The Fox Inn

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    Anonymous @

    Welcome to the next stop on our rather lengthy pub crawl as suggested by @bluesqueakpip

    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. So grab a drink and relax in the beautiful surroundings of Loch Ness. Oh, and please don’t feed the Monsters 😉



    I have just had my first “more than one (half) pint” evening for about 10 years.


    Anonymous @


    Funnily enough I stopped drinking about 10 years ago when a pint reached £4 (the perils of living in the city centre). I dread to think what it costs now.

    My first pint, way back in ’85, cost 67p!

    Missy @missy

    Do Watneys still make beer? I used to love the stuff.


    Anonymous @


    Gosh, 4 pounds? That’s like the humble café where, with beautiful ‘art’ and attractively pierced and tattooed baristas, we have  $4-5 for a coffee.

    Still, 4 pounds is about 8 bucks depending on the dollar/pound.  I gave up coffee shops this year and figured I’ve saved about $500. That’s interesting.

    Thank you, Mr FatMan for the  rejuvenated Fox Inn. On my Tennant watch I’m re-watching Midnight: still fantastically mesmerising. Tennant knows how to keep it ‘small’ rather than media tartish in this one-room thriller with his co-lead, utterly, utterly fantastic.

    We have the young actor who played Merlin for a few years for the kiddies as well as other great British actors/actresses . Do people still say ‘actresses‘? I tend to say female actors, but then I don’t know if I sound prattish? Possibly.

    @mudlark I recall your mention of visitors for a couple of weeks and so I’m tapping my foot, impatiently, waiting for your analyses of the last two parter!:)  Hopefully, of course, you had a wonderful time: red wines into the night, the end of long Summer nights?

    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Hello, virtual drinkers! I used to live above a pub, and don’t go that often now because my local not-Wholefoods shop does a buy-a-glass-bottle refill system with good French table wine for £5. My extremely cultured French friends (who believe you can drink any shade of wine you like so long as it’s red) approve, so who am I to argue?


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I tend to say ‘actor’ whether the actor concerned is male, female or Sontaran. But I do sometimes use ‘actress’ – it seems to suit some women actors, somehow.

    Certainly not something to worry about. 🙂 Hope the hospital visit is going well, and enjoy John Simm’s ‘if the Producer tells me to chew the scenery I’m going to bite huge chunks off and spit them out defiantly’ performance when you get to The End of Time.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip yes it is, thank you.

    I finished the Journey’s End today when the 3 doctors are dangling earth back to the correct space. I always liked that bit -mainly because of that glorious score -so filled with redemption and hope.

    I know people thought it a bit naff at the time. But I wasn’t one of them

    He does like Panto, does Simm, doesn’t he?

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I’m flattered to think that anyone missed me on these boards!  In fact I didn’t have time to watch The Girl Who Died until yesterday, and haven’t yet finished reading through the comments.  When I have done so I will see if there is anything I can add to the discussion, though I rather doubt it.

    Yes, we had a delightful time.  As a gesture towards honouring middle brother’s landmark 70th birthday I had organised dinner at a very good local restaurant, and since youngest brother and wife had to come over from France to take part it was a good pretext for them to make a longer stay with me.  The birthday was in fact in July but, since middle brother was undergoing a rather drastic course of medical treatment at the time, we postponed the celebration until it was over and he was feeling better.  The choice of date was left to him and by coincidence – because I’m pretty sure that he had forgotten until I mentioned it – he suggested the 22nd, which happened to be my 73rd birthday. The meal was excellent, the ambience congenial, and the wines, for the record were a very pleasant Prosecco, a bottle of Two Rivers ‘Altitude’ Pinot Noir (NZ), and an Argentinian Malbec.

    Little bro had brought over a case of cheap and cheerful, but very drinkable Cotes du Rhone which he had picked up in a two-for-one offer at a local Foire des Vins, as well as a selection of other wines, so meals at home were well supplied, and there was a bottle of Champagne for my birthday lunch.  The weather was most definitely autumnal; alternating days of hazy sunshine and dull overcast, but the autumn colours were still glorious, not least in my garden.

