Shire Forecast – Autumn Issue 2023

Here’s the Shire Forecast for autumn with the latest news, weather, gossip, events and other things of hobbit interest.


Nippy mornings and sniffles

It’s no news that autumn is coming. Some have already noted the nippy mornings and days getting shorter. However, some are still in full summer mood, going on picnics, spending their days fishing, or even dipping in the cool waters of Brandywine. The weather varies pretty much day by day. That’s autumn for you, the weather gammers say. Some days are warmer, and some colder, some both. No wonder many hobbits have caught the sniffles recently in the sudden downpours. But there’s something good in the rains too: the gammers predict that this will bring a great mushroom season, and not only on Farmer Maggot’s fields.


New hobbits and hobbit neighbourhoods

The biggest gossip at the moment are the new hobbits that have arrived in the Shire. They look a bit taller and different than what the folks in the Shire have used to. Who are they, and where have they come from? According to the Nosy Hobbit Society, these hobbits are so-called River-hobbits whose roots are in the faraway lands by a big big river. How they have found their way here is a mystery. It might have something to do with the strange expedition that some Shire hobbits did to those faraway lands recently. (We mention no names, as we don’t want them to get in any trouble with their respectable gaffers and gammers.) Thanks to this expedition, we also know that there are new hobbit neighbourhoods with empty smials for sale. So if you are, for example, looking for a good place to hide all your food from the hungry mayor, you should consider buying a property in those Lyndelby neighbourhoods. Some nannies are happy to hear that there are good bathing facilities at these properties.


Many hobbits have already bought smials for themselves. Hobbits have settled in the Talerthy, Frondy and Gwernogel villages, among others. They are now busy furnishing their large smials, which might lead to record furniture sales at the local markets. Now is a good moment to get rid of that old couch! Also, there is some talk that there might be some burrow-warmings and even burrow-crawls after the new residents have finished furnishing their new smials.


A drawing of one new hobbit neighbourhood


Dwarves inspecting hobbit burrows

There is also talk of a large group of dwarves visiting the Shire neighbourhoods. And they are not doing any mining work in the basements, at least officially. According to our trustworthy sources, these dwarves of the Blue Mountain Regiment have been keeping an eye on the burrows while the hobbits have been away…on “travels”. “Taking care of their food reserves, most probably,” says Gaffer Gamgee, who remembers what happened to Bilbo’s cellar after some dwarves paid him an unexpected visit. Might be so, because the dwarves who have departed have had big smiles on their faces. So big, you can see them from under their thick beards.


Record sales of salts

Over the summer, there have been brisk trades at the biweekly market in Michel Delving. A particular favourite item is salt of various colours. These salts have been much sought-after by cooks, who mutter over food disappearing from their gardens and window sills. One theory is that food sprinkled with these salts will help identify “them rascal food thieves”, by colouring their tongues blue or pink. Local borrowers of food and friendly village dogs, consider yourself warned!


Busy times after a lazy summer

It might be the hot weather, but this summer has been totally lazy. Even the Badgers, who make sure that the Shire hills are alive with loud music, have sometimes been elusive. It is, of course, good to take it easy when you can, because as autumn comes, things usually get busier.


After the Farmer’s Faire, there are usually sightings of pierates on the banks of Brandywine. We don’t know why, but each year, they come a little after the festival, maybe to see if there’s still things to plunder after the mayor has finally finished eating and returned back to the Town Hole. You might see some pierates at the Green Dragon on Friday 15th September, when they have a party there.


On the same weekend, there are two other events to visit. On Saturday 16th September, the Fed Poets Society has a garden party in Elderglen where they will enjoy food, poems, and other entertainment. On Sunday 17th September, there will be a dog show where our best animals friends try to look their best. Later in autumn, there are even more parties. The Grand Order will celebrate its 16th anniversary in Songburrow. As the days get darker and colder, we can share the shivers at the Harvest festival. The scary cellar door might open once again under the Hill, and we might dare to take a spooky tour there again and enjoy some scary tales. There might also be other scary parties and occasions to visit.


Hobbits enjoying some scary entertainment at the Dragon


In addition to these special events, there are the recurring ones too – biweekly hobbit markets, Badger rehearsals, Fed Poet Society meet-ups, Green Dragon Fridays. Who knows, maybe the even Lazy Hobbits Club will meet up again and do something lazy? And of course, we might enjoy some recurring music events, such as the monthly OAKS.


After the lazy times, it is also grand to come together again and catch up with your friends. With all the events listed above, there are certainly many opportunities to get familiar with the “new” hobbits in town. You can never have too many good hobbits around. It’s time to visit your dear ones and invite them over. As the days get darker, a good friend can bring the light. Merry autumn days to everyone!

Pycella Woodberry

Pie maven.

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