Speaking of Spies… @GirlofGisborne Made Me a Lucas Fanvid!!

A couple of weeks ago, after I’d raved about her Francis Dolarhyde fanvid over at the forum and dropped a hint mentioned how I’d always wanted to make a specific Lucas North fanvid, the lovely, talented and compassionate Girl of Gisborne offered to lend her amazing artistic and technical skills to the project!

When I first heard the song “Welcome Home” by Radical Face, I fell in love with the song, and not long after that, I discovered Richard Armitage and soon found myself immersed in Spooks and totally overwhelmed with Lucas North. As many of us in the early throes of Armitage Affliction will have experienced, one of the great joys of “discovering” Richard is in endlessly browsing RA fanvids on YouTube. As you can imagine, I soon began to fantasize about making my own fanvid, and the song I had in mind, “Welcome Home” seemed so appropriate for the tortured character of Lucas North, newly returned from his 8 year Russian imprisonment, so beautiful and so irresistibly full of angst.

I think the result is sublime! I get teary-eyed every time I watch it. Some magical combination of the song, the lyrics, the stunning man, and his emotional upheaval… it’s a gorgeous fanvid. Check it out:


* * *

“Welcome Home” by Radical Face

Sleep don’t visit, so I choke on sun and the days blur into one
And the backs of my eyes hum with things I’ve never done

Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline
Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass
Was never much, but we’ve made the most
Welcome home

Ships are launching from my chest
Some have names but most do not
If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

Peel the scars from off my back
I don’t need them anymore
You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
I’ve come home

All my nightmares escape my head
Bar the door, please don’t let them in
You were never supposed to leave
Now my head’s splitting at the seams
And I don’t know if I can

Here, beneath my lungs
I feel your thumbs
Press into my skin again

* * *

HUGE and heartfelt thank you to Girl of Gisborne. “Ships are launching from my chest”… I’m so touched that you would go to so much time and effort, and the final product is brilliant! And in light of today’s announcement that Richard will be taking on a similar role (Daniel Meyer, CIA agent) in next fall’s EPIX original series Berlin Station, it’s also a very timely way to celebrate our man’s amazing talents in the spy genre!

2/18/16 Update: Girl of Gisborne took down her YouTube channel for reasons as yet unknown… *sobs*… apparently I had downloaded my special video, so I still have it… but I really miss the other videos. Girl of Gisborne, if you read this… we miss you and your lovely talent!



Limerick: Armitage Eyes

0dc986e815da37aa2ed332d75b37142bSeated at my desk with a tall stack of charts…
I can’t face catching up, I don’t have the heart.
I know the day this stack began:
The blame belongs to a particular man!
It was October 9 when my chart count did start.



B0GAZPxCYAEWKPiRichard Armitage on Twitter distracts every time…
But on that particular day, his tweet was sublime.
He planned a surprise
A selfie, with eyes
So distRActing, it was actually a crime!





IMG_303485126580042Yes, I need to catch up, I’m a month behind…
But I find that Armitage is always on my mind.
Preoccupied each day
I can’t look away
If I weren’t my own boss, a pink slip I’d find!




1163f321756786328c6c224f3bc86f4dBut really, Richard Armitage, I can’t help myself…
Your ears just remind me of the sexiest elf
Then there’s your mouth
And everything south
I can’t choose your best feature from such wealth!





EyesThat being said, if I had no choice but to choose…
I’d have to decide on those baby blues.
Even before I fell
Into this preoccupied spell
Richard’s eyes had me truly enthused.





imagesDE55D5IMThat was way back, when Thorin walked through the door…
He arrived at Bag End ready to settle an old score.
I was at the local theatre
With my eyes on the leader
And a whole new outlook on the dwarves of Tolkien lore!


