Blog Challenge Day 12: Favourite Robin Hood Side Character

Day 12 of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and it is the turn of my favourite side character.

Well, that’s easy, isn’t it? It’s the Night Watchman.

The BBC’s incarnation of Marian has got to be the best that I have seen, because she literally kicks ass as the Night Watchman. The actual preceder of Robin Hood, the Night Watchman is Marian’s secret rebellion against the Sheriff of Nottingham’s reign of terror. The masked crusader roams the countryside, generally at night (hence the name coined by the villagers), beating up the Sheriff’s men and delivering food and supplies to the poor.

The Night Watchman is a familiar figure in and around the villages that surround Nottingham, and is the bane of the Sheriff’s life. Thinking the character is up to no good, Robin captures him only to discover that he is actually a she – Marian.

The Night Watchman makes a number of appearances throughout series 1 and 2, and, along with her fantastic theme song, you always know it’s going to be fun as she takes down groups of the Sheriff’s guards at a time. However, I have often wondered exactly who taught a Lady to fight like that. Her dad? Doubtful..

It doesn’t always go well, though. In The Return of the King (series 1, episode 12), Marian is due to marry Guy of Gisborne, and decides on a last jaunt as the Night Watchman. Intent on stealing Guy’s ill-gotten wealth, she breaks into Locksley manor only to be stabbed by Guy, who is unaware of the Night Watchman’s true identity. Luckily, she lives, but in Treasure of the Nation (series 2, episode 11), she attempts to steal food for the villagers and is unmasked by Guy, who swears she will die as punishment for her treachery. However, after alerting the Sheriff to the Night Watchman’s capture and impending execution, he changes his mind and orchestrates the Night Watchman’s escape (Allan A Dale in disguise).

And that is the last we see of the Night Watchman. But it was great while it lasted!

Blog Challenge Day 11: Favourite Robin Hood Quote

It is day 11 of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and today, I will be choosing my favourite quote.

There are so many quotes that I love, such as Little John with his “Him I like” and “We go to Nottingham”, the Sheriff with his “A clue: no” and “La di dah di dah!”, and more or less everything that comes out of Much’s mouth. Oh, and of course, “We are Robin Hood!”

But my all-time favourite quote, one that we all looked forward to in the first two series, but which was sadly missing from series 3, is Allan A Dale’s “I’m not being funny but..”

Allan is such a fantastic character, with his cheeky Cockney charm and his hilarious facial expressions, and not forgetting that smile and those eyes. But, most of all, I love his quick-wittedness, and his devil-may-care attitude. “I’m not being funny but..” is the British way of saying “I’m about to say something weird or vaguely insulting, and I mean it”, and I love this type of thing.

In fact, I use this phrase quite often myself, because it is funny. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Examples of Allan’s awesomeness:

I’m not being funny or anything but isn’t getting arrested what we usually avoid?”

Im not being funny; your guards! Useless!”

“I’m not being funny, right, but she’s breathing!”

“I’m not being funny, though, shouldn’t we be moving on? They could be coming already.”

I’m not being funny but.. you brought him here for a picnic?”

I’m not being funny, mate, we’ve only just caught you.”

Hilarious!

Blog Challenge Day 10: Favourite Robin Hood Costume

It is day 10 of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and today I will discuss my favourite costume.

Now, I was initially tempted to choose Guy of Gisborne’s leather ensemble, as it is very striking. However, upon further mulling, it got relegated to a mere mention in favour of… Allan A Dale’s all-black outfit in series 2, as Sir Guy’s ‘man’.

To be fair, the majority of this blog challenge could very well consist mainly of Allan A Dale because, well, look at him. He is sarcastic, funny, loyal (come on – he is, ultimately! He just got stuck!), and he has a very nice face. His character developed excellent throughout the first two series, and who didn’t melt a little when he cried after his brother’s execution? (Series 1, episode 7 – Brothers in Arms).

Okay, so he was naughty mid-series 2 – but he got to wear his sexy, all black outfit and swank around the castle, being adorable. Plus, he eventually came through for the gang and defied Guy and the Sheriff to rescue them.

There is nothing I like more than a cheeky bad boy with a sense of humour, a devastating smile and beautiful eyes, and Allan covers all of those bases. The costume he wore as Guy’s man (hehe) is definitely my favourite.

