Fun Day Sunday:  Grati Hopes for a Nearby Richard Armitage Movie Con, April 20, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #550)

San Diego Comic Con, Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia, Cinema Con in Las Vegas touting Into the Storm (see Getty image below of Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Director Steven Quale), Hobbit Con in Bonn, Germany, and now Wonder Con in Anaheim, California .  N.B. Click here for the link to ArchedCory1’s Hobbit Con 2013 Report on the Heirs of Durin site.

Wonder Con 2014 Images below are courtesy of Marie DuPont (left) and Warner Bros. Pictures via Peoso (right).

WonderCon2014--ArmitageProjectedonJumboScreenApr1914MarieDuPontFB-sized-shrp-crop2  WonderCon2014--Armitage&MaxDeaconRedCarpetInterivewApr1914WBPix-via-peoso--GratiCropSmlr-sized

What do these “Con” conventions all have in common? Dear Friends, their common link is that I, Grati, cannot easily travel to them by car or by train. You see, I’m a fraidy cat about flying. And it’s not like I’m a flying virgin.   I have flown *Grati whines cutely*– four times, round trip (eight flights technically, there and back again *wink*).


So what is a girl/lady like me to do if adventure and fun–and the movie stars whom she would someday like to see in person so she could swoon literally–aren’t at my nearest big city hub of Chicago, Illinois in the U.S.?  Well, I propose that Chicago develops its own entertainment industry convention event. Snap!

I briefly thought about calling this Chicago convention Actor Con–where actors could meet other actors and schmooze about their projects–with fans milling about them on red carpets–but awards shows already do that.  Another idea of mine was to have a Theatre-Con festival, where actors could perform snippets from their recent stage plays–most definitely in the round, and with long hair.  *Purrr* *baver*  But then, the theatres of the world would go dark for several days, depriving their cities of thespian entertainment. Hmmm.  Or maybe a Con-Con, kind of a meta convention across the entertainment industry. But that might prove too broad and unwieldy–and sink Chicago into Lake Michigan with the weight of Hollywood’s and other countries filmmakers’ egos in attendance.
Finally, I had it!  We (meaning many of us, not in the royal we sense) are only/mostly interested in one man, one exquisitely talented and oh so handsome actor/storyteller–and everything related to him–the British actor Richard Armitage.  So we could call the Chicago based entertainment industry convention event Armitage Con with it possibly to be held at one of the large meeting venues–like McCormick Place.  Here is a sample fake poster that I made (right, Richard Armitage portrait from the LA THDofS Premiere 2013 by Steve Granitz, WireImages, courtesy of Getty Images).

An Armitage Con convention could be an entertainment industry event devoted to Richard Armitage, his projects and the colleagues RA has acted with more than once. And the convention event could be touted for actors, directors, producers, creative filmmaker types (think special effects, makeup, etc.), fans, cinema owners, the press (notice, I didn’t say journalists), stylists, etc.  Another feature of this convention event that I would require is that the event special attendees/presenters–such as Richard Armitage–would be announced well in advance as to which stars were attending and when so that people/fans can make travel plans, have a garage sale,  and raid their 401 ks in order to attend.   And time wise, I’m thinking early October 2014–after Richard Armitage’s The Crucible play closes, and  between the  Into the Storm dvd release press and the push for The Hobbit:  There and Back Again movie premiere and release press beginning in earnest in November.  Snap! Besides, Chicago in the Fall with the leaves turning colors is gorgeous!

Here is a potential fake itinerary for a proposed Armitage Con:

1) Day One–Our Guy Day Friday
a) 8am  to 12noonRegistration involving microchipping the attendees so only registered persons get into convention events–no pain, no gain.  This microchip stays in situ and be used and accessed for other fan convention events–becoming the convention industry standard.  There will be dvd and RA projects promotional materials sales booths set up in the exhibition hall to keep the already checked in participants occupied. Personally, I especially want to check out the life size RA bed pillow.  Sighhh!

b)  2:00pm to 4:00pmReception for Attendees hosted by http://www.RichardArmitageinsert fabulous RA fan resource site of your choice] with a special guest appearance, by the man himself!   Well, really only RA’s life sized card board cutout will be on hand for fans to take their pictures with.  Think, Flat Richard.  This will be a major fan schmoozing–meet the fan face behind the gravatar-event.  Wireless is available throughout McCormick Place for live blogging.  Let’s just hope the net doesn’t crash when all the bloggers blog and tweet simultaneously.

c)  6:00pm to 10:00pmAn Evening with Our Favorite Star; formal wear required Spooks7epi5_pix73--RichardArmitage-andHermioneNorrisApr1914ranet-crop-sized(historical era fashion is your choice);  At the remarks portion toward the end of the scrumptious banquet of all of Richard Armitage’s favorite foods (like Thai Curry Chicken, etc.), clips from Richard Armitage’s various artistic projects in film and audio will be shown/heard. There will also be dancing with spot on Richard Armitage in character look-a-likes being auctioned off to support RA’s Just Giving charities.  And maybe, just maybe the Real Richard Armitage will be one of these blokes.  Do you feel lucky that your bid might get you a dance with this devilishly handsome actor–and maybe even get a kiss?  VISA credit and debit cards accepted.  No cash please.  Mr. Armitage doesn’t want twenty dollar bills stuffed down his trousers–which happened at his last charity soiree with dancing. However, 10 pound notes are acceptable.

2)  Day Two–Sexy Saturday Panels of Armitage Projects & Exhibits
a)  8:00am Donuts and Coffee with Spooks series 7 and 8  Actors, but no RA. Now that he no longer has a 4:00am Hobbit films makeup call, RA sleeps in.  And our convention Personal Assistant Talent Minders (PATMs) really have to pound RA’s hotel suite door to get him going in the morning.  I wonder what woke RA up at 4:00am for his Hobbit filming–since he said that he bicycled?

b)  10:00am  Costume Designer RA Character Career Wear–from John Standring Sheep thorin oakenshield Hobbit 2 movie costumeApr1914HollywoodMoviePropsandCostumesBlogspotFarmer Onesies to John Thornton Cravats to Sir Guy of Gisborne Black Leather to John Porter Fatigues to Thorin Oakenshield Pelts and Boots, etc.  Examples of the real costumes will be on display (right, Thorin Oakenshield’s leather, chest armour, and pelt);

c)  12noon  Boxed lunch Sandwiches with Set Designers and their take on creating mood with space;

d)  2:00pm Movie Stunts for Heroes and Villains and Everything in Between–Try your hand at sword play,  or riding a mechanical Warg, or running over changing terrain and through fire; or riding a wheel barrow down a mock molten gold sluice, or hang suspended from chains and tree limbs, or fly on an eagle wings, etc., at the many stations in the main exhibition hall;

e)  4:00pm to 6:00pm  Richard Armitage will Discuss his Current Projects (artistic, not DIY).  And then he will sign movie posters and such.  People wanting their body parts signed by Mr. Armitage should limit said body parts to arms and shoulders–nothing lower, nor a body part usually clothed for decency, please. Mr. Armitage’s favorite wines will also be served, so please drink and expose yourself responsibility and discreetly.  Oh and this is a wine drinking, not a wine tasting event–so no spitting into nearby plant receptacles, please;

f)   8:00pm Armitage Con Banquet then Keynote Speech by Richard Armitage (at about 10:00pm)–RA will be speaking about “All the Roles Where I’ve Loved Before”. This speech will include RA’s views about his characters’ romances in film–the good, the bad, and the so good  that he forgot it was supposed to be fake.  Julio Iglesias will also be singing for his supper during the banquet’s dessert of chocolate cheesecake.  More wine and decaf coffee will be served.  Here is a retrospective of some of those romantic RA character moments in the colinfever RA character video compilation, “Richard Armitage – Passionate Kisses”:

3)  Day Three–Fun Day Sunday Panel
a)  8:00am  Breakfast on Your Own–or with whomever you hooked up with Saturday night, *wink* (remember to hook up responsibily, too);
b)  10:00am A Panel Discussion of RA’s Characters’ Head and Facial Hair by Leading RA Fan Proponents–beard or no, and short or long hair, etc.  The moderator and Co-Presenter is Oscar Winner and Thorin Oakenshield Hair and Makeup Oscar Nominee, Tami Lane (Tami Lane and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, pictured right);

c)  12noon Lunch on the Lawn of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Then Richard Armitage will do a final Q &A and  sign dvd copies of his miniseries “The Impressionists” at the Art Institute Museum Gift Shop as a benefit for the Art Institute’s educational programming, before he jets off to parts unknown for his next movie role (or skiing trip)

P.S. Of course, my alternative proposal would be for Warner Bros. Pictures to have one of the The Hobbit:  There and Back Again premieres in Chicago.  Snap!

Disclaimer:  The above musings were my highly facetious and purely fictitious pie in the sky dreams. There is not now, nor has there ever been an Armitage Con planned for The City of Chicago–or anywhere else, for that matter.  But!  I won’t be peeved if someone else chooses to run with my idea–as long as I get to attend for free.  Ha!  Snap!

And Happy Easter everyone!

Posted in Desolation of Smaug, Fangurling, Fun Day Sunday, Into the Storm, John Porter, John Standring, John Thornton, Lucas North, Middle Earth, movies, Multi-Character RA, North & South, Period Drama, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Romance, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Something About Love, Sparkhouse, Spooks, Strike Back, The Hobbit, The Impressionists, Thorin, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 48 (PG-13): A House Warming and Wedding Planning, April 18, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #549)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 48 (PG-13): A House Warming and Wedding Planning, April 18, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #549)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters: Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: After Baird and Fanny reconciled to the point of becoming officially engaged, they then had to suffer being separated the next day as Baird returned to London for his criminal court case. He hopes to win his case or set an appeal in motion in the next two weeks so that he may return to Milton and marry Fanny on her twenty-first birthday, April 19th.


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 48: A House Warming and Wedding Planning

Unlike his father Dr. Cameron Ogilvy–the current Earl of Airlie–Baird’s court case in London does not allow him the time to be away for a Scottish Highland wedding with all of the trimmings as Cameron and Hannah had enjoyed. And Margaret’s six months pregnant condition makes her uncomfortable with traveling at the moment. So Baird and Fanny have initially settled on a smaller Milton Wedding in two weeks time to coincide with Fanny’s twenty-first birthday on April 19th. And Baird and John had secured that date with the vicar on Baird’s way to the train station Sunday night, April 6th. A man’s life hangs in the balance, so Fanny understood that Baird had to return to London. But they still regretted their parting so soon after becoming officially engaged.

The first week of wedding planning begins with Fanny’s Mother Hannah’s and Stepfather Cameron’s tea party house warming turning into a wedding strategy session the following Tuesday April 8th after Baird returned to London for his firm’s criminal court case. When Fanny, John, and Margaret arrive at Hannah’s and Cameron’s home for tea, they are greeted by their hosts.

Cameron: “Welcome to our home!”

Cameron beams a joyous smile [(2) right] at their guests as he welcomes them to his and DrOgilvy-isGrahamMcTavishinInterview-Jan0514torn-sized-brtHannah’s renovated apartment home above his medical practice offices–with one arm securely around his wife Hannah’s waist. Hannah does not mind her husband’s familiarity. In nearly six weeks of marriage, Hannah has come to enjoy his pampering and his solicitous consideration–in addition to his loving attentions.

The housewarming gathering is a little awkward at first because Dr. Miles Houghton–Cameron’s medical partner–has also been invited. However, taking the bull by the horns, Hannah dispenses with the tension in her usual straightforward way.

Hannah: Kissing Fanny, John, and Margaret, Hannah turns to their other guest. “Miles, here are John and Margaret and Fanny. They have yet to see Cameron’s and my new home. It is good of everyone to make time to join us.” She smiles graciously at everyone. Hannah Thornton Ogilvy has always been the grand lady–and now she is a countess as well, in Scotland, anyway.

John: “Miles.” John thrusts out his hand to the doctor in a cordial greeting.

Dr. Miles: “John and Margaret, it is good to see you again.” He bows to them. “You are well, I hope?” He inquires after Margaret.

Margaret: “Yes, thank you.” She nods and smiles and rubs her growing tummy. Her husband John cannot resist and he also pulls his wife next to him and places his arm protectively and caringly around her back.

Of course with no Baird present, Fanny has no one to embrace her. Although being yet to be married, it would not be seemly for Baird to have his arm around Fanny’s back as the married couples do.

Cameron: “Miles.” Cameron smiles at his colleague, waiting to see how he responds to Fanny.

Dr. Miles: “Cameron”. Both men nod at each other.

Hannah: “And Fanny of course, is engaged to be married to Cameron’s son, Baird Ogilvy.”

Fanny: “Hello, Miles.” Fanny remarks [(3) right] meekly as she holds her left hand bFanny-is-JoJoyner-intheNorth&South_11h04m47s104_Jan1214GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-shrp-clr-brt-masktohead-rev-prplbkgrd-oval2ehind
her back so that Miles does not see her lovely cameo engagement ring that had belonged to Baird’s Mother.

Dr. Miles: “Hello, Miss Fanny.” Miles nods wanly back. Then he rises to the occasion and takes her hand in his and squeezes it. “May I wish you and Baird every happiness.”

Fanny: “Thank you, you are very kind.” She tells him sincerely.

After a quick tour of the renovated apartment and then some tea and cake, Dr.Miles excused himself to tend to patients with some home visits and the wedding planning begins by Hannah, Fanny, and Margaret–with all three ladies consuming more cakes. However, the men–John and Cameron–escape to Cameron’s study where John admires the extensive non-medical book collection that Cameron owns. However, Cameron has an ulterior motive in speaking with John apart from their ladies.

John: “This is a most impressive book collection, Cameron. I think even Mr. Hale would agree.”

