Akelay's Diary

Discussion in 'Stories & Tales' started by Akelay, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Akelay Member

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    Diary ~ Entry 1 ~ Back Home

    Forelithe 10th, 2010

    After months of travelling it is nice being back home. Back home in the Shire, and especially back home in Needlehole.

    Needlehole used to be my whole world. It always felt so big, and full of wonderful things. Having seen much more of Eriador in the last months, it now seems so small. Still, it is my home and nowhere and never have I tasted anything better than Ma's catfish pies, and the best place for fishing in the whole wide world still is the little spot of riverbank under the willow tree, right below our little house, on the other side of the river. There may not be 50-pound salmon to catch, but then, small fish are fine for making pies and other meals - and cleaning them up is so much faster.
    Auntie Iris gave me this small leather-bound diary. I guess she is curious to hear wether I learned some new recipes on my travels - and she is afraid I could forget something. She looks a little older, but still is the very same nice lady she always was. And we were talking as if I had left only yesterday. I have to pay her a visit tomorrow; surely she still has her pantry full of those nice biscuits. But now that I think of it... that pie she had outside on her table for cooling smelled a little bit strange. Maybe she bought it from the dwarves though.
    The dwarves. I have to pay them a visit, too. They will be surprised to hear that I have seen Thorin's Hall and Khazad-dûm, and that I have even worked at the forges there! I won't tell Ma though, I think she would faint. She never liked me visiting the dwarves - oh, if she had known that I even used to sneak into their house through the small door behind the stables. The guestroom for travelling dwarves was a great hiding place. When they did not have guests they used it as storage for interesting things. I remember Ulfar caught me once when I tried to lift his pickaxe. I guess I've been five or six then. And how shocked Ma was when he knocked the very next day and gave her a tiny version of a pickaxe for me - perfectly appropriate for the hands of a little hobbit lass. Ma says I had a dwarfish heart since that day. She also complains that on our strolls I used to get lost right in the middle of a conversation - and was found somewhere in the bushes, digging for ore.
    She just stuck her head in and asked me to catch something for the second supper, so I'll go out to my beloved willow now, and this story will be continued another time.

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    Tibba, Simbo, Lully and 3 others like this.
  2. Rubellita Member

    A lovely story, Akelay! *cheers* Can't wait to read the next entry!
  3. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 2 ~ Surprises

    Forelithe 26th, 2010

    A week has passed since my last entry and so much has happened since. It all started the very next day. I was woken by a tickling of my nose, which may have been the sunrays promising a warm and pleasant summer day - but it may also have been the most delicious smell of catfish pies. When I came into the kitchen, I couldn't believe my eyes. On every spot you can imagine there was a catfish pie for cooling. The table was full of them, and so were the chairs (except for one, which I immediately used to collapse on), the sideboard, the mantelpiece, the window sills - catfish pie everywhere.
    "The dwarves have ordered most of them, they are having guests" Ma explained while taking another one out of the oven. "Could you perhaps bring them over? After you had one yourself, that is. The one on the log holder might be cool enough for eating now. And then, I'd be glad if you could bring some to Bungo. They don't have proper fishing grounds over there in Michel Delving, so he's usually having meals without fish in them, can you imagine? What a terrible thing!" she said, manoeuvring a pie through the iron chains onto the chandelier.
    That was the first surprise of the day, and the next waited for me at the dwarves. "Look who's coming!" shouted Ulfar when he saw me, and I had just only put my baskets down when someone grabbed me from behind. I was lifted up and whirled around in the air, and I was just about to practice some of the dwarves' swear words I had learned lately, when I realised who it was. Bjorngrimm! Good old Bjorngrimm had arrived. He put me down gently and I swear I saw a tear in the corner of his eye when he said "My little hobbit lass". That was about the utmost emotional release I ever saw on a dwarf. Towards anything other than ore, that is.
    All through the years of my childhood, Bjorngrimm had been a frequent guest in the dwarves' house of Needlehole. He came at least twice a year and since I was an even more frequent visitor (about twice a day) he kind of saw me grow up. Usually he had something for me in his backpack, strangely coloured or weird shaped stones, rare flowers, and even a piece of elvish Lembas once. Now he just acted as if he had not seen me for ages - while we had just parted about a week ago in the Prancing Pony. He was the one I had been travelling with.
    Several months ago he had told me he was going to Breeland and beyond, and that he still was looking for another dwarf to do the cooking and to help him with the ore - but they were all off into the opposite direction. So I suggested I could go with him. Food and ore were two things I was quite good with. Ma was not pleased at all, but she let me go when I told her I wanted to find out where Pa had gone and if he was still alive.

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    It was a great morning, telling Ulfar, Onar, and the others about our adventures, and having a second catfish pie. And Bjorngrimm was happy to hear I was heading for Michel Delving afterwards, because he was going to the Lone Lands. He accompanied me as far as Waymeet before our ways had to part again.
    Uncle Bungo was happy about the catfish pies; he said he missed the Needlehole food terribly. But it was a busy day in the auction hall, so I could not talk to him for too long. On my way out I walked right into the next surprise - but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Auntie Iris is waiting for Ma and me with the afternoon tea - and hopefully some of those biscuits.
    Tibba, Simbo, Lully and 3 others like this.
  4. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 3 ~ Old and New Friends

    Forelithe 27th, 2010

    Oh, the tea was great; Auntie Iris is still baking the best extra deliciously tasty biscuits in the whole Shire. And she was grinning like a Breeland cat when I gave her the recipies I collected on my travels.

