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The COVID-19 diaries: work


My garden is definitely beginning to look a bit better under lockdown, but it is still wild. This is the thing with Wellington gardens, on diagonal slopes. It’s quite lush here and the bushes quickly grow out of control and you need an abseiling rope in order to trim them, and strange long clippers operated with cords that are always getting jammed and make your arms ache.

Of course, gardening is not the thing that I’m meant to be doing, and nor is comics, but I always get the most pleasure from the sense that I am bunking off, misusing my time, not working on my most pressing tasks. This impulse also leaves me feeling permanently stressed, as I am always procrastinating. I had told myself that after I published Let Me Be Frank, I’d start that novel.

It’s hard to know what kind of job to get when you also want to make art. Of course, in an ideal world, you would get an income for being an artist. It is, after all, a social service of sorts, and the world would be a poorer place without books to read and music to listen to and pictures and movies and dance to express the strangeness of our circumstances. I am bored in my job and feel as though I should get a more stimulating job, but if it’s too demanding I will have no energy left over for anything else. And yet energy begets energy… it spills over and infuses the art you make…

I guess a lot of you are asking the big questions during this strange pause that we’re having? Oh, and home schooling starts tomorrow…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/04/2020 10:14 am

    Self starting, as an artist in any field, is a challenge. I think we all know the drill, start something, write a sentence, stitch a line of embroidery, do a drawing. That said, you have a lot on your plate at present so give yourself a break. The gardening is good for your soul and your body and I’m told that putting your head to the ground and screaming into the soil is most therapeutic (and if you get sprung you can always say you pulled a muscle😉).

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      14/04/2020 10:15 pm

      Haha I will remember that tip!

  2. 14/04/2020 10:29 am

    And the rest of us with even less focus are impressed with what you are achieving. Yesterday was a holiday so there was need to feel guilt.


  3. Johanna permalink
    14/04/2020 2:04 pm

    SO relating to your relationships with work and home right now!

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      14/04/2020 10:14 pm

      Glad I’m not alone!

  4. Brent Putze permalink
    14/04/2020 7:26 pm

    I really enjoyed the double narrative going on in these ten frames. Did you lose your breath for a moment when you saw that rat?! I can hear your ongoing work dilemma Sarah and can relate to it. One thing’s for sure, I’m glad you’re doing these comics at the moment (and it’s obvious many others feel the same). They’re important on a number of levels. I hope the gardening helped.

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      14/04/2020 10:14 pm

      I saw the rat again today! I think we are becoming friends… lucky for me I’m not scared of rodents

  5. John Gillespie permalink
    14/04/2020 9:43 pm

    This strip brought back memories of working from home after the Hurunui Quake in 2016. Gardening gave me a tremendous release at the time. (Great prep for semi-retirement in provincial NZ the next year.) Funny comment too about jungle gardening in K’town!

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