I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find elucidative.
Vanessa approaches him and asks that he tell her a story. Uncle Newt replies that he does not know any stories. Vanessa is incredulous, believing that all uncles should know stories. Uncle Newt reminds her that he is not truly an uncle, but just poses as one to get free pipe racks at Christmas.
Instead, Vanessa tells Newt the story of Cinderella. He repeatedly interrupts to question elements of the story, such as the priorities of the Fairy Godmother and the practicality of glass slippers.
When Vanessa has finished, she repeats her insistence that Uncle Newt should learn some stories. He agrees to attend to the matter.
Vanessa speaks to the house musicians before a performance by Midnight & Noone.
She tells them that the act do not have tab music and that Miss Midnight (Gally’s stage name) would walk off stage if tab music was played.
They protest and ask to speak to Vanessa’s mother, but Susanna shouts from the wings that they are just to deal with Vanessa.
Gally sings the part of “the fellow on the cello”, while Susanna sings as “Susanna on piano” (pronounced “pian-ah”). The two characters are in love with each other, but both are under the impression that the other does not love them.
Vanessa is acting as stage manager for them.
Vanessa and Walter are on their honeymoon in France.
On a train journey to Lyon, Vanessa points out another traveller. She presents a number of theories about him based on what she has observed in his appearance and behaviour.
They exchange some ideas about the man, until Walter proposes a wager – whoever can tell the other most about the man after three minutes will win a piece of crystalised ginger.
After Vanessa accepts, Walter simply walks over to the man and introduces himself. He invites the man back to their table and relays what he has learned about him to Vanessa. He then eats the ginger.
Vanessa is speaking to members of her new sewing circle. They offer her their condolences on the death of her mother.
It transpires that there is some confusion in the group about the identity of Vanessa’s mother.
Vanessa tells them that her mother was Susanna Noone, who had died three years previous from a long illness.
Vanessa explains that Aunt Gally, as she calls her, was her mother’s companion. She tells them that, although Gally was like a second mother to her, they were not related.
The group are surprised to learn this, given Vanessa’s resemblance to Gally.
Newt tells her that, if she wants to go away to join a different wartime service, her son, Jerry, would be welcome to stay with him.
They discuss work that Vanessa might be able to do, hoping to find something that fits with her desire for autonomy.
Vanessa undergoes a medical examination to evaluate her fitness to serve the Ministry of Transport during the war.
While the doctor is checking her for fluid on the lungs, Vanessa advises him on improvements to his diagnostic technique.
The doctor refuses to give Vanessa the results of the examination, since they must come from the Ministry. To bypass this, Vanessa immediately requests a second examination as a private patient.
The horse driver is indignant that there is nothing he can do to move the horse if it doesn’t want to move, but Vanessa is able to get it moving by first blindfolding it.
They debate whether or not to wash beforehand, knowing that they haven’t washed for some time. Vanessa claims that it has got to the stage that she can pick out Queenie’s “note” from the other end of the boat.
Queenie asks what sort of note she means, but Vanessa points out that no possible answer to the question would not cause offence. Queenie suggests that “violets” would be an acceptable answer and Vanessa scoffs at her friend’s optimism.
They resolve to wash.
After first hearing Jerry’s latest poem, for which Jerry is paid his standard ha’penny, Uncle Newt gives him his birthday presents.
Jerry opens a gift to find a kazoo, which Uncle Newt admits he had just found at the back of a drawer.
Uncle Newt encourages Jerry to blow the kazoo, which cues Newt to deliver a “paean of praise” that he has written for Jerry. The paean tells of Jerry’s accomplishments and good deeds while living with his uncle.
Unbeknownst to Jerry, his mother, Vanessa, has taken leave from her war service, so that she can visit. She arrives in the room as Uncle Newt is finishing his paean. She delivers the final word: “Surprise!”
Jerry visits his mother, Vanessa, in hospital. She is wrapped in bandages. She informs Jerry that she sustained her injuries when she was hit by a bridge.
Vanessa insists that Walter offers Jerry some fatherly words of wisdom. Walter tells Jerry an old trick of his – when you are feeling sad, saying “half a glass” to yourself will set your face in a natural smile.
