Shield Thyself

Okay, let’s get it over with (I’m a little upset, don’t mind me), but first a warning. I’m about to blatantly talk about Season 6, Episode 4 of Downton Abbey. Shield thyself if thee wishes to remain clueless. MUSICA And for you who are new to this Blog, looking around and deciding it is a Downton Abbey Blog, that isn’t all it is . . . just for now, because so many of us are watching the series with avid uncontrollable interest, especially me, so I just have to talk about it! Click on some of the icons at the top of the blog, and you’ll go lots of other interesting places. So, what has me so upset?  WELL!!! 

IMG_5167It starts out okay. Love the dress and the gloves, they go so well with the fireplace and the ornaments on the mantle. Tom looks happy, but then . . . who walks in?


Eeek! It’s the dream shatterer. (Mary’s dream isn’t shattered, it’s my dream that’s the problem.)

IMG_5170Henry Talbot, the frivolous egocentric race car driver has returned. So nice to be able to talk about someone so badly and know that he isn’t real! I’m sorry, but he is just not my cup of tea. I see him as a problem to the future happiness of Tom and Mary. If she goes with him, they are only half of what they could be. Not him. Her. He could never be as good with children as Tom is. Can you see him as Lord of Downton Abbey? Might as well flush it down the drain. Good thing I’m not Lady Mary’s butinski Mother, I would have to nip this in the bud immediately and send her to Siberia or something.


Maybe Tom did eat an extra hot dog or two when he was in Boston, is that so wrong? Mary still seems to love “her brother”(how could she say that? Oh, you mean because it’s almost true?) as much as ever and is perfectly willing to share her Downton Duties with him. The connection remains. But the flirting between them . . . not so good.

IMG_5175Even Henry’s aunt, Lady Prudence Shackleton (visiting mostly to irritate Violet), says Hanks’s prospects are “adequate but not overwhelming.” Hmmm. I just don’t like him. Race car drivers are playboys, everyone knows that. Please God make Julian just be throwing us (me) off the trail.


She tells the playboy how completely uninterested she is in cars and that, as far as she’s concerned, it’s the same as collecting guinea pigs in Peru. He tells her that’s because she wasn’t “taught properly” about “cars” and acts as if he would be the perfect teacher. Please. Am I the only one who notices that he has a very narrow head?


The restaurant they went to was wonderful. Look at the carpet.


Just gorgeous. I want to go there for dinner!


Henry is impressed that Mary works (Tom thinks it’s normal). That’s because he never will. I think he will soon turn sexist on us, which I don’t think Mary will put up with . . . but for now,


They are flirting, grrr. Must Learn To Accept. It’s only a tv show, it’s only a tv show. My favorite line from Mary this week, “All we were taught was French, prejudice, and dawnce steps.”  


This episode, down seems to be up and up seems to be down and everyone is rethinking their lives, as in “why am I here?” Mary, Daisy, Tom and Barrow all said it. The only person who didn’t of course was the Dowager Countess because a. she already knows, and or b. she doesn’t care. Almost a food fight at the table over the hospital. And Donk “drank too much port.” Hurry up ladies, join the 20th century, we are going to need that hospital!


The Dowager takes her passport and goes to the kitchen for the “first time in twenty years” and doesn’t even leave a trail of crumbs to find her way back. Brave woman. But the whole upstairs had to go downstairs to join the jolly group in welcoming home Carson and Mrs. Hughes, who now, as Mrs. Patmore says, “knows the mysteries of life,” and despite that is keeping her maiden name to solve the problem of two Carson’s in the house, leaving everyone to exhale in relief that they don’t have to remember what to call her. The newlyweds looked happy, and out came my favorite white bunting again!


The other people who seem to know where they’re going are Edith and Lady Rosamund. How Lucky Edith is to have her, and did you notice, Edith drives! Of course she does, thoroughly modern millie. Look at the size of that steering wheel.

IMG_5206  Love these two together. Sense and Sensibility. You all probably know that Rosamund is Robert’s sister and the daughter of the Dowager. She is just such an interesting character.


Love this dress. Love the glass. Love the sparkle. Love the swinging earrings. Love the whole thing. 


Love these two together too. Baby on board. At least one, but two would be better. Hint-hint dear Julian.


Mary also expressed not knowing where she is going or what she is doing with her life, but note dismay and instant rescue mode she went into when she saw her best friend Anna was in pain. She wasted not one moment, hasn’t got a drop of dilly-dally blood in her entire body . . .

IMG_5237Boom! Get the car Tom while I lie to my parents and Bates, and OFF they go to York. Mary gets her doctor to get up in the middle of the night and he stitches that baby right back in there, and voila!

baby lamb


Happiness that shows in a million dollar smile. I ask you, if you were going down on the Titanic and you had a choice of getting into Mary’s boat or getting into Edith’s boat, which would you choose? 


I would not get into this boat ever. Another person fretting that he doesn’t know where he is going, but Barrow seems unable to stop himself from doing evil deeds despite admitting that he does care what other people think of him. He shows it by “outing” the charming ex-house maid at luncheon, which hurts no one but himself. As Miss Baxter (who has her own problems, which I am certain Mr. Moseley, aka Dudley Do-Right, will solve, then marry her) said to Barrow, “You are your own worst enemy.” How true. Who said the butler is supposed to talk to the guests? I didn’t hear anyone ask his opinion. I think in real life a butler could get fired for this. If there was a real life anywhere around here.


Anna with her baby glow on, loves Gwen, and we do too: a. for her good works with Hillcroft College, but b. because she gives all the credit for her success in life to Sybil, endearing her to the Crawley’s forever. Was especially happy to know she was married when I saw how much Tom liked her!!! Whew!


I think we came this II far from losing Daisy this week.

daisy border


Everyone was freaking out when she took off her apron and went upstairs to confront Cora, better known as Her Ladyship, to get her just deserts re: Mr. Mason and Yew Tree Farm. She almost ruined everything with her unwillingness to put up with even one more second of perceived unfairness, and was about to attack Cora for promising the farm to Mr. Mason and then reneging. Which we all know she didn’t do.

IMG_4922 But thanks to darling (but ill, soon to be well, we are sure, not to worry) Robert, who intervened and spilled the beans just in time . . .  


 Daisy dodged that bullet, and now her Mr. Mason has the farm!!! Another pair of happy people! You Go Girl! I hope they open a Country Bed and Breakfast.

daisy border


Then Daisy and that cute footman, Andy, made twinkle eyes at each other . . . Andy, who pointedly said,

IMG_5255 “Country life is what I’m after.” This is looking good.


They can raise daisies! They can name their daughters Petunia, Delphinium, and Bluebell.



Sad part came at the end when Mr Carson went to say goodbye to his room . . .


His bachelor bedroom, where I guess he probably lived for 30 or 40 years. I wonder what he is thinking? Life, going too quickly?


But I loved how he


kept his little name tag. This is a very sweet man. Mary would even do better marrying him than that playboy. Except Carson already has a wife. Oh well, we’ll just have to see what happens next Sunday!


But speaking of real life.


We had the most gorgeous blizzard here a couple of days ago . . . because, guess what?  It’s winter!  And that’s what we do!


