"…I’ve often wanted to see a bit of magic like what it tells of in old tales, but I’ve never heard of a better land than this. It’s like being at home and on a holiday at the same time, if you understand me. I don’t want to leave. All the same, I’m beginning to feel that if we’ve got to go on, then we’d best get it over. ' It’s the job that’s never started that takes longest to finish ', as my old gaffer used to say. " - Samwise Gamgee
My first little hobbit tale of 2015 today. Not because I have been unusually productive, but more because I have been slacking with the updates here on my personal journal due to my adventure in New Zealand, my poor health, and work at hobbity cottage that seems to have dominated the whole of 2014. On the plus side I haven't been slacking on the actual writing and painting. The continued presence of little hobbit friends and Tolkien in my life has meant that I have managed to keep going, and be disciplined about writing and painting regularly, for work, for the Laurelin Archives, and for myself. Nothing helps improve your writing and painting more, than, well, *writing* and *painting*.
It must have been all the stress and long delays at hobbity cottage and the breast cancer scare, just two weeks before flying to New Zealand I woke up one morning and found myself with acute pain in my arms, hands and neck. Despite several visit to my doctor and many different painkillers later , three months on and I am still struggling to function properly but I am not going to let this dump down my enthusiasm and determination to have a great new year, I am a hobbit after all. So here is to 2015, the year that will finally see me living at hobbity cottage, and start this new little chapter of my life. All I wish for is to be happy, at peace, and creative in the next 12 months.
This year I am planning to go back on the Tolkien Trail and back to Oxford to visit the place where Professor Tolkien lived and worked for many years - One other trip will take me to the amazing Puzzelewood in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Tolkien was a frequent visitor to the Forest of Dean. Puzzlewood was the inspiration for the forests of Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, such as the Old Forest, Mirkwood, Fangorn and Lothlórien. Harry Potter author J.K Rowling has also visited Puzzlewood. The Forbidden Forest within the series bears some similarities to the geography of the area.
Looking forward to discover the magical woods that inspired my two favourite authors. But before all that, I am looking forward to get better, of course. Despite been unwell the trip to New Zealand was amazing and three weeks did feel like were not enough to do and see all the beauty of this remarkable country, a place that I consider like my 'adoptive' land . Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2015 and may the hair on your feet never fall off.
Orewa Beach, New Zealand