She tells Jerry that the joke behind Woof, Woof, Woof is that it is a nightingale doing the dog impressions.
She also gets a small plastic cowboy from the cracker, which she gives to her grandson, Benji. Benji is warned not to snatch by his mother, Hilla, who reminds him that “Level 3” behaviour is expected.
Deborah chooses to pull her cracker with her grandfather, Walter. Vanessa indicates to Walter that his cracker is on his side plate. Deborah wins, but questions if she has to rip up her hat. She asks if that tradition comes from them being a bit Jewish.
Hilla tells her that lighting the candles is because they are a bit Jewish, but that the hat ripping comes from the Wilkinson side. It transpires that the tradition dates back at least as far as Uncle Newt’s childhood.
He admits that he has been blind since the war, but never brings it up. Deborah questions how he manages, to which Walter says that his wife, Vanessa, is a great help to him.
As if to demonstrate, Vanessa enters the room at that moment. She says:
“Ah, Walter. There you are. Oh, and Deborah too. You look very cosy over there, dear, in that window seat.”
Vanessa uses indirect comments like this to help Walter place people and objects in the room.
Although impressed with her grandmother’s skill, Deborah laments that the conclusions are never something more exciting, like the subjects being Russian spies.
Upon returning to her parked car, Vanessa is confronted by an angry woman. The woman says that her garage has been blocked by Vanessa’s car.
Vanessa accepts her mistake and sincerely apologises, but the woman continues to rant at her.
Vanessa tries to give the woman a life lesson. She tells her that reacting in this way only serves to let the other person off the hook. Rather than feeling bad, Vanessa now just wants to laugh.
He does go on to say that Gally would have loved to have been Vanessa’s mother, and that, really, she was one of her two mothers in every meaningful sense.
When Vanessa asks what her father looked liked, Newt only says that he never met Major Noone.
Walter is watching a film. After a long time passes without the characters saying anything, he asks his wife, Vanessa, to help him.
Once the characters start speaking again, she leaves Walter to watch it alone.
Deborah is surprised to hear Jerry ask if he should start his speech with a poem, since she had just assumed that he would.
Vanessa and Deborah swap theories about the marital status of the registrar at the service, based on their observations of biro marks and reading glasses.
As they travel, Russ starts to feel unwell. Uncle Newt offers his top hat, should it be needed.
In an attempt to distract Russ, they all start to play a storytelling game by each saying one word at a time, but this fizzles out as Russ feels worse.
Next, they try to think of a song which they all know so that they could sing it to Russ. Uncle Newt is too elderly to know Yellow Submarine and Deborah is too young for Knees Up Mother Brown, but there is one song which spans the generations of the family.
Jerry counts them in and they all sing Woof, Woof, Woof together.
Unfortunately, they cannot prevent the inevitable, and Deborah is forced to apologise to Uncle Newt.
Newt replies: “Oh, not at all my dear. It was a very old hat.”
Vanessa is competing on a TV quiz show.
She gets into an argument with the host over the answer to the question:
In the famous book, which traveller went around the world in 80 days?
She contests that her answer (Michael Palin) was correct and that, in fact, the answer they were looking for (Phileas Fogg) was incorrect. She argues this both on the grounds that Phileas Fogg was fictional, and that he actually took 81 days to go around the world in the novel.
Ultimately, the quiz runners choose to agree with Vanessa.
Russ learns Newt’s name, which leads to a discussion of amphibians and, in particular, why turtles are not amphibians. Newt gives him a brief scientific explanation of the difference between reptiles and amphibians, but Russ does not want to hear more.
Instead, Russ asks Newt for a story about Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. Having been informed that the turtles names are Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and Leonardo, Newt tells Russ a story about turtles in Renaissance Florence.
Jerry’s daughter has just spoken to him to ensure that he will not do a poem at the funeral. When Uncle Newt hears this, he suggests that Jerry should do one for Newt’s own funeral, when the day comes.
Uncle Newt says that he would pay Jerry his fee for the poem in advance, except that ha’pennies are no longer produced. He reacts with mock outrage when Jerry suggests that he pay him a whole penny instead.