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Old 06-19-2011, 11:59 AM   #1081
skip spence
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skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Had Rune over last night. We had a nice dinner and then some Orc draughts and then went out to see what the night had to offer. Then something happened but I don't remember it too well.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #1082
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
Had Rune over last night. We had a nice dinner and then some Orc draughts and then went out to see what the night had to offer. Then something happened but I don't remember it too well.
I think you may be right, Gammel Dansk is probably just a comercialised version of Orc draught.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:28 AM   #1083
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Wilwa and I had our second visitor of the Down's come to our little out of the way city. Formy, who was on his way home to Alberta from Boston, stopped in for the night last Thursday. We had dinner and sleepover at my place and then went for breakfast the next morning before he continued his journey.

He also brought us a little gift of food from Ms. Bethberry (thank you by the way, the cookies were delicious!! ).
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:18 AM   #1084
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He also brought us a little gift of food from Ms. Bethberry (thank you by the way, the cookies were delicious!! ).
Glad you liked them. And I would have to send you some berries, no?

Before Formy hit Rock City to visit with Wilwa and Glirdan, he passed through my little town and we had lunch together. A brief visit, but the conversation was good and the company better. Formy is every bit the gracious and loquacious (in a very positive sense) fellow I imagined him to be. Imagine two Albertans connecting via the Downs and then meeting in the dreaded confines of Eastern Canada!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #1085
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You guys could have told me you were meeting. I would have found the time to come and say hi as well.

(Which reminds me - Bethberry, would you like to meet a crazy fourteen-year-old sometime this summer?)
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:44 PM   #1086
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You guys could have told me you were meeting. I would have found the time to come and say hi as well.

(Which reminds me - Bethberry, would you like to meet a crazy fourteen-year-old sometime this summer?)
But Galadriel55, when I invited you to join Wellinghall Smial's Tolkien Reading Day, you said you couldn't, so I didn't think you could come for lunch. Have you changed your parents' mind?

Sure we could meet sometime this summer. Ferry to the island or a local park? The boardwalk at Kew Beach? A favourite Tim Horton's? PM me so we can arrange details.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:08 PM   #1087
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But Galadriel55, when I invited you to join Wellinghall Smial's Tolkien Reading Day, you said you couldn't, so I didn't think you could come for lunch. Have you changed your parents' mind?
One thing is going somewhere far without any good explanation, and another is "going to see a friend" that lives wherever I'm heading...

So no, I haven't changed their minds, but I found a good excuse.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:40 PM   #1088
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Indeed, they were a couple of delightful visits--it was delightful to see Wilwa and Glirdan again, and it was delightful to meet Bêthberry--my first new Downer since Bostonmoot. It's somewhat unfortunate that I was rushing through as quickly as I was, but I suppose a short visit is better than no visit.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:13 PM   #1089
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Eye

*waits for impending explosion*
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:30 PM   #1090
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Well...

You might be flooded with pics from the FinlandMoot, but nevertheless I'm sending you this preview of just some of us (we had 17 Downers here + a Downer child & a stalker of the Downs).

From left to right: Legate of Amon Lanc, Oddwen, Pitchwife, Volo, Rikae, Lommy, Kath, Greenie, Mac (& Annika), Hookbill and Aganzir

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Old 08-10-2011, 10:59 PM   #1091
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Heh, couldn't resist sending another one, this one from my place...

From left to right, again... Squatter, Lommy, Skip, Greenie (Annika), Aganzir, Shasta, Kath, Oddwen, Legate, Hookbill, Volo (back only), Rikae (hair only), Macalaure.

(Outside the pic: Rune, Estelyn, Pitchwife, myself)

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Last edited by Nogrod; 08-10-2011 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:51 PM   #1092
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
We really should have a picture album somewhere - I have similar shots. However, this one is, I think unique:

Cannonicity: The Musical!



(from left: Shasta, Aganzir, Hookbill, Greenie, Volo, Mac, Wereduckling, Kath, Lommy, Legate, Pitchwife, Rikae and Oddwen)
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:19 AM   #1093
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Thumbs up

WOW.

*awaits a bigger explosion*
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #1094
Estelyn Telcontar
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A picture may equal a thousand words, and some characteristics of people show in their faces, but I'm going to start a report about individual Downers, as I always enjoy reading what others have to say about the people they've met.

I must begin with a confession - I fell in love with one of the participants. The person is hilariously witty, absolutely charming, lovably cuddly - and two years old. I so enjoyed the WereDuckling! She will forget our encounter, I'm sure, but I'll always remember her adorable smile, and playing "oopsie spider" and "Hoppe Reiter" with her.

Oh yes, her parents were also present - I'd met Rikae and Mac before, but only briefly, so I enjoyed getting to know them better this time. They are fun to have around and a good-looking couple to boot.

I've met Squatter on numerous occasions and always enjoy hearing him talk about so many Tolkien matters with so much knowledge and erudition. He is as crazy as ever, especially in combination with Hookbill. Their conversations were often hilariously wacky. The esteemed editor of the Downer was so kind as to draw a special Phantom and Alien comic strip on the event page of my Tolkien scrapbook, which I shall photograph and show in the near future.

Fortunately for the reputation of the nation, there was one normal Brit attending - Kath! She is a delightful person! I met her briefly at Oxonmoot one year and enjoyed getting to know her better now.

Rune is another Downer I'd already met at other events, so his definitely strange sense of humour wasn't new to me. Conversation is never boring (and rarely family-friendly!) when he's around.

The rest of the participants were new to me, though familiar by nick from their forum posts, so I was very curious to meet them! I knew that Pitchwife lives in Germany, so leaving the country to meet him was a rather amusing detour. He's a very likeable and interesting person, and comes across as equally smart and witty, just like his posts.

Skip is another fascinating person to talk to, and musical as well. His guitar playing at the bonfire really added to the atmosphere - and he dances too! (Yes, he does have some resemblance to a Blues Brother when he wears sunglasses and a hat...)

Oddwen seems reserved at first, but when she says something, it's very, very funny! She has a wicked sense of humour and a way with words that make her interesting to be around.

Since Shasta posts mostly on threads that aren't as familiar to me, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, he was very easy to get to know, a great conversationalist with a real talent for performance and a charming smile.

I've often read Legate's thoughtful and well-written posts, so I looked forward to meeting him in person. He is just as intelligent as I expected him to be, and one of the people who actually thinks when talking! I also appreciated his friendliness as a guide when he accompanied me to an activity on one day which I would otherwise have had to do alone.

Like several of the other participants, Volo posts mostly on werewolf threads, which I don't often read, but his nick was familiar to me as the person who didn't let the Downs photo gallery die. He really does walk barefoot a lot, but if he's a Hobbit, then he's drunk too much Entdraught, because he's so tall and has such long hair! His personality is just as charming as his looks.

Last but most certainly not least come our wonderful hosts! All four of them encountered us with a great deal of warmth and they went all out to make us feel at home. They planned activities, cooked food, and were our tourist guides. Nogrod was the chief organizer, always willing to look up information for us and to figure out how to coordinate everything. He is also a wicked werewolf (player) who had lil' ol' inexperienced me completely fooled! I was one of the participants who stayed at his place, and his collection of books is mind-blowing. He is also very funny, and he plays guitar really well! He and Skip jammed together and we all enjoyed that.

Lommy is a sweetheart! She is such a friendly person, always making us feel comfortable and willing to show us around and explain the history involved in various sites to us non-Finns. And of course she's one half of a very cute couple!

What words can I use to describe Greenie that I haven't already used for others?! When she smiles, you feel like the sun rises. She is a very talented musician whose singing and kantele playing charmed and moved us.

Aganzir is both charming and wicked, and she has a talent for bringing out similar qualities in others. Her teasing conversation is always amusing but never mean. Besides that, she bakes very good bread!

Did I already mention that all four of them are great cooks?!

Anyway, staying with this whole group for so many days really made each of them special to me. It was hard to say farewell to them on the last evening and to leave in the morning. I'm glad I was able to be there with them all and had a wonderful time!
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:48 AM   #1095
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A CHRONICLE OF
FINLANDMOOT
AND
THE RETURN OF JON SNOW
(as seen by your humble servant, being the memoirs of Pitchwife from Germany, to be supplemented by an account of the participants and photographic evidence following as soon as I manage).

