A Kinrowan Estate story: Autumn is Here (A Letter to Anna)

pumpkins

Dear Anna,

I thought you’d appreciate this copy of Ciaran Carson’s Last Night’s Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music, which is the best book ever done on Irish traditional music. I particularly like the chapter on what to have for breakfast after an all-night session!

The cooler weather that autumn brings here is very similar to the weather there is in Stockholm. The Steward has ordered the usual check of the fireplaces and he went one step more with having all of them cleaned even though they weren’t due until next autumn. Everyone’s taking the prediction of a much colder, more snowy winter seriously. We’ve even prepped a heated space for the Irish Wolfhounds as it might be too cold even for them.

Tamsin was pleased with the prep work Gus did for the owls so that they might have warm homes this Winter. I still don’t know why she attracts a larger than normal number of owls, but she once jokingly, at least I hope it was meant that way, suggested reading Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

As you know, we don’t raise beef here but trade for it with the Riverrun folk. And Mrs. Ware made a lovely dish from some of this year’s beef last night — a brisket braised in apple cider with baked butternut squash and very tender carrots. She made use of the second harvest of pumpkins (the first are a variety grown only for use in Bjorn’s spiced pumpkin ale) to make pumpkin tarts. And she says she’ll have pumpkin muffins in the morning as well! Ymmm!

Plans are being made for the usual winter activities here — I see notes up for Curling teams, Old Norse and French reading groups, and the chess group is reserving space in the Reading Room twice a week. Someone, I think it’s most likely Finch, is offering lessons in border pipes.

Your sister has yet another group up and running — Solstice, which has her on violin, Finch on border pipes, and Astrid on cello. It’s got a very sweet sound, more Nordic in sound than Leaf & Tree. They’re more interested in doing a recording than touring, so I suspect we’ll be treated to concerts here as they fine tune this group.

Lastly I should note The Steward approved your request to be a Scholar-in-Residence in Nordic Languages for next year. You’ll be selecting the person who holds the position for Winter ’19. The usual stipend plus expenses and quarters applies. Ingrid only  requested only that a background in Beowulfian studies would be nice.

Affectionately, Iain

pumpkins

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