Cameron: “Thank ye!” Cameron smiles at the compliment. Gesturing to the large overstuffed leather club chairs situated on either side of the small hearth, he suggests nervously. “Shall we sit, John?” Cameron hopes to have a discussion with John about some possibilities.

John: “Thank you, Cameron. My! This is comfortable.” John strokes the soft leather even as he leans back into the man sized chair. At six foot two inches tall, John finding large comfortable chairs for him to sit in is rare. “Did you bring this set of chairs from Scotland?”

Cameron: “Yes, and no.” John looks at him quizzically. “The chairrr I am sitting in came frrrom Scotland. But yourrr chairrr was a companion one that Hannah commissioned forrr ourrr new home. And so she had my chairrr rrreupholstered in the same leatherrr as the new chairrr–so they matched.” Cameron smiles contentedly in having a wife again who cares about his comfort–and things matching.

Hannah had also subtly upgraded the study’s furnishings from merely dark everything–woods, walls, furniture–to deep maroon colored velvet drapes at the window and other splashes of color with tartan plaid patterned pillows on the reupholstered leather couch and such.

John: Pouting, John notes a tad whinily. “Mother never bought or reupholstered  a comfortable chair for me.” Cameron stifles a small smile, noting John’s small jealousy.

Cameron: “Kkkhhh! Yes, well! Hannah has quite taken to decorrrating our home here. I am cerrrtain that Airrrlie Castle will rrreceive herrr attention soon as well.”

John: “Oh? Are you traveling back to Scotland so soon?”

Cameron: “Nay! Not until afterrr your bairrrn is borrrn. And even then, we might wait until the new yearrr of 1852 to move–so we arrre able to spend Christmas with you and ourrr new grrrandchild.”   “Kkkhh! But we arrre speaking of matterrrs unrrrelated to me purrrpose in talking with ye prrrivately, John.”

John: “Oh?” He blanches, fearful for what his physician Stepfather will tell him. “Is Margaret alright?”

Cameron: “Aye!   She be rrright as rrrain. But Marrrgaret should still rrrest frrrequently. She looks to be grrrowing quite apace of her delicate condition.” Cameron observes.

John: He nods his head knowingly. “Margaret feels that she is becoming as round as an egg–a very large egg.   Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Cameron: “Ha ha ha! Yes, well. Umm.” Cameron delays asking his inevitable question–which, in itself, is a delay tactic for Cameron’s real question. “Kkkhh! Yes! John? Would twins be unusual for the women in Marrrgarrret’s family?” Since twinning is a phenomenon that is found carried down through the female line [(4)].

John: John’s eyes widen in astonishment and his mouth gapes open. “Twins?”

Cameron: “Aye! It is a possibility. Though I have not confirrrmed it yet. Marrrgarrret could simply be rrretaining water.”

John: “Not at the rate that she … eliminates it.”   John smiles blushingly for revealing so private a personal detail. But pregnant ladies have to urinate often. And afterall, Cameron is Margaret’s doctor –and family.

Cameron: “Indeed.”   Cameron looks around the room a moment–assuring himself that no one else is around, and that the study door is firmly shut. It is Cameron’s private study, his enclave, his Scottish man cave. Then he continues rather hesitantly–not knowing how to broach the subject with his wife’s son, John. Then he has an idea. “Bairrrns arrre always a blessing.” Cameron smiles cordially.

John: “They are. I can’t wait to hold our baby–or babies–in my arms. To give MotheJohnT-SmallSmile-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&Southepi1-045Oct2713ranet-crop-hi-res-rev2r her
first grandchild will be my proudest moment.” John sighs with a small smile [(5) right].

Cameron: “And do ye feel that Hannah is rrready to have … bairrrns … about herrr again?” Cameron seeks to test John out on this point rather obliquely.

John: John looks at Cameron quizzically. “Does not Mother’s care for little Lissa Dillard and the other three and four year olds at the Mill’s Nursery School represent her impatience to have little ones about her again?” John smiles in using Cameron’s phrasing

Cameron: “Aye. It is just that … with the Mill Nurrrserrry childrrren … and grrrandchildren … they can …”

John: John’s eyebrow raises. “They can…?”

Cameron: “Kkkhh!” Cameron coughs nervously. “Well, they can be rrreturrrned to theirrr parrrents.”

John: Now John is really befuddled. “Yes.” He nods slowly. “Parents generally prefer to have their children returned to them.   What children could Mother have around her that she would not return … to their parents?” Then a realization hits John. “Oh! Are you and Mother thinking of adopting an orphaned child?”

Cameron: Squirming as he looks at John, Cameron’s face turns a crimson red. “Not quite.” Cameron’s face is a mixture of uncertainty, astonishment, and manly pride.

John: “Not quite.” John repeats, trying mightily to puzzle it out.

It is just that this puzzle might be beyond John’s realm of experience. John furrows his brow thinking, thinking, thinking. How else could Mother and Cameron have a child? Oh! Now John’s eyes go wide and his eyebrows raise in incredulity. John opens and closes his mouth several times, as if to speak–to pose the vital question. Then he rescinds his as yet unspoken interrogative and closes his mouth again. John ends up looking like a guppy fish gulping for air. And in a sense he is. Because the notion of … that possibility, is rather biblical in its notion. John stares hard at Cameron–trying to convey his understanding, without voicing it.

Cameron: “Possibly.” Cameron nods with a sheepish grin. “But it is not yet confirmed, and I do not think Hannah suspects it.”

John: “That is why you did not want Mother to lift anything!” Cameron nods. “Bbbb but! Are there not signs? symptoms? to help discern what is affecting her?” John is not well tutored in such female medical knowledge, but he has a basic understanding–now that he is a husband.

Cameron: “Yes. The fatigue, the indigestion and nausea, the dizzyness, and the hungerrrr are all therrrre. And they can all be explained in otherrr ways. If they do na perrrsist, she merrrely has trrravel sickness as Miles diagnosed.”

John: “Mother has been diagnosed? Are her symptoms that severe as to cause her to seek medical attention?”

Cameron: “Nay! Miles attended to Marrrgarrret one day last week, and Hannah simply consulted with him–since the only otherrr medical choice is herrr own husband, me. Wives generrrally preferrr a second opinion.” He intones knowingly.

John: Then John zeroes in on what Cameron is not saying. “And if Mother’s symptoms do persist?”

Cameron: “It could be an unexpected, but happy rrreason–which would have otherrr concerrrns.” Cameron smiles wanly thinking of Hannah’s age and the stress to her body that a pregnancy would bring–he also blushes again pridefully for potentially being the cause of it. Then his face clouds over with worry. “Orrr …” John waits impatiently for Cameron to continue. “… orrr, she might be ill.”

Cameron closes his eyes in worry and dread. For this was how it began with his first wife. Some nagging minor complaints, trifling at first–then her symptoms deepened into harbingers of something more sinister at work that ultimately claimed her life after a lengthy two year illness.   Cameron is a doctor. His professional métier is life and death. But when it is your own family–your own loved one–all the medical training in the world does not prepare you for the heartache of loss and grief.

John: “No!” John says forcefully, slicing the air with his hand as he shakes his head. “Mother is never sick! She will out live us all!” John thinks that Margaret’s Mother, Mrs. Hale, is the frail sickly mother of the two women. His Mother can’t be ill–at least not with a life threatening illness. John’s mind will not entertain the awful possibility.

Cameron: “John, Let us not burrrden Hannah, Marrrgarrret, or Fanny with ourrr worrrries–that may prrrove baseless. This is a happy time with Fanny and Bairrrd’s wedding coming up next week. I simply make you awarrre of Hannah’s symptoms, so that if you notice anything, you can let me know–orrr you can seek medical help forrr herrr as needed if I am not immediately at hand.

John: “Of course.” John nods solemnly.

There is nothing more to say about it. They must wait and see.


Looking at several dress pattern books, the designs would all take more than two months to complete–and they have less than two weeks until Baird’s and Fanny’s wedding.

Fanny: “Oh Mother! I wish that we would have more time to plan our wedding–so I can at least have the dress of my dreams for my wedding day.” Fanny whinily sighs with a decided pout to her lips.

Hannah: “I know dear, but there really isn’t time to have one of your elaborate gowns to be made in under two weeks.”

Fanny: “I know. I will have to wear something plain and unornamented.”  Fanny wrinkles up her pert little nose.

Margaret: Taking Fanny’s hand in hers, Margaret comforts her. “Now now, Fanny. I am certain that Baird will think you lovely in anything you wear on your wedding day.”

Fanny: “I know. And I will think him handsome.”

Hannah: “I am sorry that Cameron and I left our wedding finery at Airlie Castle, or you and Baird could have worn them.”

Fanny: Trying to be diplomatic–because large ruffled tiers are not to Fanny’s liking–she dissembles. “Thank you, Mama. But that is your dress for your wedding. The memories you associate with it should be all your own.” Fanny smiles wanly.

Margaret: “Rightly so. What about Baird’s sister, Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh?   MighMargaret-isDaniela-Denby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi1-14h52m44s152-Jan2714GratianaLovelaceCap-Crop-sized-brt--cropsized2t she
have a suitable ball gown to loan you since she is in more of a social whirl in London?” Margaret looks at Fanny encouragingly [(6) right].

Fanny: Fanny brightens. I had not thought of that. She had loaned me a lovely gown.” Then Fanny remembers that it was the gown that she wore to the Charity Ball, when she and Baird had their falling out. So that gown has unfortunate memories associated with it. “But maybe Angharad has another gown that she might be willing to lend me–one that maybe seems Scottish, or a gown that we can enhance.”

Margaret: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Margaret giggles at the notion of a Scottish styled wedding gown that Fanny might conjure up–with every conceivable Scottish symbolism integrated into it. Fanny does tend to go overboard when styling her gowns detailing–tassels and ribbons and lace and buttons and such.

Hannah: “Ha ha ha!” Hannah briefly chuckles. Then a thought occurs to her. “Fanny dear? Did you wish to delay your wedding by a week–to say Saturday, April 26th? That would give us more time to plan and to have a lovely gown made for you–and such.” She caresses her daughter’s cheek caringly.

Fanny: “That would be nice, Mama. But …” Fanny bites her lower lip. “I promised Baird that we would be wed in two weeks. He is looking forward to it.   And I don’t want to disappointment him.” Fanny is beginning to feel a little nervous about being married so soon.

Hannah: “Fanny, Dear. Husbands–or fiancés–may want certain things. But it is our prerogative as wives and fiancés to … to have our wishes met as well.” Hannah smiles primly. For though not every woman of Hannah’s era enjoys the autonomy and love that she does, she will encourage her daughter Fanny to always seek to position herself as an equal partner to her future husband.

And Hannah is not going to divulge the private details of her and Cameron’s relationship development. But Hannah realizes that some form of womanly talk is required to prepare Fanny for her impending status as a wife. Hannah looks over at Margaret, hoping that Margaret will say something to Fanny. But Margaret does not know what is on Hannah’s mind and looks at her quizzically. This causes Hannah to tilt her head more–hoping that the attitude of her cheek almost lying flush upon her shoulder might somehow convey the nature of Hannah’s thoughts.

Fanny: “Mama? Are you feeling unwell?”

Hannah: “What?” Hannah startles for Fanny interrupting her thoughts. “Oh, I am fine. I had some travel sickness for a few days, but now I feel perfectly fine.” Hannah prides herself on her strong constitution.

Margaret: “I thought Cameron seemed extraordinarily considerate of you the past few days.”
Hannah Head 2 Feb1414ranet
Hannah: Hannah smiles. “Hhhhh!   Cameron is very considerate.” A contented smile curls up at Hannah Thornton’s lips [(7) right].

Fanny: “I am ever so glad that you are happy, Mama. Truly!” Fanny gazes upon her mother with love and tenderness.

Hannah: “Thank you Fanny, Dear.” She squeezes her daughter’s hand. “Now! Dress designs!”

The three women sift through the various wedding gown design examples. But they do not get far, when their men rejoin them–each husband instantly going to his wife and kissing them on their foreheads.

John: “Have the wedding plans been decided?” John asks with a smile–even though he is paying for the wedding as the brother of the bride.

Hannah:   “We have only just begun. And we realize that we would like to delay the wedding for one week–moving it to Saturday, April 26th.”

Cameron: “Oh? Arrre ye still feeling poorrrly, My Love?” Cameron asks worriedly and John quickly glances toward his mother.

Fanny: Fanny pouts for not being the center of attention. “Mama feels fine–she just said so. I need more time to have my dress made.”

Cameron: “Oh! Of courrrse.” He nods at Fanny. Then he turns to his wife. “So, ye arrre na tirrred, norrr nauseous, nor dizzy?” He asks gently.

Hannah: She smiles at her husband’s gentle questioning tone. “No. Not anymore.” Cameron and Hannah embrace. “And with Fanny and Baird’s wedding delayed for one week, we will still have precious little time to prepare for it. So everyone will have to agree to help–whether you want to or not.” Hannah smiles imperiously–now marshalling her troops.

Cameron: He sighs in relief. “Gladly, me Dearrr, gladly.” He smiles broadly. With Hannah seeming to return to renewed vigor, Cameron’s fears for her health are assuaged. Though he is a tad disappointed not to be welcoming a new bairn himself, they will be surrounded by grandchildren this year and beyond. Their grandchildren and his wife’s love will be enough for him.

John: “Of course, Mother. Whatever you and Fanny need, you shall have.” John knew that from the moment his baby sister wore her first hoop skirt when she turned thirteen, that Fanny’s wedding would be the elevation of her budding womanhood–and the decimation of his wallet. And he is happily resigned to his fate.

Fanny: “Thank you, Mama and Johnny and everyone.” Fanny says gratefully.

