Ring Around the Bath
1. Return of the Kidi
Middle-aged mother Stella arrives home to find her oldest daughter Alison has moved her furniture back in the house and taken up residence in the smallest bedroom. She dreams of a life where her four kids have moved out and her and husband Patrick can move to the country. Patrick has little concern for the kids being back home as the family is together, and is content with staying in the house, keeping himself busy with odd jobs and his attempts to write an Italian cookbook. Sympathetic to the stress his wife is suffering, Patrick attempts to talk to his children about their future plans but struggles to handle the situation. Only son Rick and girlfriend Xanthe are living in the house and decide to move out to her parents to make room, but quickly return when her grandfather dies and the spare room becomes unavailable.
2. Rick's Quarrel
Stella resorts to cleaning out the bath before she uses it, and finds her toiletries have been taken by the kids. Patrick meanwhile finds Xanthe has been sleeping on the couch and has become jealous of him writing songs for his band which will be sung be another girl. Oldest daughter Alison arrives home with news of breaking up with her boyfriend Dave, and resorts to ranting about men in general, before talking Xanthe into moving out and leaving Rick. Alison continues to try to stir up their relationship while Stella suggests that Rick find a place for him and Xanthe. Xanthe however is soon pining to return home. While out at the supermarket, Patrick finds a cookbook which is exactly like his own, putting an end to his dream. Youngest daughter Egg suggests other ideas in an attempt to improve his morale. Rick gets bitten by a fox while attempting to talk to Xanthe, before she returns home after they take a trip to hospital.
Patrick spends most of the night allowing the kids back into the house after they forget their keys, and devises a plan the family can use to ensure they know whether each person is in or out. A dog is also in the house after following home Xanthe. Stella continues to hope they can move away from the madness once Egg’s A-levels have been completed. At the bin, Stella finds a positive pregnancy test and along with Patrick, speculates on who it could belong to. While speaking to Rick on the phone, she mentions that Stella is pregnant after seeing the pregnancy test in her hand. Rick soon informs Alison. When Xanthe and Alison talk to Patrick and Stella, the family soon concludes that it is Egg who has taken the pregnancy test, however she reveals it was for her art project. The family is excited however as the dog may become a permanent family member.
4. Car Boot
Patrick returns from a driving lesson with Egg as Stella is cleaning out the cellar which is filled with accumulated rubbish. Deciding on doing a car boot, she finds little enthusiasm from the kids for getting rid of old belongings. However, when Egg’s driving instructor who is also a collector comes by and mentions the potential earnings from collectables, the kids soon decide they want to help out. While out in the garden, Patrick mentions to Stella about moving to France which takes her somewhat by surprise, and dismisses the idea. Going on to tell the kids, they are delighted at the idea which results in an argument with Stella. At the car boot sale, Patrick finds a log burner for his planned French house, and the kids end up buying lots of useless rubbish. Patrick hurts his back and ends up watching a television show about a couple moving to France and having a terrible experience, rendering the idea dead.
5. The Older Man
Stella takes to cleaning the house with the cleaning rota having been ignored. After an argument with Alison over her lack of tidying efforts, Stella and Egg find Alison cleaning however they work out that she is seeing a new partner, Eric, and wants the house clean. Alison’s twenty-ninth birthday is also approaching which leaves Egg and Rick struggling for presents. Rick and Xanthe decide to go into business together running a domestic agency. At Alison’s birthday party, her partner can not make it however Patrick and Stella find from Rick that he is significantly older. The family questions the age difference, but end up liking him when they meet him. At a gardening contest, Stella is disqualified after she accidentally reveals she didn’t grow some of the plants herself which leaves her upset. Alison is also upset when she breaks up with Eric after he ends up liking the family too much.
6. New House
Patrick finds a ‘strange boy’ in their kitchen in boxer shorts, and mending the kitchen clock. Stella receives a tip-off on a country house which is up for sale, and is happy at the thought of a move. Patrick finds out the boy is named Digger and that Egg doesn’t really like him and he is only there to do her history homework. Stella gets upset at the kids various complaints, and launches into a rant about them still being at the house, before setting out plans for her new house. Xanthe also takes to looking after Digger who comes down with flu. While showing a couple around their house, Patrick and the kids do their best to discourage them to not buy the house when Stella gets caught in traffic. The couple love the house despite Patrick’s efforts leaving Stella angry when she founds out what he had planned and even worse when their new potential house isn’t going up for sale. To cap things off, the entire family catches the flu.
