Loughborough Log: Day One

The day started at half past five. Actually, it started five minutes before that. Just before my alarm clock went, I dreamt it was morning, and I was dancing around our kitchen in the brilliant sunshine wearing an English football jersey, singing “Three Lions”.

A good way to start the day. On to Loughborough, for Return of the Ring 2012!

Except for the brilliant sunshine.

Got the train from Aachen at a quarter past eight, travelled through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, all in brilliant sunshine. When the train emerged on the other side of the tunnel, it had started to rain.

Come on, England. Do you really want to be as cliché as that?

Yes, said England happily. See what else I have in store for you!

I met Shaun Gunner, deputy chair of the Tolkien Society, at St Pancras, and we travelled up to Loughborough together, delightfully chatting about all things Tolkien and convincing ourselves that the rain was getting less and the sky was getting brighter.

The sky opened its floodgates as we got off the bus at Loughborough campus.

I hadn’t been prepared for rain. I hadn’t been prepared for being outside. I hadn’t been prepared for a campus that is as large as the village I live in (and then some). And I haven’t been this wet since… oh, actually, half an hour ago.

When I dragged my suitcase (which I deemed the safest way to get my precious – yes, precioussss – prints and watercolours to the art exhibition) across the campus, getting hopelessly lost and running around in circles, Good Old Blighty decided she needed to give me another demonstration of real English weather, and even under the tree where I had sought refuge, soaked me to the skin.

Shaun found me and offered me his coat – which I asked his permission to hang over my suitcase; not keen on watering my watercolours – and we finally made it to the James France building where the art show will be.

It was still in the process of being set up, but I had stepped into Tolkien heaven.

Ted Nasmith’s art was already there and mounted to the walls, and on a stall of new and old books and calendars I found a real treasure – the 1985 Tolkien calendar by Swedish artist Inger Edelfeldt, which influenced my view of Middle-earth far more than anything else ever would. If I can, I somehow need to get hold of this. I need to get a closer look tomorrow. Today, I had to keep my distance as I was dripping all over the place.

So now I’m drying my clothes, cursing the fact that I brought one single pullover and no raincoat – Jenny, you *knew* it was England, August is just no bloody excuse – getting more and more excited by the hour for tomorrow, when I’ll be meeting Anke Eissmann, Ted Nasmith, Cor Blok, and a bunch of other people on whom I’ll keep you posted!

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10 thoughts on “Loughborough Log: Day One

  1. So, so jealous and wishing I could be there! It sounds like a little piece of heaven =) Not only getting to meet and see the work of the people you mentioned, but to meet you and get to see yours in person as well!

    ~A fellow Tolkien fanatic who has been quietly stalking your blog for some time now, ever since she accidentally stumbled upon your beautiful artwork on Deviantart, and who greatly admires your artistic skill. ;)

  2. Sounds like a fantastic couple of days ahead of you! Soak it all in and have tons of fun, and please, continue to share it so we at home can enjoy it, vicariously.

  3. I would love to see the art show exhibitions, too. I hope the suitcase guarded your watercolours and prints! Have you taken originals with you? Have fun and keep the tales coming :)

    • Nyah! WordPress ate my reply!
      I did take some originals, and I might even be selling some. There has been some interest already. I spent a great deal of time today and yesterday talking to Anna, it was so great to meet her and see Kasiopeia’s art! I was really happy to get that “hi” from you so “hi” back! :)

      • :D Yes, I asked her to pass my greetings :) I’m glad you two have met and had a good time. Lucky you to see all the Kasiopea’s artworks, too. I hope to see them some day in other form than tiny illustrations in “Aiglos” or on-line. I keep my fingers crossed for the art-book of three of you, it’ll be great! If not trio, than hopefully there’ll be your art book one day since as you said there is a way to make one :) Finally I wish to visit such Tolkien convention one day, too. I was thinking about Worldcon in London, but haven’t got money for it, yet.

  4. No… raincoat? O.o That is actually funny. I think it’s very selfless of you to think about amusing all of us who can’t be there! Apart from that it sounds like tons of fun. And yay, Inger Edelfeldt. I love her stuff.

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