(screencaps courtesy of RANet)
In fact, it happens spring, summer, winter and autumn. RA adds color, beauty, a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air to any day of the year. Still, the spring does offer Mother Nature at her best. And a case of spring fever just makes our RA-itis all the more virulent.
Daniel Lambert, who holds the title of England’s fattest man,
hailed from Leicester. Lambert weighed in at 52 stone.
(Photo of young Armitage courtesy of RANet, map courtesy of http://www.beautifulpicturesofengland.com, all other images Wikipedia)
I recently received a post from the Anglotopia website, indicating that their sister site Londontopia was giving away two copies of Christopher Winn’s newest book, I Never Knew That About London. I signed up, of course, as I never turn down the opportunity to obtain a free read that sounds interesting. So I went and investigated more of Mr. Winn’s books at amazon.com.
Turns out he has a whole series of books filled with fun, fascinating and often little-known facts about various parts of the United Kingdom. I am a sucker for trivia about places that intrigue me. I found his I Never Knew That About England for a cheap price through the Amazon Marketplace and bought it.
Last night I enjoyed browsing through it and an idea came to me today as we rode to town earlier this afternoon.
Why not visit the places, via blog posts, from whence RA’s ChaRActers hail and share some of the trivia Mr. Winn has collected about each one?
To kick things off, let’s visit Leicestershire, where our lad himself grew up, shall we?
Leicestershire is called the Heart of England, a perfect place for the TDHBEW who stole our hearts to claim as home.
Genetic fingerprinting was first discovered at Leicester University in 1985 and the Leicestershire Constabulary was the first police department to use genetic fingerprints in the criminal prosecution of Colin Pitchfork. He became the first murderer in the world to be convicted on the basis of genetic fingerprinting.
Did you know Joseph Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, was born in Leicester, as was England’s Fattest Man? Daniel Lambert, born in 1770, weighed 52 stone and had a waist circumference of 9 feet 4 inches when he passed away at age 36. I believe that is 728 pounds . . . Mr. Lambert was so fat, he couldn’t sink, and could often be seen floating down the River Soar with some of the local children riding on his stomach. That had to be both an interesting sight and experience!
Familiar with Cook’s Tours? Thomas Cook actually put together the first package tour back in 1841 from Leicester to a temperance meeting in Loughborough.
Richard III, the king whom Richard Armitage dreams of bringing to life on the screen, spent the night before the fateful Battle of Bosworth Field at the Blue Boar Inn in Leicester. As he rode out to battle, his spur got caught on a stone whilst crossing Bow Bridge, and an old woman predicted the king would soon have his lifeless head dashed against the same stones. His body was, in fact, dragged back over the parapet where it hung for two days before burial at Greyfriars Church.
(Oh, Richard–another role where your character comes to a terrible end. But it’s your dream . . . and I want it to come true for you.)
Elsewhere in lovely Leicestershire, a definite Guy of Gisborne-ish connection: Ashby-De-La-Zouche was featured in Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe as the place where Richard the Lion-Hearted, disguised as the Black Knight, jousts with Ivanhoe and Robin Hood wins the archery competition.
John Wycliffe, the first man to translate the Bible into English, was the Rector of Lutterworth in the southern part of the county. Joseph Hansom invented the hansom cab at his workshop in Hinckley in 1835. The Luddite Movement was born in Ainsley, near Leicester, in 1811. Little Dalby is the birthplace of Stilton cheese; Market Harborough is the home of the largest battery maker in the world. And the best thing to come out of Leicestershire? Richard Armitage, of course.
Richard has appeared to retain the best part of being young–a sense of wonder, enthusiasm, a playfulness–without being childish (i.e., tossing cellphones at hapless minions, throwing temper tantrums and the like). He has a lovely sense of humor about himself and his image whilst still maintaining his keen sense of professionalism and dedication to the roles he plays. There are actors whose talents I admire; their characters, however, leave something to be desired. Richard is also a human being I can admire and respect for much more than his acting abilities.
No, I do not “know” Richard Armitage. I only know what I can infer from his interviews and what others have to say about him, and look at how he conducts his life, and make educated guesses. I go by gut instincts and by the genuine qualities I see in his smiles, his laughter and by the light in those beautiful eyes. The lines around them show a man who understands that life is indeed a banquet to be savored, to be appreciated.
He was a lovely younger man; he’s only grown more attractive with the years. Those four decades sit well on his broad shoulders. Richard grows older, as we all do; but I think he will never grow old.
As noted in a previous post, today is the first day of spring, and our TAE Word for the Day fits right in with the season–and with the subject of this blog.
vernal (adjective) 1. Appearing or occurring in spring 2. Of or pertaining to spring. 3. Appropriate to or suggesting spring; spring-like. 4.Belonging to or characteristic of youth.
It has sometimes been suggested Mr. Armitage has a vernal influence on his fans. We may be past our first bloom, now longer considered fowl of the current season; and yet, in the presence of Richard Armitage’s magical allure–those eyes, those smiles, that voice, that physique, that sweet and charming nature of his–we feel like giddy young schoolgirls again, as frisky as a young colt, full of spit and vinegar with exciting possibilities around every corner. Blondes may not necessarily have more fun; but this blonde has definitely had more fun since RA came into my life.
Richard himself can at times seem amazingly boyish even at 40; he has a very vernal quality to him, wouldn’t you say?
If the vernal Essence of Richard Armitage could somehow be captured and bottled, the man could make an absolute fortune and his dream Richard III project would face no financial difficulties whatsoever.
(Screencap courtesy of RANet, other images Wikipedia)
Today marks the first day of spring. We could experience a record high here of 86 degrees F. The pollen counts are high and I’m out of my allergy meds, so I need to pick up more tomorrow. Still, the blue skies and balmy breezes we’ve experienced of late is worth even sinus heachaches and sneezing attacks. So to celebrate the new season, here are some pretty photos.
(screencaps by RANet, florals via Google Images)