Monday, 22 June 2015

Prestonmill Article from Trust in Scotland

A quick and sweet article from the Trust in Scotland magazine about Prestonmill which featured in Outlander. A certain gent was naked in that there water!!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Outlander comes to Fife Part 2 - or, how I met Sam Heughan!

Where were we?

Oh yes.



This is fairly wordy - brace yourself!

The next day (which was Wednesday) I was only working until lunchtime and I knew that filming would begin at 3pm. I didn’t actually plan it that way but I might have done if I wasn’t lucky like that with my schedule!

I went home, had my lunch and then walked down to the security gate. I’d seen what I wanted to on the set and hell, you only live once - I decided to go down and see if any of the cast would be around for a sneaky autograph or picture.

I’m going to make an aside here to say that never have I ever met a nicer bunch of people than those working on the Outlander set. I’ve never been around sets before but I pretty much assumed that people would be dismissive of anyone milling around and treat them like nuisances. Not. At. All. Everyone was lovely and welcoming - answering questions if they could and explaining what was going on if they had the time to. Lovely bunch of folk.

Arriving at the gates and there were a few other fans milling around outside watching as the busses of extras (nearly 200 according to one of the production company) were coming through. They were all suited and booted and I can only imagine what it would have been like to stop at a set of traffic lights alongside a bus, turn around and see 18th century French people staring down at you. Ha ha ha!

I asked the security guard if anyone was on set and Caitriona was although she was busy filming. What about Sam? He sized me up (probably looking for the crazy that I was trying hard to keep hidden!) and let me know that he wasn’t scheduled to shoot until 6pm. I thanked him (which probably sounded more like weeping sobs of gratitude) and headed back home to stare at the clock for a couple of hours while panicking over whether the security dude had been lying to me for his own amusement.

It might be worthwhile going into another aside here where I tell you I have a little bit of an anxiety problem and fear people laughing at me or at my expense. It’s not fun. To say it’s unusual to see me in a situation where I have to ‘put myself out there’ or even chat to people I don’t know, is quite the understatement. My mum kept on saying to me that you only live once - enjoy it and to hell with people who will make fun or be nasty. (Actually, her exact words were - “tell them away and byle their heeds!”). It was difficult, don’t get me wrong, but I knew I couldn’t put this off. They were only going to be there for a few days! Perhaps Outlander should film in my town regularly - it might cure my social anxiety once and for all!!

Anyway, long aside - sorry about that.

When I got back down to the gates there were a couple of other people there - a young lassie (18) who was there with her friend, an older lady and me. There were a few others milling around but they were just looking at what was going on by the looks of things.

Sam was due on set in about half an hour so we waited and bonded over our love of Outlander and, strangely, the difficulty of sitting exams (the girls were just finishing school and the lady an ex-teacher).

All the while the security guards (and a few others) were laughing and bantering with us. At one point the security guard (whose wife loved Sam - much to his chagrin!!) was pretending to get grumpy about why all the girls loved Sam. He started chanting (at the top of his lungs, no less) “Tobias is the best!” “Tobias for king!”

Just then a production lady came over and asked us if we were there to see Sam. We nodded like the calm, rational people we were. She said that he’s just arriving.

The older lady turned to me and I could see in her eyes the same ridiculous excitement I felt inside. I'm pretty sure we both let out a brief "squeeee!" I’ve never fan-girled so hard in all my life as I was at that moment. Eeeeeek!

And that’s when things started to go into slow motion and my vision started to narrow to one particular thing. I pity the poor production guys and security who we’d been speaking to up until that point - they were dead to us now!! :D

Security told us to all stand at one side and his car drove by. He was in the front seat and waved at us. We all fainted on mass.

The security guard radioed. “Sam’s here. Let’s have crowd control. Police? Are you there?”

No word of a lie, the police started to walk over from inside the set! Then I realised they were two lady officers and suspected that they weren’t there to control the ‘crowd’. Rather be part of it!

