So it's with trepidation that I admit that I enjoy frittering away my spare time doing things that are quite useless. There - it's out!
Over a recent vacation break when I was doing the barest amount of writing we opened THE jigsaw puzzle. The massive 3,000 piece one that mocks from the bookshelf with a 'bet you don't dare take me on' smirk. The puzzle that has only been completed once before. Oh, it looks nice, doesn't it? But believe me, all those green leaves in the corner and that massive alpine slope behind the town are full of almost indistinguishable pieces. We spent a good bit of time merrily complaining about how hard it was, but celebrating whenever we managed to get a piece in. As an added bonus - because the puzzle took up a good deal of our dining room table, picnic type meals became very popular.
I'm not quite sure what the attraction is in jigsaw puzzles. It had been years since I'd done one but I got straight back into the swing of it when we opened the box. I wonder if it's because I associated them with long summer holidays of my childhood, when it was okay to leave a jigsaw out for days until it was completed?
Whatever the reason, I found doing the puzzle both relaxing and stimulating. I felt refreshed after spending a bit of time trying to make the pieces fit. As a bonus, various family members got involved in the puzzles and there was a lovely feeling of camaraderie as we sat together, working on various parts of each puzzle. At a time when family pursuits seem few and far between this was a treat.
Do you have a puzzle or pastime you adore to do that may not be particularly 'useful'? Do you enjoy puzzles, sudoku or crosswords? Do you like card games or board games or do you have a weakness for computer games? What's your favourite 'non-useful' pastime?
Personally I suspect that spending time letting our brains focus on something different is good for us. Or maybe that's an excuse to pick up a crossword or a jigsaw. What do you think?
Annie's current release is CAPTIVE IN THE SPOTLIGHT from Harlequin Presents. It's a sexy, intense story about a woman who's free at last after a nightmare couple of years, but finds herself confronted with the one man she'd hoped never to see again. The man she'd almost loved and the man she can never trust again, all under the spotlight of the world's paparazzi.