Category Archives: Stories

A Kinrowan Estate story: Bad Wolf

Some of the, errr, visitors we get here would rival anything from the Inn called World’s End. Such was The Crooked Man, as he called himself. Again I stress that only those with The Sight, the ability to see the … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: The Library Card Catalogue

A library catalogue is an index of all bibliographic items found in a library such as the one here at Kinrowan Estate. Our catalogue covers all thirty thousand or so books, chapbooks, maps and even art. The Catalogue includes data … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: The Raggedy Man

Dear Katrina, You missed the Raggedy Man this week. Only Hangadróttinn and Liath Evergreen remember his last visit which means that visit was a very long time ago. Centuries, perhaps, even. And an odd creature he is. Clothed in Autumn … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Kitchen Tales

Come in! Just give me a few minutes to finish the House books for the last year (or three), and I’ll be right with you. So, you’ve applied to work in the Kitchen, eh? Pleased to meet you. Let me … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Spring is Coming. Eventually.

The time of the year  when cold, nasty weather here at the Estate is more common than not is upon us as I sit writing these words in my office behind the Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room. A freezing sleet … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Pub Rules

Like any good pub, there are of course rules at The Green Man Pub. Everyone is welcome, provided they can behave like a reasonable being. (I don’t say human as some of our visitors are most decidedly not human, although … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: A Ghostly Librarian

I haven’t seen him despite having The Sight but several persons down the years have said they’ve seen a man dressed in Victorian Era clothes and looking apparently quite solid. He looked to in his late fifties or early sixties, … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Enter The Sandman

It was well past the witching hour on a night when a hard rain was beating against the windows in our Pub when the stranger clad in her woollen cloak dyed a black so dark that I wasn’t quite sure I … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Bloody bones, and not much else

Like visiting musicians who get food, drink, and a place to sleep, storytellers are treated in the same manner. So it was that a storyteller looking a lot like John Hurt’s character in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller came to be … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: New Years Eve

Time is never called in my recurring dream of pubs. — Ciaran Carson in Last Night’s Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music It is a hundred different late evenings in the deep of a hundred different winters in … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: A Package from Budapest

Nicholas Winter, the Global News Service correspondent who’s a friend of many folks here, just sent Bela and others lovers of Hungarian food a very tasty shipment of food and spirits from Budapest! The lucky soul got to spend December … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Queens

Most stories about the Fey, she told us, say there is a duality to the rulers that reflects the duality of Summer and Winter — a King who rules over Summer, and one who rules Winter, each with his own attributes, … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: The Man Who Wasn’t There

We indeed get some very queer customers in the Pub, particularly as the weather gets grimmer, but he was one of the oddest I’d ever seen for more years tending bar than I care to think of. Not that at … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Pumpkin Ale and Cheese

Dear Anna, Did you know the Swedes make pumpkin ale? I’ve been researching the history of it and thought that it existed not ‘tall outside of Britain, Ireland, and North America where various small breweries such as ours are doing … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Chasing Ghosts

His accent was thick, understandable if you listened carefully, English though it be, it sounded more Welsh in cadence than English. And he was a burly man, well over six feet tall and stocky to boot with grey eyes and … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Harvesting

Dear Love, I see from the papers that your tour with Leaf & Tree is getting glowing reviews across Canada. Hopefully this letter will reach in Halifax before your last performance there. (I know I can email you anytime but … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: A Hard Rain is Falling

If you’ve visited us and been here when it was raining, you know why we put in a modern heating system. Heating with wood was cold, really cold in the winter, and miserably damp when it rained. I mentioned that … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Theatre in the Round (A Letter to Annbjørg)

Greetings Annbjørg, About that theatre I mentioned — we’ve had a theatre in the round for nearly forty years now, ever since the a particular Steward developed a deep affection for theatre. He noticed that the very old stone livestock auction barn either … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Clue

Remember the Clue film with Tim Curry? Well one of Iain’s Library Apprentices did remember it fondly and she decided to organize a similar game recently as she thought it’d make a splendid diversion in the Winter here. She limited … Continue reading

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A Global News Service story: Istanbul, 1926

Istanbul, Turkey 23rd of November, 1926 Global News Service It’s a cold morning here as I sip my Turkish coffee outside a small smoked-filled cafe near the Grand Bazaar. It’s been just three years since Ataturk and his military allies … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Strawberry Ice Cream

During the early Victorian Era, the Head Gardener at the time, Jacob Niles, persuaded the Steward to invest in a conservatory. According to the journals kept by him and the Steward, the deciding factor was that it could be used … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Twa Corbies

Oh, come on in and join us. Mackenzie and I were admiring the repair job our resident bookseller and binder did on one of the older Estate journals as I had need of the information on the proper apples for … Continue reading

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A Travels Abroad story: A Theatre Company

Overheard in the Green Room one night… There, my friend. I am not good company tonight, but if you can stand the long face, I’ll buy the rounds, all right? Here, Reynard — a pint for this compassionate one, the … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Did You Notice…?

