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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


There's a great little song by Lorraine Bowen with the lyrics:

Everybody's good at cooking something
And I'm good at cooking crumble.

And I am! I made an apple and blackberry one on Sunday evening and it turned out really well. Of course, they're incredibly easy to make, so it's not a huge achievement, but that doesn't stop it being a great pudding. I was very pleased that my guesstimation approach to the quantities required for the topping worked out fine (for a change) and it wasn't too sweet (or indeed unlike that Carrot Cake earlier this year, not sweet enough) and even though I forgot to put some sugar in with the fruit, it wasn't too sharp! Overall, a great success!

Speaking of Lorraine, we're going to see her live in Covent Garden in a few weeks time. It seems like it's been a long time coming,m since I first heard her songs in 1997 and she's sort of been in the background ever since, and only know have I actually really got into her music. Who'd have thought one woman and a Casio keyboard could make so many fun songs?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Out for a Run

Yesterday morning, the inhabitants of Crown Wood were treated to a wholly improbable sight... me, out for a run. Yes, that dreaded day finally arrived, the day, after much prompting from Steve that I finally agreed that i would go running with him. I never thought I'd give in, but really I've got the stage after a couple of months of seeing my waistline expanding a little more than it should, that it was time I did something about it.

So we went running. We didn't go far and didn't push ourselves to hard the first time- we were running for about 10 minutes and did a circuit from Home to Savernake Lake and back to home, but it was a bit of a push for me (I haven't actually done any sustained running since school- except for the one time I went out with my old housemate, Lucy in early 2001), which proves to me that I'm not as fit as I thought I was. That said, I found I quite enjoyed it, and I promised I'd go again next weekend and try to do a little more distance than we managed this week.

Torchwood was good last night. Possibly the best episode so far. I loved the slightly doomy melancholy atmosphere and it added a bit more to Owen's character, which was appreciated. Next week's looks even better!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Don't sort them by logo, put them in number order!

Yesterday evening turned out to be one of the more unusual evenings in our house. It all started when Steve asked a dangerous question "Where are the Classic Comics with The Tides of Time in them?"
"Well," I replied" somewhere in there," pointing at the full filing cabinet.

Ten minutes later they hadn't turned up, so I duly found myself offering to go into the loft to see if they were in the stash of magazines that were sitting in a box up there. They weren't. Oh no! That'd have been far too easy.

So, within minutes of that, I had the bright idea of pulling all the magazines out of the cabinet, all the magazines out of the files on top and soon they were strewn all over the living room floor. "Hmm," said Steve, " We have a lot of magazines."
"It's true," I said in agreement.

Then I had the bright idea of doing what we should have done along time ago, sorting them all out. Oh yes, a stroke of brilliance that, so that next time Steve wanted issue 173 of Doctor Who Magazine, or the issues of Classic Comics with The Tides of Time in them, we'd know exactly where to look.

It took the rest of the evening.

Steve went out for fish'n'chips for dinner, we ate them (they were extra good last night) and then got back to the sorting. Steve had the good idea of making piles of 50 each, which was good, better probably then my frankly insane idea of sorting them by logo (well it seemed like a good idea for a while, honest), and soon there were 7 piles of various sizes of Doctor Who Magazines waiting to be put into order.

Then we catalogued them to see what was missing. Oh yes, I've been waiting to do a definitive list for a while. There was a panicky moment at one point when most of the 170s and 180s were missing (the output of 1991-92) but it turned out they were all under the footstool and had been missed! All in all, there are 13 issues of Doctor Who Magazine that we haven't got, which is better than I thought, and of those only one issue that I've owned at some point has disappeared, number 86 from 1984, which considering how many times the collection has been moved since I started it in 1980 is pretty good going I reckon. A few have lost their covers, the early 50's, no 60, no 79 and 127, but you know, by and large the collection is in pretty good condition considering how well read they've been!

And now we've ordered most of the missing ones from ebay, so it might not be 13 for very much longer!

Then I started on the fanzines... There are still many of them, but I did throw a few more away!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Looking Back, Moving Forward

As Planet Skaro prepares to move to its new shiny home and new forum provider, I've been having a look back at some of the great (and not so great!) reviews of Doctor Who that have been posted over the last four years. There's some good stuff on there, hidden between the inevitable single line "I like/ hate this one" reviews and I hope that my big article will be remind people of some of the things that made them think about what they were watching or made them laugh.
What surprised me most was that I'd made a whole number of intelligent posts along the way! I'd sort of forgotten how we used to review stories quite thoroughly (though not as thoroughly as some of the essays that have appeared recently) and argue about the things we liked and didn't like. There were two in particular on The Leisure Hive and Full Circle that were rather good and I might just save the two of them in their entirety, along with some typically thoughtful pieces by Si Hunt (his Ribos Operation piece is a bit of a classic) and Andrew Curnow.

