Certain activities closely associated with the season, like spring cleaning and spring detox symbolise rebirth and starting anew, and apart from being part of our cultural traditions, they are undoubtedly also useful and necessary. On the other hand this is the first warm day of the year, so I say forget washing the curtains and dusting the picture frames. In my book, the unquestionable need for vitamin D after a long, dreary winter trumps the cultural norm of spring cleaning every single time. So dust off your picnic blanket instead, head out for the day to do nothing and soak up the sun.
Contrary to popular belief doing nothing can be extremely beneficial for body and mind alike. Depending on how you choose to spend your time, it relaxes and revitalises the body, eliminates stress, lifts your mood, strengthens your immune system and aids digestion. Doing nothing doesn’t necessarily mean staying stationary, it’s more about treating yourself to something “luxurious” that you normally wouldn’t allow yourself without feeling inevitably guilty afterwards. When it comes to favourite forms of doing nothing, choices will vary as the people differ. It can mean ignoring the housework and sitting on the balcony all day with a good book, taking the dog for a long walk in the park, booking a table in your favourite restaurant instead of cooking yourself, or in my case taking a long walk in sunny London, visiting a food market behind Southbank Centre, then sitting on the grass just behind the London Eye, munching my Lebanese vegetarian dish out of a paper box, and round the meal off with an excellent Polish beer.
I adore food markets. I also like getting surprised when I just happen to stumble upon a market I didn’t know was there (like this one at Southbank Centre). Sometime in the future I will dedicate a post entirely to them, but for now I let myself bask in the fragrant cacophony that a food market is. They are always busy and vibrant, made of colours, smells, tastes and smiles, luring foodies from miles. The smell of open fire, spicy sauces, fresh bread and pastry is intoxicating. You’ll mostly see happy faces here because good food makes foodies happy. But besides the excellent artisan products, a food market is primarily a social platform for likeminded people bonding over food. It’s so easy to strike up a conversation on your favourite subject; ask any vendor about their product, they will tell you its story, give you free samples, discuss recipe suggestions and recommendations for how to consume said product.
Food markets are also international: Italian, Ethiopian, Scottish, German, Polish, Indian and French exist in harmony here, so it’s also an opportunity to treat your palette to different flavours like you never have before. I like a flavour that is completely unknown, an unusual combo I couldn’t have dreamed up myself. Who would have thought vegetarian kibbeh (bulgur wheat croquette) baked with aubergines and prunes is so delicious? So after stocking up on a few things for the kitchen cupboard, with a beer in hand, it’s time to finally stretch my tired legs. That is what sweet doing nothing means to me.
Did you know that roughly half the UK’s population suffers
from some degree of vitamin D deficiency?
But what is your favourite pastime on a bright spring day?
What tickles your fancy?
Let me know by leaving a message in the comment section below.