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Old 03-24-2005, 10:56 AM   #41
Bęthberry
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Boots

Ah, Lal, I am torn!

Estelyn has made me an offer very difficult to refuse yet the lure of England may be greater than the lure of Tolkien talk, to say nothing of Downer matter. In short, for me to fly to England (or to meet Esty elsewhere first), well, I would imagine that, once there, I would be tempted to galavant around the country rather than sit tidily listening to the kind of thing I can read here regularly.

Is it possible to, say, make reservations for that Saturday night dinner only?

And were The Smiths from Birmingham? (or was it Manchester?). Just checking out all the attractions as this wouldn't be just a jaunt down the road for me.
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:12 AM   #42
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The Smiths are from Manchester but Noddy Holder is from Walsall (near Brum)
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:31 PM   #43
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Essex has just left Hobbiton.
If you're travelling from afar then it's worth taking the coach trip to oxford to see tolkien's grave and visit the eagle and child pub for a pint where tolien and co met up for their chats after work. very nice beer too......

I'm from essex, only a hundred or so miles away, so it sounds very tempting.

And Dave, hopefully there will be some good deals on the sideshow statues for you to pick up
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:34 PM   #44
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And Dave, hopefully there will be some good deals on the sideshow statues for you to pick up
I expect there'll be remaindered bin, yeah.
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:44 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
Is it possible to, say, make reservations for that Saturday night dinner only?
It could be well worth contacting the Tolkien Society to see if you can do this. I think there is an e-mail address for the booking secretary/officer, so tis worth a go!

Ah, but aren't The Smiths technically from Salford? Anyone from Salford will tell you it's a different city entirely. But then I might be wrong about their origins... Who is from Birmingham? Hmmm, Ozzy Osbourne? Duran Duran? Not too exciting, eh?

I'll be looking for those remaindered Sideshow items though.
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Old 03-24-2005, 08:18 PM   #46
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Boots Oh to be in England now that April's almost near

Quote:
Originally Posted by Essex
If you're travelling from afar then it's worth taking the coach trip to oxford to see tolkien's grave and visit the eagle and child pub for a pint where tolien and co met up for their chats after work. very nice beer too......

I'm from essex, only a hundred or so miles away, so it sounds very tempting.

And Dave, hopefully there will be some good deals on the sideshow statues for you to pick up
Thanks for the tip, Essex, but last summer Estelyn, Squatter and I made the Oxford run, the Bird and Baby, the gravesite, the Mitre, the Botanical Gardens, at least one of the houses.

For a trip down memory, visit this post .

Hmmm. Can lightening strike twice?
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:13 PM   #47
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The big shindig is already casting its shadow in my direction - I contacted the organizers of the Costume Extravaganza and found out that they are doing that particular event up larger than I'd thought. They want advance pictures of the costumes for a catalogue! That means I have to start sewing ASAP, since the deadline is the end of June and I'll be away much of that month. Oh well, I guess early deadlines prevent over-procrastination! Problem is, I haven't found the kind of trimming I want to sew onto the dress...
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:19 PM   #48
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Well you could make the dress up and submit the picture? Then sew on the trim when you find it maybe? Unles the dress has to be shown as described
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:50 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
In short, for me to fly to England (or to meet Esty elsewhere first), well, I would imagine that, once there, I would be tempted to galavant around the country rather than sit tidily listening to the kind of thing I can read here regularly.
That is precisely what my wife and I will be doing in the latter three weeks of September. .... London for a week, then a few days form Winchester to Bath to Tintern Abbey to Cotswolds to Oxford; then a few days in York, then home again. No tour, we decided ourselves. We've planned on 2005 for years and years, but when it came right down to it, Bb's quote fits our thought precisely.
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:38 PM   #50
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Shelob has just left Hobbiton.
I'm leaving England a just a few days before the Tolkien2005 starts, had I known of it before I would have convinced my parents to stay a few days more. Ah well...

...Since we will be visiting England though, for about 10 days in late July/early August, if anyone has suggestions for Tolkien/non-Tolkien things we really ought to see please e-mail/PM me. I lived in England a few years back so can guarantee that we'll be in the areas of Henley-On-Thames (now as much my home as here) and Oxford for at least a day each, so suggestions in other areas are particularly appreciated. Similarly should anyone, for whatever reason, care to meet up let me know and I shall gladly try.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:17 AM   #51
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I was toying with the idea for some months, but it seems I won't be able to afford it. It comes down to flight costs, unfortunately.

I'll (hopefully) be in Paris by the end of June, though, so if anyone happens to be down there at the time, feel free to look me up and we'll have a nice round of beer someplace (they do drink beer in France contrary to popular belief, 1664 is a good brand, per instance )
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:11 AM   #52
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Oh I haven't been to Paris for 10 years - only once since I lived there ..... Maybe I should give myself a birthday present!!! Time goes so quickly...
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:39 AM   #53
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Boots Day tripper

I emailed the Tolkien Society almost two weeks ago asking for more information about the registration fee but I haven't heard a thing from them.

I was thinking of registering just for the Saturday, with the banquet, as it would be hard to fly 'cross the pond to Merry Eld and not see Merry Eld for sitting in a classroom all day. A pity if they don't have one-day registration fees.
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Old 05-19-2005, 07:54 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethberry
I was thinking of registering just for the Saturday, with the banquet, as it would be hard to fly 'cross the pond to Merry Eld and not see Merry Eld for sitting in a classroom all day. A pity if they don't have one-day registration fees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmp
That is precisely what my wife and I will be doing in the latter three weeks of September. .... London for a week, then a few days form Winchester to Bath to Tintern Abbey to Cotswolds to Oxford; then a few days in York, then home again. No tour, we decided ourselves. We've planned on 2005 for years and years, but when it came right down to it, Bb's quote fits our thought precisely.
Well if I ever went 'across the pond' then I too would prefer to take in the sights than sit in a university to be honest! LMP - If you're going to York, do not miss the Yorkshire countryside, and especially do not miss a trip to Whitby, even if you could go only for a few hours you could climb the 199 steps to the church and abbey (as made famous by Bram Stoker, Caedmon and the Abbess Hilda) and then go back down again for crab butties and Black Sheep ale in the Duke of York, overlooking the harbour.

How many 'Downers are planning on going to Brum now? I wont have flight problems but the train timetables still haven't been released for August.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:48 AM   #55
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Oh, I want to go to Whitby, and I want to climb the 199 steps to the Abbey. Thanks for the tip. Now to convince my wife....
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:27 AM   #56
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I'll be there in spirit. davem had best be careful, for like all the houseless I shall be attempting to find a home within the willing spirit of a living person -- and I rather suspect that he is an easy target for enchantment: all that baggage of his is readily tossed aside!!
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:51 AM   #57
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The time is drawing near when Middle-Earth shall blaze into the Glorious Summer of England ,unless it rains, which it usually does, then the breath of Manwe and the rain of Ulmo will be warm on the faces of The Faithfull.

I have been thinking of how we are going to recognise each other, so without setting up an elaborate system of Cold War spy codes, I will act as a starting point. I will be wearing a black t-shirt, which has THE BARROW-DOWNERS in big white letters written on the back, if you are going please introduce yourself then I can introduce you to others. I promise not to bite (I am only Half-Orc).
I am looking forward to this event, and have already started my costume (Pallando) I didnt want to copy anything from the films. Hope to see as many as possible, commiserations to those who live too far away, but hopefully you will have some form of celebration at the appropriate time.
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:04 AM   #58
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I have also begun sewing my costume, a wine-red Arwen style dress, but I certainly won't be wearing that during the daytime! It might be a good idea for those of us who are attending to PM each other for our real names, as I assume most will have those, not nicks, on their badges. I do own one of the Downs T-shirts, but I don't actually wear it, since green does not become me at all.

For those who want to take part in the Costume Extravaganza, it's a good idea to contact the address given in the booklet in advance - they are doing that event in big style, with a catalogue of the costumes, so want pictures by the end of June.

Here's a list of those who are planning to attend, as far as I know - if there are more, please post here to let the rest of us know!

davem
Lalwendë
narfforc
Estelyn


possibly:
Phervasaion
Turin
Bęthberry
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:18 PM   #59
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Elonve has just left Hobbiton.
I wish i could go!!!!!
whaen is it? i might be able to go my auntie lives close to burmingham
but i probably wont be able to make it...
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Old 06-03-2005, 12:20 AM   #60
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
It takes place from August 11 - 15. All information can be found at the website given in Tigerlily's first post on this thread.
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:34 PM   #61
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we are leaving on the 11th! oh well there's always next year!
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Old 06-30-2005, 07:04 AM   #62
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
When I arrived home from my vacation trip, the final progress report was waiting for me - how exciting! Of course I looked through the complete list of participants, in hopes of chancing on familiar names; those I recognized were the guests, the organizers, and the two real names of participants I already know - davem and Lalwendë, besides my own name, of course. I'm willing to collect real life names and send them by PM to those who will be coming, so that we know which ones to look for. I'm assuming that most of you, like myself, are using real names on the tags, not nicks. If you'd like to be included on the list and thereby entitled to receive the list by PM, please send me a message. I hope those of you who have registered and not yet posted here will let the rest of us know as well!

By the way, Bęthberry and others who are interested, this last report does say that "We will be selling on-the-door tickets for ... individual days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday." However, that apparently does not included accommodations - booking for that closes July 15, so I'd recommend checking with the booking agent for your country to clarify that.
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:53 AM   #63
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
For those who, like me, are still working on their costumes for the event, there is a brief respite - the deadline has been moved to mid-July.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:38 AM   #64
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Is your accommodation booking fine, Esty? In the Progress Report it said you could look them up online but alas ours are not listed - possibly as we booked them right before the deadline for the rise in price. We have receipts but I can't help fretting...I'm using my real name though, so you can pass it on if you like - I saw yours in the list!

I'm just hoping it's not going to be hot weather like it has been in the UK for the past fortnight. I wouldn't want to suffer from another burned nose.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:51 PM   #65
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I just checked my booking, and it's fine - you might want to contact the Bookings Officer just to be sure.

Now all I have to do is figure out where I want to spend the free days I have in between the two Birmingham events I'm attending - it looks like it might be difficult to travel far on what remains of Monday. I was thinking about London, but as I was there last summer, I am now considering a brief trip to Glasgow, since there are places and things I'd like to see there. I strongly suspect, though, that a trip there will take quite a few hours.
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:31 PM   #66
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Glasgow's about a 4-5 hour journey away, but nowadays very much worth the visit I hear. Have you thought of visiting Warwick? davem's been and he liked it a lot. Also Stratford isn't far from Birmingham, if you could stand the crowds. Personally, I'd recommend a trip to the Peak District as you've got big houses like Chatsworth (Mr Darcy's house, allegedly )and Haddon Hall, plenty of walking with stunning views, stone circles, and lots of pubs. You can tell I'm a frustrated tour guide...
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:11 AM   #67
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This looks way cool! But even the registration is more than I could afford, never mind the accomodation and travel.

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Old 08-08-2005, 04:12 AM   #68
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
This is the week! I'm collecting my things to prepare for packing and have made a Barrow-Downs tote bag, so I should be recognizable by the green carry-all with the sword on it. (It was a BD T-shirt in its first life, but since I never wear it, I decided to put it to good use in this transformation.) As far as I know, there will be four Barrow-Downers attending, and I look forward to getting to know the others!

My costume is finished and will travel in my hand luggage - after all the work and time that went into it, I'm not going to risk having it delayed or worse yet, lost by the airline.
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:02 AM   #69
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As it turns out, I could have gone to this event. We were originally going to be on holiday this week, but had to re-arrange thanks to a work conference being arranged for the same week. Then the work conference was postopned until September!

