Richard Armitage in the Urban Premiere Q&A


Can you blame me for being distRActed at times?

Hopefully everyone has had a chance to watch the lovely UATSC Q&A panel posted by Chapel FM in which Candida Brady, Richard Armitage and Bernard Hare answered questions from first a moderator and later some audience members in what really appeared to be a relaxed and intimate setting during the premier of Urban And The Shed Crew at the Leeds International Film Festival. I saw several of you, fellow bloggers and forum members! Ever since reading a bit about it on Guylty’s first Leeds post, I was so very eager to get my hands on a transcript, but this little video really exceeded my expectations. I had no trouble hearing the questions and answers, many of which were excellent, but I will admit to being distracted a few times just watching Richard Armitage’s facial expressions, gestures, and attentive listening posture! (Had I actually been present, I think I’d have been tremendously distracted, and might not have heard or comprehended half of what was said as I stared, starstruck, at Richard….) No problem… at least in this format I could just rewind and try to pay attention. LOL

Little Smile

I’m afraid I missed what she said the first time… too busy melting at that little smile on Richard’s face. Time to rewind!

So yeah, this was so much better than a transcript! Just having the opportunity to study RA as he listened attentively to his fellow panelists, clearly engaged, smiling, using his expressive eyebrows…





Another Little Smile

Oops… I did it again. A throat like that should just be illegal.

What was I saying? Oh, yes. And then there were the little blinks of his eyes. I may have become distracted watching his throat as he swallowed a time or two….






Let’s have another look at this….

And I’m fairly sure I might have rewound a couple of times merely to relive the pleasure of moments like this. Oh, that lovely way he strokes his face! I do tend to get carried away admiring his hands! Yep, it’s probably best that I wasn’t actually in the audience that day.




I pretty much loved everything about this Q&A. Richard made a few little jokes that gave me a giggle. First, when the question was posed about how they went about casting the role of Chop (who represents Bernard Hare, author of the book), Richard quipped “Bernard said ‘a dwarf’!” Later, he (jokingly, I hope!) claimed he was “notorious for doing films without integrity”… at first I was startled by that, as when I think of RA’s films, it pretty much comes down to The Hobbit films. They may be fantasy, but the themes they explore aren’t without integrity! Into the Storm, well… it was no kind of gritty, cerebral film, and neither was The Avengers… it made me wonder whether, on some level, RA considers action adventures to be without integrity. (If so, doesn’t bode well for any RA-as-James Bond hopefuls!)

half the man

Richard Armitage pays a high compliment to Bernard Hare.

He went on to explain that when he’d read the script, what attracted him was the “realism” and the “heart and soul” and I suppose that was the point he was trying to make, and he injected that phrase “heart and soul” into the conversation again a few moments later as he spoke about Bernard Hare’s actions in the 1980’s when he immersed himself in the lives of society’s forsaken children, The Shed Crew. I thought Richard came across as so very humble here, admitting that as an actor, he’d felt privileged to witness and to immerse himself, as Chop, into that very close relationship between Hare, Urban, and the other Shed Crew members. When he pointed to the man seated next to him and said, “I’m half the man that this guy is” it really brought home Richard’s innate goodness.

Armitage also opened up a little about his family origins, and we learned that his own father had grown up in Leeds, in what sounds like relatively humble circumstances, though it was a different era and presumably the senior Mr. Armitage was not nearly so deprived as The Shed Crew. His father and two sisters did share one bed, though, and Richard gave a bit of insight into his father’s character and mindset, that you “make the best of what you’ve got”, which I found was interesting. He went on to talk more about some sort of spirit of the north, which was somewhat lost on me, but from the context I assumed that it was something he believed both his father, and Bernard Hare, represented for him. I wondered if he drew on aspects of his perception of that for both his roles of John Thornton (as representing the “North” in North and South) and Chop.


As we all know… here we have the picture of devotion to one’s craft!

When the questions were opened up to the audience members, one clearly in-the-know audience member asked Candida how they’d convinced Richard to get into the canal, and Richard had to admit that in this case, the running joke that water scenes mysteriously seem to appear in the scripts only after he’s signed the contract, didn’t apply. I liked how he demonstrated that he’d just sort of quickly paged through all that and tried to block it from his mind as he read the script. The poor man does go through all kinds of obstacles, trying to deliver his craft!


roll a cigarette

Best not let your mum know about that, Richard!

