Too much time on their hands!

I have noticed some of the menfolk of my acquaintance exhibiting behaviours, if not extraordinary then at least different, during these times of pandemic induced self-isolation.

Whether to curtail boredom, or to visit some long held desire, or perhaps even to revisit days gone by when, as children they whiled away hours in pastimes popular before the advent of social media – or even television in some cases!! – whatever the reason, these men are doing different / extraordinary things with their days and seemingly loving it!

This is my tribute to these creative males in my community.

Neil – a professor in real life – has fallen in love with jigsaw puzzles.

The first one was a street scene of Paris – a poor compensation for the place he should have been visiting in May 2020. He high-fived himself for finding the missing poodle’s head and the Citroen’s number plate.

During the process, he was calm, contemplative and self-encouraging. He only got angry when the piece of mademoiselle’s chapeau remained unaccounted for at the end of the grail.


A sense of achievement


I’m sure this bit will fit if I just shove it a bit

He’s now moved onto a larger puzzle (and taking up more room on the kitchen table) of basically blue sky and wheat fields!

That’ll keep him going …

Neil’s friend Peter, an ex-banker, started with a Lego set he’d been given years ago but which had lain unattended till now. He’s building a Mini Cooper, a replica of the car he actually owns but cannot use to go anywhere except the supermarket.

He has become distracted by Neil’s success at the jigsaw table and has started a scene of the Spanish Alhambra, also visiting previous travel haunts.

Pete also thinks he may learn French for a fluent farmhouse visit he’s dreaming of in Provence (whenever) and has got as far as a website that ranks 35 Online French Courses from Best to Worst. His research on what course best suits him may take the duration of the confinement.


Thank goodness there’s a manual


Easter shack warming, all welcome … next Easter

Another professor, Trevor, appears to be more physically inclined and has bought a large darts set. Stumped for a place to use it safely, he has built a shed to house it!

This is a very impressive achievement and beats jigsaws and Lego hands down, at least as a permanent reminder of this time.

Trevor has sent many photos of multiple darts in bull’s eyes to his mates who are skeptical of this prowess, unable to see the execution in real life.

He’ll be unbeatable when others can actually play against him!


Solitary man in shed challenged by that greatest of all adversaries, himself


My wife loves it (not)

Peter and Trevor have both grown beards – another different behaviour.

Has anyone else noticed this in men?

What is this about? If they wanted a beard, why not grow one before?

Company owner and director, Peter (another one), stays in touch with staff in Brisbane using Skype for Business every Friday.

At other times, he is painting his fence with another bloke, Jock (his border collie).

Pete is normally too busy for activity like this and hires people to do such chores. He is also growing a beard!!


Pass me that brush Jock

John and Roy

Why did I wait so long?

John, a meteorologist, has bought a kitten, whom he has named Roy.

Given that travel will be curtailed for some time, this seemed the perfect opportunity to buy the pet he’s always wanted!

Roy does not realise he’s a by-product of coronavirus madness.

Jack is younger than these guys and still works three days a week.

But the down time is killing for a guy under 30 so he’s building a horticultural wonderland in the back garden – which is more than just hosing and weeding!


I’ve always had a beard


How long does it take for grass to grow?

A child born in the ‘90s, he of course cannot resist the online world and plays virtual monopoly with his mates in South Hobart and London.

A high degree of trust is needed here!!

While bingeing on Netflix is not all that different for some, Brendan’s watching all 63 (sub-titled) episodes of the life of Venezuelan liberator, Simon Bolivar – clear evidence of these times driving different (mad) behaviours.


Simon’s death is looming


Easier than reading an x-ray

Another friend, Dr John, tries his radiologist’s hand at making a boiled fruitcake for his friends.

It is delicious!

And hats off to Ian who made duck à l’orange for his neighbour’s birthday, passed it over the fence to her and then ‘Zoomed’ in friends for a collective bonne anniversaire toast.


Virtual fine French dining