THBOFA Teaser Trailer–Thorin: “Will you follow me, one last time?”, July 29, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #610)

Sunday, The One Ring Net (TORN) reported that a teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies would be released on Monday, July 28th(and the teaser for the teaser below). Thanks to Michaela Servetus for pointing me to that TORN link!

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – 15 second Trailer Tease – Official Warner Bros. UK” by Warner Bros. UK

Then after watching the 17 second teaser for the teaser trailer yesterday, I wondered if we THBOFA--Initial-Poster-wSmaug-andBard_Jul2814SirPeterJacksonFB-sized-600x893would see shock and awe or mostly fire breathing dragon in the real teaser trailer? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies initial movie poster that Sir Peter Jackson (right) shared on Facebook also seemed to lean that way.

But, it was anyone’s guess at that point. We all know the bones of The Hobbit tale storyline–which I will refrain from stating to keep this post spoiler free. However, I will say one thing–there is a big nasty fight that goes down. And may I state for the record, that I am a big fan of this third movie in The Hobbit films trilogy’s name change to the most descriptively appropriate eponymous title, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! The new name isn’t really a spoiler, is it? Ha!

But getting back to the teaser video for the teaser trailer, the lack of clips showing Thorin THBOFA--BilboPoster_Jul2914TORN-sized-600x889Oakenshield–brilliantly portrayed in the other two films by the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage–made me wonder what secrets were yet to be uncovered in this third film. Would some plot points be emphasized or expanded more than others? Are those appendices getting a work out again? Bard and Thranduil and Gandalf and Bilbo (see his movie poster shared by TORN, right) and the Company of Dwarves and Legolas and Tauriel and others, all must have their due in this final film.

And even if you knew nothing about The Hobbit story’s ending, with one of the writers and producers, Phillipa Boyens, unfailingly stating her being enamored of Thorin’s storyline and how wonderfully Richard Armitage portrays him, I think we’re safe to assume that Thorin will have a big role to play in this last film.


Finally, the revealed teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies gives us a few clues:

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Official Teaser Trailer [HD]” by Warner Bros. Pictures


Shock and awe? Oh yeah!  I feel even more certain about Thorin’s role in this third film zzTHBOFA-TeaserTrailer--Thorin-SeekingJul2914GratianaLovelaceCap-cropwith the teasing glimpses of Thorin smouldering–while retreating into the shadows with the darkness of the gold fever dragon sickness overtaking him, and then Thorin taking command again–that we see in this teaser trailer. And then, the closing voice over in today’s teaser trailer is a plea by Thorin Oakenshield (right) to his warrior friends as he brings them together for a common cause a final time, touched my heart with its honest simplicity:

“Will you follow me, one last time?

This one line embodies the courage and determination and heartache and inspiration that the Dwarves of Middle Earth have faced together, with Thorin as their leader–and of what is yet to come. My response to Thorin? A resounding yes!


P.S. And now, for your viewing pleasure, some caps I made of the Official THBOFA Teaser Trailer video. You knew I would. Ha!
N.B.  These caps are not necessarily in the order they appeared in the teaser trailer.


Posted in Buddies/Friends, Drama, Evangeline Lily, Fiction, Graham McTavish, Lee Pace, Legolas, Luke Evans, Middle Earth, Orlando Bloom, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, Tauriel, The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit, Thorin, Thranduil, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Living with the Rare Skin Disease of Ichthyosis, July 27, 2014 Guest Post by Kitty (Post #609)

Hi, I’m Kitty. But some times I’m better known as Mawmie (grandmother) to two little aaPrincessA_Jul2514Kitty-sizedgirls who are quite possibly the most beautiful children ever created. Addison is 7 & 1/2 (right top) and JoElla is almost 4 (right bottom). They inherited a skin disorder called ichthyosis (ick-thee-oh-siss) from my stun-in-law – their daddy. Ichthyosis is not contagious, but I can assure you that once you’ve experienced our granddaughters, you will be aaPrincessJ_Jul2514Kitty-sizedinfected with the joy they bring to your life.

There are over 25 different types of ichthyosis; some so severe that, if it there isn’t a diagnosis immediately at birth, it can be fatal. Our little princesses and their daddy have a less severe type – erythrokeratoderma variablis (EKV) .

Their bodies produce as many skin cells in one day that you and I would produce in about fourteen days. This makes their skin thick, sometimes causing fissures in their skin that makes them lose hydration easily. Because their skin doesn’t work properly, they cannot sweat, which can cause their temperature to soar. Keeping their temperature safe and keeping them hydrated is important to their health.

But the hardest thing, from my point of view, about ichthyosis is how people react to their visible difference. Staring is rude and hurtful. We would rather people just ask honest questions in a polite way. When that happens, we can inform and educate, making the curious more comfortable. People are generally afraid of something they know nothing about, so we love giving information about ichthyosis.

It is always good to know you have someone in your corner. So we feel so blessed to be part of an organization that is the go to resource for all things ichthyosis – FIRST (Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types). There is so much information, help and support from the good people there.

Because ichthyosis is so rare, there is very little research. There just isn’t a lot of money designated to rare disease research, so many members of FIRST have grass roots fund raising events. My husband and I sponsored a benefit concert a couple years ago to raise money for FIRST. A local Chick-Fil-A also let us host a “spirit night” where a percentage of the meal price was donated to FIRST.

