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 includes wandering aimlessly round the home or backyard in a pleasingly disassociated meditative state, straightening footage, 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.
Nevertheless it’s necessary that pottering actions aren’t taxing, time-sensitive or goal-oriented. Pottering isn’t jobs. It isn’t chores. It includes duties (and I exploit the time period loosely) which are so low down the precedence scale that they don’t benefit a point out on any to-do record. To get one of the best out of pottering, it have to be pleasingly unproductive with a negligible however extremely satisfying consequence. Importantly – and that is excellent news for pottering’s best followers, prevaricators and procrastinators – pottering initiatives will be deserted unfinished, to be re-continued in some as-yet unspecified future timeframe.
Replenishing bird-feeders, tinkering with the format 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. Nevertheless it 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 attaining nothing of very a lot consequence is someway a squanderous misuse of time, however, carried out correctly, pottering is time effectively wasted. It operates in an elastic netherworld between working, not-working and superb idleness, and is a ability value nurturing.
A potterer ought to goal 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 Optimum pottering footwear contains slippers, mules and knackered outdated backyard footwear with the heels trodden down. Shuffling is nice, as is scuffing, meandering and dawdling. Hum tunelessly, whistle underneath your breath, have an excellent scratch – potter like no one’s watching.
These days, there have been makes an attempt to re-brand pottering for the Instagram technology 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 private progress trade is keen on loudly broadcasting its journey in direction of self-actualisation, potterers have at all times been quietly getting on with it – tinkering, pootling, wafting and pondering, and more than pleased in their very own firm.
Judy Rumbold is a contract author and journalist and new TNMA contributor.