Sam got out of the car about 200m away from the gate and spoke to the production lady. He then started to walk over to the gates. Oh my God - this is actually happening to me!!! Right - don’t faint, don’t drool, don’t fling yourself into his arms and beg him to take you. Behave. And behave normally!

As he walked by the security and production guys, they shared some banter and chatted away to each other. They were teasing him about him being the king of men - obviously all friends on set. (Which was so cute!)

Anyway, I’m feeling myself getting all nervous and excited again so apologies if I start to ramble more than I usually do!

When he walked over to us he looked genuinely surprised that we were there to see him. He looked like a wee boy that was a bit shy in a strange situation so I think he decided to reach down to clap Tilly (my dog) to break the ice.

Bad move.

Tilly identified this man as the reason she had been forced to walk 6 times a day and hang about in the woods in the dark for the past week. Sam knelt down, put out his hand and she immediately started barking at him. She’s just a wee thing but she was giving it laldy. Awkward!

I snapped this pic just before we were told no photos. I'm only posting it because it doesn't show anything but his hand and my crazed dog!!

We all just stood there for a beat after the barking incident, not really knowing what to do - then I thrust the whisky I’d brought at him (yep, I’m even more awkward than my dog!) to break the silence. He said something like, “Oh! Why? You didn’t need to do that.” Erm - yeah I did - have you seen you? *swoon* (I did not say that to him, I’d like to point out! I probably said something like: *giggle* mmppphen *giggle* *hyperventilate*)

Then the lady next to me gave him her gifts (a Dundee cake, some whisky jam and, wait for it, a guidebook of walks in her area. This lady is my new hero. Genius!). She then asked for his autograph. He asked her name and wrote her autograph.

All the while we were all chatting away - are you enjoying being back on set? What are you up to? (Duh!) How’s Caitriona? You are the best actor I’ve ever seen in my life. I love you. (Shit - so much for being normal!)

Someone asked for a picture and he apologised that he couldn’t - he was in costume! Darn it all to pieces. I refrained from suggesting he just take it off. Then we could have got pictures, right?

Then he turned to me and wrote an autograph for me (he first asked all our names and how to spell them). I then asked him if I could have a hug and he agreed.

Man - that was an awesome hug. *Sighs*


He smelt all clean and soapy and he was the perfect height for cuddling. (Any other 5’ 6” gals - it’s perfection!) I didn’t want to let go but I was very much aware that the security and police were lurking behind Sam ready to take me down if I held on!! Plus, he works out - he could take me. No pun intended.

Then the older lady was a bit bummed that she hadn’t asked for a hug - so she did and he obliged. Then he hugged the young girl and signed the book she’d brought. Her friend (who had yet to read or watch Outlander - I know, right?) had been quite cool up until that point. “I’m just here to support my friend.” Blah, blah, blah. When Sam turned to her, she said “Oh why the hell not!” and hugged him as if her life depended on it. I bloody knew that she would cave as soon as he turned his blue eyes on her! 17 year old girls cave easier than 33 year old girls apparently!!

Then he thanked us all for coming to see him but said he had to go and get to work. He was still a little surprised that we were there to see him - so humble and so, so nice and sweet. He said goodbye and was pretty much engulfed by security and production folk who moved him away towards the set. He turned just before he went round the corner, and waved to us all.

That’s probably when the squealing started. Then Tilly decided to bark at one of the police officers who’d decided to clap her, so we hightailed it out of there before we could be arrested. Not sure barking at a police officer is an offence but why take the risk!?!

So that was my encounter with Sam Heughan. As I said, I’ve got no famous people to compare him to, so I’m just comparing him with every single person I’ve ever met in my entire life. And I have to say that he was one of the nicest, kindest people ever. He seemed so sweet and thankful that people had taken the time out to see him (when we were just so grateful he’d taken the time to speak to us!). And did I mention he is gorgeous!?

*Fans face*

Oh and I’m never washing again.

*Disclaimery bit again. I’m not official. I’m not a stalker. I’m not deranged. I’m just an over enthused fan who met Sam Heughan!!!!!! Aaaaaargh!

