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    Written by: Don Battye   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Mark Piper

Barbara yells, "Then you know the only reason he died was your fault." There's silence for a few seconds before Patricia smiles and sarcastically says birthdays are such fun: a lovely opportunity for everyone to get together and chat about old times. Beryl looks worried. There's a further period of silence, until Dee says she agrees - but people don't always speak the truth. She apologises and says she's just a cranky old woman; she'll say anything to keep a fight going. Barbara asks to be excused, and she starts to walk off. Dee calls, "Barbara," and she goes after her, explaining to the others that Barbara knows she goes too far when she loses her temper. Amanda comments that it's never been any different with those two - put them together and they fight like cat and dog. Patricia asks how did Barbara's father die, but Amanda says she doesn't know; something normal like a heart attack - nothing suspicious, if that's what she's thinking. Fiona suggests that it would be both wise and polite if they were all to forget this little incident. Patricia looks thoughtful momentarily and then says she agrees - not that they should worry too much about being polite! She smiles!

Dee follows Barbara into the lounge room, where she says that surely Barbara can accept an apology. Barbara replies, "Not from you." Dee says she made a mistake, and Barbara tells her that she certainly did. Dee says she had to fight back, but Barbara yells that she always does. Dee says she's ashamed, and Barbara sarcastically replies, "Oh, really?" Dee asks Barbara to forgive her, but Barbara yells, "I don't believe you." Dee pleads, "Please." Barbara yells that she didn't want to come there today, but she stupidly let her mother talk her into it - for Gordon's sake, she said it would be. She continues, "And if you think I'm going to stay here for the rest of what is laughingly called your birthday party, you can damn well think again." She bursts into tears. Dee says she told the others, and they don't believe what she said. Barbara tells Dee to come on... but Dee says they don't; well, Patricia perhaps. Barbara snaps, "And Beryl and Fiona and, of course, Amanda." Dee says they don't know what happened; all they saw was a silly old woman lose her temper. She adds that if Barbara goes, they'll only think there was some truth in it. Barbara asks whose face Dee is trying to save now: "Yours or mine?" Dee says, "Both - but yours, more." She tells Barbara that she doesn't want her to to go, and Barbara immediately yells, "There you go again - your two favourite words: 'I' and 'want'." Dee asks Barbara what she wants, but Barbara just stands there, crying. Gordon suddenly comes in, and apologises for bursting in, saying he thought they were still with Amanda and the others, trying on clothes. Barbara sobs that she's just got a bit of a headache - she thinks it's the start of a migraine - and she's trying to beg off the party. Dee quietly says it's such a pity; it might go away. Barbara, though, says it won't - once they start, they last for hours. Dee says she remembers. Gordon tells Barbara to go upstairs, and he goes to help her, but Barbara says she's alright. Dee looks upset, and she sighs, heavily.

A short while later, Dee is pouring herself a drink when Beryl comes in with her dress. She immediately tells Dee that she shouldn't be drinking alcohol. Dee asks if she's not allowed to drown her sorrows in her own house, and Beryl says, "No!" Dee puts the glass down. Beryl tells her that she thought she'd like to see the dress she's chosen. She holds it up against herself and says it was very good of Dee to let her have it; she remembers her gran showing her photographs of something quite similar. Dee distantly says she's glad Beryl likes it. Beryl says that, if there's nothing else, she might call a cab and head home. Dee says no, there's nothing else. Beryl suggests that perhaps it might be an idea if Dee went upstairs and had a nap before tonight - it'll be quite a strain. Dee snaps that she doesn't need a nap; she's not a child. Beryl says she knows that, but she points out that Dee has just had a heart attack, and needs to rest if she doesn't want another one. Patricia sidles into the room as Dee tells Beryl that she's right. She then looks at Patricia and asks her what she thinks she's doing. Patricia innocently says she thought there might be something Dee needs. Dee snaps that Beryl is looking after her. Patricia wanders out again. Dee snaps, "'There might be something I need.' Who does she think she's fooling?" She adds that the only reason Patricia is poking her head in is because she still thinks she's got a chance of getting some money out of her after she's gone. She tells Beryl that the only member of the family worth her salt was Barbara, and she doesn't want to know her; she isn't even coming tonight. Beryl points out that Barbara did say she has a migraine. Dee says she might have, but that isn't the real reason she won't be there. Beryl says she knows Dee said some hurtful things, and that Barbara got upset with her, but it doesn't seem very fair to spoil the night. Dee perks up and says Barbara is not going to spoil her night - she'll have all her friends around her. She tells Beryl, "I decided I'm going to have a birthday party worth remembering, and, by God, I'm going to!" Beryl smiles.

