diamond geezer

 Monday, May 12, 2003

20 top ways to fill time and avoid boredom (17-20)

17) Travel: If life is boring where you are, why not go and see what life is like somewhere else instead? Holidays are great for filling time. First people spend hours dreaming about where they'd like to go, then they spend even longer surfing the internet trying to find the cheapest way to get there. Unfortunately the cheapest way to get there is often the longest, so they get to spend hours trapped in the departure lounge from hell. And then, for some reason I've never quite understood, they lie on a beach staring at a towel for a fortnight, which to my mind is more boring than almost any other human activity ever invented. Still, it's the perfect opportunity to dream about where they want to spend their next holiday...

18) News: Even when there's nothing happening in your life, there's always plenty happening in someone else's. News exists not only to keep us in touch with the global world around us, but also to remind us that sometimes a boring life is a good life. We don't mind sitting at home reading the paper, just so long as our lives never resemble the disaster in the headlines, or the injustice on the inside pages. The news is great for filling time and staving off boredom because it's always changing and always different (Middle Eastern invasion campaigns excepted). Even if you're a couple who've run out of anything else to say to each other, there's always the news to talk about. And then you can argue about who does the crossword.

19) Food: We all need to eat. However, some of us spend longer preparing what we eat than others. You can buy convenience foods down the supermarket, slam them in the microwave and serve them up in minutes, or else you can take all day to construct an exotic culinary masterpiece from the finest ingredients. For those that follow in the steps of St Delia, meals should always take at least ten times as long to prepare as they do to eat. Even better to grow some of the ingredients yourself, then you can waste even longer digging holes, battling greenfly, coaxing vegetables out of the ground, steaming them over the Aga, then watching in despair as the children push them all to the side of the plate wasted and uneaten. Me, I prefer faster food - well, less than three months in the preparation anyway.

20) Further education: It's Adult Learning week, so I thought I'd start with this one. Many people find lifelong learning gives them the opportunity to develop untapped abilities, and fills a good few hours of their spare time too. It's not all evening classes down at the community centre any more either. Now you can buy a complete pottery kit down the local craft shop and download instructions on how to use it off the internet, which saves all of that unpleasant mixing with other people and drinking nasty instant coffee out of plastic cups. Pick a course, unleash a hidden talent, stay sharp.

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