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At ease RArmy and get admiring!

FanstRA4 banner Porter 1

I can’t believe FanstRAvaganza 4 Week is at its end!

It really has flown by.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Traxy for organising the event this year.

 Thank you all the wonderful bloggers and readers who took the time and effort to participate, amusing and entertaining us with their Armitage Admiration.

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On a personal note I’d just like to give a HUGE nod to Ms. Sally Boots, my wonderful guest blogger, who went above and beyond to fill this humble space with her quirky sense of humour.

I really do hope this isn’t the last time she decides to do so!

As way of thanking you all for taking part in FanstRA4, I’ve created an image inspired by an RA confession 🙂

moustache Richard

At the beginning of the week I asked a series of questions hoping that the answers would tell us more about who the Richard Armitage Admiration community was.

Are you ready for the answers?

Here it goes:

I was surprised at the results of this poll as a huge % of my readers are from the US and Canada.

All I can say is Viva! EU 🙂

Where are you from RArmy

RobertAscroft-05 Mosaic

Proving we’re all young (at least at heart):

RArmy age

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I’ve often stated that I’m a big bad fangirling cheat (no, seriously, you have NO idea…), but I’m happy to see that Richard has your loyalty!

Armitage fan

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First loves die-hard, and it seems that top hats and leather gloves are what turn us on:

Disturbing

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Hey dear Armitage Admirers, thank you for supporting blogs (and foolish bloggers)!

Hussy

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It seems that falling in love with Richard is the start of something more long-term.

Now, if only Richard remembered our anniversary…

Disturbing

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People who comment are my absolute favorite!

lurker

Really-really-ridiculously-good-looking-sir-guy-of-gisborne-10691816-800-450 Mosaic

Itches are made for scratching and Richard is made for fangirl admiring.

Quench

Ps. All the Richard  images were created using your wonderful face and body parts you so kindly sent pictures of!
I wanted to make you somehow part of Richard, even if it’s in this quirky way 😉

Get your FanstRA on!!!

FanstRA4 Come fanstRA

BEST. NEWS. EVER!

I feel like I wished this news into being as only this morning I emailed my darling Seba to suggest a cooperation if and when one of the best weeks to be an Armitage Admirer rolls around.

A few hours later Servetus gives news that FanstRAvaganza4  (FanstRA4) is going ahead this year, and it will be organised by Traxy from The Squeee .

If you are a blogger, and would like to take part (and who wouldn’t want to???), please fill out the form.

Please remember that not only bloggers and posts are needed, so be bold as a majestic dwarf ready to reclaim his gold and contribute in any way you can!

Think what YOU could do to make this event even hotter!

What would YOU like to share with fellow Armitage Admirers?

Let’s make this the BEST FanstRA EVER 🙂

Fanstra4 March 2013

Those of you who are new to the fandom may wonder what the heck a FanstRA is.

In short it’s an event that has in the past took place in March, that unites blogs from all corners of the globe, and results in a general tag team explosion of Richard Armitage goodness.

Think an RA orgy for each and every sense that will tickle you senseless…

This event celebrates the wonder that is Richard, but it’s also a time to celebrate our special fandom, for all of us to come together, and do some serious fangirling damage!

Last year’s event (and my first) was headed by Servetus, and she did an amazing job bringing this motley crew of overly enthusiastic dwarf-like bloggers together (you can check out FanstRA3 posts HERE).

Don’t let this perfect chance to celebrate with fellow Richardettes pass you by!

Wouldn’t you know it, it’s my 1st Blogiversary!

I was going to act cool on my 1st Blogiversary, casually mentioning it, thanking my readers, then moving on to bigger better things, but then  I decided HELL NO!

It’s my (blogging) party and I’ll celebrate if I want to!

Bear with me please as I put on a dodgy paper hat and blow up a few balloons!

I figured horns are made for hooting and good times are meant for celebrating 🙂

1st blogiversary

Well holy cow, how did I get here?