Poetry Corner

~

Her heart was vibrant
and all-encompassing,
yet at times
uncertain,
and all she needed
was someone to
tell her it was okay,
and allow her to
bloom in all
the right ways;
but yours was
a cowardly heart,
hiding in the shadows,
flying beneath the radar,
filled with wretched
doubt and fear,
and you always knew
that she
burned too brightly
for you,
but you tried to
extinguish her
anyway.

~

©️j.sexton

Blog Challenge Day 9: Favourite Robin Hood Outlaw

It is day 9 of my 30-day blog challenge, and the turn of my favourite outlaw.

I have already spoken of my love for Much. He is such an amazing character; so sweet and caring and courageous. Plus, he is also hilarious. I love his indignant comments and the way he is so quick to react to injustice. I love the way he is Robin’s biggest advocate, but is also brutally honest with him when needed. And I love the fact that, despite often acting like the buffoon, he is the first to draw his sword and wade into a fight when needed.

But, most of all, it is his humour. His scenes and quirky comments are some of the best, right from episode one, especially when, after watching villager Jeffrey’s disappearing egg trick, he mutters, “that man is a show-off. If there are no eggs left, I’m going after him.”

He is such an integral part of the gang, and the outlaws would not be the same without him, even as they often tell him to “shut up, Much!” He is often prickly, extremely sensitive, and partial to a rant, yet his bravery always shines through, and he is never far away when Robin needs him.

I don’t think the show would have been the same without him, and he blows other incarnations of Much out of the water. So, Much is by far my favourite outlaw.

Book Review: The Return by Rachel Harrison

Elise, Mae, Molly, and Julie are close friends, until the day Julie goes missing while hiking in Acadia National Park. Two years down the line, Elise is the only one still clinging onto hope, and her prayers are answered when Julie mysteriously reappears. However, she has no recollection of the past two years.

Keen to reconnect, the group of friends arrange a week away at a luxury hotel, but it is clear upon arrival that something has changed. Julie is different. At first, they are small dissimilarities, but, as the week progresses, it becomes glaringly obvious that the group of friends will never be the same again..

As soon as they reach the hotel, things take a menacing turn. From creepy rooms and ghostly cold spots, to extremely odd dreams and disappearing staff members, it is obvious that something is not right with Julie. The clues are evident throughout, but her friends try to ignore them and pretend everything is okay. The slow burn of menace builds up to a chaotic ending, and Julie’s true identity is finally revealed.

I bought this when I saw it advertised on Facebook. I do love a 99p Kindle book. However, upon reading some of the less than favourable reviews on Goodreads, my first impression was a little tainted. I found it slow to begin with, but it definitely improved.

I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads. I really liked it!

Poetry Corner

~

She is an ocean
of unfathomable depths
so do not draw near
if you aren’t
prepared to
dive deep
for she isn’t a fan
of shallow living
and you will never see
the true light
within her if you
only wade;
immerse yourself
in her waters,
often still,
seemingly
impenetrable,
at times,
tempestuous
and wild,
but also soothing,
and welcoming,
encompassing and
filled with beauty;
beware
if you cannot
swim.

~

©️j.sexton

Blog Challenge Day 8: Most Watched Robin Hood Episode

Day 8 of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and today, I will be writing about my most watched episode.

It’s a tricky one for me to answer as I generally binge watch them all in quick succession; however, I have made a decision based on one of my favourites. And that is Dead Man Walking.

Series 1, episode 11 – “Dead Man Walking”

Robin and Little John witness a brutal tax collection in Locksley village, during which Little John’s young son is arrested. Little John attempts to save him, but they both end up being captured and taken to the castle’s dungeons.

Unaware of this, Will and Allan are in Nottingham handing out money to the poor where they get involved in a fight with guards. In the ensuing chaos, they spot Little John in chains and try to break him free, to no avail. They quickly head back to the forest to inform Robin.

On a rescue mission, Robin and Allan dress up as guards and try to get into the dungeons with Will as their prisoner. However, their plan is thwarted when they are informed that the dungeons are full, and they are forced to wait outside and pretend to be staff. Meanwhile, Little John’s estranged wife, Alice, appears at the castle, begging for her son’s release, only to be thrown into the dungeon herself, where she comes face-to-face with the husband she thought was dead.

The Sheriff decides to throw a Festival of Pain with the Little family as the star acts, but Robin and the gang are waiting to intervene. The following fight scene is hilariously daft, but not as funny as Allan celebrating himself when he and Will beat up the guards demanding taxes in Nottingham earlier on. Oh, and not to forget Robin, dressed as a guard, sneaking up on Much and Djaq and very nearly getting a sword in his gut.

