Winter Solstice (2003) - full transcript

Elfrida Phibbs thought she was retiring from her London life to a "geriatric bolthole" in the country. She soon finds herself compassionately tending to her neighbor Oscar, who has suffered a tragic loss. Together, they agree to d...

He's gone.

- He could come back.
- We have to risk it.

Couldn't you just...
scatter him here?


It has to be the winning post.
Come on.

This is trespass, you know.

- Yes but you're our lawyer,
so I feel lovely and safe. - Very funny.

Oh god,
Geoff would've loved this.

Come on.


I'm keeping my promise, Geoff.

First past the post, darling.

Do the dead look down,
do you suppose?

Silly, I know.

It's 3 months since he died.
Feels like yesterday.

Better stand well upwind, Barry, unless
you want to get plastered with him.

Wouldn't be the first time.

So glad you came with me.

God speed, my love.

... just like to sign your name...

- OK?
- Thank you very much.

And, uh, thank you for
all the care you've taken.

It's a pleasure.

Oh, Horace, don't!

Well, that's the lot.

- Oh, unless... picture?
- Mine.

- And the clock.
- Oh.


where will you go?

Going to spend a few days
with Didi Marchmont in London.

And after that...

I haven't a clue.

I should have seen
how things were going.

Oh well, that's the trouble
with a gambler.

- Geoff played his cards very close
to his chest. - What possessed him?

He was going for the big one.
Always said he would.

- Without a thought for you.
- No, no, no, entirely for me.

What's better than
my little nest egg?

Lost it all in one glorious splurge.

We've got a little place down in the
country. Just a little cottage,
nothing much.

We bought it as an investment.

It's usually occupied,
holidays lets and so forth. But...

Well, it's empty just at the moment.

I couldn't afford it.

The place is standing empty,
I wouldn't want to rent.

Oh god,
am I a charity case now?

Just to tide you over,
until you find yourself.

Yeah. I'll have to do that.

Please, it would
make me feel better.

About all this mess,
you know?

Thanks, Barry.

- Well, might just help.
- It will.

It'll be a new beginning.

A new beginning indeed.

It's the country, Horace.
This is the country.


You'll get yourself all wet.
Come on.

In you go, come on.

In you go.

Good boy, in there.

Here you go.

All right, Horace,
I haven't forgotten you.

- Morning.
- Morning.

I expect I've forgotten
the most vital things.

- Well, you haven't far to come.
- Yeah.

- Bye-bye.
- Bye.

- Mr. Blundell...
- Good morning. - Hello.

- your paper.
- Ah!

Thank you.

I always forget something.

So, how are you settling in
at Honey Cottage?


Mr. Forbes told me to expect you.
Anything you need, you just come to me.

Thank you.

- Will you be here long?
- I'm not sure really.

Um, I need to stock up a bit.

Well, leave your list, I'll get it
all together and call you later.

Oh! Thank you.

Wait here.

That... can't be you playing.

I wish.

Ta-da! My dad.

Oh! I... didn't know
we had an audience.

I'm sorry, I heard the music...
I just couldn't resist coming in.

You're the lady who's
staying at Honey Cottage.

Now how on earth
did you know that?

I ride past your house
nearly every day.

There are spies everywhere.

You'll get used to it.

I'm Francesca Blundell
and this is my father.

You're Oscar Blundell?

How did you know?
Mrs Green told you.

No, your father and I
have met before.

- Have we?
- Well, it was a long time ago.

When we were students.

I was at RADA and you
were at the Royal College.

- What's RADA?
- An acting school.

- You're an actress?
- I was.

- Are you famous?
- I'm afraid not.

- Daddy was famous.
- Fran...

You were, but that was later.

When we met
you were still studying.

Ah, sorry, I don't quite...

Remember me?
Of course not. Why should you?


- Is he yours?
- Yes, that's Horace.

I haven't got your name?

Elfrida. Elfrida Phibbs.

- Welcome to the village, Elfrida.
- Thank you.

Well, they're already
firm friends.

There's my wife.
Come and meet her.

Darling, meet the new arrival
at Honey Cottage.

- Elfrida...
- Phibbs.

- My wife, Gloria.
- Hello. - Hello.

And mummy, this is Horace.

Oh! Hello Horace.

- We're supposed to be going for a walk.
- Can I come?

Well, yes.

All right then, bring Elfrida
home for a cup of tea.

Please excuse Horace.
He'd hardly miss the fireside.

He's the most lovely dog
in the entire world.

Aren't you, Horace?

This is known as the
thin end of the wedge.

Francesca is determined
to get a dog.

-You can borrow Horace any time you want.
- Honestly?


Now you have a friend for life.

Actually, I do have
an ulterior motive.

I'm gonna need somebody to look after
him if I have to go to London.

- And you will be going often?
- I don't know. I have to look for a job.

Mummy, Elfrida used to be an actress.
Isn't that cool?

I'm not sure I was ever cool.

Darling, why don't we invite
Elfrida to lunch on Saturday?

My son Giles is coming down
and I'd love you to meet him.

Well, maybe another time.

We could get together
a few locals.

Saturday is a very good idea.

Please say you'll come.

Well... I'd love to. But...

Well, that's settled then.

- Tick, tick, tick...
- What?

I can hear your brain going.
Tick, tick, tick...

I love you.

And I love you.

- But?
- No buts.


Please have Christmas
with me this year.

- Carrie...
- Please, Andreas, it's important to me.

But it is more important
to my mother.

I've told you, it's a family thing.

Let me be family.


- Your mobile.
- What?

Your mobile!

No Carrie! Leave it!


It's your wife.

Your wife?!

Carrie! Wait!

Excuse me.


Carrie! You can't just go like this!

Excuse me, please.

I want to get to my seat.


- I...
- Oh, uh... sorry, yes.

Terribly sorry about that. I...

Elfrida, I simply don't believe
what I'm hearing.

- You mean you're penniless?
- More or less.

Well, that's what comes of staying
with the same man for 20 years.

It was 15 years.

And I didn't love him, Didi.



what about your famous painting?

Can't you sell that?

My godmother gave me that
for my old age.

- I ordered pizza. OK?
- Say hello to Elfrida?

- Hi, Elfrida.
- Hi, Lucy.

I feel like a Comanche Indian.

She is behaving like an
absolute fiend at the moment.

She's behaving like a teenager.

Ooh, I suppose
you could stay here.

You could have Carrie's room.

She seems to have permanently left home.
- No, I couldn't.

But I might need it for the odd time
that I come for audition. - Audition?

For heaven's sake, Elfrida,
you can't be serious.

Well, I have to find work.

But acting again
after all these years?

Needs must.

A new beginning.

How do I look?

My god, you look stunning.

I hope he's worth it.

Look, darling,
dinner at the Ritz?

Randall is American.

That smells delicious.

Now, you will make Lucy

come down and sit
at the table to eat.

I read somewhere that
eating at the desk

sends all the calories
straight to the derriere.

Oh, the cab.

Wish me luck!

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Thank you.


Just relax.

I'm hopeless, aren't I?

No need to be so tense.

Try again.


- I hate you.
- I hate you, too.

- Great George street, please.
- No problem, guv.

Look, I'm, uh, going into town.
Do you want a lift?



She'll have forgotten her key. Again.

Go on then.

I always keep her waiting,
I hope she'll learn.

Spoken like a mother.

- Carrie?
- Elfrida.

Oh, Elfrida!

It's all right.


Yeah, I swear that's exactly where you
were when I left here 3 months ago.

Yes. Rooted to the spot
awaiting your return.

Ah, splendid.

You're just in time
to buy me a drink.

