How do PMs wind down?

by Stephanie Zillman25 Jan 2013

From time to time we all have a whinge about the pressure at work – but some have the weight of the whole country on their shoulders, literally. So how do politicians unwind?

Newly inaugurated US president Barrack Obama loves to play basketball and loaf around with the kids. John Key likes to take in a round of golf with his son. Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was well known for his morning walks, and opposition leader Tony Abbott is regularly seen out and about in his budgie smugglers or lycra. But one leader is distinct in her wind-down ritual. Julia Gillard prefers to wind down behind closed doors – by knitting of course.

Gillard told ABC radio that her hobby is closer to that of former PM Paul Keating, who collected antique French clocks, and said knitting is her means of escaping the stress of high office. Alongside the sledging matches of parliament, the late nights and the early morning starts, Gillard said she likes the repetitive nature of the handicraft.

“The thing that’s good about the knitting is it takes enough of your attention that your mind can't be racing a million miles an hour on everything else,” she told ABC. “It helps you transition from full-on work speed to ‘I need to go to bed now quite quickly’.”

 

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