Oxonmoot Reports

Member's reports from Tolkien related events.
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Elegaer
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Post by Elegaer » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:15 pm

I suspect that's Tilly's. It looks yummy enough! I've never had a cream tea there, which is why I wondered. And I happen to be going up to Moreton on Wednesday .....

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:59 pm

I don't remember the name, but the teashop was just along from the Redesdale Arms, going away from the hall. I do envy you visiting Moreton again - make sure you get a cream tea this time. The one in Oxford wasn't nearly as good :(

Here's my postscript to Iolanthe's Part 5 (phew!):

I thought the Ents were great fun – parts of the Goon Show were hilarious – and Alex Lewis’s folk singing (with Ted Nasmith and a girl who’s name unfortunately I don’t know) was absolutely brilliant. They got the audience to join in with the refrain to one song – I think it was Tolkien’s words set to music but I’m not sure – and sang one of the verses unaccompanied, so we could hear all the harmonies. Lovely!
Image
Alex, Ted & somebody else singing folksongs at the Ents

© marbretherese

The costume parade was much better than I thought it would be. I particularly liked Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, and when the young man who dressed up as the Professor came in a sort of thrill went round the room because he’d got the look just right. Joanna Tolkien seemed to enjoy it all anyway! Just for the record I’m not a great one for dressing up (apart from on stage that is) and despite all Iolanthe’s blandishments I am not going to pretend to be a Balrog’s Wing or anything else . . . . although I don’t think we actually have a reputation to defend within the Tolkien Society. Yet. :shock:

Sunday morning was chilly and misty, and on the way back from breakfast I couldn’t help taking a shot of a mysterious garden just outside the Meadows Building, through a door marked ‘Private’. I wished I could go in . . .
Image
misty tree in the private garden

© marbretherese

By the time we got to Wolvercote Cemetery for Enyalië, however, the sun had come out (I had to peel off several layers). It was lovely to see everyone gathered there, including representative from several foreign Tolkien Societies, with their wreaths. I found the ceremony extremely moving and blubbed into my hankie again :oops: . Then we were able to pay our respects at the graveside.
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Roses at the Professor's grave

© marbretherese

Our stroll along the Broad Walk to the Isis was lovely – folk were relaxing in the sunshine, picnicking, children were playing and feeding the waterbirds - I took quite a few photos including not only antsy cows but antsy geese too!
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Sunday lunchtime at Christ Church Meadow

© marbretherese

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antsy cows

© marbretherese

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antsy geese

© marbretherese

We were incredibly lucky that the Christ Church Custodian offered us the opportunity to see the spot at which Constable and Turner painted, and then took us into the gardens; he said he liked the chance to show the gardens off, and I suppose we looked like people who might be interested. He told us it was a great retirement job. And yes, the Master’s Garden was the very one I’d peered into earlier . . . we were both absolutely thrilled. I whipped out my camera and started snapping away, simultaneously trying to keep up with Iolanthe and the Custodian!
Image
Constable & Turner painted here (minus the goalposts)

© marbretherese

Image
the jabberwocky tree, close up

© marbretherese



The small green door in the wall that Iolanthe refers to was used by Charles I to get from Christ Church to Merton College, where Queen Henrietta was billeted during the Civil War. But I think it looks like the small door which Alice in Wonderland went through when she was chasing after the White Rabbit . . . !
Image
the lawn where Alice played

© marbretherese

Image
the door in the wall

© marbretherese

Image
the Master's Garden from the not-so-misty tree

© marbretherese

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Mithrennaith
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Post by Mithrennaith » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:47 am

A number of odd comments from me, as I also thorough enjoyed Oxonmoot at Christ Church. A few general remarks first

One of my standing regrets at Oxonmoots is that there is always too much going on at the same time. In the two or sometimes (certainly this year) three streams of lectures there is always more than enough that interests me to be fully occupied all time, sometimes wishing I could split myself in two - or had Hermione Graingers time-turner. As the dealing room and the art room are open almost precisely the same times as lectures are scheduled, and no longer, this leaves me with no time to enjoy the art on show. I just managed to squeeze in about twenty minutes on Friday (in which Iolanthe's Denethor was the most memorable piece to draw my attention - pleasantly shocked, I think is the best description of my feelings) and when I decided to skip the last lectures on Saturday, after I had managed to get Ted's and Bob Blackham's signatures and buy the copies of Tolkien 2005 Proceedings I had been asked to bring back to The Netherlands, I found the art was already being taken down! I would also have liked to find the time to peruse the albums of photographs of TS events. So I definitely want to put in a complaint this time.

