Monday, April 11, 2005

I Have A Cunning Plan

I Have A Cunning Plan

I normally like to think that if I'm not exactly a seat-of-my-pants type of girl I can at the very least go with the flow. That I can decide on a train from Liverpool to Leeds that I'm going to go to Newcastle on the night of Johnny Wilkinson's homecoming later that evening. That I can get on a bus in Rome, not knowing where it's going, and get off wherever I fancy. That I can get a phonecall and a few hours later be in a pub in London drinking free beer. That I can decide that I want to visit Loch Lomand at night and, a couple of hours later, be on shore wondering if I'll get some disease if I have a paddle. I think that the last eighteen months, with its last minute twists and turns, not least rolling up to Blackpool at the beginning of March, has cemented in my head the notion that with a click of my fingers I can be anywhere and, within various legal restrictions, do anything.

Tonight, however, saw yet another indication that I'm not quite as free-rolling as I might like to think. I came online in order to blog, not quite sure as to what about, most likely something to do with Gulliver's Travels and why I think Swift really is a bit odd in the head, and discovered that I couldn't as blogger was down. Under normal circumstances the free-wheeling part of me should have come out and said ok, I'll go and do something else. But instead the schedule monster inside of me which seems to be breaking free at the moment rose up in immediate indignation. Blogger down? But I wanted to blog. I needed to blog. The monster needed to blog. What was I going to do? My schedule had been brought into question. And, at least at the moment, the only thing that I like less than my schedule being brought into question is people wearing ponchos. So I was in chaos.

And at that moment I realised that however last minute, let's go to Manchester and leave post-it notes for Griffin outside of the club where he's doing an interview, I am I like to have a schedule within the seat-of-the-pants stuff. When we hot-footed it up to Newcastle I not only had my toothbrush in my bag, we'd sorted out where we were staying before we'd even left Leeds station. In Rome I had a map. The pub in London required a quick google and a hop on the runs-24-hours-a-day. Even Loch Lomand required me to go and buy guidebook*. So if I like my freedom and the possibility that I might just fancy walking through the middle of New York on my own at night or randomly wearing a dress that I bought when I was 17 now that I'm in my twenties and have, not to put too fine a point on it, filled out slightly, then I still need to know what number bus to use to get back or what top and belt I'm using to deal with my differently proportioned body. As much as I might sometimes create the image that I joyfully operate in under-organised chaos, the reality is that its not true. As soon as the chaos approaches, the monster rears its head and I'm back on track. And, if I'm honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.

*There is a reason why I lost the ability to start sentences with anything other than the phrase 'According to my guidebook...' when I was in Budapest last year.


Val said...

And you laugh when I say 'do we have a plan?' :)

Nik said...

Aha, see this is why I never need a plan. Or a map. Unless it's a pop up map like Joey in Friends...

P.S - They're not 'plans', they're 'things'.

Shona said...

Organised spontaneity is always the way to go ...... the 'Be prepared' toothbrush carrier goes well with the 'where next and make it fast' chaos. Wouldn't have you any other way - monsters and all!

cat said...

I used to carry my passport with me at all times, just in case someone where to sweep me off my feet, and take me to Paris for dinner, on a whim. it never happened, and then I changed handbags and had to make some sacrifices.