I don't know about you but by the time evening rolls around, particularly after I've eaten dinner, I'm ready to sit down and do something leisurely, like watch TV. Only TV around here is so bad it's more irritating than entertaining.
I love all sorts of movies, but Bill only like a few specific types of films and one can only watch Harry Potter so many times before it begins to pall. We sometimes go for a walk after dinner to pass the time and get some fresh air, but usually when it's warmer than now. Neither of us has a really fascinating book on the go just now, so reading in front of the fire doesn't seem to do the trick either at the moment.
Unless I come up with some other idea, Bill will sit and play Spider on his laptop the entire evening or watch You Tube videos of his favourite musicians. When he does this I can read or knit or play on my laptop as well. Unlike with reading a book, however, intermittent conversation isn't really possible when one is working out the Spider strategy and of course his ear plugs also shut me out, so I don't find his laptop activities to be very companionable.
So, when I ran across a couple of 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles I bought ages ago on sale, I thought we might give that a try. We are both fascinated by maps: I had the local street map on a wall for ages. Bill's big Route 66 holiday involved intensive map use to plan. When we bought holiday souvenir places mats for the kitchen table that were laminated maps, our food was neglected for finding places we'd been or meant to go next time. I thought we'd start wtih the puzzle map of the world and see how it went.
I'm not sure it's a companionable activity, though. We seemed to almost compete rather than cooperate! I set about putting the pieces into stacks by continent, calling out names I had no clue about. Bill starting putting together the pieces around the border. When he started taking my stacks and putting them together, I was a bit miffed at having done the ground work and missed the fun of the completion. It's hard for two people to sit in front of the puzzle at the same time, so someone will always be shut out and have to work around the edges. I got used to all that after awhile.
I left him to do the US and Europe and set about figuring out Russia and China, about which I know nothing. I wouldn't say I know a great deal more, though I have a better appreciation of the relative size and position of Russia, China, Mongolia, SE Asia, etc., and I might recognize the names of a few of those tiny little islands a bit quicker. I probably won't feel any sense of accomplishment or learning until we've done the puzzle again. The other one is of Western Europe and it should be much simpler, but then it is still 1000 pieces and so quite detailed. I'm looking forward to that one.
One puzzle I definitely feel I've solved: I found something else Bill really likes to do! He says it doesn't even need to be a map, he just likes solving the problem of getting the pieces together to make the picture. Thrift stores, here I come! I'm sure this is yet another one of those things that says we're really old...