The "Brit a Day" series

What does a months-long parade of attractive British men have to do with fiction, you might well ask? These gentlemen have inspired some lovely scenes, part of the life I live in my head. Over time, some of these scenes reach out to one another and begin to form a story. For the present, each one of these pictures provides a writing prompt for me, a way to keep me writing with a sense of passion and narrative, even when the stories are not yet fully formed.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Brit a Day [#173]

After a day of swimming in the Pacific Ocean, and in consideration of the disturbing things you have seen happening on the beach, it becomes apparent that you can use a bit of practice with your CPR training.....

....after which you really need some time to yourself, fishing for your next meal while keeping your sneakers and the seat of your only pair of long pants dry....

.....followed by a shower miles away from the prying eyes of women who have looked at this screen cap in high resolution more times than they can count....

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Brit a Day [#172]

I know I've seen a picture of Eddie Argos in a swimming pool on the internet, but I couldn't find it today. I've posted a picture of Eddie and Jasper Future doing the Swim [the dance] here before. Here are Eddie and Art Brut pretending to take a dive into the canal in London. This photo is from 2007, I think--mid-era for Duct Taped Shoes. And no worries for Eddie's watch. I think that's the one he used to wear even though it didn't work. He said it was very useful in the midst of boring conversations to tap his [dysfunctional] watch and announce that he was late for something.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Brit a Day [#171]

Sometimes you just gotta swim like you're saving Claire.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Brit a Day [#170]

Jason Isaacs and his daughter Ruby. Easy name for me to remember--and I think about it every time I see a picture of Jason--Ruby is my mother's name.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Brit a Day [#169]

A great deal of Daniel Radcliffe's performance in 'Harry Potter 4' took place underwater, and from what I've read, he had a stellar dive crew to assist him and the other actors. Here they are posing in the underwater tank/stage, and with a little Photoshopping of red noses and antlers--voila, a Christmas card photo is born!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Brit a Day [#168]

I love Christian Bale in 'Laurel Canyon', and I think the essence of his character in that film surfaces [pardon the pun] in his face every time we see him in his mother's pool. I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell's 'Ladies of the Canyon', and my own psyche ended up somewhere between that of his mom and that of his fiancee, or more accurately, I ended up like a mix of the two characters. As the son of one and the lover of the other, I don't think he believes that such a cocktail of two different women is even possible.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Brit a Day [#167]

This is not a shot that some lucky paparazzi took of Alan Rickman skinny-dipping. It's a screen cap from the film-noir 'Dark Harbor' that I found on the internet. It's quite a good film, and Alan's dedication to it should not go unnoticed, as the director points out on the DVD commentary that this water was ice cold and a doctor was on site during the filming of this scene lest his heart stop from the shock of diving into the icy lake.

So this week I am showing my concern for the fitness of the cast. We are in the back half of summer, alas, and I want to make sure they take advantage of all the aquatic opportunities that are available to them. The theme of this week's posts will be Brits Can Swim.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Brit a Day [#166]

Davy Jones showed some skin in this photo of 3/4 of the Monkees taken by Henry Diltz in the 1960's.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Brit a Day [#165]

Ready or not, that's really Eddie Argos starkers. But it's not a real cover of New Musical Express. The NME ran this inside full-page parody of the then-current-and-scandalous cover that Beth Ditto, frontwoman of the band Gossip, did in 2007. Beth was in the same pose, same background, and Eddie had to good-naturedly go along with the idea that some people think both he and Beth Ditto are on the squishy side. Beth Ditto has worn her squishy-ness proudly a number of times, hence this quote from WikiPedia:

She classes herself as a punk, and thus does not wear deodorant or shave under her armpits, having once remarked that "I think punks usually smell". She has been lauded for her support of positive body image, despite comments from doctors that she may be causing harm to public health by normalising obesity.

Actually, by comparison with most of the men I know personally, Eddie is quite fit.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Brit a Day [#164]

This post is for Thursday. You don't even want to know where I'll be tomorrow at the time I usually do these posts.

