Dear Abbey

Lady Mary at the train station bids adieu to Cousin Matthew



And I must also board a train to distant lands…

(after a plane, a car, then another plane, and one more car, but those bits aren’t so romantic)

I’m off to Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar) with a girlfriend for 3 weeks!!


Cousin Matthew and Lady Mary say good-bye

but it could just as well be my husband seeing me off

(after he catches his breath getting all my bags into the car)


I’m quite beside myself with excitement and slightly overwhelmed at what’s involved in leaving home & hearth for 3 whole weeks.

Packing is the least of it.

No, it SO isn’t, but I’ve always wanted to say that.

One MIGHTY BIG concern is the fact that I’m going to be missing the last 3 episodes of Downton Abbey, including the 2 hour Christmas Special!

I’m afraid if I do have internet access I’m going to get ‘spoilers’ coming at me left and right.

The Husband’s never been great at keeping secrets either, which means he might be banned from watching until I return.


I’ve recorded this for him as a warning reminder;

Downton Abbey



Will they get back together?

Will the cheeky chauffeur have his way with her Ladyship?

Is Robert really going to leave Downton to be in the employ of such a nouveau riche bounder?


Meanwhile, I’m going to miss my favourite character

Lord Grantham

but I’m slightly worried about the glint he’s getting in his eye when talking to the new maid…


Hmmm- and who might that new precocious parlormaid be??



Impostor or the real deal?

And if dead cousin Gordon or whatever his name is can just waltz up from The Titanic’s watery depths, albeit burned beyond recognition and with an American accent, to  crash the party,  why can’t our favourite Turkish delight rise stiffly (no pun intended) from his grave to make a repeat performance??



Who amongst us would mind?!

oh here, let me get that mud for you with the warm edge of the lace hankie I keep tucked just inside my heaving bodice.



and while we’re at it…

Is it just me, or is Lady Mary’s fiancé Sir Richard Carlisle not  the love child of Richard Chamberlain and Peter Beard?


Richard Chamberlain

Sir Richard (Iain Glen)

and Peter Beard

Separated at birth, no??



Is the treacherous Thomas softening slightly this season?

I do believe I’ve almost caught a glimmer of a smidgen of a smile once or twice.



I might I need to ask Cousin Matthew who followed me on Twitter recently


Although he’s not exactly the chattiest follower on Twitter.

Perhaps the paralysis is migrating upwards…

Hey! Matthew! WAKE UP


.In any case,


 Cocktail napkins from Rue de Lillie Antiques, Summerland, CA.


Robert: “You know, there is nothing more ill-bred than to steal other people’s servants.”


In honor of my favourite show, I’m sharing my bells once more…

Found years ago in London


Traveled across the seas to America



To live silently ever after in my kitchen in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Imagine the stories they could tell.



And how does One feel about Madame MacClaine joining the cast next Season?!


Is there really room for two Divas?!


Who is your favourite character?

Are you enjoying the second season as much as the first?


PS. I hope to be able to post  and keep in touch on my travels, but it’s rather a whirlwind itinerary and I’m not sure how available internet access will be.

I’ll try to check in on FB  & Twitter

 (It’s always been my dream to “Tweet” from Mandalay 🙂 )

If you haven’t done so already, you might like to sign up for my email alerts at the top of this page to stay connected.

(don’t forget to click on the ‘confirm’ button you will be sent-it takes 1 second)



** Hoarder Alert;  It’s been 29 years since my last visit to “Ceylon” but I saved this 10 rupee bill (circa 1979) knowing that someday, I would return.

It’s going back with me this week.

Woo hoo!


I’ll see you at The Abbey tonight!


and dare we hope that Matthew felt a tingle??




  1. hehehehe… I started playing the music and my 17 year old daughter FLEW down the hall. “DOWNTON ABBEY!! I heard it!! Where is IT?” She stopped at the computer and asked what it was and I told her I’d forward your blog to her (and now you’re leaving…). I follow on FB and can’t wait for the updates!!

