Archive for the ‘Downton Abbey’ Category

So I’m a little late with the news.

Four days is an eternity in our World Wide Web World.

And yet my own little world

spins at quite a different pace.

A constant splattering of primary-colored Duplo Blocks and breadmaker toast crumbs

have been crying out a little louder for my attention

than even this.

But I’ve got to mention it.

Put it down for posterity’s sake.

After all, how often does the Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photograph with Lady Mary Crawley?

How often does she go down to the kitchen for some cake from Mrs. Patmore?

It’s all just a bit dizzying.

Like someone got their fairy tales crossed.

Like it’s Cinderella meets Sleeping Beauty . . .

(or maybe Toads and Diamonds, however it is you see those Grantham girls).

But it’s that real life Cinderella Girl

most of us can’t help but admire,

and she’s gone to pay a call to

that period drama

most of us can’t help but watch.

And the moment’s just a bit magic

and most of us can’t help but smile

when we watch.


I still regret a little that I didn’t go to see Kate Middleton And Prince William when we lived in Scotland

and they visited St. Andrews, their former university.

After all, it was just a short drive away.

And that time I had the chance to work on a TV set with Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey

(more on that another time!).

But ah, it’s all a little lovely,

and the lovely things in life can point us, if we let them,

to the good and beautiful that is not of this world.

The good and beautiful of the next,

where are hearts are really longing for.

So here it is.


Kate Middleton visits the Set of Downton Abbey

Kate also once visited Prince Edward Island,

home of Anne of Green Gables.

A kindred spirit here, perhaps?


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It’s ba-ack. As if you hadn’t noticed, whether you wanted to or not. Whether you’ve been glued to the TV on Sunday nights or feel like screaming when you realize that yet another of your friends is still in mourning over Matthew Crawley’s untimely death, you must be aware that Downton Abbey has returned.

Downton Abbey,which garnered 9.5 million viewers for its debut episode of season four in the UK, and 10.2 million in the USA, making it the highest-rated premiere for a drama in PBS history.

Downton Abbey, that period drama lover’s ultimate feast of the eyes, the ears, and the imagination.

Oh, the costumes, oh, the settings!



Oh, the dialogue, oh, the quotes!




And we cannot help it, can we, if even just a little, stepping into the shoes of Mary, upstairs, or Anna, down. Can’t help but feel their small triumphs, feel their pain.


And it’s a little bit of all of this, I’d say, which drew me to Great Britain in the first place. Which always made me so pleased to be living there. The great natural beauty of that greenest of islands, and how history has dotted the countryside with its castles, and its churches, and its woods. And how you can  hardly pass through a small town or village without passing by the birthplace or resting place of some literary genius who has brought to our language rich stories, and phrases, and words. And there is something, something about the tiers of society, the division of the classes, which has formed Britain through the centuries, and which has always drawn my curiosity and admiration. Not the exploitation of children and women and minorities, and the horrors that these abuses brought. But the idea that in this world, in this universe, there is something grander and finer than anything most of us know. Something worth giving our lives to. Something worthy of our allegiance and respect.


The idea of servitude is quite foreign to us here in the West. We see it as our right to aim for the top, make our voice heard, and live as we please. But it’s a thought, isn’t it, that most of us will never be the giver nor the recipient of such humble loyalty and devotion as there is between Mary and her Anna. Between Lord Grantham and his Bates. Perhaps between us and our spouse we might know such a relationship, but probably not even then.

And I can’t help but think, as I open up my Bible, read the words my eyes have passed over so many times before, that there might be something to that idea of servitude and fidelity. Something for me now, today.

It can be easy to think of God’s commandments as simply a good idea. An admirable option. We remember to see Jesus as our best friend, our older brother, but forget that God is a consuming fire, a King who requires our submission, our unquestioned obedience, our all.

He won’t ever force His will upon us, for a slave is not what He seeks.

The choice–to follow or to run–is, and always has been, ours.

But if we give but half a heart, half a life, how can we expect to fully receive all He wants to give us?

Be guided as He wants to guide us?

Be blessed as He wants to bless us?

Know Him as He longs to be known?

And after all, though God calls us to be His servants, it is not in the servants’ hall that He wants us to dwell.

When chauffer Tom Branson of Downton Abbey married Sybil, the family were eventually forced to put aside his former status for the sake of their daughter. They even stopped calling him Branson, let him sleep upstairs in the big house, and gave him a say in the running of the estate. But in the truest sense of the word, he never became fully a son, an heir.

It’s different, though, with us and God. He calls us His children. Wants us close.

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. ~Galations 4:7

Being a servant, yes, God calls us to that, but it is not something that He has not done himself. His entire life on earth, right up till His death for us on the cross, was spent in service to us. He gave the ultimate sacrifice, showed His faithfulness to the last.

So that is where I’m starting this January, this new year.

I’m throwing out my old New Year’s List.

Starting with a new:

1. Unquestioned obedience.

My face like flint.

It’s a step of faith, this giving of myself, giving my all in the day to day.

And it won’t be easy.

But with a God who is LOVE, who has already given all for me, I have nothing to fear.

For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Isaiah 50:7



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