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, March 09, 2009

Weekend Watchmen and Who and Them

It's been a good packed weekend.

Saturday morning began with me driving to work on my own for the first time. After a moment or two where it felt very odd not having anyone else next to me to tell me what to do, I found myself feeling quite confident and enjoying it a great deal. OK, I stalled a couple of times, but that I hope was just me getting used to the car.
So I survived. I survived driving last night too. I drove home after a our trip to London- well part of the way anyway. We swapped at Greenford and after a sticky start where I just couldn't get going very well and had a stroppy Mercedes driver beeping my furiously, I drove up the 3 lane A40 to the Slough junction and on to home. I had got the hang of the clutch by the time we got to Slough and so didn't stall again (hooray!) and enjoyed it all a great deal by the time we got home. This is good! At last Steve might have a chance to relax!

We went to see Watchmen on Saturday afternoon. It's been a few years since I read the graphic novel, so the details were rather hazy, but I thought it was a great adaptation overall. It was a very thoughtful and thought provoking movie- not really an action movie- much more than that. It got under the skin of what makes someone put on the hero costume and how they're all disfunctional in one way or another, but are prepared to do the right thing in the end, even if the means by which they do the right thing differs in each case. It was quite gruesome in places (in a far too realistic way at times) and there was some gratuitous sex thrown in, but what was produced was a great film based on the comics. Much more than I expected.

Yesterday we went to Who and Them- a convention celebrating the Barry Letts/ Terrance Dicks team that took us through the Pertwee years. They make a good team, and even 40 years on from when they first met, the friendship between the two of them really shines through. Indeed, one of the most touching moments of the day was when Terrance Dicks was asked about what was the best thing that came out of his time on the show he replied "My friendship with Barry". Aww!
The other guests were almost the equal of them- Katy Manning as bubbly and mad as ever, Stewart Bevan who seemed very pleased and proud to have been associated with the show, Iain Fairbourn, Sheila Fay, Pik Sim Lim and David Simeon who all had various recollections of their experiences on the show and a great panel with three directors- Christopher Barry, Michael Ferguson and Tim Combe who needed so much longer to talk about their time on the show.

It was a reminder though that everyone involved in the show is now reaching old age. Barry Letts seemed old and rather frail, though his mind was still ever so sharp and as he said to me when I was chatting to him while getting his autograph- old age has rather taken him by surprise. These are the people, as Doctor Who fans, we've been used to always having around and it will be sad day that this team is broken up. There were hints that Nick Courtney isn't at all well at the moment either, another reminder that they're not going to be around forever.
That's why events like this are so lovely. It's our chance to say thank you.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Beep Bleep!

I'm currently loving the new single from Royksopp- Happy Up Here. It's just the kind of upbeat, poppy, bleepy kind of song I adore. It makes me smile every time I hear it and the video with the live action space invaders is pretty cool too. I'm really looking forward to their new album at the end of the month.

This year is shaping up to be a good one for music by bands I like. We've already had a really fantastic and very strong album from Franz Ferdinand, we've got Royksopp to come and of course new stuff from the Super Furry Animals which is always exciting. Can't wait to hear what they come up- and the first song "The Best of Neil Diamond" is pretty intriguing... I'm sure I;ll be writing more about that soon enough.

It's been a funny old week. There have been a few problems at work to deal with- nothing major, just a few little niggles here and there. Technology based mainly, so out of my direct control. Some sarcastic comments from a particularly difficult customer didn't help much either, but his recent behaviour has been mostly extraordinary and I don't feel very inclined to help him out or indeed talk about that.

So happy matters! I drove the Jazz for the first time this week. My performance on Wednesday night wasn't exemplary it has to be said- I was stressed and nervous about it and I made some classic mistakes because of that. I acquitted myself much better this evening though with a decent drive home and I feel more confident now. Tomorrow morning I'm off out on my own for the first time, which is a little daunting, but more than a little exciting. There's a route I want to try out which I drove on almost all of my driving lessons and it's probably a good one to try out before I go off to Great Hollands in the morning. So avoid the Sandhurst bypass tomorrow morning around 8.30!

We're watching Oranges are not the only Fruit at the moment. It's great. Rather harrowing in places (especially in tonight's episode) but touching and funny too. Great cast and a great adaptation of the novel. It's been a long time since I last saw it and an even longer time since I read the novel, so it feels new and I can't quite remember what happens, so the last episode will be a surprise!

Off to see Watchmen tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a good adaptation of that too... we'll see, eh?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Over the weekend I put on my Terrance Dicks hat (not literally- I don't really have a Terrance Dicks hat, though if I did it would probably be gween) and had a great time script editing a forthcoming PS script. Jon Masters had written the basis of a great little story, but hadn't quite written enough and with heavy demands on his time was unable to write any more. I read what he'd done and immediately saw several ways to expand his story. There were several obvious things I wanted to do with it that jumped out at me and so I jumped in as soon as I could and volunteered my services.
I'm glad I did, as I enjoyed working on it a great deal. My head was buzzing with ideas- not all of them good or worth doing, but a fair few of them made it through to the finished story. It was just a joy to work on something that someone else had done all the hard work on and just come in and finish it off for them. It's a whole lot easier than starting your own idea and working on that!
I was ever so pleased that Jon liked what I'd done. That was the biggest worry, because you never quite know whether you're doing something that will meet with the author's approval. It wasn't my story and so I was trying to second guess Jon and keep true to his intentions. Thankfully it seems I did.
I can't wait to hear it being recorded now, as I think it's a great little story that will definitely stretch the regular cast.

I should really be writing some of my own stuff too. I've done part one of Massanicassa now, which was fun to do (and working without only a vague idea of where it needed to go too) but I need to sit down and plot the next 3 episodes properly before I go any further with it, so it doesn't stray too far in the wrong direction.
More urgently I need to write Maze of Confusion for the forthcoming CD extras, but I'm just not feeling inspired by it after my initial enthusiasm. I like the opening paragraph, but that's just a cheap crib from somewhere else... ah well, I'll keep thinking about it until I can find a way to make it work.

I also need to work out some questions to ask Paul for the making of stuff we're doing with the next batch of CDs. Fortunately I know Jon's script well now, but I need to get to grips with Martin's as well.

On other matters, I haven't been out driving since I passed yet, but I am insured on the Jazz from tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get out in the next few days. Jay is coming to to do the Xantia tomorrow, so with any luck we'll have that up and running soon too. It's all quite exciting you know.

I've been cycling the last few days. I feel quite unfit. Either that or it;s the last dregs of this four week cold bug thing dragging me down and making me out of breath. I think it's probably the first option though. Looking forward to a good weekend of walking in Wales next weekend though. That should help. Though now I can drive, maybe I'll just end up as unfit as everyone else!