Monday, September 3, 2018

Audiobook Challenge - Updating Progress - September

I started the Audiobook Challenge in January 13 and it runs through December 31, 2018. I learned about it from several Audiobook blogs.  I picked the category below because I mostly listen to audiobooks during my work commute. 

  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15

If interested in taking up the challenge you can read my first post here with rules and regs:

I started September, well actually ended August, by starting The Man from St. Petersburg narrated by Richard Armitage.  

It's not available through Audible US yet, so I ordered the CD's from the Book Depository. It has been a while since I listened to an audiobook via CD, but luckily I have an old car with a CD player. And that's how I first discovered audiobooks years ago, listening during my commute, thanks to my CD player.

So to update my progress so far:
Audiobooks Finished as of September 1:

The Lizard's Bite (Nic Costa Book#4)

The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa Book #3)

Their Lost Daughters (Jackman and Evans series)

A Season for the Dead (Nic Costa series)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Martian Invasion of Earth (adaptation of The War of the Worlds - audio play)


The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter)

The Villa of Mysteries (Nic Costa series)

A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther series)

The One from the Other (Bernie Gunther series)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Happy Birthday 2018 Richard



Horoscope - Leo/Virgo Cusp (August 22):

IN THIS CUSP, command meets caution, passion meets perfectionism, and fire meets the earth.

While these seemingly disparate personality traits may bring balance to the Leo-Virgo, there is an undeniable conflict in this cusp that makes those born into it feel, at times, as though they are torn between two extremes.



One way to think of the polarities is as a war between introverted and extroverted. The Leo-Virgo cusp is one of leadership and communication but also one of independence and secrecy. A major skill set is knowing exactly what to say at the right time, and this cusp can be wonderfully persuasive when they get behind a cause, which brings us to the activist at the heart of the Leo-Virgo cusp. A happy place for this Sun and Mercury-ruled cusp is in the mix, working with people to solve a problem. But, when transparency and vulnerability is of the utmost importance, their desire for privacy and tendency for secrecy can be their Achilles heel, and their innate desire to pull away can cause conflict within the group dynamic.

Interestingly enough, intimacy is something that this cusp craves, but something that does not come easily. Vulnerability, the most important aspect of intimacy, is something that the Leo-Virgo struggles with. Not so much with the vulnerability of others, but within themselves. It's hard to be vulnerable when you hold so many secrets, when silence is your go-to emotional mode. And it's hard to explain that instinct to others when half the time you are loud, direct, and communicative.

So, if you are a Leo-Virgo cusp, consider that push and pull next time you are faced with a confused loved one. Sometimes, your desire to keep things to yourself makes those around you feel alone, and that's not what you want. See if you can find the words to say what you are feeling - even if those words are "I don't know."

And, if you know a Leo-Virgo cusp, give them time. Continue to share with them your most vulnerable moments, but don't expect them to immediately open up. Do your best to understand that they are struggling with their own boundaries around self-protection.


Dear Richard, I haven't checked on our astrological compatibility for a while, but thought I would this year for your birthday:

When Leo and Libra join together in a love match, theirs is an agreeable union. Being situated two signs apart in the Zodiac, Leo and Libra experience a deep understanding of the inner-workings of the other. When the Lion’s unbounded energy mixes with Libra’s natural sense of harmony, this is a romance of great balance. Leo and Libra are both outlandish versus reserved, direct versus peace loving. They can enjoy a very smooth relationship because each can appreciate and benefit from the positive attributes of the other.


Leo is ruled by The Sun and Libra is ruled by the Planet Venus. The two Signs coming together form the basic foundation of relationships — warmth and passion. The Sun and Venus go well together. The sun is a masculine energy and Venus a feminine, so this relationship strikes a balance between energies. Venus is about the beauty of romance, and The Sun is about invigorating life spreading warmth. This couple sustain one another for a long time.


What’s the best aspect of the Leo-Libra relationship? It’s the harmony resulting from the union of Venus and The Sun. The balance between self and other represented by this relationship is a great learning experience for both partners. Each partner makes up for what the other is missing, so theirs is a highly compatible relationship.


I believe after these 10+ years of fandom that we, Richard, as fan and Object of Admiration, have had a "highly compatible" relationship.  Though I admit maybe a bit one sided!  Ha!

Dear Richard - Happy Birthday on your special day.

On a serious and sad note.

I lost my mother about 8 years ago.  Still today holiday and birthdays are the saddest times, and I really feel her absence on those days.  But I know that the first year was the hardest and the saddest of times on birthdays and holidays. That first sad year  I really still expected at moments to see her walk in and join me, to hear her voice on the phone.

