Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Remembering idle pleasures

So we're back from holiday. I bought both Saturday and Beloved on our trip and enjoyed them both very much (posts in due course...). I also bought another more random and whimsical book entitled The Book of Idle Pleasures, edited by Dan Keiran and Tom Hodgkinson, which basically has short paragraphs on 100 idle pleasures - such as taking a bath, poking the fire, waiting for the tea to brew, not opening letters, autumnal sneezing, and so on.

I had a great time browsing through it while on holiday. Now that I'm back home and have sat down to catch up with Anthropology Matters correspondence, consultancy project, translation, paper I need to revise, etc, the idea of idle pleasures seems a little farther off... But nevertheless here is an idle pleasure that I do like:

Waiting for the Tea to Brew
"Enforced idleness is a rare treat. Those brief moments in life where for one reason or another you are forced to just stop and think. In waiting rooms, queuing, for example, or even just sitting on a train. Waiting for the tea to brew is one of such moments. It doesn't offer enough time to 'do' anything else so you just have to sit and wait, salivating at the prospect of your golden brew. If you do attempt to do anything in the time it takes tea to brew you always take too long or too short a time to do it, leaving the tea too strong or too weak. The teapot is fully aware of this fact. The only way to gauge the time perfectly is to sit, do nothing and watch." (Dan Kieran, p.12)

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