It’s not really the case that I don’t want to write something new or develop some of the half-written things lurking in my study.
It’s just that there’s so much to do in the garden, which is too big for me and constantly threatened by ivy-attack.
While the weather is suitable I must prioritise that – mustn’t I? After all I can’t manage more than about 20-30 minutes a day, otherwise all my joints gang up on me and refuse to allow me to do any for the following 2-3 days.
But I wonder what excuse I’ll think of in the winter?
Anyway, one of today’s garden jobs was to finish remodelling my Cat Memorial Corner.
How important is that? Well, very important to me and a nonsensical waste of time and resources to some, I daresay.
But that’s what I’ve done.
It’s been a long wait but volume 2 is here! The forces of darkness plus creative inertia combine to block the triumph of art, words, music – but they will never succeed, not while there’s chocolate and gluten-free ice cream!
The gripping tale of this morning.
First, Fluff is seized and thrust into his carry-basket by his guardian.
Then he is seat-belted into the car and driven, catnapped, along endless roads.
33% of the way to the groomer, Fluff produces a remarkably smelly poo.
Guardian finds a layby, manages to clear up the damage and drives on.
66% of the way to the groomer, Fluff regurgitates breakfast.
Guardian manages to find something vaguely resembling a layby, but not one that pleases passing drivers. Manages to clear up the the second lot of damage. Drives on.
At the groomer’s, guardian sips thankfully at cuppa while Fluff howls, squeals and vigorously objects to every inch of shaving and every flick of the comb. But now and then indicates he quite likes these people really. He looks so sweet when trimmed that he is photographed for the website.
Carry-basket is relined with clean liners, and Fluff inserted therein. He sits and smiles at us, then floods clean liner with considerably impressive amount of wee for a cat so resistant to drinking.
Liner removed and Fluff has to go home on his fortunately only slightly damp towel.
Now that the poorly old tooth I have been stubbornly trying to save for the last couple of years has bitten (sorry) the dust, how clear it has become to me that I should have given up long ago. I was ingesting too much paracetamol for too long, and insisting that it was a perfectly reasonable objective to hang on to the beast for another ten years or so.
Good old hindsight. And well done dentist for being more patient than his patient.
Not only I am free of pain and paracetamol, I think my brain is waking up; slowly.
I can now plan things without forgetting what the first thing was I started from and where I put the list when the plan was completed.
I’ve caught up with the filing! (Mostly)
I can read more and faster and better.
But I can’t seem to write yet. Or promote what I’ve written. It looks as if energy levels need to be much higher for these creative works to restart.
Do the nerves from your back teeth have some sort of hotline to the writing areas of the brain?
Am plodding on with swimming, gardening, cat care, reading, organising family history files and such, waiting for something at the back of my mind to say; ‘this is what happens in the next paragraph, and then that will happen and……..’
When Thrain went away Thorin was 95, a great dwarf of proud bearing and full manhood. Maybe because rid of the Ring, Thorin long remained in Ered Luin, labouring and journeying and gathering such wealth as he could, until his people had fair houses in the hills, and were not [? ill content], though in their songs they spoke ever of the Lonely Mountain and the wealth and bliss of the Great Hall and the light of the Arkenstone.
But the years lengthened, and the embers of his heart began to grow hot as Thorin brooded on the wrongs of his house and people. Remembering too that Thror had lain upon him the vengeance due to Smaug.
But Erebor was far away and his people only few; and he had little hope that Dain Ironfoot would help in any attempt upon the dragon. For Thorin thought ever after the manner of his kingly forefathers, counting forces and weapons and the chances of war, as his hammer fell on the red iron in his forge.
It was at this point that Mithrandir entered the story of the House of Durin. He had before troubled himself little with Dwarves. He was a friend to those of good will, and liked well the exiles of Durin’s Folk that dwelt in the west. But on a time it happened that Mithrandir was passing west through Eriador (journeying to see Cirdan, maybe, or to visit the Shire which he had not entered for some years) when he fell in with Thorin Oakenshield going the same way, and they spoke much together on the road, and at Bree where they rested. In the morning Mithrandir said to Thorin: ‘I have thought much in the night. Now if that seems good to you I will come home with you for a while and we will talk further in greater privacy.’
The Peoples of Middle-earth
Then Hurin looked up to the grey sky, thinking that by fortune he might once more descry the Eagles, as he had done long ago in his youth. But he saw only the shadows blown from the East, and clouds swirling about the inaccessible peaks; and wind hissed over the stones. But the watch of the Great Eagles was now redoubled, and they marked Hurin well, far below, forlorn in the failing light. And straightaway Sorontar himself, since the tidings seemed great, brought word to Turgon.
But Turgon said: ‘Nay! This is past belief! Unless Morgoth sleeps. Ye were mistaken.’
‘Nay, not so,’ answered Sorontar. ‘If the Eagles of Manwe were wont to err thus, Lord, your hiding would have been in vain.’
