Friday, 22 August 2014


A classic line from the movie Casablanca. More accurately of course, what Ingrid Bergman really said was "play it Sam".

One of the verses of that classic song, sung and played by Dooley Wilson in the film, goes like this:

And no matter what progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed

The other day I met a close friend for lunch. As the meal and the chat progressed up came the question of when we had last met. We were both astonished to discover it was back at the start of March, getting on for six months! We had been in touch regularly, but almost six months had elapsed since we had last met face to face.

This had me thinking about how time really does fly past doing whatever it is we do, or to quote the title of the song above, As Time Goes By.

In that period that has gone by since March I have actually achieved quite a lot; my business has grown like at no other time; I have become a teacher of young students in film; experienced a new landscape in the Orkney Isles and a friend of mine started and finished a 9,000km cycle of the northern reaches of our planet. A lot indeed.

It has been an amazing summer in Scotland, which has spawned incredible growth in nature, and the sun has brought a smile and an air of positivity to all those around me, including myself.

But half a year. Gone already. I'm aware, as most of us are, of the time wasted in those six months, over-thinking situations, and worrying about matters that I have little or no control over. There are also so many things we postpone until another time, when really we should just get on and do what we want to do. As another friend of mine, now living her dream on the island of Gozo, once told me, she lives every day as if it is her last. That sounds depressing, but what she actually means is she will not let a single day go by where she does nothing.

Progress, if that is what it really is, continues every minute of every day, demonstrated by the next must have in technology gadgets, creating stress for those susceptible to the constant barrages of adverts enticing us. But as the verse above says, no matter what progress, the simple facts of life cannot be removed.

How we worry about matters that, on reflection, seem trivial most of the time, that distract us from the simple facts of life. We're all after the same things fundamentally. It sounds like a cliche, but we have to go for it. We have to chase our dreams. We get one opportunity. Life is not a rehearsal.

After all, we don't get to play it again.

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