A Bit A’ This ‘N’ That

Today’s post comes as a mixed bag of inconsequentialities, both RA-related and OT, just because I have – oh wonder – a renewed urge to write a blog post. It proves a point I made in an earlier post that I am more likely to blog when I need some hobby writing in order to balance out work writing. I have just spent a few hours (!) dealing with the CMS of my new copy writing client, hence I am keen on writing for fun now. Let’s start off with a bit of Armitage.

Spooks 7

Over on Twitter we have been doing a Spooks 7 re-watch over the last few weeks. On Saturday we finished episode 4 with a handful of us live-tweeting while we watched the show simultaneously. It has been a while since I watched Spooks, and it is actually quite fun to revisit Lucas North after a long time. There is, obviously, the fact that RA looks so skinny and young in the role – which is no wonder, as we all know that he starved himself to look like a very gaunt ex-prisoner at the start of the season. Also, the show was made 12 to 13 years ago *omg* – time has passed since then although RA could very easily still play an MI5 agent. In fact, he’d make a very convincing “Sir” Lucas as the head of the counter-terrorism department. Yeah, yeah, I know, that option was taken away from us when they killed off the character – literally and figuratively – in season 9. But just sayin’. In any case, I was watching from my box set of season 7, and it just occurred to me that Lucas is actually front and centre (figuratively speaking) on the cover. At least in terms of size, he is the biggest head 🤭 on the cover. And he gets quite a smoulder on for Disc 4 (see above) 😁. BTW – isn’t that the worst tagline you have ever seen on a spy thriller??? “MI5 not 9 to 5” – jeepers, I suppose that is meant to be funny, but boy does it feel like a flat pun 😂…

Among other things that we delved into with the meagre 140 characters at our disposal, was Lucas ex-wife Elizabeta. It has always struck me as somewhat strange how she was written. So, she is his ex-wife. Lucas is quite clearly still in love with her when he finally returns after 8 years in prison. She, however, having been told he was dead, has divorced (?) and moved on. Fair enough. However, given that she divorced him not knowing why he had actually vanished, it feels a bit strange to me that she has so little feeling for him. Ok, she seems to have a new relationship (and a child), and it would be extremely confusing to find oneself faced with the beloved husband that had been declared dead. Nevertheless I found her a bit too cold. (Or am I in APM-by-proxy?)

Anyway, it was a fun hour spent together on Twitter. Don’t expect any in-depth discussions about characters or scenes, it’s mainly pithy remarks. But if you want to join in, I am sure our organiser mujertropical would be happy to have you. We’re on again next Saturday at 8pm BST.

Couple of OT Updates

  1. No word from the recruiter re. my job application/interviews last week. It’s Tuesday now; the interview was on Thursday. Ok, I get the message 😁. I guess the job is not on. And tbh with you, I am relieved. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to get some validation through this expedited application process. But I wasn’t altogether sure whether I wanted to work full-time for the small amount of money they were offering… This way I won’t have to engage in unpleasant salary negotiations…
  2. For those of you curious about my latest upcycling project: The tray table has been transformed and is now in situ.

Tray table as picked up at the dump

After cleaning and repainting

The final object, distressed, decoupaged and now in situ on the landing:

A Score

I can’t tell you exactly what made me look into online auctions last week, but somehow I looked at an Irish auction site and I spotted a small porcelain figurine whose style looked familiar to me.

I am neither a collector of porcelain, nor do I actually find these particular figurines particularly cute, but I immediately recognised them as “Hummel figurines”. They are quite well-known in Germany and have been collectibles for the past 70 years. The older they are, the more valuable. They are not my cup of tea at all, but my mum has a couple of those figurines and apparently really loves them, so I placed a bid on the auction, hoping that no one in Ireland is aware of what these figurines can be worth. Bingo. I won the figurine for 25 Euro – my maximum bid because the auction did not provide any details about the age of the figurine. Today I picked it up, and it turns out to be from the 1950s (judging by the trademark underneath), which makes it a bit more valuable than my bidding price. I saw the number 150 pop up a few times… Suffice to say I am chuffed. My mum’s birthday present is sorted ✔️

Revisiting the past

I can’t even tell you why and how, but somehow I came across a really old article about RA this week. Many of you have read it before, so it is not new at all. But I thought it was fun to revisit it and have a look at what RA was on a about *ten years ago*. This is an interview with The Mirror on the release of Strike Back.