Later, at the Palmers', Beryl is looking through her jewellery while David sits on a chair. He remarks that she's really looking forward to the party, and Beryl asks why not? - it'll be a change. David asks what next: posh parties in Toorak?! He laughs. Beryl says she takes that all with a grain of salt; she has to admit that Dee's been nice, though. David starts to make the hand movements of the charleston, and Beryl laughs, saying she can only speak as she finds her. She adds that she doesn't think much of the rest of the family, though; they don't seem to be able to stand a bar of her. David remarks that they're a funny lot - Patricia is in good company! Beryl says it's strange being there - like one of those families you read about: rich, mixed up in big business and not one of them happy. David says he wonders why they bother, and Beryl replies, "Money, I suppose." She adds that coming home is like a breath of fresh air! David jokes that her old man isn't too dull after all! Beryl hugs him and says he'll do her! She adds that she won't let it go to her head; she won't get the chance anyway, as she has to go back to The Terrace tomorrow and interview some people for the waitressing job - there's nothing glamourous in that! David says, "Oh, I don't know: I met a sexy waitress once!" Beryl laughs and kisses him!

Amanda and Dee are in the hall at Toorak, dressed in their costumes. Dee gives the party photographer instructions on where to position himself. Stephen comes downstairs and asks Dee if she has a minute. Amanda walks off. Stephen tells his mother that he knows she's putting on a brave front, but he also knows about the argument with Barbara. Dee snaps, "Patricia, no doubt?" Stephen says he doesn't want to talk about it, or why it happened, and he doesn't want her blaming Patricia; they have a chance to have a normal family get-together and he thinks they should take it. He then wishes Dee a happy birthday, kisses her on the cheek, and gives her a gift. Dee says she'll try to behave herself. She asks if Barbara might join them. Stephen replies that he looked in on her, but she's still not feeling well. There's a knock at the front door, and Dee says that, with any luck, it should be Beryl. She opens the door, and is shocked to see Charlie standing there, all dressed up, accompanied by an older man. She cheerily walks in and says, "Hello, there. Happy Birthday!" Dee snaps, "I didn't invite you." Charlie takes the man by the arm and explains that she's Max's guest. Max says to Dee that he hopes she doesn't mind. Charlie spots the photographer and suggests he get a shot of the three of them together. She, Dee and Max stand by the door. Dee is stony-faced. Patricia comes down and says, "Charlie, fancy you being here!" She and Charlie walk off. Max tells Dee that he's sorry - he didn't know. Dee replies that he always had bad taste!

