12 Mar 2014

Queens of leisure are tops in Britain

British women are "queens of leisure", luxuriating for five and a half hours a day in the soul-refreshing time. It ranked British women well ahead of women in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain for the amount of time they spend idling away in an idyllic haze.

A few years ago a time-use researcher, told women that we are stressed, guilty, hyper-parenting and obsessively tidying – we do more than women did in the 1960s when fewer worked outside of the home.

We women told him he was out of his mind so he challenged us to keep a time diary.
So some women did, he found 27 hours of what he called leisure and what we would call scraps of time. 

Ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there and then there was listening to the radio news for 20 minutes while we tried to get out of bed. Sitting in a broken-down car waiting for a tow truck was all classed as leisure. What crap!
None of these moments of what we came to call "time confetti" matched the vision we have of leisure.

We consider it guiltless, reading a book for hours, going on a long hikes, taking a snooze in a hammock on a beach that is leisure, not the scraps of time he uncovered.

Liesure is like beauty it's in the eye of the beholder.

True leisure is something we choose it's not a leftover or in-between time that happens to us. Why does a sick day feel like leisure? Because we don't have to be responsible for anybody else.

As for time-use researchers I think we'll give them a miss, as for myself I'll just carry one as usual making the kids lunches,cleaning, washing and ironing and if I have a minute to sit down I'm not going to feel guilty.

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