Throughout my life I have been a passionate sportsman, enjoying both team and individual sports. I am the captain of my college tennis society and last season I represented the university for hockey. I play badminton and squash for college and I'm also a keen runner (especially during lockdown).
Competing in sport has taught me the importance of hard work as an individual and together as a team. It has also been a humbling experience as there's always someone who's better than you!
To relax I also enjoy music, both playing myself and listening to others. I can play the alto saxophone and clarinet, and I'm gradually learning to play the piano. At university I play the alto saxophone in my college big band and I've loved performing at big events.
If nothing else, music has taught me the importance of practice! I find slow deliberate practice is the only way I can improve my technique, and this habit has carried over to other aspects in my life.
I was once recommended to buy a book called "Norwegian Wood" (Lars Mytting) on log splitting and stacking by a friend. Naturally this peaked my interest so I read it and found the whole book fascinating. I learnt how to chop and dry logs effectively, and then burn them more efficiently come winter time.
Since then, when spring comes around I split and stack any trees that have fallen down in the winter. I find the process therapeutic and I can highly recommend this rather niche hobby!
Sourdough bread baking was something I started before university after being recommended by one of my teachers. I love trying out new things so I gave it a go and found the process incredibly rewarding. At university we didn't have access to an oven, so I had to learn how to bake bread in a microwave. I founded a bread baking society to share my enthusiasm and we have quickly grown to over 50 members.
The process of making bread by hand requires patience and a fair amount of practice to perfect it. Each batch of loaves is a 24 hour process and requires daily maintenance of a starter. My starter is now getting on to 2 years old which I'm very proud of!
In my opinion the effort is definitely worth the reward and satisfaction of producing a loaf with good taste, texture and crust. Sharing the loaf is a must!
In addition to traditional country bread, I enjoy branching out and experimenting to produce different variants such as focaccia and english muffins. The 'failed' attempts are part of the process and end up being just as fun as the 'successful' creations...
Hopefully you've gained a bit more of a glimpse into the hobbies I enjoy and you may even have some new ideas for something you want to pick up!