Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sweet John Standring for Sunday & a sweet vid with Adele


A big, burly, awkward man with a tender heart and a steadfast one, John Standring, Yorkshire farmhand, has loved Carol, the daughter of his employer, for years. But the object of his affection and devotion only has eyes for Andrew. John’s near-crippling shyness and lack of social skills make it difficult for him to connect with others.

But when he has the opportunity to marry Carol and help her save Sparkhouse Farm, he takes it–even though he knows she isn’t really in love with him. “Never think there are things you can’t tell me,” John, a gentle man with a true heart of gold, says to Carol, who is damaged from years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her father.

Sweetie John–the steadfast, solid, reliable man who settles for second best. It’s hard not to love him and root for him to have a happily ever efter. The role of John Standring was a supporting one, but it was also a major breakthrough for Richard. He said it was the first role he auditioned for in character, and his transformation for this role is amazing. It’s hard to believe this is the same fellow who within a year of Sparkhouse played flirty-girty lothario Lee in Cold Feet.


Richard Armitage: Sweet Child O’ Mine (New Vid!)


I think we agreed the words to this song were in many ways perfect for Mr. A and his characters. I chose to go with Sheryl Crow’s version–a little more mellow, and she sings about a “he” so it works better. Hope you enjoy!

Behind-the Scenes Saturday–Spooks! Lucas (and Ros, too)



Rehearsing the fight scene in the scrapyard in the Dean episode of S7.
Gotta love the headgear on Hermione and Richard in this shot on a Moscow street.

Richard on a break getting a touch-up to his makeup. He once said he wanted them to let his wrinkles show and his hair get mussed on Spooks, but they kept on covering them up and attending to his tresses.

I always think he looks a bit sheepish here, making a promo for the upcoming Spooks 9 DVD and its special features. Sheepish AND gorgeous.

Hermione attending to Richard. God, I missed her and the Ros character!! She and Richard worked so well together. And she did once describe RA as "sublime."

Richard as Lucas on his way to the Bedouin Bar, I believe. I love his stance here. Very dancer-like.

More Behind-the-Scenes Saturday– Strike Back and John Portah!

Strike Back (TV series)

Strike Back (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the interest of equal time for our MI5 and MI6 officers, more peeks behind the scenes, this time on the Strike Back set with RA as the heroic Sgt. John Porter.

                                           I already liked BDUs, but after see RA as John Porter, I really, REALLy like them. Something about a man in uniform . . .


Attending to his makeup--looks like this might have been close to shooting the fight scene in the exercise yard at Chikirubi prison.

Looks like Richard, Andrew and the other lads are doing some rehearsing with their weapons before shooting the opening helicopter sequence.

With Orla Brady as Katie after fleeing captivity . . . John and all his guns (the weapon and those bodacious biceps) battle it out with the remaining terrorists.

He's got a blood-stained T-shirt and a big gun, but RA manages to look so sweet here somehow.

Phrases from the Bard: Marian illustrates “Love is Blind”

Valentine Rescues Silvia in The Two Gentlemen ...

Valentine Rescues Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Shylock, painted ...

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, stage actor and manager, as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Courtesy Wikipedia


Will Shakespeare coined the phrase “Love is blind” and used it in several of his plays, including The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V and The Merchant of Venice.  It can be used in a positive light–love can help overlook the flaw in those we love. But it can also bar us from recognizing serious issues.  Such as the fact your “love interest” is a cockaloram and gloryhog with a bow fixation who lives in the forest with a lot of other smelly men has and will continuously use you to further his own ends and then go into a jealous snit whilst playing Peeping Tom.

Marian preferred Hoodie, aka Forest Boy . . .

Over the tall, dark, toothsome, sexy-as-hell man who adored her and never once compared her to a weapon.

Yep, she could have had HIM . . . Hot Intense Male!

Alas, she rejected this tall, sexy, smouldering black leather-clad Adonis who would have made her his queen . . .

Instead, she chose a medieval boy band reject.. *sigh*

Clearly, Shakespeare had it right. Love is blind sometimes; and sometimes, it is also deaf and dumb.   And lacking in the Good Taste Gene, forsooth!