Again we had more insight about Richard’s remarkable dedication to his roles, along with another joke, when he confessed that the fake tobacco provided for the actors didn’t meet RA’s “realism” parameters, so he and Anna Friel smuggled in real tobacco to use instead. He jokingly asked Bernard why he just had to be a smoker, and said he’d smoked so many rolled cigarettes during the filming that he’d been in terrible shape by the time the film wrapped. Then a bit of cute braggadocio as he claimed he could roll smokes with the best of them!



Richard's Laugh

I particularly loved Bernard’s Elton John concert story because it resulted in a deep, genuine laugh from Richard! And another throat swallow.

Another great moment in the Q&A came from Bernard Hare later, when an audience member enquired about how the real-life Urban was doing. Bernard Hare was honest about it, saying there were ups and downs, but then he shared a humorous anecdote that I like to believe was a bit of a “proud parental moment” for Bernard. He told about Urban’s involvement in building the stands and the stage for an Elton John concert several years ago, and quipped that he’d been a bit dubious when he realized that 30,000 lives were in Shed Crew hands… but he was proud to report that nobody had been injured at the concert!



There were a couple of times during the Q&A when I noticed Richard politely stepped in and answered more the question that was asked when Candida Brady got slightly “off topic”, and again, it showed what close attention he was paying to both the questions and the responses. I didn’t mind when it went off topic at least once, as I found it interesting, as a mother myself, to hear the perspective one audience member who happened to be the mother of a child actor who’d portrayed one of the Shed Crew. This was in response to a great question, by the way, though I don’t know that it really answered the question that was asked. However, it was interesting the insight it gave, as the mother described how some of the other moms in her social circle had been a bit judgmental about her decision to allow her child to take such a gritty role, one that involved a lot of cussing and explored such disturbing themes. An opportunity to have the discussion that I believe Candida Brady, Bernard Hare, and Richard all desire will be sparked by the film… a discussion that people in certain social circles may not feel comfortable having, and might rather not talk about at all, much less expose their children to!

I Don't Think It's Suitable

Aw… an uncle’s dilemma!

I also appreciated how Richard expressed his own struggle with the underlying question, of how important is it to protect children in general from harsh realities versus how important is it to allow more privileged children to see and know more about the world around them. I myself struggle with this at times, as I cherish my own children’s innocence and want them to enjoy the lifestyle and opportunities that I am able to provide for them, yet also want to encourage a spirit of giving, an awareness/empathy for the troubles of others, and also an appreciation of their own many blessings. I found it endearing when Richard confessed that he was struggling a bit with whether the film would be appropriate for his own nephew (why is it delightful to imagine RA with “protective uncle” urges?). He said he’d had second thoughts himself after he’d watched the first 10 minutes of the film and remembered how many times the f-word was used… then went on to say that he’d reconsidered and realized that as a member of the next generation, his comparatively privileged nephew perhaps should begin to have some exposure to the hard truths addressed by the film.

Anyway, if you haven’t watched yet, you should definitely make the time to do so! There are a lot of gems in this Q&A, and I fully enjoyed the ogling the content! =)








Happy-Eyed Richard Armitage Will Get Me Every Time

RA Happy Eyes

A candid moment with Richard Armitage. Irresistible.

This candid photo is making the rounds. I know this version has been cropped and in the original he has his arm around an exceptionally lucky lady, but I saw it first as the cropped version, and couldn’t help but speculate about what caused such a look of genuine happiness and warmth on Richard Armitage’s features.

He’s fully engaged, and there is just a light in his eyes that I find overwhelmingly charming and charismatic. I also like his slightly flushed cheeks. And the smile-lines around his eyes.

He looks entirely cuddle-worthy, yet at the same time he’s just sort of effortlessly sexy, and I get the feeling that no matter what words might come out his mouth next, I’d likely agree whole-heartedly…


How about a hug? Oh, gladly!

Is there a decent bottle of red on hand? What kind of question is that?

Hand over the chocolate now. All of it. Anything for you, Richard!

Would you mind darning my socks later this evening?  Let me just… go and google that!

Did you know I forgot to make those phone calls?  You know I don’t call people, but… maybe this once.

May I have your entire lefse stash? Um. Oh, geez. I can’t… I don’t… well, all right.

You’ll notice I kept that list pretty G-rated. Not that other requests didn’t pop into my mind, but I’ll just keep those to myself.


H Happy Eyes

Hubby and child. Also irresistible to me.