I didn’t pick this out for the purpose of snide comments or in order to negate what has recently become more obvious, but I thought his answers to the more personal questions here were interesting, as the interview shows RA at 39 – and here we are, RA now (almost) 49. Newspaper articles (especially from tabloid sources) always have to be taken with a grain of salt, but I’d say that RA has come a long way since then. Apart from his private life, I am also struck by his honesty re. the fears that keep him up all night. Does he still believe that? (With some major hits and starring roles under his belt, one would hope not.) In any case, fun to re-read.

 

38 thoughts on “A Bit A’ This ‘N’ That

  1. With regard to Elizabeta, I think her reasons for divorcing Lucas were related more to the “secret” part of being a secret agent. Despite the fact that she was working the other side, I think she was truly shocked to find out that he was in MI5.

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    • I admit that my own crush on Lucas probably overshadowed my judgement there. He’s too gorgeous for me to see secrets as a dealbreaker. But in that sense you are right. She felt betrayed. Still- for her to be so cold after he had languished for 8 years in a prison, is really tough. Poor Lucas was visibly heartbroken when she gave him the cold shoulder…

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    • Yep. More on the kitsch side… I read up on the history of the brand and found out that it was actually aimed at the US market right from its beginning in the 1930s. Having said that, the figurines were also very popular in the home market. Not something I would decorate my house with but I think my mum will appreciate it 😉

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  2. Been a long time since I have seen Spooks (MI5 in the US). I started to watch this show on our PBS and really got into it with Rupert Penry-Jones (Adam Carter). I was really sad to see Adam get killed off but having watched the show since the beginning knew that it would happen. Our PBS station stopped airing the show with season 7 so I have it on DVD, I should pull it out and watch it again.

    I like what you have done with the tray table, what a get addition to your house. Hummel figures where big in the US when I was young, never got into them or maybe because there was no money, not sure. What a great gift for your mom. Nice to get something that you like and will enjoy.

    The job hunting here is so small with everything going on. The last two job I applied for didn’t even get an interview, that don’t do much for the self esteem. So today I am filling out another one, I applied last year and really don’t think I have a chance but will never know if I don’t apply. That is due to the first year I have more restrictions, how ever one of my former teachers in my program is the person over seeing this position, so maybe.

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    • I was smirking a bit when I looked at the cover of the Spooks box set. Adam Carter is quite cerntral on it, too – yet he is killed off in the first episode. I guess they were designing it for the eyecandy 😉
      Those Hummel figurines – I’ve known them for a long time, too. I think my mum got hers when I was in my teens. (I didn’t like them then, and I still don’t – they are just too cutesy-cutesy for me.) But yes, they are a big collectors item in Germany too, although their popularity is probably not as big as it was.
      Job hunting really can be so discouraging. Sometimes they make you feel so inadequate when they don’t even bother to give you a chance to present yourself. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you, Katie. It’s definitely a good thing if the interviewer already knows you!

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      • Put my application in early Wednesday afternoon and before 3:30 in the afternoon my time I got a call for a interview tomorrow Thursday early in the afternoon. I hope that all goes well. This is a school job so I figured that they would interview soon, just didn’t think this soon. A posting is put in the local weekly newspaper and none was put in this time. It was on the school website and the former persons resignation in the school board news that my husband read and told me about, that is how I found out about the opening. In a way kind of weird that two weeks ago something told me to check the schools website but nothing posted at that time, its like I had a feeling so I was not surprised when he read the resignation. Maybe this is all a good sign, who knows. I will let you know how it goes. It’s a panel of three, one was one of my former teachers in college, one is a former teaching sub that my youngest son had long term one year and the other person I don’t know.
        i would think that Adam Carter was put pretty central do to he was eye candy on that show, was not hard to watch for sure. Rupert Penry-Jones is also a good actor and watched a few shows we where able to get with him playing a role. He also like Richard has a age thing going on, read a article that he thinks all the good roles will be past him at 50. He will be 50 in September. He still pretty good looking for almost 50.