No, seriously, how the heck did this happen?

This blog started exactly a year ago with absolutely no clear direction.

It was supposed to be a place where I’d keep all the info I found interesting without clogging up my computer, as well as a quick writing practise before tackling my MA thesis.

In the first months I had told zero people about its existence, as there really wasn’t anything to say on the matter or to boast about.

I really didn’t know if it would be something I’d continue or most probably abandon after the first few weeks.

You must understand that exactly a year ago I was a lurking Armitage Admirer who had only left one comment throughout my entire 6 month craze, but more about that later on.

What I’m driving at is that starting out no one within the fandom had any idea who I was (some undoubtedly miss those good ol’ days…) nor did I seek the support of my RL friends to help push this thing forward, so in the first month of blogging I received a little over 20 clicks and I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I managed to get so many 🙂

Things have certainly changed, and with the amount of visitors dropping by I really do regret writing better, more interesting posts 🙂

 I’d like to thank each and every one of you for visiting, commenting, supporting and being an integral part of this experience.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again that without your presence here I’d just be a sad old (mad) cow posting for no one.

Hey, it worked in January but I think it would have lost its appeal by April…

Your friendship means almost as much to me as Lucas North’s bottom in tight denim jeans, and that really is saying a lot!

RichardArmitage Collage2

I’d also like to give special thanks to Servetus at Me+Richard, as she happens to be connected to many of my firsts!

She was the first blog I had visited after watching North and South, when certain Mr Thornton took possession of my heart and soul.

She’s the first blog I ever commented on some time in the autumn of 2011, under a different alias, and sweating buckets worried that I’d look foolish because of what I had written (being rejected by the RArmy was a big fear of mine back then, as everyone seemed so friendly with each other, and I doubted such a tight-knit group would accept me, let alone welcome me with open arms. You live, you learn!).

Servetus had written one of the first comments on this blog and I swear, I had been such a lurker/admirer over at Me+R it felt like a celebrity sighting 🙂

Anyway, how better to say a heartfelt Thank You! than a Richard Armitage thumb cupcake ( and yes I also think it may well be one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in a while…).

Richard Armitage Thumb Cupcake Servetus Thank You!

Apart from search engines Servetus’ blog refers the most traffic to this site, followed by RAFrenzy!

Thank You for the support of other bloggers!

I adore being perched on your blogrolls, and I’m there in good company, so I’m grateful to you for sticking me there.

I’ll be updating my blogroll to include all of my blogging friends and fellow admirers, so please take a second to click on a few.

We all know how long it takes to write a single post, not to mention updating, checking comments, and in general keeping that machine running, so I can only applaud you for constantly providing new posts for Armitage Admirers worldwide!

Guy of Gisborne collage

Here’s my year in numbers:

I’ve written close to 450 posts in the past 12 months.

There are the good ones, the bad and the right darn ugly ones (sorry about those…).

A few months in I thought it would be the bees knees to get 100 000 clicks in the first year, but it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream.

Wouldn’t you know it, I’m just a couple of clicks shy of doubling that number and will be hitting 200 000 in the next few days, so THANK YOU!

Online traffic is a funny little thing as it often depends on where you’re placed in search engines.

That means that posts that aren’t really all that special seem to attract a huge amount of readers, while other are  popular for a few days after being published, and then go into (semi-) retirement.

Lucas Borth Collage

The posts that have attracted the most views are:

1. On Richard Armitage and Lee Pace

2. Marilyn Monroe and Plastic Surgery

3. DIY Pin-Up

See what I mean?

Anyway, I think the statistics will change in the next few weeks judging by the interest in Richard Armitage and all things The Hobbit.

Fanstra# collage

My favorite posts are:

Fanstravaganza3 was a blast and I absolutely loved taking part in it!

I also really enjoyed putting together all three of my Fanstra3 posts.

