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!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Acceptable In The 80s

We went to a very good party last night. A few weeks back when we were busy recording Christmas Spirits, Kathy invited us all over to her place for an 80s party- a sort of sequel to the 60s party she had a few years back (which we'd enjoyed immensely) and so of course, we weren't going to miss this one.

Fancy dress was essential. But where do you start? 10 years is a long time and gives you loads of possibilities, but trying to narrow it down is really tricky. Some are just too difficult to pull off in the time, some are just plain silly and so a lot of time was spent by us waiting for a moment of inspiration.

It came, eventually! As I've noted in the summer, one of things I've really enjoyed this year has been the Grange Hill DVDs (wish there was more on the way) and that ran right through the 80s... so there we go, easy- I made a Grange Hill school uniform. Bits were easy- the white short, tie (from Moss bros who had one just about the same- minus the small stripe, but the right colours), a grey V neck jumper (which I will wear to work as well!) and black trousers. the blazer was a bit trickier- but a trip to Oxfam found me one which was suitbaly short in the arms (as most of mine seemed to be when I was at school) and just the school badge was needed.
Just finding the school badge was difficult enough. The one from the late 80s onwards is easy, but the original one is hard to track down. Still, a bit of googling later, I'd found one, and with the help of T-Shirt Transfer Paper from Sainsburys, and Steve's help, we'd transfered a badge onto the blazer! Hooray! I added some authentic 80s badges and we were ready to go. I think it looked quite good!
The party was great fun. It's always good to see Si, Simon, Jonno, Paul and Jody, and Kathy of course too. It's also been good to get to know Jason and Emma a bit better too, as I seem to have spent quite a lot of time chatting with them the last few times we've met up.

I enjoyed the music more than I thought I would too. I suppose because I grew up with it all, I found I knew just about all the songs that were played, and the words to most of them too! I don't want to hear any of them for a long while now though!!

Great stuff! And despite lots of wine being drunk, I didn't feel too hungover this morning either, which was nice.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oliver Postage RIP

I, like many of my generation probably, have been feeling rather melancholy today, as one of the people who shaped the TV of our childhoods, Oliver Postgate has died. He created Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers among others, all of which were staple parts of my childhood.

He had a lovely calm voice that always transports me back to those more innocent times when I almost believed that a saggy old cloth cat could come to life with a yawn, that breadcrumbs and butterbeans could make chocolate biscuits, that an old wooden bookend could be a professor, where Norse myths came alive, where a steam train in Wales had a Dragon living in the firebox and when small knitted creatures could live on the moon. What a brilliant imagination he had, somehow instinctively knowing what would entertain kids of all ages. You only have to look at how his creations have endured in the popular consciousness of my generation to see that. It's a testament to all he got right that you can still buy Bagpusses and Clangers in the shops and that kids are still falling in love with his creations to this day. How the BBC must regret not commissioning anything from him after 1987 when the older shows have shown such longevity.

My favourite of his shows was Noggin the Nog. It tends to get forgotten a bit these day, but its blend of cheap animation and magical, mythical adventure stories had me gripped when i was small. I remember the books with their amazing plates from the adventures and the Noggin being all heroic and fighting dragons in the icy tundra. I'd love to see it again and be taken back to that time.

And best of all, unlike some of our heroes, he seems such an unassuming man in the interviews he gave- aware later in life of all the joy he gave to us kids back in the day, but not at all big headed, just grateful to be appreciated.

So a big hand from me, and I hope he's still telling stories somewhere.

Bagpuss gave a big yawn and settled down to sleep. RIP Mr Postgate.