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Sparkling in the Darkness
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Title: Rhetorical Questions
Fandom: James Bond (Daniel Craig films)
Characters: Gareth Mallory/Eve Moneypenny, James Bond, Bill Tanner
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Mealtimes are variable when working for MI6. M and Moneypenny get by, mostly together.
Author Note: Happy birthday to rusty_armour Posted in honour of your special day, I really hope you like it :)

There was always enough water to fill two cups.Collapse )

1st-May-2016 02:39 pm - The next chapter

I am still smiling, because going to a Progress Wrestling event (last Sunday) will always be followed by days of smiling for me. I was worried Anthony wouldn’t be able to enjoy it because of our leaky roof and how much it has bothered him. Thankfully we were both able to really enjoy ourselves.

All travel to and from the show was smooth – a real bonus as we knew the show would finish later than usual due to the number of matches but luckily we were still able to get our usual train. It was lovely as always to queue with our friend Chris, who sadly couldn’t sit with us during the show as he had only been able to buy a general seating ticket meaning he was a couple of rows behind. I was a little worried as the Progress seats are hard plastic fold-up chairs and that wasn’t going to be good for my hemmaroid but thankfully through the judicious use of my jacket and coat, I managed to make sure that area didn’t suffer pressure which was brilliant.

We had two British qualifying matches for the WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series. These matches will be shown on WWE.com which is an amazing thought and wow, Progress is known around the world already but this was a huge step up. Talk about a worldwide spotlight. Zack Sabre Jr vs ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster was the sort of hard chain-wrestling affair we all expected, we all knew Zack was going to win but Flash did brilliantly, putting up a hell of a fight. It was later revealed that he’d suffering a dislocated shoulder and had torn ligaments in his ankle, yet he still managed to finish the match. Amazing, what a warrior. Then ‘Bruiserweight’ Pete Dunne vs ‘the Extraordinary’ Jack Gallagher was a real hard clash, Pete has transformed himself over the past couple of years and I reckon 2016 will be his year while Jack is so underrated and amazing to watch. The funniest thing was that during those two matches, the crowd were asked not to swear as WWE is a PG product and so no swearing is allowed and if the usual sweary chants were heard, chunks of the match would be cut out when posted on WWE.com. Thankfully everyone behaved and some inventive and safe chants were used instead. So proud of all four lads for representing Progress and British wrestling so magnificently and cannot wait to see what Zack and Jack do while working for the WWE during the tournament and maybe beyond too.

It was a night of tournaments as there were also two matches in the Atlas Championship series – a title for wrestlers who are over 205lbs. It was a joy to see Michael Dante win over Damo O’Connor and Joe Coffey and Rampage Brown fight to a time limit draw. I am a fan of all four men, though retain special affection for Michael Dante, his facial expressions are so wonderfully sardonic and he’s adorable on social media. Also it was pure pleasure to finally have Joe Coffey in the Ballroom, ‘Iron Man’ blaring out as he came out to the ring and we all sang along. A massive star in Scotland; it looks like finally he’s branching out down South. I really hope we get more of him in London as well as at the Manchester shows. I also hope he brings merchandise and we get to say hi at the merch table. Love the big lads league, more please!

The Natural Progression series final had Pastor William Eaver win over Damon Moser, a great match between two graduates of Progress’s ProJo training school. I think most people guessed that Eaver would win. It was a seriously hard hitting match and they gave everything, clearly trying to stand out on a stacked card. Eaver gave a delightful overwhelmed speech, breaking character by swearing and then immediately asking God for forgiveness lol. So pleased for him, he’s worked so hard and his character has really gotten him entrenched with the audience. Him against Marty Scurll would be awesome.

