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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 August, 2004, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Delegates amble to laziness conference
By Frances Kennedy

Commuters not being lazy
Laziness - an elixir of long life in a world of deadlines?
The pressures and rhythms of modern life often prompt people to seek new ways of unwinding - a course of yoga, a massage or a long stroll.

In Italy, though, a group of people are this weekend proposing a different approach to the problem. Their answer - simply do nothing.

The first National Convention of the Idle is taking place in a village near the Swiss border.

Organisers say they hope the whole concept of idleness can be re-evaluated.

According to one of the organisers, comic actor and writer Gianni Fantoni, idleness is not a vice but a sign of intelligence, as idle people find smart ways of getting the same results with less effort.

He says it is also an elixir of long life in a world of deadlines.

Compulsory siesta

Italy's lazybones will gather, if they can be bothered, in the mountain village of Champoluc, where they can comfortably arrive by cable car.

The event will include an exhibition of idleness through the ages, and a display of objects that reduce effort to a minimum - a dinner suit with shoes and socks incorporated, a rubbish bin with a chute attached, a mould to make snowballs without freezing your fingers and, almost a symbol of the movement, a hammock.

Participants have been promised that the seminar on idleness will last less than half an hour, a long siesta is obligatory and they will receive tips on perfecting laziness.

The organisers will also present a series of 10 commandments on how to avoid effort. These include letting others always make the first move, remembering that exercise is for other people, and never, ever volunteering for anything.


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