In my youth that was one of the worst accusations that could be levelled at you. I recall at the age of 16 my headteacher taking me into his study, sitting me down and saying, “Now, Hopson, unless you settle down and focus, at the end of your life your gravestone will simply say to the world, ‘Barrie Hopson was a diletante'”. Actually, even at the time I thought that didn’t sound at all bad to me. Why wouldn’t I want a life where I tried a bit of this, some of that, laced with masses of new learning and always the prospect of something novel and exciting just over the horizen?
Having a portfolio career now legitimises that desire and is an increasingly used label for a new workstyle. Long live diletantism!