Yes, that look just slays me. It also reminds me a lot of my Hubby, who has a similar way of looking at me when he either wants something, or is just fully content, affectionate and into the moment. Don’t know why, but when I first saw the photo above, it reminded me of a photo taken about 7 years ago, when my Young Love was an infant.

Kind of interesting when you think that both men have arms around someone they obviously care for in these photos.

I think again, it’s the light in the eyes, with those little crinkles showing and a smiling face exuding warmth.

This type of look will get me. Every time.




A Lovely Richard Armitage Package Arrived from @GladyRoland !


My care package from Glady showing the top of the lid, the inside of the box, the R-A necklace, hand-written note, and front side of the customized Thornton sachet.

A couple of weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a drawing for a “thank you” gift provided by fellow admirer Glady for participating in the fundraiser spearheaded by Guylty in the Syrian Children’s Relief campaign. Actually, I believe Glady herself was initially drawn as the winner… what are the odds? LOL. Glady immediately got in touch with me and sent a lovely e-mail introducing herself and promised the package would be on its way shortly.



Showing the gorgeous John Proctor on the inside of the gift box lid, and the back side of the Thornton sachet!

I received it this weekend and was so touched. Not only the beautiful gift box with the R-A necklace as promised, but she included a lovely hand-written letter that brought tears to my eyes and a personalized scented sachet, knowing that it was Mr. Thornton who lured me into this fandom. Doesn’t it look lovely on my dresser?





Glady’s stage door photo of Richard Armitage taken at The Old Vic, Sept. 13, 2014.

And last but not least, Glady included a framed Stage Door photo taken by her daughter after the final Saturday night performance of The Crucible. I particularly love this one because he has a very gracious smile on his face and little crinkles showing at the corner of his eyes. I have it in my office next to another framed photo sent by Guylty of her gorgeous Berlin premiere Richard.

I feel so blessed. As fabulous as Richard is, it’s the fellowship with clever, warm-hearted admirers around the world that brings me the most joy.

Thank you, Glady! ((((Hugs!))))


How Did I NOT Fall For Richard Armitage In December 2012?


Richard Armitage. Thorin Oakenshield. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

I went to see the extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the movie theatre last night. As I’ve previously mentioned, Hubby and I have long been fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films, and haven’t missed an opening night on any one of them. However, with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we waited until all three films were out then bought all three at once with a boxed set of extended editions, and have been waiting for several years now to do likewise with The Hobbit trilogy. All this to say, I haven’t ever seen the AUJ extended version, and though I’ve watched bits and pieces on television when it aired, I haven’t actually watched it all the way through since December of 2012.

What struck me last night, with my newfound “preoccupation” with Richard Armitage, was how in hell I didn’t “discover” Richard back then? I do recall thinking the actor who played Thorin Oakenshield did a damn fine job, and was unusually hot for a dwarf (along with Kili and Fili) to boot… after all, my experience with dwarves to that point rested mainly with the not-so-stirring Gimli from the earlier trilogy. No offense, Gimli! I liked you well enough to consider getting a pug and naming it “Gimli”…  But really, there was the end of it. We loved the movie and were well-satisfied to return to Middle Earth. I vaguely remember asking Hubby if he knew the actor who played Thorin, and when he didn’t, I IMDB’d the guy, notified Hubby that he didn’t look anything like Thorin in real life, and was some British actor I’d never heard of. I even scrolled through his credits to confirm I’d never seen any of his previous works, and I believe I concluded that he was an “unknown”… LOL! Sorry, Richard! Little did I know that you already had a fervent following!

While we were avid enough fans of Peter Jackson to brave opening night, long lines and all that jazz at the cinemas, and we were aware that the Hobbit movies were being filmed, we weren’t nearly so avid as to be actually following who was cast, so we were blithely unaware that there had been controversy and disputes within the Middle Earth fandom surrounding the casting of a young, handsome “unknown” actor for the role that many believed should have gone to someone older, someone “fantasy cast” for years by Tolkien lovers. I can only hope that the naysayers were for the most part proven wrong (you can’t please everyone, so 100% conversion is not to be expected!) All I know is that I was, at the time, NOT familiar with Armitage, and I was very much impressed with everyone’s performance. I don’t believe I bothered to IMDB any of the other cast, though, so that tells you something- Thorin stood out for me even back then.

