What’s the hobby?

hobby descriptionWhat are the hobbies that the following four people are describing? Perhaps: gardening, playing board games, windsurfing, train spotting, rock climbing, knitting, Scottish dancing, playing chess, making models, stamp collecting, bird watching, scuba diving, wine tasting, mountaineering. taking photos, basket weaving?

Which hobby do you think would be the most interesting of kids?

Hobbies to improve the body and mind

It is said that there are an uncountable number of hobbies and leisure time activities that you can take upIt has also been suggested that to keep a healthy body and mind it is best to participate in a physical hobby as well as an activity that engages the brain.

So, out of the following activities which two would you recommend to your friends? Furthermore, what exactly is baton twirling?Hobbies vocabulary

Hobbies and Interests

hobbies iconsWhen we are not working, studying, cleaning, washing up, paying bills and food shopping we should be having a ball. Obviously, I’m not saying that working and studying can’t be fun, but for most people, the aforementioned are more or less obligations and from my point of view, a hobby, or the things we do when we have free time or leisure time, is a choice not a necessity. In a nutshell, the definition of a hobby is something that you do in your spare time to chill out and something which you are not paid to do.

So, when you’ve got time off work, or you’re sick to the back teeth of studying, what do you get up to?

Are you nuts about listening to music like me, or perhaps you’re an adrenalin junkie like my friend who straps on a harness and spends every weekend trying to defy gravity by climbing rocks like Spiderman. Maybe you’re keen on doing physical activities in teams, or perhaps individual activities like reading and yoga are more your cup of tea.

LISTENING: Train Spotting as a hobby!

LISTENING: Train Spotting as a hobby?
train spottingTRAIN SPOTTING, TRAIN SPOTTING, Train Spotting – someone is seriously pulling my leg.

What is it?

And, ( shut up!) is it a hobby?
Well, I’ve just watched the video and it isn’t surprising to me that train spotting is mostly an activity taken up by men. Basically, train spotting is a hobby where you do nothing for long periods of time. Train Spotting isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of getting out of doing the cooking, the cleaning and the shopping. I say, lazy, lazy, LAZY!
Oh, I know – please start complaining about my shameless stereotyping. However, I’m not the only one that thinks it’s weird. If you watch the video you are going to hear the following phrases:

  1. It’s a bit of an anorak hobby
  2. It’s a bit geeky
  3. As a hobby I think that’s quite disgusting actually
  4. I think it’s highly popular, if I had the time I might even do it myself although it does belong to a certain part of the anorak community
  5. I haven’t got the faintest idea what it is?

READING: Janette says: Chess and Croquet

READING CHALLENGE: Janette says: Chess and Croquet
chessAs I’ve just started playing chess, I’d recommend playing chess to enhance strategic thinking (not that I do any thinking when I play, I just attack, attack and attack)It’s cheap as chips and you can play it face to face or online as I am doing with my 9 year old nephew who lives in the UK.

It takes 5 minutes to learn the rules and then you can start the ATTACK. And, although you might sound more intelligent if you know the accurate names of the pieces it doesn’t bother me and I call them as follows: the cavalry, the horsey, the castle, the man with the pointy hat, and the King and the Queen.

Croque on the lawn
Janette and her brother rolling around on the lawn

Furthermore, I’d suggest playing croquet because it’s physical, (well, you do a bit of walking and lots of whacking things with a big stick) you compete against others teams which is always exciting; also, personally speaking, doing things with other people is always more fun than when you do things by yourself, and finally and most importantly, it’s easy to play this outdoor game while getting drunk, fighting with your team mate, falling over and still WINNING.

Yes, despite the fact that my brother and I are always blind drunk when we play (in the photo that’s me and my brother on the lawn laughing our pants off while other members of the family are strategizing about the next move), we have been the reigning champions of the O’Carroll Family Annual Croquet Tournament for the last 10 years. Our team name is called: The Blue Rollers and if you fancy challenging us then BRING IT ON! And, if you’ve never played croquet before, you really must have a go!

WRITING: Agony Aunt says: Take Up a Hobby Lazy!

agony auntWRITING : Agony Aunt says take up a hobby
Imagine you have just read the Agony Aunt Advice section of your local tabloid newspaper. A woman in her mid thirties wrote in moaning about how boring her life is. She said she used to be a friendly outgoing person but after a series of tragic events she lost her self-confidence, never went out and didn’t keep in touch with friends.

If you want to help this woman get her life back on track then please send us a postcard suggesting 3 different hobbies she could take up and then explain why these would help her with her problem. If I were in her shoes, I would do these three things:

  1. Join a social activity club
  2. Take up wine tasting
  3. Set up a book club


VOCABULARY: From Board Games to Barbie: The Rich and Famous are just Nutjobs!

VOCABULARY: From Board Games to Barbie: The Rich and Famous are just Nutjobs!

Ok, generally speaking the rich and famous are always a little eccentric. After surfing on the net I found out that their hobbies range from synchronized swimming to collecting daggers; from sky diving to butt implants and Botox. With this in mind, can you match the celebrity, oh, and my mother, to their favourite hobbies? celebrity hobbies




Want to learn more vocabulary connected to hobbies and leisure time? Yes, sure, why not? Ok, check out the DOWNLOADS section.

Free Time: Going to Events, Fairs and Festivals

Seville's Annual FairAre you a serial festival-goer?  I wish I were.  Surely there is no better pastime than to experience different activities with a lot of different people.

The BBC runs a monthly guide to MUST DO international events, fairs and festivals.  This month you could get jiggy with some cheese, you could mark the start of spring by dancing sevillanas at the Seville April Fair, or you could go to India and check out a parade of elephants.  My money is on the UK fair of cheese rolling; it’s dangerous and a must for all adrenalin junkies.

Fancy reading more about  festivals?  No problem, click here.