that thing has been keeping us awake for *years*.
MADGE: Oh really? Is that right? I notice it doesn't stop you coming and asking for a swim whenever you want one. Last summer, you Robinsons spent more time in the pool than *we* did.
JIM: Well in that case, we won't go near it again – but if you think I'm going to cut down my trees, you have another think coming.
With that, Jim storms out. Madge sits back down, looking annoyed!
Back yard of No. 24
Sometime later, Madge and Henry are out cleaning the pool, Madge snapping that she could *throttle* Jim. Henry points out that Harold could be right: they can't be sure it was the leaves that broke the filter. He adds that Madge shouldn't get too upset about this; couldn't she have a word with Helen? Madge, however, retorts:
MADGE: What's the point? You know what *she's* like: say one word against her precious family and she jumps to their defence, no matter what.
HENRY: Yeah, birds of a feather flock together, don't they?
MADGE (mutters): Yeah - even if they *are* turkeys!
Henry points out that Helen's her best mate. Madge just retorts that the Robinsons may rule her life at work, but she's damned if they're going to break her back on her rostered day off. She then grabs a sack full of raked-up leaves and tosses it over the fence into the garden of No. 26, snapping that if Jim Robinson is so fond of his rotten trees, then she won't deprive him of one rotten leaf!
Gail and Paul are sitting hand-in-hand at a table in the Coffee Shop when Jim and Beverly come in. Jim smiles that he doesn't often see the two empire-builders taking a lunch break! Gail smiles that it's by way of a small celebration!
JIM: What – another takeover by my tycoon son?!
PAUL: No, it's a bit more personal than that, dad.
GAIL: Yeah. The IVF clinic just made it official.
BEVERLY (realises): You're pregnant!
Jim and Beverly both offer their congratulations, and Jim remarks that he's surprised they're not shouting it from the rooftops. Gail admits that she wasn't sure how Beverly would take it. Beverly, however, explains that she's put herself in *nature's* hands now. Gail and Paul stand up and announce that they have to get back to the office. Beverly smiles that they must both be thrilled at the way everything's coming together for them. Gail nods that they are. Paul, however, stands there looking worried.
Joe is talking on the ‘phone, sorting out some work for himself and Henry. As he hangs up, Katie and Toby come in for lunch. Joe heads off to the kitchen and Toby and Katie run into the lounge room. They go to the writing cabinet and take out some pink paper – left by Mrs. Mangel – and a pen. Katie sits down and asks Toby whether his parents have any nicknames they call each other. Toby replies that they called each other ‘snookums' once, but Katie retorts that she's not writing *that*! She suggests she starts with ‘My darling Joe'.
Beverly and Jim finish their lunch and Harold comes over to clear their table. As he does so, he tells Jim that he was very upset about the blow-up they had this morning about the trees – and Madge was too. Jim shrugs that neighbours have these run-ins from time-to-time. Harold comments that they normally get on so well together – so he thought that if Jim apologised to Madge, that might help smooth things over.
HAROLD: What do you say?
JIM (tersely): I say ‘no', Harold. Does that answer your question?
Beverly tells Harold that Jim hasn't done anything *wrong*. Harold points out that Jim did get very hot under the collar – and personally, he wouldn't *dream* of making all that fuss over the little irritations that his neighbours cause him.
JIM (indignantly): Including *me*?
HAROLD: Well yes. I mean, you Robinsons do do things that irk me occasionally, you know?
BEVERLY (coolly): Like what, for instance?
HAROLD: Oh... just little things – children peering over our fence from their cubby-house, destroying our privacy; and Jim, you know, you do not fasten the lid on your rubbish bin tightly enough. That's something that *I* do – all in the name of neighbourhood peace and harmony, you know?
Jim and Beverly look at each other. Jim then says:
JIM: Well, Harold, since peace and harmony are such important issues to you, perhaps you wouldn't mind refraining from singing hymns around the house at the top of your voice? Henry's guitar playing's bad enough, but at least that's *bearable*.
BEVERLY: Yes, no offence, Harold, but it's got worse since your pool filter broke down: that used to drown you out a little.
HAROLD (looking put-out): I see – so you don't like my singing, eh? I suppose it's too much to expect you philistines to enjoy anything spiritually uplifting. I suppose the closest you lot come to it is to worship the foliage on your gum trees every spring. Well, if you'll excuse me, I'll get your bill.
With that, Harold walks off. Beverly and Jim look at each other.
Noelene, Katie, Toby and Joe have finished lunch. Noelene goes to clear up the plates, but Joe mutters at her not to start that again; he then picks up the plates himself and heads out to the kitchen. Noelene announces that she has to head out to her job interview. Left alone, Toby and Katie dash over to the writing cabinet and pick up an envelope, which they then place on the chair that Noelene was sitting in. When Joe returns, Toby pretends to find the envelope, and he tells Joe that it's got his name on it. Joe opens the envelope and reads the letter inside. He then says:
JOE: Well what do you know? Noelene is declaring her undying love for me.
