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Outlander: The Matter of Frank Randall part 2

Previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-on-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-one/

You don't know frank

Ahhhh Well, then after our sojourn at the local pub, Frank and I are both a bit more relaxed and… yes, slightly tipsy but we shall endeavor to continue this discussion? I have explained to Frank all of the rumors about him flying around and have assured him that I really just want to set the record straight and get his side of the story… or at least as much as he is able to share? I, being of a military background myself, completely understand the protocol of  keeping classified information classified until such time as it is set down as unclassified. I respect Frank’s loyalty and his honor to his code of  professional ethics, if not so much in the way of his personal ones… that is between him and his conscience! Now, as to when such additional information might be deemed unclassified and open to public perusal, that would be entirely up to Diana Gabaldon! We may have to wait quite some years before we are allowed to access the private files of Frank Randall!

Anyway, Frank and I retired to a quieter location where he agreed to shed some light on his life. I decided to once again start back at the beginning and asked him about his early relationship with Claire- nothing to personal yet… just the usual like how he met her and such.

Frank first met Claire when he came to consult her uncle, Quentin Beauchamp, an archaeologist and historian, about a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice. After a period of time, they were married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by a year together before the outbreak of World War II.  Hmmm, my mind ponders “Uncle Lam”…. I casually ask, “So tell me a bit more about Quentin Lambert Beauchamp?”

Frank4

Frank shrugs and comments in a tight lipped way… I know he is hiding something! “Well, there’s really not much to tell? He was an historian and archaeologist working in Egypt for a long time. He was interested in a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice and I did some work with him on the subject. He was Claire’s uncle and raised her after her parents died in an accident when she was a child.”

Prentis Hancock as Uncle Lam

Lambert Quentin Beauchamp Claire's uncle

Young Claire, growing up with Uncle Lam…

young Claire

I hide my curiosity and my inner suspicions… “Ohhh, that is a rather obscure and odd subject, don’t you think? Are you much of an expert in either of those fields, Frank? I assumed your expertise laid more in terms of British and Scottish history, such as the subject you are so passionate about- the Jacobite years, and maybe military history…”

Once again we seem to have hit a touchy subject for Frank… he would rather not comment on it at this time, if I don’t mind? No not all, I assure him, all the while filing this piece of information in the back of my mind for future consideration!

 

I continue in a hopefully non-threatening or suspicious manner, “So, you were working on a French historical matter with Mr. Beauchamp… Ahhh yes, they are of French descent aren’t they? I believe that Claire has mentioned this a number of times. You met Claire through him and were immediately taken with her?”

Frank Randall2

Photo edited from original fan art by Isa!

At this comment, frank softens and smiles, “Well, yes, yes I was immediately drawn to her. She was so full of life, free spirited and independent… not like so many other young women back then. She was vibrant, alive, cared so deeply and wanted to help others even back then. The thought of her back then still brings a smile to me even now, such energy and that infectious laugh of hers… Yes, I was smitten as some might say from the first meeting of her even though I was some years older than her and I probably should have known better than to think or assume that she could love me as I loved her?” He seems lost in his thoughts now and I feel a bit guilty for bringing back these memories.  He goes on quietly, “I felt deeply for her from the beginning… I loved her, wanted to give her all those things she felt like she missed? She never had a home or a real family with Lam and she always had a feeling that she didn’t quite fit but she wanted to? I wanted those things for myself and for her, for us together?” His smile was sad now, “In retrospect, I think I wanted to capture some of that wild free spirit she had for myself?” He sighed and thought before going on, “I admit that I come off as quite the conservative, straight laced and as you put it earlier, the bit of cold fish? I often did wonder what she saw in me?”

frank today

“Ohhhh come now Frank, you are not nearly such a “cold fish” as many would accuse you of! I don’t know whether you’re aware of it, but you are a quite fine looking man and there are a great many women out there who would agree on that!” I do blush a little at this admission but, what the hell… I’ve had my share of whiskey and he is a fine looking man! Claire and others, even Roger would attest to that fact?
Frank Randall Tobias Frank2

Roger's description of Frank Randall

At my admission, Frank laughs and smiles at me so charmingly that I forget for a moment what we were talking about! Ohhh ummm what was I going to ask again…

 

Ohhhh yes, I did have another thought that I wanted to bring up now as long as we’re on the subject of him and Claire, their relationship, and him not being disconnected or a “cold fish”? Heavens, it’s a good thing I’m more than bit sloshed now otherwise I couldn’t bring myself to broach this rather intimate topic! I cough, clear my throat, and blush again before forging ahead, “So, ummm Frank, on that topic of you being not so much of a “cold fish” and being much more than you appear… I was uhhh just wondering about something?

Frank gives me a quirky and curious look, “Go on then, what is it you’re wanting to know?

frank6

Drunkness aside, this is of a highly personal nature, but I really can’t help bring it up and ask about it… “So, ummm on yours and Claire’s more intimate relationship, we have seen some rather graphic displays of your affections for each other, and of some of your activities together?” I cough again… Frank is smirking at me silently, Ohhh My God, I can not believe I am going to bring this up! “Ummm anyway, not to get into the most intimate of details… but uhhhh I am sure others are wondering as well…

Outlander-Frank-Claire-Castle-Leoch

“Well, okay then there is that extremely intimate moment between the two of you there at the Castle? Then there are the shaving scenes which Claire seemed to remember with such fondness?

claire and frank11

“You both seem to have a rather great fondness for the razor, although Claire, probably not so much now that she knows who’s razor  it was and what he did with it… but that has nothing to do with what I am getting to here? What I am leading up to is actually a comment on the differences between your personal details and those of that other as yet un-mentioned man?” I am only bringing him into this discussion because of something I came across recently that reminded me of those differences between your relationships with Claire? I am going to say here that there are probably some things that you and Claire might have enjoyed and indulged in which that other man did not find quite so interesting or erotic?”

Frank and Jamie today

“I am only bringing this up because I find it rather interesting on some levels and I believe it weighs in on your side Frank, for the fact that as Claire mentions, some men and women do find it erotic… perhaps, you and Claire shared this but it was not something that Jamie found in the least bit to his liking?”

Jamie’s reactions to Claire shaving any parts of her body hair in Dragonfly in Amber!

Claire shaves and Jamie is not impressed 1 Claire shaves2

 

Uhhhhh I think I went too far… Frank has no answer but seems lost in his own memories and thoughts again!

claire and frank8 claire and frank10

 

 

 

 

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

The matter of Frank Randall… namely, the matter that this once almost forgotten about, rather seemingly insignificant minor character has somehow managed to create such an enormous amount of attention? From those who absolutely hate the man, to the mildly indifferent all the way to those who are defending him so ferociously.  This mysterious man has become the subject of wild controversies, conspiracies, accusations and any number of other debates. How did one man with such a limited story line and few public appearances such as in the ongoing Starz series become such a hot topic all of a sudden?  I have not been all that much of a Frank fan (realistically, there was not all that much to base a judgement on in the earlier stories!) until recently. I began to change my opinions of him after reading A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows. Then after viewing the last episode of the show, Both Sides now, which took a new direction with Frank’s character, I started to seriously rethink my entire opinion and assumptions of this man.  Is it because Tobias Menzies, fine actor that he is, has breathed such additional life into this man? Well, that could be a partial reason!