The ladies were awesomely represented as Jim Smallman let us know that Progress will be introducing a Women’s Championship. The first champion will be crowned at the end of the next Natural Progression series, an announcement that got a huge cheer and chant of ‘women’s wrestling’. Oh yes. That night, it was Pollyanna vs Dahlia Black and they got to pick each other’s tag team partners. Black chose Pollyanna’s nemesis Jinny while Pollyanna, who entered the Ballroom to sit on an amazing replica Iron Throne wheeled on especially, chose Jinny’s beleaguered assistant Elizabeth, whose relationship with Jinny has seriously deteriorated over the past few months. The fans are really behind the quiet but tough Elizabeth and it was wonderful to hear those cheer and chants, begging her not to obey Jinny, not to stay in her corner and do nothing. It was another great match which included a moment when Black’s boyfriend TK Cooper tried to get involved only to be taken out by Jack Sexsmith.

Now Sexsmith is an interesting character, I may have mentioned him before. He’s pansexual, comes to the ring with at least one gimp and is usually armed with a dildo. Yep. However, he’s loved by the Progress fans and isn’t derided for his non-macho appearance or tastes. In wrestling, that’s rare. That night he tweeted that he wasn’t saving Pollyanna because she’s a damsel in distress but because she deserved a fair fight. That’s the sort of character detail I can appreciate.

The match I was looking forward to, and was also dreading, was FSU & the London Riots vs The Origin with a ton of stipulations – if the Origin won, all four of them would be entered into SSS16, if FSU or the Riots got the pin, that team would get the next tag team title shot. So we all thought, ‘okay, FSU and the Riots will be arguing over who gets the pin and the Origin will win again,’ which we all hate because the Origin haven’t lost since forming last year and they’re so good at being hateable. But Progress told a different story, the Origin sneak attached Eddie Dennis of FSU and James Davis of the Riots before the match even started, taking them out of the match and giving the Origin the clear advantage. But Mark Andrews of FSU and Rob Lynch of the Riots worked really well together, before the Origin eventually overwhelmed them. Then James, followed by Eddie, both injured, returned to the match and it ended with the Riots getting the pin. I am a massive FSU fan – they’re the reason I became a Progress fan – but they’ve had all the title shots recently and the Riots have never been champs in Progress yet and completely deserve it. It was a tense hard-hitting match and told such a good different story. I can’t see the Riots winning at the next show but maybe after, before September. They’ll almost certainly be the ones to take the belts off the Origin and their progression from most hated men in the company to beloved hometown boys will be complete.

The main event was everything I hoped for and a whole dollop more. Tommy End had defeated champion Marty Scurll in a non-title contest earlier in the month, the first person to beat Marty since Marty won the title, so we were all willing Tommy to win. While loads of fans still adore Marty despite his villainous character, Tommy is so very loved and would make an excellent champion. The match was hard-hitting and so very intense, Tommy getting to show what a brilliant wrestler he is and Marty getting to show this too, amongst all his usual cheating actions. They have great in-ring chemistry together. Then, the shock, Tommy looked ready to win, having landed one of his spectacular kicks to Marty’s head, pointing his fingers like a gun as he lined up another kick when...all the lights went out. In wrestling, this means that when the lights go back on, someone unexpected will be standing in the ring. And oh, it was unexpected. It was...Mikey Whiplash?! Tommy’s long-time ally in other companies – Tommy, Mikey and Michael Dante are collectively known as Legion in ICW and Mikey has recently debuted in wXw in Germany too, where Michael and Tommy are well known, forming Legion there too as well. But Mikey clattered Marty with a steel chair, meaning the match ended in a disqualification win for Marty.

Mikey then attacked Tommy, screaming about it being his time, the Ballroom in complete shock and dismay, before Mikey left and Tommy demanded that he be put into the Super Strong Style 16 tournament which Mikey has already been entered into. Tommy was apologetic to fans as he left, everyone on their feet applauding him, and thanked fans too. Progress are utterly brilliant at unveiling surprises like that, no one has guessed before that someone will turn up unexpectedly because Progress are great at misdirection and keeping secrets. Once again, Progress are telling a different story here. Mikey vs Tommy will be a personal emotional war and it will break my heart. It’s going to be extraordinary.

