Journey to the Lands of The One – part 1

Travel diary of the Sur les Terres de l’Unique convention in Plouha, Brittany.

On September 22nd, day of Bilbo and Frodo’s birthdays, my alarm clock woke me up at an ungodly hour (4.15) for a long-expected journey.

I rode my prancing pony (the RER train) and headed for the airport to pick up the convention’s special guest, Ted Nasmith, and his partner, who had just landed from Canada. It was early afternoon when we set foot in Plouha, Brittany, where lunch and a nap were awaiting us. That evening, we were invited to a Hobbit banquet cooked up by volunteers from the association Sur les Terres de l’Unique, who had planned a whole week-end’s worth of festivities. The banquet was fit for a Harfoot’s appetite, and was the perfect occasion to meet several of the other guests. We shared a table with Yann Morello, seasoned book collector and member (like me) of the French Tolkien Society Tolkiendil, and Flavien Olry, author of a book comparing Peter Jackson’s movies to J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. Thus ended our first day, before things got real the following day.

Menu and decorations of the dinner table.

The next morning, after a night that wasn’t kind to everyone (one Canadian suffered from intense jet lag), and a hearty breakfast, we were driven like VIPs to the location of the convention where we discovered the first stalls of the many artisans who had gathered for the occasion. There were enough crafts represented to make our heads spin delightfully. Ted had a first signing session, then a mike test for the afternoon’s conference, before a short filmed interview in which I crash-tested my abilities as a live translator (it was a success). After that it was time for lunch. Then we headed back to the B&B for a nap in order to get some rest before the next part of the programme.

The signing table with a chalkboard sign telling the hours of each signing session.
Ted Nasmith at the very picturesque set-up for the interview.

The conference went very well, I’m delighted to report. I was a little nervous since it was my first time live-translating anything, but I wasn’t overly anxious since I’d prepared for it as much as I could. Ted went through very early work, in high school and at the beginning of his career, showing us art that had probably not seen the light of day for some time, and switched halfway through his presentation to his most recent pieces, some of them unpublished yet. There were lots of “wows” and “aaahs”.

Ted Nasmith and I! On stage! Together! On screen is his “Sea of Rhûn” painting he made for the convention.

After 90 minutes of talking, we went for some air to check on the stalls we hadn’t seen yet, and then we head for the dinner room where we relax for a bit and chat with other guests. The highlight of the dinner is undoubtedly the candidates of the pie contest. I manage to have a bite of the winner (fig and almond, a delight) as well as another one (sweet, spiced pumpkin and walnuts of course I was going to try it). It was overall a night of pleasant company and good food, fit for a Hobbit. We did not go to sleep on an empty stomach.

And that concludes part 1 of this long-expected journey. See you soon for part 2, in which there will be more translations and unexpected gifts.


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Marie Bretagnolle (1 octobre 2023). Journey to the Lands of The One – part 1. Tolkien & illustration. Consulté le 13 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/v8vc


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