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Old 08-01-2012, 04:10 AM   #1161
Pomegranate
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Pomegranate is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
A few weeks ago myself and Greenie started our Europe-tournee by visiting Rune at his place in Copenhagen. I was slightly afraid beforehand. I was right to be so.

Rune was big and blonde, one of the viking-like Danes. I think I started understanding him a wee bit eventually, after two days of slight confusion, and no, it was not the accent. Gladly we met various interesting friends of his, including his famous (?) flatmate, who all were absolutely adorable. Copenhagen was a very beautiful city and the house was grande. The Danish history is very full of Christians and Frederiks (and one Hans), and every single one has a rider statue and a big nose. Rune also knows everything about them. Some people have funny hobbies.

I should've done this a long time ago, it would've been a lot more witty and up-to-date back then. Oh well :P
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #1162
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This evening we finally got out full complement of Britmooters - and here we all are! We are having a fabulous time. Fresh bread is baking now courtesy of Esty, a Finnish lesson is occurring behind me and we have just written and read stories written by the lot of us in costume.

EDIT: The picture is really small due to the small bandwidth allowed on the site! For a larger picture look on FB in the near future.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #1163
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Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
*eagerly and impatiently awaits more stories and pictures*
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:08 AM   #1164
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Boots

Okay, let's do this!!

You may have seen pictures, you may have heard the rumours, you may even have been there in person; but none of that could be enough. If I were you, I'd prepare my internal organs for HOOKBILL'S BARROW DOWNS BRITAIN MOOT REPORT 2012 WOW! Or HBDBMRTW for short.



Top: Guinevere, Oliphaunts_Rule, Aganzir, Pomegranate, A Little Green, Thinlómien
Middle: Oddwen, Hookbill the Goomba, Estelyn Telcontar, Legate of Amon Lanc
Bottom: Kath, The Squatter of Amon Rűdh

So let's talk people. For no other reason than convenience, I'll discuss in the order they appear in the image above.

Guinevere
I'd met her once or twice before, at Oxonmoot I think, and it's always a pleasure. Softly spoken and polite, very much a respectable gentle-hobbit! While quiet, her contributions were always valuable and she had new perspectives on Tolkien and the Barrow Downs that were always neat to hear. I particularly recall her method of dealing with Palantir of Fortune by carrying the notes around in her bag!

Oliphaunts_Rule
I'd never met her before, but it was still a grand meeting. She and Oddwen seemed to have a bottomless well of inside jokes (NOT THE JELLY!!) but we soon added to her numbers. I loved her idea of dressing up a Spock for our Tolkien costume party; it reflected ideas I'd had to dress as Tom Baker for an Oxonmoot one year. She's a mean Apples to Apples player and managed to hunt down the best Wi-Fi spots in the cottage LIKE A BOSS.

Aganzir
WARNING: THIS ONE BITES. DO NOT FEED. I've met Agan a few times and every time things get a little sillier and stranger! When not trying to cannibalise her fellow Downers, she's sweet and thoughtful and has an impressive beard. There was a noted lack of Jon Snow attacks from me this year, which is probably why we got on a little better... *whistles innocently*

Pomegranate
Honestly, I'd never even seen her on the Downs! I felt bad and after meeting her I decided to expand my horizons out of Mirth for a while. She had a thousand stories and songs to sing! Well, one song about a Rover who was Seldom Sober that was sung repeatedly anyway. We had a good few conversations about life the universe and everything and it was cool!

A Little Green
NASTY LITTLE HOBBITSES! Greenie has the best Gollum impression in the world! I'm sure this has been said before but it bears repeating. Moreover, she's a brave soul of impeccable ambition, and I could not help being impressed with her tales of adventure and excitement from her globe trotting. I think we interacted more this year than last year and it was all to the good. She has excellent perspectives and is a joy to talk to, but she will probably bite your finger off if you steal her precious!

Thinlómien
Lommy is far more than just another penguin! Excitable and engaging and other alliterative words all jumble together when trying to give her a description. We've met a few times and interacted on the Downs and elsewhere enough for conversation to be understandable when done mostly with jokes. Just don't let her make bacon near the smoke alarms!

Oddwen
She earned her place as the Downer Newspaper's resident odd expert. So many inside jokes that not even I could keep track of them all! We met before, of course, and we'd talked on Skype and elsewhere, too, so we were able to settle into a stream of conciousness type conversation easily. We both faced horrible troubles thanks to transport issues, so I think we gained a lot of mutual respect for that.

Hookbill the Goomba
I hate this guy! I'm glad he's dead!

Estelyn Telcontar
Oh moderator our moderator! Although, she did not seem too eager to jump into moderating us rapscallions, she needed a holiday! Esty is another wonderfully Hobbitish, kind-hearted dear, and she cooks better than she cooks! She could work seamlessly from the silliest conversations right into deep discussions of some obscure reference in a Tolkien letter. I got a copy of her book (Music in Middle Earth) and she signed it, which I was very grateful for. Her pink wizard costume(s) had us all in stitches and it went down a storm at Return of the Ring!

Legate of Amon Lanc
A man of many talents! Legate has a sharp humour and seems to share my love of silly voices and over exaggeration. I wish he'd been around for longer, but in the short time we had, I think we managed to confuse and delight one another enough to be acceptable. Also he gave me booze.