But that is just the one wrong note in what was a very good time!

Something not really part of the Oxonmoot programme, but still adding to my satisfaction was going to Evensong at the Cathedral four days in a row. And having 'How lovely are thy dwellings fair' drifting into the lecture room on Saturday from the memorial service being sung for the late Dean.

Now in the order of Iolanthe's reports and Marbretherese's additions:
1. Thursday evening.
After lugging my stuff up to my room (in Peckwater, so without view of the Meadow), Evensong and Thai dinner (with a Dutch-Belgian-German-Swiss group) I turned in to Hospitality, in time for the Telerin circle, which is where people read from their favourite passages in Tolkien's works. There was a large group this year, from many different countries, and we got lots of different passages, among which part of Mythopoeia, and the Lament for Eorl in Hebrew stand out. Meanwhile I wondered what I should read, and having settled on something, Christopher Kreuzer read from the Silmarillion the passages related to Fëanor's Oath and the Prophecy of Mandos. I responded by launching into my selection: Fëanor's Oath in alliterative verse from Lays of Beleriand, much to Christopher's enjoyment, and threw in the chorus from Alex and Ted's ballad on The Doom of Mandos:
Tears Unnumbered ye shall shed,
Echo of your Lamentation,
All things turn to evil end,
For the House of Fëanor.
Murray Smith and I rounded off with Húrin's defiance and Túrin's ravings respectively from Children of Húrin.
2. Friday morning.
Bearing in mind what I said earlier about the packed programme, it is no surprise that I went to quite different items than Iolanthe and Marberetherese. I went to Murray Smith's 'Princes Fictional and Real', centering on a quite interesting comparison of first Albert Victor Duke of Clarence and Avondale and his brother George Duke of York (George V) and second Edward David Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) and his brother Albert Duke of York (George VI) to the brothers Boromir and Faramir and to the brothers Baldor and Aldor.

Next came Heidi Steimel's 'Musical Instruments in Middle-earth'. Where would the Ainur get the instruments that in Lost Tales they are playing in the Void from? In the Silmarillion they have disappeared. And then there are: the trumpets of Manwë (did he play them himself, or had them blown?), the horns of Ulmo and Oromë, the harps of the Vanyar, the viols of the Noldor, the pipes of the Teleri, the harps of Maglor and Finrod, the horns of Buckland, Rohan and Mardil Voronwë, the harps, viols,lutes and silver horns of the musicians of Dol Amroth, that got cut from LotR, the Orcs' drums, and the Dwarves' fiddles, flutes, drum (Bombur signifying 'drum'), clarinets, viols and harp - all lost to the Orcs of the Misty Mountains - and finally, mentioned by Beregond: Farmer Maggot's hornpipe. With this went the Call for Papers for the volume of essays on Music in Middle-earth that Heidi will be editing (and Walking Tree will be publishing).

After which I attended the Auction, and got in some friendly competition with Fangorn (which one can never win - still one can have some fun). It was reminiscent of the auction of Bilbo's possessions: a variety of things going for next to nothing or old songs. No-one wanted to bid for two volumes of HoMe (first printing A&U hardcover) that Christopher Kreuzer had shown me over breakfast (enough mushrooms for any hobbit!), being quite surprised that I thought them worth £50 - 100 each, maybe more. Auctioneer Wellinghall agreed with me on the valuation, putting a reserve on them, but there was no market.

The bowler-hatted chaps appear strictly speaking not to be (College) Porters, but 'Bulldogs', that is University policemen, reporting to the Proctor. I also had some chats with the friendly one, and heard the same reported by others (there is a nice picture of him with Angie Gardner and Lyn Willshire on Neil Anderson's Facebook); he called me 'squire'.

