Jun 3, 2011


We've got a bank holiday weekend in Ireland, so I thought I'd talk about hobbies and the things we like to do when we give ourselves time to just completely chill out and ignore our day to day cares.

I remember going through countless different hobbies as a child. I read cooks on history, dinosaurs, science, model-making, art, the lot. I took classes in martial arts, pottery and drawing. I've even dabbled in archery and horse-riding. For various reasons I let a lot of my hobbies go over the years. I don't have a head for science, so while I find scientific discoveries absolutely fascinating, I get frustrated because I can't get my head to accommodate my own scientific thoughts.

I guess I figured pretty early that I was better at creative things than academic pursuits.

For the last 15 years or so my major hobby has been tabletop roleplaying games and board games. My interest in them is directly responsible for the majority of friends I have. We have regular weekly game nights, and every few weeks I'll host an afternoon-long gaming day at our house on a Saturday. As I see people drift and make changes in their lives due to work, relationships or where they live, it's incredibly reassuring to have this common interest and an easy way to bring a lot of friends together in one place. It's really rewarding to get together and create stories for our mutual fun and entertainment. We might not be able to all go to the cinema together on a Friday night anymore, or hang around drinking coffee for hours on end, but we can take the time to meet up on an evening, have a bit of fun, and remember why we're all still friends.

What about you guys? What pastimes keep drawing you back?


  1. Sadly I have let most of the hobbies I've had over the years fall by the wayside, and now I have very little in the way of pasttimes to keep me occupied.

    Like you, I have done a plethora of things over the years, including dance (ballet, jazz, irish)swimming, aqua aerobics, lifesaving (this one got me a job back in the day!), hockey, tennis, badminton, football, ice skating, tai chi, tried trampolining once, gym going, aerobics classes, roleplaying VERY briefly (once, and it terrified me so much that I will never do it again), LARP (for about 4 Sundays in Raheny a long time ago)...the list goes on!

    Until last year I played football twice or 3 times a week, but I'm not playing at the moment and I've not taken anything else up! I suppose it doesn't help that I'm in the UK, and while I do have a couple of friends here, the ones that I used to do all of this stuff with have either left London or the UK entirely.

    Basically I have never really found anything that I love enough to see it through, and try though he might, Brian has never gotten me to take much of an interest in one of his main hobbies, boardgames. It's just not something I enjoy, with the exception of the odd game of Settlers or Thurn und Taxis, and while I'm glad that Brian attends boardgaming sessions and has people around for games occasionally, it's not something I'll be joining him at any time soon!

    I'm always saying to myself that I'll do a French course, or I'll join a badminton club, and I've been here for 3 years now and have done neither!

    I attend a Yoga class on a Tuesday, but since it's on at 4pm, it's rare for me to actually finish work in time to get to it!

    So I do hope I find something soon that I can do regularly and that I enjoy enough to stick with!

  2. I'm kind of the same way. I inherited from my dad a fascination with everything, but an inability to focus long-term on any one hobby. The only exceptions are reading and writing (and, oddly, crocheting).

    I enjoy gaming too, though as my group of gaming friends spreads out more and more we have a harder time getting together.

  3. My singing is a hobby that takes up quite a bit of time. Hubby and I folkdance. And we play mah jong once a month with another couple. I play some computer games (spider solitaire and mah jong) and reading, which has continued from childhood.

  4. Oh and I have always had a book on the go, but reading's not a particularly sociable past time!

  5. Happy bank holiday!

    Hm, I've always been into athletic pursuits, but you can't really go long-jumping down a London street, yanno? Well, I suppose you could, but... I'm not going to any time soon!

  6. Rachel: Ah, it's not all that scary ;-) I do hope you find something fun though.

    A. Lockwood: It can be hard keeping a group together, all right. Like anything worthwhile it needs committment and compromise, I suppose.

    Karen: Folkdancing? Awesome! I love mahjong, too, though I normally play solo.

    Talli: I would *love* to see that! I wish I was more athletic, but I'm left heaving after a short sprint. I'm either an undiagnosed asthmatic or the most unfit person in the world.

    It's weird though, that I've never considered reading as a hobby. Not until I got to college and met people who actually didn't read for fun at all. That kind of threw me.

  7. I like gardening and reading and cooking...I guess I'm kind of a quiet hobby gal. i wish I could have said sky-diving and bungee-jumping!

  8. I'm curious about the kinds of board games you play on a weekly (regular) basis. I couldn't imagine playing Monopoly every week. I like the Settlers of Cataan, but I don't know many other of these kinds of games.

    I read when I can. Write when I have the right chunk of time. Movies and TV to veg. Music is always playing at my house.

  9. Melissa: Yeah, my hobbies are pretty quiet, too. My wife loves gardening, she just hates that she can't do it while 8 months pregnant.

    Brent: Well our weekly game night are for roleplaying games, not board games. I can't stand Monopoly myself. When we have a board game night it's usually Arkham Horror, Pandemic, Last Night on Earth, Small World, Battlestar Galactica, etc.

  10. Fascinating list of hobbies in these comments. Gardening? Only because the neighbours will complain after six months of weed growth. Cooking? I found early on that kids are vicious if not fed - and then teenagers eat all the time! Games? perhaps cards with friends and a few bottles of wine, though this is just as easily replaced with a girls night out for dinner. Reading? Yes yes yes - that one's just for me.