Tuesday, 14th January 2020

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Got to The Shire's Rest in plenty of time for the tour of Hobbiton. The car park was pretty full, the gift shop full of expensive models one could buy. They get a lot of visitors (may soon reach a million a year), and have 250 staff.

Our guide was Lola who shepherded us round (our group included passengers from a cruise ship docked in Tauranga). Lola also kindly took pictures of us. Unlike last time I was in Matamata the film set has been left pretty much as it was. I can not but admire the sheer detail of the site, some details of which never appeared on film! The hobbit holes were to different scales (so the hobbits seem one size, Gandalf another). Smoke machines make the chimneys puff, they change the clothes on washing lines once a month. The tour finishes at the Green Dragon where you have a choice of ale cider stout and ginger beer. I may have been unwise to choose and drink the cider based on my accident later.

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I decided to have a lamb burger, and another long black for lunch at the The Shire's Rest. To start with the waitress gave me the drink for another table. Clumsily I knocked over the long black when I got it as I tried to catch the receipt as the wind blew it away. Knocked it all over the table. Knocked it all over me. A kindly fellow diner threw tissues at me, and got staff to attack the floor with a mop. I had to sit on my raincoat as I drove to Rotorua to change my clothes. How to feel really stupid.