hob-by – noun, plural -bies
1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation
one of those things that Jim decides to pursue every couple of years just so he can learn something new and drive Caroline nuts.
It’s true – not sure about the driving Caroline nuts bit … okay, maybe a little nuts – but every couple of years my palms get itchy, the right side of my brain feels restless and it is time to take up something new. There is usually some kind of inspiration beforehand and I think – gee, it would be good to be able to do that.
Now, Im not talking about anything stupid like parachuting or abseiling (did that once and slid half way down the cliff because the dill who had the safety anchor was … well, he was old and not quite fast enough) but nice safe things that you can do in the comfort and safety of the home.
Well, generally safe, as I recall one of the times I was doing some woodwork (one of those hobbies that was quite beneficial for a while) and knocked a full can of coke from a top shelf right onto my noggin’. I used to wear safety glasses to keep out the wood chips from the router but was totally unaware that a safety helmet should also be worn. Don’t you hate having to do first aid on yourself (luckily the stars lasted only a short time).
Reminds me of another time I had to do a bit of self-administered first aid when I decided to test the new Master Chef mandoline not with a carrot but with my finger. Those things are sharp I winced as I somehow bandaged myself and drove to the hospital for some emergency treatment. Luckily cooking is not a hobby otherwise I may be sans fingers by now. Although I do enjoy finding a new recipe most Thursdays on my cooking night – now, this is a hobby that annoys Caroline as she says “something simple will do” – what’s the point of that. A bit like teaching yourself some woodwork and only making a box – not the cupboards and magnificent dog kennel I hammered together (who cares that the first cupboard had a slight lean, it was mine and served us well – and it didn’t even need an allen key to put together).
On the subject of wood there was one stage there where I thought I needed to frame some pictures. Sure I could have bought a frame for only a fraction of the cost but is that as much fun. I now know all about making frames and have the tools in the cupboard if ever I decide to get that urge again.
An urge that Caroline was pleasantly happy that went away and hopes it stays that way was my dabbling in the harmonica. From my interest in blues music comes an obvious appreciation of blues harp playing. A few Hohner’s later (you need more than one harp) and she was secretly going nuts. The dogs loved the noise and I learnt to play a few tunes, a really good train, and could even bend notes. I thought it was fun and did learn quite a bit about breathing (an extremely important hobby – breathing that is).
I mentioned the dogs, dog training started off as a hobby and is a pastime that has stuck with me. Although I spend more time with other people’s dogs rather than poor little Dusty who is yet to learn any magic like Dixie.
Magic – now that was a fun hobby. I always loved magic after I got an Houdini book one Christmas and used to spend a bit of time at Aladdin’s (since gone) and Bernard’s (still there) in the city. I now have a lovely collection of DVDs, cards, gimmicks, tricks and other secret paraphernalia (Dixie even has a magician’s cape that she has worn during several public performances – yes, we have performed our magic in public and Dixie did a great job). Magic was a quiet hobby so Caroline didn’t go that nuts.
And now I have a new hobby – guitar. One day I will be able to strum together some tunes and hit a few chords. Always wanted to play the guitar and now I have that chance. It’s bigger to carry around than the harmonica but as Caroline say “isn’t as screechy as the bloody harmonica” either. I will be doing something that I never got around doing with the harmonica and that is lessons so maybe one day this hobby might actually be more than just a passing fad (like the Russell yo-yo was – now wasn’t that a great past-time – may favourite was walk-the-dog and rock-the-cradle). Oh, and something I haven’t done with any of my other hobbies is take lessons (dog training doesn’t count) – not that I’ve started yet so maybe I’ll have to blog about my progress – although that will probably drive Caroline nuts.
Have fun with your learning. (I wonder if driving Caroline nuts counts as a hobby?)