Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"The sweetest spirit under this roof is gone . . ."

You said a mouthful, Mrs. Hughes.

Even if you've seen spoilers for Season 3, you couldn't help but be moved by Sunday night's Downton Abbey. (Read no further if you haven't viewed Episode 4 yet.) Lady Sybil Crawley, Mrs. Tom Branson, died from eclampsia shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. Her devastated family and servants miss her and so will we.

Mr. Carson to Mrs. Hughes: I knew her all her life, you see. I've known her since she was born.

Lady Cora to Lady Mary: This is my chance to say goodbye to my baby.

Lady Mary to Lady Edith: She was the only person living who thought you and I were such nice people.

Thomas to Anna: In my life I can tell you not many have been kind to me. She was one of the few.

What may be the most heartbreaking episode yet also brought us some of the best writing and acting of the series, allowing the characters from upstairs and downstairs to show their anguish.

Dowager Countess: Oh, Carson, we've seen some troubles you and I. Nothing worse than this.

Mr. Carson: Nothing could be worse than this, My Lady.

It's hard to imagine that Maggie Smith could get any better, but she outdid herself when the  grief-stricken Dowager Countess walked away from Carson, trying to steady herself on her cane. Dame Maggie Smith is a better actor walking away from the camra than most actors are coming toward it.

While Episode 4 was airing, Downton Abbey won the SAG award for outstanding ensemble in a drama series at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards (besting Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Homeland and Mad Men). Some surprised but delighted Downton cast members were in Los Angeles to accept the award: Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Allen Leech (Tom Branson),  Amy Nuttall (Ethel Parks) and Sophie McShera (Daisy), left to right in the photo below. Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith were also nominated for outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series.

Photos:  Carnival Film & Television for Masterpiece/ITV/Getty

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I was asleep while you were dying.
It's as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow
I make between my slumber and my waking,

the Erebus I keep you in, still trying
not to let go. You'll be dead again tomorrow,
but in dreams you live. So I try taking

you back into morning. Sleep-heavy, turning,
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
Again and again, this constant forsaking.


Again and again, this constant forsaking:
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
You back into morning, sleep-heavy, turning.

But in dreams you live. So I try taking,
not to let go. You'll be dead again tomorrow.
The Erebus I keep you in — still, trying —

I make between my slumber and my waking.
It's as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow.
I was asleep while you were dying.

                                                             Photo: AMD5150

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Question of the Week

Why can't we be kept informed about major utility work going on in the community?

Whenever someone in Princeton Landing is about to eat a bagel or hit a ping pong ball, the management company sends out an email to homeowners. But when utility markouts appear all over the community, we're told nothing. Didn't our property managers notice all the colored flags and spray paint?

Today work crews and heavy equipment from a utility contractor appeared on the property. By afternoon, the cable lines in the community had been cut, leaving residents without TV, Internet and—for those lucky Comcast Triple Play customers—phones. With no information given, homeowners could only meet in the street and try to figure out what was going on. By evening, service was restored—as far as we could tell.

As we've said here before, at a time when communication is easier than ever, our management company and current Board cannot seem to keep residents informed—and we're not talking about bagel breakfasts, movie nights and tea parties. Knowing about the work wouldn't have kept the contractor from cutting the lines, but at least we would have been prepared for the possibility.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"We Get Things Done"? (#4)

Management has informed residents that Brickman will begin winter tree pruning on January 21. Our landscape contractor should finish up one job before beginning another—some areas of the property are still covered in leaves left over from fall. Perhaps homeowners aren't the only ones who could use a "tutorial."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cleanup Event for Martin Luther King Day

The members of the Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands invite you to join them on Monday, January 21, 2013, for a cleanup at the Mapleton Preserve on the National Day of Service honoring the 27th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. From noon to 3 pm volunteers will be clearing small trees, brush, vines and trash in the historic Mapleton Preserve. You are asked to bring any tools you may have, such as saws, clippers, loppers and rakes. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather—work gloves, sturdy shoes, warm clothing and hats are recommended. For more information, visit the FPNL website or call 609-683-0483. Mapleton Preserve/D&R Canal State Park is located at 145 Mapleton Road in Kingston.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Maggie Smith Wins Golden Globe for Downton

While PBS replayed Episode 1 of Downton Abbey on Sunday evening, the Golden Globes aired and Maggie Smith won for best supporting actress in a TV series, miniseries or movie. Brava! And although Dame Maggie was not present to accept her award, Michelle Dockery was in attendance, nominated for best actress in a TV series drama. Season 2 of Downton Abbey was also nominated for best TV drama.

Then Episode 2 premiered and it seemed like the Crawleys might lose Downton. The family paid a visit to another one of their properties, as a possible future home.

Robert: The house is pretty and we might make something of it. We could always rename it 'Downton Place.'

Isobel: Is it nice?
Violet: Nice enough. As a retreat from the world. I wouldn't have thought it suited to much else.
Cora: Downton Place. How lovely.
Mary: Won't it be a bit cramped?
Tom: You do realize that for most people it looks like a fairy palace.
Sybil: You'll be able to run it with a much smaller staff.
Robert: If this is it, I doubt we'll need more than eight servants tops. So it will be very economical.

And another wedding so soon—this time Lady Edith to Sir Anthony Strallan.

Edith: Something happening in this house is actually about me.

But the marriage was not meant to be.

Violet: No. Let him go. Let him go. You know he's right. Don't stop him doing the only sensible thing he's come up with in months. No, no, it's over, my dear. Don't drag it out. Wish him well and let him go.

In the end Matthew did save Downton with his inheritance from Reggie Swire. Mrs. Hughes got word about her health, "a benign something or other," according to Mrs. Patmore. And hearing the good news about Mrs. Hughes made Mr. Carson sing with joy as he polished the silver.

Photos 2–8: Carnival Film & Television for Masterpiece/ITV

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Downton Abbey Premiere Brings Record Ratings

Season 3 of Downton Abbey premiered Sunday night to the show's highest ratings yet. PBS announced that 7.9 million people watched the first episode of the third season. This figure is quadruple the average PBS primetime rating and exceeded the second season premiere by 96 percent.

The new season, which rejoins the story in spring 1920, will be available on the PBS video portal after each national broadcast for a limited time. Click here to watch the season premiere.

Here are some photos from Sunday evening's big event—the wedding of Lady Mary to Matthew Crawley.

Photos: Carnival Film & Television for Masterpiece/ITV

Monday, January 7, 2013


Ugly tree stumps seem to have become a permanent feature of the Princeton Landing landscape. While Superstorm Sandy certainly made the problem worse, some of these stumps have been around for a long time. We even have one that was painted brown a couple of years ago in a misguided attempt to conceal it. Lately we've noticed a few have been removed, but there are MANY more to go. We hope our Association doesn't leave the job half done.

To replay the slideshow, click the arrow once and wait for it to load.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Downton Abbey Season 3 Premieres Sunday

Season 3 of Downton Abbey premieres on PBS Masterpiece Classic this Sunday, January 6. Congratulations if you've made it this far without seeing plot spoilers for the third season that are like minefields all over the Internet. 

If you'd like to watch the first ten minutes of the first episode of Season 3, click here.

For a five-minute recap of Seasons 1 and 2, click on the video below.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Recycling Dates

The recycling dates in Princeton Landing for January are the 14th and the 28th. There is also a link to these dates in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.