Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snooze, shorthand and addressing a duke.

1. It's Nick's first day back at work after his week off. He hits the snooze button and goes in late.

2. Reading back my shorthand.

3. I went to a lunch party for literary ladies on Monday, and everyone was full of the new Sunday night costume drama, Downton Abbey -- except me, because I hadn't seen it. Now that it's not football night, we can sit down to watch the scheming would-be heiresses and ambitious staff slug it out in a stunning country house. We are completely entranced. I felt bad about inflicting it on Nick; but he gets very caught up, and at the end he says the writer Julian Fellowes Got It Right because he is properly posh. "He knows how people would address a Duke."*

* Say the Duke of Westminster is your landlord. If by some chance he came round to collect the rent, you might want to show some deference and address him as "Your grace" -- "Sorry about all the sheets, your Grace. We could really do with a new washing machine. One with a condensing dryer."

If, however, he was just popping in for a coffee, you would be meeting him on equal terms, in which case, you call him "Duke". "Milk and sugar, Duke?"