“So, there’s this actor …” [guest post by CarlyQ]

[CarlyQ is the author of the popular fanfics “Iron & Oak” and “Oasis” (at DF). She’s writing an original story, “The Safety of Solitude,” that I’ve been following with a lot of interest, and has become a regular commentator here. This is her story. –Serv]


tumblr_lggety2ACi1qzg3aeo1_500Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage, news conference, Wellington, February 11, 2001. Source.

So, there’s this actor…

If you ever wonder, as a middle-aged woman, who your real friends are, starting a sentence with these words will be like shining a 15 million cp spotlight on all the people you know.

Those who stand like deer, stunned and confused? Not real friends.

Those who jump away from the beam and scurry into the underbrush (or under their desks)? Not real friends.

Those who turn away and pretend they don’t see what you’re doing? Not real friends.

Those who shade their eyes, walk forward, and ask you if you know you’re naked? Real friends.

Those who stand behind you, saying, “She’s fine, she needs to do/say this”? Real, dear friends.

The Questions

Since innocently boarding the Richard Armitage train, I’ve learned a few things. I haven’t said a lot, but I have learned so many things. Here’s a list of a few:

Why are peaches are my favorite fruit? Why does eating almost a bushel in one day made me break out in hives? Why do families live in terror of the words, “mid-life crisis”? Why am I so unhappy? Why is everyone else deliriously happy? Who loves me? Who do I love? What do I love? How connected are my body and mind? Am I a pervert? Is it over for me? What can I never come back from? Am I the only one? Can I accept the other ones? Am I worth anything? Why him?

You’re probably thinking:  The idiot! That’s a list of questions! We want the answers!

I wanted answers, too.

It was Netflix

In the beginning, I wasn’t even sure what the questions were, but I came across this blog, liked what I read, and honed my skills. I worked on my lurking and practiced reading with a dictionary. It smelled so collegiate in here that I rolled up a magazine, just in case the flying roaches showed up, too. I read and listened and followed her because it looked like she was going somewhere. I was comfortable with that. That’s what I used to do. Follow. I did what I was told. I may not have done it the first time I was told, but I respected authority and I did my best.

What drove me to search the Internet for answers, you ask?

It was Netflix. He wouldn’t leave me alone. I was trying to be attentive, hard working, and realistic. I was! But it was summer vacation, and I had the sinus infection from hell, so when Netflix began trying to introduce me to Mr. Armitage, I was already weak.

I swear, I resisted the overtures, as long as I could. But that Netflix? Relentless.

Netflix: If you liked Bleak House, you’ll love Milton.

Me: No, thanks.

Netflix: If you love Jane Eyre, you’re a Thornton girl.

Me: No, thank you.

Netflix: If you’ve ever read Jane Austen and fantasized about a gentleman’s cravat, we’ve got your guy.

Me: Nope.

Netflix: If you’re sick of your husband’s job, and wishing you lived in a year-round school district, we’ve got your Calgon; he’ll take you away.

Me: Right.

Netflix: If you can bear to watch Firth or MacFadyen in those rather pornographic, high-waisted, Georgian trousers, you should really enjoy being able to look at an actor’s face for a change. We know where you should start.

Me: Mmmm, tempting (sees this cover) —-

northandsouth_396x222Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South. Publicity image. Source: BBC

Me: ——- but no.

Netflix: If you’ve been on antibiotics for a month, and your head still feels like it’s going to explode if you move, might we suggest a movie that will, in the future, make you look back with great fondness to the days when you thought you would die of a sinus infection? Because in some ways it was much easier than experiencing Mr. Armitage’s fandom? Watch your step, yes, tickets punched here, sit anywhere you like.

Me: Can I just lie here by my laptop and wish I were dead.

Netflix: Oh, you’ve met him already?

So, this actor?

Wait! Isn’t that how all of this started?

Someday, I’m afraid, someone is going to actually ask me that question. And there will be no answer except “yes.” Without all the details about my life that I am not brave enough to share, allow me to tell you what Mr. Armitage has changed for me, in just a little more than the course of one year.

The Spark

The last six minutes of North and South. Cliché, I know, happened to everyone. I wasn’t so fascinated with him (cough, at that time, cough) but something certainly happened. What?

That uncomfortable moment when you think, “Has anyone EVER looked at me, like that?” followed by, “For sure, no one’s ever kissed me like that!” rear-ended by, “How would it feel to be so connected? Not looked through, or looked past, or overlooked, or missed when you were gone, but seen in the moment. How would it feel for someone to see me like he sees her?” That pileup is succeeded by even more uncomfortable moments during which you look at yourself in a mirror for the first time in years and realize: “Horrible, terrifying and embarrassing, that’s how it would feel, I mean, you’re not much to look at.”

