Oh boy, you guys. It's late and I need to get to bed, but I HAVE GOT to get this post written before tomorrow. It's going to be a quick one this week because, honestly, I don't think that much actually happened. You can just tell that the writers are trying so hard to wrap everything up that they don't want to begin any new story lines so they just keep dragging the old ones out.
(Yes, I'm talking about the hospital situation. Good grief, finish it already! We all know Big Government comes to England much sooner than it does to America. But, hello, we're all caught up now.)
Two story lines really made me laugh this week--the Newlyweds and the House Tour.
1. Let's get on with the Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes banter. Oh my!
Let me just say that I get a wife wanting to keep the peace in her home, but Mrs. Hughes . . . Honey . . . Darling . . . you have GOT to begin to speak up or else your brute of a husband (I'm sorry, but Mr. Carson was an absolute wretch this week!) will walk all over you.
Carson picks on Mrs. Hughes about everything from knowing how to make coffee to how she makes the bed to how she cooks dinner, and, to make matters worse, he keeps asking her if she's talked to Mrs. Patmore about how to cook!
I loved the dinner scene where there was no condiment for the smoked salmon. And no wine! (Because, of course, if the master of the house can't drink wine, neither should his butler.)
The two pretty much cast aside the unappetizing salmon and then Mr. Carson asks what's next. When he finds out they are having duck he asks, "Is the skin crispy like Mrs. Patmore does it? Did you ask her advice?"
Mrs. Hughes replies, "We certainly talked about what it’s like to cook dinner for you."
Carson, not getting a clue, preens his feathers and says, "I bet she had a lot to say."
To which Mrs. Hughes quietly replies,
"We both did."
Personally, I think Mrs. Hughes is the picture of restraint. I'd be sending him to the MOON!!!
2. The House Tour.
All of Downton Abbey is in a tizzy over the house tour this week (when they're not in a tizzy about the hospital being taken over by Big Gov).
Violet and Isobel, arch enemies AND tea partners, talk about the merits of having people pay money to come through your house. Isobel gets it--people want to see how the other half lives--but Violet doesn't see the attraction at all.
"Roll up! Roll up! Visit an actual dining room complete with a real life table and chairs!"
Isobel reminds her that "people have always tipped the butler to look ‘round the house. Even Miss Bennet wanted to see what Pemberly was like inside."
But once again, Vi gets the last word. "A decision which caused her a great deal of embarrassment if I recall the novel correctly."
3. Robert doesn't get it either. (And don't you just love that Robert never moves from the bed this entire episode?!)
He's talking to Carson about the house tour, chuckling to himself while squirming from his surgical pain.
"What on earth can we show them to give them their money’s worth? Lady Grantham knitting? Lady Mary in the bath?"
[Note: the last word must be drawn out like baaaahth.]
Carson just shoots him an incredulous look and walks out.
4. The big moment has finally arrived and the people show up for the Grand Downton House Tour.
(P.S. Anybody else think this gets a little meta? I mean, people DO this. Now. Today. In fact, this whole scenario brought back warm memories of my time in the Midlands when Caroline and I toured Chatsworth House--one of the great houses of England that is very much worth your time.)
Anyway, could you believe those ninnys? They knew nothing about their own house!
So, a collection of my favorite blunders from the house tour.
Girl asks, pointing to a huge painting on the wall: "Who painted that?"
Cora: I’m not sure. But this . . . (leading them to another painting) . . . is a Reynolds, so that is worth looking at. (Pointing to another painting behind her) That’s quite good too.
Poor Cora. I just want to pat her on the head.
Later it was Edith's turn.
Man: What about the architect?
Edith: Oh yes. Sir Charles Barry. Yes. He built the houses of parliament. . . . Or at least he finished them. . . . and, you know, he built lots of lovely buildings.
Mary doesn't fare much better. We walk into her room to find her saying, "No, that’s him. I think. Or his son. Or it might be his father."
She obviously doesn't have a clue.
But Violet rescues her as she comes storming in.
Mary, after thanking God that Granny was here, asks what she knows about the library.
“The library was assembled by the fourth Earl. He loved books.
Mary then asks, "What else did he collect?"
"Horses and women."
5. Finally, I really loved the little scene between Robert (still in bed!) and the little boy who wanders into his room.
The boy asks, “Why is your house so big?”
Robert can’t answer. He really has no idea.
So the boy asks a logical question: "Why not buy someplace comfy? You must have enough money."
Robert looks at him with just a touch of melancholy and replies,
"Maybe, but you know how it is. You like what you’re used to."
And the Grantham clan really does like it.
Better enjoy it while you've got it, Crawleys, because before you know it, my daughters and I are going to come clanging on your doorbell asking for a tour.
We'll pay. We've got money.