I loved punning it out doggy style, seeing Heinz Kruger in his tighty whities, and stripping Richard down just to dress him up again.

I really (REALLY!!!) hope Fanstra4 will happen, because there’s no better way to celebrate the wonder that is Armitage Admiration 🙂

I also enjoyed blogging in July and August (December being my most flaky month…) as I was on holiday and could spend hours fiddling with images, gifs and posts to my heart’s content.

Gisborne's Boy cake kopia

I especially liked the run-up to Armitage Day and  Operation Armitage.

I really do hope that we manage to have a Richard Armitage-rekated competition every year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a special Thank You! to my partner in crime Seba from Gisborne’s Boy  for sharing his amazing talent and helping me with the competition.

I hope we collaborate on many other projects in the future (and if you’re reading this Bug, I’m waiting on your email!).

PinUp Collage

The thing is, in the past year of blogging I’ve made many friends, and lost a few (some I’ve mourned, to others I can only say: Good riddance…)

I’ve expanded my horizons, but also tested my patience and understanding.

I’ve bitten my tongue and stepped away from a fight more time than I have in RL, and I think I’ve also been more generous with expressing my delight, enthusiasm, friendship.

I honestly think I’m a better version of my RL self, so if you don’t like me here, believe me, it doesn’t get any better out there 😉

I’ve gone beyond anything I would have though myself capable of, but I’ve also made a few mistakes, some I’ve learned from, others probably not.

I should really finish by thanking Richard for getting this whole project started, but what I’m really grateful for is that by being such a stand up sort of gentleman he seems to attract the absolute best type of admirer any fandom could wish for.

Are there crazy fans in the Armitage Army?

ABSOFUCKINGLUTLEY!

But I’d like to believe that we’re crazy in our own special, unique way 🙂

AgzyM 2012 collage

While I’m on the topic of AgzyM (move over Thorin, I’m all about Me Me Me! today), I’ve decided to retire the Dita photo I’ve been using as a visual representation of my online alter ego.

I’ve had such fun with that particular image, but I needed something new, so here it is:

AgzyM IWantToBeApinUp 2013

You know it’s only a matter of time before I stick a beard on this gravatar!

And here is the full body superhero version, because it seems like it’s going to be one of those years when you really need a cape:

AgzyM 2013 Boom

Thank You!

Waiting for The Hobbit to premiere in your country? Do this in the meantime…

My Darling SEBA and his friends have picked up pick up the gauntlet and baked The Hobbit cookies! They look amazing and super yummy. I really regret I wasn’t there to lick the wooden spoons 🙂
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Hobbit Week and are counting down the hours!
Great job!!!

Supersize Richard? The more the merrier or Stay on that treadmill please?

My determination to lose a few pounds has got me thinking about Mr Armitage and his beyond hot body.

I’m not trying to be vulgar, but that body really makes you want to give it a sponge bath…

We know Richard looks after himself, exercises regularly (I need pictures as proof please).

We know he’s a method actor and goes the extra mile to play his role convincingly.

We’ve seen him super skinny as a tormented Lucas North in Spooks.

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Get the man some fish&chips asap!

He’s bulked up as John Porter in Strike Back.

It looks like John has been eating all his vegetables!

Richard’s playing a stocky dwarf Thorin in The Hobbit, although the effect is achieved thanks to padding.

Despite the saying about men who wear big shoes, they seem to need extra padding…

Now he’s sporting a surprisingly slim frame as Gary the teacher in Black Sky.

Gary Morris Armitage

I hope the tornado doesn’t blow him away 🙂

My question is:

Would you like to see Richard Armitage gain weight for a film role?

I’m not talking about a few kilograms to bulk up.

I mean Val Kilmer proportions (sorry Val).

Step off the treadmill and grow a double chin and bear gut.

Would Richard still be as appealing to you?

Richard, International Man of Mystery

Richard has had quite a year.

