One of the advantages of living in Middle Earth is observing the locals at work and play.

I was wandering around looking for a golden ring I had lost and thought to drift into their local place of worship. Do they worship Ents? Tom Bombadil? Gandalf the Grey? I am never sure but no matter, their music seems good.

Today I was lucky enough to barge in on a neophyte, female, Hobbit organ student strutting her stuff. Unusually for a Hobbit she was wearing shoes, but I understand this is just so she can reach the pedals.

This tubby little soul is a close relative of Sam Gamgee and a keen member of the local gardening society. She has only just moved to the area (an immigrant from Bree) but is already busy baking cakes, growing vegetables, chatting to all and sundry and generally bumbling around.

Therein perhaps lies the clue to a happy life. Engagement and simple pleasures. Playing the organ at the village church, chatting to the ladies arranging flowers for the wedding later in the day, mowing the lawn, cooking in the kitchen.

Those of us who have led busier lives, wielding our picks and shovels at the coalface of finance, might learn from the Hobbits.

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