To Mr. A. on his birthday

In South Korea it’s almost 6 am of August the 23rd but over here in Western Europe it’s still August the 22nd, close to 11 pm. So, I’m still (just) on time to wish Richard Armitage a happy birthday!

I was delighted this morning with this childhood picture the man posted of himself on Instagram

2019-0822 Childhood picture posted on 48th birthday… and these recent images of Richard arriving in South Korea again for filming.

And there’s an extra delight that I have won a small item in Guylty’s auction for Richard’s birthday and that she has been able to transfer € 2300,- as proceeds from the auction to the Shelter charity! I really love the thought of making a donation to a charity as a birthday present so it’s been a delight to be a tiny part of this. (Modified to add: Servetus also has a fundraiser still going on, as I type this, over on her blog! Check it out if you like!)

As for my own personal birthday wish, let me quote a bit of Alexander Pope’s poem called To Mrs MB on her Birthday for him. So, from me to Richard, it’s basically:

To Mr. A. on his birthday:

Oh be thou blest with all that Heav’n can send,
Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and a Friend. […]
With added years if Life bring nothing new,
But, like a Sieve, let ev’ry blessing thro’, […]
Let Joy or Ease, let Affluence or Content,
And the gay Conscience of a life well spent,
Calm ev’ry thought, inspirit ev’ry grace.
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a Pain, a Trouble, or a Fear! […]

Happy (almost belated) birthday, Richard Armitage!

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Armitage forensics: Ronda

Just before Richard Armitage’s birthday on August 22nd, I have a little Armitage treat for you. Best treat of course is to check out the Armitage birthday auction that Guylty has going on right now! But this is a little extra, a little birthday dessert, if you will.

Last week, after I posted my first Andalusian picture spam, Servetus was so kind as to point out in the comments section that I have been visiting the region in which Richard Armitage filmed an episode of Berlin Station. To regular readers here, it won’t be a secret that I never particularly warmed up to Berlin Station. So, while I did watch season 1 and 2 and little bit of season 3, I never bothered to get into the behind the scenes details of the show. I did know that Richard had filmed in Spain, but I only remembered he’d been to Las Palmas. However, episode 2 of season 2 was filmed in the south of Spain, exactly where I am visiting now on my summer holiday. Our ‘home base’ here is about 20 minutes away from the lovely old town of Ronda and Servetus reminded me that one episode had been filmed in and around… Ronda! Of course, I couldn’t resist, and the following scenario ensued between me and Mr. Esther.

Esther: So, sweetie, we need to do another fangirl forensic trip again. Last year we did Gregory Peck on Rhodos, this year it will be Richard Armitage in Ronda. He filmed an episode of Berlin Station here.

Mr Esther: That show you didn’t like? I thought it was set in Berlin?

Esther: Yes, but they did one episode in Spain. Richard has infiltrated a neo nazi group and needs to pretend to do an arms deal…

Mr Esther: Yeah, yeah. And that is set in Spain?

Esther. Yes, in Ronda. So, it’s images of Richard in Ronda! And I’m here in his footsteps!

Mr Esther: Really? The lengths I go through for you… alright, show me the episode…

Esther (at the ready, starting up the episode on my laptop): Here! I have found out the starting point but you are the Google Maps expert, help me with the rest.

Mr Esther (watching the Ronda parts in Berlin Station): Oh, I recognize that, we walked past there the other day!…. Don’t recognize that (consulting Google maps )… oh, but I know where it is and wanted to walk by there anyway… This will be there (zooming in on Google Maps)… I don’t think there’s a souvenir shop there… And see, in the market scene they don’t show the statue on the square… And look, that’s on the corner where we had dinner… Fine, we can do this, it’s partially in the section of town where we were still wanting to walk anyhow.

I’m lucky to have such a fangirl enabler for a husband. He’s so good at remembering locations, the perfect partner in crime to do this with. The kids just look at me with pity but willingly walked the route as well, as long as we never lingered too long in one spot. So, here goes…

The opening shot for the Ronda section in episode 2 of season 2 comes about 17 or 18 minutes into the episode. This is the screenshot:

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Obviously, we don’t have flying capabilities in the Esther household, so this how we saw that bridge while we were in town and the brige & town from a distance:

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All the scenes that were filmed for Berlin Station were filmed in the older part of town, to the right of the bridge in these pictures.

The first spot the actors stop at I was able to identify myself because of the name of the restaurant you see in the screenshot, the street is a side street off the main road right near the bridge:

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Again, I do not own a crane or a drone or whatever took this bird’s eye shot but we really were there ourselves:

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Richard and Emilia Schüle (who played Lena Ganz) park their car opposite that restaurant:

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And Mr Esther, with eagle eyes, commented: That P-sign is gone but you can see the faint outline of where it used to be! Even the markings on the wall below the P-sign are still visible.

Goes to show how dedicated Mr E is to details and getting them right.

So Richard talks to Emilia just after they get out of the car and walks that little section of street with the group…

To quote Mr E: “You are standing on holy ground, in the exact same spot where Richard stood.” 😉

Richard’s group moves on to another section of town, which is just across the street from the main road. This is where the souvenir shop is located, only in real life there is no souvenir shop there.

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In real life the building on the left with flags is a hotel. We walked by there a few days before we undertook the Armitage forensics walk.

We did get a shot of the door in front of which Rhys Ifans stands:

At one point Richard meets up with Emilia again. That location is a little further up the street from where the fake souvenir shop was located.

