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    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @arbutus (I really want to try that Pumpkin Stout) @purofilion @whisht @juniperfish @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thanks all for indulging an old idealist. I made the huge mistake earlier of reading a few online reviews. ATL all is pretty complementary. BTL – oh, dear. The Daily Telegraph had comments that made me ask for the mind Bleach.

    Anyway, on a lighter note (and a reminder of the kinder, slightly bonkers side of our National Character). I was in Whitehaven and had one of those random ‘blue plaque’ moments that can give me a bit of a boost. For anyone not aware, a Blue Plaque you find attached to buildings usually because at some point a person of note was born, lived in it for a while, or died in it.

    Mostly they’re quiet and discreet, but occasionally people get creative. So I’m making my way haphazardly from one side to town to the other on foot, enter a small square and come across the house that Jonathan ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ Swift lived in as an infant (he sometimes claimed to have been kidnapped as a child and forced to live there, but he was a notorious fantasist).

    Isn’t this brilliant?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    In Canada, there is one little corner of northeastern BC, and the entire province of Saskatchewan, that do the Queensland thing. God’s time, and so on. The thing is that there are way way way more dairy cows in Quebec and Ontario and they don’t seem to suffer from the time change there. But whatever! Twice every year, the rest of us get to listen to people complain about it. My only (minor) gripe was when we shifted, along with the US, to an expanded DST, so the clocks don’t go back until the beginning of November, which is irritatingly right after Halloween, which means in turn that it doesn’t get dark as early as it used to on the 31st, and parents with younger kids have to wait an extra hour before taking them out. Not an issue for me anymore, obviously!  🙂

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @phaseshift     That mural is great. Epic, in fact.

    I like the “mind bleach”– the nasty chemical version of the memory worm?



    “Slash” is a form of fanfic. It involves rudity.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Yes, in the absence of a handy memory worm and/or timespace travel to collect one, a handy vat of Mind Bleach is an essential when looking at right leaning papers comments sections.

    Cheap and nasty:

    mind bleach

    Luxury Mind Bleach:

    beer mind bleach

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @phaseshift  I should have put my approval of your righteous rant on record before now, but let it be known, belatedly, that I punched the air when I read it.  Was it a Koestler coincidence, or are you telepathic?

    The only review of the episode which I have read, other than the Guardian, was in the Independent, and that was enthusiastically approving. The BTL comments, though few, were also very positive;  I have too few brain cells left to risk them by venturing into Torygraph territory.  As for brain bleach, if required I would undoubtedly go for the second option you propose.  If the alternative requires venturing into Tesco I would have to forego it in any case, since I am allergic to that particular supermarket chain – almost literally.  On the occasions when I have had no option I found that I could enter their portals feeling full of good will towards all humanity, and emerge half an hour later feeling homicidal.


    Kharis @kharis

    @mudlark LOL! “I found that I could enter their portals feeling full of good will towards all humanity, and emerge half an hour later feeling homicidal.”  Amen

    winston @winston

    @phaseshift   Thanks for posting the mural, it looked great. I was wondering if Tescos would ship a case of that brain bleach to Canada?  It sure would come in handy sometimes.

    @mudlark  I  am glad I am not the only one who feels that way in supermarkets. Is it the layout of the store or the shoppers or the employees? Maybe the lighting or the music? Maybe just the ever rising prices ?  Whatever it is I would be happy to never have to shop again.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark @winston

    I think that Tesco must share certain qualities with Canadian Superstore (fondly referred to in our house as “Stupidstore”)? I have never shopped there on my own account, but I used to have to go there in my role as a school volunteer, and I always came out absolutely convinced that I had just experienced humanity at its worst–  selfish, thoughtless, and well, stupid!

    I’m fortunate to have a smallish grocery store near me that I seem to be in and out of almost daily. While it continually aggravates me with its inexplicable merchandising decisions and its tendency to run out of whatever it is I need, I am always restored at the end by the humanity and friendliness of all the clerks, some of whom have been working there as long as I have lived in the neighbourhood.

    Sadly, though, I will have to go up the road to the government store for the Luxury Mind Bleach.  🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Is it the layout of the store or the shoppers or the employees? Maybe the lighting or the music?

