The Cloven Hoof

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    Craig @craig


    Another pub on our eternal crawl. A break from the sofa and Doctor Who. Somewhere for real life, non-Doctor chat including news, politics, sport etc. Basically a place of a more adult nature. Those who don’t want that, please avoid.

    Our last pub chat can be found here:

    Craig @craig

    @katharine Just to join in on The West Wing conversation. I think that the last 6 episodes of Season 2 display perhaps the best dramatic storytelling ever shown on TV. Ever… Really… I think it’s that good.

    Of course, you have to watch Season One and Season Two to get there. But believe me, it’s worth it.

    It kinda lost it a bit afterwards but there were two glorious seasons to enjoy. Just watching Season One, Episode One should make anyone grin by the end. Go for it. You won’t regret it.

    lisa @lisa

    @craig — what forms of fine grub and grog are on tap at our new location ? {a pub should offer some
    menu items]

    Katharine @katharine

    Nice pub!

    @purofilion @craig et al

    Thanks for the West Wing recommendation. I’ve just caught up with season 5 of Justified on Sky (apologies for giving money to Murdoch, but it’s the only way I can watch any cricket), so – as they have all of the West Wing as one of their box sets, that shall be my next venture. My son – whose judgement is sound – always loved it, but I rather felt I’d missed the boat on it.

    Deadwood, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the greatest of the great HBO series, sadly cut off before the fourth and final season, so it just stopped. You need a high tolerance level for violence and explicit sex, as well as a level of profanity that makes The Thick of It sound like ‘Mary had a little lamb’. It’s about the development of Deadwood in the 1870s from rough camp to town, mixing historical and fictional characters, and drawing on the diaries and newspapers of the period. It’s brilliantly written, unafraid to mix long literary soliloquies with brutal crudity; and the cast is amazingly good – the more amazing to an English audience who only knew Ian McShane as the twinkly-eyed mulleted Lovejoy, slightly dodgy antique dealer in a comedy on late 1980s-early 1990s TV, and had to get used to him in a bravura performance as Al Swearingen, the bar owner. It’s not always comfortable watching, but it’s always gripping. (I must watch it again.)

    Anonymous @

    @katharine I think @craig and @pedant have it right.

    Season 2’s final moment are exact in storytelling: layers of plots; a distinct lack of ‘personal life’ stories which tend to over-crowd a good drama. In other words it doesn’t deteriorate into soap story telling -not that I have anything against soaps, actually, but this series doesn’t need that type of ‘spice’ and allure as it makes the White House a fantastic solar system for everything connected to politics: economic crises; the hiring of people not on the Democratic side; how working in a fundamentally testosterone fuelled and powerful climate can cause relationships to break down; how lobby groups and their often grubby methods can be ‘looped in’ to the political contrivance of the day; how a President can be married to a super successful woman  at the top of her own career (without being a careerist) with subsequent difficulties for the First Lady in evidence; how the use of statements like “need to know and should know” can cause an ’empire’ to turn on a word….(I can go on and on).

    In the end, it shows that the vitality of moral values and political idealism are not empty unrealistic concepts in the world of ‘politricks’. It also demonstrates that there is nothing wrong with Big Government, an idea, long since abandoned by even the most honest of Democratic politicians in the US and those of the Labour persuasion in Oz.

    I’ve not given anything away -in so far as the first episode; a wonderful pilot that shows The West Wing in its entirety by camera, elicits these ideas from the characters.

    I should also mention that religion and the truly fundamentalist extremist version of Christianity is played out to its full. In the States, when I was there in 2000, the far right Republicans and their Christian Right lobby groups were appalled at Sorkin and his portrayal of the grubby, illusory politricking labelled as ‘Christian, faith loving stewardship’ by these extremist groups. By the way, during 9/11, Sorkin handled one particular ‘out of series’ episode with great tact and it’s still  used as a lesson platform in politics and theology within History and Humanities depts in at least 4 universities in Oz.

    Kindest (forgive my rambling love of this show), puro


    Anonymous @

    @katharine on your brilliant and erudite review alone I shall watch Deadwood!  The local DVD place -JB Hi-Fi knows my name…this is where all my disposable income goes. I have a Kindle so I don’t buy actual paper books (a shame I know but we run out of room) and every book shelf is filled with Who DVDs, every Western known to Man (Mr Ilion), every film directed by George Clooney (I said directed!) and every film directed by Eastwood. Actually anything Clint is in, Mr Ilion buys too!  I think Mystic River was an Eastwood direction?

