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! 🙂

The RA challenge, part 1

Guylty has set a Richard Armitage challenge, and it’s taken me a bit of time to jump in, but here I am! Like some other fans, I’m answering these in batches instead of one by one. The questions posed by Guylty are these:

2017-ra-fandom-challenge

So, here goes, answers to the first 8 questions…

#1 First encounter with RA

I have blogged about this before, how once when I was sick in bed in the spring of 2006, I stuck a DVD of North and South into my computer that I had gotten from my mom months before but had just never gotten around to watching. She had never seen it either, by the way, she just figured that because I like costume drama, I might like this. In this instance she was right!

#2 The moment that made you fall in love with RA

It has got to be this moment that triggered me to find out everything I could about the man behind the John Thornton character…

john-look-back-at-me-gif2

I liked him from episode one, but was doing OK not actually falling in love. Then came episode four and ‘Look back at me’ and I felt myself falling down the rabbit hole after all. Really, everything about Richard in that 4th episode of North and South was sucking me in irrevocably. After watching the series (and watching it again and again) I tried to find every interview, every scrap of info I could about the man behind the character. Would I like him? Everything I was finding seemed to suggest I would and then I also saw this interview with him about N&S

At 5 minutes in he is chuffed to be compared to Colin Firth (my then no. 1 crush) as Mr Darcy and very modest about it, at around 7.5 minutes in he mentions “Look back at me” as one of his fave scenes as well and then he has this amused knowing smile about filming the train station scenes with Daniela Denby-Ashe. Yes, I really liked him. Later that year (in 2006) The Vicar of Dibley came around, a comedy that I already very much enjoyed, and it was then that I knew this was not a passing fancy anymore. He was briefly interviewed in the extras on the Dibley DVD (The Story of Dibley) and when I saw him in stitches behind the scenes, I completely lost my heart to him forever (stills source RA Net)…

#3 Favourite piece of fan art

In my North and South craze in 2006 I was hooked on N&S fan fiction (even wrote one myself) but I didn’t document which ones I liked best. I was also hooked on fan videos which were emerging on a then quite young YouTube. I’ve already blogged about which videos I used to love in those early days of Armitage-passion:

Now, in more recent years, I don’t really follow the videos or fan fiction that closely anymore. I see those things, and other creative output such as drawings and paintings and photo edits and plushies and lovely shrines, as they happen upon my path. I truly admire them and love that the fans do this, and sometimes I even covet the art! There is no single piece made by fans that I can really single out but there is one specific piece of art I do love above all others, not made by a fan but by my mother: it’s the watercolour painting she did for me of The Crucible that is now also used as the header of this blog; I even have it as my mobile phone cover!

#4 Something you did because of RA

I travelled to London just for him to see him in The Crucible; I read certain books just because he was going to be in the movie (The Hobbit or Brain on Fire or Summer by Edith Wharton – whatever happened to that project?);  I watched certain shows I otherwise wouldn’t have watched because of him (Hannibal or Spooks); I tried listening to audiobooks because of him (but yeah, failed… audiobooks just aren’t for me); and because, due to my blogging, I am a little more out there in the fandom than I used to be, I have now also even met two fellow Armitage fans in person!

#5 Favourite / Least favourite romance

My favourite romance still has to be John and Margaret in North and South...

But honourable mentions for Harry and Geraldine in The Vicar of Dibley (I mean, come on, that proposal scene was epic!)…

… and, although tragic, the story of John and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible really touched me…

My least favourite romance is also part of my least favourite character, see next answer.

#6 Least favourite character

Percy Courtenay in Marie Lloyd. The romance went sour very quickly also due to Percy being such a despicable character. I’ve seen this only once and feel no desire whatsoever to see it ever again.

#7 Something you bought because of RA

Flight tickets to London and theatre tickets for The Crucible (see #4) but also DVD’s, Hobbit soundtracks, posters, cinema tickets. I even bought something for Richard once! I gave him typical Dutch syrup waffles in a Delft-blue pot when I met him at the stage door of The Old Vic, something like this:

stroopwafels

I do wonder whether he himself ever ate any of them and where the pot ended up…

#8 Favourite / least favourite rivalry

Off the top of my head, the one that sticks with me most and that I think is developed very nicely is the rivalry between John Porter (Richard) and Hugh Collinson (Andrew Lincoln) in Strike Back.

Least favourite rivalry is probably Guy of Gisborne and Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong). Yes, Richard was nice and broody in this, but I could never warm up to the series. I saw most of series one, then gave up, only watched the Richard bits and fast forwarded through the rest.

 

Right, that’s it for now! More to come in the hopefully not too distant future. 🙂

Blog FAQ… sorta…

As those of you blogging on WordPress may know, you can see what search terms were used by people who have found your site. Most terms are not recorded due to privacy issues, but some searches do make it ‘on record’. The latest one I saw on my stats list today is “audrey hepburn showing middle finger” in Russian (I had to google-translate it)! Oh, that made me laugh!

Many of the search terms used are general ones about Richard Armitage or Colin Firth or Simon Baker and The Mentalist but some search terms are just downright intriguing, interesting or funny! I find myself reacting to some of these searches as if they were frequently asked questions posed to me. It’s a nice little game to play.

So, here goes, the “FAQ’s” that lead to my blog! Well, not really… sorta… (most of these questions are only mentioned once on my list). 🙂

audrey hepburn showing middle finger – Hahaha! Now that I’d like to see… When googling it I find this manipulated photo/gif, apparently it’s a thing!

audrey-finger

 

images eddie redmayne socks – What is special about Eddie Redmayne’s socks? I can’t seem to figure it out but I’d love to know. So, if anyone can elaborate, please feel free to do so. Maybe his socks are very colourful, just like Richard Armitage’s seem to be?

