Posts Tagged ‘Masterpiece Theater’


My thoughts, it seems, have been like these wispy clouds afloat in the deep blue sky. My words catch on the tail of the wind and flit around without landing on a sentence. Here it is, more than a week since my last post and I really cannot say why.

I could blame it on the Queen. Not Elizabeth, who just celebrated a historic milestone. No, it is another English queen who ascended the throne of England at the age of 18 and has captured my attention for the past few weeks.


We are just now viewing this delicious historical drama here in the States. My friends from across the pond, or via other televised means, have already seen this lush period piece. For  those among us who await such treasures on PBS’s Masterpiece, we are just now four or five episodes into the first season of Victoria.


What drama and  maneuvering and courtly demands led to Victoria and Albert’s wedding – replete with a break in tradition. A white wedding gown! Of course, there is much more to this series, but, I do love a wedding.

Have you been watching Victoria?


I have also been listening to the audio book of Kate Morton’s “The Secret Keeper”,


and taking my time lost among the leafy pages of “Meetings With Remarkable Trees” by Thomas Pakenham. This volume first came to my attention at L. Marie’s always fascinating blog, El Space.  Her post on trees and this book can be found here.

The arboreal photographs and elegant essays have been welcome companions during the gloomy days and long nights of this winter and they have left me longing for my   wanderings among the forests and preserves around me. I was at last able to satisfy that longing and take a long walk walk around Lake Katherine and . . .

. . . where I found myself under the surveillance of a goosenecked spy!


Such things happen when one has her head in the clouds.

Thank you, dear friend and readers, for being so patient with me.


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I know it is just a television series. A bit of a soap opera. A serial. I know. I know, but, I just cannot seem to help myself. I am  filled with anticipation, a wee bit of sorrow, but mostly excitement for Sunday night’s premier of the final season of Downton Abbey.

I don’t mind so much that Downton Abbey will end. I know that all good things must, I am just, well . . . I just cannot wait to see what all my friends across the pond already have seen. They have all been very discreet and not spoiled the plot lines and ending for us, and I thank them.

Lady Violet is sure to have her share of pithy phrases, and if I must confess, I really like the Dowager House the best.  Thomas will be typically Thomas, I’m sure. Mrs. Hughs and Mr.Carson will say “I do” (or will they?). There are hints in the trailers about the Ladies Mary and Edith, their love lives, car races (see, Tom, I told you there are “guy things” at Downton) . I do hope Edith finds someone to love her who doesn’t leave her at the altar, or die. The Bates?  Will they find peace in their lives and maybe a wee bairn?  Will Sibbie and George get to play in the nursery together again? What about Branson? I’ll miss Mosely . . . ah, but is isn’t over yet. If fact, it hasn’t even started, so, I think I’ll just put on a pot of tea and see if there are any Christmas cookies left in the tower of tins to tide me over until the opening bars of the Downton theme start stringing their way across the telly.

When I saw this jar of Downton Abbey orange marmalade at Cost Plus World Market over the holidays, I plucked it right off of the shelf like a Sunkist orange grower. I brought it home in sweet anticipation. A certain young lad enjoyed a good bit of it on English muffins over the Christmas visit. Ezra really likes orange marmalade, and seems to especially enjoy this export from the Crawley collection. Our charming  little tyke starts planning his breakfast the moment he gets out of bed, with “orange jelly”  often the first words out of his mouth in the morning, but, I digress, as grannies often do.

Off I go, to start my day, in sweet anticipation of the beginning of the end of Downton Abbey. How about you? Are you a fan of the series? Is another series on your watch list?

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It’s coming!

I’m simply beside myself in anticipation; the story, the estate, the costuming.

Dame Maggie Smith.

The second season.

Eight o’clock.

PBS. Masterpiece Theater.


Downton Abbey

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Full of myself and, I am ashamed to admit, a tad smug, I looked at my mom in astonishment when she expressed her dismay that Masterpiece Theater’s acclaimed series, “Upstairs Downstairs” would no longer air. I still cringe and redden at my arrogant snobbishness and recall how Ma didn’t miss a beat as she talked about the series and its characters and how she would miss them each week.  I was a young married just starting a family , sure I was “up” on everything in the pop culture. It never occurred to during those years that my mother might watch “Upstairs Downstairs”.

Silly me.

How I wish my mom was still here now to watch the revival of this series on PBS’s Masterpiece (I still want to call it Masterpiece Theater, which “Upstairs Downstairs” helped to become a mainstay on PBS). I’ll be thinking of her tonight as the second of three episodes airs.

A new lady and lordship have moved into 165 Eaton Place and Rose is back as housekeeper, keeping the grand townhouse working. I am going to love the character of Lady Maud, who has come to claim a home to live in if her son is to inherit the wealth.  I’m already lamenting the mere three episodes, though rumor has it that more are in the making in England. The first episode last Sunday mainly set up the characters, including the house, and was fun, with a marmalade eating monkey, a sister who must be kept in check, the servants cavorting (or trying to) and well, gotta go now, it about time for “Upstairs Downstairs” to start.

Do you have favorite PBS, BBC, Masterpiece favorites?

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There is not much on regular television that captures my attention these days. Instead, I find myself mostly hidden in amongst the public television stations we get where I am often immersed in everything Austen and Cranford and Larkspur to Candleford and, of course, Ken Burns is usually on somewhere, teaching me history as only he can. My favorite right now is yet another fine British import – three cheers to my British blogging pals out there. We love your BBC features.

Have you seen Sherlock?


The third episode airs here tonight at 8:00 on Masterpiece Theater and I will be sitting on the couch eagerly waiting for it to begin.

I’m usually not one for making an old story modern, but this adaptation of Sherlock Holmes is brilliantly done. Each episode situates  me on the edge of my seat. The whole time, I perch, listening and watching, thrilled  at the thrilling, just a bit tense, and loving every minute of watching Holmes and Watson on the trail of a crime, using cell phones and GPS systems, computers and the latest technology  in this 21st interpretation of the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Benedict Cumberbatch (don’t you love his name?) plays Sherlock Holmes.  Magnificently. I found myself smiling in episode one as he rubs his palms together and his eyes seem to gleam with excitement as he relishes a series of thought-to-be suicides turning into murders instead. Why am I smiling at murders? So odd, but then, Sherlock is played a bit oddly and that is half the fun.

We  follow Watson as well, back from Afghanistan and using a cane, as he suddenly starts running, swiftly, adrenaline pumping, as the crimes intensify in the first episode.

Really, if you haven’t seen this yet, I suggest you try to catch the first episode to follow a bit easier.

But, if you can’t find the first episode, forget about it, and just watch whatever episode is on where you live.  You will want to watch them all over again anyways.

I love the use of texting on the screen as we follow Sherlock’s thought process in solving a crime (which is much easier than trying to follow my thought process right now – ha). I love Martin Freeman as Watson, and I love the apartment they share


221 B Baker Street

Sherlock is brilliant – oh, I already said that now, didn’t ? – and edgy and timely, while still carrying the tone of the original stories.

Let me know what you think.

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