The Fan A to Z – #H [And Feedback Request re. B’day Auction]

Catching two birds with one stone today. I have an important question to ask at the end of this post. So if you understandably don’t give a rat’s arse about my changing attitude towards RA, jump to the bottom!

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

Most fans probably agree with me that being a fan specifically of one particularly person, is a little bit like being in a relationship. Even though it is essentially one-sided. But with familiarity comes… contempt, as the old saying goes. Ah, no, that is probably a bit strong. The typical fan journey is pretty much this:

There’s the typical development from “crushing on” to “in love with”, which I pretty much went through myself. Total immersion and infatuation with RA at the beginning, still slightly sheepish about this “immature” interest in someone I don’t even *know*. Then acceptance and happy discourse about him. But  I’d probably add 5B to the above textbook description of fangirling: “accepted but spark is gone”. Sounds very negative, but I don’t mean it like that.

Likening the fangirl experience to a RL romantic involvement, it is the phase where your interest in your OOA has been firmly cemented – but the infatuation phase is over and you are “emancipating” yourself from the object of your admiration. I used to identify with a lot of things that RA did and said, and was ready to defend or support anything he did and said. Keyword “APM”. Maybe as a way of proving to myself that we have something in common. Over the years, that need (of congruence) has become less important, not least because over time it has become clear that there is no way of *knowing* RA just on the basis of his performances, his role choices, his public appearances, his occasionally voiced opinions, or the compliments of his colleagues. My logical conclusion was to realise that I can be a fan without having to agree with him on everything he does and says. I have also developed a certain distance, based on the realisation that the person I so admire, is on the one hand a figment of my imagination, yet on the other hand is also a *real* person whose attitude to the fan circus is ambiguous at best.

So basically a change from “infatuated” to “respecting”. I still love his performances, I generally like the way he conducts himself at public occasions, I like the glimpses of his personality he shares in his tweets and interviews. He’s still holding my interest, his voice and looks still appeal to me, and hell yeah, I still would love to sit down with him and talk. But not to fawn and to swoon, but to challenge and argue. I think my inner teenage fangirl has grown up…

⍨ 💞 ⍨

Re. Birthday Auction

And now for my request for feedback: Andrea Numellote asked me BTS whether I was planning another birthday auction this year. And I am unsure – but would love your comments/feedback on this issue. Here’s my thinking: I am more than happy to organise another fundraising auction on the occasion of RA’s birthday. Not least because in the two previous years we raised $1,750 in 2016 and $1,900 in 2017 for good causes. But there’s a little snag. As in previous years, I sent a few pictures to RA with a request for signatures, earmarked for future auctions. Unfortunately I did not receive anything back. (The letter was sent last December.) So, no autographs to auction off (and I had so much counted on them, having already bought some beautiful frames to present them in 😥). The question is – is there a demand for a charity auction with other items such as fan art (RAPS for instance, or I could throw in some items made from my stash of themed fabrics) and signed/unsigned programmes? Please take the poll and add your opinion in the comment box below.

 

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69 thoughts on “The Fan A to Z – #H [And Feedback Request re. B’day Auction]

  1. Again, very well said.

    Hasn’t Richard been very good in the past to return autographs and such> Maybe right now is just a bad time for him -with his mom’s health and passing and then he’s been working non-stop as well. Hopefully, those autograph’s will come in eventually.

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  2. I think I read somewhere that his mum helped a lot with his fanmail, so it’s not surprising if it’s gone a bit haywire…

    Another auction would be lovely though, if you can bear to put the work in… it must take a lot of time and effort! 😳

    Liked by 2 people

    • True – not only does he have to deal with the loss of his mum while continuing to work, he’s also lost his fan mail manager. I had forgotten that.
      I don’t mind the work at all, especially now that I have switched to eBay. That makes it relatively easy as soon as all the auctions are live. I just don’t want to oversaturate the market 😉

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  3. I agree with Zee. A masterful summing up for many of us I’m sure. But I do reserve the freedom to swoon on and on at Guy. 💘

    I can’t in all honesty vote on the birthdate auction, as I shan’t be able to contribute in any way this year. I do love watching all the excitement though.

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  4. Hello Guylty/Sonja,

    If Yes gets the majority vote, I gladly donate my original UATSC film poster (not signed).

    Regards,
    Jacqueline (still very much beguyled by RA, but indeed less fangirling)

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    • Oooh, that sounds like a convincing argument for another auction!! There have been other offers BTS, too… some very interesting items in case the auctions take off… Thank you for the potential donation!