I arrived on Monday 1st and was picked up by Nogrod at the airport. After dumping my baggage at his place, we joined the rest of the Finns (including Legate as a Finn honoris causa) + Estelyn, Oddwen, Squatter & Hookbill, who had arrived before, on one of the lovely islands near Helsinki for a delightful seaside picnic. In the evening, we had dinner at Nog's, where Aganzir and Legate had a highly entertaining staring contest and Apples to Apples was played for the first time but not the last.

On Tuesday 2nd, some of us went to the Ateneum art museum where we saw a fascinating exhibition on the Magic of Lapland; sharing our impressions of the paintings and objects there was both fun and enlightening. For the evening, Lommy and Agan had secured the clubroom at their students' home for us, where we abused the pool table for playing table football and lots of other fun was had. By then, Rikae, Mac and the Wereduckling had arrived as well, as had a somewhat jetlagged Shasta (who had had bad luck with his plane connection and been stuck in Paris the night before).

On Wednesday 3rd, the whole of us (now including Kath, skip spence and BD lurker Annina) moved to Nog's family's log cabin in the middle of Finnish forests, between a lake and a swamp. After feasting on a yummy veggie chili cooked by Esty on the campfire, we much enjoyed the sauna (++beer for the pouring!) and a swim in the lake.

On Thursday 4th, skip led a fishing expedition which didn't catch anything but at least avoided getting Squatter drownded. Also, there had already been omens presaging that Rune (that "sad predictable piece of Danish meat", © Lommy) wouldn't be able to stay away from the moot; his arrival in the late afternoon was celebrated with a repast of crêpes, ice cream and freshly gathered berries. Later that night, the elderly fraction (Esty, Nog & myself) watched the rest of us playing the legendary Guardian game (which revolves around hiding in the forest and sneaking back to the campfire without being caught); lots of suspense there and very entertaining, I'd love to play that the next time.

From Friday 5th, the most memorable event has to be the RL Werewolf game of triumphant wolf victory, which has already been reported on on the TIG thread. Also, yours truly introduced the others to Obatzter (Bavarian beer cheese).

On Saturday 6th, we headed back to Helsinki (Annina, who was driving one of the other cars, leading me a merry chase on the way). After rejoicing in the blessings of civilization (the first hot shower in four days!) and having dinner together at a restaurant near Nog's place, we conducted a logistic experiment to determine how many Downers fit into Nog's living-room (answer: 17 + 1 Wereduckling) and indulged in surrealistic storywriting creativity fuelled by Rune's Quality Danish Mead. In the small hours of the night, the Gradual Crumbling of the Fellowship began with the Departure of Squatter (this being the Seventh Age, he was buried in an airplane instead of a boat).

On Sunday 7th we went to the island fortress of Suomenlinna, the Gibraltar of the North, where rehearsals for Cannonicity the Musical took place and Esty, Agan, Shasta and yours truly had an erotic cherry-eating contest. In the evening, we played paper telephone at Nog's and said goodbye to Rikae, Mac and the Wereduckling.

On Monday 8th we took a ferry across the pond to Tallinn (enduring gruesome dance music and even more gruesome karaoke on board), explored the lovely old town centre and had a delicious medieval lunch in highly immersive atmosphere at the Olde Hanse; also, skip unsuccessfully tried to teach me the tango on the ship (I'm still negotiating with Legate on the price for not posting the video he made of this event on YouTube). Back in Helsinki, the Crumbling continued with the much lamented departure of Rune.

On Tuesday 9th, some of us went to see the beautiful Temppeliaukio rock church and admire a stunning view of Helsinki from the Torni tower café twelve stories over the city. In the evening, we gathered once more at Agan's and Lommy's club room and had a farewell party for Esty and skip, who were to leave the following day. We played an outrageously funny name guessing game (unforgettable question from Kath: "Am I some kind of food ?"), Greenie played the kantele for us, and Esty read some pertinent passages from LotR; by the time she came to Sam's Famous Last Words, I think most of us had moist eyes - the occasion made us feel how much we had indeed grown together into a Fellowship during the past week, and breaking apart was hard; but as Gandalf said, "not all tears are an evil".

After that, it felt kind of strange to still be there the next day, and I rather dreaded going through more leave-taking, but we made light of it by going to listen to some interestingly weird live rock music in the evening and saying goodbye quickly between changing busses on the way home. In the early morning hours I caught the plane back to Frankfurt, and coming home felt - to borrow Frodo's words at the end of Homeward Bound - "like falling asleep again".
__________________________________________________ ________________

So far the memoirs of this chronist; but I hear there are more stories to be told which others will have to recount - most notably the forming of an ad hoc Downer band with potential to go far; watch out for Die Kunst der Wurst!

(Appendices to follow)
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #1096
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Since no one has yet posted the one group photo we took that has everyone on it, I'll add mine to augment Pitch's great report:

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:22 AM   #1097
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
We also managed to have three BD t-shirts to show off:



(Do I really need to add the names? You must know our faces by heart already... )
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #1098
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Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Pitchwife is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Left to right on Esty's pic:
Back row - Wursto, Pitchwurst, Nogwurst, Wurstikae, wurst spence, Wurstalaure + Werewürstchen, Shastanis Wurstreduin, Sausage of Amon Rûdh, Rune Wurst of Bjarne, Legate of Amon Wurst
Front row - Kathwurst, Aganwurst, Wurstelyn Telcontar, A Little Wurst, Oddwurst, Thinwurstien, Hookwurst the Goomba
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:24 AM   #1099
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Pitch, I can't rep you again (yet), but you just cracked me up!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #1100
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Palantir-Green

I think Pitchwife's summary of the Finlandmoot (especially accompanied by Nog's and Esty's pictures for a better idea) is worth Bilbo Baggins' Annual Literary Prize, and there would be very little to add. I believe it could be better described perhaps by the one who stood at the beginning of the abovementioned Die Kunst der Wurst Ensemble, that is, Hookbill Himself - at least he was the one who started humming during one long evening in Nogrod's appartment the mysterious words "Das ist Wurst, Das ist Wurst, ja", which ensued in chorus which can be readily compared to that of the thirteen Dwarves on a different evening in Bilbo Baggins' house. Nogrod then only did the simple thing that he recorded, polished and edited the sound - I am sure a link will appear here sooner or later, if there is interest. That, in case you readers haven't gathered that yet, was one of the greater activities we managed to do since Pitchwife left us; the other one, preceding it, and possibly worth mentioning, was visiting a local amusement park in Helsinki, where especially Shasta must have made the impression that he is a servant of Ulmo, given how many times (and maybe it was the magical seven times?) he attended one of the local rollercoasters, more specifically, the one whose speciality was drenching you in water at the end.

I would probably have very little to add otherwise to the already large account of the great Finlandmoot 2011 without feeling repetitive. Perhaps I might at least contribute with some impressions I have gathered, especially relating to the present 'Downers, of whom many I haven't met before. Generally, even though I am basically a naturalised Finn by now and have attended two such 'Downer meetings in that far northern country, the third time was this far the best time. Of course, it has been this far the longest moot and also with the largest number of participants.

I won't go speaking here much of the Finns, in whose company I have spent already quite a lot of time, but about those many whom I haven't met before. There was one whom I didn't know even much from posting on the 'Downs, and that was Squatter. I had read some of his posts in some older threads, but I didn't know anything more about him before meeting him. At first I wasn't sure how he is going to turn out, but after the initial moments of carefulness, which accompany every meeting with people you don't really know, he turned to be a cheerful companion with sense of humour, and supplied us all also with rather geeky Tolkien-esque material, including among others photos of baby Tolkien and "tourist guide" which could be well used for making a Tolkien-related pilgrimage, if anybody intended to visit the important places connected with the Professor's life. Simultaneously with Squatter, we had the arrival of Oddwen, whom I knew a bit better from 'Downs interactions, but still it was nice to meet her. I would say more of us will possibly agree that she turned to have a bit more wicked sense of humour than we have expected, but her sense of humour was an important addendum to the show, so to speak. Despite what I said about the wickedness, I think she is a lovely person, which was shown also by the memorable gifts she brought to all of us, mystical runestones with "G3" inscribed on them. With the two of them, we spent the first official day (or afternoon and evening) of Finlandmoot visiting Helsinki's forest which is for some reason called "the Central park", playing Apples to Apples and dissing Mel Gibson (for his performance in Braveheart - probably had something to do with Squatter's proud British heritage).