    We spent a good deal of the time on expeditions to local places of interest, including a couple of days out along the Suffolk coast, revisiting places where we had spent family holidays when we were children, eating lunch at local pubs and indulging in the local beer (Adnam’s – which is worth the expense).  The ultimate destination of the second of the two Suffolk trips was Sutton Hoo, since little bro had no recollection of ever having visited the site, and certainly not since the visitor centre and exhibition have been open.  Lots of (mostly replica) spectacular Anglo-Saxon bling and a reconstruction of the burial chamber with all its contents – at least a century before the Vikings, but some of the metalwork has definite Scandinavian affinities, so vaguely relevant to the first episode of the latest two-parter.

    Before we toured the exhibition we walked out to see the burial mounds and were surprised to see a figure loping towards us across the site.  He introduced himself (in old English) as Raedwald, king of the East Angles, of the people of Wuffa, and he was, indeed, dressed in the style of the deceased king, with replicas of the weapons and harness, the great gold belt buckle and the helmet.  We got into conversation with him, discussing such matters as the precise meaning of bretwalda  and the effectiveness of the thrusting spear – the Anglo-Saxon weapon of choice – as opposed to the sword which, being very expensive, conferred status.  We were allowed to handle the sword, which was also a replica of the one found in the burial, with a real pattern welded blade.  Fascinating stuff, even though none of it was exactly new to me.

    And, for the record, I do not feel any older.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Oh, look, a new pub! And in Scotland, home of (half of) my forebears, with lots of surrounding humidity to remind me of home.  🙂

    @pufferfish   Oh, I’m envious of your grocery store. Years ago when we were in the south of France, we first encountered the locals walking in with their big plastic jugs, and a wall lined with taps for the plonk of your choice. We thought it was a great idea.

    Happy birthday, @mudlark! Forever Young, as we say nowadays around my place.  🙂  It sounds as if you’ve been having a lovely time. Cotes du Rhone is definitely a desert island variety of mine, it never fails to make me happy (along with a nice strong piece of blue cheese and any kind of music that includes a horn section!). Did you chat with King Raedwald in Old English? 🙂 I took a course in that at uni, from a rather odd prof who seemed to think we were all taking linguistics degrees, when of course we were mainly lit or history students, and he was always taking us to task for not knowing the etymology of things. It was all rather hilarious.

    Craig @craig

    @fatmaninabox Many thanks for setting up the new pub. I had to travel to the US on Wednesday for work and, while I’ve set things up for posting Saturday’s episode I forgot that we would be needing a new pub soon. Am back Monday and will look forward to a pint then.

    However, I can’t complain. Am currently near Phoenix Arizona and they have a lot of craft breweries here and a vast range of drinks. I had to try this one at lunchtime today, obviously:

    Anonymous @

    @craig   -phoenix -a hot, hot place for sure and deserving of a damn good beer. Safe travels.

    @mudlark I too share with @arbutus the love for Cote du Rhone and with a good blue cheese is wonderful. We have ours with fresh figs with some whipped cream and vanilla sugar and even tart berries lightly piled on top? Or, my other favourite, home made pizza with blue cheese, or regular crumbly cheddar and pear. This is a nice summery light dessert/main meal accompanied with  fruit platter or green salad.

    Happy Birthday to you ‘Lark and for your birthday you had the honour of holding Raedwald’s sword. Niiice. Definitely a treat!

    Of course, home from hospital, it took about 5 seconds to be a bit naughty (giggly, as is obvious) and recall @blenkinsopthebrave ‘s earlier post regarding Aus Shiraz so that’s what I’m having and as it’s nearly 4 pm on a Friday, I think the sun is pretty well past the yard arm -in fact, the sun, the yardarm, and darn it, the whole ship have been wormholed!

    Weekend. Yay!