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  5. If this brings you joy and happiness and is obviously for some great charities then go for it! In spirit I’m sure he would be greatly touched by your efforts and genorosity to his causes.

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    • Ah, well, the auctions are not about *me*, Michele. The objective isn’t to boost my mood, but a) to create some sort of fan community event on the occasion of RA’s birthday, and that b) benefits a good cause. I’m willing to put in the effort (cos it’s a well-oiled machine by now – I know how to set it up) either way, but I neither want it to be an obligation (for fans or for me), nor fizzle out. We’ll see…

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  6. Reply to birthday auction:
    I find myself tuning out fan activities that have directions or “rules” and a “cycle” that means paying attention for more than one blog reading session (other than to go back and read new comments.) Guess that makes my reply obvious: not interested, won’t participate.

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    • Thanks for your honest reply, Besotted. I appreciate that! And I completely see what you mean – it’s a bit of a long slog, and it goes without saying that there is no obligation to participate. I am not offended if people don’t want to bid/read/comment/spread the word 😊. I don’t take part in each and every fandom-organised thing, either.

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    • Cool! Yeah, the thing is, the auctions are a great opportunity to raise ONE larger amount for charity – which can really make a big difference for the beneficiaries. It’s kind of exciting, too. We’ll see what the poll says. I’m happy to take my lead from that. Thanks for weighing in!

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    • Perfect outcome! And very complimentary for RA, too – holding anyone’s attention for that long a period of time, that’s to his credit. And in case I sounded too negative in my answer to #H – while I was thinking about my attitude and while I was discussing fandom journeys BTS with a fellow fan, I realised that my attitude may have changed – but there simply is NO other actor who is even close to replacing RA in my estimation…

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      • I’m struggling this very week with another contender that is my first temptation for crushing since North and South.

        I just saw “Call Me By Your Name,” and it is splendid. I so want to discuss its intricacies with someone and can’t find a place. (Not to go off topic on Guylty, but can anyone help?) The casting is perfect, the performances are perfect, and the whole thing is so lush, it even *sounds* like Italy in the summertime. I want to gush with someone.

        I googled the title of the movie + “blog” and…nothing. Wot? Aren’t there other people who want to talk about ripe peaches in Italy in August?

        There’s a decent commentary by two of the actors on the disc, but…it didn’t hook me.

        I googled pictures of Armie Hammer — who is one fiiiiine looking man — for 5 minutes and got bored. I watched some of the press, and, yeah the two lead actors flirted with each other, but it seemed kind of scripted and didn’t really go anywhere.

        I remember watching RA’s commentary on N&S. Nervous and self-conscious as he was, when he referred to making John Thornton come alive and pushed out, “He’s already lived for 150 years on the page,” I jolted to alertness. This guy gets it! Then when he finally, finally, in the last few minutes of the “interview” said something cheeky about horse poo and giggled, I thought, “This guy just needs permission to cut loose!”

        What’s the difference between the two productions, or the two actors? Maybe RA was just enough older than Hammer, and “hungrier” than Hammer, to appreciate his “opportunity” more and, therefore, he made more out of it? Or is it just that RA’s a different personality, and I find the alchemy of that particular personality enchanting?

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        • I think there are some major differences between Richard and Hammer: 1. Richard has done 3 series Hammer I think none 2. Richard is reserved and modest Hammer I think is sweet in his interviews but doesn’t have the finesse that Richard has and for me 3 Richard is not married w kids whereas Hammer has 2 kids now. I do not intend to plunge the discussion into the relationship category w Richard bec that may lead to other discussions but for me I’m happy he is not married maybe call it part of Richards mystique but I will check out Call Me By Your Name!

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        • I had to check out the trailer for “Call me by your name” because I hadn’t heard of it yet. It sounds like a really interesting film – definitely on my list, I have to say, even though I haven’t discovered yet what the ‘ripe peaches’ refer to (no spoilers please, hehe). Then I watched an interview of the two leads, but have to say that although Hammer is indeed a classically handsome man, he didn’t appeal to me at all. Maybe because his looks are so entirely flawless – and definitely because I didn’t like his overly relaxed-to-the-point-of-condescending manner in the interview.
          So yeah, looks aren’t everything. I completely concede that looks are what get me ‘looking’ in the first place. But that has to be backed with the kind of personality that appeals *to me*.
          RA really hit exactly the spot when I discovered him. A very handsome man, not with flaws in his looks as such, but with some edges and bumps that enhanced his appearance somewhat. The pronounced angles on his forehead. The prominent nose. Unique. And in his interview manner, a delicious mixture of humility and reserve. Not artificial, but genuine. Again, enhanced by the little moments of cheekiness.
          So with regard to your last question – I think it’s down to personality, not age/experience. Even though RA has certainly become more prominent since NS, and also smoother in his interaction with media, he still has that self-reflection, reserve and humility that appeals to me.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Yeah definitely the humility and down to earthiness that he seems to radiate even in some of his fan pics not the selfies mind you but I love that quality in a guy (hehehe). Like you know his mom raised a well mannered boy. I like his imperfections I think they definitely make him look genuine and downright sexy!