Whilst it’s still Guyday Friday . . . Didja ever wonder . . .


Ever wonder if Marian's back caught on fire from all the smouldering Guy was doing right behind her?



Ever wonder how one hot, sweaty enraged henchman could be so damned sexxxxxy?




Ever wonder if Lucy Griffiths went home at night thinking. "Why, oh why couldn't Marian decide she likes Guy . . . I would certainly have more fun!!!"


Rare & Amusing Insults 3: Guy and the Princely Milksop

Sir Guy of Gisborne (BBC TV drama)

Sir Guy of Gisborne. Definitely NOT a milksop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

milksop: an unmanly man; a mollycoddle (pampered or effeminate boy or man)

Origins: Literally meaning “bread soaked in milk.” Chaucer was one of the earliest to use milksop to refer to an unmanly man. The modern version of milksop is milquetoast, taken from a timid comic strip character named Caspar Milquetoast.

The spoiled, capricious Prince John definitely had more than a hint of the milksop in him.

With all his talk about love and the way he was cupping Guy's face, we all half-way expected Prince John to kiss the handsome henchman. Well, if any man could convert you to the other team, it would be Sir Guy.

Rare & Amusing Insults 2: Armitage as Snollygoster


Snollygoster: an unprincipled, but shrewd person. The origin of this word is unknown, but it was used to refer to dirty politics in 19th century America. One newspaper editor referred to a snollygoster  as “a fellow who wants office regardless of party, platform or principle.”

Richard has not yet played a politician, honest or otherwise, but I do think this word could apply to our smooth criminal, John Mulligan. Definitely intelligent and definitely possessing fluid morals.

John Mulligan, the sexiest snollygoster around.

One snollygoster I wouldn't mind snogging.

Rare and Amusing Insults: Guy & the Cockaloram


Vasey was always hurling insults at our poor Gizzy, the sheriff’s favorite whipping boy.

"Stop sniveling, Gisborne! If you didn't go around painting your arm like a girl . . ."

Here’s a good insult Guy could have used to describe  his loathsome employer.

Cockalorum: A boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow.



What Guy is thinking: God's tears! It's bad enough to see this cockalorum fully dressed--but in the rude nude. That's a cockalorum I just don't want to see . . . or hear. *sigh*



This Robin fellow could be pretty much of a cockalorum, too, come to think of it.


Screencaps courtesy of RANet

It’s Guy Friday once again! Here’s some Reasonably Happy Gorgeous Henchman for you.


Some pretty pictures of Sir Guy in a good mood. He’s happy it’s Friday, too, it seems.

Oh, you are such a foxy fellow, aren't you, my beloved henchman?

I lurv this one. The smile, the eyes. The awesome masculinity.

Oh, Guy. She's gonna run out on you, but at least you can have some temporary satisfaction.

Happy Friday, happy writing, happy Richard.


Well, I accomplished one of my goals for today. I got some sleep, and in a nice comfy bed instead of a hard desk.  Poor Mr. Thornton.

Sometimes, you just need to catch some ZZZZZZZZZZs.

The phone didn’t ring once (a rarity here), all remained quiet and peaceful.  I was pretty much out like a light for close to ten hours. Perhaps that was a suggestion I really needed it?

I feel your pain, cute little bunny.

My brain felt rested enough to go back to work on my novel, which meant not only writing but more double-checking for historical accuracy re my collection of reference books and various websites. I am not a historian, of course,  and certain things I am having trouble verifying ( I would go and choose to set the novel in 1750 instead of a more popular period for historical romances, but then I am hard-headed that way) but I did take some steps forward.

More than 500 more words completed along with some re-writing to (hopefully) improve other passages. I feel as I have made progress and that is a satisfying, uplifting experience.  As if I am not beating my head against a brick wall, but actually peeking around it, and, to further mix my metaphors, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t think I actually get writer’s block so much as I get subject block. I mean, I can write pretty much any old time about something; I wrote professionally for ten years and let’s say it becomes a habit.  I like to write, I need to write; I have to write.

