My contribution to this fun thread. My spare time is often limited by the volume and variety of my work which involves long and irregular hours, including occasional early mornings, very late nights and often throughout the weekends.
I currently share my home with seven cats, all former ferals who have since become happily domesticated and luckily all mostly get on with each other. My partner has eight indoor former ferals, plus ten or so outdoor ferals who live in her garden. In addition, there are four or five other local ferals I know well and who are very friendly with me, so it’s rare that I get a moment to sit down anywhere, indoors or out, without a cat or two laying on my lap or strecthed out next to me on a sofa.
Local Community and Charities
I live in a (somewhat) well-known toruist hotspot in eastern Spain and in normal years spend a fair bit of time doing things for and with the community here. This often included errands for my partner when she was President here, plus helping out on our big music nights and charity fundraising days in the plaza. Those events are on a break this summer and she stood down as President last year but is likely to be voted back in this autumn and such events should resume next summer. We host a fortnightly Facebook Live show to help promote the area; first started about seven years ago talking about the entertainment and hospitality here including local music and restaurant reviews plus community information, but during the Covid pandemic we brought in a news segment, a cooking feature with a local chef, and interviews with celebrities and local friends.
I’ve always been interested in political news and current affairs, mainly regarding UK, Spanish, European and US issues but with interest in wider global events too. This made it easy to source stories for the “deadpan news” segment of our Facebook show. Politically I’m definitely left of centre - reading The Guardian and following progressive news outlets like TYT - and moving further left each year; I’m somewhere between Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn at present. My partner is quite right of centre though so we keep our show news and general conversation to topics which won’t get us into any arguments.
The only sport (if you call it as such) that I play these days is Darts, throwing once a week for a local bar’s team. We’re a fair side but far from world beaters, although there are some great players in our league including men and women who have played at former- or semi- professional level or still play nationally. Always a fun night night though, whoever the opposition. I follow a few others sports mostly through specific teams: the Arsenal from the English Premier League (football), the Denver Broncos (NFL) and Sussex from English County Cricket. Indeed, cricket is about the only sport that I can watch almost any match without being a partisan fan - and, as some of you will know, led to my own board game creation which I hope to find a publisher for later this year. My interest in American Football varies each year but I’ve started reading up again into its tactics in greater depth, after dabbling with learning to coach it while at university.
I don’t listen to music too regularly and follow few if any artists closely, but most often I listen to a range of house, electronica, jazz-funk, soul and rap tracks. I’ve been enjoying lots of the crossovers between those genres in recent years too: there are some great NPR Tiny Desk concerts of rap icons performing with funk bands and some inspiring reworkings of dance music by orchestral and chamber music ensembles. The concerts for the local plaza are mostly rock music (sadly, for my liking) but included some famous artists and saw some pleasant surprises among local talent playing more than just the “bingo list” of over-used rock covers.
Television and Cinema
I don’t watch a lot of films and haven’t been to a cinema since I left the UK in late 2010; my final two cinema trips were rather ruined by much of the audience disobeying the code of conduct or just being too easily pleased by the fare on show (Casino Royale and Star Trek, if you ask). I still watch a few action, sci-fi and horror (especially Far Eastern) releases at home but am very picky and quick to turn off things if they bore me. Similarly, with current television I don’t make a point of keeping up with much other than news broadcasts and those 24-episode drama serials soon lose my interest. Some “geeky” shows get a viewing: I still try to keep up with Doctor Who and most of the Marvel shows, need to catch up with The Mandalorian and a few other titles, but more often find myself going back older 70s/80s sci-fi. Some comedy shows are good - Cats does Countdown, Taskmaster, QI -but I can rarely catch anything live, although I try to watch anything with Frankie Boyle in as soon as I can. His recently show on the monarchy had some epicly cutting lines.
Two things however that I don’t currently do but hope to get back into are roleplaying and pub quizzes. I started getting into D&D in the early 1980s and have a good set of 5E books which are good reading fodder but I have neither the time or circle of friends to play it or any other RPG at present. Such books still make for great reading though and stir the creative juices - and are about the only thing I read these days other than newspaper websites. I enjoy quizzes and used to do them a couple of times a week until Covid, including running a weekly one for a couple of bars for two years, but there aren’t too many held locally in the evenings when I could attend. A good friend and former quizzing buddy (playing and setting them) from university won Mastermind a few years back and it was great to catch up with him shortly after his triumph.