The Benefit of Foresight

Posted on October 3, 2012

I was driving out of my close on Monday evening when I saw a hedgehog and its offspring desperately buffering up against the kerb in an attempt to get on the path to safety. Like a true hero, I got out of my car and lifted them all to their safety and they scurried off to carry on their business which presumably involves hogging hedges. I couldn’t help thinking that with better foresight the hedgehog would have seen this problem coming and taken another route rather than putting herself and her children in unnecessary peril. At any point did that hedgehog think when it was climbing down “Oh fuck, how am I going to get up the other side?”

It then dawned on me that this why you see so many flat hedgehogs by the kerbside, after slowly evolving over a period of fifteen million years, the poor bastards have had to adapt to an emergence of millions and millions of cars over the last hundred years. To them all the different cars must seem like a super breed of species that is their ultimate predator; it must be a terrifying existence. Anyway I did my bit and though I am not expecting my picture in the local press with a bravery award, I at least proved myself to be a half decent human being, unlike someone such as Lord Benyon who would have shot them for worrying his pheasants.

When I arrived home after my heroics I lay on the sofa reading a book by Robert Peston and in particular a chapter about the near collapse of M&S at the turn of the millennium. I won’t bore you with the details as I kind of got bored of it as well but the gist of the story was the same as that of the hedgehog, and that is if you allow problem to develop it will ultimately end in disaster. The lack of foresight at M&S was spectacular and there was major panic including a hostile takeover bid from the master of evil, Phillip Green, before at the last minute, not unlike the hedgehog, it was dramatically saved. The similarities end there as the man who saved M&S made a fortune whilst all I got was a sense of wellbeing for half an hour but not even as much as a thank you card.

So after these two examples of foresight failure, I decided that I would from now on, benefit from foresight rather than hindsight, thinking about what I do before I do it and weighing up the possible consequences of my actions. There is no doubt that by foreseeing what could potentially happen I could avoid disasters and accidents such as my Frank Spencer-esque tumble down the steps outside Basingstoke train station yesterday. If I had written a method statement before that calamity took place, I would have surely advised myself not to attempt to jog down the rain soaked steps in leather soled shoes in a bid to save a few seconds of my time. With foresight, I would have trod gingerly and avoided a bruised knee, a damaged ego and a wet arse and I would still have got to the bottom in quicker time.

I aimed to start this process last night but the problem was that I had a busy evening, I got back from London and had to almost immediately take George to an indoor cricket match and I didn’t arrive home until gone ten 0’clock. By the time I had got George and Harry sorted out and ironed my clothes for today, it was was gone eleven and I still hadn’t had any dinner. Fortunately I had prepared it earlier, a nice hot chilli with jacket spuds that would only need a quick blast of radiation to heat it through. By preparing it earlier foresight was already playing its part in my new life.

I quaffed it down with a couple of glasses of Rioja, it was a pretty fiery chilli, but lovely all the same and the wine was smooth and tasty, what better way to end an exhausting day? At 2am I woke up sweating like Jimmy Saville at the gates of a Convent, I had vicious indigestion with my stomach making alarming noises and my temples throbbing under the pressure of a raising temperature, it was horrible. This continued on and off until I went in to deep sleep approximately five minutes before my alarm went off, it was a really nasty night and very annoying as I was really looking forward to a good sleep.

I really shouldn’t have eaten a chilli at 11.30pm…of course, with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done so!

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