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  3. you know, I thought the cello playing thing was a myth-never seen him talk about it in an interview! wonder if he’s still kept that up? I’ve recently got back to playing my piano (albeit an electric one but full size)

    Interesting also his reply to “Would you like a family?”

    re the Hummels, they’re kinda cute-my Mum was fascinated more with the Mecki hedgehog-i bought her some from ebay about 18 years ago

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    • Hehe, no, I always believed that he *did* play the cello. At least as a youngster. I can totally see, though, why he has always resisted fan requests to capture himself playing it now. It’s such a hard instrument to master, I am sure it’s not a matter of simply grabbing hold of the cello and playing again.
      The family question – although I inwardly sighed “oh no, not again” – was interesting indeed, especially in light of what we think we know now. But then again, it easily may have reflected his preferences at the time – or he was playing to the audience. Who knows. But yeah, it kind of stood out to me, too.
      Oh, Mecki!!! I am impressed you know Mecki! I think he is all but forgotten now. What exactly did you buy back then? The comics?

      Liked by 1 person

      • yeah, i’ve read so many old interviews and it seems he quite often answers questions in the manner he feels expected to-rather than how he feels (IMO)
        Regarding the Mecki-it wasn’t something I knew about but she did from her childhood. I bought her some of the small vinyl figures, she still has them 🙂

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  4. Ooooooh, das Tablett-Tischchen erstrahlt in neuem Glanz! 🙂
    Macht sich sehr gut vor dem weißen Geländer und der weißen Tür (? Wandschrank? Paneele?) – sehr schön!
    Ich bin ja jemand, der bei solchen “alten” Teilen – rein als Gedankenspielerei; ich besitze nichts in der Art – den Gedanken durchspielt, eine knallige Farbe zu nehmen und den Widerspruch als Blickfang einzusetzen. Wahrscheinlich würde ich mich zwei Wochen später fragen, was ich mir dabei gedacht habe, aber … Spieltrieb? Die entschiedene Einstellung, das Leben nicht ernster als nötig zu nehmen? Unausgelebte Jugendrebellion? Boshafter Humor? *gg*
    Hast du eine Farbbombe irgendwo im Haus?

    Hach ja … *seufz* Lucas.
    Muss ich dringend mal wieder gucken …

    Leute aus meiner Familie hatte einen Souvenir-Laden in einem Ort, der noch in den 1980ern oft von Amerikanern besucht wurde. Es ging da schon deutlich zurück, und ich weiß nicht, wie es mit US-Touristen (oder Ausflüglern unter den Army-Angehörigen in Deutschland) in den letzten Jahren war, aber damals gab es jedenfalls noch einige. Ebenso gab es auch Figuren im Stil der Hummel-Dinger:
    Amerikaner haben die oft sehr schnell gesehen – um dann enttäuscht festzustellen, dass es nicht the real thing war. Es gab damals wohl noch sehr viele ernstzunehmende Sammler in den USA … Wenn es sie immer noch gibt, werden die Preise für echte Hummel-Figuren noch steigen. (In anderen Worten: Wenn Iren diese kitschigen Dinger nicht zu schätzen wissen, krall dir, was du kannst. 😀 😀 )

