Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Greg Haddrick   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Pino Amenta

Debbie murmurs uncertainly, "You're not serious..." Craig smiles, "I love you!" Debbie murmurs, "I know, but... Craig, be realistic." Craig nods eagerly, "I am! I want to marry you and I want to live with you!" Debbie, looking astonished, mouths, "I don't believe this is happening." Craig asks, "What's so crazy about it?" Debbie replies, "Everything!" She pauses for several seconds before saying, "I love you - I truly do - but your timing is terrible. I can't make a decision like that right now; I can't even think straight." With that, she turns and picks up her suitcase. Craig asks, "Does that mean you're saying 'no' or 'maybe'?" Debbie looks at him and replies, "I'll think about it." She then puts her case down again and goes and puts her hands on Craig's arms. She tells him, "I'm moving out of the flat; I'm not walking out on you. Just give me a a bit of breathing space, OK?" She turns and picks up her case again. She then heads out. Craig stands there, looking disappointed.

Michael and Fiona have stopped trekking through the bush and are looking at Janice, who's several yards behind them. She puts something into her mouth. She joins Michael and Fiona and Michael asks her, "What are you eating?" Janice replies, "Some berries. Try one." Fiona, however, tells her, "No, thankyou, dear. We have some food with us." She then comments to her niece, "I thought you dropped the idea of being a hardy outback explorer." Janice insists, "They won't make you feel sick." Fiona laughs, "I'm not taking your word for that." Janice retorts, "You don't have to: Owen was the one who told me they were edible." Fiona laughs, "I'm definitely not taking his word for that!" Michael chips in to ask, "Who was Owen?" Janice tells him, "A myopic jellyfish - but he knew a lot about bushcraft." She then goes on, "I've been munching quite happily on these for over an hour, now, so why don't you two rise above your fear of the Lord's natural sustenance and join me?" Fiona hesitates and then reaches for a berry from Janice's hand. She bites into it - and then spits it out! She mutters, "Natural it might be, but it certainly is not one of the good Lord's more successful recipes!"

It's evening-time. Beryl is standing at the counter in her kitchen, peeling potatoes. Debbie is standing with her, and she says warily, "Beryl... did it feel good when you made the decision to marry Gordon? I mean, could you tell that you were doing the right thing?" Beryl nods, "Yes, I could." Debbie asks, "What about when you decided to marry David? Was that any different? How do you know if it's going to last?" Beryl stares at her. Debbie says quickly, "I'm sorry - I didn't mean to get so personal." Beryl smiles, "That's alright, love." She then goes on, "No, it wasn't any different: I was just as certain with David as I am with Gordon - so I suppose no one knows in the long run. I have no idea where I'll be in the Year 2000, who I'll be with, and why, but I'll be making every effort to be here with Gordon." A smile crosses Debbie's face and she remarks, "The Year 2000... I'll be 32! I don't know if I want to be married then, let alone now!" Beryl looks at her and she explains, "Craig asked me today." Beryl realises, "So that's why you moved out: to think things over." Debbie, however, tells her, "No! That's why he asked me: because I was moving out." Beryl mouths, "Oh. Things aren't going well?" Debbie smiles, "No! It was great! Living with a guy before you're married wasn't exactly the way I was brought up, but I love Craig; it just seemed right - 'til Frank started on about it being morally wrong; then my mum came down. I just began to feel a bit guilty about it, that's all. Half of me thinks I ought to stick to my guns - and then there's this other half that thinks 'yeah, I am doing something wrong'. I don't know which half I want to listen to; then the whole problem would just be solved if I said 'yes' and married him - but I don't know... it's such a big step." Beryl asks, "What does your mum think about you and Craig getting married?" Debbie admits, "I haven't told her yet." Beryl comments, "There's plenty of food here. Why don't you ask her over?" Debbie smiles, "Yeah. Thanks - I will!"

