No shame here.
2013 Christmas Special, or Two Countries Divided by a Common Language (x)
Downton Abbey Meme (x)
[3/3 quotes] The business of life is the acquisition of memories.
April 1912 - The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won’t.
Joanne Froggatt for Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine | September 2013
Oh Dan…you big jerk.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYBBELE!
So I kind of, sort of cheated here; I know that one of your requests for Valentine’s Day was a photoset depicting the illegal bare-knuckle boxing match that Sybil stumbled onto that a certain Irishman happened to be participating in from Scandal on Eaton Square —hope you don’t mind it as a birthday present too ;oP
From chapter two…
Not caring that she was the only woman lost amongst this sea of dirty, drunken men, Sybil pushed her way through the crowd, more determined than ever to see why they were all shouting and what was causing those other strange noises she had been hearing…
Sybil gasped as she finally came upon the sight.
Before her stood a homemade “ring”, composed of a thin piece of rope tied around several fence posts. Within the ring were two men, both shirtless, both covered in sweat and dirt, and both looking as if they were trying to kill each other!
An illegal fight! She had stumbled upon an illegal organized fight! Indeed, because despite the crudity of the two fighters, it was clear that this was not just some random street brawl. Several men stood nearby, taking bets, gathering money, laughing and cheering for their favorite fighter as the men in the ring attempted to pulverize each other with their bare fists.
Bare-knuckle boxing. Yes, while she didn’t follow men’s sporting events in general, she knew enough to know that bare-knuckle boxing was indeed, illegal!
“COME ON, BRANSON!” shouted someone from the crowd. “I’VE GOT TWENTY QUID ON YOU! DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME!”
Sybil turned her attention back to the ring, staring at the two fighters as they swung their fists at each other. This was hardly a fair match! One man was huge! A giant! He towered over the other, his arms the size of tree trunks, his fists the size of boulders, the sun glinting off his bald head. The other man was considerably smaller in height, and while he himself was quite broad and muscular in his own right, he could hardly compare his opponent’s size! But his smaller size did make him quicker, and Sybil watched with wide eyes as he darted out of the other fighter’s grasp, before the giant’s fist had a chance to meet its target.
The crowd was growing wilder, starting to push and shove against one another in excitement as they cheered on their favorites. In the process, Sybil was finding herself being pushed and shoved closer towards the ring, practically trapping her between the flimsy rope and the wall of bodies behind her.
The smaller man ducked again and missed the giant’s punch, but not before leaving a punch of his own on the giant’s face, causing the bigger man to stumble and stagger backwards.
She knew nothing about either fighter, but she couldn’t deny, she found herself rooting for the smaller one, who right now was looking rather smug and proud of himself for the punch he had delivered. The giant however, managed to quickly recover, and Sybil gasped as he growled, before lunging forward to extract his revenge.
“LOOK OUT!” Sybil cried, her hand flying over her mouth as she watched in horror as the giant reached to grab the other man and no doubt, pick him up and fling him across the ally.
The smaller man turned the second she screamed, alerted to his oncoming attack—however it wasn’t his opponent that he looked to, but rather…her.
Sybil’s breath caught in her throat as she and the fighter locked eyes momentarily.
But the moment was short-lived when the giant attempted to swipe at the smaller man with one of his massive fits, causing the smaller man to duck and roll out of the way—and roll right into her.
“Umph!” he grunted, his side hitting her legs.
Sybil nearly toppled backwards, but was held up thanks to the cheering crowd behind her. She looked down and saw the fighter groan, shaking his head, before pulling himself up onto his hands and knees, before finally rising to his full height right in front of her.
Oh…he’s not that small, she realized as she looked up at him. Indeed, he was much taller than he looked, up close. And she swallowed as she stared back into the most astonishing pair of blue eyes she had ever seen. Blue with a little green in them. And then he smiled, his handsome mouth stretching across his strong jaw, wrinkling at the corners, making him look young and mischievous. Good heavens, he can’t be more than thirty, surely! Thirty-one perhaps? Thirty-two?
She suddenly felt an intense heat fill her face, and she quickly lowered her eyes, suddenly feeling embarrassed for staring back. However, if she had been blushing before, it was nothing compared to now, as her eyes now stared back at his broad chest, naked and gleaming with perspiration. I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought he was ‘smaller’…he may not be the tallest man I know, but he certainly is one of the most muscular!
“BRANSON, BEHIND YOU!” shouted someone from the crowd.
The fighter lifted his head towards the voice, and Sybil practically shrieked as the giant made another dive towards him, his fist flying and nearly hitting him, but he ducked just in time, missing the impact of his opponent’s punch. Sadly, the same could not be said to the man just to Sybil’s left.
A chorus of sympathetic “ooohhh’s!” rang out from the crowd, only to be followed by cheers and laughter as the other fighter, the one with the astonishing pair of blue eyes, pummeled the giant’s large belly with his fists, causing the larger fighter to grunt and double over, before throwing his fist back and connecting with the giant’s nose.
A loud crack was heard then, seeming to echo off the ally walls. Sybil gasped as suddenly blood was splattered across her face from the giant’s now broken nose. The larger fighter groaned then and fell to his knees, clutching his nose in both hands as he howled with pain. “FINISH HIM!” shouted someone. “FINISH HIM, BRANSON!”
Sybil’s eyes widened with horror and she looked up at her blue-eyed fighter. No, surely he wouldn’t humiliate the other man? It was clear that he had won! Why make it worse?
Thankfully, he seemed to have the same idea.
He was panting and stared down at the giant who was still kneeling on the ground, still clutching his nose and still groaning in pain. “Well?” he asked the giant, his body still tense and ready to continue fighting if his opponent wished, but thankfully not while the other man was down.
“You…you win!” the giant muttered from behind his hands, wincing as he spoke. “You win, Branson.”
Branson. Sybil looked up at the fighter and found herself smiling. Now she had a name for the man. Her smile began to broaden even more as she watched the victor—Branson—reach out and lend a hand to help his opponent up.
Allen Leech and Rob James-Collier attend The Downton Abbey Childline ball at The Savoy Hotel on October 24, 2013 in London, England.
Nice neckbeard, Rob. Ah well…still sexy.
…Not so overlapping at DARP.