  2. This is absolutely your best post EVER! Can’t wait for the Tweets from Sri Lanka and Burma (my school has many refugee children from Myanmar via the Thailand camps). Love the way you wove your trip plans in with Downton Abbey. I really can’t pick a favorite character; I love so many of them. I do, however, wish Thomas and O’Brien would run away together (not that I know what they would do with one another). Have a wonderful trip! Stay in touch!

  3. I envy you your trip, I hope to visit those countries someday!! As for Downton Abbey, it is simply perfection. I have enjoyed each episode so much, I love Bates and Anna, Cousin Matthew and Lady Mary singing, ” If you were the only girl” Heart stopping. I am coming to Santa Barbara for my Winter Break in two weeks. I am going through your blog for “bright ideas’ of gardens to see and great things to do.

  4. You will be missed, Slim! Look so forward to hearing your tales and seeing your snapshots!

    As a newbie to Downton Abbey, I find that I have to censor myself from the teasers that are omnipresent…even here!

    Packed yet?!?

  5. oh yes, Peter Beard + Richard Chamberlin…very good!
    Not enthusiastic AT ALL about Shirley…My favorite, of course,
    the Dowager…how can you tear yourself away!!

    I promise not to say a word! Have fun!

  6. Ditto Woodsie!! Best post ever! And I thought it wasn’t possible to love Downton Abbey any more. Your spin was perfection! Safe travels Slim.

  7. Saw Lady Mary on Letterman this week…so lovely. Your sojourn will be such fun to armchair travel along on. The tingle has me all…ahem…twitter.

  8. I’m a fairly new subscriber and this has been the funniest entry, yet. I’m enjoying the season very much, but the last 30 seconds of last week’s episode was a bit corny for me. You know what I’m talking about. Cousin Matthew “felt something”. They didn’t specify what, but we can all guess.

    Can’t stand the chaffeur, beginning to think Thomas might be my favorite character. Haha, just kidding, Bates, hands down is my guy.

    It’s funny that leaving on this exotic trip, you’re thinking how much it’s bugging you that you’re going to have to wait to see the last three episodes.

    Forty-five degrees today, here in Anchorage, Alaska! Temperature is relative, I know, but we’ve had record snows and cold this winter and this feels like spring!

    Stay safe on your trip and remember, don’t drink the water!

    Gwen in Alaska

  9. Very best post, heh, heh. So Cousin Matthew isn’t the only one feeling a tingle, looks like Lord Grantham is too. The nerve of that cheeky maid!

  10. I can’t wait for the two hour special of Downton Abbey tonight! Your post today is your best yet. I wish you safe travels and please blog on your trip!!

  11. Slim wonderful post! I’m loving Abbey so much. I am so happy on Sunday night which isn’t usually the case! Adore Matthew!

    Going to share your post on my Facebook for all my Downton buddies.

    Have a wonderful trip. Can’t wait for your exotic photos!


  12. Dear Slim

    Have a beautiful trip and be safe. Downton Abbey will not be the same knowing we are not watching it with YOU. Somehow… I think the shopping and culture of a great adventure will help distract you from Lord Grantham and the rest of the cast.

    All the best!

  13. Ok…this is starting to piss me off! I have only heard amazing things about this show….and cannot FIND it on my local guide. Grrr.

  14. I am SO addicted to Downton Abbey!!! If Mary and Matthew do not get together at least for a show, I am going to be unhappy! And Lord Grantham…nice. I am so looking forward to tonight’s episode. Watching the Grammys on one and DA on the other.
    Happy trip!

  15. Oh my! If you miss a connection there is enough here to delight in the re-reading. I am bleary from my tears of laughter over the Love Child! Bon Voyage.

  16. Safe travels, Slim. We’ll miss you but I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing the stories of your escapades with your girlfriend. Have loads of fun!

  17. You really are brilliant, Slim. Another stellar post.
    How in the the world did you remember that a) you had a rupee, and b) where you stashed it. I’m impressed.
    Take a lot of hand gel and disinfected wipes, and a broad spectrum antibiotic. Take your own pillow case (skip the pillow). Travel light.
    Most importantly–be safe.

  18. Love those bells in your kitchen, what an unique idea. I just love when antiques and/or history is used in our homes.

    Also: Yes there are room for two divas….at each other’s throats! LOL You know that dynamic is happening!