Tobias menzies as frank

Is it because of the turn the show took, leading us down a new direction with Frank, or is it the combination of all these factors that have added to my suspicions about Frank Randall knowing far more than we think he did. To be honest, I want to think that I would have come to these suspicions on my own without the show and Tobias. Since they have left an indelible impression, I can not leave them out of the mix so I must go with the thought that it was the combination of all three leading me on my quest to find out more about this man!

I set off on my own search for answers from the often elusive and not quite forthright Frank Randall. I have questions and Dammit, I want a bit more than “That is classified, Do you have a need to know?” the usual standard and pat answers that the military- past or present tend to give out.

Frank on the way to crag na dun

After a tremendous amount of searching, I finally caught up with him and managed to corner him long enough to ask a few pertinent questions…

Frank4

 

So, Frank, are you aware of what a heated debate there is over your actions and your inner character?

frank6

frank gives me a wary look and mumbles something about having been quite busy of late with demanding research and such. He then adds, “Why would there be any question of my character? I have excellent credentials and my work speaks for itself.”

 

Ahhhh ummm yes, Frank I am aware of that. I am not questioning your work… well, not yet anyway? You are aware that people are questioning not your professional work, but your personal life, your history and your behaviors on family matters?

 

Tobias Menzies

Frank strikes a rather defensive pose and replies, “I fail to see where my personal family life is anyone’s business but my own and my family’s!”

Well, Frank seeing that your wife’s life and yours now as well have been splashed across the world in books and television, people are asking questions and wanting answers… If you would agree to sitting down with me and answering a few of those questions, it might help in squashing some of the rumors that are rampantly flying about?

Hmmm I seem to have hit a nerve, Frank has gone a bit frosty on me and I am feeling a slight chill in the air around us. His answer to my suggestion, “And, what sort of rumors would those be, might I ask?” He’s glaring at me now and I’m not really sure I want to go on with this?

tobias-menzies_ian-fleming_any-human-heart

He quickly resumes control, sighs and apologizes for his minor lapse. “I am quite sorry, I fear I am a bit over worked lately and not handling my stress well. I do have some serious family matters to attend to. Please do go on and explain these rumors?”

frank1

 

Well, now I am a bit off kilter as well and wishing for a spot of tea or some good whiskey… and I don’t even drink whiskey! “Ahhh Well, you do know Frank that because of the book’s and the show’s popularity you are quite suddenly in the lime light and are the topic of much speculation over who you are, what you’ve done, what you’ve said and how you’ve treated your wife, that darling of the media who can do no wrong in many eyes. Now that the show has aired you in a new light, there is even a huge debate over that. You are everything from a forlorn tragic figure to a philandering husband and possibly even a racist on top of everything else. In addition some have compared you to your ancestor, Black Jack Randall saying you have the same dark demons within? Others accuse you of being rather cold and unemotional towards Claire, not affectionate to her… ummm being a sort of Cold fish so to say in the bedroom? Now, to be honest with you, I do not see you as that cold fish! And, I am reasonably sure that Claire did not either!

Frank with Claire2 Frank with Claire

claire and frank10

Frank clears his throat, gives a strangled cough and mutters, “Well that is a relief, I suppose even though she still chose that other chap over me!”

14_frank_frogs

Frank digest my comments and then reluctantly agrees to discuss some of his life with me.

Tired Frank

 

In light of the difficult conversation ahead, we retire to the bar to discuss it over many drinks!

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? These simple questions should be easy enough for you to answer…such as your full name, date and place of birth…

But, sadly Frank can not get through even these! Other than his name, Frank Wolverton Randall, he replies that those other two are classified? He did supply his parents names though,  Jonathan Randall & Nora Sheffield. He very calmly states his profession as History Professor/Historian. I bring up his military profession and he slams down another shot of the whiskey as though wanting to avoid this portion. “Yes, during the war I was attached to MI6 working with the British Intelligence unit.”  His face suddenly takes on that cooler distant and somewhat harder look… one I assume he thinks will still my prodding about that time. After having had a few of my own shots though, I am not deterred!

Tobias Frank2

I choose to confront Frank with this head on, knowing full well that military connections and networks such he was involved in at the time do not just fade away and disappear because one retires from the military. His comment was as I expected, “That’s classified and of course I would not be at liberty to discuss any of that even I were so still involved.” I nod my understanding but bring up one other fact that is now known.

“So, Frank, tell me a bit about the event with Jeremiah MacKenzie? That event is out in the open now people are speculating about your involvement and what you might now know about any of it. This time, I have the upper hand, Frank chokes on his drink and becomes very slightly flustered at the mention of Jeremiah MacKenzie. 

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

excerpt from Wind of  All Hallows, meeting between Frank and Jeremiah MacKenzie.

wind of all hallows6

 

Frank supplies his standard pat answer of  that being a classified mission and how he was of course not at liberty to discuss any of the specific details. Yes, I was expecting that… but I needed to remind him of something else quite important, or perhaps enlighten him if by some odd chance he was not aware of it? I chat for a bit about minor unimportant things such as his friendship with Reverend Wakefield.

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

While in Inverness, Frank visits a Mr. Bainbridge, a solicitor with an interest in local history, and the Rev. Dr. Reginald Wakefield, a vicar who also has an interest in history. Frank is particularly interested in records concerning his ancestor Jonathan Randall, who was a captain of dragoons in the 18th century. While we’re chatting about the Reverend, I casually mention that little nephew of the Reverend’s… Roger isn’t it?

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

Frank nods his head trying to seem nonchalant about it, “Ummm yes, I believe that was his name, Roger… quite charming young lad he was.”

“hmmmm, Roger… wasn’t that the name of poor Jeremiah MacKenzie’s young son?” I offer offhandedly as though it’s of no real importance…

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

wind of all hallows3 roger

Frank can not hide the bit of discomfort he is suddenly feeling at this line of conversation… I am a bit smug at having caught him in this? “Ohhhh, that little lad, Roger must certainly have left an impression on you as well as your pants… Come now, I am sure you recognized him when you met him at Reverend Wakefield’s home, how could you not have?”

14_frank_frogs

Frank has to admit that yes, he did recognize the boy but did not want to bring up bad memories for anyone so kept his silence on the matter.  Ahhhh what a gentleman you are Mr. Randall, I wonder what other secrets you might be hiding?

