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    Upper Intermediate [23]

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    Sample text about hobbies

    My advice for a long and happy life is to get yourself an absorbing hobby. It’s something I can’t overemphasize. And the hobbies habit can and should begin in our youth. Hobbies teach us all sorts of things — and they do it in a painless and even pleasurable way. Let me give you an example. Stamp colletcting is more than just the acquisition of little labels. It’s our entry into the whole world of culture and history — at least for the last 150 years. Those little slips of paper celebrate national achievements, reveal conquests and new alliances. The philatelist can learn, too, about currencies, geography, royal houses and all the rest.

    Another hobby with obvious overseas links is the cultivation of pen-friends. There are pen-friend agencies which will send your address to potential correspondents in a wide range of countries. And through your letter flap, in the months and years that follow, will come a whole host of interesting letters, sent to you by all sorts of intersting people from remote and exotic places.  In the process, if you’re a stamp-collector, you gain quite a few choice specimens to add to your collection. And both of these hobbies will give you at leaast a sprinkling of words from a wide range of foreign languages.

    Some hobbies teach us practial skills or keep us fit. I wouldn’t count sport because of all the injuries it can cause. And it can’t be continued into ripe old age —not, at least, in the sense of active participation. But keeping fit is most important, so take up walking, and let it mellow into gentle — but still beneficial — gardening as the years progress.  Start a child off with a packet of seeds when he’s very young, and at 80 he’ll be carrying the prize marrow to horticultural show, and coming home pleased as Punch with his gleaming trophy. As with sport, the competitive spirit is given its outlet. And aas a sportsman or an ambitious gardener you’ll gain the discipline that comes from learning respect for the judge, the referee or the rule-book/ You’ll certainly rub shoulders with people and you’ll make yourself lots of friends or foes.

    Gardening has an added attraction — it can actually help usto make — or at least to save — substantial sums of money. Of course,k gardening requisites do have to be bought —at considerable cost — initially4. But the fruits of our labours, coming free from the garden, more than repay the initial outlay. Some wopuld claim that an interest in sport is a money-maker too because of the chance of laying successful and lucrative bets. Personally, it’s something I wouldn’t encourage. You’ve more chance of finding a rarity in your stamp collection and selling itfor a few thousand punds; but again I wouldn’t encourage excessive optimism. The odds are very much against it.

    If you do want a money-making hobby what about authorship? If you’ve got theskills and application you can write and sell articles tothelocal and even national press. On the other hand, if you’ve gotplenty of money and want to spend some there’salways photography. If you do your own processing the results will be cheaper than those obtained from your local chemist — but only because you’ve invested a three- or four figure sum to equip yourself initially. Some people think that the long periods shut away from the world in their darkroom make it all worthwhile!

    Some hobbies foster a pride in neatness and presentation. Most philatelists want to present their stamps on the album page in the best way possible; and most people writing to pen friends want their letters to be just as well-presented. Underlying this is the practical need to be understood. I’m assuming that you’re conducting the correspondence in your native language and not in your correspondent’s language. (Why, oh, why are we so poor at languages& Language-learning could be another hobby if we weren’t so lazy.) What wasI saying& Oh, yes, I was saying that your pen-friend is having to cope with what for him or her is a foreign language. Well, then, the least you cando is to make yourwriting legible, thus ensuring that every letter of every word is a clue to your meaning. Otherwise you’re putting extra barriers in the way of international relations!

    What about hobbies like chemistry and electronics? I can sum up my views by saying that electric circuits are very unforgiving.One wrong connection and thething — a radio, a burglar alarm or whatever it is — just won’t work at all. And if you go in for chemistry you’ll find bucket analyses — the slap-dash use of excessive amounts of hemicals — won’t work either. So as well as teaching us the principles that make the universe tick, these hobbies teach precision — and also a healthy concern for safety. (Which reminds me — studying firstaid can be a good hobby too, and it’s one that fosters concern for others and offers the chance to meet lots of like-minded, caring people.)

    Music is another hobby which teachers us to be exact andattend to fine detail. I used to swap records — as well as stamps — with a girl from Finland, and that led me into performing some rather weird-sounding Finnish music on authentic instruments.  It’s playing music, not listening to it, thatreally "tunes you up”, by the way. Instrument-making became the next stage in my long career as a hobbyist; in fact, it taught me the sort of ingenuity that can get a ship through the neck of a bottle! There are clubs for construction enthusiasts, so you won’t be alone if you do get stuck. Just look upon it as a chance to make friends!

    Yes, I can say that my life has been really full and rich, thanks to my hobbies.

    Категория: Upper Intermediate | Добавил: philantrop (26.09.2010)
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