    Where was I? Right, the next surprise. In Michel Delving I managed to walk right into another old friend when I came out of the auction house. I had stepped on his toes, and it was not until he stopped spinning around and wailing with pain that I recognised Tolpan. He looked marvellous. No one would have guessed that he was the very same wracked figure I picked up from the bogs once. Oh, the terrible state he was in then! And lucky that I had arrived just in time.
    I was digging for ore in the bogs that night, but the nasty gnats were so importunate that I was on the verge of turning around and marching straight home. Near the waterfall I suddenly heard a loud thud. Thinking a giant fish had found his way to our end of the Shire, I went looking for it. And what I found was a completely soaked, completely drunk und half drowned hobbit. Somehow I managed to get him to our home - and the gnats were the smallest problem on our way. Next day he still was unable to talk, while Auntie Iris came to visit every other hour, bursting with curiosity. After having had about twenty decent meals and some of Ma's special blueberry ale, he started to ask where he was. Two hours later, we were able to understand it and tell him how we found him. Then we asked him who he was. Then he started to ask himself who he was. It turned out he had lost his memory. He did not know his name, nor where he came from, or how he got into this terrible state and washed down the waterfall. However, we found on his jacket - or what was left of it - the name "Tolpan" embroidered, and that is what we started calling him.
    After he had recovered, he went on living with us and was helping around wherever help was needed in Needlehole. He did not like the name Tolpan, he even doubted it was his real name, and his memory was still a mess. Once he went to graze Daffodil, Filibert's cow, and when coming back with her, he kept calling her Daisy. It often happened that his pockets were full of weird stuff - and he had not the slightest idea where it all came from.
    Then one day, he was delivering some letters for master Redsmith to Bywater. One was for Barmy Rootknot, who looked at him in total surprise and said: "There you are, old fellow! We were missing you on our Fridays! Thought, something serious had happened to you - but here you are, working for the quick post. Tolpan, old friend!" Tolpan did not know whether to laugh because he had been missed and now found by a friend, or to cry because it turned out Tolpan was his real name after all.
    Of course, shortly after that his friends helped him to move back into his old hole in Bramblebury and to get some bits of his memory back. He often passed through Needlehole later when travelling to Ered Luin and stayed with us for a day or two then.

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    And here he was again, and how much did we have to tell each other! We spent a happy afternoon in Michel Delving, having some ales and ciders, until suddenly he remembered a birthday invitation for the very same evening. At first I was disappointed, but then he simply asked me to come, too. His friend would surely not mind if he brought another hobbit lass, Tolpan said, winking at me.
    And this was how I met Master Simbo and many of his friends, many of them from the famous Grand Order of the Lost Mathom. I wished I had some of the many catfish pies left, but they were all gone. We had a jolly party in Simbo's hobbit hole, with pies and ale and music and dancing. I very much enjoyed being with so many hobbits of about my age while home in Needlehole there were not too much of them. Later on, we even danced on the table! Oh, I'm blushing while writing this, because if I remember right (after all the ale and cider and wine) I did step into the cheese once. Or twice.
    What I do remember right is that it was far after midnight when I set off for home. It was such a warm summer night, even in the bogs I could smell summer flowers, and I kept singing the merry tunes Miss Lina had played.

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    Tibba, Simbo, Lully and 3 others like this.
  5. Rubellita Member

    *cheers loudly* My wish has come true!
    Akelay likes this.
  6. Akelay Member

    Sure, everything for my hobbit friends. *smiles* I will copy more of my diary entries here as soon as I find some time for it. It was Miss Lina's idea by the way, and a grand idea it was, bringing back memories of things the younger of you might not know about yet. *winks at Rubellita*
  7. Lina Chief

    Yay, grand yer added it here too! *cheers*

    If more people have stories about their doings in the game, tales, diary entries, songs or similar, yer should definitely add them to the Stories and Tales forum here. Those are grand and good entries for the rest of us to read, so just make a thread of yer own! Screenshots/drawings with a short text can certainly be added too!
  8. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 4 ~ The Storm

    Rethe 21st, 2012

    I found my old diary. Mostly white pages, still waiting to be filled. So I will do that now.
    Good things and bad things have happened since my third (and last) entry more than a year ago. And the worst of all was the death of my dear old ma. Everything I have done since, I had to do without her. I could not tell her about my new friends, about my latest adventures, that I am playing in a band now... She could not share my happiness and my disappointments as she used to, and I could not taste her marvellous catfish pies anymore - and never will again. Mine are fine, but far away from the good ones she used to make. Maybe I will never reach her greatness in baking. It was the hardest year of my entire life, this first year without her.

    Without the storm, the diary would still be packed away... Miss Krym had just left, hope she made it home safely. A storm, just at the moment of our rehearsal for the concert. So I decided to do some thorough cleaning, preparing for the refurbishing of my burrow. And then I came upon the chest I had taken with me from Needlehole. I was not able to live in our lovely old house anymore without Ma, and so I had searched for another place. I found the loveliest hobbit hole I could imagine in the neighbourhood of Bramblebury, even with a lake and a small jetty directly in front my door. This is even better than in Needlehole, where I had to climb down the hill for fishing. Auntie Iris is taking care of our old house now. She is renting it out to a young hobbit lad and sending me some silver once in a while.
    And all the time - for more than a year - this chest with my ma's things was standing in my Bramblebury burrow and I did not have the courage to open it and go through her things. Until today. And the first thing to come into my hands is my own diary!

