I’ve Been Very Busy At The Abbey

1. Last night I didn’t watch a single second of the Academy Awards.

2. I didn’t even watch the Red Carpet.

3. Normally I will DVR the Red Carpet stuff since I like to see what everyone is wearing.

4. But last night I didn’t DVR a thing.

5. Because, well, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with something else.

6. And I’m betting that 80% of y’all are also obsessed – or have been obsessed – but I just happen to be late to this particular party.

7. You see, I was planning to write all day this past Saturday (and I actually followed through with my plan).

8. So, since Saturday was going to be a Get ‘Er Done day for book stuff, I decided that I wanted to relax Friday night.

9. And for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to see what all the Downton Abbey fuss was about.

10. Keep in mind that I don’t normally like to watch TV shows that take place too far in the past because the lack of central air conditioning in the pretend characters’ pretend homes and businesses makes me feel a little claustrophobic.

11. Needless to say, I didn’t know if I’d make it fifteen minutes into Downton Abbey without sprialing into a flat-out oh-my-word-they-must-be-burning-up-would-you-just-look-at-those-corsets panic.

12. Much to my surprise, though, the female characters seemed crisp and cool and refreshed.

13. Also, it seems like Yorkshire isn’t very humid at all.

14. You can’t even imagine how relieved I was.

15. And once I was certain that the Granthams weren’t suffering in the sweltering, non-air conditioned indoors, I finished the first episode of season one and decided to watch the second.

16. Then I watched the third.

17. Then I wrote all day Saturday, as was my plan.

18. But when I finished writing Saturday night around 8, I watched the rest of season 1.

19. I may have dreamed about Mary and Matthew.

20. After we got home from church yesterday and my people settled into some reading, I watched episode 1 of season 2.

21. Then I watched episodes 2 and 3.

22. Afterwards I grieved the difficulties of wartime while I very distractedly made a grilled cheese sandwich for the eight year-old.

23. Then I watched episodes 4 and 5.

24. Then I realized that I HAVE AN ADDICTION, SIR.

25. I am currently halfway through episode 6.

26. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish episode 7.

27. But I think I will probably see if my family would like to move to the English countryside.

28. We’ll be very happy there, I think.

29. Provided, of course, that we can find a home with central air conditioning.

30. And if the home is next door to the Dowager Countess, all the better.

Ever so fondly,
Lady Boo of Birminghamshire


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  1. oh my goodness I did the SAME thing this weekend!!! Only I’ve made it thru Season 2 episode 2 so far. And then all day today the voice in my head that talks to me all the time? SOUNDS LIKE LADY MARY! Guess it could be worse, could’ve sounded like Mrs Patmore….. :) Can’t believe I just found out about this wonderful show and like you I’m already dreading watching the last episode and having to wait for more. I haven’t been this attached to a TV show since “thirtysomething”

  2. Oh. My. Gosh.
    I think I love Downton Abbey more than I love cake. And I love cake a lot.
    The clothes. The accents. The setting. Swoon. Did I mention the accents??
    And lucky for you, Birmingham is both a city in Alabama and England… so your title can sound legitimate.

  3. To calm my withdrawal nerves I watched Gosford Park on Netflix. It’s written by the same writer as DA and very similar. It has some of the same actors and characters. They don’t appear to be the least bit warm throughout the movie :-)

    • From one Valerie to another – so glad you spell your name the correct way ;) – thank you for telling us about this movie. I am also having major Downton Abbey withdrawals. Bad enough that I was considering going back to Season 1 and watching all over again from the beginning. Just in case I missed something. I’ll have to check out Gosford Park.

  4. I finished episode 7 of season 2 over the weekend. I am officially obsessed and can.not.wait till season 3. The season finale is to die for!! I can’t wait for you to watch it. There is absolutely no one like Maggie Smith to give those one liners! Love, love, love it.

  5. Welcome to the party. Now that you are caught up, you get to wait a year with the rest of us.

    PS-I did the exact same thing with FNL -except I think I had at least 5 seasons to watch at once.

  6. Oh my lands! I did the same thing this weekend too! I loved Downton Abbey! I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that I watched all of them back to back that now I HAVE NO MORE TO WATCH! I realized today that sometime I was slipping into a British accent. Anna is a simply precious character and even the mean characters are developed well. How could you not love Levinia AND Mary at the same time?! I adore Violet Crawley! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the setting and the fashion. Every time I’d watch a new episode, I’d get excited about the intro music…it completely draws me in! So glad to know that others spent most of their weekend absorbed in the English countryside.