    Das Interview … Familienwunsch und so …
    Ich war mal eine Weile mit einer Frau befreundet (kennengelernt auf einer Fanseite zu einem männlichen Schauspieler), die verheiratet war und zwei Kinder hatte, Teens.
    Die Frau hat in der Zeit, in der ich mit ihr in Kontakt war, nie ein Geheimnis daraus gemacht, dass ihre ersten sexuellen Erfahrungen – vom first crush bis zum first kiss – mit Mädchen stattfanden und dass sie Frauen nicht abgeneigt war.
    Dennoch hatte sie offensichtlich genug Gefühle für einen Mann, um zu heiraten und zwei Kinder zu bekommen. Und hatte einen Crush für einen Mann. Und später noch für einen anderen Schauspieler, ebenfalls männlich.
    Die Ehe ging in die Brüche, als das ältere Kind so 16 war.
    Die Beziehung dürfte also um die 20 Jahre gelaufen sein.
    Nach Ende der Beziehung sagte die Frau von sich selbst: “I am gay.”, und der nächste Crush war weiblich.
    Irgendwann während dieser Zeit, in der ich mit der Frau Kontakt hatte, habe ich auch mal ein Interview mit einem Was-Weiß-Ich-Psychologen-Oder-So gelesen, der die Ansicht vertrat, dass man sexuelle Orientierung nicht als felsenfest und in Stein gemeißelt betrachten sollte, sondern dass die Orientierung im Laufe des Lebens wechselt oder wechseln kann.
    Hm.
    Bis dahin war ich der Ansicht, dass die Sache angeboren ist. You know: So ein Schrägstrich quer durch die Bevölkerung: Auf der einen Seite der Schräge 0 % hetero, 100 % gay, auf der anderen Seite das Gegenteil … In der Mitte die Bisexuellen. Fließende Übergänge, wo mehr nach dem anderen oder mehr nach dem eigenen Geschlecht geguckt wird.
    Aber was ist bei den Leuten, die irgendwo bei – beispielsweise – 75 % gay oder eben hetero liegen?
    Nach einigem Nachdenken kam ich zu dem Ergebnis – ohne wissenschaftliche Belege -, dass die meisten Menschen vielleicht nicht so sehr biologisch “felsenfest” festgelegt sind, sondern eher kulturell. Männlein plus Weiblein ist normal, also guckt man auch mehr nach Männlein plus Weiblein, neigt dazu, gleich und gleich zu unterdrücken (“kann doch nicht sein, ich bin doch nicht so, ich bin doch ganz normal”). Umgekehrt dasselbe (“ich war doch nie so …”). Wenn jetzt die Tendenz gar nicht soooo festgelegt ist und dann noch (frische) Erfahrungen dazu kommen (der Kerl war in jedem Bett, nur nicht im eigenen – die Frau log, sobald sie den Mund aufmachte) …. oder einfach nur ein erwachsenes “Mir doch egal, was irgendwer denkt, schließlich ist es mein Leben” …

    Kurz: Eine Aussage von vor ein paar Jahren kann völlig ehrlich sein – und trotzdem falsch. 😉

    Gute Nacht.