    In the case of Tesco and branches of certain other supermarket chains I have ventured into, probably a combination of all of these things.  I do sometimes patronise Sainsbury’s, a branch of which is situated only 20 minutes walk from where I live, and I don’t find the atmosphere there nearly so off-putting – for one thing the staff there are generally friendly, and I don’t mean in a robotic have-a-nice-day manner.

    @arbutus   Sadly, it is a long time since there has been an independent grocery store near here. Even the local convenience store, which was part of a small chain, was taken over by Tesco and is therefore to be shunned except in dire emergency.  Fortunately there are a number of specialist food outlets and delicatessens in the city, as well as a central market with some very good specialist food stalls, open six days a week, and there are also regular farmers’ markets.  I do not eat a great deal of meat, but when I am in carnivorous mood, there is a butcher nearby who stocks only meat from free-range, traditionally reared animals and poultry, mostly supplied from local farms.  Marks & Spencer’s food hall, which I also patronise on occasions, is relatively expensive, but the staff there are very friendly and chatty, and many of them have been there for years and so recognise regular customers.

    Anyway, as long as I avoid places like Tesco’s, shopping for food and household goods need not be a harrowing experience.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Was it a Koestler coincidence, or are you telepathic?

    Synchronicity? Hmmmmm. More like anticipating that Peter Harness (previous recipient of the Dennis Potter award) would bring forward the sub and metatexts that I thought I’d seen in the Episodes (and perhaps more importantly in the reactions to the episodes). I honestly didn’t expect him to be so direct though. While I’m recuperating I may write a bit more about the series to date.


    Glad you enjoyed the mural. Agree with you both about the Supermarkets attitude.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I’m afraid I struggled again for music this week, but I thought the pub might be a good venue for the odd bit of poetry. Let’s give a big hand to Attila the Stockbroker (more info), whose recent collection ‘The UK Gin Dependence Party’ should win an award based on title alone. This is from way before Doctor Who returned, but seems oddly appropriate:

    They claim their planet’s dying:
    that soon it’s going to blow
    And so they’re coming here – they say
    they’ve nowhere else to go….
    With their strange computer voices
    and their one eye on a pole
    They’re moving in next door and then
    they’re signing on the dole…..

    Asylum seeking Daleks
    are landing here at noon!
    Why can’t we simply send them back
    or stick them on the moon?
    It says here in the Daily Mail
    they’re coming here to stay –
    The Loony Lefties let them in!
    The middle class will pay……

    They say that they’re all pacifists:
    that doesn’t wash with me!
    The last time I saw one I hid
    Weeks behind the settee…
    Good Lord – they’re pink. With purple bumps!
    There’s photos of them here!
    Not just extraterrestrial….
    The bloody things are queer!

    Yes! Homosexual Daleks
    And they’re sponging off the State!
    With huge Arts Council grants
    to teach delinquents how to skate!
    It’s all here in the paper –
    I’d better tell the wife!
    For soon they will EXTERMINATE
    Our British way of life…..

    This satire on crass ignorance
    and tabloid-fostered fear
    Is at an end. Now let me give
    One message, loud and clear.
    Golf course, shop floor or BNP:
    Smash bigotry and hate!
    Asylum seekers – welcome here.
    You racists: emigrate!

    6 May 2002

    janetteB @janetteb

    On the subject of that recurring nightmare of failing a Uni course due to not knowing about a deadline or not having studied for an exam, (I too have been subject to those ever since finishing Uni. Seems they are more common than the hand under the bed nightmare which I don’t recall ever having though  I was frightened of monsters under the bed after watching what may have been Dr Who.) we have just had a rather horrible real life “nightmare scenario”. Yesterday received an email from the school to say that R.2 had not handed up 80% of his Drama work and so had failed the subject which means failing yr 12. The work in question had been emailed in but SACE (education board) require hard copy and he assumed that the teacher had that in hand. Urgent emails were sent last night and phone calls were made this morning after a sleepless night. Took him out to see the teacher this afternoon and she had printed out the work but accidentally neglected to submit it, hence the email. However everything is now fixed and there are smiles here again. Now to get him studying for that Maths exam…

    @phaseshift. I love that poem. Thank you for putting it up. Sad just how resonant it is.




