Although a product of Tolkien’s imagination, the Hobbits (a race from The Shire of Middle Earth) and the places they live were brought to life by Peter Jackson’s epic sagas [See 1 at the end of the post].
Join me on a fanciful journey
Indulge me for a moment and let’s imagine that the Hobbits, Hobbiton and The Shire are real places. If you knew nothing of the movies or the books, what would you deduce about the Hobbits from looking at the details of where they live? Let me share some images with you to spark the imagination.
Looking down on the village of Hobbiton from the Great North Road, we might notice how well the village blends into the countryside without creating a blot on the landscape. The smell of freshly tilled earth and the sight of intense green velvety hills and dark fertile soil tantalises your senses. Are the people who live here farmers of some kind?
As we descend into the village we might notice an abundance of circles and bright colours: yellows, oranges, blues, greens and reds. The dwellings are designed with natural, organic shapes, soft curves and circles. Round front doors make a statement; the front wall of the dwelling is richly textured with bricks and hewn wood. The dwellings stretch back unobtrusively into the earth under the rolling green hills. Does this building style provide insulation against heat and cold?
The windows poking out of the green earth are set into semi-circular shaped openings and are round or semi-circles themselves, lavishly decorated with lead panels in geometric shapes, curtains and knick-knacks. The shapes and textures invite you to trace the patterns with your fingers.
As you wander along the pathways, you discover vegetable gardens, orchards, and beehives. Flower boxes on window sills and pretty gardens are lovingly tended. Your fingers brush lavender and rosemary bushes, releasing herbal smells into the air. Freshly laundered clothes flutter in the slight breeze. Birds twitter and feast off fresh fruit that has been left out for them to eat.
Objects clustered around the brightly coloured doors give clues to who might live behind them: an artist, a fisherman, a cheesemaker, a carpenter, someone who harvests honey from the hives.
No admittance, except on party business…
You might wonder but never know what that sign on the gate is all about, but it’s another clue as to the people who live in this village. The well-worn, wooden barrel-shaped postbox tempts you to touch it and sneak a peek inside. Maybe there are responses to party invitations in there?
You might come to the conclusion that the Hobbits are fun, home-loving, artistic and peaceful folk who live a simple, pre-industrial life; folk who take parties seriously and who grow and make everything that they need to be self-sufficient in this little part of The Shire; a place that is reminiscent of rural England.
Could I live like this?
I am transported back to simpler times. I’m impressed with how this village blends into the environment, how they seem to care for it. I’m curious. Could I live like these folk do?
There’s a part of me that yearns for a simpler lifestyle. One thing I know for certain – I would appreciate living more in tune with nature and her changing cycles: daily, monthly, yearly. I would like to be more self-sufficient – to have a vegetable and herb garden, to grow fruit, to collect honey from the bees. I’d paint my door a deep violet colour and have loads of purple flowers in my garden – lavender, catmint, alium, agapanthus, cosmos, pansies and more.
The last few generations of humans have been a little careless with the earth. Although my small efforts will not make a huge difference, I try to generate less waste, use less plastic. To look after the earth. Living like a Hobbit might just do it for me – so long as I can still write. Oh, I wonder if they could invent the camera for me to use?
I leave you with the same question: would living like this appeal to you? Yes, no, why not?
 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit Trilogy