It has recently occurred to me that I have unwittingly developed a bordering-on-unhealthy obsession with James Norton (talented actor and eye candy). I realised that, on average, I think about him once every two days, and then very intensely. Sometimes the bounder even invades my dreams. If this meant that I simply turn into a drooling heap of female desire every time he appears in my head I would probably never give it a second thought and would continue lusting indefinitely, in all the innocence of extra-marital hunk-worshipping. If only this were the case.
Gentlemen whom I consider worth day-dreaming about typically fall into one of either two categories. The first comprises handsome blonds (preferably curly-to-curlyish and astride a motorbike): Steve McQueen, Arthur from the BBC’s ‘historical documentary’*, Merlin, and my Kawasaki V900-driving husband (I feel duty-bound to add that this is in no particular order). The second is reserved exclusively for tall, dark embodiments of the god, Mr. Darcy, whether reincarnated as himself in 1995 or as Mr. Thornton (portrayed by Richard Armitage) in 2004 (I am convinced that North and South is an updated version – befitting the great age of Victorian industrialisation – of Pride and Prejudice by the talented Austenite, Mrs. Gaskell).
Under normal circumstances my figment of Mr. Norton would be pushed (no matter how reluctantly) by me into the former category, being blond and very handsome, but unfortunately my obsession takes on a far more sinister aspect, rendering me utterly incapable of adding him to my list of unattainable desirables. Ever since watching Happy Valley on television I have had an irrational fear that I will find the psychopathic killer, Tommy Lee Royce (who, oddly enough, looks <a href=”http://Identical“>identical to James Norton, pictured in the featured photo – tall, blond, handsome, yet carrying a body…), lurking in my chicken coop, waiting to butcher me. In theory I attend to the ‘Coos’ every other evening, but on particularly black nights I do sometimes plead with my husband that he brave the monster in my stead. He is stronger than me and would put up better resistance, plus I really don’t want to die.
The possibility of such an occurance is entirely feasible (if not practically inevitable) – presuming that the fictitious Royce (or his very real twin) managed to evade the British authorities and find himself (having cunningly stowed away somehow) in Geneva. There, having killed too many people for comfort, he decides to venture south and ends up on a train bound for Lyon. The abysmal weather that we have suffered recently, perhaps causing yet another landslide on the tracks, means that he is forced to disembark at our little halte. After more indiscriminate killing (it is probably a hobby for him by now), possibly whilst holding up the local Carrefour, he does what any self-respecting maniac would do and heads for the hills (I have been tempted to this course of action myself on more than one occasion). There, halfway up a tiny mountain, he reaches our house and discovers a safe haven in our chicken coop. It being my night to lock up the ‘Coos’ I venture nonchalantly inside, and then…blam! There is a knife to my throat before the world turns black and I lurch off to meet my maker.
I therefore made a habit, long ago, of dispensing altogether with nonchalance whilst abroad at night. I walk to the coop stealthily (armed with a torch, for although there are two street lamps on our little country lane it is still dark enough to see the stars clearly), then peer inside before determining whether it is safe to enter. Upon exiting I ram the stiff bolt across the door (the riskiest part of the proceedings as it requires both hands, and for my back to be turned completely), looking over my shoulder as often as possible lest he should have slipped out whilst I was inside, then sprint back to the safety of the house as quickly as I can. If the bolt catches on something and will not slide shut easily I have occasionally started to panic in earnest, probably frightening any passing neighbour as well. I can offer no justification for my lunacy, nor am I ashamed of myself. I am not afraid of the dark – in my younger days as a Scout and Explorer I was very happy to lurk in the undergrowth during Wide Games, waiting to pounce or be pounced on in my turn.
I am sorry, though, to be doing James Norton such a discourtesy. I can only blame my behaviour on his very convincing performance as an actor and on my over-active imagination. When I was twelve, and walking part of the way home from school by myself once a week, I was terrified that an axe murderer (named Max Urder), whom I had created myself for an English ‘ghost story’ assignment, would leap out from behind a tree and attack me. I ran all the way in case he should appear. Two years ago my husband even had to insist that we stop watching Luther on TV because it gave me such bad nightmares (and because at the time I was routinely getting up to get up to feed our infant son in the dark…).
I hope that the poor man found himself a partner before filming Happy Valley, as I am sure that I cannot be the only person to find him absolutely petrifying. However lovely James Norton may be in real life, Tommy Lee Royce is a hard persona to shake off. As for myself, I cannot wait until the clocks go forward next week and the long Summer evenings return…then I may bid farewell to my tormentor until the Autumn!
*It isn’t but I like to pretend. Merlin is terribly inaccurate, but I love it so.
Mots du jour:
Qu’est-ce que c’est? What is it? halte – stop/unmanned station Carrefour – chain of supermarkets (also a crossroads)