    Ooh, I love it when other people like what I like. This site, truly, thank you @craig and all the mods and well, everyone for the incredible attitudes, erudition and referrals given on these pages. Just today, on the website comments, I found out about the reviewer everyone talks about here: forgotten his name (already) but I’ve watched the infamous Sex and The City 2 review which is on Ytub’es top 1000. I’ve never heard a man speak so fast and yet so well (like Moffat) and deliver so much in a review as this gentleman. What did he think of Doctor Who I wonder? Or does he only review films for the ‘big, epic cinema’?

    lisa @lisa

    I got curious about where the “Cloven Hoof” {aka Blue Boar] was located and I google mapped it-
    It is located in Aldbourne and its a stunningly gorgeous little village with brick and stone
    and white washed cottages and giant gothic grey stone church.

    I believe there are life sized cardboard Tardis’ – wouldn’t that be fun to take a picture
    with the Tardis and the pub together as a special treat for a fan that is aware of that trivia!
    I would do that because it’s from a Tom Baker story and he is still 1 of my favorite docs.
    Also. they should sell jelly babies in the pub ! Possibly fish fingers and custard too.
    Maybe celery, along with all the usual other pub offerings



    Just to echo others, Two Cathedrals, the S2 finale is simply magnificent. But you do have to get there first.

    Other joys are:

    1) Writing out a character but never, ever mentioning it despite it making no sense at all;

    2) Emily Proctor’s utterly brilliant recurring turn as Ainsley Hayes (makes me sad she got the CSI Miami gig or we might have seen more of it);

    3) Of the regular’s, Richard Schiff’s Toby Zeigler is one of the greatest characters ever created (although that might be because someone once said to me that he was me, only American, bearded and Jewish. And also powerful), not least for the genuinely moving season 1 episode In Excelsis Deo;

    4) And then there is John Spencer. Oh, John we hardly knew ya.

    After Season 4 it gets a bit more workman-like (Sorkin was too busy field testing Columbian Marching Powder, so no longer involved), but still better than most other things.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Hello @katharine

    I agree entirely with you about Deadwood. I saw it as a brilliant rendition of the growth of civil society in the United States. It was (as I saw it) a Hobbesian world that was “nasty, brutish and short” that (over the course of three seasons) slowly lurched towards a civil society. I loved it!

    I agree entirely that it should have been allowed to conclude with a fourth series. But even what is available to us is better than just about everything on offer.

    @purofilion. You MUST watch this! For three reasons: 1) it is excellent, 2) you can purchase all three seasons for a pittance these days, 3) because of all the things that have been discussed elsewhere.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant  Oh yes, Ainsley with her “don’t yell at me today. I will be here tomorrow and you can scream at me then.  This place that I have worshipped since I was a girl, if I have to endure another day, I’ll cry.”  And then The Song  “was it Pirates or something else?” 🙂

    This associated with the wonderful character, the White House lawyer, anxiously saying “I should be having drinks with little umbrellas in them” (to Sam Seaborn).

    Yes, Toby was utterly brilliant and actually in Season 6 and 7 when he’s, erm,you know…is some of the most riveting and vicious dialogue from the President.

    Spencer was in LA Law in the early ’90s -great stuff.

    Anonymous @

    right @blenkinsopthebrave I shall ask for Deadwood for Christmas!  It was going to be socks, fruit cake and nuts..

    Katharine @katharine

    @purofilion Don’t forget the tangerine! (wrapped in foil, of course).

    Right! I shall make a start on The West Wing this week, and keep you posted. @blenkinsopthebrave has Deadwood exactly right, I think – that’s certainly how David Milch is on record as having conceived it, too. I’d add that the violence is rarely just for the sake of entertainment – it genuinely shocks; though it can have comedy value, and there are a few characters who are so far beyond redemption that it’s a relief if (not always when) they get what’s coming to them, while the sex tends to be imperfect and messy and sometimes loathsome. The series also has, quite casually, equal opportunities nudity – from an aesthetic point of view not always pleasingly, but as far as I’m concerned a damn sight better than the usual naked women/covered men scenario.

    You have seen The Wire, I take it?

