Henry meets up with old flame Judy, thrice married and on a visit home from America. They have not seen each other for thirty years, when, due to a misunderstanding, they failed to meet each other for a date and each thought the other had stood them up. Now Judy is inviting Henry to go to New York although Matthew is not included. He attempts to split them up but has no need to as history repeats itself.
Following a colleague's retirement on health grounds,Henry learns he is the front runner for promotion. Matthew has got a summer job as the firm's mail-boy and,whilst Henry is not keen to reveal his relationship with the clumsy new employee,Matthew's position allows him to keep Henry posted on the tactics of his rivals. It also makes Henry a nervous job interviewee when he learns that the outcome has already been decided and the interview a formality.
Julie brings boyfriend Robin to stay and protective Henry is immediately hostile - claiming that he never stops eating and cheats at Trivial Pursuit. Furthermore he plans to take Julie on a camping holiday to France with just a small ridge tent for the two of them. Henry,proud of being schooled in the University of Life,sits down to talk graduate Robin out of the holiday - unaware that Robin has a degree in psychology and knows how to use it.
When Henry announces that he is taking a lodger, a young man of Matthew's age group,his son is delighted. However,his delight turns to irritation when the lodger turns out to be Trevor,the local curate. Not only is there no swearing and grace at meal times but Henry even considers their going to church again. Something has to be done.
Father and son are about to go on holiday but,to Matthew's dismay,Henry turns away all thoughts of going abroad in favour of returning to Clagthorpe,where he last visited some twenty years earlier,staying with the charming Mrs. Blackett and which holds many happy memories for him. However,twenty years on and things have changed - including Mrs. Blackett - and there is no sun,no edible food and no entertainment.
When Matthew dates Cherry Gibson he gets himself into a deal of trouble,for she is the girl-friend of local boxing champion Billy Bateman,who challenges Matthew to a fight. To get out of it he pretends that he has fallen victim to a mysterious virus and is seriously ill. However,when Henry discovers what is happening he surprises Matthew by declaring that he is up for it.
It's a big day at the Willows' house as Matthew prepares to leave for college. Henry is over the moon but not quite in the way that Matthew had hoped,for not only is his son advancing himself in the world but now he can reclaim his single life again. Never again will he have to share his home with one of his children. Or will he?