A number of years ago an acquaintance recommended a book, Outlander, I didn’t take her up on it as a previous recommendation proved to be, well, less than satisfactory, (and I’m being very diplomatic here). When she told me that it was about a women who travels back in time when she enters a stone circle, the first thing that came to my mind was a children’s comic I used to read where the heroine would travel back in time after she ate a cheese sandwich, so my first question about this book was of course, ‘does she eat a cheese sandwich?’
My question went right over her head, (she being American and the comic British). I didn’t bother to start with this series and pretty much forgot about it until this summer when I noticed the adverts for a new series based on the books, Outlander. I’ve watched the first two episodes and it’s not too bad, beautifully shot, plenty of eye candy, and so far a fairly interesting story, but there are some things I can’t help but question. I’ve heard countless tales from my Gran and mum about the rationing they endured for years, (although they were able to get fresh eggs as my great-grandparents lived outside the town and kept chickens), yet on the show, mere months after end of WWII, there seems to be none of that in Scotland. I’m still a bit confused about the time travelling bit, she touches a stone and is transported back two hundred years? Sounds like cheese sandwiches. Also, later when she’s dressing a wound she rips off a considerable amount of her dress and yet immediately after the dress doesn’t look any less than it did before, also I doubt it was sterile after the numerous tumbles into the dirt, (and most likely, animal crap), she had previously taken.
How are they able to understand her so easily? The English language has changed quite a bit in the past 70 odd years, and she’s gone back 200, wouldn’t they question that?! I suppose it could be explained that it’s because she’s English, but how many then spoke more than one language so fluently? She also gives away something she knows from the future by telling them where the British soldiers are hiding, isn’t that a bit with messing with the future, possibly changing her future, making it worse? Also, the time of year this was to be happening, I couldn’t help but wonder why she isn’t dressed more warmly when she visits the stones in 1945, it’s early November, yet she’s dressed better for Spring or early Summer, but again, I’ve not read the books, and haven’t looked into the weather of seventy years ago, perhaps it was an unusually warm Autumn?
‘Diana’ was launched in 1963, (before my time), along with the weekly editions, each Christmas my sister and I would receive, from our Grandparents, two annuals of the comics we read throughout the year, (Bunty, Judy, Mandy, Jinty, our brother received the Beano and the Dandy, but we read those as well). These annuals would contain entirely new, and completed stories of regular characters, and a few one offs. Despite knowing what I was going to receive these gifts where the most anticipated, and beloved, I read them over and over and have managed to keep most, my favourite ones, to this day.
I was young enough to accept them at face value, and not question how the girl in the stories could possibly make herself understood in the times she travelled to, (I’m writing a story about people time travelling and the first thing that came to mind is how to communicate). Perhaps I took these travels in time as dreams, but can you guess what my favourite sandwich was? I went through a phase of asking for a cheese sandwich every day in the hope that I’d go on an adventure like Lorna would, later in my cynical youth I would recall those stories and wonder just what narcotic was added to the cheese and bread.