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, August 20, 2009

A Chance Encounter

As some of you will probably know, one of the TV shows I adore is Secret Army. It's BBC drama of the 70s at its very best. It's one I've been revisiting recently and I greatly enjoyed watching series 2 while I was unwell the other week. For those that don't know (and really if you haven't seen it, you should try, I promise you won't regret it) it concerns the work of Belgian evasion line trying to get stranded RAF men to safety from under the eyes of the occupying Germans.

Anyway, this afternoon I met a real life WWII evader. He came to Birch Hill Library to do some photocopying. He was a sprightly 88 year old (and he really didn't look that old) who had come in to copy some forms in order to get hold of a disabled badge for his wife who is now wheelchair bound. I gave him a helping hand with the copier and got chatting to him. Anyway, we got chatting and he showed me what it was he was photocopying. A photograph of a rather gaunt, earnest young man. He explained that was him, on discharge from a German Prisoner of War Camp. He was in the RAF. His plane was shot down over France, and he was picked up by the French resistance. They made him false papers, gave him a French name and clothes and were helping him escape back to England, when he was caught by a German patrol. He was captured, as it turned out he couldn't speak French, and taken to the POW camp where he was imprisoned until the end of the war and the camp was liberated. As he;d been in civilian clothing rather than his uniform he was imprisoned as a spy.

One of the documents he was photocopying was the false papers he'd been carrying when he was captured, along with the documents typed by the Germans when he was imprisoned that he;d kept all these years. They were amazing to see.

What got me was how matter of fact he was about it all. It was something that happened to him, but nothing amazing. He was just doing his duty and doing what he could to survive. I found that incredibly moving.

He finished his photocopies and went on his way, but shook my hand and thanked me for all my help. Somehow I felt that it was me who should have been thanking him for all that he did- him and others like him that fought for us in WWII.

So that was one of those chance encounters that happen when you work with the public, but something I shan't forget.

I hope he gets his disabled badge without any fuss.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm part of a clique apparently. This is something of a first for me, having usually been an outsider, someone who tried hard to fit in and failed miserably for the most part. From the outside though, who can say what is a clique and what isn't it? Personally I just think it's some strong friendships that other people find challenging. My ex-boyfriend had this problem and couldn't accept that I had friends who I liked to talk to and spend time with. He was the one missing out there, anyway, that's not a story for now.

So yes, the old thing about cliques has come up for the umpteenth time this week. I'm so sick of it. Sick of having to justify my place in the world and the places of my friends. It's all so damn tedious. So I said nothing, even though it kind of upset me. I do sometimes think that perhaps I should speak out and say the things I think, but I have this odd thing where I try not because I hate upsetting people, but then I think other people come in and ride roughshod all over people's feelings so why should I worry?

Well I do worry you see. I hate to think that something I'd would hurt someone I think of a friend, but then you see I don't think this friend has an empathy. He doesn't see that what he says might upset someone else- he's been hurt so he lashes out and damns the consequences. I have something in me that makes me think before I do that. Something that makes me stop and think about what the outcome might be of speaking out, because most of the time the things you want to say in the heat of the moment don't need to be said. If you stop, clam down and think about it, then more often than not you can avoid all the nonsense.

But what if I did? What if I posted this blog? What would be the outcome? I mean, I can see exactly what the outcome would be- I'd be knocked down by him all the way across the planet, just for saying things how I see them from my perspective. I got hit by that before, when he made me so made I went round kicking things at work in a way that I never do. I was really hurt about the treatment I got from him- and again he twisted it round in a way that made him the injured party in all of it. That takes a particular kind of egoism.

So this bloody thing with his story wanders on and on and is never, ever going to be forgotten. I'm sick of hearing about it. Sick of the whinging. Sick of the bloody mess. Yes it was my fault for bringing it up and breaking the news in the way it was done, but I misjudged his fragile ego. We've all apologised, we've all done all we could except make the bloody thing, and the funny thing is, the more it's mentioned the less inclined anyone is to want to have anything to do with the thing. It'll never be made now. Too many bridges have been burnt for that to happen.

So there we are. I've said it. Will I press the submit button? I'll have to think about that...