But this year I did something a little different. I made quite a few aprons back in the winter Kittys-Aprons-Fundraiser-for-IchthyosisAwarenessMonth_Jul2514Kitty-sized-labeledbefore my little sewing business picked up speed during prom / wedding season. I decided to offer those aprons for auction during the month of May for IAM (ichthyosis awareness month) (right). All of the aprons were one of a kind; many made from vintage fabrics; most made from the pattern of my husband’s grandmother’s aprons. I had so much fun making them, taking bids and then posting each apron in the mail to those whose bids were highest. My friend and the heart and soul of this blog, Gratiana, won the bid for one of the aprons. She messaged to me a picture of herself, wearing it. Thanks, Girl Friend!

It makes me feel so good to know that our efforts help inspire and educate others to make our world a better place in which to live. I want our little princesses to feel accepted, respected and courageous. We can do that when we teach others to see them – the whole person, not just their skin.

Please visit the FIRST site and learn more about ichthyosis and all that is being done for aaPrincesses-J-and-A_Jul2514kitty-sizedthose who are affected with ichthyosis.

While you’re there, you can read a post about our little darlings (right) written by our daughter.

A big THANK YOU to Gratiana for asking me to share on her blog. Hugs, Sweethaht (said Sargent John Porter style because something absolutely must be said that relates to Richard Armitage ).

P. S. It was my pleasure, Kitty. Thanks for sharing! Hugs & Love! Grati


Posted in Beauty, Body Image, Family, Health, Ichthyosis, John Porter, Love, Medical, Richard Armitage, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 72 (PG-13): 3.5 Years Later, Seeking a Son to Love, July 26, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #608)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 72 (PG-13): 3.5 Years Later, Seeking a Son to Love, July 26, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #608)

aaaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCoverDec2913GratianaLovelace-256x401An 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 Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, 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, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, and Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, 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. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), 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: Later on the same day that her mother Hannah Lady Airlie gave birth to her and Cameron Lord Airlie’s son Lord Gavin Vicetor Ogilvyon Friday, November 28, 1851–Lady Fiona gave birth five weeks early to unexpected twins whom she and her husband Lord Baird named Lord William Charles Ogilvy and Lady Agnes Diana Ogilvy.   Fiona was in a bit of a tizzy during the birthing process since she was not able to follow much of her birthing plan–being at Airlie Castle instead of at their home AirlieCottagein Scotland being chief among them. Except for using her specially made birthing chair. And her cousin the little five year old Lady Blythe aided in the birth by guiding the first baby out with her tiny hands. The extended Thornton-Ogilvy families were gathering for a lovely Christmas in Scotland–and indeed, it was.


N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 72 (PG-13): 3.5 Years Later, Seeking a Son to Love

For John and Margaret Thornton, the first four and a half years of their marriage has brought them much bliss. They found each other as loving soulmates and their love brought their now almost four year old daughter Audrey Grace into their lives. Both Marlborough Mills in Milton, England and its companion business venture of the Ogilvy-Thornton Scottish Mills in Angus, Scotland are thriving–as are the people who work in them, due to the worker employment, housing, education, and medical care reforms that John and his stepfather Dr. Cameron Ogilvy (Lord Airlie) have put into place.

The Spring of 1855 finds John and Margaret much contented–but for one aspect, they do not have a son. John swore after Margaret’s difficult and life threatening birthing of their daughter Audrey Grace three and a half years ago that he would not subject her to another childbirth. They will adopt if they want more children. And they do want more children to love and to nurture.

But two years ago when Cameron broached the topic of a new baby boy born in Scotland that John and Margaret might adopt–because the mother was so young at fifteen and still a child herself really–the adoption did not happen. John and Margaret had hesitated because their two year old daughter Audrey Grace was still quite a handful. And so the Scottish bairn up for adoption was placed in Lord Jamie and Lady Thistle Ogilvy’s home–the second son that Lord Jamie had always wanted, since his wife Lady Thistle had also developed a delicate constitution after their middle child’s Mairi’s stillborn birth and then their youngest Lady Blythe’s birth and her health issues now eight and a half years ago.

At the time two years ago, John and Margaret felt that waiting to adopt their future child was the right thing to do. What they had not admitted to each other was that they each harbored hopes that they might yet have another child together, who was of their blood. But though Margaret’s health is fully regained now after her birthing ordeal–and their lovemaking is tender and sensuous and careful not to occur uring her most fertile times, with John also using protective caution to refrain from getting her pregnant–ultimately, neither of them can face the dangers that childbirth poses for Margaret. A motherless Audrey Grace is a future that neither of them wants to have happen.

So it is a beginning to warm up this Spring Tuesday morning in early April 1855 that Margaret sits in her favorite reading chair in the much freshened Thornton Manor Drawing Room. The room’s pastel sky blue walls above a tastefully muted painted mural design of rolling hills and forests behind the fireplace [(2) right]–with drapes and accent PaintedWallpaperMuralJan0413GratianaLovelace-bkgrndRev3GoldEdge-sizedpillows in complementary shades and pattresn–creating an elegant yet welcoming retreat in which to invite family and friends. Margaret reads a letter from her mother-in-law Hannah Thornton Ogilvy, Lady Airlie–who with her husband Dr. Cameron Ogilvy, Lord Airlie, and their now three year old son Lord Gavin live in Scotland most of the time. The planned monthly visits tapered off when the practical logistics of traveling frequently with baby Gavin presented an obstacle.

Margaret is both agitated and hopeful by what she reads before John returns home for lunch with her and little Audrey Grace.

