Monday, 3 February 2014

Random thoughts: License to thrill

I don’t want Richard Armitage to play James Bond.I think I've made that more than clear in the past.
Would he do a wonderful job? There’s no doubt! Would it be a smart choice? Unfortunately, I don't think so.

Yes, he'd look fantastic as James Bond, I know... Still don't think it's right for him, though!
Picture from Glamour magazine photoshoot January 2013

I’m sorry if you’re a James Bond fan. I’m not. Ian Fleming’s stories are OK, but the films have never been my cup of tea. Honestly, the only really good thing about these films, is the music. James Bond theme songs really do belong to a separate genre, a unique style. I love the glamour of it, the constrained sensuality, the threatening passion beneath the surface. And although there have been some failures – Madonna’s Die Another Day still makes me cringe – most of these themes have become timeless classics. Here’s my personal top 5:

1. Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only (1981)
James Bond = Roger Moore

2. Tina Turner – Goldeneye (1995)
James Bond = Pierce Brosnan

3. Garbage – The World is Not Enough (1999)
James Bond = Pierce Brosnan

4. Gladys Knight – License to Kill (1989)
James Bond = Timothy Dalton

5. Adele – Skyfall (2013)
James bond = Daniel Craig

Do you agree? Disagree? Have I forgotten a fantastic gem of a song?
What’s your favourite?

What about the man himself? Who will always be James Bond to you? If I had to make a choice, it would have to be for the man with the most adorable accent: Sean Connery!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Random thoughts: Own it and mean it

This is how it's done. You admit that what you've done was wrong. You own it. You apologise. You mean it. You earn back the respect that you had lost.


It still seems to be beyond what most people manage to do, and that's just not right. 

I was in a similar situation just before Christmas when someone who calls themselves my friend was extremely rude to me. Don't get me wrong, this was not a matter of a difference of opinion, a discussion or the exchange of harsh words. I'm used to that and I can handle that without any problem whatsoever. No. What I experienced was a public, spiteful and disrespectful attack on me as a person, with a number of F-bombs thrown in for extra spice. It was hurtful and shocking.

I didn't react and walked away, but the incident stayed in my head and almost managed to ruin my Christmas.

What's probably even worse, is that only a few hours later, this person was sending me Christmas wishes as if nothing had happened. Not even an acknowledgement of what had happened between us. Not a single attempt to make things right.

Am I overreacting? Maybe you think I am, and that's fine. 
What makes me sad is that it seems to be fine for people to treat each other with so very little respect and the other person is simply expected to swallow it, not 'get emotional' and move on. Again, that's just not right.

" willingly good, extra good, extra peaceful and extra forgiving..."
(Richard Armitage's message to his well-wishers, Christmas 2011)

I'm very specific when it comes to my relationships with the people in my life. My husband always says that, not counting the very few people in my life for whom I would gladly confront a fire-breathing dragon in Erebor, you are either in my top drawer or in my bottom drawer, and there's nothing in between.

Everyone starts in the top drawer, everyone has the benefit of the doubt. As long as you're in that top drawer, you could call me from god-knows-where to ask for my help at 3 o'clock in the morning and I will gladly leap out of bed to do whatever I can do for you. But I can't stand injustice, especially when it's aimed at me. Treating me unjust will land you a spot in the bottom drawer. You need to really hurt me to fall down to the bottom drawer, but it will take you a lifetime to climb back to the top. I forgive, but I rarely forget, and once you've fallen, any chance of us becoming anything even close to what would fit into my definition of friendship is out of the question. You're done. But always, the very first step of the long road home, is an apology. 

Own it. Mean it. And you're on your way.

Oh, if you were wondering: my own definition of friendship is illustrated rather perfectly by this quote from A.A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.” 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Of Lego, Belstaff and rogue locks of hair

There have been so very many new pictures and interviews and soundbites and livestreams and screencaps and other tidbits this week. I think I've now seen and read most of them, but the sheer volume of material that has been released during this week of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has completely overwhelmed me. But I've enjoyed every single minute of it. The second instalment in the The Hobbit trilogy will be released here in Belgium in exactly 1 day and I can't wait to finally see the film! For me, that is going to happen on Thursday evening...It will be the first of many times, there is absolutely no doubt about that!

Looking back at this crazy week or so, I have so much new info about Richard Armitage! Please don't ask me where these pieces of info come from because I couldn't even begin to try and remember what was written where or what was said in which interview.