However, from my new perspective, it’s hard to believe that I didn’t overcome my apparently inherent prejudice against short hairy dwarves and fall irretrievably in love with Armitage back when. After seeing the film again last night, I appreciated him even more. Thorin’s voice! That noble visage! What was wrong with my eyes and my ears in 2012? I could just smack myself when I look back on it.

I’ll never understand it. Looking forward to Desolation of Smaug tonight, though! Extended Edition Richarding… it’s a beautiful thing. =)

Dream: Richard Armitage Norwegian Wedding


I have weddings on the brain. As you may recall, Little Sister and I recently attended my cousin’s wedding in Colorado, and the Young Love and I are scheduled to attend my aunt’s wedding to her longtime girlfriend in Colorado next month. Apparently, all these weddings have spilled over into my subconscious, and I’m happy to say that Richard Armitage finally revisited my dreamscape.

For a little background, I should tell you just a bit about the wedding I recently attended. It turns out that my cousin’s new father-in-law, who we’ll call “Dennis”, is one of those people you might say is a Serious Control Freak. According to my cousin, there were times during the wedding planning when his fiancé was reduced to tears because Dennis the Menace was continually taking charge and refusing to listen to her wishes regarding the wedding service, the decorations, the reception, or any of it. So forceful was Dennis’ personality, in fact, that the couple actually planned their honeymoon in secret, not telling any family member where they were going, because having caved to Dennis on numerous other issues, they didn’t want any interference from him on their honeymoon!

So “our” side of the family, being rather more laid back, derived a great deal of snarky amusement watching Dennis direct activities like a military general at the wedding reception. I do have to hand it to Dennis… everything went off very smoothly, if in a slightly regimented fashion! And although I was too intimidated by Dennis to approach him, I did later wish I’d gone over to the brides’ family table to talk to them about their Norwegian roots. Some of her family came all the way from Norway for the wedding, and I was charmed by their willingness to come so far.

* * *

I am in a state of agitation, completely flustered, because I have missed Richard Armitage’s wedding ceremony. (I can’t explain how I came to be invited, nor do I know the identity of his new spouse. It seems that this fortuitous individual’s name has been kept undisclosed, but I expected to learn the secret at the wedding!) I have my four-year old daughter in tow, and she’s dressed to the nines in her rainbow dress. I am also wearing a dress, and part of my agitation is due to the fact that I did not have time to shower before the ceremony, or to fix my hair or apply new makeup. In fact, I’m feeling really hot and sweaty, in part due to my anxiety over having missed the ceremony, and in part because I have been wielding my lefse stick over several hot griddles in the kitchen all afternoon, feverishly preparing a tall stack of lefse with my family.

Lefse Project

This is a really small lefse crew. You can see we start them young in my family. Young Love was two, and Little Sister was 1 week old when Dad and Brother came to visit. We couldn’t let an opportunity to celebrate the new baby’s arrival pass without making lefse!

Let’s take a moment here, because not everyone may be familiar with lefse. And that is a shame. Lefse, in my humble opinion, is just about the most delicious stuff in the world. It’s an ultra-thin (think crepe) potato- based Norwegian flatbread that is heavenly when eaten warm off the griddle, dripping with butter. Now, some people enjoy lefse with cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on, but in my family, we prefer straight-up hot buttered lefse, and we will use any excuse for a family gathering to get a crew together and make an enormous batch. This labor of love involves about 10-lb of potatoes boiled, peeled and riced, which are then mixed into a dough with heavy cream, flour and lard the day before the lefse party. The lefse assembly process involves specialized equipment, a great quantity of flour, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and plenty of lefse smack-talk. Ideally we need one person to form dough balls, a couple more to roll out the dough, one or two to man the griddles, and someone to stack and steam and carefully count the lefse.

Although I’ve missed the exchange of vows, I am still in time to make it to Richard Armitage’s wedding reception. While I may not have fresh hair and makeup, I do come prepared in one respect. I have an insulated bag full of lovingly prepared lefse, which I was instructed by Dennis to provide for the wedding reception. (In fact, knowing my family and the way we obsessive-compulsively count and divvy up the lefse, all participants watching like hawks to ensure a fair portion of lefse is allotted for personal consumption, I was probably late due to negotiating the number of lefse that would be relinquished for Richard Armitage versus the number of lefse that the family would keep!) Although Richard’s new spouse is shrouded in mystery, Dennis has indicated that there will be a large Norwegian contingent in attendance, and I am speculating that Richard may have married some long-legged Scandinavian supermodel. 