Kath
Don't let her primary school teacher persona fool you! She has a dark and dangerous mind of doom! Kath was invaluable throughout the moot, while I was collapsing under the weight of my own ineptitude she seemed to pick up the broken pieces and put everyone together. Even when we were asking deep, philosophical questions, like "What am I? Why am I this shape?" She's sweet, sharp, and has a brain the size of a fricking planet.

The Squatter of Amon Rűdh
The man is a mind-machine. He seems to have all the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien memorised as well as large sections of The History of Middle Earth. He's brilliantly silly and laughed at my jokes, which is always a plus in my books. Though my eyes may have glazed over when he talked about his sports car, I don't think he held it against me. He knew his stuff, and his stuff was Tolkien! He needs to be more active on the Downs!

Now, there were other people we met along the way who did not join us at the cottage. Let us take a journey through time and space to see these strange and wonderful people, shall we? Well, you have no choice because I'm the one writing this.

Lalwendë
We'd met once before, but this time we were in the open air, with other Downers, and a tree. Lal has a wonderfully cutting humour and does not pull her punches, taking pride in her northerness and making sure everyone knows it! She helped make the moot, even if she was only with us for a day, her planning and idea pitching gave us all brilliant times, so we thank her for it!
(Le childe was also a handful, who was for some reason convinced that I was 'Doctor Who', and made me chase aliens around a tree...)

Bęthberry
I'm so glad I managed to meet Bęth again! I was so deep in money troubles that I thought I wouldn't be able to go to the Return of the Ring, but thanks to her and the rest of the mooters, I was able to! Bęthberry is a sweety and manages to light up the company whatever the mood. Her Mrs Maggot costume was adorable and I wish I'd had more time to talk to her properly.

Faramir Jones
We met briefly and I went to his lecture on Law and Hobbits. It was great and I really respect the time and effort Jones puts in. He's always got a neat view on the issues that I hadn't thought of before and is always a pleasure to hear out. And having a cool accent doesn't hurt, either.

Poison Ivy
I met her a few times while at Return of the Ring! She is always very kind and supportive and seemed to like my costume. Her Ivy Bush Inn was inspired, and a little crazy. And we on the Downs think crazy is always a good thing.

narfforc
I spotted him walking around but didn't interact beyond a polite 'hello'. Many things were going on.

Brian Sibley
He still counts, right? Our own celebrity! We got a chance to talk to him about the Lord of the Rings BBC radio drama and it was delightful. It's obvious he's as much a geek as the rest of us, he just gets paid to do it, lucky guy! No hard feelings, though.

Right, that just about wraps things up, here. Let's all make a toast to the bread makers! To the Barrow Downs! To the Professor!
Next year in Deutschland?
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Last edited by Hookbill the Goomba; 08-22-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:36 AM   #1165
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BBC website has some pics http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19317810

The re-enactment of the Wicker Man finale (pic two) is a bi-annual event, involving the ritual immolation of an unsuspecting member accompanied by the singing of 'Troll sat alone'.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #1166
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Meet Brian Sibley, Downer

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Bęthberry
I'm so glad I managed to meet Bęth again! I was so deep in money troubles that I thought I wouldn't be able to go to the Return of the Ring, but thanks to her and the rest of the mooters, I was able to! Bęthberry is a sweety and manages to light up the company whatever the mood. Her Mrs Maggot costume was adorable and I wish I'd had more time to talk to her properly.
And I'm so glad you did come, Hooky, because I got to see your magnificent performance as Turin. Next I want to see you do Hamlet. There's never enough time just to talk because we're all running off to do that conference type thingy.


Quote:
Brian Sibley
He still counts, right? Our own celebrity! We got a chance to talk to him about the Lord of the Rings BBC radio drama and it was delightful. It's obvious he's as much a geek as the rest of us, he just gets paid to do it, lucky guy! No hard feelings, though.
Here's the commemorative photo, with Brian's permission to post it here. Unfortunately, my new camera was having focussing difficulties. The only ones missing are Poison Ivy, narfforc and Oliphants_Rule, I think.

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #1167
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Are the people in between Hook and Agan, and Oddy and Guinevere - Faramir Jones and Poison Ivy? Can't recognize them but it's down to elimination method (they are mentioned somewhere on the list of people Hook met, but they can't be Lal or narf judging by the photopage...etc). I don't know how either looks, though, so...
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:54 PM   #1168
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Are the people in between Hook and Agan, and Oddy and Guinevere - Faramir Jones and Poison Ivy? Can't recognize them but it's down to elimination method (they are mentioned somewhere on the list of people Hook met, but they can't be Lal or narf judging by the photopage...etc). I don't know how either looks, though, so...
I couldn't edit the photo post and see the photo, so I'll try to do a name check here, Gal55

From left to right . . .

Oddwen in a red sweater around waist, next to Pomegranate in green, and then Guinevere. Brian Sibley is the guy in black sitting down.

Behind these three are Lommie, Squatter and Aganzir. Next to Aganzir is Faramir Jones in a blue shirt, Hookbill, and Kath.

Behind Brian in a blue medieval dress is Estelyn Telcontar, next to A Little Green (in a mustard green ensemble) and then Legate. In front of Legate is me (as you likely know. )

Poison Ivy alas was also absent. That makes for 17 Downers at RotR. Not bad.