It’s still beautiful but now it’s sunny and white! You need sunglasses to look at the rooftops!


And here we are, where we always are these days in our studio working away. I have such a terrible deadline with the printer (three weeks!!!!) . . . which I have to make, if I’m going to get to all these book signing events and meet you!  Check it out . . . More events have been added, and there are still more to come. It just gets better all the time!

border flower


But I have the kitties and I have Joe. He feeds me, and he surprised me with those roses. Perfect counter action to a blizzard. And I have the story in my book which I love more all the time. Our book. It really is. The roses, by the pink roseway, were congratulatory because I heard again from the movie people who are requesting an option on the new book for a movie or a TV series! They sent a contract! So it’s still on a burner somewhere out there. As the nominees for the Academy Awards always say, in the category of Impossible Dreams, “it’s an honor to be nominated.” I realized the other day that the actress that would play me would probably be about three years old right now, with the speed these things go. So no one should hold their breath! But it is wonderful to know that you are on my side! 

Off I go to the dream factory. Hope you all have a fantabulous day! Downton Abbey Forever! XOXO 

flower border

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510 Responses to Shield Thyself

  1. Virginia says:

    Another great re-cap. The race car driver could not be worse for Mary or for any woman. Run, Mary, run! She has had a number of very nice and very acceptable men seeking her hand in blessed wedlock. What is the attraction of this guy?! I think because he doesn’t want her…or is acting that way, more like it.

    That restaurant was spectacular. Would love to know the actual location.

    My team lost yesterday 🙁 so I especially needed a dose of Downton last night. Thanks for keeping the party going so well.

  2. Susan Cohen says:

    I’m loving Downton, but I confess, I don’t love Mary! Tom seems too good for her…but then, he could bring out the best in her. We’ll see. I’m also waiting patiently for the return of Outlander.

  3. Tracy Jones says:

    Hi Sue,
    Loved your post about Downton…I am glued to the set with the phone off the hook during the show! We missed the snowstorm here and only received a few inches but there is snow in the forecast for this weekend I heard! Hope you are cozy and well…xo

  4. Julie (Omaha) says:

    Lol when Mary referred to Tom as her ” brother ” I though uh-oh Susan is not going to like that! 😬

  5. Diana says:

    I loved this post so much.

    A few things – last week when we were all surprised that Tom and Sibby appeared at the wedding, one of my guests (yes I host a Downton dinner on Sunday nights in my apartment) asked why Tom came back. I jokingly responded that Julian owed that to us for taking away Sybil and Matthew. I cried uncontrollably in front of my guests after those two episodes, but I digress. There is a part of me that feels Mary will be with Tom (gut instinct). But Julian is going to put us, the viewers, through our paces to get there. Sure Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome is tall dark and handsome, but he races and Mary will not live with that, and as you mentioned before he is a playboy, and he will not give it up. Did you see Mary’s expression and reaction when she saw Tom, a foretelling? I am hopeful.

    Carson and Mrs Hughes. I too was so touched by his saying goodbye to his room, and what a lovely simple room it was. Hoping to see them have more fun in coming episodes.

    I have to get back to work. But I just had to chime in. Holding good thoughts that you fared the weather well and am looking forward to pictures of your snowy winter wonderland. After reading you blog from start to finish one week, after I discovered it. I often think about how incredible it would be to in your beautiful home, with the fireplace, the gas stove, the kitties, candle light and more art supplies that I could ever imagine. Sounds like heaven to me.

    Diana from San Francisco

  6. Julie (Omaha) says:

    AND congratulations on your ( future ) Oscar!!!
    Thinking positive !

  7. Jean in Arizona says:

    I so agree. Surely Mary wouldn’t settle for that insipid race driver after the divine Matthew! And, I predict a health emergency for Lord Grantham which will cause thevDowager Violet to rethink her hospital stand. So looking forward to your new book, Susan…
    Jean in Arizona

  8. Gina P. from NY says:

    Hi Susan:

    Loved last night’s episode of Downton! I agree though – I don’t think there is any hope of Tom and Mary becoming romantic. I kind of felt it ended when she referred to him as “her brother”. Too bad. Perhaps Tom could have smoothed out those rough edges that Matthew had managed to smooth out – but then became rough again after his passing. It will be interesting to see where the Henry/ (I know you called him Charles, but I believe his name is Henry) Mary relationship goes. My thoughts are that she may find his car racing a bit frightening, especially since she lost Matthew to a car accident. So whether Julian is planning to hook these two up or not – I’ll bet there will be some rough patches along the way. Wish there would be someone for Tom. He is such a sweetie. I also like the Molesley/Miss Baxter pairing too. He has been her champion for so long – and always seemed to be a lonely character (remember when he thought he’d ask Anna out after Bates left at one point)? She kindly rebuffed him, so he does need someone in his life. And just when I start to feel sorry for Barrow, he does something like out Gwen at the dinner table. : ( So happy for Mr. Mason that the Yew Tree Farm opportunity worked out for him. I’m afraid there may have been murder committed by Daisy should this not have happened! A determined lady for sure. Love the idea of the B&B! He has been a wonderful father figure to Daisy. I hope Robert will be OK, but I have a feeling we will see more of this mysterious illness played out in the weeks ahead. Hopefully it will be something that either the village hospital or the larger York hospital can fix! That’s if Isobel and Violet ever put down the swords long enough to settle this hospital debacle once and for all!

    Congrats on the movie/series offers! How exciting and what a privilege for you. Can you believe it? Sounds like your life will be getting busier by the minute, but I know you will find time to smell the roses (which, by the way, are beautiful)… Enjoy the winter wonderland, and have a wonderful week.

  9. Mary Arceneaux says:

    I disagree about Mary and the playboy race car guy — he seems like a breath of fresh air in her life – careless, perhaps, of her heart, but what fun while the ride lasts! Every gal needs an adventure like this before settling down……….and, who knows, there may be more to him than meets the eye. For now, at least. I just can’t see Tom and Mary as a real couple — but we’ll see. What I’m really wee-wee’d up about is Robert’s health………please, Julian, don’t let this be a heartbreak for us……..

  10. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Wonderful blog. I love your snow and news! This episode of Downton must have been written while Mr Fellows was down with the ague. It was just not up to snuff.
    The editing had Mr Carson in two different parts of the kitchen at the same time. Mary calling Tom her “brother,” EGAD. On the other hand we are all allowed to have one bad day. My secret theory is Mary will not marry. Robert will need the modern services of a new hospital. Edith will settle in London with her new man. The Bates’ will leave Downton to raise their children as village people do. Tom will open a new car dealership. We have to remember a depression is coming and another war. Things will not be tidy and enough will be let hanging so a spin off can begin in a year or two.
    But until then we can revel in what today is and today the sun is shining!

    • sbranch says:

      Tom with a new car dealership! I suppose it is a bit more romantic because of how cute the cars are, but still . . . your hypothesis is very well thought out!

  11. suzy says:

    Very nice review of last nights’ D.A. But, have to admit, the best pictures were of your Jack. Now there is a real cutie.

