2020 Armitage Weekly Round-up #28

Hello hello hello! A week has passed and I am back from my mini break. I am going to indulge in a little travel report here, so those of you who have no interest in sitting through someone else’s holiday pictures – no offense taken, I totally understand! – please just scroll down to where you see the header for the round-up. All your tumblr Armitage needs will be satisfied down there 😉.

Tbh, it was lovely to leave the confines of my home town and finally venture out a little bit farther afield. In fact, it only occurred to me as we were on the road, that I hadn’t left Dublin at all since mid-January 😱. Ireland is not really that big – it reaches about 500 km (300m) from top to bottom – but the terrain here is characterised by rocks and hills, which makes for small, windy roads, especially as the infrastructure does not need to be as car-friendly as in other, more populated countries in the world. So don’t be surprised if you see the estimated travel time in the map below.

Yes, it takes more than 4 hours to travel 287km (178m) in Ireland. 😁 If you look really closely at the map you will actually notice a black jagged line running through the land. That is the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Our route this time took us the Northern Irish way, crossing into NI near Belturbet and then exiting again via Pettigo. The border is still “green”, i.e. there is no visible sign that you have actually moved from one jurisdiction to another. (I can usually only tell by the difference in road surface 😂 and the fact that the speed signs are suddenly in miles/h and not in kilometer/h any more. It’ll be interesting to see the Brexit regulation work out the issue of the United Kingdom’s *only* land border while keeping both EU customs rules as well as inner-Irish peace…) This is the shortest way of getting up from Dublin in the centre of the East coast, into the Northwestern corner of Ireland, which is part of the Republic and called County Donegal.

Our journey took us even longer than the estimated 4 hours, but then we also had to switch drivers in order to relieve my mother-in-law (77) and take a lunch break. We eventually arrived in Dunfanaghy in the late afternoon where my father-in-law had specifically booked rooms with a view in the plush Arnold’s Hotel. At first I was a bit taken aback at the layer of dust in our otherwise lovely room but then I realised that it meant the room had not been used in months and we were the first occupants since reopening the day prior, i.e. no lingering viruses there… From our luxurious king-size bed we had views out to the beach. (Click all images to enlarge!)

I have to say I was a bit skeptical as regards the attitude of the holiday makers towards keeping safe from the virus, though. Dunfanaghy was packed to the gills with tourists, particularly from Northern Ireland. (The weekend actually coincided with the traditional, Protestant celebrations of the Battle of the Boyne on the 12th of July every year. This is a significant date in NI, marking the victory of Protestant king William III over Catholic king James II, celebrated with drums, huge bonfires and marches by the Orange Order. It continues to be a controversial tradition within NI, with (some) Catholics offended by the celebration of this victory, while (some) Protestants insist on their right to express their traditions.) As part of the UK, NI has had a different approach to the Covid crisis than the Republic, and tbh I was not really that impressed with the general lack of social distancing displayed last week. (It goes without saying that it was *not only* NI people who were far too close for my comfort; there obviously were also plenty of Irish holiday makers there, too.) Within the hotel, there were hand-sanitisers at all exits and corridors, so it was easy to keep hands clean. In the restaurant, the staff wore PPE masks and the guests were seated well apart as fewer tables than normal were set up. So I felt relatively safe in there. But I hardly saw any face masks worn in the village, people were congregating in big groups outside pubs and shops, and it felt as if there were no covid restrictions at all. All that made me very angry. On our walks, particularly in the very busy Glenveagh National Park, people would not keep distance even though the paths were more than 2 meters wide, and on the parking lot, cars parked directly side-by-side. But then again, at least we were outside, and Glenveagh is an absolutely stunning place.


I have been to Glenveagh a good few times before. It’s a stunning valley with a 19th century hunting lodge castle at the centre. There is a formal garden through which you enter the castle grounds, but what I had not see until now was the amazing kitchen garden. The little gardener’s cottage under the large tree somehow reminded me of Bag End.

The best thing, of course, is the beaches and dunes and the mighty North Atlantic.

Tramore Strand

I was thinking of Squirrel/Radagast who had commented about wild flowers before I left for the North, and I took a good few photos of flowers.

The weather was – Irish. We had two days that were predominantly dry, with only a little bit of drizzle here and there. Only on our last day the weather really turned against us, which was annoying as we had planned to go walking with my in-laws a bit. But well, a bit of wet doesn’t deter my hardy in-laws. There is no bad weather – only inappropriate clothing. So we trudged off on a two-hour walk in the Ards Forest. I think I was the only who got drenched to the skin. Yep, even after 20 years I still haven’t learnt… or bought the right equipment.

Typical family picnic. In the rain. Sharing 1 bottle of Guinness, 2 apples and 2 sandwiches. No lie.