I'm sorry to have missed the Monteverdi Vespers (I heard the Bishop of Salisbury's performance at Milton Abbey some years ago), but of course I was occupied elsewhere by the busy schedule ... St. Cecilia, in the Burne-Jones window, is actually Alice's sister, as I found out when I did a round of the Cathedral after Sunday's Eucharist. Quite nearby I found a stone to the memory of Wystan Hugh Auden.
3. Rest of Friday.
In the afternoon I did not go to Ted's slide show - as I had seen it as recently as July at the German Tolkien Society's "Thing". Instead I went to Maggie Burns' 'Until the Dragon Comes', on Tolkien's activities and experiences in WW I, and some links with his works. The title links this 'War to end all wars´ to Beowulf, the dragonfight to end all dragons - for it is the closing sentence of Tolkien's famous Beowulf lecture; spoken in 1937 just when Germany had invaded the Rhineland ...

Then, the only time I went to the same stream as Iolanthe and Marbretherese, to Alex Lewis lecture about On Fairy Stories: how Tolkien was 3rd choice to give the Andrew Lang lecture, for which he was paid half a contemporary workman's annual pay. Also how he changed his good opinions of Lang in 1939 to 'damning him with faint praises' in 1964.

After this, I had to hurry off to the Covered Market to order one of the wreaths for Enyalië.

"Mercury" is actually the name commonly used not only for the statue, but for the whole fountain and pond - even in the notice forbidding students to jump into it, which I found posted in Hospitality, a.k.a. the Junior Common Room. In Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night, St. George, after having knocked over Harriet Vane coming out of the Cathedral, offers to drown himself "in Mercury" when he realises he has been saying all the wrong things about his uncle's love for her.

The "Bacon'd geezer" over the High Table was nicknamed 'hover-don' by the Cambridge Tolkien Society group.

After Evensong, Welcome Dinner, a long discussion in Hospitality about Elven linguistics, and the Undercroft Bar, I located a room party almost next to my own room in Peckwater, where Maddy Anderson and Mole (the 'chief Goon') were holding forth in song, both serious and rowdy.
4. Saturday.
This day, I found myself going to the same stream as Iolanthe and Marbretherese for the first lecture in the morning, Andrew Morton's 'The Influential Mrs Neave', and I've nothing to add to their reports.

After that Susan Edward and Beregond's group discussion 'Why learn Elvish languages', sitting in as 'friendly uncle' on what was really intended to get an Elvish Language Study Group underway in England. Susan had prepared a valuable list of good websites on the subject.

And so on to the International Tolkien Fellowship, the meeting of representatives of Tolkien societies from across the world. Represented were: Britain, Switzerland, Germany, United States (two different states), Norway, Sweden, Austria, Israel and The Netherlands. Some topics were: links with other literary societies, and with other Fantasy/SF societies - involvements with possible bids for WorldCon in 2014 and/or 2015 - "Return of the Ring" conference in Loughborough 2012 - presenting the Tolkien societies in each others Journals (DTG have been doing this in their Flammifer for several years) - Nordic Tolkien Festival in Norway, September 2009 - recent publicity - relations with Tolkien Estate and publishers.

In the afternoon I also went to Alan Reynolds and David Doughan's '"On Fairy-Stories" revisited', nothing to add to Marbretherese's report of that. The Bells were ringing a quarter peal of Stedman's Caters, because of the memorial service for the late professor Chadwick, sometime Dean of Christ Church (and for good measure they rang a whole peal on Sunday), and this was when the Cathedral Choir was singing Brahms, Walford Davies and Palestrina (a.o.).

After this, I stayed on for the Tribute to Pauline Baynes, but sneaked out when the talk turned to The future of the Narnia Films, to go to the Dealers room for autographs and proceedings.

Finding the Art Room already closed, I then caught the second half of Ruth Lacon's 'J.R.R. Tolkien and the Medieval Trojan Legend', and there I found the lack of sleep taking over ... Still, I find quite a bit of notes in my pad - on links of The Fall of Gondolin, not with the classical account of the Fall of Troy, but with the medieval one. Priam's son Helenus escaping with wife and child - Tuor, Idril and Eärendil. Priam's "commanding voice" - Turgon/Turukano = commanding voice. Mechanical dragons in FoG - Trojan Horse. Shining Tree of Troy - Two Trees of Gondolin, possibly the origin of the entire Two Trees motif. And: "Tolkien's remarkable habit of knowing the most obscure sources in Latin".

Lembas Extra is the regular academic journal of the Tolkien Society Unquendor in The Netherlands (Lembas being its ordinary journal). It is roughly biennial, and its most recent issue (2007, but actually published this year) is the proceedings of the 5th Lustrum Conference in 2006 (Unquendor's 25th anniversary, and the Dutch LotR's 50th - hence the articles on translations, and Cor Blok's talk as the illustrator of the longest running Dutch edition).

As to St. Aloysius at the Oratory, Scull&Hammond (Readers Guide) say that it was one of the churches that Tolkien attended as an undergraduate, and while living in Northmoor Road from 1926 to 1947. His son John said his first Mass there.

As to rooms in College: I found the quality of both rooms and meals in Christ Church a cut above other colleges (and universities) that I have had experience of. My room was bigger than any of the others I saw at CC, I could have had half the Oxonmoot attendance for a room party, but no-one wanted it for one.
5. Saturday evening, Sunday morning.
The One Van (a.k.a. The One-eyed Green Monster) belongs to René van Rossenberg of Tolkienshop.com.

Iolanthe's "Who?" singing with Ted is Caspar Reiff, the originator (with Peter Hall) of and prime force behind The Tolkien Ensemble. It was his setting of The Road Goes ever On they were singing ... And the "somebody else" in Marbretherese's photo singing with Ted and Alex is Madeline Anderson, I think she's got a degree in music (and how great the difference between her 'professional voice' at that party, and her 'howling' at the roomparty the previous night!).

Joanna Tolkien commented on the lack of hair on my feet - for daring to dress up as a hobbit! Mole was quite shocked when I told him she'd heard most of his Goon show, but she was quite amused, really.

After the party (and taking down the 'tech' ) I visited both roomparties that were apparently going on - one in the new TS chairman's room across St. Aldate's, the other somewhere in Meadow building (and you thought it was quiet ...), both less lively than the Friday night party, especially after the night porter came to warn us for making a noise.

To be accurate, at Enyalië Denis Bridoux is not singing Namárië to Donald Swan's setting from The Road Goes Ever On, his version is taken directly from Tolkien´s own singing on the tape-recording made by George Sayer (and sometimes available from the BBC or Caedmon Records). He is also singing the words Tolkien is singing there, which differ slightly from those in LotR and RGEO. Of course Donald Swan's setting is based on the same tune, which Tolkien also sang to him. At Heidi Steimel's lecture, Beregond told us it's actually the Gregorian chant to which the readings from the Lamentations during Holy Week are sung.

Denis Bridoux is the gentleman on the left in Iolanthe's photograph with Joanna Tolkien on the right, standing apart from the crowd preparing himself mentally for the singing. Incidentally, after featuring me so prominently in the Moreton-in-Marsh-report, how did you manage to leave me out of that photograph, with both Hildor and Beregond (in his formal robes), who laid two of the wreaths, there? That is my fixed spot at Enyalië. But possibly I was showing some of the Dutch first-timers Humphrey Carpenter's grave.

I'm sorry to have missed out on the Custodian - after Enyalië I went straight in to Eucharist in the Cathedral, after which I went round the Cathedral and then the Picture Gallery, before going to the Nosebag for tea with Jeremy Morgan and assorted Oxonmooters. After Evensong, where Mole discovered that the verger still remembered him from when his college choir from Cambridge had been in to sing services, dinner in the Bird and Baby (as everyone at Oxonmoot calls the Eagle and Child), again with divers Oxonmooters. Mole brought a local friend, who surprised me by quoting back at me the slightly crackpot theory I had launched at Tolkien 2005, apparently approvingly!

