Stirring news (good and bad)

My son is over the moon excited that his favourite basketball player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, won the NBA championships with his fave team, the Milwaukee Bucks. His instagram stories are filled with pictures celebrating that (I took screenshots)…

And also a little video of Giannis celebrating…

Junior has been walking around the house in his Giannis jersey, basking in the win even now, two days later. This is good excitement!

Less good is the news from a day or two ago that the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined for playing in shorts instead of bikini bottoms.

I hope other teams will join them in their protest and that the (misogynistic) rules will indeed change!

And then today I read some Eric Clapton news…

I had no idea he was in the covidiot category and I now find that he is a racist too. Apparently there was even a Rock Against Racism movement in the 1970s formed directly in opposition to what Clapton had said. I had somehow never heard of this before. Bowie in the seventies also made some controversial statements (I did know that) which also led to this anti racism movement but he retracted them vehemently later, something Clapton does not seem to have done. Not that I have ever been a huge Clapton fan but I do like some of the songs he made and reading this caught me by surprise (not in a good way) and made me cringe. I have never given Eric Clapton that much thought or have known that much about him but somehow I had never pictured him being someone with views such as these. Is it a coincidence that there seems to be a big overlap between covidiots and racists? Another example for me that these views aren’t only held by a few fringe lunatics but are more mainstream than many wish to believe. That is scary. So, yes, go ahead, cancel his concerts if he doesn’t want to abide by common sense Covid rules, I’d be fine with that.

Let me end on something more positive: a librarian from Northampshire got a Richard Armitage life-size cut out for her retirement! Lucky woman.

And ooh, I am just reading some more Armitage excitement: Guylty has received a package from the man himself that will go into the upcoming birthday auction that she is organizing! Pop over to her blog to see. The excitement builds! It looks like it may be an item related to this role… or not…

Isn’t it great that there is always some good news to balance the not so good?


On Thursday Guylty announced the yearly auction that is coming up in a month for Richard Armitage’s (50th) birthday and then a few hours ago Richard tweeted this!

(Note: glad I took a screenshot of this tweet as it has now been deleted again)

Richard lurks and reads more than we may think, I conclude not for the first time, and I am excited that he even has something to offer for this year’s auction! It looks like he has been in touch with Guylty (are you still breathing, S?) and a surprise item is making its way to her. What will it be? I am so curious!

I really enjoy the yearly auction time and the excitement surrounding that. This year, however, I probably won’t be able to follow as closely as usual because I’ll be away on holiday in France by the time the auction starts. I was already curious to find out how the few items I donated will be doing and what other items are on offer, but now, with an actual item sent in by the man himself, I will try even harder (inbetween holiday daytrips) to follow the auction as best as I can from France. I also hope our holiday cottage wifi will be good enough. This is promising to become the most spectacular RA birthday auction yet. 🙂

The volunteering bug

Guylty has announced the amazing result of the Richard Armitage December fundraiser HERE – 1726,08 Euros, or 1552,82 Pounds Sterling, or 2090,27 US Dollars is an amazing result! The amount has already been transferred…

… and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result (!!) and having been able to play a small part in it as well by donating a few items crafted with Armitage photos. I hope everyone will receive their purchased/won items soon.

I guess I’ve been bitten by a volunteering bug where instead of photo-crafting for Armitage fans I’ll soon be donating my time for refugees by helping out at the Council for Refugees here in The Netherlands. In recent weeks I’ve already tagged along to get a taste of the work that I’d be doing (socially distanced with masks and plastic screens between workers and clients) and I’ve gone to a socially distanced introductory admin training morning at the office I’ll be working from. This afternoon there was a general introduction course via Zoom that I participated in…

I’m really looking forward to starting this work and I hope I’ll like it as much as I think I will. It feels good to take action, step out of my own world of family and work and try to help others who aren’t as lucky and privileged as I am. As I once mentioned here before, my day job doesn’t give me the satisfaction and enjoyment I crave, so maybe this can make me happier and maybe in time it can even open a few other doors as well if I like it? We’ll see. For now, volunteering as a social counselor for refugees is a great first step for me.

