We left the house on Friday to go camping for the weekend. I’d intended to call Rob Jones when we arrived and I left my phone behind so I couldn’t, but after I got over the sense of awkwardness at missing the call I began to relax. I can’t recall the last time before this weekend that I went away without a phone or iPad or computer, and I’d forgotten what it felt like to unplug and switch fully into the real world.

Fallen Tree

I enjoyed some lovely solitude, walking across wheat fields that will shortly be harvested. I admired the detail of the ears of wheat and the enormity of the rolling fields. I found fallen trees long dead, creating natural sculptures. I didn’t come across anyone else and I enjoyed being alone and being unavailable to everyone except me.

When I made it back to camp, people were revving up for our annual game of MadBall. MadBall is a full contact sport involving two teams, a field, a spacehopper and four chairs (which serve as goal posts). The object of the game is simply to get the ball through your opponents goal, by any means necessary. Among friends it is the best fun, though due to its lawless nature I can’t seeing it make The Olympics any time soon. The game is knackering and enormous fun (OK being on the winning team maybe helps a little) and I enjoyed being with great friends and being available to all of them.


What a weekend. No tweets, no Instagram, no Facebook, just an invigorating mix of together and alone. I must forget my phone more often.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

3 thoughts on “Unplugged”

  1. Dougster,

    I have done the old leave your phone at home trick, I also loved the piece. Shame I have to carry mine for technical assistance.

    Happy days. Mmmmmm space hopper n Fartning!

    Marky Mark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *