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!

Monday, July 30, 2007

More things and stuff that has been going on

Good grief! I'm here again. It's been a while, hasn't it?

In my defence I've been busy. I've been to sunny Cornwall and had a lovely few days with my Grandma. She seemed in good spirits, but I do worry that she's actually a bit lonely without Grandad. She'd never say, of course, but there's just that little sense. That's why I think it's well worth making the effort to go down for days and spend some time with her, other than the obvious reason that it's great to spend some time with her.
We had a lovely time. I sorted out a few things on her PC and began to make some sense of Grandad's rather random photos (which took some doing- everything was on there about 3 times!) and she in turn helped plan next year's big trip to New Zealand, which she was ever so excited about on our behalf. We even had a day out and took the bus to Falmouth and went on a river trip up the river Fal to Smugglers Cottage where we had a lovely lunch and sat in the sun until there was a thunder storm! It was interesting to learn that General Eisenhower did his planning for D-Day there, and they did all the preparation for the operation around Falmouth. I had no idea.
So it was a lovely few days, and I relaxed and was well looked after. That makes it all worthwhile!

Came home, pottered around, didn't do much, which was exactly the right thing to do with my time off (although I did help Mum shift a couple of car loads of stuff down to the tip one afternoon) and read some good books.

At the weekend we went to Si and Simon's (via Ikea- always worth a trip... 9.45 on a Saturday morning is the quietest time I've been there. I'll remember that!) . The recording of the next audio adventure- Magical History Tour was the reason this time, and we did a really good job on that. We also recorded a little play that Steve wrote, which was good fun and it got a good performance out of Paul! I'm really pleased these are going well- we've done 4 this year so far and they've all been good fun to do. Isn't that the point? I think so. I really enjoy the writing and performing and I think, dare I say it, I'm actually not as bad as I thought I might be at the acting. I've played a bigger variety of characters than anyone else so far and I reckon I've done a good job with them all. Si was very complimentary about me, which was really pleasing to hear, especially as no-one really commented on my performance in Soap.
We took photos, we ate sandwiches, watched some treats and Si got drunk and accused the group upstairs of stealing Martin Penny, which was amusing! Oh and Debbie Harry is an icon. That was obvious.... everyone fancied her in the Blondie vids we watched!

Yesterday we went to see Transformers. Against all the odds it was a really enjoyable film. I thought I'd hate it, but I really enjoyed it. It was very exciting, rather funny in places and the plot just about hung together. And the robots were shiny. Hooray! Who'd have thought it, eh?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Interview Time

Gareth challenged me- and in the interests of keeping this thing going , I have agreed to be interviewed... so here are my answers to Gaz's tricky questions!

1. What is your favourite cake/tea time treat, and why?
Battenburg Cake is still my all time favourite kind of cake. It's the mix of the vibrant colours, the ultra-sweetness and the marzipan that make it a winner. I haven't had any for ages though, and you know what I didn't even get a birthday cake this year either... hint, hint!

2. Trapped in a lift at a convention with Colin Baker or Nicholas Courtney? Why?
It would be easy to say Nick Courtney because there would be more room, but that would mean. I'm going to go for Colin, because he's a really lovely person, and a great raconteur. he could tell me some stories while we wait to be rescued and I'd be happy to chat away to him.

3. Rank in order of preference The Face of Boe, Vervoids, Sontarans & the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe; and explain.

Sontarans, Boe, Vervoids, Max.
Sontarans win because although the idea of a race living for war is quite a cliche, the idea of them being cloned was quite novel at the time. They looked good (well the first couple of stories anyway) too- a nice design.
Boe second because he's just so cool- especially when he teleports away at the end of New Earth.
The Vervoids third because although they looked rubbish, they had a pretty good motivation.
Max comes last because he was just a blob on the ceiling and they should have just let Simon Pegg be the villain in The Long Game.

4. What's the 2nd worst job you've had, and more importantly - why wasn't it the worst!
The second worst job I ever had was my holiday job at Tawny Transport. I was the boss's son and no-one really wanted to work with me. The only person who did was a guy called Kevin, who was ever so nice to me (and one of my Dad's few friends) and he sadly died a couple of weeks back.
The worst job I ever had was cleaning up after Ascot Races. It was hot, smelly, and poorly paid. I worked hard, got patronised by all the toffs at the racecourse and had a thoroughly miserable time of it for 5 days. On the last night I went and the decided it wasn't worth being there so cycled home again.

5. Top three favourite writers (screen/book/play whatever) - rank and explain!

1. Iain Banks: he's just awesome. As people might know I read The Crow Road one summer, and I was hooked. It made a huge impression on me at the time and remains my favourite ever novel. I've thoroughly enjoyed all his work (well I haven't actually read much of his SF stuff, but I keep meaning too) and it;'s incredibly exciting whenever he has a new novel out.

2. Terrance Dicks: I'll nominate Uncle Terrance because it was his books that made me want to learn to read in the firt place. I wanted to read his Target books on my own and indeed I quite quickly got up to the stage where I was able to. He was major influence on my childhood, not even just his Doctor Who books, I'd read anything he wrote! He also wrote some crackiong Doctor Who stories of course too!

3. Thomas Hardy: My favourite classic novelist. I just love the way his books are so doomy. There's more misfortune in the lives of his characters than most novelists would even attempt, and yet they're not really depressing. They're quite captivating tragedies. He was the first author I sought out when my English Lit teachers at school encouraged me to read more widely and I suppose I have a fondness for him for that reason.

So who wants to be interviewed?
01. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
02. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
03. You will post the answers to the questions (and the questions themselves) on your blog or journal.
04. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
05. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

The events of recent days

I had a lovely birthday. We were up early to take advantage of a rare full day of sunshine and experience the thrills of Thorpe Park. Over the last couple of years we've talked about making the trip to Alton Towers, but that's just too far away for a day trip, so we settled on one of the local theme parks.
Legendarily, Chessington World of Adventures was the better of the two, having the better rides and the lovelier setting and animals and all, but over the last couple of years they've made an effort to put some better rides in at Thorpe Park, and so it won the honour of hosting my birthday trip!
It was great! In some ways I've lost some of my fear of rides. I used to be a big wuss and wouldn't try anything that turned you upside down or went too high or whatever excuse I could find. However this time I was willing to give anything a go, except Stealth. Stealth is a beast of a ride, rising 205 feet in the air and reaching 88mph. No way. Far too high! I got vertigo just looking up at it!
But the other rides were great fun. Colossus and Nemesis Inferno being highlights. The Tidal Wave was pretty good too, if only because on a hot day like Saturday getting drenched by gallons of water was a joy. There's a wonderful moment on that ride where you're at the epicentre of the explosion of water and it all just seems to be hanging in the air around you... before it all pours down on you. That was good!
After an exhausting day of queuing in the sunshine we went back to Chris's place for a barbeque. I ended up doing the cooking, but I'm not going to complain about that because it all turned out rather well. Even the chicken, which isn't the easiest thing to get right on the bbq!

I got some great presents and want to say a big thank you to everyone who joined us at Thorpe Park and all my wonderful friends who sent cards and texts during the day. It always makes me feel special you know.

Sunday was our uncool day, as we took Mum and Dad to see Genesis with us. To be honest, these days I'm beyond caring about what's cool and what isn't and I'm happy to like things just because I like them! So yes I rather like Genesis! Growing up with them, how could I not, really?
The show was pretty awesome really. The set list was designed to appeal to fans of all their many periods, which worked well. In fact I probably enjoyed this more than any other time I've seen them, because the set list was so good. There was stuff played yesterday evening that I never thought I'd hear them play live- The Cage Medley which was simply awesome, Ripples which was a huge surprise and starting with Behind the Lines (without the singing anyway) which was a brilliant barnstorming opener.
The songs were really well chosen, as they played a set that would keep fans of all their periods happy. The songs from the mid 80s stand up so much better live too!I was sad they didn't do That's All, and there were several other more unlikely songs I'd have loved them to do, but they were always the really unlikely ones! The only one I'd rather they hadn't done was Hold On My Heart, which is a bit dreary...They can certainly put on a show. Phil may not be cool, but he can work a crowd wonderfully. It's always good to see the tambourine theatrics again!So good stuff, and the second best comeback of the year!

And then a pretty ordinary week at work. I'm feeling pretty knackered after the weekend though, so I'm pleased that I'm off work and going down to Cornwall to stay with Grandma next week. Actually I'm really looking forward to that trip- it'll be restful and I'll be well looked after I know! I think it's important to make the effort to get down and see her, firstly because I love her to bits and secondly because these days I'm ever more aware that you never know how much time your older relatives have got left and I'd kick myself later if I didn't make the most of the opportunities to go and spend time with her before the inevitable. I've been more aware of that since Grandad died a couple of years back.

We went to see Dad's new place this week too. It's compact but rather nice really. It's a little flat above a garage, and is a whole lot nicer than i expected. I think he'll be very happy there- in fact he already seems to be happier! I couldn't live there because of the pitched ceilings which slope to heights that would make things difficult for me! I'm pleased to see him getting sorted. I was sure for a while he wasn't going to!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Being there.

Sometimes it's very difficult to know how to react. Last week, one of my Dad's few friends died. He was a guy called Kevin and he was a really great guy. He was one of the few people I worked with when I was a holiday stand in at Tawny Transport during my university holidays that treated me without contempt and actually made me feel it was worth my time being there. I never got to know him too well, but he was always friendly and there to help if he could when needed, and he helped me out when I moved from Croxley Green all those years ago. It's his funeral tomorrow and I'm going with Dad.
I don't quite know how I feel, about funerals. I've only been to one, Grandad's, and that was really harrowing. This one will be different, and harrowing for other people, but it's still sad, isn't it?

This evening I learnt that my Uncle Dave has prostate cancer. How are you supposed to react to that? It's very difficult to know what to think and say. It's quite advanced and because of his ongoing stomach problems he can't have Radiotherapy or chemo, so I'm not quite sure what else they can do to stop it. I suppose he'll find out tomorrow in hospital in Bristol. The good thing is that this type of cancer has a good survival rate, even in the fairly advanced stage his is in, so hopefully they'll be able to do something to stop it spreading further.
But how do you react to that? He's not an uncle I'm really close to, but that doesn't change the fact that he's family and I have to be there for him, if needs be. Not that I can do much to help really I suppose. Just keep Dad positive. Prhaps for now, that's enough.