Darn it! Is this survey really right?

Darning socks: Go on, admit it, have you EVER done this?

Darning socks: Go on, admit it, have you EVER done this? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Opinion: What links darning socks a fake tans? Sharon Griffiths finds out

So when did you last darn a sock? If you're under 60, probably never. It's about as relevant to 21st-century life as pig-sticking or making bread poultices.

The only time I've darned a sock was in a long ago school lesson – one of those 'useful life skills' that you never, ever use again – like knowing about trigonometry or The War of Jenkins' Ear or making sticky pictures from autumn leaves.

But according to a new survey of mothers, only 21% say they never darn socks – which must mean that 79% DO. Really? Even my mother darned only my dad's thick welly-boot socks and then not if she could help it.

At six pairs of supermarket socks for a fiver, why would you? Even £25 a pair cashmere socks wouldn't be much improved by a knobbly darn under your heel.

There are a host of other once-compulsory capabilities that are disappearing from the modern skill-set – making your own underwear, plucking chickens, paunching rabbits, repairing shoes. Is your life impoverished by those lack of skills? No. Mine neither.

Some skills are more useful than others and we can probably live without sock-darning.

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Meanwhile, the same number of mothers who don't have time for darning socks say they don't have time for fake tans. Maybe the other 79% are the same people – they lie on the sun bed and bronze gently with a holey sock, a wooden mushroom and a skein of darning wool.

So now every time I spot someone with one of those smooth sun-bed tans, I'll be wondering about their socks.

That's what surveys do for you.