We all know that Richard is feeling his mother's absence very much today.

For him I hope that today on his birthday  he's in the company of loved ones, of family and friends. A day of memories.

Hope that he also feels the affection that fans have for him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Audiobook Challenge - Updating Progress

Think I lost track of my reading, or rather, stopped posting what I've been listening to on Audible and elsewhere.

I recently finished Their Lost Daughters, performed by Richard Armitage, and written by Joy Ellis.  I'm now definitely looking forward to the next two books in the series coming this fall. Jackman and Evans are my new favorite detectives.  Hope there is a producer out there thinking this book series would make the next great UK TV detective series. And we all know who should play Jackman. 

Now I'm back to Field Gray by Philip Kerr.  I was halfway through this book before taking a break to read/listen to Their Lost Daughters. I'm almost finished, not my favorite of the series so far, too much of Bernie telling the same story to secret agents while imprisoned.  Most interesting is how the Stasi evolved.  Field Gray is Book #10 of the Bernie Gunther series I've read, trying to follow chronologically rather than the order the books were published.

Think I'll go back to Nic Costa next, and book #3.

So I started the Audiobook Challenge in January/February.  What have I read/listened to so far (not really in order):

Their Lost Daughters (Jackman and Evans series)

A Season for the Dead (Nic Costa series)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Martian Invasion of Earth (adaptation of The War of the Worlds - audio play)


The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter)

The Villa of Mysteries (Nic Costa series)

A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther series)

The One from the Other (Bernie Gunther series)

Not sure about Richard Armitage's next audiobook release in August I believe, right now it doesn't seem it will be available in the US.  I'm still looking for it, hopefully it will turn up, or I can order the CD's. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 19

Last day of the A-Z Richard Armitage Fan Challenge

Y.  Choose a work of art or a song that reminds you of RA?

Difficult to select just one song that reminds me of RA, but if I have to pick one this would be the one (click below):

I made an RA video with the song a few years ago:

Work of art recently has been a portrait of Monet by one of his contemporaries that reminded me of RA as Claude Monet in The Impressionists.

Z.  A character headcanon you have?

I had to look up headcanon.

Even after looking it up I don't know if I understand the term fully.

Now, I don't write fan fiction, or read fan fiction, so that doesn't help me.  

Maybe the fact that I believe Lucas North is still alive and in deep cover on a secret MI-6/MI-5 operation that only he and Harry know about is a headcanon?     

Well, that is the end of the Richard Armitage A-Z Fan Challenge.  Thank you Guylty for creating and starting it.  

It was fun to take a look back to when I first saw Richard Armitage and some reflection on being a fan today. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New Richard Armtage Fan Challenge Day 18

As I'm coming to the end of this challenge, a reminder of all the questions.  To find out more about the Fan A to Z challenge visit Guylty's blog:

X.   Is there a fellow fan who got you into either delurking or convinced you to participate in the fandom?

No, no one convinced me.  I got into this all by myself. 

Unlike many Armitage fans, I wasn't new to fandoms when  I discovered Richard Armitage.  I had been active in the Sean Bean fandom for several years by then.  

I am grateful for the Armitage bloggers in my early RA fandom days.  It was really commenting on some of the blogs that got me started in the fandom.  

I'm also grateful for all who read my blog and especially those who have left a comment or two through the years. 

Grateful that the RA blogger community at the time invited me to participate in FanstRAvaganza back in 2011.

See link below for one of my favorite posts of that FanstrRAvaganza:
I participated in two more FanstRAvaganza's after that. Probably my most active time in the fandom:

Pics thanks to RichardArmitageNet and Richard Armitage Central. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 17

V.  Your favorite fan artist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for?

There are many extremely talented fan artists.  One of my favorites is Evankart. See link below:

I love all the drawings of Richard Armitage as Thorin.  I would love Evankart to draw a wearable miniature portrait of Thorin for me to wear as a pin/pendant. (A miniature portrait brooch/pendant similar to the one below.)


W.  A prompt or AU for a piece of fan art/fiction?

I had to look up AU.  I can't think of anything for this one. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 16

T.  What was the first thing you ever contributed to a fandom?

I'm keeping my answers focused on the Armitage fandom.

What did I first contribute?   Probably a video.  I used to make videos.

My videos are not very technically proficient, but they are from the heart.  I haven't made a video in a long time. Here's one from 7 years ago.

