Funny how brushing up ashes and soot from the fireplace (there are many scattered around this house) leads me to think about the little puppet that is Sooty himself. I did think about the Soot Spiders in Spirited Away and coal miners, cleaning the chimney and air shafts and fossil fuels first but then it was Sooty. I never really liked him, imagine, as a child Sooty visiting your house, he'd be like some awful cousin or nephew with a dumb Tourette's Syndrome, out of control, whispering obscenities and playing stupid pranks. He'd break up your best Airfix kits, knock down your Lego village and then squirt you with a red plastic water pistol while throwing custard. He'd make a mess with jelly and ice cream at the tea table, tear up comics and photos and then your parents would blame you for the mess. Then there's the problem of his magic wand and "Izzy Wizzy let's get busy" all running wildly out of control. I can't recall much about his actual powers, not really Harry Potter standard either more like some drunken seaside conjurer pulling hankies and feather dusters out of hats and pockets. So I'm glad he's gone (not sure where) though he's still lurking somewhere on the edge of my consciousness like a golden, furry and muted Stephen King villain.