It'll be odd to leave it all behind, but people don't seem very concerned about losing it, but I guess my archiving, hording nature means I'd like to save as much as possible for prosperity! Yes, there's a lot of dross on there, alot of repetition too, but lots of lovely threads too.

I remember going to PS for the first time and knowing only a couple of you towards the end of 2002, and feeling a bit out of place for a while... that soon changed! Now I've met some of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet, found the loveliest boyfriend in the whole world and made over 13000 posts... How things change!

There have been many highlights for me: I loved all the stuff around the 40th anniversary where people listed all their favourite stories and all their favourite memories of the show and how much it meant to them, the serious outpouring of optimism and happiness when the new series was first announced and all those wonderful reactions, both good and bad as the series has aired. Low point was really the EzBoard hack, where we lost so much good stuff, but even that has had a good side, namely the forthcoming move, which'll be very good fun. We've been knocked, battered and hacked, but PS is still here and ready to move and only get better!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I miss the sunshine. It's been really dreary since we got back and it seems funny already to think that only last Saturday we were lying on the beach sunbathing.

It was a really good holiday. I'm not sure that either of us really knew what to expect from it really, and certainly it was different from the last time we went away, but in a good way. This holiday was a much more doing things holiday. We went out on the train for a few days, exploring Barcelona and further afield out to Montserrat (in the rain and thunder and low lying cloud!) and there wasn't as much of the sitting around we managed in Moraira. This could have ben because it wasn't nearly as hot as when we went out there and also that this time I wasn't pick pocketed!

Anyway, the highlight for me I think was exploring Barcelona. What a superb city it is! There was so much to see from the old Cathedral, the Gaudi work, the art museums (The Picasso Museum was great- I'm never sure that I'm going to like looking at art, but I did appreciate this one), the aquarium, where Sharks swam above us as we went round on a conveyor belt... the tranquil parks... but best of all was The Segrada Familia, the unfinished Gaudi temple. Just such an outstanding building, with so much going on. In a moment of madness I went in the lift to the top, and while the view was quite astonishing, it was far too high for me and I felt giddy and unsafe being up there. I should have known better, but it's good to challenge your fears sometimes. Still Steve got some great pictures from the top for me to see, which you can see on his blog here. The modern carvings into the stone at the front of the crucifixion of Christ where just superb.
I'd go back again in a few years time just to see how much they managed to get built. I'm not hopeful that I'll be alive when it's finished!
So highly recommended city- well worth a visit!

I like the way their trains run on time, (except when they don't run at all when we need to the back to the airport for our flight, of course!), that the streets of Sitges are all cleaned every day- why can't we manage these things over here?

Friday, October 13, 2006


There's a little tingle of excitement added in with the sheer tedium of packing for a holiday. On the one had it's a chore because there's so much you need to remember to take with you and making sure you've got it all is a real stress because until you're in the car and on your way you're always trying to wrack your brain and make sure you haven't forgotten anything really important, but on the other hand, it's really exciting because you're going away for a while!
I wonder where my baseball cap with the target on it is? I wore it all summer, but can I find it now I want it again? No! That's the kind of thing that happens while you're packing!

So, we're off to Barcelona tomorrow morning, (very early tomorrow morning!) for eight days in the sun. The hotel looks wonderful, The Hotel San Sebastian Playa in Sitges and it's doubly exciting for me because I've never been on a hotel holiday before. The hotel looks wonderful, and Trip Advisor is full of people raving about it, so I'm hoping that they're right about it... we'll find out tomorrow I suppose...

I'm looking forward to exploring Barcelona (I've heard lots about it and I can't wait to see if everyone was right about what a great city it is) and sitting on the beach outside the hotel and reading lots of books (I've only packed 6, I hope it's enough!!)and eating some good meals out (hopefully) and all those great relaxing holiday things!

I'll tell you all about when I get home... just in time for Torchwood, all being well!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It never really got light this morning. At 10.30 we were having a cuppa in the staffroom, when there was the most extraordinarily loud crash of thunder that literally shook the building and made the windows rattle, as lightening hit the ring road just outside the building. We all jumped and swore a great deal, but luckily no tea was spilt. But it remained gloomy for the rest of the morning and the afternoon wasn't much better. Its raining again now you know.

This evening we began our holiday preparations with a big house clean. We're a bit lazy when it comes to doing the cleaning and we ought to do it a bit more often than we actually do. Still, it looks nice and clean all over now, even if the living room still isn't exactly what you could call tidy. It does mean that we won't be coming home to a unclean home, which is a good thing I suppose.

