Updated: Aug 30, 2019
"...Seems a pity to miss such a good pudding." Lady Violet
Do you remember when Elvis died? I do. I was almost 8 years old and I was sitting on the front porch steps when my dad came outside, stood in front of me and said, "The King of Rock n Roll just died". Besides the fact that I wasn't too sure what Rock n Roll was, I definitely had no clue there was a king! But I knew it was important because my dad came outside to tell me...most conversations happened at the dinner table...this wasn't dinner table talk, this was outside, this was SERIOUS talk.
Fast forward a bit and I started to understand why my mom was crying in the kitchen and the world stopped spinning the day Elvis died...something or someone came along, made you smile (sing/dance), and changed the world.
In 2010, Julian Fellowes did that to me. I was introduced, thanks to PBS and Masterpiece Theater, to Downton Abbey. I giggle because if you knew me in high school, I hated English Literature. I hated reading all together, but after I got married and had our first baby, a wonderful neighbor introduced me to Period Romance and I was SOLD! I couldn't stop reading. My library card was more important than my credit card! Then I started thinking about the books I was forced to read in high school. Why didn't I like them then? Putting it all together, I figured it out...they were all dark. I remember reading Wuthering Heights.🤦🏻♀️ Now, if I had been in the lucky bunch that got to read Jayne Eyre, then my world would have been different. I soon realized that Hollywood started re-making classics like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and I found myself slowing gravitating away from American television to finding British shows and Period Drama on Youtube. Yes, I literally wrote in my journal all the different shows I found and were able to watch on Youtube🇬🇧. And then I was told about Downton Abbey...and Sundays were never the same again.
I have to back the truck up just a little and try to paint for you a picture of my Downton days. Downton started each season here in the US in January. It truly was the best part of the New Year for me! But it was short lived because there were only 8-9 episodes which took us through February and then we fans were forced to wait a WHOLE YEAR! 😩 Those Sundays were incredibly special. I made sure all the household chores were done by 8:30 and off to the shower I went where my incredible husband met me by the nightstand with a nice hot cup of tea. Depending if the house was loud with kids, he'd bow out and even shut our bedroom door to give me my Downton time. I'd then text my kids, "Downton's coming on, text your dad if there's an emergency". Never in the history of ever have I acted this way about any show and haven't since.
As I mentioned in a prior post, this past Christmas, the love of my life bought me the entire Downton Abbey collection as a surprise. I started watching it a few weeks ago and while I was into Season 2, "someone" came in the living room and started watching it with me. Then he sat and watched the next episode...then the next! Then came questions!!! Questions like "who's so and so?" and "what's that a-hole's name?". Oh yes, there was LOTS of cussing😂 and lots of "I know what I'd do(s)..." That's because Julian Fellows did it! He wrote such a script that sucked us in. He gave personalities to people of a different historical period that we completely understood. He showed how the problems of then are for the most part the same problems of today. And sarcasm is such an art form made more beautiful when it roles off the tongues of the British upper class.
Every night after a long day at work and a cozy dinner, we'd tidy up, run upstairs and put on our pajamas and robes, then race (I did anyway) to sit on the couch for AT LEAST two episodes. And being January, we've been blessed with some snowy weekends which (twist my arm) forced us to watch more than two episodes! Last weekend we even had a beautiful wood fire going and I kid you not, it was HEAVEN to be all bundled up watching Downton with a fire, the man that makes me hot without a fire...and hot tea.😌
As you know, all good things must come to an end and so it did...But I wasn't about to let it end without a BANG! And as the Dowager Countess said, "all this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite..." So I decided to throw us a Downton Tea Party! We only had two episodes left of the final season and I just couldn't let the moment end with a simple sitting on the couch. These characters have become family to us these last couple of weeks (well, for me a little longer🤫) and I know he was enjoying it just as much. Now, we all know my heart is british, but nothing else is. I had no idea what I was going to do, but once I decided what tea sandwiches I wanted to have, the ball starting rolling and bouncing everywhere!
Next thing you know, I'm enlisting the help of my son to carry the kitchen table into the living room! Of course it took all of three seconds, but the rolling of the eyes and the why(s) and what the heck(s) were nonstop! I mean, some people have no vision! Then came some fine china!🤗 And flowers...and the ever moment maker battery operated candle!
Then I had to cook! I decided on the menu while I was in the store...starving. First we'd have Butternut Squash soup...(sounds british)(pre-made and sold in a box😂), then Orange Honey Glazed Meatballs (frozen meatball section), Turkey and Swiss tea sandwiches (had lunch meat and cheese at home, score!), Olive, Nut, and Cheese Tea sandwiches (Bill hates olives, these will be for me!), and Cucumber and Dill Tea sandwiches (sounds British). I bought raspberry sorbet to "cleanse the palate" (who doesn't like dessert first!),
strawberries dipped in chocolate (strawberries were on sale and I had chocolate chips in the pantry!) and eclairs and macarons because...just because. And because there obviously wasn't enough sugar and Edith is getting married, I made a heart shaped Lemon Rosemary cake. I had 3 hours to get it all ready!
And...I did it! I had a little help from my own Ms. Patmore...
He was just a little bit surprised lol. I had him run upstairs to shower and as Lord of the house, he sat to dinner with his pajamas and robe. He only shushed me once (our daughter came home), but he enjoyed the dinner immensely as did I. It was fun sitting in front of the television with all this food, china that is NEVER used, crystal stemware used maybe once a year, and wondering if the neighbors could see in our front window 😂.
There were many surprise endings for him, but I still cried. I didn't want it to end any more than I wanted it to end back in 2016. Of course we had to talk about favorite characters and such and if he enjoyed it at which his reply was, "surprisingly yes".😌 Now let's see if I can get him to the movie theater in September!
Oh, and Julian Fellows, just so you know, you even made my husband cry! One word...Isis.😢🥰