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, February 25, 2007

Supreme Branch Supervisor.

You know what? I got the job!

I'm really pleased about it, obviously. Apparently I interviewed very well, having done some research and I sounded enthusiastic about the job! I even admitted that sometimes I feel passionately about the job! Oh my! Now I've just got to see it through...

It's going to be quite a challenge over the next few months, but I'm up to it, I hope. Great Hollands needs a lot of enthusiasm, effort and work to turn it round. It's been uncared for for a few years now and so the standards, use and issue figures have dropped significantly. I think with a little care, that it can be turned round again. Not locking the doors when any kids come near will be a good place to start, along with making it look like a place that the staff care about will make a difference. It's almost a blank canvas for me to work on- what a challenge!
Birch Hill, in contrast needs little work, and has been looked after, so there's less to do. That's probably a good thing, as I'll need a break from all the hard work at Great Hollands!

I'm feeling very tired today. We've had a couple of tiring weekends, what with everyone being over for the recording last weekend, and then a great night with Chris, Tim and Ian in Chobham last night- lots of beer, but not as much sleep as I'd like! Still at least i don't have to worry about interviews or the like now!

Steve is currently addicted to Supreme Commander. I don't really understand the appeal, but I do have free access to the TV in the evenings at the moment, which is nice! I finally got a Blake's 7 review done for The Vervoid this week and I'm just about to watch Duel... if my eyes don't accidently close anyway...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ungrateful wretch!

I'm a bit cross with a friend of mine. I helped him out with some library stuff earlier in the week to support a job application, and I haven't received a word of thanks from him. It doesn't take much to just send a quick email does it? It's rude and selfish and highly ungrateful, especially when i took the time to help in a week where I should have been concentrating on my own job prospects.

The preparation for my own interview going well. I've been doing a little research on current issues- extended schools, heath and safety issues, promotion ideas that kind of thing. The better prepared you are, the better off you'll be. Finger crossed, eh? This morning I've got a slightly later start than normal as I'm working at Birch Hill library, which is one of the libraries I could be in charge of. It's very good timing, as I'll have a chance to have a good chat with Pat Taylor, who currently runs it, and get some ideas from her. It can't hurt, can it?

I bought my first suit yesterday. I can't quite believe that I've got to over 30 without owning one. I've had plenty of jackets and smart trousers, but never a proper suit. It looks good on me I have to say! Maybe it's because I rarely get dressed smartly that it makes all the difference?

Monday, February 19, 2007


I got an interview, and quite right too if you ask me. Friday morning at 11am, I'll be in there with Fiona, Julia and Doreen. It should be comforting to be interviewed by people you know, but in some ways it's worse I think. Especially as I know Julia very well, as she's my current line manager. I'll just have to be myself, answer their questions and hope for the best. I think I can anticipate what they're going to ask me and I know that I've got a wealth of experience to draw on, as well as a good knowledge of the way things work in Bracknell Forest Libraries, plus, of course a fairly up to date idea of what issues are facing public libraries at the moment. But I will be doing lots of preparation this week, because you can never be too prepared.

I had a lovely weekend. Si and Simon, Ant, Dave and Jonno came to visit us, to do some final recording for The Soap of Fatal Death, and to record another little audio adventure for later in the year. They did well. In fact I left the room at one point during the recording of the Exec voices because I was giggling too much! Dave and Jonno were giving their all in slightly different ways and the contrast was brilliant! They were even better than the Vardan style voices I'd imagined! The of course, since I was imagining Vardan style voices, that wasn't too difficult really!
I can't wait to hear the finished product. I think this one will ultimately stand up better than Protii did, if only because the story is better. However i think we all learnt a
lot from doing the first one and we've played to our strengths this time round. I'm looking forward to hearing what Si's done in post-production... and then the reactions...
Then we can write the next one! I think we might bow out on a high before we let everyone else have a go at the writing. Hope so!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Something that's just mine

Sometimes the strangest things really get to me. I'm a pretty easy going kind of person in general, but every so often I find myself getting really frustrated or angry about things that I should just let go. The other night for example, I had been looking forward to having pie and mash for dinner. I love mash potato you know. It's by far my favourite way of eating potato! Anyway, I got home, ready to cook, and found we had no potatoes. Usually I'd be creative and come up with another option, but no, I just got all sulky and silly over it. We had a few chips with the pies in the end, and it was OK... just not what I'd been looking forward to.
I had a similar sulky moment today too, in Morrisons, while we were doing the shopping. For some reason Steve wandering off with the trolley and not going up and down every aisle like we normally do really made me cross. I have no idea why. So it wasn't wholly successful, and I made him put the soap back too, smugly knowing there was more at home... when it turns out there wasn't. There we go.