With my precious lefse bag in one hand and my daughter’s hand in the other, I enter the ballroom. I notice that many of the guests are already seated, and many of them are wearing beautiful Norwegian sweaters. I look up toward the dais where the wedding party is seated above the rest, and I immediately spot Richard Armitage in the center. (Apparently I’m flustered enough that I forget to see who the best man is or to really look at any of the wedding party other than Richard.) I see that the chair adjacent to Richard is empty. Glancing around, I spot Dennis, who is checking his watch rather impatiently. Where is the Scandinavian supermodel, or whoever it is Richard has married?


The recipe is simple, if time-consuming, and passed down over countless generations. There is no describing the mouth-watering aroma or the perfection of each buttery, potatoey bite. =)

I quickly make my way over to the buffet table and talk for a moment with the caterers about a covered dish to keep the lefse moist and warm, and ask for butter to be placed nearby. Then I take my seat. I study Richard, who is looking gorgeous in a black tuxedo, but has furrowed brows. I presume he’s wondering where his spouse might be. (Though maybe he’s uncomfortable because he knows that Nobody screws with Dennis’ time table at wedding receptions!) As we wait for something to happen, Little Sister starts asking when they will be cutting the cake, and when the dancing will begin. (So many boys, so little time!)

Pretty soon Dennis approaches the dais and speaks to Richard, who shakes his head and indicates he doesn’t know. Dennis begins to gesticulate and point to his watch, and Richard, harried, scans the room hopefully. Still no spouse. Dennis and Richard then exit the room, only to return a few minutes later. Richard takes his seat, and Dennis speaks to the wait staff, who begin to circulate, taking drink orders. More time elapses, and at some point, Little Sister escapes and begins asking boys to dance. Boy after boy shakes his head no. (The other parents evidently have better control over their offspring!)

Little Sister, who is a veteran of a Dennis-controlled wedding reception, then gets a bright idea. She approaches the man himself. (Not Richard. Dennis Runs The Program at these events!) She tugs on Dennis’ pants, and when he bends down to hear her better, I can only assume she either asks Dennis to dance (this did happen at my cousin’s wedding, BTW. To Dennis’ credit, he complied!) or she asks Dennis to get this party started, but in either case, Dennis sets his shoulders, takes her by the hand, and Dennis and Little Sister march back to the dais. After a few stern words with Richard, who finally shrugs and accepts the inevitable, Dennis turns to the attendees and announces that it’s time to eat and dance. Nobody addresses the elephant in the room: Richard’s significant other still has not appeared!


Norwegian Lover’s Mittens

After everyone has filled their plates and taken their seats, Dennis announces that some of the attendees have travelled all the way from Norway, and one of the Norwegians has asked to make a short speech in honor of Richard and his absent spouse. Everyone applauds, and an older gentleman dressed in a Norwegian sweater stands up and goes to stand behind Richard and the empty seat. After a few remarks about his travels in the United States that don’t seem to apply at all to the matter at hand, the elderly Norwegian gentleman says his wife has knitted a trio of Norwegian Lover’s Mittens in honor of the couple. He holds up 3 mittens: a right-hand mitten, a left-hand mitten, and a conjoined mitten for the hand-holding couple to wear together. Dennis, realizing that the special moment is somewhat diminished by the lack of a marital partner to demonstrate the mittens, lifts Little Sister up to the dais, and the elderly Norwegian gentleman helps her to stand on the empty chair. Richard good-naturedly dons his left-handed mitten, Little Sister dons the right-handed mitten, and my heart melts as they work out how to put on the shared mitten, then hold up their joined hands for all to see. (Where does my brain come up with these themes?!)

Reception Dance

Now how lucky is he? *snickers*

Never one to miss a golden opportunity, Little Sister then asks the hottest guy in the room to dance. Richard Armitage is either unable to resist her, or unwilling to disappoint her, (or intimidated into capitulation by Dennis!) because he stands up and, still wearing the mittens, carries Little Sister onto the dance floor. He sets her down, and having to stoop to keep hold of her hands, they begin to dance. 

stagedoorPretty soon, ladies begin to form a line along one wall near the dance floor, each waiting her turn to dance with Richard. Several kids and a few couples join the dancers, and Little Sister soon finds a new partner. It’s beginning to remind me of The Stage Door. (In fact, it’s exactly like that!) Even at his own, bizarre wedding reception, Richard Armitage finds himself confronting a line of expectant ladies, and graciously, he begins to dance for short periods with each of them. 