    I will hardly be able to recall everything that has happened since, so I will simply make some short notes for myself.

    The very next day after my last entry was a hard one, so maybe that is why I never made entry number four. It was the day I had finally told Ma that on my journey with Bjorngrimm I had not found any traces of Pa. The neighbours in Staddle did remember him as a boy, but had not even heard from him since he had gone to the Shire and met Ma. They told me I looked a lot like his sister - funny, because I did not even know he had a sister, and because everybody says I look more like uncle Bungo.
    There we sat on the table together, Ma and I, both crying, when Ulfar came running in without knocking - which is something that had never happened before - and brought us the book. He had it from a travelling elf, days ago, and had only just come across the name written on the first page: R. Shrubland. Ma recognised the book and the handwriting at once. It was Pa's book about the plants of Middle-earth, where they had found a picture of the flower they named me after. I had not even time to be disappointed that it was a misspelled translation of the dwarves' name for aquilegia. Now that I think of it - what an outrage! My name a misspelling! And I have to live with it. Anyway, Ma said that he would never have given this book away by choice, so there was no doubt his life had found an end somewhere far away. She was never the same since and hardly left the house anymore. So I had to go on my strolls alone.

    But life became more interesting for me since getting to know Tolpan's friends from the Grand Order of the Lost Mathom. They invited me to go to a concert with them. It was a lankyshanks' concert, and even outside of the Shire - but at least in Falathlorn, which is not so far from Needlehole. The concert was a mixed experience. Wonderful music and dancing, what great tunes! Who would have thought that lankyshanks could make such great music! But then, the lankies in the audience hardly took notice of us small folk, kept standing up in front of us, jumping and dancing there, so most of the time we did not see anything but their backs. Anyway, at the same night I became a member of the Order, and this changed my life greatly.

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    (picture from the Archives, Miss Achazia)

    After quite a lonely childhood in Needlehole, suddenly there were so many friends! And great events! Not to mention the music and dancing in the Green Dragon every Friday night. We have travelled together to famous places throughout the Shire, had picnics, discovered the dancing badgersin the woods - although the reports about that differ greatly - and enjoyed the festivals together. We had dancing and writing lessons held by Master Simbo, Miss Linais playing almost every night in the town square of Michel Delving for us to dance and Master Jiro has crafted a set of mining tools for me that would make Ulfar go green with envy.

    After I came to Bramblebury, the friends here helped me a lot to get over my sadness. And when we founded a band together, it felt like a new family. A family without name though, but it is so funny what names people think of when announcing us (Brambleberries, Bramblegambledangles...) that we will probably keep it that way. And then Miss Yola started the Bramblebury Gazette, which is read by far more hobbits than just the inhabitants of our neighbourhood. It is run by her brother Master Peppy by now.

    Then my accident while fishing at the Bruinen gorges: I fell of a cliff and hurt my spine and my head. If the friendly elf had not found me and brought me to Rivendell - I'd better not think of it. I spent months in Rivendell, trying to remember who I was. Very much to the amusement of the elves I even thought I was a dwarf for some time. My, look at my mining tools, no wonder! Finally I am back in the Shire, fully recovered, and finding this diary somehow closes a circle. I shall put it into my bookshelf and write more often from now on.
    Well, and now I have to go through the chest finally, and then clean up my burrow. Maybe we will have our rehearsal after the storm...
    Tibba, Simbo, Lina and 3 others like this.
  9. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 5 ~ Bullroarer Took Day

    Rethe 21st, 2012

    Although the storm threw a spanner into our rehearsal plans, there was still enough practice before the great concert to find out how many things can go wrong. But Master Peppy had it all under control, and with a few ales and some catfish cakes provided by a local fisher hobbit – guess who – rehearsals were an event for us band members already.

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    Everything was prepared for the great day, our green costumes taken out of the chests, moth holes stitched up, and, since I had not been there for the last Bullroarer Took Day concert, Miss Tibba sewed a whole new outfit for me. And then the day of the concert came. After the last rehearsal, I went for a short visit to the homestead traders. While I was discussing dyes for my burrow refurbishing with Master Bracegirdle, I forgot the time. And so the concert almost started without me. I was the last Greenbramble to jump on the wall at the Bullroarer Statue, and within the next minute we played. I was completely out of breath, but since I was playing drums for the first few songs, that was no problem at all.

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    Most of our audience were dressed in green, too, even some of the lankyshanks. And when playing and singing and dancing, who cares how heavy the rain is? And the thundering and lightning did not baffle us, either. We were playing, and even the new band members did a grand job! After the concert, there were the greenest fireworks I had ever seen.

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    Of course we all went to the Plough and Stars, where the Greenbrambles could dance their tension away, while Miss Sevelda played for us. Great she had not listened to Master Simbo and dyed her cape orange, it looked just wonderful in green.
    Well, I have to finish now, Master Bracegirdle is waiting for me for another refurbishing consultation.
    Tibba, Simbo, Lina and 3 others like this.
  10. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 6 ~ Masquerades

    Astron 2nd, 2012

    Finally. The last spot of paint is dry and the last catfish trophy is back on the wall. After all that fuss with the leaf-eating leader of our cooking guild (Who voted for him in the first place? I certainly didn’t!) I had to throw out the elven tapestry and the elven floor stones. And after all, my home is a hobbit hole, and now it finally looks like one.

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    As opposed to my crazy neighbour’s house. Last week she bought an elf table that is too high for her by far, but she said it was a platform from the Golden Woods and she was using it for flat-running practice. Dear me!

