Tag Archive | romance

Vikings: Rollo is taking names?

Ok, before we continue with the events of Wessex, I just have a quick message? We all know that there has been some trouble between Rollo and Siggy… Rollo has not forgiven her for past transgressions and he came on this voyage to Wessex in some attempt to forget about her. With that intent in mind, he has chosen to enjoy his freedom and is in search of someone to help take his mind off from that other woman? 

Rollo's shield wall line Siggy siggy who

 I did laugh at his version of a standard pick up line. but he swears that it works on every woman that he encounters? I am somewhat biased in my opinion on this, since I am already so enamoured of him.  I do think that it’s most likely not so much the rather lame line, but the smile that has returned to his face! Over the past few years we have seen so little of that smile, that is good to see him laughing and enjoying life again.

So, in this time before telephones, computers and such other conveniences of making arrangements and meeting up, Rollo has a rather unique way of setting dates? He has mentioned that if you feel you fit his requirement of being a free and honest woman who is interested in spending time with him, you can feel free to carve your name upon his shield and he will contact you to discuss the matter more fully.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, I understand that many women of this time do not read or write very well, so I have volunteered to take on the task of inscribing your name for you should you wish to set up a meeting with him. Please be advised and forewarned that he is not looking for a long term arrangement at this time but merely wishes to find some good, honest and free women to pass his time with while here in Wessex. Also, please understand that his schedule is very hectic what with various battles and such… so it may take a while for him to get back to you?  Now, if you are by chance of high born Noble blood, please state such- it may give you some slight advantage and he could possibly be swayed to consider more than a casual affair. Do be sure to be honest though because he has been deceived recently and did not take it well?

If you are interested in such a meeting and discussion, please leave your name in the comments for this post and I will work on inscribing your name upon his shield!

Photo credit to  FB.com/Roll.Like.Rollo

Photo credit to
FB.com/Roll.Like.Rollo

It seems that women from all over Wessex and the rest of the world have heard of Rollo’s ploy? He appreciates your interest and desire to meet him. Please rest assured that he will make every effort to seek you all out during his travels this spring! There is still room on the shield, should you be interested in meeting him!

rollo's way of setting up dates

Two additional women just recently came forward expressing their desire? Ummmm, the one name I was advised to cross of immediately… I was told in no uncertain terms that this “Lady” was neither a “lady”, definitely not honest, and most certainly not free- but rather highly expensive in terms of silver and of life? The other one he has said he knows nothing of yet so allow her to remain on the list and he will check her out when he reaches Paris?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A heartfelt Thank You!

I want to take some time to express my appreciation for all of you who have visited here and made this endeavor of mine such a success! In checking the stats for my blog tonight, I was amazed by the sudden realization that my random thoughts and words have now reached 20,ooo views. I know that some of you more successful bloggers out there- those of you who know what you’re doing… this milestone might not seem like all that much. For me, though, this is a huge accomplishment!

First of all, before I go any further, I want to thank Diana Gabaldon for her creation of the Outlander series which has swept me away through the Stones into a whole new life and journey. Long before I discovered her work, I was writing and creating my own little fantasy time travel world here. What Diana’s books, her devotion and allegiance to her fans, and her support of all writers have done for me is this: With her works and her many devoted fans, she has given me the self confidence to share my writing attempts and my creations. Through her support and guidance to aspiring writers, I have learned so much. Most of all, I have learned that it’s okay to write in the style that I do… chunks of seemingly unrelated scenes that eventually come together as long as I don’t forget an important character and leave them stranded somewhere in time? She has put herself out there, made herself and her knowledge available in so many places for us to learn from her even if we can not meet her in person. Because of this sharing of her experiences, I find myself more comfortable sharing my bits and pieces of thoughts and words with others even if they are never quite finished!

 

I began taking this blogging experience seriously about a year and a half ago.  For me it was a simple little experiment to see if I could do it, and stick with it? I have some major issues with ADD and procrastination which generally result in my not sticking with projects that I start. So, this blog was sort of a test for me… I wanted to push myself, to set some goals and have a way of holding myself accountable for continuing to work on them.  I thought that if I created a page or space where I could put my work, then maybe I would be more successful at continuing my projects.