  12. Loved your perspective on the latest episode of DA. It’s so odd to watch as things are neatly packaged for some of the characters as obvious storylines come to the forefront and then are solved quickly. Donk will heal quickly. The Bates baby will come quickly. (Tom ought to lose his excess poundage quickly.) And. It. Is. Almost. Over.

    The lovely actress who plays Rosamund – real name escapes me right now – is fabulous in PBS’s “Home Fires.” Love that show, too. Season two coming up. Not a substitute for DA but helpful as is “Doc Martin.”

  13. Just Cats says:

    Hi Susan – I’m writing from Ontario, Canada where we have very little snow right now. How strange is that! It’s been a rather warm winter for us. Not complaining. I LOVE JACK. I want to reach in and give him a big hug. He looks like such a character and I think he could give my Audrey a run for her money. =^..^= Best of luck with the possible movie. How exciting is that. It would be wonderful, for sure. Sending you a hug from up North. Deb

  14. I have to agree with you! Charles is so wrong for Mary. Really if they do get together how will she deal with the anxiety of him speeding around in his cars? Considering that Matthew died in an auto accident. It’s just all too much. lol How exciting about a possible movie or TV contract! Very happy for you!

  15. I’m enjoying your recaps of DA almost as much as I am enjoying watching the show – and that’s an awful lot. I disagree with you, though, about Mr Talbot. I rather like him (but what do I know, I married a musician, practically like marrying a race car driver); perhaps he will see the error of his ways…or perhaps Julian will knock him off early in the plot. I am not convinced that Tom and Mary belong together..where is the flame?

    Sending you many congrats of the good news anout the film/TV from snow-covered Virginia (I may not get my car out until March, I fear).

    Please keep your wonderful cheer coming my way. Best, Cackie

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, race car drivers and musicians, I see what you mean! Yes, I know, no flame. Painful. I may have to give up on this insanity. But I was so pitifully sure! xoxo Thank you Cackie!

  16. Nicole says:

    Dearest Susan, I must have been living under the biggest rock known to humankind for I just discovered you! I recently watched a video praising Fairy Tale Girl and promptly purchased both it and A Fine Romance! I consumed them both in two days and it feels bittersweet. I am sure I will reread them within the week! I see so many parallels between your life and my own, including, recently learning watercolour and Thursday Girls! (On Tuesdays I take a meditation class) You are a wonderful inspiration and I am so greatful to you for bringing so much joy into my life! Thank you from the bottom-est of my ❤️.

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to meet you Nicole! Welcome to the neighborhood. You’ll find lots of kindred spirits here. Thank you for your kind words, I’m so happy you liked the books. It’s been a joy to do them. xoxo

  17. Nancy says:

    oh Susan when Mary called Tom her brother I thought oh my Susan isn’t going to like that. I did though it would be just to pat for her to marry Tom we need the shake up for sure. I am so tired of Daisy and her yelling at Mrs. Pattmore (oh how I love that woman). I know there are to be new shows from this one I keep trying to guess which one it will be. Will it be about Edith and her working with the magazine? Will it be about Tom and Mary turning all that land into something wonderful? Will it be about the stock market crash or WWII. Darn Julian keeping us on the edge of our seats like that. Oh and Lord Grantham and those pains I think it will be 1. he has to be rushed to the “big” hospital as they misdiagnose him at the local one or 2.he dies from going to the local one and not getting the access to the big hospital they want to join forces with. I am hoping for 1. Although Violet had such wonderful lines last night (she always does but last nights were good since she is locked into fighting with everyone right up her alley). Her final big lines were about having local control and what they can do for people they know etc. so she had me back second guessing again. I want to know everything that is going on and then I don’t because I don’t want it to end……….Nancy

  18. Claudia says:

    I’m very afraid the fans car driver and Mary are going to be in a fatal car accident!!

  19. Jo in Western Springs, IL says:

    Susan, you are so cute! You’re right about the race car drivers. They way too fast on many levels!

    I’m making a Burns Night dinner for tonight to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns. We’re having cock-a-leekie soup, mashed tatties, bashed neeps, haggis (yes, haggis), smoked dunlop, selkirk gouda and mincemeat tarts with toasts and reading and poetry with shots of Glenlivet after every toast and salute. This dinner is celebrated all over the world tonight by lovers of Burns’ poetry and songs. Perfect excuse for a party: it’s cold and snowy and we want to feast heartily! Stay warm, little girlfriend!

  20. linda Matera says:

    How very exciting–a movie!!! Who would you like to play you?? Hmmmm I need to think about this.

    We had the storm here in Ct…we got about a foot.Not too much for us.They clear the roads fast & we were able to get out the next morning.
    I have been spending a lot of time in my sewing room.I am a quilter & i have 3 wedding quilts to make.The first is for my son.I am enjoying the process & i listen to Ricky Nelson as i cut & sew.

    Love hearing your Downton feelings.You see things that i didn’t notice.I love your in sites on the furniture & the costumes.We are all going to miss all of the actors who have become family to us.

    Now–who will play Suasan?? I have to think a lot on this one.You are one of a kind–hmmmm thinking………

  21. Margie Orr says:

    We are digging out and digged Dowton last night. Agree about the race car driver! The dowager seemed off too. So nice to look forward to Downton too with the lush sets. Gorgeous dresses and words as with your blog and new book! Your window frost is beautiful.

  22. Valerie says:

    This is too funny…last night when Charles Talbot appeared you crossed my mind and I thought of how unhappy you were going to be to see him again!! Especially just when Tom came back. I kind of like Charles for some reason. He sure is smitten with Mary. I see them together more than her and Tom. I loved Daisy’s smile and the twinkle in her eye when Andy walked away. Fingers crossed that they’ll settle into the farm, with her father-in-law, as a married couple before the season ends!

  23. Patricia Mason says:

    Your post was completely enjoyable and do not hesitate to post all you like about Downton ! I LOVE your in depth analysis with accompanying photos ! Of course the rest of your topics are always wonderful to read also….Thanks for a great blog that I look forward to seeing….

  24. Tina Mandeville says:

    Sweet Sue… are just too funny! Bless your heart! I am loving your commentaries about Downton more than Downton itself! Glad you were all snug as a bug for the storm! Love the whole movie/series thing…..I do hope it happens and that it happens in my lifetime!!! xo

  25. Karen Saunders says:

    I love DA for the fabulous clothes and wonderful houses and proper manners and politeness…(have I left anything out??) All I do as I’m watching is wonder where I am going to get that when they’re done…..😳 I’m SO sad!!!!!

  26. Linda from Sudbury says:

    My name is Linda, and I’m a Downton Abbey fanatic. I’m afraid to say that I’ve watched ahead………WGBH is an enabler, offering the DVD for a donation!!!! I just have the two hour Christmas special left to watch. I can’t bring myself to watch it yet, cuz then it’ll be over. It’s very good. Love everything about it. Love the clothes. Keep tissues handy. I’m reading your Fairy Tale Girl book; what a story you have to tell! Enjoying it very much.