From Britain he flew to New Zealand for the shooting of The Hobbit.

After that he travelled all the way to San Diego for Comic-Con, only to fly off to Michigan to fiddle about with tornadoes.

Just when I though New York couldn’t possibly get any more awesome, we find out Mr Armitage graced the Big Apple with his hotness.

It’s only fair that our fandom (whether you call it the RArmy, Armitage Army, Community of Armitage Admirers…) reflects the jet-set lifestyle our favorite actor leads.

OK, so we don’t actually travel first-class from film set to film set, from photo shoot to première, however we do inhabit most of the globe.

One might say Richard Armitage fangurling is spreading like a virus 😉

Worst still, there is no known cure!

Some of you not be aware that wordpress has a snazzy function that shows where the readers who visit the blog come from.

Before you freak out, I don’t know who you are, where you live, what your favorite colour is etc.

It doesn’t tell me your phone number or bank account details.

It lists the countries inhabited by visitors to the blog, in order from the most popular.

My blog isn’t the best example of where RA admirers come from, as I get quite a lot of clicks on non-Richard Armitage related posts.

Still, it’s exciting to see:

I particularly like the bottom of the list:

No matter where you are from dear reader, you are very welcome here!

We truly are an International group of online friends!

By the way, it was the reader from China that made my day!

On why I think US RA Admirers have a great big Pair!

What a week it’s been!

The Armitage Birthday Countdown was a success, if you don’t mind me saying!

It was a great lead-up to Armitage Day!

It really makes me want to come up with another RA admirer appreciation event 🙂

I had so much fun on Twitter yesterday, I literally had to put myself in time-out!

The fun isn’t over though, as King Richard Armitage Week has started.

Although I’m not participating, it has my absolute support, and I can’t wait to see what my lovely fellow bloggers come up with.

I hope I learn more about Richard III, as my British History college professor would be ashamed of my lack of knowledge on the subject.

One thing’s for sure!

It’ll be a blast!

Warning: This post contains generalizations 😉

It’s been a gReAt week for the fandom in more ways than one.

We’ve been spoilt by reports (some very detailed and yummy) of fans meeting RA on the set of his new movie.

You can find them Here, here, and here, to name a few.

Of course, each time new info hit the internet, I was overjoyed, dancing around like a right prat 🙂

My sister asked a very valid question, though.

Why is there so much ‘RA meeting fans’ news, when, apart from official events, we didn’t hear a peep when he was in NZ?

My immediate response:

Because US RA fans have great big cojones!

Bear with me as I explain my answer.

Firstly, US RA fans had a vision to travel to the set, not really sure if they’d be welcome.

I love a dreamer, and these ladies really turned the fantasy of meeting Richard into reality!

They showed up, some bearing funny signs, knowing full well there was a chance they’d be shooed away by security, but they took that risk.

They didn’t feel silly, or embarrassed.

Taking family with was a brilliant touch!

I hate to say it, but we all look a tad less RA crazy or threatening when there’s someone younger (like our kids) or older (like an in-law) accompanying us.

They were extremely polite to the crew, waiting patiently for their chance to meet Richard.

Let’s me honest, if the first RA fan had been rude, or in any way inappropriate in her behaviour, Richard would have informed security to get rid of any other admirers hunting for a picture with him.

And yet each and every time a fan showed up, he went out of his way to say Hello!

I think it says a lot about how wonderful Richard is, but also about the wonderful conduct of Armitage admirers.

The exemplary behaviour of our fellow RA lovers is what I’m the proudest of!

It couldn’t have been easy staying cool and collected in the face of sex on sexy legs 😉

I feel like you’ve paved the way for other fans to meet Richard.

These encounters have changed the image of that weird RArmy of strange obsessive fans lurking in the internet shadows, and shown that we’re actually a group of very nice (and sane) women, who just happen to have great taste in British actors.

