Just reading the book description of today's stop makes me giggle.. Come on, who doesn't swoon at the very mention of Orlando Bloom?? Love him! Especially with elf ears.. I've been looking forward to this stop to share New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer with you. Giggling already, aren't you? Be sure to sign up at the bottom for your chance to win a copy !
New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer
John and Annette Gisby
Genre: Humor/ Travel
Publication : Lulu.com (January 23, 2006)
What should you do if your spouse becomes addicted to the Lord of the Rings movies and swoons at the very mention of Orlando Bloom's name? (Thud. Quick, fetch the smelling salts.)
How about taking the advice of a strange apparition that reveals itself in a dream? An apparition that looks remarkably like the director of the movies, Peter Jackson, but not quite remarkably enough to prompt legal action.
An apparition that recommends touring New Zealand in an effort to prove that its sheep pastures aren't really filled by frolicking Hobbits. Just sheep and the occasional zorbing local.
This is the hilarious tale of such a tour, featuring snow capped moutains and tuquoise lakes, flightless birds and flying cattle, bungy jumping grannies and the carrot mafia, strange yellow eyes peering up from a road map and hotel receptionists always desperate to know win you are living.
Buy it : Paperback / Kindle
Matamata: Calm Down it's Only a Sheep Paddock
The Hobbiton set lies on a working cattle and sheep farm owned by the Alexander family a twenty or so minutes drive outside Matamata. The only way to see it in its full glory is to pay for a ride on the Rings Scenic bus. People loath to part with their dollars or afraid that they might die of thirst during the course of the tour only make it as far as The Hobbit’s Rest an aptly named pub at the entrance to the Alexanders’ land. I’ll give you one guess which came first, the name of the pub name or the Lord of the Rings films.Our bus passed through the gate to Alexanders’ farm (or for the pedantic passed through the gateway, the gate having been opened first) and eased past what had been the vehicle park and animal husbandry area at the time of filming. This was where special good looking stunt sheep, imported for the purposes of the movie, spent their leisure hours. The local ones just didn’t cut the mustard... or should that be mint sauce?
Next came the field where the human stars had been fed, watered, dressed and made up. Made up as in encased in prosthetics, not as in conjured from the imagination. Relax Elijah fans, the man IS real. THB fanned herself with the Official Tour Guide, feeling faint as we passed the point where Mr Wood undressed to change after each days Hobbiting. I assume there was some sort of caravan there at the time.Eventually we were dropped in a hollow beside a wooden lean to, offered umbrellas if we wanted them, (clouds were threatening but fortunately rain never came) and told to wait for our guide, just to heighten the antici......pation. The wait was short. She appeared over the top of a grassy rise trailing a departing group, exchanged them for us then led her new charges towards the main attraction. Sports fans will understand the feeling as we crested the rise and caught our first glimpse of Hobbiton.
Remember when as a child you were taken to watch your first professional football / cricket / rugby / baseball / welly whanging game (delete where applicable). With the smell of greasy fast food in your nostrils and the grease of greasy fast food in your hand you climbed the steps leading up to your seat, high in the Gods, the playing area hidden from view until you reached the very top. Suddenly there it was. The vibrant green of the pitch, the virgin white of the markings upon it and the dazzling glare of the floodlights. Did I mention it was an evening game? Never before had green been so green, had white been so white, had fast food been so greasy. You were hooked and followed that one (perennially disappointing) football / cricket / rugby / baseball / welly whanging team for the rest of your life. Non sports fans, see what you have missed out on.
So that was the feeling as we gazed into the hollow before us to see a small blue lake beside Tellytubbyland-like hills, into which were set Hobbit holes, black circles in white facades, like eyes peering out from the hillside. True to the pie lovers promise, the party field and party tree from the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings movie were there too. All of this with a backdrop of verdant undulating hills and not a hint of the twenty-first or even twentieth century to be seen, even if you had a telescope. The only sounds to be heard were seen-it-all-before baas from wandering sheep and excited squeals from Japanese tourists rushing to take photographs of each other in front of the Hobbiton sign. It was so beautiful, so tranquil. It really was Hobitton.
About the Authors :
Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. She writes in multiple genres and styles, anything from romance to thriller or erotica to horror, even both at the same time. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre and travelling the world despite getting travel sick on most forms of transport., even a bicycle. Sometimes you might find her playing Dragon Quest or The Sims computer games or watching Japanese Anime. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls, cuddly toys and enough books to fill a library. It's diminishing gradually since the advent of ebooks, but still has a long way to go.
John Gisby is one of those rare English writers who doesn't live in Surrey. He lives in Hampshire, next door, but with your help in recommending this book to all your friends he may be able to afford Surrey one day. His wife and leading lady is Annette, who is the author of several novels and short stories, also contributing to the Surrey fund. When John is not writing he enjoys travel, with an ambition to visit a different country for every year of his life, buying enough music to challenge the memory of his iPod and trying to play the guitar. Anyone who listens to these attempts agrees that it is very trying. His day job is science, often working for the mining industry, so more dwarf than hobbit really. Don't tell the elves. By the way, Hampshire is much nicer than Surrey anyway.
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