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The green shoots of personal growth Posted On 05 March 2021

Put some bounce into spring with a new hobby

 

So here we are, spring already: the season of new birth, new growth … and new ideas. It’s an exciting time of the year, even more so if you’ve decided to broaden your horizons and embark on a new hobby.

As the weather, hopefully, grows warmer and daylight gets longer there’s more chance to get outside to indulge new-found interests and put to use those rediscovered items which were bought with the prefix: “One day, I’ll…”

Technology’s relentless advance brings information and advice to your fingertips, particularly helpful if your new smartphone also has a state-of-the-art camera, which has piqued an interest in photography. There are many online tutorials and workshops to help you develop your skills before advancing to that big digital SLR camera you’ve dreamt of for years.

Similarly art, whether it be sketching or painting with watercolours or oils. Springtime, with its rapidly-improving light and emerging plant life, is a rich source of inspiration and the internet is awash with advice on how to get started, selecting your subjects and brushing up your techniques to get the best results.

Painting, particularly capturing landscapes, might just encourage a feeling of well-being, of being at one with nature. In which case, a logical step forward would be to try Tai Chi, the traditional Chinese martial art with its sequences of slow, controlled movements which reduce stress, improve mood and sleep, and promote weight loss … just the thing to shed those Christmas pounds in anticipation of Easter chocolate.

Again, there are many lessons online, but for the best grounding, join one of the many classes at sports centres, gyms or village halls so a qualified instructor can help you get the principles right before you go solo. Could there be anything more invigorating than callisthenics in the back garden in the early-morning sunshine?

Well, how about standing thigh-deep in a swift-running stream trying to outwit a fighting-fit trout? Angling has long been one of Britain’s biggest participation sports, and while fly-fishing may be seen as elitist, it is anything but.

Fairly accessible, relatively inexpensive and incredibly therapeutic, there are lessons online but for the best experience – and when lockdown restrictions are eased – enrol for a day-long lesson at venues such as Anglian Water’s recognised fisheries at Grafham, Pitsford, and Rutland waters, or Ravensthorpe Reservoir, and pretty soon you’ll be hooked (sorry).

If you become proficient, you can always cook your catch. Barbeque cooking is an art-form in itself and something to explore beyond chargrilling the whatsits out of a forlorn sausage on a balmy summer evening. Again, internet tutorials – plus recipes – abound, while the same applies if you fancy more ambitious and creative continental cooking.

A hobby where you can eat your efforts? Can’t be bad!

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