Angoel (angoel) wrote,

I've been thinking recently about what I should be doing with my spare time. In the past years, the actuarial exams have dominated it - it's hard picking up a hobby when you know you'll have to drop it completely in four months to make the time required for revision. Board game design was one of the few that hung around, able to survive being dropped and indeed using the gaps to trigger inspirations to previously intractable problems. But the exams are over now, and as the activities alluded to in my previous post have mainly run their course, it's time to think about what to do next. Clearly, the right thing to do is to post the list to LJ.

Elocution Lessons

Before I went to university my mother suggested elocution lessons to get rid of my tendency to speak from the back of by throat, rendering my pearls of wisdom (or otherwise ;)) unintelligible. I didn't really felt that I had the time to do anything about it then, but it's always stuck in the back of my mind as something I should do some day, and this seems like as good a time as any. On the minus side, the magic of the internet has so far failed to turn up anywhere where I could do this in Windsor or the surrounding area, so I'm suffering not knowing where to start. Any suggestions or recommendations gratefully accepted.


I'm not sure that I'm currently willing to give the time commitment to do this properly (nor, if I'm honest, that I'm good enough to do a job I'll be happy with). For the time being, I suspect that the occasional read-through is the way to go, assuming people are comfortable inviting me to them. And revisiting the choice as and when the elocution has been looked at.


One thing that the last read-through did bring home to me is that I really don't get out and socialise enough. And that I don't invite enough people to visit me either. It's easy to rationalise away not having parties - it's mean to drag people out to Windsor and they wouldn't want to come; and my flat's too small to hold people and everyone would be cramped. You note that the two excuses aren't entirely consistent ;). I should get up, accept the risk that things might go horribly wrong, and just sodding invite people round and / or go to places with them.


One thing which I very much enjoy, and would get me out and meeting people is dancing in ceilidhs. Which is why it's so irritating that the nearest one to me seems to be in central London where it's impossible to get back afterwards without either train doom (taking the slow train to Slough and then taxiing back home just about works, but ends with the journey taking a good chunk more time than the dancing) or imposing on people by staying overnight. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that I should get over my 'cycling should be enough' stance and get a car so that I can actually attend the events that I enjoy without having to go round the houses to organise logistics. I should do more dancing. Getting a once-a-year overdose by going to IVFDF is not enough.

Martial Arts

Continuing the 'being active' theme, one of my other 'for ever' plans has been to learn a martial art. This is another area where going down this may be more of a time commitment than I'm willing to give, but unlike acting, dropping out won't cause other people problems. There's a gym next to my house (with the usual vaguely insane gym monthly price) which may offer appropriate classes. And if it doesn't, maybe I should join it anyway - I feel I should be more fit and although I'm notionally keeping fit by not owning a car and cycling everywhere, I've recently been finding that I've been wimping out and just not been going to places.


And even more fitness related stuff, maybe I should do something about getting running going again. Last year I made a new year's resolution to go running each morning which had an appropriate amount of success. I had a vague plan to continue, but lacked the willpower to get myself going - maybe finding someone else to go running with would get me moving, or joining a running club. There must be something around Windsor (the phrase 'Datchet Dashers' rings a bell).

Drawing / painting / stuff

On the more creative side, looking back at my art GCSE, I was *so* much better then than I am now. I'd quite like to do more to get myself back to where I was then, rather than now where I start drawing something and something completely unexpected comes out onto the paper. Possibly also writing - I'd like to take part in NaNoWriMo one of these years. It'd produce nothing of any interest except to me, but I've done stupider things before. I suspect I don't write stuff consistently enough to join a writers group, but they sound like fun too. I don't really know ;).

Having written this ... essay, there seem to be a couple of elephants in the room which I haven't addressed.


This one is something I didn't notice before I started writing the rant - I'm increasingly noticing the absence of a car as a means of transport. This is somewhat of a culture shift - I don't really approve of everyone needing to have one, and I've been refusing to get one on the basis that a fit, healthy person like me one should damn well be able to survive without resorting to it. But I think that ultimately I'm constraining what I can do because of it, and suffering as a result. As with any purchase, I'm sticking consideration of this into my subconscious until its had a chance to think things over, but I believe I'm firmly moving in the direction of being one of the car-owning classes.


A lot of my friends think I should be on the lookout for a girlfriend. I'm sure they're right (even if I suspect some of them are merely curious what the girlfriend for me would look like) and that my life would be a lot better with one. But at the moment, I'm not entirely comfortable with my life and it seems a little unfair on the hypothetical girlfriend to bring her in. (And I'm objectifying the hypothetical girlfriend too, which is pretty ungentlemanly too.) I don't know - while chance would be a fine thing, I'm not sure I'm ready to try to go out hunting, Or fishing. Or whatever the analogy should be. Revisit in a few months, I suspect.

Board Game Design

I flatter myself that I'm good at designing board games, it scratches a certain creative and organisational itch, it provides me with some pocket-money and gives me insight into areas of life that I wouldn't otherwise see. And frankly, I suspect it's like writing - people don't design games because they can, but because they can't not. I'm going to continue it.

Well, typing this out has been useful in clarifying what I've been thinking. I suppose I should just press forwards and put some / all of this into practice. That, as always, being the hard thing. On the plus side, I've just said it all in public so I am, in some ways, committed.

{Thank you, brave reader, for listening to me ramble. Questions, comments and suggestions are, as always, welcome.}
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