We had 36 hours of continuous rain here over the weekend – from Friday evening until Sunday morning. We’d been so used to having sunshine for the last few weeks that it was quite a change to see constant rain streaming against the window. I found my fingers itching to go looking for the crochet hook and balls of wool. If there’s one thing I like about winter, it is crocheting by a log fire watching a good film on a Saturday afternoon.
Retirement is when you can really enjoy your hobbies much more frequently and even partake in more hobbies or even take up new ones.
Golf is one hobby that it seems people can do at almost any age. Indeed, I was amused to read recently in Kevin Markham’s account of Irish golf courses in his book ‘Driving the Green’ that he considered golf to be the one sport that you can play from age 5 to 105, as golf caddies can come in useful. It’s a great way to get exercise, meet people, and of course, enjoy the camaraderie in the golf club afterwards.
Knitting and Crochet
Despite the availability of cheaper knitted clothes now, knitting and crochet are making a huge comeback. People are forming informal knitting groups and meeting in cafes and hotel lobbies to enjoy a coffee, a chat and share knitting tips. Libraries are hosting knitting groups too. What’s great about these groups is that you can learn from others and if you feel awkward about joining in a group where you don’t know people, knitting tips or queries make great conversation starters.
Cooking and Baking
There’s nothing as nice as home cooked meals and cakes. Not only will grandchildren love the baking, but it is very fashionable now to watch the huge number of cookery shows on TV and to try the recipes of celebrity chefs. One of my favourite baking programmes is the Great Irish Bake Off. Cookery schools are now available in many rural locations as well as the main centres of Cork and Dublin for example. I’m bringing my own daughter to a local cookery school this afternoon, she loves baking and I’ve booked her in for a two hour lesson with Oonagh Barrett, runner up in the Irish Bake Off last year. She teaches adults and children how to cook and bake in small groups.
Making things from wood or other materials can be hugely rewarding. Many people learn how to do woodwork in school and then, probably due to a lack of time and equipment, don’t take up this hobby again until they are retired. The Men’s Shed initiative has resulted in many award winning designs being produced by unemployed and retired men so joining one of their local organisations might be a perfect way to hone your skills (if you are male) and if this is a hobby you would like to take up again. There’s something very relaxing and therapeutic about spending time being creative.
They say everyone has a book in them. Now that you have some time on your hands, it may be just the right time to put pen to paper or get your fingers clicking on the laptop to produce a memoir or a novel or even some poetry. Even if you feel it isn’t right for publication, just writing down your memories for your grandchildren will provide them with a lovely gift. If you do want to take it further, you might like to start writing a blog or joining a local writing group. Joining a monthly reading group is a lovely activity too and means that you end up reading books you might not otherwise have heard of.
No matter how big or small your garden is, even if the only outdoor space is a balcony, there is still the scope to do some gardening. Planting up window boxes or some herbs provides fabulous colour as well as some tasty additions to your cooking. Community Gardening has many advantages too – lots of fresh air, collective responsibility for a garden, good exercise and a great way to meet others.
My own favourite hobbies are reading, gardening, cycling and crocheting. What are your favourite hobbies?
Photo: Men’s Sheds