    Anonymous @


    I agree with @janetteb it definitely resonates -even more as we found that the previous PM, not known for his tolerance (despite his Jesuit way of life and early education) was happy to house 10 million refugees when “the grandchildren of the Gestapo were now the angels of mercy” (Geoff Robertson) and were happy to invite many, many more refugees into Germany.

    I know what that’s like Janette -incompetent high school teachers not giving a fig for their students -and for it to happen in yr 12 and be given a letter, so dense and unforgiving, really screams for an investigation into Head of Dept behaviour via some sort of regional directorate oversight because what you went thru was awful.

    I find that telling my students to submit (if it’s paper) everything twice, helps. Sending an email of the item with a ‘tracking conversation’ option on Microsoft Outlook helps as does a follow up call that is listed and recorded by you. Follow that with a photograph of the piece by phone with a date stamp and you should have everything in triplicate. This is to protect you -not those idiot teachers who don’t know one end of “submit to the other end”.

    Bloomin ridiculous and I’m sorry (on behalf of all part-time head of depts. in these areas) that you and your son had to go thru this.

    We’ve had our own trials recently with Boy Ilion failing to get into the National Soccer League because it was admitted by the Head Coach that he didn’t want to re-trial his whole team thus having parents ostensibly with kids in that team for years being asked to leave thus bringing in, equally good, if not better, more qualified players. He was against that. Better the ones you know, apparently.

    It’s political thru and thru. Our last one was last evening and without any bias, Mr Ilion claimed young Ilion was probably in the top 5 of 50 but what happened, at the beginning of Round 2, was that a rather nasty fat and ‘butch’ coach stood up (another parent said he smelled suspiciously of beer!) and actually said “these trials are really just a joke as I have no intention of allowing new players when the parents of young 13 year olds have been in this club since Prep, so the contenders are…..[lists only the names of all the original players not one of which was up to Boy Ilion’s standard].

    When they came to visit me in the hospital, my boy, all 5’8” clung on to me sobbing like he hasn’t done in 6 years or more. And I couldn’t do anything. How to explain politics to a 13 year old? He just sees it all as bloody unfair which it is, of course, and now he knows: life is shit a lot of the time and quoting an Oz comedian (whose name has left me) “that’s why we drink beer, mate, we don’t actually like it. We drink it to absolve us of stupid things we’ve said thru the week and to forget the multitude of shit that surrounds us day by day.”

    Well amen to that.

    Hope S2’s life will be a little easier now that the bureaucracies of school are almost over. Who ever said children are always resilient was not always telling the truth!  Or maybe they are and we’re not! It’s a bloody hard road and it aint getting easier.


    Pass the beer

    janetteB @janetteb

    Sorry to hear about BoyIlion and the soccer team. Politics in sport can be very nasty. One of R.2’s friends was a keen player and stopped due to the team politics which was sad. It is so hard when they are distressed and you are powerless to help. That is how I felt this morning.

    At least the teacher admitted to being at fault and apologised though I would really have appreciated knowing that last night. Front Office have not sent an email to say the work has been submitted after all. They never do.

    I was just thinking yesterday about how tough life is for the young generation. They are under a lot more pressure at school than we were and there is so much more pressure to choose a career long before they have the maturity or life knowledge to make that kind of decision (I am still struggling with that one) complicated by the fact that they see family members in supposedly good careers that hate their jobs, and struggled to maintain a reasonable standard of living, despite having high academic achievements. Sometimes I think our boys know a little too much about the world. Too many over the table family conversations. They have few illusions.



    janetteB @janetteb

    Can I have cider instead? A nice English scrumpy will do with crisps?


    Anonymous @


    you can have whatever drink and food you want -a whole kilo of chocolate if it helps.

    I agree  -kids at 13 trying to figure out what to do with their future? Utter madness. They will inevitably have many different jobs. School should be for school’s sake -learning knowledge for knowledge sake. So their conversations will be interesting -glorious even. Not some tedious attachment to screens and endless death-ray shots on Play Stations!

    Yes, the politics is just phucked up, honestly. He has another one on Sunday. And this team is a lower division than he was in this year. Fortunately, he’s in the Sport’s Academy and I (foolishly) said “well that’s good dear, that’s better, it proves you’re of a high standard”. To which Zygon Boy responded: “yeah, right mum, they’ve just put a Division 5 Striker into…THE ACADEMY”.

