Six of the most unusual hobbies

Gone off golf? Bored with bowls? Ready to park pilates? Here are six weird and wonderful ways to fill your downtime

By Evie Prosser

Everyone needs a hobby. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind from the pressures of work. But in this day and age, there’s no need to settle for the mundane in your leisure time. Why not try something a bit different?

Here are six of the most unusual hobbies to help inspire you.

1) Ant farming

If you’ve never heard of a formicarium, you’re probably not alone. It’s the fancy word for “ant farm”, but that doesn’t give much of a clue as to the activity involved in keeping one.

So let’s be clear: ant farming doesn’t involve looking after ants with a view to slaughtering them for food. Eating insects may be a new trend, but it’s not to everyone’s taste.

No, ant farming involves keeping a colony of the little crawlers for the sheer joy of observing their behaviour. Better than binge-watching box sets in your spare time, we suppose…

2) Extreme ironing

Extreme ironing really is a thing, as this extreme ironing video reveals. Enthusiasts take their irons and ironing boards to all sorts of locations and test their mettle while smoothing their laundry.

Fancy pressing your suit trousers on the side of a cliff? Got a taste for balancing on a surfboard while tidying up your favourite shirt? Want the thrill of crease-free jumpers while deep-sea diving? If so, extreme ironing may just be for you.

Alternatively, you could just take up rock-climbing, surfing or scuba diving and not worry about the ironing element. But where’s the fun in that?

3) Bubble football

Sometimes known as “football zorbing”, bubble football is a fast-growing sport that promises plenty of laughs for competitors and spectators alike.

Players don a large plastic air-filled suit. This covers their body from their head to just below the hips. They then charge around a football pitch, bouncing into each other and generally making merry.

The game is won or lost in the usual way, so there’s every incentive to score as many goals as possible. But as this bubble football video shows, it’s not always easy to predict where the ball – or players – will end up.

4) Cheese rolling

Not so much a hobby as the chance to participate in a truly bizarre event. The annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese Roll is legendary for being ever so slightly, erm, high-spirited.

Actually, the event was banned in 2010 as a result of health and safety concerns. But that hasn’t stopped hundreds of eager participants descending on Cooper’s Hill every year since. They chase a giant round of Double Gloucester down a slope that is so steep you can’t possibly stay upright.

The result is lots of falling over, plenty of hilarity and, as the author Richard Askwith reports in Running Free, some genuinely skilful running by committed competitors. Definitely worth a go if you fancy that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

5) Geocaching

Compared to cheese rolling, geocaching seems like a fairly normal way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Basically a giant treasure hunt, it’s dead easy to get started with geocaching. Download the app to your smart phone and all the geocaches in your vicinity will display on an interactive map. You simply select the one you want to locate then navigate your way there using the app.

Once you arrive, you’ll see a container – made of wood, plastic or metal – with the geocaching symbol on it. Open it up and you’ll find a logbook to sign, as well as trinkets left by other geocachers. You can take one of these to keep, add something of your own, then seal the container and put it back in its position. Job done, and onto the next location: perfect if you want to bring a bit of purpose to a stroll, and the ideal way to motivate reluctant young legs.

6) Drain cover spotting

It is not only Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who enjoys drainspotting. The pastime is a favourite among many thrill seekers, who stroll around towns and cities in search of the unique markings on sewer covers.

The hobby is especially popular in Japan, where drainhole covers tend to be rather more artistic than in the UK. Japanese drainspotting has even inspired a book that details some of the country’s most eye-catching designs.

The great thing about drain cover spotting is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. And as drainhole enthusiast Calvin Payne told The Daily Mail, there are some surprisingly ornate designs if you know where to look.

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2019

If you liked this article you may like to read – Mental health in the work place for employers and employees

You may also like to watch –  Smokin' Tom's BBQ tips

Jobs currently available

New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site

Requirements:

  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more
Accounts Assistant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £9.50 - £10.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910867
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Sudbury.

They are looking to add an Accounts Assistant with payroll experience to their team.

Key duties include:

  • Responsible for weekly and monthly payroll’s on Sage and all related duties (holiday forms etc.)
  • Knowledge of Xero accounts
  • Purchase Ledger
  • Sales Ledger
  • Chasing payments
  • Exporting mail-order invoices and credit notes from Magento to Xero
  • Assist Bookkeeper with any accounts duties
  • Assist Bookkeeper with HR Duties as needed
  • Reconciling Braintree payments to Mail Order invoices
  • Assist with stocktaking and valuation

Knowledge of Xero and Microsoft Office would be advantageous, although Sage experience would be considered. Attention to detail, good time management skills, accuracy, approachable and reliability is a must.

Free parking is available on site, offering a competitive hourly rate and an excellent working environment.

Read more