Reading straight from the “Being Posh 101: A handbook written by someone who isn’t actually posh, but once read a copy of Tatler at the dentist’s”, Lucy has gone and bought a dog from Harrods. Hilariously, or perhaps as part of an upmarket attempt at animal cruelty, someone at Harrods named him Kevin, the most non-U handle a person can have before you start getting into the New World wines. Lucy has renamed him Digby, presumably as an endlessly comic visual gag. Lucy’s Digby is not The Biggest Dog In The World. Lucy’s Digby would probably find a well fed hamster physically intimidating.
Why has Lucy bought a joke dog? Well, a puppy is for birthdays, not just for Christmas. She needed an appropriate accessory for Scrumble’s birthday. Biscuits is, erm, piggybacking on her puppy, and thinks the rebrand is confusing him. “He was christened KEVIN!” he barks, after “Digby” responds to Lucy’s calls like Homer Simpson responded to the Witness Protection people. Biscuits is bothered about the frivolity of a doggy birthday party, but obviously a christening is fine.
Stevie is preparing for a date with Laughing Tif, and Andy is warning him about ending up in the Friendzone. Stevie, getting “Friendzoned” is not a strategic failing on your part, it just means that you date lots of girls who were brought up to be terribly polite about letting people down gently, but really, really don’t fancy you. One way to move out of the Friendzone is to avoid dates that necessitate the wearing of an apron. You look like the fat one who got down to the last but one audition for Mumford and Sons. That barista who drew a ballsac shape in foam at the top of your coffee? They were trying to tell you something. Luckily, Tif is very easy to entertain. One suspects that the last four letters of her name weren’t the only thing to get lobotomised. Stevie, keep smiling and laughing and you’ll be married in five years, as long as no-one asks you what the joke is.
Phoebe and Louise are having “high tea” at Sketch, admitting to “eating a bit of everything” as if other people avoid tasting fancy cakes, and go to these establishments in order to test the structural integrity of a macaroon. “Hello Little One! How are you?” coos an arriving Rosie. “Good thanks!” reply Lou and Phoebe. Phoebes, someone needs to have a word with you about hierarchy. You’re not important enough to have a nickname yet. Perhaps next season, you can be “Shrieky”, or “Spite-y”. Perhaps realising this, she makes a bid for legacy building by using MIC’s most repeated line: “I need to get out of London.” The trouble with planning a girly trip is “the others all don’t speak to me”. Never trust a girl who doesn’t get on with other girls, even if it’s because she’s “really pretty” or “has loads of really good boy mates” or struggles because other people are “so jealous” of her.
Back at the doggy disco, Alex, looking like a trainee bounty hunter and part time C&A model, is advising Biscuits on the Matthews-Watson sitch. Would Biscuits leave Lucy alone if Spencer made him? “I reckon it will entice you more, you’ll be like ‘forbidden fruit, can’t have it...’, so...” Alex was definitely the sort of kid who told his little brothers and sisters that they were “allowed” to open all their Christmas presents on December 23rd.
The bois are going camping! For Proudlock, who has based his entire life and aesthetic on the final scenes of Apocalypse Now, this represents a kind of emotional homecoming. “We’re meant to be lost bois!” wails Boulle, as Biscuits crumbles and breaks down. “I “I fucking hate the woods, I hate everything about the woods,” he whines, and then, in response to a perceived challenge to his masculinity, “I’m being a man, I’m the only one who brought loo paper.” Because that’s what men do! They poo in the woods! Oh, no, sorry, I don’t mean men - I’m thinking of bears.
However, the woods could be worse for poor old Biscuits - at least they’re Spencer free. Spencer is not happy about Biscuits’ behaviour, possibly because he told him to stop sleeping with Lucy. “I was going to pull the plug on it, say we can’t do this any more, it can’t happen, then we ended up sleeping together again.” Proudlock’s response - “I did say ‘don’t hook up with her, she’s your mate’s ex’” is up there with “I told you not to forget your keys” and “I told you it would burn down after you spilled all the petrol on it.” Biscuits, yank his topknot. It’s his most sensitive part.
