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!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back and Forth

There's been so much going on recently that I really haven't had time to devote to the little things that take up some time like keeping up with the blogging. I'm not complaining because inbetween worrying about how things are going between Mum and Dad and the general day to day stuff like work and cooking dinner and watching as much as BBC4's Science Fiction Britannica as possible, there has been some really nice stuff going on.

For instance we had a lovely day in London a couple of weeks back where myself, Si and Richard met up early to celebrate the five years we'd known each other. It was lovely to have a little time to look back over all we've done, all the ups and downs and many of the happy memories we've got. It's easy to underestimate how much meeting them turned my life around from the pretty dull ebb it was at around the middle- end of 2001. The nostalgia was heady but not overwhelming for me because there's still so much to look forward to... Looking back is only bad I think when it's all you've got. I've been there...
The PS Meet was probably one of the finest ever. Everyone seemed so comfortable and happy to be there with each other. There were no great upsets on the day and everyone had a chance to mingle and chat to each other. It's one of the things that makes being part of the forum special, the friendships that exist outside of the online forum. There are so few places like that.

That hasn't meant that the move to the new forum has been seamless. There has been one incident that has marred it a little. I'm not going to take sides over the matter as I have friends on sides of the divide, but it all seems to be a lot of reaction over very little at all to me. Its a shame but I suppose until someone has the good grace to say sorry nothing will be resolved. Hey ho.

The new website/ forum has been a great success though, especially the forum which has had over 3000 posts in less than a week! I think we can all be quite proud of the work that has gone into it really. I think this was a good move for the forum in general and it can only get better and better in the coming months. I hope so!

Last Saturday afternoon I looked after Luke for the first time. That was great. I've waited a long time to do that and I made the most of it. We watched Doctor Who (well it was what he wanted to do- he'd whispered that to me so his Mum didn't hear when he came to see me at work the week before!) and it took a while to choose which one he wanted to see, but he eventually settled on Earthshock, which was a pretty good choice! He likes the Cybermen you see.
So we sat cuddled up on the sofa together and he watched intently and managed to follow what was going on very well. He took to the new Doctor (for him!) quite quickly and I think he really enjoyed it!
We also baked some chocolate fairy cakes which were a success and chased him round the house with the remote control Dalek, which he tried to fend off with Steve's Sonic Screwdriver! Ha! I'm not sure who the biggest kid was in the house that afternoon. A good time was had by all and I hope it's not too long before we get to do it again. He certainly behaved himself for us (which surprised his Mum!) and I'd be happy to babysit again sometime.

Sunday we went back to West Hampstead to see Phil and Emma and all they've done to the flat. It was great. I've given Phil a bit of hard time really, probably because I was upset about what happened that day when I was really unwell over there- but he's really a lovely guy. I think Emma has been really good for him! The flat is looking really good and they've worked hard on it. It did point out to us how little we've done here though! Maybe we'll get started on that in the new year... maybe!

I am trying as hard as possible not to get drawn into the disputes between Mum and Dad, or at the very least not be seen to be taking sides. It's very difficult though. I don't know what to think half the time. I know there's plenty of wrong been done on both sides, but it always feels like there's loads more going on behind the scenes that we're not privy too. It'd be easier if I didn't care, but I don't like seeing Dad hurting like he obviously is and I don't like Mum appearing to be heartless and cold. Oh well. We're getting through it... No-one is looking forward to Christmas though. Goodness knows who's going to be there and what'll happen!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Just because things are expected, it doesn't mean you're always ready for them.

Sunday afternoon: we were all summoned to Mum and Dad's. I think deep down we all knew what was coming- certainly as I met up with Vic and Jay we were all thinking the same thing, and it turned out we were right, Mum and Dad have decided that their marriage is over. there's nothing much left of their relationship for them to salvage and they've decided they done all they could to make it work and it isn't working. So that's it, bar the shouting, the sorting and the decorating. They're going to sell the house, and from the moment we left, lead separate lives (in the same house, which won't be easy for either of them).

