Thursday, 2 June 2011

A plan! You have a plan?

Well I did at the start of the week, but like all plans it did not survive first contact with the 'enemy' ... real life!

It was my intention to spend Monday sorting out my father's house and removing as much of unwanted stuff that was there as I possibly could. Tuesday was to be spent doing some of the household, personal, and business-related chores that needed to be done. Wednesday was set aside to run at least one play-test of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules and to make the unit bases for my LITTLE WARS army, whilst Thursday was to be a day when my wife and I could relax and go out for lunch with some friends. On Friday we were going to visit my father-in-law in Herne Bay so that we could do his shopping etc.

Monday went roughly according to plan, and I was lulled into a false sense of security that things were going to work out the way I had planned them to. On Tuesday, however, one phone call and one email changed all that.

The phone call was from my father-in-law. After previously (and very firmly) rejecting the idea that he should move from his bungalow on the outskirts of Herne Bay to a flat in wardened accommodation closer to the centre of the town, he had changed his mind and now wanted my wife and I to come down and 'sort it out' for him. As he also wanted to visit his bank and to have his shopping done on Thursday, we agreed to move our visit to him to the Thursday.

My wife then received an email from an old college friend. They are having an informal get-together at Friday lunchtime prior to an official anniversary event on Saturday. My wife did not want to go to the latter, but now that Friday was free, she agreed to go to the lunch they have arranged ... in Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire! As they will no doubt want to have a drink with their meal, I have been deputed to do the driving. This is not all bad news, as Bishop's Stortford is about thirty minutes drive from the Imperial War Museum site at Duxford, and I intend to drop her off and then go there for a couple of hours.

This left Wednesday untouched, and I began to get together the stuff I needed for my play-test and the bases I wanted to make. But first I needed to talk to the estate agent (realtor if you are reading this in the US) about what else needed to be done before my father's house could be put onto the market. I therefore popped in to speak to them about visiting the house to begin the process ... only to find that they had already done all the measuring up and data collection they needed when my brother had asked them to do a valuation earlier in the year. I therefore arranged for them to make another visit to take photographs and signed all the paperwork necessary for the house to be sold by them.

Once the ball was rolling, I had to make a hurried visit to the house to make sure everything was neat and tidy before the photographer arrived. I then informed my brother and sister of what was happening, and began the search through the numerous files of paperwork my father had left behind when he went into his residential care home, to find all the documents that will be needed. Needless to say, this all took a lot longer than I had expected, and my play-test and base-making did not take place.

I still hope to spend some time before next Monday fighting a play-test battle and making the unit bases. I need both for COW2011, which takes place in just over a month's time. I have a plan to ensure that everything that I need will be ready in time ... but as this week has already demonstrated, plans can very easily go awry!

10 comments:

  1. Bob,
    No plan survives contact with the enemy.(But as a teacher, you know that already!)
    The French make their plans out of chains; when a link breaks, the whole plan collapses. Now I make my plans of rope; if it breaks, I simply tie a knot and carry on.(not an exact quotation, but the gist of a remark by my namesake)
    Whenever I plan to do something, like attend a kriegsspiel in Hertfordshire, or go to Chestnut Lodge, or a lunchtime lecture at NAM, my wife, or children or both always seem to get involved in something or arrange an alternative activity that must take priority. As a result, I've given up making long-term plans and seize opportunities when they come up.
    To quote the illustrious Arthur again: I have no plan; I shall be guided by circumstances. I always intended to put it on the cover of my teaching file to antagonise Ofsted inspectors...
    Regards,
    Arthur

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  2. Yes they can, still it looks like it will work out.

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  3. The next best thing to having your plan drive events, is reacting swiftly and effectively when it gets changed on you.

    It should be a bit of relief to have all this sorted.

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  4. Ah Grasshoper!

    You must plan to expect the unexpected.

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  5. Is is a plan so cunning, you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel?

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  6. Arthur1815,

    Even though I know that whatever I plan to do is unlikely to actually happen, I still make plans ... if only so that I can be grumpy about them not working!

    Sir Arthur (I think that he was still called that at the time of the alleged quote) was absolutely right about plans; they have to be flexible and capable of quite rapid change when the circumstances require it.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. I like the idea of putting the quote on your teaching file, although in my experience it is senior managers who need to learn the lesson about planning!

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  7. The Angry Lurker,

    If I have a plan, but things don't quite happen in the order they should, I can change my plan to suit. If I have no plan, nothing will get done.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Ross Mac,

    My plans are always made with the assumption that they will have to change as circumstances require. This week may not have gone according to plan ... but I have made some real progress on some of the important things that needed to be done.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Brian Carrick,

    I do, Master, I do!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Conrad Kinch,

    It is a plan made by a fox who has just been made Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

    All the best,

    Bob

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