The Amazing World of Si Hart

Amazing insights into my mind as I battle against the inefficient world of the library, moderate a message board, write Doctor Who audio adventures and try and stay sane!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Holiday plans!

I was relieved yesterday to receive the submission arrival slip from the university for my dissertation. There was some drama at the end of last week, when I got an email from my tutor asking if I'd actually submitted it in the end, because they couldn't find it. I, of course panicked for a while, until I remembered that I'd sent it recorded delivery and thus could check to see if it'd been delivered. It had, of course, a full 11 days before they contacted me, so quite what they'd done with it in that time I dread to think. I was a bit annoyed about it all to be honest, as maybe they should have taken more care of it. I put so much work into it that to think, even for a while, that it'd been lost was rather upsetting.
Now I've still got to wait for it to be marked, and now it won't be nearly as soon as I thought it would be. *sigh*

Still, on a more positive note, we booked a holiday on Monday evening. I think it's much needed too. We haven't been away since we went to Moraira in August 2004, and after all the study I could do with unwinding. So we're off to Sitges in Spain, which is 35km outside of Barcelona. We'll be visiting and exploring the city as well as enjoying being beside the sea. We're even staying in a 4 star hotel, which is a touch of luxury I'm not at all used to! I'm sure I'll soon adapt to it though! Just over a fortnight to go before we go away! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On Writing

It's funny, even though I now have all this spare time to use as I feel, I still haven't made enough time to keep my blog up to date. Hmm. I'll have to more effort, won't I?

Anyway, how have I been? Not so bad, bit tired really after a few nights of interrupted sleep, mostly due to the weather. We've had some really huge downpours of rain over the last few days, and they've often been enough to wake me up. That's one of the many curses of being a light sleeper. That's made me a bit tetchy really over the last few days. I'm not very tolerant when I'm tired. Poor Steve found that out!

I've been thoroughly enjoying writing though. I've done a couple of Blake's 7s for Down and Safe (not that they're up yet, but I'm sure it'll be soon) and the work on Soap of Fatal Death has been coming on this week. In fact, the last couple of days have seen me and Si really go for it.Episode 3 has been written and I'll be starting Episode 4 at the weekend. Si's also started a thread on PS for it, which has got people excited about the idea and we've had a few requests for cameo parts (of which there are plenty again, that's the joy of writing a story set on the set of a TV soap) which is good. I do like the fact that people want to be involved.

We've even been thinking ahead to story 3 (that's planning for you!) trying to come up with a really amazing "they can't do that!" cliffhanger. I think we've come up with a pretty decent one, that will allow us quite a lot of scope for writing a sequel. Indeed I've had a few ideas about that- I'd like to attempt a story set in different times and our cliffhanger might just give us a justification for that. We'll see- it's early days yet! I like it when my imagination gets fired like this, and ideas are just swarming around. It's a great feeling to be inspired and have the chance to do something about it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Down and Safe

I'm currently working on an episode guide to Blake's 7. Even after all these years and all the times I've rewatched it, it's still a series I have enormous affection for. I'm hoping that what I write for the guide reflects that. It's going to be a slightly irreverent guide, because that's what the show deserves. A lot of the fan sites I've been looking at recently in the name of research seem to take it all rather seriously (as does the Telos book, Liberation) which is all very well, but that neglects the show's camper and fun side. There's room for a guide that reflects that side as well. So I'm writing it! It's called Down and Safe and it will be coming to The Vervoid very soon.

That's filling most evenings at the moment, and I haven't even got round to watching The Way Back yet! There's lots to say before I even get to the first episode!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Live in Leicester Square: Scissor Sisters

As I mentioned previously, I won tickets to go to see Scissor Sisters live in Leicester Square last night. It was an amazing experience being at a gig in Leicester Square. I've visited it, passed it by, been driven around it many times, that being there for a gig was a really special thing. It's just a great, iconic setting and so I don't think I'll ever forget this gig.

The atmosphere was really good. There didn't seem to be any trouble, and the security even turned a blind eye to the fools who got up and danced in the fountains... I suppose that all added to the atmosphere really. I've only been to a couple of open air gigs (I'm a festival virgin!) so that just added to the extraordinariness of it all for me. It was a lovely balmy night, not too cold- just right in fact. Even the long wait for the band to take to the stage was just about tolerable. There was a DJ, who played generic dance music, but got crowd approval for playing Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Andy Williams, (it was great when everyone was singing a long and no-one seemed to know all the words and it went very quiet suddenly towards the end of the verses!) and Steve's approval for a bit of Primal Scream and New Order, so it seemed to go by ok. The it went quiet and Kylie (Yes, KYLIE!) appeared to introduce them! How fab! She looked really well too.

The band themselves were fantastic. I was a bit disappointed a week or so back that we didn't get round to booking tickets for their forthcoming UK tour in time, so this more than made up for that. They looked like they were having a great time up on stage, just doing what they love. Jake and Ana were in the sparkliest costumes you can imagine: Jake's all over spangly catsuit for the encore was so OTT it made me laugh, Del had his over waist high trousers, BabyDaddy was in a satin suit and Paddy had his normal hat and a very colourful waistcoat on. They have a style all their own, and they pull it off with aplomb!

