Could is a joyous month for all kinds of causes, not least gamboling lambs, explosions of blossom and the truth that it marks the unofficial begin of the pottering season. For the uninitiated, pottering entails wandering aimlessly round the home or backyard in a pleasingly disassociated meditative state, straightening photos, wiping plant leaves, or de-bobbling jumpers. A financial institution vacation constitutes pottering paradise, and this month there are a blissful three lengthy weekends over which to endlessly mooch, idle, snip and tweak.
But it surely’s essential that pottering actions aren’t taxing, time-sensitive or goal-oriented. Pottering isn’t jobs. It isn’t chores. It entails duties (and I exploit the time period loosely) which might be so low down the precedence scale that they don’t advantage a point out on any to-do checklist. To get one of the best out of pottering, it should be pleasingly unproductive with a negligible however extremely satisfying end result. Importantly – and that is excellent news for pottering’s biggest followers, prevaricators and procrastinators – pottering tasks will be deserted unfinished, to be re-continued in some as-yet unspecified future timeframe.
Replenishing bird-feeders, tinkering with the structure of the sock drawer, plumping cushions, dead-heading flowers: pottering is finest loved in solitude. This manner, the potterer can obtain heights of vacant day-dreaminess usually frowned on in a frantic, results-fixated society. But it surely takes a sure energy of character to potter with out being weighed down by guilt, disgrace and judgy self-recrimination. There’s a sense that reaching nothing of very a lot consequence is by some means a squanderous misuse of time, however, carried out correctly, pottering is time properly wasted. It operates in an elastic netherworld between working, not-working and wonderful idleness, and is a ability price nurturing.
A potterer ought to intention to languorously drift from one location to the subsequent – maybe in a kaftan, kimono, housecoat or different suitably unfastened, capaciously floaty garment. Slack elastic, dishevelled bottoms and common dishevelment matter to not the seasoned potterer: consolation is essential. Optimum pottering footwear consists of slippers, mules and knackered previous backyard sneakers with the heels trodden down. Shuffling is nice, as is scuffing, meandering and dawdling. Hum tunelessly, whistle underneath your breath, have a great scratch – potter like no one’s watching.
These days, there have been makes an attempt to re-brand pottering for the Instagram era as me-time, self-care, meditation or mindfulness. However, lengthy earlier than all that smug, Gwynnethy stuff got here alongside, the method of taking restorative pleasure and solace in easy, solitary actions was simply plain, good old style pottering. Whereas the non-public development business is keen on loudly broadcasting its journey in direction of self-actualisation, potterers have all the time been quietly getting on with it – tinkering, pootling, wafting and pondering, and very happy in their very own firm.
Judy Rumbold is a contract author and journalist and new TNMA contributor.
Photograph: Sian Tucker by Penny Wincer
Sian Tucker runs Fforest – a beautiful, rural retreat within the Welsh countryside
Potter in consolation:
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