“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 56 (PG-13): Returning to Scotland Brings Surprises and Joy! May 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #564)
[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, 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: The previously much pampered Fiona Thornton Ogilvy received a crash course in managing a household while she and her new husband Baird Ogilvy are staying with his sister Angharad Ogilvy MacIntosh while Baird’s townhouse is being renovated for them. Fiona’s complete lack of knowledge about how anything works puts her at the mercy of Angharad’s staff–who were given carte blanche to test Fiona. Happily Fiona’s husband knew just how to soothe his stressed out wife. Fiona will have more wifely, lady of the manor lessons to prepare her for running their own home.
“N&S: John Thornton, Love Lessons”, Ch. 56 (PG-13): Returning to Scotland Brings Surprises and Joy!
With Hannah and Cameron Ogilvy finally having all of their guests returned home to Scotland or London the first week in May–Fiona and Baird headed to London–they enjoyed some unscheduled and unhurried private time in their newly renovated Milton apartments above Cameron’s medical practice.
Hannah and Cameron also hope to ease the Dillard family’s transition to moving to Angus Scotland for the new Ogilvy-Thornton Scottish Mills project by being in Scotland when they arrive. Normally as the experienced Master of Marlborough Mills, it would be John Thornton’s purview to oversee elements of the new Scottish Mills’ establishment. But John does not feel that Margaret should travel with her being almost seven months pregnant now–and he will not leave her behind in Milton. So it will fall to Hannah and Cameron to travel to Scotland on May 12th to attend to the mill and such. And they are not alone.
Lord Jamie and Lady Thistle Ogilvy and their children nine year old Viscount Hamish and five year old Lady Blythe have been back home at their estates in Angus, Scotland from their trek to Baird Ogilvy’s wedding to Fiona Thornton in Milton for about a week. And as the tender and caring Mama Thistle suspected, Blythe greatly misses her new little friend, four year old Lissa Dillard–but Blythe is grateful to have her friend’s dolly Betsy as a comfort. And Blythe takes the dolly with her everywhere. So, when Jamie, Thistle and their children wait patiently at the Angus, Scotland train station to greet the returning Lord Airlie Cameron Ogilvy and his Countess Hannah Lady Arlie, they receive an additional welcome surprise.
Excited and impatient to see her friend Blythe, Lissa Dillard nearly pulls her Nana Hannah’s arm off as they walk from the train platform and into the station at Angus, Scotland. Lissa’s parents had allowed their daughter to travel to Scotland with Mrs. Ogilvy a few days ahead of them–in part because Lissa spoke of nothing else but little Lady Blythe and going to live in Scotland, and it was wearing on her eight year old brother Roland’s nerves–and everyone else’s nerves. Four year olds are like that sometimes–relentless.
Lissa: Looking up into the crowd towing around her, Lissa looks very doubtfuf. “There are so many people here, Nana Hannah! How will we find Blythe and her family?” Lissa asks with a four year old’s desperate concern.
Hannah: “Just stay close, the crowds will thin out soon.” Hannah nods hopefully.
Cameron: “I may have a solution, Me Dearrr.” Cameron’s eyes twinkle [(2) right] at his dear wife Hannah. Hannah tilts her head, interested to hear of his plan. Then he turns to Lissa. “Have ye everrr rrriden on yourrrr Papa’s shoulderrrs? Would you like to sit upon my shoulder?” For Cameron has very broad shoulders and Lissa may sit modestly upon one of them–side saddle like.
Lissa: “Oh yes!” She hops up and down with glee. “Then I will be so tall, I can’t help but see Blythe.”
Hannah: “Are you sure you won’t drop her, Cameron? Lissa has just recovered from her broken arm.” Hannah winces.
Cameron: “Nay! I will na drrrop her. I carrry me Angharrrad’s bairrrn Andrrrew on me shoulderrrs all the time.” Cameron smiles indulgently.
Hannah: “Alright.” Hannah looks at her husband cautiously.
