Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lord and Ladies get ready for the premier of Downton Abbey, Season Four

Ringing for Carson to serve tea during DA, Season 4
The countdown to Downton has begun! Tonight, the premiere of Downton Abbey, Season 4, debuts at 9:00 pm.  I shall join Lord Gulley in our drawing room this evening, seated comfortably between the fireplace and the flat screen TV, and ring Carson for a cup of tea. Months in anticipation, I am ready to rejoin the Crawfords as they once again meet life's challenges as the one-percenters of the Edwardian era.

Although fictional characters, they are as real to me as my own Lord Gulley, who, as of this month, may be truly addressed as "Lord" or "Laird", thanks to a Christmas gift of a small plot of land in Scotland, courtesy Highland Titles. (He may also be referred to as "The Much Honoured Gulley, Lord of Glencoe")

And, while we're talking Christmas gifts, I was the recipient of some wonderful DA-themed presents this year. I received the two books in the "Real Downton Abbey" series, written by the current Lady Carnarvon. The first is about Lady Alamina, who married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and is the inspiration for the Downton Abbey family. (Much of the DA "upstairs" is filmed at the Carnarvon's estate, Highclere Castle.)

Lord Gulley , as estate owner, can empathize with Lord Grantham
The second book continues the family saga to the next generation, focusing on Lady Catherine who married Lady Alamina's son.  I have read the first one and enjoyed it greatly. It provides some interesting tidbits to the real-life aristocracy, however, be prepared for a lot of World War I history. The second half of the book spends a significant amount of time on the subject.

These books were a gift from my brother and sister-in-law and also came with a DA Christmas tree ornament that is pull bell, modeled after one in the servant's hall. I chose to mount this on my own front foyer wall and will ring for tea when necessary.

Another DA-inspired gift came from my other brother, Glenn, another family member who supports my addiction to this show.  This was a book, too, although, on the other end of the spectrum from real-life lords and ladies to an absurd, but hilarious parody, in the feline personification of the Crawley brood, entitled "Downton Tabby".

Studying up with DA books, from real-life lords to funny fat cats
Downton Tabby has all the silly things you might expect from a group of cats dressed in Edwardian garb with names like "Catson" for the head butler and "Tom 'Cat' Blarney", as the "chau-fur", but it also elicits some high-end wit with its insightful comparisons to the aristocracy and the lives of cats. Some of the basics for both groups:  "never do anything for yourself that someone else can do for you, get fed, groom, sleep, groom and, finally, loaf in a decorative chair in a highly charming manner."

My favorite page in Downton Tabby, however, is the diagram for the proper table setting. It includes not only a napkin and place card, but a stoat fork, vole fork, mouse knife, hair plate, four glasses for milk and one milk goblet. A tablescape that would make even  Grumpy Cat smile.

With my Downton Abbey collection close by and a warm cup of tea in hand,  the Lord Gulley and I will tune it at 9:00 pm to watch our favorite Masterpiece Theater drama begin its fourth season. It is how we will conclude our week-end, whatever that may be!


Heart Checker board, said...

I like your post very much , i like to read this article post

parTea lady said...

You certainly received some great Downton Abbey gifts. I too love the show and although I miss Matthew, I'm enjoying all the new plot twists and turns.

I just did a post about Downton Abbey tea available at The Republic of Tea.