Richard Armitage London StudiosI suppose it’s as well that I didn’t pursue…
At the time I couldn’t afford to bid normalcy adieu!
It would be over 2 years
Before I kicked into gear
John Thornton made me join the queue.





thorntoneyes1I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…
He had me at “Stephens”- it still makes me grin!
But as a first time beholder
Yet to see John’s eyes smolder
I’d no idea the trouble I was in!




sadeyes1Such expressions those eyes at different moments convey…
Be it outrage, arrogance, or wistful dismay.
As my viewing progressed
I couldn’t help but be impressed
At the volumes Those Eyes Alone can say!



glamorguySometimes what kills me is that “Come Hither” look…
Gisborne’s eyes only, no finger need be crooked!
I’d be a goner
If he’d do me the honor
It’s no mystery why I’ve become hooked!




proctor2When I saw him live in London at The Old Vic…
The fire in John’s eyes caused my heart to kick.
The intensity of his stare
Had my heart snared
In a way that can’t be explained in a pic.





IMG_0739reMy new friend Irache, from The Crucible Stage Door
Managed to get a shot that I love all the more.
It’s nothing but eyes
But it’s a hell of a prize
When we first saw it, we practically yelled “Score!”



Thorin2As if all of this wasn’t sufficient to distract…
A heartbreak is coming, that’s just a fact.
We’ll all follow Thorin one last time
Profoundly painful, and yet sublime
Grappling with these images that both sadden, and attract.




esquire1So back to the charts… I’m afraid they must wait…
Until my equilibrium returns to steady state.
Armitage Eyes have struck again
I’m beginning to wonder if or when
Their hold on me will begin to abate.

Dream: (Halloween Special) Cult of the Armitage-Automata

I had quite the creepy dream, more of a nightmare, really… and thought it was actually rather fitting to share on Halloween.


What signifies a poppet?

* * *


Benedict Cumberbatch wax figure, Madame Tussauds, London (Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

I’m in London, visiting Benedict Cumberbatch. Not the actual Benedict Cumberbatch, you understand, but the wax version that was recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds. I’m in the middle a whole lot of CumberCollective members, and (though I don’t really affiliate myself as a Cumberbabe, or Cumberbitch, or whatever they are calling themselves these days) their enthusiasm is rather infectious. I’m right there in the throng, looking and acting suspiciously like a Cumberbitch, busy trying to get a selfie with Benedict. I can’t seem to get it right. (What was it Guylty said? Chin out, tilt head… I don’t have the art of the selfie down at all!) After some dreadful results on my first several attempts, I decide to move to a less crowded area to practice my selfie. Once I have the knack of it, I will re-enter the fray and try for a better one with Benedict.

I move down a corridor, looking for a private area where I can practice with my cell phone. I see a door marked “Private” and that is exactly what I’ve been looking for. (Part of me knows I’m not authorized to go in there, but my dream self is apparently willing to break the rules in the name of Benedict Cumberbatch.) I knock hesitantly on the door, and there is no response, so I try the door knob, and find it unlocked. I slip into the darkened room, and feel for a light switch, but there is none. This appears to be a storage area, but there is a dimly lit doorway across the room that appears to have a light source.

I enter the connecting room, which is dimly lit with small lights along the floorboards, but I am able to make out that there are tall wax figures (perfect for practicing!) in here. I find an overhead light switch, flip it on, and what I see here takes my breath. My heart begins to thud, because I’ve just stumbled onto something that as far as I know, is a Real Scoop for my true fandom, the Richard Armitage fandom. We’ve all been wondering if Richard Armitage would ever have his day at Madame Tussauds… and it appears that he secretly has!


John Proctor, upright and scowling. (Johan Persson)

Five life-sized wax figures are arranged
in various poses around the room…

John Proctor is standing in the center,
scowling fiercely.





John Thorton, top hat on his head.

John Thornton, wearing his top hat,
stands gazing pensively, as if waiting,
with one hand behind his back,
and a small stack of books in the other.






Guy of Gisborne, looking up with a smirk.

Guy of Gisborne leans casually
against a post, arms crossed,
with a slight smirk.





Lucas North, armed and dangerous.

Lucas North has a weapon in one hand,
and the other hand touching his ear,
as if listening to an ear mic.




Harry Kennedy, carefree.