The matter of Frank Randall part 2: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Lallybroch

I debated over to do this as a post or pin it to it’s own page? Obviously the page option won! The reason I’m doing it this way is that I feel Lallybroch along with Fraser’s Ridge are such an important pieces of Outlander that they  well deserves it’s own separate pages. So, when I get to Fraser’s Ridge, I will pin that as it’s own page as well.

 

For those who still refuse to pick up the books and start reading, this is your warning that this page will contain a great number of spoilers and an ongoing discussion of the books as well as the show!

Going Home to Lallybroch

While we wait out the six months until the show’s return, those of us who have read the books at least have the comfort of our memories to dwell on whilst we wait with Jamie in the window watching Jack attack Claire.

Claire in danger of losing even more

 

If that was not painful or brutal enough to have burned on our brains for six months, then we must endure the image of  Jack’s so excited look at the sight of “his” boy, Jamie?

Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

Even worse for many of us is the knowledge of what will come after this! It does not get any better for some time, it only gets worse what with accusations of witchery for Claire, a “burning at the stake” for Gellie Duncan and a mad rush of escape from that same plight for Claire. It’s no wonder that by that time, Jamie is willing to confront his guilt for what he thinks happened to sister Jenny, and head home to the safety of Lallybroch!

Jenny Murray Jenny at the hands of Jack Randall Jenny at lallybroch

 

So, while we wait for Spring, let us all seek out that comfort of happy memories and Lallybroch. For those just watching the show, and okay with spoilers… well of course you’re okay with spoilers- otherwise you would not have read this far, would you? Anyway, you might need some additional insights and information on just how important and intregal  Lallybroch truly is to the ongoing story. Lallybroch is of course, Jamie Fraser’s childhood home, his inheritance, his birthright. It is that one place that he holds so dearly in his heart and tries so hard in the future to protect even if he can not stay there or go back to it.

Just a note here… Diana Gabaldon does such an excellent job of description and details down to even the smallest things, I really think it’s difficult to capture all of it and all of those underlying currents and such on film. The representation of Lallybroch is one instance where I am just not sure about the location/setting they have chosen to represent my beloved Lallybroch? I’ll get to that later, first of all let’s look at where Lallybroch would be located in relation to the description given by Diana. According to the descriptions, Lallybroch is located at a spot on the edge of Fraser lands bordering the MacKenzie ones. It is an important piece of land to both Frasers and MacKenzies.

 

lallybroch2 (2)

 

 

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

 

As I mentioned, Lallybroch is Jamie’s family home. He was born there, grew up there, always expected and hoped to someday return there to be it’s leader, the Laird of Lallybroch. One of his biggest regrets and guilts in those younger years was that he had failed his family- his Father and his sister Jenny. His Father died while he was on the run with a price on his head, and he assumes that his sister Jenny was raped by Jack, and bore a child to him… this of course is due to some fancy fabrication by Dougal MacKenzie in effort to keep control of Jamie. My personal ongoing confusion with that story is why he chose to do that? It never really made sense to me. I would have thought that Dougal would have wanted Jamie there at lallybroch from the beginning. The only way the MacKenzie could assure themselves of Lallybroch was if Jamie produced an heir to it… if Jamie died without an heir to Lallybroch, it would go back to the Frasers. My personal thought on all of it is that Dougal  and the MacKenzies would have been far better off if they had put more effort into keeping young Jamie happy and alive at Lallybroch from the very beginning! But, as it was, Dougal did realize the importance eventually when he insisted on the marriage of Jamie to Claire.

 

For most of his life, Jamie would carry the guilt and the thought that he was the cause of his Father’s death. Brian Fraser witnessed the initial whipping of  Jamie and collapsed there of what we assume was some sort of stroke?

jamie being flogged

Jamie's Father, Brian Fraser

Jamie’s Father, Brian Fraser

lallybroch1 (2)

 

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, was born at twilight on the first of May, in the year of our Lord 1721, at the estate of Broch Tuarach, also called Lallybroch, near the small village of Broch Mordha in the Highlands of Scotland, the son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacGibbon MacKenzie.

The eldest child of Jacob and Anne MacKenzie, Ellen grew up in the Scottish Highlands at Castle Leoch. She was a favorite of her father’s, who wouldn’t force her into a marriage she herself wouldn’t accept, and so she remained unmarried well past the time when a young woman in her position might ordinarily have been settled with a husband. After her father’s death, however, her brothers Colum and Dougal intended to arrange their sister’s marriage to Malcolm Grant in order to ease relations with Clan Grant, but Ellen defied them rather dramatically by saying something to Malcolm Grant that so offended him, he left Leoch without a word to his hosts, and Ellen ran away and eloped with Brian Fraser. 

 

Brian and Ellen Fraser were happy and content on their small estate of Lallybroch, wanting only to left alone and in peace to raise their family. Jamie’s memories of Lallybroch were those of a happy childhood even though his Mother had died at a young age giving birth to a younger brother. For Jamie, Lallybroch and his family was that place in his mind and his heart that could soothe him even in the worst of his pains. He had that sense, that feeling of family to fall back on all of his life. Claire never had that, being raised by her Uncle Lam, traveling around the globe and never having that peace or comfort to go to in her mind before being with Jamie. I think she craved that, and it was probably one reason she married Frank, thinking he could give her that. She did find it at Lallybroch though, and later on she found it at Fraser’s Ridge.

lallybroch7 lallybroch8 lallybroch10 lallybroch11

 

So, Lallybroch became that place to call home to Claire as well, though I think she later came to think of Fraser’s Ridge more in that context than Lallybroch? She knew how deep Jamie’s feelings for Lallybroch went though and how much of his heart was there, would always be there.

The quote from Voyager summed up Jamie’s feelings of family and of Lallybroch.  The original quote is from Robert Frost: Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Home is where they have to take you in

 

Some other important quotes and references to Lallybroch in the various books:

Seven years in a life, part 4. “It was only as the lights of Lallybroch manor came into view that he felt at last the

mantle of humanity fall upon him, and mind and body joined as one again as he prepared himself to greet his family,” –

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.

