Nellie is missing Jack, who has finally gone to live in America and she can do without constant upsets, such as Billy having fallen out with Julie again and returned home or the fact that Joey has brought their Irish cousin Shifty, just out of jail back, to the house. He is a great hit with Grandad though because he brings him 'presents'. To make things worse for Nellie Aveline announces that she is engaged to Oswald, a vicar - and he is a Protestant.
Adrian goes for an interview to become a male model and whilst it is less than successful he is nonetheless given the job by Julian Le Mare. An apprehensive Aveline brings her boyfriend, Anglican vicar Oswald, home to meet the family, who try to be on their best behaviour though with varying degrees of success and it does not help that Shifty is up to his old ways.
Freddie is feeling under the weather and pays a visit to the doctor. On his return he claims that all is well but the perceptive Joey knows better and gets out of him the fact that he has a heart condition. Meanwhile Celia Higgins moves in next door, or tries to but is put off by the number of the Boswells' vehicles parked outside the house. She is in fact a former girlfriend of Shifty.
Nellie starts to befriend Celia, notwithstanding her past partner Shifty. Shifty himself allows himself to be involved in an insurance scam with Yizzel regarding his car, though comes unstuck when it is discovered that the car has no MOT. However Shifty is miraculously succeeding where the other Boswell boys have failed in managing to charm the icy DHSS clerk Martina.
Adrian and Billy decide to leave home and get a place together. Nellie decides to deliver their belongings to them and in doing so makes them realize just how many home comforts they are missing with the result that they are only too happy to return to the fold. Shifty, on the other hand, is getting on so famously with Martina, that he considers leaving Grandad's house to move in with her.
Word of Freddie's condition spreads around the family and they are all very concerned. Nellie tries to persuade them not to worry but knows that she is wasting her breath. Shifty plans to move in with Martina but Joey knows that he is only using her and gets him to break it off. Unfortunately Shifty claims he cannot leave Grandad because the old man is ill and Joey tells Martina otherwise. Adrian has a poem published but is arrested while celebrating.
Joey gives Freddie an ultimatum. He must choose between Nellie and Lilo Lil. Billy meanwhile goes to the opening of an animal refuge by Linda McCartney. He gets her autograph and they start chatting, with Billy inviting her to drop in for tea if she is in the area. Linda duly turns up and Nellie, unaware of who she is, tells her her troubles, asking her if her husband is in work. Then Paul McCartney arrives to collect his wife.
Adrian has his first book of poems published and, to celebrate, he buys video recorders for the family. Unfortunately they are not as legitimate as he had imagined and he attracts the attention of the police. So does cousin Shifty, though for totally different reasons, as he has stolen a car and then crashed it into somebody's living room.
Aveline has returned home after rowing with Oswald about her desire to have a career as a model. Joey is seeing Roxy again and Nellie is upset by an anonymous letter sent to her regarding her son's girlfriend. She goes to the priest and then to the park for some time to herself. Here she meets Derek, a kindly widower who listens to her talking about her anxieties and they take a photo o each other.
Nellie continues to feel guilty over her friendship with Derek but keeps it to herself whilst Joey gives Roxy some money to help her out. Adrian decides to give Billy a lesson in diplomacy at the DHSS in order to charm the fearsome Martina but his technique is no more productive than Billy's.
Adrian meets a girl called Ellia and they go to the woods for a spot of romance. Unfortunately Ellia is a mischievous girl and she runs off with Adrian's clothes, much to the family's amusement. Billy finds an injured pigeon, which he takes to Grandad, who wants to build a pigeon loft. Grandad starts to reminisce and Billy is upset as he again muses on his on -off relationship with Julie. Nellie's friendship with Derek also causes her an awkward moment.
Freddie takes a turn for the worst and the family persuades Nellie that they should look after him but a battle commences when Lilo Lil turns up, stating that she wants to take him back to the hut to nurse him. Joey arranges to meet Roxy but somehow misses her though there is good news when Aveline confirms that she and Oswald are getting married, leaving Nellie to overcome her religious prejudices.
Joey goes to inform Martina that the family will be holidaying in Rome for the Christmas period. She is not a little envious and, Joey detects, rather more than fond of him. The trip is supposed to be a honeymoon for Aveline and Oswalds but there are other romantic encounters, notably between the poetic Adrian and a girl called Magdalena. Nellie however is more than happy to be in the city that begat her beloved - if occasionally trying - religion.