No. 2 & White Boar & heraldry

I just now opened Netflix and I see that Stay Close is number 2 in The Netherlands today!

Although this is not my favourite Richard Armitage project (see my previous post), I am pleased that it is proving to be successful for him, a nice little boost for his career.

Another boost in the news is Richard’s ‘White Boar Films’ production company going live online. See the website HERE. It sports a nice picture of Richard too…

I’ve heard rumours of the Annie Thorne and the D.I. Jackman projects before, looks like he’s serious about getting those made. Good for him! And maybe they could also produce something Richard III related in the future, as Armitage has been wishing to do for ages?

Yesterday, while Mr Esther and I were out alone for the afternoon, I told him that Richard had started a production company called White Boar Films. I said no more and didn’t need to as Mr Esther, who is an expert on heraldry, instantly grinned and said, “Hey, that’s from the coat of arms of Richard III! It makes sense as Armitage is from Leicester as well.” He remembered that little fact from our summer holiday a few years ago. So, yes, White Boar Films making a Richard III movie would be really cool as well and in a way connects my favourite man with my favourite actor. Let me tell you how I envision that.

Should Richard Armitage ever make a Richard III movie with his production company, they just need to make sure the heraldry for that is right because, according to Mr Esther, heraldry is rarely used properly in movies. For instance, the De Merville coat of arms that Richard had in Pilgrimage had all sorts of things wrong with it. Don’t ask me exactly what, as Mr E is the expert, but from what I understand it was not correct for the time, had all the wrong embellishments and would never have been worn on clothing like that.

Mr Esther is a board member of a heraldic organization, so I hope White Boar Films will consult him, or someone like him, if they ever do make a Richard III film. It’s especially important as the production company is named for a coat of arms, so if they ever use heraldry in a movie, they need to do so correctly. But all of this is just speculation and wishful thinking where I’m imagining sitting in on numerous production meetings between Mr Esther and Richard on heraldry… Not a bad vision, right?

Wishful thinking aside, I wish Richard all the very best with his new production company!

Bosworth and Berlin

The other day Mr Esther was watching a documentary on the BBC made by Ian Hislop (of ‘Have I Got News For You’ fame) called The Olden Days. In it Hislop showed how Arthurian and Alfredian legends have been used in different times of history to promote current causes. The Telegraph had a good review for it, should it interest you. I didn’t quite catch all of the programme but what struck me very much was Hislop’s repeated assertion that when Britain wants to move forward, it always looks to the past to do so and more so than many other countries do. I have been pondering that and yes, I think he has a fair point. Parts of the ‘good old days’ get glorified and sometimes that is helpful but sometimes it also stands in the way of progress. I get a sense of that with this whole Brexit crisis. Many British people seem to be saying “we’re better off alone like in the good old days” and in my heart I just feel that those who think that are stuck in the past, not facing the reality of a global world today.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that knowing history and learning lessons from history is extremely important! Many lessons from history really can and do help us move forward and hopefully make us evolve as human beings. I also feel that focussing so completely on the past can possibly also undermine moving forward.

So, what caused me to even blog about these thoughts here? I hadn’t previously even intended to do so! But Richard Armitage posted two tweets yesterday about the Bosworth battlefield outside Leicester that is threatened to be used for development by a Japanese company that wants to test driverless vehicles there.

And there is this message of protest from Richard on the Richard III society page on Facebook, with a lovely photo to go with it….

Richard and Richard III

I never sign petitions blindly just because a favourite person of mine asks me to do so. So, I tried reading that ‘Pipeline’ article Richard linked to and boy is it long and rambling and repetitive. I ended up skimming through large parts but in the article I did understand that the Japanese automotive company already has a technological park there, which already does cover a part of the battlefield. And they don’t want to take over all of the battlefield (which the messages seemed to suggest to me) but they only want to expand into a little corner of the Bosworth battlefield which potentially could be interesting (but possibly also not) to archaeological research.

I did a quick search and found this Telegraph article which shows a map of the area. A map makes things that much clearer for me and I find myself wondering: is that little corner really so essential to the whole battlefield preservation? And if so, why wasn’t the establishment of the Japanese company there deterred in the first place? The company’s property already covers Henry Tudor’s vantage point. I was at the Bosworth battlefield last summer and the area is large, we certainly didn’t take the time to walk over every inch of it. A large part is already preserved and needs to stay preserved, so can’t a little corner be sacrificed? Couldn’t they just do archaeological research in that corner of the battlefield before they build and then display what they find in the Richard III museum in Leicester or at the Bosworth visitor centre? If new things can’t be built over (the edges of) old places, aren’t we stuck? Is this an example of history taking prevalence over future and development? Or, on the other hand, is this really such a very important corner that it needs to be preserved at all cost? If that corner were to be sacrificed, is that giving an inch before they take a mile? I really wouldn’t want that to happen! And does the Japanese company really need that expansion, can’t they do it on the considerable plot they already have? And if it is really so important to keep that corner, shouldn’t the proposal be to also take back that part of Henry Tudor’s vantage point?

I can’t decide one way or the other what to do about this petition, I know too little about this and frankly, I don’t have the time or inclination to go into it in any depth. For me, as it stands now, there are far too many questions. It’s also about history or the future, what to choose? I find both important and I really don’t know! Is there a history AND a future solution? When I sign my name to something, I want to completely be able to support that cause and so, as I am undecided, I haven’t signed anything yet. I have a feeling that Mr Esther would be for signing this petition, so maybe he can convince me once he reads this… or maybe some of you can convince me one way or the other in the comments…

Now that I have written all that down, I can hopefully let it go from my thoughts for a bit and get back to work concentrate on the Richard glimpses in the new Berlin Station trailer for season 3. The trailer, while slick, doesn’t tell us anything about the story, so in that sense I guess it isn’t a great trailer. But it sure does look pretty.