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    Maybe I could hang one of the sketches from Miss Amorey’s Mystery Masquerade Ball on the wall, too… A great ball it was. Famous creatures from Middle-earth gathered together, among them a knight, a blood-tusk and my humble self as a crebain lady. But the best of all was Master Jiro as Miss Lina. That will be talked about for generations, I am sure.

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    Now shall I be in a snit that nobody recognised me (Master Jerry kindly said that the fishing song was too obvious, it had to be a bluff) or flattered, because everybody thought I was Miss Lina? Who could mistake my raspy singing voice for hers anyway? Still I think I'll go with the last option; makes elevensis and lunch taste so much better. Well, but I can’t abandon any single one of my catfish trophies, so there'll be no sketches on the wall.
    And after lunch I’ll start preparing my ice fishing equipment. I am looking forward to seeing the Northern lands of Forochel again, perhaps getting a new fish recipe from the local lankies and catching some huge fish that is large enough to accommodate twelve hobbits for two or three meals. Now, where did I put that old bearskin winter cloak of mine…?
    Tibba, Rubellita, Nimelia and 2 others like this.
  11. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 7 ~ Events, Events, Events

    Astron 24th, 2012

    I don’t know what happened, maybe it is the awakening of a new spring, but lately there is not one quiet weekend in the Shire. One event is hunting the other, and I am getting worried about loosing my diligently gained waist length here. I have to be careful and eat more pies.
    What was first? I don’t know, can’t even get the pictures in order.
    First of all, Miss Dittany moved out. She was in Bramblebury only for quite short a time, but a wonderful neighbour she was. She let me use her windmill, so I had fresh flour whenever I needed it. I am sure that improved my catfish cakes a lot. Lucky that my new neighbour, Master Peppy, decided to keep the windmill and to let me use it all the same! And also the strange lass of number 2 decided to move – probably to the Golden Woods, as she thinks she is an elf. Or she moved back to Woodhall, where she came from. Number 2 is now the home of Master Tallic, a friend from the Order. He likes my catfish cakes and leaves the window open when I am baking. A pleasant neighbour, too, I must say.
    He helped with the chicken run, a terrible ordeal! The feather I stuck to this page is from one of the chickens, a horse pulled it out on the horse farm North of Bree. Yes, Bree - we went that far, and even farther!

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    And the ice fishing trip. After Miss Lina and Master Tallic offered to come, too, I posted a notice at the kin hall, and at the end we were quite a large expedition to the icy North, and we all came home with our baskets full of fresh fish. Some fish were roasted at the spot, and while gutting a very large salmon, I found really strange things inside! But that is another story and will be told another time in detail.

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    We are celebrating the fourth anniversary of our Green Dragon Fridays. Last Friday was band night, and the Brableburian band with no name was playing, too. Best of all was playing the bouncing song for Miss Lina, it was an honour, and it was nice to see her hop for a change. And very hard to keep from hopping ourselves! After that, Bywater saw the greatest fireworks in the history of the Shire. We made the Firework Show in Bree look like a dim candle!

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    The G.O.A.T. was giving another play in Appledores, speaking of which... I still have to write my lyrics to that Shire Apple Tree Song. I had seen the play already, but to see it in Appledores was a special pleasure. What better environment for “An apple a day”?

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    (picture from the announcement poster in the archives)

    Two days ago, the STROOOOOLLERS gave their first concert of the Farms-of-the-Shire Tour. Many hobbits came to Bamfurlong, a cheery crowd, and the music was great, as always! I hope the Strollers won’t get problems with farmer Maggot though, I am sure his mushrooms were only half as much after the concert, and some of the mushroom tents had firework burns.

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    (picture by Miss Rowana, from the Archives)

    And then yesterday, the Riddle Run through the Shire! What a great event! The organisation committee did a great job! When we all met at the Mathom House - even some dwarves - we formed teams of four hobbits (or dwarves), and Miss Carme gave us our riddles, which were pointing to different locations within the Shire. And Miss Firefern was there, too, wearing a lovely new dress, an orange one of course.

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    (picture by Miss Carme, from the Archives)

    Lucky I was in one team with our clever Shirriff Nimelia, who got four of the five riddles solved at the spot; Miss Tibba, who was the one to go to the bees, a truly fearless lady; Master Jerremiah, who solved the final riddle without which we would never have found the last place; and my humble self, knowing every inch of Rushock Bog since my early childhood and finding my way to the destination in no time. I was the first to arrive there. To my surprise Master Tallic came right behind me. He is from Little Delving and, I am sure, has not spent as much time in the bog as I have…
    Well, at the end we were the first to arrive at the Golden Perch as complete team – a dwarf slowed another team down that would otherwise have outrun us. And the prizes were grand! I nearly fainted when I got all the gold and loads of mathoms for our team from Miss Carme. And loads of strange scrolls and ornaments! I have to ask Master Simbo about them, he will know what they mean. And if he doesn’t I can still use them to wrap fish in them. Which reminds me of the fishing contest tonight… I have to prepare my hooks and baits at once! No time for further scribbling!
    Tibba, Rubellita, Nimelia and 2 others like this.
  12. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 8 ~ The Unforgettable Ice Fishing Trip