    Anonymous @

    @craig did you try the oatmeal stout? This beer (stout) is something my Czech relatives used to drink in the cold months. As is tradition, little boys and girls were given tiny glasses of the stuff  (the “better” beers) during Sunday lunch. I remember distinctly hating stout but not minding many of the other European flavoured beers. And of course, QLD’s Fourex (XXXX) was pretty much all the beer one could get in the early ’80s in Brisbane. The arrival of the Commonwealth Games and festivals changed things eventually…..

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @arbutus  @purofilion.   Many thanks for your good wishes  🙂

    Arbutus  My knowledge of Early English is just about good enough for me to have been able to understand Raedwald’s greeting and self-introduction, but no more than that, so I was relieved when he switched to the modern version of the language.

    I’m not so sure about ‘Forever Young’.  I don’t look particularly decrepit, but my body has begun reminding me with increasing insistence, that nothing lasts for ever.  On the other hand, the inner me persists in thinking of herself as no more than about thirty, and has to be reminded sharply from time to time that some behaviours – in public, at least – might be seen as inappropriate for someone of my years.  En famille is another matter.

    I have now watched The Woman who Lived and skimmed through all the comments.  If I can marshal my thoughts into some sort of coherence, I will join the discussion shortly.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    As Mrs Blenkinsop and I do not get to see the show till it is uploaded onto iTunes tomorrow morning, I have been thinking about appropriate Halloween viewing this evening. I think my contender for the scariest show ever would probably be the TV adaptation of M.R. James’s “Whistle and I’ll Come to You”. Not the faithful Jonathan Miller version from 1968, but the 2010 version starring John Hurt.

    That is a real behind the sofa experience.

    Come to think of it, Mrs Blenkinsop is unlikely to agree, as it was not only terrifying, but horribly sad and cruel. Crikey, I am giving myself the willies just thinking about!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the halfway point in this series already. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Time for a half time pub rant.

    Since it came back Doctor Who has worked on a lot of levels with sub and metatexts galore. They’ve got stronger and more subtle over the years, and we’re about to get a two parter by Peter ‘Kill the Moon’ Harness.

    I mentioned that eels would be considered an invasive species out of their own habitat, and this could play into an arc narrative. Because once you start to look at it, this series seems to be going out of its way to be as inclusive as possible.

    When you have Davros espousing his racial purity ethic in an episode, what do a few people on the internet do? They launch flame Wars on Gallifrey Base about Black Kaleds. Cast a deaf actress? Apparently another example of PC gone mad according to some. How fucking asinine do you have to be to think that? Did they not get the joke about the Doctor not speaking sign language? He doesn’t have to because in 50 odd years of time and space travel he’s never met anyone deaf. God knows what these fucktards will come up with when Bethany Black, an actual trans actor appears later in this series.

    So meta for this series? Inclusiveness, possibly and what kind of a society we are and want to be. Do we want to be Farage and Cameron, playing with ever more dicey dialogue about ‘Floods’ of immigrants? Do we want to be Davros? Do we really want to roll back time to the seventies, with its attitudes on race and ‘special’ schools for the deaf? Out of sight, out of mind?

    Fuck that for a month of Sundays. I damn well want Doctor Who to do what it always has done. Show us our virtues and our vices. Be political when it can. I want a society where a couple of consenting lesbians (of whatever species) can share a kiss without being vilified. I want the Rita’s of the world to not have to say ‘Don’t panic’ when they tell someone they’re a Muslim. I damn well want Doctor Who to tell this generation of kids that it’s not your race, your religion, your ability/disability or your sexual orientation that defines you. It’s how you live your life. Looking at the world today, we need a little more love and tolerance.

    If this makes me a liberal, so be it. The alternative is unspeakable.

    Anonymous @


    No probs. It took me a while to remember how to do it but thankfully I didn’t cause the site to fall into another dimension 😉

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    For fans of stout, can I really recommend the wonderfully named ‘Nordic Noir’ which Weatherspoons are currently selling as part of their beer featival. Wonderful stuff. Kicks the arse of Guiness.

    nordic noir

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @phaseshift     Well said!

