Jack Merry at your service. We got a bleedin' blizzard this past week and it reminded me of the time when the Neverending Session once played through every tune in John Playford's Tunebook during a particularly bitter winter storm when no one could enter or leave this building. A number of travelers got stranded here during this storm as do they in any storm we get -- not that any complained as it was the week that Burns Night falls in, so all were very happy to be here! And as Kim Bates, our Music Editor noted in the Pub recently, 'winter is the time when musicians get better, and it's easy to stay at the Neverending Session -- it's warm, the fire is blazing and the mulled cider and glu-wine (german hot mulled wine) are flowing.' Me, I'll stick with Irish Coffee for now!
A bloke by the name of Fell has been sampling the rather unique spirits that we have in the Pub. Though he voiced to Reynard his concern that his drinking here for a whole afternoon was taking time away from writing his magnum opus, The Drinking Customs of England from the Earliest Days, he admitted a little more research certainly didn't hurt either. So he sampled a pint of Dragons Breath XXX Stout, and he had a few rounds of Ryhope Wood Hard Cider; the latter he noted went well with a bit of a nice sharp English cheese, say Stilton, or a bit of Canadian Black Diamond. Before left he ordered a case of Winter Wine to be delivered to the train station for him to take back to London. Reynard said he would do so provided that the Pub was acknowledged as assisting his research in The Drinking Customs of England from the Earliest Days when it was finished.
Speaking of drinking, I should note that the Burns Night feasting here at Green Man went very well again this year. Or at least I think it did -- I don't honestly remember all that much of it as I overindulged in too much of the single malt to recall anything with clarity, though I do remember Lenora Rose engaging me in a lively, if slightly besotted on me end, discussion of Susan Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell! I still don't like that novel, but the lass made good points in defense of it. I'm told that supper included cock-a-leekie soup, a smoked venison haggis doused with a 'wee splash of whisky sauce' that Reynard says was the best he's had since his wee gram made them years ago, generous servings of bashed neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potatoes), and a Tipsy Laird trifle which is liberally laced with whisky. I think it was worth the headache I got!