As for my actual experience at the show aside from the brilliant matches, I had a wonderful time. So many people to catch up with. Shirleigh very recently had a wonderful tattoo tribute to Kris done that looked wonderful and it was awesome catching up with her and Kat. Jim’s wife is glowingly pregnant and was wearing that great maternity shirt that has the bone picture of the ribs and a skeleton foetus, love that. It was lovely to hug her and get excited about the future of the little guy. I got to meet Mark Haskins’ wife Vicky who is incredibly glamorous and lovely and who I’ve chatted to online but been too shy to chat to in person before, though she’s close buds with Shirleigh and Kat. She gave me hugs and was so lovely and approachable and wow, so beautiful.

I did my usual chat to the wrestlers behind the merch table. Pretty sure I embarrassed myself utterly when talking to Mark Andrews because I completely blanked on any actual words to say and was a bit flustered and incomprehensible but he was his usual lovely self and gave me a hug as a greeting and hopefully won’t hold my ridiculous shyness and brain blank against me when we next meet. I’m trying not to dwell on the fact I was an idiot *sigh*. Eddie, who’d clearly had a lot of sunbed time recently, wow did he look tanned, was chatty as always, trying to persuade someone to buy his merch, he’s always hustling lol, so I didn’t get a full chat but it was good to see him. I had a little chat to JD of the Riots who pulling me into a hug across the table which was lovely and unexpected. He was knackered after a heavy weekend of wrestling but was friendly and chatty, he’s a real sweetheart. His tag partner Rob always seems more introspective and reserved, not very happy to be at the merch table, you know? So I don’t ever offer him a hug, though he looks severely in need of one.

Perhaps the most fun was the fact that I had a t-shirt from Nathan Cruz kept behind the merch table for me to pick up – I’d chatted to him on Twitter about buying one and so PayPaled him the money, before he realised I’d be at the Progress show so offered to leave the shirt behind the table for me with some extras to make up for the postage money I’d already paid. Naturally, he wasn’t there to hand it over – as one of the most hated villains on the roster, he stays away from fans at the shows, helps with suspension of disbelief etc. He’s so smug and hateable during the shows but a total sweetheart on social media. I must go to one of the shows for other companies further up North where he’s a hero so I can chat to him in person for once lol. Or at least enjoy him being a hero. Mind you, knowing my luck, by the time I go, he’ll have become a villain there as well.

All in all, it was a very good show. A world builder and storyteller, a progression show, where stories evolved and moved on a lot, gearing things up for May’s Super Strong Style 16 weekender and beyond. It’s really built up anticipation and continues to make me so excited for Progress’ future as a company and for future shows. Next up, the weekender, such fun last year and this year, we’ve booked a hotel outside of London as Anthony’s Dad can’t house us this time. It’s our idea of a romantic weekend away lol, a cheap chain hotel and two days of wrestling. Cannot. Wait.

30th-Apr-2016 10:46 am - Birthday wishes
Happy birthday to the wonderful rusty_armour my oldest online friend and one of my very favourite people. I hope you have a tremendous day which includes delicious cake :) You deserve a wonderful celebration and so much fun. I am hoping to post a present here for you within the next few days so keep a look out :) Happy birthday!!
Title: And They All Went Into The Ark
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Osgoods
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Rating: G
Spoilers: Set after the Twelfth Doctor episodes 'The Zygon Invasion' & 'The Zygon Inversion.'
Summary: There was Osgood and then there was another. Two by two.

Two by twoCollapse )

26th-Apr-2016 08:52 pm - R.I.P Prince (1958 - 2016)

I have to admit, he wasn’t a musician that meant a lot to me personally. When I was young, I remember him being in the pop charts. I remember the music video for his only UK number one single – ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’ – being shown on Top of the Pops. I remember 'Purple Rain' being used by some girls in my primary school class for a dance during assembly once but not knowing it was a Prince song. I remember the whole saga of him using a symbol for his name and not understanding why. I remember finding out that ‘Kiss’ was his song before it was sung by Tom Jones and how different their versions are. I remember not really understanding what all the fuss was about.