On the second day after the first guests' coming (not counting myself), there were two people who turned out to be very close to what I have imagined them as: Esty and Hookbill. I have yearned to meet them for a long time and now it happened both at once. Esty is as delightful a personality as she is on the 'Downs, very kind and very nice to talk to - part of that is also because she is very interested in everything and therefore one gets to speak about many things with her (it may seem to resemble a Pippin-Gandalf dialogue, even though the roles keep changing during the time). Her reading of LotR on her last evening was very emotional just as Pitch had mentioned. Hookbill, on the other hand, raises a different kind of emotions, as you can imagine if you have ever read The Downer, but he is also a nice and merry fellow (only his boots are not yellow). I also managed to get a Phantom and Alien cartoon drawing into my notebook, which I shall now bear proudly.

Next in the list of participants, by the date of arrival, would be Pitchwife, and here he already managed to tell everything about himself, I believe, so there are no surprises to be made. Now as for myself, I've been looking forward to meeting him, but the reality surpassed my expectations. How should I put it so that it does not sound like something ridiculous. .. Well, he is hilarious and German. Okay, that was definitely a bad way to do it. No, he's a lovely person, both witty and funny. And from now on, whenever I am reading his posts, I am sure I will imagine him saying it with his voice. His sudden yells of amused horror (or how should I put it), like when in live-Werewolf he caught Skip making a Wolfy slip -"If we don't kill an innocent today..."- (sadly he did not hold on to it), are something I shall remember probably for a very long time.

Shasta is a 'Downer I have played quite many Werewolf games with, but did not know him much otherwise. He surprised me completely, and in the most positive way. He is funny and has a great artistic talent, which I would almost envy him (his and Esty's performance of reciting the Ring-verse was one memorable experience). Even though it is obviously far more difficult for him to come to Europe than for the Europeans (and he could tell you about his adventures at the Paris airport), I would very much like to meet him again, too.

Rikae, Mac and the lovely Wereduckling (even though corrupted by Aganzir's education and taught to eat 'evil people') were other people on my list whom I really wished to meet at some point, and I really enjoyed meeting them, even though the time was really short to get to know them as much as I would have wanted. Well, at least the Wereduckling I managed to get quite well acquainted with (as everyone did, being pursued by her much of the time, see above for the explanation about 'evil people'), but also Mac and Rikae were very kind (with Rikae maybe having a bit mean streak to her, which worked well in encouraging people to play the "pointing game" and asking sometimes mildly mean questions to each other) and really reminded me of their Werewolf-selves, too (in the positive way!).

The last two... ahem, alright, three to have joined us, Skip and Kath and The Expectedly Unexpected Rune (of whom most people assumed that he won't be able to resist to come... and lo, he did!), I have met already once (in Rune's case twice) before, two years ago (uhh... has it been that long?). Rune has been around only briefly this time, but I think he tried to catch up the best way he could, and already knowing him well from before, it was fun to see him again. Skip this time had the proper chance to show his musical (and dancing... ) qualities, and also his skill as a fisherman in the Finnish lakes (and hence managed to amuse the Wereduckling with a couple of living fish in a bucket when we needed to take care of cleaning Nog and co.'s summer cabin). Concerning Kath, actually speaking of art, this time I was surprised to find out how really nice is her singing (as proven especially during the last days in relation to the Wurst ensemble, but also outside it). I am also baffled by how she can manage to be such a merry person all the time, basically working as a little sunshine (in that, possibly taking over a bit the Wereduckling's role).

All in all, the time we have spent together - from the summer cabin through Helsinki, its islands, Tallinn, amusement park, wherever we were - has been one of the loveliest in my life, and I am most grateful for all of it. Thank you, and once again, thank you all! And thank you, the Barrow-Downs... and as Esty had pointed out to us participants as well, thank you, Professor.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:04 PM   #1101
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I am sitting alone at home, eating leftovers (salad, sweet potato chips, cookies that Oddwen left here...) and drinking tea (not the delicious blood orange maté I got from Pitch but chai). I feel empty. As I said on Facebook, the great Finlandorgy seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded. Also, this is the first time I visit the Downs since March. Eek.

Way back when I created a Facebook event called The Big Barrow-Downs Finlandorgy, I didn't know how appropriate the name would be. Strictly speaking it wasn't an orgy, but the running jokes have never been so dirty in any other BD get-together I've been to. I am fairly sure this was because the average age of the participants was quite high (29 as opposed to like 22 as it was in the first Finlandmoot in 2008). Also, we started using considerably less alcohol when Esty and the grown-ups left (but to be fair, she didn't consume that much of it either).

I had met most of the people before, but seeing them again was fun and meeting previously less-known Downers even more so.

Legate, Rune and skip have been to Finland so many times that there probably isn't much new to say about them. It actually feels stranger when Legate isn't here than when he is, and it was odd that he wasn't the last one to leave. He should probably just move to Finland and be done with it.
It was great that Rune made it here too even if he could only be here for a few days. We were actually starting to get worried when the moot started and he was still of the opinion that he wasn't coming, but fortunately he didn't let us down.
Even if skip doesn't entirely understand my love of public transport, it was nice to meet him again too. He took me (and Squatter) fishing and it was fun even though the huge fish we almost caught managed to escape before we got it out. :-(

Kath is just as nice to cuddle with as I remembered, and I did that a lot. She's also funny, especially when she plays a dog. Woof-woof! I don't think I'll ever be able to forget her frustration when we played this 'guess which Tolkien character you are' game and she always got these weird animals etc.: "Am I a saucepan?"

One of my absolute favourite parts of the Moot was the day we came back from the cabin. I got up before 6am after two hours of sleep (one of which in the sauna - I was freaking cold after talking about politics and stuff with Squatter in the lake for an hour). Those of us with a comfortable pillow slept in the car but I think everyone was still quite tired when we got to Helsinki. It could have been a dreadfully dull morning with me replying to important-ish emails and Oddwen, Hookbill and Shasta drowsing in the kitchen, but the turning point was when Hookbill showed us a ri-pixie-dicilously funny, if rather vulgar Harry Potter video that enriched my vocabulary a lot and indirectly led to us sending the phantom a very rude message. In the afternoon we & Squatter marched in Slut Walk Helsinki with Amnesty International's banners and played a game called Truth Be Told, which is basically about being nasty to your friends. We were good at it - and learnt all sorts of things about one another.

Oddwen is hilarious and wicked. As usual, we wrote these stories (write two lines, fold the paper so the next player only sees the latter line, they write two lines and fold etc.) and the nastiest things were without exception written by her. She's my dear Malice Horace Manfred Manflesh and I look forward to meeting her again soon.

Hookbill is a demented nutter and it got quieter immediately after he left - besides it felt weird when there was nobody insulting Jon Snow (from A Song of Ice and Fire) anymore. In spite of having met Hookbill briefly before and reading the Downer regularly, I had no idea he would be so much fun to be around. I think the whole Wurst thingy started when he told a wacky story about how the only phrase he knew in German was Das ist eine Wurst.

Shasta sang songs as always: Be Prepared, his own version of My Favourite Things, his own version of Hey Jude (granted, he wasn't alone in inventing the new lyrics)... He and Oddwen were an insane team, they actually started to runefy classic fairy tales. They'll probably tell you more about it themselves though. Oh and guess what happens when it falls to Shasta and me to do the grocery shopping? On our way back home we sold the wine box we had bought to three alcoholics who offered to pay €5 extra for it. We had to go and buy a new box and the cashier guy looked at us very disapprovingly, but hey we got money!

Squatter is a sweetheart who put up patiently with me and the Wereduckling playing violent games with him. When at me & Lommy's place, he was kind enough to help damsels in distress and consume the disgusting bottle of pre-mixed Cosmopolitan that had been in our fridge for half a year since a friend of ours left it there. He really knows his Tolkien (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone) and has a crazy sense of humour. Also, he wears boots.