Meanwhile, another line is forming, consisting almost exclusively of Norwegians (easily identified by their sweaters, of course!) over at the buffet table, and I realize that the servers have put out the lefse. (Perhaps only those of us of Norwegian descent will appreciate the spot-on nature of this! LOL). I watch the lefse anxiously, knowing that the supply is limited. As the stack of lefse dwindles, I begin to become very concerned that Richard Armitage is not going to get any lefse! (This, ladies, would be an absolute calamity!) I start looking back and forth between the line of Norwegians and the line of ladies, and I realize that there is no way that Richard will have time to dance with all the ladies, and still be in time to get his lefse. I can’t let that happen. If I thought I was sweaty before, it was nothing compared to what I’m feeling now… this wedding reception is already enough of a debacle without Richard missing out on my lefse! 

After briefly deliberating whether I should try to notify Dennis about the lefse situation, I decide to take matters into my own hands. I stand up, and move to the front of the line at the dance floor, trying to ignore the sharp looks and the air of resentment from the ladies in line. Richard is spending about 30 seconds dancing with each lady, so it isn’t long before he’s standing in front of me with a polite but vacant smile, holding out his hand to take me onto the dance floor. I have no intention of dancing, not even with Richard Armitage. (Two left feet. Trust me, my four-year old can out-dance me any day of the week!)

“Um, if you want to take a quick break, the lefse is almost gone!”

Richard snaps out of his autopilot and leans in closer. “The left what is almost gone?”

“The lefse!”

“Pardon me?”

I say it several more times as I lead Richard away from the dance floor, but clearly he has no clue what lefse is. Luckily, he seems willing enough to come along with me, but I’m feeling very awkward because I’ve just pissed off half the non-Norwegian guests and Richard is looking bewildered. (Just what kind of Scandinavian has he married who never bothered to tell him about lefse?) We reach the buffet table and stand at the end of the line. (Apparently, I’ll risk the wrath of cutting into the would-be dance line, but I know better than to cut in front of Norwegians in line for lefse!) As the line moves slowly forward, I point to the Norwegians and try to get across to Richard that what they’re eating is lefse. He’s nodding. Maybe he understands me, maybe he doesn’t. I glance up at him, and he appears to be looking at my hair with a slight smile.

“Flowers in your hair?” For a moment I’m confused, then I pat my head to see if I’ve misplaced a flower there, and a small flurry of white powder puffs out of my hair. With horror, I realize Richard has noticed flour in my hair! 

“From the lefse! I made it this afternoon!” Richard smiles kindly. I wish I’d showered. Before I can die of mortification, I suddenly see that the very last piece of lefse is being plated. I gesture helplessly, and Richard witnesses the tragic moment as well. 

Although he clearly doesn’t know what he is missing, Richard appears genuinely disappointed. His shoulders slump, but I suspect he’s mostly sympathetic on my behalf. Clearly, serving him my lefse was important to me. Richard asks if there is any more in the kitchen, and I shake my head. Then he must have seen a shifty expression cross my face, because he asks, (with remarkable acuity) whether there is any more lefse at my house. (Crap!) Of course there is, but I don’t really want to share my private stash! Even with Richard Armitage! (I’m ashamed to admit that my generosity unfortunately has its limits, and its limits start with my lefse allotment. LOL)

As I narrow my eyes and wonder if I’m enough of an actress to deceive Richard Armitage about my lefse supply, Richard’s gaze suddenly shoots to something over my shoulder, and his face transforms with delight. Without having to turn around, I know that his wedded love has arrived at last. I give him a congratulatory pat on the shoulder and wave him away, vastly relieved that I don’t have to procure a single piece of lefse from my reserve.

I’m so pleased with this development, that I forget to even notice who the hell it was that Richard Armitage has married. 

* * *

Richard Armitage Writes a Blog Post!


I know… sounds like one of my weird dreams. But, no… Richard Armitage actually wrote a guest post on the Cybersmile Blog. It takes courage to open yourself in such a way, to put your thoughts out there to a huge audience. Perhaps more so when you put it out there in the wake of controversy and in your own name. I appreciate him for taking the time to compose a post, and I love to speculate about how much time it took him to compose it, and how many sentences he wrote, deleted, reworded… what’s your blogging process like, Richard? =)

I’ve read it through, twice. I’m still processing. It was not unlike some of my own posts- a bit meandering, but I think I can take away from it that the main idea he was previously hoping to convey was to think twice before you post on social media, particularly if you’re reacting to something that makes you angry or a topic that stirs feelings of hatred in you.

Several interesting items came up in this roundabout fashion of his.

He deletes more than he sends. (We noticed, Richard!)

He prefers what is said should be said using real names, rather than anonymously or using a pseudonym. (I assume he believes we’re more likely to think carefully about what we post if we can’t hide behind anonymity, and that is a valid point… but the fact that there are cyberbullies and other sick individuals out there who might seek to damage our reputations, businesses, families or even stalk us if they take exception to what we say online makes this a risky proposition!)

He doesn’t believe words should necessarily be censored by others, but by those speaking or writing them (I agree!)

He suggests an alternative outlet, such as an artistic outlet, for the negative energy that results in cyberbullying, or from cyberbullying. (Is that what you meant, Richard? I think that’s what you meant!)

Some food for thought there. (I admit I’m so fond of him I just enjoyed the novelty of him blogging.) I didn’t agree with everything he had to say, and again quite a bit of it was somewhat vague. Certainly once again some of it seemed to me to be a response to some of the questions and concerns many had after last week’s Cybersmile Interview. How much is he really watching? I’ll be curious to observe whether this just serves to stir the pot more, or if it will appease anyone who’s been upset or viewed the Cybersmile initiative as the “Cybersmile Debacle” but at the same time I’m a bit leary of venturing onto Twitter to see what may or may not be going on there today. =)

So I’m sticking to WordPress for the moment. Oh, and I think I’ll take Richard’s suggestion and check out “Catfish” (2010). It’s available on Amazon Instant Video.

Head Cast of Richard Armitage


It was hard for me to see Richard in this head cast until I edited several photos of him in a combination of comic book and inverted colors and compared that to the photo of the cast. Then I could see it.

Idle occupations on a Monday.

Has anyone photoshopped this head cast onto a classic Greek statue yet? Maybe a job for obscura…

Updated: obscura likened the head cast to not a Greek statue, but a style of Roman portrait sculpture called verism. I learn so much in this fandom!!


Dream: Supermarket Mortification Contest with Richard Armitage





I recently had a really rather humiliating outing to the pharmacy. This is so embarrassing that I hesitate to share it here, but it does provide some context for the weird, weird dream I had last night. Anyway, with one kid in preschool and another in kindergarten, it’s somewhat inevitable that the kids become exposed to various nasty things once in a while. No matter how much parents and teachers try to prevent it, it’s just an undeniable fact that kids cough, sneeze, rub their eyes, pick their noses, scratch their bottoms etc., and they don’t always wash their hands or use the antiseptic gels before they resume playing with toys, handling crayons, and so forth. Hence, it’s a fact of life that the kids now and again come home with a stomach bug, a respiratory virus, pink-eye, or the embarrassing problem of: pinworms.

When you start to see a little kid scratching his or her rear end continually, think pinworms. And be worried. Because those little nematodes are very easily transmitted, and can spread to the whole family in no time, due to the worms’ tactics of emerging and laying eggs in the underwear and bed sheets in the night (do you wash your hands every time you handle the kids’ dirty laundry or change the sheets? You should!) They also cause an unbearable itch, so the kid scratches it, and if they don’t wash their hands, the microscopic eggs are deposited on any object that they then handle. As a veterinary aside… don’t blame the pets for pinworms. They come from humans.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I had cause to suspect one of the kids might have pinworms after I observed my child frantically scratching his or her rear end, and being the veterinary diagnostician that I am, I knew it could be easily confirmed microscopically. A pair of gloves, a piece of scotch tape applied to the itchy area first thing the following morning, and an examination of the tape applied to the microscope slide later at work confirmed the problem, and I thought about using the pyrantel pamoate we have at the clinic, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even though it’s the same active ingredient and I can calculate a human dose as easily as I can calculate a veterinary dose, I just didn’t really want to give my kids the dose out of the large bottle of pyrantel we have on hand for the puppies. So I made a run to the pharmacy, looking for Pin X.

Very, very embarrassing. First I could not find it, and had to ask for help from the pharmacist with several people in line. Then I was directed, red-faced, to the anti-fungal section, which is in itself a bit embarrassing. (Apparently the pharmacy concluded that “Ringworm” and “Pinworm” were similar enough to be shelved together. *Smacks head* Why didn’t I think of that? LOL) Anyway, I bought a couple of bottles, and made the whole family take the Pin X, even though 3 of us weren’t suffering any symptoms… yet. Better to be safe than sorry, right? So there I was at the counter with 2 bottles of Pin X, feeling very self-conscious, and publicly parasitized. It was not an experience I’d care to repeat. In fact, when I got home, I ordered another couple of bottles from an online source, so I’d just have it on hand if this frightful problem ever revisits our household, and not have to make another such awkward run to Walgreens…..

