Sunday, April 29, 2012

He's a Masterpiece and a mystery!

I have loved watching PBS's Masterpiece Theatre ever since Alistair Cooke was its host.  Now known as Masterpiece Classic, it has since 2008 had a young and  beautiful new host in Laura Linney. I also enjoy the Masterpiece Mystery series which very often includes Agatha Christie's master detective Hercule Poirot. In my teen years I couldn't get enough of that series of books.  My favourite book was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which unfortunately did not translate well to the screen.  I remember being disappointed with it when it aired, quite some time ago.

While scouring Youtube for my regular Armitage fanvid fix, I recently came across someone who obviously shares my love of Poirot and Richard Armitage.  Here is RA as John Thornton in North and South set to Poirot's theme music!

Inspector Thornton (Murder in Milton) / by NotEvenAnOuch

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Green Day!

Today, as I am in the mood to Recycle, I thought to showcase some fanvids from Youtube which feature music by Green Day.

Time of Your Life - (Marian/Guy) / by summergirl88

I Fought the Law / by PrinceZukoFanGirl

21 Guns (Robin Hood Cast Tribute) / by rach2xxx

The Green Day song starts at 0:35 seconds in.

Poprocks and Coke (Robin's a Stalker) / by thefiercefalcon

And finally, we can leave Sherwood Forest for Afghanistan and trade Guy of Gisborne for John Porter.

Know Your Enemy (Strike Back) / by bccmee

I hope these talented vidders don't mind it if I Reuse their videos.  I simply cannot Reduce my Armitage intake!

2011 Earth Day post :  Songs from Middle Earth
2010 Earth Day post : Poetry of Earth

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And he shall be Levon

Levon Helm, drummer, lead singer and co-founder of the musical group simply known as The Band, died today of cancer at the age of 71.  Among the countless fans of The Band were Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin who named the song "Levon" for him.

Born May 26, 1940 into a musical family in the state of Arkansas, U.S.A., he was christened Mark Lavon Helm.  By the age of 8 he played guitar, but later also played mandolin and most famously, the drums.  By the late '50s he was recruited by performer Ronnie Hawkins to play drums in his back up band, called The Hawks.

Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks (with Levon Helm on drums)
This style of music, known as Rockabilly was very popular in Canada during this time which prompted Hawkins to move his band to Toronto in 1959.  While there, he recruited Canadian musicians Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson.  For a brief period in 1965 they called themselves the Canadian Squires, but later changed to Levon and the Hawks.  I found it interesting that Lavon became known as Levon in Canada because everyone kept mispronouncing his name!  At some point they became just The Hawks and then came that historic moment when Bob Dylan wanted them for his back up band.  After that, they were just - The Band! Well, I shouldn't say just... they were THE Band...'cause really, are there any others? ;)

By the time they released their solo album Music from Big Pink, in 1968 they were practically a legend!  Their song, The Weight with vocals by Levon Helm was used in the movie Easy Rider in 1969.

This is one of my favourite songs of The Band with Helm's lead vocals.

After the break-up of The Band in 1976 Helm had a varied solo career which also included acting.  He had a wonderful part as Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).

He wrote his autobiography in 1993, This Wheel's On Fire.  (I have just added it to my Must Read list!)  Levon Helm continued performing his music even after his voice was damaged from throat cancer in the late 1990's.  Unfortunately the cancer returned recently and finally claimed his life.  Levon Helm died today and took a large part of American Rock history with him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How I've changed!

Richard Armitage, since I started watching you at your work, I marvel at how much you have changed me!

Mama's boys never appealed to me

Until I met John Thornton!

Country bumpkins were never my thing...

Until I saw John Standring.

I thought speedos were tacky
I didn't know how wrong I could be!

I didn't used to like the bad guys...

But that was before I met this Guy! (of Gisborne)

and John Mulligan

I never thought I could still love a hero who really wasn't one at all.
 John Bateman (previously known as Lucas North), Spooks/MI-5 Series 9 
Wrong again!

I never went to a movie before just to watch the bad guy's 4 minute performance...
Heinz Kruger in Captain America
But it was the best 4 minutes in the whole movie!!

I especially didn't like tattoos!
Then I saw this

I never thought gun toting guys looked hot...

well, at least John Porter was the hero!

I was never much for beards
Project Magazine photo shoot
until I saw him with this!

I've never felt an attraction to hairy dwarves either,

Of course that has now changed too!

I surrender Mr. Armitage.  You can make me like anything!
Now ... if only you could cure my allergies!

Photos courtesy of and

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Titanic's band

What sticks in my mind the most about everything that happened 100 years ago today, on the last night on the Titanic, is the image of the ship's band playing on while the ship was sinking.  It might seem crazy to be playing music in the midst of a disaster but to my mind it was nothing short of heroic.  I am sure the band members must have felt the same panic and terror as everyone.  Their role was to try to keep people calm, and the only way they could do so was with music.  There is still some disagreement about what was played as their final song but that really isn't important.  What is important was that they played their music and the survivors remembered them and were grateful for that final gift.

Here is a tribute to the Titanic's Band:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter tReAt

Here is an Easter goodie for you!
For a larger version as well as more goodies, visit YI Mum? and leave her a thank you comment!