 

Homer’s Odyssey – when Jamie and Claire first arrive at Lallybroch, Jamie is greeted rapturously by the Lallybroch dogs

and Claire compares this to Odysseus returning from the Trojan War and being recognised by his faithful hound. Jamie

extends the metaphor by comparing himself to Odysseus returning home disguised as a beggar and having to deal with

Penelope and her suitors (Outlander, chapter 26)

 

From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon:  It was cold in the loft, and his sleep-mazed mind groped among

the icy drafts after the words still ringing in his mind. “Bonnie lad.” Wind struck the barn and went booming round the

roof. A strong chilly draft with a scent of snow stirred the somnolence, and two or three of the horses shifted below,

grunting and whickering. Helwater. The knowledge of the place settled on him, and the fragments of Scotland and Lallybroch

cracked and flaked away, fragile as a skin of dried mud. Helwater. Straw rustling under him, the ends poking through the

rough ticking, prickling through his shirt. Dark air, alive around him. Bonnie lad… They’d brought down the Yule log to

the house that afternoon, all the household taking part, the women bundled to the eyebrows, the men ruddy, flushed with

the labor, staggering, singing, dragging the monstrous log with ropes, its rough skin packed with snow, a great furrow

left where it passed, the snow plowed

 

Excerpt 1 – An Echo in the Bone

Lallybroch Inverness-shire, Scotland “We are alive,” Brianna MacKenzie repeated, her voice tremulous.  She looked up at

Roger, the paper pressed to her chest with both hands.  Her face streamed with tears, but a glorious light glowed in her

blue eyes.  “Alive!” “Let me see.”  His heart was hammering so hard in his chest that he could barely hear his own words. 

He reached out a hand, and reluctantly, she surrendered the paper to him, coming at once to press herself against him,

clinging to his arm as he read, unable to take her eyes off the bit of ancient paper. It was pleasantly rough under his

fingers, hand-made paper with the ghosts of leaves and flowers pressed into its fibers.  Yellowed with age, but still

tough and surprisingly flexible.  Bree had made it herself–two hundred years before. Roger became aware that his hands

were trembling, the paper shaking so that the sprawling, difficult hand was hard to read, faded as the ink was. December

31, 1776 My darling daughter, As […]
An Echo in the Bone

The seventh–but NOT the last!–novel in the OUTLANDER series, An Echo In The Bone, has four main storylines: Jamie and

Claire Fraser, are now in the midst of the American Revolution; Their daughter Brianna, her husband Roger MacKenzie, and

their two children, settled at Lallybroch in the 1970′s (finding their feet after their return from the past—but are

unaware that that past is just about to leap out at them again); Lord John Grey and his step-son William (Jamie’s

unacknowledged illegitimate son), are embroiled in the Revolution on the British side with William in the army and Lord

John on the clandestine side of intelligence; and Jamie’s nephew Young Ian: his troubled love-life is about to take

another sharp left turn. The US cover design for this book shows a caltrop (and not, as one wit suggested to me, a Celtic

chicken-foot)—an ancient military weapon, designed to stop oncoming cavalry (and still in equally effective use by the

modern Highway Patrol, for stopping cars).   A caltrop resembles a child’s jack, […]

Now it should be very clear how important Lallybroch was and is to so many family members and generations through out the books! For me, it was a sad moment when I read of  Bree and Roger’s finding Lallybroch worn, weary and empty of life. I was so happy when they decided to raise their family there, breathe life back into it… and, I do have to admit that I was a little disappointed when at the end of the most recent episode, My Own Heart’s Blood, they chose to leave it and head back to the past and Fraser’s Ridge. I understood why they made that decision, I’m just not really happy with it! I want them, or someone else who feels the same feelings for Lallybroch to be there, to reclaim it and to live there happily ever after… if that’s at all possible given Diana’s way of story telling!  An added thought to that concern… it not like I only have wait six months to find out either. it’s more like a few years at least! So, be happy with a six month wait for the show to return Jamie and Claire to you!

 

My last thoughts on Lallybroch for now… The difference between what the show provides as representation and what is so set in my mind in relation to Lallybroch! I do trust the show creators to pull this off and set another vision of Lallybroch into our hearts but I don’t think it will ever replace that vision in my mind and my heart of what Lallybroch is? As I have mentioned before, Diana Gabaldon’s amazing ability to paint us a picture with words sets such a detailed vision of  what a place is in each person’s mind that it’s extremely difficult to completely erase or replace that vision in filming. When I saw the previews for Lallybroch, it is not anything close to that image in my mind? When I envision Lallybroch, I do not see any type of Castle, fortress, or really even a fancier manor house type? I see a country working farm estate, white washed as described in the book so well… a place with barns, and fields and sheep, hills and a tower back behind!

lallybroch1 Midhope_Castle_08 lallybroch1 lallybroch5

This image taken from a distance does come a bit closer but still, not really what I see when I close my eyes and think of Lallybroch!

midhope

This is far closer to what I see!

lallybroch3

 

scottish farm house4

 

And, when I imagine Roger and Bree seeing it, I can see this sort of image of a worn and empty home in need of love!

scottish farm house2

 

There is one other very important detail that needs to be included on the property… besides Jenny’s beloved sheep of course? There needs to be a North facing tower at the rear of the land!  During the 1700s it was still standing up well, and Jamie had childhood memories of having to clean that entire tower as one of his punishments! He and Ian recalled that event and Ian made much of the fact that had Jamie kept his mouth shut, they could have just escaped with a whipping rather than the days it took to clean the tower! It was also still standing and somewhat useable during Roger and Bree’s time there as I believe that was where Buck was hiding out at? So, while this image of the North Facing Tower is more rundown than what I would imagine, still there does need to be a North Facing Tower!

north facing tower

 

I do hope this has answered any questions you might have as to why Lallybroch is so important, and why it is holds such a special place in my heart as well!

Now… on to the rest of my project, building my own little piece of Lallybroch! After much self debate, I decided to combine the show’s version with the version stuck in my head. Here is the very basic start to it:

 

Please keep in mind that houses were not as large back then as we often assume them to have been?  Ohhhh and after placing the house, I’ve now realized that I need to move my tower to the other side so it’s in the rear of the house!  I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to move it to a bigger lot!

lallybroch1 lallybroch2 Screenshot-3 tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Both Sides and back to the Stones

Ahhhhh Where to start?  Such an excellent Cliff hanger, leave taking and window waiting finale! First of all, I just want to share this poster that sums a lot up for so many of us who have read the books!

leaving Jamie ing the window

Yes, Jamie will be hanging out in the window until April… and Jack Randall will be excitedly and impatiently awaiting his entrance!

Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

 

Okay, back to the beginning and my thoughts on all of it. The episode went pretty much as I expected it to with some major changes that, while I was not expecting them, worked so well! I know there has been a lot of discussion, debate and some outright disgust at the changes.  There are a number of viewers, who having read the books, think that any changes made to Diana Gabaldon’s words are blasphemy and close to sacri-religious? They can not seem to wrap their minds around the fact that sometimes, change is good! I feel somewhat like the broken record in repeating once again that,  There is absolutely no way that the show can cover every single detail of what is written in the books. This is why I so highly recommend that if you have not read the books, you should! This brings us to the next point… The books are the starting point and the guideline for the show, it does not mean that the show can not make it’s own deviations and turns at times from the hallowed writings of herself, Diana Gabaldon.  Some of the deviations and turns are needed to fit the book to viewing format, and others such as this episode take us down another path that Diana has not taken us on as yet. I am quite happy with this route and seeing a fuller side of Frank Randall!

