Film: Downton Abbey

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Off to our fave cinema – Cineworld at Rushden Lakes – for the just-released TV-series-turned-movie: Downton Abbey.

If you fancy a ‘bit of posh’ you couldn’t do better than this! 😁 Most of the recurring characters from the TV series make it to the big-screen outing, with just a few omissions (due to actors’ unavailability).

“Above Stairs”…
Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham
Allen Leech as Tom Branson
Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot
Harry Hadden-Paton as Bertie Pelham
Douglas Reith as Lord Merton
Penelope Wilton as Lady Isobel Merton
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham
Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley
Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley (eventually ‘Pelham’)

“Below Stairs”…
Jim Carter as Carson, the butler
Phyllis Logan as Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper
Rob James-Collier, as Mr Barrow, the butler
Brendan Coyle as Mr Bates, the valet to the Earl of Grantham
Joanne Froggatt as Anna, the personal maid to Lady Mary
Kevin Doyle as Mr Molesley, footman
Lesley Nicol as Mrs Patmore, the cook
Sophie McShera as Daisy, the under-cook
Michael Fox as Andy Parker, footman and Daisy’s FiancΓ©
Rachel Cassidy as Phyllis Baxter, Lady Crawley’s Maid

Expect to see some other well-known TV faces too. In particular, Mark Ady (as an ‘alt-Arkwright’) and David Hague, in a part that was surely written for him as The King’s Page of the Back Stairs.

Set in 1920s, it depicts the world of the Crawleys as they prepare for a visit from royalty – King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James).

It’s all class-hokum of course – for a start, the benevolence of ‘upstairs’ with those ‘downstairs’ doesn’t match anything I’d ever read about life in servitude back in the day! 😯

Still, it was wonderful hokum! Call me an old romantic, but Julian Fellowes has done a fantastic job in transferring it all from small to the big screen. The TV series was pretty lavish, but this takes it up a notch (or ten). It was superbly filmed, with the actors effortlessly re-creating their roles like they’d never been away. There are are quite a few plot-lines, some big, some small, but it all comes together very nicely by the final act. Maggie Smith did not disappoint, and has now achieved an AS Level (Advanced Sarcasm) in her specialist subject – so many wonderful cutting lines! πŸ˜‚

So, spend the next 120 minutes immersed in the rosy world of the idle rich (but do take a tissue as there’s a major ‘blub’ moment towards the end). πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯

There’s plenty of chatter online about whether they’ll be a sequel or not – I’d say the chances are very high.

Family Weekend

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Roger, Jane and Oliver joined us for the weekend! 😁

Saturday

The last signs of Summer 2019?

The main event for today was a picnic at Belton House and then a walk around the historic Mansion and Gardens. I think it’s our most oft-visited stately home having been there recently (ish) with with Dennis and Sandra back in May, 2018 and Chris and Gill in July, 2017.

On arrival, the weather was disappointing to say the least (Summer’s not quite over surely???) Oliver was sporting shorts and I was in a short-sleeved shirt. Consequently, both of us were woefully ill-dressed for the conditions – a plummeting temperature followed by rain! β˜” β˜”

1.00pm: However, It didn’t stop us enjoying our picnic though, as we sandwiched ourselves between ‘Robert‘ and the car next door to act as a wind-break! Brrrrr! 😁

1.55pm: I think the c*** weather made us eat more quickly, and we soon made a significant dent in Ann’s extensive picnic.

As soon as we’d cleared up our bits, we headed straight for the House. Word to the wise: Since our previous visit, there’s been one major change here! ALL VISITS ARE NOW TIMED, so it’s not just a case of turning-up and hoping to get in straight away. But, as it happened, it was perfect timing on our part, as there were five slots on the very next admission – the 2.15!

2.10pm: We’re in! 😁

Given our previous visits, from a photo point-of-view, I decided to concentrate on the less well-known/seen pieces on show inside, together with less obvious views of the property and surroundings.

3.05pm: Time for a cuppa, especially as the damp weather from earlier had returned, but this time it was torrential!

A quick, but determined sprint to the nearby tea-shop got us more-or-less to the front of the queue (followed by the rest of mankind) and we were soon seated in the Stables enjoying our cuppa and cake!

3.35pm: Next stop was the Gardens where the weather, perfectly on cue turned from rain to warm sunshine! 😁 At last!

Beautiful!
Ditto!

4.00pm: Our final stop was St Peter & St Paul Church aka Belton Church.

Belton Church

4.20pm: A great visit! (again!) 😁. Even the weather didn’t really spoil our visit (even though it looked like it would!). We wandered back to the car and headed south.

Ooo, there’s creative! 😊

All of today’s photos at Belton House (with none of my chat) are HERE

6.15pm: It was a good journey home and we were indoors by 5.45. By 6.15, Ann had laid the table for a yummy table-buffet. All that was left to do was to choose a movie for the evening…

Excellent choice!
Bohemian Rhapsody (courtesy of Sky Store): Even better than I remember it the first time around in the cinema πŸ‘
9.45pm: And what could be better than a good film to finish the evening? The answer? two films! Choice-wise, the consensus was Thor: Ragnarok (in 4k DVD). Although it’s not my favourite from the Marvel stable, it’s still a very good yarn with everyone acting their heart out, helped along by outstanding SFX and a comedic theme (that in spite of all the death and destruction, seemed to work). The day however, eventually got the better of us, and we only got about two-thirds of the way through it – still there was always tomorrow to finish it off!

11.05pm: That’s it! 😴😴😴😴😴 Nighty-night!

Sunday

A lie-in for me until the unearthly late hour of 7.15 whilst the others slept-on.

9.10am: A little bit of Queen, courtesy of Spotify to get the day started!

9.45am: Breakfast is served – Porridge with Strawberries followed by a Bacon Butty! 😁

10.30am: Jane, Oliver and I watched the rest of Thor: Raganarok, Roger caught up with the Daily Telegraph, whilst Ann put the finishing touches to lunch – this was a real family-foodie weekend, and just how we like it! 😍

12.15pm: Pre-lunch drinkies!

1.00pm: Lunch is served. Roast Chicken with all the bits!

2.30pm: Lunch over! A bit of clearing up followed by a long natter.

whilst listening to something a little more relaxing!

3.45pm: Well, where did that weekend go? It passed really quickly – a great sign of a great time! 😍😍

Bye all, it’s been great to catch-up!