    “Ah, right, that’s pretty bad then, eh? You were heading for Nationals; half the Academy are National players and now there’s a kid who is effectively  7 levels lower!”

    So, really, the whole thing is shite. I’m being reminded that cream will rise to the top eventually but then I look at our political system and I wonder if that’s really the case -sour cream, maybe 🙂



    -kids at 13 trying to figure out what to do with their future?

    1. Work out what girls are for (or boys, as appropriate);

    2. er…that’s it.

    Remember all males over the age of 11 are 12 years old. It is a permanent and un-modifiable state.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant Ah, I didn’t read this one.

    Yes, I suppose. I recall Xander in Season 3 of Buffy. Something about sex and lino?

    Although, to give him credit he made it all the way to the end of the word: linoleum.

    For some reason I have trouble with that word myself (linoleum, that is). In saying the whole thing really fast I trip over (not unusual, I trip over walking up stairs more often than not)

    Anonymous @


    Oh shite.

    Wrong conversation: I thought it was the same conversation from the Sofa -but you were responding to my post above.

    !! Duh.

    Right: thing is, who would want to be a soccer player-for real? It’s a bit of fun. Something to do with his mind and body (ahem) while he’s working out what to do.

    Thing is, my brother quit school at 15 and went to work in a geology lab. 40 years later he was still there.

    Me: I wanted to ‘do music’ at 4. Again, 40 years later…..but “an unmodifiable state” — that’s a bit harsh (unless you’re Bieber or doing skating on youtube as some sort of career. Or surfing. Or fishing. Although celebrities in your part of the world have a lot of fishing shows I see)

    Anonymous @

    Christ, I still didn’t read it properly -not enough coffee and I can’t find me specks so I’m on 175 % and trying to squint whilst eating crackers. Polly want?

    Jeremy Somebody is a fisherman. I found him a year ago on youtube. He has quite the awesome fearlessness attributed to people who don’t mind sleeping in upside down boats, wearing the same blue shirt for a year and sitting in trees to avoid the crocodiles. Then there’s the languages. He never seems to have an interpreter. He can’t possibly speak “Indonesian” as there’s 168 209 dialects so there must be interpreters.

    Anyway, you may be at Jeremy Who?

    Wade, that’s it. Quite posh considering he’s pretty much all leather by now.



    ..but “an unmodifiable state” —

    As much part of being male as the Y chromosome. There is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent being 12(1).

    One mild disappointment of the great loft clear-out was failure to find my Thunderbird 3. I had a vague plan to put it on Ebay, described as “Thunderbird 3, plastic, original 1960s model. Rather battered, no packaging. Played with constantly in a distant childhood. No for sale at any price”.

    Just to piss off collectors.

    Like I said, 12.




    (1) May not apply to transgender folk.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant I entirely understand why you would want to do that. Collectors can be every bit as bad as ARSE fans. Right now in a another corner of the internet which I visit regularly collectors of a toy I am a fan of are getting highly miffed because the company are re releasing old sets thus reducing the value of the original. The poor dears. Their collections may be worth less now that everyone else has the opportunity to buy those rare items at an affordable price. Another version of ARSE fan.

    @Purofilion I made up my mind to travel when I was about four years old and to be a writer when I was eight. So I always knew what I wanted to do with my life, just never been able to work out how to earn a living. I fear the boys have the same problem.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    [replying to you here, because this is wandering way off topic from The Zygon Invasion]

    Oh, that’s pure special pleading, up there with Humpty Dumpty.

    Yeah, right. So you’ll be fine when I call David Cameron a Labour politician, will you? Nicola Sturgeon – you know her, the leader of Plaid Cymru?

    The person who is Humpty Dumptying is, I’m afraid, you. David Cameron is not a Labour politician (and will undoubtedly tell you so), even if both the Labour and the Conservative parties come under the broader umbrella of ‘Believers in Parliamentary Democracy’, (hopefully). Nicola Sturgeon is not the leader of Plaid Cymru, even if both the SNP and Plaid Cymru come under the broader heading of ‘Believers in Nationalist Self-Determination’.

    when a Christian places there idea of faith above all else

    I am supposed to.

