01. WALKING: Sometimes – not often, but sometimes – Barbara feels a bit silly, walking across the heath in her wellies with Geraldine the goat trotting along beside her, and she wishes Tom would accompany her more often.
02. WALTZ: “It's funny what you forget as time goes on – you waltzed quite nicely at our wedding,” Barbara says, and she smiles up at Tom, who looks at her rather sheepishly and steps on her toes again.
03. WISHES: He's bone tired and muddy, and rather convinced that he smells of manure, but he's taken on the duty of morale-booster as well, so he straightens his back, smiles at Barbara, and says, “Wishing won't get it done, love.”
04. WONDER: Barbara catches Tom wiggling his eyebrows at her over his morning cup of tea, and she's about to ask him what he's doing when he says, “We've got ten minutes to spare – I wonder if the kitchen table could take our combined weight?”
05. WORRY: Tom never worries about her – not really – because she's Barbara, after all, and she's made out of stuff stronger than his Elderberry Wine.
06. WHIMSY: “Isn't it all a bit whimsical?” Barbara asks Tom, when he tells her his Grand Plan of Sustenance.
07. WASTE: Tom whistles cheerfully and puts his arm around Barbara's shoulders as she gazes down at her burned loaf of bread, squeezing her gently as he says, “Waste not, want not, my love – the chickens will have a bit of extra lunch today, that's all.”
08. WHISKEY AND RUM: As Barbara peers over the top of her glasses at the newly-corked bottles, she slaps another label onto glass and says, “Tom, we're old hands at the Pea Pod Wine now – what shall we try next?”
09. WAR: When they argue, it's a battle; it's a war, and neither of them will back down until it goes too far and words that were never meant to be said at all are shouted, and there are tears and apologies and sometimes broken dishes.
10. WEDDINGS: Tom winks at Barbara from across the room, and she knows he's up to mischief, so she hides her smile behind her wine glass and pretends not to hear as Tom nudges Margo and suggest they steal away and get married on a little island, “Where it's not illegal, Margo, to have more than one marriage, eh?”
11. BIRTHDAY: “All of my best ideas have come from getting older,” Tom says, and he smiles at Barbara over the top of his birthday cake, her kiss still warm on his cheek.
12. BLESSING: Tom Good is not foolish enough to disregard his blessings, and he counts them each morning, always putting Barbara at the top of the list.
13. BIAS: Tom can't help but compare his produce to that in the greengrocer's, and he walks away feeling quite smug, confident that his judgement is mostly impartial – perhaps only the tiniest bit biased when it comes to the carrots, because Barbara picked those, and she looked ever so lovely bending down to pluck them from the earth...
14. BURNING: Barbara wiggles her toes in front of the stove as Tom piles more wood on and swings the door closed, the warmth floating out across the kitchen and melting the ice on the other side of the windows.
15. BREATHING: Barbara listens as Tom falls asleep beside her, and she smiles and shakes her head, pulling the pillow down over her ears as his familiar snores and breathing patterns fill the air.
16. BREAKING: Tom groans as Barbara rubs the seized muscles in his lower back, and his voice is muffled in the couch cushions as he complains, “I'm getting old, love – old and broken.”
17. BELIEF: She complains sometimes, and she even goes so far as to say she doubts him, but Barbara never truly believes those words – Tom always has something up his sleeve, after all, and he might prat around, but he's clever and he's faithful and he works hard, and she knows that's all she really needs for everything to be all right.
18. BALLOON: He's having a bad day, and she lets him rant through lunch about how she could take a balloon, fill it with air and attach it to the collar of his shirt, “And it'd do a better bloody job than I at this whole ruddy thing.”
19. BALCONY: Tom suggests that the men building the scaffolding at the side of the Leadbetters' house are preparing to build a balcony, and Barbara laughs and wraps her arms around him, fondly reminding him that the last thing Margo wants is a better view of the Goods' back garden.
20. BANE: Tom and Barbara keep their giggles hushed, their faces close and their whispering low, as Tom recounts the evening's mischief with Margo, which ended in a well-practised rant declaring him the bane of her existence.
21. QUIET: Tom and Barbara have supper in front of the fire, with no television; with holes in their socks; with dirt beneath their fingernails and aches in their muscles; with nothing but the quiet night pressing in against the windows.
22. QUIRK: It still annoys her, sometimes, that odd little whistle of Tom's – but Barbara supposes of all the habits, of all the quirks he could possibly have, it could be worse than the repetitive little back-and-forth tune he blows in and out.
23: QUESTION: Tom is giving her that look, that look that says he's up to something, and Barbara plays along by putting on her best authoritative bobby's voice and asking him what he thinks he's doing.
24: QUARREL: Their quarrels are always over something silly, but it's almost always worth it when Tom pulls her into the middle of the sunken mattress of their bed, his hands on her skin and the adrenaline of an argument still humming in her veins.
25. QUITTING: Sometimes Barbara goes to bed and she feels like quitting the whole damn thing; she feels like throwing in the whole blasted lot of it, until Tom gives her a weary, happy grin, and she remembers the good in it all – the Good in it all.
