2020-05-31 20:45:56 UTC
Tolkien to his son Christopher, who was now in the RAF. According to
Carpenter's _Biography_ this was a very productive period in the
writing of LotR, and he shared a lot of the drafts with his son as Sam
& Frodo made their way through the Dead Marshes and onward to Cirith
Ungol. But around April, 1944 there begins to be some curious
references to mowing lawns, etc.
There's, "Afternoon lawnmowing". _Letters_ #60, p. 71
"... but the grass grows so quick that I feel like a barber faced with
a never-ending queue (& not a chinaman's either, to be trimmed with one
snip) [his words, not mine!]." ibid, #61, p. 73.
"... saw the Lewises and C.W. (White Horse) for 1/2 hour; mowed three
lawns... Grr! The fourth lawn will have to wait." ibid, #63, p. 74.
"... garden (very exigent just now: lawns, hedges, marrowbeds,
weeding)...." ibid, #67, p. 79.
I have taken advantage of a bitter cold grey week (in which the lawns
have not grown in spite of little rain) to write...."
Granted, Tolkien was living in a rather suburban neighborfood on
Northmoor Rd, with the likely inherent yard upkeep, and enjoyed his
'bit of garden'. But what's with the *four* lawns? Was this one of
his many side hustles? Was he performing a service for families with
their men away at war, or perhaps for fellow parishoners? If so, why a
52 year old Oxford don rather than some of the neighborhood kids? He
certainly had plenty of things going on to keep him busy!