The music was awesome. I love their first album (although there are some weaker moments in the middle), and the songs from that were real crowd pleasures. Take Your Mama opened the show and got the crowd singing along with them, which was great (it's still my favourite track). They played quite a a lot of stuff formt heir new album Ta-Dah! Which seems pretty strong (I can't wait to hear it tomorrow) and there are going to be some new favourites from that I think. Some highlights included Tits on the Radio, which came across far stronger live than on the album, Comfortably Numb, which was a full on experience on stage, with as many lighting effects as possible, and the crowd joining in all the way through and a barn-storming encore of the current single I Don't Feel Like Dancin' and Filthy/ Gorgeous, both of which were absolutely superb. Sadly there wasn't as much bopping as I expected there to be... We managed a bit, but the crowd was quite closely packed together, which might have made it tricky. Ah well.

So all in all, a great experience overall.

We had a good trip home too. We walked through St James's Park in the dark, which was good, all the way back to Victoria to catch the train back to Wandsworth Common where Steve had parked the car. We got in and didn't fancy any more of Doctor Who and Red, so we put on the Best of ELO and listened to that very loudly all the way home. It was quite fantastic driving through Putney, with the windows wound all the way down and blasting out Mr Blue Sky. We got a couple of odd looks, but we enjoyed it.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I've been enjoying my new freedom and the great feeling of coming home and not having to do anything. The fact that I'm doing lots of things I've chosen to do just makes it all the better really!

It was a really nice feeling last Friday to hold my bound dissertation before it went in the post. That might sound a bit odd, but after all he work and time I've put into it and the course in general, it felt like the culmination of two years study. It took me by surprise, but really I've thoroughly enjoyed all the study, even if at times it's been a pain having to put other things on hold to write an essay or get my head round some tricky ideas, but it's been worth it. I think I'm going to pass. As far as I can see there's no reason why I shouldn't.
So it's in now, and I just wait for the marks to come back. Even that doesn't feel as onerous as it once would have done.

So how am I filling my time? Well, this week has been pretty good really. I've written part 2 of The Soap of Fatal Death audio play (me and Si are doing alternate episodes this time) and that's been good. As I've mentioned before I've always had a lot of fondness for the story and so revisiting it and tweaking it has been good fun. It was strange to think that last night I couldn't sleep because I just had ideas going round my head about it. I was trying to work out a solution to a tricky piece of plotting that was easy to do when it was a short story, but not so easy to get around on audio, and it meant that the scenes had to be juggled around at the end of the episode, which made it trickier still as it still had to come to the same great cliffhanger.
The solution was quite a neat fix I think, even if I do say so myself, even though in post production it's going to be quite hard to put it all together, still I'm hopeful! Aren't I always?

Tuesday night Stephen came to stay. We hadn't seen him for a couple of years before July and here we are with two visits in a short space of time! It was good to chat with him. He's ever so nice and very easy to chat too. We went out for a lovely meal at the Yorkshire Rose (we always have good meals there) and then me and him sat up watching Doctor Who and the Idiots Lantern. Still a bit of a favourite that one.
As Steve was at work on Wednesday, I entertained Stephen before he went off to see his sister in Reading. After a lot of chat and a lot of tea we watched Horns of Nimon together, which he'd never seen. It's odd to think there are some fans out there that haven't seen all the stories. It's been so long since I fulfilled that dubious honour, that i I forget that there are others who haven't. He really enjoyed it, so that was good. It was just a very pleasant morning and really we have to make the effort to go down to Bournemouth and see him now. Just another person on the list we really need to go and visit. Ah well!

And I won a competition! Oh yes! I sign up for the mailing lists of many of the bands I like, as you get the tour dates in advance and stuff, which often makes it worthwhile. Anyway, last Wednesday I had an email from the Scissor Sisters site saying if you're one of the first 200 people to respond to the message, you could win two tickets to their gig in Trafalgar Square this Saturday. It'd been a couple of hours since the message was sent, but I filled the form in anyway, and would you believe it, Tuesday afternoon I got a message back saying I'd won a pair of tickets! WOW! So we're off to see them live tomorrow evening, which'll be great I'm sure! I'm really looking forward to it!

Happy times and places!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I've done it!

At 19,179 words on a massive 108 pages, my dissertation is finished. I'm a bit stunned at the moment, as I can't quite believe that after all these months of hard work I've finally gone and done it. It doesn't quite feel real! Maybe it will when I've got it printed off and bound and I'm holding the finished product in my hands?

At the moment all I want to do is allow myself a big YAY! I think that's the least I deserve, isn't it?

Oh and my ear problem has been explained away as being similar to the problem I had earlier in the year, in that the eustachian tube in my left ear is full of fluid, when it shouldn't be, and so my hearing is muffled. Ah well. I've got a new spray to try, which should sort the problem out. Hopefully I'm on the mend now!


Monday, September 04, 2006


I don't know if I should be worried that i can't hear very much out of my left ear at the moment. I'm sure it's just bunged up with wax or something, but it's been quite odd these last few days. Its amazing really how quickly you get used to the tinnitus; you just sort of adapt to it being there. It's not good really.

I don't think I'd like to go deaf (though i may have no choice in the matter) because I can't imagine how horrible a silent world would be. We enjoy our music here and I think losing the ability to enjoy that would be a horrible loss. Only this evening we've been thoroughly enjoying the new Scissor Sisters single (it's fab!) and I heard something new in the background of the Lemon Jelly song Elements which made me smile: a sly Beatles reference... I like that kind of thing.

It was quite nice to go back to work today, after a week off sick, though I was feeling a bit drained when i was asked to help carry a large and heavy glass cabinet down the backstairs. I should have said no, but I'm too nice for my own good. It left me coughing and spluttering for a bit! Ah well.

Dissertation is almost done now... last minute edits and the reflection to go (that's a job for Wednesday) then the prints, binding and post! I can't believe it's almost done!