    I’ve also taken to e-books, as I live in a very small cottage with too many possessions, and couldn’t get into bed without falling over piles of novels (now shoved in a cupboard or gone to Oxfam), and the stairs were being used as bookshelves (not quite solved yet…); so while I buy hard copies of books I really want to keep, or for work purposes, my bedtime reading – deteective stories etc – is now downloaded to iBooks or the Kindle app. The trouble is, it’s so easy to do, that I think I’ve spent more on them than I would have done otherwise.

    Craig @craig

    @Purofilion I think you mean the great Mark Kermode. Just by coincidence this was posted on Buzzfeed the other day.

    11 Film Posters Improved By Mark Kermode’s Scathing Reviews


    Anonymous @

    @craig I watched or saw all of those!  Great stuff. On the comments, though, were some typical reactions:

    “Love the man hate the quiff’

    ‘Love the quiff hate the glasses’

    ‘Love the glasses hate the man’

    ‘Love the glasses hate you’.

    Flaming!!  ‘Want a Forum where this doesn’t happen? In need of some peace this Christmas? Come here. We’ll look after you.’

    Sounded better in my head.




    Anonymous @

    @pedant but it does make sense to write out THAT character! She/he/it had made a few ‘inappropriate decisions’ leading to….things…. also I disliked her/him/it INTENSELY . That voice alone and that….vehicle and the face…. Jeesh.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig and @purofillon — do like me a bit of Kermode. Used to not but totally revised my opinion after reading The Good The Bad and The Multiplex. Like the description of Transformers but for me it’s still trumped by Charlie Brooker’s description of the movie as ‘like being shat on by an angry dishwasher’….

    Anonymous @

    sorry but I’ve seen each ep about 6 times and I get all the ‘quotable quotes’ wrong anyway. Most of The West Wing is in my d’head. Yeah, I know, ‘get a life’.



    Oh yes, but sh/h/it left because of off screen things (or rather story development things that undermined the character). Think where one key episode ends and another begins (like, 2 mins later) and *poof*. Gone. Not even noted in passing.

    Anonymous @

    Mmmm HBO, have you seen Newsroom?  Also Sorkin though I only stuck with the first series as it failed the Bechdel Test (sorry failed the spell test) and there were screamy women so missed Season 2. Still, no’ bad.

    Kindest to you and sleep well. I must be up early, Puro.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant are you SURE? 🙂 Never question a pedant. Rummaging thru DVDs now…

    Anonymous @

    hang on, don’t you mean Season 2? H/S/It was in Season 2 that this person disappeared? In the last ep of Season 1 singing ‘excels…bla bla deo…’ ina cinematic line with children and then….’poof’ gone?

    Anonymous @

    yea, @pedant that appalling set of lines was meant for you. Sorry, This is God awful confusion. I think we’re referring to two different people? But we can’t be BECAUSE THERE’S ONLY ONE S/H/It that out-written!

    Anonymous @

    Oh God!!  I spelled ‘shit’ up there without knowing. Goodness, sorry. Can we say “mandyville’ @pedant and be right?


    Hang on – I’ll go PM (spoilers, for the avoidance of). Then you can worship my rightness.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant I’ll get the cross and incense going. Any excuse for ‘mass’ if it involves a solid gulp of good red vino.

    But this is not a sex ritual. I really can’t go that far. Not any more. I could be excommunicated, stoned, burned or…divorced.

    lisa @lisa

    How is it no one called me out on my major confusion between Doctor Tom and Doctor Jon in the Daemons
    episode?? Totally sorry for my embarrassing moment !
    just saying and moving along now……..


    @purofilion – Well, the usual offering is a sacrifice, but that’s always seemed to me to be a waste of a good virgin.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant  @purofilion     Good grief. What sort of establishment is this? I stopped in for a craft brew and because there appeared to be a big screen TV. Imagine my surprise.


    There may have been drunkenness. And the match was really boring, so you didn’t miss much 😉 .

    Rob @rob

    @arbutus I think we’ve stumbled into Ye Olde Wickerman by mistake :p

    I’ll have a pint of scrumpy and a box of swan vestas please hehehe

    Anonymous @

    I need a bloody drink. Woke up. Got out of bed. ..Comb across my head. There it ended. My son comes down stairs: “Mum, my floor is wet, so is the study and there is water coming out of the toilet. The toilet has cracked like an egg.”

    Me: “don’t be ridiculous. The toilet is NOT an egg”

    Seriously, we must have spent 3 hours sucking up 30 -40 litres of water off the carpet. The insurance agent had to come to install fans.