    When a Muslim places there idea of faith above all else

    They are supposed to.

    when a Communist places their ideology, above all else

    I suspect they’re supposed to, as well…

    and the expense of human decency

    And how do we decide what that is? Do we all get a say? You, the atheist, have just told me, the practising Christian, that your definition of ‘Christian fundamentalist’ is more valid than mine.

    So am I to expect that you’re going to privilege your definition of ‘human decency’, as well?



    David Cameron a Labour politician

    I guess you have missed the huge component of modern British political discourse that sees no meaningful difference between the Conservatives and (pre-Corbyn, at least) Labour…

    I am supposed to.

    Are the communists?

    Are the fascists?

    Are all those with scripture/ manifesto/ little red book?

    The point that Osgood(s) made rather well was that when things become indistinguishable they might as well be considered the same.

    So am I to expect that you’re going to privilege your definition of ‘human decency’, as well?

    The definitions are not mine, and I am not the one trying to privilege them.

    And if you need to ask what human decency is (which you don’t) then we have a lot further to go than I thought.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I guess you have missed the huge component of modern British political discourse that sees no meaningful difference between the Conservatives and (pre-Corbyn, at least) Labour…

    I haven’t actually. What I am trying to determine is if you think that there is no meaningful difference between, say, a politician with a religious faith who does something you don’t like – and someone from a splinter group who believes that their religious faith entitles them to kill people of other religions (including those of no faith).

    You have called both groups ‘fundamentalists’. I am suggesting that either you don’t know what the word actually means, or that you are trying to define it in such a way that it means what you want it to mean.

    It doesn’t matter if you want to join the very vocal group who play the ‘No True Scotsman’ card with New Labour; we’ll go to the SNP and Plaid Cymru if you like. Or the Green Party and the Conservatives. Or … the point is, are there no meaningful differences between them (in your view), and would it matter to you that they would disagree if you called someone from the Green Party a Tory?

    Are the communists?

    Don’t try to misdirect the point. You have given me a definition of ‘fundamentalist’ which potentially includes every single practising Christian and every single practising Muslim, because it is a core tenet (a ‘fundamental’ tenet) of both our faiths that we are to put nothing before God. We are to put God above all else. That’s how our faiths work.

    In other words, you’ve taken the secondary meaning of ‘fundamental’ (keeping to the fundamentals, the necessary core) and applied it to the primary meaning of ‘Christian fundamentalism’ (or ‘Islamic fundamentalism’) in such a way that your definition tells a lie.

    The lie is that every Christian is potentially a Christian fundamentalist, instead of Christian fundamentalism being a minority group. Every Muslim is potentially an Islamic fundamentalist, instead of Islamic fundamentalism being a minority group. And if you say ‘Islamic fundamentalist’ to an average person in the UK, their first thought will be ‘terrorist’.

    Okay, now let’s look at ‘and the expense of human decency’.

    And if you need to ask what human decency is (which you don’t) then we have a lot further to go than I thought.

    So you are trying to privilege it. ‘Human decency’ is something so obvious, so all encompassing, so clearly defined (but, of course, not by you), that all human beings everywhere know exactly what it is. They don’t even have to be told. They just know.

    All ‘decent’ human beings, of course. And if someone should happen to transgress the ‘human decency’ limits, this would of course be their fault: they should ‘know’ what ‘human decency’ is, even if nobody can be arsed to tell them.

    This is a very naive view. I’m pretty sure that my idea of ‘human decency’ and yours coincide reasonably closely, because we both grew up (mostly, in my case) in post-Enlightenment Western Europe. There’s also a common core between my idea of ‘human decency’ and that of someone from modern China or Ghana or the United States, but there are also often significant differences.

    But I also know that my idea of ‘human decency’ would be incredibly different from that of, say, an entirely respectable, slave-owning, non-Christian First Century Roman Senator.

    I go back to my earlier question: how do we decide what ‘human decency’ is? Do we all get a say? Do we get to sit down and have a discussion about which parts of ‘human decency’ are non-negotiable in our society, which parts may follow ‘cultural differences’ and which parts are never going to be perfectly followed?

    Because we’re not Zygons, so we’re not going to learn ‘human decency’ by some giant Command Module linkage into the brain of Pedant.

    So, to sum up.