Let me check in first.

Good evening, Mr Howard.

Evening George, I believe
I've got a room booked.

Oh, don't find a room, dear boy.
You're wasting good drinking time.

My god, I don't wait for that.

McLellan on the move, whoo!
Out of the way!

- I'll put you in room 4, sir.
- Thank you, George.

I'm sorry about your breakup.

I rather liked Barbara.

So did I.

Still do.

Been... naughty?

Me? No. Certainly not
in the way you mean.

Oh my god. You don't mean
bestiality, do you?

- It's was always in your family.
- No, nothing so glamorous.

My mistress is my work. Or...

so Barbara maintained.

How dull.

You know me. Never could resist
a late night conference call
or a breakfast meeting.

Barbara stuck it out for as
long as she could and then

went out and found
herself a diversion.

A serious one?

Well, serious enough
for a divorce.

A nice rowdy horse breeder
with a ranch in Wyoming.

Ooh, how very
Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Ah, well...

it's a good show.

- Do you reckon?
- Yes.

A fellow hasn't matured really

until he's had at least one bankruptcy
and no fewer than 2 wives.

Well, you should know, Hughie.

Well, I'm afraid I rather
overdid it on both accounts.

You know, I've never got
the hang of moderation.

But god, did I have fun.

So, you're single again now?


- And all my own fault.
- Oh, nonsense.

Just that you haven't
found the right woman.

Or women.




it's a long story.

Hello little lady.

Randall. Breakfast room. Now!

Take that coffee and get a taxi.

I'll talk you later, Elfrida.


Actually, it's quite incredible

that you just turn up,

and expect to get
your room back.

Poor Elfrida!

Welcome home,


Oh darling, I'm sorry.

Just, I wasn't expecting you.

What's happened?


- You lost your job?
- I quit.


a man?

A man.

Oh darling, I'm sorry.

I'll survive.


It has been far too long.


You haven't aged at all.

Oh stop it. You make me feel
like a prized Heffer up for sale.

Well good. The sooner you
get used to that the better.

Business hasn't improved, dear.

Would you take me
back on your books?

Well, if you can do well,
see what happens.


Things were going
rather well for you.

Welcome home, Elfrida Phibbs.

Oh, the air is so good
after London.

- Have you been here long?
- It's Gloria's place.

I married into it.

- Are you a keen gardener?
- Oh, we have a man who comes in.

Gloria is a horse woman,
never has time for anything else.

And you?

Not enough hours in the day.

A church organist,
piano teacher,

vice chair of the parish,

Do you know,

it seems like only a moment ago that I
was listening to you play an impromptu.

- With a lump in my throat.
- Yes, they're very affecting.

So, what happened?

Well, one thing and another.


You know how it is.

I've been trying to remember.

Were you a red-head
when we met?

I might have been.

I was red once or twice.

Daddy! I've been searching for you.

Well, now you've found me.

- Elfrida's here.
- And so is Giles.


- Already?
- Yes.

Oh, hell.

You didn't bring Horace.

Horace doesn't do lunch.

The day's going to be horrid.

Oh, darling. I'll bring him
the next time.

No, I'm not talking
about Horace. It's Giles.

He always spoils everything.

Actually, we had
quite a nice place.

Not as beautiful as this, Gloria.

- It is beautiful, isn't it?
- Mm-hm.

Yes, indeedy.
This is a gorgeous house.

Giles, old chap,
don't hog the wine.

Can we have some
down this end, please?

Mummy first.

Are we not
drinking this month?

Not this month, no.

I think our guest might
want another glass.

Thank you.


you two are old flames,
is that right?

We hardly knew each other.

Just good friends?

No. Not even that.

- Do you want something, Fran?
- No, I'm fine thanks.

For heaven's sake, mother.
We talk about this every time I come.

And my answer
remains the same.

Happy families. Ha!

How did you get on in London?

- Rather well, actually.
- Ah.

I went up to see
my one-time agent

and I'm happy to say she wants
to be my this-time agent, too.

Well, that's terrific news.

-I'm getting sick and tired of this now.
- You're getting tired!

If you'll excuse me, I'll just...

Fran, look after our guest.

Giles, you stop this now
or get out of this house!

You can't tell me to get out.

I see you what you mean
about Giles.

He does rather set
the mood, doesn't he?

Let's go and fetch
Horace for a walk.

What a good idea.

I must be mad. To think of
going back to acting.

I think it's brilliant.

I bet you're in Eastenders
by this time next year.

I wouldn't count on it,
if you hear my cockney accent.

Truly terrible.

I've got a rehearsal tonight
for the school concert.

- Oh! What are you playing?
- I'm the first fairy.

From a Midsummer Night's Dream.

- You know?
- I do.

- I'm terrified.
- Why?

- I don't think I'm very good.
- Do this, go on.

"Over hill..."

"Over hill, over dale..."

Well, I didn't understand
a word of that.

I mean, what's the rush?
Slow down!

You're doing exactly what I do.
I always rush when I'm nervous.

- Honestly?
- Honestly.

Take it really slowly, go on.
There's only me here.

"Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,

"Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,

"I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon's sphere."

Brilliant! Really, brilliant!

You're coming to the concert,
by the way. - Oh.

It's next Friday.
Mum is expecting you.

I'll be there. I promise you.

- Thanks for helping me.
- It's been a real pleasure.

- Bye.
- Bye.

Oh... I'm sorry.

About this Scottish business.

There really is no problem. They can
easily manage the extra workload.

And we'll be saving ourselves the
expenditure on an entire depot.

As well as close on, what,
a hundred manpower units.


Well, of course there's gonna be job
losses. Manpower is a costly commodity.

Elfrida darling, this is Marcia.
Good news I think....

Does that mean...?

Now on the record it's
between you and Jean Barton.

Jean Barton?

She's still at it?

Oh god, I suppose that's what
they're saying about me?


Friday, 5:30.

Oh, I can't!

Excuse me!

We don't use the 'can't' word.
Not in this sort of business.

If you want to work, dear,
be there!

Spotlight, 5:30, Friday.

Are you sure this is all right?
It's such short notice.

It's fine.

Only he will be left alone tonight.

Oscar's got a beastly planning
meeting with the parish council.

And I have to go to the even
more beastly school concert.

Oh, I feel so badly, I promised
Francesca I'd be there.

Believe me, there'll be many more
concerts. You'll have your fill.

- I was so looking forward to it.
- My gosh,

you must be the only adult this side
of the M3 who can honestly say that.

I better go or I'll miss my train.

Thank you, really, thank you.

I envy you.


A new beginning.

Oscar and I are in such a rut.

I so long for something new.

The danger of country living.

Come on dog.

I'll stuff you full of goodies
and you'll be as happy as Larry.

Horace! Be good!

Give my love to Francesca.
Break a leg and all that.

I will.



I take...

You've still got
the luck of the devil.

Certainly. That's why I was selected to
be your godfather at your christening.

Have you still got the kilt
I gave you on your 21st?

Yeah, yes. I've still got it.
But, uh,

hasn't seen much daylight,
not much call for one in Manhatten.

Well, you never know your luck.

Where is it you're off to now?

East coast, up above Inverness.


Oh, my dear boy,
are you in luck.

I've got a house up there.

A part ownership, of course.

Er.. I might click.

Hughie, do you keep
trumps up your sleeve?

No, I don't have to.

You... you can use
the house if you wish.

- Well, who's the other owner?
- Oh, it's my cousin.

Granny left it in joint ownership,
you see?

And usually, this house is let. But
at the moment it happens to be free.

It's, uh... your, uh...

round, I think.

And he said:


I got the job.

I got the job!

