Ten years ago on March 25th, The Tolkien Society launched its first annual Tolkien Reading Day – a day set aside to honor the writer J.R.R. Tolkien and to encourage the reading of his works. How fun is that?! To have another excuse to read some of my favorite all time stories?!
Richard and I are avid readers and we owe our parents a huge debt of gratitude for encouraging us in this habit of a lifetime. Both sets of parents loved to read and we were both treated to hours and hours of magic time involving the sound of our parents’ voices reading aloud from the pages of our favorite books: Tolkien’s The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or The Silmarillion; Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia; L. Frank Baum’s Oz books and of course J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Fantasy at its best. (AUDIBLE SIGH).
Fantasies that we have carried with us so long that they have involved into a certain kind of reality. I mean, some days don’t we all think “I don’t want to grow up”? or “wish I had a bucket of water to melt the wicked witch” or “can’t I just disappear down that rabbit hole”? And of course, the all-time favorite: “what about second breakfast?!”
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the hero, Bilbo Baggins (hobbit extraordinaire), eats second breakfast. In the preface to its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien mentions that the hobbits’ preference is to eat six meals a day. In Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, Pippin, one of the hobbits, in a dialogue with Merry, another of the hobbits, references both second breakfast and elvenses while on the run and under the protection of the human, Aragorn.
Aragorn: Gentlemen, we do not stop ’til nightfall.
Pippin: What about breakfast?
Aragorn: You’ve already had it.
Pippin: We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
[Aragorn turns and walks off in disgust]
Merry: I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?
Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.
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According to tradition in the United Kingdom and Ireland elevenses is a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the latter part of the morning. It could include cake, cookies, scones or tarts with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. The name refers to the time of day that it is taken: around 11AM.
If you have occasion to celebrate a second breakfast in the true style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits, be sure to check out the 75th anniversary “Hobbit Second Breakfast Kit” at www.hobbitsecondbreakfast.com
Here at Hodgdon Island Inn we do our very best to not only meet our guests’ every dietary need, but to serve a breakfast sumptuous enough to get you through elevenses all the way to luncheon.