Monday, January 4, 2021

Tolkien's Birthday

 So, today being Tolkien's birthday, I thought I'd join the Tolkien Society's toast --an annual event but one I've never taken part in before. This year the magic of Zoom made it so much easier for those of us strewn about the map.

As a tea-totaler I hoisted my tea cup filled with tea as my beverage of choice. The event started off with a reading of Bilbo's farewell speech from the opening chapter of LotR, which I enjoyed v. much. There's nothing like hearing Tolkien read aloud to appreciate the quality of his prose.

First came a toast to the queen, which I passed on.

Second  was Absent Friends and the Third  The Professor, both of which I naturally joined in.

Just over two hundred and fifty people took part; those I know included David Bratman, Kristine Larsen, Charles Noad, David Doughan, Denis Bridoux, and probably others I missed.

After the main event was over came a rollover into group chats (I found myself one of eight people in group 17). We were geographically as widely scattered as Hull, London, Ghent, The Canal Zone, and Seattle. Our number included someone looking forward to visiting New Zealand after the pandemic is past and seeing the sites appearing in the Peter Jackson movies. Another had worked on the HUNT FOR GOLLUM fan film. Yet another was a Belgium filmmaker who'd done a short documentary on book collectors that I looked up afterwards and enjoyed viewing online:

In short, I'd say an hour well spent.

--John R.

current reading: TAM LIN by Pamela Dean (1991)

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