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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!

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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.

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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?

claire and frank4 claire and frank7 claire and frank11 claire and frank5 claire and frank8

 

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.

Outlander 2014 Outlander 2014

 

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…

Outlander-Claire-Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: The Wedding, the bedding, and all the in between

It’s taken me a few days to sort out this episode and my feelings on it. Because, much like Claire, I find myself torn between thoughts on it!

Caought between two lives and lovers

Before I venture into any sort of comment or review on this episode, I want to touch on a couple of  things on my mind.  First of all and I think, foremost on my mind is the topic of the book verses the show? I know I have touched on it previously, but it keeps coming up so I feel I need to put down my thoughts on it. There are quite a number of viewers who seem to take some offense or become irate at the idea of making any references or comparisons between the books and the show.  Yes, I do understand, I do get it that the show is different from the books… You do not need to remind me of that! And, if you read my posts, you will see that I am already an avid fan and addict of both the books and the show- otherwise I would not be here posting my thoughts on all of it! What I do want to point out and remind the show viewers of is a simple fact… The books did come first. Without the books, the amazing story telling of  Diana Gabaldon and the millions of devoted readers of those books, there would be no show for you to be watching?!  For many of us who devoured all of the big fat books full of details and underlying meanings, it is extremely difficult not to make some overall general, and some specific comparisons to events and details that we feel were so important in the lives of these people. Diana has woven such an intricate and well detailed masterful story, breathed such life into the characters that we often feel as though we are witnessing a true account of their lives from the most mundane and ordinary to the most intimate and excruciating pains of their deepest fears and other emotions. I find it incredibly difficult at times to separate those details and to be completely objective in my viewing of the show. That does not mean that I enjoy the show any less or that I am being negative or critical of the show! I am enjoying the show immensely and  for the most part, I completely understand when changes are made in order for the show to work and to capture in it’s own way the spirit or the essence of what Diana put down on paper.  I am thrilled with how Ron Moore and the writers are presenting this work! I just want my readers to be fully aware that having read the books, I will continue to make references, observations and comparisons between the books and the show. What I do hope is that a few of you who have not read the books will be inspired by the show to pick up the book and start reading? We as a society do not read nearly enough any more and expect the instant and graphic visual satisfaction and satiation of movies and television. There is so much more to the story that just can not be captured by the camera no matter how hard they try.  Written words are the inspiration for every story ever filmed!

 

That instant gratification and visual stimulation brings me to my next thought, along with the part about there being so much more to the story. I will not lie to you, I enjoyed this episode that was so full of that visual stimulation and gratification as much as anyone else. I am probably one of the few, however who felt like some of it might have been done to appease those viewers who were and are so ardently and passionately screaming for more Jamie and Claire, more love scenes, more outright physical sex scenes. As I mentioned, there is so much more to their relationship than just the intense physical chemistry that is at times overpowering and volatile. It goes so far beyond that- and hopefully the future episodes will capture that as well. Their relationship is one that will explore all of the facets of that initial chemistry, and put them into dangerous and painful consequences later on.  While I do appreciate the way that this Wedding episode was presented and dealt with, I just felt like it slightly missed on some level? I am probably one of the few who feel like this… it almost felt like it should have been part of a longer episode?  I did like the fact though that they chose to concentrate specifically on the Wedding event and the Wedding night. I suppose, in after thought, there was so much going on in that situation that they had to make a decision on how to present it and get the essence of  Claire and Jamie together set forth?

 

Now, with my initial thoughts and concerns put out there, we can continue on with our venture into the Wedding of Claire and Jamie. I am not going to re-hash every single little detail of it, else why would you bother to watch it? My daughter does that often enough with me. By the time she is finished telling me about a show, I usually have no need to watch it!  The Wedding itself was presented in flash backs to the actual event as Jamie and Claire remember it… Well, alright Jamie remembers it, because due to Claire’s little problem with alcohol consumption, she had little recall of the events leading up to the Wedding! One of the things she obviously forgot was what was in the Wedding contract she signed… mainly her husband’s name!

Claire's reaction to the blood vows

Here she is arriving at the wedding and it appears, trying to recall his name? “I can’t do this… I don’t even know your name!”  Is it just me, or was anyone else distracted by her dress… I kept waiting for her to pop out of it through most of the scenes.  The Inn keeper/Madame seems quite pleased with the results, but some others in attendance seemed to wonder the same as me!