I spent an extra night in College, before travelling back to The Netherlands. No cooked breakfast on Monday, but at least there was breakfast, which is more than can be said for other colleges on Oxonmoot Monday!
Not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day! - Aragorn in Rohan [LR 3 II:142]

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:54 pm

Hallo Mithrennaith :wave: ! thanks so much for posting this - It’s great to get another ‘take’ on Oxonmoot and hear about some of the other talks on offer; Iolanthe and I have reasonably similar tastes and interests so tend to want to go to the same ones. It would make for better coverage if we attended different lectures, but then there would be some Nasty Wrangling over who went to what :shock: . . . . you’re right about so much going on at the same time – we had to make some difficult choices. I would have loved to catch the Pauline Baynes Tribute, and Ruth Lacon’s lecture, but there were a lot of clashes, and we wanted time to mooch about the Art Room, the Dealers Room and of course the Picture Gallery and Cathedral.

I never spotted the sign warning undergrads not to jump into “Mercury” (I would have had to take a photo, so perhaps it’s just as well). It’s good to know who some of the people in our photos are, particularly at the Ents. Madeline Anderson sang beautifully so thanks for identifying her. I think we were lucky with our staircase in the Meadows Building – it was at one end of the complex and beautifully peaceful. Mind you, the walls were so thick it would have had to be a really rowdy party to wake us!

I’d forgotten about Humphrey Carpenter’s grave being at Wolvercote: we saw you showing it to some people but by the time we realised what was going on it was too late to come over. In fact, you are in one of my photos at the graveside – I leave it to you to identify yourself if you want to!
Image

© marbretherese

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Mithrennaith
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Post by Mithrennaith » Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:26 pm

Thank you, Marbretherese, for your kind words. :flower: Well, I'm looking a bit like a sick tomcat in a 'weskit' there, second from left, next to Hildor. Beregond is looking very fine as usual, next to him is the chap who accompanies Joanna Tolkien on these occasions, he is a long standing acquaintance of the Tolkien family. Saturday evening at the party he pumped me about the current situation in Elvish linguistics. Next is Joanna, talking to Diana Wilson, with Barry Wilson in the red coat, almost shielding Denis Bridoux from view. The Wilsons hold the rights to Pamela Chandlers photographs of Tolkien, and market them in a very decent fashion, maintaining good relations with both the Tolkien family and Tolkien societies.
Not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day! - Aragorn in Rohan [LR 3 II:142]

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:04 pm

How great to have your report here, Mithrennaith :D , it's filled in a lot of gaps, especially about the music. I remember now that Ted introduced Caspar as the composer of the music for 'The Road goes ever on and on'. It's amazing what you forget if you don't write it down! It was lovely, even if it was a bit low for Ted. I love all the Tolkien Ensemble's music.

I'm glad you heard some of Ruth Lacon's talk. We would have liked to have gone but just couldn't manage it.

I love 'hover-don' :lol: . Great description.

Denis Bridoux sang very beautifully. I could see him wandering around with his bottle of water. As another singer (and obsessive water bottle carrier) I really felt for him.

Finally - I'm so glad you liked my Denethor!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Elegaer
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Post by Elegaer » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:50 pm

I spent Sunday at a meeting of the Oxonmoot committee. It was remarkably interesting, seeing more of how the behind-the-scenes stuff works.

I'm really looking forward to Oxonmoot next year!

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:07 pm

Me too :D . It's a mammoth task organizing it all, I'm sure!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:22 am

:clapping: This has been fantastic ladies. The images and memories...I feel as though I was there. :hug:
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:44 pm

Glad you enjoyed it!! :D I certainly had a lot of fun writing my bits . . . !
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:30 pm

Thanks Philipa - yes, we did want you all to feel as though you'd shared it. We're really privileged to be near to so much Tolkien related activity and also all the places associated with him. Sharing it in glorious detail is the least we can do :lol: .
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:04 pm

Tolkien Society Oxonmoot 2009

25th – 27th September
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford



Image
Lady Margaret Hall, looking towards the gate

© Iolanthe

Part 1

or

Friday night is Bonsai Bath Night



Well – here we are again at Lady Margaret Hall, where Oxonmoot had its home in 2007! Marbretherese and I arrived late afternoon having formed an advance party because we had Art to hang, with Jonick following on after School (some people never leave…) in time for the Welcome Dinner.

