It’s all very well for charities to lobby to include alcohol (and drug) addiction education in the national curriculum. But if teenagers know they can buy a fake ID online (for £25) and a bottle of WKD (a popular alcopop) for £3, teachers who warn about an Amy Winehouse fate are wasting their breath. When temptation comes this easy and this cheap, only a saint – and certainly not a teenager – could resist it.
• Over the weekend, as I read pieces in which a vicar’s wife and a pop singer both admitted to drinking too much, I realised that baking is the one thing in my life that could drive me to follow suit.
Everywhere I look, someone is presenting baking as a panacea – just look at this newspaper’s new Baking Club. Depression, boredom, addiction: the satisfaction of working dough with your bare hands will help you overcome everything.
Not in my kitchen. I love cooking: it’s creative, intuitive, an expression of love and friendship with a pinch of this and a dash of that. But baking? I feel like I’m entering a science lab: measurements must be precise, equipment tip-top, ingredients handled with scrupulous care. Baking is as unforgiving of inaccuracy as a mathematical equation – and about as much fun.
• Speaking of domestic goddesses, Cherie Blair has popped up again, this time criticising men (especially those in the developing world) for being spendthrifts. Give a man £1, she says, and his family will see less than half; while women, the budget-conscious sex, will bring home 90p.
This seems a bit, well, rich coming from the woman who, during her time at No 10, took part in a “supermarket grab” involving £2,000 worth of items in Australia. Nor has Mrs B reined in her acquisitive instincts since leaving Downing Street: she was spotted on eBay buying found Mappin & Webb silver, a cruet set and a cake stand.
Either Cherie has a great sense of irony, or else she means that she’s very careful about spending money, but only so long as it comes out of her own pocket. A freebie? That’s a different matter…