the new leisure?

“What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare”

It seems that for many, time to stand and stare is now plentiful, but maybe there’s precious little to stare at. Social distancing and isolation may be entirely necessary at this time, but it can feel, well, isolating… even for those of us lucky enough to have a garden, standing and staring at the same familiar surroundings as the days draw into weeks can be frustrating to the creative mind.

The internet is awash with articles listing “things to do” during the lock-down to keep busy, creative and prevent the dreaded cabin-fever, so I don’t think I have much to add… I’m sure you’re all intelligent people and have your own ideas on how to pass the time.

I have a mental list of the things I would get stuck into if it became necessary to cease work for a while. All the obvious things… Nice long lie-in followed by a cooked breakfast… a stack of books waiting to be read… a stack of film waiting to be developed… take some inspiration from Andrew Sanderson’s “Home Photography”… update my website… take a camera on the daily exercise walk… vary the route of aforementioned walk… have a siesta… bake bread… catch up with some interesting you-tube channels… catch up with some interesting podcasts… make a blackout blind for the bathroom so I can tray develop some direct positive paper prints… get to grips with my 4×5 crown graphic and take some proper portraits of the family… try my hand at cyanotype… tidy the shed… All the things that a busy work and family life push onto the very backest of backburners.

So the first thing that gets in the way of my progress with the above list is that, Monday to Friday, I’m still working. The industry sector is broadly defined as “building services” and more specifically as fire and smoke protection and air movement. With the rush to complete existing hospital refurbs and fast track new isolation unit builds for Covid 19 patients, the demand for the products we manufacture remains high. Without the appropriate safety equipment in place, a building cannot be approved for use, so we’re pulling out all the stops to get kit to priority sites. That’s as good a reason as any to shelve personal goals at the moment.

The second thing that might push my personal list further out of reach is the list my dear wife has prepared for me… ‘nuff said..!

Stay safe

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