So with Hannah dividing up tasks–Cameron writing to Baird about a one week delay to April 26th for the wedding, John notifying the vicar of the change of date, Fanny writing to Angharad about borrowing a ball gown in case a dress made in Milton can’t be ready in time, and Margaret helping address the wedding invitations–they might get this wedding accomplished in record time.  But they did it for John and Margaret. So Hannah reasons that they can do it for Fanny and Baird. It’s just that Fanny is a more demanding bride to be than Margaret was.

However, Hannah’s womanly talk with Fanny will have to wait. And Hannah might end up asking Margaret to do it. For in Margaret’s prominently pregnant condition, who better to discuss wifely expectations and pleasures than she?

As it turns out Baird reluctantly welcomes the wedding date delay by a week to April 26th. Because, unfortunately, Baird and his firm’s legal team do not win their capital murder case. So they must immediately work on an appeal for their client’s stay of execution while they set in motion a formal appeal of the verdict. And Baird feels that it would be unseemly of him to be celebrating the joyous occasion of his marriage to Fanny when he is fighting for the life of his client–a man who killed another man in self defense to prevent his own family being killed. The Crown saw it as a crime of passion, with their star witness being the dead man’s widow. But Baird and his team are confident they can overturn the verdict on appeal in the next few months–on the grounds that the widow of the deceased has a vested interest in seeing her husband’s name cleared, to protect their children from the stigma of being a madman’s child. But in so doing, the widow condemns an innocent man and his family. It is a difficult case and there are no winners or losers.

And though they will not be married on Fanny’s twenty-first birthday on Saturday, April 19th, Baird hopes to surprise his Fiona by returning to Milton to share in the birthday festivities.

To be continued with Chapter 49


“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 48 References, April 18, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #549)

1)       “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitageas John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit

2) Dr. Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish in an interview with TORN’s Greendragon found at

3) Fanny is Jo Joyner in the 2004 BBC drama North & South (11h04m47s104) Jan1214 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized-shrp-oval

4) Twin births info was found at

5) John Thornton i is portrayed by Richard Armitage in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South found at

6) Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South epi1(14h52m44s152) Jan2714 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-Crop-sized-brt

7)Hannah Thornton image is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, Dec1913 (crop-drkn) found at


Link to Previous Ch. 47:


Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, John Thornton, Kindness, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A 360 Degree View of Richard Armitage’s Portrayal of John Proctor is Coming Up in The Crucible this Summer, April 16, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #548)

Like everyone else among my friends who admire the exquisitely talented British actor PastelBackgroundApr1514GratianaLovelace--pointillized-horiz-eggshapedRichard Armitage, I am tickled pink, purple, yellow, and green–upcoming Easter egg colors, don’t you know, Ha!–that he will be performing in The Old Vic’s June 24 to September 13, 2014 production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible!





TheCrucible--RA participation via DailyMailArticle-Apr1114ranet-GratianaLovelace-recrop-resized-shrp
(The Daily Mail article above is courtesy of April 11th news)

The Crucible is a great play–and not just for the way it reflects the historical themes of lust TheCrucible--Armitage-and-Colley_FanPosterApr1514alSofa_andCarpet_sizedand intolerance and love and betrayal and revenge and morality and power and hypocrisy and ethics, etc., from two eras three centuries apart! At right is a lovely fan made poster for Richard Armitage and newcomer Samantha Colley (portraying Abigail Williams) starring in The Crucible created by Richard Armitage (Mr. Thornton) al Sofa and Carpet. Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible chronicles the fictional happenings in a Salem Witch Trials era late 1600’s town, sadly reflective of the hysteria and accusations of witchcraft that claimed the lives of innocent people. For more about the play, The Crucible, visit this Spark Notes site.

But The Crucible was also about modern times in 1938 to 1950’s America when patriotism was at a fever pitch during and after WWII. A time when being interested in communism or socialism would get you labeled UnAmerican and summarily blacklisted–as in prevented from working and earning living, unless you used a pseudonym or had someone else pass off your work as their own. This modern day hysteria came to the forefront for creative types with the nine day hearing by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) in late November 1947 that resulted in prominent filmmakers being blacklisted and who became known as the Hollywood Ten.

And it is interesting to note that although Miller’s play was first performed in 1953, it wasn’t until 1956 that he was called before HUAC to name names–trying to pressure him to identify and bear witness against his friends and colleagues, to save himself. Unlike others, Miller did not betray anyone, but “Miller’s experience with HUAC affected him throughout his life.” Born in 1915, Arthur Miller died in 2005–eight months shy of his 90th birthday. But what a legacy he left!

And now The Old Vic will produce a new version of The Crucible–with South African dTheOldVic-Theatre-in-the-round_2411-fitandcrop-1200x1200_Apr1514TheOldVic-crop-sizedplaywrite and director Yael Farber directing and Soutra Gilmore serving as the designer. And this version of the play will be performed in the round in The Old Vic’s beautiful theatre (right). I’m in awe of actors anyway, but to have a 360 degree view of them as they share the story through their character portrayals must be an amazing experience. The stage here looks quite small–though visual perspective might be deceiving here–with the seating so close and intimate that everyone looks to have an excellent view. Our own community’s annual Summer Shakespeare Festival is three quarters round–leaving the back wall for balconies, entrances, and exits, etc.

But at The Old Vic theatre, how are the actors going to perform–allowing everyone good view–without seeming like they are turning around on a spit, or on microwave turntable? I think the logistics of theatre in the round performance will be just as crucial as portraying the torment of the characters–and to make the adjustment the actors have to make for theatre in the round seem effortless and not noticeable.   And then there is the notion of how detailed the sets might be–my layperson’s guess is they will have minimal sets/props/artifacts that are suggestive and evocative of a place and time, but that costuming and makeup will be very important.

However, I imagine that performing The Crucible in a theatre in the round format is both a THAUJ--RichardArmitage-asThorin-running-through-fire-Videoblog7-pix04_Apr1514ranet-crop-sizedthrilling and a terrifying feature of this production. As an audience member I would find it thrilling.   And Richard Armitage has run through real fire (THAUJ, right), been waterboarded twice for tv roles (Spooks; and Strike Back Origins), and almost drowned a couple of times (Captain America, The First Avenger; and THDofS), so theatre in the round is probably like a walk in the park to him. Richard Armitage, the man and the actor, is fearless–and I predict that he will dig deep within his own psyche and experiences to bring to vivid life the character of John Proctor whose torments of desire, self loathing, betrayal, humanity, and morality, will enthrall, disgust, and move his audience to tears.

But alas, I will not be able to attend the play and experience what I know in my heart will be another riveting character portrayal by Richard Armitage. The distance from Illinois to London would require plane travel–something I haven’t done for fifteen years (I’m a fraidy cat), since our vacation to Florida. Then there is the whole travel cost factor–probably about a mortgage payments worth. And as much as I would love to be sitting in the audience to see Richard Armitage perform this wonderful play, my practical nature won’t let me splurge using money designated for other things. So Mr. Armitage and The Old Vic’s ArtisticDirector Kevin Spacey will either need to bring this production to Broadway–hint hint, NYC is accessible by train for me–or The Old Vic will have to tape a performance and broadcast it via the BBC and/or PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre for myself and others to be able to see it. The Old Vic could really make a tidy sum on the broadcast rights and dvds–and that would surely help fund their productions and educational programs.

And since my hubby and I can’t travel across the pond to see Richard Armitage performing TheOldVicDonationPageApr1514TheOldVic-sizedin The Crucible, we have made a modest donation to The Old Vic, under my real name, Ha!–to help support their productions and educational programs, in honor of Richard Armitage. And I’m a huge fan of The Old Vic’s Artistic Director, Kevin Spacey–a fellow Yank–who is one of the United States premiere actors. Gosh!   I wish I could also experience Mr. Spacy’s Clarence Darrow one man show at The Old Vic. If you would also like to donate to The Old Vic, here is the link for The Old Vic Support Us page (right; notice Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame portraying Eliza in The Old Vic’s 2008 production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion):

P.S. A reminder: The Old Vic’s page has donations in British Pounds Sterling. So if you are doing a currency converter for your country, be sure that you go pounds to your currency–not the other way around. Otherwise, you might end up donating a little bit more than you intended–like me. Ha! Oh well. It’s for a good cause, the arts!

Posted in Drama, Giving, John Proctor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, scary, Something About Love, The Crucible, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 47 (PG-13): Sunday Luncheon Parting is Bittersweet, April 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #547)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 47 (PG-13):  Sunday Luncheon Parting is Bittersweet, April 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #547)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its  2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale,  Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc]   [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note:  “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond.  As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter:  After the movers left on Saturday afternoon, Baird helped his Stepmother Hannah and his Father Cameron with moving their furniture around in their newly renovated home above Cameron’s medical offices.   Baird was exhausted, but joined them for tea before returning to his hotel to draft a reply to his law offices about him returning for the urgent legal matter.  He knows his duty to the case’s participants, but it will still be difficult to break the news of his return to London to Fanny at their luncheon today.


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 47 (PG-13):  Sunday Luncheon Parting is Bittersweet

After Fanny spent an enjoyable time Saturday morning with the mill children nursery children while their parents worked at the mill–with their being no academic lessons per se for the children on Saturdays, just fun things like drawing, table games, and outdoor play–she looks forward to having Baird join them for Sunday luncheon after church.  It will be the first time that they might have a chance to be alone together since their falling out at the Charity Ball two weeks ago.  And Fanny is more eager to heal their rift now–after their pleasant and humorous exchanges about Ann Lattimer and Dr.  Miles Houghton (dull and duller) at the Friday evening Chopin Nocturnes concert.  It was, perhaps, wicked of Fanny and Baird to be so secretly uncharitable about Ann and Miles, but it betokened a kinship of feeling and sentiments between them that cannot be ignored.

So Fanny takes extra care with her grooming and gown choice for church–wearing her Fanny-isJoJoyner-inNorth&South-11h03m52s71-Jan1214GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-sized-brt-crop2sml-clrlovely pink and blue plaid dress with the wide lace collar [(2) right]. There is no Scottish tartan plaid on Earth in these girlish colors. But she is making an effort by wearing plaid. And Fanny wonders if she and Baird will kiss if they make up today.  And she also looks down at her bare ring finger on her left hand–where she had worn Baird’s late Mother’s cameo ring when they were almost engaged.  Fanny had given the ring back to Baird via his sister Angharad when she broke up with him.  And her not wearing the lovely ring was a further reminder to her of the breach between them.

After church this Sunday as they await their carriages to collect them to return to Thornton Manor for a family luncheon, Fanny chats with her Mother Hannah and Stepfather Cameron, and with Baird.  John and Margaret are still chatting with the vicar.  And Fanny notices a slight change in her Mama and Cameron–even more loving and happy, if that is possible.

Fanny: “Are you all settled in? How do you like your new home, Mama?” Fanny asks politely. For though she chose to remain in her home at Thornton Manor, she still misses her Mother.

Hannah: “But for arranging the decorations, we are well settled in.  I like it.”  Hannah smiles as she squeezes her husband Cameron’s arm.

Cameron:  “Me Hannah has trrransforrrmed what was once a drrrab and drrrearrrry aparrrtment into a cozy home for us.” He smiles broadly and pats her hand hooked around his arm.

Baird: “And I helped.” Baird pouts.

Fanny: “Oh?”  She looks curiously at  Baird.

Hannah: “Yes, thank you, Baird.”   Then she explains to Fanny, and now John and Margaret who have walked back over to join them.  “Baird helped me with moving the furniture for the drawing room arrangement, then both he and Cameron helped me rearranged our bed chamber.”  Hannah pinkens slightly for mentioning so private a space–and for how she and her husband celebrated their new home in it last night.  Cameron smiles broadly.

Cameron: “I would na let herrr move anything on herrr own, lest she … strrrain herrrself.”  Cameron puts his arm around his wife’s waist and gives her hips a tender squeeze.

John’s eye brow raises at such a familiarity in public–let alone in their presence–but he says nothing since his mother Hannah seems to not mind her husband’s embrace as she turns her face to him and he kisses her forehead as she closes her eyes and smiles.

Margaret: “Are you feeling more well today then, Mother?” Margaret asks solicitously of her mother-in-law, Hannah.

Hannah: “I am!  A bit more of rest the last two days has helped due to our extensive traveling taking its toll on me.  And having our new home mostly settled lifts a great burden off of my shoulders.”   Hannah smiles with satisfaction.  “Perhaps you will join us for tea later in the week when I have the decorations arranged.”

John: “We look forward to it Mother.   Ah!   Here are the carriages.”

In addition to the two comfortable carriages seating four and two belong to John Thornton, there are also two larger open wagons with bench seating along each side that are used to transport the Marlborough Mill workers now living in Thornton Village on John’s mill property beyond the city limits.  Seating arrangements for the Thornton carriages are quickly determined with Hannah and Cameron taking the two person carriage, while the young people–John and Margaret, and Baird and Fanny–take the other four person carriage back to Thornton Manor for Sunday luncheon.


Upon arriving at Thornton Manor, there is still a half hour before luncheon.  So John escorts Margaret upstairs to rest a bit while waiting for Hannah and Cameron to arrive–them not surmising the reason for their delay.

And Baird begs a private audience with his Fiona in the Thornton’s formal garden.  It is a_Alfords_English_Gardens_bench_arborMar2512bjwsblogspotApril and the foliage has returned, as well as, the tulips and crocuses are blooming already, creating a lush backdrop of color for the young couple.  He guides her to a rustic looking bench set amongst the greenery and flowers [(3) right].

Baird: “This is a lovely spot.  Shall we sit here, Fiona?” He slips and calls her by his pet name for her–her given name for her Scottish grandmother.

