It was a good weekend, but one that made me reflect on my idea of a good time NOW versus what I thought was a good time when I was in my twenties and what I still, apparently, think I think ought to be my idea of a good time. Confused? Good, because so am I.
Friday night we did that party. It was fine, Thomas won a camcorder (new techmology!) and we were home by 11. Yay!
Saturday we walked the pups early, then I went to an exercise class, and then we went up to Gettysburg for lunch with friends.
We took a walk through a small part of the Battlefield, for which I blame the Germans. Katy’s husband is also German, they lived over there for the first 7-8 years of their marriage, and Katy picked up some German habits. Like walking. When Germans get together for a meal, they think it perfectly reasonable that after the meal everyone gets up, puts on their outdoor gear, and shuffles off into the snow, ice, and freezing wind for a nice walk. It’s supposed to be good for the digestion.
My own personal suggestion of a reasonable activity after the meal would be eating dessert. Or napping. But I am nothing if not a good sport. So we walked in the inch or so of snow for half an hour. Other than the frostbite and chilblains, it was AWESOME. No, really, it gave us a chance to talk and to get a little exercise, and I felt all virtuous and selfy-helpy.
We came home early and did some things, and some other things, and at 8pm I was in bed clutching my laptop and my book, listening to the BBC7 online and reading. This was the point where I started musing about the fact that my pleasures these days are small, middle-aged pleasures.
I don’t miss going out late, dancing to extra-loud techno at the Club Charles, where the hipsters could tell I really didn’t belong. I don’t mind not spending tons of money drinking in bars every weekend. I don’t mind that a walk around a Civil War battlefield in gale force winds is a big outing for us. But sometimes I do miss having the energy and the desire to do those things.
Yesterday we did lunch after church at Basta Pasta. I was not blown away by the food, but the conversation was excellent. I had a massage later, which helped with the pain of my sore muscles. My muscles, which haven’t done anything more strenuous than roll out of bed for years are pretty angry about that exercise class. They’d probably seize up if they knew I intended to do it again next week.
I finished up the weekend with a perfectly nerdy night of watching the new Masterpiece Contemporary show on MPT – Downton Abbey. It was great with an extra helping of awesomesauce!
Titanic goes down with heir/2nd heir on board, leaving the Earl of Whatsis with a houseful of bitchy daughters and a title, house, and fortune entailed away to an unsuitable third cousin of no breeding. Bisexual fortune-hunting Duke comes to court eldest bitchy daughter, but he beats a hasty retreat when he finds out Daddy Earl isn’t going to try to break the entail. Dowager Dame Maggie Smith looks elegant and bitchy all over the place and is scheming with Daddy Earl’s American heiress wife to force D.E. to break that nasty old entail.
Below stairs the Butler, Carson (?), thinks of the Upstairs Family as HIS family. Carson, did you not see Remains of the Day, this isn’t going to end well for you.
There is a nice head housemaid, Anna, who is sympathetic to Bates, the new valet for Daddy Earl. Seems Bates was Daddy Earl’s batman back during the Boer war, doncha know, and he needs this job, work for lame ex-batmen not being thick on the ground, since this is England 1912 and not Gotham 2010.
The stock red-faced cook snarls and shouts at the dizzy kitchen maid all the time, and we all hope the kitchen maid is kept away from the food and doesn’t fatally poison the entire family. That poor kitchen maid has a huge crush on William, the Nice Footman. One of the housemaids, who has very pretty red hair, seems to have some sort of flirtation going on, because she’s receiving letters from someone. Not enough in that plotline to figure out what is going to happen next.
The housekeeper looks sour, but shows a certain amount of kindness to all the housemaids and to the Nice Footman.
The bitchy Executive Lady’s Maid obviously has a thing for Thomas, the scheming footman, not realizing that Thomas and the Bisexual Duke have known each other, (see Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19). Thomas tries to blackmail the Bisexual Duke into getting him a better job, but the Duke gets the better of him. Thomas is deeply unhappy, and takes his frustration out trying to get Bates fired. The Lady’s Maid does what she can to help him get rid of Bates, thinking possibly that Gay Thomas will be so grateful he’ll ask her to the pub for a smoke?
Bates is being sent away for having a limp and not being able to "serve at table" but at the last minute Daddy Earl breaks down and decided that's jolly well NOT ON. Bates will stay by Jove, as firing one's batman isn't the done thing. Bates probably saved Daddy Earl from a bunch of Boers.
Back Upstairs, the Unsuitable Heir, who shocks The Family by having a Profession (lawyer) and wanting to work, has moved into a house on the grounds. He’s charging around like a bull in a china shop, stomping on feelings left and right. His mother, a very pleasant woman, is doing her best to soothe the nerves and feelings of those he thoughtlessly hurts.The Unsuitable Heir has to explain to the Intimidating Dowager Dame Maggie Smith what "a weekend" is.
Can’t wait to see what happens next week!