    I decamped to the Hilton. The insurance agent leaned over and gave me a massive bear hug.  Then: he asked me out!! WTF. Wedding ring, people! He’s Greek. It’s their culture :0

    I kid!




    Anonymous @

    I broke the innernet . I have no avatar!

    Anonymous @

    It came back!  But then so did the Greek. No offence to Greek people anywhere! Not AT all. Just that dude. I can smell the aftershave 24 hours later. I don’t like it…I feel grubby. 😉

    Anonymous @

    @pedant Well, I wasn’t drunk. (stomps away)



    All in all, you’re having a bit of a stressful time aren’t you, puro?

    *Passes brandy*

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Commiserations on the flood and the pest of an insurance agent. Have another brandy or fortifying beverage of your choice from me.

    Also, belatedly, my good wishes for Mr Ilion’s op.

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Oh, Puro. I’m so sorry. How unpleasant on top of everything else! Enjoy that drink, and whatever you do, don’t say “What else could possibly go wrong?”

    Arbutus @arbutus

    I just saw this tweet and thought that there were those here who might find it instructive. Cheers!  🙂


    lisa @lisa

    @arbutus –I love it !!!!!!!! thanx 4 sharing that tweet !!!

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    My sympathies, @purofilion. We recently spent 3 weeks in the local Mecure after the central heating tank in the attic went. 3 months on they are starting the plastering…

    And our insurance guy had clearly come from a sales department. What is it about them?!?

    @arbutus, excellent, but I’m not telling the child that one.

    Anonymous @

    The Cloven Hoof’s most excellent lavatory.

    It is very clean except for the glitter and fur once in a while. <wipes hands, zips up>
    Far better than the fertilizer. :mrgreen:

    Now, I’m ready to hit the bar again with some of my old favorites. Thanks for the suggestions @scaryb, I’ll have those and an Eleventh Hour Sonic Screwdriver.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant thank you I’ve had some really nice 15 year malt last night and tonight. God I sniffed the best elixir. You have to sniff it. @mudlark thank you. Actually he was Greek and rather, shall we say, attractive. I was flattered for a while. @Barbara Lefty you had it much worse than me. Much worse.

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    Not so bad, @purofilion, just lots of hurry up and wait. Perhaps I’ll persuade Mr Lefty to open the single origin Islay (from the most heavily peated malt in the world) and pass it round.

    Cheers all, to respite x

    Anonymous @

    Oh the malt. I wasn’t a fan of scotch for a long time. But I had a bottle from a left-over party that hadn’t been opened. A friend and I shared it. I spent a lot time sniffing it. If you saw me -the Roman nose gives it away. My brother and I and always sniffing our drinks. I’m sure we look bonkers if we’re dining out. -that happens rarely. Though I must add that I had a woody Margaret River white wine -this for @blenkinsopthebrave  These days at the ‘finer’ restaurants (and I aint a snob) you can taste several wines before you buy -we had four mini glasses on the table and managed to guess which one was the woody Margaret River. Yay! Party game. But I had a barramundi and we  shared this -the guest had  possibly the best steak I’ve ever eaten -shared this too. Other diners thought we were mad. But Bro Ilion says this is normal in Sydney? WhatdoIknow?

    So, @barbaralefty – are you a new arrival at this wonderful forum?  Goodness, 3 weeks at the Mercure. I like that hotel chain- but only when you choose to; not because you had to.

    In Prague, the newer ones are fantastic; huge rooms and of course cheap food and lots of it. One can gain several pounds in a sitting. But heck, life is short; these last weeks have proven that. Yes!!! insurance assessors are indeed salesman. Also they make a heck of a lot of money. But then a lot of people do. Such as the people putting up my other bathroom. The owner of the Shop races V8s as a hobby. Cars are a thing for me (odd, as I’m a ‘chick’). Can’t fix anything ‘modern’ but love older model cars. The natty Volvo sports car from the 60s for example.

    @arbutus thank you for your kind words also. They give great comfort. Except, oh no, I did say “what else…” In fact,  it was “Nothing else WILL go wrong”. This delivered with a hand wave and an hysterical laugh. Oh my: nanobots on alert!

    Kindest to all, puro

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    @purofilion, the nice malts must be sniffed, although I will admit I don’t get closer than that very often, being more of a Pinot Grigio/Chablis gal, but I will make an exception.

    Relatively new to the forum, I do this thing where I forget to do good stuff, then get all surprised in middle age to discover that I do like Queen, or Pink Floyd, or Doctor Who, after thinking for years that life was too short to wade through the back catalogue.

