Saturday, 23 May 2015

Experience is a Wonderful Thing

Its often said that age is a high price to pay for maturity. With maturity comes experience which is a wonderful thing. After all, experience enables you to recognise the same mistake when you make it again.

One day the director in charge of Corporate Thinking at the Canal and River Trust decided to retire. He was wealthy from all the bonus payments and the more than generous final salary pension. He did not want to buy a narrowboat, to retire on.  But he did not want to leave the life of the worlds waterways behind. So he booked himself on a round the World cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life. On deck lazing in the sunshine and eating at the captains table of an evening. Soon he became something of a celebrity on board the Titanic II. That is until, like its name sake the ship foundered and sank.

For several days and nights he was clinging on to a bit of debris. He was constantly being circled by sharks - but the sharks knew a bigger shark when they saw one. He was in the water for days until he found himself washed up on an island beach. The island was completely deserted. He had no supplies, nothing, only the wild bananas and coconuts. He knew it was going to be a difficult task to survive. After about four months, he had built a rough lean to shelter and a signal fire on the beach ready to attract the attention of any passing ship. He felt good about his achievements and the way that he had adapted to the solitary island life.

He was lying in the shade close to the beach one day. Drinking from a fresh coconut and munching on a few bananas.  When the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore. In stunned disbelief, he watched as she walked up the beach towards him. He asked her, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?" She replied, "I rowed round from the other side of the island where I landed when my cruise ship the Titanic II sank." he said 'That's is amazing you were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you.' 'Oh, this thing?' explains the woman. 'I made the boat out of some raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm tree branches, and the sides and the transom came from a Eucalyptus tree.'

Wow that's amazing he said, but where did you get the tools? 'Oh, that was no problem' she replied 'On the south side of the island, is a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock that is exposed at low tide. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron. Which I used to make tools and used the tools to make the hardware.'

He was stunned at her ingenuity. 'Why don't we row over to my place' she says. So, after a short time of expert rowing, she soon docks the boat at a small wharf she had constructed. As the ex corporate thinking director at CaRT look to the shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a long stone walk leading to a cabin and a above that was a luxurious tree house. While the woman ties up the row boat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, 'It's not much, but I call it home. Sit down, please. Would you like a drink?'

No! No thank you, the CaRT man blurts out, still dazed. I can't take another drop of coconut juice. Oh, she smiles 'It's not coconut juice' then adds with a wink. 'I have a still. How would you like a Tropical Rum Runner Spritz?' Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they exchange their individual survival stories, the woman announces, 'I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There's a razor in the bathroom cabinet upstairs.'

No longer questioning anything, the man goes upstairs into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism. This woman is amazing, he thought to himself, whatever next. When he returns to the living room, she greets him wearing nothing but some flimsey diaphanous material, with small flowers on tiny vines, each strategically positioned. 

She smelled faintly of gardenias and she beckons for him to sit down next to her. 'Tell me, she begins suggestively, sliding much closer to him. She stares longingly into his eyes.' She said 'We've both been out here for many months. You must have been lonely. When was the last time you... played around?' He can't believe what he's hearing, he was excited and a bit breatless at the same time. You mean... 'he swallows excitedly as tears start to form in his eyes... You've built a Golf Course?'

And so now you understand exactly why he was qualified to be the director in charge of corporate thinking at the Canal and River Trust.

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