When you get sucked into an English country house drama...

I know I've been MIA lately (relative term), which is I guess what happens when you're Trying Very Hard to finish your dissertation. But!

Has anyone else been sucked into Julian Fellowes's Downton Abbey?!

When the first series aired last year, I heard the scuttlebutt but didn't watch. Then over the summer, I got the first disc from Netflix, watched the first episode, then saw Amazon had the series set for $15, bought it, and became entirely consumed.

And I may or may not be cheating and finding ways to watch season 2 as it's happening, rather than waiting til January for when PBS gets it. Anyone else sucked in my Series 1? Any UK folks also pouring over Series 2?!

And, other bits, in case English country house period dramas aren't your thing:

If you've not listened to Hey Marseille's album To Travels and Trunks, check it out. It's a good sound. And they've a new record, Elegy, due out soon.

If you're looking for something to read, and willing to set aside the "readability" debate, which I'll return to in due course, check out the Booker-shortlisted Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. While it didn't win (the fourth time was the charm for Julian Barnes), I do think its protagonist, Harri, is one of the most charming fictional 11-year-olds you'll meet.

I hope everyone's been well here in TBA-land.


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