The title of this episode was very appropriately labeled Both Sides. We got to see a more in depth look at the situation from Frank’s perspective and we got to see that other darker side of Frank come to the surface as he fought with traces of what his supposed ancestor, Jack Randall has passed down to future generations… I say supposed here because I have read the books and know the secret, but I will not divulge it here. We also see some other sides of Jamie and Claire emerge, the sides that cause them so many problems when they are unable to control them.

Yes, Jamie and Claire are meant to be together, they quickly discover that intense and fiery physical chemistry that initially draws them to each other and are over come by it. It’s that physical desire and passion that often gets them into trouble in the beginning because they act without thinking. Claire realized that last week when she uttered the comment of “Well there it is.. I’m not only a bigamist, I enjoyed it!”  She continues along this theme this week as she enjoys what little private romantic time she and Jamie can manage. She goes right along with his newly discovered enjoyment of sex and it gets them both in serious trouble!

 

Episode8Preview

Jamie forgets to watch his back

This is what happens when one forgets the number one Cardinal rule of survival… Always be aware of your surroundings and watch your back! Jamie was so intoxicated with the passion of Claire that he paid no attention to that rule, thereby putting Claire and himself in mortal danger.

Unbridled passion interrupted Jamie at gunpoint The results of not watching one's back

 

Not only had he put them in danger, he caused Claire to have to do something that went completely against her deepest beliefs and principles… she had to kill the English Soldier in order to save herself and Jamie. This tore at both of them and would begin the first of their many disagreements but would eventually teach them so much more about their own and each other’s beliefs and values. No, this was not so evident in the show, this is a portion that you should read about in the book to see how deeply this truly affected them both!  For Jamie it was a blow to his pride as a man that he had been so careless and unthinking and unable to protect Claire. I personally think this is the start of his life long need to protect her? He felt he failed her so badly in this instance and he would never let such a thing happen again.  Fortunately for them, this even happened after Claire’s knife lessons!

Jamie tries to comfort Claire 12_lady_lallybroch_00001

 

Before this event we did see some more tender moments between the two and we met Hugh Munroe, who one could not help but like!  He had news of an English deserter by the name of Horrocks who might or maybe not prove Jamie’s innocence? Could Horrocks be trusted? Probably not, but it would be worth a try.  Hugh gave Claire a Wedding present, a beautiful piece of amber with a dragonfly imbedded in it.

OUT_108-20140430-ND_0777.jpg Outlander 2014

 

Dragonfly in Amber… Which of course we all know is the clue to the next book and the next season?!

11_dragonfly_in_amber_00001 Dragon Fly in Amber

 

And, with that clue to the next season came another delightful arrival on the scene! On the other side of time while Frank was struggling with his fear and his inner demons, this precious little lad showed up to make everyone smile. And, Goodness knows by that time we needed a smile!  Many of us who have read the books probably had the same thoughts as I did upon seeing him and being introduced. A gleeful squeal of delight!  This could be one of those moments that actors are warned about… never work with children or animals, they will immediately steal the scene without even trying!  My most immediate thought on seeing him was wanting to reach into the screen, pinch his cheeks and utter this:

Wee Roger sing

Wee Roger arrives

Yes, little Roger made his first appearance as he was introduced to Frank Randall as Reverend Wakefield’s nephew. Of course if you’ve read the Leaf in the Wind of all Hallows, you would know that actually Frank has met the lad before and it was not a momentous occasion for either of them.  Perhaps Roger has some deeply hidden memory of that meeting, hence the look on his face when meeting Frank again?  Roger will show up as an adult in season 2, Dragonfly in Amber, where he will become an important part of the continuing story.  I do just want to add here a thought running through my mind. As we read the books we develop an image of the characters in our minds and it’s difficult to get that set image out of our head when the casting directors begin their process of choosing a person to play each part. I do applaud and appreciate the excellent decisions and choices they have made so far and I will trust their judgement on the casting of Roger… as long as he comes close in some way to the image I already have of the man, which is similar to this?  I know everyone has their own version of characters stuck in their minds, I am just sharing what my version of Roger is! Ohhhh, and the lad does need to be able to sing us a tune or two or three… or more!

Cat-Stevens

 

Now, as long as we’re on that other side of time with Frank, let’s talk about Frank Randall! This is where the episode made the biggest deviation from the book. When you think about it, it makes sense in approaching it in this way. The book is told from Claire’s first person narration of the events and mentions little or nothing of Frank’s actions during this time. Of course it doesn’t, she had no idea what was going on with Frank at that time! I was intrigued with this addition and now want to know so much more about Frank? He has never played a big role in the books and most of what we get even in later are Claire’s somewhat biased thoughts, memories and opinions on Frank and her relationship with him good or bad depending on her frame of mind at the moment she’s thinking of him. In later books we do get glimpses of his inner character and feelings from daughter Bree’s perspective. We also get some of Bree’s thoughts on Claire as well, which are not always in a positive light. Those revelations however are far down the line and do not play into what is going on right now in the show. For now we have to go with what we are being presented with and try not make too many assumptions… extremely difficult for many of us!

What is important in viewing Frank here, and his actions, is to know that he is not just a mild mannered gentle history professor as Claire glosses over and portrays him to be. Frank spent his military years as a part of the British Intellegence Agency as a leader of covert spy operations.   This is a key factor that comes out as he reacts to his wife’s disappearance and how the local police department is treating it. They have had no luck in their search. Having been given a description of some odd looking Scottish highlander roaming about the vicinity during this time, they sum up the disappearance as a runaway wife scenario?

missing posters

Frank is none too happy about this assumption and his anger shows as he insists to the Officer that his wife has not run off with some other man!

F

An angry, frustrated and very emotionally exhausted Frank returns to the Wakefield residence only to hear more highly improbable theories from the Reverend who, grasping at any straws he can dream up imagines his own scenario of what could have happened, involving tumbling downhill into the river and encounters with frogs and such? Frank is not any more amused or agreeable to this notion than he was with the idea that she ran off with a Scottish highlander!

13_wakefield_frogs_00001 14_frank_frogs

Just when he thought things couldn’t get much more bizarre, Mrs. Graham decided that she must in all good faith share her own theory on what happened to Claire? Her theory went so far as to suggest that Claire had somehow been transported through the Stones of crag na dun to some other time!  Really?  Ahhhh he does make some attempt to be polite to her crazed idea but, isn’t this going just a touch too far, he thinks?

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank Frank is dubious as to Mrs Graham's sanity

 

Well, Mrs. Graham can tell that the man is obviously too overwrought to digest her theory properly so she tries to make amends by offering him tea?