You'll be a star, Elfrida.

I'm so pleased.
I hated you giving up being an actress.

Oh, Elfrida.

Well done, old thing.

Well, at least I didn't miss
Francesca's first fairy for nothing.

Whatever that may mean.

- Cheers. - Cheers.
- Cheers. - Cheers.

- It's now or never.
- Now!

Oh, it's gone down my neck.

Seriously, it's soaking.

Well done, darling.

- You were by far the best thing in it.
- Honestly?

Absolutely. You were terrific.



Go right, in here.

- Still, honestly, it's meant
to be real ballet. - Oh.

They were like hippos dancing.

You are mean.

Mary Wilson was in tears.

Well, it seems like that
she was one of the worst.

Oh, no!

What's this?

There's a tree across the road.

Mummy, no!!!!

Let's go.

I can't make it real.
I can't make any of this real.

Would you, um...

if you've nothing else on...

would you come around later?

- Cup of tea or whatever.
- Of course I will.


in need of a grown-up
I can talk to.

I'm sorry.

- I'm sorry.
- It's all right.


Life doesn't prepare you
for these things, does it?

You should be born
with a manual.

I'm OK now.


you've made tea.

Thank you.

This woman does.

Do you really need
all this luggage?

I'm going to Florida, darling.
Not Club Med or Benidorm.


this... is for you.

- What is it?
- Conscience money.

- I feel awful leaving you now.
- Well don't. But I'll keep the money.

- Have a lovely time.
- Mm.

I wish you'd come.

Don't start that again, Mummy.

We'd only get in the way.

And we're going to have
such a lovely time here.

Carrie's going to take me
to the panto... - What?

And Francis Gotto.

Silly girl. Love you.


- And you will both be all right?
- Of course we will.

- At least wish me happiness.
- We do.

- But you must promise us one thing.
- Huh?

- If he proposes...
- Yes.

- Think before you speak.
- Oh, for heaven's sake.

I've done nothing but think,
for the last 3 months.

That means she's thinking about
the first day she met him.

Nothing changes.

Bye, darlings.
Happy Christmas!

And a happy new year
to all of us! Bye!

Oh, no.

In. Now!

- But he looks so gorgeous.
- He is gorgeous.

- So?
- He's not for me.

- Are you sure?
- Absolutely. My mind's made up.

That'll be him.


Tell him I don't want to see him.

- Do you love him?
- Of course.


tell him to go to hell.

I'll never fall in love.

The women in my family
blighted me for ever.

Oh, for heaven's sake!

She doesn't want to see you.
She says "Go to hell."

Sorry. I'm just the messenger.

You must make her see me. Hm?

She can be very stubborn.

So can I.

And I always get my way.

Come on, Horace.

Come on.

Good boy.

Good boy.

Come on in.

Good boy.

Oh! Oh, Giles.

- You gave me the shock of my life.
- Bravo.

It hasn't taken you long
to move in, has it?

I was doing some shopping
for your stepfather.

Oh, sweet.

Where is the old man?

He's gone down to visit the grave.
He wanted to be on his own.

Horace. Here you go.

Dog has got his feet under
the table as well, I see.

Giles, don't be vile.

It's a difficult time for everyone.

Oh, I wouldn't shed too many
tears for old Oscar.

He and mummy never did get on.

He got her pregnant
and she ended up a looney,

forced to drink from Berkshire.

Even I couldn't keep up with her.

Go away Giles, please.

Just go away.

Oh, yes. That would suit everyone,
wouldn't it?

You heard the lady, Giles.

If you can't be civil,
you're not welcome here.

Uh, uh, ah.
Steady Oscar, old love.

Aren't you forgetting something?

You tell me.

Mummy's dead, Oscar,

the Dower House is mine.

Not till after probate.

And that can take
a very long time.

Keep out of
what you don't know.

My father left this house to me.

The house is mine.

Perhaps you will allow me time

to put together
my few belongings.

Of course,
I'm not heartless.

- You're despicable!
- No, I'm honest.

Oscar and I have never even
pretended friendship.

I don't see why
we should start now.

I absolutely agree.

As usual,
you're the perfect stepson.

You've given me
just what I need.

Now get the hell
out of this house!

And don't come back until
I send word that I've left.

And after that,
I never want to hear from

or see you again!

My god, the man's got balls!

I'll give you till weekend. OK?

Getting sozzled before lunch
is no answer.

It's the only answer.

Want one?

- If not, I'll... drink on my own.
- Oh, yeah.

Oh, go on then.

Oscar, you have to fight him.


Giles is speaking the truth,
the house is his.

It's not his until it's his.

You need time to think.

- And plan.
- Huh.

How does planning
ever help anyone?

I've had to plan.

I worked out I needed a job
and I got one.

Good for you.

Congratulations, by the way,
I don't think I ever said it.

Well, um...

events overtook us.

You know, the first thing, Oscar,
is a roof over your head.

I was lucky a friend
bailed me out...

I saw that.

You found me out,
I'm a dipso.



The land of my fathers.


- my grandmother.
- And?

She left me half the house.

It's been there for years.

My half of the rent paid for
Francesca's pony.


It isn't let at the moment.

- So?
- So...

bye-bye, Dibton.

But you're...

Where is this place?


Beyond the Black Isle,
up above Inverness.

- On the wild east coast.
- Do you know anyone there?

Not a soul. I haven't
been there in 20 years.

I can't stay here.

Regardless of Giles.

I can't.

But all on your own?

Well, it's an alternative. Unless...




- Nothing.
- But what?

You wouldn't come with me,
would you?

To Scotland? Just like that?


it's Christmas, Oscar.


I was rather dreading Christmas.

She loved you too,
you know?


Yes, I know.

Come with me.

All right. I will.

You can't drive to Scotland,
not on your own.

You'll come?

What's the name of this place again?
Er, Cregan.

Christmas in Scotland?

Why not?

Well, at least take the key.

Then you can go up there
and you can look around

and report to me that
everything's safe and sound,

and you can remember
to send me the cheque

at the end of every month.

You'll be up for Christmas?

Well, possibly.

I'd be up there with ya but uh...

unfortunately my sister
is promised.

Means a house full
of screaming kids,

far too much food and
short on the booze.

Anyway, if you're up there
for Hogmanay,

you'll have a rare treat.

Hughie, to be honest,
I'm not very keen on parties.

Oh, my dear child.

The gift I gave you at
your christening was one

of endless fun

and what have you done with it?

Well, I put it down somewhere
and um,

I can't for the life of me find it.

Then I'll have to give it to you
all over again.

Endless fun.

Never harm anyone.

But take what you can
out of this good life.


Oh god, I wish he'd stop doing this.

Surprise me. She isn't in.


Ugh, she's never in.

- Maybe you and I should
run away together. - Ugh.

Hey, joke.

I thought Germans didn't joke.

- No, it is the English who don't.
- Hmph.

Where is Carrie this time?

- She's gone to see a friend.
- Mm-hm.

A girl friend.

OK, I believe you.

I don't know why,
but I believe you.

- I never lie.
- That's what liars always say.

You should know.



I brought her a present.

She won't want it.

She will.

All right.

I'm at the Covent Garden Hotel.
Tell her to phone me, please.

Oh dear, are you that keen?

Oh yes, I am keen.

I am very, very keen.

I'll see what I can do.

You're a doll. Hm?

That's what you are,
a gorgeous doll.

There's no use coming over
all sexy with me, Herr Mendel.

That sort of thing
doesn't work with me.

You English girls,
so hard to talk to.

I don't think it's particularly
to do with my race.

It's more of a family thing.

Get her to call me.

I'll try.