Janice, Michael and Fiona are playing poker in their tent in the bush. Michael declares his hand: three sevens. He then looks at Fiona. She has her hand on her forehead, and is looking out of it. Michael asks in concern, "Are you feeling OK?" Fiona murmurs, "Yeah, I'm fine." She then admits, "As a matter of fact, no, I've got a bit of a tummy ache. I think those berries weren't quite as people-proof as you thought." Michael remarks, "Strange - I'm OK. Janice?" Janice nods, "I'm fine." Fiona suggests, "Maybe they detect heathens and attack appropriately!" Janice mutters, "I wouldn't joke about it, Aunt Fiona." Michael hands Fiona a couple of tablets and says, "Take these - they should settle things down." Fiona puts them in her mouth, but still looks worried.

Mrs. Halliday is sitting with Debbie and Beryl at the dining table at Beryl's. She's telling Debbie tersely, "Your father was 24. He had a bit of money behind him, a steady job--" Debbie interrupts and cries, "And Craig hasn't?" Mrs. Halliday tells her, "If you two married now, it would be a struggle for sure. It's better to wait." Debbie snaps, "If you don't like him, mum, why don't you come straight out and say it?" Looking uncomfortable, Beryl stands up and says, "Will you excuse me?" She heads off to the kitchen. Debbie goes on at her mother, "You don't like him, do you?" In reply, Mrs. Halliday asks, "Do you want to marry Craig? Without a doubt in your mind, can you sit there and tell me you really want to marry him?" Debbie retorts, "I want to be with him, I can say that. What are you saying? I can't marry him... I can't share a flat with him... What's left?" Mrs. Halliday tells her, "I'm not saying you can't; I'm saying I'd be unhappy if you did. No one's stopping you going out with each other." Debbie mutters, "Terrific. We can sneak a kiss in the back row of the movies and then he can drop me home. We've done all that. Don't you understand what I'm trying to say? We're in love." Mrs. Halliday asks, "Then why did you move out of the flat?" Debbie yells, "Why do you think I moved out of the flat?" Mrs. Halliday answers, "Because deep-down you knew it wasn't right. I don't think you're anywhere near as much in love as you think you are." Debbie snaps, "You don't know how I feel; you don't have a clue." Mrs. Halliday protests, "I raised you." Debbie repeats, "You don't know how I feel. You come in here and all you do is criticise me. How could you possibly know how I feel?" Mrs. Halliday stares at her. She then says calmly, "I'd better go." She turns to the kitchen and calls, "Thankyou for the tea, Mrs. Palmer." As she goes to head out, she says to Debbie, "I said I'd be unhappy and I would - but I'm always here if you need me." Debbie just nods her head. Beryl emerges from the kitchen and tells Mrs. Halliday, "I'll see you out." As her mother leaves, Debbie sighs heavily.

It's the next morning. Janice and Michael are setting up a fire outside the tent. Fiona pokes her head out from the tent suddenly and Janice smiles sarcastically, "Good morning!" Fiona just looks around and asks weakly, "Is it?" Michael asks, "Still off-colour?" Fiona nods, "Yes, I am, a little. I don't think it could be the berries; I think maybe it's the water." Michael asks, "Feel like brekkie?" Fiona replies, "Yes, I do. I wouldn't mind a bite." By the fire, Janice stands up and says, "I think we need smaller twigs." She heads off to search for some. Fiona stands by the tent, looking anguished.

Beryl heads from the hallway into the lounge room at her house, followed by Craig. She calls, "Debbie, you've got a visitor." Debbie emerges from the kitchen and says quietly to Craig, "Hi." Beryl heads into the kitchen, closing the doors behind her. Debbie asks Craig, "How are you?" Craig replies, "OK. You?" Debbie nods, "Fine." Craig explains, "I'm just on my way back from the shops. I bought you something." He reaches into his trouser pocket and takes out a small jewellery case. He hands it to Debbie. She opens it to reveal a ring. Craig tells her sincerely, "You mean the world to me, Deb." Debbie sighs, "Oh, Craig..." Craig explains, "It's an engagement ring. I know it hasn't got any diamonds, but the trouble is they cost a bit! That's real gold, though." Debbie smiles weakly. Craig asks, "Why don't you put it on?" Debbie, however, shakes her head. Craig asks, "Why not?" Debbie tells him softly, "I can't. Sorry. I was talking to mum last night and she got me thinking. Let's be honest: we've hardly got a cent between us - not that money's everything - but if we're going to be really serious about marriage and a home, we're going to need a lot more than we've got now or will make delivering pizzas. It's not that I'm knocking the pizza deliveries - they're fun and that's all we need at the moment; so let's just keep having fun for a few years and then see what happens. Alright?" Craig stands there looking annoyed.

