A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair

A great new film coming out called A Royal Affair, i think it is based on the book by Stella Tillyard of the same name about George III sister caroline who marries king Christian of Denmark ???? I think and has an affair with his doctor.




Anna Karenina 2012

I recently watched the new Anna Karenina film by joe wright staring keira knightly and jude law and strangely forgot to write about it on here. It was brilliant, i love joe wright’s work anyway and when i first entered the cinema i didn’t actually now he was directing it until i started watching it and thought it looked an awfully lot like his, he alway has this way of making actions and moments look so beautiful.




I didn’t actully realise it was jude law until i got home (i didn’t really research it, i just new there was costumes so i was satisfied) and was so impressed, never seen him play a character like that before. The most convincing love story was the one between levin and kitty, i was so glad it worked for them in the end, however i wasn’t convinced with the other love story between knightly and taylor-johnson, i was glad when it was over, but i did love keira, she’s always great in period dramas anyway.




One person i loved the most was matthew mcfayden, his performance was brilliant, at one point i thought he was going to burst into song and we were going to get to watch a musical he was so enthusiastic. The most important thing and the whole reason i went i have left for last ???? The costumes were so beautiful, not competely historically correct but a lovely original interpretation, like alexandra Byrne costumes from Elizabeth The Golden Age.





Downton Abbey – Season 3 Episode 6

It starts very sober, everybody dressed in black leaving Sybils funeral, i am kinda glad we didn’t get to see it, it would have been too sad; however things look on the up for Bates, Anna’s trying desperately hard to free him and it looks like one of Vera’s friends is the answer. Back in the house Cora is the one struggling the most while pinning all the blame on poor Robert, she makes it clear she blames him and cannot forgive him.

It becomes evident that poor Robert is at war with everybody in the house and he is on the losing side, Tom makes it clear he wants his daughter to be a catholic like him, and intends to name the little girl after her mother (I had so hoped he would) everybody but Robert agrees who thinks it would be morbid.

Back downstairs Mr Carson has made it clear that nobody is to visit the Crawley’s house or be tainted by Ethel’s disgrace, of course Mrs Patmore ignores him and helps Ethel prepare a meal for all the Downton ladies which, to Mrs Crawley’s surprise turns out very well. Of course Mr Carson finds out and informs Robert who is livid and storms round there to demand that everyone leave, least be subject to scandal. Sadly for him he is outnumbered and eventually ignored for the prospect of a delicious dessert and storms out the house.

Back in the kitchen, hormones are flying everywhere, i actually struggled to keep up with who likes who and what, but Daisy ends up doing the foxtrot with both the footman and getting a good telling off afterwards while Ivy’s intentions are misdirected at Jimmy, who apparently has his eyes on someone else, i haven’t figured who yet. Also downstairs tensions are rising when Jimmy is getting upset at the frequently over friendly Thomas and informs O’Brien of his worries who takes on a sinister eye to the information, no doubt concocting a plan against Thomas. Daisy’s may be getting in trouble in the kitchen but her fortunes are looking up when Mr Mason offers to leave his farm to run and everything he has, Daisy’s shocked and didn’t imagine she’d ever leave service.

Back upstairs the Dowager Duchess is not content to just watch Robert and Cora’s marriage fall apart so takes it upon herself to bring them back together; she demands that Dr Clarkson confess to his lack of understanding in this difficult field and basically lie to save them both. He of course is against lying however the Dowager doesn’t quite see it as that and expects him to research and the study the case again to get a better understanding of whether Sybil really would have died either way. In the end Cora and Robert except Dr Clarkson (slightly forced) confession and begin to grieve for their daughter together.

The Wonders Of Pinterest

I find it very hard sometimes to stay focused and use a website on a regular basis, like wordpress sometimes, but i don’t have this problem with pinterest. Its a great website for sharing pictures of things you’re interested and discovers ones that would probably take you forever to scroll through the internet for.


Arabella Progress

I had hoped i would have got a lot more done during my week off but it wasn’t to be, i did understand how far my determination would stretch and apparently its endless 😀 I’m so glad i didn’t just give up. I’m hoping to complete her end-of-week because i’ve just got the bodice left to do.

The farthingale was where i had the most difficulty, apparently wire will not do what you want it to and i’ve noticed there are a lot of variety of farthingale shapes in portraits and among others reconstruction works (future projects).




At first it wouldn’t move into the shape i wanted, but in the end with the bum roll underneath it created the shape i wanted, high at the back and a deep dip at the front, like these below.




And with the petticoat on the shape is better realised, i did have a fun moment when i could climb underneath and hem the petticoat and no one would have seen me, perhaps my shadow but great hiding place.




I’ve already started on the skirt and but i think because of the weight of the Taffeta the farthingale is starting to lose its shape so i may add a flounce on to top like the black and white picture above.

Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 5

I must warn you now that somebody dies, so if you do not want to know then i will warn you just before i mention it, i have to say i was gutted.

