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For Guylty…”Friendship is a light in dark times”

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I had written a huge intro, but I decided to keep it simple: Let’s give back a little bit of that positive energy that Guylty has been showering us with.

Ancient Armitage

I am sure that most of you are already aware that Guylty’s father died last week after a sudden and unexpected illness.  The obituary for her father appeared in their local paper yesterday, and it asks mourners not to send tangible expressions of sympathy to the family.  The desired beneficiary of any memorials is a Heimatverein via a German bank account.

Since this will be a bit difficult for people outside of the EU to participate in, Servetus and I talked it over and we thought that a donation to one of Richard Armitage’s Just Giving charities on behalf of fans might be in order (similar to the one that was organized in memory of Servetus’ mom last summer).  I have set up a new PayPal account to collect donations which will then be donated at the Just Giving site.

This post is not meant as a pressure to donate;  …

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Top of the Mornin’ to Ya, Liebste Freind! or Yay! I have my very own Pocket Shrine®

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I can’t believe the scheduled  posts I prepared to go out during my hiatus are out already.

I’ll be updating you on some of the things I’ve been working on in my next post, but today I wanted to share with you a beautiful gift I got from a dear friend 🙂

On Friday I received a package that brightened up my day.

Dear Guylty has gifted me with:

The first John Thornton Pocket Shrine®!

John Thornton Pocket shrine

In years to come my grandchildren will take it to The Antique Roadshow and it’ll be priced a staggering amount of money, but will never be worth as much as it does to me now!

John Thornton Portable shrine 2

In addition, I also received some Thornton’s chocolates that will NOT end up in my belly, but will grace my Shelves of Shame Admiration.

Heres how the shelves are shaping up:

Armitage admiration shelves 1

This gift brightened up my day and reminds me just how special the friendships I’ve made among our little community of friends are!

Now, Frau Guylty, I have my thinking /creative cap on, but I doubt I’ll come up with anything quite so adorable 🙂

What a difference an RA Letter makes or How the Bastard C did not steal Christmas

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Christmas pattern

It was a frosty Friday morning, I was waiting for my morning meeting and sneaked a peek at Me+R to brighten up my mood.

The first post merely said:

New message

And I knew that a day that would potentially suck the joy out of me would be that tad bit better.

It was the day when we’d find out if The Bastard C that had been discovered in my mum’s belly had spread and done any damage.

Before I move on let me just light a few fireworks, pop a bottle of champagne  cheap bubbly wine and scream out with joy that although we have tough times ahead, we may just get away with merely surgery (as shitty as that is) and will be battling Bastard C on one front 🙂

Anyway, I quickly followed the link to Annette’s  page and there it was!

It’s true that you may not always get what you want (although I STILL maintain that Richard could theoretically fit under my tree wrapped in a nice big red bow), but the universe sure does gives us what we need.

The Message from Richard Armitage, 19th December 2013 resonated with me on so many levels!

Here are some parts that seemed particularly poignant to me:

I am very proud to have such   a dedicated community of ‘well wishers’ (better word than   fans…right?) Proud because of the dignity and decency with which you   communicate with each other and document your ideas. It’s always   illuminated with positivity and support for each other, unlikely   friendships forged through a common interest.

I couldn’t agree more and I’m not even going to go into detail how touched I always am at the thoughtfulness of my online friends and how kind-hearted and supportive they are!

I am proud that I have the opportunity to spend time and share thoughts and feelings with such a group of intelligent, educated, creative and generally kick-arse bunch!

We don’t always get along, but I strongly believe that everyone who wonders into the Land of Armitage Admirers will find exactly what they are looking for.

If it’s a release from everyday crap, or the need for friendship and companionship, a forum to dig deeper into who you are or some good old-fashioned fangirling, you’ll find it here.

Sadly, some feel the need to fuel their RL frustrations and come here looking for a fight, but I can only hope that they find peace.

The next part resonated with me too:

I wanted to wish you love and happiness for 2014, thank you for the   generous gifts and the donations to the ‘Just Giving’ pages I think our   totals are looking very healthy.

I didn’t have the opportunity to announce that all of the money raised during the Richard Armitage Silent Auction has been transferred to Just Giving.

RA Silent auction transfer

Although I was particularly involved with the auction, let’s not forget that it was one of many (MANY) donations made to Richard’s charities of choice throughout the year and just underlines that this fandom not only possesses a generosity of spirit but also digs deep in their pockets to support a worthy cause!

Christmas 2

Richard summed up my feelings towards Christmas this year perfectly:

I   want to say that for me especially as I get older, this time of year   becomes more about making the journey to be with family or friends and   sitting around a table which hopefully has some good food on it, however   bountiful that is.

With the prospect of very bad news looming over my family I knew that no matter what I had to do my absolute best to keep up the Christmas spirit.

It’s that much more challenging to celebrate a holiday when something bad happens and I can only be thankful that the news we got put a spring in our steps, but also refocused us.

That Friday evening we met up at my parent’s house and decorated the tree together for the first time in over 20 years.