  7. There is a great article in this month’s Guidepost about the Abbey. It’s actually about the book that influenced the Abbey. A Novel Idea is the title. A great read:)

  8. BEST.SHOW.EVER. It’s so refreshing to watch something other than reality TV!! I’m in TV mourning until the 3rd season starts in the US. The only thing keeping me going is knowing that Mad Men FINALLY starts back in March.

  9. I love it too! I watched the first season in 2 days and kept catching myself talking in a British accent. :)

  10. Oh honey, you have no idea. My family is ready to get rid of me, I’m so obsessed. Thankfully I’ve brought them all over to the dark side, so they’re coming with me to wherever that is–hopefully Yorkshire.

    And just in case you can’t get enough of Downton Abbey, I’ve been blogging my favorite lines since Episode 3. You can catch up here, if you’re interested: http://www.shellywildman.net/2012/02/top-10-lines-from-downton-abbeys.html.

    And oh-my-goodness, Terri–I was just thinking about looking up some old episodes of “thirtysomething” because I loved that show too. When I used to watch it I was 20-something, and now I’m 40-something, pretty darned close to another-something. How could it have been so long ago??

  11. Welcome to the madness!

  12. I love it too! I have 2 more episodes left from Season Two, that I downloaded onto my fancy new Kindle Fire when in the U.S. — along with Season One on DVD that I purchased and brought home. Anyway, I won’t be able to watch the last 3 episodes of Season Two until I am in the States again in May. Such is the life of an expat. I went to PBS and BBC websites to see if I could watch on-line, but can’t due to copyright stuff. Long explanation to say – I share your obsession/love! Likely I will just watch them all over again, when I reach the end of my supply :-)

  13. I did the same as you and caught up to the most recent episodes of Downton Abbey and love it. Will Mary & Matthew ever get to be together???

  14. I resisted this show so long.I dont care how many say that it is good,I just dont like these types of shows.I figured after five minutes I would once again not like what I was told was good. I have done that with the winning movie The Artist.I am sure I wont like it by what I have heard.I was Wrong about Downton Abbey,maybe I will start trying foods I know I wont like by looking at them,and try a few books that I know I wont like by seeing them .Nah probally not :) I am in withdrawl.I watched it all in two days this past week.

  15. I did the exact same thing! Since watching the Season 2 Finale I am now having serious withdrawals. I never would have thought that a Texas girl like myself would have founds such joy in Downton Abbey! Glad you are enjoying too! Let us know what you think of the Season 2 Finale!

  16. My Downton review:

    –The Dowager just got better and better
    –The pacing of season one was better than season two
    –My favorite prop was the little bell board that rings in the servant’s area (seriously how cute, and also, wouldn’t it be so handy?)
    –The clothes, MY GOODNESS, the clothes
    –The hair, I’m talking Lady Mary, I’m talking Lady Edith, I’m talking Lady Sybil!!

    I told the Hubs he needs to take me to England once the kids are grown. And we also need to time travel to the past a bit too.

  17. I was on the same path this weekend. Absolutely.LOVE.Downton.Abbey. I’m trying to pace myself so I don’t go through withdrawal, but it is so hard.

  18. LOL, oh I just LOVE that show :) The Dowager Countess … oh she IS the queen of one liners :) Waiting for season 3 is HORRIBLE!! I got so bored I started watching The Walking Dead and now instead of dreaming of english accents and a daily tea time, I dream about zombies :-/ Thanks a LOT PBS for only 7 episodes a season! ;)

  19. Melissa stover says:

    Did u watch from iTunes? I’m so old-fashioned that I only like to watch stuff on the actual tv. I’ve been wanting to get into this show but I dont want to have to do it on my computer. Surely there will b reruns this summer right?

    Speaking of excellent tv, the new mad men season starts soon!

    • Melissa – I watched season 1 on Netflix, and I’ve watched season 2 on my computer. Not the same as the TV for sure – but it’ll do in a pinch. :-)

      • That’s exactly what I did. However, I did watch an episode on my iPhone last night in bed. I think I’m addicted!

