Robert Burns, the hard-living 18th-century Scottish poet, lyricist and culture hero who died aged 37 in 1796, is one of the most oft-quoted writers with roots in the British Isles.

However, as he often wrote in the Scots language, many of his most famous sayings have become more familiar in their standard English translations. One such is: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" — which is usually rendered as, "The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go astray. "

And that's juat how events unfolded on my one-night getaway to remote Aguni Island, 60 km west-northwest of Naha on Okinawa Island in the East China Sea.