I have a charming “Writing Muse” my sister (she of the Orange Beach condo) gave me as a gift. And it looks just like this:

There is a quote on it from the late author James A. Michener:

I love writing. I love the swing and swirl of words as they tangle with human emotions.

I like to say that line out loud. There is a wonderful rhythm to the words as you speak. I would love to hear Mr. A, my beloved muse, read that quote in his rich, warm, earthy voice of chocolate and velvet.

I love Mr. Armitage’s acting. I love the subtle nuances of each lingering glance, each sigh, each flicker of a lush-lashed eyelid and each bob of an Adam’s-apple in that gloriously swan-like neck.  The mobile mouth with its amazing ability to smirk, smile, sneer, snarl and howl.

I love it when Richard speaks with words, and without them. But as a reader, a narrator and actor, I am certain he loves words, written and spoken.  Words, I suspect, make him happy, too.

Thank you, dear Richard, for inspiring me. You are a wonderful storyteller. And I am trying to be.

Thank you for sharing your talent, Richard. It makes us want to share our own.

I hope you have a smashing Thursday . . .


I am going to be away from the blog for a bit today.

First of all, I have to get some sleep. Secondly, I have promised myself I am going to try to finish the latest chapter of The Lady & the Panther  so I can send it off to Leigh in lovely Spain to peruse it . Maybe, just maybe I’ll get it posted in the next few days. Just a couple thousand more words and it should be done.

My apologies to those who have been following Guy and Lizzie’s story for the lengthy delay, but I have had some plot points to work out and research to do and, of course, the all-important Richarding to fit in.

I am also working on another video and I’ve been doing some more research for the Travels with RA posts. The good part of that is I am learning so much about the UK. The bad part is it makes me long to go and see all these places for myself . . . ah, well, armchair travel will have to suffice for now.  I leave you for now with a few inspiring photos of the lovely man to whom this blog is devoted.  Wishing you all a happy, healthy day full of nourishment and nurturing.  See you on the Dark Side . . .( you just knew I would work Sir Guy in some way, didn’t you?)

Life’s a beach . . .


I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky . . .

~John Masefield~

The sea drew Monet to strive to capture the shimmering appeal of the ever-changing beauty of water and sky.

When I was growing up, we’d usually take at least one day trip each summer to visit Pensacola Beach in the Panhandle of Florida. We would set out early in the morning with our picnic baskets and ice chests packed. I was always excited when I saw my first palm tree on the drive down; I felt as the tropics were right around the corner.

A vintage postcard from 1939 showing the old Pensacola Casino.

We would breakfast underneath one of the big shelters that lined the beach–a full breakfast with freshly-brewed coffee, bacon and eggs, thanks to the power outlets and Mama’s electric fryer and coffee pot. And I cannot forget the sheer deliciousness of freshly baked Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the little bakery just down the street.  Piping hot yeast-raised chocolate iced doughnuts, to be exact.  I was in heaven.

OK, add about a foot to the length of this little girl's hair and this could have been me coveting the fresh Krispy Kremes at the beach. Along with Blue Bell ice cream, the devil invented Krispy Kremes.

Like Richard, I was not a water-baby; I had a bit of a phobia about water, to be honest and didn’t learn to swim at all until I was an adult. I am mostly good at treading water and gliding.  And I was so fair I had to be careful about overdoing it out in the sun so I wouldn’t look like a blue-eyed lobster. Still, I loved going to the beach.

Perhaps if I had sported a parasol and bonnet and gloves at the beach as the ladies did in Victorian times, I wouldn’t have quite so many age spots and moles starting to pop up . . . but I certainly would have gotten a lot of funny looks if I had!

Monet's "The Beach at Trouville"

My pale skin and lack of aquatic finesse did not keep  me from admiring the beauty of the Gulf on a clear summer’s day, the feel of the fine-spun white sand between my toes and the chill of the water washing over my feet; the chance to build sandcastles and search for pretty shells to bring back as souvenirs. To wander in up to my waist and splash about.  Every child needs to spend some time at the seashore.

