Tuesday, May 03, 2011

back to the olden days

frittering away my time, created using Flame Painter online

When I first arrived in Vancouver, newly unsalaried as a willing trailing spouse, I had plenty of time on my hands. mr ebb was the fully employed partner; his job relocation was the reason we left London. I (willingly) gave up a full time research career to follow, with vague ideas of picking up part time work for the two years we'd planned on staying. As any new immigrant will tell you, it's not that easy.

I couldn't work because my qualifications weren't recognised in Canada. The research community was quite tight (a euphemism for not having canadian work experience). I was overqualified for shop work. I did meet a doctor driving a taxi. In addition, most part time jobs were for weekends and late hours - what was the point of relocating temporarily to a new land and never exploring it together?

I shamelessly and lazily bummed off my husband, becoming a kept woman!

So what did I do all day when the breadwinner was out er, winning bread?
We had a nice clean house. Regular meals were cooked from scratch. I found some great thrift shops. I looked for cheap and low cost things to do since I didn't want to be a financial drain. I went to free lectures at the public library downtown on new-to-me topics such as art and philosophy.  I volunteered. I walked my dog along the beaches (he loved it), took photographs with the cheapo digital camera which came with the desktop computer I bought myself (out of my last ever pay cheque) and made him a webpage to showcase the snaps we took (complete with a recorded bark soundtrack). Yes, really (on Angelfire). I learned how to create webpages on Publisher and upload them using ftp. I played with Photoshop, brushed up on Word, I wallowed for hours on the computer improving my technical mind ... and then (willingly) got pregnant.

So back to yesterday. Yesterday was one of those wallowing around on the computer days of yore. Yesterday I let rip with idleness, so to speak.

Result = one bamboo tablet and pen installed, a tippy-toeing around Corel Painter Essentials and a play with some free online tools. I played with brushes, opacity, pressure and stroke tracking. I overpainted, deleted, sketched and erased for an entire day (i.e. an entire school day minus the time it took to go vote and then deliver pizza)
Result = nothing productive (yet) but it reminded me how much time I used to take to immerse myself into a new software program. It reminded me of how much I invested in myself, in learning new skills and making the most of this sudden gift of time. From being vaguely proficient in Word and Excel I developed a website, created content and uploaded pages via the mysteries of file transfer protocol. All self taught from the internet with the gift of time. Not time wasted, time invested. It'll pay back soon.
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!