I was looking forward to talking to Rikae more, and I did. She's someone I absolutely adore. I seem to remember threatening to steal her from Mac, but she said he wouldn't mind. I'm so happy they could make it to Finland - and that they brought the Wereduckling along. She's a delightful girl and I had a lot of fun with her. At the end of the week I realised to my joy that her roaring had really improved during the time she spent here and she had learnt at least one new word: tyhmä which is Finnish for stupid (and a name for Hookbill who wouldn't die when we told him to). I also told her about Scar.

I really like Mac too even if I spent more time with the female members of his family. He's nice, helpful and funny, and he doesn't look as scary anymore as he used to. At least in real life. It's always been photos he's looked the scariest in anyway.

I can't remember who it was who first called Pitchwife Tom Bombadil, but they were more right than they knew! There's something really really Tom-like in Pitch - personality, looks, hat, you name it. What Legate said about his voice is also very true. And there's something kind of mysterious about him. I'm sorry about not getting to talk with him more, but that will hopefully happen in Wurstlandmoot. Or Britainmoot. Whichever is first.

Esty is drunk and disorderly. Not really. She just got the card in Apples to Apples. She's a kind, warm, lovely person - and really fun to be around. On our way to Tallinn, I ended up having a three-hour girl talk session with her which was something I had never expected but enjoyed tremendously nonetheless. It's a pity she couldn't be here till the end (but then again, that's the case with everyone else who had to leave early, too).

Here's a smaller group picture from Suomenlinna. It features Shasta, Kath, Oddwen, Hookbill, Greenie, Pitchwife and Legate.


And here's a photo of skip spence and Pitchwife dancing tango:


If someone wants to see the rest of the pictures Volo took and I posted on Facebook, the link is here.

I want to thank everyone who cooked, helped wash up and clean and carry stuff, brought us gifts etc. I'd also just like to thank everyone who came here because I had a wonderful time. Thanks for existing. Thanks Barrow-Downs. Thanks Professor. ♥
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:55 PM   #1102
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You all look amazing! Legate's hair grew some and a bit since his last picture that I've seen. The Wereducking is adowabul.

I wish I was there.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:08 PM   #1103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
Nogrod then only did the simple thing that he recorded, polished and edited the sound - I am sure a link will appear here sooner or later, if there is interest.
Yeah, only the simple thing of compiling five files ranging from two half a minute rhytmical recordings, two 2½ minute aleatoric ones with a 15 minutes discussion section broken down by accidental bursts of singing into a whole that had kind of a dynamic of it's own and made sense also musically, adding parts of the layers on top of layers from different recordings... You know I do these with my left hand...

But for those who do not have a FB-account there's now a version of it in Youtube as well. You can find it from here.

You can get it from FB as well, from https://www.facebook.com/video/video...=1729962387372.

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Old 08-16-2011, 05:20 PM   #1104
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200 out of 1400+ pictures uploading...
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #1105
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Originally Posted by Nogrod View Post
Yeah, only the simple thing of compiling five files ranging from two half a minute rhytmical recordings, two 2½ minute aleatoric ones with a 15 minutes discussion section broken down by accidental bursts of singing into a whole that had kind of a dynamic of it's own and made sense also musically, adding parts of the layers on top of layers from different recordings... You know I do these with my left hand...
That 'simple', of course, was an irony, in case it wasn't clear to people
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #1106
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My emotional jet lag is still half on after almost a week. It was a real treat to host a bunch of such amazing people. Among my favourite moments during the Moot were the mornings at the cabin, waking up in a room full of sleepers and thinking, ”My biggest problem in the world at the moment is how to get out of this room without stepping on a 'Downer.” Needless to say, I miss each and every one of them and would trade my current dilemmas for that one any day.

Esty (Grandma) was warm and open and lovely, genuinely interested in everything and everyone. I miss our few serious discussions about life and music (want more of those!!), as well as not being the only hopeless quote-machine with a song or a quotation for everything anyone says.

Hookbill ((Dead) Horse, Jim Snow, Wurst McWurst or Tyhmä) was both more and less crazy than I had thought, kind and sweet and entertaining and an essential part of our group. I miss our slow mornings of making tea and talking about serious stuff or random stuff or not talking at all.

Kath (Dog-dog, Mutterwurst or the Normal Brit) is a cuddly sweetheart, lovely to everyone every single minute of every single day! She is the ideal person whether you want a hug, a serious talk or a moment of hilarious banter. I miss our tired airport afternoon of baked potatoes and gossip.

Mac (Evil Papa, can't remember if he was nicknamed something else as well) is kind and helpful, but has also a very evil laugh and a lovely, quiet, sardonical sense of humour. I miss his hilarious facial expressions, whether at the baby or just in general.

Oddwen (Malice, Manfred, Horace, Manflesh, Keine Wurst or Mew-mew) is reversed. No. She is wicked and hilarious, easy to get along with, an amazing singer and just generally awesome. I miss her way of flashing a really happy grin whenever our eyes met.

Pitchwife (Tom Bombadil) got more hilarious by the day, and his performance in the Erotic Cherry-Eating Contest provoked Legate to shout ”I can't watch!” He is also very kind and helpful, always volunteering to lend a hand in whatever needed doing. I miss his catching voice and the unexpected dirty jokes that always took us by surprise.

Rikae (Evil Mama, she, too, probably got some other nickname as well but I can't remember any!) is gorgeous. There's just no other word. She also brings me in mind of an elf and has a lovely laugh. I miss our brief conversations about forests and writing on the back seat.

Rune (Sad and Unpredictable Piece of Danish (Quality) Meat) turned up too which was only appropriate as a Finlandmoot is not really a Finlandmoot without him. He was great with the baby which was cute, and I miss trying to read his Danish newspaper over his shoulder: ”A man was stoned on the beach?” ”Yes.” ”Yay, I know Danish!”

Shasta (Evil Dragon, Dinner, Kinderwurst or Ee-ee) was just as much of a darling as I remembered though he did climb trees instead of rocks this time. He is charming and cuddly, and I miss playing with him in the swing or on a seesaw, as well as our random fights (I usually never fight with anyone!) and shared outbursts of Danny Boy.

Skip (did he ever receive an unflattering nickname? If so I can't remember it ) too provided us with no surprises but continued to be his smiling and good-natured self, among other things playing ”Twinkle twinkle little star” countless times for the Wereduckling. I miss Nog and his jamming sessions that were among the cutest moments of our time at the cabin.

Squatter ((Dead) Horse) is a lumberjack with a really nice voice. He is hilarious and entertaining as well as kind and polite, and I miss how all our talk turned, in the end, to dissing either Scotsmen or Mel Gibson or both.

Last but not least, the Wereduckling was adorable, and provided us with much entertainment and entertaining nicknames (a good part of those mentioned in this post are given by her). It was concluded that every 'Downs gathering should include a toddler. I agree; she brought such cute sides out of people! I miss her giggles and her singing, and yes, even her tugging at my earrings in the car.

Naturally, the Moot also featured the Finns and more-or-less Finns, ie. Nog (Evil Man or Vaterwurst), Legate (Messy or Wurst Ja!), Volo (the phantom), Agan (Bad Monster, Pixiewurst or Penguin-penguin), Lommy (Evil Egg or Darth Wurst) and myself (Mean Dragon, Autowurst or Evil Papa Fish).
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #1107
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Thumbs up There is no slander in this post... Okay, maybe a bit...

You know, I did write out a post for this thread the night I got back but there were technical difficulties (read: I closed the tab by accident). But I think I can remember what to say...

So, yeah, Finlandmoot was cooler than Lommy's frozen penguins! But lets talk about some of those peoples, shall we?

The first Downers I met were Legate and Lommy who were patiently waiting for me at the airport, ready to have me bagged, tagged and shipped off to some people trafficking group. If not for my pre1996 computer-like speed, they might have gotten away with it too!

It took me a few minutes to make my brain click that these two interesting peoples were actually those Downers that I'd known for years. Once it slotted into place it was as if we'd known each other for a little more than five minutes.