When I originally started the blog, it was for the purpose of sharing my Sims3 creations and stories all in one place, rather than having them scattered all about in various Sims3 community sites. Honestly, trying to keep up with such a number of communities was consuming more and more of the limited time I had to devote to creating. It became much easier to just have it all in one place.

Many of you who have only recently started following and viewing this site probably wonder at the titles and are most likely not even aware of the original basis for the names. I know many of you assume that this is just an Outlander based blog… well, yes that is what it has become since I fell through the Stones with Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series early this summer. But, it did begin with an entirely different story based on my own theories of time travel. So, while I do thank each and every one of my fellow Outlander time travelers for making this site the success that it is, I also feel that I need to thank the earliest followers of my work. The Sims3 communities and members that have stuck by me since the ragged and rambling beginnings. Those simmers who appreciated and valued my creativeness, who inspired and encouraged me to continue with it, who still come here in search of Sims related content and information, only to find an endless sea now of Outlander! To all of you simming friends, I give you my endless gratitude and the promise that I have not completely given up on the simming or the stories! I am hoping to return to some it in the next few weeks. I do miss my own story telling and the creative process that the Sims provides.  In my most recent ventures back into the simming, some of the characters from my long running soap opera type story even made their own connection to those more famous members of the Outlander Series…

For those unfamiliar with my sims related projects and stories, you can find more information in some of the separate pages devoted to them, or if you have an enormous amount of time and need something to fill up your days waiting for more Outlander… You could always go back to my archives and start the story from it’s earliest beginnings with Lady Eleanor DeGuille and Royals Castle?  Wow, that brought back memories for me! Poor Eleanor is still trapped between the walls of one Haunts Castle waiting for someone, anyone, to come rescue her!  Our story was moving along at a fairly good pace until we were side tracked by a few other  things… Dunvegan Castle, the Viking history of one Eric North, and Outlander!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/lady-eleanors-journal-entries/

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother's spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother’s spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

 

As I mentioned, one of the other projects that side tracked us in the story was Eric North’s decision to go home to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. He is one of those characters that ends up having a mind of his own and insisted on telling his story! Eric’s appearance in the story began in the present day when he met Judith Self. He began with some minor small appearances in the storyline but for some reason, his character took on a larger than planned role. He emerged as a central character for much of the early medieval portion of the story where he appeared with Arthur and Guinivere in their ill fated story… He was a friend and fellow knight of Arthur’s and Adrian DeWare’s, and somehow his story took on a life of it’s own!

Eric’s appearance in the Arthur and Guinivere portion of the story

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/eleanors-journal-61-beyond-the-tower-and-back-again/

Screenshot-25

 

Eric and Brenny into the woods Eric North poster

Eric begins his story of his ancient Viking history and it’s connection to Dunvegan Castle

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/eleanors-journal-the-depths-of-erics-past-from-norseland-to-vampyres-and-romans/

Eric and friends10 Eric holds Reina

You can read about the Dunvegan Castle project starting here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/from-the-creator-history-of-dunvegan-castle/

dunvegan castle

My interpretation of Dunvegan Castle

overview of front with windows, towers and turrets Screenshot-11 Screenshot-9

 

I did mention that during the work on Dunvegan Castle and our characters’ involvement in that place, there was recently a reference and connection made to Outlander. Right now as the story stands, Eric and Brenny are remembering their time spent at Dunvegan during the 1700s when much work was done on improving the conditions of the Castle. When last we saw them, they were having a serious discussion about an odd invitation they had received from the Clan MacKenzie?

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Eric and Svein in the stable Rory's parsel of correspondance Wedding Invitation The women have their own discussion

 

Now, I hope this clears up some of the confusion or wondering about the origins and beginnings of this blog. I hope that you take some time to explore the other portions of it that I have devoted so much time and love to over the last year. I will soon get back to my own stories and characters because they are the reason I am here in the first place! They have a place in my heart forever and I am deeply devoted and attached to all of them. Even though my story winds and bends through space and time… much like my mind most of the time, I do still want to continue the journey for them and not leave trapped in the mists of time! I write in fits and starts, chunks of seemingly unrelated pieces but, as Diana Gabaldon has mentioned about the individual writing process, that is entirely Okay as long as I remember where I left each of them and don’t leave one of them trapped for years? If it’s alright for little Jemmy to be stuck in a cave for years, for Jamie Fraser to be waiting on a window sill for many months… then I guess Eleanor DeGuille should not be complaining about being trapped in the walls of Haunts Castle for a few more months!

leaving Jamie ing the window Jack wins the hand with a rope in the drawer Dragon Fly in Amber 11_dragonfly_in_amber_00001

 

Don’t worry Eleanor and Judith, Eric will eventually come to your rescue!