Harry Kennedy is dressed for a
walk in the countryside,
and looks casually relaxed and cheerful.



I am absolutely amazed at my perfect, blind luck! I immediately begin taking pictures from all angles of these gorgeous works of wax. I’ve completely forgotten about practicing selfies, and it doesn’t occur to me to attempt to do selfies with these Richard Armitage characters. They’re too beautiful… I’m thinking to myself that either the management at Madame Tussauds, or one of the wax artists, must be a huge fan of Richard’s work, and am greatly puzzled about why these amazing pieces are not on display in the museum. Is it a work in progress, with more characters to be added? Certainly Thorin ought to have a place, I muse, and John Porter. Even sweetie John Standring, heroic dad Gary WhatsHisName, or Lee in his speedo, would be admirable additions!

I’m so caught up studying these figures in minute detail that I lose track of time. I’m done taking shots of the overall figures, and have moved on to close-ups of elegant hands, chiseled lips, elfish ears and expressive blue eyes. I’m in the middle of a particularly compelling close up of John Thornton’s hand, when the overhead light goes off. A clock chimes somewhere out in the main area of the museum, and I realize it’s midnight! Suddenly aware that I must have missed the closing time, I start to move toward the door, when I hear a distinct click of a lock, and retreating footsteps. Security guard? I move out into the room that I first entered, try the door, and find myself locked in the room! I’m about to call out, when I hear a noise behind me, and all the hairs on my arms stand up.

As far as I knew, I was alone in these rooms. So who was that?

I slowly turn around, and though the lighting is very dim, I see that the wax figure of John Proctor is now seated, with his face in one hand, much like he sat in the opening of The Crucible. He’s not moving; he’s still as wax. Nevertheless, chills run up and down my spine. I could have sworn he was standing a moment ago! My heart is now racing and I am feeling true fear. It’s clear to me that I’ve left a pleasant fantasy world, and entered a horror story instead. I hear another small noise, creep nearer, and see that Gisborne is now looking down, studying a drawn knife. There is now an expression of deadly ferocity on his face. He’s not moving, either, but I know (that I know that I know!) he didn’t have a knife a few minutes ago. He was smirking! His arms were crossed! I have the pictures to prove it!

I slowly and silently sink down to the floor, pressing my cheek against the wall; I am filled with dread and awe… my limbs feel hollow, my lips feel numb. I Must Not Turn My Back On Them. I peek around the door frame again, and now Thornton has moved! He’s taken his hat off with his free hand, and is now looking expectantly up, as if he’s on Margaret’s doorstep. I don’t even want to know what Lucas is up to- if he even is Lucas– what if that’s actually his alter ego John Bateman? That one had a freaking gun last I knew!

As the minutes tick by, I am frozen on the floor, having no idea what kind of alternate reality I’ve fallen into. I hear an occasional scuffing sound, but mostly there is nothing but silence, and the sound of my own heartbeat pounding in my ears. My mind is racing with possibilities, and at some point, I begin to ponder which of these wax figures I could trust the most, in the event that Lucas or Guy, with their weapons, should discover me! I instinctively believe that Harry is probably harmless, but I’m not certain whether the accountant is up to defending me against a warrior like Guy, or a trained operative like Lucas. I know Thornton is good at fisticuffs, but when I last dared to look, he seemed distracted, like his thoughts are on Margaret, so I think I’m going to have to rely on John Proctor. I’m not planning to appeal to Proctor unless I’m in dire need, but I feel better having a plan.

As I sit petrified, hardly daring to breathe, wondering what the hell is going on, I naturally start to second-guess myself. For all I know, these animated wax figures are nothing like the characters they portray. Harry Kennedy could be a smiling psychopath. John Proctor could be the Devil’s familiar! I keep hearing small movements in the dimly lit room, but I no longer have the courage to try to see what the wax figures are up to.

After an interminable period of waiting and wondering, I begin to hear footsteps in the corridor. They draw nearer, but I don’t know if I can, or indeed should, say anything. I don’t know if that’s even a human! For all I know, that could be the wax figure of Adolf Hitler marching around out there! I decide to stay silent.

