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Hobbies

I'm one of those people that never seem to have enough time to do everything that they want to do. There is a very simple reason behind this - I have far too many hobbies and pastimes for my own good...

Sports

I'm not generally a very sporty person - I occasionally get into all sorts of trouble for telling people that I hate both football and rugby. Sometimes people even question whether I am truly English... Having said that, there is one sport that I really love: badminton. I'll play just about whenever and wherever I can, given the time and opportunity. I am a member of a club in Heidelberg and play there twice a week.

There is some divided opinion as to whether scuba diving counts as a sport or not. When we were in Kenya on our honeymoon all those years ago, I went snorkelling and realised that there was a whole new world to explore on the bottom of the sea. The only way to do this sensibly was to go diving. Fortunately, a work colleague and friend of ours is a keen diver and offered to teach us. Mel dropped by the wayside when the kids came along but I stuck with it and am now a CMAS ** (silver) qualified diver. I don't actually dive much at the moment, as I find the local lakes and quarries terminally boring - lots of mud, a few grotty-looking weeds and a fish or two if you're lucky! Give me the right location, however, and then try keeping me out of the water!

I was one of the founding members of our local diving club (MOST) and am currently the secretary of the club.

Games

If you know me well, you'll know that I am a big kid at heart - always have been, always will be! And kids love playing games. I am no exception...

I enjoy lots of card games - in particular Poker (online, live, for cash or for fun) and Magic. The latter is a rather complicated fantasy card game that involves two (or more) wizards throwing magical spells, creatures, enchantments and artifacts at one another until one of them loses all their life points. The thing I like about Magic, in conparison to any other games of this sort on the market, is its complexity. Each player builds their own play deck out of a card pool of many thousand different cards, so the game has a very great potential to be different every time you play! This means that it never gets boring.

Board games are also a huge source of fun for me, if I can find the right people to play with! I'm hoping to get the boys to share my interest as soon as possible (actually, they've already started)... In Germany, there is a yearly competition to find the Game of the Year (Spiel des Jahres) and I have been collecting these games for a number of years. They are generally slightly more complex games aimed more at adults than kids, but there have been afew over the years that the boys are already pretty good at and I have no doubts that before long, they'll be beating me at most of the games I own...

If there's no-one else around, then I still have my trusty computer. I have a decent collection of (mostly) non-violent games (primarily because I find them boring, boring, BORING!) and will quite happily spend a day in front of the computer designing a new rail network for a fictitious town or helping to develop a new race of people on some imagined planet...

Collecting

Don't get me started! When I was much younger, I found stamp collecting fascinating. Now I seem to collect collections... To a great extent, it doesn't matter what it is, I'll collect it! If there is a set of things that need collecting and they seem in any way, shape or form interesting, I'll probably end up collecting them. The result, of course, is that I have a whole stack of incomplete collections, none of which I have the time, money or inclination to complete...

Photography

Another one that goes back to my childhood, I think. My father owned a ciné camera and used to record many family events for posterity. When I was old enough to get a camera of my own I did so. As soon as digital cameras came along, I was one of the first people to buy into the technology, primarily so I could take lots of pictures and not have to spend a small fortune getting them developed.

These days I concentrate on digital pictures (just like most of the rest of the world). I own a Nikon Coolpix 995 (with an underwater casing so I can take it diving with me), a Nikon Coolpix 4500 and my main camera is a Nikon D70s.

Of course, I'm never just happy with taking pictures. With the advent of digital pictures has come the ability to edit, change and generally mess around with them a well. So I have become quite adept (even though I do say so myself) at photo editing - from the simple to the downright complicated...

I generally don't like taking pictures of people, but prefer nature and landscapes instead. Many of my favourite shots can be found on our photos pages, and some more recent ones are used for the title bar that you can see at the top of every page on this site...

Whisky

See my whisky page and my company pages for more details on this one...