Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What ho land ahoy!

I'm loving Freefoto.com for free photos. Cheers you share-y internetty people you.

My recent foray into the world of trainspotting has led me to all sorts of fascinating potential hobbies, and has made me wish I'd perhaps done a little more research into the options available before launching myself into the world as a non-practising trainspotter.

The good folk at Hobby.net.au very neatly classify hobbies into such useful categories as 'Observation and Spotting', 'Historical Re-enactments' and 'Robots'. I can think of no other area of life in which these categories would rub shoulders, can you?

If your penchant is for observation and spotting, why confine yourself to something as mainstream as trainspotting? How about a spot of 'birding' (very usefully translated by Hobby.net.au for non-spotters out there as 'bird watching')? Or bus spotting? Or cloud watching? Or geyser gazing? Or, gawd love this glorious, choice-filled world we live in: satellite watching.

So my research has led me to gongoozling. And what would a gongoozler spot, dear hobby-heads? Why canals of course. Life on canals. Sure the lack of canals in Australia may mean I'm more of an armchair gongoozler, but what a concept.

So how might a gongoozler fill an afternoon? Why with a close inspection of the operation of locks and alternative devices such as inclined planes, water slopes, and boat lifts with types like the Anderton boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel and the Strepy-Thieu boat lift. Oh mercy, that Strepy-Thieu is a real doozy of a boat lift.

Once you've worn yourself out with all the gongoozling, you can head home and look for the best priced canal photos on eBay, then re-arrange your collection of canal cards, then send a few canal-related emails at your pals in the Canal Card Collectors Circle (affiliated to the Inland Waterways Association).

Then a whole evening on Amazon.com... ooh look! The Panama Canal: The Story of How a Jungle Was Conquered and the World Made Smaller, I've been looking for that. Yes yes, let's get one-day shipping.

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