The RA Challenge, part 4

And it’s the final part too (following on from parts 1, 2 and 3) of Guylty’s RA Challenge! Questions 25 to 31…

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

#25 Favourite Object/Prop in Context with a Character

The only object/prop that has prompted its own blog post on here was Daniel Miller’s bike on Berlin Station! Loved seeing Richard speed around on that bike. I felt it wasn’t featured enough on the show…

#26 Favourite Costume worn by RA

While researching this, I came to the conclusion that I like Richard to look grungy and scruffy in his roles! I first thought I’d answer Thorin Oakenshield here…

Thorin Oakenshield

…because I find that, although he looks fierce and magnificent, there is a huggable quality there as well! But in researching pictures of Richard in different roles (oh the chore!), I find that the costume that does something to my insides is Richard as John Proctor! I love him in that black coat with the collar standing up…

…or when he is seen without coat but with the linen shirt…

…or with no shirt at all (I even like the boots!)…

armitage proctor @washbasin

I also really liked him in civilian clothes as John Porter in Strike Back, especially in the first two episodes where he wore a scarf as well…

… and when his jacket came off, he then showed himself quite nicely in just jeans and a dirty, grungy t-shirt. The flimsy t-shirt shows off his physique and arms very well…

#27 Favourite Quote by a Character or RA

I don’t think I have a favourite Richard-quote, I’m not really one to remember quotes off the top of my head. Having said that, a few do spring to mind: “Look back at me”, or “You’ll not guess where I have been”, or “You don’t need Henry to explain”, or “You coming home with me?”, all of them from North and South. Yeah, I may have watched it too often…

Another quote that springs to mind is something he was quoted as saying in an interview once: “I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into.”

#28 Favourite Climax (i.e. series finale, battle, conclusion of a subplot, etc.)

Well, I guess I just referenced it in the previous question. There are many climaxes that I liked that hit home with me, like the ending of The Crucible or Thorin dying in The Hobbit, John Porter rescuing the journalist in Strike Back or Harry proposing to Geraldine on The Vicar of Dibley. However, the climax I have watched most, hands down, is that train station finale of North and South. I really can’t count how often I have seen that, more than anything else in my life, I think! And it never gets old!

#29 A Moment That Made You Question Whether You Could Continue Fangirling For RA.

I was on a high when I discovered Richard in North and South and soon after I became very aware him, he also did Dibley and The Impressionists. I was Richard-obsessed at the time! But then he also did Guy of Gisborne on Robin Hood and Lucas North in Spooks and those characters really couldn’t entice me! I saw bits to start with but didn’t enjoy the shows and bailed. I postponed watching them for the longest time (even longer than I postponed watching the last 4 episodes of Berlin Station). I did later see things in Guy and Lucas that I found appealing, bits of Richard shining through, perhaps, but in those years (2008-2010 or so) I thought my Richard-obsessed days might be over. He was my fave (I’d still watch every interview and read every article and Christmas message) but not more or less so than my other fave Colin Firth. Then he did Strike Back and my attention was back into full-blown force. So much so, that he overtook Firth in my attention yet again and he has remained firmly in first place ever since!

#30 Will Anything Ever Replace RA in your Admiration?

When I was 15 I thought no one could surpass Gregory Peck…

When I was 30, I thought no one could surpass Colin Firth…

Now in my mid-forties, I think no one can surpass Richard Armitage!

richard_2a-20161016

But who knows what the future may bring? Never say never, but I can’t imagine surpassing feeling this level of involvement that I feel with Richard.

#31 What Would You Like to Say to RA Right Now?

I saw your latest tweet…

Armitage Farber tweets

Does this mean the London stage Oedipus and Antigone is happening at the beginning of 2018? I’ll so be there!

The End!

This challenge certainly deserved its name, finding answers to the questions was not always easy but it was always fun. Thanks Guylty! 🙂

Liebster Award #2

When I was quite new to blogging I was nominated for a Liebster Award and I dutifully answered the questions I was posed. Now Die Pö has nominated me for another Liebster Award. Thank you!

liebster-blog-award-2

The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog into your post.
  2. Answer 11 questions which you have been asked by the nominating blogger.
  3. Nominate 5 to 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 1,000 followers.
  4. Add a new list of 11 questions for the nominated bloggers.
  5. Paste these rules into your post.
  6. Make sure your nominees know about your post and their nomination.

Die Pö posed her questions in German, but I’ll just translate them into English before I answer them.


1- Do you only write on your own blog or do you also write on other blogs or platforms?

For my work I have in the past written messages on our work intranet and I have written some content for a company internet page. Privately, I used to post on a few forums (parenting ones back in the day when I first became a mother and a Richard Armitage one later), I have posted some fan fiction, and I post reactions on other blogs, but basically the only place I ever really post any original content is here on my own blog.

