Men and their hobbies

Credit: hubby

I’ve had Jacinda and her teeth and her baby’s teeth up to my back teeth this week. The US political scandals have been well covered already (by WO, not the main stream media of course). So as I was wondering out loud what to fill my post spot with this week, hubby called out from his hobby room “what about sad old men and their hobbies”. He’s younger than me, so of course I will argue that he’s not that old, but he certainly has a hobby. He collects plastic model planes. And yes I am correct in saying he “collects”, because while he does build some, the rate of purchase far exceeds the rate of construction. There are – cough – several hundred, still in boxes, lining the walls of his Man Cave.

When we first started looking for a house to buy together, one of the criteria on the “must have” list was a double garage with internal access. Of course what we could afford only had a grotty old single garage, with no internal access. This meant his hobby was limited to the space surrounding the car, with a workbench wedged into the back of the garage. The space was not weather tight, so in a good old Wellington northerly, the walls rattled and banged, and in a stonking southerly it was cold enough to get frostbite. It wasn’t weta-proof either, and when it comes to wetas, he’s a big fat chicken.

The door to the house would fling open and he would burst in and slam it shut behind him. There would be a moment of silence, then a vigorously exhaled breath. That meant a weta had been found while opening a kit box or appearing like magic on the workbench in front of him. That was my cue to grab the brush and pan, remove it from the shed and re-home it to the hedge next door.

So when it came time to renovate, the hobby room was not negotiable this time around. He now has 6m x 5m and he is a Man in a Man Cave. Warm, dry, weather tight, weta-proof, surrounded by kits, books, paints, brushes, reference material, decals.

What is it about men, and their need to collect? The latest Airfix catalogue turns the 50-year old into an 8-year-old. An 8-year-old with man-sized pocket money. Oh dear.

We don’t tend to see the same predilection for collecting stuff from the fairer sex. Those shows about hoarders – usually men. Squirrelling away treasures, of dubious value and questionable use.
There are no “Chicks in Shacks” but books have been written and TV series filmed of “Blokes in Sheds”.

There are benefits in having a Man Cave in the house. It is peaceful and quiet for hours at a time. If I ever need anything glued, well I know who to ask. And there are worse hobbies. Fishing – boring. All that sitting about in boats. Model trains – they take up so much room! Golf – yawn. Hours of walking about, just to end up in the same place you started. Weekend rugby – standing in the mud, watching your beloved get cauliflower ears. No thanks. Maybe I can cope with Airfix after all.


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