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Epping Forest in autumn, a photo I took many moons ago when it was our favourite walking spot.
I was somehow reminded of it when I came across these rather lovely walking sticks carved by the Kansas woodcarver Millard Harrell:

I think that the reason I linked the two must have been a mental picture of Ents, and the choice of Epping Forest as a filming location for Kate Madison's prequel to The Lord of the Rings, "Born of Hope", an astonishingly good amateur movie (released free on the Internet) produced on a budget that would have paid for one day's canteen bill for Peter Jackson's crew.

If you have never heard of it, don't make the mistake of thinking that "amateur" = "naff". See here.

Below are some of my screenshots of Kate Madison's prequel to The Lord of the Rings, "Born of Hope" (the extended version).

It tells the story of how Aragorn came to be born, and how he eventually reached the safety of Rivendell as an infant.

Made on a shoe-string budget (£25,000) and released free on the Internet, this extraordinary achievement reminds me that we often use the word "amateur" in a derogatory sense. This movie shows everyone what real "amateurs" can do.

Arathorn, who will become the father of Aragorn

Elgarain, played by the multi-talented Kate Madison, hides her love for Arathorn, who sees her only as a true friend

The sons of Elrond helping to defend the Dunedain's settlement

Gilraen, wife of Arathorn and mother of Aragorn, narrating the story to her sleeping son

The young Aragorn, finally safe in Rivendell

(One of the main filming locations for the movie was Epping Forest - see my previous post below).

[More about the movie]
[My movies page]

Epping Forest - autumn and winter

Some of my photos of Epping Forest in autumn and winter, taken when we used to live near there.

Epping Forest was one of the main filming locations for the Internet-released prequel to The Lord of the Rings, "Born of Hope" (see my next post above).

Located to the north east of London, it's a relatively small remnant of a much larger ancient forest, which somehow makes it seem appropriate as a choice for this movie.

Our dear pet Tessa died suddenly on March 12th, 2008...

She was an affectionate friend and companion for 10 great years...

Cavalier King Charles spaniels, unlike their bigger relations, are bred to go after cushions and marrowbone snacks rather than game birds, but our dog would always march home with a stick, deposited regretfully somewhere near our front door.

Epping Forest, one of her favourite walking spots.

Tessa The Snow Dog

It's a tough life being loved by everyone!

Nobody does "resigned" like a Cavalier King Charles...

She gave Sam (left), a would-be friend, such a hard time...

We still miss her very much.

The French say it differently (and better): "She will be missing from us" - and she will.


Farewell my friend, you brightly shone
We won't forget you now you've gone

You're in our hearts, forever dear
Precious lady, Cavalier

Time may pass, but won't erase
Memories of the Blenheim days

I know you're out there in the sun
Chasing rabbits just for fun

Or else you hold a regal pose
Basking in the spot you chose

Underneath a shady tree
Like you used to sit with me.

-- from my daughter Rachel