Of course, John as a teenager would carry his then toddler sister Fanny on his shoulders, but John was quite a bit younger then than Hannah’s husband Cameron is now. And though Cameron is a man of fifty nine years, he is fit and athtletic–something that his wife Hannah well and truly appreciates given the closely intimate nature of their marital relationship. They are friends, yes–but lovers, foremost
Cameron sits on one of the benches in the train station waiting area. Then Hannah helps Lissa stand on the bench and Lissa sits on Cameron’s right shoulder. She is a slight four year old–barely forty pounds–so her weight will not stress the athletic fifty nine year old Cameron.
Cameron: “Here we go.”
Lissa grabs onto Cameron’s head and she holds on for dear life as he puts his hand on her waist to steady her and he slowly stands up.
Lissa: “Eeee!” Lissa squeals with being lifted into the air and now towering over everyone else from her perch on Cameron’s shoulder. Cameron good naturedly endures her squeezing his head, and then some.
Hannah: Hannah smiles bemusedly at the scene. “Lissa Dear, you need to move your hands from Dr. Ogilvy’s eyes if you want him to be able to see where he is walking.”
Lissa: “Sorry.” Lissa apologizes in a tiny voice as she widens her eyes contritely and moves her little fingers from in front of Dr. Cameron Ogilvy’s eyes. But she must hold on to something. So instead, Lissa clutches his bearded chin with her let hand and she clutches his right ear with her right hand. “Don’t drop me Gampa Cam!” Lissa pleads. And of course, with Lissa addressing her honorary grandmother Nana Hannah, it was inevitable that she would bestow a name onto her honorary grandfather, Dr. Cameron Ogilvy.
Cameron: “I’ve got ye! Ye will na fall.” Cameron smiles and holds her securely as he slowly turns his body as they look about the crowd in the train station.
Hannah: “Now remember, Lissa.” Hannah admonishes softly. “Grandfather Cameron is Lord Airlie now that we are in Scotland again.” Cameron rolls his eyes, which Hannah does not see.
Lissa: “Alright.” Lissa nods. “Thanks for lifting me up Gampa Airy.”
Lissa squeezes Cameron’s ear for emphasis–which makes Cameron wince in pain a bit. But he says nothing.
Cameron: “Can ye see anyone we know, Lissa?” Cameron wonders.
Suddenly, Lissa squeezes Cameron’s bearded chin and pulls on his right ear again. She sees the towering six foot six inches tall Lord James Ogilvy across the room from them. He is a big but gentle bear of a family man.
Lissa: “Blythe’s Papa! I see Blythe’s Papa! He’s over there!” Lissa points repeatedly in Lord Jamie Ogilvy’s direction–as if she were a symphony conductor trying to get the brass section to come in at the right moment in the music. “Blythe’s Papa!” Lissa waves, with her high pitched and loudly musical voice sounding like a combination of screeching eagle and yelping puppy.
With the commotion of hearing his daughter’s named called out above the train staion crowd noise, Lord Jamie turns around to look toward the doors leading out to the street and spies Cameron and Lissa and Hannah.
Jamie: “Ach! Therrre they arrre!” Jamie says in spotting his distant cousins Cameron, Lord Airlie and his new wife Hannah, Lady Airlie, standing with little Lissa Dillard still on Cameron’s shoulder.
Blythe: Hearing her name called, and knowing the voice, Blythe looks up at her father and asks excitedly. “Papa? Is Lissa herrre, too?”
Jamie: “Aye!” He grins.
Blythe: “Hamish, hold me walking stick forrr me.” She thrusts the still pink beribboned walking stick to him.
Hamish: “Ewww! I do na want it!” Lissa’s prideful nine year old brother protests.
Thistle: “Hhhh!” She moans at her son’s ungraciousness toward his sister. “Laterrrr.” Thistle fixes her steely motherly eye upon her son. “Give me yourrr stick, Blythe.”
Blythe: “Thank ye, Mama!” Blythe smiles up at her Mama.Then Blythe turns back toward her Papa, whilst sticking her tongue out at her brother Hamish when her parents can’t see her.”
Viscount Hamish Ogilvy frowns and points, but to no purpose. Little Blythe is their parents’ darling–and he had better get used to it.
