IPH interests profile
I have never defined myself in terms of the job I did for a living. Rather, I have always considered myself as a person who happened to be doing a particular job at a particular time, even though for three decades the jobs I did were in information and communications technology. Part of my view of who I am has always been the things I did because I was interested in them or because I enjoyed doing them when it was necessary. I have always tended to do practical things, such as work in my house or garden, myself rather than paying somebody else to do such work. The exception is my car — see below.
Things I am interested in
- Art — I paint in oils and acrylics and sometimes make works of other kinds. My paintings are available for sale. See my gallery.
- Music from a variety of standpoints including composition of pieces for solo piano, orchestra, and other ensembles.
- My practical hobbies including DIY, gardening, hobby electronics, miniature model railways, and theatre
- Conversation and debate
- Science & philosophy
Things I am not interested in
I have many interests so I think I am entitled to leave several broad categories of things, mostly extremely popular with other people, in which I have absolutely no interest whatever. It sometimes takes some mild effort to avoid these, since they are so all-pervasive in contemporary popular culture.
- Sport — see below. (Certain sports such as football are a big part of popular culture, though of course there are plenty of others that are not.
- The television dramas called "soap operas"
- Drinking beer, or wine, and all the hobbies that grow out of these (such as making the stuff at home or spending a lot of time travelling about, visiting breweries or vineyards, sampling the many varieties of them, and collecting vintages)
- Pop, "rock" and other contemporary music. I have hardly ever listened to anything of the popular music styles that have emerged since the Beatles broke up in 1970 and I know almost nothing about the practitioners or pepetrators of it. I gather that there are a myriad terms for what are considered distinct genres, but just as I cannot tell one beer from another by taste as all are simply extremely unpleasant to me, I cannot hear any distinction between all these many supposed genres as all of them are simply extremely unpleasant to me. For what I do hear, I almost always very strongly dislike, whether it be (naming a few at random here) Queen, Status Quo, The Spice Girls, The Pet Shop Boys, Take That, The Arctic Monkeys, or any of a thousand other acts that crop up on mainstream TV shows. I just switch off, and have done for nearly 40 years.
- Car repairs: I have always paid to have my car serviced, maintained and repaired by qualified mechanics usually at authorized dealerships of the manufacturers, and this was for three major reasons. First, I did not want to invest in the specialist tools required; I dislike having to be out on the street or driveway or in a draughty garage when it is cold, or dark
Almost all my life, I have steadfastly avoided taking any interest in any sport (except snooker) at any level, whether as spectator or as participant.
I was, for a few years at secondary school, forced like everyone else to be present for the utter misery of what was supposed to be either rugby football or cross country running, in the winter, and for the utter boredom of what was supposed to be either cricket or (later) tennis, in the summer; however, I generally managed to avoid actually doing anything; and it was such an enormous relief every week when it ended and I could go home. Since school days, for roughly the last 40 years, I have avoided participation in any sport. I also utterly hate gymnasia and the culture of exercise for its own sake, involving nasty machinery, and those grotesque enclosed spaces where it is housed, and where frowning, sweaty people are to be seen using it to "pump iron". Once, in the 1990s, I was persuaded to try attending one such establishment, at a place of work, and to try doing some exercises prescribed by a resident sport/exercise coach there, who took various measurements of my heart rate and so forth beforehand. After going there and doing these exercises, on two or three occasions over a little more than a week, I caught myself one evening thinking with dread about lunchtime the next day at the workplace, because it was my gymnasium day. I was finding the prospect of going there so stressful beforehand each time, and it was getting me so wound up, inducing such anxiety (because I hated the experience, the ambience, the presence of the other people), that it was clearly doing me more harm than good! I gave it up at once. I later explained by phone to the exercise coach that I wouldn't be returning.
I also avoid any kind of spectator sport either live or on television. The one exception to this blanket avoidance is snooker. Once (but just the once), in the 1970s, I had a try at snooker somewhere where they had proper billiard/snooker tables. And I have occasionally watched 5 or 10 minutes of snooker on television when there was some kind of championship on, but only very occasionally over the years, and for a few minutes. I quickly tire of it and I certainly never follow a tournament or a player and would, obviously, never go to all the bother of attending a match in person.