Drive power hos­ing the new rock n’ roll?

Perthshire Advertiser - - CONT@CTS -

Dis­place­ment ac­tiv­ity is de­fined as: “an an­i­mal or hu­man ac­tiv­ity that seems in­ap­pro­pri­ate, such as head-scratch­ing when con­fused, con­sid­ered to arise un­con­sciously when a con­flict be­tween an­tag­o­nis­tic urges can­not be re­solved.”

Too right and, oh boy (or girl, we’re gen­der neu­tral here) are there some very big an­tag­o­nis­tic urges go­ing on all over the place right now.

I re­fer, of course, to the fact that we’re all cooped-up with an abun­dance of time at our finger­tips, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously im­bued with a mys­te­ri­ous lack of en­ergy and drive.

How­ever, four weeks into my un­pro­duc­tive in­car­cer­a­tion and, ‘Ta dah’, a new mind­set has ar­rived – DIY fo­cus. And we are not alone.

Not nor­mally a cur­tain­twitcher, I’ve be­come fas­ci­nated with the daily ac­tiv­ity of those around us; in­di­vid­ual fief­dom’s rapidly mor­ph­ing into ide­al­home show­cases.

Pre­ferred weapon of choice?

The power hose pres­sure washer.

All around us, Monoblock drive­ways are be­ing mer­ci­lessly blasted in the pur­suit of the per­fect pink hue.

Drive­way walls gleam in the man­ner of the newly in­stalled.

Pa­tios and path­ways too sparkle in the spring sun­shine.

One chap I no­tice has even washed down the front gates.

And all in pur­suit of those ‘an­tag­o­nis­tic urges that can­not be re­solved.’

We’re all at it though, aren’t we? It’s the new rock ‘n’ roll.

My drug of choice is the gar­den. Never a per­fec­tion­ist, our lawn edges now stand to at­ten­tion like some­thing from Chelsea.

En­joy­ing a cup of tea on the out­door steps this week, I no­ticed a this­tle pok­ing its way through the paving stones.

A this­tle?! What au­dac­ity. Where, just a few weeks ago, I would have shrugged and thought, ‘Aw, an­other time’, now tea was aban­doned and off with its head!

An­other press­ing urge has been to re­vi­talise the sum­mer­house. Mod­er­ately filled with an as­sort­ment of com­fort­able chairs and some fad­ing bunting, this is a refuge from fam­ily life and def­i­nitely not some­thing from the pages of Coun­try Liv­ing.

But not now. Oh no. Now, it’s a gleam­ing ex­am­ple of es­cape cave on a budget.

The same mad­ness that re­moved this­tle heads en­tered my soul like some de­monic alien, driv­ing me for­ward to achieve the goal.

Spi­ders were herded and re­homed (very en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly here).

Cut­ting pots lined-up in size or­der; cush­ions fluffed (I ask you) and despatched to the wash­ing ma­chine; win­dows doused with vine­gar and elbow grease; child­hood art­works, hith­erto strate­gi­cally placed to give max­i­mum psy­cho­log­i­cal en­cour­age­ment, bru­tally re­assessed, many not mak­ing the cut.

And re­lax. Far too per­fect to use now of course, but what a sense of achieve­ment.

Where to turn our fo­cus? Logs are stand­ing to at­ten­tion.

The car has been washed and hand-pol­ished (we ac­tu­ally had to con­sult dad about this one).

Win­dows gleam in­side and out (win­dow clean­ers are ex­empt from the lock­down ap­par­ently so, of course, once he ap­peared last week, we couldn’t have in­te­rior sur­faces let­ting the side down – game on).

Tricky to know where to turn. But I seek so­lace from know­ing – and watch­ing – that we are not alone.

Ev­ery­one is look­ing for their own per­sonal dis­place­ment ac­tiv­ity.

Domestic du­ties are no re­place­ment I know for be­ing out on the front line.

But be­ing in con­trol of your own lit­tle patch is per­haps all some of us can ask for at this dif­fi­cult time.

With it, per­haps, when we do emerge, blink­ing and con­fused, back into the big, bad world, maybe we’ll all be just a lit­tle bit more con­tent with the smaller achievemen­ts in life.

I hope so, but I’m not or­der­ing a power-hose just yet.

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