Five years after their European holiday ended in a bust-up Irene invites Vera to the funeral of mutual ex- Bill Snapes, where they strive to outdo each other in glamorous black outfits and Vera falls over dancing at the wake, injuring herself. Irene becomes her reluctant carer until her son Howard takes her to the Sheepdippers commune after which she inflicts herself on a friend's B & B whilst awaiting sheltered accommodation.
Vera moves into her sheltered accommodation,a caravan in windy resort Vicker-upon-St.-Agnes but Irene,storing up past grievances, sends her a harsh letter,causing Vera to inflict damage on the caravan site whilst sand-blasting her home. Accusing Irene of slander, she threatens to send a heavy round to sort her out but Irene decides to go and stay with her daughter,Lesley, in Australia.
It's Vera's birthday,which she celebrates with her gay son and his partner and assorted colourful inhabitants from the trailer park. Irene sends her a letter -it's her birthday too which she celebrated with a crate of wine given her by her daughter Lesley. Lesley 'works late' and wears skimpy work clothes but Irene seems blissfully unaware of what she does. Irene is being romanced by Kevin,who took her to dinner for her birthday but forgot his wallet. Vera's daughter Karen comes to stay with her and proves something of a trial to her mother.
In Australia Irene, wine-glass permanently in hand, minds Cheryl Marie and faces a daily battle with possums as she strives to keep the house clean. Vera looks after grand-daughter Sabrina whilst Karen goes off for a weekend which becomes a fortnight with her bit of rough,Damon. She is less than amused when the returning Karen breaks it to her that she is expecting Damon's child. Irene,however,can barely contain her amusement.
After a relaxing stay at a health farm Vera is back taking care of Sabrina for the ever-absent Karen,and getting a visit from Social Services. Irene,meanwhile, drunk and lonely and losing Vincent, starts to write poetry. Unfortunately,after receiving a 'divine visitation' she begins to talk to God so that Lesley writes to Vera to say her mother is now in a mental hospital.
Vera does her best to get her trailer full of the necessary number of fire extinguishers to ensure she gets custody of Sabrina. Irene,unable to recognize Lesley,writes to Vera for help to spring her from the mental hospital and indeed help does arrive,in the form of Karen and Damon who rescue her,the three of them ending up in the outback living rough,whilst Vera looks after both Sabrina and Damon's dog.
After taking Irene's tablets Damon thinks he's a dingo so Irene and Karen give him the slip,ending up at Lesley's house. Irene lets Vera - now having obtained custody of Sabrina - know that she was drinking too much and only hallucinated and ended up in the mental ward because she accidentally used Lesley's stash of marijuana to make what she thought was a cup of tea to sober her up. Lesley and Karen get on famously and Karen gives birth to a little boy,two months earlier than expected. He is either premature or not the son of Damon,now incidentally being sighted in ...
Irene minds the baby as Lesley and Karen go clubbing together whilst Vera,having minded mystic neighbour Yasmin's children moves with Sabrina into a flat in Candida Court,selling the trailer to some Eastern European emigrants. From her son Howard Vera learns that the baby's father is handsome vet St. John and not Damon at all. Poor Damon meanwhile is shot in mistake for a dingo.
Vera is enjoying life in her flat,taking dance lessons from her African neighbour,Sara of the Astarte tribe. Irene is less over-joyed as she is still house-keeping for the girls in Australia and,whilst pleased that Lesley is pregnant,finds Brian,the putative father and Lesley's boss with whom she has been having an affair,heavy going. All in all she is in agreement with Vera that she should return to England. Vera discovers that St. Jiohn is not as well off as she had hoped but he still turns up in Australia to see his son.
Harsh words are exchanged by letter after Irene accuses Vera of being controlling and,whilst Irene,Karen and St. John all return to England for the wedding, Vera announces her intention to boycott it. However,the revelation that St. John is indeed wealthy and owns a large country house with a granny flat for Vera soon changes her mind. The wedding ultimately goes ahead after one final spat between the ladies of letters.