Prince has always been a huge star and over more recent years, I have enjoyed acquainting myself with more of his music for the first time – like ‘Raspberry Beret’, ‘When Doves Cry’ and my favourite ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. I am still discovering him and that’s quite fun. I love his Grammy performance with Beyonce, what a perfect combo. I almost certainly need to listen to more of his work and wow, there’s so much of it. He created and composed almost unstoppably. He played so many instruments. His music and his image, so different to other black men in the media, especially at the time he first broke through, that’s something iconic and important. I’m glad he meant so much to so many people and that who he was and what he did helped just as many.

Prince and Beyonce's great Grammy 2004 performance together

Title: Burn It All Down
Fandom: Lucha Underground
Characters: Fenix/Catrina
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Fénix possesses a thousand lives but he does not regret the time he spent with Catrina.
Author Note: Title is a lyric from the song 'Everything Burns' by Ben Moody and Anastacia.

Fenix had seen enoughCollapse )


I first became a wrestling fan in 1999, thanks to my brother persuading me to watch an episode of WWE Sunday Night Heat. It was a highlight show covering 1999, it was the first time I ever laid eyes on Chyna (Joanie Laurer). I was astonished at her powerful physique and was amazed when my brother told me that she wrestled men and had even won the Intercontinental Championship, still to this day the only woman to win a belt other than the Women’s title.

She is a big reason why I got hooked on wrestling from that day onwards. I have such wonderful memories of her, clad in black leather gear, striding purposefully towards the ring. Thinking about it, she’s almost certainly a big reason why black leather is my favourite fabric to wear. It always makes me feel confident and powerful. At that point, she had the Kat as her valet, dressed identically, even wearing a black wig so that she’d look just like Chyna. I found that image really striking. Chyna not only fought men, she entered the Royal Rumble and the King of the Ring tournament (the first woman to do either). Nicknamed 'The Ninth Wonder of the World,' she was portrayed as equal to the men she faced, as strong, as skilled, as powerful. The audience loved her for it. I certainly did.

She entered the WWE as Triple H’s bodyguard, appearing almost masculine though still very much a woman. They were a duo bound for great things, especially when they formed the legendary D-Generation X faction with Shawn Michaels, almost certainly the most popular stable ever to exist in WWE. Later, Chyna struck out on her own and after her first Intercontinental title reign, became associated with Eddie Guerrero. Interesting to note, in that more explicit WWE era, she and Eddie were portrayed very much as a sexy feisty couple but they never kissed on screen. I loved this pairing so much, Eddie was always gold and the two of them together were so much fun. Chyna, after so many years so being serious, got to be silly and flirty and show a very different side while still beating the men in the ring. She picked up another Intercontinental Championship reign and later became Women’s champion before leaving the WWE.

Personally, I always preferred it when she fought the men. As an internet reviewer pointed out, Chyna fighting the women had a very limited run – who was ever going to beat her? As a woman fighting the men, she was an astonishing striking figure, so unique, so awesome. There hasn’t been a woman like her before or since – nowadays WWE don’t feature any intergender wrestling which is a real shame. She redefined what a woman could be in the WWE; until then women had been only valets or wrestlers facing other women, always very pretty, very sexualised. Chyna offered a different flavour, so contrasting, so startling, absolutely lapped up by the fans.

Honestly, Chyna was not a great technical wrestler. WWE protected her so that she always looked good but her skills were quite limited in the ring. But I argue that she was still incredibly important, in the top five of most important women to ever feature in the WWE, because she offered such a different view of what a woman could look like and achieve. She was strong and powerful, she also showed a more traditionally-feminine side later with Eddie and when she posed for Playboy Magazine and yet still fought the men. She didn’t lose anything, she just became more faceted. The Chyna I like best is definitely the one who debuted, wearing black leather, so powerful, such a different body type, such a different everything!

