Andrew with his back to the wall in bed. Neil facing him most nights with space between them. Its canon that Neil is a still sleeper, so there isn’t drifting between them. But Andrew always wakes up first and watches Neil’s face. So most days Neil wakes up and it’s Andrew’s eyes he sees first thing. Sometimes they reach out and touch, other times they just hang out for a minute and get up for the day. The nights that Neil faces away from him, Andrew presses himself all along his back. He doesn’t hold on to Neil but Neil can feel every part of him against him. Solid. Immovable. Andrew’s nose pressed lightly to his neck. They don’t ever do anything. Because their in a room with 3 other people.
When they do have nights alone, when they take one of their drives or crash at the house in Columbia for the weekend without the others, it changes a bit. It changes because during those times it’s not straight to bed for sleep, it’s falling. It’s being pushed down. It’s laying for hours kissing and touching and harsh breathing and whispered words. It’s hot. It’s a little sweaty and 80% more nudity. It’s getting lost and being found and drowning and dying of thirst and yes and always and more. It’s the world breaking apart. The world standing still. So when time restarts and they lay there on their backs panting, Neil turns his head to kiss Andrew’s shoulder. He stays there for a bit, eyes closed, leveling his breathing. Andrew will pull him by the neck to lay Neil’s cheek on that shoulder. And maybe his hand wraps around Neil’s back. And everything is quite and it’s just the two of them, so they fall asleep to the feel of each others heartbeats.
“No one fancies me in England but I’m big in Brazil” With her conservative outfits Penelope Wilton was always going to struggle to set pulses racing in the same way as her younger co-stars. But Penelope, who plays Lady Isobel Crawley, has revealed she has an unexpected new fan base thanks to Downton Abbey – in Brazil.
Penelope, 69, said: “I wish I’d got attention from male fans, but they do seem very interested in me in Brazil. I’ve had some very nice letters from people who love the show in Brazil. In fact I’ve had more letters from Brazil than from others places. Unfortunately there weren’t any marriage proposals – I’m still waiting. But they like the way she way she is a new woman – the emancipation and the women’s education.“
Over six series, Penelope formed a winning double act with Maggie Smith, 80, and was on the receiving end of many of the Dowager’s most withering put downs.
“I will miss Maggie, we had a great time together. I don’t have heroines, but as a young actress at drama school I used to get tickets in the gods at the Old Vic and I saw everything Maggie did there. She is THE great theatre actress and a wonderful comedienne.”(x)