U.  Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom. If so, what?

I'm not sure what "cracky" is, but I made several videos about RA's sense of humor, so that I think would be my contribution in this category.  Here's one of those videos.

and a follow up, and we know the truth now. LOL

Sunday, June 24, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 15

S.  Which actor would you like to see him paired with in the future?  

I have more than one actor that I would like to see him paired with in future.  Here are a few of them, two he has worked with before, but I think are a great match for him for any future role:

Rachael Stirling

Sally Hawkins

Nicola Walker

Claudia Michelsen

Kate Winslet

Back in 2012 I wrote a post, an even had a poll, about who should play Anne Neville if RA was playing Richard II in a movie or TV program. Some other actors I would like to see him paired with in the future at the link below:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 14

R:  OTPs - What is your favourite pairing of RA''s past work?

Need you ask!  My favorite pairing of RA's past work is: 

John Thornton and Margaret Hale

Will Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe ever work together again.  I certainly hope so. Maybe in another period drama.  A girl can dream.

North & South 
From Desert Sky Screencaps

 I do have runner up, a #2 OTP.  This one involved a working partnership and not a romantic one.  I do think it would have been a great romantic pairing as well.

Ros Myers and Lucas North (MI-5 or Spooks)  

I wish they would have been a romantic pairing in the series.  I guess the writers thought they couldn't do so since they had already paired Ros with Adam, which never quite worked for me. Ros and Lucas had great chemistry together.  

I also hope Hermione Norris and Richard Armitage work together again.

Friday, June 22, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge 2018 Day 13

O.  Casual RA or dressed-to-the-nines RA?

I love both really.    

There is something to be said for a sharp dressed man:

But my all time favorite is when Richard selects his own wardrobe, when he "dresses himself" as the fandom says:

Reason I love this the best is because this is the real Richard, and I think he doesn't need to change in any way.

A favorite because I was there to see him at this event.

P.  RA on the big screen or RA on TV?

On TV because we get to see him longer, especially if it is a multi episode series.   

Q. Third season of BS (Berlin Station) or not?

Yes! Third season of BS!  Hope he's in it, and I'm looking forward to it.  (Though I have to find a way to watch it live, since I "cut the cord" now.) If only Epix would let us join their streaming service separately, individually?  How about it Epix?

Yes, BS has its flaws, and Daniel Miller is an underwritten character, but still a pleasure to look forward to seeing Richard on my screen every week, for several weeks.  And I have to say, that given the recent news, BS has been good at anticipating what's happening in the real world.  I also have hope for Season 3 and Daniel Miller because there are new writers at work.  But we don't really know if Daniel Miller will be back for the entire season, do we? 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 12

M.  RA has spoken Russian, French, and German in his roles so far. How good was he and which one was your favorite?

Also, let me say RA spoke a bit of Spanish in the first episode of Berlin Station Season 1. 

Since I don't speak Russian or German, I can't really judge.  I do speak French, but I'm not a native speaker, and I thought he did fine, I could understand him well, and thought he sounded very believable. Especially as someone who as Raymond had lived most of his life outside of France in a a country with a different native language. 

 I will say that a as bi-lingual speaker myself (Spanish/English) for many of us, though we speak our mother tongue, or the language we first learned as a child, the accent is not always exactly the same as someone who has lived to adulthood in their mother country.  I always spoke Spanish at home, but English outside and in school. And living in an area with native Spanish speakers from various countries, my accent when I speak Spanish is not entirely the one of my native country. Some people think I'm originally from Venezuela and not Cuba.  I say this in defense of Daniel Miller and Raymond de Merville and Richard's language/accent skills.

My favorite was Lucas North speaking Russian.  I don't speak or understand Russian, but I loved listening to Lucas speak it.

N.  Which language would you like him to speak in a future role?

I want him to speak English in his own British accent. That's my favorite. 

Or speak English in any and many varied UK accents.  That's always an added treat in all his audiobooks. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 11

L.  Dealbrakers - What would make you stop being RA's fan.

I'm a believer that we don't really know how we will react to any situation until it happens.  We may think we know how we will react, but we don't really know.

I can't imagine what it would be.  It would be something like a Bill Cosby situation. Causing harm to others.

I work with people every day, people that I've worked with for a long time, and I can't say that I know them beyond our work together.  We've never had a personal conversation. So even people that we see every day, we don't know always what is in their hearts. We all have a public persona that we show to those we don't know well.  So I'm aware, as I said in answer to an earlier question, that I don't really know RA personally.  

But everything that I know about him now, and the way his co-stars seem to have great affection for him, including some that recently came to his "rescue", makes me think he is as he seems, a good man. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 10

RA the day I met him (not my photo)

K.  Have you met RA? Where? Have you got a photo to share? and what did you say to him?

Yes, I have met RA, on December 6, 2012. Where?  In New York City, Hobbit AUJ, NY Premiere, AFI Gala Party.

