When I was a kid, I had a lot of hobbies and extra-curricular activities. I think my folks wanted to keep me and my siblings from playing on the road as much as possible, so we spent a lot of time at classes and clubs during term time, or workshops and playschemes over the summer.
Even when we went on holiday to Pontins, we would do activities rather than hanging around the arcade all day - that was pretty awesome though, to be honest. Let's face it, I probably never would have got to do rifle shooting, quad biking, abseiling and climbing or play the most awesome game in the world- aeroball - if we hadn't!
Anyway, here's some of the many things I did as a youngster . . .
I was never very good at swimming. I mean, I'm better than your average person, I guess, but compared to everyone else in the swimming club, I was a bit shite. Basically, when you started you were put in the beginner's lane and as you progressed, you moved up to a more advanced lane, and so on. I think I moved up one lane, and then never went any further. Newer people would join me in that lane, and within a matter of weeks have moved on to the next lane. I just festered in that one lane for several years. On the upside, our dad used to give us our pocket money based on how many lengths we did so that was an incentive to make sure I did my fifty lengths every week! (It was 10p a length and was capped at a fiver so there was no point in going over that!)
I really really wanted to do tap and modern dance but they were on a Saturday afternoon and we always saw my grandparents on a Saturday afternoon so I couldn't do tap and modern dance. Ballet, however, was on a Friday night so for two years I did that as an alternative. I was not a natural at it, I always felt like a big lump compared to the skinnier girls and I didn't particularly like the dance teacher. I wasn't unhappy to give it up.
I actually chose to collect stamps, believe it or not! I was a bit obsessed with it for a while and I absolutely loved buying a bag of stamps and sorting through them. I even went as far as to enter a stamp collecting competition! I know, you're probably wondering how you can even compete in stamp-collecting - I basically had to put together a little display of stamps on a theme, I think it was an Olympic theme. I'm not sure why I gave it up in the end but I did love it for a while. I don't know if I really admitted to people I was a stamp collector though!
Inspired by Enid Blyton's boarding school books, I used to write tons of my own stories about boarding schools, despite having no experience of going to one. I started doing this really young and as a result I knew what a paragraph was and was using them way before the rest of my peers had been taught about them. I filled up so many jotters with my stories. I really wish I'd kept them so I could see just how bad they were!
This was another extra curricular activity I was not particularly impressive at. I really just am not sporty at all. Or flexible. I could do a forward and backward roll (still can) and for a while (and after a lot of practice) I could do a cartwheel, but I was never destined to become the next Olga Korbut or Nadia Comaneci (who were the big gymnasts back then). Which I was sad about but also fairly pragmatic.
One of my grans was a piano teacher so we ended up getting lessons from her when we visited there on a Sunday. I was never very good at it. I think I can play about four songs, and they're all relatively simple. In fact, I'm actually not sure if I can play them anymore, I'll need to break out the keyboard gathering dust in my boyfriend's house and see if I can! (I also played violin for a bit in school but I wouldn't say I set the world alight with that either!)
I literally went to the worst drama class in the world on a Saturday morning. It was awful. Actually, don't get me wrong, the class itself was okay and relatively good fun, and the tutors were nice. It was the end of year performances that were cringey as fuck. We were all dreadful. One year we did a sort of variety show and that turned out okay but any other performance I was in was just an utter embarrassment.
In addition to the above I also went to a recorder workshop, a cheerleader workshop and a series of circus workshops. You know you're jealous.
It's funny to look back on all these activities I used to do and compare it to what I do now. Despite my lack of skill at gymnastics, I do pole fitness these days. And struggle with it, but keep going. Perhaps because I chose to do it, rather than being told to do it. I still write, but mostly just on here. (I did write lots more stories as I grew up and fancied being a writer but I just don't think I'm good enough, or disciplined enough to work at being better on it). The only things I collect these days are nail polish, dresses that don't fit, and empty bottles of wine (which really need to be taken to the recycling bin.) And most of my extra-curricular activities involve a nice restaurant or bar!
Perhaps it's time I discovered a new hobby. In the meantime I might do some more work on my empty wine bottle collection . . . ;-)
What hobbies did you have as a kid? Have you kept any of them up?