I pride myself on making the non-obvious choices most of the time. I have so many pictures filed of shirtless Ian Cusick that I could bring down the internet if I tried to post them all. [Just sayin'...] So it's not for lack of material or an inability to make a decision that I chose this one.

All you really need from this man, in terms of showing skin, are those gorgeous biceps and an little bit of neck. Trust me. A little Ian goes a long way and is worth an army of most other men. So, here you are.

A Brit a Day [#163]

Here's Jason Isaacs as Lord Felton in the movie 'Dragonheart' [1996, I think]. I can't help being reminded of Ricardo Montalban in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' [1982, I'm sure], but in this case, I think the skin Jason is showing is all real. Not so sure about the hair....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Brit a Day [#162]

Daniel Radcliffe famously starred in a revival of 'Equus' in the West End and on Broadway, and this photo is from the promotions for that show. Sorry about the watermark, but I am happy that credit can be given for the beautiful picture.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Brit a Day [#161]

You've seen this photo of Christian Bale before in my week of posts with the cast all wet. I owe a great debt to the site 'Wet Men' for allowing me to plunder the treasures on view there. I went back to find something new for this week, for where there are wet men there is also lots of gorgeous skin, but most of the ChB offerings were a bit too much skin for my purposes here. I did find this pic, though, [below] which I almost don't believe is real. The things that man has done to his body for the sake of art....emaciated down to loose skin hanging on bones for one film, and then all this for another.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Brit a Day [#160]

It has been hot as Hades here recently--it finally began to cool off today--but at any rate, this week the cast needs to show some skin. Here's Alan Rickman in an older photo [by Lord Snowden, I believe] showing his fine legs beneath a kilt. Oh, this is going to be good.....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Brit a Day [#159]

This picture is from promo photos for an earlier Harry Potter film, but I do hope we see a lot more of Alan Rickman as Prof. Snape in this fashion--unkempt straight black hair, fully cloaked like an upright bat, small white rim of collar and cuffs peeking out from the severe black attire. The look creates a lot of tension about what lies underneath and curiosity about to whom he would ever reveal it. I can't help but think of the sexually repressed Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter.' Dimmesdale is sensual even in his self-loathing of his sensuality, and I tend to project the same emotions onto Severus Snape.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Brit a Day [#158]

I think the next time we will see Dan Radcliffe on screen is in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Part 1. I think this picture is from the set of that movie. I hope so, because this looks really, really cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Brit a Day [#157]

We're going to finish out the week showing some of the cast as we hope they will look in their next on-screen appearances. We know that Henry Ian Cusick is scheduled to guest-star in several episodes of 'Law & Order: SVU' this fall, portraying a graphic designer named Erik. The fangirls have put in their request for the longer hair [appropriate to an artist] and at least a week's worth of beard.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Brit a Day [#156]

I've been a bit piggy with all my posts relating to cycling lately, but we can't leave France quite yet. It's Bastille Day, after all. Here are Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan getting away from all the TdF hoopla by hiding out in the south of France.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Brit a Day [#155]

Here is British pro-cycling Team Sky's Russell Downing of Yorkshire winning stage 2 of the 2010 Critérium International. The caption I have on file with this photo says Downing is reacting to the win, presumably smiling, but I have my suspicions it's a mixture of joy with a grimace of pain. Since Downing's strength is sprinting, I imagine he won this stage after really turning up the gas, pushing past protesting muscles. Downing also won overall at last year's tour of Ireland.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Brit a Day [#154]

Yesterday we saw lovely model Lily Cole on her bike, looking less than completely confident. But today we see Lily truly in her element, the subject of the photographer's lens, in these two stunning images. I thought this would be an appropriate way to spend the Tour's first day of rest, peacefully contemplating such a natural beauty.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Brit a Day [#153]

Today's Brit on a bike is the lovely actress and model Lily Cole.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Brit a Day [#152]

I'm going to start off writing about a Londoner today but may well end up talking about a Scot. This post is likely to be just like my impressions of pro-cycling this week--wild with joy, obsessive, all over the place. I'm so excited that the European Tours of pro-cycling have really become international competitions. A new team from Spain, Footon, is making their first showing in the Tour de France this year, and many of their riders are riding their first TdF. Your heart just leaps for them when they come pedaling into a French town filled with cheering fans. And a new team from Britain this year, Team Sky, features the brilliant young man pictured above in Stage 1 of the current Tour, Bradley Wiggins.