So what's wrong? I don't know. I suppose in some ways I feel like I don't have much control over things at the moment. Everything I do seems to be at the whim of someone else and I don't feel as if I have much influence. It's probably just a silly passing mood that will flit away as quickly as it arrived. It's not really that I have very much I'd really like to do either- that's the worst thing! I'm not being stopped from doing things I want to do, it's just that I don't necessarily feel like doing the things I am doing, of you see what I mean.

We were talking about this in a roundabout kind of way this evening. I'm reading Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things at the moment, and while I'm enjoying it, i don't think it's actually what I'm in the mood to read. I just can't quite work out what it is I want to be reading. Steve suggests things he's read, which is fine, but his suggestions are things he's loved reading, and like he said when I reacted unenthusiastically to them, "you want to find your own books. Books just for you." And it's true- that's what my reading has always been about. And that's what I feel I'm missing in general- something that's just mine.

Silly huh?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

British Bloody Gas

Hooray for the wonderful people at British Gas!

In the middle of last month they threatened to cut off our electricity due to an unpaid bill, despite having rung them up and paid on their automated line. So I rung them up again, spoke to an operator and then thought no more of it. Yesterday i found they'd taken the money twice, which was frustrating, but not a huge problem, as I thought I'd give them a call and straighten the matter out with them. I spent 15 minutes waiting for an operator, to whom I explained the matter. He didn't quite get what I was on about- saying their system only showed one payment had gone through, fair enough I said, but my records, in front of me, show that I have had two lots of the same money taken out of my account. What were they going to do about that? he still didn't quite grasp that, despite me telling him the dates both sets of money had been taken out of my account. So he put me on hold... and 30 seconds later cut off my call.

Well now I'm really angry. First of all, that's appalling "customer care" and secondly, they haven't actually sorted my problem out at all. So today they're going to get a very snotty letter, complaining about the original matter (and at least I can send a copy of the bank statement to them to prove my case) and also a major complaint, yet again about their appalling customer service. I'd better get my money back too, or else there will be trouble.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Soul Man

Last night we took a trip out to our second gig of the year, a special concert put on by BBC 4 for their Soul Britannia series (which we haven't been watching, ah well). We joined Steve's family for the evening to see many soul stars I hadn't really heard of before- Geno Washington, Jimmy James, Eric Burdon, Madeline Bell & Sam Moore, but it turned out to be a great gig. Although i didn't know the names, I knew the songs and we were soon all up dancing, singing along and soul clapping! The gig is on the TV in a couple of weeks time, so I'll try and catch that and see if we make it onto the screen.
Looks like we'll be making to a gig a month for now, as we went to the tribute to Jim Capaldi last month, now this one and next month we're off to see Air. Great! I love seeing live music.

Steve's family always make me very welcome, and last night Susan and Stuart said a few things that made me feel really good, especially the comment about being another brother to them! I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it's really lovely to be so accepted, especially as it could be really awkward, considering. It's good to know, because sometimes I think I'm perhaps a bit quiet around them, because despite everything my shyness does still come out occasionally. Obviously it's only me that notices. That's good.

Other than that, things are going nicely really. The Soap of Fatal Death had it's main recording session last weekend, with two more planned in the next fortnight, and it all went well. It's amazing how much work Si has completed on it already, and as with last year I can't wait to hear it all. It's great fun to do and I hope that comes across in the finished play.
I've also done my application for the supervisor job. The closing date was last Friday, so I'm hoping I'll hear if I've got an interview sometime this week. Everyone is treating it like a done deal, but I can't afford to be that complacent about it. It's not necessarily mine after all. I'm hopeful, but you never know who else might apply for it, especially as the neighbouring authority has just put 7 out of its 9 librarians jobs to At Risk status. I hope I haven't chosen the wrong career!

Oh and we finally got my bike repaired this weekend! Only 2 1/2 years after I last tried to repair it!