Just when you’d think the camping trip couldn’t get any worse, Andy gets his guitar out. “It’s actually quite relaxing!” claim the bois, in the same way that Wes Anderson’s Witness remake might be relaxing. Proudlock is whittling enthusiastically, ostensibly to make fire kindling, put probably with his eye on a new line of SDM ‘organic’ jewellery. If you know him in real life, don’t accept any gifts from him unless you have a stash of sandpaper and a sturdy pair of tweezers. It seems Andy is musically trained, or at least house trained - he’s to play an indoor gig, and Cheska is doing the PR. He doesn’t want Louise to come. “You don’t want people you don’t like rocking up,” says Stevie, gravely. Let’s hope Cheska is holding the event in a non public space, like someone’s house. Stevie will be bringing someone he likes - Tif. “I literally got home and I was smiling,” is how he describes their date. Presumably she took him to her favourite glue sniffing haunt afterwards, and then indoctrinated him into her special cult.
The girls are also in Surrey, at a spa. Binky is doing her level best to soothe the tensions that have erupted after she accidentally went on a date with Mayfair’s most bafflingly eligible man. She does a good job with Fran, and then Phoebe turns up. It’s like watching news footage of a tsunami. We know it’s going to end in the worst way possible, but we can’t stop it no matter how hard we wave our arms and shout “Nooooooooooo!” Fran is oddly distraught that her friendship with Phoebe is no more. Phoebe accuses her of crying “crocodile tears”. If only Fran could cry an actual crocodile and end everything there. Lucy comes in to rescue Binky, who, like someone with a death wish playing Pass the Parcel, tells the girls that now would be the best time to sort out what’s going on with Jamie Biscuits. “Actually, I’m going to get Louise. And Jamie says ‘hi’ - he just texted me,” smirks Phoebe. When Madeleine Allbright talked about the “special place in hell” for women who don’t support other women, she was EXCLUSIVELY talking about you, Lettuce.
Phoebe explains the situation to Lou, who looks concerned. “Fran cried?” “Fake cried,” sneers Phoebe dismissively. She bullies Louise into crashing the boys’ camping trip, and for reasons best known to herself, Louise reluctantly and misguidedly steels herself for a trip to Andy’s tent.
The best thing about staying at a spa is that you get given a robe, which doubles as an excellent, inexpensive ghost costume. And so Phoebe and Louise ambush the camping trip, dressed as ghosts, while Boulle is telling a ghost story. Genius. Although once the boys are able to breathe normally and adjust their soiled pants, they’re quite angry. “Why is it a bad thing to come here?” demands an increasingly shrill Phoebe. Andy is quietly furious. “In the nicest possible way, I don’t want you here. You’ve ruined my trip,” he hisses at Lou, while a delighted Biscuits grinned contentedly, as the heat is off his horrible love triangle. But not for long. Phoebe is angry that Biscuits wants to know where they stand while they’re in the “fucking woods” and isn’t going to “play that risk when you have eggs in other people’s baskets” - specifically, the baskets of the people that Biscuits is going for “Snoggy Doggy walks” with. Is Snoggy Doggy the supporting act for Andy’s gig? Does he mix a verbal metaphor as confusingly as Miss Lettuce Thompson?
It’s worse than Mark Francis could imagine - and Mark Francis is imagining that it’s very bad indeed. “They probably have to rough it in a sleeping bag,” shudders Victoria, who seems to be imagining them in a single giant sack, like the Bucket family in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Mark Francis’ greatest concern is, as always, storage. “Sleeping in a bag that has a bag! I mean, what a thought!” This draws our attention to Mark Francis’ little known phobia of Russian dolls. He also fears inclement temperatures with an intensity to rival Emma’s Mr Woodhouse. “I’m putting everything into climate controlled storage now...nothing’s happy unless the climate is controlled. Imagine my shivering commodes.” I do, Mark Francis, every night before I go to sleep. And still, you won’t answer my letters.