Judith and Eleanor in the hall

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Sassenach, Ode to Claire

Every once in a while you hear something that moves you so much that you feel a need to share it with others. Many of us Outlander fans feel this way about the Outlander experience? We are so moved and inspired by the timeless and unending story that herself, Diana Gabaldon has created. It touches us in many ways and it makes us want to share the experience and the legend with the world around us. What I find so interesting about all of it too, is that it gives many of us the courage, and the confidence to step out of that fantasy world and explore our own world more in a variety of ways from learning more about history, other cultures and countries, to experiencing life in ways we might never have thought of before. Her fantasy story of Claire, the Sassenach, traveling through the Stones and time to experience and embrace a new life is one that many of us can relate to on so many different levels. I look at those Stones as a metaphor for facing our own fears, taking a leap of faith at times, closing our eyes and going through to a whole new world.

There are so many fans out there who have used the books as their inspiration to create in order to share the legendary experience that Outlander has become. From blogs filled with writing and artwork, to crafters of beautiful and meaningful representations of the rich history presented throughout the books, to fun and whimsical creations. Recently I was so touched by a piece of music that I felt I had to help the artist share it with others! Like many of us, this talented artist was just trying to share her thoughts with us, and I don’t think she had any idea of what a really wonderful thing she had accomplished in just a short time.  She posted her video clip on our facebook group and many of there were so touched by it that we wanted her to share it somewhere so it could be shared by more people.

She has finally posted it on youtube for us! Here is the video, Ode to Claire by Belinda Apps!

Outlander 2014

 

 

What I found so truly amazing about this video is the fact that Belinda wrote the song, sang it, and put together the video montage in just a few short hours! Belinda is not a professional singer, has had no formal voice training or writing courses. As she puts it, she is a novice at all of it, including the Outlander experience and obsession. Where some have been true fans and fanatics for as long as Diana has been writing them- over twenty years, Belinda admits to being somewhat of a new comer to it. “I’ve been obsessed with Outlander for almost two years now, so I am a novice really. When you think about how long some people have been on the Outlander Train I’m still in the back carriage, I haven’t made it to First Class yet!”

Another thing I found so moving about this video and Belinda’s voice is the fact that her voice and the song so quickly immersed me in a feeling of the eastern U.S. mountain folk music which includes the area where Claire and Jamie eventually settled on Fraser’s Ridge. I could easily imagine this song being written back then by one who knew them and their legendary love story, such as Roger…imagine it being sung by those so close to them and being passed down through generations as most folk songs are. Belinda has captured that all so uniquely and so well without ever having been near that place or being that familiar with Early American Folk music. Belinda has never been to the U.S.  “I’m from Australia and, no I’ve never been to Eastern Us or anywhere else overseas! 🙂  I didn’t do it intentionally but I don’t mind that I sound like I come from the US mountains at all, some of the best music in the world came/comes from places like that!”

 

When I asked Belinda about other hobbies, she shared, “I love art too and paint and draw whenever I can. And I’ve now added amateur writer to the list!  I’ve been working on my very first attempt to write a book for a few months now and I think its going ok. Only time will tell I guess!”

Here is another sample of her writing!

 

Outlander Rap, Lol!
There was a hot scot and his name was Jamie,
Claire was his Sassenach, his leading lady.
She fell through the stones and became his wife,
And now they live together in his crazy life.

Brown curly hair and eyes like whisky,
(If you don’t like my rap, please don’t diss me!)
Claire was a beauty, Jamie couldna resist,
 Fell head over heels with the verra first kiss!

Sexy blue eyes and hair of red,
Now Jamie is the hottie sleepin’ in Claire’s bed!
Now I know what your thinkin, lucky lady, lucky gent?
But they were whisky bound and ‘Jackie’ hell bent!

Yes Black Jack Randall tried to make their life hell,
But their love for each other was like a magic spell.
No matter what he did, no matter what he tried,
He couldn’t break the spell they were wrapped inside!

Then the sad day came when they had to part,
Twas  for her  own safety,  Jamie broke  Claire’s  heart.
Yes he sent her back through to save her life,
Back to the future – and to be Frank’s wife.

