This meme was passed on by JJ. I have to list five of my obsessions, so here goes. They are in chronological order and, to my surprise, I can trace them all back to my parents.
1. Reading. My mother taught me to read when I was three years old. Her teaching method may have been slightly unorthodox - I remember a lot of bribery involving ice lollies - but it worked, and I don't think a day has gone past since then without me reading something, if only street signs and packaging. But mostly it's been books.
2. Writing. I began to write at school, with lots of supervised practice and encouragement at home, and have been doing it ever since. Learning to type was a bonus (thanks, Mum - again!) because I can write three times as fast with a keyboard as I can with a pen.
3. Cooking. My father is a keen cook, I often wanted to help, and he was usually willing to let me have a go. I remember the excitement of preparing a whole family meal by myself for the first time, I think I was 12 or 13. I love cooking, especially for other people, although I will also cook proper meals for myself when I'm alone (a habit I got into when I lived on my own). I'd write a cookbook if there weren't so many already.
4. Keeping fit. As a child, my mother taught me to swim, my father taught me to play tennis, and they both infected me with the walking bug. I hated PE at school, but started doing yoga seriously when I was 16 or 17, then swam regularly in my early 20s until I developed an allergy to chlorine. I played tennis (badly) and badminton (well) until I slipped a disc in my back and was banned from racquet sports. You might think all these mishaps would have put me off, but no: the doctor advised me to take up weight training which, to my surprise, I loved, and have done regularly for the last 20 years. I am by no means super-fit, and there are times when my exercise programme has had to be shelved for a while - the last year of my PhD; while I was suffering from huge fibroids and then recovering from the consequent hysterectomy - but I always come back to regular exercise because it makes me feel better about everything.
5. Crochet. My mother was a keen knitter and dressmaker, my father a rug-maker and embroiderer. I have dabbled in all four but crochet is my newest obsession, it's only been with me for a few weeks and look:
I think most people have done this meme now, but if you fancy having a go, please help yourself!