Too Many Dresses

doctor of romcoms, twee as fuck

On Being Free Range

on October 6, 2011

I”ve been thinking alot this week about Free Range Humans. This is prompted in no small part by the wonderful Sustrans campaign “You’re Free Range Too”, and the Stornoway song “We’re The Battery Human” (which is, as singer and guitarist Brian Briggs said when we saw them in Manchester, “a song about how we need to spend less time on Facebook”). The general message of both is that modern technological advances, however wonderful some of them may be (you’ll never catch me saying a bad word about online shopping or twitter, for example), have changed our lifestyles dramatically, and, in many ways, negatively.

The unseasonably hot weather that greeted us last week and stayed for the weekend only exacerbated my increasing support for this sentiment. I grew up as a very outdoorsy girl – while I was never going to captain any sports teams and pretty much always had at least 2 books on the go, I also spent day after day playing in the nature reserve behind our house, building rope swings and treehouses and paddling in the brook (sorry, Mum). I loved riding my bike up and down the pavement in front of our house (we were allowed down as far as the telephone box and up as far as the garages). And our garden would frequently become an ampitheatre for us to perform a play in, or an arena to run an assault course. Flip, being a kid is bloody good fun!

I am still one of those people who gets all anxious at the thought of having to spend the whole of a nice day inside. And last week gave me an opportunity to indulge myself in being outdoors – I ate lunch outside, I did yoga in the park, I went on bike rides. And I fucking loved it. It just seems such a shame that the rest of the time we have to be chained to computers. I’m lucky in that the nature of my work means that it’s pretty flexible where and when I work, but I do still feel obligated to be at my laptop most of the working day. And laptops and outdoors just don’t mix, I don’t care what anyone says.

But now, the weather is poised to turn all grimy! It rained all last night, but it’s sunny this morning, which I can just about deal with. But that won’t last, I’m sure. What are good ways to stay “Free Range” during winter? How can we wrestle more time back from our day-to-day lives to spend outdoors? How much time spent at a computer is too much?


P.S. If we can’t “free the battery humans”, you can take care of an ex-battery hen here. Thanks to Hayles at The Vegan Christian Blogger for drawing this to my attention.


4 responses to “On Being Free Range

  1. I’ve been thinking about this too. I’m not too outdoorsy or sporty but I get really down if I’m indoors all day too. Nic and I have agreed to go out walking more often – we got into a bit of a lazy rut in the summer. I notice the difference it makes to my mood, too – sitting in front of a computer all day both depresses me and rinses my bank account (when bored – internet shopping) We’ve also agreed to take up yoga so maybe one day I can join you in the park! x

  2. Lauren Thompson says:

    It is so hard to get motivated to go outside and do something, though, especially when you work hard all week and your weekends are your “rest” time. I really feel that. I guess I just need to alter my mindset so that my idea of rest isn’t just vegging out on the sofa (not that there isn’t a time and a place for that, too)!

    I have to post that I have been sticking to my new philosophy though! Today I was thinking about going on a bike ride, but I looked out and it was all windy and my work was niggling at me and I really couldn’t be bothered. But then I thought, “if it’s raining tomorrow, you will totally kick yourself Tomo!” So I got my ass into gear and went out and it was bloody lovely (and I only got rained on a bit).

  3. I think that’s it – I always feel better when I go out and do something! I was in such a bad mood when I got home from work yesterday and I didn’t want to have to go out (I had an SMB meetup) but the walk there, and the socialising, and the walk home – all of them put me in SUCH a good mood. I’m never going to enjoy going to the gym or anything like that, but it’s undeniable that a bit of exercise really lifts my mood. And well done you for sticking with it my sweet!

  4. Lauren Thompson says:

    You’re right – I think gyms are an even worse villain than the Internet in the case of the Battery Human…people driving in their cars to exercise on a machine! Peep Show’s Jez (AKA my hero) says it better than I could: “I don’t need to pay money to join a gym. The world is my gym. The hills, the trees, the rivers. They are my gym.” 😉

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