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      • I answered my own question, by the way: Reddit! There’s tons of stuff to read, and they sound just like us: multiple watchings, book vs. movie, delirious picking apart of minute details, even the plaintive wails of “Does anyone else suffer?” It’s fabulous to know there are other stories out there affecting people the way N&S affects us. Sigh.

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  7. I’m a bit ambivalent about that auction thing.
    I guess that if you start something you will get some money. But possibly less than last time. Even the second signed poster of Urban movie auctioned by Candida Brady didn’t find that huge interest we’ve seen before. Maybe it’s not only you who has reached another stadium of fangirling than lets say two or three years ago?
    I can say in my case that this is not because RA has changed or my view on him has changed but because the rest of the world changes so much. I for example became member of a political party because I feel that the times to just talk about doing something are over. I’ve not yet an idea where that may lead me and whether it’s the right thing to do for me…but for now it leaves me less time to sit and swoon.
    I also have a feeling that the number of ladies who involve themselves in the fandom is getting smaller. Would be great though if I were wrong…

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    • You are making a few valid points, Dorothea. Yep, I am also aware of the dwindling numbers of regulars on (these) our social media platforms, and subsequently also of a somewhat diminished interest in fan items and/or forking out for them. In that sense, I am aware of possibly less participation in the auctions – and lower proceeds. (That’s fine with me – I can lower my expectations.)
      As for replacing fandom activities with RL political activism – that is understandable, logical and laudable. I definitely applaud you. Mind you, I do not think that the two things (fandom activity/fundraising and political activism) exclude each other. You could argue that a fundraiser is a way of doing or taking part in something that will benefit a social cause and make a difference. Both fangirling as well as fundraising may also provide a certain amount of light relief in times that are rather dark and scary. A mood booster, so to speak. But I totally understand that RL activism is important and needed – and is a good thing to take precedence over ‘virtual’ activities. (Incidentally, I chose RL political activism TONIGHT over following the discussion here on the blog. I went postering for my political party.)
      BTW – I hope everybody who reads here understands that there is neither obligation to take part in any fundraiser, nor a justification needed for abstaining from participation.

      Liked by 3 people

      • You are right of course that other interests and fundraising in the fandom do not exclude each other. I more wanted to say that I sometimes feel a bit uninformed due to a lack of time more than due to a lack of interest. But the again there possibly simply isn’t less information…
        Anyway I would try to take art in any charity action you might start. With or without signed pics. I’m very interested in the Urban poster…I still have none. The one I got was spoiled…

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        • Well, apart from lack of time, there is also a certain lack of news. Understandably so – RA is probably still reeling from the loss of his mum. It’s only three months…
          If the auctions go ahead, then I think you may have a chance of getting an Urban poster. One has already been flagged for donation for the auctions 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  8. At this point, I feel like Cinderella. I went to the ball, danced with Prince charming, and after a while, although the Prince was awesome, I liked the the mice and the rest of my barnyard friends that got me there better. I get more excited thinking about hanging out with my fan friends, than seeing the man. Of course, that could change if he has an interesting interview or project come up. There has not been much to get too excited about in a long time, imo.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My answer is other. Because since Richard Armitage is 44 years old, I have been donating to a french local integration association named “Tarmac”:
    https://www.ouest-france.fr/pays-de-la-loire/le-mans-72000/tarmac-un-avenir-toujours-en-question-5815495
    They take care of all kinds people (refugees, women, teenagers, tramps, prisoners…) giving them home, language courses, reintegration, professional training… As he had suggested, when he was 44 years old, I composed the number of my donation with the numbers composing his current age of the year. In a nutshell, the number can mathematically only increase each year. Whenever I write the cheque, I always make this donation in relation, in connection with his birthday. I associate his memory. by sending a letter explaining my intentions.
    Nothing else to add, except that each fan could have his her owns ways to commemorate this day:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It totally goes without saying that every fan is free to celebrate RA’s birthday whichever way they like best. There is absolutely NO obligation to take part in any auction, and this poll was only to see whether people would like an auction at all. No one will be forced to take part in it!