Legate is a fine chap with hair that would melt your heart (seriously, it's on fire a lot of the time). He can effortlessly flick from serious business man to absurd wide-eyed-death-glare maniac in moments! It's really quite impressive!

Lommy is charming and has this hyper streak that makes every conversation that bit more exciting! She was always very sweet and endearing, but also something of a grounded counterbalance to the craziness that was Aganzir. Not that Lommy isn't also a bit bonkers - she most certainly is!!

Speaking of which, Aganzir is mad! MAD, I TELL YOU! I had met her very briefly before, long ago in the cold of winter. But here in Finland we got better acquainted. When not regaling us with her vulgar dreams of vulgarity, she was usually biting people or else teaching small children to bite them for her! That being said, it all hides deep down (I think it's VERY deep down under many layers of malicious and insane violence) a very caring person who always managed to keep us organized. Sometimes resorting to making this odd clicking noise that will haunt our dreams forever!!

Now then, Nogrod is a blast! A laid back old greaser who will never be too old to rock and roll (but shall always, we pray, remain too young to die)! His hospitality was grand and he was an excellent host. When not under pressure to entertain one could imagine him pulling a pipe out and blowing smoke rings above all our heads while he pondered philosophical and, at the same time, drew offensive paper telephone pictures.

(I realise I'm going out of order of when I met people already, but who cares, really? You do? Well, sorry... um... Have a cup cake).

Esty I'd met at a few Oxonmoots. Every year she gets younger, I am sure of it! Though she has been stealing a lot of magic rings lately... Anyway, she always brightens the atmosphere and can be just as sharp and vile as the rest of us when she wanted to, no longer bound by her moderator oaths! Her bright colours and personality are always welcome at a moot!

Squatter, once again, is a fellow I was already acquainted with. Southerner though he is, we share a mutual love for all things on the odd side. Though hatless, he still remained a fit and proper member of our group.

A Little Green is a fine soul possessed of a gollum impression that puts other to shame. Though sometimes quiet in the mass of madness going on all around, she always had this look about her - that she was plotting SOMETHING! She can play a mean guitar and whatever that magical instrument of witchcraft was! More often than not the first to wake and make absurd teas - and this is something I can respect. We had many a discussion of the politics of the day as well as just general silliness.

What to say about Oddwen? Well, she certainly has earned her place as The Downer's odd expert! Also a budding photographer, judging by the sheer volume of snaps she took, Oddy has that mad-cap laugh and down right terrifying grin that will steal the scene if every she chooses! Always ready to lend a helpful word of humour and more than capable of slipping into the background until you least expect her to jump out and KILL YOU... um... I said no slander, didn't I?

Volo is a dark horse, and also a brilliant fellow of messianic proportions! Also, he defended my honour against those who said that corduroy was not cool. IT IS, by Eru's mighty beard! He's a dear for allowing me (and others) to constantly steal his hat and sunglasses. That's what Jon Snow said.

Mac, of the impressive beard, won my affections when I spotted him sporting a Green Party T-Shirt. Not that he hadn't already impressed us all with his wood cutting skills!

He and Rikae made a lovely addition to the moot - wouldn't have been the same with out the pair of them bouncing off one another with deep thoughts and craziness in equal amounts... Okay, maybe the crazy was a little more, but you get the idea! I'm trying to be nice! Don't call the men in white coats!

Shasta I hadn't interacted with much on-line, an omission I regretted very quickly! He's got a sharp wit and a nothing-but-nonsense attitude to pretty much everything around him! He seemed to appreciate the dark, rude and over-the-top humour that flew around - even encouraging it a lot of the time! The guy needs a Stetson, though.

Skip is Mr. Cool. He glided into the moot in a pair of shades and it wasn't long before he had his hands around a guitar. A mean werewolf player, but with a wolfish grin that nearly gave him away. Always laid back and probably with a beer in his hand, I'm sure he could probably drink Rune under the table, but nobody would notice. Except him. He'd know, and that would be all that mattered!

Rune is a man I'd met a few times before. I like meeting him because he's taller than me and this makes me feel normal. He gained something of a reputation though his business of selling quality beef... And other quality 'products' and 'services'.

Pitch is someone to be reckoned with! Sharp as Narsil and wacky as Mr Blobby with a concussion! Calm and collected, he takes his time with thoughts, but when they come out he usually has this way of blowing us all away with something completely brilliant or completely mad! Usually accompanied by a puff of smoke! And he was not offended by my woefully limited knowledge of German, which extended to "wurst" and a couple of Kraftwerk lyrics.

Kath I'd met once before at a long forgotten Oxonmoot, so it was nice to meet again properly! She was called "The normal Brit", but I know for a fact she was nothing of the sort! She had the same bizarreo sense of humour as the rest of us and just let her try and deny it! She'd surprise us all with a sudden dirty joke or else dump her feet on top of your head when she was tired.

Have I missed anyone? I hope not. If I did, feel free to have me thrown to the wereducklings!
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:56 PM   #1108
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Heh, I see a lot of posts being sent to this thread and reading them makes me realise the loss of not having you guys around any more - while the school-start and the numerous choir-practises & gigs have kept me busy from even thinking about the Moot for a week now. I see many of you have done this "person to person" -thingy... Let's see where I get when I start a bit differently.


So we had initially this idea that we'd bring Rikae, Mac & the Wereduckling here to my place as they'd have a room of their own with an ability to shut the door and maybe the others wouldn't disturb her sleep if we brought Esty, Squatter and Pitch here as well (thus Esty could have a room of her own as well and wouldn't be forced to sleep in a shared bed with a random person possibly half her age).

Explaining this to the New Yorkers on our way from the airport I got smug smiles and some laughs... "it's not that the Wereduckling couldn't sleep if there was noise, but rather no one else would be able to sleep if she decided to be on that mood".

Happily she was tired enough the few evenings she stayed at my place that there was no problem with that. But anyway my place turned out to be "die älter-haus das Deutsches-volk" (whatever the correct German would be for that), aka. the old-timer house for the Germans - with Squatter who seemed to be more or less fluent in German as well...

But if I'd thought of my place being the one where people could (or would) sleep unlike in the "Youth Hostel" Lommy & Aganzir were having, well I was soo wrong!

I don't know about each and every night at their place but we did actually stay awake at nights: keeping company to Squatter who needed to set off about 6am to the very end and pushing him into the taxi, sleeping two hours to drive the New Yorkers to the airport at 4am, sending Esty off around the early hours while taking up all the on-line duties neglected, sitting with Pitch the whole night talking and sharing pics others had posted on FB until the morning... And that was all great fun even if it did end up with some major sleep-deprivation.

It was not a purposeful act to try and separate the younger ones from us oldies but it was, I still think, the smoothest of arrangements (look above what I said about our pre-thoughts about the Wereduckling) and I think it worked out just fine. I had some really good time with Squatter, Esty and Pitchie, and the New Yorkers - even if their energy was oftentimes concentrated on the Wereduckling who is, to make it mildy, a strong personality, well a character. (And I do love her for that even if she yelled and cried all the boat ride from the Zoo to the harbour making other kids on the deck stick their hands into their ears... )


Sure, the logistics were a problem, but we managed it quite well in the end. We went to our summer cabin for a few days not only to give our guests a chance to experience the "middle of nowhere between the forests and the lakes" in Finland but also because that was one of the only places we could get all of us being together and not needing to mind about the neighbours, but surprisingly we also managed to crowd my place with all of us aboard a few evenings and the "club-room" of Lommy's & Aganzir's place was just priceless (priceless also in the way that it cost us nothing). So somethnig we were afraid of (well at least I was) just worked out fine as we got enough places to fit us all - as in the end of the Moot with dwindling numbers we had nice evenings both at my place and at Lommy's & Agan's. The Kinderwurst und Autobahn was recorded at my place with all of those left involved...


~*~

But even if I had some better chances to get to know Esty, Squatter and Pitchwife (and the New Yorkers for a few days), I do think it was really an easy going-time with the others as well.

I do think I know Legate already more or less well, and I have met Rune, Skip and Kath a few times already, so there were no surprises there as they were their lovable persons as ever. I had also met the New Yorkers, Shasta & Oddwen the last summer we toured the US. and they were more or less as I remembered them to be - although I have to join the chorus of saying that Oddwen is much more sinister and fun person I learned her to be last year - and that is a compliment!



