Alison Goulding: Let’s be lazy

A snail's pace
A snail's pace
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WHILE the country goes up in flames I’m having my own little quiet riot.

Fortunately, my version doesn’t involve looting, burning or shouting.

‘Proper’ rioting, or as I prefer to call it, ‘a moment of blatant opportunism to steal a new telly’ is strictly the preserve of your average stupid hypocrite who believes smashing a newsagent’s window is sticking it to ‘the man’.

No, I’m going for something a bit more refined.

As stated, it is a low-volume rebellion, a revolt against my new pet hate – business.

Even the word makes me feel tired.

Most adults know exactly what I’m talking about. Business is not about having a full life, it’s far more offensive than that.

It’s that moment when you’re giving the cat a worming tablet and ironing your work shirt at the same time.

It’s arranging to see one friend for an early tea and another for evening coffee on the same night. It’s the week of back-to-back things to do, places to be and people to please that makes you want to keep pressing the snooze button on the alarm.

Personally, I’ve done my time with business and now I’m sick of it.

Reading a book borrowed from my brother called ‘How to be Idle’ made an alarm go off in my head – a very slow and happy alarm.

Here’s a sample of things the book recommends: bacon, beer and bread, starring out of the window, staying up late and getting up late and faffing about.

It attacks the notion of eating a miserable sandwich on the run, shuns the gallons of coffee we throw down our necks to stay operational and gently touts the lazy ‘sports’ of tea drinking and meditation.

It turns out I’m surprisingly good at doing nothing much – boredom makes me happy.

As the dust gathers on the furniture and the dishes pile up, I’ve relaxed into my new philosophy beautifully while a universal truth has sprung up out of the middle of it - the less you do, the less you have to do.

There’s no need to get up really early if you’ve decided not to make the bed or spend forty minutes on your hair.

Better to press snooze and sink back into your dreams for a little longer.

Driving everywhere at 20mph means you spend much less time at petrol stations and settling for whatever’s in the cupboard makes teatime a breeze – no need to go to the supermarket every other minute.

Suddenly your free time becomes, well, free, and you end up settling down with a good book or spending an extra half hour chatting on the phone to a friend i.e. all the things that make life pleasurable and memorable.

In the last fortnight I’ve adopted a snail’s pace and my paranoia that the busy police are going to find me and fine me for not doing enough has just drifted away.

I cannot recommend the resulting feeling of peace more highly – long live the revolution of laziness.