Monday, February 25, 2013

Welly-moot 2.1 (Feb 24, 2013) - All about Tolkien

A great meeting on Sunday - an almost record number of people turned up - 19 in all! Especially good since we hadn't done anything other than announced it on this blog (which automatically posts to Twitter, Facebook and Google+). So, apparently you guys are all watching then! Always good to know!

The meeting started with a welcome message from me to the first Welly-moot of 2013.

From far left/top, clockwise - new member Annabel; Charlene; Miranda; new member Elliot; Wayne; new member Karena; Kris; Jenifer; (and in front, backs turned) Alex; Kumi, new member Ben, and Mervi

We have several new guests; Annabel and Elliot joined us today - I met both of them a week before, at the Weta Cave while I was showing a group around on a tour. Annabel is a jewelery designer who has created some beautiful pieces for her Doctor Who passion, as well as recently a badge for Weta Workshop's Doctor Grordbort Range. Elliot is currently studying digital animation and SFX, among other things.

I had handed Annabel a Welly-moot card in the hope they might both make it for the moot, so that went well! What I hadn't anticipated was that she liked our logo so much she made a badge out of it!

Welly-moot Bronze Lapel Pin
I will talk to Annabel further about this - I'm very keen to be able to offer our members the chance to buy this - you'll be supporting a very talented artist! Can everyone drop me a message if you're keen on buying a badge - they'll be in the vicinity of $10-$20 each, depending on final design and number of orders, I suspect.

Ben also attended for the first time, he's from Christchurch originally, and has decided to make Wellington his new home. Ben has also done some papers with Corey Olsen, aka the Tolkien Professor, so it sounds like we have another hardcore Tolkien fan!

Finally, Karena also joined us, from France. Karena had been on a tour with me the day before, and had taken me up on my invitation. I suspect Karena won't join us again since she's only in NZ for a short time, but it was very nice to have you with us, all the same!

Also with us for her last meeting was Mervi, who will have to return to Finland again shortly, after her extended stay in New Zealand. We will all be very sad to see her go, but at least she has another Tolkien group to return to - Suomen Tolkien-seura Kontu ry. Mervi gave me a present from her group - a beautiful T-shirt with "Hobbit" written in Suomi and in Runes. Thank you - I shall wear it with pride!

From far left/top, counterclockwise - Ryan; Jenifer; Kris; (in front) Karena; Wayne; Elliot; Miranda; Charlene; Annabel; Martyn; Mervi; Ben; Kumi; Alex. The empty seat is mine (-Jack). Missing here are Adam, who was getting another coffee; and Hawk and Annabel's two girls (separate table - their discussion was about whether boys can wear tutus or not).

Next on the agenda was to discuss the two projects we're currently working on - the naming of Mount Tolkien is awaiting me to write a letter to the Geographic Board to let them know of the Tolkien Society's support for the proposal. I shall finish that by next moot, so an update on that then.

The big project is still the Stone Troll project out by Rivendell in the Upper Hutt Kaitoke Regional Park. We're referring to the beastie as Riventroll. Currently we're spending an astounding number of hours into filling in an Arts Council Grant application form, and that should all be done (and handed in!) by the end of this week. After that, we can relax a little!

Finally then, we got onto the main theme for the day - "It’s All about Professor Tolkien". Kris brought some beautiful books and introduced the drawings and pictures by Professor Tolkien and shared them with the group. Hobbiton, Rivendell, the Eagles, Smaug the Dragon, and the Lonely Mountain all were drawn by Tolkien. Kris also had a lovely postcard from a valley in Switzerland that looked remarkably like Rivendell. Apparently Tolkien had stayed in the valley, and the inspiration does seem to match. It also looked very much like Ted Nasmith's version of Rivendell.

It was also remarked by a few people that the Lonely Mountain looked somewhat like Mount Taranaki in New Zealand's North Island.

The discussion went to Tolkien's languages, and how it all begun with his love for them. There are some noted similarities between Quenya and the Finnish tongue, as well as between Sindarin and the Welsh language. We consulted with our resident Welshman, Martyn on this, and with our Fin Mervi.

A quick poll was taken also - had everyone read LOTR and Hobbit? Of the 16 adults, 15 had read The Hobbit, and 12 had read LOTR. I thought we'd also asked Silmarillion readers but I can't find the statistic for that right now.

As we rounded the afternoon's discussion off, Kris wanted to know if anyone had ideas for future meetings. Here are a couple:

  • Tolkien's short stories
  • Tolkien's theology (and his academic writings)
  • Middle-earth cuisine

Please let us know any other ideas you may have.

That concluded the first meeting for 2013 - if this one was anything to go by, it should be a cracker year!

  - Jack

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welly-moot 2.1 (Feb. 24, 2013) - It's All About The Professor

This week's meeting will be whatever we each make it. Bring something to show or tell that you admire or enjoy about Professor Tolkien;  his writings, his art, his life's story. There was something special about this man that has made "The Lord of the Rings" the world's most beloved book. What is at the top of your list?

To start us off, here is a recently published group of photographs of the Professor and his wife, Edith. It's a peek into an English academic life where books and growing things had equal value, it seems.

Thinking ahead, please bring your ideas for our next meetings - things you've been wanting to discuss.

See you Sunday at 2:00 at the Embassy Cinema upstairs cafe.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Welly-moot dates for 2013 - note them in your calendar!

Time is creeping up on us! The first meeting of 2013 approaches already, and we haven't even announced the dates yet! So, let's do that right now.

Since last year's the dates seemed to suit most people most of the time, we're just going to stick to the same basic schedule as before - every last Sunday of the even-numbered months, at 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema.

This year's schedule is as follows:

  • Welly-moot 2.1 - February 24th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema
  • Welly-moot 2.2 - April 28th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema
  • Welly-moot 2.3 - July 14th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema(*)
  • Welly-moot 2.4 - August 25th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema
  • Welly-moot 2.5 - October 27th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema
  • Welly-moot 2.6 - December 29th, 2:00pm at the Embassy Cinema
The meeting themes will be announced separately, before every meeting.

(*) Meeting 2.3 is not on the usual schedule, since we'll be overseas for our holiday on the last Sunday of June.