Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The best laid plans

I am a great believer in having plans, even when one just knows that they're going to come to naught. At least if you have a plan, you know what you are deviating from, and by how much you've been knocked off course by events.

I have been working today on our plans for this summer. I have made a Planner, which runs to thirteen pages of tables, taking us from next week through to the end of August, with sections for each member of the family plus the boat. From this we can see at a glance when Baz has AS exams at the same time as the RN Rally, for example, and that Aaron is in Florida when we need him for the Wolverhampton Flight. I have also made a list of various optional activities with the implications of their co-dependent variables. From this I have deduced certain conclusions (all pending approval by Jim) pertaining to this summer's activities.

The RN Rally and the IWA Festival are fixed, booked up, paid for, and definite (definite targets, at least). We have beaten a dignified retreat from the idea of getting the painting and signwriting finished before leaving for the RN Rally; what we will probably do now is have Warrior shotblasted, primed and looking halfway decent for that (because at the moment the paint is just embarassingly awful). Then at least it will look like a work in progress rather than a very badly painted boat. My hope is that we can then come back and do the painting and signwriting in the two months between the Rally and leaving for the Festival; the alternative is to do it in the autumn or even next year.

There is also the possibility that we might not come back from Cambridgeshire, at least for a while. Warrior was built by John Shotbolt at Ramsey (for himself), and we are certainly intending to pay him a visit while we're in the area (another reason to have Warrior looking its best) and he did once say that there would always be a space for Warrior at his marina ... certainly it would be a nice spot to be for winter visits, and we could always drop in to Floods Ferry too (where we used to keep Helyn) - maybe even take part in the annual dominoes competition again. All of this, of course, is highly flexible, but it was a worthwhile effort just to get all the options and permutations sorted out in my head.

On the other hand, I am also very taken with Sir John Harvey Jones' view that:
Planning is an unnatural process, and the nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.

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