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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Talking Tolkien

The picture above is of my friend Luisa, at Andy's and Christine's bbq on the weekend.

As I mentioned yesterday, Helen and Alec are visiting from the UK (they are moving to Amsterdam soon). Here is Helen's Guest Blathering:

Guest Blatherer: Helen Waters

Tuesday, June 26th is an important day for a couple of very important people: it's my brother's 34th birthday and my friend Helen Vincent is getting married. Next to my parents, these are the two people I have known the longest.

Helen Vincent and I went to the same play group (kindergarten), along with my brother Michael: he is only a year and day older than me, and we were often mistaken for twins, much to our disgust.

All I remember about Play Group is that we went there every Friday morning for several years (or at least, it seemed like it), and one day a policeman and his anthropomorphic bolisha beacon came to teach us about road safety. My mother has a photo of that day. All the little pre-schoolers are sitting in a big circle paying rapt attention to a policeman and his ventriloquist road sign... except for me. I'm clinging in terror to my mother, who was a volunteer there. Maybe that bolisha beacon didn't really move it's great yellow orb of a head, and likely it didn't speak anywhere but my nightmares, but certainly, it was the scariest thing I'd seen since Raggety the scary stick-creature from Rupert Bear.

Thirty years later, my brother lives in Stoke-on-Trent with his wife and 4 year old daughter, Helen Vincent will become Helen Manning on a Caribbean island, and I still have trouble crossing the road.

I'm very happy to be in Canada, especially since we're off to the cottage today, but sorry I can't be with Helen and Anthony to wish them a long and happy life together, or with my brother on the one day of the year I can say to him: HA-HA YOU'RE TWO YEARS OLDER THAN ME!!

- Helen

Back to regular Blatherings...

After I posted the bbq pics online, I got quite the shocking e-mail from my system administrator, Bryan Fullerton, letting me know that files were taking up 175 MB. Holy toledo. Fortunately Reid was kind enough to take over hosting of the bbq pics, which he added to his own. You can see them here. Bryan says that most of the 175 MB consists of our active logfiles.

Reid, by the way, is trying to read Lord of the Rings. Influenced by Luisa's enthusiastic "sprinkling of little Tolkien books all over the house", my LOTR journal and the upcoming LOTR movie, he is even making his progress public in his own discussion group. Feel free to post some encouragement or heckling, whichever you find more appropriate.

Speaking of Tolkien, I've created a new section in the message boards called Talking Tolkien (Reid's forum is in this section). And as I mentioned yesterday, Allison is starting up a reading group for The Silmarillion. Wow, lots of interest...nearly 60 new members in the past 24 hours.

For those of you wondering whatever happened to The Bryan Project, never fear. I'll be posting one or two more things on the site soon, including an *interview with Bryan's mom*.

Watched "Almost Famous" on DVD last night with Helen and Alec. Alec hadn't seen it before, and the rest of us didn't mind seeing it again. I had to crash before it ended, I was too tired. And this after taking a hefty THREE HOUR NAP in the afternoon. I've been doing a lot of napping lately, if you haven't noticed already. Jeff's theory is that I'm finally starting to actually Relax and am catching up on Relaxing after the months/years of Not Relaxing.

We're going to the cottage today for a few days; I'll have more of a chance to practise napping there as well. :-) I'm hoping to get Helen and/or Alec to post a Guest Blathering, perhaps even later today.


(CNN) A Supreme Court ruling favours freelance writers.

Scott has finally updated his Scribbles!

Today's Blatherpic:

- Luisa, at Andy's and Christine's bbq last weekend.

- a bunch of pictures Helen found for her Guest Blathering.

- Helen and Alec.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Do you sleep on planes?

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