Claire in her dress

With as tight as the dress was, I am amazed she managed to snug even something as small as Frank’s ring down the front of it, and even more surprised that she didn’t lose said ring sooner than she did!

taking off frank's ring saving ring for later

murtagh and Dougal inspecting the bride to be

 

Jamie might have been so distracted that he did not find it odd that she didn’t remember his name? He quite nicely just reintroduced himself!

Jamie reminds Claire of his name

 

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This could be when Dougal decides that she has more to offer than he originally thought?

Dougal had enough get to the church already

While his nephew is being so gallant and chivalrous, Dougal is just thinking, “Let’s get this thing over and done… I’ll kill ye later Lad and have my share of the fetching fine wench!”

Dougal disgusted at Jamie's display

Even the priest had some difficulty keeping his eyes off from Claire’s assets… I’m thinking he was wondering much the same thought, and praying that he could maintain self control should she breathe too deep and burst her stays!

the priest eying Claire's assets

 

Yes, it was indeed a beautiful dress… Ned Gowan got lucky in more than ways than one when he came across it and got a good bargain on the purchase of it!

Ned and his date

 

The dress as I mentioned, was beautiful… but a bit distracting and probably not so well suited or really appropriate for a “proper” wedding in a kirk? Is it any wonder that some people might of accused poor Claire of rather loose morals? Between the dress and her drinking, well… she has some work to do on her reputation?

Outlander 2014 close up of the dress

 

The ceremony went along as Claire was used in in Wedding rituals until the last part which threw her for a bit of a loop? She was not expecting the knife coming into play and I do suppose that would have been slightly overwhelming! Blood Vows, the ancient  Gaelic tradition which Diana Gabaldon so excellently created for the book!

http://www.lallybroch.com/LOL/blood-vow.html

blood vows1 blood vows2 bound for life

 

The actual Wedding night… Hmmm, well that went as expected, a bit strained and ackward  to start but Claire took care of that with her usual remedy?

Jamie was ever the Noble and honorable man and toasted his new wife with grace!

wedding toast2

Ahhhh that part was beautiful and so touching… I needed one of those Wedding hankies that were so prevalent in that time? Ummmm, I do think one of those lace hankies might have solved some of Claire’s cleavage problems as well? A well place bit of lace would have gone far to hide a portion of her wares and maintain some of her reputation?

wedding toast

Hint for future reference Claire… a little extra lace never hurts any attire!

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antique lace handkerchief wedding

 

There was some after wedding hand holding

Some after wedding hand holding

Quite a bit more toasting… thanks to Claire…

Claire admits the reason she couldn't remember much of the wedding preparations or Jamie's name Claire's favorite part so far and then another drink

Jamie begins to get a little concerned about Claire’s drinking?

Jamie's getting a bit concerned now Claire's drinking

 

 

They work things out and things begin to go much smoother!

Some after wedding laughs Some after wedding kisses

Claire is quite giddy now and Jamie is reasonably confident that this is going to go well for him!

claire's a might giddy herself Jamie's really confident now Ackward first time releived by humor

 

A minor interruption was quickly handled! Picture thanks to Profession Fangirls!

Outlander-wedding-rupert-angus2

 

And, after a few lesson from the more experience Claire… such as the fact that it is usual to do it face to face… the couple was well on their way to Wedded Bliss…. at least for the first night!

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Jamie's backside

 

The next morning though brought a different story… In my opinion, this was the best part of the entire episode! Yes, the sex was tastefully done and entertaining but rather like watching some soft porn? Personally, my thought is that they can not come close to Diana’s highly detailed descriptions which I did not necessarily need a visual representation of, but I understand the need to get it captured somehow on screen! The part with the rings, their symbolism and the deeper meanings for Claire were so well played out as she woke up the next morning and now had to deal with the enormous guilt she felt and feelings of having betrayed Frank on the most basic and intimate level.

the morning after The ring rolls Ring and life in balance ring2 ring on the verge of disappearing Caought between two lives and lovers

The description of the ring that Jamie had made was one of those differences from the book… I am curious as to what will be the deeper meaning of the key ring he asked to have made? I am sure they are going somewhere with it and it will be interesting to see that presented. They so completely captured the feelings and the symbolism of Claire wearing a ring on each hand, forever bound to both men, both loves, both lives!

