The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley

From Robert Burns’ poem ‘To a mouse’, which, in its penultimate verse, concludes, ‘ The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!’

Today, after telling Alison about his discussion with Tom about the future of the shop and outlining his hopes, they talk through some of the implications. He then asks her whether she has any long term plans for her wedding planning business. She drops a bombshell.

Alison has enjoyed the buzz of working with Greg and Katie in their three-way business, but she sees the future of her own enterprise as being online, yet with a personal touch, in America. He is shocked. He asks how long she has been planning this, how imminent her leaving will be and how it leaves them and their relationship.

She admits that the idea itself is quite recent – that such a possibility has only arisen recently – and that she hasn’t really fully explored how to go about it, let alone when her plans could come to fruition. Regarding their relationship, she tells him that she loves him, but realises that a time could come when she’d wish that she’d followed her dream. If that were to come to pass, she might finish-up frustrated and blame him for holding her back. She hopes that he wouldn’t begrudge her looking for continued self-fulfilment.

Greg is upset, but he realises that she is right – that, if she really wants to do this, it would be selfish of him to try to stand in her way. She asks whether he’ll want her to leave – for them to split up now, rather than later. They agree to continue as they are for the time being. He loves her, and can’t see himself stopping loving her. He hopes that they can keep in touch, but understands that she’ll probably meet someone else in the States.

Meanwhile, how are Katie and Geoff getting on in their marriage? More tomorrow.

The featured photograph today is one that I took this week in my garden. It celebrates autumn colour during lockdown and shows an Acer Palmatum Dissectum Atropurporeum – a drooping red maple with finely cut leaves. I took the shot with my Pentax K-1, 36 MP full-frame camera mounted with a 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens at 70 mm and f/2.8. The ISO was 100 and the shutter speed 1/30 secs. The camera was tripod mounted.

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