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We walked by that location after dinner so it was dark when Mr E took the picture of me there in Richard’s spot:

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Richard then walks to the market place with Emilia, that is just a few steps away from the previous location:

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There was no market there when we walked there, just a square…

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In this following picture with actor Thomas Kretschmann, you can see the iron gate that faces the valley in the background…

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… it’s where my kids stood for this picture before we even went on our forensic tour:

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Last but not least, Richard and group leave Ronda again. There’s a speedy car ride at the end…

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… which was filmed just down the street from the first location where the car had been parked:

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Walking a little further, we came to this point:

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We’re overlooking another, older, bridge over that cliff, situated lower in the old town. The cameras filming the car speeding must have stood on this exact spot as well, going by this screenshot:

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And so endeth the Armitage in Ronda forensic tour. We didn’t find the interior of that café where they talk or of the souvenir shop. We did walk into other souvenir shops in town, I told my kids to look out for a straw donkey souvenir like the one Richard bought…

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I had hoped to maybe offer that as a last-minute surprise item in Guylty’s Armitage birthday auction. The kids helped me look but no such item was to be found in the souvenir shops we walked into. In another town (Antequera) my daughter did point out this decorative item in a shop to me…

Donkey IMG_4456 Antequera… but the item was too large and not for sale anyhow.

As for villas, there are lots of villas that dot the Andalusian landscape. This is the one used in Berlin Station:

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And as we drove the other day, not far from Ronda, I spotted this villa…

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For a moment during the drive I thought that could be the one, but on closer inspection it isn’t. Still, it was a nice thought.

So, there you have it: a little Armitage forensics in action in southern Spain! It was a fun little project within our holiday. It’s our last day here, hanging at the apartment and swimming, we fly back home tomorrow. I think it’s time for me to head to the pool right now while I still can. 😎

The hottest day

Today was the hottest day on record here in The Netherlands. In the south of our small country, in the city of Eindhoven, the hottest temp ever was recorded at 39.3 degrees Celsius.

I see that our Richard has been running in the heat today in the UK…

 

 

… although (I just checked), max temp in Stockport today was 26 Celsius, so quite bearable, I think. 🙂

Day off work for me today, Mr Esther had the afternoon off, the kids are on their summer holidays, so we decided to do something nice today. My son went swimming with friends, and Mr Esther, my daughter and I drove to the medieval town of Deventer. We’d never been there before and it was so pretty (and yes, that’s an Albert Schweitzer statue)!

It was 37 degrees Celsius there, so that is probably why it was not very busy in the streets. We took many breaks, for drinks and something to eat…

The oldest still standing Dutch stone house (from 1130) is in Deventer…

.. we also came across some World War II monuments: “Stolpersteine” infront of a house, commemorating the Jews who lived there and were killed in concentration camps, and a monument for those who suffered or died at the hands of the Japanese in South East Asia…

Several streets in Deventer were decorated with fun, colourful umbrellas:

We walked by a church and another square (lot’s of open spaces/squares in Deventer).

We took a look at the riverside…

There were also cats who needed to be petted and we ended our day in Deventer with a pizza dinner in one of the umbrella streets…

It really was a very lovely hottest day in The Netherlands ever!

The Tales of The Alhambra, anyone?

In two weeks time our family holiday will take us to the south of Spain, to the region of Andalusia – not be confused with the fictional place Andalasia in the movie Enchanted.

We’ll be there for 15 days and have just been going over our itinerary that Mr Esther has already been preparing…

Mr E maps

… and we came to the conclusion that we need to book some entry tickets in advance, like for the Cathedral in Seville that we want to visit and for the Alhambra in Granada. Every time The Alhambra is mentioned, I have this little line playing over and over in my head from North & South, when Fanny Thornton says “Ever since I read The Tales OF the Alhambra…” I love this scene, by the way, cracks me up every time and Jo Joyner is absolutely brilliant in it!

Anyway, our Alhambra entry tickets are booked and we were lucky, they were the last tickets available on the day that we plan to go! Now, I wonder, does anyone know whether “The Tales of the Alhambra” are worth a read or whether maybe a selection of the top 5 tales will do and what those 5 tales could be?  It’s nice to have that little North & South connection while we’re there. We won’t be going to Cadiz, where Margaret’s brother went to live, that’s a bit too far off from where we are staying, so that N&S connection will have to wait for a later time. 🙂

Oh, and when I speak of North & South I just have to also share these gifs…

Richard Armitage as John and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret are still magic together, even now, 15 years after this was made…

Richard Armitage in ‘The Stranger’

This morning I’m minding my own business, reading through Twitter updates while eating my Weetabix and having BBC Breakfast on (as I often do when I decide to work from home for a day). I was about to actually start up my laptop when I see on Twitter that Harlan Coben will be on BBC Breakfast this morning and another tweet tells me it will be around 9.20 a.m. my time!

I dutifully start up my laptop, get some e-mails and messages out of the way for work and 20 minutes later I’m at the TV. Sure enough, during the interview a first clip of Richard in The Stranger is shown! And yes, I recorded it on my phone. 🙂

OK, so quality isn’t great, maybe someone else will have better quality video up soon, but for now this makes me happy on my Friday morning! Some grainy screenshots:

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The actress playing the stranger (I’m sorry, I don’t know her name) sure has mesmerizing eyes… Yes, I think I am actually looking forward to this production now!


MTA: the actress is Hannah John-Kamen, I am told. Thank you Ella for the info. 🙂

MTA number 2: Hariclea tweeted out the full interview (in better quality) here: