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Stop ... Hammock Time!


If there is one thing that I find really hard to do, then it is doing nothing.

It’s not that I can’t relax or don’t know how to relax, it’s just that I seem to have two settings ‘doing things’ or ‘off’. I can occasionally switch off and do nothing but those moments are few and far between.

When I am relaxing at home at the weekend or in the evenings then inevitably I have to have something to do. I find all sorts of things relaxing, walking along the river Ure near to where we live, gardening at home or on the allotment, reading, playing computer games, watching rugby (either live or on TV), going to places and ‘exploring’. A few weeks ago I went for a walk one Saturday morning just to see what was down a track – nothing much being the answer, but I did find a toad under some rocks, a large patch of wild garlic in flower in some woods, some nice big fish in a slow moving river, a red delphinium just growing wild and a lightning struck tree that looked very dramatic. Whatever I do doesn’t have to be serious or important, it just has to captivate me.

When I am relaxing on holiday the compulsion is still there, but the activities are more fun or are related to where I am. I can’t lie in the sun without music to listen to, I can’t sit down without a book to read or something to watch, and often as not I tend to get up and go for a walk. I’m the sort of person that when I want to relax my brain needs to be doing something. I like nothing more that exploring and seeing what I can find or laying face down in the water and watching the world go by (snorkelling or diving, either is wonderful). Whenever we go to the beach in the UK I can’t help myself, I need to go rock-pooling. Oddly enough I seem to be able to switch off in the dark, I love sitting in the dark and just enjoying the world around me.

You see, whenever I try and do anything ‘for me’ then I have this guilty little voice in the back of my head that says ‘you should be doing such-and-such’ and I just know that it is on my mental list of ‘jobs that must be done’. This brings up 2 points to note. Firstly, I was brought up a very conscientious person, to work hard and be responsible for my actions, so I have that mental guilt that the job isn’t being done and needs doing…preferably now! The second problem is that as soon as one job disappears off the list another appears at the bottom, so the list always seems to be the same length. More often than not it’s me that puts the extra jobs on the list.

Perhaps job isn’t the right word. Maybe task is better. You see, to me everything is a task. Whether it’s painting the bathroom, cutting the grass, ironing, unwrapping presents, climbing a tree, paddling in a brook, building snowmen, checking the tyre pressures, and so on. Everything is a task, be they fun or mundane. And every task needs to be done. If it’s not done and I can do it then it will nag at me, repeatedly.

So it is with an element of shock that I decided it was time to get my hammock out of storage in the garage. We bought it from the Hampton Court Show 7 or 8 years ago, and it has seen a lot of use, by myself and mrs MK (and various friends and children). It’s tubular steel and so can move around the garden to chase the sun (or the shade) and dismantles to store very easily. It’s lovely.

Here’s a photo of the hammock…

It’s also provided me with one wonderful morning that resulted in a lot of grief for the rest of the weekend. I had got up one bright summer’s Saturday at 6am, watered the allotment, done all the running around I wanted to do and had effectively got the important things out of the way by 10am,. Mrs MK, on the other hand, got up late and just after 10am she was off shopping for clothes and as she walked out of the house was greeted by the sight of me in the hammock. With a glass of Pimms. At 10am. She wasn’t a happy bunny that morning.

Speaking of Pimms, we have borage flowering in the garden at the moment, both white and blue. We try and cultivate a few plants for the flowers, the bees like them and they go in Pimms (the flowers not the bees).

So I have been lounging around, enjoying the sunshine, and relaxing with a Pimms or two. Not very butch and manly maybe, but good never the less.

Chin chin all!

ps I’ve just seen the countryfile weather forecast so and don’t blame me…

More blog posts by muddy_knees

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Hi Muddy
You look worn out lying there on the hammock , although it looks like you could do with a shave

2 Jun, 2009


Hi Mk your blog is me to a tee, I am of the very same mind as you, but when I was at work sometimes the job was so mundane and, more or less, used to run itself, that was when I did most of my job planning, I used to switch to automaton mode and just plan all the jobs that I had to do in my mind, then when at home I could get on with those jobs. But as you say the damn list was endless and never shortening. I also love to go 'exploring' but I also like to take my camera with me and take 'strange' shots like laying on my back to photograph a tree or on my stomach to photograph a swan in a pond.
These days I am retired and go wandering quite often with my better half welove rambling and now we can plan hols to suit. Thanks for your wonderful blog.
P.S. I 'aint got a hammock ...... but I soon will have :o)))

2 Jun, 2009


Thats a grand way to relax...........

2 Jun, 2009


"What life is this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare ......" or, in your case, lounge in a hammock and drink Pimms. More power to your elbow! My children labelled me "Mrs Rushabout" years ago but, since moving to this magical place I CAN "stand and stare" without feling I should be doing something. Everyone's "off switch" is important and, when weather and the amount of Pimms left allows, should be used with merry abandon!

3 Jun, 2009


we all need to sit back and breath everynow and then think of all the things we would miss if we didnt

WELL DONE again on the borage great to hear
x x x

3 Jun, 2009


Heh, heh, heh.
You go for it, Muddy. Hammock and Pimms are a match made in heaven, lol.

3 Jun, 2009


I'd never get out of a hammock!! cronky knees, bad back and balance LOL, i have had to learn to sit back a bit since not being able to work, i had 2 jobs at one time worked in a college kitchen (not recommended damn hard work!!) and as a barmaid for brother in law, then came home to do house work how i did it i'll never know!! I still feel guilty though for not working!! can't win can we?

3 Jun, 2009


I feel exactly the same - always need to be doing something and feel guilty if I do sit and read the paper for half an hour or log on to GOY (although I convince myself it is useful research!

I am envious of your hammock - and the Pimms!

3 Jun, 2009


I used to be like you, til my Fybromaldia got the better of me. I've had it 6 years now and have hated every minute of being incapacitated.

It's so good to know that you've managed to relax at last! We at goy were wondering where you got that "superman" strength from, phew!

I really chuckled at the image of Mrs MK at seeing you. Tooooo funny!!!

Well done again, and Keep it up!!! (the relaxing bit!!!)

3 Jun, 2009

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