Passions and Interests

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 augments professional performance 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 hard to do on a regular basis.

I have several interests that can be defined as passions, and then others that, well, I just find interesting. Hence the need to differentiate.


Passions

My true passions are listed below but exclude a couple – writing and family warrant their own sections entirely.

The English Language

Besides my love for writing, which is detailed here, I possess a long-held passion for the English language itself. This stems from absolutely enjoying the subject throughout my schooling – from Shakespearian plays studied in the curriculum through to regular compositions written and other set books read.

I abhor bad spelling and grammar, especially in the public domain. When I notice typos and grammatical errors in best-selling novels or on company home pages 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 carried out by somebody who doesn’t have a grasp of English pronunciation pushes me into emotional overdrive!

Perhaps my feelings are “old school” and somewhat pedantic? They all stem from my passion.

Liverpool Football Club

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 Liverpool suffered whilst their biggest rivals, Manchester United, experienced a glorious period of their own.

Liverpool FC

I supported “King” Kenny Dalglish’s unsuccessful managerial return in 2011. Rafa Benitez brought a smile to my face when he led us to 2005 European glory. Fernando Torres and the magnificent Luis Suarez bamboozling opposition defences left me awestruck. “Captain Fantastic” Steven Gerrard’s 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. 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 FC as a passion.

Music

I developed an undying passion for music from a very young age. I was hardly out of nappies when I spent hours playing my parents’ vinyl records.

My father’s collection included the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, some 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 could never get enough. Of course, I was taught about vinyl care extremely early in life!

I received my the first personally-owned album on my birthday in 1978. It was the debut album by The Talking Heads, entitled “Talking Heads: 77”. Thus 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 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, whilst also running a successful mobile DJ outfit 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, attended gigs, wrote reviews, and interviewed bands and artists. I 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. It is still going strong today, over 15 years later.

The REAL MUSIC Facebook Group Banner

Music will always remain a passion and, although I’m no longer formally involved, I value my current, more modest, collection immensely.


Interests

I have tonnes of interests! To keep this already-long page manageable I’m listing them below with only summaries.

  • 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 enjoy. I also follow rugby, cricket, athletics, cycling, F1, tennis, golf, etc. I was an active participant for years but, since a knee injury, have become a “couch” supporter.
  • Statistics – From sports stats to music charts to movie rankings and box office takings, I’m a sucker for tracking achievements.
  • Series & Documentaries – My fiancée and I 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 has to be enough on the plate though!
  • Braaiing – There’s nothing better than a medium-rare steak or a 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 that I have done.
  • Strategy Games – I’m currently very involved with Football Manager 22 and Cycling Manager 22… I find strategy games exercise my brain differently and help me to relax without falling asleep on the sofa.
  • Pets – I’ve owned numerous pets throughout my life. Life 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, Prime Circle, and more live. Hopefully, there will still be many more to come.