Frank trying to be nice

Hmmmm and perhaps he should have a bite to eat as well? We have some dinner left… a bit of rarebit and some pork sides? Maybe a bite of raspberry tart as well and a nice glass of wine would sooth ye, No?

wpid-20140927_170417.jpg wpid-20140927_180136.jpg
https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/outlanderday-cooking-a-bit-of-rarebit/

 

Frank has had enough of this now… he’s not in a mood for tea, or dinner for that matter, and he in desperate need of something much stronger than tea or wine! He heads off to the local pub to drink his frustrations away in peace…

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Unfortunately he can find no peace there either and his drinking is interrupted by a mysterious young woman named Sally who had just made a grevious error in judgement!

Sally meets Frank

Sally and some friends seem to think Frank an easy mark? She suggests to Frank that she has knowledge of what happened and can take him to those who know? Well, already having heard the most unlikely of theories and not thinking quite as clearly as he should be at the time, Frank agrees and goes along with her? Yes, Frank has been set up by those looking to cash in on the reward…

Frank is set up

Their mistake was in thinking Frank some mild mannered, easy target?

 

A fight ensues and Frank does not fight quite fair?

Frank fights back

Mild mannered history professor Frank Randall keeps black jacks in his pocket!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_(law_enforcement)#Blackjack

lethal-blunt-self-defense-weapons-blackjack-billy-club black jack

 

Frank loses his tight control and visions of that ancestor, Black Jack Randall begin to surface as he confronts Miss Sally with a choke hold that is definitely Jack Randall worthy!

Sally is sorry she met Frank Sally gets choked

 

Later, back in the past on the other side, Claire will  encounter  Jack Randall once again. This encounter is entirely her own fault and would not have happened had she listened to Jamie sound advice for her to stay put in the woods where he leaves her to go off to his meeting with Horrocks.

 

Before that encounter with the infamous Black Jack Randall though, there is another very important encounter for both Claire and Frank?

As I mentioned, Jamie finds a safe place to leave Claire while he goes to meet Horrocks. He specifically tells her to stay put and not leave… Claire is still quite shaken by the previous events, so may not be thinking too clearly? But, what that previous event should have burned into her brain was how dangerous it was out there! She was thinking though only of herself, and was angry… more with herself than with Jamie, but she was mad at him too for leaving her. This is another spot where the show varied from the book, but played out just well the way it was presented!  what it came down to was, Jamie and Claire were both on edge and a little angered about their present circumstances.

OUT_108-20140509-ND_0185_900x506_595_slogo outlander-midseason-finale-clip Claire angry

Jamie left Claire with young Willie to stand guard… probably not the best choice? Where were Rupert, Angus or Murtagh when they were really needed! Claire easily escapes Willie’s less than observant watch and starts to wander about. She then realizes just where they are. She spies crag na dun in the distance and she is reminded of her vow to get home to Frank no matter the cost!

Claire realizes where they are craigh na dun

 

All thoughts of Jamie have left her for the moment and her only thought is to reach the stones, and get home to where she thinks she belongs.

zap-outlander-season-1-episode-8-both-sides-no-007

At the same time on the other side of time, Frank recovered from his encounter with Sally and friends… regained control of his dark side, and having no other sound theories to go on, he was compelled to follow Mrs. Graham’s thoughts on the Stones. He makes his way to the Stones and there is a moment frozen in time where it seems that he and Claire meet on each side of the Stones calling to each other and vaguely hearing the other’s callings?  It was moving, chilling and heart wrenching!

Frank at the Stones Frank yelling more

Frank yelling more Frank yelling at the Stones Claire yelling at the Stones Claire reaching out for the stones

 

And in that heart stopping moment where Claire is reaching for the Stones, she is suddenly stopped by English soldiers once more! She is captured and dragged away from the Stones to meet a fateful encounter with Jack Randall…

Claire gets captured Claire captured Claire in the wagon

 

Leaving a deeply disturbed Frank standing on that other side of time and the Stones, unsure of what he heard… was it real or was it just his imagination, his depth of loss playing tricks on his mind?

Frank at the Stones Frank leaving the Stones

 

What we were left with was a brutal meeting with Jack Randall where Claire attempted to out think him and lost the battle royally!

Jack leads her on a bit Jack plays his hand

 

Jack once again led her on, spun his web and caught her in it. He won the hand with a rope in the drawer and Claire came close to losing much more than just her dagger or her clothes.

Jack wins the hand with a rope in the drawer Claire loses the round and her dagger Jack holds all the cards and the dagger Claire in danger of losing even more

So, until April we are left with Jamie waiting in the window announcing to Jack, “I’ll thank you to take your hands off my wife” and Jack being supremely happy to see young Jamie so nicely served up to him!

leaving Jamie ing the window Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

 

 

 

 

Outlanderday Cooking: A bit of Rarebit!

Ahhhh Well, here we are on the final episode of this first half the season of Outlander… feeling a wee bit sad about that and the fact that it will be a verra long wait till spring when they return to us! I have gotten used to this little routine of Outlanderday cooking, and apparently so have some others in my home? There was a rather disappointed question from one of them recently…”So, does this mean you won’t be cooking on Saturdays, we were just getting used to it!” Well, not wanting to disappoint my family, and also not wanting to give up this new routine… I want to reassure all that I will still do some form of Outlander Cooking on Saturdays! There are, after all, quite a few books and Novellas that cover a wide variety of cooking styles! Theresa over at Outlanderkitchen.com  has so many recipes and ideas that I am quite sure I can keep us well fed until Spring.  When I mentioned this there was a sigh of relief… I’m thinking it was more because they were worried that I might try the more ancient medieval cooking of the Vikings with their return in January! Rest easy, I am not going to force those meals upon us, well not right now anyway? I may explore some of the more ancient styles and methods of cooking but am really not sure I’m up to actually eating them! For one thing, I do not have the required cooking utensils?

Viking food supplies

Viking food supplies

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

 

So, I do believe that I shall leave the Viking cooking to these more qualified women!

vikings_episode8_gallery_3-P

I think I will join Lagertha on her quest instead!

http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings

104,_Lagertha_et_al

Ummmm and just in case anyone is wondering… I will follow Rollo (Clive Standen) where he chooses to go? Hopefully he will take me to France this year? Before Scottish Highlanders, there were Viking Warriors!

Clive Standen as Rollo Clive Stanton as Rollo

 

Ohhhh ummmm ahhhh where was I? So sorry for that minor lapse and digression from our  topic, I just got carried away with daydreams of Rollo! Now, back to our current subject, Outlanderday Cooking!

