Hobbies: Old and New

I’ve been casting about over the last couple of months for things to do. Not that I’m dissatisfied with my current range of hobbies but I feel like a change is in order. Here’s the list of stuff I currently waste my time on when I should be doing other things:

Learning French: I don’t think I’ll ever give this one up but I may stop going to classes for a while. I’ve nearly completed the menu of offerings from the Alliance Francaise in any case and I’m beginning to think that while there’s plenty of room for improvement I can probably learn more from chatting in French than I can in a classroom. I’ve been trolling t’internets for email penpals and IM buddies from French speaking countries and I’m continually surprised at the number of 16 year old who respond.

Wargaming: Again, I think this will stay but I may tone it back a bit. I’m currently in a laid back and rather freeform campaign which looks to outsiders very much like the Allied Invasion of Sicily using the Flames of War rule set. While I enjoy Flames of War no end, I may go back to just playing the much smaller scale and tighter DBA rules.

Roleplaying: I can’t see me ever giving this hobby up. It’s been with me for more than 25 years but I’m not sure I’m terribly interested in running games any more. I know that many who know me will say “he’s said that before – give him a couple of months and he’ll be back.” I’m enjoying playing in RPGs at the moment and I think I’ve found another outlet for my creative urges (see below).

Reading: This is not so much a hobby as just who I am. I read. Nowadays, I read history and whatever Peter M Ball recommends to temporarily silence my incessant whining about how crap the books in the bookstores are.

Historical Swordplay: This is an interesting one. I love it and it keeps me fit but if i have to drop something during the week to get other stuff done, this is it. For me, it’s not about historical recreation or wearing puffy shirts (which the ACA doesn’t do). It’s about trying to recapture martial skills lost to time. It gives me the chance to delve into medieval and Renaissance texts about sword fighting and put the techniques described to the test.

Audio Drama: I listen to an awful lot of modern and ancient radio drama. This is where I can potentially pick up a creative outlet. There’s a large number of people now making some pretty good audio drama available via podcast. One of the best, other than the BBC, is the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company who have dramatised for audio many of the more famous works of H. P. Lovecraft. Right now, I have written a couple of scripts for this format and I’m summoning the courage to take them through a script reading process and possibly get them produced. We’ll see how this one goes. I make no promises.

In terms of new hobbies, writing audio drama figures fairly high on the list. I’m spending an increasing amount of time bent over a script of my own creation perfecting it. The other things I’m looking at are more physical. I’d like to go back to archery (which I haven’t done in more than 20 years) to help complete the medieval martial skill set I seem to be developing. Tai Chi or dancing are other options because they give me something Kathi and I can do together.

The other past time that takes up both time and energy is Kathi and our struggle for children in the face of an (at best) uncaring or even (at worst) malicious universe. If we manage to pull that one off and bring a baby or two home, all of this becomes academic. I’ll have much more important things to do.