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Old 06-13-2005, 01:59 PM   #441
peony_foxburr
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Silmaril *brushes the dust from her cloak*

My, my, it has been a long journey, though my last visit to the Barrow-downs was not as far back as I had thought...Just a bit too much going on in RL to keep up with all my hobbies. How appropriate that much of this last page is about gardening, as that has been my primary preoccupation in the last two months. Those of you on the East Coast share my ambivalence about the month of continuous rain giving way to continuous heat and humidity...The tomato plants, however, are loving it!
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Old 06-13-2005, 05:45 PM   #442
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Thumbs up

Welcome, Peony. I don't believe we've ever met since I was not involved in the Walk to Rivendell where you often posted. But it is good to see you on this thread.

It's interesting to me how many folk who love gardening seem to be interested in Tolkien. Tolkien's love of trees and other green things certainly comes through loud and clear in his tales. Alas, I have never had a gift of a green thumb though I can appreciate this talent in others.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:00 AM   #443
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Hello Peony! While not on technically on the east coast I do know what you mean about the humidity! Looks like this year the string beans might do just fine....

And Child , don't forget a good walk in the woods, whether to Rivendell or elsewhere. Over the weekend I found an unbelievably beautiful park that I had not known about. And I didn't even have to paint my thumb green to enjoy it!

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Old 06-14-2005, 06:04 AM   #444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age
It's interesting to me how many folk who love gardening seem to be interested in Tolkien. Tolkien's love of trees and other green things certainly comes through loud and clear in his tales. Alas, I have never had a gift of a green thumb though I can appreciate this talent in others.
I've always had a love of trees and wildlife, despite being from a farming background (not all farmers view these things in such a benevolent light ) and this was amplified by reading Tolkien - I didn't quite realise until he articulated what I had always felt.

I'm not so green-fingered (as we say in the UK) myself, and I do have some sad gardening failures, but I find it's a satisfying hobby, and as time-consuming or easy as you want it to be. I personally got into it as a way of alleviating depression, it provides fresh air, a chance to be creative, exercise and a sense of fulfillment. And it results in a nice place to go and sit and contemplate.
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:29 AM   #445
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thumbs and fingers

The secret to being green-digited is knowing what will survive in your yard despite all odds and against all foes. I've planted many pretty things; many have died. Now few are left-- but what's left is very tough. In my Rhode Island yard: standard New England shrubs (lilac, forsythia) as well as daffodils, bleeding hearts, feverfew, spiderwort, Rose Campion, wild campion (some would consider it a weed), "Love in a mist" (Nigella), cosmos, morning glories, four-o'clocks, and a local fall favorite, New England asters -- more pretty 'weeds'. All of these either reseed themselves or spread by their roots. No fuss neccessary.

You live in Texas, right? Find out what grows in Texas, and give it a bit of room. From that list, I'd start with blackeyed susans, beebalm, coreopsis, bachelor button, toadflax (I love toadflax!!!!!) , butterfly weed, and spiderwort. Water them when they begin to droop. Keep a half an eye on them for the main part of the summer, and then forget them. Let them go to seed. Some will survive. Some will die. Smile!!! Next year, the survivors will spread.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:13 AM   #446
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And a nice thing too, is often times the scraggly stuff comes back with gusto the next year! I'd like to replant the bed under the my front windows, but haven't the heart to dig up the hardy troopers now thriving there. My daughter hasn't the same sentimental attitude though, and as a result the dish pan containing her crayfish and tadpoles boasted some very pretty daffodils.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:46 AM   #447
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I love how a garden is called a 'yard' in the USA, when what I call a garden is in actual fact a yard - a yard over here being very small and intended solely for drying your pants in, not really for cramming as many plants as possible into.

