During the course of my evening walk, I pass a small lake which the Flemish conservation group Natuurpunt has spent most of the spring draining. This has been in order to remove debris from the bank and improve the connection to the Grote Nete river in order aid the spawning of fish such as the burbot.

The cleanup appears to have been completed, the lake has been refilled and the path around it has been reopened. It’s clearly not completed yet, but it is coming along very nicely and I shall look forward to seeing how it progresses from here on in.


My purpose in mentioning this, however, was to post the above photo as an excuse to crack a series of weak jokes about hobbit holes, river folk and the fact that The Shire can be found in the vicinity of Kasterlee.

Yes, I am massively stretching things, both geographically and in terms of fictional small folk, but the Kabouterberg is well worth a visit — with or without kids — even though it’s not as close to us as I would like.

There are, of course, no hobbits in the above photo because it was raining.

While on the subject of hobbits, it’s worth mentioning that I am currently reading The Hobbit with the twins and it’s going down a lot better than I expected. Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves have just left Beorn’s hall and are heading towards Mirkwood and the boys won’t stop talking about it — which I am taking as a most excellent sign.

When we started the novel, I was assuming that they would soon get fed up with Tolkien’s incessant songs but I have been proven to be very wrong about this indeed. It probably helps that I never make any attempt to actually sing any of these songs.

3 thoughts on “Smeagol

  1. Just don’t let them watch the movies – after the cinematic triumph of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, the ‘Hobbit’ movies were woefully misjudged. But the book is great!


    1. I’d forgotten just how good the book is, it’s going down really well.

      I agree with you about the films. They really were long, slow and very dull, which is a shame because The Lord of the Rings trilogy was superb.

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