pastime (pas|time)



  • an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work ; a hobby;


late 15th century: from the verb  pass + time, translating French passe-temps

Some of the Things I Do to Pass the Time

Stage Combat

I qualified as an Actor/Fighter with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, (weapons: unarmed combat; rapier and dagger).  I have a back problem which gets in the way, but I passed the Beginners levels, so next time I’ll go for Intermediate. Next weapons (there are 8 in total): small sword, quarterstaff, knife, sword and shield, swashbuckling and broadsword. And of course, there’s Advanced levels and so on. UPDATE. Went for the Intermediate: small sword (amazing) and quarterstaff (great fun), but my back gave in and I had to give up. Next time, I’ll try one weapon only, hopefully my stupid spine will deal it to completion.

I like Stage Combat. Didn’t expect to take to it so passionately, but learning how to hold a weapon (blunt, of course, but it’s still dangerous) properly and at the same time, acting (and I am no actress per se)…fascinating. It does enhance my writing skills as to armed and unarmed fights and physical tasks. As writers we do imagine and research lots of different activities, and in part I consider this research. That’s my excuse anyway.

Recently, I’ve done workshops on DeGrassi’s Fencing Techniques (medieval manual); bartitsu (Victorian self defence with walking cane and parasol); spatial awareness in stage violence; fighting in enclosed spaces; how to approach heavy weapons (ie. broad sword and shield).

Medieval Longbow. Something to practice in the garden (and scare the neighbours with). It’s almost Zen. Highly recommend it.

Gardening. Mostly learning to, and worrying about, and avoiding it out of a sheer sense of lack of ability.

Burlesque . Most excited about it. It takes quite a lot out of you, physically but also emotionally. Learned the difference between British and American Burlesque origins. At the moment, in the process of giving myself a stage name (eta: I chose my stage name :)…which is fun in itself 🙂 (not that I am any closer to actually BE on stage yet!)

Masks. I like collecting them. I don’t have many at the moment, more images than actual masks, also because the ones I really like are very expensive. I have a fascination with the concept of ‘mask’. Venetian masks are my favourite, but African masks are the most impressive.

Fannish Toy Cars from TV series. I have three different sizes of the Striped Tomato (Starsky & Hutch); one small version of the Impala (Supernatural); one Silver and one Gold Capri (The Professionals); a small version of the Z Cars series vehicle. I’m looking for a Blues Mobile right now.

Bushcraft/Tracking/Survival Skills. I’m dipping my toes in this too. It’s wonderful and enriching to learn how to do things we take for granted: make a fire to cook on, without gas or matches; make a rope with grass because there’s nothing else; carve your own small or bigger tools; forge a knife; tracking animals (and humans). And so on. Utterly amazing experience, and something I’m planning to do a lot more. And research, too 🙂

Medieval Dances. Just starting. Fascinating to track back sources. Lots of stepping and hopping, which makes it hard for my back, but I’m hopeful. The social aspect of it makes me nostalgic of an experience I’ve never had. Figure that.

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