. . . are ourselves, back at last from our travels. Two weeks in England, one very busy week back, then a week in the Midwest that included two talks and an interview for me and visits to my father-in-law and all four of Janice's siblings. The cats are inclined to forgive us for being away so much, but sternly inform us that we're NOT to do that to them again anytime soon.*
Oh, and there was a Tolkien book waiting for me when we returned home, as often seems to be the case these days. This time it was THE UNOFFICIAL HOBBIT HANDBOOK, subtitled EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM TOLKIEN by "The Shire Collective", one of whose three authors turns out to be Peter Archer, a friend from Wizards of the Coast days (he was head of the WotC book department). All I've read so far is the interview with Smaug and the advice on how to tell a Good Wizard from a Bad Wizard. Lighthearted, but having just read David Brin's vicious little tare I was in the mood for something more good-humored, and this came at just the right time to fit the bill.
And of course I've also put in a pre-order for the forthcoming new Tolkien book, due out in May. More on this later.
(1) MASTER OF THE WORLD by Verne (v. bad)
(2) MORSE'S GREATEST MYSTERY & other stories by Colin Dexter (rather interesting)
*their forgiveness will be tested later this week when I take them all in to Dr. McMonigle's to update their boosters; they won't like that at all.