I’ve become enthralled, fascinated and quite entertained by the series Downton Abbey, playing on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater. The upstairs/downstairs British period drama was created by Julian Fellows, who has expertly woven an intricate story fabric of love, deception, intrigue and history starting in 1914 with the sinking of the Titanic and continuing through 1918. With my love of English literature, how could I not enjoy these period pieces (why do the English do such a good job with these miniseries anyway?)? It’s a lovely era of which I would not to live, but I do enjoy the visual feasts.

Downton Abbey, in particular, is a glimpse into a fictional world where many of my real friends have developed a fondness for the characters. I know someone who has a major crush on Mr. Bates – should it be wrong for her to find him sexy?

I recently had the opportunity to take an extended sabbatical where I thoroughly enjoyed not knowing exactly the day or the date for more than a year. Tuesday? Why not! Saturday? That only means more of my friends are available to shop or nosh!

I wasn’t sure anyone could properly express how wonderful that feeling of unadulterated freedom was until I heard my favorite character, Lady Grantham, the Duchess Dowager (proficiently played by Maggie Smith) casually respond to an unfamiliar concept, “What  . . . is a weekend?” with no hint of sarcasm or understanding.

It is wonderful to not know that defining line between the days of the week, but instead enjoy every day with ease and aplomb. Why cram a full week of living into two days? We should undertake that quality of life where all seven days is a luxurious advantage, and we should all be able to ask, “What is a Weekend?” because we’re enjoying each day without boundaries or parameters.

NY Magazine has a page attributing the best Maggie Smith/Duchess quotes. I find them fantastic – on any day of the week.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/01/downton_abbey_maggie_smith_quo.html