Deborah Ross: 10 vital lessons for us all from Downton Abbey

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, although it is most distressing that we must all wait a year for a second series of ITV's Downton Abbey, it has, at least, left us with much to tide us over. Indeed, you may even say it has provided an instruction manual for life. Here, I believe, are the top 10 lessons everyone should have taken away with them:

1. Always look down on stepping out of the bath, particularly if you suspect your lady's maid is of a Machiavellian disposition.

2. In other situations – if your lady's maid were to eat a banana, say – keep a close eye on what she does with the skin.

3. If you must shag a Turkish diplomat to death (and who among us can say we never have?) do so in his bed at his residence and make a point of putting these arrangements firmly in place. This will save all manner of complications later on.

4. Should your cufflinks go missing, or wine from your cellar, although all the evidence will point to Bates, the culprit will not be Bates. Don't waste your time on detective work. I repeat: it will not be Bates. In fact, any crime, wherever, whenever, however, will not be Bates, even though it might look as if it is.

5. Further to the above, if you can take the rap for someone else, then do so because, in the end, you will not only earn applause for it, but also a significant female following. This stands even if you are slightly creepy, a bit fat and have a limp.

6. The phrase "I'm sorry. I've had Diamond saddled and he's waiting for me" isn't just useful for rebuffing unwanted suitors of the kind who were once in Cold Feet. It works just as well on telephone cold-callers and those boys who come to the door and want to sell you tea towels.

7. Of course you must get a telephone installed. Haven't you yet realised the Archduke's death changes everything?

8. Ensure your cook has Bupa cover, particularly if she has started ricocheting off door jambs and is banging into things generally.

9. Don't feel abashed if you hadn't spotted that one of your maids secretly yearns to be a secretary and keeps one of those clunky old manual typewriters hidden on top of her wardrobe. Some maids can secretly type very, very quietly. It's a gift they are born with, probably.

10. Accept Matthew. He is nice, and a dish.

Next week: how to make your own entail using everyday household objects, half a lemon and two AA batteries

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, left, is to take part in a live television debate about Scottish independence with Alistair Darling, right, head of the Better Together campaign, if David Cameron continues to refuse to take part  

How a polite message from Canada inspired the campaign against Scottish independence

Andrew Grice
The Government is rushing through an emergency law to allow the state to retain personal data held by internet and telephone companies  

Don't call this the surveillance status quo – it's a cross-party stitch-up

Mike Harris
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice