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, May 17, 2007

Elliott's New Moon.

There was a "new" album by Elliott Smith released last week, New Moon, and it finally arrived here yesterday. Of course, being dead, it's not a "new " album in the sense of being new material, but instead it's an album of demos, unreleased material and some live radio spots. The fragile nature of the songs- just him and his guitar most of the time is rather affecting and moving. The songs I've always liked best by him are the little acoustic ones where he seems to be bearing his soul to the world because he's not hidden under away behind the arrangement. He can't hide in the strings!
What's always been special about him for me, is that for years he was mine. I didn't know of anyone else that had heard him or indeed anyone else that liked his work. The few people I'd introduced to his songs weren't very enthusiastic about him, so he was someone that I could appreciate and keep to myself. Sometimes we all need to have something that only we appreciate I think. And Elliott was mine. Of course, now I see that he has a huge and dedicated fanbase online, and they all feel the same way. I don't want to be involved in that- I want to keep my appreciation to myself.
Even all these years after he rather graphically committed suicide, I still haven't bought all his albums. It's an odd thing really I suppose, because I love his work and the albums I have by him are some of my most played CDs, especially the wonderful Figure 8. Yet I haven't made the effort to buy them. I think the reason is that I know there's a limit to what "new" material there's going to be from him in the future, and if I don't buy all his albums all at once, then there's always going to be something new from him for me to find. Silly huh? It makes a kind of sense to me though.

I was rather overwhelmed by new music last night really, as I also heard the new Crowded House single too. It's being streamed from their official website, and I couldn't resist a listen. I was pleased to find that it's really rather good. A grower I think, but I'm sure I'll be giving it the chance to really win me over!
It's always a risk getting a band back together, and I always said I'd rather they didn't do it because there's a huge chance they'll never regain their past form. Especially since they're my favourite band ever. Yet, on hearing the news, I was elated and pleased, and having heard some of the new material recently, I don't feel that elation was misplaced.
It's only a few weeks until we go and see them now, and it's rather exciting. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Having musical heroes is a risk because they can so easily let you down. I'm so pleased and lucky that my biggest ones never have.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm feeling absolutely drained of energy at the moment. A combination of too much going on and not enough sleep I think. I slept really well last night, and there was a bonus lie in until a very late 7.45 this morning too, but it's left me curiously unrefreshed. today. Indeed I'm feeling all drowsy again now. Maybe I should just give in and sleep again. It's obviously what my body is trying to tell me.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Why? Because we're not doing anything! There's nothing planned, other than our regular trip to the pub on Friday evening to meet the Doctor Who group! This is the first in recent memory. I can't wait to just chill out at home, clean the house (and my goodness does that need doing) and not worry about how we're going to fit everything into a busy weekend. We might even get to the cinema to see Spidey 3 or 28 Weeks Later (which might be too frightening for me though...) but of we don't, then, we don't. It'll just be nice not to have to worry about being sociable if we don't want to be.

Today I recommend the new Rufus Wainwright album. It's just great and perfect for my tired and melancholy mood. Gorgeous and dense and clever and lovely.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Wedding!

What a day Saturday was! Exhausting, exhilarating and emotional- the way all weddings should be!

The day began quietly at home. I had my instructions, where I had to be and at what time, and then Vicki phoned with some extra ones to help me along. That was fine. I like to know where I've got to be and at what time, and once that's settled, I'll be there. And so we were. At 10.30, we arrived at the church to leave the car before getting a lift over to Jay's house from Dad.

Things were calm there. No really. Jay didn't seem very nervous at all, which is I suppose a good sign that he's doing the right thing (not that I'd doubted that- they're a great couple). There was lots to do. Jay rushed off with Laura's brother to get his hair done. Mark and Mike polished the cars and me and Steve sat watching the TV... there wasn't much for us to do at that time. We had some lunch, Jay returned and suddenly it was time to get ready... smart suits on, last minute details, a quick photo and off... to the pub for one last pint at The Stag in Ascot.

Don't we look smart? So anyway, we arrived at the church possibly a little later than we should have done, and got down to some serious ushering. Within 10 minutes we had everyone sat in the church (aside from a large portion of my family who turned up only moments before the bride!) and were ready to go. Laura soon arrived too and looked absolutely stunning. She's very, very pretty anyway, but as with all brides, she looked amazing. She grinned all the way down the aisle and just looked so pleased to be there- as did Jay when he saw her! And quite right too!

The service was good. We sang the hymns loudly, watched them make their vows and suddenly it was time for my reading. I'd practiced alot during the week, to make sure that i didn't read too fast this time round, and I think I suceeded too. It went really well and I didn't trip over my words. I was really pleased and I got a huge beam from Laura and Jay at the end, which made it worthwhile. Before long they'd exchanged their rings, and we ushers had followed them round to the lady chapel as they signed the register, and then we followed them out for procession and the photos!

Don't they all look happy? There were lots at the church, but it didn't feel excessive, mostly because the phtographer was so much fun- always laughing and enthusiastic and getting the best from everyone there. That's what you want. This was also the time for ctaching up with everyone inbetween photos, as there were so many people I hadn't seen for ages. The main problem with a big family wedding is that there's never enough time to ctach up with everyone properly. There were people I wanted to chat too more, but simply didn't get the oppotunity to do so, which was a shame. Being an usher and a brother too, I did have to be in lots of photos, which meant Steve was pretty much left on his own for quite some time too. I think he coped OK, but my family is large and overwhelming, and it left him in a bit of a state at the end of the day, after everyone had come up to him and said hello. I forget what it's like, because I've grown up with them!

The happy couple left for the reception and we soon followed them. Great Fosters was quite a venue I have to say. Immense and beautiful gardens, a lake, gooses, a maze... wonderful setting and the staff worked hard throughout the day to ensure the day ran smoothly. It was a couple of hours until the meal, so there were more photos to be taken, more socialising to do, more time to watch Luke, Lily and Annabel run around! The sun came out for this part of the day too, which made it all the more special as it had been overcast and a bit cold all morning, so there was lots to enjoy.

The tithe barn was quite a setting for dinner too. The photo doesn't really do it justice I'm afraid, as it looked really stunning. The flowers on the tables were beautiful, as was the cake...

The meal was good too, though no-one was particularly fond of the starter it seemed. The beef was brilliant though, as was the pudding. Inbetween courses we had a limerick about Jay and Laura to write and Mike and myself went round the tables to make sure everyone was ok and having a good time. Some tables were easier to talk to than others, but it was well worth making the effort.

Then the speeches. They were superb. Brian was great, sharing some lovely stories about Laura and Jay, while Jonathan managed to reduce just about everyone to tears. It's easy to forget that underneath all his cool exterior, he's actually a great big softie really, and his speech left all the softness exposed, just as it should! We have had our problems over the years, but I wouldn't ask for anyone else to be my brother really... we've had so many fun time together in the past, and there are many more to come too I'm sure. Anyway, Mark was able to share some of those stories from the past in his speech. It was just lucky that Jay had had such a silly childhood really, imaginary friends the whole lot! I was pleased to see his bear, Sammy made it along too- it wouldn't have been right if he wasn't there too! So lots of laughs and tears and then I read the limericks out, which got some more laughs too, even if I stumbled over the words a little because the light was bad and I couldn't read them very well, but no-one seemed to care too much!

The evening was more of the same-more chatting, some dancing, tea and cake! By midnight, Steve was completely overwhelmed and needed to go to bed... I understood, but I'm not sure I'm not sure I was as understanding as I could have been at the time. He coped really well with it all I have to say, as we're often in an awkward position at events like this, as we can't really be too coupley, for obvious reasons. There were times throughout the day i wish i could have hugged him and shown him off for the wonderful and special star he is... but I couldn't, sadly.

Anyway, this has been long enough... but there will be a few more stories from the weekend to come I'm sure. :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Build up

Wedding build up continues! I've practised my reading several times- though I don't think either the Thesp version or Vera's reading of it will be the style I go with somehow, as amusing as it'd be for me! I've just got to remember not to read it as fast as I read the Shakespearean sonnet at my sister and Mark's wedding. I think I'm a bit more confident about public speaking and the like now than I was then.
Jay popped in last night, and he seemed really unfazed by it all. That's good. I think all the organisation is about done and he can just get excited about it now, which is exactly the way it should be. I still can't quite believe my little brother is getting married though!

It's been a funny old week. I've been very tired and a bit grumpy at work and spent another morning bickering at Great Hollands yesterday. Oh well, it happens and it's not worth getting upset about really. So I won't.

I had fun cutting up songs for use in the next play, where music is going to be quite important. I think there's a few bits that will be of use to Si as incidental music as well as background music in the scenes to make 1967 come alive! Everyone is up for the recording, which again will be spread over two days because of Dave Tudor's availability, but I'm sure we can make it work. At least most of his scenes will be with me, making it easier than it might have been otherwise.

I've also watched almost all of Trial of a Time Lord this week. I'm not going to apologise for that or for the revelation that I enjoyed it more than I ever have done before- even the atrociously written Vervoids section was fun to watch-mostly because of the actors and the little things from that story that have become iconic among my friends. The Sil section was the best one though, as I finally feel I've got a good idea about what's actually going on there and it's very funny too. Honest!