I was very pleased to see that the first part of my Blake's 7 column has been published on The Vervoid and that Lissa did such a good job of making it look lovely! She's very good at that. I've had some nice comments back about it, which has been very pleasing for my ego!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Doing Good

We did some good at work this afternoon. This poor boy of about 16 had had his books issued and then seemed to be hanging around the counter looking a bit scared. Outside there was a group of about 8 lads hanging around, not something we get very often, but nothing too unusual in Bracknell. Anyone the boy in the library had a quiet word with Margaret and asked if we could possibly help him. It turned out that these lads were waiting for him, to beat him senseless as they'd been bullying him for the last couple of years. They've put him in hospital a couple of times, so he said, and he seemed to be really frightened of them.
I had to admit I was a little dubious about his story, but after a little chat with Margaret, I took him downstairs so that he could leave through the side door into the town and avoid them.He was ever so grateful, which was nice, but I was still in half a mind to not quite believe him.

However, I soon changed my mind. About five minutes later the lads started coming into the library, two by two to hunt him out. I challenged each group as they wandered around the library, and each time they told me they were looking for someone who should be in the library. How nasty. Actually I found the level of obsession really horrible, so it was rather good to have outfoxed them and ensured the guy got away from them this time. I hope he was OK.

Later on we stopped someone who was downloading porn on the library PCs. This guy was watching a video of naked jiggling bottoms and videoing it on his mobile. Well he was until we flashed up the "Inappropriate use of the Internet" message on his screen and logged him off! Ha!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Slightly Surreal Sketch Show Love

It's been raining a lot this week and for some reason this has been inspiring to think about writing! Maybe I'm just in the mood at the moment or something I don't know. Yesterday I had a bit of a think about story 3 and what if Nick was the companion that things happened to, which in turn inspired Si to think that we should put them both through the wringer, which'll be fun! Today I had a few thoughts about teaser trailers for Soap, which I'll get written in the next few days if I can. They might be fun and they'd save Si the problem of stitching together a full trailer, which he found a bit of a pain last time.

The rest of my brain that hasn't been looking after various important things like breathing and issuing books and bantering with customers has been appreciating The Look of Mitchell and Webb, which has been making me laugh a whole lot more than Extras (although I probably missed the best bit of last night's episode by walking out half way through and I did like the Bowie cameo) each Thursday night. I love the slightly surreal nature of it, and even though it may not be the best sketch they do each week I just love the Number Wang gameshow! That's Number Wang! Brilliant stuff!
Of course the great bonus of discovering Mitchell and Webb a few years after they started means that there's plenty of their past stuff to go back and discover, Peepshow and the like! Hooray!

It is still raining. Maybe I'll be inspired a bit more over the next few days?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Work has been strangely more fraught than usual the last few days. Part of the problem with the cuts to the staffing has meant that there is always a pile up of work waiting for us to do. Now I'm all for letting it pile up because it's the only obvious way of showing that we're very under pressure, so when we're always a day behind with the deliveries from the branches, there are several knock on effects: there aren't enough boxes for the next day's deliveries or to pack up any stock revision books to go out to the branches, the lift is always full of delivery that we can't get onto the floor because the shelving is backed up because there aren't enough of us to go out and do it and customers can't find the things that say they're in on the catalogue because quite frankly they could be anywhere in the building to be honest.
But no-one really cares. It always backfires, because the people who get complained at our the frontline staff. Us! We're used to that anyway, so what's the difference?

I sent off for some job details for a librarian post in Berkshire yesterday. Unfortunately the job description was vague about the actual location of this post, which could be a problem as I can't easily get to places yet (though I'm looking into finally getting driving lessons after our holiday) but it's worth a go. Its a fiction librarian post, which I'd really enjoy and if I'm honest is probably the job I'd like best of all, although I'd probably be a very good childrens librarian. It's early days for applications yet and I know I can take my time to find the right job for me because I still have a job, but I don't want to be stuck in this one forever. That would be pointless.

In a moment of joy at work I made the head of the service, Ruth squirm for a bit on Monday morning. And quite right too if you ask me, for she stole our biscuits. Now I know of the face of it, one packet of digestives isn't a great deal to get worked up about, but sometimes we all get stuck on the principle of the matter. She stole the biscuits bought by the tea club because she couldn't be bothered to buy her own for the meeting. It was far more convenient to take ours. Still she did offer to buy lots of supplies in return for this, but she didn't apologise to anyone who was actually involved (but then she wouldn't, she's ignorant and rude like that is Ruth Burgess) but well, of nothing else I made her do something about it because she wouldn't have done if I hadn't brought the matter up.

*sigh* I'm really fed up of all the battles. I just want a happy job.