Now Claire’s hubby Frank, back in 1945,
Had no idea that his wife was still alive!
When she came back it was quite a shock,
To find the baby bump hidden under her frock!

At Culloden Jamie died, or so Claire thought,
But he lived after all coz he bravely fought.
20 years passed by and then Claire came back,
She was older and wiser- still had a good rack!

In the meantime Jamie’s life had changed a lot,
Claire didn’t care- he was still a smoking hot Scot!
So they went to America, yeah that’s what they did,
Then they claimed a piece of land and they called it Frasers Ridge!

Then along came Bree and Roger Mac,
They came through the stones and then they went back!
Now Rogers gone and Bree’s still there,
And Jemmy’s been taken, and she don’t know where!

And Jamie’s nephew Ian, well he met himself a Quaker,
She dressed real plain but she’s still a heartbreaker,
With his Indian tatt’s and a dog named Rollo,
I Guess Ian’s had enough of ridin’ solo!

There’s Lord John Grey, he’s a little bit queer,
Got the hots for Jamie and tried to keep him near,
But Jamie’s into Claire, won’t be buggered again,
Coz he’s been there before, you see, Black Jack was also into men!

Right about now you’re thinking ‘what the hell!?’
What’s gunna happen next? With Diana you can never tell!
Well it all a mystery and we’ll wait impatiently,
To see what happens when we get to MOBY!

By
Belinda Apps

 
I hope you enjoy Belinda’s creativity and talent as much as I do! Thank you so much Belinda for allowing me to share this with everyone! I think you were a Bard and a story teller in some past life and Diana has brought it back to your memory and your heart!

Frank Randall The Final Chapter

previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

Just a reminder, this does contain many spoilers for all of the books right up to Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!

Okay, Frank and I both had far too much Whiskey last night and the discussion got rather more personal than was intended! We decided that perhaps it might be better to continue it at some other time? We’re both suffering  from a bit of a headache this morning!

Frank with a headache

Maybe some fresh air would do us some good? I casually suggest this to Frank, adding that I would love a tour of  the area being that I am not from around here. Frank agrees, not seeing what the harm could be in a drive through the countryside.

Of course, being the workaholic that he is and ever the well prepared and proper Englishman, he brings along his notes and his hat!

Frank on the way to crag na dun

Outlander 2014

And, we’re off  on a lovely outing to spend the day wandering the sights of  Frank’s Scotland… Yes, he does assume that this is just a spur of the moment idea of mine. Little does he realize that I recovered fully from my over indulgence of the previous night, and am now determined to keep this fact seeking mission under my control!  I woke up early and set myself a clear agenda of what I must find out today, whether Frank cooperates is of  course an entirely different matter? Hopefully though, we can get through this and come out with more information than his usual non-committed evasive answers.

 

We start the day with an early morning stop to enjoy the water side view and get some strong coffee. Frank looks and acts like he may be in dire need of it before heading out on the road with me! I try to keep the conversation light and avoid any mention of my true intentions for this trip. He is quite polite and thoughtful as he inquires as to what I might like to see?  Perhaps as long as we’re in the city already, he suggests that I might like a tour of some of the museums or such?  Well, yes I guess that might be interesting but could he give me more of a personalized tour based on his expertise and background as a History Professor? I’ve heard that his lectures were always quite interesting and often contained items and ideas of the personal history that helps us all to relate more to the past…

tobias frank

Frank is as most times, well guarded and cautious, wondering what I am referring to?

tobias frank6

“Ohhhh I’ve just heard how you manage to bring history to such life with your lectures on the more common items of use and décor from the past?”  I  watch his face for clues as I mention a lecture where he presented some objects from his personal collection… a bottle of perfume, and small miniatures that so closely resembled Claire.