  27. Peggy Cooper says:

    I think there may be some dallying with Charles, but I don’t see it as a love match. Mary is too sensible for that. And now Edith seems to be developing a love interest, and don’t you think they’re making her look so much prettier now? And Mary is even being nicer to her. Maybe Donk’s ailment will bring the dowager around to getting modernization for the hospital. Seems they’re bringing characters back this season that we haven’t been seeing as a final farewell. I’m trying to think of characters that haven’t found their happily ever after mate yet, since so many are coming together. What would you think about Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason? Then when Daisy marries Andy, they can all live together on the farm, and Mrs. Patmore can help take care of the children they’ll have?

  28. Rosanna says:

    Oh, and I simply forgot — congratulations on the ‘interest’contract from “Hollywood” — while I wish with all my heart it would happen soon – I realize the ‘wheels of progress grind slowly’ with these things — but like all good things, I want it NOW!

  29. Diana H. says:

    Good Monday to you Susan and crew!!! I was eagerly anticipating your take on last nights’ episode. I am not at all worried about our Lady Mary and the car racer. I think she will get some fun times out of this episode, but in the end will remember that fast cars took the love of her life from her and will all of a sudden notice what is right in front of her. Now, Cora needs to get the Earl to a doctor me thinks and I’m glad that Daisy was able to forestall her fit just long enough. I was tired of hearing her whining, shall we say… lol. So so happy about Anna and Mr. Bates and that Mary has a calm head about her and even a giving soul, which she may not even realize herself!!! Oh, and Tom to the him and his sweetness and tact! Loving the Edith story as she is finally coming into her own I believe and the grudging “niceness” between the two sisters. Am I the only one that was crying through dinner when the Sybil story was being told?…..

    I am so very proud of you for being noticed and picked for a MOVIE! WHAT!!! Oh, my how surreal that must feel! Smallville is so worthy…. I’m hoping you and Joe are staying safe and warm with your kitties and friends… we have had a little snow, but the big one missed us this time…..I’m always ready to stay home, for real comfort, but I worry about those that have to get out and about.

    I am trying to decide whether to come see you on your country-wide journey at the Chicago tea party or closer to home in St. Charles, MO…… I’m leaning a little towards Chicago, but need to make up my mind soon, I’m sure…..Well, on to my weekly planning session with myself and some tea and maybe rereading this post…….love it all and thank you for taking time for us Susan.

  30. Loved your musica, so perfect! I thought of you with the jazzy tune in the restaurant. I hope the race car driver will hurry Tom into realizing he just can not live without Mary and her him….just to keep us guessing.
    Finally, happiness for our dear Anna & Bates! Fingers crossed for twins You have the best ideas! We will miss Downton dearly and your comments on it just as much.
    Speaking of fingers crossed, what a perfect movie/series idea…YOUR LIFE!

  31. Pam says:

    Your comments about Downton make me laugh.
    Oooh, how exciting, I hope the movie/tv series comes off okay.
    Love your frosty window pane. We’ve had very little snow. Lots of rain though.

  32. Barbara Heinsohn says:

    A movie or a TV series?!!!! How exciting! I’m hoping for a TV series because it will last longer than a 2 hour movie!! woohoo!

  33. Merrilyn Rutledge says:

    Noticed on the daisies you did not have No. 8 Becky highlighted. I live in Oklahoma which is different conditions (probably harsher), but this is the best. It blooms for at least 3 months. Blooms a little later, but blooms a lot longer. Enjoy your blog, but especially enjoy all the pics!

  34. Julie V from Springfield, MO says:

    Congrats on the movie offer!!!! We are all in this wonderful dream with you.
    Downtown last night – so much happened. I agree that Mary needs to avoid that Charles – he most likely hasn’t worked a day in his life and is after Mary’s money. I am with you – her and Tom would be perfect.
    What about Lady Rosamond making the comment about Violet will most likely be at Roberts funeral – tell me this is not “foreshadowing”. Yikes.
    Stay warm!

  35. Sherry says:

    I just happened to Google the cast of actors in Downton Abbey and there is an outcome for the question of Henry Talbot and Lady Mary near the end of Season 6. Happy ending? I’m not saying. There is an outcome for Lady Edith as well. I really wish I hadn’t seen it, but I did and don’t want to spoil it for anyone else. Did anyone catch the comment by one of the Ladies (don’t recall which one) about Granny that she would be attending the funeral of Lord Grantham – one of those “she will outlive us all” kind of comments, but it made me wonder if Julian is going to kill Robert off. NO!!!!!

  36. Kate says:

    Please, if they make a tv series of your life, don’t allow them to make it a comedy with a laugh track. They ruined My Big Fat Greek Wedding tv series doing that. I want a movie the like that Norah Ephron would have produced with lots of food involved and beautiful scenery and two very likeable characters( because you and Joe are so likeable.) And it absolutely has to take place on Martha’s Vineyard. Don’t allow them to change that. I really hope there is a movie that is sweet and true to you and all you have accomplished. Loving Downton Abbey. Sorry I don’t share your desire for Mary and Tom to get together, but I also don’t see her getting together with a race car driver since her husband died in a car accident. We shall see.

  37. Joan says:

    Me too! I absolutely love the white bunting. Not sure where, but I need to find a place for it in my home.

  38. Kay Bennett says:

    I completely agree with you about Tom and Mary. I also thought about you and cringed when Mary referred to Tom as her brother. However, it’s “brother-in-law, so maybe something will transpire between them. (We can hope). Also the new guy. Hummm they will probably be involved for a while then he will go off to race his cars. Loved the baby story line. They have been so unhappy for so long. I know it’s just a show, but it’s our show and we do get concerned.

    Congrats on the possible TV show or series. I can absolutely see it happening. You’ve led such an interesting and inspiring life. Stay tuned!!

  39. Julie V from Springfield, MO says:

    One more thing – Daisy and Andy would be so cute together. He could work the farm and Daisy could teach at the local school. Daisy needs someone.

  40. Julie V from Springfield, MO says:

    Don’t laugh it was been one of those days. But I wanted to tell you how wonderful your staff is that fills the orders from your website. Most of the time they send it the day I order and the tissue with hearts and the pretty stickers. Perfect.

  41. Connie Haltermann says:

    Downton Abbey: Without doubt the best series in the history of television. The highlight this week was when (as you mentioned) Mrs. Crawley asked the Dowager Countess if she had her passport when they were about to head DOWNSTAIRS to greet the newlyweds. The twinkle in Mrs. Crawley’s eyes when she said it made me laugh so hard I startled my husband in the next room. Perfection.

    Just a bit of warning to Mary. Her husband did die in a car crash. No fast cars for her next husband, please. She should marry someone who knows how to fix them, not drive them. Just sayin’.

  42. Kathleen Hinson says:

    It’s a gorgeous, warm day in Texas! May have to run to the park with my grandson;) A movie!!! That is wonderful!! Congratulations!! You give us all hope that dreams can come true…

  43. Claire from Atlanta says:

    You are coming to Georgia!!
    Sooo excited!

