Six of your precocious middle-class child's talents that are costing you a f**king fortune

YOUR delicate flower has gifts that money can’t buy, but getting those talents to blossom carries a hefty price tag:

An equipment-heavy sport

Sport’s great for kids to keep fit, learn discipline and get out in the fresh air. But anyone can do that. Instead archery, fencing, or riding a bloody tandem are what you’re shelling out hundreds every term for, with no health benefits whatsoever.

Playing the double bass

Or something equally huge and impractical with the weirdest arrangement of pipes and strings you’ve ever encountered. The music teacher claims your offspring has an innate natural talent for it even though you know he just clocked the size of your SUV.


You fell for this one assuming the only overheads would be a big studio with a mirrored wall. But then came the strange little shoes, and the costumes, and the second pair of strange little shoes because they wear out every month, didn’t you know?

A very specific art

Crayons are common. Jewellery-making, calligraphy and glass-blowing are far less common, with their rarity reflected in the price. And the cost of oil paints is, of course, why Van Gogh severed his ear.

Junior pasta-making

Not opening a can of Peppa Pig shapes and sticking them in the microwave, which would be helpful, but kneading and forming their own pasta like Sicilian peasants. Such a useful skill and only £280 for eight weeks.

Anything to do with a horse

You’re lucky if you can even find a way for a child to look at a horse for under a tenner. Riding one is like giving it a nosebag of £20s. And to own one? Why, you’ll never have money again.

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Newsreaders and other people who only work seven hours a week

WHILE we throw away our lives at work, Sophie Raworth and the like do an hour a day maximum. Here’s the best careers if you like a doss: 


Not only are you doing a couple of bulletins a day with the afternoon off to spend in the pub, the outside reporters and correspondents do all the work finding stories and telling viewers about them. Add in the adverts and weather and sport and it’s maybe 30 minutes graft.


It’s an easy life. Three hours a day of talking a bit then playing a record. And the producer pushes the button that plays the record, and if you’re lucky enough to be on commercial radio they put lengthy ad-breaks before the songs, and on classical radio the songs last 40 minutes. Basically a series of interrupted naps.


A 100-metre sprinter needs to be finishing their only job in around ten seconds. Even if they ran nine races a day that’s 90 seconds. The rest of the time they’re training, but training’s eating pasta and chicken and going for a jog now and again. You only have to work late once every four years, at the Olympics.

Mattress shop salesmen

Every time you go in a mattress shop, once a decade at most, there’s two members of staff both bored shitless. Given you’re the first customer they’ve seen all week you’d think they’d be pleased to see you, but it’s work innit?

Airline pilots

Airline cockpits are crammed with complicated machinery and thousands of switches, buttons and dials. But it’s an open secret that planes fly on autopilot, with pilots only doing takeoff and landings. They sit with their feet up doing the Puzzler just like security guards. However unlike security guards they can’t nip out for a spliff.

National football team manager

No offence to the great Gareth Southgate, who’s doing a fantastic job, but he’s not going to work another solid month until next winter. With the best will in the world there’s only so much management you can do when the players are scattered across a continent. Still deserves to be knighted.