He's gone?

No. I'm making up a bed
for him on the sofa!

Of course he's gone!

I just told him a whole string of lies.

I never lie!

With Andreas it doesn't count.
He always lies,

so he wouldn't
recognise the truth.

He told me to give you this.

Oh, no.

I will not be bribed.

I told him that.

Oh. Cartier studs.

Mum's got three pairs.

I've got to get away from here.

I really liked him.

Oh Lucy, everyone likes him.

He banks big money on that.

I've got to go where
he can't find me.

I've got to have some space.



We'll have Christmas with Elfrida.

Carrie, darling, I'd love to say yes.

No, you have to say yes.

I can't. I just agreed
to go to Scotland.

- Scotland?
- What's she saying?

- She's going to go to Scotland.
- Cool!

Can we come too? Please, Elfrida.
Mummy's gone and left us all alone.


Please, Elfrida.

Please, Elfrida.

Lucy, I bet you're having
the time of your life without us.

But we'd be have
more fun with you.

- Don't let her bribe you, Elfrida.
- Mmm.

But you know, we need
to get away from London.

Oh, dear...

Maybe it would be a good idea,
your coming.

I mean, it might make Christmas
a bit more cheerful. Listen, listen,

I'll call you in a few days

when we're settled. OK?

I'll be on my mobile.

- OK. OK, fine. Thank you.
- Bye.


Foolish gesture?


Let's hit the high road.

How far?

Um, about 5 miles...

and then we turn off to the left.

What's happened?

Look at that view.

Oh, yes...

it's lovely.

But we should have stuck
to the main road.

What, and miss all of this?

"What is life, if full of care"

"We have no time to stand and stare."

Are you all right?

I just feel bad about the girls.

I told you what to do.

Ask them up.

No, it wouldn't be a good idea.

Lucy's a child. And for you...

How old is she?

She's 15.

Lucky Lucy.

Oh, Oscar...

Of course they must come.

It'll make you feel better.

I don't know why I'm worried
about Didi's children?

Because she's a friend.

All right. Well, I'll decide
when we get there.

Yes, this is it.

It's all coming back.

Here we are. Come on, Horace.
Good boy.

Well, what do you think?

Not bad.

Oh, smell that air.

Not bad?
What do you mean, "Not bad."?

Oh, it'll do very nicely.
Thank you very much

- How do you get in. Have you got a key?
- Uh, no...

but I have Mrs McMurray's
phone number, and...

I have a mobile phone.

Oh, you sweet
old-fashioned thing you.


they've arrived and um...

she says...


- We're going?
- Yes.

- When?
- Tomorrow. First thing.

So you start packing and
I'll find out how we get up there.


Do you know, I think that's the same
woman who ran this shop 20 years ago.

Louis Sachon.

Can you manage all of that?

- Good day to ya.
- Hello.

Peter Kennedy,
the local minister.

I know I don't look, uh,
ideal casting.

And this is Rory.

His less than likely son.

Good afternoon.

We were looking out for you.

For us?

You're in Cregan now. Where everyone
knows everything within half an hour.

Not unlike Dibton,
where we've just come from.

- And I know that, too.
- Really?

Oh, you know the church,
it's the mafia.

Tony Farland was on the phone
to me yesterday. Saying to expect you.

Well, we've only just arrived.

So, we're not 'receiving' yet.

Oh, good god, of course not, man.
I wouldn't dream of being 'received.'

Any receiving
will be done by us.

That's the Countess.

You'll undoubtedly
meet her as well.

I don't want to meet anyone...

No. No.

Just to say:

if ever you feel like
making some big music,

the organ in the church
is a pretty fine instrument.

Oh, I see.

Well, I'm not in the
playing mood at the moment.

But thank you.

You're leaving soon,
Mr Howard?

Yes. I'll leave my cases here
while I pick up a few things.

Then I'll need a cab
to the airport.

We hardly knew each other.

Just one of those things.

Then Gloria was pregnant,
but no question,

we married within
a month of knowing.

But you loved her.

Oh, I was infatuated.
She was very lovely.

And bright.

And way beyond my league.

I guess I was flattered.
I'd been on my own for too long.

Was she in love with you?

I suppose so, but...

not enough.

I think she knew she'd made
a mistake, almost at once.

We'd nothing in common.

She loved horses,
I loved Mozart, Beethoven...


The only time
I got on a horse, I...

I fell straight off.

Then Fran arrived.

- And everything changed?
- Ah, she was a miracle.

And an avenging angel.

Gloria had the most...

terrible post-natal depression
and it didn't stop.

It went on and on and on.

Then she started to drink.

- And you gave up your career.
- Ah, it was no sacrifice.

I would've done
anything for Fran.

How I ache for her.

I so bitterly resent Gloria.
I try not to but...

- Why...?
- I can't help it.


She was driving the car
that killed my little girl.

# We wish you a merry Christmas #
# We wish you a merry Christmas #

# We wish you a merry Christmas #
# and a happy new year #

# We wish you a merry Christmas #
# We wish you a merry Christmas #

# and a happy new year #

Oscar, our guests have arrived.

Hello, I'm Carrie.

I'm Lucy and I'm absolutely starving.



where is this bloody place?

Good night.

Excuse me.

You wouldn't happen to know the way
to the estate house, would you?

Ah, you're not far.

Straight through the village,
up the hill, can't miss it.

Great, thanks.



That's the fella from Ab Toc.

What on earth is going on?

Back! There's a good dog. Go on.

Back dog, back, back, back.

It's gonna be OK.

Hey, you! Where have
you come from?


Who are you?

who are you?

What's happening?

Not you again!
Are you stalking me?

- Excuse me?
- You're the girl on the plane.

Do you mind, I'm trying
to get some sleep up here.

- I gave you my handkerchief.
- Handkerchief? - Mm.

I haven't the foggiest idea
what you're talking about?

The, uh... the girl
on the embankment.

You're calling me a stalker.

Look, is this some sort
of quiz game?

And if it is,
can we play it in the warm?

Look, I'm... I'm really
terribly sorry. I...

I had no idea
there was anyone here.

Except me, of course.

I told you,
he's obviously stalking me.


Anyone for cocoa?

No, really, I have to go.

Go where?
It's the middle of the night.

And you still haven't told us
why you're here.

My godfather, Hughie McLellan?

He owns this place.

Ah, Hughie, he's part owner.

I own the other half.

Oscar Blundell.

Sam Howard.

- I'm going to bed.
- Why don't we all do that?

Mm. Sam can have
one of the attic rooms.

He can't stay here.
We don't know anything about him.

Of-of course I can't. - Well,
you won't get anywhere else tonight.

Look, I'll make you a
hot water bottle... - No...

- really...
- Have some of this.

Helps you sleep.


So... welcome to the family.

Ohh, I love a cooked breakfast, mm.

One only ever has one...

when on holiday.

- Good morning, everyone.
- Morning.

Morning, Sam.

That smell, it's uh...
the best in the world, isn't it?

And you want some.

- I'll take that as a 'yes.'
- Look, I don't want to be a nuisance.

Mm, there's coffee here.

- Sleep all right?
- Out like a light.

Passed out, more like.

Power of the malt.

One egg or two?

Oh, uh, two please.

- Rhives Castle.
- Jamie, it's Angus.

I just talked to Tom Stewart.

Apparently we had another
visitor arrive late last night.

- Asking for the Estate House.
- Aye.

It's the Ab Toc man.

He has a nose for a rat.

And we had the sense
to get his name.

It's our Mr Howard.

He's here at last.

- He's here now?
- So it would seem, Countess.

He comes here now,
just before Christmas

to execute his criminal act?

