Job application

Nowadays, hobbies don't really exist. Anyone who does anything, from making gingerbread men to taking photos of park benches, immediately sets up a web page, prints some business cards and calls themselves a professional

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

Colouring by numbers was, as far as I can recollect, a fairly enjoyable thing to do at the age of six. Whether it would hold quite the same charm these days is a moot point but there are, apparently, a good number of adults who currently find this very activity both relaxing and therapeutic in the cradle of their autumn years. Good luck to them.

The thing is, I wouldn't imagine that any of these good folk would wish to sell their wares to an unsuspecting public. Painting by numbers is an example of what used to be known as a hobby. For anyone under the age of forty, a hobby was something people would do for fun after a hard day's graft, safe in the knowledge that, although they weren't particularly good at whatever it was they were doing, it didn't matter because only their long-suffering spouse would ever witness the results. Said spouse would have a selection of well-rehearsed, anodyne phrases at the ready for whenever something new was produced. These would include "Ooh, that's lovely, dear," the wonderfully ambiguous "I simply don't know how you do it," and - my favourite - "I'll put it safely away with the others."

Nowadays, hobbies don't really exist. Anyone who does anything, from making gingerbread men to taking photos of park benches, immediately sets up a web page, prints some business cards and calls themselves a professional photographist or gingerbreadmanmakerperson. This is why nobody is doing any proper jobs any more.

It comes as no surprise then, that somebody whose name I forget has recently created an app that will write songs for you. All you have to do is press a button, go to Almeria for the weekend, and come back to collect all the compositions your extensive button-pessing created. Something like that anyway. Then you can upload your work to Spotty Thigh and tell all your friends that they can stream them at will. They won't, though, because they're too busy trying to sell their gingerbread men and/or park bench photographs. Meanwhile, no lorries are being driven or olives are being harvested.

For now, at least, this trend seems unstoppable. So rather than wailing like a banshee in the wilderness, I've decided to go with the flow.

First, I'll bring together a crack team of bespectacled individuals to develop an app which can write newspaper articles at the swipe of a screen. Then, I'll pop to Madrid for the weekend and, in fact, this very piece should be ready when I get back.

P.S. It was.