Best-Laid-Plans Hodgepodge

Dear and me at a courtyard on the campus of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) in Oxford England. (July of 2014)

The phrase the best-laid plans is a translation of a Scottish proverb that was first published in 1786.

The best-laid plans refers to something that has gone awry, something that has not turned out as well as one had hoped. The expression the best-laid plans carries the connotation that one should not expect for things to always turn out to plan. Like many proverbs, the best-laid plans is usually quoted by itself, though it is not the full proverb. The full proverb is, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. This is a passage from the poem To a Mouse, written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1786. The verse was translated into English, the original Scottish quotation is: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promised joy. Note that best-laid plans is spelled with a hyphen, as best-laid functions as an adjective before a noun. Laid is sometimes misspelled as layed, though layed is not a word. Laid is is the past tense and past participle tense of lay.

And now here are the Hodgepodge Questions on this first day of July!

1. Are you currently making plans of any kind? What kind? 

Currently I am making plans for getting things ready for some summer visitors arriving next week. 

What emotions are associated with the planning process? 

Excitement to be able to share our new environs with some loved ones who haven’t visited with us in our Country Bungalow before.

Tell us about one plan you had to cancel due to the current situation which shall remain nameless. Ha!

We had to cancel our trip to England scheduled for the middle of September. We are very pleased with the cancellation policy of Airbnb. They refunded us our money within an hour. We still need to call British Airways and try to get our money back for our flights. That was a big chunk of change and we hope to have good dealings with the airlines. As you can imagine they are swamped with phone calls. We were going to stay in Oxford. We are disappointed for sure. 

2. Last time you saw stars, either literally or figuratively?

Our country bungalow is in a part of town where there are no street lights and very few lights shine from neighboring properties so star gazing is something we can do most nights when we don’t have cloud cover. It really is amazing to see so many stars and to be able to pick out constellations.

3. Blueberries yay or nay? Blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt, blueberries by the handful…what’s your pleasure?

Yes to blueberries. I like them fresh picked by the handful. I also enjoy them thrown into a bowl of cereal/granola.

4. swim against the tide, swimming upstream, in the swim, sink or swim, makes your head swim…choose one of the ‘swim’ idioms listed and tell us how/why you relate?

In the current climate of our country I’m definitely swimming against the loudest tide. I know there is a quiet tide that I’d fit in with but it is being drowned out by all the angry noise.

5. Sum up your June in a single sentence.

A glorious time in June for family to be all together again.

Be happy in your mask! 

Start them young!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of my favorites to quote in good times and bad times, C. H. Spurgeon:

“Visit good books but live in the Bible”

“Let us not fear the enemy until he actually comes, and then let us trust in the Lord.”

“Lord, help us in such a way that we may see that thou thyself art working. May we magnify thee in our inmost souls. Make all around us to see how good and great a God thou art.”

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the Hodgepodge questions!