    I raise a glass of seasonal beer to you.   🙂

    Mersey @mersey


    I finished the Journey’s End today 

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>Every summer I rewatch all modern Doctor Who series and this year I stucked on series 3! Why? I loved David Tennant as the Doctor. He was so funny and claver, but now, when Doctor is so stern and has so many dilemmas, 10th looks rather silly. And I don’t know what to do with that! Try to guess which episode I stucked in. The hint is above. </span>

    Oh, and don’t worry Chelsea fans. It’s not the end of the world.

    Anonymous @

    @doctordoctorwho I’ll have a cappuccino as it’s about 2 pm here! A wine has to wait for a couple of hours for me 🙂

    yes, as I was saying, the Slovakian areas are very cheap whilst in the Czech lands it’s becoming increasingly taken over by costly and nasty eateries and the brigades of tourists holding umbrellas up high -much like Paris, which whilst I adore (as do most people) is so highly over populated during tourist seasons there’s almost no point. On the point of strategic filming, Dubrovnik in Serbia is wonderful. In Oz, during Summer it costs easily $12 or more for a kilo of cherries for example and yet in Serbia it cost only 50c!! One can eat on AUD$5 per day and do rather well there. Also, parts of Poland with their castles and ruins would be cheap for Hollywood and English agencies -and the weather is distinctly easier to predict than that of any UK location, I would think    😉

    My last visit to Prague was in February (and I thought no problem) where, upon rounding a corner, I spied nothing but hundreds and hundreds of different people -a group from the Indian subcontinent and several from Japan and a few from England descending with cameras and food –and umbrellas. The local hustlers must have had a field day!

    As would those genteel Czechs showing their lovely wooden toys and other artefacts which are still rather cheap and beautiful as toys. There’s something timeless and exquisite about objects deftly made with wood and painted in the Czech favoured colours. One of the things they do is to take a stool, for example, stain it after painting it with flowers and other uniquely Czech motifs and then gently burn patterns into the wood before re-staining it. My family had an entire dining suite of this unusual type with the chairs of burled walnut beautifully cut and shaped into something resembling fairy tale furniture.

    Anyway that was an epic ramble 🙂

    Kindest, Puro

    Anonymous @


    yes, I love that one too -I think that Ten is perhaps immature -old but not as old. After all, River Song looks into Ten’s eyes and says “oh my, you’re so young…” and he says “no, I’m really not” to which River,  as always, has the last word “no, but, really you are. Doctor tell me, you know me?”

    At which point the Doctor looks rather worried!

    Still, 27 planets had moved and the bees had shifted too. Doctor Donna picked up on that, and thru the metacrisis, became the most important companion  -or woman -on earth. Without her, Davros would have unveiled his Reality Bomb and all would have ended.

    RTD wrote some wonderful stories -real heartbreakers.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Some useful hints on how to enjoy that leftover Halloween candy:

    Anonymous @


    My Gawd, but aint that confusing! I simply love them all. But Sir Ilion after travelling on his bike (ironically a Triumph) thru South America in the ’80s ended up eating, for a solid week, nothing but “sodding snickers.” Now, naturally, he can’t touch them without getting sick!

    Anonymous @


    In watching Agatha Christie’s Partner’s in Crime with the delightful actress from Hide, this 3rd episode has a Mr & Mrs Blenkinsop in it. Yay! They may, however, be ‘traitors’. Not so good, then. Still Jessica Raine (ah, that’s her name) is wonderful  -and was wonderful in Who, also.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I suspect that they don’t really have much call for Sparkling Shiraz at The Fox Inn, it being rather more suited to our dusty climate so maybe I will drop in for a cider or an after dinner Drambuie.

    Been busy of late so mostly lurking. Following all the discussion though  I am still struggling to keep up with the Woman Who Lived thread.

    Happy Birthday @mudlark. Your comments on the Viking episode especially were much missed. Actually your post reminded me that it is my brother’s birthday next week and as he is currently “in town” I probably should do something to acknowledge it.