Thistle smiles broadly as her toweringly tall and broad husband effortlessly lifts his daughter Blythe onto his own shoulder as they walk toward Cameron and Hannah. Everyone has bright smiles on their faces. The two girls converse sitting above the crowd for the moment.
Blythe: “Lissa! Ye came earrrly!” They clasp hands together.
Lissa: “Mama said I could.” Lissa nods happily.
Thistle: “Might you two gerrrils join us for the trip back to Airlie Castle? But on the ground?” Thistle asks with wry amusement.
Both men gently remove the little girls from their shoulders and set them on the ground where Lissa and Blythe hug. Then they look up at the adults towering above them.
Blythe: “I ca na wait until I’m tallerrr like Mama.”
Lissa: “Me, too! All I ever see are people’s knees.” She bemoans, ruefully shaking her head, for she is very petite for her age–due to initially poor nutrition.
But Lissa’s remark about knees sends the adults into paroxysms of laughter.
Jamie and Thistle, Hannah and Cameron: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Hamish: “What is so funny?” Frowning since no one has paid attention to him, Hamish pouts. “Silly gerrrils, ye will neverrr be as tall as me and Papa.”
Jamie: “ Hamish.” He admonishes his son to behave with a gentle placement of his arm around his son’s shoulders and a smile.
Hannah and Thistle embrace.
Thistle: “Ye look well. Was yourrr jourrrney tolerrrable?”
Hannah: “Passable.” Hannah smiles wanly–for her traveling sickness is upon her again.
Thistle: “Now! Let us get ye settled and rrrefrrreshed back at Airrrlie Castle beforrre we take ye upon a picnic.” Thistle smiles broadly.
Cameron also smiles–but for a different reason.
It turns out that a picnic on the Airlie Castle grounds was just the thing to tire out the little ones–not the least of which is because they played a new lawn game that Hannah had not heard of because it has yet to grow in popularity in 1851 England, golf [(3)].
Hannah can not really see the sense of the game of golf–whacking a little ball with a small mallet, then searching for the ball and whacking it again and trying to put it into a small hole in the ground. She quite thinks that her husband Cameron’s sensibilities are a little off due to his enthusiasm for golf. And Cameron is wearing a kilt again, and showing his knees to everyone–as Lissa points out. Hannah just shakes her head in bemusement for the strange ways found in her adopted home of Scotland.
And Hannah fidgets at her unfamiliar new Scottish clothing that she put on at her husband’s request–the dress being wool and slightly scratchy, and unusually tailored. Hannah is not altogether certain that her Scottish Highlands informal picnic dress that Thistle had bought for her at Cameron’s bidding is entirely appropriate. Hannah’s main objection being is that it has no stiff corset with stays–only a thick fabric supporting undergarment. Though, it does have some lacings to adjust the fit. Hannah feels quite indecent in the undergarment–her being amply endowed and therefore needing more support than others might.
But Thistle assures Hannah that the freedom of movement and comfort that the less binding fabric corset will allow her, will be needed for Hannah’s outdoor Highland frolicking for their picnic. However Hannah doesn’t say to Thistle that she has never frolicked–mostly because Hannah realizes that Thistle is so genuinely trying to make her feel welcome and comfortable. Well, there is a first time for everything–the frolicking, that is.
After the picnicking and golfing by the two families are done, Lissa will stay overnight with her friend Lady Blythe Ogilvy’s family and Cameron and Hannah will have some time for just themselves again–at last. Cameron has planned a special surprise for his wife Hannah and he hopes that she likes it. But first, he must get her to go along with it as he drives them further into the forest of his estates in a lightweight open gig with but one horse.
Hannah: “Cameron? We seem to be moving away from Airlie Castle? Do you know where we are?” She asks, concerned that they might be lost.
Cameron: “Ach! Do na frrre, Lassie! I know everrry nook and crrrany of me lands. I was left to forrrage in this forrrest on me own beforrre I was even weaned.” Cameron exaggerates with a twinkling gleam in his eye to match his broad grin. “I could na be lost werrre I blindfolded and turrred arrround till I I was dizzy.” He puffs up with pride.