Baird is resolved to be calm and not upset Fiona, since she has only recently recovered from her breathing collapse last week–which he caused by his inept apology to her.  Fanny also wishes to remain calm so as not to have a repeat episode.  She fears that if Baird thinks her weak and sickly that he will no longer want to reconcile with her.

Fanny smiles pleasantly and sits on the bench, then Baird joins her–taking care that their legs do not touch.  Technically, they are unchaperoned and, therefore, must strictly observe propriety.  They are each a little nervous due to the recent strain their relationship has been under–not the least of which was Fanny calling off their almost engagement after Baird’s boorish behavior.

Fanny:  “The garden is really coming to life again.  I do love it so.”  She says softly.

Baird:   “Your presence has improved it.” Baird hands her a delicate pale pink tulip [(4) Tulip--pale-pink-Apr1314MSOfcClipArtright] that he had surreptitiously clipped on their way to the bench.  “I know it is na a rrrose like you prefer, but it is in the lovely pale pink shade of yourrr cheeks.”  He smiles hopefully.  Baird so wants to get past their difficulties and to kiss her to show her how much he loves her.  But, he has to be patient.

Fanny: Fanny takes the flower offering and brings it to her nose to breathe in its flowery scent.  “Thank you, Baird. It’s lovely.”  She smiles sincerely. Fanny is still cautious around Baird. She feels that she had launched into their prior association partly because everyone else was partnered up and she felt left out.  And she was very hurt by Baird’s chastising behavior at the Charity Ball–knowing that she did deserve part of his ire, but not the angry rebuke that he hurled at her.

Baird: Seeing his Fiona lost in thought, he asks her with a smile.  “A penny?”

Fanny: “Oh!”  She startles and returns her attention to the present.

Baird: “You werrre miles away just now.”  Baird says softly as he gently tucks a wind blown hair behind her ear.

Fanny: “Well I,  … I … was thinking upon many things.”  She bites her lower lip and lowers her eyes demurely.

Baird: “And would one of those things be us?”  He asks with a hopeful smile.

Fanny:   Fanny shyly looks up at him with uncertainty clearly evident upon her face.  “Yes, I was.”

Baird:  Crushed to see his Fiona still doubtful of his love, he picks up her small delicate hand and kisses it. Then he gazes into her eyes.  “I know that I am an oafish clod–Angharrrad’s worrrds…”  Fanny smiles softly.   “–and stubborrrn, and too prrrideful for me own good.  But I love you so, Fiona. I can na think of my life without you.”

There are tears in Baird’s eyes and Fanny knows that he is in earnest.  But yet, she hesitates. The trust she had given him so completely before their falling out, is not easy to bestow upon him again.

Fanny: “I want to believe you, Baird.   Trully,I do.  I am just afraid that you will find something else that you dislike about me and that you will become angry again.” Baird looks stricken. “Maybe I have been spoiled by Johnny.  He can seem boring at times, and he is firm.” Then she continues very quietly.  “But he has never raised his voice to me in anger, nor walked away from me, nor stopped loving me.”  And she does not add, because it is implied, as you have done.

Dropping to his knees before her, Baird’s tears fall openly as he beseeches her as he kisses her palm and places it on his cheek. However, Fanny is startled by this and does not immediately caress his cheek.

Baird:  “Have I lost ye then, forrreverrr? Will ye neverrr forrrgive my stupidity?”

Fanny:  “I don’t want us to part, Baird. But I am not ready to … to trust you again, just yet.”   He must prove to her that he is sincere–that she will be safe from being found wanting in his eyes.  She does not want the misery of having a husband who finds that he cannot love her afterall.

Baird: “Oh Fiona!”  He sighs sorrowfully with her admission as he returns to sitting on the bench next to her.

Fanny: “And, you must be certain that I am whom you truly want, Baird.   I am not likely to change much.  I am silly sometimes–and I am certainly vain.  But I have felt that you have been a good influence upon me–about my needing to consider other people’s feelings and circumstances–and not judging them, nor gossiping about them.”  Of course, Fanny is really asking Baird not to judge her harshly.

Baird: “But I know now! You arrre whom I want forrr my wife–and to sharrre myBairdOgilvy-isSimonWoods-asBingley-in2005Pride-and-PrejudiceDec2713madambaggioblogspotcom-sized-drk-gif life.”
Baird caresses her face and he gently kisses her other cheek as he gazes at her adoringly [(5) right].   “Ye have changed me also forrr the betterrr.”

Fanny: “How have I done that?” She asks him incredulously.  “What has changed in you since knowing me?”  For she thinks Baird is perfect–apart from his stubbornness and unreasonable anger at times.

Baird: “Beforrre you, my Darrrling Fiona, …”  He kisses her other cheek now as he gently squeezes her hand in his.  “… I was a bit of an independent perrrson.”  Fanny looks at him quizzically.  “By that I mean that I did not depend upon anotherrr forrr my happiness–norrr did I seek it.”  Then he hangs his head in shame. “And I am morrrtified to admit that my prrriorrr rrrelationships with women–though mutually pleasing to the lady and myself–had no intention of prrrogressing to matrrrimony.”

It has been difficult for the virile Baird to abstain from having carnal relations since he met Fanny, when he had previously enjoyed weekly assignations with one  of his London lady friends who were usually a bit older than he, and widows needing comfort as well.  These relationships were mutually beneficial and very discreet.

Fanny:  At this revelation about Baird’s prior romantic activites, Fanny removes her hands from Baird’s hands, and she turns her head away from him.   “Oh!  I had not thought … that as a gentleman that you would have  …  dallied with other women.”  For as far as she knows, her brother John was a completely honorable gentleman during his bachelorhood.   Fanny’s face frowns.

Baird: “I am a gentleman, Fiona. But I am also a man with needs–needs that only a woman’s comfort can fulfill. So gentlemen do not always behave as honorably as they should.  But when I am marrrried, I will keep my marriage vows and be faithful to my wife.” He is being very frank and honest with her–to a fault. But Baird feels that if they are to be husband and wife, that they should have no secrets from each other.

Fanny:  Confusion is clear from her furrowed brow.  Apart from her not knowing precisely what is involved in the conjugation of husband and wife, she still understands what being faithful means. “I do not understand. Johnny has always been honorable. He would never have ….”  She cannot speak it. Then another, more troubling thought occurs to her.  “You are not married now, Baird.  Does that mean that the whole time we have courted, you have secretly had other women … to comfort you?”

Baird: “No! No!  You arrre the only lady of my hearrrt, frrrom the firrrst moment that I met you fourrr months ago. I have been faithful to you.  I will continue to be faithful to you.”   He grips her elbows firmly and makes an impassioned plea for her understanding.  “I want no one but you to be my wife and to sharrre my bed. Forrr you alone will I give my husbandly attentions. Forrr you alone shall I look forrrward to having childrrren and grrrandchildren togetherrr.  Forrr you alone will my hearrrt beat, until it stills in death.”

Baird leans in and he gently kisses his Fiona’s temple again, and again, and again, and again.  Fanny trembles at the tenderness that Baird shows her in gently enveloping her in his arms.  She could pull away if she wanted to. But she does not want to. And she realizes as he gently rocks her in his arms for several minutes as he whispers lovingly into her ear as they embrace, that she can get past their difficulties–they can get past their difficulties.

Baird:  “Marrry me, Fiona?  I love ye so!”

Fanny: “Hhhhhhh!”  Fanny sighs with the joy of being in Baird’s arms again–her feeling safe, and cherished, and loved. “I love you, Baird. Yes, I will marry you.”

Baird:  “May I kiss you on yourrr lips, My Love?  Please?”  He asks respectfully, albeit needfully.

Fanny nods her head and turns her face ever so slightly toward him.  But it is enough for their lips to touch and to begin their tentative exploration of each other. Fanny has only ever kissed Baird in this way.  And their previous kissing interludes have taught her that Baird makes her feel very cherished and respected–because his hands do not stray into intimacies.

However, Baird is almost to the breaking point of his reserve in respecting his Fiona’s maidenly innocence.  He wants her, he desires her, and he deepens their kisses by running his tongue along the outline of her closed lips–seeking entry.  Her surprise at this new but pleasurable sensation causes her lips to part enough for him to eagerly trespass and tangle his tongue with hers.  He is tentative at first, letting her accustom herself to the sensation of their deepened kisses.

Then his adoring kisses becomes more heated, more desirous as his arms also close tenderly about her torso and he pulls her flush to him.   They could feel each others’ hearts pounding with excitement were it not for their clothing acting as a barrier between them.  And yet, Fiona’s body molds perfectly against Baird’s body as they continue to embrace.  They fit together as if they were always meant to be embracing thus.

Fanny is lost within this loving moment, her feeling newly excited and thrilled–more so than ever before.  Her body feels more alive than she could have imagined.  Fanny does not want to pull away from Baird’s embraces and kisses–she finds that she has no willpower to pull away from him as she wantonly kisses him back.   Then Baird releases her mouth, but only to place heated lustful kisses upon her slender throat and to the small glimpse of her exposed skin below her neck as his kisses go lower, lower.

Crunches on the garden’s gravel walk way and a purposeful cough alert Baird and Fanny that they are not alone. And they reluctantly break apart.  Their breathing is fast and shallow. Both of their cheeks are flushed.  They have crossed a threshold in their relationship–and there is no going back.

Cameron: “Kkkkhhh!”  Cameron coughs from a discreet distance away from the young lovers. He cannot see that they are kissing–but by virtue of the fact that only their lower legs are showing stretched out from the bench, he presumes that they are leaning back in a kissing attitude.   “I have been sent to fetch ye forrr luncheon.  Arrre ye hungrrry?”  Cameron asks still standing several yards away and avoiding looking at them directly to give them their privacy.

Fanny: “Yes!”  Fanny squawks nervously, wondering how much Cameron saw.   Then she moderates her vocal tone.  “Yes, thank you.”

Baird: “Thank ye, Fatherrr. We shall join you shorrrtly.” Baird replies huskily as he plays for time–for he has yet to tell Fiona the bad news.

Cameron: “Verry well. But if ye arrre not rrreturrrned to us in five minutes, I will seek ye out!”  Cameron warns as he heads back to the manor.

Baird pulls the small square worn jewelry box out of his suit jacket pocket and opens it.  CameoRing--VintageRL-309.1L_Feb0914rubylanecomFanny’s eyes widen–she had not realized that he kept it close to him, on his person.  Baird lifts his late mother’s cameo ring [(6) right] from it’s berth, and places it back onto his Fiona’s left ring finger.

Baird: “Therrre!  Now the rrring is back wherrre it rrrightfully belongs.”  Then he kisses her sweetly on her lips again and grins gleefully at her.

Fanny:  “Ohhh!  Baird!” She sighs sweetly, smiling lovingly at him.

They both stand, preparing to head back inside to Thornton Manor for their Sunday luncheon with their family.  They start to walk toward the manor, then Baird halts their forward movement.

Baird: “Fiona Dearrrest, I must tell you something unpleasant.”

Fanny:   “Hhhh!”  She flinches.

Baird:  “The courrrt case that I had been worrrking on when I came herrre last week to Milton is not going well forrr my colleagues whom had taken it overrr forrr me.  A man’s life hang’s in the balance.” He looks at her earnestly.

Fanny: “Oh.  And you have to go to London to save him.” She nods in numbed acknowledgement.  Fanny and Baird had been swept up to such heights of joy with their reconciliation and engagement, only to have them crashing down again with Baird going away.

Baird: “I do na know if I can save him.  He is innocent. But the Crrrown has a strrrong case and an irrron clad witness.”

Fanny: She nods her head at him resignedly.  Then Fanny looks Baird squarely in the eyes and asks with great sarcasm–to cheer Baird on.   “Is this the same infallible Crown that does not recognize your titles?”.

Baird: “Aye!  It is!”  Baird’s eyes narrow with purposeful intent to win his court case.  “But I do na want to leave ye, Fiona.  Come with me to London.  Ye can stay with Angahrrrad.”  He asks her hopefully.

Fanny: “That is tempting.” She smiles sweetly.  “But, perhaps, we should not put ourselves in a position to be tempted.  I will stay here in Milton.” Fanny realizes how much she wants to be with Baird–and he with her.  And she wonders if Cameron had not interrupted she and Baird just now, might Baird have taken more liberties with her?

Baird: “Of courrrse.  I underrrstand.”  He nods. “I will be in courrrt all day and strrrategy sessions at night. I will have no time forrr anything but sleep afterrr that.  So I would be a poorrr escorrrt forrr you–leaving you all by yourrrself all the time.”

Fanny: She takes his face in her hands.  “You must focus on your court case and win it.  As you said, a man’s life is in your hands.”

Baird: “Aye!”  He smiles broadly at her.  “We have a week of closing arrrguments, then waiting forrr the jurrry to give their verrrdict.  If he is found guilty, therrre will be immediate sentencing of death.”  Fanny flinches.  “But we will appeal. I might be gone two weeks at most–if we win.”

Fanny: “Very well, then.  Let us hope for the best.  Because I plan to marry you in two weeks Baird Ogilvy–when I turn twenty one, on Saturday, April 19th.  So you had best turn up for our wedding!”  She pokes him impishly.

Baird:  “Fiona!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”   Baird laughs excitedly as he lifts her up in the air and twirls her around.

Fanny: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”   Fanny laughs joyously as well.   It is a hopeful time for the both of them.

Then Fanny and Baird eagerly rush inside Thornton Manor to tell their family the good news.  John is a little put out that Baird had not asked him again for permission to wed his sister Fanny.  But Fanny will be twenty-one, of age.  So John has little legal means to dissuade or delay her–and Baird being an attorney, he knows that.   Everyone is joyous that Fanny and Baird have reconciled.