A while later, Craig is standing in Mrs. Halliday's hotel room. Mrs. Halliday is telling him, "That wasn't what she was saying last night." Craig mutters, "Well she's saying it now." Mrs. Halliday declares, "Good!" Craig, however, retorts, "No it isn't. And I know what you're thinking: I'm not rich - true; I don't have a nine-to-five job - true--" Mrs. Halliday chips in, "And you're unqualified." Craig admits, "True again - but it does not--" Mrs. Halliday interrupts and says curtly, "Let me finish. I've got nothing against you, Craig. I haven't. You're obviously a decent lad - but that's not the point. It'll probably come as no surprise to hear me say I want the best for my Debbie - and to be honest, at this moment in your life, I don't think you can give it." Craig insists, "I love her." Mrs. Halliday nods, "I believe that." Craig goes on, "I'll get what education it takes - and I'll work while I'm getting it. I'll do whatever it needs to make sure she's happy. That's how much I love her and how much I want to marry her." Mrs. Halliday, however, sighs, "Craig, telling me what you're prepared to do and the realities of what life would be like for you and Debbie if you tried to do it are vastly different. You can say 'I'll struggle' in two seconds; anyone can. But that struggle can take five - maybe ten - years, and slowly, it kills; it kills love." She then asks, "How much did you earn yesterday?" Craig replies in surprise, "What?" Mrs. Halliday spells out, "How much money did you actually earn yesterday?" Craig mutters, "That's not fair. It's a business. You have good days and you have some bad days." Mrs. Halliday just repeats, "How much?" Craig doesn't respond. Mrs. Halliday tells him, "That's what your wife's going to ask every night - and if you're too embarrassed to answer her, I don't want that wife to be Debbie." Craig stands there, looking guilty.

Michael is trekking through the bush with Janice, who's saying, "They weren't dry enough - that was the problem with the first lot." Michael sighs wearily, "Yes, Janice!" Janice goes on, "Tinder has to be bone-dry before it will catch alight properly." Fiona is trailing the two of them by several feet. As she walks along slowly, she leans out suddenly and grabs onto a tree to keep her balance. She calls in a tired voice, "Excuse me..." Michael and Janice turn to look at her. They walk over to her and Michael says, "It's getting worse?" Fiona murmurs, "Yeah." Michael and Janice help her off with her backpack and they then help her to lie down on the ground. Janice suggests, "How about some water?" Michael asks Fiona, "Where does it hurt? Still your tummy?" Janice suggests to her aunt, "Something to eat, maybe?" Michael, looking annoyed, growls, "Janice!" Janice retorts, "Sometimes it helps." Michael starts feeling Fiona's stomach. She yells out suddenly in pain, and Michael asks, "That hurts?" Fiona murmurs, "Yeah." Michael asks, "Sharp pain?" Fiona groans, "Yeah." Janice asks, "What is it? Not a hernia?" Michael replies, "No, it's not a hernia. It's appendicitis." Fiona murmurs, "How bad?" Michael tells her, "Acute. We'll have to get you back to Sydney." Fiona whispers, "Michael, I couldn't walk another step..." Michael assures her, "That's alright: I wouldn't let you take one." Looking at Janice as he says it, he explains, "We're going to carry you."

Andy is sitting in Craig's flat with his feet up on the kitchen table. He's looking at a magazine. Craig walks over to him suddenly, grabs the magazine and announces, "We are going to have our biggest day ever!" Andy stares at him blankly and says, "What?" Craig retorts, "'Financial security' she says; that's what they're all talking about. They're all convinced that I can't make money, so it's up to me to show them I damn well can. Let's aim for two hundred: we won't stop until I can call on Deb's mum, throw $200 down on the table and say, 'That's what I earned today'!" He goes on, "You hit the CB, I'm on the road!" With that, he heads out. Andy sits back down, picks up his magazine and puts his feet back up on the table!

