If we don’t wise up pronto we’ll be in DIY disasterland

SKILLS We're losing practical ability
SKILLS We're losing practical ability
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In about 50 years’ time, we’re going to be on the verge of a crisis that threatens to shake the roots of our society and leave us all trembling in its wake.

Forget the gloomy state of the economy, global warming and the shocking rise of celebrity-obsessed TV, because we’ve taken our eye off the ball of a far bigger problem.

When all the useful people who actually know how to do stuff are no longer here, how the heck do the rest of us think we’re going to manage?

You see, despite the fact that we watch endless home improvement shows and spend our weekends turning our suburban hovels into gaudily-decorated paradises, virtually no-one under the age of 35 knows how to do any DIY.

And that means all those Union Jack scatter cushions we keep buying won’t mean a thing if we don’t wise up about basic home maintenance and get practical – pronto.

I’ve got painful personal experience of this. My husband recently claimed to have gone through – and I quote – ‘the worst weekend of my life’ after spending two days trying to put up a curtain rail.

Never what you want to hear from a man brandishing a power tool he has virtually no idea how to use.

His mood didn’t improve when he studied his handiwork to find I’d hung curtains at least two feet too long – and that didn’t meet in the middle – because I haven’t got a clue either.

It took us two years to do this and we botched it up so badly that we won’t be coaxing the tools out of the garage for any kind of repeat performance.

Yes, we probably could have got someone in to do it. But that feels like cheating and a gross waste of money.

At least I know my generation is pitiful, but I fear for the next lot coming up behind us.

Think they’ll be able to put up a shelf? Ha! Not even if there’s a computer game designed to take them through it step-by-step.

Basic DIY should be written into the National Curriculum before it’s too late. We teach kids about healthy eating and the importance of safe sex.

Surely everyday DIY would be more use than quadratic equations?