After a two-week hiatus during which I ignored the internet – first due to illness and then due to family obligations – I do not want to let 2015 fizzle out without a quick message to all you lovely readers out there. I hope you had a nice end-of-year celebration, no matter what religion you may or may not place your faith in, with some harmonious time spent with your loved ones, some good food, warmth and festive cheer. With 4 hours to go before we start into a new year, here is the obligatory end-of-year message to all of you + Richard.
Thank you for another year of fun and games in our community of online friends. You have given me much joy in a year that was punctuated with highlights – both personal as well as communal – and that has pushed boundaries and widened my horizons, once again. My year started with a massive highlight when I spent February and March travelling in New Zealand. The Hobbit was never far off my mind, and neither was Mr A. I often wondered whether he had seen the sights I was seeing, and somehow I felt quite sentimentally grateful that his participation in those films had given me the impetus to finally make the dream come true and travel to the other side of the world. I am still living off the memories of that unforgettable trip, the colours, sounds, sights and scents of New Zealand are still fresh in my mind, and I hope to get back there, one day.
In April and May I rediscovered the beauty of Ireland when I travelled through ‘Pilgrimage’ country aka Connemara on the Irish West coast, first with Helen and then on a second trip with CraMERRY and Suzy. What a glorious part of this country. How lucky for Mr A to be filming in Ireland – a gorgeous little place on the fringes of the North Atlantic – I hope he had the chance to actually look around himself during breaks in between filming and enjoy this beautiful part of the world. I really enjoyed the thought of having Mr A in ‘my’ country for a bit, and it was great fun explaining the intricacies of Irish language, customs, history and culture for him on my blog.
The devastating earthquake in Nepal was the reason for a first fundraising auction in May – which you made a massive success with your generous contributions and bids. Together we raised over 1700 US$ – which were donated to Save the Children. You are an amazing lot of people – and even if there are occasional disagreements within the fandom when Mr A articulates opinions that are not shared by everyone, we are still united in our general appreciation of his charitable efforts, and in following his example. Thank you for participating and making a difference for those who are less fortunate than we are!
As predicted by my horoscope, July brought professional changes for me. I started a new job, and subsequently have much less time for my blogging and crafting endeavours. I miss the time and freedom I used to have – but I am also enjoying the new financial independence and the travelling that has come with my new role.
August was all about Hannibal. Who would have thought that a show about a cannibal would get me so excited? I admit, I was doubtful when the news first surfaced that RA would be acting in that show, but from the first moment we got to see him in the trailer he had me enthralled with his performance as Francis Dolarhyde. Right up there with Thorin and Proctor, imo. Oh, and he also got me really busy with my self-imposed challenge of creating a RAPS for every episode of the Red Dragon story-arc. – A second fundraiser in September surpassed all my expectations when I was joined by a number of gifted crafters and generous donors for a number of charity auctions that yielded another amazing donation, this time to the Syrian children appeal by Save the Children. You donated 2600 US$ – I am still shaking my head and my jaw drops when I see that sum written down.
In October I scraped the barrel and re-edited some stone-cold Berlin premiere photos. Little did I know that November would bring a new loot of pictures that were everything and more than I ever hoped for when I decided to fly over to Leeds for the premiere of UATSC. The weekend in Yorkshire was a resounding success – meeting up with fellow fans, watching the long-awaited film, and seeing Mr A interact with his fans at the two events, and my write-up of the premiere has become the most-viewed post on my blog. 8888 views – a great number, and one that will never be surpassed, I reckon. Thank you for reading me – it gives me much pleasure to share my photos and my thoughts with you all, and doing so gives me a little insight into what it might be like for Mr A, sharing his art and talent with the public, and receiving feedback – and love – back.
My personal highlight for December was Richard’s annual Christmas message which went a bit beyond the usual non-controversial “thanks and best wishes”, but touched upon some of the big issues of the present, namely online interaction and the refugee crisis. I am glad to see that he has also found a way to continue communicating with his fans by publishing a message through his Twitter. And even though he will never know, I’d like to respond to his message with the obligatory end-of-year thanks to him:
Dear Richard –
thank you for another year of inspiration and entertainment. Your performances as Dolarhyde and Chop have proven once again that you are one of the finest actors of our generation. And yes, you are an actor and not a politician, but you are also a human being. With considerable talent, a good heart and a mind of your own. While I do not feel like applauding each and every move you make – after all I am a human being with my *own* mind – I appreciate your efforts at spreading positivity and being a decent person, and at speaking up when it is important to do so. I am glad you are using your celebrity status for good causes, highlighting the great work of some charities, and inspiring others to follow suit. You are certainly making an impact on the little corner of the internet that I have made my home in, and I hope that you pat yourself on the back every once in a blue moon – you have earned it. Wishing you all the best for 2016 – new, challenging roles, exciting encounters, and fulfilment in both your private life and your career.
The universe is on your side!
To you and all the readers of this blog: