Jaqui's Daily Blog

In Which I Take a Rest

Apparently a new research project has just published its findings on Rest. As in, the value of taking time to wind down from the Trials and Tribulations of Modern Life and simply relax.

The report on TV this morning talked to a number of people to find out whether they took time to rest and, if so, how. It was not surprising, given that the interviewees all looked like busy City types hurrying on their way to work, that nobody seemed to be able to fit "rest" into their busy schedules. Among those who did was one woman who declared, impressively, that her main way of relaxing was to run occasional half marathons. Relaxing in my armchair, in my nightie, eating my breakfast of Special K with red berries, I was all admiration - though without feeling any inclination to test out if her Rest Remedy would work for me.

My dear Mum always, but always, used to have "forty winks" every afternoon after our midday meal. Or perhaps that should be "sixty winks" because she would take to her bed for precisely one hour. Not a minute more, not a minute less. We children never questioned this though it hasn't been an example I have ever been tempted to follow probably because (i) I'm not at all sure if I could keep to just an hour; as a result of which (ii) it would feel like a waste of a precious afternoon. The researchers on the Rest Project would disagree with me: their research made clear that an extra hour or two a day in pursuit of Rest add immeasurably to one's wellbeing. Once again, it seems, Mother Knew Best.

Mr B would love it if only I would stop flitting about and join him for a regular dose of Daytime Television. It's easy to scoff at daytime TV but for those like Mr B with limited mobility it's Worth Its Weight in Gold, taking viewers out of themselves and into any number of new worlds without even having to move from their armchairs. . Mr B is an armchair expert on antiques, for example, because of the sheer number of programmes he watches about exciting discoveries in people's lofts or bargain buys at boot fairs or charity shops.

This morning, taking to heart the advice from the Rest Project researchers and aware that I would be out, flitting about, all afternoon, I sat down to watch a new programme called Street Auction, starring lovely Paul Martin who seems to pop up everywhere these days. No rest for him, that's all I can say.

In Street Auction, Paul (with the help of ace recycler Iryna) galvanises a community to raise money for a worthy unsung local hero or heroine by holding a street market, with the most valuable items either sent to a sale room or put up for auction on the street. It's amazing what people donate. I would be seriously worried if the lovely Paul decided to knock on my door, especially with a television camera there to capture my discomfiture at my failure to find anything remotely sale-worthy.

The main problem with Street Auction is that it moves me to tears. I've only just dried my eyes at the end of the latest series of Long Lost Family and now the Usher Gene is overflowing once more. I sit, grizzling away, as Paul steps down from the podium where he has been auctioning off a teddy bear, a set of three china dogs and somebody's statue of a gorilla, to break the happy news to the unaware recipient that enough money has been raised to create a beautiful garden for her and her children. Mr B looks over at me sniffing away and raises an eye-brow. He knows only too well what I'm like.

"Give it a rest!" he advises me.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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