      • We’re able to watch on our TV with Netflix streaming through our WII and wireless internet. The WII games don’t get played much (our youngest is 18), but it sure comes in handy for watching Netflix shows and movies!

  20. Welcome to the par-tay …

    1) I love Downton Abbey.

    2) I have a friend who loves DA.

    3) A friend who lives in the countryside that strongly resembles the English countryside.

    4) Becasue it is the English countryside she lives in.

    5) And she loves DA as much as me.

    6) She has central air.

    7) We talk on the phone. In the middle of my night, of her day.

    8) We talk about lots of things.

    9) We talk about DA.

    10) We talk about DA alot.

    11) She gave me a link to Episodes 8-10.

    12) A free link, that works.

    13) Beings as you are my friend, and love DA, I will give you the link :)

    14) You’re welcome.

    Enjoy the party!


  21. Welcome to Downton Abbey.

    Now that you’ve seen it once, go back and see it again. It’s just as good as the first time.

  22. I’m so glad you’ve joined us at the Abbey! We love Masterpiece Theater, and so we began the saga last season. OH MY WORD! Just love those characters and their story lines. I was so sad last season (only 4 episodes?!!) when it was over. I too love the Dowager Countess. How are Maggie and Shirley going to coexist? The possibilities are endless!

  23. Don’t forget the Christmas special which was shown here on Christmas Day! (Waving at my friend, Kelli!)

  24. I stumbled upon it one Sunday evening recently and I’m now obsessed! I’ve only seen most of season 2 (some of the episodes twice!). I’ve requested season one from my local public library, but I’m 50th in line! If I don’t get it soon, I may have to resort to Itunes or some other purchase.

    I love Maggie Smith. When Mary’s nasty fiance told Grandmama that he wouldn’t be seeing her again and she replied, “Do you promise?” I nearly spit my Earl Grey!

  25. Lady Boo of Birminghamshire. Nice one!
    I looove this show. It’s GOOD TV so there’s no reason not to love it! I wrote a post awhile back on all the reasons to love it. I linked it on my name.

  26. Welcome to the goodness … they are filming for season 3 right now – but it won’t be out till January, 2013!!!! There are a lot of us going through withdrawal. Perhaps we can set up a support group somehow.

  27. That is SO funny because I did the EXACT same thing on Saturday and started Season 2 (watched the first 2 episodes) on Sunday. I, too, am addicted!!!

  28. Lady Boo, you delight me. I guess I need to find a way to watch Downton Abbey. I have heard. nothing but rave reviews! So you are not the last one to the party!

  29. We CANNOT get enough of it around here!!

    I had been watching for awhile and kept telling the Hubs he needed to watch-finally convinced him and now even the TEXAN is hooked.

    Oh it is so very very good.

  30. My husband got sucked into it too — it was really fun to watch it together!

  31. Sophie,
    I did the same thing! I saw so many friends “talking” (ok Facebooking) about this show and I thought good grief what is all this about.

    The husband and I do not watch much TV so I decided to hop on Netflix and watched all of Season 1 last weekend (although I almost stopped watching it in episode 1 with the whole Thomas and the Duke thing – oh goodness me!)

    I had my mom watch Episode 7 of Season 1 on Saturday and she loved it (although she said the show makes her hungry with all the eating, cooking, & tea etc – LOL)

    I just finished Season 2 last night (I might have watched it ALL day yesterday – AHEM!)
    Now I have to wait until 2013 to see Season 3 – Goodness I am not sure how I can stand it.
    Also, have you found yourself talking a bit more British lately?
    Well I sure have and my kids are getting a kick out of it :)

  32. In September Shirley Maclaine joins as Lady Grantham’s mother! I am SO excited! I, too, watched the first season in about 2 days. I couldn’t stop. And now I don’t know how to wait til September. The past weeks have had the most delightful Sunday nights. I put kids to bed, my husband messes around on the computer, and I make a ginormous cup of Tazo’s spicy ginger tea and cuddle up with the Crawleys. And then the next Saturday I’d watch the episode again.
    When you’re all caught up and stuck waiting like the rest of us, perhaps you can busy yourself with these:

  33. I am a HUGE FAN of this show! I just finished season 2 and can’t wait for season 3. And I dream about Mary and Matthew too!

  34. You must watch Episode 7! It will just make you wish that Season 3 was here already! It is almost too much excitement for a girl to take!

