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, November 29, 2007

The inevitable outcome

The inevitable happened on Monday night.
It's strange that even though I was expecting it, and I knew what the phone call was going to be before I picked it up (I thought that Dad would be the only person to call at 11.15pm) it hasn't made it any easier to deal with. I was a stunned by the news- it made me feel numb, not ready to cry straight away or anything. That did come a bit later and I had a strange day Tuesday where I was only really half with it all day. I was tempted to stay off work, but decided to try and have a normal day so that I didn't sit and dwell on the news all day.
Now we have the funeral to come, which is currently set for next Friday, but which might be postponed if the Doctor's notes aren't accepted and they have to do a post mortem. Then we're apparently having a memorial service at some point when her ashes are buried next to Grandad Norman's in Amesbury. It won't be easy because these things never are, but we'll get through it and out the other side.

Tuesday was actually a frankly bizarre day really. Aside from Steve unusually staying out for lots of drinks with work and not getting home until 12.30am, I also had a series of messages on Facebook from my old friend James Wren.
For those who don't know, James was my best friend for a while at school. It was the first of those really intense friendships I seem to attract, and we had a lot of fun for a couple of years, cycling, being silly and talking... lots of talking. Anyway, our friendship came to an end after the two of us arranged a party while my parents were on holiday that ended up pretty much trashing my parents place (yes I did that!) and when the crunch came he didn't feel able to take the blame for inviting people from Reading College along. Harsh, but true. So that was that- there was a really acrimonious accidental meeting later that summer which ended everything really, and that was that until 2000, when I saw him sat on one of the PCs in Bracknell Library. We chatted, we had a lengthy phone call and there's been a few sporadic emails since then which have been nice.
On Tuesday morning I got an apology for it all, 18 years late, but finally! I was rather choked up by that and his acknowledgment of how important our friendship was to him back then and now I deserved better. I was really touched by it all. It sounds silly, but I think we all like to be paid a compliment like that, especially as this was silly, not very confident, very geeky 15year old self that was being complimented. And you know, we did have lots of fun back then.
I haven't replied to him yet, as things have been a bit odd this week, but it is nice to know that you're appreciated. I will send him a message though. It's important.

On a similar note I just want to say thanks to everyone on Planet Skaro who sent me such lovely messages this week, and especially to Si and Mike who made me smile when I felt really low. I'm very lucky to have such a great group of friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Difficult Things

Funny thing, I don't know what to write at the moment. I should really in some way to commemorate the great Planet Skaro meet on Saturday, which was incredibly enjoyable and one of the finest meets we've ever had. Drank lots, chatted even more and I had a thoroughly wonderful time. I should write about taking Luke to his first Doctor Who signing and how lovely it was to see him chasing Daleks and shouting at them, and being wonderfully surprised to see K9 trundling up and down the shopping centre and having his face painted to look an Ood and the way he wasn't at all flustered about meeting people from the show... or even perhaps the conspiracy that's going on to close down one of my libraries (possibly)...

But it's all somewhat overshadowed by Nan at the moment. She had a couple of strokes a week or so back and was taken into hospital and given a blood transfusion which perked her up a bit and so the immediate threat was limited a little. But then she suffered a massive stroke this week, which has left her unable to do anything, not even talk now, and really, it's just a matter time before the inevitable happens. Not long after her 90th birthday... it's not a bad innings really.
I've been feeling guilty though. And this is a tough thing to admit, but although I'm sad about it, I can't help thinking that if it was my other Grandma dying, I'd be absolutely distraught. I feel bad for thinking that because I should love them equally, or at least that's the theory. Dad's family and his and our relationship with them is such a complex thing. I just can't ever get over that feeling that for much of our childhood, certainly until Jonathan was born at the very least that me and Vic were treated very differently to the others, especially to Dean and Kim. I will never forget the Christmas we spent with them at Bradford Abbas, where there was the box of presents that they handed out one by one and they all seemed to be for the others and not for us.
I can remember not really understanding why that was, and as we got older the discrepancies in the relationship only became clearer. It still hurts a bit, especially so because that never happened with Mum's family, were everyone was treated roughly the same (and still are, even now) and i just don't understand why that was. Maybe it stems from the way that Dad was treated when he was a kid, or maybe they just didn't want to make the effort. Who knows? I don't think I will now.
So I'm finding it very difficult to feel more than sad about this, hard as it is to admit. Maybe it will hit me more when she actually passes away, but really it doesn't feel anything like as painful as when Grandad died a couple of years back.
And the worst thing is I don't want Dad to know that I feel this way, because it'll really hurt him. I think there's enough hurt and pain in his relationship with his Mum as it is, without adding the guilt of our relationships with her to that. I don't think I'll ever get to the nub of the problems in Dad's family... I don't think that now Dad will either, because he'll never get the explanations now from Nan that that requires. Like everything else, it's finally going to be left unsaid and hanging without a resolution.

