Category Archives: Commentary

What’s New for the 9th of December: Lots of Tull, Haydn’s “The Seasons”, Questions About Angels, a country house mystery, and other matters for you to consider

So how can you laugh when your own mother’s hungry, And how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong? And if I just messed up your thoughtless pleasures, Remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas … Continue reading

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On Charles de Lint: Some Writers Speak

We decided to ask some of the writers and artists who hang out in the Green Man Pub to say a few words about Charles de Lint and his endeavours. Here’s what they said… Holly Black: Charles de Lint could … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 2nd of December: Live music from Iron Horse, Peter Pan, Swamp Thing, The Beatles, and other comforting things as well

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ― Edith Sitwell No, it is not Winter yet but … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 25th of November: Doctor Who goes Victorian, cornbread, music from Nightnoise, concert hall staples, color photography, and there’s a bite on the air

The roasting, the feasting and the hours of horseplay helped to create a special warmth on this cold, hard day. Then the fire was stoked and fed to make a warm place where there could be dancing until darkfall. Martin … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 18th of November: A Tull concert, limited edition Ritter chocolate bars, Novels from Ursula le Guin and Patricia McKilillip, German style sausages, ‘Take This Waltz’ by Leonard Cohen and other later Autumn matters

Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all. — William Goldman, August 12, 1931 – November 16, 2018, author and screenwriter of The Princess Bride I’m sitting in the corner nook of the Estate Kitchen with my iPad resting nearby and a large … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 11th of November: TCHO dark chocolate, music from smallpiper Kathryn Tickell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Korean manhwa, Peter Beagle on J.R.R Tolkien and other matters

She knew this music — knew it down to the very core of her being — but she had never heard it before. Unfamiliar, it had still always been there inside her, waiting to be woken. It grew from the core … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Bonfires

Nothing warms my heart and body as much as a bonfire does. Other than my wife that is. Oh I know that I could be inside with my wife Catherine enjoying the warmth of one of the many fireplaces in … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 4th of November: Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot, Jakob Bro at the Old Church, Poetry by Robert Frost, Guy Fawkes Day and music in remememerence of, Joni Mitchell’s 1970 Isle of Wight performance, Poe’s ‘Masque of the Red Death’, Season of the Witch candy roundup and other matters of November

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason Why the gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot.  Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta As Manager and thereby self-assigned evening Barkeep in the Estate Pub, … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 28th of October: All Hallow’s Eve Edition

I forbid you maidens all that wear gold in your hair To travel to Carterhaugh for young Tam Lin is there None that go by Carterhaugh but they leave him a pledge Either their mantles of green or else their … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of October: An Aaron Copland cornucopia, Justice League Dark, Yolen’s favourite Tolkien, contemporary urban fantasy from Tanya Huff, Leonard Cohen live, Halloween candy, Rock from Down Under, and other hopefully tasty matters

The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. — George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones October some years here on a Scottish Estate sharing the Border with the Fey are … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 14th of October: Rolling Stones do Aaron Copland’s ‘A Fanfare for The Common Man’, chilies and chocolate, H.P. Lovecraft, Québécois Style pork pies, Ray Bradbury and Other Matters

One should never mistake pattern for meaning. — Iain Banks’ The Hydrogen Sonata Québécois Style pork pies, spiced with nutmeg, are the main entree for the eventide meal on the Autumn day along with roasted carrots, beets and onions as the weather … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 7th of October: A short story from de Lint, a rare Russian ale, Buffy’s first season, Danish jazz and other cool matters

To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due. — Hob Gadling, toasting upon Dream’s journey as told in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: Season of … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 30th of September: the Two Fat Ladies DVD set, Clifford D. Simak’s City, two de Lint novels, Chinese jades, and other Autumnal matters

Nothing happened. We stitched in silence. At least we stitched without words. Having nothing else to listen to, I began to hear needle points puncturing cloth, threads drawn through, again and again, as rhythmically as breathing. Our breaths mingled with … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 23rd of September: Earle Stanley Gardner, Concert swag, a China That Never Was, Old Hag tunes, Benjamin Britten, Kedgeree, an Elizabeth Hand novella and other neat stuff

When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people. … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 16th of September: Tull live, a really big chocolate treat, a favourite reading space in Kinrowan Hall, Irish music books, good milk chocolate, live music from De Dannan, an excerpt from de Lint’s Forests Of The Heart and other matters as well

Do we ever fully know a tune, or only versions of it, temporary delineations of the possible? — Cairan Carson on the reel most commonly called ‘Last Night’s Fun’ in his Last Night’s Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music Summer is … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 9th of September: Summer hambos, A Tombstone fiction, Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, Junior Superheroes, and other matters of an Autumn nature

Fire on the Mountain. Run, boys, run! The Devil’s in the house of the rising sun; The chicken’s in the bread pan picking out dough. Granny, will your dog bite? No, child, no. Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down to … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 2nd of September: Steeleye Span’s ‘Robbery With Violins’, New Zealand candy, Colombian music called vallenato, a Benjamin Britten bio, First chapter of James Stoddard’s The High House and Autumn is Coming

What is Winter? A time to fear? A time for darkness and death? No. Winter is merely part of the endless cycle of sleep and awakening, dying and rebirth. — the now departed Josepha Sherman in her Winter Queen Speech some … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 26th of August: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Imagine film, Mint juleps, First chapter of an Emma Bull novel, Leonard Bernstein, Aretha Franklin, Peter Beagle on chocolate and other end of summer matters

Traditionally, people are always supposed to feel empty, devastated, when a god leaves them. Nobody seems to wonder how the god might feel. Leaving the only people who almost understood. — Peter Beagle’s Summerlong Yeah that’s Peter Beagle — author … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 19th of August: an exhibition hall of all things Chinese, Irish music live and reviewed, fantasy reading, a fantasy film, salmon bites and other tasty things

A note: At long last, we’re back after some misadventures in online publishing. We now resume our regular programming: ‘Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’ Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 29th of July: Ravens musical and otherwise, Totem Poles, some novels by Charles de Lint, new music and old music, and Other Matters

One flies in to case the joint,  boldly struts around. Two fly in to make it three,  laugh a while and knock each other down. Four flies in with a frowning walk  gains a laugh from out a squawk but … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 22nd of July: The Art of Mouse Guard, Medieval Japan, Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’ and some other possibly odd things

Remember what the dormouse said Feed your head, feed your head ‘White Rabbit’, written by Grace Slick Yes, we love chocolate a lot around here, to the extent that Ellen Kushner once shared her hot chocolate recipe with us, the … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 15th of July: Robert Hunter’s ‘Brown-Eyed Women’, Music that Defies Classification, Indians from Day One, Patricia A. McKillip’s World-building, Gummi Butterflies, and Other Matters

Brown eyed women and red grenadine the bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean Sound of the thunder with the rain pouring down and it looks like the old man’s getting on Robert Hunter’s ‘Brown-Eyed Women’ It’s a wet … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 8th of July: Kage on Time Bandits, Olivier Greif’s Sonate de Requiem and Trio avec piano, The Haiku of Basho, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger gets panned, Charles de Lint in conversation, A History of Ice Cream and other matters…

I sliced strawberries with all my attention. They were particularly fine ones, large and white clear through without a hint of pink. (Wild Borderland strawberries are one of the Border’s little jokes. They form bright red, and fade as they … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 1st of July: Cash’s ‘Tennessee Flat Top Box’, A Raccoon in a Garbage Can puppet, Mouse Guard short stories and other Summery things

Stories require faith, not facts. ― attributed to T.A. Barron I’ve been reading Joy Chant’s The High Kings: Arthur’s Celtic Ancestors in which a Storyteller in Arthur’s Court tells tales of his ancestors and the many deeds that they did. Need I say … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 17th of June: family friendly rootsy music, a look at queer comics, offbeat Columbian music, Peanut butter cups, Folkmanis’ Narwhal puppet, ‘City Of New Orleans’ and other stories

If I told you the whole story, your head would burst. There is no one story, there are branches, rooms… corridors, dead ends. — John Hurt as The Storyteller in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller All stories including our reviews are never the … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 10th of June: Weezer’s rendition of Toto’s ‘Africa’, two by Jane Lindskold, Anthony Bourdain, Alastair Reynolds’ The Prefect, an impressive TBR pile, WF organic dark chocolate, Skara Brae’s only album, Folkmanis’ American Kestrel puppet and other matters

Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks’ Against a Dark Background which may or may not be a Culture novel.  Ahh I see that you’re reading Iain Bank’s Raw Spirit: In Search of The Perfect Dram. Since you’re … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 3rd of June: Some Things Turkish and Ottoman Empire Related

Legends should stay legends otherwise they just become history, when the natural course of things is the other way around, from history to legend. ― Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House The Several Annies, Apprentices to me, the Estate Librarian, come from … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 27th of May: Oliver Brewing Company’s Cherry Blossom Cherry Wheat Ale, Canadian singer-songwriter Dana Sipos, Scottish singer Siobhan Miller, another treat from Folkmanis, the interconnectedness of our reviews, Oysterband’s ‘Red Barn Stomp’, ‘Places’ in fantasy novels, and other cool things

But you must stop playing among his ghosts — it’s stupid and dangerous and completely pointless. He’s trying to lay them to rest here, not stir them up, and you seem eager to drag out all the sad old bones … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 20th of May: Some Terry Riley works for string quartet, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, a Charles de Lint novel and video fiction, a new Fairport album, Mast Sea Salt Chocolate and other matters

We’re all such beings because we tell every story from our oh so personal viewpoint with little or no regard for what most of you know. Nor do we often care what you know. — A patron to Reynard late one … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 13th of May: Nietzsche, Stephen King considered, chocolate of course and other matters

The advantage of a bad memory is that one can enjoy the same good things for the first time several times. — Friedrich Nietzsche Yes, that’s lox and cream cheese on a toasted bagel I’m having along with Komodo Dragon coffee. … Continue reading

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Charles de Lint: Some thoughts on his fiction

I’m not sure which of Charles de Lint’s books I read first, or that it matters — probably not. What matters is that I’ve been reading his fiction for quite a while now, and with one or two exceptions, I’ve … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 6th of May: folk gone electric and it’s finally warm out!

Crop handle carved in bone, sat high upon a throne of finest English leather. The queen of all the pack; this joker raised his hat and talked about the weather, All should be warned about this high born Hunting Girl; … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 29th of April: Yemeni coffee, Jack Vance: a tribute volume, A 40,000-year-old hedgehog, interlibrary loans, lakriti and other cool things

Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization. ― Jo Walton’s Among Others What’s that? A Maypole going up in the courtyard in front of the Green Man Pub? There can be no surer sign … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 22nd of April: Disposable fountain pens, Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu, two chocolate goodies, Space Opera and other matters

I sipped my own coffee, heavy on the sugar and cream, trying to make up for the late work the night before. Caffeine and sugar, the two basic food groups. — Laurell K. Hamilton’s Cerulean Sins Ahhh that heavenly aroma is coming from … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 15th of April: Furry fiction, Live music from Danú, Pamela Dean’s favourite ballad, Welsh music, a Stonewall Kitchen chocolate bar and other tasty matters

My feeling says there is history here. But sometimes a thing might feel true to me, not because it is, but because the writer believes it is. — Pamela Dean’s The Dubious Hills Iain, our Librarian, has the Several Annies, our Library Apprentices … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 8th of April: Arthur Rackham: a life with illustrations, Irish whisky, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, life on Earth, and other neat stuff

You know what English is? The result of the efforts of Norman men-at-arms to make dates with Saxon barmaids.― H. Beam Piper’s  Fuzzy Sapiens That’s ‘Number 37’ which is  James Keelaghan’s homage to a female horse racer playing here in the … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 1st of April: music from Clannad, Cat Rambo joins our staff, Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End, Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast, Reckoning 2: Creative Writing on Environmental Justice, the latest from Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Cocaine & Rhinestones website, another dark chocolate review and other tasty things as well

Irish folk is probably the biggest influence musically that I’ve ever had. My mother’s Irish. And when I was very young, both my brothers were very into traditional music, English and Irish. They were always playing music, so I was … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 25th of March: The Cultured Cook, Frouds, Joseph Campbell, Complaint Choirs, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ from The Four Seasons and other matters