2- Which of your posts hasn’t been clicked on enough?

Nothing really springs to mind. I don’t really evaluate the success of a post by how much it is clicked on, the value comes from my satisfaction writing it. For instance, one of my most clicked-on posts is a translation of a Dutch newspaper article on Richard Armitage but it is not my most satisfactory post – it’s just a piece of translation that actually I did not enjoy doing that much (I’m just not a translator at heart). So, I looked into my blog statistics to answer this question and I see that the least clicked-on post is this one: https://bookesther.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/where-is-my-mind/. It’s about a piano cover that I really loved in a movie I saw and that lead me to reminisce about Greta Garbo.

3- What excites you at the moment?

Besides the fact that France elected Macron as its new president (and not the extremist Le Pen), I have been very happy about Portugal winning the Eurovision song contest this past weekend! We watch the contest every year and we vote in it too, but most years you just sort of vote for the least bad song. This year was different. Well, not that different, as there were so many songs there we didn’t much like! So many songs are about effects and fireworks and being sexy, with all the women screaming out high notes. However, there was one song, the Portuguese entry, that captivated me. This song was so touching in its simplicity, differing very much from most of the other entries. It was a solo performance sung by Salvador Sobral and was written by his sister Luisa. After winning he and his sister sang the song together as a duet. Not only does Salvador have a beautiful voice, so does his sister Luisa! (The song starts at 3:55 minutes)

What excites me is that such heart-felt simplicity can triumph almost unanimously (from juries and audiences alike) over bombastic songs that all sound almost alike.  (P.S. I also liked the Belgian song, despite the young 17 year old singer’s nerves – she came in 4th)

4- Which TV-series did you love in your youth?

Without the shadow of a doubt it was Little House on the Prairie. I adored everything about that series. I loved Laura Ingalls. In hindsight it was dripping in all too Christian values, but that’s OK and I still enjoy re-watching bits today!

5- The first 4 months of the year have passed: what is the best movie you have seen during that time?

May I name two? I absolutely loved both Moonlight

… and Lion.

6- What is your current favourite catchy song?

I love Human by Rag’n’Bone Man. Can’t get enough of it…

7- If you had to summarize your past week in one word, what word would that be?

Reconnecting.

8- What is your favourite photo of the past week on your mobile phone and are you willing to share it?

I was at my mother’s house yesterday and we opened a box of letters that my father had kept that had formerly belonged to my grandfather (his dad). My grandfather had been a theologian and pastor (just like my dad had been) and during the Second World War he had received many letters from parishioners, men who had been deported into forced labour for the German occupiers. In that box of letters (fascinating stuff, btw!) we also found a post-war (1946) invitation for my grandfather to attend a ceremony at Leiden University where Winston Churchill was to receive an honorary doctorate! I took a picture with my phone of that personal invitation…

Churchill invite Leiden 1946

9- Quickly: what does the word “Light” make you think of?

Candles.

10- Which book is beside your bed right now?

I’ve already finished reading it, but Michael Palin’s diaries that I received last year for my birthday is still lying there.

11- For dessert: pudding or ice cream?

Oooh, tough one! After long deliberation I will choose pudding; to be specific: crème brûlée! I hardly ever eat it because I can’t make a good one myself (and don’t have the patience for it) but when I eat a good one, I absolutely adore it!


Paying it forward

The rules state that I can now pose 11 questions myself and nominate 5-11 others to answer them. I like the questions Pö asked, so I’ll use some of them and add my own (and Pö, if you’d like to answer these as well, feel free to 🙂 )!

  1. What excites you at the moment?
  2. In one sentence: what depresses you at the moment?
  3. Cats or dogs? (Picture material appreciated!)
  4. Which TV series did you love in your youth?
  5. Who is your favourite actor or actress no longer living?
  6. What is the best movie you have seen so far in 2017?
  7. The top 3 live theatre and/or concert experiences you’ve ever had?
  8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
  9. What is your favourite photo of the past week on your mobile phone and are you willing to share it?
  10. Your favourite dessert?
  11. For Armitage fans: your favourite Richard Armitage photo ever?

I am curious to hear answers to these questions but I really don’t like to obligate anyone to do anything! So, I’ll just nominate 11 people (Armitage fans one and all, who do not post exclusively about Armitage) and it’s totally up to you whether you want to do this or not!

If others reading this feel the urge to answer these questions as well, please do so, you’re more than welcome to (even if only in the comments, if you wish to)! If you’re not an Armitage fan you can substitute the name in the last question for the name of your favourite actor or actress. 🙂 I’d love to read any and all responses.