Michael is walking through the bush, looking tired. Janice is standing a few feet behind him. They're carrying Fiona horizontally between them. Michael calls back to Fiona, "The sharp pain: is it almost constant?" Fiona nods, "Yeah." Michael then asks Janice, "How long do you think it'll take to get her to hospital?" Janice replies, "Carrying her? About eight to ten hours; maybe longer - it depends on the going." Michael tells her, "That's what I think. Lets stop and set up." They put Fiona down on the ground. Janice asks, "Set up what?" Michael replies, "The tent." He hands it to Janice. He then bends down to Fiona and tells her, "Your appendix could burst at any moment - but I've got my equipment with me, and anaesthetic; it'll be safer to operate." Fiona murmurs, "Out here? In the bush?" Michael says, "There's not much choice. Just try and relax." Fiona laughs weakly, "'Relax', he says!" Michael tells her, "Easy to say, I know." He then stands up and heads across to where Janice is beginning to set up the tent. He tells her, "I'm going to need some help with this, Janice." Janice asks, "What do you mean: after the operation?" Michael replies, "And during. The anaesthetic I've got is only local. Fiona won't feel a thing, but she will be conscious - the whole time."

Craig is sitting in the bug, which is parked at the side of a road, when the CB radio crackles into life and Andy's voice comes on, saying, "Laurel calling Hardy, Laurel calling Hardy, come in Stan!" Craig picks up the car CB radio and tells Andy, "You're Stan, I'm Ollie. I still think that Romeo and Juliet's better!" In the flat, Andy retorts, "Tough! I'm not calling myself Juliet!" Craig laughs before asking, "What have you got?" Andy tells him, "It's a fair way out: regular special, no anchovies." Craig asks, "Where?" Andy replies, "You'll have to pick it up from Gino's. If I call now, it'll be ready in round about twenty. Can you make it? If you can't, I should cancel it." Craig pauses and then says, "I'll get there. I'll pick the address up from Gino's. Hardy out." He hangs up the radio and starts the car. As he moves off down the road, a boy playing with a football kicks the ball suddenly and it hits the car windscreen. It causes enough of a distraction for Craig to lose concentration momentarily. He puts his foot on the brake to slow down - but the bug goes swerving into the side of another car. The boy looks at what's happened, picks up the ball and runs off quickly. Craig yells after him, "Hey! Kid! Get back here." He's gone, though. Craig climbs out of the bug to inspect the damage. The car he hit has a big dent in its side. He mutters to himself, "I don't believe this."

A while later, at the flat, Andy gasps, "Five hundred bucks?" Craig tells him, "That's just for the other bloke's car. There's a few hundred bucks' damage done to the bug, too - and the CB's busted, which will cost another hundred bucks or so." Andy mutters, "Hell." He adds, "That explains why I haven't been able to raise you for the last half an hour." Craig comments, "I'm just glad we got that insurance paid up in time." Looking suddenly nervous, Andy murmurs, "Yeah..." Craig goes on, "Where is the policy? We might as well fill out a claim form." Andy, however, says quickly, "Hang on a minute - let's think first: that'll mean losing our no-claim bonus." Craig smiles, "I don't think we have much choice. I haven't got a spare thousand bucks to spend on repairs; have you?" Andy admits hesitantly, "No... no, not at the moment." Craig remarks, "Then I'd say we have to wave goodbye to our no-claim bonus. Where's the policy?" Andy looks at him nervously and murmurs, "The policy... um..." Craig nods, "Yes, where is it?" Andy murmurs, "Um... Craig... you're not going to like this." Craig glares at him and growls, "You haven't lost it?" Andy replies, "No, it's not lost..." Craig demands, "Then just tell me where it is." Andy says quickly, "What were our chances of having an accident this week? A thousand to one? A million to one?" Craig warns coldly, "If you don't think I'd flatten you, you're wrong. Now, where is the insurance policy?" Andy tells him, "We don't have one." Craig gasps, "We don't have one? Why not?" Andy explains, "The premium was $300, right, and I was walking through the town and there was this discount on this compact disc player--" Craig interrupts and snaps, "You didn't?! How could you be such an idiot?" Andy insists, "I was going to pay it back next week out of my own pocket." Craig growls, "I've been working myself to the ground to get this business going." Andy tells him, "I'm sorry." Craig just snaps, "Shut up. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear one thing you've got to say. Where am I going to get a thousand bucks from eh? Where? So much for my biggest day ever. I can just imagine what Deb's mum's going to say." Andy murmurs, "I know." Craig snaps at him, "Nick off, Andy. Just get the hell out of here." Andy turns and heads off, leaving Craig looking frustrated.