Their separation the next two weeks of wedding planning while Baird must be in London to assist with the capital murder case, will be a trial for both he and Fanny. Happily Fanny will be engaged with wedding details. And Baird can barely contain himself with the thought of truly loving his Fiona when they are wed–heart and mind and body and soul.

To be continued with Chapter 48


“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 47 References, April 14, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #547)

1)      “N&S:  John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo:  Richard Armitageas John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North  & South, was found at ;  For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit

2)      Fanny Thornton was portrayed by Jo Joyner in the 2004 BBC drama North & South (11h03m52s71) Jan1214 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-sized-brt

3)      Alfords English Garden image of a secluded bench was found at bjwsblogspot at

4)      The pale pink tulip was found at MS Office Clip Art.

5)      Baird Ogilvy  image  (aspect, drken,sized) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at at

6)      Cameo carvings on jewelry date back to the Romans, but were popularized in modern times by Queen Victoria in the 19th century;  for more information, visit ; and a cameo image was found at


Link to Previous Ch. 46:

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“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 (PG-13): Home is Where the Heart Is, April 11, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #546)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 (PG-13): Home is Where the Heart Is,  April 11, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #546)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its 2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters: Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale, Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc] [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter: After experiencing the delightful Chopin Nocturnes concert in Milton Friday night with their respective escorts of Dr. Miles Houghton for Fanny Thornton and Ann Lattimer for Baird Ogilvy, both Fanny and Baird realized the incompatibility of these connections to themselves. Fanny said it best about Ann and Dr. Miles–dull and duller–making Baird roar with laughter. And yes, Baird is a little jealous of Miles having the honor of Baird’s Fiona on Miles’ arm. Yet Baird looks forward to his Sunday luncheon invitation from Fiona–with hope. However, one romantic couple was missing Friday evening–Hannah and Cameron


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 (PG-13): Home is Where the Heart Is

With the children having gone out Friday evening to the Chopin Nocturnes concert, Hannah and her husband of five weeks Dr. Cameron Ogilvy have Thornton Manor mostly to themselves. It is a bittersweet moment for Hannah. She had been mistress of Thornton Manor for nearly twelve years–when her son John’s industry and business acumen returned their family to wealth and prosperity when he became Master of Marlborough Mills. Hannah eventually–albeit grudgingly at first–accepted Margaret as the new lady of the manor when Margaret wed Hannah’s son John. Thornton Manor will be their home now to raise their children in–Hannah’s grandchildren.

And Hannah’s daughter, the unmarried Fanny Thornton, has elected to stay with John and Margaret at Thornton Manor–not the least of which is Fanny’s desire not to be thrust into constant memory of nor proximity with Cameron’s son Baird upon his visits from London. Baird and Fanny are still working out where their relationship is going–them not knowing if they can return to the easy familiarity and tender feelings that they shared before the Charity Ball fiasco. Their pleasantness and humor at the Chopin Nocturnes concert, notwithstanding.

So this Friday night is rather a poignant farewell to Thornton Manor for Hannah. Her husband HannahThornton-isSineadCusack-inNorth&South-epi2-073Dec1913ranet--crop-brtCameron notices his wife Hannah’s subdued demeanor [(2) right]–and he astutely guesses the reason for it. For although they have been away from Milton and Thornton Manor for nearly seven weeks–including the two weeks in Scotland prior to their marriage and wedding trip–Hannah has yet to fully accept her new reality as Mistress of her and Cameron’s newly renovated home above his medical practice and also as Lady Airlie of Airlie Castle when they are in Scotland.

Cameron tries to draw his quiet wife Hannah out of her shell tonight as they cuddle together on the sette in their guest stateroom at Thornton Manor in their dressing gowns after preparing for bed. The fire brightly blazes in the hearth and emits a pleasing toasty warmth–since April evenings are still cool. With Hannah leaning back into her husband Cameron, his arms encircle her and clasp her hands in front of her. He kisses her temple and rubs his bearded cheek against her smooth cheek, claiming her as his own.

Cameron: “Arrre ye happy, Hannah?” Cameron asks haltingly.

DrOgilvy-isGrahamMcTavish-asDougalMacKenzie-inOutlander_Dec2513outlanderwikia2-sizedHannah tilts her head to look overher shoulder and into her husband’s eyes.   The worry lines upon Cameron’s furrowed brow and his amusing pout [(3) right] give evidence of his concern.

Hannah: She smiles up at him as she squeezes his hands clasped in hers. “Have I not said so?” She rubs her smooth cheek against his bearded cheek in acknowledged submission to him.

Cameron: “Aye. But I do na mind hearrring it daily. I fearrr that ourrr marriage has meant much change forrr you. But I also wish to make a sacrrrifice.”

Hannah: “Sacrifice?” Hannah startles and sits up and turns to look at her husband fully. Then she softens and gently caresses her face as her voice also softens. “And what, pray tell, is the sacrifice that I have made in marrying you Cameron?”

Cameron: Put on the spot, he blusters. “Well! Ye … ye …”

Hannah: “I? I?” She teases and gives him a playful kiss on his lips with a loving smile.

Cameron: “Hannah, Me Dear. I’ll na be able to think if ye give me such distractions.”

Hannah:   “There you have it! Your sacrifice is your lack of clarity of thought. Though, I can’t think of any sacrifice that I have had to endure.” She shakes her head smiling ruefully.

Cameron: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” His laughter booms loudly for she has punctured his nervousness and he pulls her to sit across his lap and they kiss some more. “So!   My loving attentions are not burdensome and make you wish to return to our initial friendship marriage agreement?” He asks shyly, because they have not made love as often since coming to Milton.

Hannah:   Her cheeks blushing crimson, Hannah lowers her eyes demurely. “No. I no longer wish for a friendship marriage with you, Cameron.”

Cameron’s eyes twinkle and he nudges Hannah to look up at him with his nose under her chin. Hannah and Cameron kiss each other adoringly–caringly stroking each others’ backs as they console each other for their lingering insecurities.

Cameron: “Ach!   I was worried since ye… well, since we have na …”

Intuitively understanding what her husband is trying to say, Hannah offers an explanation for her reticence to make love while they are in Thornton Manor.

Hannah: “This house–Thornton Manor–holds many memories for me. In it, I have been a mother first and foremost. I have never been a wife.” Her having been widowed four years before they moved to Thornton Manor.

Cameron:  Cameron nods in understanding. “Ye will be sorrrry to leave it?”

Hannah: “Yes, and no. My children are grown and their days of needing my mothering of them is long past. Well! Except Fanny still needs a bit of guidance.” They both roll their eyes. “But my home is where you are.” She gazes at him lovingly as she puts her hand flat upon his chest, over his heart. “I gave you my heart, Cameron. Wherever you are is my home.”

Cameron: “Trrrully?” She nods and smiles lovingly as tears brim in her eyes. “And wherever ye arrre, is my home, Hannah my Love.”

They kiss each other with loving tenderness for several minutes–not wanting to part their lips from each other as if their kiss is life sustaining, like unto the air that they breathe.

Hannah: “I love you, Cameron.”

Cameron: “And I love you, Hannah.” They kiss a bit more. “So ye do na dislike my loving carrresses?” He smiles and tightens his hold on her hips and her rump as she sits across him, and then he kisses her neck and begins to descend toward her silk nightgown covered breasts.

Hannah squeezes Cameron’s arms sharply to get his attention–effectively halting his loving exploration.

Hannah:   “Cameron, I wish to make love with you. But recently, I have felt some tenderness … in my breasts.” She says in a shy whisper.

Cameron: “Ye have?” He asks incredulously for he is very gentle with her in ther lovemaking and he would feel awful were he to think that he has caused her any pain, when he only wishes to give her joy.

Hannah: “The pain comes and goes. It is just that coupled with the indigestion I have felt the past few days–probably due to our traveling so much–I do not feel at my best all the time. And I am quite fatigued.” She winces at him apologetically–for she loves their lovemaking as much as he does.

Cameron: “Hannah, I wish ye would have told me soonerrr.” He comfortingly rocks her in his arms.   “Perhaps I should examine ye to make sure it is na something else.” His thoughts begin to fill with worries of diseases that as of his time have no cure.

Hannah: “No, no. I am fine, Cameron. Truly. Dr. Houghton visited with me after seeing Margaret one day this week. And he prescribed me to take more rest and suggested that the ginger tea that Margaret drank for her nausea, might also benefit me for what he called my travel sickness.” Hannah lays her head on her husband’s shoulder and sleepily snuggles in to him.

At Hannah’s declarations, Cameron’s eyes go wide. His mouth drops open, but no sound issues forth. After some minutes, he closes his mouth–with only his teeth rattling as they touch. Then he hears his wife’s breathing become steady and rhythmic. She has fallen asleep. Cameron slowly lifts Hannah into his arms as he stands up from the sette and carries her to their bed, gently laying her down upon it and covering her with the bed linens–even as he slides into bed next to her and cradles her in his arms.

Cameron’s mind considers several possible diagnoses for his wife. As a fifty year old woman, Hannah is very fit and healthy–of this he knows well from their loving making interludes and their walks in touring the Scottish hillside back in Scotland. The woman is indefatiguable–except seemingly, now. Cameron reasons that Hannah’s ailments could be due to many things–including exhaustion from their busy wedding trip schedule. She had led a sedate and predictable life in Milton. Hannah’s marriage to Cameron caused that sedateness to be set aside in favor of a more vigorous life style.

Of course, travel fatigue is what ails his wife Hannah, Cameron thinks. And yet … and yet. Cameron falls asleep with the what ifs colliding in his brain–some quizzical, some concerning, and one notion in particular that is truly terrifying–but in a good way.


CameronandHannah-aslovers-in-bed_Feb2114spyghanacom-GratianaLovealce-manip3wCameronsHead-sized-crop--titledBoth married couples under the Thornton Manor roof awaken Saturday morning  after the Friday evening Chopin Nocturnes concert, with happy smiles–especially Hannah and Cameron who wake up to a lovely morning romantic tryst [(4) right].

John and Margaret plan to spend a lazy morning at home for a change–with John delegating the  Mill’s  Saturday morning half work day shift to Higgins and Williams to supervise. John wakens first and delights in watching Margaret continue to slumber In his arms. But Margaret’s sleepy eyes flutter open as she slowly awakens as morning light begins to enter their bed chamber.

John: John sweetly kisses Margaret’s forehead, her cheeks, her nose, and then her lips. “Good morning, my wife.” The deep timbre of John’s voice feels like a velvet cloth brushing against Margaret’s heart.

Margaret: “Hhhh!” She yawns. “Good morning.” She sighs softly. With being almost six months preganant now, Margaret finds that sleeping is her main activity.

John: “Go back to sleep for a little while if you wish, My Love. I will shave and ask for our breakfast to be brought up in a half hour at eight o’clock.” He smiles as his index finger caresses her cheek. Then he sits up on the side of the bed, his bare back to her as he prepares to stand up.

Margaret: Instantly awake now that she is apprised of the lateness of the hour, she winces. “Oh!   I had not meant to sleep so long.”

John: Looking over his shoulder as he stands up and grabs his dressing gown to cover his night pants only covered form, John smiles. “I slept in as well. So we both are guilty.”

Margaret nods and sits up on her side of the bed. She is still wearing her night gown. They had both been too tired after the musical concert last evening to make love before they went to sleep. Well, mostly Margaret had been too tired and the ever considerate John chimed in that he felt the same way–so that Margaret would not feel that she was denying her husband.

Margaret: “John will you help me into our bathing chamber?   I should like to splash some water on my face and such.”   She smiles shyly with thinly veiled admiration for her husband’s muscular chest peeking out of his dressing gown. “Then I should like to return to bed.” Margaret’s cheeks pinken in a charming blush.

John: “Of course. Then I will shave while you doze.” John smiles indulgently, not catching her hidden meaning at first.

Margaret: She pouts. “I am not sleepy.” She bats her eyelashes at him.   “I would like to cuddle with you.”

Asking to cuddle with John is Margaret’s charming way of saying that she wants to make love with him. John’s eyes smoulder with a desire that he has had to keep tempered during Margaret’s delicate condition related to her pregnancy these past two weeks. Their lovemaking has become more  sporadic, to only a few times a week–when they had enjoyed nightly romantic couplings in their early married days.

John: “I can think of nothing that would please me more.”

After they each return from the bathing chamber, they do indeed cuddle with each other in John-isRichardArmitage-andMargaret-isDanielaDenby-Ashe-inNorth&South-Epi4-17h54m34s7_Nov1013GratianaLovelaceCap-hi-res-brt2-croptheir bed. But as their tender kisses and caresses deepen [(5) right], they find that an all consuming passion overtakes them. Soon they are both naked and marveling in his hard sinews and her soft and growing curves.   John adores his wife so thoroughly as they make love that they both fall asleep again afterward in blissful contentment.


Cameron and Hannah eagerly look forward to moving into their new home above his medical practice today. And Cameron will see a few patients at his office while his wife Hannah supervises the hired labor moving their furniture into their now renovated home above his medical practice on the second floor–including some new pieces and reupholstered old pieces. Baird stops by his Father’s medical practice building and is almost immediately commandeered by Hannah for him to help with rearranging the furniture after all but one of the movers left.

Cameron had strictly forbidden Hannah to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move or touch anything–due to her health and fatigue issues. Or that is what he tells her. She is supposed to let the movers do the moving. But after hearing more scraping and dragging noises above his head on the second floor when he is done with his last patient, Cameron can be patient no longer and goes to investigate.

Cameron pokes his head into their new spacious sitting room with the formal dining area at one end–it being Hannah’s idea to remove the non-weight bearing wall to open up the two medium sized rooms into one large salon.

Cameron: “Is the Lady at home? Or are there mice moving the furrrniturrre arrround?”