Guerlain Bleue, Frank's favorite scent and one that Claire often wore

Guerlain Bleue, Frank’s favorite scent and one that Claire often wore http://perfumesmellinthings.blogspot.com/2014/05/coup-de-foudre-guerlains-lheure-bleue.html

          

L’Heure Bleue / L’Heure Bleu – the perfume Claire was using to smooth down her hair the night Frank saw the ghost staring at her in her window.  Claire notes it is Frank’s favourite.  L’Heure Bleue is an actual perfume by Guerlain. It is spelt without an ‘e’ at the end of ‘bleu’ in Outlander which is incorrect both in terms of French grammar and as a misspelling of the actual perfume. (Outlander, chapter 1). In the dream that Claire has of Frank giving a lecture, Frank again states that L’Heure Bleu is  his favourite perfume (DIA, chapter 10)

“A Lady,” he said softly, cradling the last of the portraits in his palm, shielding it for the moment. “With brown hair curling luxuriantly to her shoulders, and a necklace of pearls. Undated. The artist unknown.”

 It was a mirror, not a miniature.  My cheeks were flushed, and my lips trembled as Frank’s finger gently traced the edge of my jaw, the graceful line of my neck.  The tears welled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I heard his voice, still lecturing, as he laid down the miniature, and I stared upward at the timbered ceiling.

 “Undated. Unknown. But once…once, she was real.”

 (DRAGONFLY Chapter 10, “A Lady, With Brown Hair Curling Luxuriantly”, p. 152 in the hardcover)

 

miniature of woman

Credit and thanks to Outlandish Observations for the imagery and the information! http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.com/2012/08/repost-dragonfly-imagery.html

frank's lecture3

Frank gives away nothing but remains thoughtful as he ponders my comments. “So, what you’re saying is you would prefer to see my personal history collection than that of the generic museum pieces? Unfortunately, I do not have the collection available right now, otherwise I would be more than happy to oblige you on that!”

tobias frank3

Ohhhhh smooth, Frank, very smooth on that evasion! Well, Let’s forgo the museums, shall we, and just head out to the country! Frank laughs and points to the car, “Well, let us just do that then, I am sure that you have some particular spot in mind? I can see that you are quite as devious and determined in your thoughts as even I might be and it’s obvious that you have not given up on your goal!”

As we drive out to the more rural area and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Frank asks a bit warily where I would like to go first? He is resigned to the fact that I do have an agenda which includes grilling him on any number of rather touchy subjects. So, when I glance over at him and respond with my destination, he just nods his head and sighs. “I thought perhaps we could head up to an ancient kirk I’ve heard much about, you might know of it? St. Kilda’s kirk, I believe it’s called?”

He softly answers while driving through the winding roads, “Yes, I am well acquainted with the place as I know you are well aware of, so no need to play games about it.” As he drives one handed, easily managing the country roads, I look over and notice that the wedding ring on his finger. I can not help but feel some compassion for this man who has been accused and suspected of so much… yes, even by me, but in reality has done little to warrant those harsh thoughts other than be the man of a time he was born to? In fact, he has done far more positives than many men of his time would have done.  He accepted a wife’s return from the grave and another man’s arms, tried to make a life together with her and the daughter that he came to love as his own, did his utmost to protect them both from what ever secrets the past and the future might use to destroy them… all the while knowing full well that his wife did not truly love him as she loved someone else. He spent countless year of marriage competing with that ghost from the past. Knowing from personal experience, I can relate well to the fact that it is almost impossible to compete with a dead loved one. I close my eyes during the drive and think my own silent thoughts on how he must feel in this situation. I have been in a similar situation to both Claire and Frank, and can feel the pains of both their hearts. That, however does not dissuade me from this mission of wanting to know more. I can not let it interfere with today’s journey!

frank's wedding ring

We ride on in silence for a time, each of us lost in our own thoughts.  I quiet my mind by looking out at the views. The past come alive as we drive and I see the landscape surrounding me.

Scottish-Countryside4 Scottish-Countryside2 scottish farm house3 scottish countryside3 scottish countryside

Frank turns off on to a side road, then explains that we will have a bit of hiking to get to the old kirk.

road to logie kirk logie kirk path

(Excerpts from Dragonfly in Amber in which St Kilda’s kirk is described)

St kilda kirk1 st kilda2 st kilda3

I assure Frank that I’m fine with a hike, in fact I’m looking forward to it. I am excited to see this ancient old kirk with it’s important history!

*Please note that St. Kilda’s Kirk as mentioned in the books is a fictional creation of Diana Gabaldon’s. For our representation here, I am using Logie Kirk located outside of Stirlingshire.

http://www.instirling.com/walks/logmap.htm

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/see-do/logie-old-kirk-p669361

 

As we hike up the path, I take time to reassure Frank that I understand what a difficult this visit probably is for him. I want him to know that what ever else may be speculated on by others, I believe his reasons for placing the gravestone here were well intentioned.  We arrive at the site and I am overwhelmed with the view of such history in front of me. After spending a little time exploring the old kirk, we head over to the cemetery.