It is a highly enjoyable romp, as much of series 1 is, but the thing that makes it stand out so much for me is Little John’s love for his family, and the bond he forms with the son that he will never see again (such a travesty that this never happens in Series 3).

Blog Challenge Day 7: Favourite Robin Hood Scene

It is day seven of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and today, I must choose my favourite scene.

Now, there are so many amazing scenes to choose from, so this should have been a difficult choice. But there is one scene in particular that has stayed with me since I first saw it, and which highlights the comedy act that is Much.

The euphemism scene.

Series 2, episode 9 – “Lardner’s Ring”

Having escaped the Sheriff’s clutches after her father’s death, Marian is living in the forest with the outlaws, and her relationship with Robin is blossoming. Traitor Allan is still firmly ensconced in the castle as Guy’s right hand man; meanwhile, Will and Djaq are growing closer, disappearing on errands together at every given opportunity.

Much has noticed, and he is growing indignant. Jealous of the time Robin is spending with Marian, he is probably also more than a little aware that he is missing out on a relationship of his own due to his dedication to Robin and the other outlaws.

When Robin and Marian return to camp after a jaunt in the forest together and Robin asks where Will and Djaq are, Much can’t hold back.

Much: They said they were going to get some honey.

Little John: They’ll be back soon.

Much: If that’s what they’ve gone for. But why does it need two of ‘em, hmm? ‘Honey’ is one of those things.

Robin: What things?

Much: Well, what do you call it when you use a sweet, innocent word but it means something else?

Little John: A lie.

Much: Nooo..

Marian: A euphemism?

Much: A euphemism! Exactly! Yes, a bit too much ‘honey’ going on round here, if you ask me.

Robin and Marian look at each other and laugh.

Much: Will and Djaq, nipping off together. You two, going for long ‘walks’ in the forest.

Little John (to Robin and Marian): He’s jealous.

Much: What happened to fighting for justice and rebelling against the Sheriff? We should be sticking together. Instead, we’re splitting into couples. To be perfectly honest (slaps Little John on the back), I don’t fancy mine much.

Robin and Marian laugh.

Much: Anyway, while you two have been off gallivanting, we’ve had to..

Robin (in exasperation): We haven’t been gallivanting!

Much: I know what you’ve been up to!

Marian: We’ve been burying a corpse in the forest.

Much (after a long pause): That a euphemism?

By far the funniest scene in the entire series. 😂

Book Review: The Terror by Dan Simmons

In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin and his crew set sail from England aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, on an expedition to explore the Arctic. Franklin, an experienced explorer and Royal Navy officer, had taken part in three Arctic expeditions, the latter two as commanding officer. This last expedition was to be a discovery of previously un-navigated areas of the Northwest Passage. However, early on, they suffered fatalities, only to continue and eventually become icebound near King William Island, in what was previously the Canadian Arctic, now known as the territory of Nunavut.

Stuck in the ice for more than a year with no sign of a thaw, the crew abandoned both ships in April of 1848, having lost nearly two dozen members to death, including Franklin. The survivors, led by Franklin’s deputy, Francis Crozier, and Erebus’ Captain, James Fitzjames, set out to find the mainland, and were never seen again.

A search was launched for the missing expedition in 1848, and continued throughout the 19th century, with few clues. In 2014, the wreck of Erebus was finally located, and two years later, the wreck of Terror was found. However, the crews disappearance will forever be an unsolved mystery.

In The Terror, Dan Simmons has used a combination of extensive research, brilliant fiction writing, and a heavy dose of creepiness to deliver a possible explanation for the failed expedition. I don’t mind saying, it is a masterpiece. I have long been fascinated by the lost expedition, and possess a mind that will often veer towards the supernatural and unexplained. This book does not disappoint.

Stuck in the ice for their second summer aboard ships that are slowly being crushed, the crew are dropping like flies. Scurvy is spreading, their canned rations are spoiled and becoming toxic, and there is an in-house malevolence that is slowly and ominously building.

But that is nothing compared to the terror that stalks them out on the ice.

One by one, the crew are picked off by a seemingly invincible monster, an unstoppable force of pure fury unlike anything they have seen before, and hope is fast running out.

Be warned: this is a lengthy tome, and there are many characters, but each play their own, important part in the story. I love a longer read, and at no point did I become bored or feel tempted to skim-read. It was a thoroughly fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

I gave the book five stars on Goodreads. The TV series, The Terror, based on the book, is nowhere near as good.