Magnets and cards are on their way

The #2020DecemberFundRAiser is nearing it’s end and the items that I contributed have been sold out. I do not do crafts, never have enjoyed doing them, so cutting, colouring, glueing, folding, drawing, sewing, knitting, jewelry making, etc. etc. are not for me. What I can do, however, is have photographs printed on items, so that is what I did this year for the fundraiser. Compared to all the gorgeous handmade items it all feels a little easy to have only uploaded pictures to a site so that I could have things made; it feels a bit as if I have taken a shortcut in a marathon. However, it did leave me with no mess, it wasn’t too time consuming and I had fun evenings looking at Richard Armitage pictures on my laptop. I’ve been pleased with the results (read here about how the cards came about) and in the end this is all for charity, so I won’t judge my own crafting laziness too harshly.

The deck of playing cards went for a whopping €155,- in the auction and I am so happy it sold so well for charity. Thank you so very much to the auction winner for being so very generous!

I had also contributed nine magnets (3 sets of 3) with Richard Armitage images to the fixed sale of fan items that is still ongoing (check out Guylty’s blog here or her Etsy auction page). Those few magnets sold out way sooner than I had ever anticipated, so thank you very much to the enthusiastic buyers! Should I ever do this again, I must remember to have more made…

Just after noon today I received the final order details for my items from Guytly, so I packaged it all and took it to the post office.

It took me a little while to get everything all written out (including a thank you card inside) and packed up and that was about as crafty as I ever intend to get. I can’t imagine how much more time this must be taking for Guylty to be doing that for all the items she is sending out. My admiration goes out to her for organizing everything so well and efficiently and for all the work she is doing.

Anyway, I am happy this charity fundraising has gone so well, I eagerly await to learn the final the amount that will go to LOROS. Thank you to everyone who participated in whatever way, shape or form! I hope everything arrives safely at their points of destination and I hope the items will give their new owners much joy.

RA characters playing cards

Every year for Christmas I make calendars for the next year and gift them to my mother and siblings and aunt. The calendar always contains photos of the family during the past year and as I am now on the mailing lists of the companies that produce these calendars, I also get to see deals for other gift items with photographs. It was in one such a marketing e-mail that I saw an ad for playing cards about two months ago and I suddenly had a flashback to the beginning of the first episode of Strike Back when military forces are given playing cards of known terrorists so that they can be recognized when the soldiers come across them.

I thought, “ooh, now wouldn’t it be nice to have Richard Armitage playing cards instead of Iraqi terrosists playing cards?” Yeah, too much work I figured and let the idea go. The thought wouldn’t leave my mind, however, and so one evening I found myself looking at Richard Armitage images, starting to think about which ones would be nice for the cards. I decided on selecting images of some well known characters Richard had played from pictures that I’d been saving to my computer over the years. Then, without too much thought, I assigned numbers to characters.

2 – Francis Dolarhyde7 – Lucas NorthQ – Harry Kennedy
3 – Adam Price8 – Guy of GisborneK – John Thornton
4 – John Standring9 – John PorterA – Thorin Oakenshield
5 – Claude Monet10 – Dr. AstrovJoker – RA Meow
6 – Daniel MillerJ – John Proctor

I dragged the pictures one by one into their correct card positions within the online card making software, I compiled a word cloud online of Armitage characters for the back, and tada… this was the result…

In hindsight I should’ve assigned Thorin to the kings, I maybe should’ve used Claude Becker in there somewhere and the word cloud turned out a little blurry (the preview of the cards was so small, I hadn’t noticed it) but even so, I thought it had all turned out quite well! As I ordered, I figured all that work was a shame to just keep to myself, so I ordered extra for the next Richard Armitage charity auction, which is happening now.

So, I now have a deck of cards for myself that I’ve already used while playing with mini me one afternoon, and there’s another deck you, the reader, can own if you participate in Guylty’s December fundraiser. I was very happy with the quality of the playing cards when I received them, I hope the winner of the cards will also be. Check for an overview of other awesome items on offer on Guylty’s Ebay auction page or go to the card deck Ebay page directly to bid there. All proceeds go to LOROS, the Leicester hospice that nursed Margaret Armitage in her final days. In these difficult times, where fundraising has become even more difficult, they can use the extra help. If you are so inclined and have some funds to spare for charity, happy bidding!