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The importance of hobbies


Interests to last a lifetime

Keith and Anna talk us through the hobbies they've enjoyed over the years, and the positive impact they've had upon their lives.



Having a hobby, whatever form it takes, is important. And while for many they provide a nice way to spend spare time and an opportunity to interact with friends over a shared pursuit, for those with less social contacts it can give life purpose. That’s certainly the case for these two very special individuals, both in their nineties.


Keith turns 99 soon. He's not wasted any of those years, though, having enjoyed a variety of pursuits, from extensive travels with the Scouts in his youth, to playing bowls in later years. When he became housebound in the home he's lived in for 50 years, he developed an interest in genealogy, the study of families and family history.

"It's very true to say that but for family history, I would be at a total loss," reveals Keith, who lives alone and says he's lucky to receive 2 or 3 visitors a year. "I wonder whether I'd be in a decline, mentally."

"You've got to keep the mind sharp," he adds. "You're looking at a past social history and being able to compare it with today. I believe that is an education in itself. I'm so hooked on [genealogy] that I'm looking forward to waking up and doing it."


Anna, 93, used to be a professional opera singer - and as you can see from our video, she still has a formidable singing voice.

"Music is in my blood," she says. "I could read music when I was at school."

Reading, particularly the works of Shakespeare, has long been another great passion of Anna's. She suggests her years of reading have helped her retain such a great memory, which she showcases by reciting the 'To be or not to be...' speech from Hamlet. Watch the video above to witness Anna's impressive performance in full.

What are your favourite interests and activities?

Whether you're into gardening, cooking or, like Keith above, tracing your family tree, we've got lots of handy information and advice.

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Last updated: Feb 23 2023

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