Category Archives: Commentary

What’s New for the 12th of November: Dead Can Dance peform ‘The Lotus Eaters’, an Alan Garner novel for adults and other Autumnal matters

I came to the realization many years ago that I like big, strong, even aggressive tastes: cheddars so sharp they make your eyes water, curries in general, though preferably fairly hot, garlic-heavy Middle-Eastern mezes, chilli-saturated Mexican dishes, hugely fruity Aussie … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 5th of November: Our Guy Fawkes celebration, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a new recording of old Albanian folk music, Wolves and the Wilderness in the Middle Ages and other matters…

On November the Fifth people gather on the heath Point their Roman candles at the sky Out of broken branch and leaf they construct a fiery wreath Ready for the burning of the Guy The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s ‘Home … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 15th of October:

There are few joys to compare with the telling of a well-told tale. — Charles de Lint’s Yarrow: An Autumn Tale What am I playing? That’s June Tabor & Oysterband’s Ragged Kingdom which Vonnie saye Very Good Things about: ‘Tabor has reunited with … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 8th of October: Red Clay Ramblers offer up Halloween Music, Black cat awareness month, Philip Glass’ “portraits”, the folklore and folkways of American Indians, Ursula le Guin on Coyote, and her Buffalo Gals fantasy.

Coyote is an anarchist. She can confuse all civilised ideas simply by trotting through. And she always fools the pompous. Just when your ideas begin to get all nicely arranged and squared off, she messes them up. Things are never … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Minding the Stockpot

Even visitors to Kinrowan Hall get put to useful work if someone such as the Kitchen staff needs a hand as Elizabeth, author of such works as The Stratford Man novels of Ink and Steel and Hell and Earth discovered … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 24th of September: Traffic’s version of ‘John Barleycorn’, Dissing neo-paganism, Vess’ Book of Ballads and Sagas and other matters

If I told you the whole story, your head would burst. There is no one story, there are branches, rooms… corridors, dead ends. — The Storyteller as played by a John Hurt in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller It’s definitely not Summer here … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 17th of September: Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers, live music by Kathryn Tickell, Ottawa based urban fantasies by Charles de Lint, Norwegian saxophonist Karl Seglem, Gus on the Estate Kitchen garden and other Autumnal matters

Every good fiddler has a distinctive sound. No matter how many play the same tune, each can’t help but play it differently. Some might use an up stroke where another would a down. One might bow a series of quick … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 3rd of September

Not of father, nor of mother
 Was my blood, was my body.
 I was spellbound by Gwydion,
 Prime enchanter of the Britons, 
 When he formed me from nine blossoms. From the Robert Graves translation of ‘Hanes Blodeuwedd’ Who am … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 27th of August: Kage Baker on Peter Beagle, dark fantasy, Brahms-a-rama, other somewhat Autumnal matters

I did not want to think about people. I wanted the trees, the scents and colors, the shifting shadows of the wood, which spoke language I understood. I wished I could simply disappear in it, live like a bird or … Continue reading

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A KInrowan Estate story: Blackberry Wine (A Letter to Catherine)

Dear Catherine,  Our gardens are full of the good things one finds there as summer wanes: small and large pumpkins, the last of the ripe cucumbers, chili peppers ready for drying, plump tomatoes for canning and drying, blackberries, and an infinity … Continue reading

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