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      • Pardon, je ne voulais pas avoir des propos négatifs. Mais je pensais expliquer pourquoi je préfère faire un don, à une association qui me touche personnellement, plutôt qu’à une association étrangère inconnue. Sans doute dans ce choix je tiens compte du fait qu’il y aura le bénéfice d’une minoration de l’impôt sur le revenu. (If I were a rich woman, I should write 4747474747…47474747…474747,474 euros on the check)
        Fiddler On The Roof – Ivan Rebroff (If I Were A Rich Man … – YouTube

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        • I totally take your point and understand what you mean, Squirrel. With the fandom being so international, it is quite difficult finding causes that would suit everybody’s preferences. Personally, I also like to donate to causes/charities that are close to me in terms of geography. (England still more or less works for me – Ireland is too small to be on the map, anyway.)
          LOL – 47 all the way!

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          • That’s right he turns 47! Wow he’s amazing looking and if he leaves his face alone will head into his 50s awesomely😀

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  10. Well, he’s part of my ‘normality’ if you will and there is nothing i crave more these days than that 🙂 I check my calendar for stuff i need to do and felt sad a few weeks ago when i realised it was my first Crucible date anniversary but i had no breath or second left to give it more than that passing thought. It doesn’t feel like a year for big celebration, more one for thoughtfulness. I’m not surprised the autograph thing has backlogged given what has happend this year. I wonder if they will find a way to organise it anew.
    I also feel his birthday will possibly be bitter sweet this year too because of the smaller family … all those thresholds and dates that remind us of losses.

    But, having said that he’s still important in my life, actually even if differently, still as deeply as he was back in 2014 so i think it would be nice to mark it with a donation to somewhere or some small contribution. I may have very little at the moment due to circumstances but every little counts.

    Also, i recently got not 1 bit two lovely letters from Loros thanking the small contribution. I felt extremely touched that they went to all the trouble to reply and also that they were so determined to reply they did it twice rather than miss it out. And also these are such shitty times for so many people, his birthday is a good reason as any to mark it with kindness and a warm thought towards others.
    If the feeling is not to restrict too much what people do i understand that. If an auction goes ahead i have those items ( i think 5 left) which are not much but happy to contribute them. Now if the desire is there or keep them for a future one when there is maybe more buzz or desire for fan items. They did make the move with me in good state so it can also wait.

    By the way i also found my brand-new -unpacked Pop Thorin twin 🙂 Sorry to say that is going no-where 🙂 Not up for grabs. all mine.

    So yeah, i’m, up for marking it someway…

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    • It is really the worst kind of scenario when you haven’t even got any free time to spend on something that would help you relax and come down from all the stress. Here is hoping that you will settle in soon and be able to have time for yourself (and your hobbies, including crushing on Mr A 😉) again!
      His birthday will definitely feel different this year. His mother is the reason he’s alive, and mothers are usually the ones who *never* forget a birthday and *always* mark it as a special day. I feel for him – it’s on the family occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries that the absence of a loved one is most keenly felt. I believe it would be a nice gesture if we donated the proceeds of the auctions to LOROS this year, both for RA and for his mum. That’s *if* the auctions go ahead. (BTW, I also received two letters from them, thanking me for my donation. Very kind of them; I’m sure they often receive donations when someone has passed away who had been in their care. But thanks to RA bringing the cause to his fans’ attention, the reach was probably widened. Glad that they have received recognition and funds!)
      As for items for the auction – yes, would be happy to put some (not all) in the auction! xxx

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      • That’s a superb idea! Hopefully he will be in Budapest filming and working and maybe MF and Mina will take him out for dinner and he will post it on Instagram. His work is probably his saving grace right now.

