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, August 28, 2008


Hey Jude!
Sometimes I forget how much I like The Beatles. Just listening to Love, which has stood up to repeated listens in a way I didn't think it would. It just works, and it's done with such care and attention to detail, that half the time, even after all these listens I'm still sat here trying to work out what's been thrown into the mix each time round and marvelling that outrageous things like the start of Octopus's Garden works as well as it does. Great stuff!

Tomorrow we are off to Liverpool. It's my first ever visit, which is kind of odd, as it really is somewhere I should have visited by now. Somehow that particular part of the coast is somewhere I've missed on my various travels round the UK. I'm looking forward to The Beatles Experience, exploring the city, the strange lamb things Gaz saw all over the city...

And, of course, the wedding too. Should be great fun. Well worth the 3.5 hours in the car the AA reckons the trip will take. Hopefully it'll be a good clear run. We'll have plenty of things to listen to though... we're still bickering over The Auton Invasion or the two most recent BFs. Who knows. We'll find out tomorrow.

Then late Monday we're off to Moraira for sun, reading, swimming and good meals (well we had all that last time, there's no reason to think we won't do all that again). It's going to be a relaxing holiday this time, not like the last one. Not that there's any comparison, of course, but there's something to be said for taking time off just to stop, catch up with some good books (and I have got many good books lined up, oh yes!) and enjoy not doing anything much at all. Bliss!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Down and Safe

Well would you believe it, BBC 7, the archive BBC radio channel of choice spent 3 hours celebrating Blake's 7 yesterday, calling it... Down and Safe. Well I never! What a great title. I'm sure it's just a coincidence though, isn't it? Isn't it?
Just having a quick listen now, as I'd forgotten it was on. Nice tribute from Mitch Benn to begin with, which I thought was going to be all generic, predictable "bad clothes, bad effects, camp, camp, camp" but it wasn't it was rather affectionate. Aww!

I'm still not sure about the new audio series really, mostly because I find it hard to imagine anyone else playing the characters I've come to know and love. I mean, who else could ever be Avon and Servalan except Jacqueline Pearce and Paul Darrow. I'll have to give them a go though for the articles, and maybe I'll find them better then, I don't know. I'm always optimistic.
And as for it coming back to TV, well again I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it, if it ever gets made, of course... who knows. There's certainly still some potential in the idea and there's so many parallels they can make to the current state of the world. It could be great. I hope so.

Of course anyone who wants to read more about my thoughts on Blake's 7 can go to and look up Down and Safe. You'll find all you ever wanted to know about the costuming, if nothing else!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Bank Holiday Weekend

It's been a busy few days.

Friday night we were joined by Ant and Ali for the evening, as they recorded their parts for the two forthcoming audios, Curse of Ratanapura and The Crystal Eye. Ant made a great effort to not sound like his previous characters, which was good, and Ali was brilliant in both her roles. Since she admitted she hadn't really done anything like this for a long, long time I think she did really well. It's a lot to ask of anyone really, but we're always pleased to have new people involved. Of course , as with all these get togethers, it gives us a chance to catch up with people we don't see as often as we should and gave me the chance to have a good chat with Ali and Ant, which is always a pleasure.
But did I really camp it with Steven Moffat back in the day? I don't remember. Maybe someone has the photo? Ant is convinced I did.

Saturday began with a quiet morning at work, followed by shopping. We went to Bracknell, I bought some books (including a book of short stories by Rob Shearman, which I'm really looking forward to reading and Leave it to Psmith by PG Wodehouse, which Lissa rates as one of the finest novels ever written, so I'm going to give it a go). We didn't track down the new Doctor Who figures. Or buy a shirt and tie for me for the wedding on Friday.
So we went to Woking on the way to pick up Chris. I found a shirt. And a fabulous silver tie. Very good. There weren't the figures I wanted, but Steve ended up with a box of figures from series 3, which came in a big box- 10 for £20. Bargaintastic. They look quite good by the TV at the mo, but I have a feeling they won't stay there too long. It's an odd thing collecting the figures. Some of them look good and are worth having, but it's difficult to justify them. I have to say that this is really all my fault as I love the look and idea of the forthcoming ones from the original series- they just look fantastic and seem far more exciting then the new series ones, really.
Went to see Hellboy 2 with Chris, Fran and Joe. It was great fun. Very enjoyable, lots of great moments and very different to the other superhero movies this year. I'm glad we made the effort to go and see it. We're not always good at getting to see things at the cinema after all.
Oh and good luck to Chris with the move to Derby. Hope everything goes well up there and we'll definitely try and get up to see you... not sure exactly when, but you never know!

Sunday we woke up decadently late at 10.20! Oh my!
Went to the Manor to meet Ashley and Mike (and Cameron) and had a good few hours chattering to them. It was good. I was pleased to hear Cameron wasn't too bored though. It's sometimes difficult to know what to say to him and get him involved since he's so much younger than the rest of us.
It was a beautiful evening. I cleaned out Charlie's hutch and we had lovely strawberries and ice cream for tea.

Today has been good too. Great driving lesson, where finally I got the hang of clutch control and only stalled twice! Fantastic progress on the last couple I'll tell you.
Went to Watford. Did more shopping can you believe it. Got some new shorts for the holiday, another book and persuaded Steve to buy some CDs! A triumph!
We also popped in to collect the rabbit run from Paul and Lesley and spent a very pleasant couple of hours with them (and Stuart too). Always good to see them. :)

Oh and Si was ever so pleased with the secret Doctor Who adventure I made for him! Hooray- that's my work done for now!

And now here I am, talking to you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mulling over Mullion trips and PS audios and that kind of thing

It's really nice to think that I won't be working a full week for the next few weeks. 4 weeks of various holidays; wonderful!

I'm back from a little visit to Cornwall, down to Mullion to stay with Grandma. It's good to make these visits. I don't like to be negative, but we never know what's round the corner and I'd like to make sure I make the most of the time she has left. Besides which, now Grandad is no longer with us, I think it's very important to make the effort to keep in touch with her and make sure she's OK. She probably wouldn't like us to admit any of that to her face, but you know, it's true. But, the biggest thing to remember is that I go because I want to. I want to spend time with her. My grandparents, particularly on Mum's side have always been a big part of my life, and she will always be.
Hmm. I'm not sure that was actually what I wanted to write or whether it sounds quite right. Oh well.

It was a relaxing time, mostly because the weather wasn't up to much, so neither was I! There wasn't really much opportunity between the showers to get out for the walks I usually enjoy along the coast, and even our now usual bus trip round the county was somewhat unexciting because we didn't know how the weather was going to go. As it was the weather was pretty good in Falmouth on Tuesday, and I enjoyed sitting in the sun with a cup of tea on the seafront, but it simply wasn't easy to plan anything else.
So I relaxed. I read several novels, I listened to Classic FM, watched the Olympics a bit and chatted a great deal and eat a great deal (though the portions seemed smaller than they have been in the past, thank goodness!). Of course I also showed all the photos from the New Zealand trip, which she enjoyed a great deal, and we watched the DVD of the Trans-Alpine train trip, which brought back from nice memories of February. It seems such a long time ago now.
Rather touchingly when I rang Grandma last night to tell her I got home safely, she said she was already missing me. You know what, that makes it all worthwhile.

I missed Steve though, and I still don't quite feel comfortable having to skirt round the whole of our relationship. It was good to come home and see him again. I'll stop now before you're all sick!

Lots going on, as always the next few weeks. Ali and Ant are coming to record some bits and pieces for the next plays tomorrow night, we're off doing things and seeing people and stuff over the weekend, then next Friday it's off to Liverpool for Phil and Emma's wedding and then the following Tuesday off to Spain for a relaxing holiday in the sun where we don't do much except read lots of novels... well that's the plan, anyhow!

I'm also working away at a story idea for a play next year. It's going to be a bit of an epic the way it stands at the moment. Should be fun, if I can make it work OK. At the moment I'm full of ideas about it, full of things I'd really like to do with this story, but I've got to be disciplined and work out what works and what doesn't, and get it into some kind of shape. I think this one needs to be right or people will be disappointed.

The reactions to Heist! were splendid and I was incredibly pleased with the way it was received. The twist, which was the big thing I worried about went down well and surprised just about everyone (even Martin who was in it!) so I suppose I did OK. There are many things I would do differently, production wise if I was going to do it all again (I still worry about characters moving around in a scene and how you adequately portray that) but you know, I'm proud of it. Not sure I want to be in a hurry to do it all over again though!
There is a certain allure to having complete control over a project like this though from script to direction to production...

Oh and I finished the secret project off too. But more on that soon...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The state of things this week

It's been a funny old week so far. It's rained a lot. A good friend has been very offended by something I said (or at least I think I said it) and I've been feeling guilty about it. I hope he's OK.

I've been extremely tired and a bit out of sorts with the world really. I have lots to do and I haven't felt like doing any of it. *sigh*

What I want is more time. More time to recover, but I seem to spend my life being busy and I'm not so good at that at the moment. I'm really looking forward to my trip to Cornwall to stay with Grandma the week after next, as I might get the time to recover a bit then. I hope so. It feels like ever such a long time since I had some time off work, and with my day off taken up with learning to drive there's not much chance to catch up with anything, let alone myself. I feel shattered.

Work is about to get a great deal more difficult. Lisa is pregnant, Nicola is off on maternity leave and now Pat, who I rely on ever such a lot is off for a hip replacement in 3 weeks time. I don't know how we're going to cope. Staffing, as ever, is incredibly tight and there just isn't the provision for all the hours I'm going to need covered. Pat picks up all the holes in my timetable, when i find I can't be in two places at once and those holes are going to be suddenly uncovered and I have the feeling that everything is going to crumble around me. I have visions of getting it wrong each week, missing hours I need covered out of my requests and the whole thing tumbling down around me.
And it'll probably happen while I'm away. And then things will be bad when I'm back. Or someone will go sick while I'm away and who knows what happens then. Arghh!

I shouldn't worry about these things, but it comes with the job.

On the plus side I have been enjoying seasons 3 and 4 of Grange Hill on DVD. Shame they're probably not going to release any more.
We had a nice lunch at South Hill Park with Pat Taylor yesterday too.