Friday Fun that’s about 12 hours late…

Happy Friday! I do apologise – I began writing this first thing this morning, but ran out of time to finish it before heading to a meeting. Then I got caught up with cleaning/packing and now it’s Friday night. Sorry.

Lovers of hidden transport gems should be very happy indeed. Forget London’s lost tube stations – it turns out New York can beat us hollow. How’s this for a forgotten station?

Forgotten Station

Its story is similar to many in London – difficult location, too few passengers – but with the added complication of a platform/track that was too curved to make it safe for passengers to use it. The full story and lots more photos can be found here. Anyone up for a field trip over the pond?

Continuing the theme of classy, early twentieth century style, here’s a fabulous use of the last three seasons of Downton Abbey – a mash-up of One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful. I love this for a number of reasons:
1. It replaces the word ‘overwhelmed’ with ‘flabbergasted’.
2. The ‘na-na-na’ section becomes ‘ma-ma’ and ‘pa-pa’. Genius.
3. This song is currently on my motivational playlist. Don’t laugh. Should you pass me on the street and find me looking incredibly happy and confident, the chances are that this is playing very loudly in my earphones.

While on the subject of drama, this weekend is Oscars weekend – are you excited? I expect not. I for one will have just arrived in Africa when the ceremony kicks off, and will only have marked the occasion by catching up on Oscar nominated movies courtesy of BA’s in-flight entertainment. (I’ve already checked online, and Argo’s on the list. This makes me very happy.) Anyway, here’s a trailer for ‘every Oscar winning movie ever’ – genius:

Have I mentioned I’m going to a hot country on Sunday?? Also in warm climes this week were the Swingle Singers – what are the chances that I’d be able to feature one of their flashmobs on two consecutive Fridays? Instead of a cold rugby stadium, this time we have them in what looks like gorgeously temperate Dubai. It should be noted that this video includes their interpretation of Single Ladies – as heard on Radio 3’s In Tune recently.

Finally, because I’ve been told that I’ll be somewhere simply beautiful next week, here’s something beautiful to end this week with:

Yes, that’s Namibia and I’ll be in Uganda, but it’s the same continent. In fact, next week will be a rare occasion when I’m on the same continent as my good friend Ian – he’s currently interning in Namibia. (The last time we were on the same continent was last summer while I was in Texas and he was home in Vermont. We rarely make it to the same city…) But still, it’s utterly beautiful.

A new, but old, obsession

Sometimes, I rather like being late to the party…

In the run up to Christmas, Sunday night’s Twitter feeds were full of discussions regarding the impact of WW1 and the Spanish Flu. My mother and sister engaged in hearty debates about people who were total strangers to me. The evening of Christmas Day was spent watching two hours of a TV show I knew next to nothing about.

I talk, of course, of Downton Abbey. In my defence, there are plenty of reasons why I’d not joined the rest of the nation (and the Americans) in period drama frenzy:
1. It was on at 9pm on a Sunday. During series one I would have been at the pub after church at this time. Last autumn, I was en route home from church, preparing myself for early Monday morning Greek classes.
2. I dislike ITVplayer with a passion. It crashes, there are lots of ads, it’s just generally irritating which doesn’t entice me to keep up with shows on it.
3. I have a contrary nature and don’t always like to do as society dictates.

However, given my family’s passion for it, it seemed likely I’d enjoy it. We are united in our love of certain (note: ‘certain’) ITV period dramas – namely Brideshead Revisited, Jewel in the Crown and Tenko – so if they like something, I probably will too. When series one of Downton appeared on my sister’s Christmas list, I thought this was a cunning opportunity – by bestowing it upon her, there was likely to be the possibility of borrowing it in the very near future.

The boxset was duly handed over the night we went to Grease. I finally got around to watching it a week later and within 24 hours had watched 5 episodes. Dressing for church the next morning, I watched another. (As I tweeted: “Getting dressed while watching Downton gives one the illusion of living in a country mansion & having servants to help dress one…”) I was beginning to worry that I’d suffer withdrawal symptoms, given that I had just one episode left and no season two on the horizon. Fortunately, our worship leader came to the rescue, promising to bring it in. [Sadly, he’s now forgotten it twice, and I am now suffering withdrawal, hence this post.] As he described it, Downton is like chocolate – not necessarily the best thing ever made, but it meets a need and is utterly addictive.

To try and keep withdrawal at bay, I’ve returned to the Comic Relief Downton spoof from last year. 12 months ago I watched this and found it faintly amusing; this evening I’ve been laughing heartily – if you haven’t seen it and consider yourself to be a Downton aficionado, do indulge.

And, just in case you’re worried about my current obsessive state – what with the egg hunting and period drama watching – it’s ok. When things are time limited, obsessing over them is absolutely fine. Honest.