As John jauntily walks into Thornton Manor–his domain, but also his refuge from the world–he spies his almost four year old Audrey Grace walking down the stairs from visiting the nursery with her part time nanny. Upon seeing her papa, Audrey Grace lets loose her nanny’s hand and races to her father.

Audrey Grace: “Papa! You’re home!” She cries out ebulliently as she gazes up adoringly  AudreyGrace-almost-four-image-is-Tête_d'Etude_l'Oiseau_(1867)-byWilliam-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_Jul2614wiki-crop2[(3) right] at her tall and handsome Papa, John Thornton–her shiny auburn curls so like her mother’s hair when it is unfurled, with the silken strands held in place by a black velvet headband. Little Audrey Grace is so enamored with her Papa that she told her amused parents last week that she wants to marry her Papa when she grows up.

And for his part, John Thornton is completely besotted with his little daughter. The man who comes to court Audrey Grace for marriage in fifteen years time when she is eighteen will have the formidable challenging of having to prove himself worthy for her hand to the great John Thornton.

John: “My little one!” John delightedly lifts his daughter up into the air, twirling her about to her gleeful squeals.

Audrey Grace: “Papa!   Ha ha ha! Papa! ”

John: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” His laughter booms so deeply and joyfully that he nearly rattles the front hall windows. Then John lowers his daughter into his arms and kisses her cheek as she clings to his lapels.

Audrey Grace: Audrey Grace cheerfully prattles away, gesticulating animatedly to her father’s amusement. “Oh Papa! I have been a good girl all morning. I practiced writing my my alphabet and my name with Miss Lynch.” Audrey Grace waves at her part time nanny, who nods and leaves her to her father’s care with an indulgent smile. “And I sewed with Mama.” Audrey Grace is too little to be trusted with needles yet, so she contents herself with rearranging the multicolored thread bobbins in her mother’s sewing basket tray. “And I tidied my room.” By which she means that her toys are off the floor–but still awaiting placement into the toy box. “And I counted to tenty.”   Audrey Grace gushes with a final flourish–slightly mispronouncing the word twenty.

John: “My word, you have been busy! Maybe you should come work for me in my office.”   JohnT-SmallSmile-isRichardArmitage-inNorth&Southepi1-045Oct2713ranet-crop-hi-res-rev2-flipJohn [(4) right] smiles lovingly at his little daughter’s upturned countenance.

Audrey Grace: “Oh yes, Papa! May I?” Her eyes light up at his suggestion.

Audrey Grace is not allowed in the Mill buildings yet because she is so little and they are concerned for her safety around the machines. And appropriately, John has raised the minimum age limit for working children at his mill to twelve years of age from eight–him having obtained new machinery to catch the fluff such that little ones are not needed under the looms to do that when the weaving is in progress. The younger children of mill workers attend the Mill school–receiving their breakfast and lunch meals free. And with John’s Thornton village project thriving, the mill families have decent homes and access to sufficient food and stuffs that their wages pay for that they do not have to have their younger children working at the mill as they did in the past.

John tries to resume his composed and unruffled exterior in front of the Thornton Manor Butler still standing at attention in the hallway after admitting him to his home.   But little Audrey Grace has his heart and he cannot help but smile.

John: “Audrey Grace, When you reach your Mama’s height, then we shall see. But I believe that I was promised luncheon. And I am hungry–quite ravenous.” Then he spells the word out, since it is a new word for her. “R-a-v-e-n … o-u-s.”

Audrey Grace: “Oh Papa!   I will feed you–and the birdies!” She smiles looking around for them. For little Audrey Grace is still learning many words, but her Papa delights in teaching them to her.

John: “Ha ha ha!   It is true that the word ravenous, begins with r-a-v-e-n–which is a bird. However the whole world ravenous does not mean birds.” He walks with Audrey Grace toward the small family dining room they use for breakfast and lunch.

Audrey Grace: “It does not?” She asks quizzically. Then she pouts to have misunderstood this new word, raven-ous. But at not quite four years old, she can be forgiven for not knowing every word.

John: “No. A raaaaaaven …” He draws the word out with its long vowel sound on the a that distinguishes it from the short vowel sound of the name for referring to hunger.   “… is a bird. Alternatively, when someone, like your Papa, is ravenous, they are hungry.”

Audrey Grace: “Oh!   Ravven-us.” She repeats the word in understanding as they walk into the small dining room and her Mama Margaret walks toward them. “Mama!” Audrey Grace waves at her Mama whom she had been with all morning–but for the nanny assisting her with a personal necessity just prior to her father returning home for luncheon today.

Margaret:   “Audrey Grace! John! You’re home!” Margaret greets her husband John warmly with a kiss on his lips.   Then she kisses their daughter whom the nanny had recently taken up stairs to wash up before luncheon. “And I see that you have found our cherub.”

John: “I did. And Audrey Grace greeted me warmly, much the same as you–but with one significant difference.” Now he pouts.

Margaret: “And what is that?”   She asks her husband minxishly as she caresses her daughter’s cheek.

John: “She jumped into my arms!” He grins mischievously.

Audrey Grace: “Go ahead, Mama. You can jump into Papa’s arms, too.” Audrey Grace suggests encouragingly.

John and Margaret: “Ha ha ha ha haha!” Her parents laugh with great amusement.

Margaret: “Maybe later, Audrey Grace Dear.” She says to her daughter, then she looks at her husband’s wickedly raised eyebrow and blushes. “So!   Is anyone hungry for luncheon?” Margaret poses cheerfully.

