Hello, out there. I am back after a long busy summer which let me get through a good pile of books (not all!) and change jobs. The literary focus of my summer has been getting to know the works of William Morris - a very important influence on Tolkien whose works include several great historio-romantic stories set in the times of the fall of Rome - The Roots under the Mountain and The House of the Wulfings (set in the forest of Mirkwood) and I very enjoyable series of journals Morris kept when he travelled to Iceland in 1871 and 1873. Morris had a great gift for description and as I read his description of the volcanic landscape of places like Thingvellir I could here echoes of Tolkien's description of Mordor - well worth a read.
In addition to literary pursuits I also exchanged variety theatre to have the extreme luck to be working at one of the most beautiful opera companies in the world - Glyndebourne Opera - set in the rolling Sussex countryside - my office looks out green hills and the ba'ing of sheep. Glyndebourne is one of the most innovative opera companies in the world and as we just finished mounting an excellent world premiere opera based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Of Lovers and other Demons - For me and many others, Glyndebourne is truly Valhalla (with some more Wagner to come).
So in the coming weeks I shall be quiet busy getting Glyndebourne under my skin and will try to keep faithful to this blog with items on Tolkien, languages, etc - so more too come!!!