Becky says things about … hobbies

As, splendid Listener, I have just turned 30, WHICH WE SHALL QUICKLY GLOSS OVER WITH THE SPEED AND STEALTH OF A RABBIT TRAINED IN NINJA SKILLS, I feel I should mark the beginning of a decade by taking up a new hobby.

I’ve never been very good at hobbies. I have always admired and/or detested those folk who answer a ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ question with ‘Oh, I’m going rally car racing then I’m foraging for fossilised mountain goat horns. It’s my hobby, you know.’ That sounds so impressive.

Back in the day when you had to put your hobbies on your CV (or resume for my American buddies), I had to reel off sad banalities like ‘going to the cinema’ or ‘reading’ or ‘socialising’; I was never able to write ‘alpine belly sliding’ or ‘taxidermy’, which was a shame.


I tried photography for a bit in my teens, which was pleasant, but once I’d filled an entire photo album with slightly blurred pictures of sunsets and close-ups of flowers, there wasn’t much else to do apart from occasionally look at them and wish I knew what an aperture was.

I once played badminton two Tuesdays in a row, so that was nearly a hobby.

As a very small child, I collected stamps with one of those magazine subscription offers that try to get kids interested in wholesome pastimes instead of plummeting into a life of drug abuse and prostitution. I got a stamp book, some tweezers and a magnifying glass (which I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with, as I could see the stamps perfectly well using my normal eyes), and I quite enjoyed myself; but then I saw my friend’s rock and precious stone collection from National Geographic magazine, and my stamps became a vicious symbol of my inability to judge the excitement levels of a hobby.


Then I thought I’d take up ice skating. My aunt took me on my first trip to an ice rink, and I, filled with confidence at the simplicity of figure skating because I had watched Torvil and Dean in the 1994 Winter Olympics, decided I would take it up as a hobby and become brilliant and move to Switzerland and compete in skating tournaments. Then I put on a pair of ice skates, spent 15 minutes clutching for dear life onto the side of the rink, and quietly crossed off this diabolical recreation and cursed my physical ineptitude.


I am currently sitting in front of a list of hobbies on Wikipedia, so let’s see if I can draw some inspiration for my new hobby.

Electronics. Well, I turned on the bathroom light earlier, then about four minutes later I turned it off again, and I’m currently using electrical gadgetry to use my laptop and cook my cod fillet – hell, I’m already doing electronics as a hobby and I didn’t even realise it!

Jigsaw puzzles. Now, I love a jigsaw. My Funnybones puzzle gave me many hours of pleasure as a child. But surely you can’t do a jigsaw puzzle every night. I’m certain that after a while it would affect your day-to-day life.


World-building. According to Wikipedia, world-building is ‘the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe’. If that is the case, then I spent most of my childhood engaged in this hobby every time I opened my BIG RED BOX OF LEGO DREAMS.


Hula-hooping. I cause enough damage to objects and people around me when I’m standing still, let alone when I’ve got a giant wheel of death spinning round my torso at 3,000 miles an hour.


Wood-carving. I do not have the urge to see a particular object represented in wood. More to the point, I can’t peel a carrot without slicing off five layers of skin, so hacking away at a block of oak means certain amputation.

Soap-making. I buy soap in the shops. They sell it in shops.

Archery. Listen, unless you are Robin Hood, or at least live in Nottingham and regularly get into scrapes with the local Sheriff, you shouldn’t be anywhere near a bow and arrow.


LARPing (live action role playing). I think I’m already doing this hobby: I quite often pretend I’m being chased so that I’ll walk faster and thus get home quicker. Also, when I’m listening to music, I almost always pretend I’m in a film (the genre of which depends on the type of music, it goes without saying). So, one hobby I can tick off the list!

Rock-balancing. Rock balancing. It’s an actual thing. And I’ve just spent nine minutes looking at pictures of it on Google images. It’s like an extreme yet almost meditative outdoor Jenga. I like the sound of it. I’m going to take it up right now. In the absence of any rocks in my bedroom, I’m going to balance my favourite mug on top of a lipstick on top of a glass of Merlot on top of a picture of my grandmother.


It’s a stupid hobby and I don’t want to do it anymore.