 

I know I’ve missed some of the other touching and thoughtful scenes and events such as Murtagh’s sweetness and heartfelt emotion when talking to Jamie about his Mother. Credit and thanks to Dram of Outlander for the wonderful picture collage here!

http://adramofoutlander.com/

Sweet warm Murtaugh

 

And, the scene where Jamie gives Claire his Mother’s pearls!

The pearls

 

Finally, let me just leave you with a video found on youtube of Jamie and Claire!

Outlander: Jamie and Claire  You’re all that I want

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlanderday Cooking: Wine and Wedding feasts!

First of all, before we discuss any other cooking or dining plans for this evening’s episode, I want to try to answer a question one of my followers left me. She wanted to know whether Colum’s wine goblets were available for purchase anywhere? Well, I had to go in search of them after that! Alas, I was not able to find the exact goblets- I am quite certain that Colum probably had his specially crafted just for his table! I did however find a number of other beautiful goblets and glasses on my search and will share them with you!

 

Outlander wine goblets

Why is their Rhenish wine not white post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/outlander-why-is-their-rhenish-wine-not-white/

Colum and Claire enjoying the Rhenish wine

 

Now, unfortunately for Claire, she will be celebrating her Wedding feast at a local tavern/Inn and not at Colum’s fine table… or at a well set Sassenach one either.

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If she were celebrating her Wedding feast under more suitable and appropriate circumstances, she would of course enjoy some of the treasured Rhenish Wine and perhaps she might have received some of her own exquisite goblets to set a future table with?  Here are just a few examples of such elegant Wine ware that I found!

 

 

claret-jug-plinth

Pitcher/Decanter to serve the Rhenish Wine from!

Jacobite wine goblets

Jacobite Wine Goblets, found on my search… unfortunately no link to their maker or other information was available.

Celtic wine goblet

Celtic Wine Goblet, one of many available at http://graemeanthonypewter.com.au/pages/products.asp?ID=2

 

 

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets from: http://www.basil-ltd.com/page/137256204

 

These next three were all found on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=medieval+wine+goblets&rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Amedieval+wine+goblets

pewter wine goblet at amazon gold wine goblets from amazon etched wine glasses

 

Update! If you still can’t find that perfect glass or goblet, I suggest you try searching here!

https://www.google.com/search?q=BALUSTER+GOBLET&rlz=1C1JPGB_enUS603US603&espv=2&biw=1327&bih=771&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=DCUvVJ3_HoGuyASZi4GwCg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

 

Ahhhhh and now that such dreaming is out of the way, Claire will have to just be happy that she has been found a clean dress to wear! And, tis a truly pretty one at that! Thank Heavens for Ned Gowen!

Outlander wedding dress first look

 

As to her Wedding feast, well it most likely be what ever the Inn is serving tonight, which we understand is roast beef, fresh bread and plenty of Ale to wash it all down! I’ve heard that Jamie might possibly be able to procure some better tasting wine for them to celebrate with privately? We’ll have to see if he has any luck on that!

 

We will be joining in the celebration and will feast on the same fare everyone else at the Inn tonight!  Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com has provided us with an excellent recipe for roast beef so we shall attempt that!

http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/03/11/roast-beef-for-a-wedding-feast-from-outlander/

sliced-beef-copy rubbed-roast-copy

 

I am going to experiment a bit with the roast though. I have a very small beef roast and am going to try something with it? I’ve done this in the past and it turned out delicious so I am going to try it again and combine it with the rest of Theresa’s recipe?  What I will do is very carefully open the roast so it is a flat piece of meat, then spread an herbed goat cheese mixture over it and roll it back up, tying it once I am finished. After that process, I will go on with Theresa’s recipe! I will provide pictures and results in an update post later tonight… hopefully? If I am not too teary eyed and wine sloshed from the whole Wedding event!

 

Other posts related to the upcoming Wedding!

Thousand kisses poem: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlander-poetry-out-of-catallus-by-richard-Crashaw/

Dunvegan Castle is included in the Wedding plans and invitations! https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Preview of tonight’s episode: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Outlander Poetry: Out of Catallus by Richard Crashaw

Here is the Thousand Kisses in it’s entirety!