On to the dream…

* * *

I am in the pharmacy section of the largest supermarket in town, furtively looking for Pin X. I search the aisles, high and low, but am so far unsuccessful. Remembering the layout over at Walgreens, I decide to check the anti-fungal section before throwing in the towel. I round the corner into a new aisle, and that’s when I see a tall man wearing sunglasses and a ball cap pulled low over his forehead.

He’s standing in front of the anti-fungal ointments and topical sprays, and I decide to casually peruse other products, not wanting to have him see me pick up a bottle of Pin X and put it in my cart. The man looks familiar, having a tall, lean build… and he looks really nice from behind, but I can’t see more than his profile. Sympathetic to the potential embarrassment of being caught browsing the antifungal products, I try to avoid staring at the man. He’s reading the fine print on a can of Tinactin, and out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly realize that this man’s hand is familiar, and elegant. There’s something about that thumb… with a little gasp, I realize it’s Richard Armitage! I back my cart out of the aisle, practically hyperventilating, hoping he didn’t hear me gasp. I start to head as far away from the pharmacy section as I can get, because the last thing I want or need is an encounter with Richard Armitage involving Pin X or Tinactin.

I make my way to the grocery section, and do some shopping, trying to calm down. I can’t believe Richard Armitage is at the supermarket… and I can’t help myself. I wonder if he might have Athlete’s foot. And I really hope he doesn’t have Ringworm. Poor Richard! The third possibility… I won’t even go there. No! I. Said. I. Won’t. Go. There. I enter the canned food aisle, and I see the man again. This time, I decide to play it casual, and not put it in reverse and back out of the aisle, because to have that happen twice might rouse Richard’s suspicions. I pass his cart, glance in, see the Tinactin. I also see a box of Gas X. OMG. I didn’t just see that. I glance at Richard and see he’s not paying attention to me. He has a crafty smile on his face, and a humongous 32oz can of pinto beans in his hand. He tosses it into the cart with a chuckle and continues past me, heading in the opposite direction.

WTF is he doing with an enormous can of beans and box of Gas X??!?

That’s his business, I tell myself. That’s Richard’s business and I won’t speculate. I continue shopping. I move on to the kid’s clothing section, now starting to giggle a bit myself. That’s just such an embarrassing assortment of things to be buying. Poor Richard! As I grab a couple of packages of kid’s socks, I spot Armitage again. He’s in the panty-hose section and has a package of tan panty-hose. I shake my head and hope he gets the tallest ones available, and speed in the opposite direction. My head is spinning. How can I be attracted to a man who buys panty hose? Or any of the other things that insane man has in his cart?

With Richard safely occupied in the women’s hosiery section, I head back to the pharmacy and rush into the aisle for the Pin X. I grab a couple of boxes and try to hide them under my other groceries, then head back out. I hear that low, sardonic chuckle again and can’t help myself… I know that’s Richard behind me. I really don’t want to see what he has now, and I sure as hell hope he didn’t see me with the Pin X! Still, it’s as if someone else is controlling my cart, because I find myself making a U-turn, and sure enough, there he is again, this time with some kind of wart-remedy product in one hand, and anti-foot-stink powder in the other hand. My jaw drops, and damned if I don’t glance up and see he’s removed his sunglasses, and he’s onto me.

He winks.

I gape.

“Hey, Doc.”

I gulp. I try to say something, but there are no words. I shake my head and sort of wave and gesture at his cart.

He grins and raises an eyebrow.

“It’s all in the way of a Twitter joke,” he offers.

“Hashtag #PeopleOfWalmart?” I respond.

He smiles.

I rifle through my groceries and locate the most embarrassing product of all.

“Don’t forget this, then.”

I hand Richard Armitage a bottle of Pin X. He accepts it, his eyes goggle, and I hear a guffaw as I put it in reverse, wheel my cart around, and make haste for the cashier.

I don’t look back.

* * *

I think this dream might be even more mortifying than the time Hubby brought out the Naked… well, you know what.

Seriously, I never need to see Richard Armitage again.