The only bit of confusion happened at the start of the meeting - our meeting's start time coincided with the Embassy's start time of the Grease movie nostalgia session, and they'd arranged for a live Rock'n'Roll band to be entertaining that audience before their movie began. Unfortunately they were still playing in "our" spot when we got to the cafe.
Luckily though, they were fun to watch, and the singing (and dancing!) stopped just as I started getting worried, so that all worked ok.
All in all, the Welly-moot attracted a good size "crowd" of hobbit lovers, including some familiar faces, as well as some new ones.
|Welly-moot #4 - the biggest one yet!|
It was really nice to catch up with Emily again (second from the left in the photo), she attended the first Welly-moot as well. Rachel (far left) was here at the Embassy for the previous meeting, while Ryan, Jenifer and little Hawk (front and centre) have been to all four Welly-moots so far - well done and well met!
A few days before the meeting, I got an email from Ayako, a lovely Japanese woman from Palmerston North, and she came to the meeting with her husband Randall and daughter Rio, as well as a friend Maki with her daughter. The day before the meeting I had Kumiko on my tour - another Japanese woman currently living in Wellington with and her son, and they also both came today. Add to that my wife Aiko, and it quickly became the Japanese contingent of the Welly-moot. (Aiko managed to avoid the camera's eye by volunteering to take the photo - everyone else is at the back on the right). Tolkien is still very popular in Japan as well, it seems!
Some very special guests also joined us - two of Weta Workshop's best designers/inventors/wizards, Warren and Kim Beaton. I met Kim a few years ago, and have had the pleasure of taking them both on a tour around the Wellington region last year. Since then, they've (a) invented some animal-leg stilts, (b) designed a complete cinema for Peter Jackson, (c) are working on a certain Middle-earth movie that starts with "H", and (d) got married, so you could so their year has been reasonably active.
All in all, a rowdy and fun afternoon. The discussions I was part of included the inevitable Rugby World Cup, and the recent snowfalls in Wellington. Also, for some reason, Legolas's presence in Wellington seemed to be a hot topic. Everybody seemed to want to know where to find him (don't worry, Orlando and Miranda, your secret is safe - I certainly don't know it)!
The other rumours currently floating about are the sheer number of "absolutely confirmed" (read: totally not confirmed) filming locations for The Hobbit around the end of the year. Queenstown, Dunedin, Nelson, Te Anau, and Wellington are all contenders, apparently. The studio isn't giving out actual confirmations, so we'll just have to wait and see. Personally, I'm obviously waiting for Wellington locations to add to our tours in the future.
In order for me to entice Ayako to drive all the way from Palmerston North with her family for our meeting, I had promised to take them to the Mount Victoria LOTR location, which we did at the end of the day. The Embassy Theatre is actually on Mt Vic anyway, so that wasn't far to drive. Ryan and Jenifer joined us as well, and we ended up re-enacting the hobbits' famous "Get Off The Road" scene, before parting ways until the next meeting.
I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did - and if you didn't/couldn't come this time, we'd love to see you next time!
- Jack M.