  35. My SIL posted a DA paper doll set from http://www.vulture.com if that will help tide you over till season 3. :)

  36. I am totally obsessed as well. I even find myself talking like them in my head. When i try to do it out loud it is a total fail with my east Texas twang. But in my head it sounds just like them. Ha. What will we ever do until next Jan.

  37. Welcome to the club!

  38. My friend Jen and I are crazy obsessed with it as well…so much that we started a little show about it (and other costume dramas) called Picture Shows & Petticoats. It’s made watching even MORE fun, as if that could be possible :) Glad you’re enjoying it!

  39. You need to watch episode 7 of season 2 as soon as possible! I have re-watched several times already. Don’t know how I will make it until Season 3 begins. On a side note, I have decided that my 3 children must now call me “Ma-Ma” and they must call my husband “Pa-Pa” in the British accents! :-)

  40. I LOVE IT TOO!!!!! I am in the process of watching Season 2 but a friend told me that Season 3 would not be on until Jan of next year!!! What will we do???

  41. Started watching season 1 last Wednesday, finishing the last episode of season 2 as I type. Obsessed isn’t even the word. Can it please be next January already? I may begin to weep when this episode is over…

  42. Welcome to the party! We love Downton Abbey! We watched Season 1 a couple of weeks ago, and we are so sad season 2 is over!!! Love all the characters!!!

  43. If you think YOU’RE obsessed, imagine being an American girl who is currently engaged to a British man WHILE she’s watching all the episodes.

    (And no, I didn’t say yes to his proposal because of DA.)

    (But it certainly helped his case.)

  44. I love this show too. I’m so glad it’s doing well and winning awards. It seems like every time I like something they want it from the air. And this is finally one show that’s not all about sex.

  45. Becky in 'Bama says:

    My football loving, Alabama boy to the core, golf obsessed (playing and watching), ‘cannot-understand-a-spoken-word-of-British’ spouse is OBSESSED with Down-town Abbey as he calls it. I never show my hand, but I find it hilarious. He finally confessed to his friends that he is hooked on all things Masterpiece Theater.

  46. Sue Jones says:

    Isn’t it the BEST show? I love it. :) You know….we could be best friends…I really get your humor!! LOL

  47. you can visit Highclere Castle, oh yes you can!

    I chose the book about the real Lady Caranrvon as my bookclub choice in May. I get to prepare a DA dinner and evening. fun! http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Almina-Real-Downton-Abbey/dp/0770435629/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324294931&sr=8-1

  48. Yes, I am suffering from the same. And now, in withdrawals because it’s OVER. For WAY. TOO. LONG.

    My obsession reached such levels that I made a handy little chart to help keep it all straight. I think it might help your dreams:


  49. Lady Boo of Birminghamshire!! Love it.

  50. I did the SAME THING this weekend!!! I never watch tv anymore, but I L-U-R-V-E me some turn of the century period “Masterpiece” movies. And this is like a great movie that goes on and on, and on…

  51. Michelle E says:

    I jumped on the DA train last month, and sadly… I’m all caught up :) So I ordered the behind the scenes book, plan to read the novel they based it on, and daily enter the SWEEPSTAKES (oh, yes!) on PBS’ Masterpiece website… because I WILL win the trip to go to the actual home/castle/whatever in September 2012… when it will be pleasantly cool ;) Google it and you’re welcome to try for it too!

  52. I’ve been hearing a lot about it. Now I’m going to have to check it out.

  53. I did this last week. I finished both seasons in 48 hours. I may or may not have fed my 3 year old – I can’t remember :)

  54. Love Downton Abbey! I recently recovered a notebook to use to take notes at church. I was so happy to find a toile patterned paper with a house on it that I have christened Downton Abbey!

  55. dallimomma says:

    I have it on my playlist on Netflix. Your review just bumped it up to number 1 spot.

  56. April Byars says:


  57. So happy you just looooove Downton Abbey!! Best show on tv. Yes I dream of Mary And Matthew too!!

  58. Oh my goodness!!! My husband and I are both addicted to DA. We began watching it the first weekend in February. We quickly watched seasons 1and 2, then watched the final episode of Season 2 when it aired on Feb 19 . Four days later, we began watching Season 1 AGAIN. And we’re loving it even more the second time around.