1. New Ways to Comb Old Gravel
Patrick takes to trying to write a children’s cookbook with an upcoming trip to Japan, while Stella is working on a garden design essay for her landscaping course. Alison has since moved to Spain to teach English. Rick meanwhile has a job delivering wine, though has taken to drinking plenty of it and Xanthe now has an estate agents job. Stella receives a call from Alison who is returning home. Alison arrives in an irate move to find not everything is the same as she left, and with few plans for what to do next. Egg is awaiting her exam results, and has to deal with Stella’s stress on trying to hold the household together. Xanthe takes over managing the household, and ends up breaking under the strain with little help from Rick, Alison or Egg. Patrick arrives home from Japan, and first has to deal with Stella’s poor essay grade. Egg however does reasonably well and Alison returns to work as a waitress, though Rick quits his job after getting fed up of wine.
2. Go With the Flow
Patrick wakes early to find Rick and Xanthe cooking breakfast, and Rick reveals he has a new job delivering vegetables. Egg and Alison arrive home from late night parties, and Stella joins them. With the turbulence in family life, Patrick tries to devise a flowchart of schedules to restore order, though finds himself looking after a child on Alison’s behalf. Egg also seems to have come into money and takes to loaning it out, and Patrick becomes more suspicious when beer with price labels appears in the kitchen. Rick takes to selling vegetables at the farmers market. Egg chases Xanthe for some money she owes, though disappears when her parents try to question her. At the park, they encounter Alison doing her nannying job who dumps the kids on them, however the mother turns up resulting in Alison getting fired. Stella finds out that Egg has been suspended from school for running a craps game.
3. Brideshead Unvisited
Alison is a bridesmaid for a former girlfriend of Rick, and is stressed at ensuring she looks good. Stella is under pressure to attend the wedding with the rest of the family, rather than going to a gardening event. Patrick tries to get the event date changed, and has to contend with Egg who tries to get out of attending the wedding. Xanthe also cannot go as she has to work, but is also worried about Rick’s feelings. Patrick allows Egg to drive them to the wedding, which results in a restless trip to the wedding. The marriage goes off without a problem, though when talking to Xanthe on the phone, Rick leaves her with the impression they are engaged. Alison and Egg also think about plans for their own weddings which look to be costly. Being in the countryside, Stella also has an enjoyable day making plans for their move much to Patrick’s dismay. Patrick concocts a plan to get her away from the wedding with the lure of meeting Monty Don, before confessing it was a ruse.
4. Space Perception
Patrick tries to teach Egg how to cook for when she goes to university, when Alison arrives to complain that there is no hot water for her shower, with Patrick deciding on a showering roster. Stella is also in a mood after dealing with a nosy neighbour who they don’t get along with. She takes to writing a letter to them to try to make friends to ensure they don’t upset any house move. Alison meanwhile tries to persuade her parents to extend the house for more space, while Rick decides on adding doors to make more rooms. Stella is still the only one who believes in the house move, and has made some headway with the neighbours. Egg continues her cooking by making a meal for the family. Stella’s work with the neighbours has also lead to nothing as they suddenly move, and when the new neighbours arrive, they have a number of cats which are certain to dig up her garden.
5. The Birds and the Bees
Alison has broken up with Rory, and is upset when Patrick and Stella remain friends with him. Returning from tending a friends allotment while they are on holiday, Stella continues her arguments for moving to the country, and also decides they are going to get chickens. Xanthe meanwhile has a job as a teaching assistant. Returning home from a night out, Alison is furious and demands to know why Egg was seen out with Rory, before getting upset that some of her hair is turning grey. Xanthe tries to reassure her with the suggestion of using a dating agency to improve her love life, though finds her taste in men to be fussy. Stella also brings a beehive home, which results in Alison and Egg remaining inside terrified. Alison meets Caleb who is helping Stella with the bees, and learns that he is returning to be a stock broker in London, which piques her interest. Patrick also learns that he emptied the wrong allotment while visiting.
6. All Over Bar the Wrapping Paper
Christmas is here and Patrick attempts to buy a potting shed for Stella from the garden centre she works at, though the manager blows the surprise. Stella decides on spending time away for Christmas, though Patrick spots it as an attempt to house hunt in the country. Xanthe takes to organising presents for Alison and Stella to give, while Rick and his sisters look forward to their parents not being there. Patrick is concerned at missing out on serving the regular Christmas meal while Stella also leaves Egg with a long list of jobs that need to be done for the neighbours. Alison, Rick and Egg soon become upset at the regular Christmas festivities being interrupted, and someone tips off Stella’s mother who decides to also turn up at the house. Alison manages to make alternative plans for a trip skiing in Switzerland, and Rick decides to go to Xanthe’s parents with her. Stella’s mum has her plans cancelled, and Egg decides to help the homeless leaving just Patrick and Stella at home for Christmas Day.
