Friday, December 13, 2013

Planning leisure times

DSC01997 (920x712)Chill, grey weather has settled over Dorset, with mist coating the fields and drizzle frosting the trees. As life settles down, and as I settle in for a few months, I’ve been thinking about getting re-engaged with some leisure activities post-holiday.  Sailing, photography, cooking, art: I have a list, but need to populate it.

I started a month ago with the local sailing companies around the harbour, many of whom have dinghy classes.  Yes, it’s a bit out of season but the weather (and water) is still well above freezing.

The alternative may be ‘supping’ (stand-up-paddleboarding).  It looks a bit like punting without the gunwales, covered transoms, straw hats or champagne.  DSC01994 (620x533)The FT profiled Mary Buchanan, an Olympic-class paddler, and it sounds easier than windsurfing, certainly no colder than dinghy racing.

As luck would have it, a local ‘supper’ paddled past pinkly only yesterday (right), posing for a photographer on shore.  Sup Boards aren’t particularly expensive and it might be something to try if I can find a rental.

Plan B is a photography class.  I was searching back through old blog posts for a couple of recipes and, if I can say so, my photographs are much better than they wee a few years ago.  In part, I’ve got a better camera, and in part I’ve learned from looking at friend’s pictures from sailing and China trips. 

The Arts University in Bournemouth offers evening courses that look really interesting.  They want more background in the interplay of aperture and exposure than I have, so I am thinking I might need a lead-in class before that one.  But it would be great to get more variation, character, and mood into my compositions.

There are also a smattering of watercolour and charcoals classes, sadly no life sessions, but I don’t feel ready to dive back into that yet.  Maybe with a bit more confidence and distance, it will be worth a go in the future.

The days generally are in better balance: I get an hour of reading most DSC01995 (1300x961)days in the quiet pre-dawn, and do writing for myself or socializing with visitors late evenings.  The day is necessarily broken up with cooking, washing, and errands: I have to play every role.  Weekends, there’s always time for coastal travel and seaside walks, city galleries and shared dinners, that I increasingly look forward to during the week.

It won’t last; I’ll likely need to move on in the spring. But, for the moment, it’s a bit of a refuge and a chance to regain some much-needed balance.

Even if taking pictures while ‘supping chilly seas.

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