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 Fiancé
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! 😂

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). 😥😥

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

£1-a-Day (2019) – How Did We Do?

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Well, that’s it, we’re all done for 2019’s £1-a-day Challenge raising money for the Salvation Army. David, Helen and I managed to survive for seven days, living on a £1 a day each, for all our food and drink. It’s not too late to donate – see later in this Post.

Helen, David and yours truly

It’s now 6am on the 14th (the day after this year’s campaign ended) and as I write this Post, the donations stand at an impressive £655 (plus £111.25 Gift Aid). Even when you take away JG’s commission (1.9% + 20p/5% on Gift Aid) it’s none too shabby!

THANK YOU to all of you who donated; we know there is a lot of demand on your purses and wallets for who you give your hard-earned money to, and we really appreciate every pound of your generosity! 👍 👍 👍

As usual, we’re leaving the website open for a short spell (until Saturday, 5th October) in case you missed all the action as it happened. So, if you haven’t yet done so, and feel inclined to donate, you’re not too late. Please use the link below…

UPDATE: Saturday, 21st September, 6pm: Our total now stands at a whopping £1100 !!😀👍


…until we close the Website!

Click HERE to donate

Wow! a whole £1.59 left over!

…and on top of the money raised, we even had a few coins left over from our enforced £21! I know it sounds impossible doesn’t it..? three people… three meals a day… for seven days! so here is a reminder of how we spent it. There’s posh! we even had fresh-fruit for the first year ever (they were reduced in price) and some Titan Bars – Aldi’s equivalent of Mars Bars – for the occasional motivation!

Our £21 spent wisely!

Another first for us in 2019! Although we had some cash left over, we completely ran out of food (we ate our last few biscuits yesterday evening!) – for me, that’s a perfect end to this year’s efforts. Some foody highlights follow…

Talking of losses, even though it wasn’t my prime intention, I even managed to shed a few pounds too! – and that was a pleasant surprise, as our menus certainly would never have made it to Weight-Watchers or Slimming World! I started off at 13st 13lbs exactly on Day 1, and by the last day I’d dropped to 13st 10lbs!

Thanks again everyone – you’ve been super-generous. Now it’s back to the more nutritious stuff! 😉


…until we close the Website!

Click HERE to donate

Previous Events

£1-a-Day 2018
(for the Salvation Army)
£1-a-Day 2017
(for the Salvation Army)
£1-a-Day 2016
(for the Salvation Army)
£1-a-Day 2015
(for OXFAM)
£1-a-Day 2014
(for Children in Need)