Tolkien Reading Day 2010 - report

This report by Jessica M. can also be found in the third issue of Silver Leaves.

When we heard that the pub formerly known as The Bow and Arrow pub had been renovated, and then opened this year as The Twisted Kilt, we decided that that’s where we’d be holding this year’s Tolkien Reading Day. Last year, we were unable to make the journey to the cozy pub located near Yonge and Davisville as we had thought that the place was closed for good (or at least that’s what I thought). And to our surprise — and joy — the pub was open, under a new name and new management.

Even though it is nestled neatly between other buildings, you can’t miss this pub while driving down the street — like it was directly imported from Scotland and placed in the middle of all the other ordinary non-descript-looking buildings. Dan and I had no problem finding the pub, ourselves. As for looking for parking near the pub, well, that was another matter.

Alexandra and Laura were the first ones to arrive at around 1:30pm, followed by Dan and myself. Gerda, Vicki, Jen, and Stephanie arrived soon after, and last but not least to arrive were Lara and Richard. Sadly, we missed the company of Jo-Anna, Kimberly, Kerri-Anne and her husband (and possibly others who were planning to come but couldn’t make it after all). Luckily, we had the back room for ourselves — a nice cozy set-up almost separate from the rest of the pub, ideal for reading our chosen passages. I had to admit, even with all the cool ‘80’s music in the background via the stereo, I thought it was going to be a little distracting for us when trying to read aloud, but we had the pub turn it off for us when it came time for the readings. Plus, there was the soccer game on the flat screen TV in the main room, which — if there had been more people in the pub that day — could have contributed to a boisterous atmosphere. However, as it was, I thought the afternoon went smoothly and the atmosphere a little more relaxing than we could have hoped for.

To start off, we all ordered drinks — I had a light, refreshing beer — and once all of us had arrived, we ordered our food. There wasn’t a lot to choose from on the menu, but I think we all got a lot of food for what we did order. Some people got bowls of poutine, others had salad, or delicious wraps or sandwiches, while Richard and I each got probably the largest dish of nachos that I’ve ever seen in a pub. Even with help from Dan, I couldn’t finish my plateful, and though Richard also couldn’t finish all of his, he was still hungry for fries later on.  We spent a great part of the afternoon eating, conversing, catching up on news and events in each other’s lives, as well as sharing a few rounds of jokes (“Lord of the Pants,” anyone?). It was quite a while before we got to our readings.

There was one major disappointment that must be noted – no dessert, coffee, tea, or chocolate!! Why they didn’t have anything on their lunch menu for dessert other than rice pudding was beyond me. Not that I have anything against their singular selection of dessert — it’s just that we had no choices, here! And, I’ve never heard of an establishment that does not serve coffee or tea at particular times of the day…but, I guess that can make for future topics of conversation (or jokes).

Anyhow, as far as the readings went, as always, they couldn’t have been better. We all listened to the poem that Gerda read aloud, but soon after, she along with Jen, Vicki, Stephanie and Alexandra had to leave early — which left Laura, Lara, Richard, Dan and myself to continue the readings (and we had a good laugh when Dan read the Tom Bombadil passages ). The five of us stayed a little longer, but then by 5:00 pm or so, we too had to leave. Dan and I ended up being the last people to leave the pub and we made the long trek back to where we parked the car.

In spite of the lack of dessert, we had a lot to eat. And if there had been more time, we all would have been there to hear each other’s chosen readings, but each of us enjoyed immensely what we read and what we listened to. Next year, we will have to out-do ourselves — hopefully with a little dessert on the side!

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