I just finished binge-watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey.
It's addictive, like Belgian chocolate. A
And like good chocolate, once you savour it all down and lick the lips, the memory is gone.
It's a fleeting "feels", Downton Abbey, for it's basically a more classy form of soap opera: plotlines (plot?!)push the credibility metre all the way to the top of the forehead.
Sure and it's all about the frocks. They're gorgeous. And endless in their variety and detail and fit. I was an excellent dressmaker in my time so I appreciate a good cut and fabric and draping and fine stitching and French seams and pleats. So the frocks please me on many levels.
I had an aunt who worked in such a great house. Life below stairs was a form of slavery. Long days, pitiful wages and one half-day a week off where she would sometimes catch a bus and visit us in the great metropolis of Cork. Nothing like the gadding about and free weekends of the servants in DA. But as she said to me, there was no time to spend those wages so she could save them. She wore uniforms and was fed quite well at the Hall where she worked so she had no overhead. I loved her stories about the guests who stayed and their conversations about travelling and hunting and balls.
There was an old beat-up piano off the kitchen in the bowels and here she taught herself to play. Her bedroom was in the attic dormitory where the rest of the servants slept. You always needed a hot water bottle she told me and there was hardly any privacy. And you had to watch your "things". I'm sure her tale of life below stairs was the reality of so many servant's lives.
But I suspend my disbelief and indulge myself and gaze with admiration on all those delicious frocks.