Thursday 9 February 2023

A New Hobby You Will Love


Have you considered taking on a new hobby or pastime to pass away the hours and perhaps learn something new? Playing a musical instrument perhaps? Or painting or drawing? Knitting, dress-making, jigsaw puzzles or a similar hobby?

I tried to learn to play the bagpipes some years ago. We lived in London at the time, in an apartment block. The neighbours kept interrupting my practising at 3:00 in the morning. They asked me if I could play far away; but I did not have the sheet music for that tune.

On another occasion I joined an evening class at college to learn drawing and painting. This was when we lived in Edinburgh. You would have thought it would have been more appropriate to learn to play the bagpipes instead. Plenty of open spaces to practice in and around Edinburgh. 

We lived very close to the touristy areas of the City and there often was a piper in the street nearby playing the bagpipes and tourists put money in a wooden box. He played every Saturday morning when there were most tourists. He started at eight in the morning - what an unearthly hour. 

I liked a lie-in on Saturdays, the only day I did not work; and on Sundays we went to church at 8:00am. So I wanted some peace on Saturdays. I asked him how much money he made an hour. He said about £10. So I gave him £15 and asked him to shut up.

Back to my evening classes learning to paint. Up to then I had only painted the garden metal fence and gate and not much else. Now I had learnt to draw and paint flowers, bowls of fruit, vases and similar things. One day we were told that we would be painting the nude form. I brought a lot of pink paint with me that evening. A lady came out from behind a screen and took off her negligent, (that's a French gown made in the UK).

Anyway, she stood there naked and I recognised her as my boss' secretary. She had a small beauty spot by her lips and that's how I knew it was her.  

Now I have started another evening course as a hobby. It's taxidermy. The art of preserving an animal's body via mounting (over an armature) or stuffing, for the purpose of display or study. 

Our lecturer, Mr I Fillem, explained that there are two basic things to learn in taxidermy. First of all, you must ensure that the creature is dead. Secondly, you must remember that not all creatures can be stuffed. 

For example, it is very difficult to stuff a worm. The creature wiggles here and there and to and fro and it is difficult to kill it. Also, it is often quite a struggle wrenching it from a bird's beak, and often the bird would fly away as soon as you approach it.

A flea is another creature which is difficult for taxidermy. The best way to preserve it is by pressing it between two pages of a big book. A bit like pressing flowers, only you have to remember which page you pressed him on. This method is only possible with small creatures like fleas, flies, bees, butterflies and such. You cannot press a skunk between two pages because he would soon stink the place.

Our lecturer suggested we start our taxidermy with a small creature, like a mouse. You carefully dissect the creature and take out the insides, and then you fill it with cotton wool and sew it up again. You also use various compounds to dry and preserve the skin.

Unfortunately, when it was my turn to practice we did not have any mice. Our lecturer suggested a rhinoceros instead. 

This required a great deal of cotton and wool compared to a mouse. Besides, the animal attacked me and nearly broke my arm. 

Have you got a favourite hobby to share with us?

NOTE: Needless to say, no creatures have been harmed in the writing of this post!


  1. You have a very bizarre sense of humour, my friend.

  2. Replies
    1. Have you considered taxidermy? Giraffes, elephants, hippos, frogs?

      God bless, Christine.

  3. Some hobbies are better left untried . . .
    Blessings, Victor!

  4. Let's see. After failing 4th grade art class, I never tried again.
    Taxidermy -- like biology -- has never held any appeal because I feel enormously sorry for the deceased. How would I like it if that were me? No, I'm going to stick with my word puzzles and blogging.

    1. Blogging is a very good idea, Mevely. It can cheer other people too.

      God bless.

  5. I have too many hobbies aleady. :)
    I think I've mentioned before that I tried to learn to play the bag pipes when we lived in Scotland. Was not very good at it. It's a lot harder than people think!!!

    1. Try learning the bagpipes again, Happyone. It will make you noticed amongst your neighbours.

      God bless.

  6. Hobbies can be fun, mine is reading.

    1. Reading is good; just like reading my Blog.

      God bless, Mimi.

  7. Dearest Victor,
    Yes, my hobby is reading, crocheting and cross stitching but the time is slipping through my fingers—a real struggle!
    Oh, and we like to bike together... But there are ONLY 24 hours in a day and preparing all meals ourselves and doing laundry, all takes time.

    1. That is true, Mariette. I'm so busy I have no time for hobbies.

      God bless you and Pieter.



God bless you.