To my escalating horror, I hear the footsteps stop outside in the corridor. There is a key in the lock, and the door opens. Two women come in, and they are cloaked mysteriously. Whispering to each other, they move past me without ever looking down, and enter the room with the Richard Armitage characters. I hear one of the women whisper that Harry looks to be in the easiest position to carry, and soon they emerge, with soft grunts and staggering slightly, carrying Harry Kennedy horizontally, one at the shoulder level and one at the knee level. Harry’s face is toward me, and I am incredibly creeped out when his eyes lock with mine and stay focused on me as he is carried past. Harry is no longer smiling.

I abruptly decide to try to sneak out in the wake of the two women, judging that they may be distracted enough not to hear me, as they are themselves making a moderate amount of noise as they carry the tall figure of Harry Kennedy through the room. Slipping in behind them, I reach the door to the corridor, and just as I am making my escape, I see an extra cloak hanging from a coat rack just inside the storage room. I snatch the cloak and don it, pulling the hood up just in time. The women shuffle to a stop, so they may shut the door behind them, and they see me. I freeze, but they can’t see my face, and although they mutter in surprise, they assume I am one of them. The woman closest to me asks me to close the door and lock it. I close the door, and fake like I have a key and am locking it.

At this point, I have no choice but to follow along. The women are beginning to huff and puff with the effort of carrying such a large burden. After a short distance, the woman at Harry’s knees orders a stop, and she grunts that she will move to the waist if I can get the knees. I comply, now helping to lighten the load. I am stunned when I realize that Harry’s knees are warm. They flex a little, and I murmur that he’s trying to bend his legs, and the woman in front says, quietly but authoritatively, “None of that, Harry! No funny business!”

We make our way through what seems like endless corridors and then finally to a long stairwell, which we descend. I don’t care to imagine what new terrors might lurk down in the… basement? Dungeon? When we reach the bottom of the stairwell, I see there are dozens of cloaked and hooded women, standing in a circle in what appears to be some sort of cavernous grotto. Above us is a candle chandelier. All of the figures except me have yellow roses pinned to their cloaks. I realize this is some sort of Armitage faction, as the yellow roses are a symbol in North and South. Then I see the poppets. Many of the women are cradling creepy little poppets… poppets of cloth, with needles glinting in the candlelight, that look straight out of The Crucible.

What signifies these poppets?

We set Harry on his feet in the center of the circle, and he crouches there, knees slightly bent. I am Really Not Feeling Comfortable with whatever is going on here. I seem to be taking my cues from Harry, who has a posture of intimidation, hunched shoulders, hands fisted, and a hunted expression. He stands perfectly still. The women begin to chant.

The clock chimes one time, indicating that an hour has passed since all the weirdness began. I start to back toward the stairwell, and this draws the attention of a tall woman who appears to be leading the chant. She suddenly points a pale finger at me, and asks me where is my “Automata Rose”… I don’t know what an Automata Rose is, and take another step backward. My mind races, and it hits me that “Automata” would be plural for “Automaton”, which does seem to describe these otherworldly wax figurines.

I’m frozen with indecision, when another woman suddenly drops her poppet and shrieks “Imposter!” and a third shouts “Stop it, Harry!” I glance at Harry, and see that he’s staring at me with a fierce and pleading expression, and he’s pointing to the stairs. I don’t need another cue. I spin and run straight out of the room, slamming the door behind me. In my panicked flight, I hear footsteps in pursuit behind me, but I never look back. I reach the top of the stairs and sprint faster. I take several wild turns, having no idea where I’m going, and soon I hear another set of pounding footsteps in front of me! 