Wiggins finished the Tour 4th overall last year, just behind Lance Armstrong. That is the highest ranking a Brit has ever taken in that race. Here's where the Scotsman comes in--that places Wiggins alongside cyclist Robert Millar, of Glasgow, the only Briton to win one of the Tour de France's main awards. In 1984 he won the King of the Mountains competition and came in fourth overall.

Team Sky's principal Dave Brailsford believes a Brit can win the Tour in the next five years, an image that was laughable to the European core of pro riders just a short time ago. Interviewed after Wiggins tied his fourth-place-overall record last summer, Millar said no one would have guessed Bradley Wiggins had it in him. I guess that's the compelling thing about British cycling right now. No one ever thought an American could do it either before Lance Armstrong took the sport by storm.

Millar is pictured above in one of his mountain stages from 1989 [before the helmet requirement, I might add]. In the same 2009 interview, he went on to comment on Dave Brailsford's prediction: "A Brit winning a major Tour isn't a ridiculous idea. I never thought I was that talented or that I could always take the workload that well but I learned and understood what was required to get to Grand Tour level so I think someone a little stronger and/or talented can be better despite being British."

As of the finish of Stage 7 today, Bradley Wiggins is 11th in the general classification.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Brit a Day [#151]

I'm sure I'll be re-cycling Mark Cavendish [yes, I said that] throughout my posts until the Tour ends later this month. This picture is from the finish of Thursday's Stage 5. I love how Team HTC-Columbia is presenting photos of their cyclists on their website, the team member picked out in color amidst the field in black and white. Cavendish's joy at winning Stage 5 was particularly poignant. The first four stages of the Tour de France had left his confidence in such a black hole that he cried unabashed tears of relief at the podium upon receiving the prize for the stage win. Re-energized by yesterday's result, The Manx Missile successfully launched again today for a breathtaking finish to Stage 6, and Cavendish took his second stage win of the Tour this year.

Paul Sherwin has just written in his blog on "Cavendish now has got back the confidence he needs to be the top sprinter in the race. This win was his twelfth career stage win--a British record, which may even go higher before we get to Paris."

According to Team HTC-Columbia's site, the Stage 6 win is the 56th road victory of his professional career, which includes four stage wins of the Tour de France in 2008, six in 2009 and two in 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Brit a Day [#150]

Today's Brit on a bike is Ian Cusick. This pic is from the Tag the World Triathlon in Hawaii last year.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Brit a Day [#149]

The Tour goes rolling along and I have more Brits on bikes. Here is London mayor Boris Johnson with his bike on his way to work.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Brit a Day [#148]

The time between last week's Anime Expo and the Comic Con will pass quickly as we enjoy the only sporting event I am rabid about, The Tour de France. I can't explain it, but somehow the fever overtakes me every July no matter how hard I try to resist it. [Actually, I don't try very hard.]

I'm going to devote the posts for the next week or so to British Cyclists, a relative rarity among the athletes at the Tour. Here, above, is my all-time favorite contestant, Mark Cavendish, winning Stage 5 of the 2008 Tour de France. By last summer, he was being called The Fastest Man on the Planet. His stage wins have made for spectacular viewing, part of the reason, along with dear Phil Liggett's race commentary, why I am hooked. At just 25, I'm sure there is a lot more spectacle to come from him.

And besides, Cavendish is Manx! Which sounds really cool. [It means he comes from the Isle of Man, which also sounds cool.]

Wearing a helmet is also very, very cool. See below. The stick-figure-man knows.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Brit a Day [#147]

OK, I missed a few days. And having just got back from 4 days at Anime Expo at the LA Convention Center, I know I'm looking forward to having Comic Con right here in my own backyard, as they say. With that thought in mind, we really must have Christian Bale looking all fabulous as Bruce Wayne today in our welcome-home post.