Out of Catallus3

 

Out of Catallus

COME and let us live my Dear,
Let us love and never fear,
What the sourest Fathers say:
Brightest Sol that dies today
Lives again as blithe tomorrow,
But if we dark sons of sorrow
Set; o then, how long a Night
Shuts the Eyes of our short light!
Then let amorous kisses dwell
On our lips, begin to tell
A Thousand, and a Hundred, score
An Hundred, and a Thousand more,
Till another Thousand smother
That, and that wipe off another.
Thus at last when we have numb’red
Many a Thousand, many a Hundred;
We’ll confound the reckoning quite,
And lose ourselves in wild delight:
While our joys so multiply,
As shall mock the envious eye.
Richard Crashaw

 

Wedding Invitation

Dunvegan Castle recieves an odd correspondance and invitation!

Warning, disclaimer and apology for a wayward tangent that I was unable to resist!  Normally, I keep my story segments and creations separate from my other fascinations and addictions… such as Outlander? For this one instance however, I was unable to resist the notion of them running across each other a bit! This is the one and only time that I will cross these paths!

 

First of all, in order to see or understand how any of this outlandish and far fetched fantasy might in any way shape or form have cause, reason or the remotest plausibility of intersecting, it may help to have a bit of background information on some relevant facts concerning Clan MaCleod and Dunvegan Castle during the period of the 1740’s. I will only supply the basic pertinent facts as they relate here to this story. My characters are fictional members of the Clan MacCleod much as Diana Gabaldon’s characters are fictional members of the Clan MacKenzie!  While they are fictional characters, I do try to tie them to historical events when ever possible!

 

Before anything else, let us look at where Dunvegan Castle and Clan Macleod lands sit on the Clan map of the highlands. This is important as it will give you some idea of where the MacCleod Clans resided in relation to MacKenzie and Fraser Clans. As you can see it would not have been odd for the MacCleods to know of or have dealings with either MackKenzies or Frasers.

Scottish Clan map with Dunvegan Castle's location starred.

Scottish Clan map with Dunvegan Castle’s location starred.

 

As far as factual information goes, during the 1740’s Clan MacCeod was headed by Norman MacCloid, who did not support the Jacobite rebellion and led troops in support of the Government forces.  The chief led 500 men of the MacLeod Independent Highland Companies in support of the Government at the Battle of Inverurie on 23 December 1745, where they were defeated.

The Macleods of Raasay, a branch of the MacLeods of Lewis, fought at the Battle of Culloden as part of the Glengarry Regiment, in retribution, the MacLeods of Dunvegan, under their chief, Norman MacLeod, burned and pillaged the Island of Raasay, harassing its inhabitants for many weeks in the late summer of 1746. As a result Norman MacLeod became known as “The Wicked Man”. In 1745, MacLeod of Dunvegan was said to have been able to “bring out” 700 men.   

Clan MacCleod history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_MacLeod#18th_century_and_Jacobite_risings

Norman MacLeod (The Wicked Man) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_MacLeod_(The_Wicked_Man)

Dunvegan Castle:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunvegan_Castle

So far, I have not addressed any of this as yet in my story, but eventually will get to these details! Suffice it to say, Norman MacCleod would probably not been a friend of Dougal MacKenzie. But, then again, it might have been possible as the Jacobite Rebellion created a civil war, a divide between families and one time friends.  In our current story, we know little of the MacCleod Clan’s political or religious dealings at this time. As far as we know at this point, our fictional Clan members consisting of Eric North, Svein North, and young Brennie along with a housekeeper, Minn are the current residents of  Dunvegan Castle. Svein and Eric have been there since it’s beginnings and Brennie has been there for a few centuries now.  A clue as to the reason for them residing there and not Norman can be found in his factual history.  He supported the Government cause in the Jacobite Rising, and was an absentee chief as he seldom lived at his ancestors’ traditional seat of  Dunvegan Castle.  If you’re thinking Clan MacKenzie was the only Clan with not so likeable or trustable Family members, you might want to read more about Norman MacCleod? He was one of those Clan leaders that members probably rued the day they put him in power?  Ok, enough on him, he will show up in our story later!

Eric has appeared throughout this long sage but his personal story and his connection to Dunvegan Castle unfolds starting here: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/eleanors-journal69-eric-at-dunvegan/

 

It might also be of interesting note here that Dunvegan Castle has a long history and connection- which they are proud of by the way- with the Fairie realm and other such folk lore. Maybe they heard stories of that strange woman residing with the MacKenzies?!

 

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Now that you have a bit of background history on the MacCleods and Dunvegan Castle, we can go on with our strange intersection?

