The musings below belong in the realms of fantasy (“imagining things that are impossible or improbable”, OED) and wishes (“a desire or hope”, OED). Nothing you read about below has or will occur—but wouldn’t it be fun if they would. So if you care for some flights of fancy, please read on.
A ruse for keeping Richard Armitage’s Surprise 46th Birthday Party a secret:
Mina and Michelle—with able help from Rhys and Leland–have stealthily planned how to get Richard to his Surprise 46th Birthday Party half a world away and keep it a secret. It helps that the ladies and Richard are such good friends and tight companions (see below), because Richard will never suspect them of subterfuge.
Misdirection is the key to keeping the birthday party a secret—as in, during what was supposed to be a week long production break filming season 2 of Berlin Station, is replaced with a second unit film crew and several stars dispatched to British Columbia in Canada and then Oregon State in the U.S. for the August 21, 2017 North American Solar Eclipse and to film exteriors for an upcoming Berlin Station episode. The producers, writers, and directors have kindly crafted a basic plot arc for an episode detailing some spy shenanigans occurring during a solar eclipse—involving mystics saying that they can foretell the futures of those who will make a confession and a tribute payment to the eclipse fund.
It’s a basic fraud sting operation by the Berlin Station spies, but with a twist. A foreign government is trying to embarrass and control key individuals in the Canadian leadership by learning their darkest secrets and then blackmailing them into sharing government secrets. Of course, with Canada thriving under the youthful leadership of Justin Trudeau, one cannot even imagine any dark secrets existing in Canada. But it makes for a good spy tv show plot. And the producers, writers, and directors liked what they came up with so well, that it is now a real Berlin Station episode.
So after flying from Germany to Vancouver, British Columbia and taking a one hour ride near the U.S. Washington
State border to Osoyoos, BritishColumbia and the Spirit Ridge Vineyard and Resort on Saturday—and experiencing the jetlag of going west—Sunday is a day of rest (below). Then they push on to Washington State in the U.S. for a several hours drive there and back for eclipse viewing and exterior shots. By the time they get back to Spirit Ridge Monday night, the ladies and Richard are exhausted—as their Berlin station filming crew must be also. So they all get a good night’s sleep.
Surprise Party Primping and Pampering extends to Richard
Mina and Michelle had told Richard during their flight that there is to be a special Spirit Ridge Vineyard and Resort event beginning late afternoon on Tues., August 22nd and they would like to go with him. They look at Richard so hopefully that despite them not mentioning his 46th birthday to him at all—and him not receiving his usual Mum and Dad birthday call–he wants to escort them to the resort party. It’s just that Richard has no idea that the party is for him, so beyond washing his pitts and brushing his teeth, Richard’s party preparation plans are to be minimal. Afterall, he only wore his new jeans once—during the 13 hours flight from Germany to Vancouver, etc. So Richard presumes that they aren’t too gamey to wear for the party. Oh Richard. Sighhh!
Happily, after working—and then some–with Richard for many months each of the past two years, Mina knows Richard’s somewhat endearingly slothful habits. So she plans to take Richard under her wing for a spa day at the Spring Ridge Resort—to culminate in a wine tasting at the resort’s special event party this evening. And after Mina drags Richard from bed and tickling him, he takes a shower and walks out of his bedroom looking very buff [below] and walks to their suite’s dining area for breakfast.
Mina: “You look quite handsome and buff, Richard.” Her eyebrows rise and there is a sultriness to her voice.
Richard: “Can’t help it. My Mum says I got the good genes.” Then out of the blue, Richard beats his bare chest and does a Tarzan yell. “Ahh eh uh, eh uh, eh uh, ah, eh uh, eh uh, eh uh, ahh!”
As Mina collapses in giggles, she and Richard both hear a crash of tinkling glass coming from Michelle’s bedroom—or more particularly, her bathroom. Then Michelle walks into their suite’s dining area.
Michelle: “What the hell was that?” She asks in a startled voice, just a half a decibel shy of a screech. Richard smiles.
Mina: “Oh, Lochinvar here was just testing his lungs.” Mina raises one saucy eyebrow.
Michelle: “Well, warn a person, will you, Richard?” She pleads. Then Michelle looks at the breakfast laden buffet and she delicately selects some fruit.
Richard: “Sorry, Mishka.” Richard’s velvety baritone soothes her ruffled feathers cajolingly.
Mina: “Richard and I are doing massages, manicures, and pedicures, this morning. How about you, Michelle?”
Richard: “Now, I only agreed to the massage. No one touches my feet.”
Mina: She leans over to him and whispers. “Obviously! But I wouldn’t mind fewer scratches from your feet when we are in bed together.”
Richard: Smiling, he replies. “You’ve not complained before about my bedside manner.” Richard is in his best smoulder mode. And he notices Mina gives a slight tremble and he smiles triumphantly.
Michelle looks back and forth between Mina and Richard and begins to scowl.
Mina: Blushing, Mina glances at him primly. “Yes, well, scratches are an occupational hazard.” Then she sees Michelle’s perturbed face. “Did you want to join us Michelle? “
Michelle: “No thank you! I have to pick up our outfits for tonight’s …” She almost gives it away. “… resort gala.”
Richard: “Gala? So my jeans are out?”
Mina: “Definitely!” She looks over at Michelle.
Michelle: “I’ve got it covered.” She waves and leaves.
The rest of the morning, spa treatments are appreciated by Mina and grudgingly endured by Richard. While sitting through his pedicure, Richard Mumbles to himself.