    Anonymous @


    A glorious post above. Bloody well said. A drink for tolerance for all! Like in The West Wing when the President’s advisors said “Let Bartlet be Bartlet,” I say “Let Who be Who”

    It’s always involved innovation and change- it’s often thrown us on our weak foot and we’ve had to keep up, stay fit, stay strong, and as Eleven would plead, “be the best you can be”

    It’s never been a show wearing its grandmother’s pants.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @purofilion I am glad that you are out of hospital and hope that it is long before you need to return. Never much fun.

    Jessica Raine was also excellent in An Adventure in Space and Time.

    No left over Halloween “candy” here. I was positively snappy with the unfortunate shop assistant who asked yesterday if we were doing anything special for Halloween, pointing out that “trick or treating” is an American cultural invasion. I was narky because I had spent all day trying to coax the sewing machine into doing what a sewing machine is designed to so,  thanks to R.1, (the eldest son) requiring help to make a Halloween costume for a fancy dress party. GRrrr. I hate sewing and sewing machines.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @janetteb   Many thanks for the birthday wishes.

    I’m not sure whether I would have had much to say about the Vikings in The Girl Who Died, even if I hadn’t had to wait more than a week to watch it, thus ensuring that I came very late to the party.  In the way they were depicted they were very much story-book or cartoon Vikings, horned helmets and all, not to mention the fact that, strictly speaking, the name Viking applied only to those who were adventuring, looting and pillaging overseas, not to those who stayed behind farming and fishing.  The set designers had gone to a great deal of trouble to get some details right, such as the carvings in the hall – though I think such elaborate decoration, perhaps with a bit of gilding or brightly coloured paint, would have been more appropriate in the hall of a wealthy chieftain than in that of the head of a small village.  The costumes, too, seem more generic early medieval than Viking age Scandinavian, though most of what we know about the dress of that period comes from the grave furnishings of people who were wealthy and of high status, so it is not a major stumbling block.

    Someone with my interests is bound to notice such details, but since most people are not bothered by them, nit-picking on my part could become very irritating.

    On the subject of Viking helmets, on my recent visit to Sutton Hoo I was reminded that at least one of the tinned bronze plaques decorating the helmet depicted two people, side by side, carrying spears and swords and wearing helmets with curving horns terminating in birds heads, so such images continued in the pagan north well into the post-Roman era.  Here, though, as elsewhere, the context of the images indicates mythical subjects and, assuming that counterparts existed in the real world, they would certainly have been for ceremonial or religious ritual.  As I argued in the discussion of the pre-season trailers, Horned helmets would have been highly impractical in battle.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    For those interested in real Vikings, rather than those in the Whoniverse, some years ago I spent around 10 weeks supervising excavations on the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery – a double house of nuns and monks, ruled by an Abbess.  The Viking army which was in the process of conquering much of England in the 870s had sacked it and set up their winter camp there, and there was ample evidence that, whatever their behaviour at home among family and friends, these were Not Nice People.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Yes, you have discovered the inspiration for the name! The novel on which the show is based, “N or M?” is one of my favourite Agatha Christie novels and certainly my favourite Tommy and Tuppence story. The book is much, much better than the TV show. You really should try and get a copy. I recommend it enthusiastically.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark. I enjoy the historical nitpicking, especially when it is about Viking or Anglo Saxon periods. I would love to see Sutton Hoo, even if most of what is on show is replica. I noted the carving on the pillars in the hall. I tried recreating Viking style patterns a few years ago for my Christmas card design. (It’s back to Celtic again this year, mostly because I can re work old designs from previous years.) I think they used a recreation of an Anglo Saxon village for the episode. (adding a few characteristically viking ornaments such as the dragon heads on the buildings,) so I suspected that the carved pillars were “extant” and intended to be Saxon in style which isn’t unlike Viking carving. (I think).  I was disappointed that they did not show the Doctor and Clara taking the ride in the long boat but I guess that would have well and truly blown the budget and the boat in question would have been rather humble, a trader or simply getting from A to B kind of boat, not the war ship that most think of when they think Viking Long boat. Youngest son recently did a project on Viking ships and so listed all the (known) variations. Up in the Lofotons they still use fishing boats in the same style of original viking fishing boats. Really simple and beautiful. (especially when moored at one am with the sun a golden globe floating just above the horizon and water reflecting the soft purple sky.) And that is enough of my blathering for a night I think. (And I only have coffee to blame.)