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. — Margaret Atwood Yes the doors into the Green Man Pub from the stone patio outside Kinrowan Hall have been open since mid morning as it’s both … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 18th of March: Danish String Quartet’s Last Leaf, Lindt dark chocolate, music from Planxty, some very different approaches to “traditional” music, and Neverwhere in various forms

Is it more foolish and childish to assume there is a conspiracy, or that there is not? — China Mieville’s The City & The City Come I’m. I was discussing with Bjorn, our brewmaster, what he had cellared for barley wines and … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 11th of March: Well, It’s Still Winter I See

I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.― Corwin in Roger … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 4th of March: G. Willow Wilson’s Cairo, Chinese magic, a first from the Archives, Frigg’s Frost on Fiddles, gamelan complete with dancer, and Other Matters

Happiness, in the land of Deals, is measured on a sliding scale. What makes you happy? A long white silent car with smoked-glass windows, with a chauffeur and a stocked bar and two beautiful objects of desire in the back … Continue reading

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A Global News Service story: Clockwork Beings

15 January 1880 Istanbul, Ottoman Empire Global News Service I’ve been chasing rumours of a true clockwork man for decades now. Not a pale shadow of a living being called automatas, but one that looks like and acts like a … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 18th of February: A New Album by Joan Baez, Bee Gees Down Under, Yet More Taza Chocolate, Jack Vance, Baby Groot and Other Matters

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but ifyou want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln Candlemas is past, which means Spring’s approaching. We mark Candlemas here not as a Church celebration but rather as the time … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 11th of February: ’De Herinacio: On the hedgehog’, Don’t Talk About It by Australian expat Ruby Boot, live Irish Music from De Dannan & Skara Brae, Hobos, Mary-Sues, Live from Here replaces Prairie Home Companion and other matters

Most times we only see things for the way we are. But we’re good at lying to ourselves. Sometimes we need somebody who’s not living in our skin to point out how things really are.  ― Charles de Lint’s The … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 4th of February: Ursula Le Guin

Only in silence the word, Only in dark the light, Only in dying life: Bright the hawk’s flight On the empty sky. Ursula K. Le Guin in The Wizard of Earthsea  Before you read the rest of this edition, go to … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 28th of January: Music by the Taraf De Haïdouks, Catherynne Valente & SJ Tucker’s ‘The Girl in the Garden’, Two Octavia E. Butler novels, June Tabor’s An Echo of Hooves and other nifty things

She who invented words, and yet does not speak; she who brings dreams and visions, yet does not sleep; she who swallows the storm, yet knows nothing of rain or wind. I speak for her; I am her own. ― … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of January: Mary Gauthier’s Rifles & Rosary Beads, Elizabeth Bear on chocolate truffles, some Roger Zelazny reviews, Music from Sufjan Stevens, Bruce Campbell’s Jack of All Trades series and other matters

Endings are rubbish. They’re only the place where you choose to stop talking. — The Narrator in Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home Come in, we’re almost ready for you to read this edition, but first have … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 31st of December: A Folkmanis Mouse with Cheese puppet, three chocolate candies from Chocolove, Big Country performs “Auld Lang Syne’, Glen Cook’s Annals of the Black Company, And Happy New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? — Robert Burns Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year’s celebration, is a time to look at what one has accomplished in the past, and to … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 24th of December: Vonnie attends The Revels, Chocolate (of course), A “Must-See” Movie, A Klezmer Nutcracker for Chanukah, Kage at Christmas, A Crow Girls Christmas, Winter Music by the Horslips, A Kinrowan Estate Tradition, Iceland’s Yule Lads and other matters

It was Christmas and Kinlocochbervie had a festive atmosphere about it. Decorations and fir trees decked out with tinsel stood in windows, lighting the dull afternoon with flashes of cheerful Technicolor brilliance, and the door to the Compass was adorned … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 10th of December: June Tabor at Minnemeers Theater, Music of a Nordic Nature, Ragas, Porn That’s Quite Boring and Some Seasonal Matters

He kissed her anyway, lightly on the cheek, before she turned to get her coat, thinking how long he had known her and how little he knew her and how little he knew of how much or little there was … Continue reading

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