Bronwyn trying to apologise to Matt for saying he couldn't read.
Golden Years Retirement Village
Henry, Kerry and Joe are walking in the grounds of the Golden Years Retirement Village with Stan, apologising to him for not being able to take him and the other residents out. Kerry declares that she thinks they should go anyway, but Henry reminds her about the residents having to take their medication. Stan adds that rules are rules. Kerry, however, comments that rules are made to be broken. Henry asks what would happen if something went wrong. Stan points out that it's not as though they're ruddy children! Joe looks unconvinced. Kerry says:
KERRY: I say we go now. Henry?
HENRY (uncertainly): I don't know...
STAN: They're ready to go. It's your decision.
HENRY: Is *everyone* ready?
STAN: Yep. Sure. They're raring to go!
HENRY: Is there a back entrance to this joint?
STAN: There certainly is!
HENRY (beams): Stan - round up the troops. We're bustin' out of here!
Helen is sitting at the kitchen table, which has been decorated with candles. Nick and Todd are either side of her and she smiles that they've certainly gone to a lot of trouble. Nick comments that she should make the most of it, as you only get one birthday a year. Helen muses:
HELEN: At my age, that's a blessing!
TODD: How old *are* you?
JIM (quickly, from by the sink): Todd, Todd! You don't ask a lady that sort of question!
Helen smiles that she's still young enough to keep up with *them*! Jim tells her that they'll have a slap-up birthday dinner tonight. Todd adds that they're saving all the presents 'til then. Helen then says she'd better get ready for work. Jim, however, tells her that he's declared her birthday a holiday. Helen smiles that she'll start with a nice, long, hot bubble bath, then, and she heads off to the bathroom. When she's gone, Jim tells Nick and Todd quietly that Lucy's coming home today, as she wanted to be there for Helen's birthday; it's supposed to be a surprise, so not a word. He tells them to be home promptly, as Lucy's looking forward to seeing them both. With that, he heads off. When he's gone, Todd grins at Nick:
TODD: Lucy was pretty keen on you last time she came down!
NICK (mutters): Just a kid, all right?
TODD: Yeah, well, seeing you're not going out with Sharon, anymore, who knows...?!
Golden Years Retirement Village
Joe opens the back doors of the truck he hired and he and Henry help a stream of residents inside. They're all looking happy. One of them has a surfboard and another has a giant beach ball! When everyone's in, Joe and Henry close the doors, ready to go.
Lochy and Toby are walking to school together, Lochy asking Toby how come his dad dropped him at *her* house this morning. Toby explains that he's taking some old people on a picnic and didn't want *him* to be at home by himself. Lochy asks him if he's *scared* to stay by himself, but Toby retorts that of course he isn't. They pass a big old stately-looking home, and Lochy challenges:
LOCHY: I bet you would be if you lived *there*.
TOBY: Don't be dumb - it's just an ordinary house.
LOCHY: No it's not - it's haunted.
TOBY (disbelievingly): Oh sure!
Lochy tells Toby that when her mum was a little girl, a young couple moved into the house: they were just married and very much in love - but the first night they moved in there, the woman died and no one knows why. She continues that her husband was really, really sad - then one dark and stormy night, her ghost appeared and told him that they could still be together as long as he never left the house and never let anybody else in. Toby asks interestedly what he did. Lochy tells him:
LOCHY: He never ever left the house - not for years and years. Not 'til *he* died too.
LOCHY: Now they're *both* ghosts and no one lives here 'cos they're all too scared.
TOBY: *I* wouldn't be.
LOCHY: Come on, then. Let's go inside - I'll show you the bed where the lady died.
Toby, looking suddenly less certain, says he'll be late for school. Lochy accuses him of being a chicken. Toby retorts that he's not, and so Lochy tells him to meet her there after school and they'll explore. Toby gives in reluctantly.
A beach/surf club
The folks from the retirement village are singing 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' loudly as the truck pulls up at a wet-looking beach! Kerry, Henry and Joe leap out of the truck and go and open the rear doors, letting everyone pour out! The residents all have smiles on their faces. One of the residents takes off his jumper to reveal a loud shirt underneath! Kerry suggests to him quickly that he put the jumper back on, as he doesn't want to catch a chill, but the man just tells her that he's going for a swim, and takes off the shirt and lowers his trousers as well! Kerry dashes over to Joe and asks in concern if they can't do something about Norm. Stan insists to her that he'll be all right! With that, Norm starts running down to the sea! The other residents start pouring flasks of tea. Kerry chases after Norm and grabs hold of him to try to restrain him!