However, we did also get a bit of sunset in, and so the trip’s best memory is this – a sundowner from Horn Head with the ragged shape of Tory Island in the background.

So, that was my summer holiday 2020. Four nights away with family. It was actually really lovely, especially as my f-i-l is now getting really old. This may have been his last trip up to Donegal. It was lovely to spend time with him and my m-i-l who are still very active and who are interesting to chat to. I was especially delighted that Little Miss Guylty came along, too – not just for myself but also for the grandparents for whom her presence is particularly special. And I had four nights of sound sleep that really recharged my batteries. So much so that I can now jump energetically into this week’s tumblr round-up:


  1. Badtennantwolf has put together a set of icons. I am including the set here for the first four pictures of RA at SDCC in 2015 as we recently had a chat about that occasion (and the famous dragon beanie throw) elsewhere
  2. Richardarmitagefanpage reminds us of a Hobbit Extended Editions rewatch organised by One Ring Net for 21 July
  3. Some dramatic Guy of Gisborne gifs, season 3, by riepu10
  4. LOL. Including this mainly for the spot-on caption by thewarriorandtheking
  5. *sniggers* Mezzmerizedbyrichard has come to the aid of many hot and bothered Mr Thornton admirers…
  6. I have always been somewhat intrigued by that pock mark on Richard’s arm. Maybe he had it removed or something, because I also remember pictures from around the same time where he sported a blue plaster on his bicep. Picture posted by hobbitoferebor
  7. Goodness me. 13 years ago. Yes, he looks a good bit younger. And full-on Gisborne-sideburns. Gifs by riepu10
  8. Eyelash porn courtesy by mezzmerizedbyrichard
  9. Ignore the wig and enjoy the nose! Richard as Claude Monet, giffed by mezzmerizedbyrichard
  10. Lehnsharks’ Thorin drawings
  11. BTS footage of Richard as Thorin was few and far between, so here are a few precious scenes, giffed by riepu10
  12. Daniel Miller/Trevor Price looking ominous… Gifs by riepu10
  13. One of nfcomics’ What A Guy Wants… interesting metaphor…

There we go. Sorry for the whole long holiday crap. I can faithfully promise that that is it for this year *sardonic laugh*.

However, before I go and more importantly, just a quick reminder:

It’ll be August soon and that means… RA birthday auction time!!! Donations of items have been coming in and it is high time for me to start organising and promoting, soon. Watch this space for more info!

Have a lovely weekend,

Sonja ❤️



40 thoughts on “2020 Armitage Weekly Round-up #28

  1. What a lovely trip! I myst go up to the North one of these days. Obviously you weren’t in charge of the picnic catering then… 🤣

    Thanks for a lovely roundup. RA at the Baftas is lovely 😍 and slo-mo cravat untying is just wicked 😂


  2. Thank you for sharing your vacation and beautiful pictures. My vacations this year are all virtual 😑
    “There is no bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.” – that’s what my father used to say to me. Still sometimes it doesn’t work 😁
    Welcome back! ❤️


    • It’s a strange summer, isn’t it, without the usual holiday trips, yet with long periods of (involuntary) rest and relaxation. In a way, I am getting more rest than ever, but at the same time it’s not really relaxing at all, with the threat of Covid always there 🙁. I am really missing normal life – trips to the shops, having a cup of coffee in a cafe, watching a film in the cinema, going to the theatre…


  3. What a lovely travel story, thanks for taking us along via photos! For those, like me, who struggle with kilometers, 287 of them are 178 miles, fyi. Taking 4 hours and 12 minutes to drive??? Yup, Americans are used to large highways. Which are ugly. Good for you, Ireland, keeping things “slow’ — and pretty.


    • Hehe, I was thinking of my American readers when I wrote those distances down – and the number of hours it takes to cover them. For the most part, the roads here are just normal (i.e. one lane per direction). Add to that the undulating hills everywhere, and you have very slow progress despite the short distances. In Ireland, the way is always a destination in itself because there are lots of things to see at the wayside. Castles, stone circles, loughs, areas of outstanding beauty. When I produced that map in Google Maps, I inadvertently clicked on “suggested route” and the map said that I should take a plane from Dublin to Donegal airport, cutting the journey time to 55 minutes 😂


  4. Wow, all of that looks so stunning, especially those beaches with the beautiful skies above them! Sounds like a lovely time away (despite the bad social distancing). It’s good you were able to take a little break like that, hope you can hold on to the good holiday vibes for a while yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a proper recharge – despite some of the social distancing stress. But it was also lovely not to have any household obligations – no cooking and shopping. I always enjoy that the most.
      Hope your holiday will provide lots of rest and relaxation to you, too, Esther!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you got to have a mini-vacation! Your photos are, as always, very beautiful. Particularly that sunset and the beaches/dunes. And of course your picnic lunch! The drive we took for our vacation is around the same amount of time as yours — but 100k farther! Mainly highways. I would love to go to Ireland again — only went once when I was a girl. Maybe one day.