26. JUMP: Tom puts on a silly voice as he pretends to chide Barbara, and he grins when she jumps to attention, bobbing curtseys and uttering humble, breathless apologies between fits of giggles.
27. JESTER: Tom's happiest moments so often come from Barbara's laughter at his own foolishness.
28. JOUSTING: One Sunday morning, to cheer Barbara up, Tom winks at her, grabs the hoe and says, “With this, Geraldine and I shall become Surbiton's champion jousting team.”
29. JEWEL: “Wouldn't it be nice,” Barbara says, pausing to squeeze clumps of mud from her fingers, “to dig up a big box of gold and jewels instead of muddy old spuds?”
30. JUST: Tom Good has thirteen pence to his name when he asks his wife what she wants for Christmas, and she knows that as well as he does, which is why she says, “Just a kiss, please, Tom.”
31. SMIRK: There are days when Jerry really gets to Tom, really gets in under his skin – the smug smirks and the know-it-all remarks – until Tom realises Jerry might have the knowledge when it comes to marketing and being smarmy and what wine to serve in what glass, but Tom has Barbara, and that's enough to make it all better again.
32. SORROW: Some days, it just doesn't work, and Tom always feels responsible, despite what Barbara says; despite how successful she is at holding the tears back.
33. STUPIDITY: Barbara is patient with Tom – she has to be, for so few others are – and she knows that he will eventually wind down again, his rant against consumerism and commercialism and stupidity taking a back-seat to the discussion of Pea Pod Wine, vintage '76.
34. SERENADE: Barbara can't help but laugh as she watches Tom serenading the chickens, convinced it will provide a higher egg count.
35. SARCASM: Tom staggers into the kitchen, clutching his chest, and Barbara's heart is in her mouth as she asks him what's wrong, only to watch him sink at the floor and grin, winking as he says, “It was Margo's sarcasm what did me in, in the end, love – take care of yourself when I’m gone, won't you?”
36. SORDID: “I've heard about you; you with your sordid fantasies for a night with a rugged older man,” Tom growls, and Barbara laughs and buries her face against neck.
37. SOLILOQUY: After Barbara has agreed to marry Tom, he admits that it wasn't mean to be so much a blurted suggestion, but a romantic soliloquy of all the things he loves about her – she says it doesn't matter.
38. SOJOURN: “Hello, Margo,” Tom says, beaming as he and Barbara march up to the end of the hospital bed with a bunch of greenery clenched in his fist; “It's a solemn occasion, so we brought you a cabbage.”
39. SHARE: Barbara nestles alongside Tom on the couch, the fire warming the soles of her feet, her space shared with him, his arm around her waist, and she can't think of a better way to spend a rainy evening.
40. SOLITARY: She has Tom, of course, but it's still a solitary life sometimes, this sustenance thing they're trying, and it's a hard slog, even with his smile being the first thing she sees each morning.
41. NOWHERE: The damp and the cold has settled in under their skin, in their bones, and when Tom nudges Barbara and asks if she wants to go out; if she wants to head to the pub for a pint or next door for a gin and tonic with Margo and Jerry, she chuckles tiredly and says, “No, I want to go nowhere, right now, thank you.”
42. NEUTRAL: Sometimes Barbara wonders if she should interfere with the mischief Tom makes with Margo – and then she figures she has a better chance of surviving both of them if she keeps herself neutral.
43. NUANCE: Barbara isn't subtle when she's annoyed – there are no nuances or tones or facial expressions that can be misread as something lighter and happier than she intends – but Tom manages to remain clueless a lot of the time anyway; bless him.
44. NEAR: Barbara wriggles in her sleep, her warm body nestling right into the middle of the bed, a warm bulk that prods Tom with knees and elbows – and he doesn't mind, because being near to Barbara is the thing he loves most.
45. NATURAL: Spring is awake on Tom's face, the warm sunshine bringing smiles and light to his eyes, and not even the crates and sacks and weight of all their naturally home-grown produce can slow him down.
46. HORIZON: “Look at that, love,” Tom says to Barbara, spreading his arms and looking out across the heath, “fresh air from me and you all the way to the horizon.”
47. VALIANT: When Jerry makes a smug comment about the pony Tom's bought, Barbara can tell her husband has taken offence when he huffs, straightens his back, and says (quite stiffly), “This is a lawn mower, a garbage disposal, free transport, and a valiant steed.”
48. VIRTUOUS: “Oh no, sir,” Barbara giggles, her voice muffled as Tom pulls her onto the bed, “you've got me all wrong, sir, I’m a virtuous young thing, sir, not to be touched by men such as yourself.”
49. VICTORY: Tom drops the last spud into the mud-covered burlap sack, and Barbara throws her arms around him, her tiredness forgotten as she realises the last of their harvest is finally in.
50. DEFEAT: Tom raises his glass of Pea Pod Wine to his wife and gives her a weary, thankful smile, “For never accepting defeat, eh love?”