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RA Flash Fan Event: The Armitage Fairytale

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This post is part of the RA Flash Fan Event and is inspired by the phrase:

I Saw Something Fine…

I think I’ve mentioned how I came to catch Armitage fever in the summer of 2011, but if you haven’t heard this one before, gather round and let me weave my tale…

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…there was a girl with a head full of dreams.

She lived East of Wurstia and West of the Great Red Empire, in a land called Middle Europa.

She loved nothing more than to immerse herself in tales of far away lands and dashing young princes and would spend the entire summer months traveling to places and times captured on the pages of old parchments without moving an inch.

Her dear friend Maximilianus knew of this love and in the cold months of 2011 gifted her a set of magic discs that were filled with tales of passion, but the girl was much occupied with learning to fill her head with hocus pocus.

The magic discs lay forgotten and abandoned, gathering dust and being nibbled on by mice until the frost thawed and spring turned to summer.

As the flowers blossomed and bees busied themselves gathering nectar, the girl once again turned her attention to the special present her dashing friend had gifted her.

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This time though, without further hesitation, she inserted the discs into the special box that housed a plethora of mini people and places, and was filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds.

The stories from books and parchments came alive before her very eyes!

A brand new world, one alien to our heroin, filled her senses with delight.

No longer was she in her little cottage in the countryside, nor was it summer and the birds chirped no more.

She had been transported to a gloomy world where constant snow resided.

At first glance everything was wrong- happiness had been replaced by misery and grief, where trees blossomed, stood monstrous buildings that released smoke as if dragons resided at their very core.

Worst of all dashing prince was not charming at all!

He was harsh, brutal and violent!

But appearances may be deceiving and it took a while for the girl to understand that each frog needs a tender kiss to release the prince from the evil spell.

Before she knew it, the girl started falling deeper into the rabbit hole.

She kept drawing strength and delight from the images the discs provided, her heartbeat quickened and the air around her felt hot.

A strange sensation brew in her belly, a fever had taken hold.

With each retelling of the story she wished to know more about the prince, to learn who he was, which kingdom he resided in and what chivalrous acts he had committed.

The deeper she fell, the more people she met who were on a similar journey, although each and every one of them started out from a different place.

She began creating her own magic parchments, visible to those from lands near and far away, in which she described the heroic adventures the prince had been on (or would likely embark on), and were filled with representations of the prince’s beauty.

And although the prince was far away, battling dragons and defending fair maidens, the tale of his wonder continued, whispered around camp fires in far off lands and transcribed in books.

Time passed, more magic discs capturing the delights of the prince found their way to the girl from Middle Europa,and her adoration continued to grow.

And she lived happily ever after…

Well, almost because…

How do you pick up a thread of your old life?

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How do you go on when, in your heart, you begin to understand there is no going back?

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There are some things that time cannot mend.

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Some delights that go too deep…

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that have taken a hold…

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Because I have seen something fine and I can never go back…

Tipping the Velvet, Pride and Prejudice with “naughty bits”

Just a quick word of warning.

I will be writing about homosexual themes in this post.

If it’s not something that you are comfortable with, you should give it a miss.

Although I am straight, I wholeheartedly support gay rights and anyone who leaves homophobic comments will literally feel my wrath.

So, keep it clean and don’t be mean!

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Every time I researched more costume dramas that would be in the vein of North and South or Pride and Prejudice, I’d come across Tipping the Velvet.

That’s not surprising seeing that the script for  P&P and Tipping were written by the same screenwriter Andrew Davis, although he described the latter as P&P with naughty bits.

It ended up on my shortlist as a Benedict Cumberbatch project and I finally watched it during the summer.

Word of warning, Ben is in it for just a few minutes and he plays a misogynistic so-and-so who tries to bully his way into his girlfriends pants, so if he’s the only reason you want to watch this series, you’re going to be disappointed…

Anyway, I’m not sure what I thought this story was about, but it certainly was unexpected.

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The 2002 BBC mini series is based on a novel by the same title written by Sarah Waters.

Had I know the slang meaning of the expression “tipping the velvet” I would have been tipped off regarding the plot (if you’re curious click here).