    Thrimidge 24th, 2012

    Since I have joined the Order on the day of the Shades concert in Falathlorn, I have been on many travels. On these travels, that brought me far outside the Shire, I was not only looking for ore and new cooking recipes. I was also looking for traces of my pa, who had left Needlehole when I was a little lass.
    I found loads of ore. Better not tell Master Jiro about it.
    I also found many great cooking recipes.
    I even found traces of Pa. His former neighbours in Staddle did remember him and told me of his sister, my aunt, but they, too, had no idea where he had gone. After Ulfar brought us this book of his, which I am now carrying around with me all the time, Ma assumed he was dead. But I gave not up on travelling and went even as far as Lhanuch where the inhabitants are not only very unfriendly to every hobbit; they even did not serve more than three meals a day and kept me starving most of the time!
    But there were also trips where I did not think of these things at all: My beloved fishing trips. When I was planning another ice fishing trip, what I was thinking of were salmon and flounders and carps and new recipes to cook and to fry them.
    I had done many lonely fishing trips to the cold North with only my Pony Salama. Salama is a gift from the Lossoth people and loves running through snow and ice and is not afraid of going ice fishing with me at all. I was surprised and pleased when Master Tallic and Miss Lina offered to come along. And after I posted a note on our kinship board, the expedition became much larger than I thought. It was great having so many hobbit friends with me up there in the cold lands, which I had travelled alone before that.
    First, we went to the local shaman. That is a kind of a Lossoth mathom master. Miss Haütha wanted us to have a good catch and did an impressive ceremony at a fireplace. She asked some local spirits for good fishing luck. They were the spirit of a strange toad (although, a little I had the impression that was a blunder) and then the spirit of a white cat.

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    Unfortunately I could not understand a word the spirits said, and also not everything Miss Haütha said, but I was hoping for good luck anyway. And then the recipe she told us about! The most impressive fish recipe I ever heard about. But how on Middle-earth am I supposed to find fresh mammoth meat in the Shire, let alone a mammoth in one piece? I hope next time I go to that place Miss Haütha will be able to show me how to do it and I will have the chance to get a taste of salmon in peikko in mammoth – and all the other kinds of meat that were involved.
    Miss Haütha sent us to a hunter who waited outside the village for us. And a strange hunter Master Laki was, and strange stories he told – of which again I did not understand half the meaning. But finally he led us to a hidden fishing place that we surely would never have found without the help of a local.
    The fishing started and soon our baskets were filled with the most delicious species the cold Northern sea has to offer. We kept a fire burning to prepare some of them at the spot. And then I pulled out that huge salmon! It was gigantic and I even doubt it would have fitted into a mammoth at all. That was enough to sate all hobbits of our expedition.
    The things I found when I cut this salmon open I better not mention, even in my diary. Who knows who sneaks into my burrow when I am not around… And actually the best of all was frying the fish and eating it anyway.

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    It was a great day, sharing the ice fishing with so many other hobbit friends. At the end, one after one had to leave and finally the hunter Laki took Miss Ormaldana and me back to the village. I was not alarmed when on our way he made friendly compliments about my cooking. But I should have been, because next thing he offered me to take me as his second wife because of it! Scary, no? A tall lankyshank? Well, I refused as politely as I could and was glad when heading back to the Shire on my faithful pony Salama.
    And here I am, writing into my diary and still unengaged. My neighbour Master Tallic has written a lovely song about the hunter Laki and his adventures, and so this ice fishing trip and this one-of-a-kind lankyshank hunter shall never be forgotten in the Shire.
    Tibba, Rubellita, Nimelia and 2 others like this.
  13. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 9 ~ Pies and Horses

    Thrimidge 24th, 2012

    The time after the unforgettable ice fishing trip passed in a blur. So many events, I can’t even list them all. And many of them I missed, like the second Shire Riddle Run. Too bad! I hope there will be a third.
    But one thing I will never ever forget in my entire life, and that was the pie baking competition. I prepared a catfish pie using my old ma’s recipe of course, and it was the best I had ever made, a warm, steaming top-crust pie. The shiny, golden-brown puff pastry crust was decorated with a pastry fish in the centre and some intertwined pastry sea-weeds around the edge. A lovely, mouth watering smell of catfish was tickling your nose when coming close to it.

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    As for the pie filling, I had used freshly caught catfish from the Rushock Bog. The bog water gives it a special taste that you won't find with catfish caught elsewhere. This is what my ma always told me, and she was right.
    I added a fish stock with white wine, savoury seasonings and mixed herbs, a cup of fresh cream, and mashed golden Shire taters.
    And of course I made the pie crust and the puff pastry lid myself, and the freshly grinded spring barley flour from Master Peppy's mill made the pastry even better than the one Ma used to make.
    And as I told the jury, this catfish pie tastes best with a glass of Dorwinion White from Rivendell or a mug of Toad's Tongue Ale from the Floating Log. If neither is available, any white wine will do.
    The competition was hard, from inside-out pies to a wonderful green dragon pie with steaming nostrils. How surprised I was when I was announced the winner! I nearly fainted. Oh, my dear old ma would have been so proud! If only she had lived to see that…
    The next days to come I was floating on cloud nine and hardly remember all that happened. But of course I do remember the Grand Greenfields Gallop. I loved the yellow clothes all hobbits of the helping team were to wear, and after it was over I ran around in them a few more days. I even fell asleep in them right after the Gallop.

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    And actually, it was a tiresome job. I don’t remember when and if ever I ran around so much in one single day. And since the contestants were all on horses they were much faster and made you run even more. And how many different horses were to be seen! And the riders even in matching clothes! Such a beautiful sight! Since there was also a rider-matching-horse contest, we had to run around even more, find the most beautiful ones and chose a handful of winners from them. Endless discussions. They all were so impressive! Maybe selecting the winners was the most stressful job of all. It was much easier to determine the winners of the races, although there were neck-and-neck races, too.

