Category Archives: Commentary

What’s New for the 26th of May: Taza Chocolate, June Tabor live (twice), music books, remembering a beloved Irish singer, a beloved Canadian singer, and more

Things are bound to get a whole lot worse before they can get any better. Let’s have a drink. — Robert Heinlein’s “Logic of Empire” I’m Jill, one of many, many House Jacks and Jills here down the centuries. Some … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 28th of April: Tull, Ian MacDonald, Finnish candy and The Wicker Man

One day I walked the road and crossed a field to go by where the hounds ran hard. And on the master raced: behind the hunters chased to where the path was barred. One fine young lady’s horse refused the … Continue reading

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Whats New for the 14th of April: It’s truly Spring, so go outside and enjoy the warm weather. Really it’s worth doing.

Remember, pain is not a test. Knowledge is not enough. Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden The tulips such as the one in the vase on my desk here in the Estate Library are the predominant flowers … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 3rd of March: Mysteries and Murderbot; fiddles Hardanger, nyckleharpa and violin; springy music; rhubarb wine and dark chocolate mousse and a Seabiscuit, and more

I hate misplaced apostrophes. Detective Sergeant James Hathaway on the Lewis series. MacKenzie here. One moment while I feed Hamish, our resident hedgehog, his live grubs. I keep trying to convince him to try woodworms, but a hedgehog is really not … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 18th of February: More Tolkieniana – non-LOTR stories, letters, references, etc.; music acknowledging Black History Month

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a … Continue reading

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Russian World Music Chart: The best folk albums in Russia in 2023

The Russian World Music Chart launched in the fall of 2021 with the aim of attracting the attention of the world music community to the latest Russian folk music. An international jury of music writers, world music broadcasters, bloggers and … Continue reading

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Commentary: A Q&A with Daryana Antipova and Tatiana Naryshkina of Russian World Music Chart

I first became aware of Daryana Antipova and Tatiana Naryshkina in 2020 when the German label CPL Music pitched their compilation album Folk & Great Tunes From Russia, containing a couple of tracks by the Siberian traditional folk ensemble Vedan … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of January: A (mostly) Robin Hood themed edition: Child ballads, scholarly tomes, young readers’ books, comics, movies, and TV series about the bandit of Sherwood; plus The Boy and the Heron, and more

After doing extensive research, I can definitely tell you that single malt whiskies are good to drink.― Iain Banks’ Raw Spirit I’ve got a whisky that I think you should try, it’s Toiteach which is a wonderfully peaty single malt from … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 7th of January: Robert Holdstock and other easonally appropriate books, jazz in winter, real and not-real beer, a poor comic book, cold weather music, and Gary’s music pics of 2023

  If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased. ― attributed to Katharine Hepburn Traditional Central European and Jewish comfort foods are common here in Kinrowan Hall. Mrs. Ware, our Head Cook, says ‘It’s not … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 24th of December: The Heist; Seasonal music and books; The Polar Express; winter ales; and Christmas Revels

Wassail! wassail! all over the town, Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown; Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree; With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink unto thee. First stanza of the ‘Gloucestershire … Continue reading

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