Logie Kirk

Logie kirk2 Logie kirk3 Logie kirk4

The walk through the cemetery is haunting, eerie and yes, a little unsettling for both of us.

logie kirk13 Old logie kirk3 logie kirk10

 

Upon finding the graves we came here in search of, we are both at a loss for speech at the moment. There is no need for words in this quiet of reflection.

Old Logie kirk2 logie kirk9

 

 

tobias frank5

Finally, he turns to me, gives me a look of determination and says stoically, “Well then, go on with your questions. What ever it is you think you need to know, I’ll try to answer as best I can.”

I sigh sadly, I am rather at a loss for words still… I truly do feel for him, my heart hurts along with his right now and I feel guilty for dredging this all up again but, will carry on as I think it’s important for him to talk about it to someone? I am quite sure that he’s never been able to talk much about it to anyone, save maybe the Reverend Wakefield? Fine then, that’s where I’ll start, with the Reverend! That seems a middle ground and safe point for the time being…

“Some of the accounts and references mention the fact that you and the Reverend Wakefield became very close friends. In fact, Roger mentioned that Reverend often brought his church group up here to maintain the grave yard and the graves.  When Claire returned and everyone thought she was delusional and possibly crazy…including you, I might add? But, you didn’t really believe she was, did you? Because you quickly and quietly asked the Reverend to research all of it and see what he could find out.  I have to wonder too, about that odd Mrs. Graham? She is the one who told you about the Stones, and she was one of those Druid Dancers…

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz

“When Claire disappeared, you scoffed at Mrs. Graham’s suggestion and probably thought she was a crazy old crone? But, you did have second thoughts on the idea because we know you made that trip back to the Stones. I think you already had your own suspicions even then, but couldn’t say them out loud because of course then you would look crazy as well! No one has ever made mention of your years while Claire was gone. That is all just coming to light now. I have to wonder, did you go back and talk to Mrs. Graham again, possibly taking her more seriously the next time? Did she happen to tell you about her visit with Claire and the reading of her fortune?

Mrs Graham and Claire

“It just seems to me that maybe during those years while she was gone, you did do a lot more research in secret and knew far more than you could say or admit when she returned? I really wonder now how much all of you knew? You, the Reverend, and Mrs. Graham, how many secrets did you keep to protect those you all cared about?”

Frank and Reverend Wakefield Frank and Reverend Wakefield2

 

Frank doesn’t answer me right away, just sits there with head in hands. After a time he responds quietly, “Yes, we kept secrets to protect those we cared about. Is that so wrong?”

I nod my head and sigh, “No, we all keep secrets whether we admit it or not, whether small or large, to protect those others, or to avoid hurting them in some way. I understand that Frank, and I certainly don’t judge you for them. I would imagine that when you discovered some of your information, you realized just how much more there was going on and what a danger there was to your family. I also do understand that you can’t share all of it even now, the danger still exists, doesn’t it, for those you care so much about?”

Frank nods in agreement, “I did my best to prepare them for it, but I couldn’t come right out and tell them everything, could I? Who would have believed me… I don’t think even Claire would have believed me then, she would have assumed I was even crazier than people assumed she was! No, the key to keeping everyone as safe as possible was, I believed, to prepare them but not let them know? I thought it was one of those situations where the less one knows, the safer one is?” He shrugged in frustration, “Maybe I was wrong… but, as I said, I did what I felt was right at the time and I stand by my decision.”

I feel I have to ask him another question about secrets and mysteries while we’re on that subject. “Frank, do any of these secrets that you felt you had to keep have to do with the Fraser prophecy and the Brahan Seer? As a historian, I’m sure you know about the myths and legends of the Brahan Seer, so what I am asking is, do you believe in any of it and how much do you know about it?” I pause a moment and watch his face turn grim.

We know that Bree eventually found a letter from you warning of some grave danger that she could be in. I have to think that this is all tied to that prophecy somehow?

Frank shows his frustration and comes close to losing his temper with me. “Of course it’s all tied together! Why the Bloody Hell do you think I am worried about my family? I can’t tell you any more right now because I just do not know a lot more about it but yes they are all in danger due to that Damnable Prophecy, whether I believe in it or not is irrelevant, someone believes in it and is out to harm my family because of it!”