    [IMG]

    After the Gallop, I slept the whole night and the whole next day through and woke up just in time to join the celebrations after the second Shire Riddle Run. I very much hope there will be a third and then I will make sure to rest well before it and ignore all gallops and fishing competitions and whatever events in the three days before the Run!
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  14. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 10 ~ Daisies and Shrews and Ore

    Forelithe 4th, 2012

    Life is calming down a little - although the spring festival is here and I did not even have time yet to visit Duillond or the giant maze near Bree. But maybe that is why life is calming down. Actually, that is not entirely true. Events are not hunting themselves anymore as it was a few weeks ago, but even the few ones were anything else than relaxing for me - because of the two song premiers. At Miss Daysi's burrow warming, we played the Shrew song for the first time. Miss Daysi has a big Shrew statue in her garden, so this was the perfect place for it.

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    And the hobbits liked it and squeaked along with it!!! I am so happy about that. Even now, a few days later, when meeting one of the other hobbits it can happen that instead of saying hullo they squeak at you. How lovely!

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    But back to that lovely burrow warming. The food was amazing! Miss Daysi must have baked and cooked for days! I am glad I had the chance to try that blueberry pie before Miss Sevelda turned up. And the burrow was most beautifully decorated, in Daysi colours, white and green. I loved it and even thought of re-furbishing my burrow again for a moment. Until I met Master Bracegirdle the very next day, that is.

    And Master Simbo composed one of his most beautiful poems for the occasion: Dancing in the Daisies. Master Simbo was the one who made me think of writing a song about ore. I was humming some tunes, mentioning skarn, and he made me think further about it. And then I had this lovely melody in my ears I had heard being played around the Shire and in Bree, so I sat down and wrote. I tried to write about skarn, about the shining and reflecting quality of a new skarn deposit - but then this grinning face turned up in my head. Master Jiro! Trying to get even the skarn I was only thinking about! And then the new song was developing completely on its own. Miss Chryssie, Miss Tibba and our Shirriff joint me to play it last Friday in the Dragon, and the audience seemed to like it. My! They asked for an encore, so we had to play the very same song once again! They did like it! Including Master Jiro, who was dancing and holding up pieces of ore - of course you can count on him to have always some in his pockets.

    [IMG]
    (picture borrowed from Miss Lina's burrow)

    Happy as I am about the success of these new songs, I might finally take the time to wander off to the spring festival grounds. I will pass at the Dragon first. On Friday somebody mentioned something about hobbits so far away from the Shire that they even wear boots! I have to ask Barmy what that was all about.
    Tibba, Rubellita, Nimelia and 3 others like this.
  15. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 11 ~ An Unexpected Encounter

    Forelithe 14th, 2012

    Of course Barmy knew it all! He even had a map where this strange and far-away hobbity place was marked. It is not too far from that terrible lanky dwelling Lhanuch, where I nearly famished when I was staying there to learn that new dance. I copied the map as good as I could and went on to finally enjoy the spring festival. And enjoying it I did. I simply love that huge maze and running around in it, and all the beautiful rewards you get for it! First thing I got myself a hat, the same one Miss Tibba and Miss Sevelda were wearing, a beautiful one with flowers on the large brim.

    While I was on my way to have a look at that shrew pest the elves got themselves, I decided to stop over in Michel Delving at the vault, to get some burgundy dye for my new hat. And there he stood, a friendly smiling hobbit lad I had never seen before, greeting me nicely. We got into talking and it turned out he was a distant cousin of Simbo, although he had not known Simbo until recently.

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    I don't know what it was, but he was the friendliest hobbit lad I ever met (must be something that comes with the Rumblebelly blood), and we ended up sitting at his campfire in Waymeet, under the stars, making food. He liked my catfish cakes, and was even impressed, but that was nothing compared with the food he made for me then! The most delicious stew I ever had, and sitting there and watching him prepare it and listening to his talking made me so happy - almost as happy as I was when eating it later. And almost as happy as I was when he asked me if I had a lad courting me, and if I would mind if he did.

    [IMG]

    To my surprise, all my friends seem to know Adrean already, and he even knows how to do the hopping dance. It turns out he has been there for Green Dragon Fridays at the time I was lying in Rivendell with a huge lump on my head and thinking I was a dwarf. Before I came back, he had moved to Buckland to help a friend with his cattle for a few months, so this is why I had never met him before. But I have met him now and I am the happiest hobbit lass of Middle-earth because of it. Well, maybe tied for first place with Miss Chryssie.

    [IMG]
    Tibba, Lully, Nimelia and 3 others like this.
  16. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 12 ~ Soup Always Helps!

    Forelithe 17th, 2012

    Why must I be sick now, missing the Green Dragon Friday, the one I was looking forward to so very much. The first time I could have been dancing with Master Adrean all night. And now I am lying in bed, feeling terribly nauseous, as if I could never eat the tiniest piece of pie again. It's terrible, just terrible!
    So I take my diary and think of the beautiful last days. My heart is flying high like a bird when I remember running through the maze with Master Adrean.

    [IMG]
    (picture from the Archives, painted by Adrean)

    And even more so when I remember how he carried me back from the exit to the entrance on his arms. I thought this was the happiest moment of my life. But the very same thing I thought when he made the fabulous stew for me, not to mention the shepherd's pie. Or when he gave me the largest flower I have ever seen. Or when he sang the song he wrote for me. And every time again he does something to surprise me even more! And s .· ´ ¸ . · .

