Things don’t always go to plan and Robert Burns’ poem to a mouse sums it up so perfectly; more often than not misquoted, the meaning is clear

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men

Gang aft agley

I predicted a hung parliament several weeks ago, pretty much since Theresa foolishly mentioned her plan for our dotage. Notwithstanding my thoughts on that whole concept and for that matter, our entire welfare system, the media had a field day (as per the mouse in Robert’s poem) and reported her policy to suit their readers and as ever they whipped us all up into a frenzy that led to the current state of affairs. But I’m not going to carry out that particular post-mortem, I’ll leave that to those who know best. Anyway, the point I am making is you can plan your success strategy in detail but you should also plan for failure or at least be ready to respond in an efficient manner so you don’t lose the confidence of the people around you.

There were a few unexpected moments for me this week and in my ongoing effort to practice what I preach, I changed my direction in order to stay on course.

The Marine Theatre hosted another training session for the Lyme Regis Museum this past week so I arrived bright and early to make sure they had access to everything they needed. They run a slick operation and the speakers and presentations I have heard and seen have been very impressive, making ready for the grand re-opening of the museum this summer. But as the starting time approached it was necessary for me to leap from office administrator role to tech support and with the phone securely held against one ear, our technician who knows every minute detail about our theatre tech, talked me through the process of setting up the projector and other paraphernalia to ensure the visiting speaker had everything they needed.

Remember the moment when Clark Kent went into the phone box as a normal person and re-emerged as Superman?

Crisis averted and the museum volunteers arrived non-the-wiser and I returned to the cubby hole that is my office and the Theatre Friends Newsletter I had been writing.

I also start each week and usually each day with Benjamin Franklin’s philosophy:

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail

There are usually very specific targets I set myself, in line with what I want to achieve and in line with the expectations of our board of trustees, but at the same time I allow for the unexpected. You have to when you work in the theatre, especially when it comes to the artistes and this week was no exception.

We have Chis Jagger performing on Saturday night; yes, he of Jagger family fame with that quite well known big brother When I spoke to him on the phone, that distinct Jagger tone was quite indisputable and it evoked all manner of Rolling Stones images in my head. However, Chris is very much his own man and despite his link with fame, he will be bringing his own unique style and guitar with him. The final details of the performance were discussed with our technician, including using our resident grand piano, and the final details of his accommodation were organised with one of our local hosts who are well versed in the manner of performers. It wasn’t complicated but the logistics were varied and having spent some considerable time planning his performance, I opted to be Duty Manager for the event.

Back into that phone box

In amongst the ever-changing world of theatre, I have my own freelance writing and I’m also working in collaboration with local publisher Magic Oxygen my children’s story that will hopefully be published in time for this Christmas. I started writing it maybe 4 years ago and having planned the storyline and stuck to it, Simon West of Magic Oxygen suggested a slightly different tact. I liked his idea but I also wanted to stick to my original plan, that was until I slept on it and decided the small change he had suggested would make all the difference to the future of my main character.

It’s OK to stick to your plan but you should also listen to those around you and think about future plans…long into the future.

I wonder if Theresa had taken that stance whether she would now be making more definite plans for the future or maybe she should have ensured she had the right people around her who knew what they were talking about. My own personal opinion obviously.


The best laid plans of mice & men (and Prime Ministers)
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