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Nan (Rachael Stirling), an 18-year-old oyster girl leads a seemingly ordinary life until she sees Kitty Butler (Rosie Kennedy Keeley Hawes), a male impersonator and performer, serenading woman on stage.

When Nan moves to London to become Kitty’s dresser, their friendship evolves into love and they develop a passionate physical relationship.

Nan joins Kitty on stage and they both achieve success as a duo act of male impersonators.

Life seems perfect for the two women.

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Unfortunately, like with many love stories, betrayal follows and Nan finds herself alone, destitute and struggling to make ends meet.

Although Tipping the Velvet describes a lesbian relationship, the concept of love leaving you devastated and heartbroken is universal.

The themes that appear in this story can be disturbing and yet the writers and producers manage to install a healthy dose of humour to make even the most bleak or absurd circumstances watchable.

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In many ways this is a story of self-discovery, a picaresque plot which describes the lower-class protagonist struggling in an unfamiliar urban setting,  experiencing adventures that they can only survive (semi) unscathed from with the help of their wit.

It’s also a bildungsroman story, a cautionary tale about coming-of-age and the important lessons the protagonist learns along the way.

You can watch the series (three episodes) on YT with Spanish subtitles:

After you’ve watched all the episodes, I recommend you check out the French and Saunders treatment of the series.

This clip featured possibly the most creative lesbian sex scene ever 😉

I haven’t read Tipping the Velvet, but it got me interested in other Sarah Waters stories.

There are other books that have been turned into movies and TV mini-series, like Affinity, or Fingersmith, which I haven’t finished watching yet.

I hope you enjoy today’s recommendation.

Due North: Lucas North

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*Guest blogger alert!*

As you may know from the lovely Agzy’s intro yesterday, the awesome Armitage admirer has granted me this exciting (and ever so slightly scary) opportunity to be a guest blogger for this week of Armitage delights!  ^_^
So here I am – eeek!
It all came about with a spot of Lucas North perving *ahem* rambling/general admiration for his beauty – one of my favourite/daily/hourly pastimes…Oh, Lucas!

SO!
What better, for my first post (EVER), to talk about that insanely beautiful spy!?!
(I can think of nothing. Except perhaps stroking that beautiful spy. *mind wanders*)

SO! (Take 2)
SPOOKS is my “go-to” RA viewage.
It’s what I turn to when I need a bit of a pick-me-up; or when I just *need* to see his FACE!!
(I’m sure you all get those needy pangs!)
I cannot get enough of Lucas and his luscious legs. Boy, do I love his legs! But more about his legs later. (No, really!)

THUS (which is really a fancy “so”)
In the name of FanstRAvaganza4,
I invite you to take a trip down Lucas
Memory Lane with me….
I have picked 10 of my fave Lucas moments/attributes/ponderings/
swoon-er-iffic type stuff.
One for each letter of his name! Happy days!

If you’ve not yet watched Spooks I should probably add a
*SPOILER WARNING*

So (last time, promise!), without further ado,
let’s hop on the hot spy train:

DUE NORTH; LUCAS NORTH

First stop:

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LOOK WHO JUST TURNED UP

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I remember seeing the BBC trailers for the new series of Spooks, and getting all excited by his wee FACE!
Oh, the anticipation!!
And then he arrived.
Dear Lucas North was delivered back to Blighty after spending 8 years in a Russian prison. And Mr Armitage had lost over a stone in weight to meet the character’s description.
Oh, the commitment!!
They lifted that hood. He squinted as he adjusted to the light. He staggered over to Harry Pearce in his faded and frayed blue jumper…wee bit of stubble, hair slightly greasy and tousled…looking tired, in need of nourishment and a decent cuppa!
Meanwhile, in my living room, I whimpered and whispered many-a-thank-you the casting people of Spooks…
THANK-YOU FOR LUCAS!!

Next stop

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UNDERNEATH HIS CLOTHES

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One simply cannot discuss Lucas without mentioning his tattoos!
They are, like his FACE, a work of art! -_-
And they are EVERYWHERE (well, near enough; I’ll bet there are one or two others we are not privy to. ALAS!)
Now, I wouldn’t say I am a huge fan of men with lots of tattoos, indifferent really; but DEAR GOD, I was (still am) in awe of Lucas’s!
I think what I love about them is that they near enough “define” Lucas. They are not random tattoos he decided to get “for a laugh” or when he was drunk; they were all attained during his 8 year imprisonment and were integral to his survival.
“Tattooing is part of the culture in there, if you don’t do it, you don’t belong; if you don’t belong…you’re dead.”
Lucas to Harry, as he stood in that bathroom…washing himself…(oh my!)

