The mild artwork of pottering — That’s Not My Age




Could is a joyous month for all types 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.

But it surely’s vital that pottering actions aren’t taxing, time-sensitive or goal-oriented. Pottering isn’t jobs. It isn’t chores. It includes duties (and I take advantage of the time period loosely) which are so low down the precedence scale that they don’t advantage a point out on any to-do checklist. To get the very 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 initiatives could 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 fashion, 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 attaining nothing of very a lot consequence is by some means a squanderous misuse of time, however, carried out correctly, pottering is time nicely wasted. It operates in an elastic netherworld between working, not-working and superb idleness, and is a talent value nurturing.

A potterer ought to purpose to languorously drift from one location to the following – maybe in a kaftan, kimono, housecoat or different suitably free, capaciously floaty garment. Slack elastic, dishevelled bottoms and normal dishevelment matter to not the seasoned potterer: consolation is vital. Optimum pottering footwear contains slippers, mules and knackered outdated backyard sneakers with the heels trodden down. Shuffling is sweet, as is scuffing, meandering and dawdling. Hum tunelessly, whistle beneath your breath, have a great scratch – potter like no person’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 school pottering. Whereas the non-public development trade is keen on loudly broadcasting its journey in the 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. 

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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