Passions & Interests
I hereby reveal a little about my passions and interests.
I believe that people’s passions define their characters; how positive and motivated they are in love and life. This positivity and motivation ultimately defines how well people perform professionally too.
Life without passion must be immensely dreary. Imagine dragging yourself out of bed every morning with nothing to look forward to? This must be very hard to do on a regular basis.
I have a number of interests that can be defined as passions and then I have other interests that are, well, I just find interesting. Hence the need to differentiate between the two.
My true passions are listed here but exclude two primary passions. Writing and family warrant their own sections entirely. The rest follow:-
The English Language
Besides my love for writing, which has been well documented here, I possess a long-held passion for the English language itself. This stems from an absolute enjoyment from the subject throughout my schooling, from the Shakespearian plays we studied through to the regular compositions we wrote and the set books we read.
I absolutely abhor bad spelling and grammar, especially in the public domain. When I notice typos and grammatical errors in novels by best-selling authors or on home pages of major companies or, even worse, prominent news sites, I want to pull my hair out in frustration! It doesn’t stop there either. Witnessing live broadcasts and interviews being carried out by somebody who clearly doesn’t have a grasp of how English words should be pronounced, pushes me into emotional overdrive!
Perhaps my feelings are “old school” and pedantic? They all stem from my passion.
Liverpool Football Club
For me, sport is a major interest. Liverpool FC is more than that. It is a passion and has been since 1974.
As a 6 year old boy I started playing football (note, I won’t use the American “soccer” vernacular) and, not long after, picked up a copy of “Shoot!” magazine for the first time. I took an instant liking to Liverpool’s all red kit and soon Keegan, Clemence, Neal, Heighway and McDermott were my heroes. My passion for the club was born and has grown stronger with every passing season.
I was fortunate enough to witness the glory years of the late 70s and 80s and then had to swallow pride and learn humility as we suffered whilst our biggest rivals, Manchester United, experienced a glorious period of their own.
I supported “King” Kenny Dalglish’s unsuccessful managerial return in 2011. Rafa Benitez brought a smile to my face when he led us to European glory in 2005. Fernando Torres and the magnificent Luis Suarez bamboozling opposition defences left me awestruck while witnessing our “Captain Fantastic” Steven Gerrard slip against Chelsea in 2014 left me in tears. Finally, after a 30 year wait, I was one of millions who remotely watched as our captain, Jordan Henderson, lifted the coveted league trophy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was worth the wait.
There is so much more I could say about Liverpool FC. I think about the tragic events at Hillsborough in 1989, and the resultant enduring fight for justice for the deceased. Then I think about the “Man Management Maestro”, current manager Jurgen Klopp and the impact he has had on club fortunes.
I could write a book on this subject, which is exactly why I regard Liverpool Football club as a passion.
I developed my undying passion for music at a very young age. When I was hardly out of nappies I spent ages playing my parents’ vinyl records.
My father’s collection included the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, early Pink Floyd, and quite a bit of Elvis. My mother was a Cliff Richard fanatic who also collected The Beatles and a pile of Springbok cover albums. I loved them all and couldn’t get enough. Of course, I was taught about vinyl care extremely early in life!
I received my the first album I personally owned for my birthday in 1978. It was the debut album by The Talking Heads, entitled “Talking Heads: 77”. Hence began my record collection, which saw me accumulate close to 500 vinyl albums by the time I reached my mid-twenties. Sadly these were all stolen from my bedroom during a break-in – one of the worst days of my life!
->Disc-Jockeying & Digital
I followed my passion where it led, and that was to a somewhat dingy but well-run nightclub called The King’s Tavern in Pinetown. I was 16 years old when I befriended the resident disc-jockey Tony Allen, and I soon became his “relief DJ”. This meant that I took over every time he left the booth to visit the men’s room… for relief!
My role became greater as my mentor taught me the tricks-of-the-trade. In no time I was sharing Tony’s duties and taking on nights in the booth alone. I also ended up doing disc-jockeying slots at other clubs including Divisions in Durban and Zeplins in Pretoria. I also owned a successful mobile DJ concern for a while.
After a move to Johannesburg I became involved with a South African music website, the original White Padded Cell. I took on the role of Creative Content Manager & Journalist, attending gigs, writing reviews and interviewing bands and artists. I also oversaw everything creative on the website, from layout to content.
A little while after leaving The White Padded Cell for a “proper” job, social media erupted. I started a music group on Facebook called “REAL MUSIC for Those Who Know the Difference”. By the time I handed over the reins and left Facebook years later, the group had over 4500 members.
Music remains a passion and, although I’m no longer formally involved in any way, I value my current, more modest, collection.
I have a whole lot of interests! To keep this already-long page manageable I’m listing them along with a brief summary.
- Reading – This could easily fall under “passions”. I am well-read with a love of crime novels, true crime, (auto)biographies and various non-fiction genres.
- Sport – It’s not just Liverpool or football. I also follow rugby, cricket, athletics, F1, tennis, golf etc. I was an active participant for years but, since a knee injury, have become a passive supporter.
- Statistics – From sports stats to music charts to movie rankings and box office takings, I’m a sucker for tracking achievements.
- Series & Documentaries – We spend hours watching the latest series and docs on weekends. I favour psychological thrillers and drama shows but also enjoy the odd fantasy series. Yes, I am a “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” fan. “Peaky Blinders” tops them both though.
- Eating Out – Whether it’s fast food or fine dining, I’m a fan. There must be enough on the plate though!
- Braaiing – There’s nothing better than a medium-rare steak or the perfect boerie roll, accompanied by a cold Hansa, potato salad, garlic bread and great company.
- Travel – I haven’t done nearly enough travelling but I’ve enjoyed every bit of what I have done.
- Strategy Games – I’m currently very involved with Football Manager 22… I find strategy games exercise my brain in a different way and help me to relax without falling asleep on the couch.
- Pets – I’ve owned pets throughout my life. It wouldn’t be the same without a furry buddy or two.
- Live Music – I have seen Juluka, Mango Groove, ‘eVoid, Jethro Tull, Queen, Bryan Adams, Phil Collins, Midnight Oil and more live. Hopefully there are many still to come.