‘Then your words bode ill,’ said Turgon; ‘for they can mean only that even Hurin Thalion hath surrendered to the will of Morgoth. My heart is shut.’ But when he had dismissed Sorontar, Turgon sat long in thought, and he was troubled, remembering the deeds of Hurin. And he opened his heart, and he sent to the Eagles to seek for Hurin, and to bring him, if they could, to Gondolin. But it was too late, and they saw him never again in light or in shadow.
For Hurin stood at last in despair before the stern silence of the Echoriad, and the westering sun, piercing the clouds, stained his white hair with red. Then he cried aloud in the wilderness, heedless of any ears, and he cursed the pitiless land: ‘hard as the hearts of Elves and Men’. And he stood at last upon a great stone, and spreading wide his arms, looking towards Gondolin, he called in a great voice: ‘Turgon, Turgon! Remember the Fen of Serech!’ And again: ‘Turgon! Hurin calls you. O Turgon, will you not hear in your hidden halls?’
But there was no answer, and all that he heard was wind in the dry grasses. ‘Even so they hissed in Serech at the sunset,’ he said. And as he spoke the sun went behind the Mountains of Shadow, and a darkness fell about him, and the wind ceased, and there was silence in the waste.
Yet there were ears that had heard the words that Hurin spoke, and eyes that marked well his gestures; and report of all came soon to the Dark Throne in the North. Then Morgoth smiled, and knew now clearly in what region Turgon dwelt, though because of the Eagles no spy of his could yet come within sight of the land behind the encircling mountains. This was the first evil that the freedom of Hurin achieved.
The War of the Jewels
Then Melkor dwelt for a while in a humble house in Valmar under vigilance, and was not yet suffered to walk abroad alone. But since in that time all his words and works were fair, and he became in outward form and seeming even as the Valar his brethren, Manwe gave him his freedom within Valinor. Yet Tulkas’ mirth was clouded whenever he saw Melkor pass by, and the nails of his fingers bit into the palms ofhis hands, for the restraint that he put upon himself.
And indeed Melkor was false and betrayed the clemency of Manwe, and used his freedom to spread lies abroad and poison the peace of Valinor. Thus a shadow fell upon the Blessed Land and its golden Noon passed; yet it was long ere the lies of Melkor bore fruit, and still the Valar dwelt long in bliss.
Now in his heart Melkor most hated the Eldar, both because they were fair and joyful and because in them he saw the reason for the arising of the Valar and his own downfall and subjection. Therefore all the more did he feign love for them, and sought their friendship, and offered them the service of his lore and labour in any great deed that they would do. And many of the Noldor, because of their desire of all knowledge, hearkened to him and took delight in his teaching. But the Vanyar would have no part with him.
1449. In this Year Feanor began that labour of his which is renowned above all the works of the Eldalie; for his heart conceived the Silmarils, and he made much study and many essays ere their fashioning could begin. And though Melkor said after that Feanor had his instruction in that work, he lied in his lust and his envy; for Feanor was driven by the fire of his own heart only, and was eager and proud, working ever swiftly and alone, asking no aid and brooking no counsel.
Men there marvelled, in the mist standing of the dark islands in the deeps of time: laughter they knew not, light nor wisdom; shadow was upon them, and sheer mountains stalked Behind them, stern and lifeless, evil-haunted. The East was dark.
The ship came shining to the shore driven, and strode upon the strand, till its stern rested on sand and shingle. The sun went down. The clouds overcame the cold heavens. In fear and wonder to the fallow water sad-hearted men swiftly hastened, to the broken beaches, the boat seeking gleaming-timbered in the grey twilight. They looked within, and there laid sleeping a boy they saw breathing softly: his face was fair, his form lovely; his limbs were white, his locks raven golden-braided. Gilt and carven with wondrous work was the wood about him. In golden vessel gleaming water stood beside him; strung with silver a harp of gold beneath his hand rested; his sleeping head was softly pillowed on a sheaf of corn shimmering palely, as the fallow gold doth from far countries west of Angol. Wonder filled them.
Gandalf was not in the lodging, and Pippin went with Beren of the Guard, and he was shown to the others of the third company and welcomed by them, and made merry with them, taking his midday meal among them in a little hall near the north wall, and going here and there with others until the evening meal, and the closing hour, and the lowering of standards. Then he himself after the manner of Gondor soon went to his bed. Gandalf had not come or left any message. He
rolled into bed and soon slept. In the night he was awakened by a light and saw Gandalf in the room outside the alcove. He was pacing to and fro. ‘When will Faramir return?* he heard him mutter, as he peered out of the dark window. Then Pippin went to sleep again.
The War of the Ring
‘I do not know what fables men have made out of old knowledge,’ said Aragorn. ‘And of the truth little is now known, even to Keleborn. But I have heard tell that in Fangorn, clinging here on the east side of the last slopes of the Misty Mountains, the ancient trees have taken refuge that once marched dark and proud over the wide lands, before even the first Elves awoke in the World. Between the Baranduin and the Barrowdowns is another forest of old trees; but it is not as great as Fangorn. Some say that both are but the last strongholds of one mighty wood, more vast than Mirkwood the Great, that held under its dominion all the countries through which now flow the Greyflood and the Baranduin; others say that Fangorn is not akin to the Old Forest, and that its secret is of other kind.’
The Treason of Isengard