The Beauty of Irises

irises12

 

irises5Spring is in the air, and Mom’s new iris bed is a glory to behold. Just like some other irises I could think of.

irises7

 

 

 

 

irises2She’s always had irises, from as long as I can remember. Her favorite flower, and she does have a green thumb. She recently moved down here, and had to leave her irises behind and start over. These were planted last fall, and bloomed unusually well for first-year plants.

irises6

 

 

 

irises1I’m fortunate to have taken these pics yesterday, before the skies dumped over 3 inches of rain last evening. I’d hate to see what these heavy blooms look like this morning. I’ve already had some sad texts from Mom referencing her “poor bedraggled” babies. LOL

irises11

 

 

 

irises3I love the names of some of these fancy iris varieties. So do the kids. Names like “Circus Circus”, “Supreme Sultan”, “Bewilderbeast” and “Broad Shoulders” do also remind me in various ways of a certain someone.

irises10

 

 

irises4Yes, the glorious spring is here. Some of these blooms, especially the lavender blue one, are enormous. “Sea Power” here is as large as my 4-year-old daughter’s head. I wish I’d thought to take her picture as she inhaled the lovely fragrance.

Mom can name every one of the 194 (yes, you read that right) varieties she planted last fall, and she loves to talk irises at any time of day or night. Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the pics as much as we were (prior to the downpour) enjoying the blooms themselves.

Aren’t irises lovely?

irises9

Advertisements

It’s Been One Year Since #RichardArmitage Had Me at “Stephens!”

Stephens

John Thornton shouts at the hapless Stephens, North and South, BBC 2004, Episode 1. I was a goner from that moment on.

In the process of going through my PayPal records looking for business expenditures, I noticed that my first payment to Netflix was the first week of April, 2014. It just so happens that the first show I ever streamed on Netflix was BBC’s wonderful 2004 adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, and although I didn’t know it at the time, my life was about to change. So yeah… I guess this is something of a One Year Fanniversary for me!

From the moment I saw John Thornton overlooking the mill floor, my heart started thudding. A few seconds later, the gorgeous jerk shouted “Stephens! Put that pipe out!” then chased the unfortunate smoker down, and delivered a beating. I was toast.

So, in honor of this occasion, I’ve been busily giffing away on North and South… many of these have probably been giffed a thousand times, but I wanted my own little John Thornton library. Prepare for Thornton Thursday overload, ladies. And pray for a fast connection, because I might have gone a bit wild. LOL

Oh, and if you, for some completely unfathomable reason have NOT watched North and South, there be spoilers below. =)

 

I Saw You

Thornton chases Stephens, violently furious.

Get That Woman Out Of Here

The ideal gentleman, surely! LOL

Something about Richard Armitage’s fury, his energy and  on-screen magnetism just gripped me in those moments, and I knew that this was going to be something more than an enjoyable period drama. From then on, he absolutely dominated every scene he was in, and I really haven’t been the same since.

 

 

 

Meet Thornton

Meet John Thornton. Properly, this time. Such an arrogant turn, and head set. Damn but he’s fine. THUD.

Turn Away

It seems I like to watch John turn in either direction!

Something in the way John Thornton held himself. Something in the way he turned around to face Margaret. In fact, whichever direction he turned, impressed me.

 

 

 

 

 

sinister thornton

Thornton hosts a dinner party for the mill owners.

Watching

Thornton watches the workers enter the meeting hall.

He embodied the sinister Master so well. No sentimentality for the plight of the workers, just pragmatic business sense. Yet… he didn’t join the others in mocking the workers. And he didn’t try to stop the union from meeting.

 

 

 

 

Thornton Ogles Subtlly

Mr. Thornton very subtly ogles Miss Hale as she serves his tea.

Greeting

Thornton greets Miss Hale at the dinner party.

I found myself transfixed at every minute twitch of his lips, every brief eyelid flicker when Mr. Thornton would gaze at Miss Hale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

hand language

Miss Hale refuses to shake John Thornton’s hand.

handshake

Miss Hale allows Thornton to shake her hand. And caress it ever so slightly…

Soon I began to develop a fascination for Thornton’s hand language. Not only are his hands beautiful to look at, but they’re eloquent. This has not abated. One of the reasons I’m not as into Thorin as many of the other chaRActers may have been that his hands were obscured…

 

 

 

 

 

Not the slightest wish

His passion for her is entirely over. Can’t you tell? =)

I understand you completely

I can’t think of another proposal scene that made my heart race as this one did.

Then there was the intensity of his smoldering. Not sure where I’ve ever seen the like. Armitage delivered barely suppressed, strong emotion in spades after Margaret rejected John’s proposal, and after John shielded Margaret from the inquest.

 

 

 

.

Stride 1stride2
I guess since we’re listing all the things that made me instantly obsessed with Thornton, I’d have to include his stride. It wouldn’t have done for Thornton to mince along, or swagger western-style. No, he would move with purpose and determination everywhere he went, and I never tire of watching him in motion.

 

 

Mr. Hale Dead

Thornton learns of the death of his friend, Mr. Hale.

Grief

More eloquent hand language. John realizes that there is now nothing to keep Margaret in Milton.

The final episode was full of angst on Thornton’s part. When he learned of Mr. Hale’s death, and knew it meant Margaret would also depart Milton, his grief was palpable.

 

 

 

 

Look Back

Mr. Thornton stares in desolation as Miss Hale begins her journey back to London. She does not look back.

I am certain that no John Thornton tribute would be complete without a nod to the famous “Look back. Look back at me.” Everyone I’ve steered toward watching North and South has referenced this scene and those lines.

It broke my heart, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

empty mill

Thornton stands alone in the empty mill. He thinks of Margaret.

 

Yellow Rose

Not telling even his mother where he is going, John leaves Milton and travels to Helstone, where Margaret grew up. Was he looking for her, or simply seeking an emotional connection, a shared memory that would remain private in his heart?

As if the death of Mr. Hale and the subsequent separation from Margaret were not enough, Thornton was now devastated by financial crisis and foreclosure. Having lost almost everything that was important to him, aside from the abiding love of his mother, we were left with not a shattered man, but certainly a despondent and contemplative Thornton.

 

 

 

Train Station 1

Margaret Hale on the southbound train. John Thornton on the northbound train. My heart began to beat faster…

Train Station 2

The contrast here, this Thornton, with cravat off and a soft gaze… compared to the sinister and even violent man from the first episode: Is It Any Wonder I Was Captivated by this chaRActer, this actor?

Never having read Gaskell’s novel, I remember thinking at this point, with so little time left in the program, that this particular period drama must have no happy ending. I was prepared for heartbreak. Then, the train station…

 

 

 

 

Kiss 1Naturally, no post chock-full of celebration for Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North and South would be complete without remarking upon The Train Station Kiss. Excuse me while I ovulate.

The legendary kiss to end all kisses. Such lovely music. Such restrained reverence in his eyes and in his touch.

 

 

 

Kiss 2So tender, his lips. Such a captivating jaw line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiss 3And don’t even get me started on the simple elegance of his hand.

 

 

 

 

And there you have it. Gorgeous, passionate, sinister, furious, smoldering, heartsick, tender, loving John Thornton. Is it any wonder that North and South is the proverbial “gateway drug” for so many in the fandom?

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.