Favourite Lizzie Bennet videos

I’ve been in a Lizzie Bennet Diaries mood all day after posting that Pride and Prejudice fan video earlier and this past evening I spent a very pleasant time hunting down some of my favourite fan videos made for this show. I’m just sharing a few here for fun, in no particular order.

This first one is catchy and features I think just about every character on the show, which I love…

Another catchy one with all the characters and some nice editing…

This following video was made before the series ending, when Lizzie was still in denial…

And this one was before series end as well…

Disney musicals are apparently popular for Lizzie Bennet videos: Beauty and the Beast lyrics which feel very fitting for the Dizzie (Darcy + Lizzie) relationship…

A video about the Bennet sisters. This series was just as much about sisters as it was about Lizzie and Darcy…

And last but not least this video, which also features a few clips from two bonus videos made in 2014, a year after the series ended (the clips where Lizzie wears the white polka dot top)…

I wish I could make videos like that, mine are pretty lame in comparison.

LBD cast

For its 5 year anniversary, LBD is being released again in real time just like during the original run; this will be happening soon on their Facebook page. So, if you’re interested you can take a look there as well. I may be peeking in from time to time myself. 🙂

OK, it’s just after 1 a.m. here, I need to head to bed now. Will probably be dreaming of Dizzie tonight…

Best Pride & Prejudice video ever!

I am a sucker for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; I first read it in my late teens / early twenties. When I was 25 I got hooked on the brilliant BBC adaptation that came out that year, I couldn’t wait for Sunday evening to come around and for each new episode to air. I fell in love with Colin Firth because of Pride and Prejudice. Even though I find fault with the 2005 Keira Knightley / Matthew MacFadyen version, I still do enjoy it. 5 years ago the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries started airing on YouTube and I fell in love with that as well. I had a similar reaction to that series as to the 1995 BBC version; I was so caught up in following the series twice a week that I’d sit at my laptop at the announced airing time, ready to click on the latest video as soon as it was posted! I even made Lizzie Bennet fan videos.

I like P&P so much that I also enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, very much to my surprise as I don’t normally ‘do’ zombies. I have read P&P retellings and sequels and fan fiction. Recently fellow-blogger Perry even alerted me to a retelling of the story that, yes, I have now acquired and plan to read soon as well (called An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan – part of a trilogy of books, I find, that retell the story from Darcy’s point of view). Anyhow, my love for P&P may be abundantly clear by now, and my love for adaptations of it as well.

So, today, I opened my YouTube page and there was a fan video suggested to me that featured the 1995 P&P, the 2005 P&P, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Of course I can not resist such a suggestion, clicked on it and oh my goodness, it is now my favourite Pride and Prejudice fan video ever! Iconic quotes and images of all three adaptations are put side by side and watching this fills my heart with joy. I am all for spreading the joy, so if you love P&P as well, take a look:

It has certainly brightened up my Monday morning!

The little shows that could…

You leave town for a few days and all sorts of good things happen! Maybe I need to leave town more often… 😉 This is about two women-centered shows that look really big production-wise, but have been struggling to get continued and financed.

The first piece of good news is that it looks like there really will be a Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries sequel! The show has stopped for now, after 3 seasons (broadcast between 2012 and 2015), but there has always been talk about wanting to continue, about maybe making a Miss Fisher movie. That dream seems to be getting closer to reality now, as announced on their official Facebook page recently:

Miss Fisher Essie Davis Nathan Page

I would so very much welcome this, I love this show! They have a passionate fan following, I hope that helps with getting this thing financed as well.

What passionate fans can do is shown with another Aussie show I love called A Place to Call Home. That show was cancelled after two seasons, but after protests from fans and an action group called “Save A Place to Call Home”, another channel picked up the show after all and two more seasons were made. A fifth season is being filmed now as we speak. And now, this past weekend, the show has won the most important Australian TV award, a Logie, for ‘Most Outstanding Drama’! Such a thrill for a show that has been on the brink. I really liked the acceptance speech given by Noni Hazlehurst, who plays the matriarch on the show:

I am thrilled for the show and that it has become so successful against all odds. They have been nominated last year and this year in other (mostly acting) categories as well, and now this win just tops it all. Personally I would have liked to see Jenni Baird win as well for Outstanding Supporting Actress (she plays the baddie and wore the black dress with flowers at the awards); she is one of the greatest baddies I have ever seen in anything! Alas, the lead actress, Marta Dusseldorp (also nominated!), couldn’t be there…

Marta Dusseldorp

… but the rest of the cast made a very nice-looking group during that awards evening.

Congratulations to the A Place to Call Home team!