Foxgloves are my favourite self-seeders, as they are beautiful plants, despite being highly poisonous . I've been waiting to see what colour mine would come out as this year, and it's traditional purple, but you can get white, and even orange coloured ones.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:37 PM   #448
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White Tree *studies fingers carefully*

Depending upon what I've been weeding, their color might be anything from brown to yellow (sap from a Eurasian wildflower that wants to take over the world)...

Yes, my philosophy is also that of "let the toughest plants win." Well, to a point--otherwise I'd be raising ragweed and dandelions. But there's no point in fighting whatever soil type, light exposures, and climate you find yourself coping with. I will nourish the soil with composts and organic fertilizer, mulch it to retain moisture and reduce weed competition, and provide water when Nature hasn't given up that one inch of rain weekly we are told we can expect in New England summers. But any plants that need even minimal attention (such as deadheading, or watching out for insects in their seasons) are close to the house.

I also found that my interest in gardening didn't really show itself until I moved to a house where there WAS space enough to make a garden. So, you never know...
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:45 PM   #449
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Quote:
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a Eurasian wildflower that wants to take over the world.
What'ss it called, eh, preciouss??? What'ss it look like? Doess it bloom nicce, preciouss? Is it sshowy? Is it ssplashily sspectacular?

Speaking of taking over the world... I forgot Jill-Run-Over-The-Ground, which also sometimes gets called Jill-Take-Over-The-Ground. And we wouldn't forget Lily of the valley, would we, preciouss? No.
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Old 07-09-2005, 07:24 PM   #450
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How is everyone?
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:31 AM   #451
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Can't complain. How are you? I haven't run into you for quite a while. Thought you might have run off with a pack of dwarves or elves or something!
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:42 AM   #452
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I'm fine too - returned from my US trip over a week ago. The highlight of that was definitely meeting Sharon and Thenamir and going to the LotR exhibition in Houston! I had a fantastic day, met two wonderful members and their families, and was fascinated by the costumes, props, and other exhibit items. I have a photo to prove it; it will be up on Tigerlily's BD page as soon as she has time.

Now I'm looking forward to the next Tolkien event - 'Tolkien 2005' in Birmingham next month! I'm getting really excited about the activities there, am hand-sewing the trim onto the burgundy-colored Arwen-style dress I will have as a costume, and have made plans to meet the other Downers who will be there. I very much look forward to hearing lectures by the experts, seeing artwork by Anke-Katrin Eissmann (the very talented young German artist from whose picture my avatar was taken) and others, watching the plays and other entertainments...
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:59 AM   #453
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Now you're just being mean Esty, with your litany of exciting events. I get to spend my summer 'vacation' renovating the house....
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:24 AM   #454
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Hello Everyone.

I'm well, just preoccupied with life in general.

Our renovation is nearing an end, though it won't be the August deadline we had hoped for. I'm beginning to concur with Birdland's suggestion to hire a band of dwarves to do the job and be done with it.

Being the Elf that I am, I'm anxious to get a garden planted at the house. I'ts been just dirt for so long...

We took time out yesterday and went to Seattle. The Seafair Pirates landed and sacked the village. Fortunately Elves hold no attraction for Pirates, and I was left pretty much alone.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:01 AM   #455
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Palantir-Green

Feeling a tad lousy, but otherwise looking forward to being an aunt in about a month.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:04 AM   #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde Bracegirdle
Can't complain. How are you? I haven't run into you for quite a while. Thought you might have run off with a pack of dwarves or elves or something!

Two small hobbits. Very small. And my Strider, of course.

The hobbits are fond of the water, and they don't speak Westron. I am having the time of my life.



They do need hobbit-names. And maybe an elvish name too. Hmmm, something to think about. The elder is a very deep thinker, somewhat Frodo-like, and the younger is very Pippinish.

Edit: Phura and Gamba might be appropriate names...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:24 AM   #457
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Ah, small hobbits and fond of water too! That explains quite a bit. You and your Strider must be having to keep a sharp look out for any mischief that might find them unawares!

Sounds as if some exciting and productive vacationing is going on. I'd even settle for some home renovation, let alone travel.

