SimDragon's Lair - All About Simone Collins

Hobbies & Interests

I have a rather diverse range of hobbies and interests. Between my studies and Rotaract I don't have a lot of time to devote to these interests generally. But when I do have some spare time, here's what I enjoy doing...

Music

Music was my first love - I used to love listening to my father playing the organ when I was little. I started piano lessons when I was 6 years old, then added in electronic organ lessons when I was 8. I learnt oboe for a year when I was 12 as well, as my high school offered me a half scholarship... but music lessons for 3 instruments plus theory meant I was missing quite a lot of school classes each week, so sadly the oboe had to go...

Music (especially the organ) came naturally, and I discovered a passion for arranging my own music. I competed in the Yamaha International Electone Festivals from the time I was 8 until I was 14, which I enjoyed immensely (especially if I went home with a trophy afterwards!) . These days my organ is in storage, and I do miss playing it...

I teach piano, organ and theory of music from time to time, which is really rewarding. I don't have any students at this point in time, however (It doesn't help that my organ is currently in storage...).

I love listening to music as much as I enjoy playing it, and as such I have a fairly substantial CD collection. My musical tastes include 80s pop / rock (especially the glam bands!), heavy metal, classical (Bach and Tchaikovsky in particular), and instrumental music (eg Jean-Michel Jarre). Some of my favourite bands and singers include:

Sites marked with an asterisk (*) are not official sites, but are the best fan site I have found for the band.

Reading

I have been an avid book worm for as long as I can remember. While I do enjoy reading a lot of non-fiction, my favourite way to relax is to curl up with a good high fantasy book. My favourite fantasy and science fiction authors include:

And for something lighter, my favourite comics include Cathy, Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert, Peanuts, and Zits.

Other Interests

Other things I enjoy doing, when time permits (which isn't that often these days!) include penpalling, going to the cinema & theatre (I especially like the amateur productions by Blak Yak), rollerblading & ice skating, cross stitch, and doing puzzles of all kinds (if you feel like killing some time, check out the daily puzzles at Set Games - I particularly enjoy Quiddler), especially logic problems and Sudoku. In high school and at university I used to roleplay, but I don't admit to that anymore! *grin* I also collect coins, stamps, and crystals.

I used to be a completely infatuated by dragons (as if this site wasn't a bit of a giveaway in that regard!) but recently I have started to decrease my dragon / fantasy collection, believe it or not! Technically speaking, you could also say I collect books, CDs, sci/fi and fantasy videos and DVDs etc, given how many I have!

While I was at University I was actively involved with the University Computer Club and Unigames. Now I devote a very large proportion of my time to Rotaract.

Other interests include astronomy, astrology, ancient history (especially Greek History), mythology, and new age / neo-pagan things such as crystal healing, herbology and aromatherapy (yes, even with my science background! I like to mystify people.. hehehe!).