James Proclaims (4)


These days I’m all about paying the mortgage on time, pretending to eat healthily (then sneaking an extra slice of cake when no-one’s looking) and watching endless TV shows and movies, often, but not exclusively, with some kind of comic book/superhero theme.

Maybe there’s more to me than that. Maybe I’m selling myself short. Maybe I’m still a fascinating person to know. But the evidence is, increasingly, pointing to the contrary.

I do have this blog. That’s pretty interesting I suppose. Although I have quite happily blogged about the nuanced flavourings of tinned soup, a car sticker that allows me access to the local recycling facility, and difficulties encountered when ordering a pair of trousers online, so, although this blog probably is one of the most interesting things about me, it’s perhaps overstating things a little to claim that this blog actually qualifies me to call myself an ‘interesting person’.

As it happens I don’t list this blog on my CV.

What I do have on my CV though, is a load of stuff that is patently untrue.

Although all of it did used to be true at one point. Or at least I’m pretty sure it did.

I should state for the record that I haven’t falsified any of my qualifications or previous employers or anything like that. My underwhelming qualifications and the various menial temping roles of my twenties are all listed accurately.

Where I’m perhaps stretching the truth a little is the section entitled ‘Hobbies and Interests’.

That’s pretty jam-packed full of lies at the moment.

And let’s be honest, no employer ever really cares about the ‘hobbies and interests’ of a potential employee if they are the best qualified person for the job. It’s always a bit of a truism, perpetuated by school and parents, that you need to fill your life up with all this extra-curricular stuff in order to be as impressive as you can be at interview.

I always believed that it was important, but in recent years I’ve been in the privileged position of actually interviewing other people for jobs. And guess what? We never gave the job to the person that led the most fulfilling and interesting life. Instead, we gave it to the person that seemed to be the most appropriate person to carry out the duties of the job in question and, so much the better if that was also the person who came across as the least crazy.

Interviews can be deceiving and I have definitely sat on a recruitment panel, on more than one occasion, when we have appointed someone who was utterly bonkers.

But it was because they masked their inner lunacy at the interview, not because they enjoyed a touch of spelunking on weekends and we thought that made them a well-rounded human-being.

I think it’s probably ok to embellish the ‘hobbies and interests’ section on a CV, because:

1.       Everyone else is probably doing the same thing.
2.       It’s not going to actually affect whether you get the job or not.

Still, my CV, at the moment, reads like that of a far more well-rounded person than the individual sat behind his keyboard on a Sunday afternoon, about to eat a bowl of soup (because he is clearly obsessed with the stuff) and binge-watch a few episodes of a boxset, before tackling the last few bits of paperwork he needs to complete prior to returning to work after a week off in which he has, mainly, completed outstanding paperwork, watched TV and been a bit under the weather.

So I thought it might be a novel new feature for my blog to go through the list of hobbies that I claim to do but don’t actually do. I have a few reasons for thinking this might be a good idea rather than the complete and utter folly that it clearly is. They are as follows:

1.       I’m seriously running out of ideas for stuff to write about and this should definitely buy me a few weeks of blog fodder, while I search for more inspired material.
2.       It might actually be nice to relive some of the memories of the days when I was a bit more interesting than I am now.
3.       In writing about some of these ‘past glories’ I might be inspired to take some of them up again, although, in most cases, I almost certainly won’t

Obviously there’s a chance that, in writing about all of this I might get a bit despondent and down-hearted as I come to the horrifying realisation that my life is devoid of all interests and I’m now just an empty shell of a human being.

To be fair though, if writing about this stuff has a positive impact on my blog stats then I’ll be easily consoled. So if you’re reading this (and the future posts on this theme that I intend to write but haven’t written yet), just hit the ‘like’ button in the knowledge that you’ll be boosting my self-esteem. You don’t actually have to enjoy the posts to hit the ‘like’ button, I’ll more than happily accept ‘empty likes’. I’m literally that shallow.

Anyway, moving forwards (and assuming I can’t think of anything better to write about), you can look forward to a few weeks of me describing how I used to (but no longer) do all of the things listed below:

Long distance running,
Learning new languages
Reading books for pleasure
Writing novels and short stories
Socialising with friends
Competing in pub quizzes
Ballroom dancing
Playing football
Performing stand-up comedy
Going to concerts and festivals.

I’m aware that the above list contains a variety of activities, some of which are more intriguing than others. They are mostly things I have done, though they are not necessarily things I was ever any good at.

Although I might have been good at some of them.

If you’re still with me, I’m sure you have questions.

Maybe questions such as:

Did I really used to do stand-up comedy?
Do I really consider ‘socialising with friends’ to be a hobby?
Isn’t this post just a cunning ruse, using my trademark self-deprecation, to get people to reassure me that they do find me interesting in the comments section of my blog?

Who knows?

Well I do obviously.

And I’ll answer all, some or potentially none of those questions next time.

So stay tuned for the next instalment of the memorably-titled ‘Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time)’.

Part 2 will be next Monday.


I expect there’ll be some bad poetry and childish doodling in the intervening days.

29 thoughts on “Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 1 – A Relatively Pointless Preamble

  1. I keep a master CV that I can edit to the situation; thankfully, I haven’t needed it for an actual job interview in eight years, but I have needed one for certain applications. I don’t keep a Hobbies and Interests section. Instead, I renamed it something like “Skills and Assets” where I list and very briefly describe things I do for fun that also improve my professional career.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading this series of posts and wonder if writing about these things might spark a renewed interest in one or two of them for you.

    In the meantime, enjoy your soup 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The soup was great -thanks. Yeah I haven’t actually used my CV in years which is probably why it’s so out of date, but to be honest it was stretching the truth to suggest I did all of those activities regularly. But I don’t want to spoil the next post by revealing quite how much of a charlatan I might have been on occasion…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely would like to find the time to fit some of them in again, but sadly time is what I never seem to have enough of. But maybe I’ll feel more inspired to make time once I’ve written some more of these posts 🙂


  2. Ever since I started college, I’ve been kind of hobby-less. On my resume I list any possible hobby I ever had, but indeed, what employer will really look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Socialising with friends is definitely hobby category – you have to set aside a particular night for it, often wear special clothes and, like Liam Neeson, have a particular set of skills to achieve success. Which is why a prefer box sets!
    I once interviewed someone who told me their hobby was stroking plants. Had it not come straight from their mouth with a demonstration I would have thought it was a typo for something less legal…

    Liked by 1 person

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