Else's sister Maud and her husband Ted have emigrated to Australia but Maud is not well and Ted rings up to ask if Else can over there and help them out. Alf is not keen to let his wife go but, for Else, the journey is two-fold - not only will she be helping her sister out but she will be taking a well-deserved break from Alf and despite his entreaties she boards the plane to take her Down Under.
Alf is well and truly missing Else's housework and especially her cooking and rings her to ask when she will be home but gets no definite answer. Else has asked Min from next door to cook meals for Alf and he is looking forward to her famous meat pudding but she only cooks him convenience food and, after a row and a misunderstanding with Mike, he ends up eating dog food
Alf finds himself in the middle when Bert from next door arrives, closely followed by his wife Min after they have had an argument over her food. The two men repair to the pub to drown their sorrows and to hit upon the ideal solution as to how to keep a woman in her place, which is of course asking for trouble when they have to go home and face Min's wrath.
Alf, the Reads and the Rawlins get involved in the inevitable political argument. Alf regards long term Labour minister Anthony Wedgewood Benn a fraud because he has a title - which he will later renounce - and lives in a wealthy Conservative neighbourhood. Mike, however, turns the tables on his father-in-law by pointing out that Alf is a Conservative voter living in a far from wealthy Labour stronghold.
Else has sent a letter to Min and not to Alf, suggesting that Rita and Mike bring their baby son out to Australia, as she has no intention of returning to England. Alf does not believe Min when she tells him but, on finding the letter, must face up to the truth.
Min's mother has died and everybody has returned from the funeral though Min is adamant that her mother will be reincarnated as a blackbird. Having made sure that he has not already learnt of its outcome Alf settles down to watch the Ali-Foreman fight on TV but there are, of course, complications.
Elsi is still away and Alf has been charged to look after the Christmas club subscriptions at the local pub. However maths is not his strong point and he has trouble balancing the books. This in turn leads to the regulars suspecting that, instead of intending to pay them out, he is keeping the cash to join his wife in Oz and an argument breaks out, though he is almost importuned by a gay man.