My dad told my mother the wonderful news we got was better than any gift he could have found under the Christmas tree and he doesn’t want to anything else (yes, we all got teary-eyed).

Then he topped it up by going against our wishes and he single-handily put up the lights on the house.

When asked why he was being so stubborn and didn’t ask for help, but he said: I made a promise with myself that if the news is good I’ll put up the icicles! (again, he had us all teary-eyed).

Santa Richard Armitage

And to all my friends who are going through a difficult time:

But for those who don’t have very much or are alone,   I wish them at least a sense of peace for a day. I know that I am happiest when I can be useful, which usually involves giving time and  effort towards something. That gives me peace.

To those who have a difficult family situation, are alone or have suffered loss, I hope you know that you ARE NOT alone.

I hope that you find comfort any way you can, be it through RA stuff, or connecting with your friends online or popping on a trusty copy of The Vicar of Dibley DVD.

As Richard mentioned, I hope you too find peace in what you do, even if it’s in small things like making gravy!

christmas 3

And to Richard, the glue that keeps this whole community together, the person who gives us joy and inspiration, a huge thank you for connecting with your fans, for brightening our day (after day after day…), for giving us so many reasons to call ourselves the Armitage Army/Armitage Admirers/ well-wishers, or whatever form feels right to you!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and have a nice glass of grog/eggnog/red wine on us 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll be boring you posting about how we are celebrating Christmas this year and I’m sure I have a few “Richard in a Santa hat” PS images in me to knock out 🙂

Who the heck do you think you are, Armitage Army???

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FanstRA4 Banner big

Happy FanstRAvaganza 4!

Welcome to one of the best weeks of the year to be an Armitage Admirer (and let’s be honest, it’s not too shabby on any ol’ day…).

This year is extra special over here at IWantToBeAPinUp as there’ll be a post each and every day during FanstRA4 and to help me out I am so happy to announce that I shall be sharing this space with a special guest blogger LittleSallyBoots, who you may recognize from the Armitage community over at Twitter (@Sally_Boots).

Ms Boots will be posting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

This is how she describes herself:

So I’m a borrower/dwarf-sized English lass who likes to doodle and drink lots of
tea (it is the answer to life’s problems). I have lots of
obsessions *ahem* passions and aspirations, including, one fine
day, to stroke Richard Armitage (I am aiming high – quite literally for
me!).
I am muchly excited and a wee bit nervous to be blogging as a first time
blogger on Agzy’s wonderful blog this week ^^
Happy FanstRA4 everybody!

How adorable is she?!?

Please make sure you give her plenty of wonderful energy and support as she’s popping her blogging cherry this week and she’s doing it in style.

She’s whipping her blogging hair back and forth!

She’ll be spinning posts right round baby, right round!

Without your positive vibes, she can’t get no bloggin’ satisfaction!

Anyway, you get the idea…

Armitage Army small

Armitage Army, I’ve often wondered who the hell you are!

I mean, seriously, who do YOU think you are?

Armitage Army, RArmy, Armitage Admirers- a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!

You are my most favorite aspect of Richarding, and one that keeps me coming back, keeps me interested, keeps me connected.

I’m a big fat fangirling cheater, but I’m loyal to my RA peeps!

No offence to Richard and his breathtaking attributes, but the quality of fans (admirers, stalkers, craycray’s, whatever name works for you…) is one of his absolute best features.

If the fandom was represented by an Armitage body part, I swear it would be Lucas North’s bum in tight wet denim jeans!

Or Porter’s abs… or maybe that royal hooter stuck conveniently right in the middle of his face…or those runner’s thighs…

Oh, nevermind…

nosey fangirl

Knowing more about the absolute best part of Richard (as far as I can tell and eliminating the cardigans he’s been wearing and I’ve been drooling over) has always been on my mind since I met you, and I’ve decided to compile a bunch of polls to basically satisfy my, and perhaps your, curiosity.

Just so we’re clear, I think the RA fandom is better than the RA cardigans… just not by much…

Anyway, the thing is, the poll results will be hidden until the last day of FanstRA4 when I shall reveal them in my final post on Sunday, because I’m evil like that and believe in delayed gratification (yours that is. Mine? Not so much…)..

I had grand plans for this project, seeing it as a fandom equivalent of Alfred Kinsey’s report on sex, but reality has taken me down a peg or two, so let’s water it right down like a jug of Sangria on a hot July evening, and be happy with the little things in life, like a jug of watered down Sangria *hiccup* on a hot July evening.

The questions (with multi-choice answers, even when more than one makes no sense at all) are very run-of-the-mill, so bear your soul and help this nosey parker 🙂

So, without further ado, I’ll take geography for 200, Richard (works only in a reality where RA is the host of Jeopardy!).

Ok, that was easy (enough), so let’s move on to the ‘nails on the chalkboard’ one.

Reminds me, I need to unscrew the lightbulbs in my house and start hosting guests by candlelight…

How about your Armitage experience?

How many hot British cucumber sandwiches are you buttering (and cutting the crusts off) in that naughty brain of yours?

Richard had me at Hello!… well, at punching Hot Pipe Stevens while managing not to damage his pocket watch (a talent I greatly admire in a man…), but what about you?