He then reads the note out loud, pretending to cry as he does so(!):
JOE: “My darling Joe. I think you are a really excellent person. I don't care if you're lazy sometimes. I think we should get back together and have lots of fun. We could go to Luna Park and have—“
He then bursts out laughing and chuckles:
JOE: What a cack! Don't you kids ever give up?!
Toby glares at him and cries:
He then runs out, shoving Joe as he does so. Katie tells Joe angrily that Toby wasn't trying to be funny; he was just trying to get his family back together. She adds:
KATIE: And as for you, I think you're mean and horrible.
Joe stands there looking guilty.
Sometime later, Noelene is standing with Joe, looking at the letter. Joe sighs that he shouldn't have *teased* Toby; he didn't realise he still wasn't over their divorce. He then asks where Toby *is*, as school finished hours ago. He goes to ring the Robinsons. Helen answers the ‘phone and Joe asks her if Toby's there. At that moment, though, Toby walks into No. 32, looking glum, and Joe thanks Helen and hangs up. Noelene suggests to Toby that he have a talk to his dad. The two of them head into the lounge room where Joe says sincerely:
JOE: Look, I'm very sorry that I laughed at your letter, but I didn't realise what you were trying to do; but I do now.
Toby shrugs that he wouldn't do things like that if Joe just got back with his mum. Joe, however, sighs that he loves *Kerry* - not that it does him much good at the moment. Toby cries that Joe loved Noelene *once*, and maybe it could happen again. Joe tells him:
JOE: Listen, Tobe: we will always be your mum and dad, but we're not together anymore and we're not going to be together *again*. It's just the way it is. Toby, some things, when they get broken, they just can't be fixed. You understand?
Toby nods that he does. He then asks if they can tear up the letter now, as it's *so* embarrassing!
Paul opens the front door to Jim, who tells his son that he and Beverly have bought a bottle of champagne, as they couldn't share lunch. Gail, who's sitting in an armchair, says she's not drinking alcohol for a while – and she's going to be careful about what she eats. She then announces that she's going to take a nap, and she heads off upstairs. Jim goes and sits down with Paul and says:
JIM: You know, I was thinking this afternoon about how excited I was when your mother first told me she was expecting *you*. It's a very happy moment, isn't it?
PAUL (distantly): Yeah, yeah, it is...
Jim remarks that he could sound a little more convinced, and he asks if something's wrong. Paul starts to pretend that there isn't, but he then sighs:
PAUL: Dad, you're an engineer: do you know anything about concrete cancer?
JIM: A little bit. Why?
PAUL: Apparently the hotel's riddled with it.
JIM: How badly?
PAUL: About a hundred grand's worth.
JIM (looking shocked): Where you going to lay your hands on *that* sort of money?
PAUL: *You* tell *me*. I've already told Gail it's all right and not to worry – because I don't *want* her to worry – but I think it's going to take a miracle to get me out of *this* one...
Helen is preparing dinner, beaming at Beverly that Gail rang her this afternoon, and Paul will be thrilled. Katie runs in from the back yard suddenly and exclaims that the leaves in the bag by the back fence are going everywhere. Helen remarks that she doesn't remember seeing any bag of leaves. She and Beverly then look at each other, and Helen exclaims that Madge wouldn't be so petty... Jim arrives home and Katie tells him that Mrs. Bishop threw a big bag of leaves over the fence! Jim mutters that this is getting beyond a joke. Helen sighs that they have to do something to stop this ridiculous quarrelling.
JIM: Oh I'll *do* something, all right: I'll throw the bag right back across the fence.
With that, he storms out, leaving Beverly to sigh at Helen:
BEVERLY: Where shall we go for a holiday: Beirut?!
HELEN: Don't laugh. If this keeps up, it might start to look very attractive...
Henry is oiling his chainsaw when Harold arrives home and asks where Madge is. Henry replies that she's outside putting the clothes on the line. Harold explains curtly that he wants to let her know that he's willing to help her put their neighbours in place, as they were extremely rude about his singing today. Henry shrugs that Harold shouldn't hold *that* against them!
HAROLD: They were reasonably uncomplimentary about your guitar playing, too.
HENRY (gasps): The filthy rotten mongrels!
At that moment, Madge storms in from outside, snapping that that is it: Jim Robinson's just thrown that bag of leaves back over the fence and most of them have landed in the pool. She then points at Henry's chainsaw and asks if it works. Henry nods that it does. Madge picks it up and declares that she's going to fix Jim Robinson once and for all. She marches back out. Harold stares after her. He then turns to Henry and asks him warily what he thinks Madge meant. They suddenly hear the chainsaw revving into action outside. The two men glance at each other and then dash outside, looking somewhat horrified!