Hannah: “Cameron!” She clasps her hands together in barely contained delight. “Come see what we have done!”

Cameron strides over to his wife Hannah and she slips her arm around his arm. Baird waves at his father from a nearby wing chair that he had gratefully plopped into after his exertions.

Cameron:   “Very nice!”  He compliments her and she beams.  “Ah!   Baird! I see Hannah has put you to work.” With a twinkle in his eye, Cameron smiles at his son.

Baird:   “Mother could na settle on an arrrrangement she liked.”

Hannah: “This will do for now.” She smiles satisfied with herself [(4) right]. It will still take several days for her to distribute the new and old wall ornaments and table decorations.

Baird: “Excellent!   I’ll be off.”

Hannah: “Oh Baird. So soon?” Baird glowers at her because he has been at her service for two punishing hours. “I hoped that you and Cameron might assist in rearranging the cabinets in our bed chamber.” She looks at him hopefully.

Cameron: Slapping Baird on his shoulders, Cameron marshalls his troop. “My Lady, lead and we will follow.” Cameron smiles broadly.”

Hannah: “Thank you, kind sir.” Hannah flouncily does a faux curtsy with a dazzling smile and then she precedes them through the drawing room doors to the hallway.

Baird: Baird looks astonished at his formerly taciturn stepmother’s departing form. And then he glances at his smiling father with new eyes.   “So ye arrre happy, Papa?”

Cameron: “Morrre than I can possibly say.” Cameron’s chest puffs up with pride as he grins broadly with barely concealed joy. For tonight, he and his bride Hannah will be under their own roof with no one to worry about in the next room.

Baird’s eyes widen in realization that his Father–his sixty year old father–is a besotted man in love with his new wife. This makes Baird very happy, indeed. For he knows that his Father has been lonely since his mother died five years ago.

Hannah: “Oh gentlemen!” Hannah’s musical voice wafts from across the hallway where she and Cameron’s large bedchamber, sitting room, and bathing chamber are. Again, Hannah’s architectural flair had combined two medium sized rooms into one larger room. And that still leaves them two guest rooms for when Angharad and her family come to stay.

The men spend the next hour trying different placements of the bed chamber furniture at Hannah’s request–the large and heavy four poster bed changes walls twice, and the cabinet and armoir also change their arrangement twice. The momentous result being that one cabinet ends up four inches to the left of where it had originally been. The men had suspicioned it would be thus. But they knew that Hannah had to have her ideas visualized–five or six times. The men are exhausted and look forward to some much needed nourishment

Baird joins his father and stepmother for tea and cake, but then he respectfully begs off dining out with them this evening–he received word from his law office that one of his cases that a colleague had taken over needs Baird’s attention and he must craft his reply. Since the bulk of Hannah and Cameron’s kitchen food stuffs and their home’s staff have yet to arrive, they can not entertain lavishly at their home as of yet. Hannah will keep four live in servants–one cook, one scullery maid, one housekeeping maid, and one footman–who will live in the refurbished third floor attic servants’ rooms.

And Baird still has his luncheon with Fanny on Sunday to look forward to–though this thought is tempered by his need to return to London for a special legal case.  And he doesn’t quite know how to broach it to her since he had promised to stay in Milton for a month.

To be continued with Chapter 47


“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 46 References, April 11, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #546)

1)       “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitageas John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North & South, was found at ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit

2) Hannah Thornton is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, pix073, Dec1913 (crop-brt-flip) found at

3) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy image is Graham McTavish in the role of Dougal MacKenzie in the Starz tv series “Outlander “ found at

4) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy and Cameron Ogilvy as husband and wife lovers (manip version 4) is Grati’s composite of three images:
a) body images ;

b) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy face image is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, Dec1913 (crop-drkn) found at ;

c) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is Graham McTavish in Rambo×150.png

5) John is Richard Armitage and Margaret is Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South- Epi4 _17h54m34s7_Nov1013 Gratiana Lovelace cap.


Link to Previous Ch. 45:

Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Love and Relationships, Negotiation, Period Drama, Richard Armitage | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

WCW: Watching Richard Armitage as Thorin Out Smoulder the Dragon Smaug on my THDofS dvd! April 9, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post#545)

My The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug dvd (poster from Sir PJ’s FB page)  came in bDofShobbit2-bettercharacterposters1-full-Bilbo-Nov0713firstshowingnetthe mail yesterday/Tuesday.   Yay!!!

So I had a “hot date” with a Dwarf King and a Dragon last night!   It is so much fun to see two guys try to outdo each other in the smoulder department. In my view,  Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield won. *wink*    Sighhhhh!  You see, although Benedict Cumberpatch did a great job voicing Smaug,  Smaug just doesn’t set my heart aflutter–something about the possibility of dragon snores setting the house ablaze comes to mind.  Whereas Thorin would be nice to snuggle with–that is if I weren’t already very happily married.  Darn it!

  cDofShobbit-smaug-poster-affiche-thorin-Nov0713lestoilesheroique    Desolation-of-Smaug-Poster-202x300_Jan0814torn

With Thorin–apart from the handsome King Under the Mountain who is just my size at 5ft zThorinSexyCloseupNov0913NZStamp-LoveSexDirtyWords2.5 inches (well within non-straining kissing range)–I feel his pain.  The loss of his family, the loss of his home, the loss of his heritage, and the loss of what had been a brightly destined future make Thorin Oakenshield a truly heroic tragic figure in my view.  And the fact that Thorin is flawed–in his greed, in his persistence on his quest, and in being suspicious of Bilbo (rightly so as it turns out)–makes him seem more real.  And aren’t women sometimes drawn to men who are projects?  So handsome!  (image from NZ Stamp Presentation Pack, courtesy of the Love,Sex, & Dirty Words blog)

Richard Armitage portrays Thorin Oakenshield commandingly, bitterly, pridefully, seeming physically massive despite being shorter in stature than Elves and Men, arrogantly, recklessly, and yes, majestically.  He is the King of the Dwarfs–not by mere accident of birth and lineage, but by deeds.  He will lead his people to “reclaim our homeland”.

And Richard Armitage’s Thorin Oakenshield is a very subtle character performance–the Desolation-of-Smaug-OfficialTrailer-42cThorin-Jun1113GratianaLovelaceCap-cropdetermined gaze, the silence when words are not necessary, the whispered grittiness of “I have the only right” (my cap from trailer 1, right) when others might have shouted, and the bravery and courage to challenge a fire breathing dragon because Thorin has nothing else to lose.   I know, the third film will explore loss in profoundly poignant ways.  But let’s not go there yet.


And the THDofS film really was a roller coaster adventure ride–from the Orcs chasing the Dwarves relentlessly throughout the film, to the barrel scenes, all of the fight scenes (I had to close my eyes a few times because they were scary, Ha!), and the character building scenes (including with some of the secondary characters):

1)  For the record, I love Tauriel!   And I am so glad that she was inserted into this filDofSPoster--TaurielNov0313SirPJFBm
(poster from Sir PJ’s FB page).   She is the Elves’ conscience–“This is our fight”, said to Orlando Bloom as Legolas.  Tauriel is also a bridge to greater understanding between the peoples of Middle Earth as she gets to know Kili and later save his life. Evangeline Lilly portrayed her beautifully.

2)  And conversely, I despised the ruthless Elven King Thranduil (poster cDofShobbit-Thranduil-poster-Apr0814SirPJjsFBfrom Sir PJ’s FB page), portrayed with wicked silver lame abandon by Lee Pace.  Thranduil’s smarmy condescending “I will help you” left no one in doubt that goldilocks couldn’t be trusted.  I joked on Twitter that if anyone were to take away Thranduil’s hair conditioner, that they could really bring Thranduil to his knees with all of the tangles that he would have.  Ha!

3)  I especially adored the secondary character  of Balin, portrayed solidly by Ken Stott.   Balin is Thorin’s touchstone to the past–and also Thorin’s conscience, “His name is Bilbo” is said with a grandfatherly chastising tone.  But each of the Dwarves had their  moments in the film.

4)  And my goodness Martin Freeman’s Bilbo (above) has turned into quite the little fighter–dispatching those CGI Mirkwood spiders with alacrity.  We also begin to see signs that the ring’s hold on Bilbo is starting to shred his self control–especially when one of the spiders got too close to the dropped ring.

5)  And for Sir Ian McKellen’s character of Gandalf the Gray (poster from Sir PJ’s FB DofSPoster--GandalfNov0313SirPJFBpage), I very much liked his Prancing Pony scene with Richard Armitage as Thorin.  You could see behind his eyes that Gandalf was beginning to arrange a very elaborate chess board.  Though later on in the film, Gandalf leaves the Dwarves to their own devices by him going off on a side quest.    And what does it get him?  Put in a cage.


This was only the second time that I had seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug–the first time was in 3D HFR in our local movie theatre.  I somehow hung on and waited until my dvd arrived to see it again–so I wouldn’t miss an instant of the film.  Love the pause feature.   But  I’m sure that I’ll watch the film again soon–next time with popcorn.  Ha!

P.S.  Silly me!   I should have added a video for you to enjoy.  Here is the THDOS Official Main Trailer from Warner Bros. Pictures:

Posted in Fangurling, Middle Earth, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, The Hobbit, Thorin | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 45 (PG): Chopin Nocturnes Interlude, April 07, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #544)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 45 (PG):  Chopin Nocturnes Interlude, April 07, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #544)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401(An original fan fiction copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace;   All rights reserved; Based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novel, North & South and its  2004 BBC adaptation; No copyright infringement intended)

[I will illustrate my story using my dream cast from the 2004 BBC production of “North & South” and other actors for additional characters:   Richard Armitage for John Thornton, Daniela Denby-Ashe for Margaret Hale, Lesley Manville for Mrs. Maria Hale,  Tim Pigott-Smith for Mr. Richard Hale, Sinead Cusack for Mrs. Hannah Thornton, Jo Joyner for Fanny Thornton, Brendan Coyle for Nicholas Higgins, Graham McTavish as Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Holliday Grainger for Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh, Simon Woods for Baird Ogilvy, and Emma Ashton as Mrs. Dillard, John Light as Henry Lennox, Tim Faraday as Watson, Gillian Anderson at Carlotta Quint Watson, and Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, etc]   [(1) story logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note:  “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” is a story with mature themes of love and relationships set within a period drama of the 1850’s and beyond.  As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions, including some violence (V)–and I will rate those chapters accordingly.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous chapter:  As Fanny is still resting from her breathing attack on Wednesay, April 2, Baird is allowed to see her briefly before he leaves for the night.  Fanny is very weak, but she tells Baird calmly and resolutely that she is uncertain of her feelings for him–even though he unequivocally expresses his love for her.  She informs him that she wishes to get to know Dr. Miles Houghton who will take her to a musical concert of Chopin’s Nocturne’s Friday evening–with Fanny determined to be well enough to go.  Baird is disheartened, thinking that he is losing Fanny, but she invites him to Sunday Brunch–which raises his spirits.  Baird vows to respect his Fiona’s wishes, even though his own heart is breaking.


“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 45 (PG):  Chopin Nocturnes Interlude

Miles had taken rooms at the Milton Mayfair Hotel Wednesday evening–and he did, indeed, feel lonely without his family about him.  Somehow in his rooms in London–with its familiar bustle and exterior road noises–he had not felt this lonely. But then, in London, he had the hope and expectation of seeing and loving his beloved Fiona when he had made amends to her–despite his cloddish behavior to her at the Charity Ball.  But now, knowing that the distress he had caused Fiona not only caused her emotional pain, but that it physically caused her to have a breathing attack that could have killed her due to the strain she is under, Baird chastises himself for his selfishness.  He has only been thinking of himself–his wants, his wishes, his desires.  And he resolves to be a calm and comforting presence in his Fiona’s life from now on–even if her heart is lost to him irrevocably.

So very early on Thursday morning, Baird rises early, bathes and shaves, downs a quick breakfast of toast and eggs in  his room, stops by a flower shop just receiving their six o’clock delivery of flowers from the overnight train, then he walks to Marlborough Mills and Thornton Manor.  Upon having the front door opened by a startled maid unaccustomed to well bred gentleman calling upon the manor at half past six o’clock in the morning.  Baird thrusts his offering for his Fiona into the girl’s hands and bids her to give  it to her mistress, Fanny.  The maid curtsies, then Baird leaves.

Though many in Milton Society might still be in their bed even at seven o’clock in the morning, Baird finds that his father’s practice is bustling with patients from the lower classes attempting to be seen before they must head to work. Baird patiently waits his turn to see his father, Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, who as yet does not know that his son has arrived to speak to him.  Baird notices a young working class couple with a baby–he guesses their status by virtue of their worn and threadbare clothing–in distress about something that seems unrelated to their visit to their doctor, his father.  Baird’s innate curiousity gets the better of him as he covertly eavesdrops on their conversation while he seemingly peruses the morning newspaper.

Sophie:  Rocking the baby in her arms to soothe it, she coos. “Shhhh, little one.  The doctor will make you well.  Oh but Tom, what will we do if we are turned out of our flat?”

Tom Booker: Embracing his wife, Tom tries to console her. “Sophie, the landlord’s agent says we owe an extra week’s rent or he will evict us tomorrow. I don’t know how we will pay him if we don’t sell our wedding rings.”

Sophie Booker: Cradling her feverish baby son in her arms, trying to comfort him while they wait their turn with the doctor, she responds to her husband with whispered distress. “But our wedding rings belonged to my parents, and to my grandparents before them.  I do not want to part with them.  How can he make us pay extra, Tom? We always pay on time, not like some others.”

Tom Booker:  “He is the landlord’s agent.  He said he has someone who will pay twice what we pay for our one room flat.  He wants us out if we can’t pay.  I’m sorry about the rings. But I can’t think of anything else to do.”