Well, you think, “I can fix that,” only to remember instantly that you’re in your forties and what’s the point?

Later that night you find out that he’s in his forties. What? Well, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, it’s right, and, by the way, now that you’ve started watching interviews, you should really strap on that race-car driver’s harness. How can he be in his forties, he looks so … happy to be there. Hah, he feels twenty-five too! Idiot. We both need to grow up!

tumblr_mi4mcqv6NP1s0ke4vo1_500Richard Armitage fan art. Source.

The Tinder

Or do we? Why do I think my life is over because I’m forty(-ish)? Why do I see everything just going on like it has? Why can’t I do something different? Somewhere around now, my conscious mind starts replaying the last twenty years. Begins with the responsibilities I’ve shouldered, the time I’ve wasted, the better things I could be doing, the people I know who are doing their things better than I do mine. Then it drops a few choice words into my psyche. Words like selfish, hedonistic, sinful, waste, evil, lecherous, sad, misguided and shameful.

And for the first time in my adult life, I think, “Do I really have to live under all that?” And I look back at that forty-year-old man who cannot seem to stop smiling, even when he’s serious. Those eyes literally shine with excitement, vigor, humor, and the joy of a life he’s worked hard for and achieved. He doesn’t seem to mind that a large chunk of said achievement has come after he turned forty.

And I find myself thinking, “What could I do if I was as happy to be forty as he is?

Not to be confused with “What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail?”

(Yes, I have seen the tumblr.)

the_hobbit_an_unexpected_journey_bonus_disc_t04-mkv_001753251Richard Armitage, conclusion of principal photography for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, July 2012.

The Flame

This blog.

If this woman can write down how she feels about Mr. Armitage, day in, day out, and put it out there for the world to see … perhaps I could write something. Perhaps I could get some of these voices out of my head? Perhaps I could still find success in my forties? Maybe I don’t have to feel this way. Maybe I can be happy with myself, maybe I can find that piece I lost. Maybe I do have responsibilities, maybe I’ve made some bad choices. He did too (Between the Sheets, the Cats-era ponytail, wearing leg warmers). He survived. Thrived, even. At least a lot of the foolish things I’ve done aren’t documented, analyzed, and shared on the internet.

Perhaps when Mr. Armitage exhorted his fans to “be willingly good, extra good, extra peaceful and extra forgiving,” he didn’t just mean with each other. Why can’t we start with ourselves? Why can’t we fill our buckets and walk the lines of humanity, sharing our overflow? I think that’s why it looks so effortless for him. He isn’t giving us his last drops. He’s filled and his overflow rains down on our battered, tired, wounded souls. And somehow, we find ourselves lifted. We rediscover a part of ourselves that was put away or taken away years ago. The part that someone in charge didn’t like, or thought wouldn’t be profitable, or told us could never be. That part we loved, that didn’t fit in their plan, we find it and we take it back. And as soon as we claim it, we are gifted with a sudden, visceral understanding of Charlton Heston.

“From my cold, dead hands!”

Mr. Armitage awakened something in me. Something so deeply buried in the drudgery of day to day life that it needed extensive resuscitation, serious mouth-to-mouth. The thing was barely breathing.

It was desire. A desire for myself. A desire to be seen again. A desire to be good, extra good, peaceful and forgiving, to myself. A desire to thrive, not just to survive, not just to take what I’m handed and be thankful. A desire to live my life unapologetically for myself, but also anchored by a drive for excellence, compassion for others, plain human decency, humility, and hard work.

It’s my life; it has to be about me. It just doesn’t have to be about only me.

bgknlkdcuaavyv5Richard Armitage, Toronto, December 2012. Source.

The answers?

Why are peaches my favorite fruit?

I love peaches, have since probably before I was born. They are the most perfect fruit on the planet.

Why does eating almost a bushel in one day made me break out in hives?

Unfortunately, I cannot live on peaches alone and when I try, I get sick and a little grouchy and forget to put my bra on.

Why do families live in terror of the words, “mid-life crisis”?

Because change hurts, especially if you don’t want to.

Why was I so unhappy?

My life was about everyone but me.

Why was everyone else so deliriously happy?

See previous answer.

Who loves me?

Not me.

Who did I love?

Anyone who wasn’t me.