Audrey Grace:   “I am ravven-us!” Impressed, Margaret looks at her daughter in surprise for her use of a new word.

John: “Well done, Audrey Grace. You are expanding your vocabularly mightily. I am also ravenous.” John adds with a smouldering look of desire for his beautiful twenty-seven year old wife Margaret, who prettily blushes.

Audrey Grace: “Let’s eat!” She claps her hands. And they do.


It is only after Audrey Grace is put down for her afternoon nap after luncheon that Margaret reveals to John that she has received a letter of great import.

Margaret:   “John, We received a letter from Mama this morning.” Margaret looks down at Margaret-isDaniela-Denby-Ashe-inNorth&South-epi1-14h52m44s152-Jan2714GratianaLovelaceCap-Crop-sized-brt2the letter and then she looks hopefully up at John [(5) right]. “May I talk with you about it before you go back to the mill? I hope to send a reply this afternoon before you return home from the Mill this evening.” She asks hopefully. Margaret knows that she is blessed that John’s work is just next door and that he is able to get away mid day to share many lunches with her, despite his heavy workload. But today, she needs to impose upon his time for the sake of their family.

John: John takes out his pocket watch and scrunches up his nose pretending to consider her request. “I have a buyer coming and 2 o’clock. So I am yours for twenty minutes, Margaret My Love.” He smiles broadly at his beloved wife.

Margaret: She motions to the sette. “Let us sit.” Now Margaret is feeling both hopeful and worried what John will say to the news. They sit.

John: “Is something wrong? Is everyone well?”

Margaret: Rushing to assure him, she replies. “Everyone is well and good!   And Fiona had another baby boy–early …” Margaret rolls her eyes. “ … whom they named Lord Duncan John Ogilvy, after you.” Margaret smiles poignantly at her husband.

John: “Oh! I am so honored.” John places his hand upon his heart and gazes at his wife with moist eyes for his sister’s and brother-in-law’s thoughtful gesture.

And in the back of their minds, John and Margaret would very much like to have a son of their own–and now his sister has two sons.

Margaret: Margaret nods. “It is lovely of Fiona and Baird to do that.” Margaret acutely feels the pull of wanting another child, to give John a son.

John: But John regroups and quips to lighten their mood. “Fanny seems to have a habit of giving birth early.” He chuckles as he shakes his bead bemusedly.

Margaret: “Yes.” She sighs longingly.

John marvels at Fanny/Fiona being transformed into a mother hen–a gaggle of children around her–for Duncan is their fourth child, after the twins and then their daughter, Lady Sarah one year ago. While John and Margaret still only have the one child, Audrey Grace. Then John notices Margaret’s fretful expression with her biting her lower lip.

John: “What is it?”

Margaret:   “Mama writes that an older couple whose daughter died in childbirth wants to give their grandson in adoption. He is one month old.” Margaret tells him hopefully.

John: “The mother’s death is very sad.” John intones sorrowfully, grateful that that was not Margaret’s fate. And he is now resolved more than ever not to put her through childbirth again. “But does her husband not want to keep his child?” He asks, wondering if the baby is born in wedlock or not.

Margaret: “It seems that the father was in the British navy and had earlier died at sea after an accident.” Margaret blanches, for her brother Fred had been in the navy–until he mutineed and became exiled in Spain to escape prosecution and hanging. Though they correspond with Fred, Margaret and John have not traveled to Spain–out of fear of exposing her brother to agents of the British Crown. But Margaret refocuses and continues to tell John of the baby. “And the grandparents other children all have families and children of their own and they cannot take on an extra mouth to feed.”   Margaret gazes at her beloved husband hopefully. “John, I feel that this child is the son we have been waiting for. I want to go to Scotland and bring him home with us.”

John: John rubs his chin.   “If his mother died in childbirth, is the child healthy?” John does not want to bring a child into their home, only to have it wither and die–causing them further heartache.

Margaret: “Very healthy, according to Mama. And … and …” Margaret strokes John’s hair. “And he has a thick patch of black hair like you have.” She blurts out in hopes of tempting him further about the baby–that the baby might in some way resemble John.

John:   “Well?” John hesitates. But Margaret does not want his hesitation this time.

Margaret: “John, please!   We hesitated in adopting a baby boy two years ago. I do not want to hesitate again now. I do not feel that we will get another chance.” Margaret bites her lower lip again–a sure sign of her worry and distress.

John: “You are certain, then–that this is the child we should welcome into our home?”   He asks her, pondering how he will feel about this little baby boy. John wonders if he can truly love this child and think of him as his son–when he is not his own flesh and blood?

Margaret: “I am.” She nods her head resolutely.

John: John nods in acquiescence.   “Then write back to Mama and Cameron. We will take the Thursday train to see them and this baby. That is the earliest I can get away.” He offers.

Margaret leaps into her husband John’s arms and sits upon his lap, showering him with kisses.

Margaret: “Oh! Thank you, John. I feel that we will finally have our son that we have always wanted.” And she thinks, that you have always wanted.

John: “I’m sure you’re right.”   John smiles warmly at his wife. But still, a nagging worry tugs at John’s heart–about whether he will be as good a parent to this child as it deserves.

Margaret: “Thank you, John Dearest.” She says warmly as she kisses her husband upon his lips with all the tenderness and longing that her heart feels for him [(6) right]. They will travel to Scotland to seek their son.

