• Jason Downes

40/52: As Melbourne rebuilds, I discovered the joy of jigsaw puzzles


If you want a bit of happy juice, a few hundred mini hits of dopamine, then forget dodging the police 6kms from home and instead start a jigsaw puzzle! I got two puzzles for Father’s Day and after starting one of them this week, here’s what I discovered. 


Like a metaphor for Melbourne’s lifting Covid fog, each piece that locked into place buoyed my spirits, and not without irony, I could literally see a jigsaw puzzle image of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station come back into focus. A side-note to all Victorians: well done to us for smashing COVID, Round 2. 


If you’re looking for a bit of connection with different members of the family, lay out 504 pieces of puzzle and start sorting them out on your dining table. Before you know it, you’ll be 30-minutes into a deep conversation with your 10-year-old about puzzle strategies and the virtues of sorting pieces by colours, shapes or features. Wait until you slot the impossible piece into place - it’s literally high-fives and hugs all-round. My wife and I sat beside each other on Sunday afternoon for nearly an hour, sharing the pictured beer and barely uttering a word except for the occasional “Yes!” as another beautiful pinky-purple puzzle piece slotted into place. No buzzing phones or Netflix marathon, just quiet concentration with a shared, clear objective. It was really lovely. 


Puzzling is meditation, relaxation, concentration and celebration all rolled into one quiet activity that loves a rainy day. So I’m hooked and I’ve not yet completed my first puzzle! 


Think you’re good at solving jigsaw puzzles? Think you’re fast? There’s some exciting news for you...BTW I literally have no connection to this event, it does, however, provide a nice finish to this week’s article! 


The inaugural 'National Jigsaw Puzzle Competition' will be held here in Melbourne on Saturday Nov 20...and the first prize? 


 “First place in the individual division wins 2 return airfares to Europe in September 2021 to represent Australia at the World Jigsaw Puzzle Championships in Spain PLUS a private tour of the Ravensburger factory in Germany with 2 nights accommodation and entry to the Ravensburger Museum and Leisure Park.”


Let’s hope the world gets all the necessary pieces of the Covid puzzle sorted by then so some lucky Melbourne-based Dad and his 10-yr-old daughter can head to Europe next year!😉

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