Tom looks at his wife pleadingly as he reluctantly removes the wedding ring from her finger and places it on his pinky finger for safe keeping until he can take it to the jeweler’s.   Tom knows that he will not be able to obtain the value of the rings from the jeweler–though an heirloom set, the rings hold more sentimental value than cash value.  Sophie’s wedding ring is a slim gold band with flowers etched at intervals around it.  And along with the companion man’swedding ring on her husband’s finger, the ring set has been in her family for over 100 years–from a time when their family were comfortable farming tenants, before they were pushed off their land.

Baird is seething for what is being done to this young couple.  It is obviously an unscrupulous land agent trying to gouge the landlord’s tenants and keep the money for himself.  Baird closes his newspaper roughly and sets it on the table next to

Baird: “I beg yourrr parrrdon for my intrrrusion, but I could not help overhearrring about yourrr situation.”  Baird stares pointedly [(2) right] at the young couple.

Tom and Sophie Booker stare at the well dressed man and they instantly worry that they have given him offense.

Tom: Pride still evident in him as he straightens up sitting in the reception room chair, Tom replies. “We apologize for speaking too loudly, Sir.   We are waiting to see Dr. Ogilvy about our baby Matthew’s fever and cough.  We are sorry to have disturbed you.” Tom nods at Baird respectfully.

Baird shakes his head at this man mistaking his intent–and he wonders if that happens with others misinterpreting his intent, such as with Fiona?

Baird:  “Ye have na injurrred me.  I am Dr. Ogilvy’s son, Bairrrd Ogilvy.  How do you do.”

Baird stands and thrusts out his hand in greeting.  Tom looks at Baird warily, but he also stands and extends his hand and shakes Baird’s hand.

Tom: “How do you do.   We are Tom and Sohpie Booker.  This is our baby son Matthew.  Your father is a great man.”  He adds sincerely.

Baird: “Thank ye kindly, Sir.  Of courrrse, I think verrry highly of him meself.”  Baird smiles.  “Madam.”   Baird bows to Mrs. Booker.  She nods her head slowly.  “May I join ye?”  Baird points to a chair adjacent to their chairs.

The Bookers are quite shocked to have a gentleman like Baird Ogilvy speaking to them with a level of courtesy they are unaccustomed to.

Tom: “Please.”  Tom gestures to the nearby chair.  And Baird sits.

Baird: “Thank ye.  Ye may tell me to mind me own business, but I am an attorrrney in London and I have had experrrience with landlorrrd and tenant disputes.  What I overrrhearrrd you describe the land Agent is trying to do to you sounds like frrraud to me.”

Tom:   His eyes widen. “We cannot afford to have any trouble.  We need a roof over our heads.”

Baird: “But the Land Agent is prrrobably pocketing the extrrra money that he is trrrying to get out of you–and prrrobably otherrr tenants.  Tom, who is your Landlorrrd?”

Tom looks at his wife, worried that their troubles will become worse if he tells.  But she nods at him encouragingly.

Sophie: “Tom, this is Dr. Ogilvy’s son.  He wouldn’t hurt us.”

Baird smiles cordially at the couple to assure them of her statement.

Tom: “Our Landlord is Mr. Lattimer, the banker.”  Tom says with some pride for having one of Milton’s finest citizens as their Landlord.  And yet, Tom and his family live in one of the poorest areas of the poverty stricken Princeton District, the former neighborhood of the Dillard Family who moved to Thornton Village next to Marlborough Mills not too long ago.

Baird: “Ah!  I have met him beforrre on one of me visits to Milton.  He seems like a decent man.  I am cerrrtain that he would want to be made awarrre of his Land Agent not collecting his rrrents prrroperrly–let alone, stealing frrrom him.”

Tom: “I don’t know.”  Tom looks warily at Baird.

Baird:   “I know that ye arrre worried about the rrreperrrcussions of rrreporrrting this to Mrrr. Lattimerrr.”

Sophie: “Reper …?”  She is unfamiliar with the word.

Tom: Turning to his wife, Tom says softly.  “Sophie Dear, repercussions means what happens after we talk to Mr. Lattimer.” She nods.

Baird: “Just so.”  Impressed, Baird asks in some astonishment.   “Mr. Booker, have ye had some schooling?”

Tom: “My mother taught me to read and write. She had been a governess to a fine house before she married my father and moved to our family farm.”  He says wistfully, remembering his former bucolic and carefree existence growing up as a farm boy in the countryside.  “But that was long ago, before we were forced from our farm and had to move to the city to find work.”  His life has not been an easy one, as others have taken advantage of their family.

Baird: “Well afterrr yourrr son is trrreated by me Fatherr, Mr. Bookerrr, I suggest that you and I make haste to Mr. Lattimerrr and consult with him at once about the best courrrse of action with rrregarrrd to your tenancy and rrrent.  I will act as your attorrrney, without charrrge in the matterrr–considerrring I have most forrrwarrrdly  inserrrted myself into yourrr business and you did na seek out me serrrvices.”

Tom and Sophie exchange hopeful looks.  Then Dr. Ogilvy’s medical assistant calls the Booker family into to see Dr. Ogilvy about their baby son Mathew’s illness.  Baird waits patiently in the reception room for their return–him now having a purpose to his day other than ruminating about his faltering relationship with Fiona, by helping the Booker Family.

Across Milton, Hannah Thornton Ogilvy kisses her daughter Fanny’s cheek before heading to the Mill School and Nursery around seven o’clock Thursday morning  to tend to the little ones in Margaret’s and Fanny’s place.  Hannah feels a bit tired–unused to early hours again after the luxury of sleeping in during her month long wedding trip with Cameron–and that their hours of actual sleep are fewer than when she slept alone, due to her husband’s romantic attentions.  She smiles inwardly to herself as she walks into the school room.  However Hannah enjoys being with the children, especially little Lissa Dillard, and she is also looking forward to when she will hold her own grandchild in her arms in four months time.

Fanny had a good night’s rest and she hopes that after her stepfather Cameron examines her again at lunch time, that he will release her to tend to the little ones this afternoon.  Sarah enters with Fanny’s breakfast tray of tea, toast and eggs, and a single pink rose and its small card with a note on the back.   Fanny sits up more fully in her bed to eat her meal.

Maid Sarah: Setting the wooden standing breakfast tray over Fanny’s blanket covered legs, Maid Sarah mentions. “You had an early visitor this morning, Miss Fanny.”Fanny-isJoJoyner-inNorth&South-epi1-11h06m00s79-Jan1214GratianaLovelaceCap-crop-manip-sized-brt-manip-clr-crop2

Fanny: “Oh?” She picks up the single pink rose and sniffs its lovely scent and smiles [(3) right].

Maid Sarah: “It was Mr. Baird Ogilvy.  He brought you the rose and his card in an envelope.” Maid Sarah points to the small envelope.

Fanny:  Fanny smiles shyly.  “Thank you, Sarah.  Might you please come back in a half hour and assist me with my bath?”

Maid Sarah: “Yes, Miss Fanny.”  Maid Sarah smiles and curtsies, then leaves to attend to other her duties.  Sarah feels that Miss Fanny has been ever so much easier to tend to since she started keeping company with the doctor’s son several months ago.

Fanny lifts up the small envelope and pulls out Baird’s visiting card [(4)].  The card itself is of a pleasing paper quality and thickness, and size–3 inches wide by 1.5 inches tall–not too big and not too small.  On one side, the card simply states his name, Baird Ogilvy, Esq.  On the other side of the card, there is a brief hand written note in small, neatly printed handwriting to get it all in.

Baird’s note to Fanny that she reads silently to herself:

“Dearest Fiona,

I hope that you slept well and find yourself feeling better today.  I saw this lovely pink rose and thought instantly of you, My Darling.  I will try to make myself useful today while you are resting.  But I will not be surprised if I find myself paying you a call at tea time–if you would be so kind to receive me, if only to satisfy myself that your cheeks have returned to the delicate pink blush of this rose.
With much love and affection, Baird

Baird had purposely refrained from mentioning the distress and difficulties which precipitated his Fiona’s collapse.

Fanny lifts up her rose again and sniffs its fragrance.  Fanny’s spirits are brightened by Baird’s thoughtful gesture.  And she looks forward to seeing him again later in the day as she tucks into her breakfast with surprising zeal.   Fanny is of the opinion that ladies should always eat like birds–except when they do not have an audience and they may enjoy their food as they wish.

Margaret relishes no longer being confined to bed rest–nor even to bed chamber rest.  But she plans to keep to the manor today, per Dr. Miles Houghton’s orders after he visited her early this morning around ten o’clock.  And Dr. Houghton  was distressed to learn from Dr. Ogilvy in passing that Miss Fanny had a breathing attack yesterday.  He would not have thought Miss Fanny to have that delicate a constitution–nor her to be that emotional, since he heard that her distress was caused by being upset.  Hmmm.  And Miles is uncertain if Miss Fanny will be well enough to attend the musical concert with him Friday night.

John finds that he has business to attend to in Milton regarding one of his tenants near the Hale home at Crampton, so he pops in at Thornton Manor first and he literally scoops Margaret up into his arms and carries her to their waiting open gig carriage.  They will visit Margaret’s parents briefly to ascertain the state of Mrs. Hale’s health and to reassure them of Margaret’s improving health after informing them last week of Margaret’s fainting spell due to her being five months pregnant.

Margaret is uncertain about going at first–her not wanting to do anything to jeopardize their baby she is carrying.  But John assuages her concerns when he relates that he cleared their outing with Dr. Houghton when Miles relayed his report to John after examining Margaret this morning–as long as John carries her rather than her walking up and down the front steps of either home.   John and Margaret have a lovely and brief visit with the Hales, but they are concerned with the declining health of the now completely bed ridden Maria Hale.

Already pale and fragile when they moved to Milton last year, Margaret’s mother Maria Hale is but a shadow of her former self–when she was the sparkling society belle Miss Beresford before she wed Mr. Hale some thirty years ago for love.  That decision to eschew Mr-and-MrsHaleinBBC2004North&SouthDec2813panhistoria3-sized-brtthe many offers from wealthy suitors, who did not suit her, has been tested in recent times with their nearly penurious state when her husband gave up his comfortable living [(5) right] as the Vicar of Helstone Parish in the South.   Leaving their fine home, many friends, and respected circumstances behind them has been difficult for Maria Hale–and has contributed to her failing health.

And Margaret feels as if her mother is desperately trying to hold on to see her grandchild in four months time–which is Margaret’s hope as well.  John understands his wife’s concerns and shares them–for he has already lost one parent himself, when his father died sixteen years ago.  John and Margaret will give their child and their future children all of their love and attention, but it cannot replace the love and guidance from a beloved grandparent.


Baird Ogilvy’s meeting with the banker Mr. Lattimer on behalf of his father’s patient’s father Tom Booker’s rent and tenancy issues proved rather more successful and easily accomplished than Baird had thought might be possible.  Mr. Booker’s obvious dignity and well spoken manner impressed Mr. Lattimer–as did the neatly hand written account that Mr. Booker wrote in Mr. Lattimer’s presence for use in the criminal case against Mr. Lattimer’s land agent.

So not only did Mr. Lattimer assure Mr. Booker that his rent would not increase, but after confronting his land agent with the charges of malfeasance of funds, Mr. Lattimer sacked him and made Mr. Booker his land agent instead–with a healthy raise and a larger flat at no charge as part of his compensation.  It turns out that Mr. Lattimer had already begun to have suspicions about his former land agent–and Mr. Booker’s testimony with Baird Ogilvy’s backing confirmed his fears.  And Mr. Lattimer feels that someone such as Mr. Booker–who had lived among his tenants, but who had some learning due to his mother’s influence–might be the better person to represent his interests to his tenants.

With a happy Tom Booker sent off with one of Mr. Lattimer’s clerks to collect his wife and move into new housing–then to purchase a modest ready made suit of clothes as befitted his new status as Lattimer’s Land Agent, then return on the morrow for instructions from Mr. Lattimer about the tenants and his duties–Baird Ogilvy was quite  pleasantly disposed to join Mr. Lattimer for a late lunch at Mr. Lattimer’s club in Milton.  There the two men–Gerald Lattimer and Baird Ogilvy–proceed to become better acquainted.

Baird: “That was a delicious meal, Mr. Lattimer. Thank ye for hosting me.”  Baird smiles appreciatively to the banker Lattimer as they sip their teas after their meal.

Lattimer: “I am pleased that you enjoyed it.  It is but a small recompense for the service you rendered me today in uncovering the fraudulent dealings of my former land agent.  I am in your debt, Sir.”  He says a bit effusively.

Baird: “Nay!   I was happy to do me father’s patient’s father a good turn.  And it happily worked out to your benefit as well.”

Lattimer: “But you must let me do you a good turn, Mr. Ogilvy.”

Baird:   “I would say that this fine meal sufficiently rrrewarrrds me for me efforrrts, Mr. Lattimer.”

Lattimer: “You are too humble, Sir.  Let me invite you to my home to dine this evening.”  He is thinking about his unmarried daughter Ann who might like this young gentleman.

Baird:  “That is a lovely invitation, but I do not know what arrrangements me Fatherrr has made for ourrr family gatherrrings durrring my stay.”

Lattimer: “Of course.  Well then, how about an after dinner engagement?  There is a musical concert of Chopin’s Nocturne’s in Milton on Friday night that we plan to attend.  We would welcome you sharing our box with us.”  Mr. Lattimer smiles, hoping his enticement for a special evening engagement will be accepted by the young and eligible Baird Ogilvy.

Baird:  “I don’t know.”   Baird hesitates.  Baird would like to go to the concert purely because he knows that Fiona will be there.  And though he does not wish to openly spy upon Fiona, Baird would still like to watch out for her with that man, Dr. Miles Houghton.

