..then you’ve never tried.
As so often happens Tom Jones was right when he said “Its not unusual” and indeed it isn’t unusual for me to have messed up. My motives were good. Time together as a family. So when free tickets were available for an evening out together, my interest was stirred as you can imagine. The event was “Cinema in the City” – a showing of Blade Runner outdoors at the Lido – Plymouth’s beautiful old outdoor pool. This evening would combine culture, supporting a local event and a flippin’ good film. What could possibly go wrong? Well quite a lot as it happens. Firstly the event was on the same night as a bbq the offspring wanted to attend. However, we weighed it up and as we spend at least three nights a week ferrying them to events all over Devon and as family evenings together may be more difficult to come by after October, we decided to issue a three line whip and insist that they come with us. This does mean, however, that the pressure is on to produce a fairly entertaining event, as they are missing something they would prefer to be at.
Things started to go wrong when the weather changed mid-week. “Changeable” was the phrase used by the man in the 1980s suit who does the weather. “Apocalyptic” may have been more accurate. Still, we wouldn’t let a little thing like the weather put us off. So, we wrapped up and off we went. 8.30 it said on the tickets and we turned up a little earlier than that because we are northern and that’s what people who have manners do. Trouble was, when we collected our blankets (maybe another ominous sign) the lady on the desk informed us that it would be kicking off at 9.30 (ish) Sorry? An hour and a half? Sitting a yard away from a not exactly mill pond like ocean? And it won’t start until 9.30? I enquired at reception about the reasons for this but was told that it was an experiment and they weren’t sure what time it would go dark enough to project. My feeling was that this is quite an exact science and the aforementioned weather man in 80’s suit may have been able to help them with that one.
Still, we sat there for a while. Waiting. Although I knew that fingers were getting numb and tempers were getting short. I also realised that if the film was the director’s cut – we could be there until the early hours. And then it started to rain. Reluctantly, I admitted that I had made a mistake and we left, returning home to warmth, a glass of wine and a Top of the Pops compilation.You can’t win them all.
But the truth is that if you don’t try, you will never know. If you don’t put yourself out there and have a go, you might as well just curl up and not bother. I have a natural tendency towards invisibility. I hate to draw attention to myself. Sometimes this blog is almost painful for me because my default mode is keeping my head below the parapet. But you do have to have a go. You have to take what you are given and push it a bit. It may or may not go horribly wrong – who can tell? Things just might need adjusting a little for them to work next time. In the case of the outdoor film – a reasonably accurate start time would have helped me. Just give or take an hour or two – I’m not unreasonable. Sometimes, you may need to keep trying and build a higher skill level to make things work. Sometimes you may have to give up and admit it was a mistake. Would that be so bad? Isn’t it worse to watch life slip away and never know how good it could have been?
Wiser people than me have said that life does not fall into your lap. It has to be lived. Jesus sometimes gets a bit of bad publicity for saying
For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Seems quite harsh. But if you read the whole story, it is an observation rather than a curse. Those who risk may fail but those who don’t try never get the chance to succeed. Succeeding could be quite nice I think.
Sometimes failure brings its own joys too. Maybe not for Blake Bergstrom though but bless him for allowing it go out there.