  19. Have a wonderful vacation. Yes, Mary and Matthew HAVE to get back together…they were meant to be Lord and Lady of Downton Abbey, don’t you think?

  20. Just watched tonight’s rather sudsy episode. Love it, I admit, almost depsite myself. I find the fraternization between the members of the family and their servants to be rather much to take, or at least believe. Really! I wonder how SM will fare — Lady Grantham has not filled her face with fillers but I am afraid SM has, and will look rather peculiar I think. But I also think the Dowager Countess will have met her American cousin match. Sparks will fly, for sure! Which is amight be=it better than the treacle that’s been leakin; a wee bit…

    • WOW- they sure packed a lot into last night’s 2 hour special.
      I almost needed my smelling salts. I just hope LaMaclaine can drop into the Edwardian atmosphere without jarring the existing ambience too much.

  21. Bon Voyage, God speed.
    Keep in touch. What an amazing trip, bring back your journey to share in pics.
    Many will miss you, least of all “Downton Abbey”

  22. I made the horrific mistake of being so excited when Season One came out on DVD that I right away bought the English import. No French subtitiles so my honey whines “I can’t understand a thing”. Sigh.

    Have a fantastic trip, Slim! I am so thrilled for you–really, Burma? It is the one spot I would go to this year if I could. I can’t WAIT to hear what your experience of it will be. And I imagine you will find Sri Lanka very changed! I wrote an article about Taprobane, just off the southern tip. Might be worth a looksee if you are in the area.

    Bon voyage!

    • ah yes, Taprobane, I am very familiar with it and hope to visit. The former home of Paul and Jane Bowles. He thought it the most beautiful place in the world. She hated it for the enormous bats that flew in at dusk.

  23. Loved this post! Very funny. Have you seen the hilarious Tumblr blog about Downton Abbey’s lamps that’s been in a lot of the media? Also very witty.

    SO envious that you’re off to Ceylon. (Much more romantic name than Sri Lanka.) Take LOTS of dosh – the jewels are meant to be AMAZING. Grab me some Ceylon sapphires while you’re there… And a pink diamond too. Just grab whatever they’ve got!

    Take lots and lots of pix. Are you going to Galle? The Aman hotels in Galle and Myanmar are meant to be beautiful.

    Have a lovely trip!

    • Yes Janelle, completely agree with “Ceylon” ( more than I can say, actually 🙂 )
      We are going to Galle. Staying at an Aman or two and looking forward to watching the sunset on the terrace of The Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, amongst other things.

  24. Slim what an exciting and exotic trip, have a wonderful time.

    It is no secret that I am in love with Lord Grantham…I hope I can live vicariously through Dowton Abbey forever!

    Art by Karena

  25. Have a wonderful trip – will look forward to your commentary on places you visit – also the pics. I once lived in Colombo for two years many years ago and visited Burma during that time. Both countries have since gone through dreadful times. But both are very beautiful and we have some wonderful memories. My husband and I even climbed Adams’ Peak, the holy mountain. I was wearing high heels as I hadn’t intended to climb, just to see him off at the start. But it was such a magical evening, the wife of the friend he was climbing with and I looked at each other and both decided to go too. It nearly killed us coming down in the heat of the day, especially me in my high heels. But an amazing experience standing on the summit as we waited for the sun to rise.
    If you like curries, you will enjoy the food – plus the luscious tropical fruits.

  26. Goodbye, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu. Have a wonderful trip. It sounds amazing. I will look forward to seeing the fabulous pictures I’m sure you’ll take!

  27. Oh how I enjoyed this post!

    My husband is as hooked on “the Abbey” as I am. At the moment I am in a hotel and he is in hospital, just around the corner, having tests and getting a pacemaker for Valentine’s Day. We made a date last night to watch Downton Abbey. He in his room and I in mine, both overlooking beautiful West STL County.:-)

  28. Oh, you made me laugh @ the Richard Chamberlain love child bit. And I had not heard about SM joining the cast…ugh! Looking forward to reading updates from your trip!

  29. Can’t read this post in it’s entirety because I’m only on episode 2 of D.A and I’m sensing spoilers.

    looking forward to those travel photos!