~*~

But what about the people I met the first time?


Esty is just a heart of gold. Something that tells a lot about her is the following...

After our first evening gathering at my place we woke up the the next day and after breakfast she asked whether she could do the dishes. I was kind of undecided (as I don't like to put my guests into work), but she took my indecisiveness as a "yes" and said she would interpret that as a stable yes as to anything that needs to be done in the kitchen... and she did hold onto to that! I think she did more than half of the dishes at my place while she was here...

But that's anly the kind of glimpse into her - even if a telling one. I really found her the most gracious, witty, intelligent, fun and entertaining person - and every lover of music is someone I have my heart open to as I do share the love. But above all I feel she is the caring person, one who has love and wisdom enough to just think of others more than herself. *bows*


Squatter, oh my... I've interacted with you in a few threads a time or two, but that is little. But I do remember Rune saying sometime that you are too intelligent... I don't know about the excess, but I loved your traditional "European learning", "bildung" a they say in German, and your Tolkien knowledge especially. Had we had more time I would have loved to dwell on some of the stuff you brought with you I o0nly got a glimpse with...

But way to go, you're just such a great person a well - even if some of the jokes you had with Hookbill went quite far over most of us others as we have no inside knowledge of every British humour series you shared the jokes about.

I met a young British aristocrat at the archeological excavation site I was in on 2004 in Israel - he shared my room with two other guys. You kind of reminded me of him... learned, witty, fun, warm - but in this odd way soo British intelligentsia you just can pick out from the French or Scandinavian ones.


Pitchwife: it was a great pleasure to have met you. Before I met you I was thinking whether you were a neo-liberal (libertarian) or a hippie. To my great comfort I found you a true hippie indeed (even if you don't like the categorisation), but you did actually make me re-think some of the things I had already been forced to reconsider after meeting Foley & Morm the last summer... even if we didn't exactly talk about that I just realised it after the fact that you guys have more in common you might think!

But politics aside, I really liked you and am looking forwards actually to redeem the hospitability; to see your hens and all the rest. Maybe one day, next summer... or the next?


Hookbill ho! Seeing your pics on the 'Downs I had always thought you were quite a short guy... could I have been more wrong? But on the other pre-beliefs I think you fitted quite well with my preconceptions... funny, intelligent, hearty, easy to go along with... actually I'm a bit jealous of those who said they had had nice political and moral discussions with you as I never get into that with you - which I would have loved to do as I think we share a host of convictions.

But maybe the next time?



~*~

It was a great two weeks even if I had to pull off at certain points to both keep up with my medical care and to prepare for the fall-semester. Great to have had you all here!!! To the next time, in the GB or Germany?

And remember you all are welcome to Finland any day you choose... after this summer we're confident we can manage any host of 'Downers here.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:08 PM   #1109
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One of these days, when funds are plentiful, I will attend. And a great and terrible day it will be.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:53 PM   #1110
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One of these days, when funds are plentiful, I will attend. And a great and terrible day it will be.
One of these years, when I actually earn my own living...

And if ever in those years I happen to meet Shasta, we shall definitely have a rock/tree climbing race.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #1111
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For the record, here is the Downers page of my Tolkien events scrapbook:



I met some members before I made the book, so not all are recorded here. As far as I can remember, those would be: The Barrow-Wight (yes, Himself!), Sharkey, Thenamir, Child of the 7th Age, Shadowfax, and at least two or three more whose names I will add when I recall them...
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #1112
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Now I REALLY wish that I had enough money to be there!
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:52 AM   #1113
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Now I REALLY wish that I had enough money to be there!
Wish I had had the time.

Thanks for the detailed descriptions, everyone. It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:30 PM   #1114
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That. Was. AWESOME! Utterly worth the thousand dollars and 40 hours of traveling back and forth.

(I would have had this post up a week and a half ago, but I've been catching back up on REB, PandA, H*R, etc.)

I have eight albums full of pictures on my Facebook! I went for quantity over (Rune's) quality, unfortunately. The only events I missed were the erotic cherry eating contest, and the recording of Die Kunst der Wurst's first hit single. The latter because my batteries were dead, and the former because...well, I'm not quite that nasty yet.

Many many many thanks to Nogrod, Aganzir, Lommy, Greenie and cryptkeeper Annina who arranged all of the transportation and housing and meals for so many strange people.

Helsinki and the surrounding areas in the summer is a dream come true. Rocks and trees and forests and seas...not to mention ice cream stands on every corner...streets relatively safe for the bare feet...and a BarrowDowner wherever you care to turn. : )

I was incredibly sad not to be introduced to the famous Theodred, as he disappeared some while ago. Something to do with Grima's Makeup shop, I assume.


Nogrod (Evil Man, nasty wolf), Aganzir (Evil Monster, Evil Zombie, You B****, Pixiediculous, Aghh-aghh!), Lommy (Moo-Moo!),Greenie (Oink-Oink!), I had met last year, but was sad that that visit seemed rushed. I was very glad to see them while they were awake. Noggy is an always-sneakily-recording-things hippie, Aganzir is queen of all she surveys, Lommy is a darling and Greenie is a dearie.

Legate
(Messy) is fun to listen to, whether he speaks sense or nonsense or Star Wars quotes or chants about sausage. He and Lommy together were so sweet together it made my teeth hurt. He reminds me of the babe.

The Owl (a bad move), poor owl. Best not speak of it.
Squatter (, Evil Horse, Nasty Wolf), is hilarious, intelligent and inebriated, a punching bag to small children, and long it was that we sang Strong Bad songs by the campfire. Looks like we're gonna have to juuuuuuump...

Hookbill (You dead!, Tyhmä) is way taller than I expected. That's what I get from letting "the Goomba" influence me. Also, he is Alien. He tried to burn down the cabin and steal all of the buses, not to mention being sick everywhere. I don't envy Lommy and Aganzir's having to clean their apartment after he left. He has the power of voodoo. If he ever comes to the USA, we shall have an Awesome Sock Battle and this time I shall emerge victorious.

Mel Gibson (The Gibbinator) was defeated at last.

Esty
(), as reported many times in this thread, is super duper nice, super duper knowledgeable, and just generally super duper, even though she kept trying to steer errant conversations back to Tolkien, of all things...or cherries...*wink* Her readings of LotR on her last evening were a major highlight.

Volo (Me-Me) is amusing, and not at all boring. He reminded me that shoes are a prison for your feet, so we cast them off and aired our toes on the streets of Helsinki together. I don't remember if I've ever heard his voice before, but when I did, it was...right.

Alcohol (Karhu, Beleg, Viking Blod, etc.) was a dear friend to many, bringing joy and laughter wherever he went. Oft he would go astray, but merry (and many) were the quests to bring him back, stronger and more plentiful than before.

Pitchwife (Evil moon), I say, indeed! I third the comments about his voice, it was always awesome when he would shout in surprise at something. It was also through Pitchie that we discovered just how silly pouring pancake batter on someone's head isn't.

Elevators (elevators), they take me up, then they bring me down.

Shasta (Eee-Eee!, wrapped in leathaaaa, Nasty Wolf) was someone I knew from WW reputation only. He's an amazingly vibrant person, always singing & dancing or wanting to, even though his trip was fraught with peril and frustration and France. We had great times singing together on the swings at the beach, though our particular song repertoires only overlapped on "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Jon Snow (Jon Snow) was a no-showing, no-knowing illegitimate son, so we made fun of him. It's a good thing he didn't make it though, we would have given him the Sean Beating of his life and he would have cried all the time, and then Aganzir would have been upset with us.

Rikae (Evil mama) & Mac (Evil papa) were, alas, the people I spent the least time with. A lot of their time was taken up urging the Wereduckling (Awwww) to unleash violence upon the evil and the English. They are lovely together, very nice and a very wicked couple. I would have loved to have plotted Simmish things with Rikae.

Kath (Woof-Woof!) has been called "The Normal Brit", but I personally would call her something more like "The Not Gibberingly Insane Brit", since she does have a very silly streak to her as well. She is also sweet and caring and puppy-cute.

the phantom (the pantsdom) appeared in all of the Paper Telephones, Stories and most of the other games, so it was like he was actually there, unable to protest his own mistreatment, which is just the way I like it.

skip spence (, "Play Twinkle Twinkle", Nasty Wolf) - always grinning, always musical, and his thirst for the Tango is insatiable. He attempted to teach me to dance, but I failed. His dance with Pitchie was no doubt largely due to the rumors of Pitch's very high score in the cherry eating contest.

Rune (Nasty Cobbler, Sniffle Spreader) had a cold when he arrived, so naturally (Rune's Quality Plague) it spread to several Downers. He then lorded it over his victims (only me, at that time), taunting them, dancing around them and singing, and irritatingly being able to breath through his nose. Otherwise, he's a very fun young man, and I shall write another poem about him when I have more than a couple of hours to devote thought to him.


You had all better make it to Britmoot, or I shall be very sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aganzir
the nastiest things were without exception written by her.
But they weren't the only nasty things being written...

I don't want to wait another yeeeeeearrrrrrrrrr!

When I think of my Finlandmoot things,
Then I don't feel so baaaaaaad...
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #1115
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Pipe Kaikki on Ruotsin Syytä, as they say in Finland

And the circles and the ages and the ages...

Or words to that effect. I was the first to leave Finlandmoot, dragging reluctant heels back to the featureless void that is reality. Naturally, having more time than anyone else to spend on documenting the whole affair in tediously minute detail I've done nothing of the sort. I start out with good intentions like 'today I'll post my perspective on Finlandmoot' only to find long afterwards that the time has been expended in looking up references to Dwarves in HME or driving to London. Or taking the ferry across the river to eat mussels and drink beer. Come to think of it, this would be a pretty good place for a Downsmoot...

Such directionless stalling aside, it falls to me to reveal the truth behind the headlines. I was there: I know where the bodies are buried; I recall only too well how narrowly the Barrow Downs avoided war with Estonia, and how Estelyn had to sneak out of Finland disguised as a newt. The image of Nogrod dressed as Venezuelan shepherd and waving an egg-whisk in the direction of Sweden will stay with me forever. I digress, though. Perhaps it would be better to start at the beginning.

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't been around much for about five years or so. It was therefore something of a surprise when I received an invitation to a new Barrow-Downs event. I recognised one or two faces on the list, so I replaced my old passport and booked myself some flights (actually this took quite a long time, but the magic of prose allows me to compress it all into one sentence).

Skipping forward a few months, it turned out that Oddwen and I were supposed to arrive within ten minutes of each other, and that I was to land first. This turned out to be a shameless fabrication on the part of British Airways, who got me to Vantaa half an hour late due to some sort of aerial traffic jam. This was not an auspicious start, but it wasn't the worst airport disaster of the week. Stumbling dazedly out of baggage reclamation, still reeling from trying to read the Financial Times on the flight, I was hailed by some odd-looking people. Either this was my first meeting with my hosts or I was about to be mugged. Perhaps both.

Fortunately the natives were friendly, although some idiot had put the steering wheel on the wrong side of their car. We were whisked into Helsinki for a bit of sitting down, which I hadn't done since getting off the plane. Back at Nogrod's place we were regaled with a fine dinner of roast duck and wine, which was the opening salvo in a barrage of alcohol that lasted for the remainder of the trip. Some might say that I'm not obliged to drink it just because it's there, but those people are, not to put too fine a point on it, wimps. This was my first experience of Nogrod's granite death-fortress, and I must admit that the large collection of cookery books came as something of a shock. Unlike most of the people who bought those books, though, he can actually use them. We ate very well while staying there. Some of the details are a bit hazy, but by this time there were six of us: Me, Nogrod, a very tired Oddwen, Thinlómien, A Little Green and Legate of Amon Lanc (I always thought that was a nice title).

After varied banter, we went for a walk in the park. I've been to London, so I know what to expect from a city park; I was therefore completely unprepared for Helsinki's version, which is simply to end the city and call the countryside just outside a park. There was enough room for a hockey pitch (on which people were playing ice hockey without ice), an archery range from the XV Olympiad in 1952, and everything between us and Lapland. The obvious message was that you don't want to get lost in Helsinki or you'll end up at the North Pole three months later. It was a lesson I was glad to learn, just as I was pleased to discover that settees have been placed at strategic intervals around Helsinki for the comfort of passing walkers. The most logical and reasonable explanation we could think of for the random sofa was that someone was moving to the forest one piece of furniture at a time, which tells you everything that you need to know about the rôles played in Finlandmoot by logic and reason. Returning to the Dark Tower of Nameless Dread, we whiled away the remainder of the evening in Downish wise. Thus ended the first day.

At this point I have to admit that I can't remember in what order everyone turned up. I know that by the time we went to Suomenlinna and - more importantly - a Finnish supermarket, Hookbill and Estelyn were in evidence, and on that day I also encountered Aganzir for the first time. I do remember that we left Oddwen sleeping as only someone with transatlantic jet-lag can, but that she joined us later. The fortifications at Suomenlinna were sadly inadequate as a base from which to conquer the universe, there being no working guns and a café instead of a magazine. Legate and I walked over them together, and realised quite quickly that the Downs will have to launch its campaign from a different national monument, and that I can't read Russian. Once Oddwen arrived, we all sat down for a picnic at the beach, just like the Secret Seven, except there were eight of us and everything else was completely different too. Later on we were joined by Pitchwife before wending our weary way back to the Command Centre.

Day Three saw Estelyn leaving ludicrously early in the morning to pursue her dark paths through the fabric emporia of Finland. Nogrod, Pitchwife and I preferred a more civilised and altogether slower start to the day. Eventually, at the crack of noon, Pitchwife and I were ready to venture outside. Nogrod remained on guard against the arrival of more invaders from across the sea while we hijacked a bus. I realise that it will seem strange to other Downs members, but somehow we ended up in a bookshop (I think that Kirjakauppa may have been the first Finnish word I learned, but more of my linguistic exploits later). We met Aganzir, Estelyn and Hookbill for a trip around the Ateneum, where there was indeed very much art. Some paintings depicted snow inside a living room, which reminded me of my student days. By this time I’d just about begun to get the hang of saying ‘kiitos’ and smiling like an idiot; when people think that you’re a fool you can get away with more. Speaking of cultural exchange, Aganzir proved to be very keen on the phrase ‘creepy-crawly’, as I discovered while we were admiring some metal insects.

Back at Nogrod’s castle of doom, we were ready to receive the next batch of inmates, this time Macalaure and Rikae, who had brought with them my nemesis, the Wereduckling. They seemed like such a nice family, which just goes to show how masterfully their disguises had been prepared. We were soon to discover that they came bearing destruction and torture, but who hadn’t? I think that it was on this evening that we all headed over to Thinlómien’s place to clutter up the recreation room. I remember drinking gallons of Karhu, being repeatedly assaulted by a small child, playing Paper Telephone and badgering Rune to come and join our depraved revels. By the time we repaired to the student flat I had ceased to exercise due caution over what I was drinking, which resulted in my consuming something that the girls had been hiding in their fridge to keep the world safe. It tasted of pink death, but I drank it anyway. This proved to be something of a tactical error.

This is probably the best point at which to mention what the Icelanders would no doubt call The Saga of Shasta the France-trapped. He had been expected the day before, but had called to announce that he was being subjected to the worst torture an Englishman can imagine: being stuck in Paris for the night. The French had done what they do best and deranged his travel plans, which apparently were the only things about him that hadn’t been deranged to begin with. By the point that I’ve reached, he was in Helsinki, and wisely spending most of his time asleep. As it turned out, he was merely husbanding his energy for concerted lunacy.

Also at this gathering was Volo, who apparently owns no shoes. He makes up for this by wearing an unfeasibly large hat and rather a fancy weskit. It’s just as well that he and Skip brought hats with them, because I’d left mine at home in the belief that they’d come to harm if they went anywhere near an airliner.

Speaking of Skip, he and Kath at last deigned to join us in Joutsaa, which is quite simply beautiful. We drove out in convoy, but I was in the most dilapidated van in Europe with Nogrod (the driver), Estelyn, Hookbill, Oddwen and Aganzir. If you’re going to travel half-way across Finland with a bunch of unreliable maniacs, I recommend them.

It was a stroke of genius to get us all out to the cabin, sawing up trees (kill the Ent, kill the Ent), cooking over open fires and taking saunas. I discovered a one-litre beer glass that was perfect for doing Darth Vader impersonations, if you can impersonate Darth Vader, which I can’t. Oddwen can also do some interesting voices, but the real stars of our evenings around the fire were Nogrod, A Little Green and Skip. It was during this time that I really started to relax, although this was a mistake as it allowed Wereduckling to sneak up on me and eat me to death on more than one occasion. It was after a day of such treatment that the final horror was unleashed and Rune joined us. The circle was complete, and the universe was doomed.

There isn’t enough space on the forum’s servers for me to give a very detailed account of Joutsaa. Suffice it to say that I went fishing with Skip and Aganzir (the boat is apparently unsafe for eighteen people, so we had to take turns), played werewolf for the first time (and was on the winning side, because we really were that good). We played the longest game of Apples to Apples in living memory on the veranda of a log cabin, and witnessed the frightening woodcraft of the Downs membership from the relative comfort of an open fire. We ate pancakes with berries we’d gathered in the woods that very afternoon and spent a lot of time in the lake. A number of us also fell over spectacularly, especially Rikae. It’s interesting when you reach my advanced years and crosswords seem like a pretty wild way to spend an afternoon to have your banged head carefully examined by a concerned teacher. People have been calling Kath ‘the only normal Brit’, but I think ‘least immature’ is probably a better way to put it. I’m not sure whether to find that galling or reassuring. Having said that, when the only other two Britons present are me and Hookbill it’s not surprising that such comparisons spring to mind.

The last night in Joutsaa was spent largely sitting in a lake, rambling on about politics with Aganzir. I ended up getting about two hours’ sleep before the journey back to Helsinki in our amazingly still functional bus. I can impersonate a pillow or a footstool with equal felicity. Then, after a long-overdue shower, I donned my best Theakstons T-shirt and headed off to look at some church boats with Nogrod and Esty. Apparently they weren’t Viking longships, but they were the closest thing to them that I saw in Finland. Eventually, Esty and Nogrod poured me into a bus, which would ferry me to the Slut Walk. This journey, incidentally, reminded me why most people have working mobile phones. I was reduced to scribbled numbers and occasional telephone boxes, but fortunately I’d remembered to bring some blind luck, which got me to the station in time to join the march. Present there were Aganzir (our fearless leader), Hookbill, Oddwen, Shasta and your humble correspondent. We walked as we’d often walked before, exploring Helsinki in what I’m going to start calling ‘protest tourism’.

Back at Lommy and Aganzir’s place, we watched the obscene Glaswegian Harry Potter video that had so captivated the junior Downers and then headed off a bar (at last) to play ‘Truth Be Told’, which is a game in which no truth is told at all. I find when trying to recall the game that my memories have been suppressed. Something about Rush Limbaugh dressed as Scarlett O’Hara floats up from the depths of memory like a dead sheep in a reservoir. Anyway, we laughed a lot. Then everyone else turned up and we went to dinner.

This was the last evening we’d spend together, so we made the most of it by eating, drinking, collecting all the restaurant’s stuffed toys on our table and dressing one of them up as Rune. We then piled back to Nogrod’s Doom Fortress for tea and cakes, or more accurately Danish mead and lots of beer. Estelyn had brought with her the silliest Lord of the Rings film any of us have seen, courtesy of the Russian society, and we played far too much of the two-line story game: five simultaneous sheets that eventually contained some of the most disturbing and ridiculous statements that we’ve ever produced. Since Estelyn and I were in REB together, that’s saying quite a lot.

Once the little ones had been packed off back to the nursery flat, there seemed little point in sleeping as I had to be up in three hours to catch my flight. Therefore Nogrod, Pitchwife and I spent some time looking through Nogrod’s quite impressive library: Snorri in Finnish, sagas in Danish, the most dilapidated copy of LR in the world; the list is practically endless. We talked, I avoided falling asleep, and finally Nogrod saw me into a taxi and I was, as they say, out of the saga. It seems that the best of the Moot was yet to come, but such is the punishment for those who can’t arrange enough holiday.

Normally I’d add some impressions of the various people, but I think I’ve imposed on the Forum’s time enough. Suffice it to say that it was obvious from the start that I was among friends: people with whom one could comfortably build a guillotine or barbecue a head of state. It would be to the great impoverishment of mankind if this company were never again to be assembled, and I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to meet each of them again. Special thanks are due to our hosts, Nogrod, Thinlómien, A Little Green and Aganzir, who gave their bus passes, their time, their money and so much energy to organising the whole thing and catering for half the Downs. A week is too short a time to spend in the company of such excellent and admirable folk. May your beards grow ever longer, and your feathers never fall.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #1116
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Reposted from the RotR 2012 thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
IN THE MEANTIME...

... for all those around Europe who won't be able to make it to RotR (or who just can't wait that long), how about having a Wurstlandmoot sometime next spring (like, say, around Easter)? I'd be pleased to host, if there's interest. We live half an hour's drive from Frankfurt-Hahn and about an hour from Frankfurt International, so picking everybody up at their respective airport would be no prob with a bit of organisation. Our house easily sleeps ~8 people (10 with a little piling), and if there should be more, there's a youth hostel in a very nearby village. We live in a pretty rural aerea, but close to the cities of Mainz, Koblenz and Frankfurt and the Middle Rhine Valley, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of Germany with lots of historic attractions (indeed, a day tour by ship on the Rhine, passing the Loreley and one castle after another, is something to write home about).

Discuss.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:15 PM   #1117
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I've done that boat trip Pitch, it is well worth it. :-)
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #1118
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So have I. I was interrailing and staying with friends in Koblenz and the first thing the boat passed was a nude bathing site. I hope they didn't get as sunburnt as I did (only bare arms and feet).
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:04 PM   #1119
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Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Aganzir is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I met Hookbill briefly on Saturday and Squatter, Mith & Kath yesterday. Both meetings were great fun.

Hook and I spent about an hour walking around London, he dissing British politics (they're not left enough) and I Finnish (we're not left enough), and being just generally offensive. We got semi-lost, and when we eventually figured out our exact location, we were a 100 meters from where we had started. We then went into a cafe and I proceeded to lecture him about having a negative attitude towards everything. I even said he reminds me of Jon Snow, but he said he took it at half face value. I had a good time with him, and when we parted, I hit him with a banana as requested earlier.

Sunday started with Squatter & I sitting in a cosy wine bar for 45 minutes before Mith arrived. I was the one having alcohol while he only drank orange juice and it felt very weird, but I entertained him with stories of Lommy listening to Elton John. Then Mith came and brought along a banana. We played with the banana, the candles and Squatter's hat, and I spilled wax on his trousers. Kath arrived about three hours later, and we (this is to say, it was my idea but no one objected) made her get us drinks as a punishment for being so late. We stayed in the bar for some more time and then went for dinner in a nearby pizza restaurant. I had a lasagna and even though it was huge, I finished it before anyone else was done with their pizzas - but that's because I'm Finnish and never speak during meals.

After dinner we saw Mith to Charing Cross, and on our way there Kath told me to hug attack Squatter. I am always happy to comply to her wishes, especially if they involve doing something that Britons reputedly find awkward, and so I pounced. Unfortunately he was a bit closer than I had thought (I had obviously been looking at Kath while she counted to three) and I managed not only to hug him but also to scratch a passer-by across the face with my fingernails that are at the moment just the right length for inflicting pain. She screamed, swore and stormed off. I was very sorry, but it was really too funny.
We then said goodbye to Mith, and on our way to Oxford Circus the discussion got really weird. Suffice to say, it was about Wurstlandmoot and fetishes. Before we parted with Squatter, I bit him as Pitchwife had asked me to do. He punished me by grabbing my precious hat and running onto the train. I was upset, but going to a nice cocktail bar near King's Cross (that served a drink called Pippin) with Kath helped.

Aganzir likes her British Downers a lot.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:34 PM   #1120
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The banana was a commission.. not quite as random as it sounds...honest..
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