The next day, Alex, stirring harder than a Bake Off finalist on their fourth packet of Pro Plus, chats to Phoebe about Jamie. “Obviously I’m really good friends with him, but having seen how Jamie is with you and Lucy, it’s really similar. You’re better than that.” What a lovely friend Alex is! Almost as kind as Biscuits is being to Spenny, or Spencer was to Biscuits when he whipped Louise from under his nose. It’s nice to have chums. Phoebe has a plan of his own - she wants to see if Biscuits will run back to Lucy while she goes on a strategic holiday. Presumably, this is why David Cameron goes on so many holidays. To understand his enemies.
Sneaky, sneaky Alex then rings Binks (“I’m standing by a really, really nice pond!” “That sounds nice!”) to tell on Jamie. Lucy, who was more pleased than she would like to admit about her 3AM Biscuitty voicemail, bursts into tears. “Every time I talk about my own feelings, they get thrown back in my face,” wails Lucy, as a disturbed Rosie mutters “I can’t believe I organised this.” To think there was a time when the disappointment of others brought her to orgasm. Times have changed.
Mr Matthews has been conspicuous by his absence, but he finally arrives outside Andy’s gig - and it’s clear that his trip to the South of France with Stephanie did not go well. “It’s not bad, she’s cleaning the flat right now, but most couples, they choose to live together...this decision has been made for me.” Poor, poor Stephanie, imprisoned in a cupboard with a box of J cloths at the behest of grumpy man who resents filling his contractual obligations.
Cheska, channelling nineties Louise “Metallica publicist” Mensch in an oddly seamed leather jacket and bottled beer, is giving Andy the good and bad news. “We’ve got lots of people in here, industry and press...and Louise.” The Little One has a lot of ground to make up - mostly apologising to everyone else at the spa and admitting that running off with Phoebe was less sensible than trying to tame a lion with a Quorn scotch egg multipack. “I looked desperate, and I got told,” she surmises. Lou, you may be small in stature, but you are the bigger woman.
Lucy is sad, Alex is stirring, Jamie Biscuits is planning to pick Phoebe and Fran reveals she “knows for a fact” that Phoebes is on holiday with a boy she likes. Ah, the ol’ switcheroo. What does this remind us of, boys and girls? Oh yes, when Biscuits was trying to smooch Phoebe and Watson and then suddenly produced a girlfriend who was yet to sit her A-levels.
Andy, wearing a hat that Britney would have turned her nose up at in 2007, is singing a very clear rip off of Iggy Pop’s Passenger. No-one notices, especially not Louise who is gamely dancing like no-one’s watching, especially not a nasally endowed Moe Syzlak look-a-like ex . Lucy attempts to confront Jamie Biscuits, who says, pathetically, “I can’t be bothered to explain.” Bloody Biscuits. He’s so infuriating that we’re rooting for angry Spencer, even though he talks about poor Lucy as if she’s the manager’s special in Chicken Cottage. “When you’re out and about and you have a couple of drunks and you end up fucking her, then we’re going to have a real problem,” he yells, before swearing and hurling his drink into Biscuits’ face. Oh, Spenny. You get an 8 for sociopathic effort, but that had all the impact of a Boxing Day Babycham. Please can we get Millie back for all drink throwing scenes?
Next week, Stephanie discovers the delights of oven cleaner in confined spaces, Lucy spends a week picking up dog shit and searches frantically for Kevin/Digby’s receipt, and Spencer, unironically dressed as early period Richard Madeley, flings his quiff about the room, shouting “I’M SO COOL!” The last one isn’t made up.
Daisy’s book, The Wickedly Unofficial Guide To Made In Chelsea, is available here: