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Old 09-13-2004, 06:50 AM   #281
Bêthberry
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Boots Many meetings

Well, it was not quite Rivendell, but I did for the first time set eyes upon the land that Tolkien loved so much, and I walked some of the streets and trod on some of the paths he did. And I was accompanied by a fellowship of Downers who made the visit all the more fun and delightful.

I met first in London, for the first time, Squatter, who guided my family and me around the British Museum and its monoliths of Egyptian stone and Sutton Hoo relics. We retired to a pub where he had first met Estelyn, a pub which has now seen three inaugural Barrow Downs meetings and so is on its way to becoming a real BD tradition. Squatter in real life is larger than his character here, a looming presence of wit, generosity, courtesy, a mind easily at home with any topic of conversation and a sensibility of charm and devilish good humour. We parted from my family and then met Esty in the most romantic of dark dens, Gordon's Bar.

There, amidst candle-lit, emptied bottles of wine, with the stone walls of the underground cavern sweating soot from the candles, we talked and talked. Squatter has said you could imagine Faggin there; I thought of all the Cornish smugglers bringing in port and sherry to be stored there away from the above ground authorities. In the dark, we could barely see each other except through flickering glimpses, yet what did it matter, having forged our friendship through chat and posts.

Estelyn is as vivacious and gregarious as one would expect from her posts here, an enthusiastic conversationalist who would put MeriSue in her place with the twinkling of an eye. And her eyes do twinkle! We met for the first time as old friends. Well, not that we are old, but that we had already had much shared between us. Alas that English pubs have such early closing hours. Had Squatter not had to catch a midnight train back to his home town before it turned into a pumpkin, we would have explored the night life of London further.

Estelyn went on to her quilting conference in Birmingham, where she followed a few sites of the Tolkien trail there where Sarehole once stood, while Squatter joined us for a second day of London haunts. It had to be something medieval; we choose the Tower of London, a splendidly preserved palace, but not the largest keep of the land. Here William the Conqueror build The White Tower, which with a fair bit of extravagant imagination on my part I could transform into something ressembling Tolkien's fortresses. Dinner was not medieval, but firey Indian. Another patron, across the restaurant from us, set up a bit of an entertainment that would have done Fawlty Towers justice. Poor Manuel!

The grandest adventure we reserved for Oxford. It was not a visit as daring and romantic as Squatter's first recorded escapade of midnight trespass into the gravesite, but it had its charms and special moments. All those scenes of Gwaihir rescuing Gandalf and Sam and Frodo were put in perspective when I saw the sign outside the Eagle and Child (called affectionately the Bird and Baby by the Inklings). The Rabbit Room, yellow-painted walls and midbrown wood, uneven floors and irregular walls, holds not just photographs of the Inklings but a framed scroll which they all signed testifying to their time there, Tolkien identifying himself as the father of the above named Christopher Tolkien. Squatter brought out his beloved first editions with their marvellous maps and glorious covers--books which attracted the attention of the Spanish Tolkien fans who had also journied there. Squatter shared his books with them and of course we shared internet sites. A pity it was that none of us was wearing a Barrow Downs tee shirt, but one cannot foresee all events.

We then took off for the gravesite, walking past the first of Tolkien's houses in Oxford (rather small and nondescriipt) and St. Aloysius Church (Tolkien's parish church), which we would have entered but a wedding was in process. We arrived at the cemetary just as the Spanish fans came up behind us! It is easy to find and almost overgrown with rosemary (that's for remembrance), roses, and other smaller plants. Both the headstone and the granite border bear reminders of other visits, fans leaving behind rosaries, cards, bracelets, small mementoes and tokens of respect. Tolkien's son Michael is buried a little off to one side from his parents. The names Luthien and Beren still stand out.

From there we caught a plebian form of transportation, a city bus, to High Street, which we walked up, passed Merton College and the Bodleian, to the Botanical Gardens, where we found the pinus nigra by which Tolkien stood in the last photograph taken of him. Rather unimaginatively, the three of us crowded around for the obligatory photograph of us touching it. It is a huge tree, spreading taller and wider than it did in that photograph and looking nothing like the shape of pine trees I am used to in my country. We departed after Squatter struck a pose at the foot of the tree which marked a perfect example of the way his imagination revisits sites and places.

All of this activity on a hot day generated a great deal of thirst. We repaired once again to the Bird and Baby, where my husband joined us. This time we did not run into any Tolkien fans and I was insensed that a mug with the pub's crest on it cost twenty English pounds, a sum I was not willing to part with.

On then to the Mitre, which Tolkien had favoured for dinner, a more stolid and less quaint pub than the B & B. The food was solid but excellent pub faire, made all the more convivial for Estelyn's and Squatter's company. We slowly wound our way down the streets of Oxford, still a medieval city in many ways, towards the train station, lingering along alley ways and in front of buildings in the warm summer night. The train carried us through the dark to end our day; we bid a hurried and quick farewell to Squatter at his stop and then completed our return to London.

One last night there and we spent it with Estelyn once again, meeting at the crypt under St. Martin's in the Field and then to dinner in a quiet corner where we could simply enjoy some last time together. It is possible that not all our conversation turned on Tolkien. We returned to Gordon's Bar for final departing pictures and then with melancholy excitement said our farewells.

My family and I then flew west and who can say that we Downers shall not meet again within the circles of the world?
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:06 AM   #282
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*Saucepan turns a bright shade of green and curses the demands of work that led him to miss such illustrious events*

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Old 06-15-2005, 09:39 AM   #283
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Silmaril Oh, what a wonderful day!

It's time to revive this thread to report on yet another first-time meeting of Barrow-Downs members. Here's a brief account:

On Monday, on my way through Houston via plane, I had the opportunity to meet Thenamir and his family, Child of the 7th Age and her family, and Valesse as well as seeing the LotR exhibition in the museum there.

It was wonderful, every bit of it! Despite the confusing airport, Thena and I recognized each other from photos right away and we all had fun talking in the car on our way to see Child/Sharon. Then there was lots more talking, enjoying her hospitality, and lots to see as we admired her LotR collection - it's wonderful!

We had to pull ourselves away to get to the exhibition on time, which we did, and we met Val and friends there. It was great fun to see everything with fellow Downers, talking about everything and pointing out details to each other. And details there were - the costumes and props were absolutely amazing!! Val shared my interest in costume detailing and fabrics, so we "ooh"d and "aah"d over them. But everything was done with such meticulous attention to details - weapons, belts, papers, masks, armor, banners, all wonderful. There were some fun activities, trying out the tricks they used for scale correction and motion capture.

After over two hours there, we spent some time looking though the many possibilities for spending money on collectibles in the gift shop. I finally decided to buy only a pin that says "I went to Middle-Earth and all I got was this lousy ring" - I did not want to splurge on the genuine Elven cloak (woven by the same company that did the fabric for the movie), which would have set me back almost $1000!!

Dinner and the drive back to the airport took up the remaining time, and on my trip out of Houston I found myself smiling over thoughts of a very enjoyable day - wonderful people and something interesting to do together - can't top that!

When I get back home, I'll try to remember to give a link to the exhibition's online page - we weren't allowed to take pictures there. However, I do have a photo of Sharon, Thena, and myself which I'll put up when I get back home in two weeks.

Perhaps the others will add their reports to mine. I think I hold the record for meeting the most Downers in the course of my travels these past three years, and each time it is a highly enjoyable experience - they (well, I guess I should say "we" ) are a wonderful bunch of people!
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:26 PM   #284
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1420!

Well now, Estelyn, thank you for your report. It is lovely to hear about the LotR Exhibit and how you got there and back again.

But there is something more to tell that you have skipped lightly over. Now that you have met Thenamir and Child, you can tell us what they are like in real life. We have more to go on than HerenIstarion's thread here!

How closely are they like their user name or nick personas? Thena has shared pictures of himself as Gandalf, but to the best of my knowledge we have no public pictures of our Shire mod. What does Child look like? Is she a curly mophead hobbit? Did she talk your ear off or is she quiet? Is Thena's sense of humour predominant or is that more his chat-self? Give! Give! to those of us who are less privileged than you, Mistress Downs-Member-Meeter!
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:32 PM   #285
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I second Beth's request. I'm quite sure that being related to a member does not constitute meeting one, so I'm very curious, not to mention a wee bit jealous.
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:52 AM   #286
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Yesterday I met a fellow BDer by the name of Kristen (Shelob). She's only been on here a few months but I got talking to her about an archaeological dig she was going on in Spain for that is an interest of mine and it was near where I am going on holiday so I thought we could maybe meet up. Then it turned out that she was also coming to England and after a few PMs everything fell nicely into place. We had the slight problem of how to recognise each other, the idea of using large signs was vetoed due to the worry that our parents/friends would desert us on sight.

At any rate we met at Victoria Station in London just after midday and found each other (though thank God for mobiles or we never would have!). Her parents looked me over and decided I was not about to kidnap their daughter and so they left us be. Kristen is from Boston and had brought me a Red Sox (sp?) hat and also a pack of LotR card from Spain! I felt so bad that I'd got nothing for her and I now owe her £2 as well seeing as how she lent in to a friend of mine. If you read this and want it back I'll send it to you I swear!

We left the station and went to get some lunch, just some sandwiches, and then we went on the tube to Green Park to go eat. It was pretty warm and there was some sun so we stayed there for about an hour just talking about anything and everything really. She is from America so I must admit to bombarding her with questions but she was very good and put up with them all.

I'd had to come with a couple of friends because my parents wouldn't let me go to London on my own with all the bomb things and as they wanted to go shopping we all headed off to Oxford Street (well we tried, we ended up in Bond Street). Once there Kristen showed me her photos from Spain. The dig site looked incredibly hot! She'd also been to the Alhambra which I had been to the year before so I actually recognised some of the photos which was nice.

We had completely lost track of time and Kristen had to be back with her parents at 3:30 though that didn't quite happen. We took a quick photo before she had to go so that might end up on the photo page in a while.

I really liked meeting her as she was very friendly and didn't seem to mind the problem I have with indecision I hope that she also had a good time and that she had a good remainder of her holiday.
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:25 AM   #287
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I'm meeting Bokkie in about.. 2 hours or so. He's sleeping at my house. Pictures promised of the goat and the Malad
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:07 PM   #288
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Pictures, Mala? I might finally see who Eponine keeps trying to kill me for flirting with? Life is complete again.

Perhaps I'll convince some fellow college kids that their lives are incomplete without The Barrowdowns and so will, by default, have met them.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:15 PM   #289
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Four Barrow-Downers got together at the event of the year in Birmingham, England a week ago. I travelled there for 'Tolkien 2005' and met Lalwendë and davem right away on Thursday - they are friendly and warm-hearted, easy to feel comfortable with immediately! Later that evening, we met narfforc, who is a very funny person - his accounts of the LotR parody he is writing kept us and others laughing! For more reports on the event and the various activities and people we experienced there, please check the Tolkien 2005 thread.

Pictures will be forthcoming...
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:02 PM   #290
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Has there not been a meeting for so very long? Let it be changed! Today I met Cailín in my hometown of Aberdeen. No seer-dreams, no wolf-attacks, all very normal.

She has come here to study for a year at the University of Aberdeen. Fortunately I had some wisdom to share with her (having studied there for four years) and so we had a wander about: looking at beautiful, stuffed animals and sketching our names at the top of the King's Tower.

It's hard to do her justice with words. Her ability to speak or read several different languages is phenomenal (no matter how much she tried to play it down), and made me feel rather uncultured by comparison. She comes across as she does on the Barrowdowns, perhaps slightly more soft-spoken than I had pictured her. She is charming, pretty and funny and I enjoyed my afternoon with her greatly.

I feel like it would be almost a host's duty to visit Loch Ness with her in the coming year but I'm not sure she'd be keen on such a terrifying ordeal.
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:49 PM   #291
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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.
Well clearly such things are like buses since I met Lalwende and Davem at Oxenmoot on Saturday.....
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:17 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen
Well clearly such things are like buses since I met Lalwende and Davem at Oxenmoot on Saturday.....
She almost didn't though folks, so let that be a warning that maybe we all ought to invent a secret Barrow-downs hand signal of greeting like the Masonic handshake. Anyway, Mithalwen's great and we got talking and laughing away right from the start, and we'd like to meet her again as soon as possible!
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:18 AM   #293
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There are plans afoot to arrange a Yulemoot sometime in December, somewhere near Sheffield or Barnsley. This is being arranged independently by some of the Tolkien Society members. They are trying to book an hotel for about 70, so if you are interested watch this space, the Oxonmoot 2006 thread or PM me, I will try to keep you informed.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:30 AM   #294
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My what BIG feet you have, are you a hobbit?
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:36 AM   #295
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My what BIG feet you have, are you a hobbit?

It's all that hair, narf.
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:30 AM   #296
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She almost didn't though folks, so let that be a warning that maybe we all ought to invent a secret Barrow-downs hand signal of greeting like the Masonic handshake. Anyway, Mithalwen's great and we got talking and laughing away right from the start, and we'd like to meet her again as soon as possible!
A secret handshake is one thing ... I could cope with that .... just not compulsory footwigs
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:10 AM   #297
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Pipe A bad idea whose time has come

What about name tags? Or custom Barrow-downs T-shirts with screen names and user numbers on the back?
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:16 AM   #298
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That is a brilliant idea, I have a multitude of t-shirts with many Tolkinesque quotations written on them, all you have to do is find a suitable outlet, I get mine from www.air-brushed.com.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:20 AM   #299
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What about name tags? Or custom Barrow-downs T-shirts with screen names and user numbers on the back?

Actually the name tags were rather nice but I had my RL name on mine
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:24 AM   #300
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A secret handshake is one thing ... I could cope with that .... just not compulsory footwigs
I suppose we could make do with always wearing fluffy slippers to emulate excessive foot hair - sounds nice and comfy so I wouldn't be averse to it.

Quote:
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There are plans afoot to arrange a Yulemoot sometime in December, somewhere near Sheffield or Barnsley. This is being arranged independently by some of the Tolkien Society members. They are trying to book an hotel for about 70, so if you are interested watch this space, the Oxonmoot 2006 thread or PM me, I will try to keep you informed.
I know about the idea for a TS Springmoot in Leeds, but Sheffield or Barnsley would be much better owing to the fact that Leeds is a dump and also has no pubs. Barnsley has loads of pubs but no bookshops (I can vouch for that I've just been there today), whereas Sheffield has seen many of its pubs turned into cruddy bars but has a few bookshops - and the best real ale pub in the city is oooh, 5 mins from my house (but 20 mins minimum uphill returning ). Tha'll 'ave t'call everywun thee and thar though....
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:42 AM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim

It's hard to do her justice with words. Her ability to speak or read several different languages is phenomenal (no matter how much she tried to play it down), and made me feel rather uncultured by comparison.

I have expirienced that exact reaction from many a brittish person. . . When I traveled South America Brittish people constantly complemented me and started to talk about what a shame it was that they did not know any languages. They felt Uncultured, even though they did not use that word.
And it is not only me who expirienced it, alot of my travel companions did as well. . .
I am starting to think, that you think to little about "forigners" english skills in general.

It may well be that Cailin realy is amazing at several languages, I have never met her so I don't know.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:10 PM   #302
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What is this, Rune – why not let the British think we are all brilliant ?

I have little to add: I had a wonderful time with Eomer yesterday and though it was entirely odd to meet another Downer (I was secretly quite terrified) I soon felt comfortable and neither of us seemed inclined to kill the other. I got quite an extensive tour of the university buildings as well, which allowed me to show off to the ignorant little freshers today.

A description? Well, all rumours are true, of course. Eomer is a kilt-wearing Snoopy-Werewolf crossbreed, who looks like Johnny Depp and has one wooden leg and an eye-patch. Seriously. Picture that. Aside from that, he is just as loveable as he is on the Downs.

You should all come to Aberdeen this year. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Quote:
I feel like it would be almost a host's duty to visit Loch Ness with her in the coming year but I'm not sure she'd be keen on such a terrifying ordeal.
It can hardly be a more daunting place than Seaton Park, really.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:11 PM   #303
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Rune - To the typical monolingual English mind, it is inconceivable that somebody could be fluent in so many languages. As we do not bother to learn other languages to any degree of competency, it surprises us that foreigners do so so well.

Remaining on-topic, of course (), I am afraid I will be unable to meet anybody for another year due to overprotective parents. The fun starts in Uni next year.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:22 PM   #304
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Better late than never

I forgot to tell about my meeting with Spawn and Lommy earlier this summer.

Well, I was with my family on a trip to Finland and besides being pussled by the mixture of Russian and Scandinavian culture, I had the pleasure of meeting Spawn and Lommy for a few hours.

We used them on having picknickish thing, where I got to try some finish speciality and all the food in Lommys kitchen, wich she had shamelessly robbed. . .
I was suprised that they were both pretty talkative, wich was not how I had expirienced most finnish people until then. We spend most of the time talking about the barrow downs and gossip about other downers . . . In all it was a wonderful afternoon with two wonderful girls.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:24 PM   #305
Estelyn Telcontar
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The hospitality of the Rivergranddaughter is all that a visitor could wish for and more! The food was not only delicious enough for any Hobbit but indeed worthy of a King's table - and a Telcontar knows of what she speaks!

Though I'm afraid the marks we left on the sandy shores of yonder shores are rather transitory, it was a fitting close to a delightful visit. This was not a first meeting, but a very personal and enjoyable second one.

I defy any Downs member to challenge my record - if I haven't forgotten anyone on my list (which goes back over four years, so my memory may have missed one or two!) I have met 14 of ya'll. And all have survived the encounter!
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:33 PM   #306
Rune Son of Bjarne
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Well, Esty

It is my plan to atleast try to breake that record although it will probably take some years. . .