Where's he staying?

He asked his way
to the Estate House.

Ask Maitland to bring
the car around.

I'll drive myself.

Good morning!

Mr Stalker, you're slipping.

You missed me on the beach.



- You look dressed for business.
- Well, I'm here for business.

- And not for me at all?
- Well, you're the added bonus.

Well, actually, er, today
shouldn't take too long

- so maybe we should sight-see later.
- Sight-see?

Oh yeah, I came up here
in pitch dark and I, well,

I've got a sneaking suspicion it's
really rather beautiful countryside.

It is.

But I'm not much company
at the moment.

Yes, I noticed.

Well, maybe we can be
morose together.

Apparently I do know it
rather well.

Who told you that?

My wife...

ex... wife.

I'm-I'm sorry,
I keep getting that wrong.

It's a new development. I'm...
not used to saying it.


I should be finished
by lunch time.

See if you're free.

- Morning.
- Morning.

Why is Lucy taking up
the entire hall?

Something about the Internet
near the phone outlet.

By the way, if you want a
cooked breakfast, I'm on strike.

- I only ever have fruit.
- Well, that's a mercy.

Bad morning?

Not really,
it's just that I've been

scraping toast and frying bacon
since my feet hit the ground.

Why don't I make you a coffee?

Oh... why don't you?

Is it marriage or nothing to you?

I didn't think it was, but

- I'd like the opportunity to decide.
- Mm.

- But you had 15 happy years?
- Not married, though.

- Why was that?
- Never got round to it.

- Mm. Didn't you want to?
- Sometimes.

But he didn't?

No, he'd been married before.
Thought marriage was the kiss of death.

- So was he...
- Married when I met him, yes.

Could say I broke them up.

I would say they were
ripe for breaking.

But the other woman always
says that, doesn't she?

- So, were they?
- Oh, yes.

- And she wouldn't divorce him?
- No, no, he got a divorce.

Geoff vowed, never again.

But you know Andreas, if she
won't divorce him, what can he do?

Does he want to live with you?

- I haven't asked.
- But you wouldn't, would you?

It isn't the fact he's married.

It's like he's lying
so perfectly all these months.

It's like...

living on a...

inter city train!

Did you hear that? Dear!

Oh god, stressy.

That's true.

Doesn't that child do anything
except gawk at her computer?

Not a lot.

Well, does she have to
do it in our hall?

Oh, er, don't worry.
I'll deal with it.


You're not going out again?

Oh, yes.

For a little peace and quiet.


What? Carrie!

-You're getting in everyone's way, Lucy.
- Who? Where?

This is a hall.
People use it all the time.

What people?

- Why don't you go out for a walk?
- I don't do walk.

Explore. Do things
children do in books.

You are so pathetic, Carrie!

I was enjoying myself!

Then enjoy yourself
where people can't see you!

Well, at least I'm not mooching around
making everyone bloody miserable!

This is not Oscar's
version of events, young lady!

You've got to...

Listen to her.

Just listen.

Well, it's stopped now.


Fran would never have
behaved like this.

Fran was never a teenager...


- Ah, the very man.
- I beg your pardon?

Mr Howard, I believe.

Well, you believe wrong.


What a very rude man.

No, not rude.

Lucinda Rhives.

I thought I ought to
pay you a visit.

I'm afraid we're not really, uh,
organised yet.

Mrs Rhives, did you say?


I'm the Countess of Rhives.

Not sure I know how
to address a Countess.

Well, everyone except my hairdresser,
calls me Lucinda.

And what does your
hairdresser call you?

Last I heard, it was "the old bag."

I'll call you Lucinda, then.

I'm Elfrida Phibbs.

Sorry to arrive unannounced.

Not at all.
Would you like a coffee?

That would be kind.

I thought in getting you out to the rig,
will give you an idea of the set-up here.

Waste of time. All I need
to see is in there on paper.

Mm. The figures never tell
the whole story, do they?

They do for accounting.

We're a maintenance company,
we service oil rigs.

We're never meant to be a
multi-million dollar concern.

Yes. Yes, I know that.

Well then, the books
can't be that bad, can they?


- I suppose they can't.
- So?

Look, you're running a good
business here, Ab Toc knows that.

But there are two plants. This one at
Cregan and the other one at Dunglen.

- Aye, and your locked on them both.
- Precisely,

so this whole operation can be run
more successfully from one plant.

Dunglen can easily manage your
business... with fewer overheads.

Extra profit for Ab Toc,
don't you mean?

They are your owners.

I better have a look at those figures,
if you don't mind?

You do that.

Your young man is going to ruin this
little community. Do you know that?

I don't know anything, but

Sam Howard is not my "young man."
I barely know him.

But he lives here with you
and your husband.

My hu...
Oh, you mean Oscar?

No, no, no, no...

Sorry, it's a rather
complicated story.


Hello again.

Minister, I hoped to see you.

sorry, I was rather

brutal yesterday.

You were nothing of the sort.

If anything, I was crass.

I just wanted to...

to make contact.

That's kind of you and I'm grateful.

I'm a bit of a ---- at the moment.

Of course you are.

- Do you know the details?
- I do, yes.

Tony meant kindly, informing me.

Of course he did. Well,

- nothing to say then.
- No.

But I mean it about the organ.

I spoke to Mr Barrington,
our organist.

Nothing would please him more than
let you play here whenever you want to.

Oh, I wouldn't want to.

Might it not... help you?

Help? No.

It wouldn't help.
It certainly would not help.


Because for the last
how many years?

For the last lifetime of years

I played only for my daughter.


She was my reason for playing.

I'm sorry.

- If you should change your mind...
- No.

It would take a miracle
to change my mind.

I'm one of those people
who believes in miracles.


I suppose you'd have to be.


Horace, where are you?



Oh my God! Horace!

What has happened to you?

It's all right, I'm here now.

Help me!

Help me, please!

Hurry! Please hurry!

What's wrong?

Help me, please!

All right, boy, it's all right now.


It's all right, mate.
Easy, easy.

Bloody vicious stuff.
Barbed wire should be banned.

Should I take him to the vet?

No, he'll be all right.

- It's only a flesh wound.
- How do you know?

I'm gonna be a vet, so,
I know these things.

Oh, I was really
scared for him.

Whoever left that stuff lying around
should know better.

- I hope no one from the estate left it.
- Estate?

- You mean golf club?
- No, the Rhives Estate.

As far as you can see around here
belongs to the Countess.

- Oh, how very feudal.
- Very.

What's his name?

Oh, Horace.

Well, Horace,

- we should get you home.
- I think we'll be able to walk.

Ah, but it's a fair way and
I'm going in that direction.

- Do you work here?
- Holiday job.

Come on.

I'm Lucy, by the way.

Cool. Lucy...

what are you gonna do
for the rest of your life?

- Me?
- Well...

if I'm gonna be a vet,

what are you gonna be?

Let me guess...
a seriously rich model?

I wish!

Uh, no. I'll probably follow
in the family business

and marry a string of rich men.

Very sophisticated,
very south of the border.

Actually, I wanted to speak to you;

your young visitor, Sam Howard,

- what do you know about him?
- Oh, practically nothing.

Seems a decent enough chap.

He's about to cause
a deal of trouble up here.

- This firm he's closing down?
- Oh, he told you?

Not much.

Then... let me fill you in.

So, that's it, is it?

You've seen all you want,

now you bugger off back to
New York and give us the chop,

long distance.

- If only it was that simple.
- Oh, sorry, Mr Howard,

is it a hard time
you're having here?


I know how you feel.

No you don't.

You've no idea how I feel.

