Armitage mail

It was just before 2 pm when I heard a thud of something falling on the mat at our front door and I saw the mailwoman walk away. I was in an online meeting but couldn’t suppress a smile as I thought, “Ah, that’s the Armitage-related mail item I ordered on Saturday!” Richard Armitage as Father Quart in The Man from Rome seems to really be happening now, so I decided to finally invest in the book, The Seville Communion. It’s only available second-hand and I figured I’d give the physical copy a go, this time preferring it over an e-book copy. Not sure when I’ll read it yet, but I fully intend to.

When the meeting ended I walked to the door to pick my book off the mat and there I also found a second mail-item. This was a decorative envelope with ‘Armitage Army – Irish section’ as the sender, a little surprise that I wasn’t expecting! When I opened it I found a mini Armitage shrine inside. Apparently Guylty has made thank you shrines for donors of items to the #RA50Auctions. As if the woman hasn’t had more than enough work on her hands already with that auction, she now also sends out thank you shrines?!? Young lady, you put us all to shame with your generosity! Having said that, THANK YOU! I love everything about my little shrine. For starters, it’s in a tin with Barack Obama on the lid and I still really like Barack Obama. 🙂

The inside is lovely with a nicely brooding Guy of Gisborne and Kenneth in a robe adorned with a red heart from the Love Love Love play. A yellow rose, tiny disco ball and an Armitage tweet about the auctions make it all complete. There’s even a nice image on the back of handsome Guy…

Lemon candy? Armitage candy more like! This is such a little treasure commemorating this biggest RA auction yet and great company for my North and South shrine that I won a year ago. Now I have two shrines beside me to cheer me up when I get back to work again in a few minutes…

It’s totally unnecessary for you to do this, Guylty, and at the same time I am also very thankful for this little gift. A perfect way to cheer me up today. Thank you for the absolutely lovely surprise!

The #RA50Auctions afterparty

The charity auctions for Richard Armitage’s 50th birthday ended almost two weeks ago and Guylty has already apprised us of the overwhelmingly wonderful result. The funds have been transferred to LOROS Hospice and all was long done and dusted when I arrived home from my holiday last Sunday. Once I walked through the door and glanced at the accumulated mail, I found that the fun wasn’t over by any means as my own haul from the auctions had already arrived! All bills and boring mail were thrown to one side as I unwrapped my little treasures.

I was extremely happy to receive the The Martian Invasion Of Earth cd from Nokisuu that I had won in the auction, accompanied by a very lovely hand-crafted card. I think it’s the first time I have ever received mail from Finland.

I had another envelope waiting for me from Guylty, which contained a lovely Richard Armitage special delivery tag from Kate that I had bought and plan to use as a bookmark and other small goodies were included as well, such as a few stickers and a lovely Urban and the Shed Crew shrine card…

I had also bought a textile collage with a quote from Uncle Vanya from Guylty’s fixed-price sale and I had bought that for a very specific reason. For about a year and a half I’ve treasured my Uncle Vanya programme booklet that most of the cast had signed for me at the stage door last year. It was sitting in a case and what I really wanted to do was frame those two pages with signatures. However, framing just the pictures with signatures seemed meaningless without mention of what play it is from. So, I had already planned to cut up the booklet and also use the title page but as it’s not that easy to find an (affordable) elongated narrow picture frame to fit 3 pages side by side, I knew I had to use something bigger in a standard size. This meant that I would have a huge gap in my planned picture frame and what to fill that with? Then the auctions came and when I saw the fixed-price items I finally knew what to do with that gap.

Today I found an old wooden frame in the attic with a background I had once painted dark red way back in the 1990s. I finally cut up the booklet and, in addition to the signed pages, I used the title page, my own ticket to the play and that textile quote collage to fill the frame. This is the end result and I’m quite pleased…

I may yet decide to get another frame because this one, along with the red background, looks a bit dated, but then again Dr. Astrov is all about wood, so it does seem somewhat fitting in a way. In any case, I’m very pleased to have that quote collage to complete my little framed Uncle Vanya collection! Now finally those signatures are not hidden away anymore.

