Discreet fangirling

I’ve been working at the university now for three years and apparently that means it’s time for my work laptop to be replaced. My old laptop was a tablet of sorts with detachable keyboard which I hated because if you actually want to use it briefly on your lap, the keyboard detaches too easily and you can’t always prop up the screen properly on uneven surfaces (like on our outside front garden table). As the old laptop still works fine I never had the heart to ask for a different one even though I had been wanting a new one for a while now. Now, without needing to ask, I was offered a new choice. Three years ago they were only starting out with giving out laptops and that tablet-laptop was the only option at the time. This time around I was given a choice between the tablet kind and an actual laptop and I was very happy to be able to pick the actual laptop now.

The new laptop came in on Saturday, I set it up for personal work use today and then studied it for a bit. How, I wondered, was I going to tell my black work laptop apart from other colleagues’ black work laptops if I happen to leave it lying around in an office and then come to pick it up again? I then remembered little Richard Armitage shrine stickers that Guylty had sent along with auction winnings last year. They are cute but I had no real use for them… until now! And so the bottom right part of my laptop now sports a little RA in profile sticker…

I then installed my new cordless mouse and that really needs its own distinguishing feature even more, as such a mouse is much more likely than my laptop to wander or be forgotten. My laptop mouse now looks like this, featuring some very nice North and South shrine-art…

With discreet fangirling in place to distinguish my laptop and mouse from others, I’m ready for work now in the morning.

Ronnie research

You thought I’d be done by now with Ronald Colman? Ha! No chance… Although I admit there isn’t that much left for me to watch. There is more to read, however!

The nice thing about working in a library again is that I have access to all sorts of online databases at my free disposal. As a member of staff at my applied sciences university I did have access to them before but somehow never thought of really using them for my own personal research. Now, while familiarizing myself with a few of these databases, I figured I could type in Ronald Colman and see what happens. I got a whole interesting list! I downloaded it all, for further personal perusal at home.

I found some poetry written about Ronald Colman. There is this one about him/his character in A Tale of Two Cities (click to enlarge if you can’t read it here properly)…

Source: Poetry, Vol. 141, No. 3 (Dec. 1982) pp. 145-146, published by Poetry Foundation

Modified to add some screenshots of the scenes described in the poem above:

And a second poem about Ronald Colman in the First World War…

Source: Prairie Schooner, Winter 2013, Vol. 87, No. 4 (Winter 2013), p. 64, Univ. of Nebraska Press

I found an article on moustaches, mentioning the Ronald Colman moustache; I found a letter the writer Anthony Burgess had written with this whole section about him having watched Random Harvest while sailing on a ship; an article on ‘the role that got away’ (Colman turned down Cary Grant’s part in Bringing Up Baby, for instance); an article on ‘The Woman Film Critic’ which starts out about a female journalist interviewing Ronald Colman in 1929; an article on when the talkies came to Hollywood (and mention of Ronald Colman transitioning successfully from silent pictures to talking movies, I have yet to read the whole piece, which is interesting in itself); and a mention of Ronald Colman being the 10th highest paid actor in Hollywood in the early 1930s…

… and in the mid 1930s he was the 20th ranked star in Hollywood…

Source: The Film Business of the United States and Britain during the 1930s by John Sedgwick and Michael Pokorny, in ‘The Economic History Review’, Feb. 2005, New Series, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb. 2005), pp. 79-112

There are some scholarly articles that I have yet to read:

  • The 1947 movie A Double Life (for which he won an Oscar) has some articles dedicated to it. In that film he portrays an actor playing the lead in Shakespeare’s Othello and becoming obsessed with the role. I have yet to read articles called: ‘A Double Life: Othello as Film Noir Thriller‘ and ‘Ronald Colman: Figuring jewishness in A Double Life‘ and ‘Shakespeare, Performance, and the Psychology of Adaptation in A Double Life‘.
  • There is also an article on A Tale of Two Cities called ‘Insurrection and Depression-Era Politics in Selznick’s A Tale of Two Cities (1935)‘.
  • And there are some articles on The Talk of the Town (where Colman plays a judge, also with Cary Grant) like a section from a publication called ‘Embodying the State‘ dedicated to the movie, an article on the wartime comedies of George Stevens (who was the director) and an article called ‘On the Popular Image of the Lawyer
  • Random Harvest also gets some analytical treatment in articles such as ‘Lost Time: Blunt Head Trauma and Accident-Driven Cinema‘ and ‘Re-shaped For The Screen: Random Harvest’

So, you see? There’s more Ronald Colman and his work to be discovered in print as well!

And to top it all off, I just finished a video today of Ronald Colman being in love with his leading ladies in many of his film roles. I once made a similar video for Jimmy Stewart, so couldn’t resist giving Ronnie the same treatment:

Ah, such fun to be able to fangirl like this in my downtime!

Two years ago today…

… I went to see Uncle Vanya in London and met Richard Armitage again at the stage door. It was my second Vanya night, I had also seen the play (and Richard at the stage door) the night before. I didn’t realize that today was that date but Jan over on Twitter did. Today she tweeted some images of that night, as she had been there that second night as well and we briefly met her then. In these images, which are new to me, I see myself standing there next to Jan, grinning like an idiot at Richard signing something for her.

In another picture the lovely Anna Calder-Marshall was signing autographs, I’m sort of in that picture too, but hidden beside Jan. Rachel and Michele are visible, though, the two ladies I had the pleasure of meeting that night.

It’s been a very dark day in world history today as Russia continues to fight in Ukraine, so it was great to be reminded of such a wonderful evening in lovely company and to see the evidence of that as well! Thank you, Jan, for cheering me up!

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.