I have close on 80 men
dependant on me

and their families

and their bairns.

You have no idea how I feel?

I'll get back to you
in a couple of days.

Why don't you wait
a day or 2 longer?

Then you can tell us
on Christmas Eve.

Yes, it might that long.

Good afternoon, Mr McDonald.

What happened?

He got caught
in some barbed wire.


Putting some ointment on.

Yes, it's quite deep.

But I don't think it's too serious.

Oh. Just have to make sure
he doesn't lick off the ointment.

- I was so worried for him.
- Mm.

Hey... what's a ceilidh?


I was just invited to one.

It's a wild and dangerous party.


By whom?

A person.


I don't know.

The person who
rescued Horace.

What, you didn't get his name?

No. No!

- He was on a tractor.
- Oh well, that narrows it down.

Everyone up here
is on a tractor.


I should've said yes.
Why didn't I say yes?

Oh, Horace,
your life is so simple.

I wish I were you.

Quite right, too.

You have a charmed life,
don't you, Horace?

Oh, cheer up, darling.

Let's plan a spectacular Christmas.


Elfrida, I'd rather die.

Forgive me.


She's rather hard work
at the moment, isn't she?

I wish I could think of something
to cheer her up.


want a lift?


You know, Sam,

I haven't got one.


neither do I.

- Come on.
- All right.

- Good afternoon, Covent Garden Hotel.
- I want to speak to Herr Mendel.

He's in room eight.

- Just over there, sir.
- Thank you.

Andreas Mendel.

Herr Mendel, it's Lucy Marchmont.

Can you speak up?
I can't hear you.

No, I can't.

It's Lucy Marchmont.
Carrie's sister, remember?

Carrie! Oh, where is she?

Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute.

We're at Cregan, up in Scotland.




So you close down this plant and all
the work is taken over by the other one.

Yeah, that's it.

And this is what you do?
It's your vocation?

Yeah. Yeah, I love it. I believe in it.

Hiring and firing?


OK, I agree. It shouldn't be
happening in a place like this.

But it is happening in a place like this!
- Oscar, it's my job.

What do you suggest I do, go soft because
we're surrounded by a beautiful view?

Give up working?
Like you did?

Elfrida told me you once
had a brilliant career.

I wish people would
mind their own business.



Do you think
we should have a tree?

Why not?

I'm going back to London.

What? When?

As soon as I can get a train.

What about Lucy?

Well, I was...

I was hoping you...

Oh, Carrie, please...

The problem is that...

Lucy reminds Oscar of Fran.

It's difficult.

And with you gone,
it might be even worse.

But you see I...

I might go back.

Back to Andreas?


But nothing
will have changed.


Look, why don't you stay
for Christmas

and then settle things
in the new year?

I just don't want to be here.

I'm sorry.


Well, I better tell Lucy.

Thank you.


Oh god, I wish people
would stop doing that.

- In the kitchen. Now.
- Oh...

- What's happened?
- Come on.

Lucy, um...

Carrie's going back to London.


You can't!

Why not?

What about me?

Well, you'll be staying with us.
Oscar and me.

Typical, bloody typical!

Go away.


Go away!

I'm sorry.

I won't go if you
don't want me to.

Every time Mummy wanted
to go out with a new man,

"Oh, but what about Lucy?"

Every time she was invited
by one of her flames,

or even just
a night on the town,

"Oh, but what about Lucy?"

Every time! And I'm sick of it.
I'm sick of just being fitted in.

I know.

No, you really don't.

Oh, yes.

"What about Carrie?"

One time she came back

all glowing with
happiness and told me

I was going to have
a new daddy.

And that she was going to be
the new Mrs Marchmont.

Then I arrived.

You must've loved that.

I wasn't best pleased.

I was ten.

And I seriously considered
murder by suffocation.

I was going to smother you
with a pillow.

I'm glad you didn't.

So am I.

Tell you what:

I won't go till after
the ceilidh tomorrow.

But you're not invited.
And I'm not even sure I am.

We'll gatecrash.

Please stay for Christmas.

I hate Christmas.

And I really don't
feel like it this year.

I know,

but I can't be here on my own
with Oscar, he loathes me.

He can't. Not really.

Oh yes, he does.


We're alike, you and I.

Why is that?

I don't know.

We bounce back.

- Chips off the same old block.
- Hm.

OK, I'll stay.

But if we're doing Christmas,

we're doing it in style.

Retail therapy.

Come on.



Oh, hello.

Oh, sight-seeing.
I'm-I'm sorry I'm late.

- Um, we're going shopping now.
- Mm-hm.

Um, I hate shopping.

Oscar, tea?

Hello, the estate house.

- Oh good. Countess of Rhives, here.
- Oh, terrific!

I'm the Duchess of Chelsea.

Good day to you, Duchess.

May I speak to Elfrida?

Yeah, hang on.


There's a Countess
on the phone for you.

Hello, Lucinda?

Oh, sorry to be a nuisance
dragging the Duchess to the phone.


I want you to come to lunch
tomorrow, ah, if it suits.

Nothing fancy, just pot luck.

- All of us?
- Absolutely.

Not forgetting Mr Howard.

There will be 5 of us
in that case.

And the Duchess, of course.

And of course the duchess.

Tell her nothing too formal.

You know what these
old trouts are like.

Thank you, 12:30.

All right, see you then, bye.

We're all invited to lunch
at Rhives Castle tomorrow.

- Wicked.
- Mm.

All of us?

- Are you sure?
- Yes, all of us.

I have a feeling you're
the reason for the invite.

So, we're shopping
for a ceilidh and a Countess.

Could be a tricky calling,
these Northern ways?

Would you like some music?
There's a concert on Radio 3.

No, thank you.

I get enough music.


Am I being an awful bore?


"Recklessly, careless footman"
nine letters.

J, 5 blanks,

K, 2 blanks.

I'm being incredibly stupid.

I wanted to ask:

that summer when we
met as students...

did we...?

You mean you don't remember?

We did?

No, Oscar darling.

I think I was the only one who didn't.


Oh, dear.



The answer to your clue.

Jaywalker. Oh, brilliant!

I do love a man
who can do a crossword.


Not that I didn't consider it,

I just

hated the idea of being
one of the crowd.

Quite right too.

Welcome to Rhives Castle.

You must be... Oscar?


- Er...
- And this is Carrie.

- Carrie.
- Countess.

And you're the mysterious
Mr Howard.


the Duchess of Chelsea.

- Countess.
- Oh, no, no, you did good.

All right.

Shall we look at the house
before we have lunch?

Love to.

How many rooms
have you got here?

Er... 242.

I'm not sure about
the bathrooms, though.

But why the
Duchess of Chelsea?

- I live there.
- Me too, at Rhives.

- Cool!
- I bet Chelsea is more cool.

It's so...

- beautiful!
- Mm.

And peaceful.


It's as though time stood still.

Do you like that?

Well, I suppose I'd miss
the buzz after a while.

Me too.

And yet,

maybe we make
our own buzz.


I think the Celtic twilight
is getting into my blood.

Yeah I know, it's spooky, isn't it?
- Mm.

It's um,

rather a nice feeling.

But it certainly suits you.

They tell me
it's a fine instrument.

It certainly looks it.

We keep it closed when
the tourists are about.

- But do play it if you wish.
- No, really.

- Oh please, I'd love to hear you play.
- No, sorry, excuse me please.

It's best to let him go.

I don't give a toss
about your business.

No, but I have to.

So you close the depot down,
what happens to the men?

They'll get other jobs.

Ha-ha! Have you been
living on the moon?

There are no other jobs
around here.

There are always jobs
if you look hard enough.