Oh well, too late now and I would probably have struggled to spare the holiday time anyway.

Esty, I hope that you and the others have a wonderful time and look forward to hearing your reports.
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:37 AM   #70
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Have fun there all -- and be sure to raise your glasses (filled with appropriate beverages of course) in honour of those BDers who are with you in spirit only.
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:46 AM   #71
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reports & lecture material

A report from the ongoing event.

Reports and lecture material etc. from attending BD members would be very much appreciated.

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Old 08-14-2005, 09:37 AM   #72
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Boots

Oh my oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian article
"It's the spirit of sacrifice, to share our feelings and our legends, to be together. In the book, too, from Frodo to Gandalf, everyone has to sacrifice something important to him."
We do these things as sacrifice? Now, there's a pagan idea! I just hope no one was sent to the bog last night after the feast.
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Old 08-14-2005, 12:40 PM   #73
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Oh well that confirms my suspicion that not going was the right decision for me.....
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Old 08-14-2005, 12:51 PM   #74
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As he reads a Bilbo Baggins poem about Strider, his audience mutter along as if reciting the Lord's Prayer.
First sacrifices, now prayers? It's a full-blown religion!
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:23 AM   #75
Lalaith
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Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
I was going to post the link to this article but then I figured someone would have beaten me to it...
The quote I particularly enjoyed was this:
Quote:
The Terry Pratchett gatherings are "much less highbrow," he says. "It's interesting to see a newbug have their first discussion with a serious Tolkien scholar and watch their face go ... " Mole loosens his lower jaw in bewilderment.
Rather reminiscent of the Downs, dontcha think?

So, were any Downers there, in the end?
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:12 AM   #76
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
They will still be there if they have gone for the whole thing... I guess we can expect reports from Lawende, Davem, Estelyn and Narforc tomorrow....
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:07 PM   #77
Lalwendë
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Well, that Grauniad article didn't quite capture the spirit of it, the one in the Telegraph was better, and funnier too. I personally didn't spot anyone muttering during Tom Shippey's lecture (though someone got glared at for opening a box of action figures and making a racket ). Did they mention the game of Golfimbul? The snoring truck driver or the guy I dubbed 'Windy Miller'? No.

A full report shall follow soon...
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:39 PM   #78
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Yeah - full report later. As to highlights - one: meeting Esty (who's one of the loveliest persons you could wish to meet! Two: meeting Narforc (who, by the way, is in the process of writing one of the funniest & cleverest parodies of LotR - I'm far from a fan of the genre, but he's won me over).

The other thing was the lectures - Tom Shippey's on the use of proverbs, Ronald Hutton's on 'Tolkien the Pagan'!!!!! (He made a fascinating point - in a letter to his son, Michael?? Tolkien stated that for a time in his younger days I think he mentioned while at Leeds & at Northmoor Road, but I'll have to check, Tolkien says he neglected his faith - working this out, this period, according to Hutton, covered virtually the whole of the 1920's! This is significant, because thiis was the major period of the development of the Silmarillion. I'll have to go into this later)

Also, a couple by Verlyn Flieger - well, one lecture & one short story reading - why was that special? It was an unpublished short story by Tolkien himself! Actually, it is a background story to Smith of Wooton Major, telling the story of Smith's grandfather, Rider, the history & origin of the Fay Star, & the reason for the Faeries interest in humanity, & incorporating a fascinating philosophical discussion on the nature of Faerie & its relationship to our world & their interdependence. Well up to the standard you'd expect, & it adds incredible depth & meaning to SoWM. It will be finally published (in the UK on 5th Sept by Harper Collins) in a new edition of Smith, but according to Flieger there's no info on an American publication date. We were the first members of the public anywhere to hear the story, & so, for a few weeks at least, the only ones anywhere.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:32 PM   #79
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OK, I have some time for a report.