What do I love?

Writing and my kids, and sometimes other things, in that order. (Today, anyway. Should I be concerned I put my kids under what, not who?)

How connected are my body and mind?

The change in my mind has had a shocking and wonderful effect on my body, in ways I never imagined or dreamed possible. When they are in tune, the sky’s the limit.

Am I a pervert?

The evidence is piling up in favor. Though Guy hasn’t complained, I think my aunt may never recover. She’s advised me to douse that candle. Sorry, can’t, too damn much fun.

Is it over for me?

It’s just beginning.

What can you never come back from?


Am I the only one?


Can I accept the other ones who see it different than me?

Yes, I can, and I can learn from them and I can adore them in their weirdness, and it’s okay to be a little scared of some of them.

Am I worth anything?

I finally am, to me, and fine with it .

Why him?

Because humility, fearless emotion, decency to your fellow man, and the encouraging of others to share where they’re able excites me. Because now I see what a life, filled with doing what you love, can do for you and how it nurtures everyone around you.

Because I want to give more than the dregs. I want to share the overflow.

The waxed denims and gray cardigans aren’t hurting his case, either.

Thanks, Mr. Armitage, and tell that Army of yours: Well done!


CarlyQ is the author of the popular fanfics “Iron & Oak” and “Oasis” (at DF). She’s also writing an original story, “The Safety of Solitude.”

~ by Servetus on October 9, 2013.

113 Responses to ““So, there’s this actor …” [guest post by CarlyQ]”

  1. Well done!


  2. Thank you, CarlyQ, for this perfect summary! I am with you in almost everything – except perhaps for the peaches 😉 … You wrote this very much down-to-earth with a twinkle – I love it! One of the best things of our common crush is the global impact ;-). It is great to have such an exchange of ideas over borders and continents! 🙂


  3. Yes, yes, yes!!! Thank you, CarlyQ, for verbalising in a way I never could, exactly what it is about this man that makes me want to follow him, for putting into words EXACTLY how I (also middle aged) feel. Your list of questions and their wonderful answers brought tears to my eyes. Because your answers said what I didn’t even know I felt. Because your answers resounded with me so perfectly! So thank you, CarlyQ. And yes, I am proud to be a member of his Army 🙂


    • The credit really goes to Serv. I read the blog for months trying to figure out what was wrong with me! It’s taken me quite awhile to make the connections, find that place he touched and name it. It’s a personal discovery, but one I would have never made without the bravery of others. I did try to warn you though, once you get it, going back is no longer an option. I really do believe that! So glad it resonated for you Jemma40, here’s to the next forty!


  4. Carly, it appears I have become new fan of you and your writing. I discovered Oasis when Servetus talked of it on Legenda, and am now hooked and looking forward to the updates. (“Looking forward” is a bit light, so I will say “clawing at the walls with anticipation” instead – how’s that?)

    I think we may have shared the same house for awhile. Our introductions to Richard fall on similar circumstances – Netflix coercion (although I may have seen North & South first on BBC America), but thereafter, it was dozens of red envelopes and lots of streaming.

    North & South – For me, it started with the first sighting at the top of the mill stairs, but the kiss sealed the deal – and my fate.

    Much has changed since, and mostly for the better. Life in our forties has had some surprising upsides, hasn’t it? And for me it’s the kind I thought I would never see, but also the kind that isn’t easy to explain to others and women who are younger. But it’s good.

    But in regards to Richard, I think what you said here sums it up for me:

    “Mr. Armitage awakened something in me. Something so deeply buried in the drudgery of day to day life that it needed extensive resuscitation, serious mouth-to-mouth. The thing was barely breathing.

    It was desire. A desire for myself. A desire to be seen again. A desire to be good, extra good, peaceful and forgiving, to myself. A desire to thrive, not just to survive, not just to take what I’m handed and be thankful. A desire to live my life unapologetically for myself, but also anchored by a drive for excellence, compassion for others, plain human decency, humility, and hard work.

    It’s my life; it has to be about me. It just doesn’t have to be about only me.”

    Discovering a better sense of self worth, self love, and a beginning at the middle – it has been that for me. Maybe you and I can have a discussion sometime about that word, “Perverted”. We might have very different ideas about it, but if you are referring to things in your writing, I would personally say you lean more toward “open-minded, exploring, well researched and beautifully creative.” But I have yet to see all that you have in mind. The thought is dizzying. 🙂

    And thank you for this.