Last, but not least, they had the b*lls to share their stories with the rest of us.

As I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t blame anyone for keeping a lid on such a story, or sharing it with a selected group of friends.

Recent unfortunate events in our fandom have taught us that sometimes online animosities find their way to RL, with very distressing results.

It would be easier to ‘fly below the radar’, and yet you had the great big pair to share 🙂

I really hope you don’t regret your decision, and that fellow RA admirers have proven themselves trustworthy and respectful!

Thanks to you we know that:

Richard smells of soap

The character in the new film won’t be called John

He will be using an American accent

He’s great at holding up cute silly signs in pictures

He’s more gracious and gorgeous than any of us could ever have imagined

US RA admirers!

You have great big melons!

And we are very thankful for that!

All images:  RALover and ItsJSforMe at RANet

Do fans know best, Richard?

I started writing the text below as a response to the discussion we had HERE.

As it grew in size, I decided it would be interesting to separate the topic of ‘Is he doing enough to promote himself?’ from that of ‘Can fans really know what’s best for Richard?’.

 

This whole discussion about Richard’s approach to the media of late has made me realise that, as comfortable I am writing and analysing (and drooling over pictures of) his characters, delving into the matters of the man himself is quite a challenge.

On the one hand, there are barriers that you don’t want to cross – his privacy and the right to make his own decisions without being bullied by fans. On the other, there is a realisation that, no matter how hard we look, we will never really ‘see’ tha man. So the conclusions of our guessing work is faulty from the start.

There’s no telling.

As much as there’s a degree of separation with characters (I have a borderline unhealthy attachment to Lucas North’s bum), it gets super real super fast when we talk about Richard Armitage. I rarely write about the man himself, even if I do, I usually think of ‘RA’, not Richard Armitage – the living breathing entity.

 This, I have realised, is once again separating myself from the realness of an actual human being.

Of course we as fans would wish for regular interviews, new material to process and mull over. On face value we wish for the world to be wallpapered Armitage.

This is a dream that could have serious consequences if realised, though.

When I think about it, for the past few years, our fandom has been running on the cycle of bi-annual messages from Richard, the odd picture or interview, a quick mention here and there of the RArmy. The rest of the activities have been conducted on blogs, among fans and admirers. We have created a reality, with its unwritten rules.We have been processing information that, as it were, is second or third hand.

 Any conclusions we have drawn have simply been conjecture.

I think the last dry spell has brought out creativity in our little family. Due to the lack of any ‘shiny new objects’, we have resorted to going back to the old ones and looking at them in a new light. We’ve also had time to stop and ask: Why is this important? Why do I spend so much time concerning myself with this actor? With these particular parts he plays?

As I have stated, most of us know nothing about show business, nor how that huge machine operates. We can filter certain events and thought through our own experiences and methods of analysis, therefore reaching some conclusions (as I have done with wishing RA was more visible).

I don’t think this is a bad thing, and it certainly isn’t in any way harmful. I see it as musings on a topic and”like a puff of smoke – it changes with every wind“. (N&S)

I feel we would have to exercise more constraint in what we think and write if there was any chance that it could influence Richard Armitage or his career. I find more danger in a woman posting detailed descriptions of how she saw Richard Armitage jogging in a park close to his home, than someone posting a fantasy about him, or criticizing his choices in a post.

These should serve as a platform for discussion, as is their intended purpose.

My answer to the question ‘Do fans know best?’ is: Yes, we do!

We know what’s best for us as individual fans, what feels right to us, and what fulfills the needs we may have.

We wish for the absolute best for Richard Armitage.

We have no idea what Richard Armitage wants, there is just no telling.

He may make decisions that we don’t approve of, and we may discuss them between ourselves in a respectful manner, keeping in mind that people may hold other views. This serves no other purpose than another topic to muse upon between friends.

Ultimately, we want what’s best for Richard, and will admire him and support him, whatever he chooses to do.

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