Yes, she had problems. Her life was quite a train wreck towards the end, lots of drug problems, meltdowns and family struggles. There was a sex tape released and a subsequent career in pornography. For years the WWE pretty much refused to acknowledge her time with them, due to the path her life had taken, maybe because her ex-boyfriend Triple H is now married to Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE’s owner, a relationship that has always been rumoured to have started while Triple H and Chyna were still a couple. She ended up on the wrong side of the table politically. The WWE’s attitude towards her, especially now they’re laying on the tributes to her because they can control the narrative now, is unforgivable. She should be in their Hall of Fame, though Triple H  claimed it wasn’t appropriate as kid fans would google her and find unsuitable stuff. Such a chicken excuse considering some of the behaviour of a few of WWE’s performers who are still in the Hall of Fame.

In short, she deserved a lot better than she got in life. She changed the wrestling business forever. She was a pioneer. There aren’t enough characters like her in wrestling today, especially in the massive mainstream companies like WWE and TNA. My world would be very different without her. She fascinated me and showed me that women could do impossible things. I hope she’s finally found some peace.

The lyrics to her entrance theme remain something every woman deserves: Don't treat me like a woman, don't treat me like a man, don't treat me like you know me, treat for just who I am.

21st-Apr-2016 07:30 pm - R.I.P Victoria Wood (1953 - 2016)

2016 is a seriously awful year.

Word was released yesterday that comedian and writer extraordinaire Victoria Wood has passed away, at age 62, from a short battle with cancer. I don’t know how well she was known around the world but here in the UK, there are few writers and comedians sharper and funnier. My mum loved her sketch show ‘As Seen On TV’ and I have many memories of watching it as a child, not getting all the jokes mind but knowing there was plenty to cause laughter. She's an indelible part of that era, the 80s and 90s, her TV shows were huge and loved by a whole range of people. She really did have mass appeal, thanks to the sheer cleverness of her work, commenting on the ordinariness of life, making us laugh.

I have special memories of watching her peerless sitcom dinnerladies which Wood wrote as well as starred in, two series of fond ensemble comedy set in a canteen. I found episodes on YouTube last night and absolutely loved rewatching them. Going to burn through all of them I think.

She was a frequent collaborator of fabulous actress Julie Walters who has described herself as too heartsore to comment. I can only imagine. Wood’s influence is everywhere, the way she observed life, the way she wrote for women. There’s been too few writers like her.

She also acted as I’ve said. She wrote and starred in Housewife, 49, all about a woman who kept a diary during the Second World War and she played Eric Morecombe’s mother in the brilliant Eric & Ernie. She did drama as well as peerless comedy. She loved Dad's Army, I remember a great documentary she did about it and its continued appeal. So she won my heart forever by being a fellow fan.

She played the piano and wrote hilarious comedy songs. Her most famous song was most likely 'Let's Do It' and it’s wonderful. Well worth checking out.

If you haven’t ever seen her stuff, track it down, love it, roll around in it. She was astonishingly talented.

Title: Any Ideas
Fandom: Formula 1 RPF
Characters: Daniil Kvyat/Daniel Ricciardo/Jean-Eric Vergne, Max Verstappen/Kevin Magnussen
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: While Dom Jean-Eric Vergne is away, submissive Max Verstappen visits Vergne's two submissives – Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kyvit - to ask for some advice.
Author Note: Sequel to New Configurations. Thanks to f1_rabbit for the beta :)

In this relationship, nothing was being splitCollapse )

18th-Apr-2016 05:54 pm - A bit bananas
Weekend baking again! This time banana and fruit cake, made while Anthony was out at the ice hockey as he loathes bananas - just the smell of them makes him physically sick. I love bananas though and it was fun to try a new recipe, it came out nice and moist. I probably cut it too early as it crumbled a bit when I sliced it up for the church folk. Also I used a spatula to stir it and a couple of its sharp corners got knocked off in the stirring. Um, oops?? Must remember to use a spoon next time, also threw the offending spatula out. Thankfully I fished some bits out of the mixture and no one complained of finding plastic in their cake so I'm calling it a win.

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