Mat Khal over on Twitter took a few lovely screenshots of the quick Richard glimpses we get, I’ll share my two fave shots here…

RA BS 3 trailer screenshot1RA BS 3 trailer screenshot3

… and now, Richard Armitage, stop keeping me from work while I sit here in our at home office trying to look extremely business-efficient! (Oops, is that Mr Esther coming home, calling me downstairs for lunch? Procrastination, thy name is Esther!)

The Yorkshire Dales

Just a few more picture impressions to share from our holiday… Of the ducks at our campsite, for instance. There are so many of them! I love seeing them quack and waddle around although my son in his tent is less happy with them… their quacking right next to his ear each morning wakes him up before he wants to wake up.

We also passed through the village if Middleham, where Richard III (him again – a bit of a theme for us this holiday!) spent part of his childhood in the castle there (now a ruin).



The area is also known for horse-racing and we promptly walked by some stables next to the castle…


We visited Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales…

This is apparently also the location where the river fight between Robin Hood and Little John was filmed in the 1991 movie Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves:

The Dales are so beautiful, pictures can hardly do them justice! And yet we tried to capture some of the wonder (click to enlarge)…

When we saw a litte red car in the distance on one of the narrow roads, Mr Esther, a grown man of 46, exclaimed, “Hey, there’s Postman Pat!”

Another filming location we drove through was a village, Askrigg, that was used for external scenes in the 1970s/1980s TV series All Creatures Great and Small.

The series was about the Yorkshire vet James Herriott and Mr Esther kept on saying how he loved watching that TV series in his youth and how that show defined the look of the English countryside for him. It really was a great show, we also enjoyed watching it at my house, so we both were mildly excited at actually driving through this village.

We were also quite high up in the Dales at one point, it really felt like the middle of nowhere. It was quiet and windy and very chilly up there (see my shivering son) and oh so beautiful!

We start our journey back home on Thursday. We’ve totally blown our budget for this holiday but even so, I’m really not ready to leave yet…

Esther in Leicester

I kinda like the alliteration of that. 🙂

So, yesterday was Leicester(shire) day with the family and I can tell you Leicester really is all about Richard III. For me personally, it was all about Richard Armitage as well of course.

Leicester is a little over an hour away from our campsite. We were late getting away in the morning and then got lost on the way in Kettering, looking for a gas station and then for a place to use the bathroom (the gas station didn’t have that, they said), so by the time we finally got to Bosworth it was after 1 pm! Bosworth is the place where Richard III was killed on August 22nd, 1485 in battle against Henry Tudor. There’s a museum but we didn’t take time to visit that, we just traipsed over the battlefield site and monument…

By the way, even the bathrooms at the Bosworth site are Armitage Shanks. 🙂 I also very much liked a chain mail necklace I saw, but as I don’t wear militaria (and to what occasion would I even wear such a necklace?) I decided against buying it.

After Bosworth we drove to Leicester but before we got there, we made sure we passed through the village of Huncote first. It is well-known to Richard Armitage fans that he grew up there, so naturally, as we were near anyhow, I thought it might be fun to drive through it. We didn’t get out or anything, just drove through and got a very quick and fleeting impression of the village.

There’s a pub…

… and a church and a village green…

… and I saw a sign to the primary school but was too late to photograph it (we didn’t have the time to drive to it either). So, the impression was fleeting but it looked like a lovely village in the middle of a very green countryside. You can hardly imagine that it’s so near to a big city. Within five minutes, however, you find yourself driving into the outskirts of Leicester, which is a very busy city…

At the request of my son we drove by Leicester City football stadium…


The parts of the city that we drove through didn’t look great until we got to the city center. After we parked, we walked into the center and this was the first part we saw…


One of the buildings is the Radio BBC Leicester building, which immediately made me think of Richard Armitage again as he has been interviewed for Radio BBC Leicester before.

In fact, over on Richard Armitage Central there is a link to an interview where Richard speaks about Richard III on BBC Radio Leicester! Very fitting with our visit there yesterday!

We of course also visited the cathedral which is where Richard III is now buried. The black embroidered cover was used during his reburial procession and ceremony.

Some more impressions of the very nice looking center of Leicester…

We also went shopping there, it’s a very good place for shopping. There’s a huge mall right there in the center, good for year-round all-season shopping. It also had this store:


In Colchester I had come across Mr. Darcy, here in Richard-Armitage-city I fittingly came across Mr. Thornton. 🙂 Is it a coincidence that both are sweets / chocolate shops?

For all its Richard-ness (the Third and Armitage), Leicester was also the city where Mr Esther and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday! For that alone, it will remain a bit of an extra special place. My son took a few pictures of us and the four of us had dinner in an old bank building that is now a grill restaurant with a very nice ambiance.

Yes, Esther very much enjoyed being in Leicester!

How ’bout this for a Richard project?

One of the blogs I follow, Flixchatter, just answered some questions on her blog for a blog award and this was one of her responses:

flixchatter richard

This does sound absolutely perfect for Richard Armitage, doesn’t it? It mirrors his own quest about wanting to ‘rehabilitate’ Richard III and he was named after Richard III as well. Does anyone else know this book? I’ve never heard of it, but it’s a book published in 1951 and according to Wikipedia:  “In 1990 it was voted number one in The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time list compiled by the British Crime Writers’ Association.”  I’d love to see Richard Armitage do something like this and I think he’d be awfully good at it!

Now I think I have to get my hands on the book… Thanks, Ruth, for the book tip and if anyone is interested, you can see the rest of Ruth’s answers for the Sunshine Blogger Award HERE; well worth a read. 🙂