And uncharacteristically, Margaret has not been entirely forthcoming to John about the one month old baby boy they hope to adopt and the child’s family connections. For there is another aspect to this situation that Margaret is waiting for the right time to tell John about it. However, she will have to tell him when they reach Scotland–or he will soon find out on his own when they arrive at Airlie Castle.

To be continued with Chapter 73


“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 72 References, July 26, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #608)

1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as 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)  Painted mural on wallpaper is an MS Clip Art image.

3)   Audrey Grace Thornton almost four year old image is Tete d’Etude l’Oiseau by William Adolphe Bouguereau found at

4)   John Thornton is portrayed by Richard Amitage in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South found at

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

6)  John kissing Margaret image is Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe in North & South   found at


Link to Previous Ch. 71:

Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, John Thornton, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Share Your Love to a Child in Need–Campaign to shower little ill boy Danny Nickerson with love via your birthday cards to him, July 23, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #607)

According to the article link shared by Celebrity Stylist Ilaria Urbinati on Twitter late Please-send-cards-to-ill-kid-DannyNickerson_Jul2214IlariaUrbinatiTuesday night, Danny Nickerson (right) is not quite six years old and has inoperable brain cancer. His 6th birthday is this Friday, July 25. Please consider sending him a birthday card.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Danny Nickerson is five years old and excited to be turning six this Friday, July 25th.

This past October, Danny was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor: one that is particularly resistant to treatment. Fewer than 10% of kids diagnosed with this type of tumor live beyond 18 months after diagnosis.”

“The only thing Danny wants for his birthday is more mail. So let’s send him some for his birthday. He also likes Lego and Super Mario, but he really just wants cards and letters.
Send him a card at the address below.

Danny Nickerson
P.O. Box 212
Foxboro, MA, 02035

Even if you don’t send a card, please share this with your friends. We hope other sites pick this up. We’d like to see Danny’s mailbox filled with cards and letters (and maybe some Lego.)
Happy birthday, Danny. We hope you’ll see many more.”

The article link again is:

Thanks again to Ilaria Urbinati who tweeted this link!

My thoughts and prayers are with Danny and his family. I’m sending my card to Danny in the morning mail. I hope that it reaches Danny in time for his birthday.  Hugs!

P.S. The preferred postal spelling of the name of the town is correct in the address above as “Foxboro”, though “Foxborough” is used as an alternative spelling per wiki.

Posted in Compassion, Kindness, Love, Medical, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stormy Sunday Reblog: Link for Advance Screenings of Richard Armitage’s New Film “Into the Storm”, July 20, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #606)

Into-theStorm2014--RichardArmitage-etal_WarnerBros_Jul2014IntotheStormmoviecom-sized-crop-flip“Now we’re still encouraging you to attend a screening of exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage’s (left) new film “Into the Storm”(right) its opening weekend wherever you live–for the U.S., that is the weekend of August 8-10th, 2014. … Remember, opening weekend box office and word of mouth buzz from movie goers can make or break a film’s success.

But if you just can’t wait to see the film …”

Go to the OpeRAtion Into the Storm 2014 website for a link to information about advanced screenings of Into the Storm around the world and other news:


Comments over there, please. Thanks!

Posted in Black Sky, Drama, Gary Fuller, Into the Storm, movies, Operation "Into the Storm" 2014, Richard Armitage, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 71 (PG-13): Advent Surprises, Part 2, July 19, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #605)

“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 71 (PG-13):
Advent Surprises, Part 2,
July 19, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #605)

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 Ogilvy, Jo Joyner for Fiona/Fanny Thornton Ogilvy, 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, Jeremy Northam as Dr. Miles Houghton, Gerard Butler as Lord Jamie Ogilvy, and Juliette Lewis as Lady Thistle Ogilvy, 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. As such there will be heartfelt moments of love and sensuality (S)–as well as other dramatic emotions (D), 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: Hannah Lady Airlie and Cameron Lord Airlie welcomed their baby son Lord Gavin Victor Ogilvy into the world at Airlie Castle in Scotland on Friday, November 28, 1851 with John & Margaret, Baird and Fanny, and Thistle and Jamie in attendance. And Lady Fiona manages to go into labor in the same days–several weeks early of her January 1852 due date.


N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 71 (PG-13): Advent Suprises, Part 2

The scene around the birthing bed in the Airlie Castle Master bedchamber suite is intense–with John and Margaret, Lord Jamie and Lady Thistle and their children, and Lord Baird and Lady Fiona surrounding Hannah Lady Airlie and Cameron Lord Airlie. The family has just met Hannah’s and Cameron’s baby son Lord Gavin Victor Ogilvy only minutes ago when Lady Fiona experiences birthing pains several minutes apart.

Cameron: “Herrre we go again!” The extended Ogilvy-Thornton family patriarch and physician shakes his head wryly.

Fiona: “Aaaaaaaaah!” Fiona cries out in even greater pain now that she has been in active labor for fifteen minutes.

Hannah: “Fanny, you should lie down in one of the guest bed chamber suites.’’ Hannah invokes her motherly concern for her daughter, even as she cradles her newborn son.

Fiona: “Mama? My name is Fiona.” Fiona/Fanny says a trifle petulantly before another pain hits her. “Arrrrgh! Oh Baird? I want to have our baby at our home!” She holds her tummy as another pain hits her.

Baird: “Papa?” Baird flails about–giddy with the excitement of their baby about to be born and terrified all at the same time.

