An exciting new job in London has meant that I have joined the long standing commuters of East Anglia once again.
While ecstatic about the new job, I was a little apprehensive at the thought of a daily commute from the depths of the Cambridgeshire fens into central London (and back again!). I thought that it would leave me with very limited free time to spend on the little creative projects that I love doing. But within the first week, I sat next to a lady who inspired me with her crafty determination: as she pulled a bundle knitting out of her bag and spent the entire journey completing row upon row of perfect stitches, I vowed to follow in her footsteps and dedicate the time spent commuting to doing the things I most enjoy.
I’m now three weeks in to my new routine and, in actual fact, I’ve been more productive than ever before – the time spent on a train is sacred! It’s very rare that a busy person gets a 50 minute time slot to do whatever they like – with a little forward planning and savvy packing, the possibilities are endless.
So, here are three ideas on how to be a crafty commuter, each one adaptable to your own hobbies and interests:
Learn something new
It’s time to study an instruction manual intently. Crochet has been something I’ve wanted to learn to do for a few years now but the list of equipment alone was enough to deter me from starting. Equipped with two instruction books (this is how good my intentions to learn were), a crochet needle (they’re very blunt, don’t be alarmed) and some wool, I began learning and practicing a new stitch each day. I’ve only got the odd chain to show for my efforts but I’m slowly mastering it and, once I feel confident, I’d like to make some granny square bunting.
A little unoriginal, but there’s good reason behind why you see so many commuters’ faces buried in all manner of reading material. It’s the perfect time, without any disturbances, to get stuck in to a good read whether it is a gripping new novel or the new edition of your favourite magazine. I was lucky enough to be given a Kindle for my birthday last year so I carry a selection of books around on that. Last week I finished Toni Morrison’s heart-wrenching novel set in rural South Ohio in 1941, The Bluest Eye (I love her writing!). In need of a little light relief, I began J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy yesterday – I’m trying to read it before I succumb to watching the TV adaptation.
Finish a creative project
Whether it’s knitting or DIY, use your commute to finish it. Knitting needles and writing materials can of course, be carried on to the train but even if your hobbies are larger scale gardening or DIY projects, why not do some rough drawings of your plans or write a list of what you’ve got left to finish? There are loads of journals and specially designed garden note books available that would be great for this (I actually gave my Mum one for Christmas – it’s called ‘a line a day garden journal’).