That was EGGsactly the kind of treat I was looking for ... 
and no calories either! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Seasonal offerings

When I travel, I love to visit historical sites, such as old churches as well as art galleries and museums. Not all places allow photographs to be taken, and I certainly can't take a picture of everything, but I do try to capture a few that interest me.  I had to do a bit of research to discover some of the background to these works of Christian art from the Medieval period as I didn't take notes at the time.  It is interesting that both of these pieces were created within only a few years of each other, but they are by artists from different countries and are also housed in galleries far from the other.

German Lamention (1510)
Glasgow, Scotland. The Burrell Collection

Lamentation over the Dead Christ (ca. 1509).
by Andrea Solari (1460–1522)
Paris, France. The Louvre

This next picture was taken by my husband on our recent trip to Mexico.  I was unable to discover any details about this particular work. 

Wrought iron artwork in doorway (ca. early C20th)
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Since I can't bear to see anyone so sad, it brought to mind this famous Negro spiritual which has been rediscovered since Bruce Springsteen covered it.  I realize it's not about Mary, the mother of Jesus - but it still works, if you can ignore that fact!

performed by Bruce Springsteen

May you have a joyful Easter season!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hill Top Farm (part 2)

After my long walk up the hill (see Part 1 here), I arrived at Hill Top Farm and it was well worth the effort!  Beatrix Potter's farm is a delight to see.

Beatrix Potter Song   by Phylly    
(To the Tune of the Lonely Goatherd)

Beatrix Potter at Hill Top Farm
High on a hill in the La-ake District
To Hill Top Farm (Miss Potter Land)
I did go.

To see the haunts of the Flopsy Bunnies
The centre of Peter Rabbit's world.
Little did I know she was such a hero
Her earnings saved the land from speculators!
And when she died she gave the land to England
Beatrix Potter -- Way to go!

Oh that Lad-eeee!
What a wonder she was!
An environmentalist!  Before her time!

Oh - ho - ho - ho! Beatrix Potter
Storyteller, artist, queen of the farm
Oh - ho - ho - ho! Beatrix Potter
A nature conservationist too!

This video is a lovely tour of her house and grounds at Hill Top which includes her illustrations.

Here is the intro to a DVD collection of her stories called 
"The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends".

Here is the entrance to the farmhouse where she did her writing.
Hill Top Farmhouse wth a random tourist in front

Beatrix married rather late in life, after her first fiancee died shortly after their engagement.  She was engaged to Norman Warne, the youngest of the Warne brothers who published her first books.  She met William Helis in the Lake District.  He was the lawyer who arranged for her purchase of the farm.

Beatrix and William as newlyweds

In the distance to the right you can see the house where she lived with her husband.  She seemed to have kept her two worlds somewhat separate, her married life in the house and the farmhouse as her retreat.

Here are some more of my photos of the countryside.  Many of these views were illustrated by Miss Potter in her books.

I like to imagine what Beatrix Potter might have thought of John Thornton
[if he were a real person and] if they met!

If Miss Potter had met Mr. Thornton
This was not the first time I have mentioned Beatrix Potter on my blog
(and probably won't be the last either).  Here she is on my basket themed post.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Passing on the Do Wah Diddy Award

I have been remiss in not passing on the honour of this Award much sooner.  Frenz created the Do Wah Diddy Diddy Award as a tribute to those who like Bill Murray as well as music and good times!

I was eligible because of my Dentist themed post where I included a scene from Little Shop of Horrors where he plays a cheerfully masochistic patient to Steve Martin's role as the sadistic dentist.

I also blogged about the movie Groundhog Day last year, which I consider his best role yet, although I thoroughly enjoyed him in Ghostbusters and What About Bob?

This is what Frenz has stipulated as the criteria for the award:
It may be passed onto two bloggers who have you musing, “Yeah, I’d like to party with them.” But only two since oftentimes finding more can be a real hassle. Most important the recipients must not take themselves too seriously, which means they have to have some affection for Bill Murray. No Bill Murray love, no award. Fine Print: must like at least one thing — skit, movie, whatever –with Bill Murray.

So now, finally... Be it known that Phylly is passing on the Do Wah Diddy Award!  (The hardest part is finding the Bill Murray enthusiasts).  There are lots of RA fans I would like to party with!

I hereby award the Do Wah Diddy Diddy Award to....

1.  RAFrenzy-- I would dearly love to meet this fun loving lady as we do seem to have a LOT in common (besides the obvious admiRAtion for a certain actor).  I first "met" her on Nat's RAfanblog.  Than I came to admire how she has made her blog the go-to place for examining everything to do with the RA fandom from an ever increasing Addict list to a lexicon of the fan lingo. 
I am quite sure any get together with Frenz would be a party in itself!  It only seems fair to return the favour, since she created the award, she deserves it the most herself -- and also should have another chance to award it to another blogger! 

2. Jazzbaby1 --  I enjoy the musical interludes and spoken poetry featured on her blog which is always mixed with a healthy dose of insightful humour.  We must have a lot in common as I was going to choose that same blog background as she has - with the blue sky, and green grass. It's one of my most fave colour combos as it makes me feel very cheerful!  It was nice to read her opinions of that ceRtAin actor we all know and love during FanstRAvanganza 3 week.  And now I have recently learned she is also quite fond of Bill Murray!

So there you go ladies, your turn to pass it on...