    I found when we were away that people are not as conscious or caring about the 2 metre distancing. We don’t have a mask law here, but people tend to keep back more and/or wear a mask. Even the servers weren’t masked at the three restaurants we went to. They try to achieve a good result with distance alone.

    Congratulations on the new work you’ve picked up again, too! I often browse through the blogs but seldom have the time to come back and comment, unfortunately.


    • I can never resist sunset photos, even though they are deemed kitsch. But then again, it’s a piece of drama provided by nature – how could that ever be tacky?
      Haha, not surprised that you covered way more ground when you travelled the same amount of time on your vacation. Canada is on a different scale altogether, and I would so love to go there and experience the wide expanse of your nature. Let’s hope that once the Covid thing is finally over, we can experience the places we yet dream to see (again).
      Interesting that people are making an effort to be distanced in lieu of wearing a mask. Maybe that is why many countries delayed making face masks mandatory. I do feel that the masks occasionally give you a feeling of false security – as if you are safe from the virus because you are shielding your face. Yet it’s the other way round… Over here, due to the gradual opening up of the lockdown, unfortunately the stats are rising again. The rate of infection had been contained at well below 1 for several weeks, and new cases had gone down to single numbers. For the last 2 weeks, the numbers are rising again, and the R rate is above 1 now. That is very worrying. It’s evident that people are not adhering to the (relaxed) rules. There’s also a lot of non-essential international (i.e. tourist) travel going on, both incoming and outgoing. While I have travelled myself last weekend, it was just within the country and with our own transport. I can’t understand why anyone would voluntarily take a plane at the moment… But well, here’s hoping that the majority of people will be sensible and stay home…

      Liked by 1 person

      • We tend to be rule followers here, so at least in British Columbia there is no mask requirement. The people wearing masks do tend to come closer — too close in my opinion. We have had a recent cluster of cases from the bars in one of the popular vacation spots… hopefully there won’t be more resurgence. I hope Ireland will continue to do well. I can’t imagine flying right now either. Some of our movie theatres have opened too, but I’m not in a rush to get in there!


        • That’s the problem with the masks – the false sense of security. I felt like that at the beginning of the crisis. At this point, though, I am more peeved with the other people’s lack of observing the rules. I am just back from the supermarket, and again I was the only person in there with a face mask. And the government rules were already applicable from last week – face masks INSIDE all shops, for both staff and customers.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome back from me Guylty, and thanks for sharing the *long holiday crap.* i’m so glad you were able to get away for a break and it was good of you to take us along. The scenery is gorgeous, and the colour palette reminds me of Pilgrimage.

    Thanks too for the roundup. What a Guy Wants always makes me snigger. It’s outrageous and yet so very him. And #11 – being majestic is much more strenuous than I thought! 😂


    • Hehe, the holiday crap… can be a little bit tedious for anyone who has not been on that particular holiday. Mind you, I always enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the little reports of other people’s holidays – and now more than ever. It’s like taking a mini-holiday myself…
      You’re not altogether wrong re. Pilgrimage. Although that movie was filmed 100km South from where I was, the West coast of Ireland is still pretty similar all along.
      What a Guy Wants is definitely outrageous 😁. Hehe, and I am already curating it, leaving some of the “earthier” 😉 bits out… (Says more about my prudishness than about Guy *haha*)


  7. Agreat thank you for the fowers pictures.
    I think there names are:
    Centhrantus ruber down the castle on the stone wall,
    Lilium martagon (pink) beautiful wildflower in mountains or …,
    Lilium or Hemerocallis (jaune)
    Rosa canina (églantier: wild rosa) lot of vitamin C in winter-rosehip-bay,
    Dahlia (red), Viola (yellow),Orchis (pink), Arum (white), Campanula (blue), Veronica (blue).
    Beautiful sky pictures too.


  8. Your trip sounds so poignant and lovely, albeit a little disturbing with the lack of social distance (and I think I would avoid Tory Island!). Your photographs are fantastic too. Thank you for the round-up – I particularly liked Mezz’s slo-mo cravat removal – a beautiful fantasy (5). Talking of which I can imagine Thorin diving onto my mattress in that way (11- 2nd gif)) although his bulk would send us crashing through the floor. The last gif in that group is interesting too as PJ seems to be holding RA back..12 (second gif) it is fascinating how RA holds the eye just a second too long, it is so powerful and intense.


    • LOL, Tory Island – that had never occurred to me, but now that you are mentioning it…
      The slo-mo undressing is definitely a highlight. And a fangirl dream.
      I think in that last gif, PJ is indeed holding Thorin back – that’s the scene where Thorin is swearing at Thranduil, who is seated above him on his tree throne. He had to be restrained, not to attack the elven king 😂


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