Ah! Hm-mm.

So you're an "on your bike" jolly,
are you?


That isn't fair, Lucinda.

You'd let the men starve.

The state doesn't let
people starve.

Oh, thank you, Oscar.

And you approve of this?

No. But the welfare state
is geared so that...

What about a man's dignity?
His right to work?

- Sam's only doing his job.
- Oh, you...

cry of every desecrated
since desecration began.

"Desecration" seems a little strong.

I know these people.

I know their families.

I know their history.

They need the work.

And yet

when Ab Toc first made a
move on the Cregan plant

it was in fact your family
that, uh, tried to block it.


You claim that your firth should not
be ruined with industrial waste.

We did.

And yet your men sided with us.
They wanted us here.

Cregan used to produce the finest
malt whisky in all of Scotland.

Until your lot turned up
and offered all that money.

People then left the distillery
and went to you.

Well, they can move back,
can't they? Problem solved.

The place is falling down now.

The distillery was having problems
when we moved in. Wasn't it they, uh,

they were laying off men
before we arrived. Am I right?


Can't have been
very well run then, can it?

- I'm no business woman.
- You're running a distillery?

I have my finger in most
things around here.

So, where does
the buck stop, Countess?

I agree.

I failed them.

That was such a thrill.
Thank you so much.

You must come more often.
It's open house round here.

- And you haven't seen the grounds yet.
- No.

- Oh, can I bring Horace next time?
- Horace?

Horace is my dog. Don't worry, it's
not another stranger in the house.

Thank goodness for that.

And you are coming
to the ceilidh tomorrow?

Yes, I got a gift especially.

I think maybe
I'll give it a miss.

Oh Sam, you must come!

Indeed you must.

I had you down for more guts.


I need a strong man to accompany
me in the Gay Gordons. Heh.

That name seems to have lost
some of its Scottish bore of late.



Are you entitled to
the kilt, Mr Howard?

I am indeed. My
mother was a Stuart.

And this I'll have you know
is the "Hunting Stuart".


Where's Oscar?

I'm here.

But you haven't changed.

Not going.

Oh, Oscar!

I don't want to.

I'm all dressed up now.

Yes, because you're going and I'm not.
It's as simple as that.

Won't that child be cold with
nothing round her tummy?

Come on, or we'll be late.

Please come.

I really don't want to.

I've got a good book.

- Go on.
- It won't be any fun without you.


- Now don't drink too much whisky.
- Oh, dear. Ahem.

I've started to nag you.

I had noticed.

You're the belle of the ball.

Hurry up!

Go on.


I wasn't sure you'd come.

I nearly didn't.
I don't even know your name.


And you may as well know,
my father's the local minister.

Vicar to you, you Sassenach.

- How's your dancing?
- Free style.

All right, up here the woman just stands
there and the fella pushes her about.

- How very 21st century.
- Come on.

- You up for this?
- Try and stop me.

Off you go, don't wait for me.

They make
a handsome couple.

Rory and Lucy
or Sam and Carrie?

Both, I'd say.

Countess, you're such a romantic,
they hardly know each other.

Do you always fail
to see the obvious?

Is that the way
you've gone through life?

You think Carrie and Sam
are mere friends.

Do you think Oscar
wants you just as a friend?

And I suppose Rory and Lucy are destined
for a night of passion, are they?

You never know.

God, I hope not.
Didi would kill me.


I love your earrings.

Mummy wouldn't let me
get mine done.

- Is mummy here?
- She's in Florida.

Probably in the middle
of a marriage ceremony.

Sam, if you have time tomorrow,
there's somewhere I'd like you to see.

- You are a woman of mystery.
- Aren't I just.

Thank you.

- Oh.
- I'm sorry.

Er, excuse me. Does one
need a ticket for the party?

- No. No, I don't think so.
- Thank you. - Goodnight.


Are you all right?

Yes. I'm...


sorry Sam, I must...

Oh, it doesn't matter.



My darling.


What's going on?

It's OK.

Sam, this is a friend.
From my past.

- Oh Carrie, more than that, surely.
- Why are you here?

- I wanted to be with you.
- But how did you know...

I have a room in the village.
Please, come back with me.

Your coat, miss.

I'll take that.

You can go back to your party.


It's all right, Sam.

Thank you for
a lovely evening. I...

haven't had so much fun in...

I don't know how long. Thank you.


Over, already?



I wasn't enjoying it much
without you.


my dearest girl.

Big money, Carrie. My wife
is seriously rich in her own right.

Her father is rich
and she is his only child.

- That's why you stay with her?
- If I walk away, we lose everything.

Not 'we', you!

It is for both of us.
We can have the happiest of lives.

And it can be as though
Anja does not exist.

- But she does, Andreas.
- I want you.

You want both of us.

- Is that so wrong?
- What do you think?

Is it so wrong to want the woman
I love and the money to keep her?



We are meant for each other!

Let me go!

- Is there a problem?
- No, it's all right.

Well, I'll be out the back
if you need me.

Carrie, please sit down.

- Landlord?
- Aye?

I'm leaving, so you can
lock the door after me.

- I'll come with you.
- No!

Good night then.



- What time is it?
- Mm.

- It's just getting light.
- Mm.

You should go to your room.



People will know.

To hell with people.

The girls.

With a mother like theirs,
they've seen it all before.

Don't say that.


I'm going to go

and make a cup of tea.


Mm, you look delicious.

I'll put something else on
before I go downstairs.

Good morning, Mr Howard.

Good morning, Countess.

I know nothing about distilling.

I didn't either.

But do you have a degree
in servicing oil rigs?

I'm just good at adding up.

So, that's what we need, of course,
a good business head.

But as I say,
I didn't have that either.

But, er, what about all this?

Ah, she's... finished.


On its beam end.



Slainte mhath.


Seriously good.

That's the pity of it.

The finest malt
and I failed to make it pay.

But now, you serious?
This place has to go?

We have no other choice.

Here. Here are the books.

how much initial cash
input is required?

Er, not that I know
anything about distilling.

So you said.

Can we afford to do Christmas?

Oscar, we have to afford Christmas.

That play! When do you start?

Er, we rehearse January the 7th.

Oh, this is a good one.

- In London?
- Mm.

Actually, I'm thinking
of turning it down.

You're what?

What do you think?

Forget the tree.
You're doing that job.

- Don't you want me here?
- Want you here!

What on earth has it
got to do with me?

You haven't any money.

- I'll sell my painting.
- No.

- That's for your old age.
- Thank you.

Listen, I gave up my career.

I know what that can mean.

Well, we do play Edinburgh.


I'll see it in Edinburgh, then.

You've not stayed long, then?

- No. A flying visit.
- Aye.

Er, your lady friend is here.

What time is your train?

About half an hour.

If you could just
sign here, please.

Of course.

I'll leave my bag here, if I may
and call back later.

Yes, I'll keep an eye on it for you.

- Interesting.
- Not really. Just a dream.

No, no, there's a lot going for it.

There's the Rhives name,
the castle as a corporate image.

Imagine how the Japanese and
the Americans would buy into that.

Oh, I wouldn't know
where to begin.

Well, you'd need a business manager
to start with and then...

You're manipulating me,
aren't you?

Not at all.

Well, you've chosen
the wrong man here.

You're ruthless and mean
and you look wonderful in a kilt.

No. Think about it, Sam.

You put your energy into this
and it's your own venture.

You wouldn't have to kowtow
to those money men in New York.

Well, I'll...

I'll give these books a once over.

You sure it's not too much trouble?

So, this is really what you want?

Yes, a civilised good-bye.

I didn't think it would end like this.

How did you think it would end?