Richard: “No one looks at my feet!” Oh really, Richard? (see below)
Richard and Mina go on to have side by side soothing facial masks as well. Lunch and more afternoon pampering ensue until it is time to get ready for the resort party.
Celebrate good times, come on!
Several clusters of well dressed ladies young and old are roaming through the Spirit Ridge Resort and Spa’s Winery keep making furtive glances about them. The same can be said for the barbecue cocktail area, as well as the well lit garden, etc. There are also a few men—husbands and sweethearts braving being abandoned at any moment when He shows up.
Richard is now being lead from the hotel to the winery—wearing a blindfold that Michelle put there. All three of them are in dressy clothes—Mina had ramped up the dress code for the party–a tux for Richard (below) and evening gowns for Mina and Michelle.
Mina: “No peeking, Richard.” Mina’s voice musically admonishes him.
Richard: “Alright. But you better unmask me soon, before I stumble.” He whines.
Michelle: “Nah! You’re doing fine. Ha ha ha!” She cackles huskily.
As they reach the heart of the winery, in the large tasting room, Richard’s blindfold is removed. He looks around the room’s sea of well over 75 faces—with more guests in the hotel ballroom where the banquet will be held—some of whom look strangely familiar. Richard starts to point, but mutes it to be polite. Everyone bursts into applause and sings him Happy Birthday, and then For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. And Richard realizes that this is not a gala resort party, but a 46th birthday party for him. He chuckles and shakes his head in amusement. Rhys and Leland now step out from the crowd and shake his hand, while Richard laughs with them about this party being a total surprise.
As several people come up to greet Richard—without asking him to sign anything nor take a picture with them, nor do they take a picture of him—some moments are just meant to be felt and experienced. But these ladies briefly mention when they met him before, and such. And Richard nods his head, remembering. There are some ladies whom he has seen at several movie premiere red carpets or theatre stage doors. And once again he is floored that not only did they come to see him—more than once—but that they also incurred traveling expenses.
Then off to one corner of the winery tasting room, he spies a much cherished young boy rocking back and forth on the heels of his dress shoes with his father—Richard’s brother–standing behind his son. Standing next to them are Richard’s parents. Richard quickly strides over to greet his family—hugging and kissing each of them warmly. And they spend several minutes talking and catching up, with Richard’s arm tucked caringly about his Mum’s back, with her leaning in to him a bit.
Mina and Michelle explain to Richard a bit later that his fans had suggested a fantasy 46th birthday party (below)— complete with banquet that is coming up next, free wine samples, and free parting gifts from the winery—in addition to fan designed and fan made tote bags with wallpapers of Richard’s characters silk screened on them.
Then Mina and Michelle expand upon the party notion a bit during the actual wine tasting—with lovely cellos music playing in the background:
Mina and Michelle also point Richard to another corner of the wine tasting room where several displays are set up about various fundraising ventures devised by his fans–with donations going to charities that he supports in honor of his birthday. Richard is bowled over by the positive power of his fans here today, and around the world. And he thanks those in attendance most sincerely.
There will also be dancing under the stars later—including a fundraising waltz with Richard, netting a cool $1,000 for Richard’s charities. Richard will also contribute a matching donation. And a test of skill and strength at one booth draws Richard in—it involves tossing a small hoop onto a post to win a prize, while holding a 5 pound weighted ball in the other hand. After two tosses, Richard’s natural grace and coordination serves him in good stead–and he tosses his hoop onto a post. His prize? It is a money clip with built in compass—a gadget which he likes very much.
Then there is a kissing booth, that for $5 to charity would get a person kissed—is turned into a hugging booth when Richard takes a turn at it. For Richard, his kisses are reserved for his private moments—and when he is acting. So though Richard’s kisses would be divine, his fans present are quite pleased with his heartfelt hugs. And it turns out that Richard’s hugs for charity do raise a tidy sum—especially when his former costar Dawn French is very generous.
After a wonderful birthday banquet with family, friends, and fans, there is dancing—which Richard does very well, of course. His smooth fluid motion, coupled with his sensuous gazes melt many a lady. And another charity challenge dance ensues with more charitable donations kindly given for dancing with Richard. Then the DJ plays various rock, pop, and slow dance songs to round out the night’s performance:
“Kool and the Gang – Celebration”
“The way you make me feel” Michael Jackson Vevo
“The way you look tonight” Michael Buble
“The Wedding Date” (Sway Michael Buble)
And the formal part of the evening ends with a video tribute to Richard over the years that include various family and character photos. Then the video switches to a fan made video retrospective of Richard’s work;
Film Star 2 by GizTheGunslinger
And after a late night viewing under the stars of “Urban and the Shed Crew”, Richard, Mina, Michelle, and a few other friends and family—and maybe a few fans—close out the evening with some spirited and soulful karaoke at the bar (RA below with shy blond).
All in all, it’s a wonderful Fantasy 46th Birthday Party CelebRAtion for Richard Armitage.
And for real, I wish Richard Armitage a lovely birthday! And I wish him every happiness that he wishes for himself. Hugs & Love! Grati ;->
P.S. An update on “Change for Charity” fundraiser: I/Grati will be donating $22.46 to Childline on Richard Armitage’s Just Giving site in honor of his birthday. And I will also be donating money to UNHCR for the challenge portion of my Change for Charity fundraiser–$1 for each person who told me that they are participating—which I will round up to $25. The Change for Charity participants are not required to indicate how much loose change they collected and donated. But if anyone wants to share, I would be interested to hear how they did in a comment below. Thanks, Hugs, & Cheers! Grati ;->