As I officially lack the sporting gene, rugby or any other real sport isn’t something I could ever legitimately put down as a hobby. (Unless the sporting world finally accepts ‘cheese-eating’ as a formally recognized game, as it should be.) In fact, announcing what my hobbies are, whether socially, at interviews, or on CVs, has always caused more anxiety in my life than it should have. That’s right, beloved readers. I am dragging you into the hectic ongoing discussion that is – hobbies. Might want to get a large beverage before we begin.
I know what you’re thinking. Really? What can possibly be said about hobbies? Well, I for one include them in the list of life’s perils where we might come a cropper – I firmly believe that. One of the very worst questions you can ask an adult – over and above ‘When are you going to do something with your hair?’ and ‘What even is that on your face?’ – is ‘What are your hobbies?’ It should be a simple one. You should be able to spring forth gracefully and detail how you’re going to struggle to fit in your Grade 8 bassoon exam at the weekend; and how both it and your potter’s wheel won’t fit into the back of your Mini Cooper, all of which you need to do before your midweek chapel tour around Lincolnshire for the third time this year – and when are you going to find time to do your rock-climbing? Honestly, some people are absolute slaves to their extra-curricular activity. Not me.
But no, who among us – and please say this isn’t just me – when asked that question, doesn’t simply shrug, stare at their shoes and mumble ‘uh, coffee?’ Except even then I remember that I haven’t actually been to a coffee shop for eight months, and even then they got my order wrong and it was too busy for me to feel comfortable in my surroundings, so I sat and drank a peppermint tea (definitely not what I requested) and looked at my phone awkwardly for half an hour pretending I belonged there before shuffling home with a blueberry and white chocolate muffin to watch Netflix. And no, Netflix doesn’t count as a hobby any more than ‘sleeping’ or ‘washing’ or ‘sitting quietly on Habbo’ (unless sitting quietly is considered meditation, in which case you’re very sneaky indeed).
There are some people born with certain passions, which they’ve happily and confidently carried forwards into adulthood. I envy them greatly because for me, the question of hobbies is a troubling one. As a child, it was easy. At the age of 10, I could unashamedly reel off a list of much-loved recreational activities, all of which I enjoyed regularly, and many of which involved some kind of nifty uniform and an elaborate badge system. I was never in the Cubs or Boy Scouts or whatever they’re called in your neck of the woods, but I did do gymnastics, trampolining, swimming, skateboarding – I was even in the chess club. In fact, my imagination was so left field when I was a kid in school (read: weird) that I had a multitude of things that you could consider as hobbies. These did include: playing as animals, being a medieval knight with a pretend sword, playing with toy trains, being a train, unsuccessfully climbing trees, being a tree (I was a very convincing spruce), hosting elaborate tea-parties with my stuffed animals (hands up if you did this, I was all about that with my Pokemon characters, don’t judge) or just generally being a mischievous young boy running around a field. Of course, those are just some very exaggerated examples, none of which I actually did. (I did. I definitely did.)
If the imaginative side of things wasn’t for you, you could be one of many avid collectors. That was a highly regarded and specialised hobby when I was aged 10. Some people collected stickers or gemstones or playing cards or whatever. As an aside note, I will share with you this: I was a collector of, wait for it – dice and ties. Oh yes, very cool was I. I was sixty before I was sixteen, let’s be honest. But I could still list it as a hobby, thank you very much. Whatever your game, these were all joyous, clearly identifiable and legitimate pastimes. But back then, these were all things I could do between homework and dinner time, and it came naturally. These days? I can barely list ‘I play piano’ and ‘I am sometimes in stage productions’ into casual conversation. Sigh.
What about you guys? I’m very keen to know how you feel about hobbies. What hobbies do you have? Did you ever have more and better hobbies as a kid? Most importantly, did you have a weird hobby? Let me know in the comments below!