  44. Jane Franks says:

    Hi Susan! I’m as churned up as you are over DA, though maybe I’m not as surprised about the Tom/Mary thing! (Did you read my entry last week??!!! 🙂 ) Alas, That car guy is back!! I think Mary is smarter this time though. Did you catch her question at dinner? Are you planning a play? she asked. Says he, “Yes, and are you going to go with it?” (or something like that). NO! Says she most assuredly. I think (hope) she learned something from the Tony Gillingham episode! I still am holding out that Mary will be a life-long career girl, pig breeder (i.e., Beatrix Potter), and raise the “heir to the throne”, and be happy with that, and I think she and Tom will be good business partners, brother and sister-in-law, and nothing more. But. . . I could be wrong!! That’s the maddening thing about Julian Fellowes! (tongue-in-cheek smiling sarcasm here!) We NEVER KNOW!! He likes that phrase, by the way, did you notice that’s what Mrs. Hughes/Carson said about the evening coat; and then Cora agreed; “No you never do!” But back to Episode 4! I agree that the car cad has to go! I think he does. I’ll wager he pushes Mary too far and she lets him have the boot! I hope! I’m going to have to eat humble pie here after what I said about Edith last week. I still think she made a horrible move to get the Drews involved with her baby/concealing scheme, but. . .I’ll have to admit, she is coming into her own, and doing a good job. Bertie would seem to be good for her, but we don’t yet know what Aunt Rosamund has up her sleeve re: the other guy “nearer her age” — but isn’t he the guy married to Gwen, or did I miss something?? Another interesting twist about the car cad guy; did you notice that Tom perked up about the “car” thing? I’m thinking these two will get together over cars and how will Mary figure into that? Hopefully not at all!! Yes, happy for the Bates’s. . .hopefully no more surprises there. And Violet is going to blow a gasket soon over the hospital! Maybe Robert will need emergency care and it would be good to have an experienced doctor and modern equipment close at hand. That will convince everyone — maybe even Violet — it would be a good idea, though I don’t expect she will ever admit it. I am happy that Mr. Mason is going to get the farm and perhaps Andy to help run it! Daisy will split her time between Mrs. Patmore and the farm. . . for a while. Well, certainly enough to chew on for a week, until next episode! I need to go and re-watch #4.
    Love the snow and all the excitement about your book contract. Life is good there. I’m happy for you.
    Please pray for my Mom. I just had a call from my sister that she “may” have had a stroke and is in the hospital. I’m terribly conflicted and want to drop everything and go and I can’t! I have Gene here and he can’t travel. Hope Mom will be okay. She’s in good hands. But I need some hugs and prayers!! Thanks!! xoxo

    • chris consentino says:

      dear Jane. hugs and prayers to you, and your Mom & Sister. it is soooo hard to be in your situation….and, must be MUCH harder with a distance involved!! take care and pray and try to feel sure of a return to good health for your dear Mom. xo

  45. linda matson says:

    Charles loves fast cars. Danger. It will remind Mary how she lost Matthew. It will NOT work. And Tom will be her comfort (and her forever? :sigh:) He is so darling! I say Robert needs to have the modern facilities for his cure/care, so the new hospital debate will come to an end.

  46. Mary "Barefoot Sparkler" from Indiana says:

    Truly Charles isn’t up to anything respectable, he didn’t hold Mary’s chair at the restaurant , though she us a self sufficient woman, and Barrows needs to take his smug self and move on….Tom is down home dashing and so good with children…he is a keeper.We can only hope all of the things getting stirred up will smooth out the way we want!

  47. Donna Kozak says:

    I’m still laughing at all your comments on the last episode of Downton Abbey… and completely agree with all your observations . You definitely make it more interesting ! Looking forward to your new book..Too bad you won’t be visiting us in Canada.

  48. Donna C says:

    Love reading your recap of DA and can’t help laughing….you are a kick !

  49. Lorna says:

    Oh my goodness. Last night while I was watching I kept hearing your voice in my head – with exactly the type of comments you jotted down today. Watching this show sure proves how catty we woman can be, along with curious (a la Gladys Cravitch of Bewitched). I’m still laughing at the thin face remark. Too true. And I heard that brother line that Mary threw out and was dumfounded by it. Alas, the writers certainly know how to keep us coming back for more. If only we had another year.
    Have a happy week! Lorna

  50. Jaci says:

    Love your commentary, was literally cackling out loud and called my hubster over to share with him since he’s watching Downton with me and we are finally all caught up on seasons to real time. I was drooling over Edith’s outfit too! Do you think Mary will ever be nice again to Edith or did we see the last of that last night lol?

    Your perspective is so refreshing to me about the contract on the movie option. I feel like I’m in your little cozy house writing and working too with all the kitties.

  51. Elaine Anne says:

    Oh you are so funny, I laughed all the way through your blog on Downton Abbey. I really agree with how you see things, it’s so comical. Thank you. A movie would be glorious. Holding my breath. xxxx

  52. How can Mary even consider that race car driver when her Matthew died in a car accident?

  53. What great news on the movie option- completely dreamy!
    I agree on the DA front- that guy is Charles is going to be too smarmy for Mary compared to Tom. But temptation abounds.
    I loved the softening of the family because of Sibil’s good works with Gwen.
    I like the zaftig Tom BTW. He’s a doll!
    I am so happy for Anna and Mr. Bates- they would be great parents.
    I don’t know whose boat I’d get in re: Edith vs. Mary. Mary always surprises me with her compassion and Edith surprises me with her strength. Love it all! <3
    Stay warm and well and dream those lovely dreams.

  54. Pat Triska says:

    It appears that there are good things coming in your future. I can’t wait to hear what is going to happen. I would love a series on tv or a movie. Isn’t life exciting? When I see the series or the movie I will be able to say “I know her. She is one of my girlfriends”. It is interesting how our lives do all these twists and turns.

  55. maureeb says:

    When Downton is over, I gave found a wonderful series on Hallmark channel..When Calls the Heart..starts Feb21

  56. judy says:

    Dear Susan, I am so very, very happy for you…getting close to the finish line and now movie or TV or both dreams!!! Hope it all comes true for you. I get to see Downton Abbey Season 6 starting tomorrow when the Netflix DVDs get here. I hope nothing interferes with the mail. I am not worried about spoilers, it all seems new when I see it. Maybe with a few tips, I will be able to “catch” it all the first time around…so I can send it on to the next Downton fan. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a successful finish and wonderful book tour…hope I get to meet you and get you to sign my book. jep

  57. Christine from CA says:

    Really? A movie that would be amazing!
    Beautiful pictures of the snow especially the crystals on the window!
    Oh I do hope nothing really bad happens before the end of Downton! Just so everyone can live happily ever after. I will miss these wonderful people when the series is over. I know I am a dreamer but I can’t help it. The beautiful details of the sets and costumes make me excited inside, love them. I so enjoy your Downton Blogs! Thanks Susan for the fun!

  58. Carol says:

    I don’t know what I will miss more when Downton Abbey concludes, the show or your re-caps on your wonderful blog!

  59. Terrie says:

    Susan, I just finished reading Fairy Tale Girl during my blizzard weekend in Pennsylvania, and I can’t wait for Part Two!
    Love the commentary on Downton, like having someone to chat with about it with hubby away on military duty. I think that Edith will be the surprise of the season–she’s been driving for years (remember her on the tractor during the War?), she owns and runs a company, she commutes to the city, she’s a mom. She has more on the ball regarding changes, because she’s had to, than anyone else in the family. And I like that new man who helped her make her deadline!