  30. Three whole weeks! Cant even imagine how glorious it will be for you!!! You have some really fun followers here, too! Signing up for the updates NOW……Downton has nothing on you! Yours is such fun to follow! Never stop!

  31. I have to admit, I am late to get on the Downton Abbey train but this post and the gorgeous music have convinced me to check it out. I’ll be on season one if anyone wants to join me 😉 Safe travels Slim!

  32. Oh Slim…Sri Lanka! I lived there 9 months in 1980 and my last visit was in 1988. The change in almost every aspect was so dramatic…can’t wait to hear what you find there. Have the best time…..

  33. I didn’t think I could love your blog (and sense of humor) any more – but this has to be my favorite Slim post ever. I loved reading your charming words with the theme to Downton Abbey playing in the background. In fact, I have often thought it would be ever so loverly to have this song playing in the background of my everyday life. Grocery shopping would be so much more dramatic if this song accompanied it. Running errands would feel every so European and moody with this background music. We should all have a theme music sound track to our lives! My favorite DA character is Lady Mary. I love her hoity-toity-ness, not to mention her English-rose looks and wardrobe/waistline.

    Have SO much fun on you amazing adventure, and as always, thanks for the laughs!! You’re the best!

  34. I have to tell you this: You know the meme “Hey Girl” of Ryan Gosling fame? Well, someone is doing a “Hey Girl” with Cousin Matthew! Thought you’d get a kick out of that. LOL

  35. Have a wonderful trip Slim.
    My husband and I are also hooked on D A. He had recorded it at the start of the series, not knowing if it would be something we would enjoy watching. I was telling him about how you loved it. Thanks to him we started watching it right away.
    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, and seeing all of the pictures you will be posting. This was a great post.
    Have fun.

    B J

  36. For those addicted to Downtown Abbey there is a book written by the present Lady Carnarvon titled “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle,” which can be found on Amazon. I had thought Julian Fellowes made the story up entirely, but actually the Lady Almina and Lady Cora have similarities and Highclere Castle (aka Downton) was indeed used as a hospital during WWI.

    Aside from all that, bon voyage Slim! This trip might possibly, but who can say for sure, yield blogging delights that top the “mosquito net” post. But that’s a tall order. Have fun!

  37. Bon Voyage! By chance, I was supposed to leave for Burma next week but have
    had to postpone until October. Three weeks with my intrepid girl friend as well! And,
    Sri Lanka too. How lucky you are. I’ll be eager to read all about it. Are you going
    to Putao? or Keng Tang?

  38. Have a fantastic trip and take lots of photos!

    As for Downton, I will also be missing the last three episodes, but it will certainly lessen the blow when I return.

    You are dead on re: Sir Richard and I think I am the only one who thinks he as Lady Mary are a good match, even though he is a tad horrid. I think she will gain control over him in no time. I guess this makes Mary my favorite, even though we all must love the Dowager Countess. Hopefully the addition of Shirley McClaine will be a good one and that we won’t have to wait forever for the next installment!

    Safe travels!

  39. was in Myanmar in December and Janaury believe me worth missing Downton Abbey for . have a wonderful time. You must have a drink at the Strand hotel in Yangon (Rangoon)

    shay zoo bah (goodbye in Burmese)

  40. Safe travels my dear!
    If you will be in Sri Lanka, my girlfriend recommends you try jaggery cake (jaggery is a special type of brown sugar only available there and also love cake which smells divine from the rose essence in it. She says window treatments (curtains, etc) are very cheap there.
    I hope to go one of these years…have fun!

  41. You just delight me: the connection with Richard Chamberlain is sooo astute and right on. And I adore the photo of the ancient train-just the way I’d want to trek thru Mandalay in. Or wherever you’re going. I, too, am quite enchanted with everyone. And if they publish a book of the costumes from Abbey I’ll be buying: my husband is tiring of my “oh Mary, how fabulous” every time the Lady appears in still one more fabulous black evening outfit for dinner or cloche hat for daytime. I knew that Lavinia’s day were numbered. I do wish they’d slow down the pace, I’d like a little more savor and unfolding in the plotlines–but I LOVE it all. Can’t wait for the Christmas episode.

Would love to hear from you!