Starting a hobby and being self sufficient?.

  spuds 10:09 07 Sep 2014

Having been retired for a number of years, and finding life can get a little boring at times, I was wondering how other member's of the forum are coping or perhaps making decisions regarding taking a further hobby or activity?.

Some might be seeking employment, while others might see the way forward, by having a new hobby.

Where I live, things like allotment societies are springing up, with the aid of the council providing small areas of land, perhaps at a peppercorn rent. This seem to attract the old plus some of the very young. One local black neighbour started producing 'exotic' fruits and veg, and its surprising how this as attracted others to follow the same path of adventure. Even leading into cookery classes and food sampling events, all home produced.

I myself was looking at supermarket eggs not long ago, and having some spare land, decided to look further in 'adopting' some ex-battery farm hens, in the hope of giving a good home in return for the occasional fresh egg. So that in progress at the moment, with the purchase of items etc.

So the questions lays open for discussion perhaps?.

  Forum Editor 10:34 07 Sep 2014

An interesting thread - I've edited your title to remove the 'an' typo by the way.

Starting a hobby seems to have fallen out of fashion in the sense that people no longer indulge in collecting stamps, birds' eggs, butterflies, football cards etc. as they did in times past. A couple of those hobbies are illegal now, of course, and obviously there are still lots of collectors, but not in such huge numbers. you don't seem to hear the word 'hobby' these days; people have 'interests' instead.

I kept chickens (and bees) when I was a teenager, still living at home in the countryside with my parents. The deal was that my father permitted the chickens and bees as long as I did the hard work - his involvement was limited to collecting and eating the eggs and eating the honey. It wasn't a hobby as much as a chore - be warned that chickens, in particular can be hard work and of course you can't go off on holiday and leave them to their own devices; it's a tie.

Nevertheless, it can be very satisfying, and I wish you luck. Nowadays I limit myself to a bit of photography and playing (in a mediocre fashion) blues on guitar- less work involved. I'll be interested to see what interests/hobbies other forum members have.

  spuds 12:26 07 Sep 2014

"Researching family history for not just my own family but inlaws, etc has been satisfying too".

I tried that a few years ago, mainly off the back of "Who do you think you are" and picking up an old local history book that gave some very interesting facts about my late father, which I was totally unaware about. Even having a very good Records Office, with helpful staff (time permitting) a couple of miles away didn't really help, because while I found the subject very interesting and wanting to do more, the old grey matter had its problems, and the project was filed away 'for now'.

Regarding returning to an hobby, I am one of those people who start an hobby, keep the gear, then thinking when giving up that hobby, I can always return when the liking take hold, with very little set-up outlay.

Nothing to do with this thread as such, but a Dakota and Spitfire as just flown over my house. No doubt more aircraft of various forms and shapes, will be flying over later, so its possibly a free grand view from the rear yard lounger. Forgot that there was a local air and enactment event on this weekend not far away. Every year it runs to packed audiences and especially those whose hobby it is. The Dakota as been brought in to do a few parachute drops to mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Arnhem. Tomorrow local newspaper will no doubt carry all the photographs, it usually does.

  spuds 12:36 07 Sep 2014


The male birds make the most noise, unless caponised, the satisfied hens do the clucking. We use to keep poultry, pigs and a few other things, so I don't think the neighbour's will mind all that much.

This venture, is due to the local RSPCA having surplus stocks of ex-battery birds requiring new homes. And I have been one of the suckers to oblige with their requests, yet again?.

  spuds 12:43 07 Sep 2014

"There you go. Volunteer for the Parachute jump, saves you from hanging about doing nothing."

Lost my 'wings' years ago, but I do have a very good friend who use to design parachutes and use to instruct at Langar among other places, years ago.

Bones and body do not act like very good shock absorbers , like they use to do :O)

  Flak999 13:03 07 Sep 2014

Since I retired I have spent more time in my garden, I enjoy gardening, I find it relaxing and good for the 'spirit' (in a purely non-religious sense of course!)

Nothing better to my mind relaxing with a glass of ice cold Bombay Sapphire admiring my handiwork from a chair on the patio on a late summers evening!

My other abiding interest is anything to do with WW2, I have had an interest in military history of this period since I was a child, having been born thirteen years following the end of the war. It is a period that fascinates me and is I believe a time when this country was at it's very best!

  Forum Editor 13:24 07 Sep 2014


"Nothing better to my mind relaxing with a glass of ice cold Bombay Sapphire admiring my handiwork from a chair on the patio on a late summers evening!"**

Substitute champagne for the gin, and I'm with you. I have large swathes of lavender and hollyhocks in my garden, and I love to sit and watch the bees and butterflies during the early part of the evenings in summer. Later on I can watch bats skimming over the pond, catching insects. Pure delight.

  Flak999 13:35 07 Sep 2014

Forum Editor

I'll take the champers too!

We have an old outbuilding with a part tiled façade where I store the lawnmower, and a colony of pipistrelle bats are roosting between the tiles and the walls.

It is fascinating sitting there at dusk watching as they come out to begin the night time hunt.

  sunnystaines 13:51 07 Sep 2014

spend my time trying to keep the weeds down and overgrowth of plants in the garden, got a stamp album not had it valued since 1965 a collection of stamps from the commonwealth King George VI era. most of my life my hobbies were sports but too old for them now.

  Aitchbee 22:53 07 Sep 2014

I am serioiusly thinkin' of giving up [nearly] all of my more 'interesting hobbies' for a few weeks [or whatever the time it takes] so's I can concentrate on the mundane-but-vital, routine-arts of dishwashing, hoovering and other daily/general housekeeping tasks etc, which I have [somehow] managed to put 'on-the-back-burner for much too long :o[

  The Old Mod 07:56 08 Sep 2014

Since taking early retirement nine years ago I can honestly say that I've never been bored. There are planned events in the week and quite often unplanned events so there is always something to do. As a hobby, my wife and I have for many years been researching our families along with other peoples when asked, this can take many hours and quite often involves travel. My wife volunteers for a local hospice and helps to run a dance class as well. My son lives in a very old house in several acres nearby and as you cam imagine there is always plenty to do there!

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