Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Oh, have I enjoyed the last three days:  I binged on all the available episodes of "Outlander," a STARZ series based on the fantasy/romance/time-travel novels by Diana Gabaldon set in post-WWII England and the rough Scottish Highlands of the mid-18th century.

While bodice rippers are usually not my preferred genre (for fiction, I love a history mystery), I do like bodices and was first drawn to the show because of its costumes, delectable heavy, woolen, tartan get ups, with lots of leather and knitware.  The main female character, Claire, even had a stomacher!  (But, wait, no separate pockets??)  In fact, the show had me at the scene where Claire is dressed by Mrs. Fitz, all the layers added in the correct order (though, again, no detached pockets??)  The clothes aren't that far from what colonial Americans wore, and mainly differ from my own get up in richness and historicity (I don't have wool or linen, only cotton.)  Though, fie on the producers--there's just no way you could rip sassenach Outlander, get all of the outfits at the drop of a hat, unworn and fitting perfectly?  Just no way.   Regardless, I love watching for her very outfits, and those around her--I think I even like the workaday woolens better than the prettier gowns, though the wedding dress was beautiful.  Makes me ready to add some embroidery to something . . . and some plaid!  And I want to get a bum roll for my skirts!    I just recently found a whole blog by the costume designer and can't wait to read it!
open a bodice that way, corset and all.  No way.  But that's Hollywood for you.
The other fantasy part:  clothes were a huge expense; people had few sets, sometimes only two or three. Where does Claire, the outsider

(Oh, yes, and if you are someone who likes men in kilts, well, there's lots of that.)

(On a side note, one of Mama's coworkers, who notices it as one weakness in many action or adventure films, would ask, where do they get the shampoo out there in the Highlands?  It's true--they always have lovely, clean hair!)

The setting--amid Scotland's prettiest scenery--was also enticing. Those castles, those stones, those mountains, those streams.   I can quite imagine being there in that untouched landscape . . . more than imagine, plan--because now I want to add Inverness to our dream plans to visit Scotland next June!!   (Ideal itinerary right now includes London, Winchester, a stop off to the Pudding Club at Mickleton wherever that is, York and environs, Edinburgh, and now Inverness!)

I've even found a blog about foods inspired by the show, Outlander Kitchen.  I might have to try my hand at bannocks.  And I'll bake them while listening to the soundtrack, plus other music by Julie Fowlis, Tartanic, MacTalla M'or (a local bagpipe rockband), and general bagpipe music.

Of course, I'm not new to Hibernophilia, having learned that my own ancestors are from Scotland and were (probably) at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots (rumor has it were related to someone she ordered beheaded.)  We go to the Highland games here, took a Gaelic lesson, bake shortbread, watch caber tosses, like bagpipe music, enjoy the Sailor's hornpipe--mercy, Mama has even eaten haggis.  And we all like the movie Brave!  So, casual, recreational fans of things Scottish.

So, yep, I'm enjoying "Outlander."

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