    Oh. I must have fallen asleep while writing yesterday. Hope I'll get that ink washed out of my pillow! Maybe Master Simbo will know a special ink wash potion. I have to ask him when he comes back from the festival he went to with the other Strollers.
    Master Adrean was just here and brought me some chicken and onion soup, and I even could eat some of it. First time my stomach did not revolt against food these days. He is such a caring and thoughtful hobbit! My old ma always made a fish soup for me when I was ill. She used to say 'Soup always helps!' - even when I was sad. In that case, she made a sweet elder berry soup, and if it was spring time, she'd let some elder blossoms swim on it. And her soups did always help.
    Well, my fever seems to be a bit lower now, but my legs are still all wobbly and my head feels like a beehive that is fighting off a harvest fly attack. Dear me! I should get some more sleep. After I finished off that chicken and onion soup, that is.
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  17. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 13 ~ What A Birthday Surprise!

    Afterlithe 3rd, 2012

    It is my birthday today. But what a birthday it is! Far away from the Shire and far away from my Adrean I sit here, glad to have at least my diary to hold on to, and I do not know whether to laugh or to cry. Maybe it would have been better had I never overheared this conversation in the Dragon? Had I never gone to Barmy to ask him about it? But then, maybe not... The tale about those strange hobbits living far away from the Shire seduced me to come here and see them for myself - despite the very long journey through unpleasant lands. Instead, I could have had a grand birthday party with Adrean and my friends back home in Bramblebury, drinking blueberry ale and eating loads of pie and catfish cakes. But nay, Miss Akelay had to be adventerous. And finally I know exactly where that comes from.

    All these strange hobbits living here far from the Shire, wearing boots - Dear me! - and talking in funny ways were a sensation already. And how close I had passed by on my last travel and still not found them. I was excited to meet them, although I am still not used to the peculiar looks and wry smiles they have for my feet. They started to send me around to do stuff for them - as all the other inhabitants of these lands had done, too. 'Please, collect these little stinking flowers for me, I have no time. I have to stand here and look at my garden...' or 'Please, go and fight against these pesty little goblins, I... erm... have to paint this door in another shade of red in the meantime...' But what then happened really and literally made me faint. I was talking to a farmer who tried to make me collect some manure for him (boar-droppings, eek!) when an elderly hobbit came around the corner that looked slightly familiar. When he saw me he turned pale, stood there rooted to the spot, staring at me with wide eyes, and after a while his lips formed one word that he uttered almost without voice: 'Akelay'.

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    As I said already, I fainted. When I came around again I was lying on a soft bed in a hobbit hole, and he was sitting next to me on a chair, with swollen red eyes. My pa.
    I was struggeling for my voice. 'Pa... how...' I whispered. Ma had been so sure he was dead!

    We were talking for hours almost without breaks. I told him about how I grew up, about my friends, about the Bramblebury band with no name, except for Bullroarer Took Day when we become the Greenbrambles, about meeting Adrean, about how he proposed to me only a few days later...

    [IMG]

    And about Ma, of course, and we sat there together and cried. And he told me things I had not known before. For instance about how Ma and he had met when he had played the drums in a band called Stormy Staddlers and Ma being a huge fan of them; about his sister, my unknown aunt Lara Shrubland, who had married a Boffin and moved to Buckland - wanting to have nothing to do with that crazy, dissolute bandsman of a brother. At that moment I still thought she was wrong with her judgement. I listened to his adventures, learning what he had done in all those last years and how he had come here to Enedwaith, how he had been in dangerous and hopeless situations, how once he had to trade the book he loved so much for food to a traveller. Imagine his surprise when I took the very same book out of my bag! Happy moments. He really was the funny and loving pa that he had been in my mind for all those years when I only had that small painting of him; and I enjoyed being with him so very much. Until this morning, when the heavy confession followed.

    He remembered perfectly well that it was my birthday and told me his own birthday was only four days later. He had flowers prepared and a lovely cake with candles... I was soooo touched! But while I was overwhelmed with joy, he stood there and fiddled with his shirt, looking quite uncomfortable. And finally he told me the whole truth. That he had not cared at all if the Needlehole hobbits, including Auntie Iris, liked him or not. There was a completely different reason why he had left Needlehole and never came back or was heard of again.

    I admit I had noticed yesterday evening that he really likes to flirt with all female hobbits around, young lasses and old gammers alike. So I had no trouble believing him when he was confessing that back then in the Shire, he had been on very, very, very friendly terms with a young hobbit lass of the Lightfoot family in Frogmorton, another huge fan of the Stormy Staddlers. And by chance, at the very same day I was born, just a few months after the marriage of my parents, in Frogmorton a little hobbit lad came into Middle-earth and was given the name Holibin. When Pa got wind of it he packed his things, put some gold into Ma's chest and thought of a false pretence for leaving Needlehole forever. And on his way out of the Shire, he visited the mother of his son secretly - My half-brother! Dear me! - and left some gold there for them, too, before running away from us all.
    And now that I think about it, I even know a hobbit lad called Holibin! He is a musician, like me and - of course - Pa. Next time I meet him, I have to ask him for his birthday and if he is from Frogmorton and about his family... Could this be? Could Holibin be my half-brother? Half-twin even, since we were born on the very same day, right today, some years ago.