Old age and slippers?

It isn't us.


Maybe in time.

But not for a while.

You know this is wrong.



You don't waste much time.

How dare you
say that to me.

I've torn myself apart
over you, Andreas!

I'd die for you!

Just... get out of my life!

Go back to your rich wife

and find yourself another
mistress to comfort you!


What's wrong?

You interfering little bitch!

You told Andreas where we were.
You did, didn't you?

Well, I might have...
I thought...

How dare you think, Lucy?
This is my life!

Cheer up Scotty boy!

She's all yours now!

Go to hell!

She doesn't fit in with my plans
anymore. So she's available.

And without me in the picture,
you might stand a chance.

But I warn you,

she's good in bed,
but she can be possessive.

So, if you play away from home,

keep it quiet.

You truly are
a disgusting little man!


Sam, no!

Get away from him.

Are you mad?

If you go anywhere
near Carrie again,

I swear, I'll kill you!

You don't need to bother,
I'm finished with her!

I'm finished with all of you!

I really can't wait
to get away from here!


I'm sorry!

Shut up, Lucy.

- Look, maybe I did you a favour.
- Shut up!

Look, I'm fine.

- What's happened?
- Fight, that's what's happened.

-I was saying goodbye to your boyfriend.
- Andreas did this?

- You should see him, he's in a
far worse state. - Elfrida, I'm fine.

- I still have some TCP here.
- Look, I don't need any TCP.

- Sam, please sit down.
- Out, out...

- Oscar...
- Huh? I want a cup of tea!

You'll get a cup of tea.

Oh, lord.

Yep, it might sting a bit.


not yet.

- That bastard...
- Hey.

Hey, come on, he's gone now.

It's going to take time.



Yeah well, I'm gonna
need time, too.

Well, I'm only just divorced,
you know.

I'm sorry, Sam.

Ahem... was it, um...

you or... him who broke it up?

Oh, I don't know,
maybe both of us.

It takes two to get things wrong.


Well, maybe not with
a complete bastard but...

He can be very sweet.

Oh... come on!

Where have they gone?

Um, I don't know.

Sam's gone out in his car
and I think Carrie's upstairs.

Suppose she's going to
start up with him now.

- I like Sam.
- Yeah.

But why do we have to be...

Oh... you know.


- Well, man stuff.
- Oh!

Mother can't get through a single week
without a man in tow.

I thought Carrie had more sense.

I'm sure she has.

I hate all that stuff!


The oven! The oven! Oh!

Don't do that.

Why not?

Because it's an awful noise.


tree looks nice.



I asked you to stop.

I don't want to stop.

I want to play.

Stop it, Lucy.


Stop it!

Don't you dare hit me!

What's wrong?

What's wrong, where's Lucy?

I was going to hit her.

She was playing the piano.

Where'd she go?

I frightened her
and she ran out.

Go and find her.

I can't.

Oscar, you must.

I simply can't.

Oscar, stop this, now.

- Start thinking about other people.
- What?

Lucy can't be Francesca.

Of course, I know that.

She never can be,
she never will be.

Now go and find her

and ask her for forgiveness.

So I told Ab Toc to come back
with a reasonable offer

on redundancy payment.

- We should hear in the new year.
- No turning back, then.

Sorry, afraid not.

I had sort of hoped.

There was never any alternative.

Angus, I wanted to ask you:

The Cregan distillery...

Best single malt in Scotland.

It is, isn't it?

Did Oscar say which way
he was going?

I suggested he try the links.

Thought Lucy
would be with Rory.

What happened?

They had a row.

Not to worry.

Everyone has rows with Lucy.

She took Horace, so...

probably turned it into a walk.

I lost my temper with him,
told him he was being selfish.

Was he?


Well, then.

I slept with him last night.


Oh my god! Elfrida!

- It was a mistake.
- Oh, why?

- It's too soon.
- Ohh...

- I've made a mess of things.
- No.

I thought I could handle it
but I can't.

He's not free yet.
How could he be?

I told him

that Lucy wasn't Francesca.


I told him to start
thinking about other people.

Poor man.

The last thing in the world he needs
is me nagging him.

Of course I understand.

He wants his own daughter.

And I'm just like
salt in the wound. Ha.


I feel I have a right as well.

Everyone treats me like a kid,
all the time.

'Cause you are.

Rory, I'm serious.

They all pretend
nothing's happened.

They don't talk about Francesca.

But I know he's thinking about her.
And I know he doesn't want me here.

But it isn't my fault.


that's what you have to do,

confront him.

So he can see.

He won't.

There-there can never be
a substitute for his wee girl.

But you have to start
living again.

There he is, it's...

it's like he's reached
the winter solstice.

You know, the shortest day
and the longest night?

He's in the deep winter,
that's where he is.

And you have to tell him
that spring's on the way

and summer will follow.

He has to believe that.


you can do it.

I'm sorry.


Me too.

- I'm sorry, as well.
- Oh, no.

It was me.

I've got your coat.

Rory lent me his.

Maybe we could start again?


You can start by telling me
about Francesca.


You never talk about her.

She'd have liked you.

You'd have made her laugh.

Are you serious?

I might be, I'm not sure.
Let's just say, I'm intrigued.

- You'd come and live up here?
- Mm, why not?

Well, for a while,
probably not forever.

Now that my marriage is over,
there's nothing to keep me in New York.

- Except a lucrative job, of course.
- Well, yeah, there is that.

And I seem to remember being told
there were no jobs up here.

Mm, we're working on that.

I'll go. - No,

I will.

Are you all right?

We had a talk.

Where would you live?

Well, here.

With Oscar?

Are you gonna stay?

I don't know.

New beginning all round.

That was Peter Kennedy.

- He wants me down at the church.
- What for?

Somebody hasn't turned up. Something
about doling out carol sheets.

I'll see you at the service.

Doling out carol sheets?

- Mrs Mann.
- Merry Christmas, Minister.

- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas. Welcome.

- Oscar, this is uncommonly good of you.
- I'm glad to be of use.

- What are you going to do, Carrie?
- Er, get a job.

Actually, I think I'm being headhunted
by a golf complex in Spain.

You teach golf?
We could use you up here.

No, I don't know a birdie from
a putter, so that wouldn't work.

But anyway, no, I'll be managing
the accommodation side.

But well, um...

I'm not sure.

It's, um, early days yet.

Who knows what we'll
be doing next year.

Hey, Sam?


Thank you.


What will you really do, Carrie?

Take it step by step. You?

I don't know.

Maybe it is time
for a change of job.

I really enjoyed that.

You know, I can't remember
the last time I was in a church.

You wouldn't really
move up here.

Would you?

Yeah, why not?

There's nothing to keep me in
New York anymore, that's for sure.

- You?
- I must get a job.

Have to.

- But not up here.
- I doubt it.



Of course, if Elfrida's up here,
I'll come up often.


I'd like that.


Let's just take it step by step.



Thought I missed you.

- I just...
- I was...

I was wondering when
you're going back to London?

Well, it depends on Carrie.

But I don't think she'll be
in a hurry, not now anyway.

- Why not?
- Because she's in love.

- Shall I walk you home?
- Yes.


Oscar, you played.

So beautifully.

Oh, thank you.

How lovely.

- Snowing for Christmas.
- Yes.

As it should.

How are you?


I'm fine, why?

Well, you look after all of us.

You're not feeling
taken for granted?

Well, now that you mention...
Of course I'm not!

Thank you.

Thank you for everything.



You saved my life.


And you certainly changed mine.

We make a good couple,
don't we?

Careful, Oscar,
I could start believing that.


Why not?

Why not, indeed?