Pat Cooke spent most of his career as a museum curator and heritage manager. One of the many places he managed was Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, one of Ireland’s most popular historic sites. He spent the latter part of his career at University College Dublin as director of a master’s in management for those working in the cultural sector. His book The Politics and Polemics of Culture in Ireland, 1800-2010 has recently been published by Routledge. As we emerge from Covid lockdown, a time that compelled us to re-evaluate the relation between work and leisure in our lives, Pat asks us to consider the importance of the amateur spirit in helping to establish a better work-life balance.