Then, Cameron notices that her question has distracted him. And their horse and gig has strayed from its intended path. Hmmm. He does not recognize their location immediately–since some of the land marks have changed over time. But true to lost men everywhere, Cameron will not admit to his wife that he is lost–he is merely misplaced. But after another quarter hour of pleasant conversation as the horse carries their gig forward, a clearing with a small neatly tended cottage on the edge of the forest appears before them–with a small lake inlet beyond it [(4) right]. Happily, the horse seemed to know where they were going.
Hannah: “Oh! This rustic cottage is charming.” She admires the cottage’s [(5) right] brick exterior and its cedar shake roof. “This spot is so secluded. Do you know who lives here, Cameron?” She asks interestedly.
Cameron: Cameron smiles roguishly, besotedly at his bride Hannah. “We do, me Dear–for the next few days.”
Hannah’s eyes go wide at the contemplation of being cut off from the outside world for several days–with no servants. She has quite become accustomed to having things done for her. And she realizes that she and Cameron will have noone to attend to them.
Hannah: “But what condition is the interior of the cottage in?” Hannah asks in great alarm. She likes her creature comforts.
Cameron: “I have had the cottage rrrecently rrrenovated and rrrefurrrbished–just for us.” He adds huskily. “I think ye will find the cottage a pleasant prrrospect. And ye may add yourrr own touches and changes as ye like”
Hannah: “But what will we live on? How will we have water for drinking and bathing?” She sputters.
Cameron: “I have orrrderrred the cottage to be fully prrrovisioned for a week’s stay should we wish to extend ourrr stay. It has all the moderrrn conveniences–a cold pantrrry with an ice box [(6)], and the single bed chamberrr has a small bathing rrroom off of it. And the cottage is serrrved by a deep fresh water well–with well hand pump handles in the kitchen and in the bathing chamberrr forrr conveniece.” Hannah looks dubious. “Come see, My Love.” He cajoles as he assists her out of the gig.
Cameron unharnesses the horse from the gig and leads the horse into a small barn shanty where it has waterand oats to eat. Cameron will be back later to see to its other needs. Hannah looks around the beautiful but secluded woodsy area and wonders if she were to call out in the Scottish forest and no one were to hear her cry, would she make a sound? Cameron breaks his wife’s reverie by kissing her cheek. She smiles up at him. Then Cameron retrieves two overnight bags with clothes and such secreted underneath the gig seat and Cameron guides Hannah to enter the cottage.
As he opens the door of the small cottage, the cottage is initially shrouded in darkness with the windows shuttered from the out side. But Cameron soon rectifies that and soft afternoon light reveals the full glory of their living space. It is a small but tastefully decorated parlor space with a hearth with comfortable chairs and sette’s and polished furniture.
Hannah: “Ohhh!” She sighs and walks in ahead of her husband, clearly entranced with their comfortable secluded retreat. She runs her hand along a plump long sette that is over large and without the usual Victorian wood carving ornamentations. “This covering is soft and the cushions equally so.” She looks up at him quizzically.
Cameron: “It is leatherrr. It is a bit masculine, but the flowerrry pillows should help soften the decorations.”
Hannah nods and walks around, looking into everything. Then Cameron slides his arm about her waist and kisses her other hand in his and gently guides her to the bed chamber. There, in the small but elegantly decorated room–with the companion hearth from the parlor serving as a pass through–Hannah smiles broadly. She could not have anticipated that such luxury could be found in a space so small by comparison.
Cameron sets their traveling bags on a nearby bench. Then he gathers his wife into his arms and kisses her tenderly–loving the feel of her soft pliant lips upon his whiskered lips.
Cameron: “I have wanted to have ye to myself forrr the past week! Herrre, we will na be interrupted.” He moans huskily as he places adoring kisses upon his wife’s face.
Hannah: Inclining her head to one side to allow her husband greater access to her neck as his kisses move there, she smiles. “So the press of family obligations have vexed you?” She teases.
Cameron: “Hhhhh! It is nice to have ourrr bairrns with us now and again–but na all the time.” He shakes his head pleadingly.
Hannah: “Oh.” She replies a tad disappointedly.
Cameron: Removing his wife’s tam hat, and then her shawl, he asks with a pout as he tenderly embraces her. “Is it wrrrong to want me wife to me self?”