    • Crystalchandlyre, it’s ok darling, stop clawing at the walls,(LOL) Oasis 4 coming up tonight or early tomorrow! I’m as curious as you about where that story is going.
      Life in the forties has not been what I expected at all and I’m suddenly very glad of it. In some way accepting that ‘beginning at the middle’ was really challenging for me, but having found myself again, priceless.
      As far as my perverse side..(can’t even write it without a laugh) Yes, only in my writing…I didn’t even think of clarifying that…I’m happy to hear you find it ‘beautifully creative’ not cheap trash. I’ll try to keep the spinning to a minimum. Thank you for your very kind words!


      • Oh thank gawd…I just had my nails done.
        I will be heading over there later, when I am not in a public place. Perverse and cheap trash – shame you think that. I guess that says much about me and my tastes. 🙂


        • Umm, better make that *late* today…for your cheap trash….
          I love that you call it erotica, makes it sound elegant and thrilling. Since I’m sure neither of us are cheap or trashy I will quit saying it! We will say beautifully creative erotica…sounds expensive, exclusive, and delicious!
          Did you go Regan orange on your manicure? (just kidding)


          • I’m going to be a pain and say that since sex is the metaphor that dominates in our society at presence, writing erotica is an exploration of the boundaries of the (successful) self.


            • Okay, now for your special needs student, I’m what?


              • it would probably take me a book to explain, but:

                in our world, sex is the universal metaphor. This means that all kinds of discussions that are about other things are typically conducted in terms of controversies and/or metaphors about sex and this practice is seldom seen as controversial. A woman who has too much power is called ugly, for instance; the legitimacy of speakers is related explicitly to their sexual attractiveness; when Miley Cyrus tries to take control of her image she’s subjected to slutshaming even as the only way she sees to do so is by playing with a series of problematic sexual stereotypes, and so on. I tend to pick female examples of this but men are subjected to it as well.

                In this particular atmosphere, writing about sex in ways that express the sexual views of the subject of the writing can be understood as a statement about the ego. This is not to say that writing about sex isn’t (or even that it isn’t primarily) about causing arousal in the reader, but that because sex and power are so intimately related in our world, that statements in erotica about sex are also statements about the power of the writer.


                • OK….I’ll just keep writing. Please don’t ask me to read that book. *Hugs*
                  Off I go to lunch with my Scooby-Doo lunchbox, helmet firmly affixed, happy as it is possible to be while still living. (NO PC comments, please, see Ralphie May,HAPPY)


          • Latter comment – I think I may have missed something there. But the truth is, my hand polish is always clear. I only use color on my toes – and they are always red. 🙂


            • I do exactly the same! Only color the toes, clear on the hands, or sometimes OPI Pussy Galore if I’m feeling saucy. WHAT? you’re not reading my other novel!!! Bad girl. (totally kidding)


              • Just point and shoot, and I’ll be there. (DF?)


              • Pussy Galore – let me guess, Hot Pink? (I want one called Honor Blackman, where I envision a dark, almost-black Cherry. 🙂 )


                • I looked it up – looks more like Cotton Candy.


                  • Sorry about the pause. I’m completely obsessed with OPI’s James Bond collection, I don’t know why. But obsessed, may even be too mild of a descriptor. LOL. At the top of the blog, Serv put a link to my other book in progress, it’s on Wattpad. The Safety of Solitude. Don’t feel like you need to read it, I’m just harassing you! Serv thanks you for distracting me from her shiny nail polish. 🙂


                    • *with* shiny nail polish.


                    • Okay so Goldeneye – I guess Goldfinger was too obvious? 😉 Skyfall would be my color. Under the Bond Girl collection, Vesper appears to be close to the Honor Blackman color suggestion I had, for the reasons I mentioned – although I personally would want more red in it. (This conversation has gone so very Girlie.)


                    • The liquid sand collection is what I CANNOT get over..my favorite, Jinx, also like the afore mentioned pink, desperately need Tiffany Case and Vesper then I would buy Solitaire and Honey Ryder then would spend the rest of my life painting my toes. They’re so glittery and sandy and gorgeous! And they stay on like nobody’s business. Last forever.


                    • OPI is a good product. I just wear whatever the salon has on the shelf. I haven’t bought polish in years. A mani-pedi for me is more about the foot-massage-vibrating-chair-foot-bath than anything else. 😉


                    • I need a spa day…you can wait for Oasis till next week, right?


                    • Uh, no…uh-uh, nope, can’t wait, sorry…well, um – oh, okay, if I have to…for the sake of your ongoing health, sure. Fine. But just this time!