Cameron: “Nay, Fiona! Let me examine you firrrst to ascerrrtain your prrrogrrres.” Cameron admonishes firmly.

Lady Fiona nods and is assisted into a nearby guest bed chamber by her husband Lord Baird Ogilvy, her cousin Lady Thistle, and her father-in-law, Cameron Lord Airlie–with little five year old Lady Blythe Ogilvy tagging along in the rear. Once inside the guest bedroom, Cameron turns into Dr. Ogilvy.

Cameron: “Let us remove your dress and petticoats and get you into bed where I may examine you.” He states officiously like the medical practitioner he is. Baird nods his head.

Fiona: “I don’t know if I want my father-in-law examining me. Arrrrhhhhhhg!” She cries out in pain.

Thistle: “Fiona, ye must see sense. Cousin Cameron is a physician. Let him help you.”

Lady Blythe: “I will help, too.” Lady Blythe raises her hands and wiggles her fingers gleefully.

Thistle: “Not now, Blythe.” Her mother, Lady Thistle, gently pushes her daughter Lady Blythe’s hands to her sides and stifles a laugh.

Baird: “Fiona?” Baird looks helplessly at his wife, begging her to give in.

Fiona: “Oh, alright.”   Fiona shakes her head and closes her eyes as Lady Thistle helps her disrobe behind a standing screen and then she slides into bed in her camisole and pantaloons. “I suppose you do this all the time.” She looks at her father-in-law nervously as she wriggles out of her pantaloons under the bed sheet.

Cameron: “Well, at least with grrrreat rrregularrrrity. Baby 3, 452 was Gavin.   And yourrr baby will be 3, 453.” He sets his medical bag on a bedside table and pulls out his stethoscope.

And little Lady Blythe thinks that she will keep track of the lambs and babies that she helps to be born. So far, one lamb is to her credit. But if Lady Blythe gets to help birth Lady Fiona’s baby, then she would also have a person baby on her list–thus evening the tally between her two groups of patients.

Baird: “Ye keep trrrack, Papa?” Baird asks quizzical astonishment.

Cameron:   “Aye! I dooo.” Cameron smiles pridefully as he leans over his daughter-in-law Lady Fiona and listens to her heart, then to her stomach. Then he throws back the blanket and lifts up the bottom end of the bed sheet and guides her legs open to let him have a look. “Ach! Yourrr womb is quite dialated now and the birrrth could be prrrecipitous.”

Cameron states firmly after examining her womb visually and by probing her birth canal for its widening. Something that Fiona did not want to have happen–her father-in-law, down there–but he is a doctor and Baird insisted that she receive his care. The winter weather is too precarious to risk sending for the village doctor. And the midwife is already here at Airlie Castle, attending to Hannah Lady Airlie.

Baird: “Then Fiona should not be moved to the cottage. My Love, ye will have our bairrrn in the castle!”

Lord Baird smiles brightly and pats her hand, as if his wife Lady Fiona giving birth in Airlie Castle is a special privilege. It is, but characteristically Lady Fiona does not see it that way.

Fiona: “But Baird, all my birthing preparations are at home–especially my birthing chair.” She looks pleadingly at her husband Baird.

Cameron: “I think we might have a birthing chair in the castle attics.”  Cameron wearily walks over to the wall–rolling his eyes bemusedly, since none can see him–and he pulls on the nearby chord to summon a servant to search for a birthing chair.

Fiona: “But I want my birthing chair, Papa. It was made to fit me. And I have practiced sitting in it every day to get used to it.”

Baird: “You have?”

Fiona: “Yes, I must have it!” Fiona nods her head, then she is racked with another pain. “Aaaaaaah!”

There is a knock on Fiona’s guest bed chamber door. Thistle goes to see who it is.

Thistle: “It is John and Jamie, Fiona. May they come in?”

Fiona: “Ahhhh!” She cries out in pain. “Oh why not?” Fiona says facetiously, but Thistle takes her meaning literally and lets John and her husband Lord Jamie into the room.   “Good heavens! Let’s bring the whole village in here to watch me give birth.” Fiona shakes her head.

John: “Fanny, dear. How are you feeling? May I get you anything?”

Fiona: “Arrrrgh! I want my birthing chair! And please call me Fee–oh–na!” She stresses as she pants her breathing.

Blythe: “I remember your name Lady Fiona.” Little Lady Blythe chirps.

Feeling out of place in the birthing room, Lord Jamie steps back and leans against the wall–trying not to look in Lady Fiona’s direction–with her ankles and lower legs exposed from the bed sheet only haphazardly dropped by Cameron to cover her womb.

Baird:   “Fiona, I do na want to leave you to get yourrr blasted birrrthing chairrr contrrraption!”

Jamie: Finding a way out of feeling embarrassed by being in the birthing room, Lord Jamie says eagerly. “I’ll go and fetch it and take the wagon.”

John: “I’ll come, too.” John adds–him wanting to be of assistance to his baby sister.

Fiona: “And I want my leather strap with the soft leather padded hand holds to pull on–for when I must bear down.”  She calls after them as they  begin to leave room

Baird: “Fiona, I’m surrre we can rrrig something up here.” Baird pleads.

Fiona:   “I am giving birth to the Airlie heir and I want my padded leather strap, too!” She wails.  “Arrrhhggg!” She cries out in pain.

John: “We’ll get them.” He nods to Fiona.