There are many more pictures of us up on FB.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:36 PM   #1169
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Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Thanks, Bb! I knew most of the faces there, I just couldn't figure out PomPom and Faramir. I must say, Pom, that's not how I imagined you, but your look fits you nonetheless!

(And judging by Hook's photo Olighaunts_rule and Oddy are the same person with different hairstyles. You look so alike!)
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:09 PM   #1170
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Thumbs up

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(And judging by Hook's photo Olighaunts_rule and Oddy are the same person with different hairstyles. You look so alike!)
There's only one logical explanation. Clones.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:10 AM   #1171
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Well since Bethberry has announced her intention or reporting on her visit here, I may as well follow perceived wisdom and get my retaliation in first!

Without boring you with too many details the Mini-moot of the Southfarthing was arranged when Bethberry, in her folly, expressed a wish to meet me again (strange but true) on her UK visit for ROTR. Now it happened that I wasn't planning on going to ROTR but Poison Ivy who is technically rather than actively a Downer but whom BB had met at an Oxonmoot, and who lives less than a mile from me, was, and that Bethberry and I were both investigating our family histories and had links to Gloucestershire villages less than a dozen miles apart, so after various possibilities had been considered it was arranged that Bethberry should stay with me from the Friday before ROTR, we would have a jaunt up to Gloucs and then Poison Ivy and Bethberry would travel together to ROTR.

Now these things seem so simple months in advance but car problems, illness, natural sloth and the fact that we were doing rather well at the Olympics (astonishing for a nation conditioned to thinking of itself as plucky losers or gallant runners up...and yes ok a lot of the medals were in "sitting down" sports but it still counts), and the planned programme of decluttering, decorating and gardening went by the by and milady Bethberry was due to arrive and the place looked like a low rent Satis House set in a jungle. But at least a guest room was habitable and mostly denuded of the handiwork of Shelob's little friends.

But though I was vaguely ready, the car had been sprung from the fettlers and even the worst case journey time between airport and my local station had elapsed there was no word from Bethberry and several attempts to call her cellphone resulted in being informed bilingually that she was not available, so I was beginning to worry. But then the phone rang and an unfamiliar voice asked for me and I had one of those awful moments when you expect to be told of accident or disaster but it was merely a nice man who had lent BB his phone.

So delaying only to put the roof down on the car (when I changed mine recently I yielded to the temptation to get an elderly rag top instead of something sensible on the grounds that Bethberry would expect it after her previous visit to an UK Downer), I went and got her. Having exchanged gifts (she brought me maple syrup in hugely indulgent quantity , I gave her a bubble sword that gave a blue glow lest there be orcs at ROTR), Bethberry discharged her duty as Shirriff and passed on a special Shirepost delivery. We then hit the Tolkien trail viewing the sites of Chris Wiseman's house and Tolkien's holiday cottage in the next village, then went for a meal and up to Lyndhurst to see the grave of Alice Liddell (Alice in Wonderland).

The next day started with another dead literary figure and a visit to the grave of Conan Doyle which happens to be in the same Forest village as Furzey Gardens, who won Gold at Chelsea - a particular achievment since the team included workers with learning disabilities. It was quite inspiring that the gardens were wonderful by any criteria. Also for the amusement of Tolkienistas were features designated as Elvish bowers and what just had to be Beorn's table.

Since one DLF is not enough for a day, we pressed on to Winchester and Jane Austen's tomb. It always amuses me that the actual floor slab makes much of what a wonderful sister and aunt she was but fails to mention the small detail of her books. Had I known then that Bethberry is not a fan I might have had to kill her or at least start a twelve step programme but she wisely concealed this information until the eve of her departure, and at least was able to experience the quintessential English experience of choral evensong. Not, since it was holidays, the cathedral choristers but a first rate guest choir.

The next day saw us meet up with Poison Ivy and we had lunch in Hobbits restaurant in Hythe. They are hobbity themed but haven't run foul of the Saul Zaentz company,apparently since they don't sell merchandise. Then we went to the New Forest wildlife park. We saw wild boar (unskewered by spear thrusts), wargs, the most adorable otters and a tame deer which ate my skirt, possibly in revenge for the Bambi burger I had eaten a few days previously. Bethberry was spared a DLF for a dead folk hero and we visited the grave of Brusher Mills, the Snake catcher, at the ancient church in Brockenhurst on the way back to Poison Ivy's hobbitly comfortable house for wine and the LOTR musical dvd (music and stills).

Monday started with various alarums and excursions. Apart from the usual paranoia of "Have I locked doors?" etc (telling BB to assure me should I have "a moment" later along the way that I had checked the gas and immersion were off and had locked the back door, didn't stop me checking another five times) I managed to lose the car key and, in a last minute decision to get a bag for the maps, I managed to up turn a pot of paint in the half decorated kitchen. Unfortunately I didn't realise this until I had also spread it over the hall carpet and, as it transpired when I had cleared everything else up, myself. After a bit of a hunt I managed to find garments that hadn't been packed or eaten and we finally managed to head of on the expedition. Sadly the traditional English weather of heavy cloud and heavy rain had turned up but we ploughed on westwards, acquired a substitute camera for BB who had exhausted hers by photographing every bit of thatch in south Hampshire , thinking there would be time on her return I spared her the Shelley memorial in Christchurch Priory and we pressed on to the Miramar and then the site of Tolkien's bungalow in Branksome Chine. Then it seemed like a bright idea to bypass the horrors of driving in Poole on a wet lunchtime and take the Sandbanks ferry across the mouth of the harbour to the glorious Isle of Purbeck. Glorious that is if you can see it. By now there was very limited visibility and of the prettiest parts of the country poor Bethberry saw naught but a sea fret.