I hurtle onward, finally rounding another corner and then I see the source of the footsteps I’m running toward… it’s a security guard! I am far more afraid of the cult-like women and their horrible poppets than I am of the security guard, so I run straight for him, and am very relieved when he loudly orders a halt. Because when I halt, so, too, do my pursuers. The security guard seems more irritated than dangerous, as he sternly tells me that I’m in past visitor hours and that he will have to escort me out immediately. He stops to listen, as if momentarily wondering what happened to the other footsteps, but all is silent, and I know that the women have abandoned the chase. Whatever they are doing here, I know now, is unsanctioned. 

I have escaped. And abandoned Harry to I know not what.

* * *

I really don’t know what to make of this dream! Nightmares are rare for me. Ludicrous as the dream now seems, it did in fact freak me out at the time… when I woke up, I remember having sweaty palms and feeling short of breath… consistent with an actual adrenaline release! The dream actually happened several nights ago, after I’d been to see the 2011 National Theatre production of Frankenstein at the local cinema. Perhaps that idea of animated creatures, plus some of the discussions I’ve been following recently about the nature of the Richard Armitage fandom (how well do we know it)… may have inspired it.

Paging Dr. Scott White…. can you analyze this, sir?



Dream: Armitage (?) at the Vet Office

So a couple of nights ago, I had a strange and heartwarming dream. It was related to my Spooks Season 6 dream… it had only the edge of a hint of the danger element, but quite a bit of the absurdity.

* * *

I’m at my desk, when I hear the clinic door chime. It’s my lunch hour, and no appointments are scheduled. I assume someone is picking up medications or something, and am therefore surprised when I hear footsteps moving at quite a clip down the hall. I immediately stand, thinking an emergency has arrived. However, the look on the office manager’s face is anything but concerned.

“Richard is here to see you in Exam Room 1!” she says, flushed. Naturally, I know this is some kind of a joke. I don’t know what to expect… my husband, a blow-up Richard doll, a surprise party… anything could be waiting for me. So I sort of take my time getting there. And find a dead ringer for Richard Armitage, his chin shaven, dressed in jeans, button-up shirt and black leather jacket, alone in the exam room. No pet accompanies him.

My mind flashes to my previous adventure involving Adam Carter. I don’t know if the man in front of me is Richard Armitage, or Lucas North. As far as I know, Richard is still wearing a beard, so I suspect this is Lucas. I don’t have to ask, as he immediately launches into an explanation. His presence here is twofold. He wants to thank me for my part in freeing him from the Russian prison. The information on the Russian microchip I’d given to Adam Carter, as it turned out, gave Harry Pierce enough leverage with Lucas’ captors to negotiate his freedom.

(So it was down to me, everyone. The glorious Season 7 of Spooks, was thanks to me, and thanks to Milton. That’s pretty impressive egoism!)

I now know that Lucas is standing in front of me, and wonder if I am somehow involved in another covert operation. But before I can respond, or question Lucas about the events of that other crazy day at the office, he goes on to say that, in addition to saying thank you, he’s in the area to promote Into the Storm and to visit the areas destroyed in the May 20, 2013 Moore Tornado. Specifically, he wants to visit displaced pets from the devastating storm.

(Having to reassess whether this is Lucas, I meanwhile fail to point out that Into the Storm has already come and gone from the local movie theaters, and that the pets who were displaced last summer have long since been either reunited with their families, or re-homed with adoptive families.)

Remarkably, we do have two canine refugees in the kennel. I tell him he’s more than welcome to visit our storm refugees.

(That was very convenient. Magically appearing dogs!)

The man looks pleased, and mentions that he’s wanted to adopt a dog for a long time. I had been  on my way to the door, to ask one of the girls to bring the first dog, but upon hearing he is in the mood to adopt a dog, I stop in my tracks. “I’m afraid that depends on who’s adopting a dog. Are you adopting as Lucas North, or Richard Armitage?”

(Apparently, I’m about to tell Lucas North he’s not a qualified applicant. Having him show up and wave a weapon around would be fine with me; in fact, I’ve yearned for it. But a dog adoption is another matter entirely. You never know when someone like Lucas might go all John Bateman, and where would that leave the dog?)

He smiles a very Lucas-like, mysterious smile, and does not answer. I close the door again, stubborn.

