Today is a beautiful warm day - we're bathed in sunshine and a blue sky - most unusual for Manchester!

Today I visited my local supermarket to buy some odds and sods and to my delight I heard a voice shout my name. Who could this be - someone I hadn't seen in years - Mary. She greeted me with a kiss to both cheeks and asked after my health. Well today I received a letter confirming the Occupational Health's verdict of ill health retirement. It saddens me as I enjoyed the comradeship that work brings and boosts your ego not to mention the bank balance. Still I've taken a new route in life now with new adventures ahead - hopefully!

What's this to do with hobbies. Well Mary was a girlfriend of my best mate when we were in our teens! She's very photogenic and has the most captivating brown eyes. One day, decades ago, I asked if she wanted a photographic portrait doing. She jumped at the opportunity and I'll have to say it came out quite well. Even today she looks captivating and fresh faced.

I've always had an interest in photography from doing portraits, still life, photo-journalistic type shots to landscapes and the occasional wedding shoot for free.

Well tonight I'm rejoining a photographic club where they have talks, guest speakers, internal competitions and practical sessions. My trouble these days is that one arm doesn't work due to nerve damage and the other is usually holding an elbow crutch! Still I usually find ways of staying upright when taking photos by leaning against something to keep my balance.

Photography is in my blood - especially using digital cameras and then manipulating them in Photoshop.

I think as I see the world through a photographer's eye I tend to see things differently than most people. I see photo opportunities in the most mundane subject areas- I guess it's something you're born with.

Anyway, hopefully I'll rekindle my friendship with Mary as she now has my email address. Where would we be without the internet! Even my neighbour emails me - I guess that's progress from chatting over the garden fence - or is it?

What's your hobby and how did you get interested in it?