Sometime later, the party is in full swing. Amanda and Dee are standing, talking, and Dee says thee guests may be a bit long in the tooth, but they're a noisy lot! Amanda laughs, and remarks that there are quite a few of Dee's old friends there. Dee says they're not necessarily friends - she points to a woman and says she hated her when she was Amanda's age! Amanda laughs and asks why. Dee explains that she got out of the chorus before she did! Amanda remarks that Dee hardly ever talks about that, but Dee says there's not much to talk about: she sang in the chorus; hardly a star - not that there were many of those. Amanda asks if that's how Dee met her husband. Dee says, "Yes," and, apparently trying to evade any more questions on that subject, then quickly says she must find Fiona and Beryl. She walks off. Amanda sips her drink and then walks over to where another woman guest is standing. They make smalltalk about going away at Christmas, and Amanda says she was thinking about Honolulu this year. When the woman walks off, Wayne, who was standing nearby, dressed in a red jacket and straw boater, approaches Amanda and says, "Honolulu, eh?" Amanda snaps, "What?" Wayne laughs and tells her that she knows she's broke. He adds that she has a good imagination, as he's been hearing her going on about her busy social life for the last hour! Amanda snaps, "Oh go drop in a hole, Wayne!" She storms off. Elsewhere in the room. Patricia is talking to another elderly guest, who says Stephen has done very well for himself. Patricia thanks her. The woman then says she supposes they'll be planning a family soon; Dee should have another grandchild. Patricia listens and then asks to be excused! She walks over to Stephen and says they're all obsessed by babies - she's heard nothing but talk about children all night! Stephen says some of them are a bit ancient! Patricia cattily says, "Well, Dee's friends..." Fiona and Beryl are talking to each other. Charlie approaches Phillipe and tells him that the food is all absolutely gorgeous! She adds that he can work for her, any time! She nibbles some food. Fiona remarks to Beryl that it's such a pity David had to drop out at the last moment. Beryl replies that there's not much work around, so he has to take it when it comes. Dee is standing nearby as Beryl continues that it was a stroke of luck John finding Lisa Cook so quickly. Fiona agrees. Beryl says she seems to be a very nice girl, from what he says. Fiona says she'll soon find out - they're meeting up at Beryl's place before heading off to the airport in the morning. Gordon walks over to Dee and remarks that Charlie never stops talking! Dee, watching Charlie flirt with Phillipe, says that's not the only thing she doesn't stop, by the look of it. Gordon says she doesn't mean any harm, but Dee says she doesn't have much pride, attaching herself to that old fool who brought her. She adds that she noticed Charlie has dumped him outside. Gordon pours some drinks, and Dee comments on Charlie flirting with Phillipe, saying he's only half her age - practically! Gordon says Charlie's heart is in the right place; she just needs to convince herself she's still attractive. The bottle of champagne having run out, Gordon heads off to get some more. Beryl takes the glass that Dee is holding, and Dee jokes that she's a regular tyrant! Fiona laughs that she wouldn't take her on! Out in the hallway, Barbara is coming downstairs. She tells Gordon that she thought she'd go into Amanda's room and watch a bit of television. Gordon asks her if she doesn't feel like joining the party, but Barbara says no. Gordon asks her if her headache's improved, and Barbara says, "No, not really." She adds that she thought the television might put her to sleep. Gordon tells her not to strain her eyes. Barbara sudddenly starts crying and says she's been putting on an act - she couldn't face going to the party after what happened. Gordon cuddles her and tells her to come on now...

A short time later, Barbara and Gordon are alone in Amanda's quarters, in the half-dark. Gordon gives Barbara a drink, but Barbara says she's sorry, but she doesn't think a glass of chamapagne is going to help very much. Gordon sits down next to her, and she begins to tell him the story of her father. She explains that her mother was a very vain person, and when she got older, in her forties, she had to prove she was still very attractive, and she had quite a few affairs with younger men - and everybody knew except for her father; she hated Dee for what she was doing to him, so she told him. She starts crying as she says it didn't work - she thought her father would kick Dee out and divorce her; she didn't realise how much he loved her. The tears flow as she continues that her father just dropped his bundle, and he became very ill, and Dee couldn't have cared less - and then he died. She sobs as she says Dee told her that she was responsible; if she hadn't interfered, everything would have been alright. She sobs, "But it wasn't my fault, Gordon, it wasn't..." She breaks down, and Gordon tells her that he'll stay with her 'til she's calmed down. Barbara says it's alright, and she tells him to go back to the party, as she wants to be by herself for a while. She asks if they can go back to Sydney in the morning, and Gordon says of course. He remarks that Barbara really has been through it. Barbara says she'll cope, and she tells Gordon to go. He leaves, but Barbara just sits there, sobbing. She eventually wipes her eyes, gets up and puts the television on. She then sits down again, still crying...

