When my sister was at school, her A-level History teacher sat with my mum and dad on parents’ evening and said she was “capable of brilliance”, but had “periods of lethargy”.
I had the same History teacher. We used to call him a rude name involving his bottom. I can’t remember what he said about me on parents’ evening because I have a terrible memory for things like that. I can remember the lyrics to umpteen songs from that period, but actual things that happened to me in my life? I’m not very good at recalling things like that.
Anyway, my sister reminded me of this story this week because we were talking about our hobbies and how easy it is NOT to do them. My sister loves crochet, cooking, baking and cake decorating, and generally handmaking things for her house. She has just finished making a quilt. I love cooking, baking, and sewing clothes. Or I love the idea of cooking, baking and sewing clothes. At the moment, I actually do very little of the latter. I have a Pinterest board with all the patterns I am going to make. I read loads of blogs of people who are sewing their own clothes. I have read up on techniques on Burdastyle. I look through sites like Modcloth and Topshop and see dresses that inspire me to make my own version. Yet, all of these things involve sitting in front of a laptop rather than a sewing machine.
I have become officially lazy. I am living out my crafting desires vicariously through others; the curse of the internet.
Then there’s the TV. Entire evenings are being lost to it. At the moment, it’s the boss of me. It sits there in the corner with its menacing shiny black surface, a bit like that monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In my defence, after a long day with the toddler and her 7 month old accomplice, I just want to collapse into a heap in front of the it and switch my brain off. But then I get mad for not achieving anything with my spare time.
So, I have decided to take a stand and become more productive. The first step is to outline which things I am going to make or achieve this year. The second is to declare war on the laptop and the television. They are evil and must be stopped from draining away my energy and time.
Here is a little list for myself. I keep hearing the angry voice of an inner fitness coach; I’m getting all tough on myself. It’s like that lady in the tracksuit from Glee is stuck in my head (I don’t know her name because I’ve never watched it even though my mum is, like, the biggest Journey fan on the face of the earth ever*).
Do these things, you lazy oaf
Learn to crochet. (I did this! It happened here. I will write more about this soon).
2. Using newly acquired crochet skills, make a pair of fingerless gloves for the winter. This gives me two seasons to get moving on these gloves – two whole seasons! Make it happen!
4. Refashion the clothes I have previously thrifted and make them into things I will actually wear. Start with the two skirts. You know which ones I mean.
5. Make something from my Larousse Gastronomique book. Actually I think one could more accurately describe it as a tome rather than a book. Anyway, I have owned it for three years and never made anything from it.
6. Make that sourdough starter I keep going on about. I mean, come on, it’s just flour and water.
7. Visit the massive antique fair in Lincolnshire.
8. That ugly untiled, unloved splashback area behind the worktop in the kitchen? Do something about that. Tile it. Paint it with chalkboard paint. Anything.
9. Sort out the top of the cellar and make it into laundry heaven.
10. Stop whining about having no time for your hobbies (make time, you lazy oaf!)
*My mum loves Journey. I’m prepared to concede that she may not be the biggest fan in the world, but she is certainly competing for the biggest fan in Blighty. She has a Journey tattoo. A grown woman. With a Journey tattoo. That’s how hardcore Journey-lovin’ she is.