I'm not really sure how I feel about it any of it though. I expected to be more upset than I was, but I didn't really feel anything except a quiet melancholy. I think what I was quietly most upset about was all the things we don't do as a whole again. Although I've complained about them all in the past, we've always been quite a close family and it's odd to think that now we'll never all be together for dinner as a whole unit and I think it's that kind of thing I'm going to miss most. Somehow we've all got to get through Christmas together- for some reason, despite it all, none of us has had the courage to back out of it, but it really depends on how Mum and Dad are getting on at that point and of course we have the added Grandma factor in the mix and I'd like to spend the day with her, because, well, there may not be too many chances to do that, after all, but I foresee a dreadful day, but I hope I'm wrong. I suppose deep down I never expected it to happen to them. I always knew their relationship was dodgy at times (and I'm old enough to remember some things that Vic and Jay don't), but there was always a feeling in me that they could sort it all out. After 30 years I thought you could, but I was wrong. Perhaps the difference had just got to that irreconcilable stage, sadly.

Still, I suppose there has been some good come out of this situation in the last couple of years. I never saw me and Dad becoming close again, and that's a good thing. Lots has been written and discussed about the two of us, and alot of wrong things were done on both sides (I'm not blameless for a lot of the problems we've had; I've been very selfish at times) but we started talking again, and he's always quite chatty these days, which has been great. I never thought we'd get that again. There's so much in him that he's never confronted and it's all bubbling under the surface and that's what makes him a bit unpredictable (as well as his general miserable demeanour of course !), but what is clear is that he really deeply loves Mum and we've all got the feeling that he's letting her go now, against everything he wants... isn't that what love is all about? I suppose it is.

As for Mum, well who can say? This is strange part. I've always thought that I understood her, but I'm not sure that I have any idea what's going on in her head these days. She sat there on Sunday not showing any emotion really at all. Of course that could be because she's the one getting what she wants, or because there's no point getting upset at this point, but it did come as a surprise to all of us, because she's always been the empathetic one... We;'d finished talking and Dad had fled in tears from the living room and Mum was there behaving like we'd just had family get together, asking me to get her some books, and stuff. That felt inappropriate somehow. She has changed over the last couple of years, maybe she's just more sure of what she wants from life and more able to stand up and make it happen than she's ever been before but at times it's very hard to reconcile her actions with the Mum we grew up with.

So there we go. That's it. I don't know that there's much else to say at the moment. The next few months will have a few tricky moments, especially when it comes to them clearing and leaving the house and we're still unsure where they're going to end up.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friends will be friends...

There's something really wonderful about a friendship you can pick up after not seeing each other for 11 months and it feels as if you'd only seen each other the day before. I'm still pleased to say that it's pretty much like that with Gaz. I had a marvellous time last weekend with him and Sarah, seeing their new (well OK, new to us) house (I was quite amazed that they could love in it to be honest- though it would probably suit me and natural untidiness I suppose!), but it's a renovation in progress and will be fantastic when it is all complete.

We had some laughs, some good food (well of course, this was Gareth we were visiting. I really liked the chili soap, even if I did seem to get the bulk of the chills!), some very exciting fireworks (The Tank we bought was pretty impressive, but eclipsed by Gareth's Intergalactic Travel, which despite the dull name was the firework of the evening!) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which Steve snoozed all the way through and through which Gareth's friend Steve said all the lines about 30 seconds before they came on screen! I managed to not quite talk to Ruth about anything important (just like I used to- I've never been sure what she thinks of me, to be honest) and well, much as it pains me to say it (!) it was very good to see Gaz again!

I hope it won't be another 11 months before we meet up again, and plans are sort of made to make sure it isn't... we'll see!

We also saw David "Irishboy" Arnott this week. He's over here for a few days each week for the next few weeks with work and we took the chance to have a meal and couple of drinks with him. He's a lovely guy, who despite some shoddy treatment from me at my most selfish a few years back has been quite forgiving and looked after me at the hospital when I last dislocated my shoulder in Nov 2002. We had a good catch up over dinner, saw some pictures of his boyfriend who sounds very lovely (and much deserves- it was a long standing joke between us that he'd never find anyone!) and talked about Doctor Who quite a lot (well we would, wouldn't we) Lovely evening!

