I’m never quite sure what makes something a hobby rather than a mere pastime. How seriously does one have to follow it? Does it have to be creative? And of course, one person’s hobby is another person’s livelihood.
So I’m going to go for the very broadest definition and say something that I do because I enjoy it, that nobody pays me for.
I have plenty of hobbies, and I have most of them because I saw something in a book, thought, ‘I could do that’, and tried it. Some of them (crochet) I abandoned again; some (knitting) I do very intermittently; some (making bead jewellery) I do quite often.
Some (teaching myself to play the piano) are part of my regular routine; some (teaching myself to ice skate) have been scuppered by the coronavirus pandemic; some (gardening) have been made very much easier by lockdown; some (doing small drawings) I even do daily.
But really, all of those feel like quite a lot of effort at present. Indeed, at this point in post-launch torpor, I find myself thinking that I only write books because nobody else is writing the precise thing that I want to read. And so I go back to reading.
I’ve read quite a lot in 2020. I note that there’s a ‘best book’ prompt coming up later in the month, so I won’t talk about preferences, but I will recall…
- taking a folding chair out into the garden to read Julian of Norwich over Holy Week
- lounging on a blanket on the lawn, reading Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings
- turning my ebook reader back on after lights out to finish Slippery Creatures
- sitting in an armchair, legs tucked under me, working through the first seven Bond novels
- picking up Busman’s Honeymoon to take a photo of it, and the rest of the day just disappearing
- reading all of Four Quartets out loud to myself, with the rain beating at the roof of the conservatory
- unable to sleep, making myself a late night cup of peppermint tea, and reading Spiderweb For Two for the first time
- starting off a Saturday morning by inhaling a Jae or a Jill Mansell
- bickering amiably online about Madam Will You Talk and The Man In The Brown Suit
I have until the 20th to decide which was my favourite. I’ll let you know.