    When a Muslim places there idea of faith above all else, and the expense of human decency that is fundamentalism; when a Christian places there idea of faith above all else, and the expense of human decency, that is fundamentalism

    When a Muslim or Christian follows a core belief of their faith (to see God as more important than anything else) they are Islamic or Christian ‘fundamentalists’ if they transgress against an idea of ‘human decency’ that they shouldn’t need to ask about and which is not subject to discussion.

    Is that what you meant to say?

    Craig @craig

    Am a bit late with everything today, but woke up to the terrible news, and Michael Moore had posted this on Twitter which, I am afraid to say, made me shed a tear.

    Anonymous @


    more than a tear, mate, for me.

    Boy oh boy.




    One of 138 movie shot by that studio in that year, and not especially expected to be remembered. Wonder what happened to the other 137…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Totally with you. I mean the image of the Doctor on splash page.

    And the clip is, well, perfect.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    I see we have the French flag flying on the frontispiece. Whilst feeling, of course, tremendous empathy for all who lost their lives in the Paris terrorist attacks, I am wary of the symbolism of solidarity-by-flag. Solidarity with the people not being quite the same as solidarity with the nation-state.

    I like Syrian activist Nader Atassi’s response:

    “Attacks like the ones tonight in Paris are committed to purposely trigger an Islamophobic backlash. That backlash is not an unintended consequence of such attacks, it is part of their logic. ISIS types want an Islamophobic backlash because it lends credence to their narrative that there is a war between the West and Islam. By strengthening and emboldening the xenophobic right-wing in Europe, they strengthen their own worldview as well. And the most tragic irony is that that backlash may target refugees who themselves had been fleeing ISIS’ reign of terror.

    Thoughts with everyone in Paris tonight. May the forces who wish to beget an apocalyptic “war of civilizations” be defeated.”

    I just want to be careful that flag-solidarity doesn’t feed into a narrative of division between “us” and “them” which places all Muslims in the “them” category.

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish I understand your reservations. I have them myself. While flag waving can seem nationalistic, I had hoped to show solidarity to all people of France, whatever their beliefs – be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Atheist etc. etc. There was not one religion attacked on Friday night. It was indiscriminate.

    I can’t do much to create change, but I can make little statements using this site occasionally (like trying to raise money for refugees). I had kinda hoped that having the Doctor – a very British institution and also a symbol of universal love, hope and understanding – over the French flag would show worldwide solidarity for those devastated by the murderous events on Friday.

    The English, I find, are peculiar about the meaning of a flag. More than most. I have no problem wearing my Saltire cufflinks because I am proud to be from Scotland and love the country and its people, wherever they originally came from. I was just in Arizona and saw many Stars and Stripes fluttering in the wind outside homes and businesses. But wave a St. George’s Cross around in England and people think you’re a member of the EDL or BNP.

    So I understand your point, and the message is definitely not “us and them”, but I think that may be an English perspective of solidarity-by-flag. It’s not mine.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @craig      I’m with @blenkinsopthebrave, I like the message on the homepage. Coming from a country made up almost entirely of immigrants, I tend to view a flag as representative of the “people in a place” rather than something race-specific. I’ve spent some time in Paris over the years, and it’s one of my favourite cities; most recently, we stayed for 10 days in the 10th district, and really enjoyed the wonderful cosmopolitan, youthful feel of the neighbourhood. My heart bleeds to see it in the news in such a terrible way.

    I was move to see that the Met opened their Saturday afternoon matinee with a collective singing of the Marseillaise. Again, arguably a somewhat more militaristic piece of music than Lennon’s “Imagine”, but I think that the intent was clear.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Thanks for replying @craig – it’s your website at the end of the day 🙂

    Yes, it’s perhaps easier to feel less queasy about the Scottish flag.

    I just, in the midst of this horror, have reservations regarding the French state (banning the niquab in public does not seem to extend “liberty, equality and fraternity” to all).

    <pours everyone a tipple of their choice>. If only the Doctor was able to help us out, the way he’s helped keep the Zygon/ human treaty.

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish Thank you for the tipple (large gin and tonic tonight, in case you were wondering) 🙂

    I think we all have reservations about the French state at the moment. They have done some terrible things recently. But so has our (UK) state, and those United States. We’ve probably done worse.

    I don’t agree with a lot of what is being done in my name, never have done, as I never voted for it.