So, in short: I really (reeeaaally) like Lucas’s tattoos.
Let’s all take a moment now to think about them…
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YUM!!

Third stop on this journey is

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CHASE ME WITH THOSE FINE LONG LEGS!                                              (Preferably whilst wearing snug-fitting jeans)

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Agzy will know I am a lover of Armi’s legs.
They are just so long and lovely…
They come up to *here* when mine only come up to <there>….ya know? -_-
They are damn fine legs!

Lucas does a fair bit of running in the name of MI5, and I fully support it.
Tea has been known to have been spilt when he zooms across the screen, taking big strides as he goes in pursuit of the baddies. Or to get away from them.
Whichever, I just like all the running.
What’s also impressive, is that he can do all this running whilst wearing some rather tight-fitting jeans. They show off those fine legs without actually showing the legs.
Mmmm!
And now, please enjoy a medley of (completely gratuitous) pics of Lucas & his legs.
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Scheduled stop No.4 is

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ALL IN THE EYES (AND EYELASHES)
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Mr Armitage can say it all with a look.
And a flutter of the eyelashes. And, while we’re at it, a raise of the eyebrows.
(Those beautiful eyes really suit a heavy application of eyeliner too; but er, that’s not necessarily relevant right now… o_o)

  There’s so much depth to the character of Lucas.
He’s intelligent and shrewd; enigmatic and complicated.
He’s constantly battling with an inner torment and – shush – secrets!
And those eyes glitter with all his emotions and sensibilites.
I could watch Spooks on mute and still comprehend all his heartache.
(But I wouldn’t do that too often because it means I would be deprived of that gorgeous voice…!!)
The eyes: They really do say it all.

Next station is

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SPY LOVE

So the lovely Lucas wasn’t very lucky in the love department.
Okay, Elizabeta was rather sweet.
But then came Sarah. Humm.
Her American accent was my main problem, it was just so awful – as in, so obvious that it was a non-American actress attempting to do an American accent. And failing – that it really ought to have been enough to put Lucas off in my opinion.
(*Holds up hands* I just had to be honest there. I’m sorry! Sort of).
Next up, of course, was moody Meya. Or traitorous madam. Whatever works for you.

Now, what I really would’ve loved to have seen was a wee romance between
Lucas & Ros.
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They would have made an interesting and rather sophisticated couple, what with Lucas’s charm and chiseled good looks & Ros’s frosty “bit of a badass” persona.
Shame. I think there was a spark there… ^^

Which leads me nicely to our next calling point…

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NOT TO PUT TOO FINE A POINT ON IT…
…but I think “Pete” would have made a fine fiancé!

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Just a shame he was a fictional fiancé, eh?
Still, credit where credit’s due:
“Pete” (AKA Lucas) did send flowers to “Jenny’s” (AKA Ros’s) “workplace”.
He turned up for a “surprise” visit on her “first day”.
His fictional office only being “round the corner” after all.
And he even threw in a few kisses and told her “boss” that he was her fiancé.
*SWOON*
Okay, all was in the name of the wee undercover op that was being staged, but hey, you gotta love Lucas’s commitment. He really sold it!
And check out how chuffed Ros looks in the bottom right pic. Yes indeedie –  she luuurrrves Pete too!
So let’s hear it for Pete!!
Woo to the hoo!
(P.S “Pete and Jenny” did look rather cute together! Aww!)

For the seventh stop, I bring you

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ON A SCALE OF HOT TO STEAMING, GUESS HOW MUCH I LIKE LUCAS WHEN HE’S ANGRY…?!
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Clue: a bucket of cold water may need to be thrown over me!

Lucas, being a troubled and complicated soul, has a lot of repressed anger inside of him, and when he has the chance to vent some of it – oh boy, he doesn’t hold back!
Now, I wouldn’t want to cross Mr North, but if he wanted to jump into a swimming pool to punch a bad guy out, (perhaps in my honour), then I am not going to stop him.
Jeepers, do I heart that scene!
No messing about – straight in the pool, fully clothed and out to get results.
And the result that I’m not so secretly grateful for is Lucas in tight WET jeans…shaping his thighs and bum very nicely…very nicely indeed!
Job well done, angry Lucas!