1. Love in a Cottage
Stella is noticing how old she appears to be getting, and suggests that they move to the country sooner rather than later. Alison has moved out to live with her boyfriend, though Rick, Egg, and Xanthe remain. Xanthe has decided to setup a mobile aromatherapy business, while Rick is working nights and unwittingly paying rent at home. Egg takes to visiting Alison to borrow her hair straighteners, while Stella is caught secretly gardening when no one is home. Alison becomes more irate when Patrick turns up with food. Patrick reveals a surprise to Stella that they have the use of a country cottage, though they spend their time worrying about the house. They get invited to join a village committee, however the community is much younger than Stella expects. Returning home, Patrick and Stella find Rick has been taking in lodgers while they were away. Alison has also returned home as she has split up with her boyfriend.
2. Willing It Away
Patrick continues trying to teach Egg to cook in preparation for her heading off to university. Stella’s mother is also living with them as her companion who she lives with and has known since school has decided to move out. Since breaking up with her boyfriend, Alison is dividing their furniture. Patrick meanwhile gets a job hosting a cooking show on the Barbecue Channel. Rick and Xanthe arrive home at dinner time with news that they are now engaged. Xanthe launches into planning the wedding, while Stella’s mother takes to planning her own funeral instead. Looking forward to her mother returning home, Egg returns home from her nursery job with nits which leaves Stella having to contend with the family complaining. Good news eventually arrives when her mother and friend move back in together. Xanthe breaks off the engagement with Rick as he is unable to make any decisions, though they remain together. Back to just two generations at home, Alison drops the bombshell that she is pregnant.
3. The Loophole of Opportunity
Patrick is recording for the Barbecue Channel, though the families arguments indoors distract him. Alison is struggling with the pregnancy, due to all the food around the house though seems to enjoy using the pregnancy as an excuse for doing much. Egg however has taken to filming director Fergus and is keen on his advice. Alison meanwhile has also found a house to move in with her partner and eventual baby. Rick also has a job doing some filming, and is making plans to go travelling with Xanthe in a van he has bought. With the children now starting to have plans, Stella jumps at the chance for house-hunting in the country. Patrick has more filming upcoming, and is trying to find a catchphrase without much luck. Rick quickly decides to sell his van at a cheap price and ending their plans for travelling. Patrick and Stella decide that they don’t particular like Fergus who is somewhat dishonest, and Egg reverses going to university. Alison also has a disagreement with her partner about furniture resulting in her moving back in to the house.
4. Keeping Mum
Stella arrives home to find her garden centre is moving into other areas, much to her disgust. She also notices that Rick is putting on weight due to his job. Egg is also being tested by Alison on her French. Patrick gathers the kids together to announce the plans for Stella’s upcoming birthday which includes a surprise party. Trying to arrange friends to attend, Patrick embarks on finding who Stella is still in touch with though quickly arouses suspicions. Xanthe also encourages Rick to exercise in an attempt to get him fit for the party. While the family unveils a cake at home, Stella is disappointed at the lack of fuss and everyone else having plans to go out. Everyone heads off to get ready, in which Stella leaves the house and drives off, leaving the party plans in ruins. As the bus with the other guests arrives, Patrick has the driver follow Stella. Catching up with her, Patrick has to reveal the surprise.
5. Pressure Times Volume is a Constant
Egg has a temporary environmentalist guest, Dominic, in the house which results in even less space. She has also taken to cooking vegetarian food and being interested in the environment. Patrick is away, and Stella hopes Alison will make use of the kids’ old pram however Alison decides to store it under a tarpaulin on the lawn. Patrick returns home from his trip, and has bought a larger car which Stella dislikes. Alison heads out to pick up a cot from a friend as more stuff continues to arrive in the house. Rick receives a call from his boss that due to his tardiness, he has a basic flat available for him to move into during the week, however he has to leave Xanthe back at the house leaving her upset. Patrick returns from dropping Rick off, with most of his stuff in the car due to the size of the flat. Egg is angered when she finds Dominic has been eating from the local chippy and doesn’t really care about the environment, before kicking him out. Xanthe spends her time thinking about Rick, but it isn’t long however before Rick wants to come home due to missing Xanthe.
6. Seeking Lost Gardens
Stella is running an open garden, though wants Patrick to oversee things and provide cream teas. Alison is eight months pregnant, though has decided on going clubbing to have her last fun. Stella is also stressed due to Rick being unhappy in his job, and Patrick’s suggestion of a holiday is dismissed due to work on the garden. Rick updates his resume in the hope of becoming a paramedic. The time is also approaching for Egg to select a university. Patrick takes to preparing the home for the baby’s arrival, and also reveals he has a job coming up advertising residential homes. He also books a trip for him and Stella to view gardens in Scotland. A barbecue in the garden ends up burning Stella’s Birch tree though the open garden continues, with Patrick making the fire a feature. As the family enjoys the garden, Alison goes into labour resulting in the holiday being given to Rick and Xanthe instead.