I’d been looking forward to going back to Lady Margaret because of its beautiful grounds and closeness to the University Parks, and also because I could ponce about the place with Marbretherese and Jonick (our Oxonmoot Virgin) knowing it all and making myself thoroughly annoying. ‘The Dining Hall is there, Registration is here, the Art Room is up the stairs, you must see the gardens, you must visit the chapel….’ . I’m surprised Marbretherese didn’t tie me to a tree so she could go off and discover it all herself.

Imagine my delight when I discovered that we were all staying in Kathleen Lea house because that’s where I stayed before and I knew all about that too. ‘It’s this way, you use the blob to open the door, here’s the lift, that’s my old room….’. My delight was even stronger because now I had someone to verify the dimensions of the Bonsai Bathroom which was the highlight of my stay in 2007. Every room has one and I think they’ve actually shrunk since I last saw one (though it could be because I’ve put on a few pounds). It’s like a Tardis in reverse. It looks quite substantial before you open the door but when step inside you discover a cat couldn’t wash its ears in there. Marbretherese can now verify that if you sit on the loo you can touch the door with your nose. I told you so. I reckon that the whole thing including the shower would fit inside an airplane toilet cubicle. Fantastic! Something for Jonick (who is an Ent) to look forward to.

Having deposited our luggage, Marbretherese and I headed over to the Art Room to hang our stuff, only to find we were a bit on the late side and had missed the boat, as the room was locked. We lugged our stuff over to Registration and luckily caught up with Becky, who was In Charge of Art, and who very kindly came back over with us and let us in. She had a place all ready for us (very efficient, Becky!) and had very kindly brought some hanging wire because I had vapours last year over the velcro dots (anything to stop me crying over the display boards) and we set about getting our pictures up. Marbretherese had very sensibly brought her own wire (that’s one brownie point to Marbretherese) and is a very experienced wire manipulator, managing to make it obedient to her will through some dark Gandalfian spell. I was hopeless and the wire sprang at me from all angles before curling itself into knots and sneering at me. How the pictures stayed up all weekend I’ll never know. I took ‘Gandalf’, ‘Fimbrethil’ and ‘Glaurung’s Death throes’ (he probably would have been despatched much sooner if only Turin had used hanging wire on him) and Marbretherese took ‘Spring surpassed his wildest hopes’, 'Frodo ran to the eastern window' and ‘The days are now short..’, which she tried in vain to hide at the bottom, but I wouldn’t let her. Becky waited very patiently while we wrestled the pictures into submission which was very good of her as she had ‘something to finish’ to put up the next day and auction for charity.

We then went off to register and collect our copies of the Oxonmoot Information booklet which I was keen to see because it had my ‘Bofur, Balin and Bilbo at Bag End’ on the cover. I wonder whether anyone else noticed that Balin has the end of a viol growing out of the top of his head…. and then, because I Knew It All, I took Marbretherese on a quick tour of the grounds: ‘Here’s the garden, here’s the river, there’s the bridge…’

Image
Ent having a good look at the Cherwell

© Iolanthe

When Jonick (finally - don't ask...) had arrived and enjoyed the full Bonsai experience we headed down to the Dining Hall for the evening Welcome Dinner. The Chairman of Oxonmoot told us, in a short speech, just how many different countries people had travelled from – it was pretty impressive and proof of just how universal Tolkien is. I must admit I was full of anticipation for the dinner as Lady Margaret Hall knows how to feed hungry hobbits and the meal last year was terrific. We weren’t disappointed, it was pretty wonderful with salmon, followed by delicious roast tiny bird (quail? partridge? sedge warbler? I can’t remember…) followed by pannacotta, and I’m sure it would have gone down very well at Bag End. It was the start of a general trend of eating too much because of a dazzling array of treats. Not only were there mints with the coffee, but little chocolate cups, fruit pastilles and Turkish Delight. You have to be pretty determined to stuff your face with sticky, sweet Turkish Delight after a meal like that but I somehow managed it.

