Hantalë: thanksgiving, as to Eru Illúvatar, the One, God.

Eru Illúvatar, creator of the Ainur and Eä (the world), the God figure of Tolkien mythology explains the root here of the word Hantalë. I was looking for the word for ‘thanks’ or ‘thankful’ which there seems to be no such word for in Elvish; they always did seem quite rude. There might be a derivative, ‘hanta’, but Tolkien never mentioned this. So Hantalë seems to be the closest and it will have to do.

I’m in a thankful mood.

It must be the better weather, the coming of spring, the lightening of the evenings. Though I could do with it a bit darker in the mornings so the little ones sleep longer. We managed a camp last weekend, the first of the year. It was still a bit cold in the woods despite the attempt at finishing a bottle of Jura but it was really enjoyable. I think I needed it. As my next interview subject said to me regarding nights spent in the mountains, ‘it’s good for my soul’.

I have been working really hard on the interview series. It takes a long time to write after the initial hours long conversations, and I need to work on it most nights for about two weeks, but I am proud of each one. They are all different in their theme, but similar in their approach, in that I kept my talking to a minimum and allowed the interviewee to ramble on. Usually sometimes halfway through the story reveals itself and that is the route I try to follow. I am thankful for each of the interview subjects, all friends, who gave their time to me as part of this endeavour. All feedback is welcome.

A while ago we started TikTokking. It allows me to make videos that I don’t even have to be in quite easily, complete with cool music; mostly Wolves in the Throne Room. Despite all the gleaming faces, dancing, recipes and yoga pants, it is a really great tool and is remarkably easy to use. This is especially good for a Luddite like me, who still struggles with his own Facebook account. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I am thankful for Tik-Tok. If you have it, give us a follow @lastwolfoutdoors.

I have been enjoying our new (ish) weekly hashtag #fivephotofriday, incorporating #myscotlandinfivephotos or #myworldinfivephotos for the non-Scots. To all the people who have taken the time to send us in photos, it really has been cool sharing in your life like that. To them, of course, I am thankful. I wish I had come up with this idea myself, but I’ll let you in on a small secret, it wasn’t mine, it was my wife’s.

I’m thankful for my wife, who puts up with my head being in the clouds every day by keeping hers on the ground. Actually mine are usually in the trees. I’d apologise, though it seems that is how my head works, but I’m sorry anyway. I’m thankful for our daughters who are both healthy and thriving thanks entirely to their mum. They’re thankful for her too, I can tell. I’m thankful for our own mums, who have helped us out, allowing us to return to work but also for our families who have remained safe throughout the year and who hopefully we can hang out properly again soon.

What are you thankful for?


Live deliberately


Currently listening to: The new album Portraits by Perennial Isolation, quality Spanish atmospheric black metal.


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