                    • Good sport, you.


  5. Carly – have you been reading my mind??? Great post. There is so much in there that I would like to comment on, but it is too much for the comment section. Suffice to say that the positive energy that comes from Armitage can be harnessed into something. It certainly has happened like that for me (although I had a little head-start at turning my life around after too many years of blending into the background). However, I still struggle with a justification for it all – to outsiders, not myself. I accept that you can meet a muse and be changed by the experience. Why justify – just live.


    • Exactly right, Guylty! So many people would spend all your energy just arguing with you about what ‘this change’ is really about. I’m not as brave as many of you, blogging, talking, etc… but I’ve at least quit apologizing to myself, stopped think I’m an idiot and just embraced being so totally happy with what I’m doing. Though that also comes with it’s unique set of challenges as well.
      And you’re right, I have been reading your mind…behave yourself, young lady! *snicker*


      • yes, being told how to understand what’s happening to me is something I experience a lot. But bravery makes it easier.


  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so beautifully and with humor. How grateful you must be for the sinus infection. Who knew silver linings could be found in nasal passages? Seriously, Ra was like a lightning bolt to my life as well, and so many others. We were just minding our own business and we got zapped. Now, I think we could all glow in the dark from the light he gives to our lives. I don’t think I will ever understand it, but I will always treasure it, and fellow members of the “sisterhood”.


    • Hey Kathy, I haven’t had a sinus infection since..no, I don’t think he’s THAT good. I think (but have no proof or scientific data to back) that the people who get ‘zapped’ in a life altering way, share some of Mr. A’s best qualities. It is wonderful to come in contact with so many great people!


  7. CarlyQ, you hit the nail on the head here. He’s not scared.

    You write beautifully and you’re brave. Well done indeed!


    • Richardiana, I’m glad you understood the rambling! The fearlessness is inspiring. How long has it been since I’ve seen a man be more accepting of his emotions than I am, or admit he could not care less about clothes or not be looking to be photographed at clubs every night living the high life? He doesn’t fit the current mold and he doesn’t seem to mind. It’s heartening to my humanity.


  8. I simply want to say thank you. I find a lot of truth in your post about myself as well. And yes, probably it has to do with our age as well (forty-ish). I still can’t see where this is taking me personally, but I have felt the change in my life in this year already.


    • You’re welcome, sophisticated_lady! It really is a personal journey. I kept waiting for Serv to blog me my answer, and though she’s blogged a lot about desire in its different forms, it has taken me awhile to sort it out for myself. See how it fit in me. I’m some of it echoed with you.


  9. What I identify with most in your story is the power and impact of this blog and blogger on what happened to me next after Netflix did its dirty work. Thanks.


  10. Wow!


    • Kitty, Thanks or I apologize, whichever ever works better!


      • No apology necessary. Your reactions to the amazing discovery of Mr. Armitage seem to have given you new life. If he only knew the effect his work and work ethics and the way he conducts himself in public has, I think he would be humbled, even more than he appears to be. Many of us get so caught up in parenting, whether parenting our children or parenting up own parents or in-laws; the day-to-day routines of being a wife, an employee, a professional, that we lose the dreams of our young selves. We forget that this is the life we’ve been gifted with and it begins to feel like darkness. I’m speaking from experience myself, so I know how RA’s work can shine a bright light into a lonely, dark room where everything seems slow and never-ending. Thank you so much for your post.


        • Kitty, this was so right it was a little scary. “We forget that this is the life we’ve been gifted with and it begins to feel like darkness”
          I’m not sure how Mr. A conveyed to me that my life is a gift to me and not just for those around me. (that is an emotional sentence for me, difficult to write) Having always been taught that your life should be about service and selflessness to others, the realization that many people will never stop taking and few are very invested in giving, has been a difficult hike for me. It still is. Thanks for the comment.


  11. What a wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing and putting your beautiful thoughts into words. Your words echo deeply in me. It is a bit overwhelming to feel the positive energy flowing from the screen. There is so much more out there – for all of us. If we need a certain actor to show us the way / wake us up / inspire us – so be it. What a joy to realise and accept we are not allone but in very good company. Move on. Move up. Be seen. And don’t let the others drag you down. If they don’t understand – their loss.


    • Well said, i.f.! There’s the whole point of the post in a paragraph! You could have saved Serv lots of editing and column space..(laugh)
      You are right ‘so be it’, there is so much more out there, such joy to be had. I think, maybe, too many of us spend too much time trying to explain it to people who do not want to understand. It’s can be difficult/heartbreaking to realize that and move on.