I bet Richard is a marathon man (you can understand it whichever way you like, I certainly won’t be explaining myself…), but what about your admiration?

It’s not only who you admire, it’s where you do it, and I don’t mean in the shower or on the bus coming home from work, so mind. out. of. gutter please!

It’s also important how you do it.

After all, there’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Armitage way (or Norway, which also works…).

No, but REALLY, how do you do it?

Are there any other questions regarding the RArmy that you’d like answered?

Is there some kind of fandom question tickling the back of your brain or any other part of you?

If so, please leave your ideas in comments and I’ll do my best to include your ideas into the post 🙂

Let’s get the Armitage Army to spill the cotton!

Let’s get our secrets off John Porter’s chest!

Results will be revealed on Sunday.

Ps1. I still need more of your face/body parts for my FanstRA4 project, so please send them my way!

Ps2. This post was, in part, inspired by a wonderful BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? which I really enjoy watching and can only regret Richard never took part in as I’d love to peek at the ancestors who produced such a  fine specimen.

My favorite episode? Probably the Alan Cumming one.

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

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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!

Just a quick Hobbity Hello!

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00 Hobbit Winter

Dear Friends,

I hadn’t intended on taking such a long break from the blog, and I apologise to anyone who was worried about my sudden disappearance.

It started with taking a step away from the promotional madness of The Hobbit which I wasn’t enjoying too much.

Then my trip to London came about and so did the countdown to Christmas.

We then went away for the holidays and I’ve only been back for a day.

What amazes me is how life went on here at I Want to be a Pin Up while I was away.

The stats have been going through the roof despite me not posting anything new and it is a tad unnerving that my posts are read beyond our Armitage circle.

There’s a million things  (OK, exaggeration…) I want to write about, so I shall have to cut it all up into separate posts.

I can’t wait to share the details of my Hobbity weekend in London, meeting my fellow Armitage Admirers, and the exhibitions I managed to visit while there.

Now that The Hobbit is out around the world, I think it’s time I shared my thoughts on the movie in a painfully honest review.

Until then, huge hugs and keep warm 🙂

My Nearest and Dearest are Dwarven’ Awesome, and here’s why…

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I’d like to start by thanking everyone for their birthday wishes 🙂

I don’t really like to make a BIG fuss around the day, with one exception.

My nearest do not apply and the bigger the fuss the better 🙂

On Armitage Day I shared with you the cake my sister designed for me the previous year, which you can see here.

This year I asked that the calories count be kept low because I have a pair of Hobbit jeans I’s like to squeeze into soon.

I did love the cake from last year and just when I though that was the coolest birthday surprise ever, my family proved me wrong.

This year I got 5 postcards.

OK, it wasn’t only 5 postcards, but for dramatic effect let’s stick to the concept of:

For my birthday I got 5 postcards, one from each member of my immediate family.

And let me tell you, these are the best postcards ever.

Let me explain:

The first card was from my mom.

Well, hello there Captain Armitage.

I salute you!

I feel safer already knowing you’re in the cockpit…

The back of the postcard said, in rhyme:

Translation: My dear, We’re sending you on a long journey, and a flight above Amsterdam. Avoid temptation and don’t inhale any of that Amsterdam ‘mist’.

Prepare your passport and boarding pass, as Captain Richard will fly you out.

Kisses Mom

What I adore about this is that the street name is: On the Way to London St. and the postal code of the address is actually the one for the Warsaw Airport 🙂

The next postcard was from my dad.

That’s one hotel I wouldn’t mind checking into 🙂

Can I ask for extra towels?

On the flip side:

Translation: My dear, it would be nice, if walking around London was pleasant for you, so  we booked a hotel close to the centre for you.

You’ll feel comfortable there like in biblical heaven.

Overlooking your comfort, and this is no joke, is the dedicated concierge Richard.

Kisses Dad.

The next card is from my Sister Dearest.

Now, you can see why this card is close to my heart.

I’m on constant diets and and looking forward to eating Fish&chips almost as much as seeing The Hobbit!

On the back:

I will never let you down Magzy, nor will I let Cook Richard down, therefore Miss Piggy from Piggleton (love it!) promises to stuff her porker face at the local chippy just for you two 🙂

The next card is from my BFF and I just cracked up when I saw Monet as a Beefeater!

I think they may suspect I have a tad of a crush on Richard Armitage, because Max goes on to say:

I’m in the process of getting my name and address legally changed to the one featured on this postcard 🙂

I think it suits me very well!

This is the last card:

It would seem I’m going on and Unexpected Journey of my very own 🙂

Five wonderful postcards that make me suspicious that they may be on to me and have an inkling that I’m a bit partial to Richard Armitage.

I really do wonder what gave it away?

Anyway, it would seem that my dearest are sticking me on board a plane heading towards London via Amsterdam (no promises about the mist though, when in Rome…), I’ll be staying in a beautiful stylish boutique hotel in the centre and Ill get a chance to see The Hobbit 2 weeks before it opens in my country.

BEST. BIRTHDAY. PRESSIE. EVER!

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