 

richard armitage beautiful man – Well, yeah, can’t argue against that! If you read this blog, you will know that that is a fact of life for me.

RA Woof

 

james cromwell in a fairy film – Apparently when you type that into google, my site is the first one to come up! I guess the search must have been for the movie Babe. Yeah, I blogged about that once. Lovely film!

JC fairy film search

 

i absolutely love colin firth – Me too! He features regularly on my blog!

 

is alistair appleton married? – I confess that I don’t know. He occasionally presents Escape to the Country on the BBC, he’s a Buddhist, he’s a psychotherapist and gives workshops, it says on wikipedia that he’s ‘openly gay’, he has his own site and blog! Every time I look at him I am filled with warm feelings. It’s something in his eyes and a kindness in his face.

 

richard spandex – Ah, yes! Looks like that could become a thing maybe? Sadly it looks like we will never get to see Richard Armitage in spandex now that he won’t be in the Mid Life Crisis movie anymore (not that spandex was guaranteed in that movie by any means). The closest thing to an image of Richard in spandex (that I know of) is the picture of him in that dragon suit for Hannibal.

RA Dragon

Of course, this question may have nothing to do with Armitage at all but could be about any Richard out there… This is what my ‘richard spandex’ search came up with in the first few images displayed (be warned when clicking on them, there’s at least one quite graphic image amongst these 😉 ):

 

richard armitage bare chest AND richard armitage crucible naked – He wasn’t actually naked in The Crucible but yes, he definitely was bare chested in it for a little bit! Wish I had been sitting on the front row in the theatre for that, but luckily it can all be viewed beautifully again and again on Digital Theatre.

armitage proctor @washbasin

 

wet mr darcy – Yes, please.

In fact, the post I once did on wet shirts and bare chests is still quite well read… 😉

andy serkis shirtless – I see a search theme emerging here… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Andy Serkis shirtless! I have seen him in spandex, or whatever that tight stuff is that he has to wear for his CGI work.

serkis gollum cgi.jpg

 

michael palin the hobbit – Alas, no, Michael Palin wasn’t in The Hobbit. More’s the pity…

daughter is in jail – Well, she’s only 12. I suppose juvenile detention could be an option but no, I have not seen real criminal tendencies in my daughter yet.

how do you say, “happy belated birthday”, in czech? – Even though I have been to the Czech Republic (and the next visit is coming right up, this time to the East right near Poland), I have not learned to speak Czech yet. Google Translate says that “belated happy birthday” translates as”opožděné přání k narozeninám“. Not at all sure how you pronounce that and of course I can not vouch for the correctness of the translation.

is the book of esther a comedy – No, can’t say that it is. Not this one and not the Bible one either. Although maybe some parts could be funny-ish.

was the book of esther about love – This Book of Esther blog is about things that I love and care about, so in that sense, yes. The Book of Esther in the Bible (incidentally, I was named after that Esther) is about love too. The Persian king loves Esther, Esther loves her people and saves them from persecution. I can’t quite remember whether Esther actually falls in love with King Ahasverus herself, but yeah, lots of things are done in the name of love in that Bible book.

 

boys sexy 3 piece suits – Oh, yes please! I’ve blogged about that too.

esther rose thomas lovely deaf signer – For a moment I thought it said ‘singer’ but it says ‘signer’. I’ve never heard of her, but she sounds and looks lovely!

jisbon fun photo – Which one? I hope you found it! (For those not in the know: Jisbon is the ‘shipper’ name for Patrick Jane and Theresa Lisbon from The Mentalist). I get quite a lot of searches about The Mentalist, Simon Baker and about his wife Rebecca Rigg. They truly are a gorgeous couple worth searching for.

 

call the midwife mark strong – Nope, Mark Strong was never in Call the Midwife. I do get quite a lot of Mark Strong searches, but alas, I haven’t blogged about him that much. I do like him, though!

marta dusseldorp nose – Ah, the lead actress in A Place to Call Home! Yes, her nose does have quite a distinctive shape (click on images to enlarge). I love distinctive noses. In fact, her co-star Brett Climo has a distinctive one as well! Just like some other people I know.

 

chris armitage brother of richard armitage – This is the most used search term in my list, which surprises me because I don’t think I have ever blogged about Richard’s family! I know nothing about them except for their names (except for Richard’s sister-in-law’s name) and that they come from Leicester.

have a beautiful day my love – Thank you!! You too!

Cruciversary!

A year ago today, my DH & I were in London for the weekend, all alone, without the kids. The reason we were there? To see The Crucible at The Old Vic, which means that today is my 1st Cruciversary!

After the performance, which blew both of us away, we also met Richard Armitage at the stage door. It was over almost before it had begun but I was still able to hand him a little thank you gift and he signed some things for me. DH was able to snap a picture of me with Richard (quality not great but better than nothing):

RA & I

I look slightly manic but oh, what an experience it all was! I will remember it fondly forever!

A special gift

Fact #1: My mother paints as a hobby, these last few years she’s been doing watercolors (but never signs them – she thinks nothing she paints is good enough to sign).

Fact #2: Two months ago I took my mother to see The Crucible in the cinema and she loved it, she wanted to dedicate a painting to it.

Fact #3: Last week was my birthday…

… and this was the gift I received from her!

IMG_0651 w c

Done after this Richard Armitage / Anna Madeley image that I love so very much:

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Thank you, mama!!