Some local pirating might be arranged, as there is a swashbuckling moonlight costumed canoe trip in the offering (home in time for breakfast)….and of course the local Medieval Fair, which is in full swing.

EDIT: (Err...the canoes aren't costumed, of course, only the participants as far as I can tell.)

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Old 07-11-2005, 11:45 AM   #458
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Remind those Hobbits that boats are tricky enough without talk of "pushing and pulling". I thought of sending them another box of cookies, this time with rubber snakes in it, but didn't think the humor would be appriciated.

Sounds like a kick, Hilde! Our next Faire won't be till August, but I usually end up not going because I have no one to go with. It's so sad and boring by yourself!
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:13 PM   #459
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I already have a little resident someone goading me to go. (Strangely enough she likes water too.) We got her decked out nicely last year, and she even went in for a pair of hobbit ears, but she still passes for elf rather than hobbit despite them...sigh. I don't know if my little money purse can stand for us to go again. I've been told it is my turn this year, and my fashion consultant is rather too good at spending siftly. Now, a good pair boots would be nice....

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Old 07-11-2005, 03:06 PM   #460
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Hmmm. I know what you mean. I often cruise the second-hand stores looking for a good find, but then again I'm always buying fabric and patterns for another costume, too. I should have been an actor. I'd love to be in costume all the time.
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:48 AM   #461
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Wow. I mean, wow. I just found Frodo-breeches-- linen-- dark brown-- gorgeous. inexpensive. And at wElf-mart. I thought they were all burnt out on LOTR... guess they saved the best for last.

Not sure when I'll wear them-- fall I suppose; Sept 22-- but I bought them.
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:26 PM   #462
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Palantir-Green Oh, my....

I feel bad, ME of all people, forgetting that Mr. Frodo an' Mr. Bilbo's birthday was coming up !!! SHAME, Samwise ! *smacks own wrist*.

Frodo: Now, Sam, it's perfectly all right, you have that nephew coming, after all...

*Snuffles* Maybe, Mr. Frodo, but to me it's unforgiveable, regardless how many little people are comin' into my life, if you follow me...

Any way, speakin' of costumes for fairs and such, I know this lovely Elf lady that lives up North....she's wonderful at makin' such things....
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:21 PM   #463
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Had a bit of a Middle-earth moment...or possibly a 'senior moment' when passing a sign yesterday. Did a double take, as it said Haflinger horse for sale (I read Halflinger). I had known that the breed existed, but all I could think was '"Now how did a nice Shire pony end up in Amish country!" I suppose it is the best place for it though!

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Old 07-28-2005, 01:45 AM   #464
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Checking in after a long absence

Hello, all -- I do hope I'm not interrupting. I am back at the Downs for a bit, as RL has let up for the first time in months and months. It's a pleasure seeing so many names I recognize from my last visit.

Succinctly, I have been working very hard with a theater company for the last couple years, and after a nightmarishly intense spring and summer, I am giving myself a small break before I lose my mind completely. Hopefully this means more time at the Downs, at least until our artistic director comes back from Europe. Sigh.

Please, continue to 'talk among yourselves'!
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:06 AM   #465
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Welcome back, Alphaelin!! The Gaffers around here don't forget old friends; you're more than welcome to join in the fun again! You might enjoy checking out the new Books sub-forum for the Chapter-by-Chapter discussions of the LotR, if you're in the mood for serious stuff. Otherwise, there's always fun to be had at Mirth if no one's talking here. So pull up a rocking chair and make yourself comfortable!
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:34 PM   #466
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Hello, all
Swan Lake!!!! Welcome back!!! I hope all is well with you!!
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:36 PM   #467
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Boots

Thanks for the warm welcome back!

I hope to poke around the Forum and see what people are up to, but right now a rocking chair sounds great. I have been working 16 hour days for most of the last two months, doing my regular job and a temporary job connected with our production season, which is finally over. I was sort of pushed into the temporary position and was very worried about my ability to do the job right, so I was feeling stressed over it and not sleeping well, either.

