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Pottering about - what does this involve for you?

(39 Posts)
Snog Thu 21-May-20 07:27:20

I'm never really sure what folk mean when they say they have been "pottering".
What does it involve for you?

Lostvoiced Thu 21-May-20 07:32:44

Having a little wander with no particular purpose and/or keeping themselves busy with minor things.

Is it a confusing phrase? I know lots of people who use it but I've not really thought much of it.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 21-May-20 07:33:31

Do lots of little things with no plan or significance.

Mydoglicksplates Thu 21-May-20 07:33:52

Nothing much, so house jobs but nothing taxing and with plenty of doing nothing in between.

TENDTOprocrastinate Thu 21-May-20 07:36:16

Slowly put some washing on, tidy up a bit, make some lunch. Check phone in-between Tasks -several times. Wipe kitchen sides. Chat to family, water the garden. All low level energy stuff that isn’t a big specific task and isn’t therefore worth mentioning if someone asks. So I’d say I’d “just been pottering about” grin

MonsteraCheeseplant Thu 21-May-20 07:42:09

When I'm pottering in the garden it's weeding, pruning, feeding, spraying etc.

Pre covid I might potter about by nipping to a shop, having a wander with not much purpose.

clearsommespace Thu 21-May-20 07:43:51

I'd say I was 'gardening' if I do 30 minutes plus weeding or some other task that is important enough to go on my to do list.
I'd say I was 'pottering about in the garden' if I went out to enjoy the sun, admire my plants and pulled up a couple of weeds and played with the cat while I was at it.

Pinkarsedfly Thu 21-May-20 07:44:46

I love pottering.

pumpkinpie01 Thu 21-May-20 07:46:31

To me that would mean putting clothes away, sweeping floors, tidying up, writing lists (I love a list ), bit of weeding. No deep cleaning no tackling massive pile of ironing , just wandering from room to room tidying up really.

OutComeTheWolves Thu 21-May-20 07:47:05

Doing little jobs around the house and garden that aren't particularly onerous . Putting on a load of washing or watering some plants. Basically wandering round the house to see if anything needs doing.

MonsteraCheeseplant Thu 21-May-20 07:47:12

Yeah I agree on that the amount of time spent is key wink

SinglePringle Thu 21-May-20 07:47:18

This morning I’ve done two loads of washing, refilled the bird feeders and looked at what needs to be done in the garden. Now having breakfast and listening to the radio. I’m going to do an exercise class, some cooking, visit the supermarket, go for a walk.

Pottering all day.

snowybean Thu 21-May-20 07:47:45

@TENDTOprocrastinate has nailed the description 👌

CherryPavlova Thu 21-May-20 07:51:11

Yes general happy doing bits and pieces with no particular focus.

OpthalmosVerde Thu 21-May-20 07:58:10

I call it pottering if it’s not particularly focused, so would feel a bit of a fraud if I claimed it was “housework” “cleaning” “gardening” “life admin” etc. Because it would involve as much distraction/downtime as actual productive tasks.

It’s like doing nothing, but doing a few actual things at the same time.

Anotherlovelybitofsquirrel Thu 21-May-20 07:59:26

Oh I love pottering. I'm very good at it. I'm furloughed and it's made me want to retire. Sadly it's too early for that. If pottering was a job I'd be top of my field grin

hopeishere Thu 21-May-20 08:05:20

Agree - bits of house work interspersed with phone / magazine / sitting in the garden.

RoseMartha Thu 21-May-20 08:09:21

To me it is doing little jobs about the home, ie bit of a tidy or declutter a drawer or do an activity for relaxation or file paperwork or maybe put washing on/fold laundry housework wise or to do little things that need doing but are not significant.

Lurkingforawhile Thu 21-May-20 08:09:33

Pottering is surprisingly time consuming, but also nice downtime and relaxing I think. Like the others say, a bit of casual tidying and cleaning or doing things on the to do list but not particularly efficiently! Usually listening to the radio too and so keep getting distracted, and a bit of social media time. At fridge snacking probably the natural companion to pottering.

CuckooCuckooClock Thu 21-May-20 08:12:03

This thread has made me sad.
I love pottering but with 2 small dc and a full on job to do (wfh) at the mo I’m really missing my opportunities to potter.

Ragwort Thu 21-May-20 08:14:21

To me it usually means spending vast amounts of time on Mumsnet with the odd bit of tidying up and cooking in between. grin

NaughtyLittleElf Thu 21-May-20 08:15:27

Pottering is what I imagine retirement is like (or people who don't work and have no dc at home, like my DP on days off work when he doesn't have his DC) it's getting small jobs done but at a leisurely pace, so you might strip the beds and put them in the washer but you'd sit down and have a cup of tea before you thought about making the beds again, you're doing stuff but there's no rush. The same jobs done at pace because the house is a tip and your MIL is visiting wouldn't be pottering.

1066vegan Thu 21-May-20 08:16:37

For me, it's doing something that I could just about get away with calling work but is completely unnecessary, is enjoyable and helps me to put off necessary but grotty jobs. Mugs of tea should be involved and things should be done at a very leisurely pace with plenty of breaks.

I'd include things like rearranging my books or sorting photos. When dd was younger it could include stuff like organising her hama beads.

BrokenBrit Thu 21-May-20 08:19:06

To me it would be the household jobs, the ones that aren’t worth a list - dishes, washing, sweep the floor that kind of thing. Done at leisure with the radio on and a cup of tea in between.

Ragwort Thu 21-May-20 08:22:03

Naughty - I’ve spent my whole life “pottering around” by your description grin.

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