Image
It’s all go in the college bar…

© Iolanthe

Then we headed to the bar where (due to a lack of warm seats away from the open door) Marbretherese, Jonick and I ended up sitting in a line in an alcove socialising with a juke box. There was much hilarity in the bar when someone spotted this:

Image
These old universities are very primitive….

© Iolanthe

They must have been there for the Orcs.

Part 2 tomorrow: Saturday Morning or Bag End will never be the same again…
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:51 pm

Agh! Iolanthe, my sides are aching! I ALWAYS look forward to your whimsical reports from these trips, and you certainly have NOT disappointed. I simply must make it to Lady Margaret Hall sometime, if only to see the Bonsai Bathrooms, which you must admit, uncomfortable as they are, they are light years ahead of the alternative in your last picture!

Can't wait to hear and see more!
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
Varda
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Location: Middle-west

Post by Merry » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:53 am

Iolanthe, this is one of your many talents, and I think you should begin writing for travel magazines! Were the Bonsai Bathrooms comparable to the ones at Exeter? (I still remember having to step out of the shower to rinse the shampoo out!)

Are your paintings for sale or for show?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

marbretherese
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:42 pm
Location: Middle England
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Post by marbretherese » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:59 am

Here’s Part One of my contribution - I’ll add my comments as Iolanthe goes along, so we don’t get out of sync:

It was great to be back for my second Oxonmoot - no longer a newbie! I even found myself handing out (completely unsolicited) advice to a first-timer at the porter’s lodge. It was a relief that Iolanthe knew her way around - meant I didn’t have to think too hard :D The porter referred to our hall as “Katie Lea” - thus endowing the relatively modest block with its own appropriately feminine personality. She had a lovely tree growing right outside her front door:
Image
outside Katie Lea's front door

© marbretherese 2009

I loved the room I was to share with Jonick - I’d never stayed anywhere where the wardrobe was bigger than the bathroom! Like Iolanthe I could sit on the loo and touch the door with my nose (at one point during my stay I unthinkingly hung a bath towel on the back of the door and reduced the available space by a quarter) and I was thrilled to discover that I could wash my hands in the bathroom basin while standing in the bedroom. As I’m only 5’2” and the bathroom door was set about 6” off the ground I thought this was quite an achievement. . . . I will say, though, that everything worked - which is more than I can say for some of the far grander bathrooms I’ve washed in!

Hanging the paintings was a bit of a nightmare. I tried to do it too quickly because I didn't want to keep Becky waiting, and took far longer as a result. She'd saved us both a prime position, bless her! After registration Iolanthe showed me the superb grounds and I got terribly over-excited at the sight of some punts moored on the banks of the River Cherwell:
Image
punts on the River Cherwell

© marbretherese 2009

Jonick arrived with minutes to spare. I rushed him through at great speed ("here's-the-porters'- lodge/ registration/ Katie Lea/ there's-the-dining-hall/ here's-our-room/ bathroom/ room-key/ see-you-over-there") and went in to dinner with Iolanthe. I will admit that when I entered the dining hall I missed the grandeur of Christ Church. For a nanosecond. In the event, because everything at Lady Margaret Hall is smaller and more modern than at Christ Church, the whole weekend had a far more intimate feel - rather like a family reunion! Jonick joined us just before the meal began (I have no idea how he coped with the bathroom but he muttered something about bringing back memories of his student days).

The food was superb - the sauce with the main course included juniper berries from the bushes in the LMH garden - and it turned out that the Frenchman on my right had given what sounded like really interesting lectures at previous Oxonmoots (he wasn't in the programme this year, sadly). The bar was packed. It was good to see TolkSoc members upholding the Shire’s tradition of fine ale and pipeweed, but I settled for a nice cup of Rosie Lee (Cockney rhyming slang for tea) - or perhaps I should say Katie Lea :D - before bed. It had been a great day. And we hadn’t even got to any lectures yet . . . . !
Last edited by marbretherese on Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


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http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

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