 

During our construction of Dunvegan Castle we’ve been following Eric’s and Brennie’s memories of the past in the Castle. Brennie is reliving many of her own memories of  past events with thoughts of that time when her close friend and mentor, Minn was there as housekeeper and so much more. It was during the during the 1700’s when much of the Castle was renovated from a medieval fortress to a more habitable home, thanks much to Minn’s efforts and knowledge!   Brennie did not know much of what the outside world was doing, or what Eric and Svein were involved with during those times. She was just coming into her own as a new person thanks also to Minn’s sometimes overbearing but caring guidance. It was during this time that Brennie began to take part in what was happening around her, and what was happening in Scotland. 

Eric and Svein were often gone on Clan business, most of which Brennie questioned little of before this time. With Minn’s arrival though, the Castle began to change and become more of a home to many Clan members. Eric and Svein were not Clan Chiefs… they left that duty to the more human members of the Clan, a fact that in this time, they were beginning to regret. The current Clan Cheiftan, Norman MacCleod, did not reside at the Castle and rarely if ever bothered to even visit there. He did send two orphaned Clan members there though.  Two of his illegitimate offspring were sent to Dunvegan when their Mother died and Norman wanted them well out of his way.  So, Dunvegan along with Minn and Brennie took them in, welcomed them, and raised them.  The boy, Alexander was taken into training by Eric and Svein.  Where ever Svein or Eric went, so went Alex! Ellen, followed Minn and Brennie around with the same adoration.

Alexander

Alexander

 

 

Ellen MacCleod

Ellen MacCleod

 

Late one evening, the men were in the stables when young Alexander arrived exhausted from traveling hurriedly across the country with a message he said was of dire importance. He did not know what it was, had been given by one of the MacKenzies and told only that it was urgent that he get it to Svein and Eric.

An exhausted Rory

The first debate before even opening the message was one of what the MacKenzies wanted with them?  Eric was puzzled and doubtful, then suspicious… his words to Svein, “What have ye done? We’re at peace ye ken, and I would it to stay that way. I want no wars or battles now with other Clans. We have us enough trouble with Norman!”

At the mention of  his Father’s name, Alex hung his head. He knew of how much trouble the man was causing, and he was tired of the battles in his head and his heart over being the man’s son.

Debate on what to do

Svein assured Eric, “Need ye not worry, I have not done a thing, cept befriend the man!”

Eric’s response was resigned. “Achhh and, I am supposing that ye think that’s a much better thing? Dinna think that I want to be in that Man’s debt more than I want to be his enemy! What have ye promised him that we canna provide?”

Eric and Svein in the stable

Svein paused before answering. “Nothing, I promised nothing that we canna provide. I merely pledged our assistance against a more personal matter that he be involved in.  I promised our neutrality in that matter of his Fraser kin. We willna take any sides in what ever matters they dispute about was all I promised him.”

Eric nodded, “Well we can provide that, we have no quarrel with either of them and we need it to stay that way.”

He told Alex to take the parcel upstairs and noticed the frustration on the boy’s face. “Ye hold yer temper lad, and do as I ask. Ye’re not too old for a whipping yet even though ye think ye are!”

Discussion of news

Some time later, the family stood around the table staring at the parcel and missive that had been delivered, not quite sure what this meant to them?

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The message was indeed a rather odd and curious one?

Wedding Invitation

Eric was not sure what it meant and thought for a few moments before asking Alex, “Are ye sure ye got the right parcel? And, are ye sure they said to deliver it here? Maybe ye heard them wrong or grabbed the wrong message. How much ale did ye drink and how tired were ye when ye were talkin to them?”

Alex bowed his head, mainly because he was so tired he was bout to drop off right there… and he did not want to share either just how much of the Ale he had shared at the Inn with the MacKenzie travelers! “Nay, Eric, I dinna grab the wrong message! Twas that Mutagh Fitzgibbons that shoved it in my shirt front, told me to ride like Hell to Svein and then get our arses back there soon as we could!”

 

Svein sighed and gave the only plausible explanation he could think of. “Well, like as not, we’re being called as to be impartial witnesses. I pledged to Dougal that I would not take sides in any of his family matters and this looks to be an important family matter? I know not much about the whole story of the lad but there is that land dispute in question between the clans, which the lad stands to inherit when he marries. Maybe it all has something to do with that?”

Rory bows his head

They discussed it for some time and could not come to any further conclusion than what Svein had suggested. There was agreement that what could it hurt to attend as requested… to not show up would cause some rift between them and Dougal that Eric did not want to encur so he went along with it though with some hesitation. He did not want to walk into some sort of trap either or become embroiled in some larger dispute of the MacKenzies. He agreed that they would go as requested, then return home immediately afterwards. The women would stay home, there was no need to endanger them and this was a man’s business anyway, Svein insisted.

