A Hobby Makes Your Life Much More Interesting

Our life would be hard without rest and recreation. People have quite different ideas of how to spend their free time. For some of them the only way to relax is watching TV or drinking beer. But other people use their spare time getting maximum benefit from it. If you enjoy doing some activity in your free time, than you have a hobby. A person’s hobbies are not connected with his profession, but they are practiced for fun and enjoyment. A hobby gives one the opportunity of acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. A hobby is a kind of self-expression and the way to understand other people and the whole world. A person’s hobbies depend on his age, intelligence level, character and personal interests. What is interesting to one person can be trivial or boring to another. That’s why some people prefer reading, cooking, knitting, collecting, playing a musical instrument, painting, photography, fishkeeping or playing computer games while others prefer dancing, travelling, camping or sports.

Collecting things is a very popular hobby and it may deal with almost any subject. Some people collect stamps, coins, badges, books, clocks or toys. Other people collect beer cans, key rings, stones, matchboxes, thimbles and all sorts of things. Once you’ve got a small collection you keep adding to it. Some people don’t even remember how their collection started but now their house is crammed full of different knick-knacks which they can’t use but keep for the sake of having them. But some people collect valuable and rare things as they consider it to be a good investment of their money.

If you are active and tired of town life, if you long for changes and want to get away from civilization, than camping is for you. It is a cheap way to rest, to improve your health, to train yourself physically and to enjoy nature. Some people prefer more extreme camping when they have to survive out-of-doors, orient themselves, obtain food from the wild, build shelters and adapt themselves to extremely cold weather. They learn to overcome any obstacles and become strong and self-reliant.

Ecotourism is becoming popular and fashionable all over the world, especially with people who try to damage the environment as little as possible. Tourists visit places of natural beauty and they usually travel on foot, by bicycle or boat so that there is no pollution. They stay in local houses or hotels and eat local food. Their aim is to enjoy nature, to experience the local culture and to get unforgettable impressions without polluting and wasting or destroying natural resources. They must keep places that they visit clean and safe. The principles of eco-tourism are ‘Leave nothing behind you except footprints and take nothing away except photographs’ and ‘Take as much care of the places that you visit as you take of your own home’. If people remember these simple rules, we will be able to save our planet and to conserve the wildlife.

A hobby plays a very important educational, simulational and psychological role, makes you stronger physically and mentally, helps you escape from reality, improve your knowledge, broaden your mind, develop your skills and gain a better understanding of how the world works.

1. Complete each sentence (A – H) with one of the endings (1-8): A. If you enjoy doing some activity in your free time, than
B. A hobby gives one the opportunity of
C. A person’s hobbies depend on his
D. What is interesting to one person
E. Some people collect valuable and rare things as they consider it
F. Camping is a cheap way
G. Ecotourism is popular with people who
H. A hobby plays a very important
1. age, intelligence level, character and personal interests.
2. educational, simulational and psychological role.
3. acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience.
4. try to damage the environment as little as possible.
5. you have a hobby.
6. can be trivial or boring to another.
7. to rest, to improve your health, to train yourself physically and to enjoy nature.
8. to be a good investment of their money.
2. Give the definitions of the following words – recreation – self-reliance
– self-expression – pollution
– knick-knack – simulation
3 Answer the questions 1) How does a hobby influence a person’s life?
2) What kinds of hobbies do you know?
3) Why do people collect different things?
4) What is your attitude to extreme camping?
5) Why is ecotourism fashionable today?
6) What are the principles of eco-tourism?
7) Why is it important to everybody to have a hobby?
8) How do you spend your spare time?

4. Read what other people say about their hobbies and fill in the table below

Kate, 43, bank manager
I can say that my hobby is dog training. I have a dog Jerry and we are best friends. Jerry follows all my commands and performs some simple tricks. We understand each other perfectly. I spend 2-3 hours a day training Jerry and it takes me a lot of effort but it’s so much fun! Dogs are very devoted and understanding creatures and it is a great pleasure and entertainment to communicate with them. When Jerry is disobedient I never punish him but ignore his bad behaviour. And I often give him sweets and cookies as a reward.

Adam, 72, pensioner
I started collecting milk-jugs 12 years ago. At first my collection was small but today I have more than 200 items in it. I like drinking tea with milk and I have all sorts of milk-jugs in my collection. Most of them are attractively displayed on the shelves in my living-room. My relatives and friends know about my passion and they often add to my collection. My granddaughter often travels abroad on business and for pleasure and she always presents milk-jugs to me. I also collect antique clocks and icons, but my collection is still very small.

Daniel, 63, cook
My favourite pastime is amateur astronomy. When a school boy I liked physics and astronomy and dreamt of becoming astronaut. Observing and studying celestial objects is very interesting and romantic. Viewing the night sky you can see stars, the Moon, planets, comets and meteor showers. Of course you won’t see much looking at the sky with the naked eye, that’s why I use optical telescopes. I often keep records of my observations and share useful information with other amateur astronomers. Now my dream is to discover a new comet and to make some useful contribution to astronomy.

Simon, 25, messenger
Parkour teaches you to move quickly and efficiently and to overcome obstacles such as concrete walls, high fences or rocks. It has no set of rules or competitiveness. Parkour helps me develop my body and mind and gives me much energy. I learn to trust myself and to be strong. Parkour teaches me to overcome everyday difficulties and to approach problems differently. My friends and I practice in parks and abandoned structures. We try to avoid injuries but of course everything happens. You need no particular equipment: just a T-shirt, light trousers and comfortable athletic shoes. I think parkour has changed my life and my attitude to everything.

Dog training
Amateur astronomy

5. Read the quotations below. Choose any statement and comment on it – ‘Life’s a hobby.’ (Joshua Lederberg)
– A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away.’ (Phyllis McGinley)
– ‘Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully.’ (Scott Alexander)
– ‘People are spending more on their hobbies to make their free time more enjoyable.’ (Steve Wagner)
Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.’ (Dale Carnegie)

Choose any topic and make up a short composition on it. Find some extra information on the subject. 1. My hobby.
2. As many people as many hobbies.
3. Strange hobbies.
A. Look at the pictures below and say what kind of hobby you would prefer. Explain your choice using the words and word combinations in brackets. 1. cooking 2. gardening 3. yoga 4. painting 5. dancing 6. playing violin 7. fishing 8. playing chess 9. photography 10. camping 11. reading 12. knitting
(the way to relax, creativeness, to get maximum benefit from, to enjoy doing something, for fun, to acquire substantial skill, knowledge and experience, aesthetic pleasure, a kind of self-expression, effective medium in education, to derive inspiration/pleasure/enjoyment, to improve one’s health, to train oneself physically, to make friends, to become a team, to become strong and self-reliant, to broaden one’s mind, to involve mental/physical stimulation)

B. Give the definition of the word ‘hobby’ and compare it with your group mates’ variants.

C. Read the text ‘A Hobby Makes Your Life Much More Interesting’ and say if you agree with the title.

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