In my spare time ...

I have lots of other hobbies, apart from those shown on the main pages of this web site.

I've played Bridge for 30 years. When our daughters were young teenagers, we all often played a few rounds of Rubber on our long holiday evenings on the Spanish coast. But now the girls have flown the nest, and these days my wife and I play Duplicate and Chicago regularly at our local club, where I occasionally also serve as Director.

I love to play Chess, but nowadays my opponents are usually various computer programs. I must join a local club!

I enjoy spending a few hours alone with Microsoft Flight Simulator! Any plane, any place, any weather, no extra licence ratings required! What more could I ask?

Of course, I do a lot of Reading. Mainly in English these days, but I used to read a lot in French and Spanish. My favourite novelists include Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe, Douglas Adams, Ian Rankin, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, Tolkien, Voltaire, and Cervantes. In theatre, I hold Molière in the highest regard, closely followed by Shakespeare. Poetry rarely takes much of my attention (but for me, Wordsworth and Lorca reign supreme), for I focus instead on the work of the modern-day troubadors - the singer-songwriters of Rock.

And I listen to lots of Music - mainly what can be summed up as the "Rock music" of the past forty years (see my Music page for some of my greatest favourites), but lots more besides. I especially love Gershwin, Strauss and Mozart. Most of the time I don't need a radio or a CD player: as Carole King sang, the music's always 'playing inside my head'. 

I admire the Paintings of the French Impressionists above all others, and for me, Renoir is the greatest of them all. His treatment of the female face and form may not have the precision of Ingrès, but it has the passion of Everyman. If you have never really looked at the works of Renoir ... I passionately urge you to!!

I have always enjoyed Photography, and that has has found a new lease of life with the advent of the PC and the digital camera. See my travelogue Marching on Indiana for a few of my images of the USA in 2004.

And finally ... I like nothing better at the end of the day than to prepare a very special meal. Chinese dishes are my favourite, both at home and downtown ... but you really need to taste my Tagliatelli Bolognese!!

As the oldest new cliché in the book has it: I just don't know how I used to find the time to go out to work!


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