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    • Whoohoo, Hedgie – danke dir für deinen langen Kommentar! Da hatte ich heute morgen mal so richtig was zum Lesen, als ich vor dem Aufstehen im Bett so langsam in Gang kam. Ich musste jetzt für meine Antwort übrigens mit einem separaten Fenster arbeiten – damit ich hier alles genau beantworten kann, ohne ständig hin- und herklicken zu müssen.
      Also. Das Tischchen. Ist natürlich totale Dilettantenarbeit (mit Farbnasen und Decoupagelöchern), aber das fällt nicht so auf. Eigentlich ist sowas Verschnörkeltes nicht so mein Geschmack, aber das Ding war ja umsonst, also arbeitet man mit dem Material, was sich findet. Die Idee mit dem Farbklecks finde ich an sich gut, aber du kannst in den Fotos vielleicht sehen, dass das Treppenhaus himmelblau gestrichen ist und einen orangeroten Läufer auf der Treppe hat. (Nicht meine Farbwahl. Da hat sich meine Schwiemu ausgetobt *hmpf*) Meine eigene Farbbombe dagegen ist das knallrote Sofa in unserem Wohnzimmer.
      Interessante Geschichte mit deinen Verwandten und dem Souvenirgeschäft. Genau, ich erinnere mich, dass man die Hummelfiguren auch oft in Touriläden gesehen hat. Ich hatte mich vor meinem Auktionskauf ein bisschen in die Hummelfiguren eingelesen (weil ich wissen wollte, was ich maximal bieten kann). Dabei habe ich herausgefunden, dass die Figuren bereits in den 30er Jahren erfunden wurden – und zwar durchaus schon von Anfang an mit dem US-Markt als Zielgruppe. (Interessant: Die Zeichnungen von Künstlerin Maria Hummel galten bei den Nazis übrigens als entartete Kunst. Wie man kleine, freche Kindchen als entartet interpretieren kann, ist mir echt unerklärlich. Aber gut.) Nach dem Krieg brachten dann wohl auch viele GIs die Figuren als Mitbringsel mit nach USA. Wie dem auch sei – die Teile sind absolut nicht mein Geschmack. Das waren sie schon in den 80er Jahren nicht, als meine Mutter sich eine Hummelfigur gewünscht und auch bekommen hat. Sie hat davon auch nur ein oder zwei im Regal stehen, der Kitsch hält sich also in Grenzen *grins*. Ich hab in diesem Fall bei der Auktion ein bisschen gepokert. Die Angaben über die Figur waren dürftig, keine Größen, kein Foto von dem Stempel, der sie als Hummelfigur auszeichnet. Ich habe nur eins und eins zusammengezählt: Die Gegenstände in den Auktionen dieses Auktionshauses kommen i.d.R. aus Haushaltsauflösungen = von alten Leuten. Da bestand die Chance, dass es sich hier um eine ältere Figur, vielleicht aus den 70er Jahren handelt. Volltreffer. Der Stempel stammt aus der zweiten Phase der Figuren, dementsprechend lässt sich die Figur auf den Zeitraum zwischen 1950 und 1957 datieren. Das macht die Figur dann auf jeden Fall wertvoller als eine, die von 1995 stammt oder so…
      Was die sexuelle Orientierung angeht, gebe ich dir Recht. Ich halte es jedenfalls nicht für ausgeschlossen, dass sich die im Laufe des Lebens auch ändern kann. Es ist doch auch denkbar, dass ursprünglich der gesellschaftliche Druck dazu führt, dass ein Mensch nichts außer der “konventionellen” heterosexuellen Orientierung überhaupt in Betracht zieht, und dass erst neue Begegnungen und die eigene, mit dem Altern einhergehende Selbstsicherheit dazu führen, auch eine andere sexuelle Orientierung für möglich zu halten. Kann gut so auch bei Herrn A gewesen sein, zudem er ja nach eigener Aussage auch eine langjährige Beziehung mit einer Frau hatte. Hey, gut für ihn, wenn er beides ausprobiert hat und beides kann. Double the fun, würde ich mal so einfach sagen. Auch wenn’s mit Familie bei einer gleichgeschlechtlichen Beziehung etwas schwieriger wird – ich wünsch ihm ein harmonisches Familienleben nach seiner Facon.

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  5. Boy I have to say that being gorgeous as Lucas was, he sure had bad luck with the ladies! Seems like his desperately kept secrets sabotaged his love life quite a bit.
    It was nice to read that interview again. I wonder how he would answer some of those same questions 10 years older and wiser.
    Your tray table turned out lovely! I especially like the toile decoupage top you created. You have a good eye for potential treasure and the talent to make it so.