Charlie is flirting, drunkenly, with three elderly men. Beryl tells Phillipe that the food is absolutely delicious, and Phillipe replies that it's been good for the restaurant: a lot of people are going to try it. Amanda comes over and says the party is pretty boring. Beryl says she's having a lovely time. She asks Amanda if she's seen Dee anywhere, and Amanda replies that she's gone to freshen up. She then says she wishes there were more people there of her age, adding that it's a pity Kevin and Lynn weren't invited. She then says that, the way Kevin's been working lately, they probably wouldn't have been able to come. Beryl asks if Stephen's a bit of a slavedriver, and Amanda laughs and says she thinks it's mainly Kevin. She adds that it's going to be the same tomorrow night. Beryl looks at Phillipe and says it must be hard on Lynn - she doesn't see much of her husband. Phillipe says Lynn hasn't said anything to him; she seems happy. Beryl says that, all the same... She then suggests to Phillipe that he take Lynn out one night, to the movies or something. Amanda, who's been manipulating the conversation, has a sly look on her face as Phillipe worries that Kevin will come home and he and Lynn won't be there. Amanda suggests they catch the five o'clock session, but Phillipe says he doesn't know; he'll talk to Lynn and see what she says.

Dee walks into Amanda's room, and she stands there, powdering her nose. Barbara is sitting there, watching television. Standing with her back to her daughter, Dee tells her that the party isn't the same without her. Barbara ignores her. Dee turns and looks at her and tells her that she won't ever forgive herself for this afternoon, but she must understand her side: over the years, she's done everything she can think of to get through to her; perhaps she was just trying to get some shred of emotion from her; she's not talking through self pity, but as each day goes by, she's aware that time is running out; her body is giving up on her. Barbara sits there, in silence. Dee tells Barbara that she needs her love, and she asks her if she doesn't understand: she's afraid of dying. Barbara finally responds and bluntly says, "We all are." Dee gives up, and walks out, slowly. Barbara looks round as she goes.

Back at the party, Stephen remarks to Gordon that Charlie is going on a bit. As Charlie's voice echoes above all the other noise in the room, Gordon says it's not for the first time. Stephen asks Patricia if she can't get rid of her, but Patricia says no - she's not buying into anything tonight. She adds that it's Dee's party - she can get rid of her. Stephen points out that Charlie is her friend, but Patricia says, "Not at the moment, she isn't." She asks to be excused, and Stephen asks her where she's going. Patricia replies that she's moving out of the firing range, as Dee's bound to appear at any minute. Stephen turns to Gordon, but Gordon says, "Don't look at me!" Dee, who's standing in the hall, hears Charlie talking loudly. She goes into the lounge room, where Charlie is obviously drunk and is rambling incoherently to some of the guests. Dee walks over to her just as she's saying there aren't many spring chickens at the party: "Dee certainly isn't!" She looks round and sees Dee standing there. She drunkenly tells her that they were all having a bit of a laugh, but Dee snaps, "How dare you." Charlie slurs, "Oh, come on..." She adds that she was just having a bit of fun. Dee snaps, "How dare you come into my house, uninvited, insult my guests and paw the hired help." Charlie looks flabbergasted and she slurs, "I do believe you're jealous!" Dee slaps Charlie round the face, and Charlie gasps. Dee suggests that she go upstairs until she learns how to behave. Charlie runs out. Dee asks Phillipe to please serve dessert in the dining room. Everyone stands around, feeling embarrassed.

