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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Mr Bad Guy, and other nasty Armitage characters

I’m extremely exited as I’ve just given¬†my Armitage Birthday Celebration the green light.

It’s going to take a lot of time and organisation, but I hope it will be fun for the RA fans.

I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I am going to hint.

My first hint is this: I’m collaborating with Seba, from GisbornesBoy ūüôā

Not saying anything else for now, but I urge you to make sure you pop back here in the second week of August.

So excited!

Anyway, this project has me sifting through Armitage characters, and I was wondering this:

What is the worst thing an Armitage character has done?

Does remorse and hope for redemption lessen the crime?

Is a crime of passion easier to forgive than a calculated one?

Which would you choose?

Is¬†it Heinz Kruger’s Big Boom?

Is¬†it Guy’s misguided attempt to win the heart of the woman he loves by putting a sword through it?

How about Mulligan making sure his girlfriend didn’t travel light?

Ricky Deeming?

BTS Lee, for those socks in bed?

Percy and his orgy-loving ways?

There are so many Armitage baddies, and we love each and every one of them!

But which is the biggest villain, the lousiest scoundrel?

Armitage takes on the Saxons

I’m currently reading the Saxon Stories.

It’s a continuing historical novel series written by Bernard Cornwell¬†about 9th century Britain, and you may have heard of because our own Mr Armitage was kind enough to provide his voice (and acting talent) to the audiobook version of the third novel, The Lords of the North.

If there was any justice in the world, he would have recorded all 5 books, but I presume the chances of that now are slim to none.

¬†I wrote a post on the audiobook when I was first listening it, but I’ll just repeat myself by saying this is a must for any Armitage fan.

I’ve heard comments that the CD set is hard to come by and/or very expensive, so I hope most of you will get your hands on it, one way or another.

The series contains the following books:

Before I move on, let me make one thing clear.

I wasn’t sure about all that Saxon, Viking, Dane¬†blood-spilling, vengence-seeking¬†malarkey.

It seemed very far removed from what¬†I usually enjoy, but I’m so happy I took the chance.

It is well worth it!

Just as the Spinners weave the fate or mere mortals, Cornwell creates a tapesty of wonderful characters and events.

I have a controversial suggestion, though.

Before you read the first book of the series, start with the RA audiobook.

I know it may seem like a foolish idea, seeing that this is all one long saga, with characters intertwined, and with extensive backstories, but there’s one reason why I suggest it.

When reading the books, I hear Richard Armitage.

His voice is Uhtred’s voice.

That’s enough of a reason to start from the middle.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg

Although he’s described as a very tall strong man, wide in the shoulder and chest, with long blonde hair and a bushy beard, I can’t help but see him like this:

Uhtred, for me, is Guy of Gisborne, season 3.

Torn between loyalties, haunted by past actions, a victim of cruel fate.

He’s brash and arrogant, rude and offensive.

He switches sides like a flag in the wind.

He fights, and smirks, is ruthless, but deep inside has a kind heart.

He’s described as smelling as bad as a wild boar, but that’s another thing I choose to ignore.

By the way, I know my timeline is very off, but the heart wants Uhtred to resemble Guy, so what can I do?

Anyway, what’s a century (or three) among friends ūüėČ

There are some parallels to be draw between Guy’s relationship with Sheriff Vasey, and Uhtred’s with King Alfred, but I don’t want to spoil the story.

Uhtred, just like Guy, seems to favour ladies that are untamed, like soaring eagles.

There are many other parallels, but I’ll shut up now ūüôā

I hope I’ve encouraged you to give the Cornwell books a try, but now I’m off to finish The Pale Horseman.

I can’t wait to see what happens to Uhtred, although mid book 3 there’s a twist in the plot that left me sobbing.

I literally mean a grown woman, listening to an audiobook, bawling her eyes out because something terrible happens to a fictional character.

Oh dear, not sure what that says about me…

Almost forgot to add a little sample of Armitage reading The Lords of the North!

The most ‘British’ Armitage Character

I’m siting here, in my plastic Union Jack bowler hat and matching g-string undies, drinking a nice Earl Grey with milk¬†from my Kate and William mug, and thinking which Richard Armitage character¬†is most ‘British’.

This is a toughy, and I’ll tell you why.

It all depends on the criteria.

1. John Porter and Lucas North have both risked their life for Queen and country, which would make them the biggest patriots.

On the other hand, we have no indication¬†of what their motives were when they chose their professions (I’m conveniently¬†ignoring the whole Lucas/John aspect).

2. John Standring represents the farmer, who works hard to provide food for British masses.

No matter where you’re from, farming is a tough business.

It’s people like John that keeps that giant¬†machine called Great Britain going.

