An idle moment on the Jurassic Coast

In every walk-round on Escape there’s a half hour where I get to sit down in someone else’s kitchen or front room (wherever I won’t be in shot) and mull while the homebuyers ponder the property.

You can get quite a bit done in half an hour. At the moment I’m writing my scripts for this weekend on Radio 3. In half an hour – concentrated – I can knock off three links. But only if concentrated.

Mostly, I doodle.

Or fiddle with photos.

I worry about the (or more accurately, my) drive to productivity. It’s as if there’s a little neural slave driver deep in the folds of my brain who won’t stop cracking a cruel whip. Years of meditation and ayahuasca haven’t managed to dislodge him – yet.

Do I really need to be so sleekly productive? I can never lie in bed snoozing – even at the weekend – and somewhere in the fields of childhood I listened too intently to the voice that said laziness and waste were the two greatest sins.

I guess that’s just the Protestant Work Ethic. Whispering in the inner ear: not enough, make more, never rest.

Oh, that’s what it is…

I’m going to leave my links and photograph lilies.


  1. John D

    July 30, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Productivity! I think we all feel it; be better; do more; waste not; perfection, to not do so is to fail and risk eternal damnation.

  2. Emma

    July 30, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    This is unrelated, but I can’t access anything on Mindsprings – is it still a viable site – does anyone know? Thanks!

  3. Courtney

    July 31, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Productivity is all well and good, but what about personal
    mental health? Productivity serves no good purpose when
    we drive ourselves into an ulcer or worse. So, being
    sinful and unproductive from time to time, even if it’s
    only for a half an hour, then so be it. I’d rather doodle
    and fiddle with photos as a way of treating my mind’s
    health than be productive any day of the week.

    Love the lilies by the way.

  4. DQT

    July 31, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I was raised on catholic work ethic which was in deep competition with neighbouring
    protestant work ethic at the time … childhood in Ireland.

    The remedy:

    Doodling is a good start. Photographing lillies an excellent next step. Capturing the thought
    for your blog …. well you’re practically cured! Repeat as necessary.

  5. DM Riley

    August 3, 2008 at 9:09 am

    I believe all aspects of our lives are in need
    of a necessary balance. Copiousness as well as
    idle moments. The next time you are listening to
    a favorite piece of music, imagine the notes on
    paper as the productivity of your life. Any music
    without “rests” would not have quite the same
    pleasing effect. The notes unplayed are just as
    important (and sometimes more) as the notes played.
    I can personally attest to the enjoyment of your
    written scripts on Radio 3 in addition to the many
    lovely photographs. The lilies and the magnolia
    blossom are reminiscent of works by Monet and
    Matisse. I venture to say I would enjoy the doodles
    as well. Idleness can be productive…….

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