The event as a whole was excellent, but it was exceedingly tiring, with having to get up early and not getting to bed until after midnight. I even spent one afternoon asleep because I couldn't keep going any longer (but I only missed one interesting sounding talk). The days were stuffed full of things to do, the daytimes mostly being focussed on listening to talks and lectures though there were also some dance and drama workshops for those who wanted them too. Getting the programme sent me into shock as I didn't know how I was going to choose what to attend (there were at least four options at any time) and I quickly relaised I couldn't attend things all day long because it was mentally tiring. And to do a talk by someone like Verlyn Flieger justice, you have to spend some time digesting it afterwards.

Some of the talks were excellent. I particularly enjoyed those by Ronald Hutton "The Pagan Tolkien", and some by lesser known speakers such as "Hobbit Names Aren't From Kentucky" and "Galadriel's Lovers". One talk I went to this morning taught me very little indeed (it was on the origin of Ents) but it was utterly entertaining due to the eccentric man presenting. Some papers looked interesting but the delivery of them was dull or else hard to understand due to language difficulties. One young chap gave a talk on Milton & Tolkien, but alas he spoke so fast it was difficult to take it all in. Some talks were light-hearted and others were very serious. Some looked exciting in the brochure but were like aural valium. I'll try to list what I saw and who gave the talks in a later post but impressions are more interesting for now methinks.

The dealers' room was excellent - and I spent a fair amount of money. Any book you could wish for was on sale. Plus a lot of other stuff too. I got Alan Lee to sign a book for me, and he was very nice to talk to. I also went crashing into Tom Shippey in a horrible crowd but it was all very English with apologies from both parties....

Anyways, we met Esty who is just lovely, and very intelligent I might add. Though I'm sure she thought we were very odd and quiet as she is so outgoing! I should have liked to have met her in a less pressured environment and been able to talk more without feeling like we had to always rush off somewhere or else we were too tired! Her costume was beautiful - I have a photo but might wait til she says it can be posted. We also met narfforc, who is very funny, and his Pallando costume was superb. He roared in the bar that people were coming up to him and saying "like the Gandalf costume" a statement which davem stored up to shout at him later.

Saturday was bizarre with the costume extravaganza in the evening. Lots of people were going about dressed in various outfits, even those not taking part! Yours truly even got a cloak on for the evening which blowed and swished satisfactorily in the breeze (though the goose droppings round the lake were a bit hazardous). One participant chose to be a non-canonical 4th Age female wizard which was a bit irritating (especially as she was not actually a very pleasant person to begin with), but some chose clever costumes such as Haleth and a doric Entwife. One guy turned up as a Hobbit but he had a beard and glasses so he looked more like the Peter Jackson as a Hobbit action figure. It was all worth it when the drink started flowing and hordes of drunken Gandalfs (Gandalves?) were staggering about playing Golfimbul later on. A random drunk guy (just a Brummie on a lads' night out) was delighted to see this and stormed up demanding his picture be taken with the white wizards.

There were a few not entirely pleasant people about, including one who took a dislike to me, but most were very nice and interesting to talk to - some of the people were shall we say 'eccentric', some were very stereotypical geeks with thick glasses and jumble sale clothes (this includes "Windy Miller" who trumped* his way through a performance of folk songs), but most were just as normal as the next person. There were people of all ages and from all places. The truck driver I mentioned went to sleep in the Ronald Hutton talk, his snores getting louder and louder until he had to be woken up; poor man was mortified.

We were, however, disappointed that nobody chose to dress up as Gandalf the Grey.....Uncloaked!

*trumped - you can guess what this is. He must have had beans and prunes for breakfast.

EDIT

Some more...

One thing I didn't mention is that Priscilla Tolkien attended the event. She came to the opening ceremony and was still there on the Friday. This was a nice surprise! And in addition to Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith was there, mingling with the drinkers at night (as he always does, apparently).
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Last edited by Lalwendë; 08-15-2005 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:20 AM   #80
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Hi! I'm still travelling, so I can't yet add an in-depth report - well, I just tried to write at least a bit, but the PC at this internet place crashed and it's gone. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the event tremendously and had a wonderful time! More to come when I'm back home...
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