Prosthetic hands are the cause of huge disappointment *wink*

Richard does Smaug, and quit well, I must say. *multi-talented, of course!*

He's amused by the fact that people still don't always know how to pronounce his name. *Trust me, my dear, I know how frustrating that can be. Better to laugh about all the variations than to let it get to you.*
Richard is not afraid to show the geek *geek is the new sexy*

I nominate Evangeline Lilly for honorary membership of the Armitage Army *after Philippa Boyens, who has been one of us since last year's release of An Unexpected Journey!*

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, portrait from Empire Magazine

Richard has not yet done everything he needs to do in front of the camera before going into directing or producing *yay!*

Working and living in New Zealand has been a life-changing experience... *but he's still our sweet, shy Richard... forever the gentleman, but now with a slightly more obvious, very cheeky, geeky side! :-)*

Richard loves his Belstaff jackets just as much as we love him in them ;-)

Black is still his colour, but grey is not too shabby either

LEGO! *It goes without saying*

To be able to handle Orcrist, Richard had to do a lot of training with his right arm *Oh please get your mind out of the gutter! ;-)* Orcrist makes an excellent air guitar as well:

.gif published by World of Armitage on tumblr

Peter Jackson got Richard on his knees from utter exhaustion. A minute later, he was doing another take of that same scene *Passion*

Richard is still hoping to return to the stage... and he's very well aware of the fact that the entire fandom get really excited when he mentions that in interviews... but he continues to do so...and he still hasn't found the right play for his return to the theatre. :-(  *He's such a tease!*

Richard would have loved to take home the chair from Beorn's house... but Mikael Persbrandt got it instead... *OK, I guess it makes sense that Beorn got first dibs on his own furniture*

Richard Armitage in Beorn's chair with interviewer David Weiner
Picture from

Richard is still an incorrigible flirt *And it manages to wake up the butterflies in my stomach every time!* :-)
The rogue lock of hair strikes again! :-O

Richard at the premiere for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Berlin (9 December)
Picture from RAVietnam Facebook page

Bombur's BBQ Chicken is to die for! *Stephen Hunter rocks! #TeamBombur*

Ed Sheeran wrote "I See Fire" from Thorin's perspective. Good to see that Ed recognises who the main character of this film really is.

Richard and friends dressed up to go and see one of the Lord Of The Rings films. Richard wore elven ears. *such a lovely thing to imagine*

On some days during production of The Hobbit, Richard had to get up at 3am to be ready for the start of filming at 8am. *Tough job*

Richard is on Warner Brothers' list of people for the Academy to consider for an Oscar nomination in the category 'Best Supporting Actor'. *fingers crossed*

Richard is a sock thief! He took home every single pair of costume socks he was given - and they got a new pair every day, for 18 months - he could probably open his very own sock shop!! *Such an adorably geeky thing to do*

Richard is planning to retire in New Zealand... someday *but not too soon, please!*

What have you learned this week?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Enter the dragon!

10 days to go before the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Belgium (on 11/12/13!!)

And isn't it about time we got to see the dragon? Yes. And we did, in the most fierce way possible!

"He was a fire drake from the North" ...and he flew Air New Zealand!!

Ladies and gentlemen...I give you: Smaug the Stupendous!!

Images taken from the Air New Zealand Twitter page

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Going once, going twice...sshhht!!

All day today, the media here have been full of images of 'Black Friday'. The day after Thanksgiving, stores in the US sell certain items at enormous discounts and all we here in Europe get to see are pictures of people camping out in front of the shops, or fighting over towels or T-shirts or TVs or videogames at 70% off. It's amazing how people give thanks for everything they have one day, and go out and get new stuff the next...

Anyway, instead of Black Friday, you may want to spend your money on charity instead so other people have things to be grateful for next Thanksgiving. And if you get an incredible, RA-inspired item as a reward, what could be better than that?

How, where, when, what, you ask? Well, get yourself over to I Want To Be A Pinup and feast your eyes on the wonderful items, all donated by RA fans. See anything you like? It could be yours for however much you would want to spend! Yes, you guessed it: this is a silent auction!

"Marian, don't tell me how much you wish to bid for that beautiful necklace! This is a silent auction!"

I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea and the donated items are gorgeous, every single one of them! I'm going to have to think carefully about what I'd like to spend my money on because only the highest bid wins.

Read the details carefully, so you know exactly what to do, find your favourite item and send in your bid (only a few days left!)... and then all you can do is wait for the results... fingers crossed!!

Oh, and all the money is sent to one of Richard Armitage's favourite charities on JustGiving, so don't forget to vote for the charity that you prefer!

Good luck! And thank you for your generosity!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Random thoughts: I hope you dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

May you never take one single breath for granted

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand by the ocean

Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens


Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance

Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking

Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter

When you come close to selling out, reconsider

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

Dancing Thorin taken from AnUnexpectedDwarf on Tumblr
Lyrics from the song 'I hope you dance' by Lee Ann Womack