Well, maybe I won’t take up a new hobby. Oh no wait… people watching! That’s a hobby? You mean all the hours I’ve spent staring at strangers and silently making up personalities and histories for them and eavesdropping on their private conversations, is actually a hobby??? Hurrah! I’ll just keep doing that, then. I wonder if I’ve still got that magnifying glass from my stamp collecting days…




59 thoughts on “Becky says things about … hobbies

  1. Becky
    Your blog is an absolute joy – have just read your latest post whilst eating my lunch – nearly choked on a sun blushed tomato (I know, sun blushed, how posh is that?? (well a girl can dream)).
    Keep up the good work – you are a wonderful and natural writer.


    1. Mel, what a completely lovely comment! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, but concerned to hear about the near-fatal sun-blushed tomato attack. As you say, thank goodness it would have been a posh death 🙂
      Thanks so much, I hope I don’t disappoint with the next post!

  2. Well Becky, I nearly choked on my lunch too whilst reading your blog. Unfortunately, I was eating an un-posh chicken tika wrap, so unlike my fellow reader I would have had a very common un-posh death 😦 Although on second thoughts quite apt for me! 🙂

  3. Becky you are just beyond excellent. I can’t tell you the number of times I laughed out loud while reading this. Is there anything you can’t write about in a way that brings so much enjoyment to so many? I hope the book sales are going well……everyone needs a dose of BeckySaysThings……

  4. This was brilliant! Seeing a new post from you in my reader is always a joy, Needless to say, I love Stick Man!! 🙂

      1. Ohhh you’re the only person (so far) who’s said that to me today! In which case, I love you too. Let’s elope and live on a mountain and keep goats. Is that too much too soon?

              1. You can have Laverne, as long as I can have Mortimer. He was a sprightly little thing.
                I’m glad we’ve been able to break up peacefully. If only more people involved goats in their break up, there’d be less pain in the world.

  5. I love your blog and ;pictures. I was so happy to see that there was another installment today.
    Should you want to take up jigsaw puzzles, I suggest trying one from the dollar store first.
    Also, I guess we are completely opposite. You quickly decide that a hobby won’t work for you, where I quickly decide that I should take up a new hobby. If you don’t believe me, check out my other blog (not on WP) which is entirely devoted to hobbies. I think I have taken up, abandoned for a time, taken up again and abandoned for a time, hundreds (if not thousands) of hobbies. I obviously need help, or a less generous credit card limit.
    Thanks again for your blog.

      1. Indeed I haven’t, though it sounds like you are challenging me. I will have to go and shovel off some rocks…okay, maybe this will have to wait for spring….or until I can find a store that sells flat rocks.

  6. People watching! As a smoker married to a non, I get plenty of chances when he drags me off shopping and has to go into EVERY DAMN SHOE SHOP. I have seen some awesome shit while not looking at shoes.

      1. I think he rubbed off on me though. I look at their shoes. My best sighting ever was a strong looking grey haired older lady, wearing the awesome-as-hell New Rock boots I wanted for myself. She showed me right there I didn’t have to be a kid to pull them off. I loved her strut!

  7. So, you use that posh store bought soap. Here in Pennsylvania we mix pig lard with the ash of dead relatives. It makes us sticky, and coyotes chase us, but at least were not all snooty.

  8. Have you picked out the best soundtrack song that’s playing as strangers are chasing you to quicken your pace to get home from work faster, Becky?

    Happy 30th year.

    You’re an awesome blogger, and quite an astute hobby-picker, too.

    1. Thank you so much!
      And yes, I have several ‘shit, I’m being chased by a gang of angry youths and they’re gaining on me’ songs that I listen to when I need to get home particularly quickly – it works a treat!

  9. My newest hobby is trampolining. I think I’m doing it wrong, though – I keep hurting my back so badly that I can’t breathe without pain for a couple of months. Surely hobbies are meant to be good for you?

  10. Happy Birthday, Becky!!! I hope it was wonderful. And would you look at all your incredible hobbies you do without even knowing it. I’m thinking about that rock balancing. I wanted something meditative, but meditation all by itself is so hard. Maybe this is what I need. So hilarious, as always! Please watch out for those hula hoops!!

  11. fun list and happy 30th to you 🙂 I am guessing that your hobby is writing. Mine is food and have somehow managed to make it into a business. Because extreme people like us (who also have that symbiosis thing going on) like our hobbies so much that we turn them into our vocation. Just a theory. Oh, and your hobby is also drawing stick figures and being clever.