However, I was able to keep up with my normal duties and the extra ones. In fact, I did much better than I expected to with the temporary job, and got to work with a terrific staff of college students/recent grads -- one of the very few things I fully enjoyed about the situation. The best description of the whole experience is "terrible and wonderful". (Wasn't that Garm's description of Giles of Ham's anger?)

And it didn't help that the day after I was done with the extra position, I had to drive our figure skater to a competition in Detroit (about three states away from us).

<settles into the nearest rocking chair, helps self to a tankard of Barliman's Best, and puts feet up>

I'm *still* tired
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Old 07-30-2005, 01:45 PM   #468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar
I'm fine too - returned from my US trip over a week ago. The highlight of that was definitely meeting Sharon and Thenamir and going to the LotR exhibition in Houston! I had a fantastic day, met two wonderful members and their families, and was fascinated by the costumes, props, and other exhibit items. I have a photo to prove it; it will be up on Tigerlily's BD page as soon as she has time.

Now I'm looking forward to the next Tolkien event - 'Tolkien 2005' in Birmingham next month! I'm getting really excited about the activities there, am hand-sewing the trim onto the burgundy-colored Arwen-style dress I will have as a costume, and have made plans to meet the other Downers who will be there. I very much look forward to hearing lectures by the experts, seeing artwork by Anke-Katrin Eissmann (the very talented young German artist from whose picture my avatar was taken) and others, watching the plays and other entertainments...

My only Tolkien related event of the summer has been doing some work for the Hotel Miramar where the Tolkiens spent much of their time in Bournemouth. I smile everytime the file hits my desk thinking of Edith actually having some fun ....

I am a litle torn though because my current office is virtually around the corner from their Bournemouth house and I feel I would like to see it before this assignment ends, but I wonder it is too intrusive - visiting the grave is one thing but this is someone's home? Obviously I would only pass by - not stop and take photos or peek in windows... but I still feel a bit uncomfortable about the idea.
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Old 07-31-2005, 05:46 AM   #469
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I don't see any reason why you shouldn't walk past the house, Mithalwen! After all, don't we all stop to admire some pretty flowers when we see people's gardens, and don't you think they'd be more flattered than aggravated? Just think what you will feel like later if you don't make use of this opportunity now!
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Old 07-31-2005, 06:40 AM   #470
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Quote:
I smile everytime the file hits my desk thinking of Edith actually having some fun ....
You made me me smile too with the thought!



Mithalwen, you have the right idea on what might irritate, and plan not to do it, so why not stroll by? I agree with Esty that it is better to go while you have the chance, than to kick yourself later for not having done so! Just a word of caution though, it would be unadvisable to dress like a cat burglar or in M-E costume as it might arouse suspicion.

Nice to see you back Alphaelin!
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:25 AM   #471
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Nice to see you back Alphaelin!
<waves from rocking chair>

Thanks, Hilde -- as I said, it's good to be back.

Mithalwen, I am envious of your dilemma. To see or not to see one of the Tolkiens' houses...lucky thing. I am sure you would not do anything horrible like stand there gawking for half an hour, or take pictures. Surely people go back and forth in front of the house all the time -- who could object to one more person stolling by?

And Estelyn! I am downright pea green at your upcoming visit to Birmingham. I have been there, alas, with non-Ringheads, so didn't get to see any Tolkien-related sites. However, I can tell you that the jewelry quarter there is fun to stroll through.
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:03 AM   #472
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Rae! How's the West Coast Elf?

Not that I'm stalking you or anything.

**GAH** I can't believe you logged off.
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Old 08-05-2005, 05:47 PM   #473
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Wow, I really need to wipe the dust off my rocking chair!

