Tuesday, November 11, 2008


On the way to work yesterday someone activated the emergency alarm in the carriage I was in. We came to a sudden stop in the tunnel and then the voice of the driver came over the speakers (bizarrely to the entire carriage) and asked what the problem was. I didn’t hear the reply (this wasn’t broadcast to the entire carriage) but when we got into the next station the driver came to reset the alarm and a man basically pointed at his own very young child and said “it was the kid, it was the kid”. Next time I need an alibi, I will make sure there is a small child nearby and blame them*.

I went out for a walk on my lunch break yesterday. This was a mistake. I had to wring my trousers and socks out when I got back to the office and my feet were like blocks of ice by the time I left work due to being in wet socks and shoes all afternoon. Exercise may be a good thing but perhaps I need to find a less weather dependent one at some point.

I was helping someone arrange some work related stuff yesterday. It was important, but in the grand scheme of things not very significant. I was feeling a bit annoyed with the whole thing because I felt as though I was filling in for other people’s lack of willingness or experience etc and there were various e-mails being sent and so on and I just felt annoyed by the whole thing. I didn’t know the person I was helping and had never met him, but yesterday afternoon I met up with him briefly to run through what needs to be done today and while we were waiting for someone else to arrive he just commented that he wouldn’t have even known where to start if I hadn’t been available to help him etc and that made me feel a bit ashamed of my attitude really. I didn’t feel smug or anything like that because of what he said, it just made me think that I need to try and be more willing to try and see things from other people’s perspective. In some circumstances I can do it easily. If I know the people in involved I usually try and give a lot of leeway (G might not necessarily agree with this!), but where I am being asked to do things by people, who might ultimately be asking something perfectly reasonable, it sometimes brings out the side of me that puts up some degree of resistance and resentment. If I then get to meet the people involved I am then often struck by a sense that if I had just been a bit more compliant in the first place the road could have been a bit easier and the goal achieved more quickly, without all the frustration along the way. I’m not sure I’ll ever learn though – and that frustrates me and makes me feel even more irritated by the whole thing, or me really.

Last night I watched “Not Forgotten: The Men Who wouldn’t Fight, which was about conscientious objectors in the First World War. It was a really good programme and if you get the chance to watch it then do (it’s on every day this week at 4pm on More 4 or 9pm tomorrow night). I was struck by an epitaph written by WH Auden called The Unknown Soldier which says:

“To save your world you asked this man to die:
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?”


*it was actually the child who did it. He managed to reach up from where he was sitting and pulled the alarm.

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