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.
With no sign of Else ever coming back to England Alf decides to put his house on the market, though with Rita and Mike as sitting tenants, this creates a problem. As a trial run he becomes the Reads' lodger but falls foul of Min who, after he has resisted her amorous advances, refuses to cook him a proper meal.
Alf continues his tenure as the Reads' lodger but things are not going as well as he had expected. Returning home from work he finds Min with her feet up watching his colour television with no attempt to make him his dinner. This is the cue for Alf and Bert to repair to the pub and compare stories about Min.
Min has decided that Bert must lose weight and keep fit by going out jogging. Alf accompanies on a push-bike to make sure that Bert keeps pace. Before long they are both heartily sick of the exercise and repair to the pub to drown their sorrows. But, on the way home, they are pulled up by the police who find Alf drunk in charge of a bicycle.
When Mike points out that the windows at the Garnett house have not been washed in years, Alf decides to save money and clean them himself rather than bring in a professional. Unfortunately whilst he is sitting on the ledge the window comes down, trapping his legs underneath and, although several people gawp, it is a while before he is freed. Fortunately Bert has brought the television up to the bedroom to help pass the time for the prisoner.
Alf and Bert decide to increase their status by joining the local golf club though they are not very good and the regular club members notice. However they learn that the seventeenth hole is famous in that everybody seems able to score a hole in one there and they set about faking their own version of obtaining the coveted score by cheating.
Alf is not a happy bigot. He has lost his job and returns to an empty and dark house. And all on his birthday too. He fears that he has been burgled but in fact the lights go on and friends and neighbors are ready to spring a happy birthday surprise on him.