A NICE PAS­TIME

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - WORLD EXCLUSIVE -

The first rule of pas­times? Don’t call them pas­times. You might as well be eat­ing a Ma­ri­etta with a tar­tan rug on your lap, roar­ing ‘which one of them are you?’

But you should still get out there and do some­thing youth­ful. Be very care­ful here. There is no short­age of snake-oil be­ing ped­dled on the ‘New Thing’ front. For ex­am­ple, you might hear the lat­est whis­per that bridge is mas­sive again among young peo­ple. So you head along to the lo­cal bridge club. The good news is there are four or five peo­ple there un­der 40. The bad news is they are all wear­ing dickie bows. That’s the end of bridge. (You’ll get over it.)

You might be on safer ground with board games. The hip­sters have been fin­ished for 18 months, but most of them don’t know how to stop. So it’s still con­sid­ered young and fun to in­vite peo­ple over to your gaff for an evening of pulled-pork and Cluedo. Don’t overdo it. We hear the fire brigade is flooded with calls ask­ing them to pull apart groups of mid­dle-aged peo­ple who got stuck play­ing Twis­ter. That time spent with your face stuck in Fi­achra’s thigh could be long­est half hour of your life.

There is only one thing for it. A tram­po­line. It’s a fit­ness craze, spread­ing out like a plague from Cal­i­for­nia. Let’s face it, noth­ing makes you feel five again more than bounc­ing around the back gar­den, try­ing to catch your neigh­bours in the nip.

A word of warn­ing. Pros­ecco. You are un­able to spend time in your back gar­den with­out a glass in your hand, what with be­ing Ir­ish and that. So be care­ful how you bounce. Be­cause a per­son can grow old in the queue for A&E. Lit­er­ally.

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