This episode starts of with early ‘false’ labour paths for sybil, everyone is a bit on edge for her but all she seems to be worried about is the future for her little family. Ethel starts working for Mrs Crawley, the thought of working with a women who use to be a prostitute  is so disagreeable to the cook that she leaves, informing the other staff at Downton. Mr Carson is mortified and bans anyone for visiting the Crawley house. Back in the kitchen the new footman is settling in very well with everyone being friendly, a little too friendly on Thomas behalf. The new kitchen maid Ivy however is having a hard time of it from Daisy, now assistant cook to Mrs Patmore, though perhaps some of this stems from jealousy thanks to her budding friendship with Alfred, the first footman.

Yum !!

Anna makes a breakthrough with evidence from one of the late Mrs Bates’ friends, who is not on Mr Bates’ side so Anna must extract her evidence cunningly so the old lady does not no she is helping Bates. Edith receives some good news as well, she has been asked to write a newspaper column once a week on anything that she likes, Matthew is thrilled for her but Robert comments enthusiastically on it, bringing Ediths spirits down.

Robert invites a specialist on childbirth to come and help Lady Sybil, yet Cora is convinced that Dr Clarkson, who has known all the girls since they were children will be perfectly fine. Eventually both Doctors come to blow when Dr Clarkson thinks Sybil could be suffering from pre  eclampsia, because she has swollen ankles and her baby is small. The other is convinced he is talking rubbish and tells him to keep quite, eventually the house is divided and Cora and Tom want to take Sybil to the hospital yet Robert gets his way in the end and the baby GIRL is born and everything is fine and everyone is happy, though Dr Clarkson still has a worried face.


SPOILER – everyone is woken in the night as Sybils condition gets worse and she starts having fits, the other doctors is mortified that he has to admit Dr Clarkson was right and it is pre eclampsia, Dr Clarkson states that once they start to fit their is no hope. Sybil struggles to breath and with everyone by her sides dies, rather painfully it looks. I have to say i was taken completely aback by this, they did say a well known character would die but i never thought it would be sybil. Tom is broken, Robert is so shocked he can’t except what is happening and Cora eventually blames Robert and shuts herself away from everyone else. The staff are woken and informed of what has happened, showing true grief in the news and demonstrating how deep the relationship between employer and employee can go.

While everyone comes to terms with what has just happened, Mr Murray comes to talk to Anna about her evidence for Mr Bates, while at the same time Matthew gets a word in about the management of the house which Lady Mary overhears and is greatly insulted that Matthew could mention any of this just after her sister has died and while her father is not there to discuss it with them.


I can’t stop thinking of Lady sybil’s fate, obviously its fiction but is based on a very real fact that women did very often die in childbirth and i even know of this from my own family history, makes childbirth seem like a very scary thing indeed.

Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 4

So, i was so absorbed with sewing that i forgot to post the latest episode of Downton, woops :D. Anyway, Anna is waiting patiently for letters from Bates, yet they never seem to arrive, she’s worried that Bates is being honorable and letting her forget about him, of course she’s not going to give up that easily. On the other end Bates is also having a shortage of letters, perhaps they’ve got lost in the post, yet he has been condemned a dangerous prisoner and the prison has stopped Anna from visiting him.

Ethel arrives at Mrs Crawley’s hoping to receive some help for her and her son, yet the shame of her current situation is too much and she leaves before Mrs Crawley can do anything, yet she’s determined not to give up either. Ethel sends a letter in the end, asking for help, not for her but for her son and hopes Mrs Crawley will arrange a meeting with the child’s grandparents, she wants to give him up so he has the chance of a better life, Mrs Crawley doesn’t agree, yet Mrs Hughes believes Ethel would be doing the right thing.

Back upstairs they receive a strange call from Sybil, she’s OK and she thinks that they are not following her, confused the families questions are soon answered when Tom arrives at the front door seeking sanctuary. He has run away after being implicated in the arson of a wealthy families house, Tom feels bad for what they have done yet is sticking with his principles and his dissatisfaction with the wealthy. Robert is livid that he could leave a pregnant woman alone in a strange country and when sybil does finally arrive, their passionate welcome is soon subdued when they realise that they can’t go back to Ireland or Tom will be arrested.

Quietly on the side Edith is beginning to come into her own and reads with dissatisfaction the situation on women’s right to vote and decides to write to the newspaper with her opinion, Robert thinks its a stupid idea and that they will not be interested, yet Matthew rallies behind her and Robert is eventually put in his place when the newspaper header reads ‘Lords daughter condemns voting bill’,  Edith is overjoyed with her little win.

Back in prison it comes to light that the officers had been hiding Bates’ letters from Anna and not delivering his, they are both overjoyed when the bundles arrive and their spirits rallied. We also have the arrival of two new staff, Jimmy the footman and new kitchen maid Ivy.

I had the thought that their might be a Xmas baby at Downtown, of course i am writing this after i watched the next episode and know the outcome, i was wrong.