  60. Sandra Fox says:

    I bet you could hear my husband yelling at the TV last night, “Mary’s Brother?” Mary doesn’t have a brother! This came from my husband who was sure he wouldn’t like DA and is totally hooked! Yes, what are we going to do? We also watch Poldark! We think it’s good too………but ready for the new show! They are still running reruns! I’m sure you are not watching this is real time, as east coast it would be 1 am. We had a discussion about that last night before we went to sleep! See, DA and Poldark is interfering with our sleep! LOL!
    Thanks Susan for the great weekly rundown on DA!

  61. Sally says:

    It’s comforting to know someone loves this tv show as much as I live it!

  62. Pamela Tasker says:

    I look forward to my Mondays…..that is until DA Season 6 is all but in the can as they say…I will miss your reviews terribly! loved all the beautiful dresses and accessories. I don’t usually watch the pre-views of the next show I like to be surprised…BUT .. am I the only one that had to shut her eyes whilst cars were racing across my TV screen ? eek! I hope that was just a tease and doesn’t present to be a “go grab the tissue box” show ! until next Monday…..

  63. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    I could not wait to hear what you thought about last night’s show. Seems to be moving oh too quickly for me. Didn’t Mr. Talbot ever hear how Matthew died? Geez. No wonder Mary has a dislike for fast cars. I think he is just a tease for us. You may be right after all, re: Tom and Mary. He did take the reins last night and decided on Mr. Mason taking over the farm. That “he would handle Mary”. Oh I think you could Tom. Why even Dad has a soft spot for him! I nearly fell over when Barrow spoke out at the table. Fie for shame! Off with his head. Another geez! Mrs. Patmore needs a honey bunny. Mr. Mason did you hear me? Or that fine policeman who she danced the night away with…I’m off to make a cup of tea and get ready to watch it again tonight.

    • Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

      Have to add: During our blizzard snowy weekend I binged watched “Outlander”. Yikes! Loved it. Hated it. Could not stop watching it. Hid my face watching it. So many emotions. But the love. Yummy. Anyone catch this series? Interesting story line based on a book written by a woman. Let me say “yikes” again. Not as gentile as our dear Downton. So excited to hear about your movie/tv connection. How exciting. Just what this world needs. I see it as a HUGE success Hollywood! And the Oscar goes to…

      • sbranch says:

        I read it and LOVED it. But I couldn’t handle the violence in the series, wait until you get into it! It’s possible it’s there, but I don’t remember it in the wonderful book.

        • Susan Cohen says:

          I agree that the violence was over the top, but I think the worst is over and I’m going to give season 2 a try. The books are so good!

        • Julie Buck says:

          It is there in the book, but you don’t have to LOOK at it. I was shocked by that, too, but persevered, and the casting for Jamie is so perfect. He’s just as I always thought he would be. Claire, too, but I don’t care quite as much about her, hahaha.

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, get her out of there and replace her with us. (Speaking of the book) … I kind of thought it might be the visuals that were so tough. My eyes skip over anything they don’t like when I’m reading.

  64. Senda says:

    Wow! What a great Downton Abbey. So many possibilities and of course Mary and Tom should be a couple!
    I am excited because I will get to meet you in May in Missouri. Can’t wait!

  65. Downton Abbey forever indeed fair Lady!! I don’t want to see it end and along with it your incredibly fun recaps!

    I’m with you in wanting Tom & Mary to BE so badly, but I don’t think it’s going to be in the cards (or the script). ::sigh:: We’ll hold out hope though. 😉

    I worry about Donk – I have a very bad feeling about his port heartburn moments!! It’s bad enough they’re all leaving us forever – don’t take Robert away and leave us with that pain!!

    I loved the part when the ex house maid came back and shared how lady Sybil’s kindness changed her life and they all got emotional thinking about her. Got me all teary eyed.

    And the fights between the Dowager Countess and Isobelle continue to crack me up! Nothing better than some strong minded older Gals sharing exactly what they think on a subject!! OH how I’ll miss the zingers.

    Hope you’re staying safe and warm and not working too hard. We’re buried in a beautiful winter wonderland in my northwoods too – so just enjoying the hibernation for now.
    Blessings. xoxo

  66. Jeanie Bragin says:

    The pictures from Downton Abby are very good, but the portrait of Jack is the best!

  67. Susan, first off…….CONGRATULATIONS! The entire movie deal is amazing, and yes, your story would make a wonderful movie. Your life isnt lacking in drama, humor, romance, and has a happy ending! 🙂 Go for it! Next…..I laughed all the way through Downton last night! Edith going after Mary with her underhanded questions at the breakfast table…while smiling! lol. I think Edith is looking so pretty this season…love her outfits and hair, and love it that she is finally coming into her own. I think Daisy needed a smack! She was crazy and I was holding my breath when she was going upstairs to confront Cora. Thankfully it all worked out. And OMG….the dowager was hilarious this episode with her friend at tea, and then at the family dinner when she lost her composure. I laughed my head off. What I took away from this episode was how quickly things changed for the super wealthy, titled families after the war. Everything seems to be either cracking and falling apart…..the formalities were shifting mightily between servants and employees in big homes. The breakdown of the elite and wealthy being able to hold control and higher , perfectionist standards were slipping in a huge way, and everyone last night almost seemed on equal footing with each other…..with the occasional lapse back into the old formalities. Very interesting too how the women were breaking free! Love that! It is so much fun! 🙂 Take care and I am so happy for you!

  68. VickeyB says:

    Remember, Edith has been able to drive for a long time. She learned during the war. Didn’t Edith drive when she and Mary set off to bring Sybil back when Sybil and Tom ran away (in Season 2 or 3)? I wish Downton could go on forever!

    And on a completely different note: I received “Fairy Tale Girl” as a (requested) Christmas gift. I started it on Christmas evening, and loved it so much that as soon as I finished it, I went back and re-read “A Fine Romance.” Can NOT wait for your next book, so keep painting, please! : )

  69. Kay Daugherty says:

    Half the fun of watching Dowton is checking to see what you’ll be saying on Monday! I opened your blog before I had watched my recorded episode of Downton, and stopped immediately to go watch it before I read your review. I totally agree, and yes I thought of you immediately when Mary called Tom “brother.” Oh brother! Looking at pictures of your beautiful snow, but enjoyed our glorious sunny and warm day in Central Texas! Shirt sleeve weather.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m trying to be more careful with spoiler alerts, and it looks like, in your case, that was a good thing!

  70. Jeanne says:

    Hi Susan, I look forward to your posts – and I laughed out loud about Tom eating a few hot dogs! :). I am always bummed when the show ends and (although there are no commercials) it’s 50 minutes! Thanks for squeezing in an update with your busy schedule.

  71. Laurie Walt says:

    Goldie Hawn and her daughter would be a good you! Meg Ryan in You’ve got mail reminds me of you. I love her! Love the frosty window pics. Love.

  72. Therese says:

    Don’t worry, Susan, Mary won’t board Talbot’s boat. Have you forgotten how Matthew died? She’ll give him a run for his money though. I see Daisy with the footman, helping to run the farm. I can wait to see what happens with Edith’s storyline. For the record, I’d get in Mary’s lifeboat…if Violet’s was full.