Additional information on the Brahan Seer and his prophecies, along with more discussion on Fraser Prophecy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahan_Seer

http://outlanderbookclub.freeforums.org/ol-series-fraser-prophecy-t896.html

 

 

 

Some time later we walk back through the grave yard, stopping at the grave of  Jonathon Wolverton Randall. Both of us stare down at it and shake with some invisible chill still hanging in the air. “After all of your research on him, do you know how or why he came to be here in this cemetery?” I ask and then add, “And, why on Earth would you think it appropriate to place the stone for Jamie and Claire here in the same place? Excuse me if I sound a little harsh, but really, don’t you think that was more than a little cruel to do to Claire? I mean, I could understand your frustration and even some resentment with her but if you wanted to get back at her in some way, I just think this was carrying a grudge way too far!”

Frank at the Stones

Frank’s reaction is one of  long lingering frustration and pain, “First of all, I have no idea how or why he ended up here! Second, excuse my language but in the words of my wife…Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! If the woman had chosen to tell me all of the disgusting and gory details rather than keep silent in her attempt to forget the whole thing and go on with her life, Do you honestly think I would have put it here? Damn it all to Hell, I am not a Bloody Time Traveler. Even in my extensive research, I can only find what is actually written down about people.” Frank is angry now and begins to voice his long held frustration over much of the situation. “All I ever knew of the man was that he was a well respected British officer who died doing his duty to his Country .  Culloden was indeed a tragic event for the Scottish people, but one can not forget that many of those British Soldiers were only carrying out orders in time of war? I could only assume that this ancestor of mine was doing that since I was not privy to those most important details like Claire was!” 

frank3

Frank goes on and admits grudgingly, “Yes, I was angry with Claire, I resented that love and that life she had with her Jamie… But, do you know what I was most resentful and bitter about? It wasn’t even about her and Jamie… it was that I felt like the gift of  Time Travel was rather wasted on her? She never did care much about the importance or the details of History, never really understood the great gift she held in her soul, to be able to travel through time, experience and witness all of it? When she returned, she just wanted to forget all of it, didn’t want to be reminded of it. She was never interested in my life’s work, my passion and didn’t want to share it with me. Maybe if she had shared more of it with me, I would have shared more with her?  I know it’s all water under the bridge now, but it still hurts, the way things turned out…”

 

“Bloody Hell, Damn her for not telling me all of it… And, Damn him for constantly haunting me! Do you have any idea what it is like to discover and realize that some ancestor that you admired and held in such high esteem was in reality a cruel, sadistic and Hellish sort of Bastard? Then to wonder, even though his blood is not directly yours, whether that capability or trait runs deep within you… or God help us, in one of your family. To constantly fight a battle within yourself to maintain complete control of your emotions, for to let go in any way might signal that he does exist somewhere in you? To live with that constant fear now…” He shudders and tries to shake off the presence of Jack Randall. “I guess, perhaps Claire was right in not mentioning it to me? Now, I wonder too how she managed it herself, all of those years of knowing, of being with me and seeing some reflection of him?”

haunted at the grave

 

We walk away from the stone and breathe much easier. Soon we find ourselves back at the stone for Claire and Jamie.

logie kirk9

 

“Okay, Why… Why put it up here in an out of the way place where no one would ever see it, save you and of course… the Reverend?  Of course you did it for a reason, but people want to know, Frank? People want to know why you kept it hidden from Claire? And, from Bree… but, you knew they would find it one day, didn’t you, otherwise why put it up anywhere in the first place?”

