Rachel’s parents are visiting us right now, which is really nice <3 Her mum has been out a couple of times this year to handle Gramma stuff, but we haven’t seen her dad for a year and a half, so it’s wonderful to get to spend time with him. He’s currently up north visiting his family and Rachel’s mum is staying with us to visit Gramma, who’s been in the hospital. The poor old lady is just getting more and more confused. She knows who people are (in general) and is fairly calm most of the time, but she’s never quite sure what’s going on or what’s been happening to her at any given moment.
Last night, Rachel’s mum taught us how to make stitched bead stars. It was SO much fun and so easy, and I love how mine came out:
I want to make a million more!
Lately I’ve been having a surge of interest in stone-age monuments like Newgrange and Stonehenge. I’ve always felt a connection/fascination with barrows and passage-tombs (I blame Tolkien for terrifying me with them and Brian Froud for telling me faeries live in them). When I was younger, I had a very vivid dream about being inside one. It seems like the less available information there is about a time period, the more I’m interested in it – my favorite part of Anglo-Saxon England takes place before Christianity arrived to help people write things down, and now I’m very interested in prehistoric Britain. I’m especially interested in the monuments that include stone-carvings (like Newgrange has) and ones that were erected to align with the solstices. Learning about the daily lives and religion of the people who built and used these places excites me. I’ve asked for a couple of books for Christmas :3
Rachel’s brother and sister-in-law currently live in England, and we want so desperately to visit them – both to get to see them (which we hardly ever do) and to sightsee. My dream vacation would be a folklore/history/pagan-themed tour of the U.K. It would include visits to so many Neolithic and Anglo-Saxon sites, and probably a great many locals giving me the side-eye for my epic amounts of squee. Newgrange has a lottery where you can be chosen to enter the barrow (!!!!!!!!!!!!) on the winter solstice, when the rising sun illuminates the passage and falls on the spiral-carved stone at the end. SO. AWESOME.
Because it’s winter and this time of year always gets me in the mood for some Tolkien, I’ve been reading Unfinished Tales, a compilation with notes of some of Tolkien’s unfinished bits of lore. It’s fascinating because it gives little details about the characters and shows how Tolkien’s conception of them changed over the years. I have the vapors for Galadriel, so it’s especially exciting that there’s so much content about her. My favorite bit of knowledge is this:
So, Fëanor, right? Elf of extremely bad judgment who made the Silmarils, shiniest of the shiny gems, and was so possessive of them that he got a large portion of Elves booted out of Valinor and subsequently triggered generations of tragedy and warfare? In those gems, Fëanor captured the light of both of the Trees (the pre-Sun-and-Moon gold and silver trees that lit the world) and he was inspired to create them because Galadriel’s hair was the color of the light of both Trees mixed together. He begged her three times for a lock of hair, just a single strand – but Galadriel told him to get bent because he and his lust for personal glory creeped her out.
AND SEVERAL THOUSAND YEARS LATER, SHE GIVES NOT ONE STRAND OF HAIR, BUT THREE… TO A DWARF.
I can just see her graciously handing her gift over to Gimli as the Fellowship depart Lothlorien, and Gimli walking off with little hearts popping over his head while Galadriel turns toward the Halls of Mandos to righteously give Fëanor the finger. As Rachel said when I regaled her with this story: “Wow, long game.” XD
I love that lady.