New year, new adventures

Hello travelers! A very belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope it’s been a good year so far for all of you and that you haven’t screwed up writing the date too many times.

It’s been a while since my last post so I figured it was about time to give you another update. Well what can I tell you. Life in the wide world goes on, much as it has this passed age, full of its own comings and goings. I rang in the New Year alone, enjoying a nice quiet night at home with the house to myself. I had worked New Year’s Eve and was working New Year’s Day so I decided a night in was a better idea than going out and drinking copious amounts, as some of my coworkers chose to do.

Things in the Shire have quieted down a bit. The busiest bit of the busy season has passed it seems, yet oddly enough I’ve had some of my longest days recently. The weather has been hot/cold a lot. Some days the sun is fierce and unrelenting, refreshing the Hobbiton V etched into my chest. Other days are full of wind and rain and you go home feeling damp all over and looking like some drowned rat.

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(Just a small taste of how I look after a rainy day at work.)

But no day is entirely lost. Sometimes on the rainiest days you have the funnest groups. Just last week my guiding services were requested by Danny, one of our drivers. Now the story with me and Danny really quick. Danny was the guide I had on my first visit to Hobbiton three years ago. He’s also the reason I even have a job at Hobbiton. So I was very touched when he came to me and asked if I could be the one to take his four nieces around set. They were on the 8:30 tour and I had been scheduled for 9 that day. But I managed to track down Debbie, who was on the 8:30, and have her switch with me.

It was a rainy day, but as I said, those can bring out the best groups. And this 8:30 crew was definitely one of them. Despite the wind and the rain, we all carried on around set. The group laughed at my jokes and Danny gave me high praise, saying I was very good and knew things he didn’t even know. By the end of the tour my ego was sufficiently stroked.

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I’ve also been single-handedly supplying a good chunk of the Hobbiton staff with my fantastic ‘Gandalf for President’ badges (designed by yours truly, courtesy of Old Firehouse Books). If any of my coworkers are reading this, they are coming soon!

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Now when I’m not at work guiding hobbits around set, I’m at home doing this, that or the other. I’ve endeavored to start coloring more. I now have two coloring books in my possession, one being an intricately sketched spread of dragons done by John Howe (a conceptual artist for Lord of the Rings, so very appropriate), and the other being a collection of animal images composed of smaller items. Fun is in my future!

Additionally, I’ve been engaging in TV-ception. Before I left, my mother and I had just wrapped up a season of Castle, which of course had to end on this MASSIVE cliffhanger (so not cool). She finally got the next season from the library, and in order to watch it together, we’ve been FaceTiming while she plays it at home. Yeah…

I got to swing a sledgehammer and smash some shit the other day as well. A friend of mine is in the process of demolishing a house, so I went round to check it out. Watching four Kiwi men demolish a house is a type of entertainment I didn’t know I was missing. And it was pretty sweet to see a house slowly being stripped down to its foundation. Not something you see everyday.

One last exciting thing to report before I sign off. The other day I was just about to lead an inbound group away from The Green Dragon when who should wander buy but a couple of hobbits. I went over to compliment them on their costumes and tell them they looked oddly similar to Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan. This in turn brought the attention of my group on them. Photos ensued. The funny thing was everyone thought the two worked there. I assured them all we didn’t employe hobbits. But really, how cool would that be?

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And now before I leave you my travelers, a small sampling of the beauty of Hobbiton.

~Ren

 

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