• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

ABERDEEN = Sex Capitol of Scotland (who knew?)

Which is to say that our hotel was apparently _the_ hotel in Aberdeen for wedding nights, anniversaries, and less-licit occasions. The wallpaper in the halls is hot pink, with black-lace flocked appliques–it looks like naughty underwear–and the rooms are done in a tasteful mixture of dark tartan and black velour, with a suggestive tray holding two goblets and a bottle of wine (with a label reading “L13.95″ round the neck. (In case this is insufficient stimulus, Reception sends a fresh bottle of champagne upstairs to the rooms every ten minutes or so.) The bar downstairs runs “Superman” on a continuous loop, and people loll in the couches in couples, thumb-wrestling and fondling each other’s thighs (whilst the strait-laced Americans sit primly sipping white wine and watching the debauchery in fascination).

Beyond the entertainment of our accommodations, we had a great time in Aberdeen. Got to have dinner with Mike Gibb (lyricist and playwright for OUTLANDER: The Musical) and his lovely wife, Norma, and take part in Aberdeen’s Tartan Day. I got to walk in the parade with a lot of people dressed up in suits of armor and/or costumed as the Archbishop, carrying a scroll purporting to be the Declaration of Arbroath, whose most famous line I’m sure you’ve all seen:

“For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

Also did a book-signing, courtesy of Waterstone’s, who are always hugely gracious and kind to me—so nice to meet so many readers, not only from Scotland, but from Poland, the Netherlands, and even Brazil!

In the interstices of all this frolicking, I also got to watch Mike’s new short play—commissioned for the occasion—“Red Harlaw,” commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Harlaw, fought in July of 1411.

It was a great piece—very powerful and moving; kudos to Mike, and to the cast: Mark Kydd, Michelle Bruce, and Allan Scott-Douglas (you’ll recognize Michelle and Allan as singers on the OUTLANDER: The Musical CD). That’s them above, in St. Nicholas’s Church, where the show was performed.

In re Mr. Scott-Douglas, I’d promised him that if he could get a new photograph of us together next time we met, I’d replace the infamous one of him as Big Bird in an earlier blog post {g}—and am happy to report that he seized the opportunity (nothing like motivation) at the reception held by the Lord Provost at Aberdeen’s amazing historical Townhouse (aka City Hall, but much posher, with paintings of previous Lord Provosts, red and gold wallpaper, and crystal chandeliers). Many thanks to the Lord Provost, who was entirely charming!

We bade Aberdeen—and the hot-pink wallpaper—adieu day before yesterday, though, and via planes, trains, and automobiles, made our arduous way to London, where we are at present. Spent the day at the City of London Museum, St. Paul’s cathedral, and out having a wonderful dinner with my delightful UK editor and his wife. More about London (and more bits of Scotland) anon—but now it’s the middle of the night, and I need to sleep.

Good night!

Tagged as: , , ,

67 Responses »

  1. Hi Diana,
    I always love to read anything you write-you have such a wonderful voice that can bring any event or place to life for me! I just had to make one comment about Mr. Scott-Douglas and his looks as they relate to your myriad descriptions of Jamie’s beauty. I think he matches my visual image of Jamie quite well, except for one thing: the eyes. You always describe Jamie’s eyes as very slanted, and cat-like, and I don’t quite see that in Mr. Scott-Douglas. But he’ll do quite nicely, I’m sure, should there ever be a screen adaptation! ;-)
    I’m off to continue my annual re-reading of the series (I’m on Voyager right now).
    Eagerly awaiting The Scottish Prisoner!

  2. I do so love reading of your travels and exploits. Rest well ^_^

    • Diana,

      Please contact me. We would love an opportunity to discuss a screen play and/or speak with your agent. Christine DeBastiani and Bobby Levin.