Hello HelenHobbit and hello all my friends! The West Coast is as hot as everywhere else and this Elf is melting! Can't wait to get into my house! The renovations are nearing an end and the Elvenhome is blessedly cool!
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Old 08-07-2005, 11:31 AM   #474
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Originally Posted by Hilde Bracegirdle
You made me me smile too with the thought!



Mithalwen, you have the right idea on what might irritate, and plan not to do it, so why not stroll by? I agree with Esty that it is better to go while you have the chance, than to kick yourself later for not having done so! Just a word of caution though, it would be unadvisable to dress like a cat burglar or in M-E costume as it might arouse suspicion.

Nice to see you back Alphaelin!

Well you know..... it was such a nice evening on Friday and with the post gone no more could be done re the dead line so I drove the mile or so and had a look. And well ..... the house is fairly hideous but no more so than many bungalows of it's era, and I know that such (since they are very common in these parts) often compensate for their exteriors by spacious and practical interiors and the location well perhaps I should explain? The area is a seaside resort that became popular as a retirement resort. The conversion of the local college into a Unihas brought in more youngsters but basically there are so many old people around here that the shop windows are bifocal. Despite the recent tendancy to demolish 1 house and build 2 or more in its place, it is an area of mainly leafy suburbs with pockets of deprivation in betweeen the sea and proper countryside (New Forest/ Hardy's Wessex). The Tolkien's bungalow is on the fringes of Canford Cliffs where the property prices are teh highest in the country (if you are american, the equivalent might be the Hamptons or Boca Raton?). Tolkien's house is perhaps the humblest on the road but all things are relative.. there are a couple of architect designed houses which are probably worth squillions... which face the sea but Tolkien's backs on to Branksome chine, which could almost be a mini Rivendell. A steep tree lined gully, very peaceful and pretty in the sunshine and with the sea and view of the Island just the other side (or down the road).
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:55 PM   #475
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Well you know..... it was such a nice evening on Friday and with the post gone no more could be done re the dead line so I drove the mile or so and had a look.
Mithalwen, I'm so glad you decided to see the Tolkiens' bungalow. It sounds like you offended no one, and you've written the rest of us an admirable description of the house and its surroundings. Thank-you!
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:49 AM   #476
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…there are so many old people around here that the shop windows are bifocal.
Now there’s a thought, better patent that idea Mithalwen! Only what strength would be most common? Good for the jeweler's store too, I should think!

Thanks, for the wonderful description of the house and its neighborhood as well. I didn’t know that we would benefit from your excursion, but am so glad that you took the time to share your impressions with us. I couldn’t help but think a bit of an upscale Bagshot Row lying alongside Bag End.
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:02 AM   #477
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Not far off actually Hilde. Definitely more Baggins than Took or Brandybuck. Comfortable, prosperous, bourgeois not aristocratic, (self-made money not inherited) ...also plenty of other Midlanders made good ...
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:07 PM   #478
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some pics.... this is one of the houses I mentioned

http://www.nqsouthern.com/digitalpub...rticle_id=2632

http://www.jurassiccoast.com/media/i...Medium_110.jpg

http://www.francisfrith.co.uk/images...h/13/25519.jpg

http://www.vknight.co.uk/Rl2/shadbr.jpg

sorry can't find a recent photo... but the property above is not the most expensive on the road!!!!!
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:19 AM   #479
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Oh my, the Francis Frith photo reminds me so much of Tolkien's landscapes. Perhaps it is the prefectly rounded pathway that does it. But I suspect, at anyrate, that not all his descriptions (written or drawn) came straight out of thin air. I just can't picture him with the time to sketch!

(Sometimes I wish my house looked as empty as that! But where would I put my vast collection of dust bunnies? )

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Old 08-10-2005, 12:30 PM   #480
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I just can't picture him with the time to sketch!
Oh, but he did! In the book J.R.R.Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator there are a number of his sketches of various real locations! (There's a thread in 'Books' on the topic, started by yours truly, if you're interested.)
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