Just past Midsummer, and life around the Kinrowan Estate offices has started getting a little weird. Oh, all right, a little weirder. I’m reporting in from the Estate building on a beautiful warm day. I’ve been noticing that the young … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Firewood

Though we have long since adopted new technologies here at the Kinrowan Estate for providing heat, including electric radiators from low head hydro on the river that runs through our lands, and deep thermal power pumps (expensive but worth it), … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Herne

Herne. His voice was like moss on the bark of an ancient tree… deep and smooth, making you expect velvet. And then you touch the bark and it is cold, cold and with a hardness like stone under it. I … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Thank You! ( A Letter to Anna)

Dear Anna, Katrina and I enjoyed our visit in Stockholm with you over the last fortnight. We hadn’t enjoyed the wonders of Stockholm since we were there nearly a decade back as it’s hard to get away for enough time … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Lost Empires

More Midnight Wine? A bit of smoked savannah slinker? Some snow-white strawberries from the other side of that Border? What tickles your fancy this fine morning? I was eating a very late breakfast with a few other Green Man staffers … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: Writing Retreats (A Letter To Peter)

Dear Peter, Here’s my thoughts on the history of writing retreats here The first recorded one was in the Twenties, a small group of mystery writers, no one that anyone reads now, but who were all fairly well-known at that … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Musical Ganeshas

Dear Svetlana, Glad to hear that your trip to Ukrainian-speaking Canada went well. It’s amazing how much of their culture, including language, they’ve retained, as it’s well over a century since their ancestors settled there! So you want know about … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Fuck, That Was Strange

It was three in the morning, the time most babies are born and more people die than at any other hour. The Pub was empty but for me and The Old Man writing in his journal as His Ravens looked … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Booking Matters

From: Jack Merry, Booking Manager, Kinrowan Estate To: Simon Sterling, Agent for Banish Misfortune In talking to you last week about wanting to book one of the bands you represent, Banish Misfortune, I told you our terms for booking them … Continue reading

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A Travels Abroad story: Reykjavik, or busking in the cold

One of the finest ales I’ve ever encountered was while I was busking in Reykjavik one cold November day when it was getting far too cold to make a profit. I looked around and saw a pub near the corner … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Garden Planning

All the gardens here are by long standing tradition an ongoing collaboration between the Estate Head Gardener and the Estate Head Cook. So you ask, how does that work out? Quite well actually . . . Keep in mind that one is … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: A Hungarian Hamper

If you’ve got a bit of time to spare, I could use your help! Remember me mentioning a couple of weeks ago that the fellow violinists in the Huddled Masses Violin Ensemble (at their reunion somewhere in central Europe) insisted … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Danse Macabre

Greetings Anna, You’ll be tickled to know that Jack is putting back together the Medieval music group called Danse Macabre that he had here well over twenty years ago. Of course, there’ll be new musos including my wife, Catherine, joining … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Our Library Card Catalogue

A library catalogue is an index of all bibliographic items found in a library such as the one here at Kinrowan Estate. Our catalogue covers several hundred thousand or so books, chapbooks, maps and even art. The Catalogue includes data … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: The Living Library, Part II

I was looking down the hallway when he appeared at my shoulder, silent as smoke. ‘Ah, the little mite — he’s fast asleep, holding onto his yarn for dear life. The room’s telling him Genji Monogatari — in the original … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: The Living Library, Part I

I ran across him in a corridor I’d never explored before — the Library was on one end, but I’d never been down it and had no idea what was on the other. I’d seen him around, usually outside, occasionally … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: Katrina’s Requests (A Letter to Anna)

Dear Anna, My, I’m glad that you’re doing several years living in Stockholm as part of your academic research as it means that you can send goodies this way. With that in mind, here’s a list of things that Katrina … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Blizzard

A letter from Lady Alexandra Margaret Quinn, Head Gardener here in the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, to her botanist friend who is on an extended botanical collecting trip in the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere. She copied her letters … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: Herne

Some hold that the Green Man is but a Celtic myth retold by the English as a sort of ethnic cleansing of the native culture. That is bollocks as there’s really no Green Men in English myth either, no matter … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: Guest Lecturer

Well, now. Mackenzie has asked me in as this for tonight’s guest lecturer. He likes to keep these seminars going through the summer months, you know, when otherwise the staff and denizens of the Green Man get too caught up … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: The Calamity Janes

They called themselves The Calamity Janes and were a Americana group that showed up here one fine Autumn day. Jack hadn’t booked them, indeed hadn’t even heard of them, but they decided to visit us as they’d heard they could … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Jack O’Lanterns

Botanically speaking, pumpkins are just large gourds (cucurbits) of which we raise many types here as they’re an intrinsic part of the Winter fare here being served up baked (butternut squash particularly is good this way), in pies and tossed … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: All Hallows‘ Eve

All Hallow’s Eve is just a fortnight away, and the Staff is deep in preparations. Mind you, a lot of those are just fun and games: putting up decorations and scurrying around with secret costume plans. Some of the more … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: A Punjabi Meal

Chandra came to the Estate several springs back with the intent of being here for a single growing season. I hired her as she had a deft hand with transplanting seedlings, something harder than it looks to do properly, and … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Why Contradances?

Dear Justina, You were asking quite some time back about how a remote Scottish Estate came to have contradances. It was nearly a month before Iain got back to me after I asked how contradances came to be here and … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: On Tolkien

So, while Mackenzie’s off looking for the Victrola – yeah, we’ve really got a Victrola in here, as well as a 21st century sound system that’s practically sentient – I’ll sign you in. I’m one of the Several Annies, and … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate Story: Chasing Fireflies

Come on in, you’re just in time! We haven’t started yet. Don’t just stand there in the doorway, come in, come in! We have a contradance planned for tonight. I’m Kate, one of the assistant cooks here, but I’m also … Continue reading

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