If anybody wants to help me do this and live near Manchester (England), please PM me.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:55 PM   #307
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hEllo, eXcuuuSe mE EstY I HAveN't REcoveREd YeT, THe mEn iN WhitE cOaTS BROUgHT mE A niCe CoaT WitH loTs oF StRaPS anD tOLd My MothER To GivE mE piLLs:

THREE PILLS ARE GIVEN TO KEEP ME SO CALM
SEVEN IS TAKEN TO MAKE MY HEAD STONE
NINE I TAKE TO KEEP ME FROM HARM
ONE PILL I SWALLOW SO I AM ALONE
IN MY NICE JACKET WHERE I CAN'T MOVE MY ARM.

Other than that I am perfectly sane.

No I'm not.

Yes I am.

Not.

Am.........................................
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:00 PM   #308
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
I suppose we could make do with always wearing fluffy slippers to emulate excessive foot hair - sounds nice and comfy so I wouldn't be averse to it.

....

Oh yes I would go for that, I have some nice panda slippers ....
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:50 PM   #309
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Silmaril

I might jump ship and move to Britain next year. Canada is also a distinct possibility. Ya'll know what that means, don't you?

There will be no excuse not to meet me.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:59 PM   #310
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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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
It is my plan to atleast try to breake that record although it will probably take some years. . .
Well you will be doing better than me - the number of barrow downers I have met has decreased by 50%.....
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:00 PM   #311
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Silmaril

The footprints are very post-modern.
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Old 09-28-2006, 04:39 PM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen
Well you will be doing better than me - the number of barrow downers I have met has decreased by 50%.....
Huh ?
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Old 09-28-2006, 05:20 PM   #313
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This summer, I'll be in London on July 2nd or 3rd through the 4th or 5th this summer, and then in Oxford and then Stratford after London. Then it's on to Ireland and then Wales...

Of course, it is one of those *educational* trips, and so I will not have much just 'free time' in London, but, I'm sure I'll have enough time and freedom to at least say hello and *hang* for a bit.

If anyone's brave enough to say hello.

And to any East Coast US BDers who'd be interested: I plan on going to Otakon this year, if anyone would like to go and perhaps meet up for a bit.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:27 PM   #314
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Shield

I actually met Orominuialwen back in August.

I had headed up to Madison, WI. to help a friend move into her apartment and I was able to break away from my friend for a bit and set up a meeting time with Oro.

Though time wasn't on our side we ended up having a nice long conversation about school and friends and stuff of the like. It was so much fun to meet a fellow Downer, especially one as fun and funny as Oro was. Even though our meeting went well I found out later her parents were convinced I was a middle-aged man who was out to abduct her, after she didn't pick up her phone.
In any case it was wonderful to meet someone off this site. It gives real personality to her posts now.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:08 AM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
I forgot to tell about my meeting with Spawn and Lommy earlier this summer.
Hey, we forgot it too... Though, I'm about to do something to it, even later than you...

We had a lot of fun and Rune told us about a freaky Finnish woman he had met while working in Roskilde Festival (I hope he didn't assume me and spawn be like her).

It was really great and Rune and spawn were both really lovely. Spawn is not as scary as she sometimes seems to be here, though I assure you she's as friendly and funny.

Rune talks a lot (and that's a good thing) and is almost as crazy as here. (Though he's maybe somewhat hmm... kinder and calmer than here... ) RL-Rune and BD-Rune are quit similar, but I still can't help imagining Rune (when I see his avvie) as a Karl Marx -looking guy.

It was quite odd to meet fellow 'downers, but only positively so. They were both so nice people that I'd like to see them again sometime. Spawn lives quite near (in the neighbouring city) so I hopefully will see her in the future, but I might have more difficulties with seeing Rune...

And I envy you all brits who get to meet everybody...
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:55 AM   #316
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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.
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Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne
Huh ?

The Downers I met were Lalwende and davem.....
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:14 PM   #317
Rune Son of Bjarne
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But Davem decided to return. . .

Edit: I have been informed that Davem is "gone" again, quite upsetting
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Old 09-30-2006, 03:25 PM   #318
Mithalwen
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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.
It is .....well I find it so, especially having encouraged him to return when we met. I still can't quite believe he is banned. Seems such an unlikely turn of events all in all....
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:25 PM   #319
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Yes. Quite baffling.
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:44 PM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith
Yes. Quite baffling.
x 2. What's going on?
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