The Surrey Gathering

October 22nd, 1998


Intro - The Surrey Gathering

In October 1998, Diana Gabaldon kindly accepted to meet a few Ladies of Lallybroch, while she was in Surrey (near Vancouver), BC, Canada to do some book signings, and to be a speaker at the Surrey Writers' Conference. The meeting took place in October 23rd. The ladies were supposed to meet Diana at a book signing at 7pm and then have a small chat with Herself at Hope and Kate's penthouse room at the Surrey Sheraton.

On the scheduled date, Judie, Charyl, Faith, Hope, Kate, Kim, Lorri, Mandy and Tamara prepared for the big occasion. But things didn't go exactly as planned. This is the account of what happened, exactly as it was posted on the board (there was only one board in those days!) on the occasion of this historical event.

To see the large photos click on the thumbnails or on the link that its next to each one.


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Part I - The Whole Story

Judie, Kim, Tamara, Lorri and Charyl got out of the car, went to the trunk and got our books to be autographed - Charyl exclaimed "f---, I forgot the questions I printed out" - but we trundled off into the mall anyway!

We get in, see no Diana, no display, no nothing! and think "Oh well, there's still 10 minutes to go" as Charyl is sitting down at a food fair table trying to write down the questions - which, luckily, she had committed to memory beforehand - hahahahaha!

One of us finally asked the bookseller "What's the scoop?" The scoop was she was delayed in Phoenix, as we said in our previous post! "Hosed," we said! "Big bummer!" said Charyl!

Still missing two of our esteemed ladies we waited around and accosted all 18 year old looking females who passed by! No luck!

book signingSo there we stand at the front of the bookstore and what do a group of hosers do? We decide to have our own book signing. People were mistaking Kim for Diana so we sat her down at a table in the food fair, right next to the bookstore, and began our hosed autograph session. Soon a line gathered behind Lorri, who you will see on the left side of this picture getting her copy of Outlander signed by "Diana".

So, after our "book signing" we left a note at the bookstore for Mandy and Faith and left for the hotel.

Hope lifted our spirits immediately and we proceeded to empty bottles and drown our sorrows!

The whishkey wash good! Sho we had shome more. (We are SUCH liars!)

the gangFinally Mandy and Faith managed to find us, so we were all present and accounted for - EXCEPT!!!! you-know-who! But we left her a note at the desk telling her we would wait up for her and to come up and at least say hello, no matter what time it was!

Hope broke the ice with her "I was on Oprah" story. We canna say any more than that - or she will kill us! So, you'll have to ask her about that yourself.

Anyway....... after that she insisted that we all relate OUR stories, so we killed a few hours doing that, and getting drunk out of our minds! The whishkey wash getting better....... (We are SUCH liars!)

Finally, about 11-something p.m. there was a knock at the door and everyone was going "Oooooh, maybe it's Diana!" and thinking "yeah, right!" So Charyl went over and opened the door and - nearly fell over when Diana was there! After picking her tongue up off the floor she actually invited Diana and her friend Elva to join us! Meanwhile, everyone in the background is doing little tippytoe dances, making thumbs up signs, going "yes, yes, yes!" and giving high-5s!

After a big glass of water Diana joined us in a glass of wine.

No sooner do we all START to recover from shock, when there is ANOTHER knock at the door. MOST of us were going "huh? like she's already here, eh". So someone opens the door and this disoriented young Scottish lad comes running in yelling "Where am I? What are those flashing lights?" (referring to our cameras). He parts the curtain with his sword and says "What year is this?"

the fun beginsJudie, ever the perceptive one, exclaims "He's not a stripper, is he!?!?"

It dawns on Judie "Oh, God, he IS a stripper! What is Diana going to think!!!!!! !"

The music starts and the fun begins! as he heads straight for Diana!

Kiltboy came undone as you can see in these photos:


running for cover
Running for cover
Judie and Kiltboy
Judie having fun
Clothes on...
Clothes on!
Hope has seen it all...
Hope has seen it all...
this was not Judie's idea!
This was NOT JUDIE's idea!
tartan shorts
Tartan Shorts
highland fling
Highland Fling
Kate and Kiltboy
Kate and Kiltboy
Kim and Kiltboy
Kim and Kiltboy
see no evil!
See No Evil
Hope and Kiltboy
Hope and Kiltboy
Mystery Lady and Kiltboy
Mystery Lady and Kiltboy


Judie and KiltboyHope and KiltboyOnce we realized SAUSAGE was not on the menu, the show was over. After someone hosed him down, Judie was forced to pose with Kiltboy. On the other hand, Hope didn't have to be forced...

While the rest of the gang mingled with kiltboy over drinks, Kim and Charyl managed to chat with Diana and pose some of the MacHoser questions you all wanted asked. They didn't get them all answered because her answers were VERRA long and detailed and after about 30 minutes they felt they better knock it off! Anyway, those they did get answered (and remember, we're condensing her verra long answers into teeny ones) were:

Debbie F: Is Herself a member of our illustrious group? Does she e ver check it out? Her answer was she pretty much doesn't have time for it unless she's invited for a special occasion.

Rita: I'd like to know from where did Herself take the words of Jamie and Claire's blood vow. Her answer was "I made it up!"

Lady Mac and Mercedes wanted to know if she is tired of writing the Jamie and Claire story? Do they as characters flit in and out of her mind all day, every day? She didn't answer specifically, just stated that they were very real to her.

Judie and Rita: Wondered whether Dougal was ever considered as the hero? Her answer was yes, but the characters told HER what to do!

Other questions asked right on the spot by the ladies later on were:

Q. Do her kids ever read her books?
A. No. Even though her eldest could read them, she's not interested in reading sex written by her mom! hehehe But a lot of her daughter's friends have read them and always come up to Diana and tell her what big fans of hers they are.