Helen is lying back on the couch, dozing. The front door opens and Jim comes in with Lucy, who's saying she can't wait to see gran. Jim gives Helen's shoulder a gentle shake and tells her to look who's there. Helen opens her eyes and declares:
HELEN: Lucy! What a pleasant surprise!
She asks Lucy what she's doing there. Lucy tells her that school finishes next week, but exams are over and Jim fixed it so that she could come home for Helen's birthday. Helen smiles that Lucy is a sight for tired old eyes! Lucy asks in concern:
LUCY: Have you been OK? You're all over your stroke and everything?
HELEN: Oh yes, I'm fine. Couldn't be better. Busy! What with taking over in the office while Paul's away, and doing a painting for the church fête, it's all go, go go!
She then tells Lucy that she'll make her some sandwiches, and she heads through to the kitchen. When she's gone, Lucy asks Jim in concern:
LUCY: Is gran OK?
JIM: Sure, darling. Why?
LUCY: I don't know... It's like she hasn't noticed I've grown up. Like I'm a little kid or something.
JIM (smiles): What's the rush, darling? Why is it kids these days are in such a hurry to grow up?
Lucy sits there looking worried.
A short time later, Jim is telling Lucy the local gossip. Lucy doesn't look interested, though, and Jim asks her if she's all right. Lucy asks him if he's *sure* Helen's over her stroke, and he nods:
LUCY: Oh. It's just that she looks so tired.
JIM: Oh. Well, you can blame that on young Rhys. He kept us all awake last night - much like *you* used to!
LUCY (smiles): I'm dying to see him!
JIM: Yeah... She's also worried about Paul and Gail; not to mention Nick.
Lucy asks in concern what's wrong with *Nick*. Jim explains about how he had a fall at the swimming pool and got meningitis. Lucy asks if he's OK and Jim nods that Beverly reckons he'll make a full recovery. Helen comes back in with the sandwiches and tells Lucy that they'll have to feed her up while she's at home: she's looking very thin! Jim picks up some of Helen's birthday cards and Helen tells him:
HELEN: There's one from Julie and one from Rosemary - oh, and Charlene and Scott rang to say-
JIM: 'The card's on the way'. Some things never change!
With that, Jim heads off back to work. Helen starts to fuss over Lucy's dirty washing, but Lucy says *she'll* do it: Helen is supposed to be taking it easy, as it's her birthday.
Henry is playing the piano as the residents sing 'I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside'! Everyone appears to be having a whale of a time. Some of them are dancing!
Todd and Nick are sitting in an otherwise-empty Coffee Shop. Nick asks impatiently where Harold has got to, but Todd asks him what the rush is: is he worried they'll run into Sharon and her new bloke? Nick, however, reminds him that Jim told them to come straight home. Todd teases:
TODD: To see Lucy...!!
NICK (mutters): Get real!
Todd tells Nick to admit it: he's pretty cheesed at Sharon. Nick sighs:
NICK: Sharon made this big thing about me paying more attention to other stuff than her. I reckon she's trying to prove something by going out with every guy on the block.
TODD: Sounds pretty twisted, right?
NICK: Yeah, well, get used to it. That's what girls are *like*.
The door opens suddenly and Lucy comes in. She gives Todd a hug and says a slightly embarrassed 'Hi' to Nick before giving him a hug as well.
Lochy and Toby are in the lounge room. Lochy draws a picture of a chicken and shows it to Toby, making clucking noises as she does so! Toby snaps:
TOBY: Stop it - I'm *not* chicken.
LOCHY: Well, then how come you didn't turn up at the haunted house?
TOBY: 'Cos Kerry would have gone mad on us if we didn't come straight home.
Kerry comes in at that moment and says she's starving after all that sea air. She offers the kids something to eat. Lochy says:
LOCHY: Yes, please - Toby wants a *chicken* sandwich.
Kerry says she doesn't think they've got any chicken and she asks if Vegemite will do. She heads off back to the kitchen, leaving Toby to mutter darkly at Lochy:
TOBY: Real funny.
LOCHY: Well, you *are*.
TOBY: I am not. Look, we'll go tomorrow, just before school.
