Robbie's carrying a shoebox.
"From Brenda?" James guesses.
"Aye. Said 'it's for the birthday', then disappeared before I could blink."
James frowns. It's neither Robbie's birthday nor his. The box's enticing contents don't look particularly birthdayish: seed cakes and apple tarts.
"Seed cakes!" Robbie exclaims. "My gran made those."
James squints at his mobile. "Let me check the date..."
"It's 22 September. Want the year, too?"
"Haha. According to Tolkien, today is Bilbo and Frodo's birthday." Brenda must be a fan.
"More flippin' elves?"
"Nope. Flippin' hobbits."
"And what's a hobbit when it's at home?"
James smiles. "Very well fed."