As a final aside, I feel I should give a huge virtual hug to the Outlander fans on Twitter. Never would I have expected such a kind hearted and sweet bunch of people. Most people were kind, fun and genuinely excited to share in my mammoth excitement. Thank you all.

And so my fan-girling endeth and the town goes back to normal. For now.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Outlander comes to Fife - Part 1. Or, how I turned into an Outlander Fan Girl

I would like to start off this blog entry by stating that I am a normal person.

Okay, that may be something of an exaggeration, but I am a fully functioning member of society. I’m not a stalker, deranged or otherwise, and I’ve never had the occasion to meet anyone famous before. And I’ve certainly never had the inclination to go fan-girl crazy before.

But that was before…

It all started on May 25th when I found out that Outlander was filming in our town.

Holy macaroni! How exciting! Nothing like this ever happens in Fife. And just 5 minutes from my house on my usual dog walking route - this couldn’t get any better.

*Okay breathe. Just breathe.*

The plan was simple. Over the next few days I would increase my daily dog walks to the point of ridiculousness, trying to get a glimpse of, well, anything remotely Outlanderish.

At first my Tilly was excited by the exercise… but she soon realised that while we went on the walk, it would take triple the usual time to complete the circuit as I stood generally spent the time hanging around and looking at “stuff”. Barrels, carts, lights, boats, green screens, people in kilts - if it wasn’t nailed down then I was taking a picture of it!

Over the next few days my wee camera got quite a workout when I was able to get out and about. When I wasn’t, I asked my Dad to walk the same route as I would usually and take photos of whatever he could see. Bless his cotton socks, he got some great shots and became an Outlander internet legend!!! *Snort*

 Then May 28th came and everything became a bit more real. This is when I realised that I was no longer just enjoying Outlander and the fact they were filming in my town - I had become a teeny tiny bit obsessed!

I realised my craziness was on the increase when this happened:

So much for being a fully functioning member of society - here I was running through the trees, arms flailing, battle cries resounding, with a look of crazed desperation on my face. *Yep - time to send for the men in white coats!*

Not to worry:

So this pattern continued for a couple of days - me pretending that I was ‘simply walking my dog’ when I was actually using her as a cover story to have a sneaky peak of what was going on in Dysart harbour.

By this time the fact that Outlander were filming in the area had reached the local press and there were many more people out to have a peak. It was quite an exciting buzz. I’m going to blame that excitement for the fact that I found myself in a pitch black forest in the dead of night (11pm is the dead of night for me!) with a bunch of random strangers with cameras.

Lordy - that sounds even worse written down than it did in my head.

I was reaching a pitch of excitement when filming actually started even though I was bloody well at work on the first day! Damn this need to feed, clothe, house and look after myself! So irritating!

I got home the first day of filming to an envelope with a memory stick inside.

Inside was this photo:


At this point I should probably explain that over the course of the week, they had been shutting more and more roads around the town near the harbour. By the time filming started, you could be up in the park overlooking the harbour and if you wanted to get down to the front gate it was a fair hike round the town and back down along towards the beach. Normally you could just go right down the path but they were using that for lights and it was a no-go area. However, if you went down to the security gates then you couldn’t see a bit of what was going on on set. A dilemma.

But by the end of that evening I had seen a lot of what I’d wanted to see from up in the park.

I’d seen them filming and got a couple of photographs from far away. I’d met some fun people who were just as excited as me that Outlander was on the east coast. And I’d seen them set up a TV production with their lights, sets and etc and talked to some lovely crew people. What else could a girl possibly want?


Maybe tomorrow.

*Disclaimery bit. These are (obviously) not official photos. I am just a fan who was lapping up the excitement and taking pics for my own (and any other interested folk on Twitter’s) enjoyment. There are loads of other pics out there which show the stars close up - that’s because they’re paparazzi shots (for the most part) and they have ridonculous, high power lenses. We were actually quite far away from the action and understandably so. I’m not out to spoil anything for anyone or stick my neb into people’s personal lives.