The Neverending Session is oft times at its very best when the weather grows colder and the days get shorter. So it's not surprising to this old publican that the number of musicians dropping in here at Green Man Pub grows dramatically this time of year! One such visitor was a Swedish fiddler who showed up here last week, Hans was his name I believe. He had one of the most unusual instruments I've ever seen. It was, I kid you not, a träskofiol (wooden shoe fiddle)! I found a photo of one here, so go take a look. It really, you must agree, does look like a wooden shoe! Though a few of the musicians hereabouts say this fiddle isn't as sweet as a 'true' fiddle, I thought the tune he played solo on it, Jågaremarsch (Hunter's March), was quite fine. And a proper benediction it was for a season of conversations round late night fires, the scent of falling oak leaves, and thick, hearty stews served up with fresh pressed apple cider!
Also perfect for those cold, rainy days when the winds blow like the bitter of the Caoineag is the telling of tales. Last week, the staff here took their turn at saying what were their favourite fairy and folk tales, so this week our Editor asked some of our favorite literary folk what their best-loved tales were. Their answers can be found here. I particularly want to draw your attention to the detailed reponse from Kage Baker about how a Hans Christian Andersen story, 'The Tinderbox', changed in meaning for her as she grew up, and Gwyneth Jones on a Moroccan tale known by many, many names in various variants including 'The Seven Crows'.
Several of the musicians here have been playing around with the idea of a tune -- The Oak King would be the name of it. Our next Oak King has been chosen and has accepted the honour of reigning. He says he's no good at giving speeches, but '[i]f the estimable Mr. de Lint could get by with a poem, could I slip in a story?' Yes, was the reply of the staff here that night in the Pub, so join us next week for his tale as we'll be in the Pub quaffing spiced pumpkin ale while we learn what he has to tell!