“STRESS. I’M NOT STRESSED!” That’s a statement with which many of us will be familiar during the lockdown. We all hide our feelings to a greater or lesser extent…
For me, its missing out on my hobbies. I’m a keen photographer, especially of steam railway engines, and I’m always trying for find something that’s a bit different.
From November last year, that enjoyment has been denied to me as its been unlawful to move outside my immediate environment except to go to the supermarket. However, through Facebook it has been possible to keep in touch with the many thousand of like-minded souls and we have ‘shared’ images from our back catalogues.
Stress reduction for me has been about finding other things to fill my time, and I have spent many happy hours over the winter either making up all the 00 gauge models that I have accumulated over the years and adapting them to my personal tastes.
That involves throwing away the plastic imitations and fitting brass buffers instead, also adding 3-link couplings and a bit of lead flashing to the interior, so the model runs properly on the track and does not de-rail.
Thankfully, the internet provides an open shop where I can obtain most of what I want/need to fulfill my interests. Also, as winter has begun to loosen its grip, I’ve had the advantage for the first time of having a 2 x 4 metre greenhouse in which to sow seeds and propagate them to healthy plants. I’m already self-sufficient in salad crops and itching for the weather to warm up slightly so that I can get them into the open ground without fear of being killed or burnt by a late frost.
It’s been surprising how much stress-busting, mixing up mortar can be. Another task that I’ve been putting off for some time but finally got around to starting, is building a proper paved path around my greenhouse. Since its installation, last October, entry has been via a very unstable pile of rubble.
A proper step and paving has now been laid, with all the broken bits that I inherited from the previous property owners being incorporated into a crazy paved path that I’m now setting in place with mortar. I say do the job properly once even if it takes a while to do it!
The bug has now really bitten, so I’ve now turned my attention to paving the top of the garden so I can walk around the large raised bed without getting muddy feet in winter. I’m no builder, so the act of ensuring that the slab is more or less level, but slightly canted to allow rain to run off, takes me forever with much checking of the spirit level. But it doesn’t matter, I’m enjoying myself and that’s what matters.
The key point of my message, is to find something that you enjoy doing, and do it little and often. If you’re fed up with your family/partner, it provides an escape and a good pressure release valve; a place where you can escape life’s troubles.