Good morning Girlfriends . . . go get a cup of tea. I have mine, plus a toasted English Muffin; my feet are cozy inside my shoes which were pre-warmed in front of the furnace grill; it’s snowing outside my windows, big floaty flakes just like the ones at the end of Bridget Jones Diary where Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth kiss in the snow? (Bad language alert, Colin Firth is a very bad boy.) Our snow is just like that! Only more of it and we are wearing everything we own, indoors (But I’m sure if I was her I would not have felt the cold either).
MUSICA? Oui! I’m trying to learn how to get the camera to focus on the snowflakes; this picture turned out pretty good. Life goes on as usual around here in Smallville. The good news is, my studio is clean; I can see the floor for the first time in weeks. As recently as yesterday the room could have been used in a promo for an episode of Hoarding ~ I haven’t been able to vacuum the whole room for way too long, the floor was covered with calendar page layouts, counter tops were stacked with paper, trash was overflowing. But yesterday I started clearing it up ~ it’s my favorite thing about finishing a project, I get to make a clean slate. And when I came in this morning I was greeted with lots of open space, no tripping hazards, nothing on countertops. As a person with a Capricorn Moon, I have neat-freak blood in me; not to have neatness for long periods of time makes me cranky. So this is good. I can begin again.
Are you ready? Downton? Me, too. Loved Sunday night! I should remember (for once) to start with a Spoiler Alert. I’m about to talk about Season 5 Episode 7 of Downton Abbey. If you haven’t seen it, you should skip to the part down below about the lambs and the snow.
FYI, next week is the last episode for this season ~ the next Sunday we get what they are calling the “Christmas Special” and then it’s over ~ no new episodes until next January when Season Six begins. We are going to be forced to wean ourselves, a very unfair thing to have to do. And next season will be doubly bittersweet. We will settle in for the winter all cozy with Downton, but the last episode of next year will be the very end of Downton Abbey forever. I’m already crying.
But let’s not go there. Let’s go back to last Sunday night . . . Let’s see, where do we start?
How about we start with Mary? I took pictures of the TV screen, trying to capture some of their fabulous coats. Look at the detail on the sleeves and collar. So beautiful, looks like cashmere too. Did you notice that Mary has just become extremely available? One minute it’s raining men, and now they are both GONE, she is alone with zero prospects. How odd.
BUT, this leaves Mary wide open for my surprise ending for the season . . . Mary and Tom. (I should say: I KNOW nothing, this is just my hope and prayer ~ not a spoiler in any way.) I think they should get together, because a.) Tom simply can’t go to America for more reasons than one and b.) despite her unbearable self-adoration and haughty attitude, first, and I think, foremost, Mary is a practical person (hence “throw money at the Pig Farmer family re: the Marigold situation” as most expedient way to go). So is Tom. Practical. And Tom is the lifeblood of Downton. If he goes, the estate is doomed to rack and ruin, Robert will gamble it away or do something equally stupid, or should I say naive, with Downton Abbey as pawn. And, like Scarlett O’Hara and Tara, Mary loves Downton more than any other thing. This gives Tom and Mary the third most important thing in a relationship, something they could love together and separately outside of their relationship. (This is probably much too deep considering these people do not actually exist and there will be no marriage or relationship to be inside or out of? Ignoring myself, I drone on . . .) So the pluses are that they would have each other, they would have their children (who must, by now, think they are brother and sister) and they would have Downton to care for. It makes sense.
Could someone please get Julian Fellowes on the phone for me? (btw, we have other questions for him; I mean did he really have to let Isis die to move the story forward? Was that necessary?. . . yes, the dog had an unfortunate name, but still ~ that was very sad ~ and if he can do that gratuitous heart-breaking removal of a wonderful dog, he can certainly allow Mary to marry her dead sister’s commoner widower). Anyway, next week Tom could turn to Mary and say, Hey, I just noticed ~ I’m single, you’re single, I’m normal, you’re not but I could help you with that, our children already think they’re related, you love Downton, I love Downton, you’re gorgeous, let’s get married and turn the castle into the kind of place they will use for filming lovely English movies in the future thereby saving it for tours for the Anglophile Americans who love it all so much! WHAT a good idea! And didn’t you love the scene with adorable Sybie with Tom on the bridge? What a natural actress that little girl is ~ those big eyes of hers, so innocent and sweet.
She looks just like her father. Mary would love a little girl like that. And speaking of mothering . . .
Good job Cora!!! Wasn’t she magnificent? Swooping in to save her child and grandchild with perfect common sense and no other thought than, bring them home! Well done you!
Negotiating everything wearing another fabulous coat. Then she brought Isis into the bed with Robert, perfection and strength of character.
