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, January 29, 2009


Rome is an amazing city. It seemed to me that every corner yielded a new treasure of some sort- be it a massive great catherdral or grand building with pillars, some Roman remains, or just something lovely to look at. I think my favourite bit of the trip was the first day in the sunshine on Palatine Hill, just looking at the remains of the grand houses that once stood there and realising just how clever the Romans really were. There are so many impressive things they achieved that were lost for such a long time after the empire was toppled. Amazing. And thoroughly awe-inspiring.

We seemed to walk and walk too, which was good. My back is somewhat better than it used to be (thanks I'm sure to the exercise we've been doing irregularly since last September) but I still need to sit down and recover every so often. I tried not to complain too much, but there were moments when I was in some pain. I survived though.

I survived all the art too. It's been noted in the past that I'm a bit of a philistine when it comes to art, mainly I suppose because I've never really tried really looking at it. We saw a huge amount of it on this trip from the collections in the Vatican musuem (and the wonders of the Sistine Chapel) to more modern stuff at the Picasso musuem and the exhibition of the work of Bruno Munari at the Museo dell' Ara Pacis (which I loved). It's difficult to explain why some works appeal to you more than others...more talented people than I have tried to explain that one, but every so often we saw a painting or whatever that just worked for me. It's good, esepcially as I've been so dismissive of it in the past and confined my appeciation of the arts to books and theatre and TV and film. I think I've probably missed out, but I'm catching up slowly.

Steve has put up some of the many, many great photos we took while we there on his blog, so I won't do the same, but they're worth a look I think.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some of this week's exciting escapades

Things that have happened this week include:

Clearing the loft: It's empty at the moment waiting tomorrow's new insulation. We cleared out some more rubbish at the weekend and threw things away. Aren't we good?

We moved things round at Birch Hill Library. This created a separate children's area and it makes both better use of the space and makes the library look bigger. This is one of the great things about having staff in from elsewhere, as I get a new perspective on everything.

I read A Thousand Splendid Suns and loved it. I wasn't expecting to as it seemed a bit grim (as indeed it was) but it ended up with hope for the remaining characters.

I got cross about Andrew Cartmel's whinging on the Battlefield commentary and I don't even like the story either. Honestly he's the most annoying contributor on the entire DVD range.

I wore a hat on the way to work. Yes it was that cold! On Wednesday I even wore my fleece as well as my coat and I was still cold.

We managed to rescue Charlie before the ice cracked too much on the pond he was scurrying over while we moved his hutch. He escaped with wet paws, but for a moment there was lots of concern.

I started lots of threads on PS and everyone responded making it one of the busiest days for ages. I should do it more often. In fact people should start more threads in general and get us all talking.

I sold a signed photo of Colin Baker for 99p. It was disappointing compared to the £122 Steve got for his ID Anthology box. Ah well!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Christmas, New Year, Rome and the New Doctor Who

So that was Christmas. It was a very good one this year and can I say thanks to everyone for some great presents? We're making a good dent in the pile of DVDs of we got bought between us this year- we've even watched a few films, which is very rare. the Highlight for me has been The Muppet Show which remains as great as I remember it being when I was young. It's aged very well.
Though Christmas was generally very busy and tiring as we raced round to see everyone, it was nice to be invited out such a lot with both families. In fact the only thing I regret is that we didn't get down to see Dad and Sue, but there simply wasn't time alas. We'll have to make up for that by going down to see them sometime soon instead. Though I have no idea when, as we're already looking very booked up this month. We've been invited down to see Richard and Mike in Ipswich, but we now, between us haven't got a weekend free until February, can you believe it? Ah well, there's lots to look forward to!

I do wonder why no-one ever invites to their parties for New Year though; do none of our friends have their own parties?! We had a quiet one in together. We watched The Man Who Knew Too Much (which was good), The Muppets, The Adventurer (which is everything we expected and more besides) and started the annual Doctor Who jigsaw. They make Steve quite obsessive you know. I left him to it half the time!

We're off to Rome for a few days in a couple of weeks. It's Steve's 30th birthday and he decided that he'd like to go away and Rome was top destination. It should be good. It's a city I've always wanted to visit and it might be best experiencing it without there being too many other tourists around. If nothing else we'll eat very well, but I'll have to watch out for the cheese. Steve wouldn't like it if I was grumpy after all!

Of course the major news has been the casting of the new Doctor, Matt Smith. Who indeed. I hadn't heard of him before, though I had seen him in The Ruby in the Smoke a couple of Christmas's back. He seems rather likeable really and I'm sure he's a very capable actor having had some tremendous reviews for his stage work. Time will tell, but I'm quite happy with the casting really.
Of course not everyone is and there's been the usual insane opinions posted about him already all over the forums. I'm sure half the people who post these things don't think about what they're writing before they put them down. I just don't understand how you can be so down on something or someone before you've seen them in action (and it's over a year until we do yet). Yes he's younger than any other Doctor, but obviously Steven Moffat sees something in him that makes it worth casting him. Let's not forget we haven't seen his audition, we know very little of what he's capable of. I know I'm always stunningly optimistic about these things, but I trust the production team to make the right choices. they haven't really got it wrong so far.

On Saturday night as I watched the Confidential special I did get a real pang about David Tennant leaving though. He's been a great Doctor and a wonderful ambassador for the show. I'll miss him and his enthusiasm for the show. He's not my Doctor, but he's certainly quite close to the top in my league table of Doctors... I haven't really ever considered where they all come in the league for a long time. It was easy in the old days, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll have to think about that one...