3. John Thornton is a member of the new middle-class of successful manufacturers, who helped Britain become an economic power.

He’s the¬†quintessential Victorian Gentleman.

5. Guy, just because I know you ladies¬†like the scoundrel, and nothing says British like leather pants and a noose…

He looks like the type to wear boxer shorts that read: The Sheriff went to London, and all I got were these crap pants!

6. Look-wise Harry Kennedy¬†¬†is the most ‘British’, with his striped¬†jumper, corduroy trousers, and floppy hair.

His personality could be described as the stereotypical yummines we expect from a British lad.

He knows his Jane Austin films, and loves the British countriside.

Philip Turner could be put in the same category.

As I said, this is a tough one, so give me your choices for the most ‘British’ RA character!

Who is the most stereotypical?

Who embodies the best qualities associated with a British gentleman?

London Calling! It wants its tacky souvenirs back!

When I was living in Britain as a child, we’d have to travel down from Manchester¬†to London every Saturday¬†to attend the Polish school,¬† which was associated with the embassy.

I loathed the Polish school with the same intensity as I loved the British one.

Although I disliked having to sit in class, I loved the time after, spent roaming around London.

It’s a popular holiday destination, and most people bring back¬†some souvenirs from there stay.

London does tacky souvenirs like no one else.

Here is a list of my favorite:

1. The silly hat.

It reminds me of the London episode of Friends, where Joey goes around wearing a Union Jack monstrosity.

The rule of thumb with these sort of purchases is: Will you wear it to work on Monday?

No? Put it back on the shelf.

This point also includes the plastic bowler hat.

British Gentlemen don’t wear them, neither should you.

2. Royal wedding tat.

I understand being excited about a royal union, but do you really want to be drinking your morning coffee from a Fergie and Andrew Forever mug?

Wouldn’t a Charles and Diana cup and saucer put a damper on you day?

Isn’t it just a mockery of the¬†institution, seeing that the divorce rate among the Windsor couples is so high?

You don’t want a gulp of bitter with your morning cup.

3. The bottle opener in the shape of a monument.

I bought one of those in London.

We wanted to drink a few Bacardi¬†Breezers in Hyde Park, and I was old enough to know that a tooth broken while opening a bottle wasn’t going to grow back, and dental surgery isn’t cheap.

Next best thing? Spend 99p. on the tackiest opener possible.

4. The Fridge magnet.

It starts really innocently.

You¬†buy a cute magnet in the shape of Nelson Mandela’s head in South Africa.

Then it all starts snowballing.

People see your growing collection, and when buying a souvenir for you think:

What should I get her?

Maybe a pair of diamond earings?

A Gucci bag?

I know!

She does seem awfully fond of fridge magnets.

Lets get her a beer mug that doubles as a bottle opener.

She’ll love it…

Slippery slope, Ladies and Gents, best not to start!

5. Snow globes

I loved these as a child, but even then I knew they were bloody useless.

You can use them as¬†paper¬†weights, but if it’s so drafty at your house, might I suggest spending your money on getting¬†that fixed, instead of gallivanting around the world buying tat.

6. Novelty items

It’s a pen, a feather duster AND looks like a British policeman?

If it can also launches rockets, I’m sold!

Take that James Bond!

Don't Lose Sight of Your Love for London while You Clip Your Nails

Underground Throng Will Help You Find Your Way in a Crunch

7. Anything that says I Heart London, Mind the Gap or shows a map of the London Underground.

Union Jack undies, made from a disturbing blend of something unidentified and cotton, is not what the Brits wear under their Top Shop trousers.

Neither should you, unless you want to catch a nasty infection.

8. Same goes for things with a Harrods logo on it.

You know it doesn’t make you upper-class or rich, right?

We have a Harrods container on the kitchen shelf till this day.

It doesn’t have anything inside, but we hope when people visit, they’ll think we’re somehow related to the British Royal family.

Princess Kate Thimbles -- One For Every Digit!

9. Thimbles.

You don’t sew by hand.

Put it back.

10. The dreaded plastic dolls.

These have haunted me throughout my life (and I mean literally, they gave me nightmares).

It wasn’t until we redecorated the kitchen at my parents house¬†last year, that I finally put my foot down and refused to see them resurface.

They are disturbing, with their baby faces,wonky eyes, and lipstick.

Before you accuse me of being judgmental, let me tell you I am the worst offender of them all.

I have probably bought most of these items at one point or another.

Tacky gold Statue of Liberty bell? Check.

Small leather camel? Yup

Ashtrays, cups, fans, masks.

Pictures, figurines, clocks, and things made of seashells.

Nowadays, I stick to edible souvenirs, so in years to come I don’t have to cringe.