I've had a general feeling that I've neglected a lot of people over the last year or so. Things slip, times goes so quickly and before you know it it's been months since you last chatted to each other. I've had lots of good excuses for it, but they're running out now and I think it's time I made the effort to get in contact with a few people and make amends... and make sure that i don't neglect the good friends I already have. There's not always enough time, but I have to make sure that I don't let things slip any further.

Friday, November 03, 2006


It always interesting looking after interview candidates. yesterday that occupied me at work for the whole day, making sure they could do their tests properly, chatting to them a little (aside from the shy 18 year old boy who didn't say anything) and marking their tests. It's odd to think that my little bit of contact with these people apparently gives me a bit of an insight into the candidates and that I'm often called upon for my opinion on them. If only they knew that, then they'd make the effort to talk to me!

So, the first woman I disliked because she didn't listen to the instructions I gave her, and as I was trying to take her upstairs for her interview she was still trying to answer part part of her test. Not good. Number 2 was OK, a standard middle aged woman candidate (I've seen many of them, strangely!) number 3 impressed me by being a very chatty middle aged man, and who admitted he couldn't do bits of the test, but, importantly asked me at the end to show him how he could have found it. I've done these test things many times, but no-one has ever asked me to help them at the end! I was quite impressed with that- and he ended up getting the job. Number 4 was OK, but didn't say very much and had an odd suit on with lots of scribbles over the left shoulder that i didn't like much. Number 4 was another standard middle aged woman, and number 5 was another young lad, full of confidence and who had helped Anna with something on the PCs upstairs while he was waiting. For that he probably deserved a job! he didn't get it, though.

So we have three new members of staff starting soon, which will help us no end. If they accept the offers of course... two of the last lot didn't... We'll see.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Cold

My goodness, it's turned cold this morning. This is a a bit of a problem as it turns out because, as is usual with these things the boiler has decided not to work. It's bizarre really, because it first failed in late spring, at which point we weren't too upset because it was warm. So we didn't do anything about it, then a few weeks back the boiler was serviced, when miraculously it worked again as soon as the engineer from British Gas turned it on. It worked fine until we went away, we came back and that's been it.

Now we're cold! So it's going to be big jumpers all round until we get round to phoning a plumber. We might have to fork out for an emergency plumber unless we can hold on until next Wednesday when it's my day off. We'll see how we go.

Anyway, aside from that we had a good swim last night and finally, after all these months of going upped the amount of lengths we swam. Yes, the total now stands at the mythical number, 42. I manged 22 of those on my front, which was a bit of an achievement too. I'm happier on my back you see, even though I can't manage proper backstroke anymore because it'd pop my shoulder out, but my adaptation of sculling means that I can do the lengths really quite quickly. Well, comparatively anyway.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I've been a bit preoccupied with the rather tragic life of one of my icons, Delia Derbyshire. Last night we listened to the play BBC Radio did about her life a few years ago, Blue Veils and Golden Sands, which was very good (more so this time round perhaps for recently seeing an interview with her in the early 90s on The Beginning DVD set) but emphasised how she died just as things were beginning to turn round for her after more than a few years in an alcoholic wilderness.

She really was working in a time and an industry that didn't appreciate her and the work she was doing. I can't imagine how upsetting and frustrating that must have been for her, especially when her work is regarded as some of the most pioneering work in the field of electronic music. Things were just turning round as she died a few years back. Not all of her stuff is brilliant, but there are enough pieces around that show what a unique talent she had. Just listen to Blue Veils and Golden Sands with it's evocative sounds of the desert or the haunting Delian Mode or Zweih, Zweih-Oh-Oh-Oh!

Of course, her most famous piece will always the first and quite possibly definitive arrangement of the Doctor Who theme, a piece that stands up today as one of the most atmospheric theme tunes ever recorded and more so when you realise that it's all made out of huge tape loops that circled the Radiophonic Workshop just to get the right sounds and that there wasn't a real instrument on there at all. In 1963 that was one hell of an achievement, and it was that that set me off all those years ago into a fan of all things Radiophonic.