So I feel guilty for thinking these things, for not feeling as bad as I think I should, and what can I do? I can't make things up. I can't pretend. I'm not proud of that, but I've got to be true to myself, or else this becomes yet another thing in the Hart family that isn't quite real.

This has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to write. But at least I've been honest and now it's been written I can probably deal with it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Not Out, In

By rights we shouldn't be in tonight. We should be out for dinner with Mum and Adam. However, since they've just returned from a holiday this afternoon, that's been postponed for now and hopefully we'll go sometime this weekend instead.
The time has come to take the plunge and do it. It can't really be put off any longer, and I have to admit I'm more curious now than angry and I want to see what he's like. He certainly seems to be making Mum very happy, and I'd like to make her happy by meeting him.

It still feels very odd though. I never really expected to be in this situation really. I don't suppose you ever do. It should be the other way round- the parents meeting their children's partners- you don't expect to be doing it this way round. Maybe I've just had a very sheltered life or something, because I'm sure plenty of other people have gone through this. Anyway, the time has come when it feels right to do so, and so this weekend is the time. I'll report back on that after this happens.

This week has been quite draining and I'm feeling quite tired at the end of it. However, we do seem to have got lots done both at home and at work. I wrote some pieces for The Vervoid, including a whole new column which I shall develop over the next few months, did a little work on Consequences (and I really need to get going on the documentary too...) and listened to Steve's work in progress on The Christmas Gnomes(which sounds great). At work I had the first set up meeting for my new reading group. I wasn't sure about setting one up really, but they all seemed so enthusiastic about it, that I've been won over. So we're starting off with something easy to begin with, The Christmas Thief by Mary and Carol Higgins Clarke, which sounds like a bit of fun, and then we'll see where we go from there at the first meeting in December.
Next week I'm on a course for two days- IOSH... health and safety, yuck. Not good, but I get great dinners at Easthampstead Park which is a plus.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Signing Misery.

It's been a bit of a disappointing day today. I got up extra early to go off with Steve into London for the David Tennant and Freema Aygeman signing today. We weren't nearly determined enough to be one of the 300. We arrived to find that they'd already allocated the 300 wristbands to those who'd arrived earlier and so there was no way we were going to get in. I'd just underestimated the profile of the show and the determination some fans have to get in! It is just one of those things I suppose. There certainly seemed to be a great deal of hype about the event when I popped in a bit later on- and David and Freema seemed to be enjoying meeting the fans which is great to see.
However, I made the mistake of tagging along with Ali and co and went to The Stamp Centre where Peter Davison and Tom Baker were doing a signing. Ali and her friends were great company, but the event itself sucked for the most part. The guests seemed uninterested in the people that were there and carried on their conversation paying us very little attention at all, the prices were outrageous for the things you had to buy to go in and the queue was out in the cold for over an hour. I remembered why I stopped going. Today has left me rather tired and jaded about the whole thing, which is a shame after the success of the Lis Sladen signing in Borders a week or two back. I was lulled into a false sense of security; things haven't really changed a great deal after all.
On the plus side, I did get to tell the Target book artist Jeff Cummins how great I thought his covers were. That's a good thing!

Good thing I had a nice weekend then! It was a real pleasure to go to Gaz's second annual fireworks party. There was really good company, really good fireworks, great soup and a chance to ctach up with ex-presidents of SubOrbital (The Sheffield University Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society). It was wonderful to see Paul again after what must be 10 years or so. He's still a nice guy, and his girlfriend, Sharon was very nice too.
Of course it was great to see Gaz and Sarah (that goes without saying) twice in one week, and to walk in and start chatting like we saw each other yesterday. I really wish we were able to see them more often, but at least we're all realistic and know that our busy lives work against that more often than not. Still, hopefully we'll see them sometime around Christmas as they're down in Bovingdon and we're up in Watford, so that shouldn't be too tricky to organise. Let's hope so, eh?

Last week was packed full of stuff! Tuesday, Mum took me out for lunch and we had a good chat and a good lunch together. That evening I went out for a curry for Jo and Janet's leaving do and enjoyed singing along to the rather good Lennon and McCartney tribute band that were playing there. Wednesday we had Gaz and Sarah over and went out to The Yorkshire Rose for a wonderful meal (they do a good Liver and Bacon there) and had a great time catching up. Thursday went to Camberley Theatre to see In The Cage, a Genesis tribute band, with Ant and Teresa. Good company, but the band were just ok really- not nearly as great as Re-Genesis were, but they did play One for the Vine, which is a good thing to do. We saw Dad and Sue again too, which was good. It's really good to see him so happy.
It's no wonder I'm tired!