    The flag is a ‘hug’ for the people of France. All the tolerant people of France. Not those in power who enact stupid laws, but the ones like us without any power who just identify as French.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The flag is a ‘hug’ for the people of France. All the tolerant people of France

    Agreed and seconded.  Flags can be used for nationalistic purposes by governments and ideologues, but they also stand for the myriad people of the nations they symbolically represent. Over the past couple of days my thoughts have not been with governments, politicians and national leaders, but with the members of my family who are French by adoption or by citizenship, and with the people and the culture I have come to know more deeply through them.  They are what I think of when I see the tricolor or the Eiffel tower peace symbol.

    Governments come and go, and when it comes to international affairs, most – in the UK, France, the USA and elsewhere – seem to have achieved little but to compound the mistakes of earlier generations of statesmen. Where the UK is concerned, I can’t think of anything since the Suez debacle ( which is around the point where I began to take anything like an informed interest) which I could say has been done ‘in my name’.  I stand, instead, with the human race, in all its complexity and confusion.



    Mersey @mersey

    He, who his heart to everyone will bare,

    is French when France is suffering, Greek when the land

    of Greece its sons sees starving in despair,

    – he is my countryman. He is a Man.

    Antoni Słonimski, He is my countryman, 1943 fragment

    I read so many horrible words on Twitter after Paris attacks. People were calling for another Hitler. I know that they were probably only angry teenagers but that’s really devastating.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark    I stand, instead, with the human race, in all its complexity and confusion.

    Now there’s a statement that is one hundred percent Doctor!   🙂

    Anonymous @

    @mersey I know  -it’s horrible. Stay away from a lot of Twitter, it can be damaging.

    @mudlark that was gorgeously said -I think our govt in Oz has created and been able to pass some legislation that is fantastic and in the last 5 or more years -and back in the early to mid 70s – I could really stand up and say “we, here, are lucky”.

    With our current govt I’m not so sure!

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark, I second what @Purofilion just wrote. Your wording was “gorgeously said”. In times such as this it is our shared humanity that must be our standard.

    @mersey A lovely quote. I had not heard that poem before. (pity about the sexism though but I guess it was the norm for the time.)

    I do like the Paris peace symbol.



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @janetteb    I also like the Paris peace symbol. The desire to express solidarity is very integral, isn’t it? My son wore his Paris-St. Germain jersey to soccer practice tonight!

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @arbutus  @purofilion  @janetteb   Thank you!  *blushes*

    In the cold light of morning I began to worry that it would come across as  pretentious (I may not have been 100% sober when I wrote it),  but I hope it conveyed my true sentiments.

    Anonymous @

    Dear friends and those terrified of Purofilion. 🙂

    Right, after a flurry of emails, I thought I’d make a final visit to the Pub and speak again about what happened and outline my story -including apologies.

    It won’t all be chocolates and roses mind you.

    @geronimo you were quite right: I attacked you and the other members treated me very kindly, actually -in fact it was @hudsey and I believe a @sirclockface who said “ooh no, this has not happened in my time before. It’s an isolated incident”

    Hudsey and Mr Clock: you’re far from right about that. Only a week ago, I was called a “dolt” and a “confused lady” by a passing traveller who then said “perhaps I was a reddit troll designed to attract views.” Those words made a sentence, but I didn’t recognise any of the words   🙂

    Now, @geronimo I apologised -I even explained a tiny portion of my story -but you didn’t read it or at least it seemed as though you didn’t. And for the benefit of my friends @hudsey I really didn’t want them to believe, egregiously, I’d been “banned”, “seemingly” or otherwise.

    I chose to leave.

    So to my story.

    I have complications from Crohns. It’s pretty nasty and until this morning I had a few years to live. The subsequent pain cocktail is unpleasant and makes me crabby and unnecessarily unforgiving: I’ve been noticing this tendency in myself lately and today it reached critical mass and so you are quite right Geronimo: you shouldn’t be attacked here by anyone this is a lovely site -friendly and encouraging. I hope you’ll take Mr Clock’s advice and stay.

    Back to the story: this evening, a motely array of sombre doctors sidled into my private room (thank goodness for that) and said I have a “life limiting diagnosis with approximately a year left providing I stay in hospital and continue to have treatments.” I smiled -I mean, really, the words for death these days. People are so afraid to speak about this natural event in normal, everyday language. It made tonight’s episode even more rarefied as well as cold and mystifying.