    Mudlark @mudlark

    @janetteb    I had as close a look at the carving on the pillars as the brief glimpses allowed, pausing the recording at the appropriate moments, and can say with reasonable confidence that it was modelled on Viking era wood carving – probably Urnes style, to be more precise.  I doubt also whether the episode was filmed in a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village.  The only one I know of is at West Stow, about 40 miles from where I live, and the setting didn’t look much like that.  West Stow doesn’t include any building as elaborate as that hall in any case.  I did wonder whether they had gone to the expense of filming at a reconstructed settlement in Scandinavia, but haven’t found any information to confirm that.

    Whisht @whisht



    A righteous rant that deserves a raised glass and a fair bit of table-thumping*




    * with the other hand obviously.

    Anonymous @

    @janetteb well, thank you for your kind wishes -I’m in and out of the hospital -a few days in and a few days home. I’m getting used to the crazy days and nights. Sometimes I sit with the night nurses when, in the middle of the week, it’s completely quiet and we eat chocolates and wrapped biscuits with tea! It’s quite fun and yes, we had at least 3 nights of fireworks and, on the top floor, it’s basically above you -so it’s great, really great.

    Well, sort of . 😉

    I hope you managed to get the curmudgeonly machine working for your boys Halloween party! Here, it passed without a thought, though; no knocks or squeaks or anything. Nothing happens in Brisbane!

    Anonymous @


    I had no idea! I thought (stupidly) that it must have come from Flash Gordon -the name. No, I have no idea why, but Tuppence and “N or M” is much better altogether.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Flash Gordon…and Blenkinsop? OK, I am now totally confused…

    I am certain I wasn’t in Flash Gordon…or was I?

    Anonymous @


    Well, it’s a long story: I looked at your avatar all those years ago (OK 19 months, but it sounds good) and thought ‘I know the actor’ and I think he’s wearing a Flash Gordon suit.

    I then passed this info to Mr Ilion, who, still to this day, laughs and laughs and at that time pointed at me with  a “you’re really silly” sign and so no, I have no idea why I thought Flash Gordon or why the white suit is, to me, representative of Flash Gordon. But no one will help me. Even Boy Ilion knows but is under strict orders to say nothing because, apparently “it’s funnier”.

    Please put me out of my misery. 🙁

    Anonymous @

    OK, I’ve worked it out (with Google) it’s Richard Burton in the original Superman -my God, seriously, as Donna in The West Wing would say “I’m too stupid to live”. Still, I only saw the film once and I was 9!

    Let’s keep this between ourselves, mind you it will be the reigning pub joke now!



    There’s a bit of a clue in the picture…. See the honking great “S”?

    Anonymous @


    Very belatedly, I realised that whilst I welcomed you back from your sojourns, I did not in fact join in the birthday celebrations! So, happy belated birthday, m’dear, and a coffee of your choice here (as it’s a.m. for me) 0r a champagne in the evening when you are ‘up’ -I imagine it’s 2.35 am in England or, a pedant bird mentioned that it was Daylight Saving -I’m thinking, “how could that be, it’s nearly Winter?” but I won’t ask. Which means that it might be 1.36 am by my (probably wrong) count.

    I shall Google it! When all fails, even the Doctor admonishes us to Google things. So, I shall do just that.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I am here to put you to out of your misery.

    It is not Richard Burton…my goodness! It is Marlon Brando as Superman’s father.

    But, we shall keep this secret between ourselves. Oh, hold on…

    Anonymous @


    Right, so when I said, ‘I googled it’ I only (:ahem:) ‘googled’ half of it -not the Marlon Brando bit -just the Superman bit. If I had read on, I would have worked out, correctly, that it was Brando.

    Sir Ilion, who has just found out that I now ‘know’ the correct information, relented and explained your avatar to me, as well. He said “oh you didn’t! You didn’t say on the Forum, aloud, that it was Richard Burton, the husband of Elizabeth Taylor in that avatar? I thought I had trained you well, missy!  Gee, well, back to the drawing board.” 🙁

    Sir Ilion is considerably older by 20 years than his dear wife and his film collection draws on movies that in my twenties, for example, I would never have heard of, much less seen. I speak of all the films of Niven, Brando, Burton, all the Hitchcock films and anything and everything between 1938 and 1968 -for some reason this piques his interest. Also, clearly, Superman, which he saw when he was in the London Met (the police was his first career before turning school principal) as some sort of charitable event put on for the kiddies in the Hounslow and later, the Acton, areas of London.

    Turns out, I am now to read a chapter in some book by David Niven about the film roles of Brando as part of my continuing education and having little else to do, anyway, I suppose my time could be well spent doing just that. I have recently completed a tome about Joss Whdeon recommended by our Jim and that was actually quite fascinating.

    Anywaaaay, we were talking on the other thread about ‘The Fool’s Progress’ -seems to me I’m progressing rather well   🙂

    Anonymous @


    Oh shit. I was really hoping you, of all people, wouldn’t notice 🙂

    Thing is, yes, a “honking” ‘S’ in the picture and a stylized one at that -but it was the white uniform, you see? I looked at it, and thought, “hmm, this is some combo of Superman and Flash Gordon superimposed on Burton’s face.” Maybe I was drunk at the time or just not paying attention  (she adds weakly)?

    I can just imagine Rebecca Front saying this to Malcolm Tucker and him replying with many cunning retorts about “you’re so dense, light bends around you” and “from beans to cup you fuck up. You’re an omnishambles….not only is your kid being taken to school in a sedan chair but you, you have a husband in PFI, you fuckin’ twat…..And you have some issue with claustrophobia. See, see this lift? It’s the size of a small room. Half of Peckham lives in houses with rooms this big. What’s the matter with you? Well, fuckin’ don’t answer that!”

    – – I made that last sentence up, but still it is priceless, really, and I got off rather lightly, considering Mr P was wandering the air waves at [looks at watch] 2.32 am! 🙂

    Right, I need to re-watch this episode and see the ‘switcheroo’ which, due to avid note making involving timey whimey things, I actually missed (another thing I probably shouldn’t share so loudly)


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion  @janetteb    Moved here from the other thread because Puro is right, this is pub chat!

    except Algebra -that I adore. For some mad reason. Also, trig, that was fun too -followed a precise formula, no deviations so I could do it. But the stuff with “there’s  train following another at 105 miles an hour with 67 passengers consuming 80 kilos of food, what is the…..” My brain melts then, I’m afraid.

    Omg, yes. I can remember taking exams in my grade twelve math course, where I would consistently score 50 percent, because I could ace the equation balancing and lovely parabolas and so on, but those “problems from real life” questions would leave me staring at the page. My poor, kind teacher spent much time showing me how to do them, but of course, every question is different. I love yours, by the way, are we trying to figure out how long it takes them to eat the food? Doesn’t that depend on the food? And who is on the train?  🙂

    I used to have both the “unprepared for the gig” dreams and the “exam in a class I forgot to attend all term” dreams. Not so much, these days, but the boy is starting to have them now! Apparently, some fears are universal (aside from Zygons).



    some combo of Superman and Flash Gordon

    So that would be Slash Gordon then? Fanfic writers heads explode…

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @purofilion   Many thanks for the good wishes and the offer of a virtual drink.  You did in fact wish me happy birthday before, in your post #45888, but twice is twice as nice. Coffee would have been inappropriate at the time you posted, which over here was 1.37 pm, as you surmised .  I was up and about until 00.30 am. but an hour later was tucked up, fast asleep under the duvet. All the champagne has been drunk, alas, but there is a bottle of a promising-looking Chablis which I can broach, and I will raise a glass to you this evening to wish you sweet dreams.

    If you are still confused about the change in clock time, we reverted from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) at 2.00 am on Oct 25th, so the clocks went back an hour and we had an extra hour to sleep or stay up and play.  In my case I retired at the usual time but woke at 6.00 am instead of 7.00 so gained no advantage 🙁

    @arbutus and puro  Oh *that* dream  😮

    Oddly enough, I cannot recall ever having it during the years I was actually taking exams, either at school or university, but nowadays it is a recurring nightmare.  I find myself back at Norwich High School* – or sometimes another, unfamiliar school in the city – faced with an exam, usually in French or History, after having skipped all the classes because these were subjects which I studied at ‘A’ level and I thought that I would remember enough to be able to wing it.  Now, on the eve or the morning of the exam I suddenly realise that the syllabus is completely different from the one I followed, the period of history studied has been different, and I haven’t read the works required for the French Literature exam.  I’m not sure what my subconscious is telling me.

    As for maths, it was by far my weakest subject, and from the age of 13 I was in the B stream for that subject, with the less mathematically gifted students. I was fine with geometry and trigonometry and OK with arithmetic, though slow, but algebra was a bit iffy.  I generally understood in theory but tended to get in a muddle in practice, especially when it came to quadratic equations. Only those in the A stream got to study calculus prior to taking GCE ‘O’ Level.  I did nevertheless and against the odds manage to scrape a pass ‘O’ level (pass mark around 50% – in those days they used to adjust the pass threshold according to the average standard of those taking the exam that year.

    * now an independent school with a very high academic reputation, but in those days it was what was known as a Direct Grant School, partly funded by the Local Education Authority and with an intake of 40% non fee-paying pupils in the senior school (ages 11-18).

    hannahl @hannahk

    anyone from Australia and is going to the Festival? I haven’t got anyone to go with and was looking for someone to attend with…i know a bit keen. Let me know 🙂

    Anonymous @


    eer, yes, but I do know of a Flesh Gordon (only from what people of a certain ilk tell me, mind!)

    @mudlark well, better that I did it twice rather than not at all. And thank you for the Chablis! :)-also for the lesson in GMT return -goodness why I was thinking you were going into Daylight Saving -that’s us! Well not us ‘us,’ as QLD is the only state which doesn’t participate-something to do with the cows not feeding and therefore producing irregular milk. Probably bonkers farmers, I mean really, what do they know, huh? 🙂

    Yes, the same with the dreams -never at uni or school but lately (in the last 10 years) once a week. It’s quite funny really, waking up with that “oh thank God” feeling. But I walk the corridors and then find myself in totally unfamiliar locales, on stages which don’t exist and usually in a party atmosphere where people are drinking, wearing casuals, occasionally looking at a stage where I’m paralytically nervous, overwhelmed and praying no-one is actually watching because, really, I don’t know what I’m doing etc etc… Goodness,  my heart..

    Sometimes it’s things I’ve never really done: fabulously long marathon swims (I did squad once and won a little medal for SA in a breaststroke sprint when I was 12 or something), ballet dancing, medieval guitar and double bass…very unnerving as in real life, I’d look at these instruments and be instantly grim.

    Well, it’s the unbelievably late hour of 10 pm so it’s time for sleep. We QLD’ers -the light is full bright now at 5.30 am. I now have new curtains which reduce the heat too.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @janetteb   After our discussion of the carvings on the pillars of the hall in The Girl Who Died I decided to go back and take another look.  As a result I realise that I was almost certainly wrong in identifying it as having affinities with the Urnes style.  In fact it looks more like the Oseberg style (after the ship burial found there), which would be pretty much correct for the date in which the story was set.  The Urnes style is dated to the 11th century and would therefore be too late for that context – not that such a trivial matter would bother many people other than archaeologists and art historians 🙂

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