On we go now to

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RUSSIA AND SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF

My heart skipped a beat the first time Lucas spoke Russian.
First the tattoos, then the Russian – all in his very first episode!
HOLY MOLY!
Okay, so he’s been in a Russian prison for the last 8 years, and his ex-wife is Russian, chances are the hot spy is going to know some of the lingo.
Even so, knowing that Armi learnt to speak Russian for the role… ugh, he is just too perfect!

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And not only were we treated to Lucas speaking Russian, we also had Lucas pretending to be Russian…remember that wonderful episode…?

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YUMMY-LICIOUS!!

The penultimate stop brings us to

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THAT BLACK VEST TOP
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Okay, so Lucas tends to wear a lot of blue clothing.
We know he looks good in blue; the wardrobe department clearly know he looks good in blue. I’m sure the man himself knows blue is a good colour on him.
(Brings out his eyes, innit!)
But there was that out-of-office-hours item of clothing that Lucas seemed to favour; and it made an appearance in all three of his seasons as a spook.
Yes, that fetching black vest top.
Nice tight fit. Showed off the arms. Showed off the tattoos.
Looked good with his dark hair.
I approve of this black vest top.
Oh look, here he is putting it on…
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*THUD*

(I really should have put those pics in reverse order…Lucas taking clothing off is much more fun. ^^)

Last stop now, kids! And it is of course

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HAD US AT “HELLO HARRY”

One can’t deny that Lucas North’s story wasn’t a bloody emotional one.
He arrived damaged. He’d been tortured. He’d suffered for his country.
No one was sure if he could be trusted.
He had to work hard to prove his worth to Harry & co.
And prove himself he did with his many bold moves, courageous acts, and save the day in his special Lucas way moments.
His journey was chock full of thrills and spills and edge of the seat action.

He ran around, putting those long legs to good use.
He drew us in with his piercing blue eyes and made us want to hold him and love him and all that jazz!
He spoke Russian and had lots of tattoos.

He breathed and blinked and everything.

You wanted him to arrive on your doorstep and say:
“You’re coming with me!”
(I wouldn’t even stop to grab my coat).

He was pretty darn awesome.
And soooo beautiful.
-_-
Okay, so not everyone was a fan of Lucas’s “road to ruin”.
I was pretty heartbroken.
But come on, Armi embraced that “what the fudge?” plot twist and he
ACTED HIS GOD DAMN SOCKS OFF!!
At the end of the day, whatever did or didn’t or should have occurred:
LUCAS NORTH, know this…
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❤ ^_^ ❤

Well, if nothing else, I think I’ve proven that I could ramble on about Lucas North all day/month/year…
There’s lots of things I love about my favourite spy, but I hope the handful I’ve shared have made you smile 🙂
I’d love to know your fave Lucas moments/scenes etc, so please share them if you so wish!
LET’S TALK ABOUT LUCAS!
ALL HAIL LUCAS!

I reeeaaally love Lucas -_-
*runs away*

x x x x

*runs back*

One more thing!
Now you know that Spooks is my “go-to” TV viewage when in need of an Armi fix, I’m curious to know… What’s YOURS?
Are you devoted to Mr Thornton, or is Guy with guyliner your character of choice?
Are you happy with Harry, or are you a fellow Lucas lover?

Vote for yours here! (Ya know, if you fancy it… ^_^)
And if your fave isn’t on the list, please tell me all about him in the comments box.

Thanks for reading!!
Happy FanstRA4 everybody!! ^_^
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I believe I have seen hell and it’s white, it’s snow-white.

I don’t know about you, but it’s close to -30 C which is about -22 F in my neck of the woods

We’ve had snow and frost…

 I wake up in the morning and think with a shudder that I have to abandon a bed I’ve spent the last 8 hours heating up…

Margaret says it best:  I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here.

Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness.

I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it’s white, it’s snow-white.

To remedy the frost I intend to keep myself warm with a nice cup of tea, happy thoughts and a few hours with…

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