Leisure time and Hobbies
Leisure time and Hobbies
Free time after work or study is called leisure time. It is the time for fun and entertainment. Going to the cinema, theatre, concerts, arts exhibitions are the most usual ways of spending free time. Some people especially the younger one, prefer going to parties, pubs, coffee bars, clubs and discos, others like to stay at home watching TV, reading books or listening to music.
Many people spend their leisure time practising their hobbies. There are many types of hobbies. One of the traditional ones is the collecting of objects – stamps, picture postcards, matchbox labels, badges, flags, coins, model cars or ships and other things. The collecting becomes a life-long hobby for many people. It is an international hobby, too. There are collectors clubs all over the world. They often meet to exchange the things they collect. Some of these clubs even have their own magazines.
Then there is keeping pets – a dog, a cat, goldfish, a canary, a parrot, a guinea-pig and other exotic animals. It is an interesting and useful hobby. To give a pet a good care requires a good knowledge of its habits and behaviour. The British people love animals and almost every family has a pet, usually a cat or a dog who becomes part of the family.
Many British people also love gardening which is still one of the most popular hobbies. They prefer living in small houses rather then flats. The slogan “My house – my castle” is a living truth for many British people. Do-It-Yourself has become a very popular hobby. Many people like to do some practical jobs in the house or weekend cottage in their leisure time. They can repair or even make some pieces of furniture, do some house decoration or wall-painting. There are people who like to do the car-repairing by themselves, others do some cookery ect. Evening classes are organized for those who want to learn the bases of these professions. Numbers of books are published every year to give step-by-step instructions how to make or repair something.
Then there are hobbies practised by people who enjoy the arts. Drama acting, choir singing, folk dancing, modern dancing and pop-music playing in amateur groups are favourite activities of those who want to develope their talent. Photography, painting and drawing are also hobbies of art-loving people.
At present, more and more people of all ages are concerned with their health and spend some of their leisure time doing exercised to keep themselves fit. For this reason many sports and games are practised as hobbies. Hiking, cycling rowing, playing golf and tennis are enjoyed by people all over the world. It is quite common to see parties of hikers, cyclists or rowers spending their weekends outdoors. For those who prefer physical exercises indoors, body-building and fitness centres are opening up all over the world. They help people stay healthy and fit. The same result can be achieved by walking, jogging, swimming and aerobic which are also useful, effective and very popular ways of spending leisure time.
Teenagers have their own special leisure interests which form part of their youth culture. These include playing some kind of team sport, dancing at a favourite disco, going to parties, or joining some clubs. They like to spend their leisure time actively in a good company. Typical hobbies of teenagers are roller-skating and skate-boarding. Skate-boarding as a sport first appeared in California 20 years ago and since that time it has been spreading rapidly around the world. Skate-board parks are opening up in big cities for the safe practising of this hobby.
Finally there is a group of exclusive sports which are practised as hobbies by a limited numbers of people. Hot-air ballooning may be a fascinating though very expensive hobby. Therefore the clubs of hot-air ballooning try to get sponsors to play expenses. It may also be a dangerous hobby when the weather is not stable and the wind is too strong. Another increasingly popular hobby is hang-gliding. Flying over the countryside in silence and fresh air are the most pleasant aspects of this hobby.
Then there are other exclusive hobbies like wind-surfing and wave-gliding practised on lakes and on the sea. Relatively recent sport which has already attracted attention of a young people is snow-boarding which combines several sports – skiing, surfing and skate-boarding.