  73. Erin Middlebrooks says:

    I look so forward to your posts!!!!! Even a bit more so at Downton time. We’ve run out of Drambuie, so this weeks episode involved a wee lovely glass of Cointreau. Aren’t you just relishing every second of this final season!!

  74. Sheila says:

    Perfect! Each episode has me on pins and needles! I was frantic with Daisy; amused with Mama (“Second opinions are highly overrated”); frightened with Anna; cautionary with Mary…there are so many emotions packed into one hour! But love, love, love it and will go through excruciating withdrawal when it ends.
    The snow is beautiful, but better you than me. I only like it when I am inside looking out. We had frost in Florida this morning, but no snow!

  75. Lynda Kling says:

    I love hearing how you think it will turn out, as I saw the ending in England at Christmas! Keep on talking!

  76. Lorraine says:

    My favorite lines were the Dowager’s “I haven’t been downstairs for 20 years” and the “I hope you have your passport” response. Hilarious!
    Glad to see Barrow reprimanded. He is his own worst enemy.
    Congratulations on the movie deal! How wonderful.
    Stay warm in your winter wonderland!

  77. Barb in MI says:

    I, too, thought of you right away when Mary called Tom her brother! I think the whole hospital fight will come to a head when Robert needs emergency medical treatment that isn’t available in their small village hospital. Hoping it all gets resolved without losing Robert. I loved how Barrow’s attempt to embarrass Gwen backfires on him. Every time I start to feel a bit of sympathy for him, he shows his true colors. I’m torn between the feeling that I can’t wait to see what happens next and not wanting it to end too quickly!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, that’s important . . . resolve, but leave Robert. Me too, what happens next and oh please, go slow.

  78. Sara says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. A contract? They sent a contract? Just promise us you will never change, Susan. We simply couldn’t bear it. We love you just the way you are… delightfully real with just enough whimsy to charm our socks off and make us wish you were our sister!

    I am SO excited for you, though, because you deserve it. And, wow, a movie? A series? Now wouldn’t that be a proper sequel to our Fairy Tale Girl’s life? I think so! And just think, after the movie is finished, you could write another book on that chapter of your life. Yep, you’re headed for a series! Remember to take good notes, Susan. It’s gonna’ be a wild ride, and we’ll be right there with you!

    Okay, back to the next order of business. Your commentary on this week’s episode of Downton was right on, as usual. As for Chuck having a narrow head, did you notice he also has a weak chin? Strike two! I have a feeling Chaz will sweep Mary off her feet and then turn around and knock her feet out from under her, resulting in Mean Mary falling flat on her face with nowhere to look but ‘up’ — into the sweet face of Tom, who is a real man and the only one capable of handling her, which really means turning her into a likable person. (I know that’s a run-on sentence, but, in this case, I think it’s warranted!)

    I’ll be praying that meeting your deadline will be a breeze, Susan. You’ve got the best of helpers taking care of you, and we’re all cheering you on! 🙂 Sara 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry about me changing. As often as I’ve wished for that to happen, I never do. I love your take on Mean Mary and sweet Tom! And, last but not least, THANK YOU dear Sarah!

  79. Absolutely agree with all your thoughts on Downton!! I think Cris from W. TX said it very well when she stated perhaps Mary needs to get her heart broken and than will realize that Tom is her one and only!!!! Hopefully Julian reads your blog and will take some tips from all of us!!
    I dread the end of Downton, but have started watching the new series Mercy Street which comes on right after Downton. I think it look promising. . . I hope!!!!!
    Loved your blizzard pictures, especially the ice your window – a perfect winter wonderland!
    Stay warm, Susan, and so excited for you regarding movie rights. Who will play the kitties????

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh, I missed that. Yes, I so agree. That could be it. Although getting your heart broken by this guy is going to be difficult! (I know, he’s cute!) The kitty actors are probably going to be difficult. Need a brilliant kitty wrangler. There are three in this newest book! Would you ever think about moving back here for winters too?

      • I would love to be be on the island full time and that is eventually my goal. But I also have a little grandaughter 5 min. Away from me now. She has a pretty good grasp on me and would miss her so much. I am so torn!!! But when I read your blogs I’m ready to pack my bags and head east!!!

  80. Debbie says:

    I am savoring every minute of Downton this season! Like you, I really want to see Tom & Mary together, when she called him her “brother”, my heart sank. I find I am more interested in Edith this season, how she is growing and changing with the times. Your snow looks so pretty, we had a bit of snow last week, but overall it has been a mild winter here in Illinois. Have a great week!

    • sbranch says:

      She really is interesting. Rosamund is a perfect mentor. You too Debbie!

      • kathy from NJ says:

        Many times I feel Rosamund is more than a mentor to Edith. They have a close relationship. Maybe Edith is Rosamund’s daughter. She feels more warmth with her than her own family.

  81. Angel M. Giovinazzo says:

    Susan, I laugh so much at your at you Downton Abbry reviews! I feel the same way but you put it in words that are so funny. We are going to be so sad when this is over. We just love these characters so much. Thank you❤️Angel

    • sbranch says:

      Never in any other part of my life would I discuss, in detail, people I know well. This is like a ticket to ride!

    • Maria Monto says:

      Well how cool is this? Another Giovinazzo who is a Downton AND Susan Branch fan! My maiden name is Giovinazzo, Angel. Nice to “meet” you. 🙂

  82. Sherry Kennedy says:

    Hi Susan,
    Don’t you think it is ironic that Mary’s new beau is a race car driver, considering that’s how Matthew died…in a car accident caused by speeding? I hope she keeps her head on straight when it comes to love. I literally cried last week when Tom appeared at the Carson/Hughes wedding. I do love Tom.
    We just have cold here in Oklahoma. I’m glad we are not fighting ice and snow now. It is just too hard for me to get around ordinarily, much less in ice and snow. But it is lovely on the Vineyard, I’m sure. Love the pictures of the snow and the birds you keep posting. And the kitties!
    xoxo Sherry

  83. Nancy says:

    Dear Susan, I feel for you but Mary is wanting to head down a winding road with that automobile racer. She likes bad boys now……Cora is too busy watching Robert’s health decline to notice the danger. Can we guess that the new hospital will save Robert??
    Tom needs a new nice lady in his life.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally get the bad boy thing, you are so right, this guy is the epitome of that. I can’t wait to see what happens!

      • Jan Lane says:

        I think Karma will play this all out. Bad boys match well with bad girls…………remember Scarlett and Rhett. Scarlett could never compete with Melanie’s goodness, despite her beauty. She wanted what she could not have. Ashley might have been physically drawn to Scarlett and he may have admired her strength, but Melanie had his love and respect. Nobody was truly “good enough”for Scarlett, and she teased men to serve her own narcissistic thoughts. and I see such similarity with Mary’s character. I actually dislike her character, although that might not be an acceptable opinion. My favourite girl in that family was Sybil. She showed no petty jealousy and had a generous heart. Tom would never be happy with Mary, but Edith has redeeming qualities now that she has managed to emerge from the shadows.

  84. Sally Fields has to play you in “our” movie! She has the perfect sparkle that you have!

    Oh, and Edith learned to drive during the war. It was her duty.