 

Minn had her own thoughts as to Svein’s comment but wisely for once, kept them to herself.  After the men left the room, she filled Brennie and young Ellen in on her latest gossip about the MacKenzies and their strange guest who was visiting and now about to become their newest family member. “I heard tell that some folks think she’s a witch? They do say she is might odd, but a fine healer even if she does drink a might much? Probably should not be asking for her aid if it gets a bit late in the day… if ye know what I ken?” She went on with her tales and then after a moment reminded the women, “Achhh, Ye know of that lad, he’s passed through here before. Ye remember that fine young lad who all the lasses swayed over, the one who wouldna go in the boats?”

Brennie and Ellen nodded, they both remembered him now! Ellen blushed and said sadly, “Well I could only wish such a lad like him could find his way here for me! Not that it would matter though, as no one would be fool enough to have me.”

Minn just hushed and tsked at her youthful but true comments. “Hush ye Ellen, ye’re far too young to be thinking such thoughts anyway, and when the time does come we’ll be sure to find you a right fine lad!”

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Previous Outlander post: Marriage of Convenience https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Previous Dunvegan Castle post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/dunvegan-castle-great-hall-and-still-room/

 

Most recent progress on Dunvegan Castle:

 

Left side Watch tower room with access to a work room.

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Off the Work room is a small space which Minn uses for her book work space

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This general work room is part of the original old Castle rooms. It  was used as work room space by Castle residents for many years, as it was better lit with windows and sunlight than some of the other rooms of the time.

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Overview of work room with stairs down to stables and still room storage on the other side of it.

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Outlander: Marriage of Convenience and other things…

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/outlander-garrison-commander-just-give-tobias-his-emmy-now/

 

Ok, I know that everyone is all excited about the upcoming wedding… well, not everyone exactly? Claire for one, is none too excited about the prospect… and will need even more than her usual consumption of alcohol to get through it!  In my preparation for this wedding, I decided to go back and re-read the Wedding and aftermath portion of the book. Not so much to compare it in any way to what Starz and Ron Moore do with the event, but to remind myself that it wasn’t nearly so romantic, nor would it really have been considered the Wedding of the Century? Yes, it did have it’s moments but overall, it and the aftermath were pretty much a mess except for the fact that Claire realized just how fine looking Jamie was, and how long it had been since she’d had any sex! Once those realizations and another few glasses of wine hit her, she decided to do her duty, oblige Dougal’s demand that the marriage be legally binding and consummate it. She then discovered that being a Virgin was not necessarily a bad thing for men?!  Of course, it did help that Jamie was such a quick and energetic learner! There was a slight bit of minor misunderstanding on his part of just how the act should be carried out but Claire quickly cleared that up. Jamie was still interested in experimenting however, and there a lengthy debate on the various farm and wild animal versions of the act, of which Jamie was highly knowledgeable on.  During this discussion, Jamie made much comment on the fact that Claire was now his wife and must obey and oblige him… she really should have listened much more closely during that discussion, it might have saved her some pain later on?  As per her usual behavior though, she was not taking the conversation or the concept quite seriously enough? She was far more interested in the current events taking place at that time… I can’t really say that I could blame her too much on that one! It did turn out that there was one animal  whose procreation habits  Jamie was not quite familiar with? How does a Hedgehog make love? Verra Carefully!  Alright, they did have a few days in which to enjoy their newly wedded status before things started to downhill rather quickly.  Those few days at the Inn were of course supervised the men of the Clan who took their role as witnesses quite seriously.  After all it was their duty to ensure that the couple fulfilled their obligation to be wedded and bedded, and the fact that they were drinking on Dougal’s time and money did not hurt either!

 

 

Now, while it was a lovely Wedding, though quite small… and rather uncomfortable for Claire, seeing as she was suffering from over indulging the night before as well as discovering that it was the same church she had married Frank in!

 

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Outlander 2014

Outlander 2014

Outlander 2014

Jamie did try to make it as nice as possible for her by insisting they be married in a Kirk,  and that she have a decent dress to wear for the occasion. Those were a few of his demands to Dougal in going along with the Wedding, which we found out later was more than just save Claire from Black Jack Randall. Dougal always has ulterior motives and this was no exception. He was hedging his bets, covering all his bases on the matter of Jamie’s inheritance of his property, LallyBroch. Ahhh but that’s another long mess for later! Let’s just say here that Dougal did not do this all out of the kindness of his heart for Claire or Jamie!

