I HAVE reached the conclusion that if I’m to get through the coming weeks (whisper it, months) then I’ll need to find a new hobby.
This epiphany is the easy part. The tricky bit is finding something that will engage and entertain my addled brain but also won’t be a catastrophe if I lose interest after five minutes and decide to watch 11 episodes of Murder, She Wrote instead.
In the old days – pre-pandemic – I didn’t have a lot of structured hobbies. It was mostly wandering around garden centres feeling giddy with joy at the sight of bedding plants and agonising over seed potato varieties, before heading to the cafe for coffee and a slab of cake.
Another frequent activity was perusing musty second-hand shops, muddy car boot sales and glittering flea markets in the hope of unearthing hidden treasures or random junk that stoked a warm glow of nostalgia.
I have a soft spot for vintage crockery, be it curating mismatched tea sets or using the dining room cupboard as a retirement sanctuary for an eclectic array of lone dinner plates with faded patterns and time-worn porcelain from someone’s once good china.
Susan Swarbrick’s Week: I need a bedathon – blankets, biscuits and box set binges
My other weakness is mid-century modern furniture. Teak. Walnut veneer. I’m a sucker for a sideboard or a sleek drinks trolley. Ditto anything made from rustic or reclaimed wood (I think the latter is what interior designers might dub “farmhouse chic”).
Not everyone is a fan, I realise. I read recently that younger people don’t like “brown furniture”. I wonder if future generations will feel the same way about white Malm chest of drawers and Billy bookcases from Ikea?
Unfortunately, my favourite haunts of garden centres, second-hand shops, car boot sales and flea markets are currently a no-go and might be for a while yet.
With this in mind, it struck me that it might be worth revisiting some of the erstwhile hobbies that previously got shelved due to a so-called lack of time.
The joy of a flea market. Picture: Getty
Like pottering around with the metal detector that I was fleetingly obsessed with after binging all three series of Detectorists in a single weekend.
There is also my vast pebble collection (I still blush at the not-so-muffled curses of the removal men tasked with carting it down the stairs from my old second-floor tenement flat). I have some half-baked idea of polishing/varnishing/painting said pebbles one of these days. We’re not there yet.
Until the Scottish Government sees fit to appoint a Hobbies Tsar, we will need to muddle along as best we can. The other day I found a list of “100 Hobby Ideas” and began sifting through for activities that might work in our current lockdown scenario.
Susan Swarbrick’s Week: From a winter wonderland to an ice-bound hell
Among the suggestions were home brewing, cosplay and making a scrapbook. I had a sudden vision of me half-cut on the sofa, dressed as Wonder Woman, trying to glue photographs onto cardboard.
Ah well, another Murder, She Wrote marathon it is, then.
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