 

Since tonight is the finale and of course this also a marathon to watch, I really do not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day? Because of that, I am going as usual with Theresa’s most excellent suggestion for tonight’s meal. She suggests Scottish Rarebit   http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/24/scottish-rarebit-outlander-starz-episode-108/ and I agree with her choice!  As a child, we often ate a version of this, though we referred to it as Whelsh Rarebit? I remember once asking my Father why it was called Rarebit and his response was “Well, because back in the old days, if you were lucky there might be a rare bit of meat but probably not?” He did explain too that it was also called Whelsh Rabbit and this was what you eat when you didn’t snare the rabbit!

welshrarebit

Alright, Dad’s explanations and jokes aside, here is a definition of Whelsh Rarebit:

Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit  is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread, or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread.  The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Great Britain.  Welsh rarebit is typically made with Cheddar cheese, in contrast to the Continental European fondue, which classically depends on Swiss cheeses.   Various recipes for Welsh rarebit include the addition of ale, mustard, ground cayenne pepper or ground paprika  and Worcestershire sauce. The sauce may also be made by blending cheese and mustard into a Béchamel sauce[ or Mornay sauce. Some recipes for Welsh rarebit have become textbook savoury dishes listed by culinary authorities including Escoffier, Saulnier  and others, who tend to use the form Welsh rarebit, emphasising that it is not a meat dish.

 

I like Theresa’s reasoning for this type of meal in some tribute to Frank Randall, who is now a bachelor busy trying to find his lost wife and too busy or frustrated to put a lot of focus or attention into meal preparation?

Outlander_Cast_Frank_420x560 claire and frank8 Frank Randall OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

I am in somewhat the same circumstances tonight… my usual dinner and viewing partners have deserted me and it will be just me at a table for one tonight. It’s also my Dad’s Birthday.  Though he’s been gone now for 20 years, there are so many times,  like yesterday when I read the Rarebit suggestion at Outlanderkitchen.com, that he shows up looking over my shoulder and I have to smile with him at his jokes! So, it felt somewhat fitting to make the Rarebit for him tonight.

 

Here are a few old versions of the simple recipe!

Recipes for rarebit

 

The version we used to eat was more like this?

welshrarebit2 welsh rarebit

 

Besides the recipe posted on Outlanderkitchen.com, I have found a few others that are similar to what I grew up eating.

The Pioneer Woman website has a great explanation and recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/welsh-rarebit/

Foodnetwork’s Alton Brown also has an excellent version! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/welsh-rarebit-recipe.html

 

From Traditional Scottish Recipes:

http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_toasted.htm

Traditional Scottish Recipes

 – Toasted Cheese

More usually associated with the Welsh than the Scots, Toasted Cheese is also called Welsh Rarebit.

Before the days of grills and modern cookers, the cheese was melted in front of the fire and bread was toasted on both sides with butter spread on one side and the melted cheese poured on top. Sometimes beer, pepper and salt were mixed with the cheese.

In 1747 a cookery book gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit” or Rare Bit as bread toasted on both sides and a slice of cheese, the same size as the bread, also toasted on both sides and laid on the buttered bread. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” made in the same way but with mustard rubbed on the cheese. “English Rabbit” on the other hand had a glass of red wine poured over the toast before the cheese was added. Take your pick!

 

 

 

I purchased some Artisan Cheddar Cheese Garlic bread, which I will use for the toast, and I also have added some meat to my menu! In honor of my Dad, because he loved his bacon so much, I got some bacon ends and pieces to fry up along with it! Now, it will be a table for two in front of the television tonight… Dad and I will enjoy the dinner and the show together. I know he would actually like the show because he was a huge fan of history!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/outlander-both-sides-preview/

Previous Outlanderday cooking: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlanderday-cooking-wine-and-wedding-feasts/

 

 

 

Outlander: Both Sides preview

Okay, I’ve been putting this post off only because I am feeling so verra tired! This first season of the show has been a rollercoaster, whirlwind ride and I’m a bit exhausted from all of it. It’s been an amazing adventure so far for me, both with the books- which I just finished as the show began airing, and the show itself. I just want to thank Diana Gabaldon, Starz and Ron Moore as well as all of the writers, actors and everyone else involved in bringing this story to visual life for all of us. This adventure has inspired me in so many ways that I can not even begin to name them all. One of the biggest inspirations it is that it has broadened my horizons and brought me out of my previous little world that so tied me to the computer… I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “Wait a minute, aren’t you tied to your computer now?!”  Well, yes I am still tied to my computer in some ways but, I do think it’s in a better way than I was before! Granted, I have most likely just switched my addictions but at least this one, while still just as consuming, does give more opportunities and reasons to venture out away from my computer screen! I do still enjoy my sims world, but now it is no longer the obsession or addiction that it once was. So, that’s probably a good thing! Now I find myself looking forward to doing other things such as rediscovering my kitchen! It’s been a pleasure to reacquaint myself with it, and with the foods I’ve been exploring and experimenting with thanks to Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com! I am also learning so much more about a number of subjects as I work on this blog and hopefully am becoming better at it. I find myself wanting to do more of the things I did when I was younger besides just the writing and the cooking, such as sewing and even candle making. I am looking forward to a few of those projects in the future! There, now my gratitude and inspiration covered, we can move on to other subjects such as this week’s episode!

One other reason I probably put this one off a bit is that I feel like I already covered it in my previous discussion and thoughts?

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Last week, the writers chose to focus on just the Wedding. While at first I was a little frustrated with that decision, after thinking about it, it made excellent sense to do it that way and present this next episode as the mid season finale. It is one of those pivotal turning points in the story where they can leave us with an ending as in an ending of Claire’s old life and dreams, and a beginning of her new life with Jamie.  speaking of endings and beginnings, I just want to put down my thoughts on the recent announcement from Starz that the next half of the season will not air until April?! Upon hearing that, I was panic stricken… What, 6 months to wait??? Then I quickly calmed down and realized that it will probably take them 6 months just to edit the Wentworth Prison scenes. It also gives me six months to prepare myself to watch those scenes play out, they were difficult enough to read, let alone to see them being done!  Panic done… now, I have six months to do some of those other things on my list of want to do’s… and it also means I can devote January to April to my other passion… Vikings! Well, that’s a plan then, I am quite alright with the wait… after all, I got over my needs for instant gratification quite some time ago!

 

Now on to this week’s episode!

 

If you read my previous post on the Wedding aftermath, you know that the happily wedded bliss did not last very long? Damn that real life for always getting in the way of romantic dreams! Claire does get her knife fighting lessons this week even though Murtagh insists that the most appropriate weapon for a woman is poison!

learning to fight learning to fight2 learning to fight3 learning to fight4

As I mentioned, their wedded bliss is short lived and Claire will be witness to that other side of Jamie… his hotheaded temper, his stubbornness and the harsh reality and meaning of the fact that he never breaks a vow he’s made to anyone.

outlander-midseason-finale-clip

They meet an old friend of Jamie’s who has a wedding gift for Claire…. A Dragonfly in Amber!

OUT_108-20140430-ND_0777.jpg Outlander 2014

Most her so called honeymoon is spent on the road in the company of the men… not leaving much privacy for any romantic encounters they might be desiring.