  59. Yep, definitely hooked onto this show too!

  60. Once you finish episode 7, find the episode called “Christmas at Downton” :)

  61. I was late to the party, too. And guess what? I just had to jump in where they were this season because I don’t have Netflix or any of those other smartie type things. So I’m clueless at some points, but I figure one day they’ll replay the things. And they will.

  62. Oh. Oh. I just started my DA obsession. We are currently living in Luxembourg (we’re American, but here for 3 years with my husband’s job) and our daughter goes to the British International school. Well, all of the moms (or should I say mums?) have been talking about DA and since my husband figured out a way for us to get Netflix over here by “tricking” my computer into thinking it is residing in the US and not Europe, I thought I’d check it out.
    I cannot get enough! I’m on Season 1, episode 5. And the scene where the three women hauled the Turkish man back into his room? HILARIOUS! And when the rebel daughter wore a frock that was (gasp!) pants? I thought I’d lose it!
    In fact, I just set my ironing board up in front of the TV so that I can get started on the next episode.

  63. I had the same problem with Army Wives…..OBSESSED! I was actually relieved when I finished the last dvd of season 5.

  64. Hi! A long-time reader but I’ve never commented. I too, fell in love with Downton Abbey on netflix and you can watch all of Season 2 on pbs.org once you’ve watched all that netflix offers. I may have done that every.single.week since I finally decided to see what all of the Downton Abbey hoopla was about!

  65. I have spent a considerable amount of time at that particular Abbey myself. You know it’s good television when, at a pivotal moment, you lean forward on the sofa, clutch your heart, and sigh deeply in an effort to avoid a full-on sobbing situation. And that? Is what I did during the last episode. You’re in for a treat.

  66. I zoomed through the first season in about a week on Netflix. Then yesterday I started Season 2 on pbs.org. I literally almost had a HEART ATTACK when I realized that I have to watch the WHOLE second season by March 6th on pbs.org because it says the show “expires” on that date. Oh my, I need to get BUSY!

    In cracker related news, have you tried NABISCO TOASTED CHIPS – WHEAT THINS – GARDEN VALLEY VEGGIE??? I bought them by accident, and I am having to FIGHT MY KIDS OFF for them! They are sooo good:)

  67. My favorite Maggie Smith line so far is, “One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.” I literally laughed out loud. Then rewound. Then laughed out loud again!

  68. Welcome to the obsession. I stayed up until 4am one Saturday watching the whole first season and only didn’t immediately watch the second because my roommate made me promise on pain of death to not watch without her.

    I want to be Maggie Smith when I grow up.

  69. Downton Abbey. How I love thee! Maggie Smith is absolutely divine. Mary/Matthew love drama is wonderful, as is Anna/Mr. Bates.

    I’ve lost sleep because of Downton and become keenly aware of my accent. I sound so American now. I think Thursays should be “talk like Downton” day.

  70. I did the same thing! Except maybe I took the laptop to bed and watched until 4:00 in the morning and then may or may not have gone to bed early the next day . . . with the laptop in tow . . .

    Oddly, the only other time I became this obsessed w/ watching a show everyone talked about but I hadn’t seen was when I had a marathon Friday Night Lights streaming netflix long weekend.

    Lord help me if they make a series about a football obsessed town where people wear impressive turn-of-the-century attire and have English accents . . .

  71. BEST SHOW IN THE WORLD! THE BEST! I actually watched it the painful way last year. Episode by episode, one a week, doled out to me like the last 6 Girl Scout Thin Mints at the bottom of the tube. Have you watched the last episode yet? I got chills at the end, Sophie. CHILLS (for various reasons, that you may discover as you watch, if you haven’t yet.)

    Next year, promise me. PROMISE ME!!!! That you will blog (maybe even live blog??? Oh, wouldn’t that be fun!?) your thoughts as we watch each episode. You know what? I think that’s the only way I could ever love Downton Abbey more.

  72. Hi. My name is Christina, and I am an addict. I love Matthew Crawley, even though he is not a real person. Also, pretty much every other character on the show. (Just about.) We are at around the same place. I’m already grieving the fact that I will be waiting so long to watch the next season. My husband loves the show, too. Bonus!

  73. You crack me up! I wish I knew you! ANy way just wanted to say that you brighten my days and I really needed it today!