    I was looking to get what I thought were fair, thoughtful and knowledgeable opinions on series new and old, so when I got here, I just didn’t leave again, particularly after experiencing a few other sites…. Very nice place you have here

    Onward and upward, very best wishes x

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Ah, Margaret River…yes…but unfortunately, these days the joys of the Margaret River are limited in the state-sanctioned monopoly of wine sales here in the wilds of Canada.

    As for single-malts, Mrs Blenkinsop is particularly partial to the finest that Scotland has to offer. Some years ago, we were in the Western Isles, staying on Mull. We were there to trace the shooting locations of our all-time favourite film: I Know Where I am Going (but that is another story). Anyway, I recall Mrs Blenkinsop being very taken with a smokey “Oban”. We brought back a bottle of “Jura”; purchased, in part, because of the Orwell connection. On that trip we never made it to Jura, but one day we will get back, so that I can pay homage.

    You have been through the wars, though. Hang in there.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion   @barbaralefty     We are big drink sniffers in our house, too! I will drink a bit of single malt to keep Mr. Arbutus company, but he appreciates it more than I do. (Bourbon is the official alcoholic beverage of our medieval music ensemble, due to the influence of a member with family ties to the American south.)

    @blenkinsopthebrave    In British Columbia we are frequently envious of the greater choice available in Ontario. I have read that, in dollars, the LCBO is the biggest single purchaser of liquor in the world. That being said, we have a fair amount of Australian wine in the government stores here. I’ve seen Margaret River but never tried any; I shall have to do so now!

    Puro, I’m interested that you are a “car girl”. The automotive gene skipped me, but my parents belong to a fifties car club and are very keen, and my brother-in-law sells and modifies exotics. He and my sister do a fair bit of touring in their fancy Italian cars, and he is a minor celebrity in the local car community for having what they claim is the fastest Ferrari in the world. My son has the car bug as well, and desires to own a Lotus one day… I drive a Toyota and have no higher aspiration.   🙂

    lAurellie @laurellie

    I’ve just recently joined the site and thought that I should introduce myself. To be honest, I was a little worried about joining a Doctor Who fan site since my memory of the rebooted is fuzzy – having grown up with it as a kid- and I’ve started re-watching the newer series and have met with the monsters that I feared when I was little:P I wasn’t sure where to post what – the site is a little confusing right now:) Any way, I look forward to sharing my refreshed thoughts about Doctor Who with you:D

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    @laurellie hi, me too, I think the fact that the new series is drawing in people that didn’t necessarily pick up after the gap can only be a good thing 😀

    @arbutus, I still don’t think you can beat the Islays for sheer sniffing complexity. Had a wonderful holiday there this year, Mr lefty visited the Bruichladdich (or ‘laddie) and we were randomly plied with the ‘laddie gin at our campsite by the wife of the marketing director. It was just that kind of place. For once, that fortnight, all the perfect white houses stood against brilliant blue sky, and I swear you could taste the angels share in the air. Living and working  in a central belt new town, you forget there is magic, sometimes 🙂

    Also, Mediaeval music! Adding to my impression that the community here is full of tremendously interesting people with deeper passions than me!

    janetteB @janetteb

    @Purofilion and @arbutus. WE have the car for you. A fiat 128 It was a gift for the boys from an old family friend who is a motoring enthusiast. (That gene skipped my partner and our offspring too). Drove it home today from the and half way home the muffler fell off. We managed to get it safely into the drive where it will stay until the boys are able to fix it or pay to get it fixed. We are now calming down over a few glasses of McClaren Vale sav’ blanc and leftover nibbles from the picnic which we organised today.

    Sorry to hear about the flood Puro. I hope it is all fixed now.

    @blenkinsopthebrave. I did not know that Canada also has a state monopoly on wine sales. In Sweden all alcoholic bevvies were sold by System Bologet. That took us some time to get used to, especially the limited hours.

    I have always been more of a cognac girl myself. I think it is my Mum’s fault. When we were kids she would leave the fruit for cakes to soak overnight in brandy. Naturally we would pick out the cherries in the morning so when I was working in English pubs and not sure what to drink I opted for brandy. For some time I wondered why it always tasted better on Sundays. I thought it must just have been because it was the end of the week, etc until I caught my fellow waiters puring the drinks. The bar was shut by then and the owners over the road so I was getting cognac. The owners wouldn’t even give us staff discount. Little did they know…




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