A dear friend and I spent a good part of the weekend, when it was too sticky and horrid to venture outside into the sauna that is New York, clutching each other and squealing with glee at the first series of Downton Abbey. Rewatching it reminded me of how marvellous it is: Thomas flouncing about looking wonderfully smug and nasty; Miss O’Brien with her silly fringe standing in corners with a face like a wasp chewing a lemon; Mrs Hughes being all kindly but firm, and secretly longing for dear Mr Carson; poor Mr Bates!!!! and then the magnificent, hilarious Dowager Countess rustling about, leaning on her cane and making a face like an owl whenever anything distasteful is mentioned; Lady Mary and Lady Edith wickedly attempting to undermine the other at every opportunity; Lady Sybil being very ‘modern’ and wearing something resembling harem pants; Lord Grantham being wise and kind and generally the Lord Bountiful, and to top it all, these wondrous characters spend their days milling about in the most beautiful setting of Highclere Castle! I don’t understand how anyone can not love it, and I am positively wetting myself with excitement for the next series, which is, according to this brilliant Telegraph article, filming as we speak! Will the episode of Mr Pamook ever be topped? Will Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew with the very kind eyes ever get together? Will Miss O’Brien and Thomas get their just desserts?! I can hardly bear the suspense!