      • I think you needed every word. I think a lot of times we don’t respond to direct prose. The story is more valuable precisely because it makes us ponder its meaning.


  12. Whoa there! What strange sorcery are you practising where you reflect my thoughts and feelings almost exactly? (I started with Thornton then lurked around Serv’s posts much later.) Scarily truthful but wonderful reading.

    Makes me feel I am having fun in the right playground.

    Thank you, CarlyQ (and Serve) 🙂


  13. *applause*

    Fantastic post, Carly! And frighteningly insightful into how I (and obviously others) came to open to the door to Mr. A and his bright and positive energy, especially at a time when things seemed dark. For me, it was YouTube incessantly throwing Guy at me in that sinister right-hand column of “You *really* need to watch this” suggestions. But it led to the same outcome … scouring YT and Netflix for more (more, more!). Then finding and following Serv’s blog (and others!). And so on, and so on …

    Mr. A’s ability to inspire and radiate those waves of positive energy seem to be a theme this week. 🙂 It’s fun to know that others have been as affected, in a positive way, by him.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Carly. I think magwi hit on it directly … we’re definitely having fun in the right playground.

    Serv … thanks, sweetie! 🙂


    • Thank you, Zan for your sweet words. That YouTube list has caught me off guard a few times. I was looking at some massage technique videos that had been suggested to me and right in the middle of the list of all these siatic pain management videos is the ‘Hottest Richard Armitage video ever’ or something like that. I was like *what the hell YT, I’m working here!*
      It wasn’t, anyway, the hottest ever….
      See you over at the monkey bars later?


    • 🙂 🙂

      when you guys all chip in for the liability insurance, it’s kinda sweet, lol 🙂


  14. that whole age thing is one of the main reasons Richard pulled me in as well 🙂 not only did I relate to the things you said here but I loved the style you wrote them in. it reminded me of the ending to “Trainspotting”; I’m choosing life 😉


    • Thanks, Kelbel75. I’ve never seen Trainspotting, though I love Mr. McGregor, I caught myself thinking I’m more acquainted with his err, gentlemanly parts than any man in real life and decided to cut back a little on my wander through his filmography. Now, I’ll have to go back and watch it! Thanks for telling me the end. (Just Teasing!!)
      I wonder if during all the struggles in his 20-30’s he ever, in his wildest dreams, imagined the 40’s would be where it was at? So glad he was tenacious!


      • Ewan was my first serious celebrity crush 😉 didn’t really get involved in a fandom of any kind relating to him, but I’m well acquainted with his “parts” as well *laughs* you should watch Trainspotting though, it’s odd and funny and he looks so young in it you’ll just want to pinch his cheeks 🙂


        • I can’t resist the McGregor. My husband thought I was crazy when I went to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He couldn’t believe some idiot company would make a movie about it. But I tell you, I loved it, he was wonderful (so subdued for him, you know?) and the movie was a delight from one end to the other, IMO. I’ve already put Trainspotting on my queue, and oh look, monstrous stack of laundry to fold, how convenient.

          Mine first celeb crush was Sean Connery. Still think he’s the bomb,in his little hat and grandpa pants.


          • have you seen Sean Connery in “Darby O’Gill & the Little People”? he was quite the looker in his younger days 😉 (& he sings too!)


            • Well, unlike Mr. A, my parents would never have taken me to a Bond film at that age so, of course, it WAS Darby O’Gill that first introduced me to the lovely Mr. Connery and his delightful voice and accent and singing and well, you get it the whole package…


          • Trainspotting is just great – book, film, soundtrack, and of course Ewan McGregor is added bonus. 🙂 If you liked Salmon fishing in Yemen, try reading the book as well. I find it so much better than the film – but that often happens when I read the book before I see the film.


            • I didn’t realize there was a book! Thanks for that heads up, will definitely read it. I’m glad I saw the movie first, now I can read the book and get all the extras with the characters already in my head. Love that.


  15. Hello Dearest Pervert! Beautiful and heart-felt post! If you can’t get out how you fell here, online, within the RA community, then where can you?


  16. Excellent! A must-read for all us “middle-aged” and worldwide possibly Radio 4 listeners. Life can even start at 40 or 50 or beyond and we don’t have to conform to the stereotype of what middle-age means. Thanks for sharing with all and a toast to you, Servetus, and all RA fans and to the man himself.