So, yes, I’ve been having my own private #RA50Auctions afterparty and it’s been fun. I’m also already getting ideas for the Christmas auction, if there is to be one…

Party on seems a fitting sentimemt.

Seven years of The Crucible

Yesterday Richard Armitage tweeted this…

… and I can relate to the feeling old statement. It doesn’t feel like seven years ago that this play was staged at The Old Vic in London and that I went to see it during ‘the summer of love’, a term coined by some Armitage fans at the time due to the outpouring of love for this production and for Richard during that summer run. The Crucible gave me a lot personally as well.

By the time I traveled with my husband to London in July of 2014 to see The Crucible, I had been an Armitage fan for 8 years. I was a solitary fangirl at the time, eagerly slurping up Richard Armitage news and discussions on message boards and on certain blogs, lurking but never jumping in myself. During that summer, Servetus on her blog very helpfully kept a running commentary on all stage door encounters that were shared online, hence making it really feel like a summer of love for me. Check out the archives on her blog for June – September of 2014 if you are curious to see pictures of fans with Richard and read fan reports.

In tandem with this trip I had also been wanting to jump in to blogging on my own blog for a long time. I had started this blog with a single post in 2013 but didn’t know where to go from there as I didn’t want to write a single issue blog, so I stopped again. I was feeling especially inspired by some other Armitage blogs I also read (like Guylty’s blog or Herba’s blog and some other really great blogs that have alas gone silent over time, but popped up again partially during last year’s online blog reunion, see this Twitter hashtag).

Anyway, during this summer of Crucible love I started to feel the pull to also share my Crucible play and stage door experience. I was just a bit iffy about the public attention, i.e. worried that if I did get active, I too would eventually be caught in fandom spats as I had seen happening from the beginning of my fangirling days. I wanted to share but I didn’t want the drama, real life was busy enough. Then in September of 2014 I finally decided to stop over-thinking and over-analyzing, I just jumped in and wrote about my Crucible experience. With that post, really, this blog was born. Richard Armitage in The Crucible and the fans’ enthusiasm had pulled me over the edge and finally got me blogging. I didn’t announce anything about that post anywhere and it wasn’t until a few months later that this blog even started getting any traction but the slow start suited me well.

Not only did The Crucible get me blogging, it also, very importantly, led to my first personal encounter with Richard Armitage whom I had admired from afar for all those years. I can still remember the excitement while meeting him and handing him a little gift and exhanging a few quick words with him. Alas my camera failed that evening (also it was dark outside that stage door) and the pictures are all grainy but I don’t mind so much as the memories are all still there and really do not feel like 7 years ago! I am forever grateful to Mr Esther who helped me get my Crucible booklet and ticket signed and my little North and South poster as well that I had brought from home.

He also took this picture of me with Richard (I look a little manic!), which is now still the lock screen of my phone before I unlock it to reveal Mr Esther and our cats.

What The Crucible also gave me was a renewed admiration for Richard’s acting talents. I’d not been a huge fan of Robin Hood and Spooks and while I did love him in The Hobbit, I longed to see him do a great role without prosthetics. And boy, did I get that with Richard as John Proctor…

Mr E and I were both quite blown away by the production, by the cast and especially by Richard in it. We were mesmerized throughout and feeling quite shaken and drained by the end of it. My husband, who has always been supportive of my fangirling hobbies but always benignly from a distance, was just as much in awe as I was. Richard Armitage on stage is a wonderful thing to behold, he has a big presence there, he feels large and powerful, and when we met him at the stage door after the play he suddenly felt slight and almost shy. He must have felt competely drained.

That Crucible experience stayed with me for a long time (still very much alive in my mind and heart when I finally posted about it a month and a half after I’d seen it) and I was pleased when it was announced that the play would be filmed. When it came to the cinema in early 2015, I took my mother to see it and she too was very impressed. So much so, in fact, that for my birthday two months later she even gave me a watercolour painting she had made of a Crucible scene. It is now hanging above my signed Crucible ticket and poster in our dining area. That painting became my blog header and I also had a phone cover made of it that Richard Armitage even signed a few years later at the Newcastle International Film Festival.