(I’m not sure why Lucas is now not even qualified to visit with my refugee dogs, but it seems I will not even bring a dog forward until I am certain of the man’s identity.)

Finally, he caves. He admits he is Richard Armitage, but asks me not to let on. I tell him his face is already known in this vet office, and he mutters that he has been debriefed about our fridge. However, I am now satisfied, and call for the first dog. The dog appears. She is a smallish white female, and I inform him that she’s a cross between a Bichon and a Westie. As soon as she is placed on the exam table, she timidly approaches Richard, and presses into his torso. He pets her for a few minutes, silently. She gazes into his eyes and presses closer. He sighs, and asks if she has any medical problems.

I tell him that she is a very timid dog, that she came from a hoarder situation before the tornado, and that she is very loving and sweet, but is easily scared and is prone to submissive urination. His head jerks up at this, and an odd light comes into his eyes. “Submissive urination?” I smile at him, and tell him it’s ok, I know he has a tendency for bathroom humor. Without missing a beat, he says he just didn’t want to piss me off. I let out a little laugh. He looks down at the dog again, continues to stroke her. Then he sighs again, and admits he was looking for something a little more manly than a fluffy white dog with submissive urination. But when I go to take her away, she presses closer to him again, and starts to tremble a bit. He says he wants to have a look at the next dog, but never stops petting the non-manly little candidate.

So I call for the next dog, and while we are waiting, I ask Richard Armitage what it is he’s looking for in a canine companion. He immediately confesses he wants a “dog like Dean’s” and I tell him I’m afraid I don’t know Dean, or Dean’s dog. He looks at me like I’m crazy, and tells me of course I know Dean’s dog, “Whisper”- she’s famous. I realize he’s not talking about his Hobbit co-star, but Dean Potter, a world-famous free solo rock climber who has recently taken to climbing with his dog, Whisper, in a special harness on his back. Whisper also does BASE jumps and wingsuit flying with Dean.

(I have a thing for free solo climbers. It’s a morbid fascination, plus some of them are hot. If your palms are not sufficiently sweaty on any given day, check them out.)

Richard assures me he’s no free solo climber, but he’s always wanted to go snow-skiing with a dog. He’s seen how Whisper rides in Dean’s harness, and that’s what he has in mind.

(Far be it from me to discourage Richard’s dream. If he thinks downhill skiing would be more fulfilling with a dog on his back, then by all means, let’s find the right dog for the occasion.)

I tell Richard that I believe I happen to have an outstanding candidate. This next dog is small enough to ride in a harness; he’s athletic, adventurous, and definitely more of an all-terrain dog. The dog enters the room; it’s a little Australian cattle dog mix, with a patchy coat and friendly, confident demeanor. I ask our vet tech to demonstrate the dog’s capabilities. What follows next is a fantastic sequence of dog tricks, real circus-level material, while she explains to Richard that the rough and ready little dog can fetch, swim, ride horseback, compete in agility, and is probably a great candidate for search and rescue, as well. She issues a command for the dog to find the biohazards, and he immediately opens the cabinet, sits, and stares at the sharps container under the sink. I make a little quip that the only thing this dog doesn’t do is speak Russian.

There is an immediate change in the atmosphere, as Richard looks at me sharply. The mysterious Lucas-smile flits across his features. He holds my gaze for some time, and I start to feel prickles. Then he issues a sharp command in Russian, and the dog immediately leaves the sharps container, goes to his side, and sits, watching Richard alertly. Another Russian command, and the dog performs a rapid roll-over. My skin prickles again. How does the dog know Russian?

Before I can think too much about this phenomenon, Richard redirects my attention to the little white dog, still snuggling as close to him as she can.

(Who can blame her? Any female with one iota of taste would love to have Richard Armitage take her home with him.)