Baird: Turning to John and Jamie, Baird suggests quickly. “Ourrr butlerrr at Airrrlie Cottage can assist you in finding what Fiona is referrring to at our home.”

Cameron: “Be quick about it lads, Fiona could give birth at any moment.”


Fiona’s imminent birth is still ongoing three hours later–long since after her brother John Thornton and cousin Lord Jamie Ogilvy returned with Fiona’s birthing equipment consisting of her birthing chair, a padded leather strap, and they also brought with the metal floating tub for good measure.

Fiona feels like a watched cooking pot as she waits for her birthing trials to be over and done with.

Fiona:   “It’s not fair! Mama barely had time to sneeze and her baby was born.  Aggghhhh! I want my baby to be born soon.” She worries that she might have the same fate as Margaret and have a difficult birthing experience.

Cameron: “Let me examine ye again.” He does so, but does not find much progress.   But he is hampered by his large hands being uncomfortable for Fiona as he tries to determine where the baby is in the birth canal.

All eyes turn to little Lady Blythe who has become Lady Fiona’s nursemaid–bringing her cold compresses and fresh water to drink. Lady Blythe senses that the room has stopped its buzz of conversational groupings and she looks up at cousin Cameron.

Lady Blythe: “Shall I trrry to see if I can find the baby?” Lady Blythe smiles, holds up her tiny hands and wriggles her fingers. She is gleeful to get the chance to help birth another baby to be born. Well, the last baby she helped birth was a lamb baby. So this will be her first people baby.

Cameron: Cameron turns to Lady Thistle and Lord Jamie? “Arrre ye alrrright with this?” Little Lady Blythe’s parents’ nod in agreement. “Fiona?”

Fiona: “Yes, please, anything.” Fiona is tired and just wants this to be done!

Lady Blythe:   “Yayyy!” Little Lady Blythe raises her arms in the air in jubilation–for her experiencing a aaN&SJohnThorntonLoveLessonsFanFicCh71ImagesJul1914GratianaLovelaceperson birth [(2) right]. “Mama, please help me rrremove me drrress and I will need an aprrron so I do na get messy.” Lady Blythe wrinkles up her nose–because she guesses that people baby birthing is messy like lamb baby birthing, just without the hay.

Cameron: “Of course, Blythe. But ye arrre only inserting your fingers–maybe your hands–into the birth canal.

Lady Blythe: “Are you cerrrtain? When I birthed the lamb baby, almost me whole arrrm was inside the mama sheep–up to me elbows!” She lifts up her arms to show them.

Lady Fiona blanches, Lady Thistle and Lord Jamie roll their eyes at their daughter’s straight forwardness. John and Baird look uneasy at what Fiona’s reaction might be.

Cameron: “Only yourrr hands arrre rrrequirrred herrre, Blythe.” Cameron assures his daughter-in-law Fiona and every one else in the room.

Lady Blythe: “Don’t worry Lady Fiona.” Lady Blythe suggests soothingly. “I have tiny hands.” She raises them up into the air–wriggling her fingers again. And Lady Blythe thinks that at least with Lady Fiona, she is not likely to get kicked by hooves.

Fiona: “Thank you, Blythe. Papa, Please have her do this quickly.”

Lady Fiona’s much ballyhooed birthing chair sits forgotten off to one side of the bed chamber.   Actually, Lord Jamie is absentmindedly sitting comfortably in it–Fiona lies back on her bed pillow, listlessly. She is mortified to have her little cousin Lady Blythe actively assisting in the birth. But there is nothing for it–just as Lady Fiona had to assist at Margaret’s birth.

The next few minutes are tense ones as Cameron talks little Lady Blythe through putting her hands in Lady Fiona’s womb and seeking to find the baby’s head.

Blythe: “I feel something round and hard.” She says.

Cameron: “That’s the baby’s head.” He nods.

Blythe: “Ooooooh! I feel an ear!”

Cameron: “Gently now, Blythe. Place yourrr hands on eitherrr side of the baby’s head–at the ears–and slowly guide the baby out.”

Lady Blythe places her hands in position. Lady Fiona winces in slight pain, but knowing that Lady Blythe’s small hands are a blessing.

Blythe: She gently pulls, then grimaces. “The baby won’t move.”

Cameron: “Hhhhh!”   Cameron sighs heavily. For having avoided doing a risky ceasarean operation on Margaret last Summer nor on his wife Hannah earlier today, he might have to do one on Lady Fiona. But operating is a last resort. “Keep trying.  Push Fiona.” He admonishes her.

Fiona: “I am pushing.” Lady Fiona whines as she lies listlessly on her pillows.

Lord Baird feels hopeless to help his beloved wife. This is nerve wracking for him, too. He does not want Fiona to be in pain. And he is also worried that the baby still has not come.   Then he has a burst of inspiration.

Baird: “Let us trrry your birrrthing chair. Maybe it will help.” Baird looks over at Lord Jamie. “Jamie, ye will have to give up yourrr seat!” Baird grins impishly. Jamie blushes as he remembers just what he is sitting on–the birthing chair–and he stands up.

Jamie:  “Sorrrry.”  He apologetically shrugs his shoulders with a sheepish look on his face.

Fiona: “Anything.” She sighs tiredly.

Cameron: “Aye! Let’s try it!   Blythe gently rremove your hands frrrom Fiona’s womb.” She does so.

And Blythe’s Mama, Lady Thistle, quickly takes her to the adjacent bathing chamber to wash her hands.

