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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

H is for Hobbies

" Hobbies were in style"

 Once upon a time, In the old days,  -really not so very long ago, people  had hobbies.

They created elegant oil paintings, carved stone gargoyles and grew orchids.  Gray-haired men  wearing dusty hats and leather aprons  also dabbled in ceramic pot-making,  carved clocks,  tied customized trout flies, and went fishing on the firth on Saturday afternoons. 
 Perhaps when they had enough clocks and were maddened by excesses of  trout flies, ceramic pots and  wooden  tick-tocks, they sallied off to America for high adventure.  Sailors showed them how to  built perfectly-scaled model sailing-ships inside glass bottles on the way.  They discovered stuff, drank whiskey, and pursued dreams of gold.
                                   " The End. "

The fact is, that wasn't the end at all. Hobbies, skills, and interests did migrate to North America with people from all over the world.
In America, congregating at the town smithy and hammering iron into useful, durable artifacts, they  twisted white-hot metal into horseshoes, fancy utilities, perfect iron oak leaves and wrought-iron gates. "Blacksmithing" remains a hobby today.
Ceramic greenware

 They also tooled  leather, made saddles  and constructed durable furniture for the homestead. Some whittled corncobs into pipes, made walking-sticks or wooden decorations for the front door.
 Some went back to making ceramic pots.

 Silver-haired ladies and young women alike making tea and passing pleasantries, spoke of gardens, flowers, food  and the latest fashions from foreign lands  while they sewed, knitted, pearled, tatted and gossiped.

A fine selection of colours in oil

 Hobbyists  created fine works of art in crochet,  needlepoint and other stitchery, and painted in oils, watercolors, and any other medium available in that era.

Antique and modern marbles

  Children played with pet rabbits,  tickled trout, carved wood, made toys and collected pebbles,  insects, coins, and  glass marbles.


Hobbies were in style. 
Interestingly, hobbies were often  social  distraction with a purpose--the lighter, more enjoyable  jobs attended to when not working or otherwise occupied with backbreaking labour and the essentials of survival.
Having a hobby kept the hands busy,  the mind away from the devil, and most hobbies produced something useful.
Today, H is for hobbies.   Hobbies still exist, but associated skills are much diminished.
 Hobbies entertain the willing as they always have. Artificial entertainments such as television, social media and other distractions  have, unfortunately,  reduced the interest in hobbies requiring genuine, specialized skills.

 If you have more than one hobby,  you are fortunate indeed. As a distraction from mundane life with it's endless assorted problems, even a single hobby is priceless. The prime directive of a hobby is enjoyment of life via one's expression of creativity.
Collections, whether they consist of  old and contemporary glass, coins, stamps, baseball cards, toys,  old airplanes or automobiles --are equally  considered to be hobbies.

  Modern hobbies curiously may produce little creativity--resulting in  collections of  older or contemporary artifacts.
Paradoxically, hobbies may often include attempts to reproduce artifacts that have appreciated in real value --from the skill sets and hobbies of the  ' good old days'.

Collecting old and Contemporary glass is a modern hobby

A modern collection of Swans

What will you choose to do with your spare time? Do you wish to vegetate, numbed by endless, boring sitcoms on television, or playing Bridge  or 'Monopoly'?

Why not enjoy using hobby skills brilliantly gleaned  from years of practice and enjoyment? Why not collect interesting objects and teach others about your wonderful hobbies?
 Hobbies were in style, and can be again. 
Go for it. Make something of your time.

Is that incoming I hear?


  1. Actually, I have a few hobbies. For the A - Z Challenge, however, I'm only blogging about my crochet hobby: http://lotsofcrochetstitches.blogspot.com/ This is a wonderful way to while away hours at a time, and still be very productive. Blogging about it, another hobby of mine, makes it extra special because I can share my hobby with others, while showing them how to make some crocheted pieces for themselves. It's always fun when I receive comments from people excited to use what I share in projects of their own. It's also neat when my blog brings back memories, inspiring people to start crocheting again. Indeed, hobbies are a wonderful thing to write about. Nice post, Raymond!

    1. Hi MJ, you have a great hobby and a wonderful blog! Your work is beautiful, and teach others to do it too, that is a worthy hobby in itself! I have a couple of photos for you, will send them soon. I have so many hobbies--well, a Jack of all Trades has to have many...":) Thanks for visiting, MJ! ~R

  2. Well, if you put it like that . . . .

    actually, in days long gone I had lots of hobbies: collecting, making, entertaining, reading, writing. Then blogging got in the way.

    I think I'll add myself to your followers, let's see what happens round here.

    1. Friko, one cannot have too many hobbies, including blogging! ":) Thanks for following too, much appreciated, and I do hope you enjoy this 'hobby' of mine too! As they say, 'we attempt to entertain'........Thanks for visiting! ":)

  3. My hobbies? Writing, picking up garbage in public and scrubbing of grafitti, and playing clarinet.

    Oh. And watching "Intervention" and "Hoarders". :-)


  4. Pearl,-- your writing is a National treasure, or at least a Minnesotan one, it is so hilarious. I love it!
    Scrubbing off graffiti is a worthy hobby as long as you are playing the clarinet as you do so, the entertainment value of such things can only be matched by picking up garbage in public. Do all Minnesotans do that?
    I hope so. We have discovered that playing the clarinet is essential, especially if we have been watching "Intervention" and "Hoarders", and the house is full. ":))

  5. I have a wide variety of hobbies, which all fall in that creative place of old. I sew, crochet, make jewelry, draw and paint murals, create poetry (duh), tend my plants, arrange flowers and occasionally I restore an old car to keep me busy.

    And I still find time for social media and video games. I span the millenia ;)

  6. Red, that 'CREATIVE PLACE OF OLD' is a whole different world, isn't it? Fascinating. Your poetry is wonderful too, by the way.
    You sound like 'our place' where we do everything, all at once. We never have enough hours in the day for our 'hobbies'. I cannot believe many people have absolutely no hobbies at all. What will they do when they get 'old', watch television ? The only thing I do not do is play video games, cards, or board games. I have far too many other interests to keep me on the move.
    Thanks for commenting --your input into this topic may encourage others to get creative too! ":) ~R


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