More Haste ….

P1010490 (1024x766)I must apologise if I was a little brusque the other day.  It was the evening of my talk to a local horticultural society, so it was all a bit of a rush to get home, hose off the mud, grab a bite and get out the door again.  My subject was “A Year in the Life of Cliffe Garden, Warts and All”.  All I had to do was
witter on about plants for a while with a sprinkling of everyday adventures. What could possibly go wrong?  Well, to cut an embarrassing and soul crushing story short, I forgot to pack my laptop lead.  As it appears that Georgeham is sponsored by Apple Mac there were no local substitutes; another solution had to be found.  Unfortunately there is the need for more sums.  My talk was at least a hour long, allow an hour and a half.  The life span of my laptop battery is approximately a pathetic 30 minutes, on a good day.  The time of the discovery of said omission was 7.00 and the start time was 7.30.  Home, where the errant lead was residing, was a round trip of at least 50 minutes not including searching for the missing article.  So you see we had ourselves a problem Huston.  My brave OH volunteered to make the mercy dash whilst I started working out whether I could fit a cartwheel or two in the space in front of the screen if he didn’t get back in time.  There was nothing for it but to begin, and I launched myself into the unknown. It it didn’t take long to forget the sword of Damocles that was suspended by an ever thinning thread above my head and I quickly got into my slightly erratic stride.  That is of course until the dreaded “find another power source” sign appeared followed swiftly by the inevitable termination of the show (just as we got to the mushroom compost which may have been appropriate).  This was greeted by a united groan from the audience and a sick stomach from me.  It crossed my mind to take advantage of the sudden darkness to make a run for it, but I held my ground, smiled sweetly and the troops rallied.  Coffee was served, the raffle drawn, some questions answered and the Pony Express arrived with every lead in the house and a lamp (don’t ask).  Soon we were back on track with hardly a beat missed.  My head is hung in shame at my amateurish error, but I have learned from this mistake.  I have learned that the folk of Georgeham Fruit and Veg Society are a sterling lot, kind and resourceful and fun.  They are visiting the garden in September and I look forward to welcoming them and returning the magnificent hospitality and patience they showed me.  Warts and all, huh!

This is the photo is of Euphorbia x pasteurii bashfully revealing its emerging flowers.




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25 responses to “More Haste ….

  1. How awful. This sounds like one of those nightmares where you are in public and suddenly realise you have no clothes on. A similar thing happened to me once years ago. The projector seized up. I am sure I didn’t carry it off with the panache that you did. I certainly never thought of doing cartwheels. It reminds me of the scene from Fawlty Towers where the chef for the gourmet dinner got drunk and Polly had to try and keep the hungry diners entertained with an excruciating rendition of: ‘I’m just a gal who can’t say no’. You could always try this if it happens again.

    • I think this might take over as my new recurring nightmare, the “can’t reach the brake pedal whilst driving down a steep hill” will be pushed to the background. For my next talk I will definitely have some of my opera singing rehearsed.

  2. Sounds as if you kept your cool pretty well! This is the just the sort of thing I would do so I am always quite relieved when I find company!

  3. A few years ago I was invited to run a day long workshop on using digital projectors. I spent a week preparing, checked everything out and drove up to Nottinghamshire the evening before. We then went to the community centre where we were to run the workshop, set everything up and then tested it out. All working I went back to my digs for dinner. The next morning we went back to the community centre and to my horror the laptop had stopped talking to the projector. Fortunately someone had a spare laptop and we managed to transfer all the material and get on with the show.

    I still remember the comment from the floor ‘Thank goodness you showed that even when you are supposed to know what you are doing it can still go wrong. How reassuring!’

    The next day I rolled back the laptop to a previous Windows update and all worked fine again.

    Then there was the occasion at 6.00 in the evening in Malvern when the bulb went in the projector half an hour before we were showing the premier of a training film to 100 senior managers. Now where the heck do you even begin to look for a spare at that time of night in a small market town? We managed, but that is definitely another story…

  4. I’m sure you did a fantastic job, but I do like the idea of you doing cartwheels while singing ‘I’m just a gal who can’t say no’ so I think I’ll ask Malcolm to book you for next year!

  5. Your written posts are warm and entertaining and I bet your talks are too, even with a scary moment thrown in. Good to have a supportive OH to back you up as well.

  6. You’re not alone with such adventures. And you had a great OH to run home and get the lead. And a friendly audience. I think gardening audiences are particularly supportive at times like these. Glad it turned out well.

  7. diversifolius

    All is well when it ends well 🙂 The Euphorbia looks like she doesn’t want to show her flowers.

  8. I remember one business trip to Toronto. I was scheduled to give a presentation early the next morning. Unfortunately, my luggage did not arrive with me. I had to show up at one of those fancy offices in the casual clothes I had worn on the plane. Needless to say, I changed my packing habits after that. Glad it all turned out alright for you. No need for the cannons, after all. 🙂

  9. We have had two talks recently with technical glitches. One like you forgot his cable so we write all on edge waiting for it to fail but the laptop survived. The other chaps laptop died before started the talk so our chair had to dash home and get hers. He admirably filled in with questions and answers. So you see you aren’t alone!

  10. You make an embarrassing situation seem fun and interesting. Would love to hear you speak sometime.

  11. Dee

    Cartwheels…..did someone mention cartwheels???

  12. I once did a talk to a ‘mothers union’ !! about a particular textile technique, I was in full swing when I looked up one old dear was absolutely fast asleep…It was still fun..glad you were able to recover the situation….

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