The tent is set up in the bush. From inside, Michael's voice can be heard saying, "Knife?" There's a pause. He then says, "Hold this, Janice." Janice retorts, "I can't." Michael insists, "It's alright: just hold it there." Janice, however, cries, "I can't." She emerges from the tent, looking upset. Inside, Michael growls, "Damn." Fiona murmurs suddenly, "Hey... what do you want me to hold?" Michael looks at her in surprise. He then takes her right hand and manoeuvres it to where he needs it. He says, "Can you manage that? Just for a minute?" Fiona murmurs distantly, "Yeah." Michael looks at her in admiration.

Craig is at Beryl's. As they head from the hallway into the lounge room, Beryl asks, "How are you going to get the money?" Craig shrugs, "I don't know. Haven't got the faintest idea." He then asks, "Where's Deb?" Beryl replies, "In the kitchen. Not in the best of moods, though." Craig mutters, "Neither am I." He heads into the kitchen to find Debbie sitting at the kitchen table. He leans down to kiss her, but she pulls away and stands up. Craig asks, "What's up?" Debbie retorts, "You went and saw mum this morning, didn't you?" Craig nods, "Yes." Debbie gasps, "What do you take me for? You thought that if you could talk my mother into believing I should marry you, then hey presto I would?" Craig insists, "I didn't." Debbie snaps, "It may come as news to you, Craig, but I don't always do what my mum wants me to do." Craig points out, "You have been lately." Debbie suggests curtly, "Maybe she's been right, lately. You've never given me much credit for independence; there's always this 'oh, I know what's best'. Trouble is, you're so scared of facing the world alone, you'd rather propose than lose me." Craig cries, "Of course I don't want to lose you; I love you - but I don't give a damn about the rest of the world and I'm certainly not frightened of it." Debbie comments, "If you're so secure, what are you doing here? I told you I needed a bit of breathing space and you've come round twice in one day. What sort of breathing space is that?" Craig looks at her and sighs, "What are we fighting for?" Debbie retorts, "We are fighting because you don't think I've got a mind of my own. I told you I needed a week - one week, that's all. If you love me, at least start showing a bit of faith."

Janice crawls back into the tent and asks Michael quietly, "How's it going?" Michael tells her, "It's all over." Fiona is lying on the floor of the tent, asleep. Janice comments to Michael, "I wasn't much of a help, was I?" Michael replies, "It's done; that's the main thing." Janice tells him, "We're lucky you were here." Michael mutters, "I suppose you could say that. On the other hand, if I hadn't suggested a bush walk, she'd be safely in hospital." Janice points out, "But she's alright." Michael, however, says, "The truth is, Janice, Fiona isn't out of danger by a long shot. Oh, the operation was fine - no complications - and if I'd used the right anaesthetic and a fully-sterilised theatre, she'd be right as rain. Unfortunately, the chance of infection out here is fairly close to one hundred percent - and that could be fatal." He goes on, "It would be crazy for me to leave her - so you've got six hours - eight at the outside - to get to a 'phone and call a chopper." Janice stares at him, tears beginning to well-up in her eyes. She then turns and crawls out of the tent. Michael looks down at the barely-conscious Fiona...


    Links:  Episode 892    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 894