Frank McMullan's blog

My post-retirement blog adventures

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…

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…gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!
[from “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough”, by Robbie Burns]
Meaning: Our best plans often go wrong, and leave us with regrets, rather than the satisfaction expected!

Well, today was supposed to be the start of the next phase of my post-retirement adventures, this time in the USA, but Uncle Sam had other ideas.  I knew about the 90 day limitation on the US visa waiver program, and even on the restriction of not being able to use adjacent countries, ie Canada or Mexico, as a means of effectively extending the visa waiver for a further 90 days.  What I didn’t know was that this restriction also counts the days spent in the adjacent country: I know it now!  I had originally wanted to stay only slightly longer than 3 months and to make up the shortfall by staying the extra days in Vancouver, BC – my favourite city in the world.  This was not to be, as I learned the hard way this morning.  I have had to rearrange my flights to fit within the 90 day restriction: I won’t now  travel to Portland until next week.  Sadly, I miss out on the opportunity on the way over of staying with my sister, Maria, who lives in Montauk on Long Island.  😦

Opening stanza of Burn’s poem:

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,  [Small, sly, cowering, timorous little beast]
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!  [Oh, what a panic is in your heart]
Thou need na start awa sae hasty  [You need not start away so hastily]
Wi bickering brattle!  [With argumentative chatter]
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,  [I’d be loath to run and chase you]
Wi’ murdering pattle.  [With a murdering paddle]


Written by Frank McMullan

7 September 2010 at 23:41

Posted in Travel

One Response

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  1. […] Uncle Sam, in his wisdom, decided I could not attend rehearsals with my new choir earlier in the week!  In my enthusiasm I have signed up for the cabaret ensemble in Portland Gay Men’s Chorus‘s annual adult Burlesque show on 16th October @ 8pm in the Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland. […]

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