Being a considerate host I chucked my guest out of the car to photograph the ruins of Corfe castle whereupon it rained as if someone had chucked a bucket of water over her. Then a steam train emerged from the mist compounding the feeiling we had slipped back in time. Heading inland the weather improved and I couldn't resist taking the slow road north to introduce Bethberry to an old acquaintance. I told her he wouldn't say much but he would be very pleased to see her. The jest became clear when I followed the signs for the Cerne Giant - one of the chalk carvings in the area of a smiling man with a great big.... club.

We pressed on to Sherborne where I let Bethberry visit the Abbey alone being weary from hours at the wheel - and having spent many Sunday mornings there hushing my young charges in my incarnation as a boarding school matron, I didn't feel such a need to return. A bonus was seeing one of the post boxes painted gold in honour of a local Olympic champion - in this case the trap shooter Peter Wilson.

The next stage of the journey was the stressful bit.. the rolling English road was getting tiring and tiresome and I had a mini-meltdown caught up on the outskirts of Bristol (I have a history of getting horrifically lost there and arriving at best friends wedding in time for the signing of the register so the paranoia may have kicked in). Fortunately Bethberry was very calming and we arrived at the historic inn where we had booked rooms late but in one piece. I had chosen it mainly because the location was handy for the dead rellies but also because the Queen had stayed there when stranded by a blizzard. It was a fortuitous choice because they served good food til late and had extremely comfortable beds and served a truly epic breakfast.

No Nazgul disrupted our departure (though we hadn't met a ranger at supper either) and we went first to Bethberry's ancestral home. I thought she would just take a picture from the drive but by the time I had parked she seemed to have disappeared. Then there was such a hound music that I assumed the owners had set the dogs on her and discretion being the better part of valour I left her to it. As time wore on and I realised that I might have to explain to her family how I lost her, I grew more concerned but fortunately my guest reappeared having used her charm to wangle a guided tour. We then went to the church which was sadly but all too commonly in this godless age closed due to Vandals (not as it happens Bethberry and me) and Bethberry set off to look for graves. I parked my idle carcass on the nearest box tomb and basking in the sunshine noticed that the faded carven name was very familiar..... Photos taken we went on to the village where a few generations of my family had lived in the middle of the last century. No graves located here but I saw where they had had their shop and happily the church was open so I could be where they had been hatched, matched and dispatched. Best of all was the bench sited to best observe a view surely unchanged since their day and which represented to us much of the Shire that Frodo strived to save... little fields and hedges and hills...

Could have stayed all day but time was not our friend and we took a more sober road to Avebury by which time my feeble knee and possibly feebler appetite for history flagged and I appreciated much of it's attractions while drinking tea. It is a fascinating place which claims as so many do to have inspired Tolkien but certainly Silbury Hill could have had Edoras set on it.

We now headed south and in Salisbury Bethberry managed to catch the tail end of another evensong while I caught the Archers in the car ..sorry I was cultured out . The next day was sadly so wet that the hoped for trip to the Isle of Wight would have been masochistic but my guest took me for a meal at my favourite restaurant and eventually we got a wonderful view of it. We made a shopping foray before the day ended in Poison Ivy's summerhouse which she had turned into a LOTR shrine with Aragorn standing guard and provisioned with Elvish snacks. We played the LOTR trivial pursuit which was based on the film and proved a challenge to Bethberry and me who have only seen the films other than the fellowship once. I started a variant whereby I would try to guess beforehand and believe me no invention was more ludicrous than some of the reality. Anyway we contrived a Bethberry win as courtesy to our visitor and so ended the mini moot of the Southfarthing since the others were booked on an train straight after breakfast. And that is far more than anyone probably wanted to know. Ah well..
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #1172
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Mithalwen, this is a superb remembrance. Reading it, I felt like I was still there trouping all over the south of England with you, and doing iconic Tolkienista things with Poison Ivy and you.

I had sent about four text messages and still have no idea why they didn't go through. Then, when the kind gentleman offered to call you, I was first relieved and then suspicious that he now has your cell number. (North American hangover) However, we did connect and I had pillows galore and Lush bath bombs galore and orc bubbles galore and a great many laughs. Who could have guessed that the Dead would enjoy meeting DLF so much and so often?

We had a great many good aventures (and anyone from RotR will remember what that means) together and I can only say thank you greatly for a wonderful time. There is always the reciprocal arrangement of you and Poison Ivy coming here, you know. Less chance of DLF but we could search out the only known Viking landfall in North America . . . .

This trip marks my meeting thirty Downers this year. Yes, thirty, in one year, and 11 for the first time. I don't think even Estelyn can top that! Must return later with my full reminiscences . . . .
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:41 PM   #1173
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I am not entirely averse to kind gentleman having my cell number... but there have been no consequences for good or ill.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:39 PM   #1174
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Leaf Great to have seen you!

It was really great to have seen so many of my fellow-Downers at the convention!

Greenie and Pomegranate I was particularly interested to see. I had been discussing with them, or rather the first, about both possibly taking a trip to Ireland; so it was very nice to meet them in the flesh.

Hooky, your portrayal of Turin's death scene on the Saturday was very nice, and provoked me to ask two questions: 1) Would things have been different if Morwen had warned her son against listening to strange swords?; 2) If Gurthang had been used to cut the lovely cake we had that night, would it decompose, turn all the people who ate it evil, or cause the dragon and Bilbo on it to come to life?

In terms of what you said about me:

Faramir Jones
We met briefly and I went to his lecture on Law and Hobbits. It was great and I really respect the time and effort Jones puts in. He's always got a neat view on the issues that I hadn't thought of before and is always a pleasure to hear out. And having a cool accent doesn't hurt, either.


Thanks to you and others for turning up. About my accent, it's the first time I've heard it called cool. Not that I'm complaining...

Mithalwen, a lovely and amusing account of what you, Bęthberry, and Poison Ivy got up to. If anyone else wants to put up what they were doing before the convention, please do. I'd certainly read it.

Galadriel55, you finally know now what I look like.

Bęthberry, your talk on Tolkien and Nonsense was also great. A big thanks from me, and I'm sure from all the others, for the photo of so many of us (including Brian).

Esty, that was a very memorable talk on the merits of the musical adaptations of the Walking Song. I agree with your conclusion.

narfforc, it was good to see you and talk with you again.

I'll be posting my view of the convention, and of what I was doing before it began.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #1175
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Better late than never, right?

I thought I was abominably late doing this. Then I checked a calendar and found out it has only been three weeks. (!!!) Anyhow, it is about time I recounted this summer's 'Downer adventures!

They began with a couple of days in Copenhagen with Rune. He received a proper shock when we arrived, as I had failed to inform him beforehand that we would be arriving with newly-shaved heads. He proved to be an excellent tour guide with an astonishing amount of knowledge about pretty much every building and statue (though sadly not the statue that resembled Senator Palpatine). Our stay in Copenhagen included late nights, live jazz, rider statues, red lights and beer. Rune was the same as ever - making fun of people all the time, but as soon as someone's in trouble he suddenly becomes the most caring person in the world.

Copenhagen was followed by a month of 'Downer-free travelling, at the end of which we found ourselves in a cottage filled with people who are certifiably insane. And lovely, of course.

There were two among that number whom I had not met before. Guinevere definitely has some elf in her. I was also very impressed by her and Esty's talent for recognising flowers and herbs and other plants. It's a pity I didn't get to talk to her more, but maybe next time?

Oliphaunts_Rule was another new acquaintance; calm, sensible and down-to-earth for most of the time compared to the insanity of the rest of us, she could surprise you with a sudden instance of absurd humour.

Esty was the darling I remembered from last year; I enjoyed sitting next to her on lectures as it turned out we get the same jokes. She is also an excellent cook and an invaluable friend, and a quote-machine of the highest order!

Squatter was even more of a darling than I remembered, he made us feel instantly at home at the cottage (where the rest of them had already spent a week). He served us mead and showed unexpected talents at various fields such as captioning photographs ("people" or "things" or "a castle" or "people in front of a castle"), not to mention simultaneously teaching Old English poetry and serving as a footrest!

Kath was lovely as always; always cheerful, always a sweetheart, and always ready to cuddle! I am especially grateful to her for keeping a Gollum warm during our masquerade, as you can imagine I was more or less freezing in those nylons!

Oddwen has the loveliest evil grin, and she impressed me with her extensive Finnish vocabulary which included, among other things, "I am a sociopath". She isn't, however, even though we mostly communicated with grunts and squeals and other animal noises.

What can I say that is enough about Hookbill? He was the life and soul of the Moot. Such a generous, kind, responsible person - and a complete nutter at the same time! We told him he should move to Finland. I hope he does. I remember a particularly cute moment when he was driving Pom and myself to a bus stop and Imagine started playing, and the three of us sang along and it didn't feel cheesy at all.

Then there were the ones I only met during my too-brief stay at Return of the Ring, namely Bęthberry and Faramir Jones. I had met Bęth two years ago, though equally briefly, and it was a joy to see her again. She is just such a good person, very warm and open and kind; I hope that someday we'll have time for a proper long talk about everything and nothing.

I was sorry that me and Pom's travel plans got screwed up in a way that prevented us from meeting Faramir already in Dublin, but fortunately we got to see him in RotR. He was very much a gentleman, calm and polite and easy to talk to. And I agree with Hookbill - the accent is cool. (And, given that I had only just spent a month in Ireland, it made me feel curiously at home! )

There was, of course, also the delegation of Finns and Quasi-Finns (aka Legate). Of them, suffice to say that
- It was probably appropriate that Pom and I should dress as two personas of the same character as that was more or less what we were after over a month of travelling together;
- Lommy's achievements of the week included filling the kitchen with smoke while frying bacon, and helping the Gollums dress (and laughing at them in the process);
- Agan, unsurprisingly, amused herself by biting people and, a bit more surprpsingly, was very easy to steal hats from; and
- Legate sang a Christmas carol with an impressive falsetto, and I spent almost half my time at RotR being geeky with him on religion- and spirituality-themed lectures.

To sum up - I love you, folks. Every one of you. And lastly and most importantly: where there's a whip, there's a way.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:33 AM   #1176
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Well yesterday was a red-letter day for me as not only did I go to my first ever Tolkien event, but I also had my first-ever RL meet-up with a Downer.
Mith kindly offered me a spare ticket to the 75th anniversary Hobbit talk at the British Library.
We met up early so that we could first see the Writing Britain exhibition, also the BL. It was amazing. My only complaint was that we only had an hour and I would have liked to have spent at least twice that time there. Some highlights for me were (of course) Tolkien's watercolour of Hobbiton, a beautiful manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, Jane Austen's notebooks and the A4 notepad on which JK Rowling wrote the Philosopher's Stone.
The event was excellent. Brian Sibley (much to Mith's delight) also Alan Roberts, who was a really engaging speaker - he talked about the two versions of the Hobbit (and prefers the first) - plus Jane Johnson and David Brawn.
There was also chap from the Inner Magic Circle who did a very dramatic reading of Gandalf's rescue of Bilbo and the dwarves from the Great Goblin. I did hope, childishly, that he would do some wizardry for us as well, but the magic was purely of a literary nature. It was interesting to see too what a mixed crowd made up the audience, shows what a wide demographic Tolkien reaches.

We then had something to eat on the South Bank before Mith set off back to the south coast - unfortunately it was a journey of tortuous diversions and delays (which she may share with you). As I said to her, I hoped it hasn't put her off visiting the metropolis again. It was really lovely to spend an actual face-to-face evening with someone I've spent so long cyberchatting to over the years.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:49 PM   #1177
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I can only second Lalaith's sentiment on the last point (and a few others). The exhibition was fascinating. Tolkien's picture has the vibrancy of an illuminated manuscript whicb you don't quite get in reproductions and it was fascinating to see the different working methods displayed by the various authors from Stalla Gibbons' scrawled on scraps , JK Rowling's cheap A4 loose leaf pad and biro and the bound proof that Jane Austen wrote on little slips of paper (A6 approx) that she could slip under her blotter if disturbed... and her handwriting is tiny and precise.

I was ridiculously excited to hear Brian Sibley and he read marvellously from the book and while I enjoyed the other speakers and particularly seeing the various illustrations some of which are "new" to most, that was the real highlight. Apart of course meeting Lalaith herself who is lovely and funny and considerately fierce (no I have saved that seat for my friend - she has a stick!) and patient as I hobbled after her bright feet.. she was the perfect companion and I hope we will meet again somewhen.

Oh yes... I do see rather doomed by transport problems when meeting Downers.... the journey up was fine this time but someone had driven a tractor into a rail bridge at Basingstoke rendering the line unsafe.. which meant the train I caught was theoretically the one of an hour previous and didn't leave even so for a further twenty minutes, was packed until Woking where they had a train that would go to but not through Basingstoke leaving the few destined for the West heading East to Guildford and Havant before heading back in the right direction picking up a relief crew at Southampton for the onward journey. I had taken the train a couple of stops up the line to give myself a wider choice of train and so then had a half an hour drive but at least my car was warm and comfortable. I got home at about quarter past two in the morning and it should have been just after midnight... but well worth it.. though
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #1178
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Eye Shire Post Delivery

Galadriel55 and I were Ladies Who Lunch today and that gave me an opportunity to hand deliver some very important Shire Mail for her from Mithalwen.

She loves her wolf cub!



PS. Lunch was lovely too and we had a fantastic time catching up on Downs and Tolkien news since had last mooted. I'm so glad Galadriel lives in the same city as me.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #1179
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Hurrah!! Thank you for Shirriffing again.(The wolfcub was acquired on the Southfarthing Minimoot visit to the Wildlife park .. and since Galadriel and I werewolfed together it seemed apropriate).
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:15 PM   #1180
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*G55 huffs and puffs as she drags her legs - eyes? - to the thread*

As Bb has already said, we have met today and talked about Downs, Tolkien, and everything, and since Bethberry has been to half a dozen cool places with ten times as many cool people since our previous moot, I pestered her about them, and she *gasp* didn't even mind!

Also, she gave me some very lovely mail.

Look at that little cub. And now look at me. Can you see the resemblance? Don't we just have the same face? Right? Right? When we're gonna grow up we're going to be as vicious as MamaWolf and we're going to feast on Seers every Night.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:54 PM   #1181
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Just try not to get caught so easily my cub...

I note that the sophisticated wolf-about-town appears to be drinking blood with lime this Autumn..
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #1182
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1420! Slurpee

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I note that the sophisticated wolf-about-town appears to be drinking blood with lime this Autumn..
Not quite! The restaurant was Middle Eastern, so the "drink" is pomegranate juice mixed I think with a bit of cranberry.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:18 PM   #1183
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Well, my socks! G55, next time you go to lunch with Downers, will you take me please?
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #1184
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Well, my socks! G55, next time you go to lunch with Downers, will you take me please?
Certainly, if you're gonna pay for the transportation!
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #1185
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I will be in Finland for the New Year! If anyone else wants to come along, please do! We will make bread! And beards! And beard bread!
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:56 PM   #1186
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I will do a good deed and give two reports at once, given that I never wrote anything on Britmoot. This is not going to be huge, but it is the best I can.

I hadn't actually done that much in the 'Downs before plunging into the craziness that was Britmoot. I only knew werewolfy people, and there were not many werewolfy people in the Moot - thus I arrived without having a clue of whom I'd meet. Gladly it turned out to be a lovely bunch. And I was actually lying there two sentences ago, I had met the Finns and Legate before. But anyway. There were Squatter who was very welcoming and demonstrated us his narration skills ("Here is a tree", like I'm sure someone already mentioned), Esty who was sheer friendliness with a delicious touch of pink humour and a lot of pictures of adorable babies, Guinevere who was very genteel and lovely, Kath who was sweet and welcoming, dear Oddwen with whom we had many conversations consisting of funny voices ("Brownies!"), Oliphants_rule with whom I shared the new-to-these-circles-situation and thus had a lot of discussions on things that are not 'Downs, Hookbill whose car I wont step into again without serious consideration but who was the heart and soul of this moot really, Bethberry whom I only met briefly but who was immediately very friendly and warm, and Faramir Jones who, amongs being a very interesting and nice acquaintance also gave a fascinating lecture in RotR and cut me cake. Regarding the Finns, I won't even start on Greenie, just send her love, it was lovely to spend some time with Agan and seeing her in such different
surroundings (and hearing her speak English - I have a friend here who is from Moscow, and he (!) sounds exactly like Agan! It is amusing). Lommy and Legate I had only met briefly before, but heard a lot about, and thus putting the pieces together was rather interesting and we had a lot of good moments together with both of them. All in all, a very amusing week.

Moving forward, I've only a couple of hours ago said goodbye to Squatter and Hookbill, who braved the cold and the darkness of the North and drove all the way to Scotland to have a mini-moot (mini in that it only lasted less than 20 hours and in that it only consisted of three people). There were plans for writing a book, inventing an author, inventing a personality, shooting an all-stars movie where Sean Bean dies in the first scene and Sean Connory makes an appearance in a kilt. There were also whisky, Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle, several men in kilts, fiddles in a pub, cold (!), bagpipes and lots and lots of tea. And hugs to the Englishmen. Gladly we will all be in Finland soon enough, so the goodbyes are not for too long.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:56 PM   #1187
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Ring Premiere Moot, December 2013, Finland

An idea that came up during our small New Finland Moot.



hEY gUYS! We invite you to celebrate and/or lament the release of Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with us in Helsinki in December. We got the first part a few days before most of you, so there's a chance you'll also get to see the second one earlier, and in any case it's more fun to see it with like-minded Tolkien fans. Dress code: Tolkien character, preferably one from the Hobbit/LOTR movies (but we'd prefer every character to appear just once).

More information obviously later, but we just want you to know this is happening.

Attending at least your friendly neighbourhood Finns yours truly (Fíli), Thinlómien (Elrond), Volo (Radagast), Nogrod, A Little Green (Thranduil), and Legate of Amon Lanc (Saruman).

(Photo courtesy of Hookbill)
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:16 PM   #1188
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I will move the universe to come!
I've been told to dress as Thorin, but don't expect movie accuracy.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:42 PM   #1189
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I would very much like to go to the 'moot later this year in Finland. Money will dictate whether or not I will actually be able to go.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #1190
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I was so envious of New Finland Moot going to see the Hobbit movie together. I figured that has to be the quintessential experience, seeing the movies as a Downer coven.

I've been told I could come as Lobelia, with a bit of change to my Missus Maggot costume, but I'm hankering after coming as one of Radagast's rabbits, a huge rabbit, possibly a pink bunny if that isn't stealing the Pink Wizard's meme, maybe called Hef.

That's if I can make it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #1191
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And if you can't make it in person you can go as Harvey ..
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #1192
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Thumbs up NewFinland Moot

Okay I suppose I'll write up a little report on the moot from my perspective!

It was a very different gathering to others, it was very relaxed, very calm, and very sick! At Britainmoot we were doing fun stuff every fifteen seconds, travelling here, there and everywhere, which was a lot of fun but exhausting! This moot was more about hanging around together and generally just being crazy, geeky people together.
We probably would have gone and done activities but a strange illness stuck us down one by one and by New Year's eve I think at least three of us were not very well. I certainly wasn't!
All the same, it was fun! We watched the movies, both Jacksons and the animated ones, played games, sung songs and were very respectable Wights... Well, sort of.

Aganzir met me at the airport and was as strange as ever! She was a fine friend throughout and even kept me company when I fell to the pestilence! That was most kind and moving. *wipes away tears*

A Little Green was like a magical pixie, popping in and out of the moot, but whenever she arrived it was great! Silly noises and hilarious jokes, she is always one of the smartest and silliest people in the room. And given the competition, that's saying a lot!

Thinlomine is owed many thanks from me! She was kind enough to read the draft manuscript of a book I'm writing and she gave me insightful and helpful criticism that I am eternally grateful for! Also, she was always lively and cheerful, though I think she's given up on trying to make Agan civilised.

Oddwen brought with her a dark and terrible game that we played until we were all dead from laughter. She's always fun to have at a moot and can do a wicked Orlando Bloom impression!

Squatter, my fellow countryman, was soon brought around to the ways of the Dwarves and digging holes. A man who knows (or at least drinks) his alcohol and can still hold witty dialogue afterwards! Always worth dragging to a moot!

Nogrod is a chef of the highest order! I wish we'd gotten to have more discussions, but what we did talk about was always interesting and I still think he needs to write a book of some sort! I don't know what it would be about, but I think it would be great. Also, if he offers you pancakes with cheese and mushrooms, take it! It's amazing!

Pomegranate I've only met three times and yet she seems already like an old pal! One of the Downs' crew! Even when fawning over AZOG, she brings life to the party! And if there isn't a party, she'll still bring life to whatever's going on.

Volo is a wizard. He just needs a pipe and a wide hat. He's a man who thinks about his words and picks them well. And this time he wore shoes!! I was so shocked I nearly fell out of my chair!

I think that's everyone! Sorry if I missed you. But thank you to everyone for making this a wonderful Barrow Moot! Even if it did turn into sick moot!
Last of all, special thanks go to the googly eyes.



They made the whole moot much better. Well, they made Agan and Lommy's flat a lot better, anyway.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #1193
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And if you can't make it in person you can go as Harvey ..
Only if Hooky agrees to be James Stewart.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:49 PM   #1194
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I shall be there watching more hobbitey-and-dwarvey stuff with you all either in person (if I can drag myself away from the faraway place where my life will have led me by then) or, if not, as a slightly-bigger-than-livesize photo print that's got me dressed as Kili. I am aware that you might prefer a print version of me I will still try my best to actually be there.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:27 AM   #1195
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Thumbs up We can has moot?

Are there any plans on a BIG Barrow Downs moot this year? I remember Deutschland being suggested, but nothing was set in stone.
Or will this be the year of many mini moots? That, too, can be awesome!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:41 AM   #1196
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New Finland Moot in Brief

If there was ever an unlucky 'Downs moot, it would be this one.

For one thing, Hookbill and Squatter seemed to bring the British weather with them; it was beautiful and wintry the day before the Moot, but the day they came it was raining and it remained that way for most of the Moot. So much for getting a taste of the northern winter.. What was more, a highly contagious something took over and inspired us to rename the moot as Sickmoot (even Elijah Wood vomited!). My own participation was further disturbed by work and, for the last couple of days, a sad thing happening and occupying most of my thoughts.

But if there is something to be said for all these misfortunes, it would be the realization that somehow, we've become such good friends that it doesn't matter if you're sick or tired or sad because you're not obliged to be busy entertaining guests and planning things if you simply can't. You can just hang out at home and play cards and have a whale of a time anyway.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:01 PM   #1197
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I figured that has to be the quintessential experience, seeing the movies as a Downer coven.
It was. The rest of the audience laughs at the 'obvious' stuff - Bullroarer Took inventing golf and Rhosgobel rabbits and so forth. We laugh every time someone says "You know of what I speak" or Fili swaggers or Benedict Cumberbatch appears on screen or Thorin gives bedroom eyes, etc.

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I've been told I could come as Lobelia, with a bit of change to my Missus Maggot costume, but I'm hankering after coming as one of Radagast's rabbits, a huge rabbit, possibly a pink bunny if that isn't stealing the Pink Wizard's meme, maybe called Hef.
Hahaha! I vote for Lobelia though, she's awesome! Unfortunately for you, we have no silver spoons.

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She was a fine friend throughout and even kept me company when I fell to the pestilence!
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I think she's given up on trying to make Agan civilised.
It's Greenie who wields the whip these days. (And, as she pointed out, I'm at my best if I get to play a lion mother on a leash.)

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Pomegranate I've only met three times and yet she seems already like an old pal!
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me dressed as Kili.
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Are there any plans on a BIG Barrow Downs moot this year? I remember Deutschland being suggested, but nothing was set in stone.
Or will this be the year of many mini moots? That, too, can be awesome!
I vote for Deutschland! I vote for Pitchwife's farm!

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Originally Posted by A Little Green View Post
But if there is something to be said for all these misfortunes, it would be the realization that somehow, we've become such good friends that it doesn't matter if you're sick or tired or sad because you're not obliged to be busy entertaining guests and planning things if you simply can't. You can just hang out at home and play cards and have a whale of a time anyway.
Ditto.
These are people I feel comfortable to be sick in the same room with. ♥
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #1198
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Routine reporting Bethberry, Jallanite, and myself. *snore...* Nobody special visiting Toronto. Deutschland is cool, but screw Deutschland. I can't even spell it right without double-checking, and it's pronounced all weird (you Doich people... ). Just come to Toronto.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #1199
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Ah but your little wolf cub might like to know that his fellow escapee from the wildlife place had a starring role at Oxonmoot.....and the special people are already in Toronto:P
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:31 PM   #1200
Bęthberry
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Yes, our little smial moot was little and it lacked outrageous costumes, but we did manage to discuss some Tolkien, mostly before you arrived, G55. And we had a tiny little Bilbo figure standing guard over our table.

And I really would like to thank jallanite for the gift of a copy of his book. As John Garth told me, that book was instrumental in helping him feed his interest in Tolkien's exploration of language.

Mithalwen, I am waiting not so patiently for more pictures of Gooseberry, the not-quite-twin-sister of Goldberry who I believe won the Best Film Adaptation award. She otter be in pictures. And Saruman of the many colours won Best Audience Reaction. I hope there's a video of him dancing to 'Stayin' Alive'.

And the secret of bearded dwarven women was unveiled! Kili and Fili have never looked so good. It is true that dwarven women cross-dressed when traveling outside their community. That is could be done has been proven and Downers were in the forefront of the evidence.

We definitely have to work on some sort of presentation for our smial moots.
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