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While Murtaugh isn’t really all that fond of Claire and doesn’t trust her, he trusts Dougal even less!

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As I mentioned, the Wedding was small but memorable, with Claire and Jamie coming to the realization and understanding that they were in this together and at least they have each other? After all, it could have been worse, she could have been stuck with Rupert?!

Much of the Wedding ceremony was familiar to Claire as it has not changed that much over the centuries. The part that she was not expecting was the ancient Gaelic/Pagan ritual of the Blood vow which included the slicing of their wrists and binding them together while reciting the vows.

Ladies of Lallybroch Jamie and Claire’s Blood Vow

http://www.lallybroch.com/LOL/blood-vow.html

 

“You are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone. I give you my body, that we two might be one. I give you my spirit, till our life shall be done.”

 

After the wedding and those few days of bliss, things deteriorated quickly. A few things had slipped Jamie’s mind in the chaos of dealing with Jack Randall and the excitement of this new sexual freedom? One of those being that while he had given Claire a knife to protect herself, he never bothered to show her how to use it! Even Ned Gowan was shocked at that. She was quickly taught how to use a knife by Rupert of all people, who turned out to be an excellent teacher!  There was much debate on which sort of knife she should be equipped with for her safety and protection?

 

For obvious reasons, the Claymore was not an option

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Nor was the Broadsword!

Scottish broadsword Celtic Broadsword

 

This left the Dirk and it’s smaller counterpart, the sgain-dubh

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0000417_scottish-piper-sgain-dubh-dirk-antique-silver Scottish dirk and Sgian Dubh dirk02

 

Following the knife lessons, there was what Claire perceived as a rather female demeaning attitude towards the use of a gun and why a woman would not be using one in the first place? Jamie had to explain to her that even for him the kick back was furious and, “While I like your smile fine, I like it much better with teeth!” She let that argument die and did not pursue the gun training!

18th-century-flintlock-pistol-6509-p 18th century pistol 17th century pistol

 

Ummmm it’s a good thing that Rupert was an excellent teacher… Left on their own for a bit of time, both Jamie and Claire got carried away with that newlywed pass time and were set upon by wandering English Soldiers while involved in that pass time. A nasty fight ensued and Claire was forced to use her newly honed knife skills on the Soldier who was raping her while the other held Jamie at gunpoint.  As I said, the honeymoon quickly went downhill!  As if that was not enough, Claire decided to pick this time to head back to the Stones. So much for her passionate love with Jamie? Ohhh, she did have some guilt and remorse about the decision, I will credit her for that. Her rationale however, was that she would disappear into the woods where he told her to stay put and he would assume she was eaten by bears or some such thing?

 

Well, no such luck on that front! No, it was not lions, tigers or bears that found her, just the English Army once again! Another terrifying encounter with Black Jack Randall ensued and Jamie had to rescue her again. By this point his patience with her behavior has hit it’s breaking point and he has to take some rather drastic measures to ensure that she understands the seriousness of the situation that they are in and the danger she puts everyone else in with her actions. It’s a matter of justice, he points out later as he explains that if any man in their group had put them all in such peril with such carelessness, they would have lost an ear or at least some fingers. Jamie deems that a lesson she will not forget is necessary and reminds her of his earlier warning of if she left the hiding place where he left her, he would beat her bare ass with a strap. He advises her that he was serious and he is not one to go back on his vows.  Claire learns the realities of the 18th century world and endures a painful and humiliating lashing with the strap from Jamie.  He does spend much time later explaining his reasons and comforting her.

 

I bring this event up because I truly hope that it is played out in the coming episodes. I think that while it was quite graphic and what we would consider abusive in this day and age, it was an important event in the book and in their life together. It was a much more powerful and meaningful experience than the sex was.  It clearly opened Claire’s eyes and her mind to how her actions affected everyone around her and it brought home the fact that this relationship of theirs goes  beyond just a physical, sexual attraction and is far more complex than that.  She understand just how deep Jamie’s feelings, his emotions and his loyalties are engrained within him.

Outlander 2014

So with all of that in mind, Yes I am looking forward to the Wedding… but more so I am looking forward to the aftermath of it!