LOCHY (sarcastically): Oh, that's really brave. Ghosts don't come out in the *morning*.
TOBY: When, then?
LOCHY: Tonight - really, really late.
TOBY: Dad won't let me.
LOCHY: Course not. Neither would mine. You've got to sneak out - or are you scared to do that *too*?
TOBY (warily): No...
LOCHY: Excellent. Meet me at the haunted house tonight - and bring a torch: ghosts can see in the dark, but *we* can't...
Toby sits there looking worried.
Golden Years Retirement Village
The residents are all trooping out of the back of the truck as Stan thanks Joe and Henry. Henry, however, is looking concerned, as they have one more person than they left with! Norm is standing with a woman, and Stan laughs:
STAN: Norm, you've been pinchin' women again! You're a sly old dog!
He asks the woman what her name is and the woman says she's Elsie and she lives at Sunnyside. Joe exclaims that that's the other side of town! He tells her to get back in the truck. Elsie, however, says:
ELSIE: Don't worry about *me*, sonny. I've been looking after meself for the last few years and I reckon another couple of days will be all right! Come on, Norm.
JOE: All right, all right. I didn't see anything!
With that, Elsie and Norm hobble off together! Stan shakes Joe's and Henry's hands and beams that they should do it again sometime!
It's evening-time. Henry, Joe and Kerry are lying back on the couches and chairs in the lounge room, Henry smiling that it wasn't *that* bad. Kerry comments that you can't blame them for being a *little* extreme after being cooped up in a place like that all the time. The 'phone starts ringing suddenly, but no one has the energy to move! Joe sighs eventually that he'll get it, and he struggles to his feet and heads out to the hallway. He answers the 'phone and Stan comes on. He says:
STAN: Listen - I've got to make this quick. Mason sprung us - she's been interrogating the troops, but we're keeping mum.
JOE: Good on ya.
STAN: She's got the rego number of your van, so tell your boys to keep a low profile.
JOE: Will do, yeah. Thanks for letting us know.
STAN: Thanks for the day - it is something we'll remember for a long, long time.
JOE: Yeah, you can say that again, Stan!
Joe hangs up as Kerry and Henry join him, and says:
JOE: The old bat's on to us - but Stan's got it all under control.
HENRY: As per usual!
Henry then declares that his bed beckons, and he heads off. Joe asks Kerry if the kids are all settled, and Kerry smiles that she checked them a while ago and they're dead to the world.
Lochy, Toby and Bouncer are approaching the haunted house. Toby stops in his tracks, looking wary, and Lochy asks him impatiently if he wants to see the ghost or *not*. Toby murmurs that he's not sure about this, but Lochy just tells him to come on. The house is large, dark and apparently deserted. Toby comments:
TOBY: It's probably all locked up, you know?
LOCHY: Haunted houses *never* are.
TOBY: I've got to do some homework!
LOCHY: Don't be a baby!
They approach the front door and Lochy tries the handle. It turns and the door opens. The two of them head inside, their torches on, and start looking around and trying doors. Everything is covered in white sheets. The two of them approach the stairs cautiously, making for the bed the lady died in. They creep slowly upwards. Bouncer lets out a whine, suddenly, and Toby asks him what's up. Lochy says:
LOCHY: Dogs can tell where ghosts are. We must be getting pretty close, Toby...
Todd, Lucy, Nick and Jim are all sitting with Helen as she opens her presents. Lucy and Nick smile at each other. Nick has bought Helen a book on the Old Masters. Lucy tells Helen to open *hers*. Helen asks if they should wait for Beverly, but Jim tells her that it sounds like Rhys is going to take quite a while to settle down. Helen starts unwrapping the bulky-looking present that Lucy has got her - to reveal a large pillow/cushion. A look of concern crosses Jim's face. Lucy tells Helen that the shop assistant said it was perfect for older people: it supports the neck, such as when you're reading. Jim suggests to Lucy quickly that it's time to get the cake. She heads through to the kitchen, leaving Jim sitting looking worried.
Toby, Lochy and Bouncer climb the stairs slowly. Bouncer starts barking, suddenly, causing Lochy to jump. Toby teases:
TOBY: *Now* look who's chicken!
They both look upstairs - and see a dark, human-shaped shadow appear silhouetted against the wall. Lochy lets out a piercing scream...