OUT_108-20140509-ND_0127.jpg OUT_108-20140509-ND_0185.jpg

 

Those are the basics of the preview… but of course we all know there is so much more involved and going on beneath the surface?  And, there is some one else to consider this week as well. I am very interested in seeing how Frank Randall’s circumstances and reactions are presented. The book did not go into what was going on with Frank during this time other than the fact that he was most obviously frantically searching for his missing wife. OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

 

In looking at the search items that lead people to my blog, I noticed that someone got here by asking Google why Claire stays with Jamie? I think that is a valid question and deserves some deeper answer than a simple, Because she loves him? For one thing, she didn’t love him right off the start…she didn’t even love him when she married him, and isn’t sure she loves him until this episode and portion of the book.  Great sexual chemistry does not necessarily equate to a love beyond time, or even a serious long term relationship. Claire realizes that, and struggles with the issue of having betrayed the one she did love, made vows to and had remained faithful to until event. She struggles with it for much of her life, even after she admits her feelings for Jamie and commits herself to him.

Two rings two loves

 

 

 

I think what is most compelling about Claire’s situation is that Jamie understood it and accepted it better than she ever did herself? I think maybe that is a turning point for her in her feelings for Jamie, knowing that he accepts her feelings for Frank, supports her and encourages her to talk about it. It does become forever after in many  ways, a three way relationship between them. Jamie accepts it, Claire forever struggles with it and in the future Frank will struggle even more with it.

 

What I find so interesting about this week’s episode is how the writers will present Frank’s side of the story.  I have always found his character intriguing and I think there is so much more to him under that surface that he presents. I hope one day, as in the next book…Diana will expand on some of his history and enlighten us more on his unknown qualities and activities?  The bit of the clip we were given as preview causes me some frustration… I am well aware that he is most likely frantic at that point and not thinking quite rationally so might be duped into some scam? But, really the man is not just a history professor… he may appear on that glossy surface as one who could easily be taken advantage of, but those of us who have read the books know exactly what he did during his military service? Frank Randall was a part of British Intelligence and a rather high up part of it  for that matter.  As with all of Diana’s characters, he is a study in contrasts of behaviors and complex emotions. Personally, I want to know more about his story! I think he knew far more than anyone was aware of… slowly through the books and the novellas, some of his story has come out, but not nearly enough!

He shows up in the Novella, A leaf on the Wind of All Hallows. This short story is set during WWII and tells the story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents. I know that for the television viewers who have not read the books, Roger is an unknown character who will not show up for some time. I am only bringing this story up because it does pertain to Frank Randall during the War years when he was off doing things which he could not discuss with Claire… or anyone else for that matter!

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/short-fiction/a-leaf-on-the-wind/

 

Claire and frank1 claire and frank6

 

Frank Randall

 

How and why does a young, rebellious and free spirited Claire Beauchamp meet and fall in love with an even tempered, well polished, reserved historian Frank Randall? Why does he fall for her as well? Their early beginning aren’t really told in too much detail… this is a brief explanation.

Claire met Frank Randall, a historian, when he came to consult her uncle about his work. They were soon married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by only a few months together before the outbreak of World War II. Claire and Frank were separated for most of the war. Frank trained as an officer in MI-6, and Claire as a nurse. Both served their country in their respective roles for the duration of the war. Once the war was over, Claire and Frank, reunited, decided to go on a second honeymoon in Scotland to reestablish their marriage in 1946. They stayed at Mrs. Baird’s bed-and-breakfast in Inverness, a city in the Scottish Highlands situated near an ancient stone circle called Craigh na Dun. 

Outlander 2014 claire and frank2

 

So, what we do know is that Frank, a historian knew her uncle Lambert and met her through that acquaintance… I have found this a curious coincidence throughout the whole story and often wonder just what Uncle Lambert knew? Just how did little Claire come to be an orphan in her Uncle’s care… Yes, Yes… I know, her parents died in a horrific car accident and she conveniently ended up with Lambert? But, after reading some of the other suspicious deaths and orphaned children, it gives me pause to wonder?

 

Okay, we know how they met, had whirlwind romance and quick marriage then both went off to fight the War. So, what we have is a War time romance between two people who probably didn’t know each other quite as well as they thought they did. It happened a lot during those times. But, what is important in the overall picture is that they really didn’t spend all that much time together before, or during their marriage. Claire probably spent more time with Jamie than she actually did with Frank during those early years of her marriage to him.

 

Why would Claire have been drawn to Frank in the first place and was it really that true love that she believed it was? I think Claire as an orphan, raised by Uncle Lambert probably saw Frank as stability and a balance for her? It was one of those cases of opposites attracting for both of them. She thought she wanted that stability, a home a family and acceptance from the world around her. She truly did love Frank, but I think that eventually even had she not went through the stones, they would most likely have drifted apart and gone their separate ways once the war was over and they attempted to settle into a life together. Had they stayed together, there would have been no children to hold them together and I think they both would have parted on some acceptable good terms as friends through life. Either that, or Claire would have just eventually drank herself into oblivion…  It was a whirlwind relationship fueled by the turbulence and passions of War, of heated emotions, partings and brief reunions. Yes, they shared some common interests, but more so on Frank’s part than Claire’s. He was obsessed with history and his own family’s history, she was used to such passionate obsession with history from living with her Uncle but she did not really share that passion. So, after the heated physical passion faded, what would have remained for them?

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Claire was pulled from the relationship before either of them could settle upon the notion that theirs was not necessarily a match made in Heaven. They both shared traits of stubbornness, determination and loyalty. For those reasons alone Frank would not have given up on his search for Claire… and possibly if he had the slightest suspicion that something else might have happened to her, such as with the disappearance of a certain pilot during his war years, he would have been determined to find some clue or answer.

 

For Claire is was at first a matter of not giving up on those vows she had made to Frank, no matter what. When she was finally faced with the opportunity to get back to him though, she had to come face to face with the reality of her truest feelings. Jamie was willing to take her back to the Stones and give her up for her own safety and for her own peace of conscience and heart. She had to make the difficult choice of which vows to betray, of which man held not just her heart but her soul, the decision of who needed her more, who and what she needed more than anything else.

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My one last thought on Claire’s dilemma at that time, and later when she did return through the Stones to Frank is, How incredibly difficult would it have been to look into Frank’s eyes everyday and not see Black Jack Randall? How to get past that inner feeling, and knowledge of the coldest, cruelest man imaginable, knowing and seeing those nightmarish images of what the man had done to someone you cared so deeply for each time you looked at someone you loved? I would think that in itself would have caused a huge divide in her emotions towards Frank without her even meaning for it to happen. Relationships have fallen apart for far lesser reasons than that one. “I’m so sorry Dearest but every time I look at you, I see the ghost of  the cruelest man I know, so no I am not really in the mood to be romantic with you?”

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Knowing what she knew,  having those images burned into her mind and her heart… could she ever really trust herself with any sharp instrument near Frank? All it would take is one flashback and she would be guilty of murder and insanity…

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