I am glad The Crucible made me able to share some fangirling with my husband and even with my mother and I credit Richard as John Proctor for giving me the push to set me off on this blogging journey that I have really been enjoying these past almost 7 years. The play has been an important catalyst for me and I have loved revisiting it again and again over the years. I still think it is one of the absolute best things Richard has done in his career, he would have really deserved that Olivier Award he was nominated for at the time.

Long story short: happy 7th anniversary to The Old Vic’s The Crucible production, I’m glad you were made.

More brown eyes obsession

As I mentioned in my last post, Yannick Bisson’s brown eyes lead me to re-visit Gabriel Macht’s brown eyes and I’ve been re-watching bits and pieces of Suits, just because I wanted to see those beautiful brown eyes in action.

It’s not only the eyes, that man is truly brilliant as Harvey Specter, deal maker and man of steel, who underneath it all does have a heart that he shows especially around Donna (Sarah Rafferty, also brilliant) and more than ever in the final Suits season…

Added bonus is that some other brown eyes also caught my attention again during my re-watch, namely D.B. Woodside’s eyes. He’s most well known nowadays for Lucifer but he also did a season and later a few more guest episodes on Suits. He can look quite serious and dangerous, but the shape of his eyes and the colour are quite arresting and when he smiles the softness reaches right into his soulful eyes…

And of course I’ve been returning to Yannick Bisson over and over again because, I mean, come on, look at those warm large brown eyes and those eyelashes on the man! He’s a good actor and from what I can tell he seems like a very nice person too, but those eyes, they are in a league of their own (click on images to enlarge, they are worth it). Even behind glasses the eyes are beautiful! Is it possible to ship the eyes alone even more than the man?

I know I’ve been scarce around here of late, but with work, family, vertigo (now all gone, by the looks of it! Woohoo!) and all these brown eyes, blogging has gone out the window a bit. Last night I also started experimenting a little with the ‘Video Editor’ app for Windows 10, trying to figure out how that works, so I think I may remain preoccupied with brown eyes and video making for the forseeable future as well. I’m sure I’ll get back into blogging more again, once this obsession has run its course… Bear with me?

Blogging memories January 8th

Herba is looking back at her posts on January 8th over the past years and that’s fun! So, I decided to join in as well with my own trip down memory lane on this blog, starting six years ago.

2015: On January 8th I briefly wrote about the terrorist attack on a satirical French newspaper called Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the feared retaliation on all Muslims after that.

2016: No post on January 8th, but I did post on the 7th, trying to convince Richard Armitage that cats aren’t so bad. The tweet he had tweeted then is gone and I don’t remember what it said anymore and the video I had shared then is apparently also gone. I still stand by the love for cats, though!

Three days after that post, David Bowie died just two days after his 69th birthday. I went into full on mourning and writing Bowie tributes on blog. Today, January 8th 2021, would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday, so I’m adding a little tribute here now as well, as shared by Ricky Gervais today. Totally worth a watch for a great David Bowie laugh!

Happy Birthday, David!

2017: I didn’t post on January 8th but did post on the 7th and on the 9th. The post on January 7th was about winning something in Guylty’s Christmas raffle, receiving an Armitage puzzle, and speculation about a new Richard project.
The post on January 9th had me dreading the Donald Trump inauguration and mourning the loss of the Obamas. Sadly, all my fears and worse were confirmed by the Trump presidency of the past four years.

2018: No post on January 8th, but closest date I posted on was January 7th when I was very ill with the flu and my cat comforted me.

2019: Again, no post on January 8th, but I did do one on January 7th, writing about the trip we had taken over New Year’s to Hamburg.

2020: January 8th had me discussing Richard Armitage goodies, i.e. interviews because Uncle Vanya was premiering in the theatre and something on the small role he did in the South Korean film Space Sweepers (coming out soon now on February 5th 2021 on Netflix, by the way!)

Thanks for the inspiration to do this, Herba. It also makes me realize how quickly time is flying by. I pretty much remember writing all those posts and some don’t feel like that long ago…