Sometime later, the party over, Barbara and Gordon are in the hallway, and Barbara says it was awful. Gordon says it was a strained night. Barbara says, "All that talking..." She then says it did one thing for her, though: "It finally hit me, when Dee left the room, that I've been doing exactly the same to her as Wendy did to me." She adds that she remembers how she felt, so she can understand Dee's point of view. Gordon says, "Then something's been achieved." Barbara tells him to go up; she won't be long. Gordon crosses his fingers for her, and wishes her good luck. Barbara goes into the lounge room, where Dee is on her own. She closes the door, and Dee says it's ironic: tonight, she should be a very happy woman - she's been seeing all her friends, she's got all the money she wanted, she had lots of beautiful birthday presents, and what good are they to her? She tells Barbara that the most important thing was to have her caring just a little; she's fouled that up forever. Barbara stands behind her mother and tells her that she'd like to say that she really admires her for having admitted what she did earlier - it's impossible to ignore that. She adds that, although she knows they'll never be back to friends, she managed to bridge a bit of a gap between Wendy and her, so she thinks they can try the same. She starts crying, and sobs, "Happy birthday, mother." Dee closes her eyes and starts crying as well.

The next morning, Charlie walks delicately into the dining room to join Gordon and Barbara for breakfast. Barbara asks her how she feels this morning, and Charlie replies that she's never been so embarrassed in her life! Gordon wickedly asks her if she'd like some brandy in her coffee. Barbara tries to stifle a laugh, but Charlie groans, "Don't!" She then says she knows Dee is Barbara's mother, but she does think she went a bit far - she was only having a good time. Barbara says she thinks Charlie is just a victim of circumstance. Charlie says she doesn't care what Barbara calls it: it hurt, and she honestly hopes she never has to meet Dee again. Gordon tells her that it's really up to her. Charlie asks if she can go back to Sydney with them; she's already packed. Barbara, though, says that, actually, they're not going back to Sydney today: Gordon has more business to attend to, and she's spending the extra day with Dee. Charlie tells Barbara that she's a glutton for punishment. Dee suddenly walks in and cheerily says, "Good morning, everyone." She asks where Patricia and Stephen are, and Barbara explains that they've already had breakfast and have gone back to bed for a while. Dee comments, "Lazy pair!" She sits down next to Charlie and asks her how she is this morning. Charlie tells her that there's no need to be polite - she'll be on the 'plane in an hour. Dee tells her not to be silly - she owes her an apology for last night. She adds that, as Gordon and Barbara are staying on, why doesn't she do the same? Charlie looks surprised, and says, "Oh!" She adds that she doesn't know; she'll have to think about it. She asks to be excused, and she goes. Dee asks if it was something she said! Barbara tells her mother that she's an old tartar! Dee tells them to just wait 'til Charlie gets her surprise. Barbara says she hopes Dee's not going to play one of her games... Dee tells Barbara that it was her idea, and she thinks it's an excellent one; she can't wait to see Charlie's face...!

Lynn is on the 'phone at The Terrace, and she asks Amanda, who's in the lounge room at Toorak, for a big favour: babysit Davey tonight. Amanda says, "Sure!" Lynn explains that Kevin's working back again, and Phillipe has asked her to go to a movie with him. She adds that it's at five o'clock, so it won't be too late. Amanda says that's fine, and Lynn thanks her. The call ends and Amanda smiles to herself. Kevin comes in and Amanda asks if Stephen isn't ready for him yet. Kevin replies that he's having a sleep-in, and he adds that it must have been some party! Amanda says, "Not really." She then tells Kevin that that was Lynn on the 'phone. Kevin asks what she wanted, and Amanda replies that she asked her to babysit, as she must have a modelling job on? Kevin shrugs and says, "Don't ask me!" Amanda smiles and tells Kevin that he's quite a guy. Kevin asks why. Amanda replies that she was talking to Phillipe last night, and she thinks Kevin's just so understanding. Kevin looks puzzled and asks Amanda what about. Amanda says she means about Lynn's modelling job, and about him not worrying about her going around with 'him'. Kevin says, "Hey?" Amanda says, "Well I always wondered how Phillipe fitted into the picture, but it never occurred to me it was because he had an affair with Lynn in Paris." Kevin looks stunned...


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