  17. I’m reading this and actually feeling ill at my stomach because you caught me *exactly*. Perfectly. Ok, not the sinus infection; I had broken ribs – and instead of the insistence of Netflix, it was a friend who “turned me out”… but otherwise? So accurate that I feel a bit disoriented. lol I’m in the belly of the beast – the changes you spoke of, at work in my life right now, to very difficult effect. Am currently preparing for a meeting that might go either way. Really hard stuff. Thank you for posting this, just now, when I needed to know I’m not the only one who’s felt this way. I need to lift my eyes back up to the reason I started this.


    • Hey Christine, keep looking up! (or back at him as the situation warrants) I think that I’ve come through the realization but some of the hard changes are really still ahead of me. If anything, you are guaranteed, NOT THE ONLY ONE who’s felt this way! Will hope that the meetings and changes, hard as they are, really feed your spirit and joy at some point…even if it’s down the road a little way.

      I have to admit, I HESITATE before introducing MR. A to any of my friends…I feel guilty doing it to them.


  18. That’s why I can’t quit this fandom. 🙂


  19. Thank you for sharing your Armitage journey. He’s quite the muse. The words, “It’s my life; it has to be about me. It just doesn’t have to be about only me.” really touch me deeply as this is exactly where I am only I’m still working out how to go about it….but It’s lovely to think that I am in good company and we have Mr. Armitage to inspire us along the way! 🙂


    • I think we would all agree it is constant trial and error. The important thing is the moving forward. Thank you for your wonderful company and the lovely comment!


  20. What can I say? Everyone has said it, better. Especially you, Carly. I love this post, and this blog. My journey was similar to yours–I passed up N&S many times before finally clicking on that picture on Netflix. My world hasn’t been the same since. I’m certain I’m playing in the right playground here. So many interesting, intelligent, kind, insightful, honest, articulate people, always coming up with another way to warm my heart and make me feel better, think new thoughts, and want to be a better person. Help me handle the hard things in RL. So thanks for your post and for being here.


    • ‘So many interesting, intelligent, kind, insightful, honest, articulate people, always coming up with another way to warm my heart and make me feel better, think new thoughts, and want to be a better person.’

      I think that sentence might make Mr. A smile, maybe just with his eyes, but smile, nonetheless.

      I really have to thank Serv for constructing such a welcoming, fun and challenging playground for all of us and so happily linking and looping all the other playgrounds that spring up because of Mr. A’s work and example and because of her own.

      Thanks Lynneloubielat, glad to hear I wasn’t the only one to pass it up so many times!


  21. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I too passed up N&S many times on Netflix. I was hooked once I watched it and for quite a long time I was watching all things RA (and things I would never have watched otherwise) without connecting to any other fans. It was after I got a twitter account and then tumblr that I came across all the delightful sharing. I too thank Serv and her blog for introducing me to such a great group of individuals. Without going into a lot of detail, I have experienced some life changing events that had me pretty deep into depression and regrets. I look forward to reading about RA and have learned to not say too much about it to my RL friends.


    • I think that is a very common rut when suddenly you’re in the forties…regret. You’d think the little reminder every year would keep us apprised of what is approaching but no. I love that Mr. A said, somewhere, in the sea of Hobbit press that he would look back on forty as the best year of his life so far (or something like that) and it really stopped me. Got me thinking. He’s so vibrant and youthful and happy and forty. What’s my excuse?
      Thanks for your comment, leashales!


  22. Thank you carly. You said it all so well. My answers would be a bit different of course and right now I am in the process of processing some rather bad health news but in many ways I felt the same as you. Difference for me is that I am alone, no family, few friends and yet all of this has helped rejuvenate me and for whatever time I do have left on this planet I will be grateful for this because it has made me feel again. That last 10 min of N&S brought the same thoughts to me and I had the same reaction. No one has ever looked at me like that and reading your words made me cry but in truth I still believe in that look. It does happen and I do so envy those who find that person and despite it never being there for me it still lifted me up and brought me joy. That is the power of RA. I found him in a completely different way than you but I think we are all “sisters” in this and I won’t give him up either. You just put it all so eloquently. It did make me want to be a better person, to be a happier person, to like myself more and yes I have to thank Serv as well for this website and bringing us all together here. I can’t voice it as well as some but believe me it is all here inside of me, just a bit hard right now to put it all together.


    • Peggy! I’m sorry you are struggling with health issues. I hope your friends are a source of love and support around you! You don’t need lots, just a few really good. I completely understand when you say ‘made me feel again’. I think life can make you numb and it’s a terrible way to live.

