Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not so Much a Post, More Like a Letter

Dear Friends,

Goodness me, where am I? It's the boys' spring break, which means it's the first rainy, gloomy week we've had all year. I started it out with a stomach bug, but it wasn't too bad, and I'm better now. It gave me the excuse to spend Sunday watching "Downton Abbey" from beginning to end, a virtual and visual feast for the anglophile that I am.

Oh, my dears! If you haven't watched this, you must! You can download it instantly from Netflix. Wonderful period piece--England, right before World War I, Jane Austen-esque in its premise--landed gentry, a family of daughters, who will inherit everything? Not that horrible distant third cousin? Oh, no!

(But perhaps he's not so horrible after all?)

Watching "Downton Abbey," I was beset with letter lust. A footman walks into breakfast bearing a silver tray piled with mail. "First post, my lady," he says. Which suggests there will be a second post--and who knows, maybe a third. All those letters, folded into their lovely, small envelopes. I was salivating!

I have been reading collections of letters, which I enjoy, especially when you have both sides of the correspondence. I'm almost through with As Always, Julia, the correspondence between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. It's wonderful, and has had me running to my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking again and again. You should taste my scrambled eggs!

I'm also dipping into Two Gardeners: A Friendship in Letters, which contains the correspondence between Katharine White (wife of E.B.) and Elizabeth Lawrence, a well known garden writer and native North Carolinian. It's a perfect book for this time of year and should be read with the latest copy of the White Flower Farm catalog by your side. Oh, I have big dreams of flower beds this year.

We're off to Monticello with the boys this afternoon. I've been studying Thomas Jefferson with Will, in effort to make sure he'll get something out of the trip, and now I'm eager to see the old place myself. I spent some childhood years in Charlottesville, and I'm looking forward to driving out to see my old house. As an Army brat, I don't have a lot of opportunities to go back to my childhood haunts.

So that's it for now. I hope this finds you well and enjoying the first glimmers of spring.

Yours ever,


Melissa E said...

I stopped reading the post and went straight to Netflix to download that movie! I love a good period piece! Have a great time at Monticello! Hope the weather holds up nicely for your trip!

Angela said...

Downton Abbey WAS wonderful! please post all about Monticello.

And yes REAL letters are fabulous

enjoy your break. Lenten blessings x

magsmcc said...

Now Miss Francis, you seem to have been poorly too often this hard winter- echinacea and vitamin C! I only saw ther last five minutes of the last episode of D. Abbey at Christmas- war was declared. Must try to see the rest! (And must Google Monticello...)

Pom Pom said...

I loved Downton Abbey, too. Did you know they are working on the next series? Wooo hoooo!

Sara Padrusch said...

Excellent! A new series to become obsessed with! I am very weak in the face of English accented drama. I'm always happy to see a post from you- if you would like a pen pal I would be happy to write you. There is something about receiving mail (the non-bill kind) that can't be beat!


wayside wanderer said...

I hope you have a great trip and that you will share about it. Sadly, I have never been that far east.

I think I might watch DA again. I really like the male character that also played in Cranford. I need to figure out who he is.


Susan said...

I would write you letters if you'd send me a return post that read "Ever Yours, Frances." I think that and a cup of tea would make my day a happy one.

Heather said...

Bronchitis has me in bed, a blessing of time enough to pop in and say hello! Downton Abbey is wonderful; second helping of dessert wonderful.

Have you read 84 Charing Cross Road? Fabulous. If you haven't, I'll lend you my copy.

Enjoy your spring break and have safe travels.


The dB family said...

*Sigh* White Flower Farm. Those catalogs are so inspiring. I think I will dig mine out again and salivate :o). I'm glad you had a relaxing week and that you are feeling better.


Gumbo Lily said...

Now I have something else to add to my Netflix queue. I've not watched Downtown Abbey, but it sounds like something I'd love.

Real Mail, as I call letters, is the best of all. I wish it were brought in on a silver tray, but ours is wrapped in a bundle and strapped together with rubber bands or twine.

Have a fun trip to Monticello and yes, a report would be good.


Jillian said...

I love the phrase "letter lust."