Hannah: She gives her head a little shake and nestles into him. “No.” But she does not sound entirely convinced.
Cameron: “Ye will like ourrr little piece of heaven, Hannah, My Love.” Then he buries his hands in her hair and quickly pulls her hair pins out to let her wavy brunette hair tumble upon her shoulders enticingly. “Mo nighean donn, my brown haired lass” [(7)].
Cameron and Hannah kiss each other passionately–a fusion of lips as their hands tremblingly assist each other out of their restraining clothing. When they are naked, Cameron lifts his wife Hannah into his arms and carries her to their bed. And they spend a pleasurable hour reacquainting themselves as loving husband and wife. Afterward, they lay abed, their bodies intertwined and gazing into each others’ eyes with love and joy [(8 right].
Cameron: “Arrre ye happy, Hannah”?” He moves his arm to her side and pulls her even closer to him–with only the thinnest of fine linen sheets covering their bodies and keep them warm.
Hannah: “How can you doubt it, My Love?” She smiles. “I feel like I have been reborn.” The metaphor is an apt one. Then she shyly asks. “And you, Cameron? Are you happy?”
Cameron: “Aye!” His sighing voice smoulders with love and desire for his beautiful wife. “Your love has brrrought me back to life.”
Hannah: “And were our family obligations to increase? Would you mind so very much?” She asks him interestedly.
Cameron: “That would depend upon its scope, Me Dearrr.” He answers impishly.
Hannah: “This obligation will require at least twenty years of nurturing.”
Hannah smiles sweetly at her husband, letting her words sink in. Cameron looks at her uncomprendingly at first–wondering what she means. Then Hannah takes his hand and guides it to lie flat upon her abdomen. Cameron’s eyes widen.
Cameron: “Hannah!” Cameron sighs in a gentle hush of reverence and awe.
Hannah: Smiling joyfully, the spiritual Hannah quotes Genesis 21: 6-7: “And Sarah said to her husband Abraham, ‘God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me’ [(9)].”
After kissing his wife Hannah with sweetly poignant tenderness, Cameron slowly and gently lays his head upon her abdomen and listens for the sound that he had naught thought to hear again–the sound of rushing, pulsing life that he created with his love, Hannah.
To be continued with Chapter 57
“N&S: JT Love Lessons”, Ch. 56 References, May 13, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #564)
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 richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode3/ns3-110.jpg ; For more information about this wonderful 2004 BBC miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s story North & South, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_&_South_%28TV_serial%29
2) Image representing Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is that of Graham McTavish attending the 2012 London premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey found at http://i2.cdnds.net/12/50/618×829/movies-the-hobbit-uk-premiere-10.jpg
3) The history of the game of golf was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_golf
4) Loch Ard by Gillie via Flickr Creative Commons was found at http://cottages-in-scotland.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/scottish-cottages-to-rent-Loch-Ard.jpg ;
5) Cider House, a Sheepskin cottage, near Abergavenny on The Guardian site was found at http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Pix/pictures/2012/1/19/1326984126050/Cider-House-nr-Abergavenn-007.jpg ; for more on this and other cottages for rent, visit http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/jan/19/uk-cottages-scotland-wales-self-catering
6) The history of the icebox was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icebox
7) Speak Outlander Lesson 3: Mo Nighean Donn” , pronounced mo-neein-down–which in Gaelic means, My Brown Haired Lass , in a video by Starz found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5TAGCtqGEc
8) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy and Cameron Ogilvy as husband and wife lovers (manip version 4) is Grati’s composite of three images:
a) body images www.spyghana.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/lovers-in-bed.jpg ;
b) Hannah Thornton Ogilvy face image is Sinead Cusack in North & South epi 2, Dec1913 (crop-drkn) found at http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m628/lena_catta/English/kinopoiskru-North-_26_2338_3B-South-1668820.jpg ;
c) Dr. Cameron Ogilvy is Graham McTavish in Rambo http://gmctavisharmy.com/72131421992791982/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/vlcsnap-2013-12-07-01h38m17s175-150×150.png
9) Sarah said to her husband Abraham, ‘God hath made me to laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me’ was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah