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Old 02-17-2003, 11:35 PM   #1
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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Pipe A curious evening in Oxford

This evening, or rather yesterday evening since the hour is now so far advanced, I went on something of a pilgrimage; and since a number of people have expressed an interest I have decided to post a full account here for your delectation.

Awakening bleary-eyed on Monday morning after a strenuous weekend's posting, I suddenly realised something rather disturbing: I had lived for more than twenty years within thirty miles of Oxford and had never once dropped in to pay my respects to the inspiration behind this site. This omission would never do, and so I resolved there and then to visit J.R.R. Tolkien's grave after work by hook or by crook.

My decision made, I set out for the station to catch my train to work. Since most of the area in which I live is quite astoundingly ugly it is my wont to look skyward for most of the short walk; and on this of all mornings I happened to see a flight of three swans passing by above the station. There are a lot of swans around at this time of year, but my recent resolution lent them a certain significance: the die was cast, and to Wolvercote I would go.

It takes a ridiculously light amount of work to track down the final resting place of John and Edith Tolkien. There are literally thousands of web-sites that carry photographs of the simple, unassuming monument in its quiet suburban cemetery, and an on-line map gave me its rough location. The difficult part was in sitting still and getting some work done until I could get away, although a series of text messages managed to obtain for me a companion in my enterprise, who conveniently owns a car. The stage set, I settled down to some work, confident that now nothing could go wrong.

Alas, pride comes before a fall. As is so often the case when it is important for me to get away from work on time, I found myself typing frustratedly as five, five-thirty and six o'clock all passed without my escape. Time was growing short, but eventually I managed to extricate myself, collect a hopeful camera and await my fellow traveller.

It is a straightforward journey from Reading to Oxford, and Wolvercote lies so close to the city that we had no trouble finding it. What we couldn't find, however, was Wolvercote Cemetery. We found ourselves in a deserted and desolate car-park on the very edge of some farmland and I left the car to look for road signs, although as ill-luck would have it the only one I could find read

Quote:
The flying of model aircraft is restricted to members of the Oxford Model Aircraft Society.

By order of the Sheriff
Which was not a great deal of help, although it did explain why there were no road signs. Clearly Oxford City Council were expending all such resources in curtailing the spread of dangerous unlicenced radio-controlled aeroplane clubs. Whilst I felt momentarily safer from being hit on the head by a 1/4 scale Spitfire I did somewhat envy the owner of this hypothetical machine, who would at least know where he was by the placement of the sign.

Our salvation was a local pub, the imaginatively-named Red Lion (the commonest pub name in Britain), just across the road from the White Hart (I noted approvingly that even though the hamlet appeared deserted the locals had still not skimped on Locals). A swift pint and the casual befriending of the landlord's dog soon had us back on the right track, and we were able to get to the cemetery with a mere five-mile digression and three wrong turns.

Here we struck another setback. What with my delay at work and our inept navigation it was now past ten in the evening, and the gates of Wolvercote Cemetery had been padlocked for the night. As you can imagine I had no intention of giving up my quest at this late stage and within bowshot of my goal; so my companion and I made our way into the adjoining playing field, looking for a gap in the fence.

No such gap having presented itself I resolved to climb the obstacle, which by some miracle I managed without injury to myself or my clothes. At this point I lost my companion, whose apprehension, combined with a weak knee that precluded the scaling of the fence, caused her to abandon the quest (her interest in Tolkien is not sufficient to warrant the risk of injury or capture). Advising her to escape without me if the Shirriffs should make an appearance, and feeling rather like a young hobbit who has managed to sneak into some loftily forbidden tower, I looked about apprehensively. Breaking into cemeteries is not my usual evening's entertainment, and I was acutely aware that this might be a bridge too far. But within a few hundred feet of where I stood were the last earthly remains of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, and this knowledge stiffened my resolve. I began to cast about for the headstone I had seen on the web: it was a clear night with a full moon and the stars were out in force, but still I found myself unable to read the inscriptions on any of the headstones as I glanced at them from the footpath. It looked as though I had come so close to my goal only to fail at the last hurdle, but salvation was at hand.

Roughly in the middle of the cemetery there is a small chapel of remembrance, where all the paths converge. I made for it in the hope that there would be some sort of sign indicating which was the Catholic section, so that I could narrow down my search. Instead the second sign I came across, low to the ground and no more than ten inches square, simply read "J.R.R. Tolkien, Author", and bore an arrow pointing down a path towards the fence I had so recently scaled. About three-quarters of the way down the path was an identical marker, this time pointing off to my right, and no more than twelve feet from the path I found a plain stone monument bearing this simple inscription, clearly legible in the moonlight:

Quote:
Edith Mary Tolkien
Luthien
1889 - 1971

John Ronald
Reuel Tolkien
Beren
1892 - 1973
I had reached my goal. Snowdrops speckled the grave, and a more diurnal visitor had left some daffodils. Beren and Lthien lie near the edge of the burials where much open ground leads away towards the fence and some imposing pine trees; a peaceful, almost idyllic spot in the absence of the living. I placed my hand on the headstone and said the most appropriate thing that I could think of at the time.

"Elen sla lmenn' omentielvo" I said, demonstrating my uncanny knack for stating the obvious (there were plenty of stars to choose from in the rather crowded sky). Taking from my pocket a copy of Tolkien's essay A Secret Vice, I turned to a page that I had marked and, straining to pick out the small characters by moonlight, and halting sometimes as it failed, I read the following lines, which according to Christopher Tolkien were written in the last decade of his father's life.

Quote:
Oilima Markirya

Men kenuva fne kirya
mtima hrestallo kra,
i fairi nke
ringa smaryasse
ve maiwi yaimi?

Man tiruva fna kirya,
wilwarin wilwa,
ar-kelumessen
rmainen elvi,
ar falastala,
winga hlpula
rmar sislala,
kle fifrula?

Man hlaruva rva sre
ve tauri lillassi,
ninqui karkar yarra
isilme ilkalasse,
isilme pkalasse,
isilme lantalasse
ve loikolkuma;
raumonurrula,
undume rmala?

Man kenuva lumbor na-hosta
Menel na-kna
ruxal' ambonnar,
ar amortala,
undume hkala,
enwina lme
elenillor pella
talta-taltala
atalanti mindoninnar?

Man tiruva rkina kirya
ondolisse morne
nu fanyare rkina,
anar pra tihta
axor ilkalannar
mtim' auresse?
Man kenuva mtim' andne?
I have no doubt that my pronunciation left a lot to be desired, indeed often the words of the poem became completely illegible in the darkness, so that at one point I broke off to quip "I cannot read the fiery letters!" but this is what I hope I read:

Quote:
The Last Ark

Who shall see a white ship
leave the last shore,
the pale phantoms
in her cold bosom
like gulls wailing?

Who shall heed a white ship,
vague as a butterfly,
in the flowing sea
on wings like stars,
the sea surging,
the foam blowing,
the wings shining,
the light fading?

Who shall hear the wind roaring
like leaves of forests;
the white rocks snarling
in the moon gleaming,
in the moon waning,
in the moon falling
a corpse-candle;
the storm mumbling,
the abyss moving?

Who shall see the clouds gather,
the heavens bending
upon crumbling hills,
the sea heaving,
the abyss yawning,
the old darkness
beyond the stars falling
upon fallen towers?

Who shall heed a broken ship
on the dark rocks
under ruined skies,
a bleared sun blinking
on bones gleaming
in the last morning?

Who shall see the last evening?
With that I sat down on the ground for a while, saying nothing and looking at the names on the stone. I got up after a short time and stood for a while looking at the monument; so small a thing, I remember thinking, to hold the bones of a people.

Deciding that I had disturbed their sleep enough for one night I left them with some few words of my own, climbed the fence again and returned to the car. I was frozen to the bone and had run the risk of arrest, but I had done what I had set out to do. I had come as close as I ever will to meeting J.R.R. Tolkien.

*****

Postscript (26th April 2003): I returned to Wolvercote on Easter Monday. There is a fresh grave not far from that of J.R.R. Tolkien, so new that its headstone has yet to be set up. A small brass plaque on a wooden stand bears the name of Father John Tolkien, eldest son of the author. Apparently he died in January, but I had missed his grave in the dark.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:02 AM   #2
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And so another's pilgrimage is complete...beautiful, my congratulations go out to you..
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:04 AM   #3
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Sting

As mine do too. Truely an honor it must have been to lay eyes upon the great ones resting place, and to even lay a hand on it.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:06 AM   #4
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Sting

Once I'm come to England,(which I crave indeed) in case you'd be so kind to repeat the journey (no farther than the fence, in case you feel one time is enough and won't step inside) I'll be glad to have your company on the similar journey

BTW, thanks for a great piece of writing there - I was feeling with every your step [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:06 AM   #5
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Hail Squatter of Amon Rudh:

Thank you so much for sharing such a richly meaningful, memorable, and reverential tribute.

* bows deeply in gratitude *

Gandalf the Grey
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:28 AM   #6
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Sting

Squatter, that was both beautiful and entertaining. thank You for sharing it with us.

Perhaps someday I will come to England and visit Tolkien's resting place as well.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:32 AM   #7
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So beautiful and wonderfully written, congratulations to you on your wonderful journey, to such a peaceful and sacred site.

I hope to also make that journey, someday soon. (when I eventually make it back to England, in about a year or so)
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:56 AM   #8
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Pipe

Raefindel summed up my sentiments exactly. For once, I can sincerely say "thanks for sharing".


-L
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:39 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Well, well, well, Squatter, I suppose it's high time that I ask you to marry me again.

Bravo on not giving up or backing down, fences and sheriffs be damned, eh?

I am more convinced now than ever that you have the soul of a poet.

Thank you for sharing your story, for gracing us with your presence in general, and for gracing me with your attention in particular.
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:18 AM   #10
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Silmaril

What a fascinating, well-written account, Squatter, both touching and amusing! Thank you for sharing it with us.
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:35 AM   #11
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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Pipe

I didn't think to generate this much interest in such a short time. Thanks for your appreciative comments.

Quote:
my congratulations go out to you
Thanks. The best thing about the whole experience is that it was its own reward. Plus I now very nearly have that poem memorised (the English translation, that is: I'm good, but I ain't that good).

Quote:
Truely an honor it must have been to lay eyes upon the great ones resting place, and to even lay a hand on it.
I cannot begin to describe how privileged I felt to be allowed a completely private moment at the memorial. I have no doubt that on a summer's afternoon, though I would have been able to see everything more clearly, I would have had to join a queue, and rightly so. I would recommend to anyone that they make the trip, although it's probably best done during the day. That fence wasn't an easy climb.

Quote:
Once I'm come to England,(which I crave indeed) in case you'd be so kind to repeat the journey (no farther than the fence, in case you feel one time is enough and won't step inside) I'll be glad to have your company on the similar journey
I'd be honoured.

Quote:
Thank you so much for sharing such a richly meaningful, memorable, and reverential tribute.
You're most welcome, Mithrandir. I wanted to share the experience as much as possible with those who aren't so fortunate as to live in the south of England. My words are not sufficient, though. Do it if you can.

Quote:
I hope to also make that journey, someday soon. (when I eventually make it back to England, in about a year or so)
I should if I were you. No picture I have seen does justice to the experience. Next time, though, I'm hoping to go when it's warm. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Quote:
"thanks for sharing"
You especially deserve it Lindil. Don't think I'm not watching the Silmarillion project.

Quote:
Well, well, well, Squatter, I suppose it's high time that I ask you to marry me again.
I see: if you plan to take advantage of my weakened state then you're no mean tactician. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Quote:
fences and sheriffs be damned, eh?
It must be some of the dashing and fearless (yet hopelessly inebriated) Lord Etceteron rubbing off on me. A couple of posts as his sarcastic steed and I'll be cured.

Quote:
Perhaps someday I will come to England and visit Tolkien's resting place as well.
You would not regret it, I assure you. Provided you could catch the blissful three days between the sleet and the rain.
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:27 AM   #12
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Boots

An unruly voice raises its ugly tones.

Yer bleedin' toffee-nosed pillock. Yer roamin' 'baht ta graveyard like yer classic burgle caper and yer doesn't once use ta word 'barrow' or 'Bilbo.'

Shut up, Wylkynsion, roared Earnur. You wouldn't understand this.

Bleedin' right, Mate. Yer just lucky I didn't start wif the singin' 'Ere we go, 'ere we go' when yer was fallin' off ta bleedin' wall.

* * * *

I suspect, Squatter, that your wonderful words here have shown greater respect to The Professor's lifework than your midnight rendition of the elven did at his graveside, for here you show how truly you have taken up his love of words.

May your effort be an inspiration for all the Downers who haunt the Barrows. Thank you, humbly, for showing how it ought to be done.

Bethberry

[ February 18, 2003: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:52 AM   #13
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Sting

Squatter, do your fellow co-workers know about this wild, poetical streak in you? Why is it we can live our entire lives in a place and never get around to taking in the local "attractions"?

If ever I get to visit England, I'll now not only have to make a pilgrimage to the Good Professor's final resting place, but will also have to make a side trip to the very spot where our plucky Downer scaled the fence.

Perhaps I'll leave a bit of Elven rope behind to aid any future visits.
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:36 AM   #14
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Squatter, the details of your moonlit adventure in the boneyard could not have been more appropriate if youd made them up. Thanks for an account which is by turns funny, touching, and vaguely macabre (as only befits a Spectre of Decay and bona fide Wight).
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:49 AM   #15
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Squatter of Amon Rudh, that was simply beautiful! I can't think of a better way to pay respects to J.R.R. Tolkien [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:34 PM   #16
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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Pipe

Bethberry, I can't quote yours because it praises me too highly for comfort. I'm glad that you liked it.

Quote:
If ever I get to visit England, I'll now not only have to make a pilgrimage to the Good Professor's final resting place, but will also have to make a side trip to the very spot where our plucky Downer scaled the fence.
Coo...ur...gosh.

Underhill, are you trying to make me look like a mods' pet? You'll ruin my carefully-constructed rock 'n' roll rebel persona.

Quote:
can't think of a better way to pay respects to J.R.R. Tolkien
It's funny you should say that, Merri; because neither could I.
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:13 PM   #17
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Sting

Wow, Squatter, you were certainly determined! Next time I'm in Oxford I'll be tempted to make the same journey, although I fear that if I attempted to climb over a fence at that time of night I would topple off the fence in a most undignified way. Fence climbing was never a skill of mine.

But a great way to pay homage to the brilliant author, and I'm sure he would appreciate your perseverance if he knew of it [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-18-2003, 02:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
You'll ruin my carefully-constructed rock 'n' roll rebel persona.
Just provide a link to your long-haired, behatted picture and voila! Instant rock-rebel credibility repair.

BTW, you didn't report whether or not you detected signs or sounds of rolling over vis-a-vis the ungodly legion of imitators and/or Peter Jackson's interpretative efforts.
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Old 02-18-2003, 02:59 PM   #19
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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Sting

Tolkien is an old man, Underhill; and it was gone 11.30 at night. I think he might have knocked off for the day.

I propose that we set up a system of microphones. We could tune five to the estimated mass of JRRT's remains, another five for Edith's. Then we can record both their RPM. What do you think?
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:21 PM   #20
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To make the experiment more meaningful, I think we ought to hook up Robert Jordan's word processor and see if we can establish a correlation between WPM and RPM. Not quite as romantic as your tribute, though, I must admit.
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:40 PM   #21
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Silmaril

Squatter, thank you for sharing your experience. You have made me laugh and cry. Your words were beautiful, and you made me feel as though I were with you on your journey. Thanks again.

[ February 18, 2003: Message edited by: alaklondewen ]
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:44 PM   #22
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Eye

Thank you so much, Squatter. I doubt I'll ever get the chance to go and experience it for myself, but you have given me the next best thing. Not only have you put a smile on my lips and brought a tear to my eye, but you've given me a much needed picker-upper (I've been in bed sick for three days now).

[ February 18, 2003: Message edited by: the phantom ]
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:03 PM   #23
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Silmaril

Squatter, how fortunate that you were able to see such a monument! I'll be lucky if I ever come close. My theory is that Mr. Tolkien made for you to come by scaring (though that is not the right word) everyone away. Congratulations; it must have been a wonderful experience. Thank you so very much for sharing that with all of us.

[ February 18, 2003: Message edited by: Ithaeliel ]
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:31 PM   #24
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Silmaril

Thanks so much, Squatter. Such a wonderful story, told so wonderfully! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:49 PM   #25
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Squatter, eloquent and humourous as always. I hope some day to make my own tribute, but for now I'll add my sentiments to yours [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. Thanks for giving us all the gift of your experience.
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:51 PM   #26
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Next time I'm in Oxford I'll be tempted to make the same journey, although I fear that if I attempted to climb over a fence at that time of night I would topple off the fence in a most undignified way.
It's certainly a journey well worth making during the day. Aside from anything else, I think that a taxi is the only form of public transport that will bring one to the cemetery. If you are prone to falling avoid the fence at all costs: it's double-layered, one side being wire links, the other a short fence of iron stakes. Slip on that and it's the casualty ward for you.

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I think we ought to hook up Robert Jordan's word processor and see if we can establish a correlation between WPM and RPM.
I believe that this would be an extremely valuable experiment. Aside from anything else we would immediately have an objective measure of how badly divergent something is from Tolkien's own vision. The ratio of revolutions to words in a minute can be placed on a "Travesty Scale", on which 0 would be something written and published by Tolkien, with which he was content, and 100+ would be a situation comedy based around the Fall of Gondolin, animated by Ralph Bakshi. At last we would no longer have to debate whether or not something was an insult to Tolkien, for we would have his own RPM/WPM ratio to tell us. I suggest that we set up a proving experiment as soon as possible.

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Not only have you put a smile on my lips and brought a tear to my eye, but you've given me a much needed picker-upper (I've been in bed sick for three days now).
Get well soon, phantom. I'm glad to have played some small part in your recovery.

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My theory is that Mr. Tolkien made for you to come by scaring (though that is not the right word) everyone away.
I suspect that if I'd made any more of a hash of his poem he would have scared me away as well; possibly with a sudden assault of Finnish accusitives. I shared my experience with everyone because I know how far away some of you are, and I wanted to give you some impression of what it's like to visit Tolkien. Of course if your appetite is sufficiently whetted by my account that it leads you to visit in person then so much the better.

[ February 18, 2003: Message edited by: Squatter of Amon Rudh ]
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:11 PM   #27
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1420!

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Well, well, well, Squatter, I suppose it's high time that I ask you to marry me again.
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I see: if you plan to take advantage of my weakened state then you're no mean tactician.
Take advantage? Moi? A stern, innocent, perfectly puritannical young lady such as myself? I have not the slightest notion of what you are talking about, sir. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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It must be some of the dashing and fearless (yet hopelessly inebriated) Lord Etceteron rubbing off on me. A couple of posts as his sarcastic steed and I'll be cured.
You've all actually got me reading the RPG, you know that, don't you? It takes up an ungodly amount of my time. If I fail all my classes and get thrown out of Duke, Squatter here is going to have to marry me to support my shopping habits (I won't be able to afford that deluxe leather-bound LOTR on a burger flipper's salary).

Seriously, here is to Squatter's boyish agility and manly integrity.



Chin Chin.
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:51 PM   #28
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Now that is style! It's one thing to visit a graveyard in the day, but to break in at night! You do have a flare for romantic adventure, Sqattearnur. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Thanks for that detailed post, it was just like experiencing it myself! And I would have climbed over the fence in a heartbeat. Well, I would have resolved to do it in a heartbeat, and taken a considerably longer time to follow through with the action, but nevermind. At any rate, you may tell your friend that at least one person is immensely jealous and shocked at her waste of a good opportunity. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-20-2003, 04:24 AM   #29
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Salve Sodale,

Tolkien knew the importance of words and their ability to sing the souls song, and for that we are here at the Barrow Downs to rejoice in his creations. In you Squatter philology continues to grow as a vibrant living thing. Have I not always told you that your calling was as a writer, for in that lies your true quality. (though your hats have always had a special place in our affection!)

We have been friends for many years you and I, (through the good and the bad!) and I can sense in your words here, and in our emails elsewhere, a profound and fundamental change. This journey to Tolkien’s grave has been to you like a mirror with which you could see your true self at last.

Ergo take this as a wake up call and write.

Vale, Sodale

Palando of the blue robe.

[ February 20, 2003: Message edited by: Palando ]
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Old 02-20-2003, 06:58 AM   #30
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OK peeps - spill. What is RPM and WPM?
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:43 AM   #31
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Tut! Palando, and hush. Did you not see the boy's reply to my encomium?

Let us praise with softer measure, else our words will truly become encomia and put him off his new vocation.

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Old 02-20-2003, 09:27 AM   #32
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Dearest BethBerry,

You will have to forgive my ignorance for I did not read your encomium. Nor did I read his reply, for I am new to the downs and am finding it difficult to catch up with the plethora of posts that this site generates.

However, that said my words still stand, (though now in more hushed tones! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), for I have been asking him to write for the last 9 years and it has taken this site to succeed where I had failed…<sigh!>… But so be it. The end is the same.

I will say no more on the subject for such words become cloying and wearisome!

I ready myself now for my journey to the White Horse Inn. For Estelyn and Squatter praise highly the quality of the ale served, and the company kept therein.

To the Lands of Arda I fly, upon wings held aloft by the music of the Ainur. There we shall meet anon.

Palando of the blue robe.
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Old 02-20-2003, 09:47 AM   #33
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Welcome Palando!

You have a fine turn of phrase! I could merely give you the "standard" welcome, or I could venture to say that any friend of Squatter's is welcome here...

Either way, enjoy yourself.
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Old 02-20-2003, 11:06 AM   #34
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OK peeps - spill. What is RPM and WPM?
RPM = revolutions per minute
WPM = words per minute

The Travest-o-meter is in its early design stages. We may run tests using "The Revenge of the Entish Bow" just to establish some baselines. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ February 20, 2003: Message edited by: Mister Underhill ]
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Old 02-20-2003, 12:25 PM   #35
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Ohhhh, OK, Birdie's caught up now.

Now Squatter, as fun as your expedition was, do you really think Tolkien's hangin' around in the cemetery, checkin' the guest book?

Nah, he's out partyin' with Edith, Clive and the guy who originally wrote down Beowulf, and I doubt that anything much shocks him anymore. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:03 PM   #36
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Pallando, our association goes back many years to those carefree and completely broke days in Canterbury, when we escaped our respective disciplines (you your Physics and I, rather less successfully given the medieval setting, my History) in that fantastic Ars Magica campaign. Sir Tristan, of whom I remember you were so fond, has a special mention on another thread around here. You tell me to take up the pen, but I can see that you've been polishing your own writing a great deal since then. I look forward to seeing, if not joining, you in a roleplay soon.

Thank-you all for welcoming my friend so graciously: again you have reminded me why I spend so much of my time wandering around the forum and the chat rooms.

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Now Squatter, as fun as your expedition was, do you really think Tolkien's hangin' around in the cemetery, checkin' the guest book?
Not really, Birdland. I hope that he has gone on to an eternal reward that we can only imagine, like his little painter Niggle. People must be permitted these little self-deceits, though: they make life seem so much less sordid. And to answer your earlier question, most of my colleagues are extremely unpoetic, one fellow announcing (to my undying horror and disbelief) that he has never read a book that wasn't technical in nature. I make no secret of my interest in literature, but they show no desire to know about it. I am content, since I do not go to work to discuss literature.

Lush: I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying the Entish Bow. I'm sure that my fellow posters on that topic will agree that we're having as much fun writing it as others are reading it.

Diamond: As the lyrics to the theme song of The Cannonball Run would have it, "Style: you just can't fake it". You should know: roleplaying with you is an absolute joy.

Mithadan: Your welcome of Palando will work out to your advantage. When we were both a lot younger, and he was sans family, he ran a campaign of staggering complexity. If he does anything like that around here, everyone's kind words will be richly rewarded.

And last but by no means least, Mr. Underhill: I'm looking forward to our first trial run on my next post. Keep an eye out for it; and keep the Travest-o-meter warmed up. This one's going off the scale!

Rock on, ladies and gents.
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:22 PM   #37
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Be careful, Mister Underhill, you may shatter it to absolute pieces it on its first run that way. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

You are too kind, Squatter.

And if I'm not too late I will also extend a welcome to Palando. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-23-2003, 04:03 PM   #38
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Silmaril

I finally found the topic, quite late again, as is usual, it seems, for me. Squatter: your eloquent narration of your journey put me, too, into tears. Reading that fellow-posters reacted in a similar fashion reduced my embarassment a fraction, however.

The most intelligent thing that I could muster to express my jealousy of your experience was, "And I was happy about going to Russia and Finland this summer". I, too, desire someday to make a similar pilgrimage if I have the finances and time to make the trek from New York to England (the ability to drive would be of great help).

Not to sound redundant, as you have heard this many times already, but congratulations on your seizure of the moment! The whole tale is just so romantic that I am sure that almost any of us here would commit any act for such an experience: breaking into a cemetary under the stars, reading poetry, seeing our idol's grave; it is just all so amazing. When you grow old, you will probably always recall that moment (and relate it to your grandchildren thousands of times); the moment in which you visited the grave.

We really should hide a rope somewhere by the cemetary that only we Tolkien fanatics know about. Then we can sneak in and pay homage in our own ways each time (whether through poetry, prose, music, drawing, or just silently realizing that we have achieved an amazing goal). Not that I am suggesting that we be illegal or anything. You all know that I would never to anything illegal. [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

My deepest admiration and strongest congratulations,
Rachel
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:06 PM   #39
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Squatter: your eloquent narration of your journey put me, too, into tears.
It brought tears to my eyes, as well. But only because I feared what would have happened if you had slipped at the top of that fence!

Actually, I was laughing, because it reminded me of a scene in Anne Rice's wonderful novel The Feast of All Saints, (back before she became a sell-out and a one-trick pony). Her young protagonist accomplished a similar feat, and for similar reasons.

Oh, to be crazy young again.
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:51 AM   #40
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your story was wonderful and all that can be said for it has been, thank you.

I am going to do an extended essay about Tolkien and i am going to England for some research, could anyone tell some major places of interest? i would appreciate it, thanks. And of course that is high on my list.
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