Jack Merry at your service. If you tried to access our zine over the weekend and couldn't do so, I apologize. Remember those digital pixies who get into the Infinite Jukebox, our MP3 server, every so often? Well, they decided to relocate our server to a new host computer over the weekend. Unfortunately, they didn't tell our Webmaster where the computer was. As damn near everyone here took the weekend off, it too a few days for us to notice they'd done this. (I was here, but mostly playing music, drinking metheglin, and telling lies, errr, tales in the Pub.) Everything back to normal now. Well, as normal as anything on this Border ever can be! Indeed there may well be times for afew weeks that you'll find oddities with our files as we and the pixies are still negotiating terms of relatively peaceful coexistence!

Now onto the business at hand. Care for a cup of Glengettie tea? Nancy Carlin left a box of it here when she visited us this week, and she says it's one of the better Welsh teas. Do have one of the spiced Welsh tea cakes as well! It's gotten quite cold in this City . . . Odd how fast the conditions go from merely cold to outright nasty. I was busking very cozily in the Old Quarter 'til a mere fortnight ago. Now I admit me ancient bones find being out buskin' in cold weather less appealing every year, but it did get cold, drizzly, and bleedin' windy much earlier than normal. Even theheathers now have a fine coating of ice on them already, a good month ahead of last year!

So I am doing a lot of re-reading this season as the offerings from the publishers this season are less than appealing. Yes, I tried reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke which is described by her Web site as 'a literary novel telling the story of the revival of English magic.' After three hundred pages and far too many cups of Turkish coffee to keep from nodding off while reading it, I gave up. It's dry, it's boring, it's unreadable.

So why re-read a novel? Some times it's because I already know it's going to be good and not a waste of me time, I see new depths each time I read it, sometimes I'm planning to write up something that's related to that work, or a newbook in a series such as James Hetley's Seasons of the Enchanted Forest series has come out and I want to review what happened before which means I re-read the entire series. But more often than not it's simply because I just want to spend some time with something familiar instead of making the effort to plow through what may or may not be a rewarding read as was the case with Clarke's novel. So I'll re-read, say, one of Charles de Lint's Newford novels, which are always pleasant reads, or perhaps a winter-long reading, as I did last year this time, savouring The Lord of the Rings in the edition illustrated by Alan Lee.