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    • Oh man, yes, Lucas really wasn’t very lucky with his choices. Mind you, maybe Elizabeta was – and then he was taken away from her… Sarah Caulfield definitely was a bummer, though, and his reboot with Maya was doomed from the start. Poor Lucas.
      Good point re. the interview questions 10 years down the road. I always find that interesting. I wonder why the interviewers themselves never think of that.
      That was my first attempt at decoupage, and it definitely isn’t perfect, but hey, for an upcycled item that I picked up for free, it will do ;-). At least I won’t feel bad if I eventually decide to throw it out again 🙂

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  6. The Spooks rewatch sounds fun. I never understood how Elizabeta could not bull-dozer Lucas to the ground with passion. RA’s type of ‘girl’? Naughty (tick), Likes her food (tick, tick), Doesn’t take life seriously (tick), sense of humour (tick). It was interesting reading that interview again and seeing Armitage speak of his insecurities so honestly. I’m fascinated though by the amount of times over the years he has mentioned throwing up – I’ve never known of an actor speak of it so much- before performances, after heavy shoots, training. It makes me wonder if he is bulimic.
    (The table looks lovely.)

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    • Yeah, he mentioned something when he was playing John Procter when I said to myself ‘ too much information Richard!’
      For someone so reticent in some areas he is puerile in others.

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        • I never saw his performance as Proctor. He said it was cathartic…not entirely sure what he meant by that? I was surprised he disclosed that he soiled himself, maybe he thought it meant his performance was more authentic….**itty realism?! Anyway, can’t imagine him being too popular with his cast mates (or the front row of the audience) that particular night…😉

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, totally the same here, J! I understood that Elizabeta had started a new life because she believed Lucas dead. And yes, she would’ve been disappointed that he had lied about his real occupation. And then there was the new husband and child. But damn, that man had been abused in prison so badly and so obviously was looking for love, I don’t think I could’ve closed my heart to that…
      The throwing up comments – have always struck me as really odd. But then again, I have never experienced throwing up as a symptom of being nervous or exhausted. I can’t believe it’s bulimia (because that to me implies intent – i.e. making oneself sick in order to avoid gaining weight). To me his throwing up stories sound as if they are involuntary reactions to states of exhaustion or excitement.

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      • No, I’m sure his throwing up isnt intentional either, and it maybe the way his body reacts to stress. It’s just that he mentions it so often. He probably goes to the loo a lot before performances too etc but doesn’t tell us about that.

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    • En tout cas il est passionné de gastro-entérologie ou du moins obnubilé par le fonctionnement de son système digestif.
      Je parierai, qu’il a probablement lu avec intérêt le livre: “Darm mit Charme”, écrit par Giulia Enders.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh, that tray table looks lovely!
    Ah, that interview, I loved reading it when it came out. As for wanting a wife at the time, it could have been true for him then and just as him liking a man could be true for him now. My younger sister has been married to a man and divorced, has had male partners, but for the past two years or so she’s been in a relationship with a woman and very happy in it. Happier than I’ve ever seen her in other relationships. Just saying, times change and people develop…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just feel sorry for anyone who he might have be involved with at the time to see that in print, it must have a ‘kick in the teeth’ .

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      • 🙂 J’ai démonté, j’ai gratté, j’ai poncé (bois et métal). Le métal était rouillé. Donc aujourd’hui, il est à re-poncer et re-teinter une 3ème fois. D’autre part, j’ai traité le bois contre les petites vrillettes) avec successivement des seringues d’huiles essentielles (eucalyptus, lavande et cèdre), puis de la térébenthine et de l’huile de lin (3 couches). Une fois le bois redevenu sec, j’ai collé les mousses préalablement découpées puis j’ai agrafé une couche de ouate-feutre, ensuite un tissus en coton solide. Maintenant je couds les revêtements définitifs de surface…
        Je recherche le meilleur moyen de les accrocher: ficelle naturelle rustique ou corde marine (provenant de vieilles planches à voile) ou fil de pêche ou restes de dentelles ou bandes de tissus découpés en lanière,…) la réflexion continue et le travail aussi.
        Au départ, 2 fauteuils étaient prévus en blue jeans, maintenant 2 de plus en sacs de toile de jute collectors et une chaise de camping en tissus plastifié… Ce soir, je couds avec du fil de pêche (double couture à la main) la chaise de camping…
        Les photos s’accumulent… les vacances sont finies, le temps me manque.
        A bientôt

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