      Next Level Talent Management, Virginia Beach, VA.
      Talent Management & Representation Professional Sports Agency/ Individual & Corporate Consulting Services / Literary/ Television & Film/ Speakers Divisions

      113 82nd St., Virginia Beach, Va. 23451

      Christine DeBastiani

    • Thanks for sharing your adventures, Diana. Mr. Scott-Douglas’ new picture makes him look mighty handsome.

  3. thanks for the visuals Diana. Enjoy!

  4. Lovely picture of you and Allan – so nice to see him with hair and sans sunburn!

    The hot pink wallpaper sounds… interesting. I think it would have given me a headache to look at it too long.

    Enjoy your time in London, and wishing you safe travels home!

  5. I’m intrigued by the spelling of ‘Capitol’. Are you suggesting that Aberdeen is the equivalent of Capitol Hill for sexual antics [bg]?

  6. You always seem to have the most enjoyable holidays. I’d love to travel like that. Your shared tales of adventure are most appreciated. So with that enjoy the rest of your time in England and safe trip home.

  7. OK, now in THAT photo he really could be my Jamie!!!!!!!!!! ;)

    It’s great you are having a nice time, Diana.


  8. NOW – Alan does look like Jamie – with his hair longer> Nice pic of you too :) Always interested in your travels.

  9. Your wit is wonderful! I’m still laughing over the image of that prim couple ;0 Happy trails!

  10. Snap!! Sitting here at work in the city of London, with the Museum of London and St Pauls both within a 5 minute walk from the office!! I’m super sad there is no London book reading / signing but super happy you are having a fab time and glad the famous London weather is behaving for you and not raining (for once…..!!!). x

  11. Oh my…naked men…and now the hotbed of sex in Scotland…Aberdeen, your right…who knew?
    Nice picture of both you and Allan, beef that boy up and you have Jamie! But you know that all ready don’t you? :)

  12. Another interesting place to put on my list of places to stay. I can so see Jamie and Claire having a similar experience somewhere along their travels, naughty undearwear and all.

    I agree with Judie above, I can see a bit of Jamie in Allen.

    Safe travels!


  13. That sounds like a most interesting hotel… I once got stranded in Aberdeen (long story) and had to spend the night in the casino, the amount of sexual goings-on in that place was quite entertaining, too.
    Have a great time in London!

  14. Ha! No one can sit as primly as Americans. :) Thanks for this – your travels are good entertainment.

  15. Love reading about your travels and happy that you are rested and ready to dive back into Book 8.

    I get the wall paper and alcohol, I’m just not sure I get the Superman on a continuous loop. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but I don’t remember it being particularly….um….sexy. Sure, he wears a tight spandex suit and all, but…is there something I’m missing? Do the Scots love Superman? I would think 9 1/2 weeks or something would be more appropriate.


  16. Thank you for sharing! Always love reading your posts. :-) I’m the girl from Twitter that reads your novels on my Kindle during class. :-) Must be working, I am reading Fiery Cross right now in my Organizaitonal Leadership class and I was the only person to make an A on the midterm! (Have to add for the younger folks, I am much better at absorbing information my reading, so yes I’m the geek that reads the class book cover to cover.)

  17. Diana, I would have loved to see Red Harlaw! For the most awesome musical rendition of the Battle of Harlaw, check out the ‘Old Blinds Dogs play live’ album, with Jim Malcolm singing the lead. It’s a foot-stomping, fiddle-bagpipe-fest with great lyrics! Very entertaining, and a wonderful history lesson, as well.

    • Dear Valerie–

      Well, Mike actually videotaped the whole performance of “Red Harlaw”, and it will shortly be available on DVD. When it is, I’ll post a link as to where you can get it.


  18. Oh – you are at nearly the same time zone! And again I have no chance to take part at a book-signing!Too bad!
    You look so wonderful – something red! Very unusual – most time you wear blue….
    Hope you have a perfect time in London – Wendy

  19. What a wonderful excursion! Did Doug wear a kilt?

  20. Perhaps I’m naive, but what does “L13.95″ mean on the wine bottle?

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.