    1. Good points, Liz. You’ve nabbed the best hobby, clearly – FOOD!!! The greatest hobby of them all. I think my favourite and most prolific hobby is definitely eating. And a bit of writing. (Don’t tell anyone but I prefer eating.)
      Cheers Liz 🙂

  12. Just keep Stick Man far, far away from sharp implements. Blood baths seem to ensue (and hula hoops mysteriously become ninja children’s training tools. I’m surprised Colin made it out of this post in one piece). In fact, keep Stick Man far, far away from ANY implements. Oh, and btw…just going to take a moment to get all schoolmarm on you…We Yanks use both resumes and CVs. Resumes typically focus on one area of experience and are more commonly used than CVs, which lists everything, from work and travel (though we usually leave out the multiple booze-cruise excursions) to child ninja death-by-hula-hoop training and flower arranging.

  13. I’m glad I didn’t see this when it was freshly posted as it’s just cheered up what was fast becoming an incredibly dull Monday afternoon at work.

    You’ve also reminded me that I once completed a Spaghetti Junction jigsaw. Maybe I could put that on my CV. It was quite an achievement and demonstrates attention to detail, determination and that I should probably get a life.

    Please continue to avoid hula-hooping 😉

    1. A Spaghetti Junction jigsaw. Now THAT is an achievement. I think you should be immeasurably proud of yourself. My Funnybones jigsaw has paled in comparison.
      I’m glad your dull Monday was enlivened – I can also recommend chair-twirling to enliven a dull Monday. Although make sure you are not next to a radiator. My ankle is still sore.

  14. Reblogged this on jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar and commented:
    Becky says cheeky things about hobbies. jak says sensible things about hobbies. based on what she lists:
    1. Stamps, rocks, other collecting: I collected bottle caps once, just for the delicious irony of enjoying something an intentionally boring character like Bert on Sesame Street followed. Other than that, well, people that collect for investments? No, I don’t get that. Not comic books, not toys, etc.
    2. Ice skating: I started with roller skating. Ice skating was easier to take on after that. Oh, and going with hockey blades much of the time… no toe pick 🙂
    3. Electronics: Radio Shack is one of my favorite stores. Well, it still manages to be even after they tried to compete with the mobile phone shops.
    Archery: I learned in Scouts that I am not much of a marksman. But sister #2 (Jenn the Amazon) is a VERY good shot, and my daughter seems poised to challenge her.
    5. *cough* I started blogging because of a LARP. Ask, and I will point you to the posts about it. Perhaps you will realize why I saw my involvement as such a sad mistake.
    6. Wood carving: Oh, this wasn’t last in her list, but I’m saving it as such, because, well, I might have an actual TALENT with this. I regret that I don’t have photo evidence of such right now, but, just wait.

  15. That’s it… I’m not reading you in public anymore. I always end up spraying my drink, spitting food across the table, or laughing like a teen who just took his first hit of weed.

  16. Cool list of hobbies Becky. You couldry dulling the edges of your hoola hoops – it could be safer for bystanders.

  17. I just wanted you to know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Like all of these things there are “rules”–though you need not follow if they are too time consuming or stressful. You can find the details on my site as I didn’t want to type them again. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog and any chance of people visiting your blog through my recommendation is worthwhile.

  18. Good god, I haven’t laughed like that since the heyday of Hyperbole and a Half. I’m so glad I discovered your blog!!!

  19. Unless you get paid to write, then you might as well accept that writing in itself is your hobby. There, I solved another mystery of life. Unless off course, you are getting paid to write, then well, I got nothing. Maybe try and watch paint dry.

  20. Happy birthday. 30 is, what? It’s fantastic, that’s what it is. Wrap yourself in it. You wear it well.

    Distractions are free. Hobbies cost money. Usually quite a lot, in fact. When I was a kid I tried smoking a lot of weed for a hobby. It didn’t go well.

    Isn’t world-building and blogging the same thing? Your hobby is Stickman.

    NYC is ground zero for people watching. I sustained my broke ass for many years doing just that. You should post more frequently. Get on it, okay?

    1. NYC is one of the best people-watching places I’ve EVER been.
      I’ve never smoked weed, but it’s never too late to take it up.
      Stickman likes to be one word.
      I shall endeavour to post more frequently. Promise.

YOU say things!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s