    I’ve decided I probably won’t stay in hospital -in times of trouble, said Xenophon, it’s best to go to one’s own people -and that’s where I’ll go: back home. Running backwards and forwards to hospital is more tiring than just succumbing, I think. It’s difficult to explain all this on the internet -there is, as @serahni mentioned, no recourse to ’emfarsis’, facial encouragement or oracular clues 🙂

    Please understand that the nastiness of the narcotics (say that 20 times!) can cause feelings of anxiety, a sense of numbness and can show itself in general vitriol and snappiness much like a patient suffering dementia. Not that this is an excuse -not at all -but it happened and so for the final time, I apologise. I hope people will not bring the matter up again – remember, I’ve chosen to leave for the reasons above, I don’t want to make ripples, and despite any assurances I might give, I could easily slip into rudeness again (I’m like Missy that way!).  And frankly I won’t be able to fiddle around on computers for much longer anyway. I do hope you’ll remember -those who know me well -that I did try to be welcoming whenever possible and that I enjoyed the friendships I made immensely.

    I’ve had a wonderful time -my regrets extend only to this morning -so enjoy your Who and “remember Clara”, because I don’t think for a moment that her story is quite finished!

    Kindest always,

    Puro (Melissa)



    Geronimo @geronimo

    Dear Melissa,

    I’m so sorry to hear that, I had no idea about your condition. I can’t even begin to understand what you must be going through, but I suspect anyone would be more than just a bit crabby if they were in your situation.

    Your apologies are, ofcourse, accepted and I’m sorry if I have been ‘the drop’ that made you feel like you had to leave. Please know that as far as I’m concerned, you are very welcome to stay.

    I wish you all the best.

    Geronimo (Daphne)

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @Purofilion and @geronimo – a lovely exchange.

    Oh no @Puro – so very, very sorry to hear that. I think it’s clear many on the Doctor Who forum have loved your company along the way, and if you do want to stay, while you can, I’ve no doubt you’d be warmly welcome. You should do what’s best for you, of course.

    We lost someone else, @htpbdet , before your time here I think (?) but a life-long Who fan, who wrote some very moving pieces about how Doctor Who had been with him on his own life journey, in both joyous and traumatic times. The Doctor is special like that.

    Stories live on, and you and @htpbdet have both become part of the story of this little corner of the Whoniverse.

    Our journey through the universe, like the Doctor’s, leaves scars, but those who know us and love us are glad of them.

    Sending all solidarity,


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Just to emphasise, Puro has not been banned but has left of her own accord. This is a clearly very tough time for her so I’m sure we’ll understand that if she wants to take a step back from the site, while emphasising that we all value her amazing contributions to our little community. I hope you do decide to stay, Puro but everyone’s thoughts are with you regardless.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Puro – Melissa – for me, the only possible reaction is ‘Damm’.

    As Juniperfish says, you have to do what’s best for you. I’d love you to stay while you can, but you’re the one who knows if it’s time now to concentrate on home and family.

    I’d hug you if I could; at this distance, you’ll have to imagine it. But my thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    My very dear Puro,

    Your presence on the Forum has helped make it a better, kinder place. You have brought to all the discussions an energy, warmth, and emotional honesty that helped move it beyond the level of any other forum I have visited. Your kindness in welcoming new posters, your enthusiastic reception of people’s theories, and your generous praise of the talents of others on the Forum has been endless. You have always made me feel special, and I’m sure there are others who would say the same. I think we could all use more of that.

    My heart is with you and the Ilion Family.

    Lovingly, Arbutus

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Dearest puro,

    The messages to you from Arbutus and the others here convey my feelings exactly, and I can add little more than to say that the Forum will be very much the poorer without your active presence.  My thoughts are with you and your family always.

    With love and gratitude for your warmth and friendship,  Mudlark

    Mersey @mersey

    Dear Puro, dear Melissa

    I read your post above and I just want to say that I hope your condition will improve and you will decide to stay here. You are the kindest person I have met in recent months maybe years.

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous, and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”

    I may not believe in God but I believe in the power of a prayer and I will be praying for you. Maybe the universe will listen.

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