He asks me to explain a little more about submissive urination, so I launch into my little blurb about that topic, hoping for the dog’s sake that he is not about to break her heart. I throw out the possibility that with his schedule so busy, two dogs might keep each other company a little bit, when he is gone. He starts to ask questions about dog husbandry, and we enter a pretty banal conversation about heartworm prevention and so on, and meanwhile, I begin to hear the front door chiming quite a bit. Aware that my lunch hour is almost over, I indicate to Richard that he is welcome to sleep on it, and return later if he decides to adopt one or both dogs.

(Really, doc? You tried to hustle Richard Armitage out the door? Yes, I’m afraid I did. I didn’t want to keep my afternoon appointments waiting.)

However, he’s already come to a decision. He doesn’t look particularly proud of himself, but he’s unable to separate himself from the fluffy animal plastered against him. He has tried to push her toward me once, as I lectured about flea prevention, but as soon as she started to tremble again, he had reluctantly drawn her back into his chest. I’ve been watching his hand language during my veterinary spiel, and I can tell that she’s getting under his skin. His strokes are becoming almost protective, and his lashes have been lowered as he watches her while listening to my veterinary advice. After I politely hint that it’s time for him to go, (somebody smack me, please!) he says, with another sigh, that he guesses he will have to adopt both dogs. I give him a delighted smile, and tell him he needs to fill out some paperwork.

We go to the lobby together, where I am astonished to find several ladies, who don’t belong in this setting, milling about. The office manager’s daughter is here, on the pretense of buying ear cleanser. She doesn’t have a dog. My Hubby’s cousin, a local physician who also has Not One Single Pet, is in the lobby holding a bag of cat food. Several other ladies, sans pets, are lined up at the counter with random pet supplies, and the entire staff is also in the lobby, dusting, pretending to reorganize the pamphlets, pretending to mop. The office manager starts to load Richard Armitage up with necesseties. Pretty soon he has a couple of bags of food, his own bottle of ear cleanser, a year’s supply of heartworm preventative, a thunder shirt for the timid dog, low calorie dog biscuits, and several other items. He looks overwhelmed. His forehead is very crinkled. I have to duck back to the treatment area before I start laughing at the lobby full of faux customers and the man with two new dogs and enough products to open his own pet store.


Lucas North, my nemesis.

From a window in the back, I watch him exit the building, his arms loaded. He makes his way to his car, and suddenly the driver’s door opens and Hermione Norris appears. Prickles start again. Is that Ros Myers?  They exchange a conspiratorial smile, efficiently load the dogs and the supplies into the back seat, all the while scanning the area. Ros says something into an ear mic, gives him a meaningful look, and they both get into the car, fast, and speed out of the parking lot.

I think back to the Russian dog commands, the dog’s extraordinary intelligence, and realize his capabilities were always highly unnatural. I realize, too late, that the male dog was a Russian asset.

I have just been played by Lucas North.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. And I really hope Lucas returns to the clinic soon. =)

Dream: Spooks, the Vet Office Episode


I had another g-rated Richard Armitage dream last night. These g-rated Armitage dreams are just delightful, though why so g-rated all the time, I’m not sure. I’ve made notations about it, but since it connects with a dream I had several months ago, I thought I’d share the prequel today.

* * *

(To really enter this dream experience, you must first pause, and play the intro music to Spooks in your mind. Dun Dun…. duhduhduh…. Dun Dun….. wuaarrr…. You all know it. It’s in the background of this dream.)

I’m at the office, and much to my dismay, I have one of my favorite patients on the table. The pet is presenting in a weakened and lethargic condition, and has an infected, open wound tract near the base of his skull. He has been transferred from the emergency center, where he’d presented for status epilepticus, a neurological emergency, the night before. The seizures are now under control, but everyone is still very worried. This patient is named Milton, and he’s a real patient of mine, or he was before I bought my own practice in a different town.

(No, I’m not sure whether Milton is named after “the” Milton of North and South fame. Maybe I’ll ask him. He’s a minor YouTube and Facebook celebrity.)

We anesthetize Milton, clean the wound, and take him to radiology.

(Why I thought we needed to radiograph his skull is a mystery, but it’s a good thing I did.)