No, sadly I don't have a photo with RA. The invitation said we weren't allowed to take photos, or bring a camera,and I didn't have a smartphone at that time. Yes, believe it or not, I didn't have a smartphone then. 

(I do have a photo from that night of me with two Hobbits, Frodo and Bilbo, but that's for a different fan challenge.)

What did I say to him?  I was there with three other Armitage fans/friends and we talked to Richard as a group.  We had all just seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for the first time.  Richard, if I remember correctly what he said to us, had seen it for the third time that night.  So we talked with him primarily about the movie, and working with Peter Jackson. We talked with him for about 15 minutes.  

I did have two direct interactions with him during our group conversation.  At one point he asked us what had been an emotional moment in the movie for us, and I said "Gollum realizing he had lost "his precious" (the Ring). Richard was so happy I had picked that scene, and he and I discussed the scene with Gollum one-on-one for a few minutes. Then my second one-on-one moment with him came at the end of our group conversation.  When he was leaving us to join the larger party, we were in an alcove in this large party room, as he came by me I said to him " It was a pleasure to meet you".  He stopped, faced me, looked me in the eyes, took my hand in his, and gave it an affectionate squeeze.  Then he left for the larger party room crowd. 

We all agree that night we had a real conversation with him for those fifteen or so minutes. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 9

I - What made you come out as a fan and participate in the fandom online?

I had already participated quite a bit in another fandom online for several years, so it was not difficult for me to decide to participate online in the RA fandom once I decided to join in.   

For the most part I find it part of the fun of being a fan.  And the "big fan moments" (Hobbit premieres, NIFF2018, to mention a few) that we've all shared together online as it's happening, and still will share in the future, are a wonderful part of being an RA fan.

When Richard joined Twitter I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, knowing how negative and cruel some people are on social media.  But now I'm glad he did, and I hope that he stays, despite some challenging incidents and people. 

Some younger people at work think I'm totally ignorant about social media and sometimes try to explain to me what Twitter is for example.  I just go along with it for the most part. Little do they know...😈

I do use a fan alias on social media for my fandom activities and not my real name.   

J.  Are you outed as a fan among your family and friends?

I would say no, but not because I've failed to mention him on occasion.  They know I've gone to New York to see a film or a play or something related to him, to this actor I like.  Once in a while I've had to mention he's the actor from The Hobbit. But they don't know my fan activity on social media, or at least if they have found out, they haven't mentioned it to me. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 8

H.  How has your attitude to RA changed over your time as a fan?

I have great respect for him as a person, now more than ever.  

When I first became aware of RA I didn't know anything about him, other than I liked him very much as an actor, that I loved the characters he created, and that he was (and is) a gorgeous man. As  I said in an earlier post, I first saw him as John Thornton in North & South, and then bought the DVD to The Impressionists, and next saw him as Guy of Gisborne on BBC America.  During this first phase I knew very little about Richard Armitage the man, and at the time I was OK with that.

But then came this interview (2007 I think)- and it was this interview that made me fall in love with RA the person:

And since then, it has been his interviews, on video, or in print, or on Twitter, or live, that I adore the most.  

Whenever I think I've seen his best interview, another one comes along that becomes my favorite, so he surprises me and interests me every time, year after year.

But I would say this question has several layers, because like any love affair, there is the first euphoria of "falling in love", and if this love is to last, it evolves into a deeper caring and concern for that person.  And that is in many ways similar to what has happened in my long term fandom. 

I also respect his privacy, as I respect everyone's privacy, and I know that I will never fully know this man, my favorite actor.  Despite all the interviews and the Tweets, he's still a mystery, because we don't really know each other. And that is the way it should be.

I did write some time ago about being a fan. Here's the link to that post:

My Two Richards:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 7

G.  How long have you been in the fandom and how has your attitude to the fandom changed during that time?

I've been thinking about this question since last night.  Not an easy one to answer.

I first saw and noticed Richard Armitage in 2005. One of my local PBS stations here in the DC area was showing North & South and I happened to catch it quite by accident that night. (Still today the first stations I turn to every night when I get home are the PBS stations to see what they have on.)  Yes, I know, I did say PBS station, but it was never widely distributed across the US by PBS to all the public television stations.  In my life since 2005 I've only met two other fans, in different states, who saw North & South on their local public television stations that year.  Somehow it was a special showing of the series on some local stations, maybe during pledge drive? I've never been able to discover how it happened.