Lattimer: “It would be just a small group–my wife and I, oh and our daughter Ann.”  Mr. Lattimer raises his eyebrows hopefully.  At one time, he had hoped that John Thornton would look Ann’s way–but the two young people had never progressed past polite exchanges.

The wheels are turning in Baird’s mind.  Fiona had mentioned Ann Lattimer to Baird a time or two as being her friend.   And he wonders if Fiona would be jealous were she to see him with Ann? He knows it is slightly underhanded of him–because he has no interest in pursuing Miss Lattimer.  But then, the banker Lattimer is the one trying to push his daughter into Baird’s path.  Baird thinks that he is only being polite in accepting the kind invitation.  The fool.

Baird: “I accept your kind invitation with pleasure.”  Baird smiles cordially.

Lattimer: “Good, good.”  Lattimer slides his palms together back and forth with unveiled glee.  It is not often that a worthy suitor for his daughter comes to Milton.  “Our carriage will collect you at half past seven o’clock on Friday evening.  The concert is at eight and we will have a late light supper afterward that we also invite you to.”

Baird: “You are most kind.”  Baird bows his head.


And though Fanny had hoped to spend the whole afternoon of Thursday at the school, since it was only one day since her breathing collapse, Fanny found that she became too tired after an hour and returned home to rest in her bed chamber.  Her mother Hannah then returned to the school for the rest of the afternoon.

That same afternoon, Baird does indeed call at Thornton Manor at a late tea time at five o’clock Thursday–after the Mill School and Nursery day is done–attending with his father Cameron.  As Hannah pours tea, Baird looks around the room for Fanny, wondering where she might be–and if she will be joining them.

Hannah: “Baird, Fanny is resting in her room yet today.  She had tried to be with the children a bit this afternoon, but came home to rest after only an hour.  I finished the school day with the children.”

Cameron: “Let me go up and see how she is doing.  Then if she feels up to having some tea with us, I can always carry her down here.”

Hannah: “Thank you, Cameron.”  She smiles sweetly at him. “Maid Sarah will take you to Fanny.”

Of course, Cameron knows which room is Fanny’s because he has attended her there.  But propriety insists that a lady be chaperoned at all times when she is with a man–even if that man is her doctor.

After Baird watches his father leaves to attend Fiona/Fanny, Baird is beginning to think that he had accepted the Lattimer invitation for naught.  Because if Fiona does not attend the musical concert so she can see him with Ann Lattimer and be jealous, what point is there to him going?

Baird: “Thank ye for the tea.  How is Fiona?  I have na seen her since last evening.”

Hannah: “She is feeling better, Baird.  But she is weakened and must get her strength back.”  Hannah smiles.  “However, her spirits were considerably brightened by your thoughtful gift this morning of the lovely rose and your kind note.”

Baird: “I am glad that they were well received.”  He smiles.  Baird thinks maybe he should not try to make Fiona jealous and just be straight forward with her.  She is always honest with him.

Cameron: “Here we arrre.”  Cameron smiles while gently carrying the small and slender Fanny in his arms.  “Fanny insisted that she must join us for tea.”

Hannah: “Ah!  Fanny dear.”  She smiles warmly at her daughter and husband as he sets Fanny down and she sits on the sette.

Baird:   Baird stands and bows.  “Miss … Fiona.”  He hesitates upon which name to address her, but she will always be his Fiona.  “You are looking well.”

Fanny: “Thank you, Baird.”  Then she turns to Cameron.  “Thank you for helping me join you all, … Cameron.”  Fanny likes the older father figure that her mother’s new husband represents.  He is a calm and stable influence in their lives–like a father which she has never really had.  And she would not object to calling him Father, that is, if he and her Mother did not object.

They all go on to have a lovely tea, talking of the weather and such–nothing controversial.  Cameron also proudly reveals Baird’s help to the Booker family today.  Baird lowers his head humbly when he sees clear admiration for him in both Hannah’s and Fiona’s eyes.

And Baird is now completely regretting accepting the banker Lattimer’s invitation to the music concert.  But Baird is caught.  Etiquette will not allow him to back out of the engagement without a good reason–and he has none, but the realization of his stupidity in thinking to making Fiona jealous with Ann Lattimer.  And Baird is not certain how Fiona will react to seeing him at the concert–him not wanting to distress her given the fragile state of her health.


Baird delivers another rose and note to Thornton Manor on Friday morning for Fanny to receive with her breakfast tray. Baird hopes to mitigate any unpleasantness in their meeting at the concert tonight, should she attend with that man, Dr. Miles Houghton.

Baird’s slightly longer note on stationery to Fanny that she reads silently while brushing the pale pink rose against her cheek:

Dearest Fiona,

I was glad to see you join us for tea yesterday since you were feeling better.  You looked very lovely.  I confess that I would wish to see  you every day,  if you would permit me.  I have truly never experienced before the love and tenderness that I feel for you and that I feel with you.  Though I know that my hopes and wishes await your answering them in harmonious accord, I find myself humbled as I learn what patience really means.  I hope that my struggling with patience amuses you.  For you always like to gently puncture my tendency toward over confidence.

I should tell you that Mr. Lattimer kindly invited me to join he and his family for the musical concert this evening as his thanks for my uncovering his unscrupulous land agent.  I hesitated accepting, not knowing if you would want me at the concert since you will be attending with Dr. Houghton.  But Mr. Lattimer is a persuasive man and he insisted that I say yes.  Since Miss Lattimer is a friend of yours, I will suggest to her that we visit your box at intermission.  If you do not wish to see her or myself, I will understand.  Simply ask Father to let me know.

In any case, I hope that you will enjoy the concert.  Chopin’s nocturnes are favorites of mine.  And ye have not heard them in all their glory until ye have heard them played on the bagpipes.  That is a little Scottish humor thrown in for good measure.

With much love and affection, Baird

Fanny smiles.  For she guesses rightly that the real reason Baird accepted the Lattimer’s invitation is to see her tonight.   So Fanny relates to her stepfather, Cameron–for him to relate to his son Baird–her agreement to see her friend Ann and Baird during intermission at the musical concert this evening.


The first half of the Chopin Nocturnes concert with a guest artist pianist is filled with lovely stirring music [(6)].  Though Dr. Houghton had intended to purchase tickets on the main floor, John suggested that Fanny would be more comfortable in the Thornton box.  And John and Margaret also  join them.

As it happens, the Lattimer and Thornton boxes are almost directly opposite each other in the modestly sized opera house.  Sitting to Ann Lattimer’s right, as she sits facing the stage, Baird cannot pretend to be interested in the music.  He only has eyes for his Fiona as she sits poised and elegant in the box across from him–with her obviously transfixed by the lovely music.  The fact that that man, Dr. Houghton is with Fanny as her escort does not faze Baird.

Dr. Miles: Reading from their printed program about each nocturne, Miles whispers to Fanny.  “One wonders why Chopin wrote so many nocturnes.  Were there not other forms of songs that he could compose?”

Fanny:   Looking at her escort critically, because she is a lover of all things musical, Fanny’s nose scrunches up in displeasure.  “Of course Chopin composed music in other styles.  But this evening is dedicated to his nocturnes.  I should have thought that was clear from the program title–Chopin Nocturnes.”  Fanny underlines the word on his program cover with her gloved index finger.

Miles nods in agreement, though wondering about her seeming particularity for Chopin.

Then Fanny sits back to become immersed in the music again–forgetting her seemingly non-musically inclined escort, Dr. Miles.

Baird had noticed the exchange between Fiona and that man–including Fiona’s nose wrinkled in displeasure.  And Baird smiles to himself.

Then at intermission, Baird escorts Ann Lattimer from the refreshments area to the Thornton box–as he told Fiona he would, and received her acceptance through his Father.  Baird thinks that Ann Lattimer is a lady like young woman–though almost as tall as him, and rather bland since he has yet to hear her express any opinions about anything. It is only when they reach the Thornton box that Ann seems to change her demeanor.  John and Margaret had stepped out for refreshments.

Ann: Rushing toward Fanny and gently embracing her, Ann bites her lower lip. “Oh what a time you have had, Fanny.  Hhhhh!   I heard from Matilda who heard it from Fern who heard it from Pauline.”  The gossip mill in Milton is on full tilt.  “They said that you had nearly died!  And I thought that you had left your breathing attacks behind you in childhood.”

To anyone not familiar with Ann Lattimer, her comment would seem innocuous. To Fanny, she notes the censure in Ann’s voice and manner–with Ann somehow trying to convey that Fanny is generally unhealthy.

Fanny: “Yes, well.  It is over now and I am recuperating.  Afterall, I am here this evening.  So I am not on death’s door.”  Fanny petulantly looks at her friend, Ann.

Baird: “Ha!” Baird covers his mouth to stifle futher laughter.  He has missed Fanny’s frank way of speaking. His eyes twinkle as he and Fiona share a knowing glance.  Then Baird just stands back and watches the unfolding exchange before him with amusement.

Ann: “Well!  Of course not!”  Ann sounds a bit miffed, but in that aloof, I’m a lady, kind of way.

Dr. Miles: Leaning forward into the conversation, Dr. Miles asks politely. “Might I be introduced?”

Fanny: “Oh!   Of course.  Dr. Miles Houghton, my good friend Miss Ann Lattimer, the banker’s daughter.  Ann, Dr. Houghton is Dr. Ogilvy’s new medical practice partner.”

Ann smiles benignly, giving nothing away about her thoughts.  But then Baird wonders if she has any thoughts that are not strictly codified in the rules of society.   He would be very surprised as she mentally ponders whether or not a doctor earns a substantial living and could afford a wife like her.

Dr. Miles: Dr. Miles takes Ann’s hand in his and kisses it.  “It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lattimer.  You are only the second young lady that I have met in Milton–my practice taking so much of my time since I arrived three months ago.”

Ann:   “The warmer weather will bring some assemblies and balls where you may meet others.  You do dance, Dr. Houghton?”  Ann likes that Dr. Houghton is tall–well, taller than she is.

Dr. Miles: “I do.  And please call me Miles, Miss Lattimer.”

Baird thinks that Dr. Miles seems to want every pretty lady in Milton to be on a first name basis with him. If Baird didn’t know better, he might think that Dr. Houghton is bent on seeking a wife, poste haste.  And Baird would be correct.

As Dr. Miles and Ann Lattimer continue to chat about nothing in particular, Baird moves closer to Fiona standing off to the side and asks mischievously.

Baird:  “What do you think of those two together?  As a couple?”  He asks naughtily.

Fanny:  “Ann and Miles?” Baird nods. “Dull and Duller.”  She whispers back to him.

Baird: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”  Baird rocks his head back in laughter at their private joke.   It seems that Baird agrees with Fanny and she smiles blushingly.

But of course, the ungentlemanly loudness of Baird’s laughter causes both Dr. Miles Houghton and Ann Lattimer to look at him perplexed, for his being so … energetic in public.

John and Margaret reenter their box, just as a lone violinist plays incidental music indicating that intermission is almost over.

John: “Baird!”  John and Baird shake hands vigorously.

Baird: “John!   Margaret, it is lovely to see you again.”  Baird bows to her.

Margaret: “And you, Baird.  Good evening, Ann.”  Margaret smiles cordially at Ann Lattimer.

Ann: “Mrs. Thornton.” Ann nods politely, if not respectfully–for Ann had wanted John Thornton as her husband prize.  So Ann returns her arm to possessively hook around Baird’s arm.  “We should return to my family’s box.  Good evening everyone.”   Baird nods, but winces at Ann’s oddly clingy behavior.  He hardly knows the woman, except to say that he does not want to get to know the woman

Dr. Houghton smiles warmly at Ann Lattimer, even as he places Fanny Thornton’s arm upon his own. Afterall, he is escorting Fanny tonight and has every right to claim her as his own.

Farewells are made and Baird and Ann return to the Lattimer box for the other half of the Chopin Nocturnes concert.  And though Baird would dearly prefer to return to his hotel afterward, he is obligated to join the Lattimers for a light supper.  He presumes it is his penance for thinking however briefly about trying to make Fiona jealous of him with Ann. Baird wonders now how he could have ever entertained such a notion. Fiona is ten times the lady–and a much more interesting person–than Ann Lattimer could ever be to Baird.

And yet, Baird wonders why Fiona continues to accept the attentions of that man, Dr. Houghton, when she seemed to dislike him so–fodder for the future.  However, events will conspire this week to still keep Baird apart from his Fiona–something neither of them will like one bit.

To be continued with Chapter 46


“N&S:  JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 45 References, April 07, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #543)

1)      “N&S:  John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo:  Richard Armitageas John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe in the 2004 BBC period drama North  & South, was found at ;  For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit

2)       Baird Ogilvy  image (masked background, sized) is Simon Woods as Charles Bingley in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice found at

3) Fanny Thornton  is Jo Joyner in North & South epi1 (11h06m00s79) Jan1214 Gratiana Lovelace Cap-crop-manip-sized-brt-manip

4) Information about visiting cards—their use and dimensions– were found in Emily Post 1873 – 1960 , Etiquette 1922, Ch. X Cards and visits:  “A gentleman’s card is long and narrow, from 2 7/8 to 3 1/4 inches long, and from 1 1/4 to 1 5/8 inches high. All visiting cards are engraved on white unglazed bristol board, which may be of medium thickness or thin, as one fancies.” The rest of the text may be found at

5) Image of Mr. and Mrs. Hale (as portrayed by Tim Pigott-Smith and Lesley Manville) was found at

6) “Li Yundi – Chopin Nocturnes” is a video by Frederic Chopin found at ;  for more information about Chopin’s Nocturnes, visit


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