I can easily summon the memory of those trips: the smell of hot plastic from the inflatable floats, our names written on them with Magic Marker, the salty air, the coconut scent of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion; the cry of gulls wheeling above us and the sound of transistor radios playing pop tunes and the squeak of the chains on the swings in the playground as we flew high in the air.

These days, if we go to the beach, it is to my sister and BIL’s condo down at Orange Beach here in Alabama (yes, Alabama has beaches, and quite beautiful ones).  Long wooden walkways protect the dunes and sea oats along the coast; the sand is a lovely sugar-white. Children still build sandcastles and search for shells.  We seek to capture the beauty we find in photographs and in paintings. We imprint it on our memories.

Orange Beach Alabama, where I have enjoyed some beautiful days on the Gulf of Mexico.

The eternal allure of the sand and surf, the sea and the sky; that sense of peace and serenity. The beauty of Mother Nature beckoning to us.

I think I understand how Monet felt.

Claude Monet's "Beach and Cliffs at Pourville."

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky . . .

Young Richard and the Woman of Great Influence


That's Miss Pat, founder of Pattison College on your right. Recognize the tall, lanky, smiling student in the center? Yep, that's young Richard.

A good teacher can make a great difference in a young person’s life. He or she can inspire, encourage and instruct about more than the subject matter at hand. Good, caring teachers can share important life lessons, too, that stick with their pupils long after they’ve left their classrooms.

The lady known to Richard in his teen years as “Miss Pat” made that sort of strong impact on the budding peformer.

The following is an excerpt from an article on Annette’s site,  For those of you who are educators who may sometimes wonder if all your efforts and hard work are worth it, know that it is. Who knows–one of your students might become as stellar a human being as Richard Crispin Armitage . . .

Between the ages of 14 and 17, Richard Armitage attended Pattison’s Dancing Academy in Coventry (now Pattison College), a stage school where he learned dance, drama and music.

In September 2010, the founder of the college, Miss Betty Pattison, died at the age of 90.

The Coventry Telegraph (25th September) reported her death, and quoted from a letter that Richard had written to her family, “I think it’s safe to say that it was the most influential time of my life and really laid the foundations for, not only my subsequent career, but also my character. At the beginning I was afraid of disappointing Miss Pat. But by the time I left I was concerned about disappointing myself.”

A memorial service was held in Coventry Cathedral on Friday 19th November 2010.

Richard was one of many past pupils and colleagues who paid warm tribute to Miss Pat, as she was known. Although unable to attend the service in person, he had recorded an audio tribute. He began by quoting from one of his old school reports from 1986, which commended him for gaining a distinction in his Grade 5 Speech examination.

A pleasing examination report. Richard has gained confidence, and should now widen his sights by doing more acting.

He continued, “Well Miss Pat, you were right, and the reason that this tribute is being delivered in a recording is because I’m sitting in traffic on the M6 after a day of acting at Shepperton Studios, where I’m lucky enough to be filming Captain America. But I wouldn’t be doing that if it hadn’t been for your school report.

“Miss Pat, you were the most influential teacher I ever had, apart from my parents. You didn’t just teach me to sing, dance and act, but you gave me discipline, self-respect, tenacity and stamina. I feel very privileged to have been one of your students.


“From the freezing kitchen on a winter morning at Beechhurst, forcing down lumpy porridge, to the opening night in Showboat at the Butts Theatre, speeding up the motorway, terrified of your driving, to demonstrate the IDTA syllabus, passing my own driving test, my A levels, my cello exams – you made sure it was all there.

“And on behalf of myself, and all the other students you have nurtured over the years: thank you.”

He finished, “Oh, and by the way – you still owe me six quid for playing an elf in The Hobbit at the Alex Theatre in Birmingham, in… I think it was November 1986. But we’ll call it quits.”

He then read an extract from An American in Paris, one of her favourite musicals.

”]Cover of "An American in Paris [Blu-ray]&...