On Broadchurch and time studies (heady mix)

Goodness me. Yesterday I said that I was hoping to watch the remaining five episodes before we went away for the weekend. Well, we watched them all, back-to-back last night. Finishing around 11:30. I started crying about halfway through the last episode, and carried on for about half an hour afterwards. It wasn’t helped with Peanut pottering into the living room 5 minutes before the end, looking adorably sleepy. I held him tight on my lap, breathing in his sleepy smell, crying into his hair.

David Tennant was very good, but Olivia Colman, oh my. The woman is incredible. I’m trying to find the interview she gave (I think to Graham Norton), about where she talked about Broadchurch and how it was made. I heard it at the time, but now it’s disappeared from iTunes, the only one I could find this morning was from February this year where he’d only seen the first episode. I’ll keep looking.

It was great to see a quality TV program, with a strong script and good acting all the way through from the UK. Pauline Quirke gave a really good, restrained, tight performance that only opened up in the interview room of the Police Station. I was also pleased that I’d managed to avoid spoilers, and that I could share it with Hubs.

I hadn’t intended to watch all of them, I wanted an escape from my life for a couple of hours, not five, but as we got closer to the end, it seemed to be stupid to stop watching them, to hold them over to tonight. Like when I put on The Color Purple to do housework to, sat down and watched it all, then started doing housework at 11 o’clock at night. Crazy lady.

I listened to podcast this morning about time, Documentary of the Week from Radio 4. People all over the world have been contributing to time use studies, sometimes diarising everything they do hour by hour for a specific amount of time, or in more detail for a specific day. I did something similar when I was asked to log what I did in 15 minute slots before I did my PA training. Designed to show you where you interruptions came from, it was eye-opening. And just goes to show, when you actually work, you get stuff done.

I use the Pomodoro technique at work. A concentrated 25 minute burst, headphones in, get it done. Turnaround from my screen for five minutes, stretch and walk around, and get back to it. I do housework in a similar way, 15 minute timer on, do one thing, move to something else, then another, 45 minutes work in total, sit down for 15 minutes at the end of the hour for a cup of tea or a drink of water. That way you don’t get burnt out on doing one thing to death for hours. It’s amazing how much you can do in 15 minutes. Because you’re just doing one thing, like the vacuuming, I can do the whole living area of the house in one stint.

Anyhoo, I digressed (how unusual), this podcast illustrated that despite labour saving devices, we think we are as busy as we ever were, the physical drudgery of doing the washing has been taken over by loading and unloading the washing machine. We vacuum with our bagless machines, so we don’t need to beat our carpets out with an augmented wicker tennis racket. We don’t shop daily because our fridge-freezers mean we’ve got food available all the time. Our parents worked harder than we do. Their parents worked harder than they did, as an example, we don’t need to make bread or jam, or cook everything from scratch, despite the conscious shift back to doing that. Now we’ve filled our time with stuff. Time use studies have shown that TV watching has expanded to fill our time, so we still think we’re busy, when in reality, we’re just sitting there, doing nothing. Keeping track of what we actually do, everyone who completed the sheets admitted is a pain, it did focus them on time you’re wasting.

When I watch TV, I am usually folding or ironing laundry. But the past couple of weeks, I know that I’ve also been sat there faffing around on my phone or on the iPad trying to set that up. Hours I won’t get back. Hours staring at a screen. There was a news item here this week; teenagers are dying in car crashes because they’re checking their phones for social media updates. I enjoyed being absorbed into a TV program, into another world away from mine, for 8 hours this week. But tonight and tomorrow night, I will be busy catching up on the housework I missed doing and finishing the packing for the weekend away. I don’t need to complete a time study to know that. It’s why I have downgraded to a brick phone. And why I am going to take my emails off the iPhone that I’m primarily using as an iPod now. I’d rather spend my leisure time in leisure, not staring at a screen, which is what we’re being shifted to do all the time.

I know this blog is a bit muddily and ranging over different topics, in my head as I was typing it, the links and thought patterns were there. I hope you’ve followed my train of thought, I hope it makes sense.

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