I love love love TV. Can’t get enough. It’s my favourite way to unwind, reward myself, have a good laugh, learn things, catch up on the latest pop culture buzz, have on in the background while I play games on my phone… But even the simplest fictional show has a plot and subplots, exposition, character arcs, subtext, and ehhhh sometimes I’m just resting my eyes, no I’m not asleep, *yawn* oh wait – what did I miss?
This year I’ve taken relaxing with my laptop to a new level of slowdown. Here are some of my favourite things to watch when I just need to quiet my mind and go to a peaceful place.
Gavin Webber starts each of his cheesemaking tutorials with a hearty ‘G’day Curd Nerds!’ and then, without ceremony or fanfare, transitions into a calming voiceover. Let’s face it. I am never going to make cheese at home, but I sure as hell have a lot more respect for their price points at the cheesemonger. I watched some of his videos last night, which is to say, I started watching one and woke up two videos later. A++++ nap.
We all think we want to live in simpler times, and I found myself craving a re-watch of Tudor Monastery Farm, mainly because I wanted to see what society might have been like after the baddest pandemic of them all, The Black Death, retreated from history. Historian Ruth Goodman and two archeologists, Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold, farm, cook, dress, eat, sleep and party like it’s 1359.
You might have to hunt around for it online, but watch it if you want to see life brought back to its basics – surviving on the harvest and animal husbandry on a small farm. There are other period farm series as well (seriously I don’t know when these dedicated souls ever saw their families, or checked their smartphones) including Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, and Wartime Farm. HARDCORE. And that’s just for them thriving while sleeping without central heating or being able to pop round to the shops.
Need some mammalian cuteness overload? Time for Joey! He’s an orphaned sea otter pup who was rescued by the fine folks at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre back in early July. You can watch his round-the-clock care and progress at his nursery at the Vancouver Aquarium. They also post small videos regularly so you can see how well he is doing. My heart. You can also symbolically ‘adopt’ Joey by making a donation. Sea otters eat A LOT.
If you miss sports, you may have already heard about this next entry from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. Jelle’s Marble Runs are the perfect, socially-distanced set of sporting events that 2020’s world needs. Just brilliant! Makes me sleepy just thinking of all the work they put into these.
And if all that is still too much for you, may I suggest watching a robin build a nest for 100 minutes?