Presumably the fact that I had once watched half of the first episode of Downton Abbey made me feel qualified to say Yes! Of course I'll talk on PBS about its historical value. So - before this week's filming - I'm engaged (so is LucyFur, that round tabby on the right) in a mammoth binge-watching session. Of course I've read the obligatory put-downers (Simon Schama, James Fenton), who of course are right in their critiques of the series' pandering to an enjoyment in snobbery and an indulgence in over-acting - but (simultaneously watching critically and in a state of absorption), it's been a very soothing way to end a semester. Watching nine episodes back to back made me feel as though someone should have waited on me at dinner. More tomorrow ... and let's hope for lots more misty English countryside, and no more completely artificial attempts to represent the Somme. Oh yes, and by the way - yes, I've got the message that "things are changing" in English society.