Q. Since we all had told about how we met our dh's, we asked how she met Doug.
A. She met him in the marching band at Arizona State. They were both French horn players.

Q. Hope asked her to describe Jamie's hair color - is it carrot red or auburn red?
A. It's to the auburn side with lots of different colours of red, gold, etc. and went into a lengthy description that only Herself could do and make entertaining!

We had some book signings and photos:

Hope, Charyl and Diana
Hope, Charyl and Diana
Hope and Diana
Hope and Diana
Diana and the gang
Diana and the gang
again, Diana and the gang
Diana and the gang, again
Diana talking with the Hosers
Talking with the Hosers

The hour was getting late, Diana was looking tired. Judie suggested she have a seat, but she said that she should probably get going because she had to get up really early to go visit inmates at Matsqui Prison. But Dame Judith the Persistent said "SIT YOUR ASS DOWN, WOMAN!" (we are SUCH liars!) - okay, so she politely asked if Diana could just have a seat for a minute because we had something for her.

So she sat her ass down in the nice comfy chair and we gave her the dragonfly pin, which she thought was lovely, and promptly donned, and it looked fabulous. It was oh so lovely. Then we gave her some maple cream and a card from Lady Lea.


The pack consisted of e-mail fan letters from some of the LOL members, info on Clan MacHoser, the LOL roster, the LOL maps - we would have put in more stuff but the book only had 48 pages. But ALL E-MAIL MESSAGES WERE INCLUDED!

sample letter
Sample Letter
scroll paper sample
Scroll paper sample
front page
Front page
Clan MacHoser
Clan MacHoser
The MacHosers
The MacHosers


She seemed very flattered and paged through the book from front to back:

looking at the book
Looking at the book
sharing a laugh with us
Sharing a laugh with us
dragonfly pin
Dragonfly pin


She stayed till 2 a.m. when we finally untied her and let her go back to her room! (We are SUCH liars!)

After we all bid her a fond farewell and thanked her profusely for coming to our "gathering", and just before the door closed after she left - WHO do you think yells out "HOT DAM!" nearly at the top of her lungs!

No - it wasn't even Hope! We're not telling!


We know it's taken a while for you to receive the whole story and we thank you for your patience. We were a bit ..... um ...... ah ......... BUSY today!

First of all we FINALLY rolled out of bed about noonish. (We are SUCH liars!) But we DID go out for lunch and had a great time!

We WOULD have posted this message earlier except A COUPLE OF HOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! decided to get "Jamie Fraser Rules" tattooed on their fine, wide arses! (We are SUCH liars!)

Okay, so they didn't get THAT tattooed on their FWA's, but they DID get celtic hearts tattooed on them - but more about that later! We DO have pictures, but we canna show them to you just yet - hahahahahahahahaha!

The gathering was a huge success and a great time was had by all. As great an honour as it was to meet Diana, it was also a great honour to meet all our Lallypals! So we hope next year when we do this again - and you KNOW we will! - we hope more of you can be here!

We already have a few more ladies lined up for the tattoo parlour.................. hahahaha! (We are NOT liars!!!!!!!)


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Part II - Disclaimer

I am 100% innocent of all charges!!!!!!!! *g*

Just a side note to the Kiltboy episode!


It was so funny because only the hosers involved in arranging for Kiltboy knew that Diana knew he would be there, since they had run it by her beforehand.

So those of us who DIDN'T know she knew were sitting there through his WHOLE routine thinking "Oh, God, what must Diana be thinking of us???!!!? and so on. Lorri and I (whom you can see in the background in a few of the pictures) were looking at each other and going "Oh, God, what is Diana thinking". It was too funny. I was thinking of lines to protest my innocence, like "Diana, I had NOTHING to do with this - it was the social committee, and they didn't ask me!"

But, actually, as hosed as it all sounds, Kiltboy did a very tasteful show, he managed to keep on his g-string and we all had one hilarious time! Diana was so kewel about it - he didn't even phase her when he started to do his little dance right in front of her. Not like me, running for cover in the corner! :-)

The funny part is that Kiltboy had JUST finished calling the room and saying he was on his way up when Diana was knocking at the door. That's why Charyl was so shocked - because she was expecting Kiltboy to be at the door, and here it was Diana!

His timing was great though, because she had just been there about 5 minutes, and we didn't even have time to feel awkward and tongue-tied before he blasted into the room and started his routine! After that, the chatting began and we had a great time!

I would just like to thank the hosers behind this - and I won't mention names, but they know who they are. I am SURE they did this just to get back at me for something *g*, but it was hilarious fun and I think I can safely say that everyone loved it!

We have WAY more photos, but most of them are on regular cameras so we'll have to post them later. Meantime, thanks to Charyl for bringing along the digital camera so we could give you all a glimpse of our antics! :-)

And we seriously DID wish more of you could have been there!



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Part III - The Tattoos

Hope I don't get killed by a couple of hosers over these ones - hahahahahah! But since they are not around to give me direction, what can I do?

Now Scotty, just PRETEND they have bathing suits on, eh!!!!!!!! :-)

Guilty Party #1:

he hadn't even TOUCHED her yet! :-)
He hadn't even TOUCHED her yet! :-)
down to work
Down to work
too late now
Too late now
better look
Better look


Guilty Party #2:

are we done yet?
Are we done yet?
NOW????! !!!!!!


And at last...

the finished product
The finished product


signAnd, while Charyl and Hope didn't have THIS in mind when they took this next picture, I think it applies to these two hosers:Sign.

Take off, eh? :-)



Note: Kim didn't actually sign books pretending she was Diana Gabaldon. That was a joke. But the rest is all true! Honestly! :-)


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