My good friend Brian Reeve called me a week beforehand and announced that since nothing else seemed to be happening, the day should be celebrated in a less formal setting instead, so he graciously offered his Upper Hutt residence for the event. Brian often gives off quite the hobbit vibe, something confirmed by the "Bag End" sign on the side of the house.
I had emailed a few local people who'd been in touch with me in the previous weeks/months about this, and we all headed over there for a beautiful afternoon. Everyone shared a common interest in Lord Of The Rings, and in Wellington in particular. Grant found me through this blog, Erica is one of the good folks over at TORn, and Tyellas is a Tolkien based fan-fiction author I met a few months ago. Erica brought her husband Thomas and baby Charlie the resident hobbit, and of course Brian's wife suzie and son Harrison were there as well - all excellent people.
Josh, Grant, Jack, Erica, Aiko and Tyellas. (Photo by Brian)
The weather fined up unexpectedly, and towards the end of the afternoon we took in a local LOTR sight/site - Harcourt Park, or The Gardens Of Isengard. It so "happened" that I'd taken the precaution on bringing my tour material with me, so I took everyone around the gardens where Gandalf met with Saruman to discuss what should happen to The One Ring.
All in all, a fun day after all. Especially the lunch was great - a big thanks to Erica who baked her world famous 6 minute Chocolate Cake, to Grant who brought a fine drop of wine (which, me being the driver, I always miss out on!), to Tyellas who brought the healthy fruit option, to Aiko who baked her amazing Apple Crumble, and most of all to Brian and Susie who, apart from providing the venue, outdid themselves with the excellent homemade Pizzas.
From now on there will be a number of 10th anniversaries - last day of filming, release of the three movies (one after the other), etc. Let's see how many hobbit afternoons we'll be able to set up!
As an aside, I heard of a few other cities with their own celebrations - New York had one I believe, and somewhere in India, one of my readers known as Eorl the Young organised one as well?
Did anyone else do anything? Leave me a comment here!
- Jack M.