My little corner of our front room (as I like to see it) contains my end of the settee, a side table with my macbook (a present to myself when I retired 4 years ago), my iPad mini (an unexpected present from my husband two Christmases ago when we had agreed not to give each other big pressies), my knitting bag (OK, 2 knitting bags), my circulars roll and my library book.
Having my laptop and iPad to hand is my means of staving off the dreaded Repetitive Strain Injury. I take a break from knitting or crocheting, open up the laptop and check my emails, the Loving Hands Forum, and then I open up an app which has lots of different games of Patience on it. My favourite is one called Australian Patience. The game doesn't often work out, so it is very satisfying when it does. I do find it very relaxing (the background is a video, so the waves break rhythmically on the beach), and a bit mentally taxing too.
Then today I looked at the stats which the app helpfully compiles. It showed that I get it to work out 25% of the time (higher than I thought), but then it showed that over the last 4 years I have spent 11 days, 13 hours and 36 minutes playing this game. Eleven days! That's a good length for a holiday, let alone playing games of patience. At first I was horrified at the loss of this length of time, then I broke it down to 3 days per year, less than one percent of my time. It didn't seem quite so scary then. What would I have done otherwise with this time? Probably watched mindless TV, or eaten biscuits, or carried on knitting and then maybe damaged my shoulders or my hands. Should I feel as guilty as I do for playing cards for that amount of time?
Now I have come across Zooniverse, a community website that seeks people with time on their hands to view scientific or historical information and analyse it in some way. One of their current projects is Operation War Diary, where they need people to transcribe key information from handwritten diaries kept by British military units during the first world war. So I shall cut back on the cards, and do a bit of transcribing instead!