Hobby wish-list

A reader wants to know if I have any hobbies. Ummmm. I wish I did; I wish I could respond with alacrity – oh yes: cooking, or painting, or decoupage or dress making. Alas, I cannot. I’d like to have the energy, or enthusiasm, or commitment, to develop a hobby. But I don’t.

I have tried cooking. I’ve got all the books. All the Nigels and Nigellas and Jamies. But most of my efforts resemble that which I am about to describe.

Once – with the prospect of eight for dinner – I, somewhat ambitiously, decided on pavlova. I followed the recipe to a t. Except the bit where it asked for baking parchment. Baking parchment? In Africa? Oh for heaven’s sake, I thought crossly, as if I live in some suburb with easy access to the aisles of Tesco. So I substituted baking parchment for the Review pages of a recent Sunday Times.

I learned, from my experiment, that baking parchment clearly has some ingredient newpaper lacks, some easy-peel ingredient. Consequently my pudding had pages of the paper stuck firmly to its bottom.

I consoled myself by thinking that, in the event dinner table conversation dried up, my guests would – at least – have something (India Knight and Jeremy Clarkson I think?) to read.

So hobbies, no. Not really. Between herding my kids, walking the dogs, writing (to earn half a crust apart from newly found passion for – oooh, can I call it a hobby? – blogging) and hanging around garages waiting for my car to stir herself, I tell myself I don’t have time for hobbies. But that just means that the bits in-between I waste by slobbing about reading.

Or leafing through recipe books wishing I was a better cook.

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