To everyone’s astonishment, there is a microchip implant inside his skull cavity! I assume that this is a Home Again Microchip implant, gone horribly, horribly wrong. It needs to come out ASAP, I tell Milton’s mom, or he’s likely to continue having seizures and recurring brain infections.

(Recurring brain infections, very bad juju. WTF, self? Please excuse the implausibility of all this, and trust me that my veterinary dreams are never very medically sound. In other words, please don’t fear having your pet microchipped. Recurring brain infections are NOT a risk factor.)

Milton’s mom is one of those clients who will spare no expense on her pets, and she immediately agrees to brain surgery.

(In the dream, I apparently have no qualms about brain surgery. In real life, Milton would be on his way to the veterinary neurosurgeon.)

Now the brain surgery is over, and Milton is in recovery. My surgery tech and I are examining the microchip, but something is not right. It doesn’t look like a Home Again Microchip. It’s a little bigger, and it has Russian symbols on it.

(Apparently I can always recognize a top-secret Russian symbol when I see one.)

I start to get a tingling all over my skin, as I realize I’ve stumbled onto something dangerous. I think I may need to call the FBI or the CIA, but there are ramifications to that. Someone has implanted a foreign microchip, with classified data, in Milton. If Milton’s mom is involved in a covert operation, she could be in danger, or might be a danger to myself and my employees… I’m not sure. If another veterinarian, who presumably implanted the data chip, is involved, implicating a colleague could likewise have profound consequences, both to me and to the colleague, especially if innocent. But before I can contact either the FBI or the CIA, the front door chimes. My surgery tech and I both startle, and are instantly on guard. She reaches for her weapon.

(No, firearms are not standard equipment for veterinary technicians. Fear not, the next time you are at the vet’s office.)


Adam Carter, Section Chief, Veterinary Operations

Before she can draw the weapon, Adam Carter slips through the door to the treatment area, his weapon already drawn. He is on high alert. He scans the room, and his eyes land on our damned fridge, which is decorated with hot men and fluffy animals. He only glances at it, but I know he’s seen Richard Armitage, and made the connection to Lucas North. His eyes meet mine, and I can see he’s measuring me, gauging my involvement with Lucas North, Russian spies, and the world of covert operations. My glance shifts to my surgery tech, and I give her the slightest negative signal, indicating to her that she should not try anything. I know she doesn’t watch Spooks, and has no way of knowing Adam Carter is one of the good guys, or that he could drop her in an instant if she moves for her weapon again.

(At this point, I have the distinct thought, outside the dream but still in it, that I must be dreaming in Season 6. I chastise myself for not dreaming in Season 7, when Lucas North might have come to the clinic instead.)

Our office manager arrives, breathless, looking both terrified and exhilarated. She was at reception when Adam Carter entered the premises. She doesn’t watch Spooks either, but she recognizes Rupert Penry-Jones from Persuasion. I give her the same slight signal, not to try anything. I am confident Adam Carter will not kill us, unless he has no choice.

Moving very slowly, I put the Russian data chip into a biohazard ziplock bag, and hand it to Adam. I know that as an American citizen, I should probably not be handing whatever secrets it contains to the British, but Adam does have a gun, and I have witnesses to corroborate that I was under duress as I passed classified data to MI-5. Adam slips the bag into his trench coat pocket, never lowering the weapon, glances at the fridge again, and I regret that Rupert Penry-Jones is not among the puppies and kittens there. Nobody says anything. Adam nods at me, and withdraws from the room in a fluid motion. A moment later, the front door chimes, indicating he has left the building.

Instead of freaking out, the three of us whistle, fan our faces and murmur things like “Dayum!” and “Smokin’!” as we smile at the gorgeous luck of it all.

* * *

It was a very thrilling dream. I mean, if I had to choose any character other than Lucas North, to draw a weapon on myself and my employees, it would definitely be Adam Carter. I knew he wouldn’t kill us, and he sure looked sexy in that trench coat.

And stay tuned… a vet office sequel happened last night. (Warning, though: It was more of a hallmark movie than an action/suspense. =)