Ah, you’re back! Now, where were we? Ah, the Snug: the Snug is a tiny room to the other side of the bar (served via a sliding hatch) which has a small wood-burning stove, a couple of old armchairs, and a carved oak settle, which tends to act as a repository for copies of fRoots, The Living Tradition, The Economist, On The Border, and other worthy publications. One wall is lined with bookshelves that contain a few board games (chess, checkers, dice made of human bone, nine-man’s morris), novels, collections of short stories, poetry and the like. There’s a surprising number of first editions here, many of them donated and signed by the authors (some folks will do anything for a pint when they’ve run short of cash!).
The Snug, like all of the Pub and the whole Estate is smoke-free, and it’s the place that you’re most likely to encounter some of our needlework crowd working on their projects, including The Norns when they drop by for a chat. If you happen to overhear them reading aloud to one another (as you pass the door enroute to the loos), wait for the inevitable laughter — it’s a music in itself! Oh, and I nearly forgot. The painting over the stove is by Charles Vess!
Finally there’s The Nook, or ‘the back room’ as it’s more often called these days. The most important piece of furniture here is the bar billiards table. If you’re a visitor here, my advice is not to play against any of the folk sitting at that table near the Fireplace, all of whom are preternaturally skilled at the game and should be left to compete against each other! Aside from these sporting encounters, The Nook frequently (and perhaps I shouldn’t be telling you this) doubles as a committee room for various meetings of editors and staffers. The bar billiard table converts to a regular table simply by lifting the plywood cover into position. One side has a wall-mounted work surface with six high bar stools ranged along its length. Take a look beneath and you’ll find six power points and telephone sockets, just the things for connecting a laptop or recharging an iPad. Surprising? That’s just how the Green Man Pub is. There’s no juke box, no arcade games, no closing time and no arguments. (Well, not many that get testy, as that gets you evicted.) Me? I do most of my Journal writing in the Nook — particularly when it gets too noisy out there.
The gent in black wants to know if I’ll have a game of bar billiards with him — winner buys the next round. What the heck, I’ve still got the proceeds of a well-paid storytelling gig in my pocket. You set ’em up, I’ll just get the ales in now.