At the mention of  daughter Bree, Frank reached out and ran a hand slowly over the Stone. “I did it for her, for Bree… Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for her and her future, what ever she decides to do with it.  Everything that each of us comes down to that. We keep our secrets, we change our lives, give up our dreams and our lives if we have to in order to give our children a life, a future. Hopefully, they will remember us fondly with love, know that we loved them beyond all else, they will remember what we’ve taught them and they will carry that with them to pass it to their children? In the end, we are the history- the past, they are the future and we do what we must to ensure that future for them.” He brushes a tear out of his eye as he continues. “All of our lives and our stories are connected, woven into each other’s, the past, the present and the unknown future. Our children, whether they be of our blood or our heart keep us connected for better or for worse… I would hope that it would always be for the better, but that does not always happen. In our case, despite all of our differences and our resentments of each other, despite the secrets we kept, we all did what we thought was best for Bree? Jamie gave her and Claire up to ensure that safety and future for them, Claire gave up Jamie for the same reason… and what did I give up? My loss of a devoted and “happy” wife who would love me as much as she loved that other person seems quite insignificant when compared to what they gave up?  I gained the most of the situation. I received the greatest gift of all, a child whom I loved with all of my heart, whom I never wanted to see hurt in any way. I would lay down my life to protect her and keep her from harm, but as every parent knows, you can not protect them from life completely?  I knew that one day, Bree would search for answers, I hoped her path would lead her here and she would see this. Claire and I agreed, whether it’s right or wrong is really not up for debate… we agreed to keep the secret, thinking it was best at the time for Bree. I think we knew in our hearts that she deserved the truth and this was my way of starting that process. I knew that Claire would one day go back to her ghost that has haunted us from the beginning.”

the highland ghost frank-in-rain-by-kath-powell

 

“That ghost of James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser has been with me since the first night I saw him! I know that he is not going away until he is sure that his family is safe, his honor and his legacy is shared? Claire is a part of that, as is Bree and her children… For what ever reasons, I am a part of it as well? It  was and is my destiny to protect them into the future… I owe him an unending gratitude for the gift of Bree.

 

Frank’s  heart wrenching cry this time was not for his long lost wife, but for his daughter and all of the pain that he could not protect her from? “It started here in the Highlands for all of us, the hurts, the haunts, the ghosts and the  Demons within… but where will  it end?”

Frank yelling more

Claire and Culloden

Photo credit to Daniela Lippke via twitter!

 

 

I gently lead Frank away from all of it.  “Frank, for you, it has all ended… You have done your part, what you needed to do, and whether it was right or wrong is not for any of us to judge? You need to go on and rest at ease with the fact that while Claire might not have loved you the way you loved her, she did love you? And, Bree will always love you, carry your memory and heart within her, and she knows that you loved her. That is all anyone can wish for upon their passing, the knowledge that they were loved and they made a difference in someone’s life. All of the rest is of no consequence in the end!

frank-leaving-the-stones2

Excerpt from Fiery Cross in which Bree thinks of Frank

Frank in Fiery Cross pg 209

frank's letter in Fiery Cross

 

As we walk away together into the mists, I touch his hand and smile, “If it’s any consolation, Frank, I didn’t bother with another  rather minor little detail that people seem so insistent on debating and bickering over?”

Frank in the mist

He gives me a half hearted pondering look and asks, “Ohhh and what would that be?”

“Ahhhh, that would be that age old question of whether you cheated on Claire? I am not going to delve into it because really, it makes little difference whether you did or not? If you want to talk about it before we leave… if it seems to be some matter on which you feel a need to clear your conscience, then by all means feel free to clear the air? I am of the personal opinion that perhaps you did but, as I said, it makes little difference. I have a document  from herself, Diana Gabaldon in which she clearly comes to your defense on this matter.  There are many, though, who dispute her theory and explanation on this subject and they insist that you treated Claire so badly as to cheat on her?  My response to that is, she did cheat on you as well didn’t she, even though she had a Priest’s atonement and absolvement for any such sin. I understand that you and she did not have a perfect relationship in your years together after her return and you may have turned elsewhere seeking some sort of physical or emotion that she couldn’t give you. I am not condoning it or approving it… that is a highly personal matter for you and Claire to work out someday? I will provide Diana’s transcript for anyone interested in her view on the situation. And, as I mentioned, if you choose to divulge anything now, it will not be held against you later!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/diana-gabaldons-defense-of-frank-randall/

 

Frank’s response… No words, no heartfelt explanation of denial or excuses…

tobias frank2 Frank admits to three

Well… I guess we’ll just leave it at that then and wonder if that means what we think it does?

 

Ahhhh and that concludes our visit with Frank Randall… if anyone should need him, he will be on that other side,  involved in what might be a rather lengthy air clearing discussion with his wife and their other spouse, James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser otherwise known as the ghost in the night! Hopefully, they can all avoid any discussion with the spirit of Jonathon Wolverton Randall!

the highland ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: 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?

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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