For Christmas, when my husband asked me what I would like for a present, I replied with all sincerity – 3 extra hours a day.  How is it that the older I get, the faster time disappears?  What happened to those days at boarding school, where weekends dragged on in utter boredom? A 25-minute class felt like forever – never mind double lessons: a 50-minute period of pure physics was enough to feel like an eternity!

My husband is neither the Time Doctor, nor is he Kermit any more than I am Miss Piggy (mmmAKE Time!) and so I’ve had to figure out how to get those three extra hours out of every single day, all by myself.

A few years back, when we were working in Mali – the days seemed so much longer than they do now.  I got a lot done AND I was working full-time.  I was even able to spend time putting posts together that were far more descriptive than they have been of late – not that I’m a girl of very many words, mind you.

In Mali, when we were in the office in Bamako we had an incredibly slow, and often absent, internet connection; when we were based at the field camp – we had none whatsoever.  Cell phone reception was minimal, and the generator only operated for a few hours in the morning and again in the evening.  We may have been living “off the grid” and in some discomfort from time to time, it has to be said, but the days were long.  Time felt as though it was standing still.

I’ve been hankering after those longer days for a while, and I think I’ve found a way to get them back – without having to go all the way back to Mali… or school.

I’m claiming back my day: I’ve decided that to make time for something – it is best done before I switch on the computer!  Who knew that such a small change in daily routine could have such a positive effect on my time?

Of course, I still work a lot on my laptop – but even then, I make the point of not connecting to the internet until I have achieved a certain work-load.  I’ve even made the point of working on Rosetta Stone before I work on my photographs – that way around ensures I make time for language learning before I have fun in Photoshop!

It’s been quite therapeutic to not be so dependent on the internet.  The distractions are certainly less, and the need for instant gratification whenever I post on one of my blogs has certainly waned, which I think is a good thing.

This past weekend, we took things a step further: we went camping.

Armed with a brand-new, sturdy canvas tent that is more of a home-away-from-home than any other tent I’ve previously camped with, we headed north out of Cape Town to Yzerfontein – just less than an hour’s drive away.

A couple of hours later on, our “beach-house” was set up and the braai flames were tickling the twilight sky.

The weekend was spent using minimal electricity (we used only a camp fridge, 1 bedside lamp and 1 camera battery charger – total), taking leisurely strolls along the beach, eating well, knitting (that’s just me, not the husband), relaxing and taking the odd photograph.

Perfect.

Now that I’ve got the hours in a day all sussed out – let’s see if we can’t manage to make the weekends a day or two longer!

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