Column: Millennials need to get to grips with basics

A survey has revealed that a shocking one in five people don't know how to boil an egg. A poll of over 2,000 adults revealed that many struggle with basic tasks, including how to change a light bulb.

A third admitted cooking a full meal without a recipe was beyond them, whilst half said they'd be clueless when it came to changing a nappy. The study, carried out by Aviva, revealed more than 60 per cent would be at a loss if they found themselves with a flat car tyre.

I sympathise with this, but that's why I’ve got roadside assistance. But how these non-egg boilers reached adulthood is beyond me. Even as a child I could do all these things because I was taught how to be self-sufficient.

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I also knew how to wash, hang out, and iron my clothes. I also knew (thanks to my lovely dad) how to plant and grow vegetables from scratch, and what it felt like to enjoy the fruits of my labour when I later picked and ate them for dinner. But, it seems, today’s millennials are missing out, because the skills we once had passed down from our mothers and fathers have been lost on the super technological young. Instead, four in every 10 adults under the age of 25, now turn to the Internet when they need help with DIY skills. Other everyday tasks people struggle with include bleeding radiators, with only 53 per cent agreeing they would be able to do so, checking a car’s oil levels (also 53 per cent), to putting up a shelf (only a paltry 47 per cent). Now, I have to admit the only shelf I ever put up was a bit wonky and fell down when pressure was applied (i.e. books), but that’s not the point. At least I attempted it.

Changing a plug also seemed like a doddle at the time, but when my portable TV continually flickered on and off, a friend suggested he’d take a look. He was stunned to discover I’d shoved all the excess wires into a huge bundle, hence my interrupted supply. It was, he declared, a complete death trap, and I was never trusted to change a plug again. But as most things come with plugs already attached these days, I realise it’s not a necessity. I’m still not confident on all things motoring, but I’ll have a bash.

I can, however, tile a whole kitchen and bathroom, and (thanks to my first flat) I know how to hang wallpaper, sand and varnish floorboards, do basic plumbing, and fit an old-fashioned fireplace from scratch. You see, back then I couldn’t afford to pay anyone else to do it, so I had to learn - fast!

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