Monday 28 May 2012

Welcome to this strange land...

“Baby I’m not scared of this world when you’re here"
(From ‘Silenced by the night’ by Keane)
Dear friends of RA, today we have exactly 200 days to get through before the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on 14 December 2012. Also, we've got 86 days to prepare for the next Armitage Day on 22 August 2012 when our favourite man celebrates his 41st birthday (or maybe he'll just sleep through it like he did last year!)
To mark this milestone, I have decided to take my blogging efforts to a next level, and I will (hopefully) be blogging much more often than I have over the last couple of weeks.
The 13 dwarves from The Hobbit, with RA as Thorin Oakenshield
Picture kindly borrowed from
A very long time ago, Richard mentioned in a message to his friends (as of this moment, I refuse to be called a ‘fan’, I’m going to use the word ‘friend’ instead) that he was very much enjoying the music on the album Under the Iron Sea (2006) by English band Keane. He listed ‘Hamburg Song’ as his favourite song on the band’s second studio album and I can certainly see why…
“I don't wanna be adored
Don't wanna be first in line
Or make myself heard
I'd like to bring a little light
To shine a light on your life
To make you feel loved”
(From ‘Hamburg Song’ by Keane)

Keane have been off my radar for a few years, but they have recently released a new album. Their fourth album (not counting EPs and recordings of live performances) entitled Strangeland has catapulted them right back to the centre of my attention. I am captivated by the richness of the music, the simple ad genuine lyrics and the hint of mystery and melancholy that tends to linger in the background of every single song.

“Well it's OK to be scared whenYou're stuck behind a door that won't openThe shadows in your dreams that are chasing youThey're not true”
(From ‘It’s not true’ by Keane)
Tim Rice-Oxley has once again written some incredibly beautiful melodies and I think Tom Chaplin’s voice has finally matured enough for me to be able to thoroughly enjoy every single song on this album. My favourites? The first single ‘Silenced by the night’ takes my breath away although it’s one of those songs that I love to sing myself and it always manages to lift my spirits and put a smile on my face.
Keane performs 'Silenced by the Night' live
‘Sovereign Light CafĂ©’, ‘Starting line’ and title track 'Strangeland' will also be spending quite some time on my iPod thanks to their complexity in striking contrast with the genuine simplicity and honesty of their lyrics.

“ You drove across the border as the winter rains ran dry
And only fitful birdsong filled the sky
You threw your head back, screaming
As we raced across wet sand
And leapt into the waters of the Strangeland”
(From ‘Strangeland’ by Keane)

I wonder if RA still likes Keane and if he’s enjoying their new music as much as I am?
For more information about Keane, visit their website:

Wednesday 2 May 2012

The interview...

Is this RA drought getting on your nerves as well?

Don’t get me wrong: I know RA is having the time of his life in New Zealand and I want him to enjoy every single moment of the production of The Hobbit, for more than one reason.

First of all, this is the experience of a lifetime for him. This story that he loved as a child, that was one of his first experiences as an actor (he played an elf in his school play!) is now bringing him a role (Thorin Oakenshield, no less!) in one of the biggest movie productions of the decade, with a brilliant director and groundbreaking production techniques. I want him to take it all in, to learn and grow and experience it to the fullest. 

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
(promo pictures for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

Second of all, these films are going to be epic. I want our dearest Richard to enjoy his final months of life in relative anonymity for as long as he possible can. His life is about to change substantially, and he’ll have enough publicity to deal with once Peter Jackson releases ‘An Unexpected Journey’ to The World.  I completely understand that he’s not putting himself in the spotlight for the moment. He’s not joking in front of the camera in PJs production videos, he’s not getting his picture taken at charity events with other members of the cast (maybe he was there to support the charity, but he’s not in the pictures), he’s not releasing interviews left, right and centre and he’s not appearing in chat shows or at red carpet events. I love his style and modesty, this is one of the main reasons why I am so completely in awe of this man.

I admit that it’s also frustrating. I’m craving something new. A picture, an interview, even a small, non-descript piece of random news about whatever, as long as it’s about him.
I have a friend in the military who has been on a few tours of duty for up to four months. For the people who stay behind, month number three is always the most difficult. He’s been away for long enough for everyone to have gotten used to the fact of getting on with their lives after the shock of someone important leaving them, but they now start looking forward to his return. They start counting the days, but there’s still so much time left that it only becomes more difficult.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Absolutely true!

That’s how I feel about RA. The release of The Hobbit is now so close that I can almost taste it, but at the same time it’s so far away that I need something to get me through this long waiting period.

Fortunately, I have enough material to keep me busy.:

- I’m listening to the ‘Lords of the North’ audio book. That voice… I sometimes need to go back to a previous section of the CD, because I’m so entranced by RA’s velvet voice, that I stop paying attention to what he’s actually saying. And I have to actively make myself listen to the story. And Richard is such a great storyteller: the way he gives all the characters in the story a specific voice and a specific personality is amazing. I bow my head to his craftsmanship.

- A Belgian TV station is playing reruns of Spooks again, one episode every weekday. They’ve just reached the end of season 7, so I now have a daily date with Lucas North as well. Did I mention I absolutely adore Lucas North?

Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks
So, don’t worry about me, I’ll manage to bridge the gap between now and December.
On the other hand, I’ve never been much of a follower of the phrase “Good things come to those who wait”, so I’ve decided to try to make something happen instead.
Imagine this: to show appreciation to his ‘Little community’ of fans (not that he owes us anything, but just hypothetically speaking), I manage to persuade Richard to grant us (the fans) an exclusive interview. What would you want to ask him?

I will get a list of questions together that I will send in a letter to Richard in a few weeks time. Want me to include your question(s)? Comment on this post and tell me what your question is, or send me an e-mail: Please do so before 20 May.

Let me be very clear: I’m not sure RA will ever answer our questions, and I completely understand if he doesn’t, but I just have to give this a try, you never know!  Let’s see what happens! Also, if he feels the urge to invite me to London in a few months for a real interview, who am I to refuse? :-)

The result, if there ever is one, will be posted on this blog. Fingers crossed!!