It is said that the global lockdown is giving way to the most creative period since World War II as people find novel ways to keep their leisure, careers and relationships alive.
One such person is Ria Booysen, a senior lecturer with the Faculty of Education on the Vanderbijlpark Campus.
Ria believes that how people cope with or handle being bored is important to their mental health. Having said this, she fights boredom and keeps mentally fit by keeping both her hands and her head busy.
“I have a lot of hobbies,” laughs Ria, confessing that she often starts off a hobby project with great enthusiasm, only to leave it half-done in a cupboard. This is something she has been rectifying during the current lockdown, now that she has the time she needs to complete old projects and start planning new hobbies.
And boy, has she been busy!
Ria’s favourite hobbies are gardening, baking, painting and doing needlework.
And just when you were thinking Ria couldn’t fit in any more activities, she mentions that she has also tried her hand at home schooling her grandson, Laurence, has three Yorkshire terriers and an African Grey parrot to look after, and is contemplating taking up mosaics.
Ria likes trying new recipes, but warns against trusting Facebook recipes willy-nilly. “Since the start of the lockdown I have tried many of these recipes, and trust me, some of them need a lot of modification.”
It is exactly this process of culinary experimenting and discovery that sees Ria spending a lot of time in her kitchen.
She is especially fond of baking bread. “It takes me back to the days when my grandmother used to bake sourdough bread,” recalls Ria, adding that she accomplishes the same effect without having to spend hours kneading the dough.
“I am an early bird and my daily routine sees me getting up early to enjoy a cup of coffee in my potted garden,” says Ria.
She and her husband Willie redesigned their garden a while back to include a lot of plant containers. This way, their garden is more sustainable and it cuts back on maintenance.
“We love our garden and every morning you will find me outside talking to the flowers and digging in the soil. During the lockdown period this has become my sanctuary and I have to admit, everything from my succulents to my carnations are looking luxuriant. It must be all the attention!”
Ria paints using acrylic paint and is very pleased with herself for finally completing a series of four paintings featuring a King Protea. She had been working on this project for two years before finishing it during lockdown.
As her daily work routine winds down, Ria busies herself with needlework before going to bed. During the lockdown period, she has made several scatter cushions using a quilting technique. She also crocheted a blanket for each of her two grandchildren.
Let’s not forget the new knitting design she mastered. She laughingly says that by keeping her hands busy, she doesn’t have time to snack in between!
Industrious Ria’s baking takes the cake.
Click on the buttons above to learn more about Ria’s favourite hobbies: baking, gardening, painting and doing needlework.
If you’re used to being out and about and have found it hard to fill the extra hours during the lockdown, why not indulge your creative side?
Ria gets creative during lockdown
Click on the buttons on the right to learn more about Ria’s favourite hobbies: baking, gardening, painting and doing needlework.