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  11. I first discovered RA and his work while I was going through a difficult time in my life. I had lost my husband the previous year and was missing him terribly. I remember I had accidentally run across Mr Thornton in N & S and was so impressed by the handsome, soft spoken and graceful gentleman on my screen…I thought who is this guy? The romantic story touched my heart like a salve. I immediately (like so many others) started to research and watch everything I could find him in. The next 2 that had a big impact on my crush were Guy and Thorin. I began to realize just what a talented actor he was. There was a period of “infatuation ” that every new fan experiences on some level where you watch and read all his interviews, etc. and as such you begin to form an opinion of the crush as not only an actor but as a person. The more I learned about him over time (such as his commitment to supporting several charity causes) the more my feeling shifted from RA being a celebrity crush to really having a genuine admiration for him as a person as well as an artist. So much so I did something I thought I would never do. I travelled across the Atlantic to see him in the Crucible and then later to New York for LLL. To have had those live performance experiences, to meet him in person and then see how graciously he treats his fans at the SD made a strong and positive impression on me. I find that now after 5 years of being a fan some of his work thrills me and other projects are meh, not so much. I’m ok with that. I know I’ll never know who he is in RL but I like the person he has revealed in glimpses. I still swoon a little when I see an exceptionally great new photo but hey he’s gorgeous!! What can I say? I guess my current feelings are that his work has given me a lot of enjoyment over the years. The early infatuation has been replaced with a lot of admiration and I’m still really interested in continuing to follow and support him and his work. My fangirling currently feels comfortable. Like a well loved sweater that’s familiar and makes you feel good whenever you put it on.
    As far as the birthday auction question…. I feel like any chance to celebrate the man, to spread some love and to come together for a worthy cause warms my heart. I’m all for it. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a beautiful story, Widoedm53, thanks for posting. (I never tire of the “how I fell” stories.) I live in New York and sometimes organize get-togethers of fans for New York activities. If you would like to be included, send your contact info to Guylty privately and she will forward it to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the lovely response to my story and for the offer to meet someday if there is an event in New York. I live in Tampa so not a long flight to New York. I would be absolutely delighted to join in a get-together. Guylty has my contact info. Just tell me where and when. 😊

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    • Fangirling x years in = wearing a comfortable sweater! That is so true, and I completely feel the same. It’s like settling in to a house, making oneself at home and comfortable in it. Still working on it occasionally, sometimes changing one’s mind about details, but generally being happy in and with it.
      Great reminder that it’s not just about what is going on NOW, but also about what has been in the past – the great performances that inspired a thousand fan fics and fan arts, gorgeous pictures and gifs that you found yourself staring at for minutes, interviews and messages that warmed the heart – just because he seemed so nice, lovely encounters just because we clicked with someone else over the same g(G)uy.

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  12. Exactly! I really like your house comparison to fangirling as well. To me it’s like you’ve settled in and it feels comfortable and you love the architectural features, but you’re also open to refresh things once in a while with some new fabric and paint to jazz it up.
    Also great to point out the lovely encounters had because we click with others over the same nice g(G)uy. That’s an important part of my fangirl experience and one that has been truly delightful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s it. Refreshing things. Giving it a new thought. Sometimes you even have to bring outside experts in to help you visualise a renovation… (hehe, we could spin this out…)
      The whole community aspect became very important to me, first with my shrining fun, then with my dad’s passing, and also because I met so many people face-to-face in London for TC.

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  13. Pingback: Fan Charity Auction: ‘Yay’ 👍🏻 | Guylty Pleasure

  14. Viel ist nicht mehr übrig von meinem inneren Fangirl, aber es existiert noch eine PIN mit RA-bezogenen Daten, die nach wie vor häufig zum Einsatz kommt 😁

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  15. Gosh I didn’t realize a week had passed since I went through all my emails. How has my attitude toward RA changed? Not sure it has. Not knowing him personally, I never expected him to believe in things the same way I do. I’ve enjoyed the little insights into his beliefs but they haven’t influenced my feelings about him. Perhaps because I don’t discuss politics or religion with anyone. Never discussed them with my husband either. There’s a lot of other things out there to talk about. And, while he still can take my breath away with a look, I’m probably much a calmer fan. It’s like being married for a long time. There’s a comfort in knowing he’s there.

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    • I like your last sentence, “the comfort of knowing he’s there”. Yes, a constant, something familiar. That may mean that the initial excitement of discovering someone new is gone, but it is also really nice to know what you are dealing with…

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  16. I don´t do auctions, so this wouldn´t be for me. I would spend something if I had anything RA-related that I didn´t want to keep. I´m giving for RA´s charities to his birthday and to Christmas, and I link Amazon over RAnet, so there´s a lot of money going to his charities too.
    Regarding my attitude towards RA I´ve written something in the other questions. I loved N&S like other period dramas, and watched the one or other thing then. When I joined the fandom in 2013 I had my fangirling phase: needed everything of him, saw him in The Crucible, but when less and less of good work from him came, I still stayed true, but was less interested. It was more a vehicle for friendships, and I still had other actors or British/Irish series/films to follow. Perhaps my fangirl has also grown up, as you Guilty mentioned, as I´m still interested, but not drooling over pics or such. Would also like to see RA engage more on the political side, as he´d done in the beginning.

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  17. Pingback: Finally Back – The Fan A to Z #I | Guylty Pleasure

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