There are few television shows that I watch with such enthusiasm as Downton Abbey! I became a fan shortly after it first aired five seasons ago and haven’t missed an episode since. I have laughed with every sarcastic line from the Dowager Countess of Grantham (played brilliantly by Maggie Smith) and cried with each unexpected death of key players (Poor Lady Sybil Grantham and Mathew Crawley.) Rarely does this one hour drama miss a beat – as one would expect as Masterpiece Theater series on PBS
Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora Crawley) today was at the Tournament of Roses Parade on the award winning Downton Abbey float sponsored by PBS! And if Elizabeth McGovern looks familiar you may remember her from shows such as Three Moons Over Milford, Ragtime and even the award winning feature, Ordinary People.
Related see the list of float winners of the Rose Parade
Maggie Smith has been in more than 59 films and television programs. (via IMDB) However, for many it is her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham that has brought her the most widespread recognition in the United States. Although I bet others will say it is her role in the Harry Potter movie series as Hogwarts’ Professor Minerva McGonagall that has made her beloved among fans.
The very strong willed head butler, Carson, is played by Jim Carter who happens to be married to a Hogwarts “staff” member – Dolores Umbridge! (For those who are not Harry Potter fans she played the role as the Ministry of Magic! And yes there seems to be a bit of cross-over with casting Harry Potter actors or relatives in Downton Abbey!)
Downton Abbey is a goldmine!
How many Downton Abbey related products are available for purchase on Amazon? If you guessed 14,218 then you would be correct! Yes, my friends you can buy everything from books to clothing to even dozens of autographed memorabilia just by clicking on to Amazon!.
Note if you have missed this program no worries … the full set of episodes are available on Amazon’s Prime videos. The UK episodes are purported to have a few more “additions” to the US versions.
Curious about the little ones’ that are roaming the set as Sybby, George and Marigold – the grandchildren of the Lord Grantham? Well, you will be happy to know that they are just as adorable off the set as on screen. Here is an article I found on TIME with info about these little cherubs. And another from The Daily Mail (UK). Gosh they are so darn cute and yes twins play the part of George Crawley!
And, what about Season 6 (no spoilers here) – Well for me I will have to wait and see where this story will journey and soon come to an end. Yes, the show producers have announced that Season 6 will be the last. (Commence tears) But fear not, as before the directors says, “It’s a wrap to Season 6” we will be offered one shining final memory as George Clooney is purported to make an appearance during this season.
Here is the trailer from YouTube via iTV.
Yes, I am breaking blogging rules for this last post of 2015. I haven’t researched a topic or written 300-750 words with great SEO. No polls. No great Vlog or photo essay. I am not going to write a passionate essay nor offer ways to practice #SocialGood.
Simply, I just want to take a moment to wish all who read Where Learning Meets Laughter an AMAZING 2016! May your year fulfill your dreams and wishes.
Louise’s note: I am loaning my blog to a very special mom who is the matriarch of three teens. She openly will tell you that they all are very amazing people in their own right. However, the middle child has struggled with schizophrenia as a child and now as an adult. That has made the familys’ home life topsy-turvy. Not just during the holidays, but all year. Perhaps her sentiments will resonate with other families’ who also struggle with mental illness.
Please help me welcome Rhia Roberts to my column and the holiday card that she has penned for her family and friends and now all of you.
As you know, this has been a difficult year for us as our daughter transitions from Childhood Schizophrenia to Adulthood Schizophrenia. And so, Christmas cards may be late…or even non-existent! But to remind you you’re in our thoughts, I’ve written you a poem…
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
All the stockings are hung and the kids fast asleep
And dreaming of old Santa, and snow six feet deep.
And the turkey is stuffed, and the table is set,
And the work is all done, and all deadlines met.
While, perhaps, this scenario is true at your place,
in my home and my world, this just isn’t the case!
For I’m running around like a chick with no head
Getting everything done before going to bed.
Before going to bed? Ha! That outlook is bleak-
Because my kids aren’t sleeping, NO, they’re at their peak!
With unwritten Christmas cards still scattered around,
And unwrapped Christmas gifts still piled high on the ground-
In the spirit of telling the truth – no holds barred –
My stupid turkey’s not stuffed, but still frozen hard!
And although there are things that I do very well,
Shopping…baking…cleaning…are my versions of hell!
But don’t worry about us and please do not fear,
Our Christmas will be happy, as usual, this year.
Our dinner may be ruined, our chores not complete-
At least our tree’s standing – though our house isn’t neat.
And though some of our gifts may still be at the store,
You’ll get a warm welcome if you knock at our door.
For we have family, and friends, and people who care,
Who understand our plight – and STILL want to be there.
To us, that gift is worth more than silver or gold-
It’s invaluable to us, when all’s done and told.
For raising a child with schizophrenia is hard;
There’s no relaxation; you must be on your guard.
The worst is that feeling of deep isolation,
And loneliness, and fear, and pure desperation!
Because this is an illness that many can’t ‘see’
They question OUR parenting and veracity.
So, to every one of you who held your belief,
In the midst of our despair, you brought us relief.
So now, hear me exclaim, ‘ere I drop out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Happy Christmas, to you and yours, too Rhia. Thank you for sharing.
Resources about schizophrenia
What is Schizophrenia? National Institute of Mental Health description
Follow Rhia here: Dr-Rhia.com