Then there are Lord Merton’s hideous sons. Larry (poor suffering thing, didn’t you feel terrible when you learned that Lord Larry had to wait in the car) and the other brother, Tim, wasn’t any better. You all remember that Larry drugged Tom (so he would appear drunk) at dinner in an earlier episode and everyone knew it? I mean, would you invite him back? Never! I thought I’d seen it all with Miss Bunting, but no. The people on Downton are brilliant at choosing clothes, their coats and hats deserve to be in the hall of fame, they have great taste in art and set a beautiful table, but they are terrible at choosing dinner party guests.
Mrs. Hughes would do a much better job than they do. They should run everything by her. Lord Merton says his boys are “just like their mother.” Poor guy! And poor Mrs. Crawley (Isobel). I could not marry anyone who had children like that. I would be afraid of poison. I would rather move in with Violet, have lots of tea parties, and help her fire her whiny interrupting Butler. But of course you wouldn’t do that if you were Isobel, your heart is too big and you care so much for the downtrodden common folk.
Violet, aka the Dowager Countess, aka Granny, was in fine form as usual. The scene at tea with Mary (did you love Mary’s hat?) when she said she was going to miss Isobel’s friendship when she goes off to marry Lord Merton? Wasn’t that sweet? Violet has much too much gravitas to waste any time whatsoever with something as mundane and boring as jealousy.
We knew that. Queens don’t get jealous, and Violet is a pure queen. And earlier, in the train station, when she was telling her daughter Rosamund (who was wearing a surprisingly unflattering organ-grinder monkey’s hat) ~ that they had to tell Cora that Marigold was really Edith’s daughter because (go slow here, this will require thinking), since Cora is Edith’s mother, Violet felt Cora “had the right to know” ~ Rosamund (who is Robert’s sister) said, “How about the father’s rights, are you going to tell Robert?” Violet (mother of Robert) said with roll of eyes and little corner-lip-tic, “No. He’s a man. Men don’t have rights.” I’m sure Mr. Fellowes gave himself a little chuckle with that one. Violet also provided Mary with huge food for thought when Mary made a disparaging remark about Edith during dinner, Violet leaned in and mentioned that, “lack of compassion was as vulgar” as crying all over everyone ~ I gave a little applause there (although it wasn’t totally fair because Violet knows what’s been going on and Mary doesn’t) . . . I can’t imagine a word that would be more abhorrent to Mary than to be called vulgar, especially by Granny. But for Mary, I agree, in general, compassion would be a gift. I say that with love. For the nonexistent character of Mary.
There’s more, Rose is engaged! Love that! Hope we get a wedding next week, a slow wedding that takes the entire hour with closeups of all the jewelry, the gifts, the food, hems and shoes and hair clips. Baxter tries so hard to have friends, but as ex-con jewel thief and police informant, it’s hard for her to make inroads and become “one of the guys.” I like her, I feel sorry for her too. And, I found it odd that lurking Barrow the Butler was so nice. What’s he up to? OK, that’s enough, I know you guys would like to get a word in edgewise . . .
Just a couple more things to catch up . . . as you’ll notice on your calendar, Chinese New Year is February 19th . . . that’s when it officially becomes “The Year of the Lamb (or Sheep or Goat).” People born under the sign of the Lamb are known to be good-hearted. I was born under the sign of the Pig (of course, wouldn’t you just know) ~ we are known for being light-hearted and falling asleep easily. Anyway, to me it’s a good sign . . . A FINE ROMANCE will be published in China in this Year of the Lamb. Isn’t that perfect? The book will be out in September. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like written in Chinese! How will they do this? My publisher said they would find a “hand-writing Chinese font” to translate it with, they would like to keep it looking as if it’s handwritten. I don’t know if I could even tell the difference. I’ve never had any of my books translated into another language, so I’m very excited to see this. I’m not planning to carry it in our store because no one I know can read Chinese . . . but in case you want one, please let me know, if enough of you say you’d like to have one, we can maybe do a pre-order for them. I don’t actually know if they would sell them to me, so I’d have to check into that.
YEAR OF THE LAMB . . . is also the year of the never-ending snow storms. But we don’t mind . . . we fall asleep easily.
We do the pig thing, and eat constantly.
Here’s our view through the storm door out front . . . There is a mountain of snow pushed up against the curb, the truck is on the other side of it.
The view from the kitchen window is like a Christmas card. I have say, even after all these years, I never look at a scene like this without marveling, oh how gorgeous.
This is how windy it was . . . so windy we have bent icicles . .
The view across the street . . .
I took Jack to have a peek out the front storm door . . .
He found it quite interesting . . . and made his darling self quite comfortable.
This is the lock on the storm door. It looks tight as a drum to our eye, but there must be a hair-line whisper of an opening because a pile of snow has formed inside, on the lock.
It’s not a snow day, it’s a snow month.
The beat goes on for these guys. As long as we keep the feeders full, they are fat and happy.
Isn’t he pretty?
OK, everyone, hope you enjoyed everything today ~ off I go. Hope you are all keeping warm and enjoying your winter. Have faith, it can’t last much longer . . . Love you . . . Byeeee XOXO