When shopping for gifts from London for friends and family, remember to

between good taste and what’s on offer!

More Crappy souvenirs from around the world.

Mr Sexy In Service to the Crown. London 2012

This clip is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while.

Unfortunately, they’ve taken it down from YT, so please follow the link.

It’s worth it, I promise!

My only suggestion, Ma’am.

If you need a handsome and trustworthy man to escort you to a ceremony in future, may I suggest your MI5 agent Lucas North.

He can disarm bombs, speak Russian,¬†and he looks loads better in a tux ūüôā

There are perks to being the Queen, and I suggest you perk up your day by hiring Lucas ūüôā

Vincent Van Gogh, in His Own Words

“To suffer without complaining is the only lesson to be learnt from this¬† life”: Vincent Van Gogh

Some of you may know how much I adore dramatized shows about the life and work of artists.

They may not always be accurate, but they give the viewer a chance to glimpse at life and times of a painter, as well as the back story of the creation of their most famous work.

We have “Desperate Romantics”, about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, “The Impressionists”, “Frida”, and many more.

I’ve long wished for someone to make a film about Tamara Lempicka, but a few years ago Madonna showed interest, so maybe it’s best to leave well enough alone.

Another dramatization I can recommend is ” Van Gogh: Painted With Words”, a BBC production (who else?).

Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Vincent Van Gogh, and his performance is haunting.

It once again made me wonder what it was about the British actor’s craft that makes them such exquisite performers.

What is special about this program is that the dialogue is taken from authentic letters and documents.

Every word spoken by the actors in this film is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and of those around him.

We see the journey of a complex man, tormented by his own mind, and by the world around him.

You can watch “Van Gogh: Painted With Words” on YT, sliced into 6 parts.

Here is the first:

The Perfect Bride for Thorin Oakenshield

A while back we were discussing the anatomical features of the Thorin¬†statue I am meaning to install in my bedroom (as a scarf rack, get your mind out of the gutter…).

One of the queries was what one could find once the Thorin figures clothes were in the wash…

In other words, would he be from the Ken school of anatomical correctness (meaning a pair of Y-fronts molded in plastic where other bits and bobs should be).

BTW, when I punched in ‘Ken naked’, I actually did get tones of pictures of a guy named Ken naked!

Good on you, Sir, let it all hang out!

Anyway, back to my twisted tale.

The musings lead me to think about the anatomy of the dwarves.

In vain I struggled to find some Tolkien forum that would go *cough* in-depth regarding the dwarves more personal features.

Believe me, I tried.

I stood at the gates of Hobbit geekdom, and on Gandalf’s suggestion, uttered:

‘Speak ‘Friend’ and Enter!'”

Unfortunately, Tolkien fans seem to be discussing dwarf private parts in some secret layer that mere mortals don’t have access to.

They probably time-share it with Batman.

Anyway, I figured the next best thing would be to analyse the fairer sex of dwarves, and through that gain some access to the private lives of the likes of Thorin and Kili.

Tolkien Gateway to the rescue!

Here, I learned that dwarf women are kept concealed inside the mountain halls.

I though that just wasn’t fair, until I learned that females¬†looked just like the males, beards and all!

There’s just no way of distinguishing between them!

This does make me worry that Thorin and Kili¬†may really be Thorina¬†and, well, Kili¬†( it¬†does sound like¬†a girl’s name after all!).

 One-third of their population consisted of women, which was the reason for the slow increase in population of the race.

Either that, or it really is weird to have sex with a bearded woman!

What saddened me greatly was that less than one-third of Dwarf-men were married.

That meant there was no fuzzy cheeks to snuggle up to after a hard day at the mines.

I decided to play matchmaker to Thorin.

He’s such a strapping dwarf, with handsome features, and good prospects.

If he takes care of his woman as well as he does his sword, her life will be prim and polished.

If you have to sit around all your life in a damp mine, you might as well be knocking boots with Thorin while you do it!

Here are my suggestions:

Lucky Dwarf-lady nr.1

She may not be what you would call ‘dwarf eye candy’, but in the words of a song:

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty women your wife
Go for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you!

Lucky Dwarf-lady nr.2

My next suggestion is justified by the notion that perhaps Gentledwarves prefer blondes.

There’s a twinkle in her eye that Thorin may find appealing.

Plus, she braids her moustache, which may be a huge turn-on for dwarves.

Lucky Dwarf-lady nr.3

Last but not least, the belle of the Moria ball!

Her beard is not as impressive, but the size of her feet could put many men to shame!

Help Thorin pick his Fair Dwarf-Lady!

Let’s save him from¬†a life of sitting around¬†polishing his sword!

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