Tag Archives: hobbies

2329. A jolly funeral

Louis was dead. He had been a fanatical breeder of dahlias. When the word “fanatical” is used it simply means he was pretty keen on the idea of developing new varieties of dahlia, and most people thought that was boring, which is why they called him a fanatic.

When Louis died, neighbour Ursula would normally have attended his funeral but she was getting near the end of quilting a bed covering to give to Raewyn for her birthday. Besides, Louis was a bit of a fanatic when it came to dahlias, and Ursula had better things to do than attend the funeral of a fanatic.

When Louis died, neighbour Selwyn would normally have attended his funeral but he was getting near the end of repainting the veranda in preparation for the barbeque season, and Selwyn loved his barbeques! Besides, Louis was a bit of a fanatic when it came to dahlias, and Selwyn had better things to do than attend the funeral of a fanatic.

When Louis died, neighbour Raewyn would normally have attended his funeral but she was getting near the end of removing the labels off the jars she was going to use for pickling later in the season. Besides, Louis was a bit of a fanatic when it came to dahlias, and Raewyn had better things to do than attend the funeral of a fanatic.

When Louis died, neighbour Olive would normally have attended his funeral but if she didn’t have her daily exercise and workout in the gym then it was grumpiness for the rest of the day. Besides, Louis was a bit of a fanatic when it came to dahlias, and Olive had better things to do than attend the funeral of a fanatic.

It could be construed that the few who attended Louis’ funeral were a fairly boring bunch; none of them had any hobbies worth writing home about.

2096. Hobbies

When Englebert retired he was looking forward to doing what he’d always wanted to do, and that was to learn to make bread. For forty years he had slaved away as a proctologist, and a very good proctologist he was. Now it was time to put such things aside, don the baker’s hat, and learn to make bread.

His wife was a qualified gastroenterologist, and that was how they had met. Glennis had retired two years earlier than Englebert, and had taken up pastry making. She was very good at it. In fact, Englebert blamed her pastry success as being the cause of his growing rotundity.

Englebert’s first attempt at bread was disastrously inedible. Further attempts were described by wife Glennis as being the perfect vehicle for enjoying the taste of melted butter.

These days Englebert has become an expert at growing ranunculus in pots. Englebert is thinking of branching out and growing a greater variety. Already the number of pots on the patio has become a little disturbing. And on the porch. And in the living room. What he needs is a green house.

Quite frankly, Glennis wished he’d just stuck to bread making.

1672. Vicky’s day

Vicky decided to walk to the shops because all she needed was some tomato sauce and a potato. If she wasn’t walking she would buy a bag of potatoes, but it was such a lovely day that she decided to walk and not have to carry home a heavy bag of potatoes. She would simply get the one potato for her dinner and then tomorrow she could take the car and then she would get a whole bag of potatoes. Not too big a bag of potatoes of course because it doesn’t take that long before they start sprouting, and since she lived alone she didn’t actually needed a very big bag. Of course, she also varied her diet with pasta and rice and couscous and various noodles. It’s not as if she had a potato every day, but on this particular day she was peeling and boiling a potato to go with coleslaw and a sausage (which is why she needed to get some tomato sauce).

When she returned from the shop she started preparing dinner right away. After all, it was time for the daily news on television, and she could see the television screen from the kitchen bench. Dear me, there is such tragedy in the world these days, and the poor people on the street were almost enough to make one feel guilty about having a sausage.

Since it was Wednesday, after the television news came a program on Nature. Vicky loved to watch it. It was always most interesting and she would (only once a week mind you, usually she would sit at the dining table) eat her evening meal in the armchair in front of the television.

The next day Vicky got a phone call from her sister saying that she (Victoria) should find a few interests and not mope around doing hardly anything. Vicky said that her sister was probably right. She would do something about it. But first, since the day was so sunny and lovely, she would walk to the shops and get a potato to go with her sausage for dinner. (Sausages come in packets of six and she didn’t want to waste them). This time she would have a bit of variety by mashing the potato.

1075. A fishy story

To be honest, Tetra was tired of being a “Fishing Widow”. Her husband Finlay, was hooked on fishing. He was never home. Tetra would carp on and on about it.

“You seem to have fish on the brain,” said Tetra.

“Don’t be such a wet fish,” said Finlay. “When it comes to fishing I’m just a little fish in a big pond.”

“You should cast your net wider and find other interests,” said Tetra.

“You’re a queer fish. It’s just a red herring. I’d be like a fish out of water,” said Finlay. “I haven’t got bigger fish to fry. I don’t mind fishing around for other interests but it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.”

“But there are plenty of other fish in the sea,” said Tetra.

“I really don’t see what that’s got to do with the price of fish,” said Finlay. “It’s neither fish nor fowl whether I take up another interest. Quite frankly, I don’t give a flying fish. Life can be crooked as a barrel of fish hooks. I need other interests like a fish needs a bicycle.”

“At least you don’t go to the pub like other men and drink like a fish,” said Tetra. “That would be another kettle of fish altogether.”

“Holy mackerel!” said Finlay. “If that happened I’d imagine I’d become quite boring.”

Tetra stared like a stunned mullet.

943. Edible weeds


Rhoda was an enthusiast. Sometimes she was accused of not being able to stick to something, but it was nothing like that at all. She would do something for a year, and then move on to another interest. All her interests had something to do with food. Two years ago she was into making pickles and chutneys. She had cupboards full of every combination; fig and leek chutney for example, and apple, rosemary and mango. Last year she was into breads; she made every type of bread under the sun. And this year (she had been given a book for Christmas) she was into edible weeds.

Until her Christmas gift – Edible Weeds of the World – Rhoda had no idea that so many of the plants growing wild were able to be eaten. First she tried wild onion. It grew everywhere. It seemed to be a cross between onion and garlic, and the leaves, flowers and bulbs could all be devoured. Why anyone would ever need to buy onions and garlic and chives after this discovery was anyone’s guess. Wild onions were as common as anything.

And then there were gorse flowers, and wild nasturtiums, and the roots and uncurled fronds of specific ferns, and fennel, and mint, and thistle heads, and… Quickly, Rhoda’s edible weed menu grew and developed into a huge and burgeoning thing of wonder. She foraged and found and used all sorts of weeds she hadn’t even known existed.

It was such a shame when she poisoned her whole family.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!

597. Malcolm developed an interest

© Bruce Goodman 30 May 2015


Malcolm developed an interest in canaries. He was an enthusiast. His sudden venture into keeping and breeding canaries came right out of the blue.

He built a fairly large aviary, as well as smaller breeding cages. And he purchased fifteen canaries and a goldfinch: two pairs of red factors, a pair of pink, a pair of peach, a pair of green, a pair of bronze, and three canary yellow. One of the yellow ones he put with the goldfinch. Apparently if they crossbred they made the best singers of all.

One of the red factor pairs made a nest and hatched three babies. All babies died. A peach and a pink died, so Malcolm put the two remaining peach and pink together, even though they were both males. The goldfinch escaped, and the rest of the sorry bunch didn’t lay an egg between them.

Malcolm lost interest. They kind of all escaped through the “accidentally left open” aviary door into the wild where they presumably died.

Malcolm developed an interest in hydroponic gardening. He was an enthusiast. His sudden venture into hydroponic gardening came right out of the blue…

538. Cake decorating


Hazel took a course in cake decorating. It was an interest, a hobby. She made boxes and boxes of marzipan rose petals and leaves. She used some to decorate a cake. It was gorgeous.

When you don’t have any friends, there are only so many cakes one can decorate. Hazel did another cake, but, damn it, why bother? No one she knew wanted a wedding cake, or a birthday cake, or even a beautifully decorated day-to-day cake. People still preferred to pay hundreds of dollars for a professionally decorated wedding cake. Hazel would have gladly done it for nothing.

She took her boxes of marzipan rose petals and leaves, and her two decorated cakes, and fed them to the chickens.

These days she watches television.