It’s nothing new I know: to get something done, you need a deadline. If you don’t have one, then the only way that things are going to happen is if someone else does it for you. And the only way they’ll get it done is if they have their own deadline. Just think of that shoemaker who relied on those elves working the nightshift. But a deadline is an awkward little fellow. He’s never quite where you want him. He’s either too far away, in which case he is ignored and may as well not be there at all, or, as Leonard Bernstein would concur, he’s way too near. Leonard said,”To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” Of course he was writing and conducting musicals – slightly trickier than writing one’s first blog. But either way, without a deadline things just don’t happen. Perhaps the hardest thing is having to invent one in order to get things rolling – like I have here: I want to have my first blog up by 2pm. A synthetic deadline. And if I miss 2pm, absolutely no-one will mind. So mine is a synthetic deadline with a safety net. Arguably the best sort. And once I press ‘publish’ it will evaporate into the ether leaving no visible trace of its existence whatsoever. But I alone will owe it a great debt of gratitude. For without it this blog wouldn’t have been written. And without his many and varied colleagues all those wonderful stories out there would remain untold.