      I find myself doubting ‘that look’ all the time but there seem to be little reminders to me all the time that it’s out there. Whether it’s Peggy saying she still believes, or my nearly retired older brother finding, ‘that look’ on the face of a woman (about his same age) and jumping in for the third time or a little news snippet of Mr. A’s caring about people he isn’t required to. It’s out there, ‘that look’ in many forms.

      Thanks for reminding me and take care of yourself! Don’t be scared to complain to us about how much life can suck, sometimes. That’s a part of what brings us together as well.


  23. Everything was said in your beautiful post ,CarlyQ…in this great blog (Hi Serv!) and in all comments from lovely RAfangirls. Thanks a lot to you all!
    I don’t think if I ever felt so calm and safe.


  24. Well friends don’t know yet actually and I’m not sure yet what I want or should I say how many I want to know. I was only like two days into retirement when this fell on me. I agree though support is important. Frustrated right now because I’m still waiting for specialist to call to start the ball rolling here and I’m feeling like somehow it isn’t important to them. In that sense life certainly does suck even more but you can’t change what is so you just have go with what you have and make the most of it. I’m just doing what I was going to do before I got the news but this is going to change future plans for me and I’m one of those types who needs to know. So I’ll just keep my brain active with other things like thinking about Richard which is so much more pleasant. Yes, that look is out there I’m sure. It is why I’m still single. I simply couldn’t have settled for less for myself. I loved N&S completely but that last 10 min just seals it even Richard loved it so he does have a Romantic’s heart.


    • I’ll keep you in my thoughts and I’m sure there will be loads of prayers headed your way. Thank you for sharing with us here!


  25. Thanks for all these wonderful responses to CarlyQ’s post … bearing out exactly what she said. Love having you guys around.


  26. I read this last night but had to wait until today to be able to write something that made any kind of sense as I felt rather overcome by what you have written. So much of it resonated with me because of some things I had experienced over many years.

    What you wrote there about Richard, “He isn’t giving us his last drops. He’s filled and his overflow rains down on our battered, tired, wounded souls. And somehow we find ourselves lifted” moved me to tears as “battered, tired and wounded” was exactly how I had felt for such long time. Then in 2005 I think it was, I saw N&S for the first time. Since then I gradually came to feel that parts of me that I had thought gone forever had returned and I began to be *me* for the first time in so many years.

    So thank you CarlyQ, from the bottom of my heart for this heartwarming post on Servetus’ great blog. You certainly “lifted” me!


    • Teuchter, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I can’t tell you how important (well, maybe I should say I probably don’t need to tell you) it is to feel like you’re not the only one. Not the only one who feels beaten and wounded and not the only one who was lifted in such an extraordinary manner. It gives me hope, something that I certainly had lost for a long time, to hear from wonderful women who’ve been there and seen their way out. That beginning to be ‘me’ again is so indescribable. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      It doesn’t hurt either, having such a delightful guide.

      Thanks to the playground supervisor for keeping us on our toes.


  27. Thank you Carly for sharing a part of your RA-journey with us – it was a great pleasure to read!!!


  28. Welcome to the club Carly! It was gReAt reading your story of discovering Richard. Loved it! 😀


  29. Oh his agent probably just can’t figure out where to put that warning label…LOL Any volunteers?


    • Just put it on the back pocket of all his jeans…with that warning…if you’re close enough to read this label…I guarantee every woman will then be truly and fairly warned…


  30. Awesome post, Carly! WP ate up my long post so I’ll keep this short and sweet. You rock!

    Netflix talks to me, too, although now that my lil guy uses it, too,gone are the RA recommendations. Instead, it’s Thomas & Friends and Strawberry shortcake. Although my lil one LOVES MI5 and still demands that I watch it. Life is hard, I know.


    • Thank you my dear MM! I hate it when WP eats my comment! I love it when all the suggestions for me on Netflix are cartoons and those terrible disney pre-teen parent nightmares. My kids have gotten so when they flip it on and see RH or NS they’re like…Mom’s been watching TV today. Like it’s a sin or something, they’ve got food, leave me alone.


  31. […] Solitude, on amazon. The book is a rewrite of her popular fanfiction, The Safety of Solitude, which was partially inspired by our hero. Give it a try. I loved this one when it appeared on wattpad and was hanging on every word. At the […]


  32. […] of years ago, I did a guest post on a friend’s blog and this morning I found myself searching it out, reading it again. It was […]


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