    [IMG]

    Pa concluded his confession, saying how sorry he was for being such a coward and that he wanted to come back to the Shire with me now that the truth was out, and meet Adrean, too. Well, maybe the true reason is that Ma is not there anymore to be angry or sad about it. I really don't know if I want him to come with me and how long I will be angry with him for leaving us alone because of his cowardice. When I think that I could have had a father all that time instead of only a picture of him, had he been a bit braver... But then, he probably won't stick around in Bramblebury for very long. He is a restless spirit, running around all the time, entertaining everyone with music and flirting with the lasses - and everyone likes him since he is a cheerful and funny guy. Well, I guess some of the fathers or brothers might not. I am sure I won't see that much of him in the Shire anyway, so I'll probably agree to take him back with me. He is my pa after all. And with his birthday coming up... And he could have chosen to not tell me - we would still be a very merry pa-daughter couple then... So he is not a complete coward... Maybe I should go and tell him right now before I get second thoughts.

    The thought of having a twin brother on the other hand is a very nice one. A nice birthday present actually. Holibin is a friendly lad and I like his music. Why, once we even met in Bree in the Prancing Pony and had a nice conversation there, being the only two hobbits around at that time, inbetween all the lankyshanks. I played him my Rushock Bog song and my Shire Apple Tree song, and he liked them, too. And after that I met him in the Dragon sometimes on Fridays... I guess back in the Shire I will not wait for a coincidental meeting at all. I will go and look for him right away.

    As for now, wherever you are, Holibin: Happy birthday to us!
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  18. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 14 ~ So What?

    Afterlithe 7rd, 2012

    I like to play the cowbell, so what? I think it sounds much more fun than drums, I do. And I think Adrean does, too. And in the Bramblebury Band With No Name they appreciate my cowbell talent, they do! Why should it not fit to these old songs Master Tallic and Miss Chryssie have found, and why do they not want me to play the cowbell at the Barefoot Bootleggers concert at the Brandywine Bridge tomorrow?
    And why had Master Tallic to recognise my pa as the famous drummer of the Stormy Staddlers? Who knows them Stormy Staddlers nowadays anyway? And why did everybody like him so much?
    I admit he does play good. Yes, really good. Yes, I say it: He is a damn good drummer. And it is his birthday today. So what?

    [IMG]
    (Announcement Poster by Master Tallic)




    ((OOC: Although this might sound very much like a complaint, it is actually a homage to a great person who happens to have his birthday today. ))
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  19. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 15 ~ Orangelay

    Afterlithe 11th, 2012

    Master Simbo is a rascal! And now I know why the others called me Orangelay the other day and were chuckling and giggling all the time! In his attempts to get rid of a huge stock of orange dyes nobody wanted, Master Simbo has sold some of them to my pa, telling him I would love them. Pa has bought a beautiful dress for me and dyed it orange. Orange! And his eyes were shining when he gave me the dress and that terribly ridiculous orange hat with it. He was so sure it would make me happy. How can I disappoint him? I am afraid I have to run around in these orange clothes at least once. He was so disappointed already about me missing the Barefoot Bootleggers concert...

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    I will look completely like Miss Firefern, wearing this orange dress. But then, Miss Firefern would probably not wear such a ridiculous hat, so no danger of anyone mistaking me for her. Maybe Master Simbo could send some orange dyes to her? She likes to wear orange!
    And what will my Adrean say, seeing me in this flamboyant orange outfit? Oh, I guess he would say something lovely, as he always does. Like that it would remind him of a very tasty pumpkin soup, and maybe he would make one with his special spices at once. He is such a sweetheart!
    And anyway, I feel so very happy and relaxed these days, I guess I can cope with some exorbitant orange and the other hobbits making jokes about it... And maybe I should tell Pa that Master Simbo, as his nephew in law to be, should get a special present, too. Like another one of these orange hats.
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  20. Akelay Member

    Diary ~ Entry 16 ~ Not again!

    Afterlithe 24th, 2012

    Master Simbo has done it again. And yesterday at the market I was even smiling when he said 'It wasn't me.' I should have known and scolded him for whatever. I will remember that for next time. And I have to remember not to try and talk about something important with my pa when he just has been coming back from an inn. He will remember some of the things, but not the important ones. Like the NOTs. 'I do NOT like umber dye. I do NOT want to have a dress, hat, shirt, trousers or anything in umber. Do NOT listen to Simbo if he tells you anything else.' All he remembered was the umber dye. But this time I told him I did not like the shirt and trousers. I guess the fishing trip with him this weekend was quite helpful for our pa-daughter relationship. But of course seeing his sad eyes did not make things better. So I wrote him a list with the colours I do like: burgundy, red, crimson. And when he pointed out: 'You have forgotten to write down orange, your favourite colour' his eyes were shining again - with proud for remembering it. Oh Pa!
    Maybe I got those wobbly legs because I am worried about Pa? Flirting all the time, spending his evenings - and entire days sometimes - in inns? Now he has bought a beautiful dress for somebody and dyed it yellow! Dear me! I hope he will not start to fancy Miss Lina! He is no match for Master Jiro, especially when Miss Lina is concerned. But she is the one who fancies yellow dresses...

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    My Adrean made a nice stew for me yesterday, and it helped a bit. Also the feet massages did help. But today on my way from Waymeet back to Bramblebury I was all shaky again. A cold perhaps? Maybe I'll just go and sit for a while outside at my little jetty in the sunshine with my fishing rod and wait for some catfish to bite. And when Adrean comes around later, I will make him a nice catfish pie with Waymeet spices. And a sea weed salad. I will try at least. Maybe add some pieces of salad melon. There must be something you can do with these weeds...

    [IMG]
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