So this is to say that I noticed and started to follow what this handsome actor, Richard Armitage, was working on back in 2005.  But I didn't really join the "fandom" until about 2008/2009.

You see I was fairly involved in another fandom (see my blog heading and you'll figure it out), and just didn't have time to be involved in another. But unlike other Armitage fans, I was familiar with the "fandom" world in general by the time I decided to see what was out there in that world for Richard Armitage.

I first joined two forums, the old Armitage Army one, now long deleted/closed, and C19.  I didn't post a great deal in either, in part because I was a bit burned out from fan forums at that time. But they were both great resources to find out more about this actor, this man, I had fallen for and wanted to know more about.

It was really the many Richard Armitage blogs at the time, commenting on them, and visiting them regularly, that really brought me in touch with other fellow fans. And then I joined them on Twitter and Facebook.  There are some friends from that time I'm no longer in touch with, or who have dropped off the RA fandom, or who I've stopped following, and so we've lost touch. But I'm happy to say I have friends today from those early Armitage fandom days that I cherish and we wouldn't have met if not for our interest in Richard Armitage. And though we've moved on to share as friends beyond being his fans, I'm grateful to Richard and the fandom for bringing us together. 

And since I joined the now gone Armitage Army forum, I don't mind in the least being thought part of the Armitage Army. 

I'm a bit of a loner, so even back in my early Armitage fandom days when I was more actively active in the fandom, I've always felt somewhat apart, never fully belonging.  But now I feel even more so, more apart, as he's gathered new fans with every new project. I'm happy that new fans join though, I think it's good for him and his career. I'm not a Tumblr person, and I don't really understand Instagram (though I joined).  But I still check the RA news all the time, and still participate in the fandom on Twitter and Facebook every day in my own way. 

And I'm participating in this fan challenge. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 6

I love this photo 

F. Name a play that you wish RA would do.

I don't know if I have a particular play in mind that I wish RA would do.  

I was momentarily happy when he said some months ago he was going to be on stage again, even if I have no chance of going to London to see him.  He needs another role like John Proctor that will fit him like a glove. 

That's what I would like for him. A new play written with him in mind, a role tailored to him by a challenging playwright, a noted playwright, or even a new playwright.  

Maybe David Hewson would try his hand at a new stage play based on a new interpretation of Shakespeare's Richard III?

I would love to see him and Yael Farber work together again on a play, and at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC this time.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 5

E.  Which of RA's audio characters do you think he should play in a film adaptation?

Lord Damerel the "Wicked Baron"

Link to the Audible edition of Venetia narrated by Richard Armitage


We have an addendum to this answer.  Please BBC we have to have a TV series with Richard Armitage as DI Rowan Jackman. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 4

D. Which of his selfies is your favorite?

I couldn't pick just one.

I love everything about this selfie. 

One of the reasons I love this one is that he's looking directly at us, at the viewer, or his fans. Also love the slight smile reflected in his smiling eyes. He's very "natural" in this selfie. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Richard Armitage Fan Challenge Day 3

C. Name a book that you think RA should star in a film in?

This is a tough one because there are probably many characters in many books throughout the years I've imagined being made into a film or series starring Richard Armitage. 

My favorite book genre, my favorite escape, are mysteries and detective stories. There are two detectives in two separate book series I would love to see made into a film, or series of films, or better yet, a TV series, starring Richard.

RA as Jonathan Argyll, art historian and detective, in Iain Pears art history mysteries.  I have read all the books in the series, but it has been years since.  Jonathan is a British art historian and art investigator who ends up in Italy investigating art crimes and murder. He also falls in love with Italian art detective and colleague Flavia di Stefano.  Each book follows a different case, and through the books we also follow the Jonathan and Flavia love story.  If I remember correctly the character of Jonathan is younger than Richard is now, but I think the age of the characters can be changed, as other books have been, without altering the stories. The series was written in the 90's, but it could be set in the present day.

The second character and series I think RA would be great in is playing former policeman and private detective William Monk in Anne Perry's historical detective series set in the Victorian era. Monk is another British detective. I don't think the Monk series has ever been made into a series, or any of the books into a film, but I could be wrong.  Below is a description of William Monk from Wikipedia:

"William Monk is a clever man who wields irony and sarcasm with considerable skill while remaining obstinate, proud, and impulsive. This normally disastrous combination of attributes (for which he was dismissed from the police force) is offset by his intelligence, unswerving sense of justice and humanity to those he deems worthy. He is highly emotional and this passion drives his excellence with the single-minded determination of the obsessed. He will solve the case, he will see the evildoers brought to justice, and he will be fearless in doing so, come what may."

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