Then Baird and Cameron assist Fiona in rising from her bed. As soon as Lady Fiona is vertical, something seems to shift inside her.

Fiona:   “Ahhhh!”  She cries out in pain.

Baird: “My love?”

Little Lady Blythe comes hobble running out of the bathing chamber with clean hands and she dives underneath Lady Fiona’s billowing nightgown to check without Cameron needing to ask her.  Lady Blythe has a true vocation as a physician–or maybe, as a veterinarian. She hasn’t decided yet.

Blythe: “The baby is coming!”  She announces to the adults focused upon what is happening to Lady Fiona.

Lord Baird and Cameron quickly lift Fiona into the air, walk her over to her birthing chair, and deposit her onto it. A pale Lord Jamie turns away to give Lady Fiona some privacy–as does her brother John–since Lady Fiona’s nightgown is now puddled around her hips while she sits on the birthing chair. Little Lady Blythe sits underneath her ready to catch the baby when it comes out.

And not two minutes later, a wailing baby Ogilvy heir comes into the world. He is not small, but not too big–just right!

Blythe:  “Oh, too bad.  It’s a boy.”   Little Lady Blythe says despondently as she holds the baby out to her Mother to take and clean up. Not so messy as a lamb baby, thinks Lady Blythe.

Baird: “Fiona!   We have a son!” She nods wanly.

Lady Thistle and the Midwife take the baby and clean it off while Cameron attends to the after birth. But Cameron discovers something amiss with Fiona.

Cameron: “Blythe, please put your hands into Lady Fiona’s womb again.”

Fiona: “Oh let’s not. Aren’t we done yet?   I’m done. Let’s be done, everyone.” Lady Fiona protests wanly with a half hearted smile.

But her father-in-law Cameron and little Lady Blythe ignore Lady Fiona. And everyone in the room leans in, astonished to consider what might be happening next.

Blythe: “I feel more ears!” Lady Blythe chirps  gleefully.

Two babies! Although Lady Blythe’s cat had a litter of kittens last week, most larger animals only have one baby at a time–like people, that is, except for Lady Fiona.

Then rapidly, Lord Baird’s and Lady Fiona’s daughter is born–and she is much smaller than her big brother.  But she cries dutifully once, then she goes contentedly back to sleep after her birthing trials.

Fiona: “My little girl!” Lady Fiona gushes, eager to hold her baby girl in her arms.

Cameron and Thistle help Lady Fiona to tidy up by  giving her a sponge bath to refresh herself as the maids put fresh linens on the bed before Lady Fiona is settled back into bed.  Then they hand Lady Fiona her baby daughter whom she gazes upon with astonished wonder.

Carrying his now cleaned up baby boy in his arms, Lord Baird saunters over to his wife in the bed and leans down and lovingly kisses her forehead.

Baird: “My love! We have two childrrren!”  Lord Baird’s sense of manly pride is enhanced by this proof of his virility.   Of course, his wife Lady Fiona also had something to do with the births. “My son and heir and you have your little gerril.” Lord Baird smiles broadly. Lady Fiona smiles adoringly up at her husband. The rest of the family smiles in joy and in relief.

Fiona: “Lovely!   Because I am done with giving birth!  Never again!”   Lady Fiona declares emphatically.  Famous last words.

And so, Lady Fiona and Lord Baird welcome their twins to the world on November 28, 1851–Lord William Charles Ogilvy and Lady Agnes Diana Ogilvy. And the extended Ogilvy-Thornton clan has increased by three today–when you include Hannah’s and Cameron’s son Lord Gavin Victor Ogilvy. Now if only John and Margaret could also one day have a son and heir themselves.

To be continued with Chapter 72


“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 71 References, July 18 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #605)

1) “N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons” story logo: Richard Armitage as 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) Image of baby feet is a stock photo from MS Office Clip Art.


Link to Previous Ch. 70:

Posted in "N&S: John Thornton Love Lessons", Creative Writing, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, North & South, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thespian Thursday–Reblogging April’s Violet: Rencontre avec Richard Armitage, July 17, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post # 604)

April’s Violet blogger shares her experiences attending The Crucible at London’s The Old Vic twice last weekend and getting to meet its star the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage. Go to Google Translate like I did to read her post, and then also enjoy her pictures. She and Richard Armitage look fabulous together!


Rencontre avec Richard Armitage

Posted on 17 juillet 2014 by april73TheCruciblePosteratWaterlooStation-dscn4930_Jul1714AprilsVioet

J’ai passé le week-end dernier à Londres pour aller voir la pièce “The Crucible” (“Les sorcières de Salem” en français) d’Arthur Miller, avec Richard Armitage dans le rôle de John Proctor, au théâtre “The Old Vic”.

Nous y sommes allées de bonne heure le vendredi soir, pour pouvoir tranquillement retirer nos places, acheter le programme et les posters et faire quelques photos du théâtre. Nous sommes tombée sur cette affiche dans le métro, juste avant de sortir de la station “Waterloo” :”

For more wonderful remembrances and great pictures, visit April’sViolet’s blog post (click here).


Comments over there, please.  Cheers! Grati ;->

P.S. And may I simply add, that the fire extinguisher next to the poster of the smouldering gaze of Richard Armitage portraying John Proctor in The Crucible  is very appropriate. *wink*

Posted in Drama, Fiction, John Proctor, Period Drama, Review, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, Something About Love, The Crucible, The Old Vic Theatre, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments