Can someone please invent brogues with Velcro straps?

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CLIVE SMITH: I thought they’d finally got the date right and we’d reached Armageddon

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Apparently a quarter of students don’t know how to use a washing machine and some don’t even know how to tie up their shoelaces.

My eight-year-old daughter is bad for this – she always comes out of school with her laces undone.

I must admit I have absolutely no idea how to operate the washing machine

Jez Clark

I’m always showing her how to tie them up, but it never sinks in.

Maybe somebody can invent brogues with Velcro straps.

I must admit I have absolutely no idea how to operate the washing machine. My wife normally loads it, selects the appropriate programme and simply gets me to press the start button.

The other item I struggle with is the microwave. The only thing I know what to do is select the one-minute button. If something needs to cook for five minutes, I just press the button five times.

I have no idea how to manually enter a desired cooking time, or how to get it into the defrost mode.

Of course the big advantage of being clueless with these household machines is you avoid being asked to use them!

Lou: When I left home for university I think I was pretty well prepared. I could cook a range of basic, nutritious meals and I managed to figure out the washing machine and tumble dryer.

I could also change a light bulb, no problem.

But I remember being completely lost having to buy a new bulb. There are so many different types, with different numbers and codes.

In the end I just took the lamp into the shop and asked a shop assistant to help me work out which bulb I needed.

I think I’ve figured out how buying light bulbs works now, just about, but I still refuse to iron.

I’ve tried learning, but I just make things look worse, so these days I just hang my wet washing out to dry on hangers and then pop them straight in the wardrobe.

This is a great tragedy to Jez, who simply can’t understand how I can survive without ironing my clothes.

But in the eight years since I left home I can honestly say I’ve never ironed a single garment.

No-one has ever accused me of being scruffy. Yet.