‘We’ve Seen This One’

Rhododendron over footpathMuddy fieldSunlight on poolLandscape 1Landscape 2Footbridge over streamTreesAfter a domestic morning I attempted the woodland walk. Having negotiated the pools at the kissing gate entrance, I crossed the muddy field, where the lowering winter sun cast dazzling reflections from others between the brassica rows. The path through the woods was reasonably negotiable until the footbridge over the fast flowing stream, when it became increasingly muddy. Despite the nakedness of the trees, small birds, creating a cricket-like crescendo remained largely invisible, although zooming the seventh picture will reveal a few. On an uphill stretch a rhododendron shrub had fallen across a gravelled section. Briefly considering this prospect, I called it a day and returned home to finish our ‘Downton Abbey’ marathon by watching this year’s Christmas special.                                                                                  In ‘Downton Abbey’, Julian Fellowes has created a television masterpiece which deserves to run and run. So much has been written about this award winning series that I will not add to it, but I would like to write about our experience of it. Apparently you had to be living under a rock in order not to know about it in the last few years. Over Christmas, we found out why.

The programme has loosely, in the press and everyday conversation, been termed, simply, ‘Downton’. This gave our witty daughter, Becky, the opportunity to post on Facebook, when series five began, that she had just watched the first episode and her parents weren’t in it. ‘What’s going on?’ she exclaimed. Becky and Ian bought Jackie the complete boxed set for Christmas and she and Flo began watching it with us. Such was its appeal that we almost reached the end before the Emsworth family returned home a few days ago. Sometimes taking in three or four episodes a day, Jackie and I continued in their absence. This activity developed its own rituals. One concerned Isis’s bum. Isis was the beloved pet of the Earl of Grantham, played brilliantly by Hugh Bonneville. Every single one of the 42 normal episodes and the four Christmas specials began with the dog’s tail waving across the screen. This prompted a race to be the first, with a variety of jocularly exasperated or frustrated exclamations, to complain: ‘We’ve seen this one’. Jackie and I continued this practice even after Becky had returned home and changed her Facebook cover photo to:10915303_10152757813758999_1058604075828254588_n

For dinner this evening, roast potatoes and parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, and cabbage were added to Jackie’s beef and sausage casserole. Dessert was apple strudel and custard, and we each drank the same as yesterday.


  1. Enjoyed this post thoroughly Derrick. The photos are superb. You make me miss England. I have heard so much about Downton Abbey but just haven’t started it. I feel ashamed. :-/

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