notes from the cottage/ A.K.A. Downton Abbey-West


Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire

Image via Wikipedia

Here at Downton Abbey-West we are a privileged lot. We have central heat, electricity, an ocean mere steps away, and well meaning neighbors. After a near obsessive tear on the famed British television program, I am prepared to come up for air and share a thought or two on Julien Fellowes’ masterpiece.

It all seemed so simple; everyone knew their place. The servants were thrilled to serve tea and fine dinners to the aristocrats and then slurp down stew in the basement kitchen. And the aristocrats were equally thrilled to be served, knowing they were offering employment to those “below decks.”

If it weren’t for the war itself, and those damn women working on the home front while the men were off doing battle, we would perhaps, still be in our upstairs/downstairs positions. At least those living across the Pond.

Things have changed for the better for most of us, but something from that era that should make a comeback are the titles. Folks both up and down longed for their blessed titles: Footman, Valet, Steward, even…Master of the Horse. And upstairs: Sir, Duke, Earl, Lady, Princess, or Dowager Countess.

There is something about a title that gives one confidence, respectability, even street cred. I recently discovered a business whose singular purpose is to bestow upon you just such a title…for a small fee of course. Sort of a modern day example of A Knight’s Tale, where the Geoffrey Chaucer character made up pedigree “patents” for the squire-who-would-be-knight.

I wonder what it would cost to become Princess of Portland?

Or perhaps the more realistic, Countess of the cottage.

Okay, Okay. I will slurp my stew and settle for Baroness of the Blog.

What’s your title?



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15 Responses to notes from the cottage/ A.K.A. Downton Abbey-West

  1. joan chandler says:

    I already have a title, bestowed upon me last summer – not by British mucky-mucks, but by my good friend Ellen. A group of lady friends met during the August “Sturgeon Moon” for an overnight campout in Ellen’s field. During the two-day preparation for our evening meal, I acquired the respectful title Beanhole Woman. The nice part of this event was that it wasn’t an “Upstairs, Downstairs” situation. Believe me when I say we were ALL downstairs.

    Meanwhile, I am happy to refer to you as “Your Grace” or “Your Excellency”, or how about “Your Authorness”?

    Maybe an excellent writing prompt would be for each of the Word Birds to come up with an official title for herself, and perhaps for the others.


    • Sally Sally says:

      I find it a little more than remarkable Joan, that you are connected to almost every blog I post. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to admitting to Beanhole woman…you are made of tougher stuff than I my friend! I love your idea for the birds. Thanks for reading my blog. slw

  2. Nancy Jordan says:

    I guess I am Curator of the Chaos.

  3. margaret says:

    I vote for “Sally Countess of the Cottage” I love it and it is how I will refer to you from here on out!

  4. Martha says:

    Yes – I totally agree with Margaret – Countess of the Cottage – This is soooooo you Sally!!
    Now I want a title too – What’s the address for the company you mentioned?!

    • Sally Sally says:

      There are actually several companies willing to take your money. Just search under “buy a British Title”!! Or else just start signing checks and letters with…Martha Marchioness of Mayhem. Thanks for reading!

  5. JoAnn says:

    well – I have always thought I’d have made one hell of a queen – Queen JoAnn of Norwell Mass…I insist on the “upstairs” position – always!!!

  6. Maureen says:

    Loved this Sally, wish I could think of something jaunty to title myself with but I think it’s more like the Babbling Blogger. Thanks so much for all your nice comments…a derivative of this may appear in my blog some time soon…it served as a nice prompt for me…For now, I acquiesce to the Baroness, Sweet Sally!

  7. Trudy says:

    Yes, a title would be nice, but I’d rather have Pendragon as my last name.

  8. reigning champion says:


    I am a Hero.

  9. reigning champion says:

    Also, I have a friend here who’s last name is Dempywolff.

    It means: strangler of wolves.

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