With This Ring…

I don’t watch much TV (well, except for Downton Abbey) and although I enjoy movies, I rarely manage to stay awake to the end of a DVD. My time-wasting activity of choice is the internet.

I spend hours just…surfing aimlessly. It’s shocking really how much of my life I fritter away at my computer.

But the internet is literally the world at my fingertips. How can I resist its siren call?

My latest addiction is a wedding site. (Don’t ask me why as I’m neither planning a wedding nor planning to attend one.)

It’s fascinating stuff and very educational.

I’ve learned my engagement ring would be considered a “starter” diamond by many of today’s brides (if it was accepted at all.) Apparently my sailor’s proposal wasn’t quite up to snuff, either, so at least he’s consistent!

Most interesting is the current language of on-line brides.

Against my better judgement, I followed the link titled “What to do about my difficult BM?” (Whew–in bride-speak, a BM is a Brides Maid.)

Even more alarming was the plea from another bride: “Advice Needed!!! STD Challenges!”

Yikes! Absolutely NOT speaking from personal experience here, but I empathized with this bride’s panic…until I learned an STD is a Save the Date card sent out prior to the official invitation to warn guests to, you guessed it, save the date.

I’m glad I’m already married. I don’t think I’m up to the drama of twenty-first century wedding planning.

Downton Abbey

050I’m tired and bleary eyed. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning I’d sell my Chihuahua for an extra half of hour of sleep.

Well, not really. It hasn’t come to trading in beloved dogs for more sack time…yet.

The reason I’m exhausted?–season four of Downton Abbey.

D gave it to me for my birthday and I’m addicted. I tuck myself into bed, hunched over the DVD player’s tiny screen. I don’t turn it off until it becomes painful to force my tired eyes open another minute.

It’s not just when I’m supposed to be sleeping.

Yesterday I took my boy to Tae Kwon Do. Instead of racing off to Walmart to pick up a few groceries while he was martial-arting, I sat in the car watching Downton. It’s no big deal. I can get milk, eggs and apples any time, but I HAD to find out the results of Lady Edith’s recent visit to a London doctor.

Part of the attraction is Downton’s gripping story lines and engaging characters. Another is the stunning setting and costumes. But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit I like to project myself into the action. I’m Lady N, a charming cousin from the colonies who dazzles with her witty conversation. (Of course, I get to have a title. It’s my fantasy so I can leap tall buildings or discover a cure for cancer if I want. A measly ladyship doesn’t seem like to much to imagine.)

So when the alarm screams at me every morning and I drag myself out of bed to get ready for my job, I REALLY wish I was Lady N with a diligent maid delivering breakfast in bed and running my bath.

By the time I’ve had my second cup of coffee I realize that given my family’s social position (or lack of it) I’d be the maid, not the lady and I’m lucky because unlike my 1920’s self I get weekends off.

If only I could get that extra thirty minutes of zzz’s every morning, 21st century life wouldn’t be so bad.

Afternoon Tea

004006019D came for the weekend.

We were blessed with crisp sunny weather and even crisper Chardonnay. In short, a good time was had by all.

The high point was afternoon tea. It’s an opportunity to sit back, put your shopping down and eat, drink and be merry. Plus, it’s a known fact that any food served on a three-tiered cake stand is extra delicious.

Afternoon tea at the Empress is a luxurious experience.

The shabby chic tea lobby is the closest I’ll come to Downton Abbey and our attentive server was like our very own Canadian Mr. Carson. He explained everything (“curried chicken with mango chutney, smoked salmon pinwheel, egg salad…”) He even gave direction regarding the order of eating–start at the bottom with the sandwiches, move to the middle for the buttery scones and cream and finish on the top with the assortment of decadent sweets.

As if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Carson had a super special tea sense. Every time one of our cups reached the half full mark, he arrived to top it up from the big pot at our table. He even added milk and sugar to D’s. (I’m a purist who drinks my tea straight.)

We were like minor royalty, or at least aristocrats, and while I can’t speak for D, I could learn to live with this level of service. By the end of afternoon tea, I was beginning to believe I deserved to be waited on like Lady Mary. Boy was my sailor in for a surprise!

Turned out he did get quite a surprise. So did I.

This evening, the house got real cold. Cold enough that we could see our breath.

“I don’t understand what could be wrong,” said my sailor, fiddling with the thermostat. “I’ve turned it up, but the heat hasn’t come on.”

Uh oh–I forgot to order oil. No oil–no heat. Even I know that. A quick call to the Co-op yielded the following result: they can’t deliver until tomorrow so we are doing indoor winter camping tonight.

My sailor, who knows about such things, declares it’s not quite cold enough for us to die of hypothermia.

Mr. Carson, where are you? I need a top up!