    Can’t wait for our next book, but I bet you are tired of being chained to your studio. Thank goodness for kitty’s and pink roses…

  85. Sue Adivari says:

    And your coming to little downtown Woodstock Georgia in June!! Can’t wait to meet you….we can all discuss Downton withdrawal….Love your blog and your cat that happens to look just like our feral cat “Miss Kitty” who turned out to be “Mr. Kitty” so we just call it “Cat-Lyne”…..

    • sbranch says:

      See you in Georgia, Sue! In Woodstock!

      • Bev Brewer says:

        Love that Ms. Kitty became Mr. Kitty and the name Cat-lyn is hilarious! Next a magazine cover and paparazzi! Too funny! Applause and standing ovation to you, Susan, for your continuing success! We all knew you’d razzle-dazzle ’em! Hugs to Joe, too, from the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, AZ. Our Jo (Joanne) has PBS coming to the tea room to film for a spot preceding Downton Abbey. She has a short ad on now both before and after each episode, but the local PBS station wants to expand on that—so exciting!

  86. Penny Cooper says:

    Love your over view of Downton Abbey ❤️ I think we are in for all kinds of twist & turns ahead before this Season 6 ends.
    Something to look forward go would be your books coming to life -movie or sitcom . Better yet PBS 🌹 THE MUSIC –and sweet story telling like CALL THE MIDWIFE ❤️ Which I adore this program as well as DA👯
    GET ‘er done !!! Can’t wait to meet you in Danville,Ca in May 💃

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      Hi there darling Auntie Penny!😘
      Sweet Susan,
      Auntie Penny and I, along with our HILARIOUS girlfriend Tillie are so excited to see you in Danville!
      I knew Mary was headed into the arms of that tall drink of water! I’m ready for dashing, dizzying romance!
      Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

  87. Connie Kaupe says:

    Thank goodness for your detailed reviews of Downton! I read about it & see specials, but believe it or not, have never once seen a single episode. But I know all the characters & most of the action, thanks to you! Whew!

    Enjoy your lovely snow. I’m in So Cal, where we still need rain . . . but at least it feels more wintery this year.

    Can’t wait for the next book. I took Fairy Tale Girl with me on my first cross-country train ride a few years ago.

  88. Diane Byrum says:

    Love your Downton wrap ups! So fun to read your words because we all seem to be thinking the same thing. I also think we’re going to cry each week. Something makes us cry each week and then we have the Dowager to carry us through to the next week. Love her snarkyness! From a writer’s perspective, Julian is absolutely amazing bringing former characters back and tying up some ‘loose’ ends. Dropping tributes to those we loved so dearly. He’ll do that with Matthew, too. Just wait. I think that’s what he’s doing this season so we will have a nice neat and tidy package of wonderfulness at the close of season 6. Now about the prospect of your movie, tv series and future sequels–no one can top you, Susan, and I hope you would have full control of the movie and tv rights so they can’t put a Hollywood spin on the Fairy Tale Girl or The Life and Times of Susan Branch. Susan Branch TV would be a clean, wholesome and just plain good romance and girlfriend show (which Hollywood doesn’t seem to know what that is). You are the best, Susan. You’re so uplifting, encouraging, fun to be with and a darn good friend! Love you lots xoxo

  89. Gail says:

    I enjoyed last nights show so much. So happy Anna and Mr. Bates are going to have a baby.i felt like the grandparent when they were talking about it. It seems like maybe there’ll be happy endings for everyone at Downton. Hoping Mary sees that Tom is the one for her. Can’t wait to watch next week.

  90. liz h says:

    Loved your take on Downton but I would not wish Mary on a sweet guy like tom. I think Edith would ve a better match. Glad to hear that your book will become a movie. When I was reading it I thought to myself “this would make a great movie”. Stay warm. Can’t wait for next Sunday.

  91. Susan Webb says:

    So much fun – watching Downton last night, reading about it again tonight. I get to rehash the little bits. Good luck with the contract- hope you have the best “Hollywood” lawyer you can find. So exciting! Can’t wait to see what goes on next.

  92. Debbie Rockholm says:

    Oh my goodness I so agree with you. I was yelling at the TV no no, not Charles. Ewwwww, something is not right with him. He is trouble big time. Yikes! I love how you recap the episodes. It’s perfect. Well Good luck with meeting the deadline sweet Sue. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. You go girl! Can’t wait to see you in Pasadena in June.

    Debbie R from Valencia

  93. Mary Lawrence says:

    I’m with you Robert will have a medical emergency and modern medicine will save the day.So happy Tom came home,I like you hope he and Lady Mary get together. We can dream.We also have lots of snow,which I love as long as we keep our power! I absolutely love your blog.Can’t wait for your new book.Stay warm.MiMi

  94. Donna Money says:

    Oh but did you see the look Mary gave Tom when he was talking to Gwen. Is Mary going to be caught between two men again? Hummmmm! 🙂

  95. Cathy says:

    I have a love hate feeling about Mary she is so snippy with Edith but so loving to Anna.
    It is also time for Edith to stop being the other sister and take her place she was given.
    We didn’t get a flake of snow which is just fine with me. I did spend some time this weekend hiking in the woods which is good for the soul

  96. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    Girlfriend Shanna mentioned Mrs. Hughes/Mrs. Carson….Shanna pointed out she was Mrs…yes Mrs. Hughes… she should have already been acquainted with “the mystery of life”. Mary , Mary!! I thought of you when the racey driver came on. It was all lots of fun. Love your recap. You are gonna love Texas….and it is true the motto around Austin is “Keep Austin Weird”….I’m not from there, but if that is how they want it okay. Stay warm and cozy.

  97. Carolyn says:

    Love the Downton update–as much fun as the show, especially with the costume and set highlights! So glad you plan to come to GA and NC! We will welcome you with Southern hospitality, as well as some libations! Good luck with your work and enjoy your cozy days while winter works its magic.

  98. Belinda says:

    Oh Susan I am still hoping for Tom and Mary. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! Hopefully the race car driver will speed out of her life quickly!! I am so excited about the possibilities of your book becoming a movie or tv series even if it is way out in the future!! Joe is the THE MAN!!!!! What a sweetheart he is bringing you roses….<3 What an honor that they want to do it!! I just finished rereading The Fairy Tale Girl AGAIN….I love it!!! LOVE the snowflakes on your window….Aren't they amazing!?!

  99. Susan, I love your weekly Downton recaps! You saw what we ALL are thinking! What are we going to do when this all ends? So sad! But we’ll enjoy it and all it’s gorgeous hats for now! ♥
    Congratulations on the contract! Sending love and good luck it all goes your way! ♥♥♥

  100. Laura Marec says:

    Dear Susan,
    I sure did notice that Charles’ head is narrow and the extra Hot Dogs on Tom! (You’re so funny!) I do not think Charles is handsome. I love your comments on DA! It’s so much fun to read your thoughts on all the goings on! (Mary will never hook up with Charles!)
    Thank you so much for all of the gorgeous pictures you always provide! I’ll see you in Pasadena, and I can’t wait for your movie!
    I’m envious of your snow and the beauty of where you live! I am someone who should live back East, but circumstances keep me a prisoner in CA.

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