With two daughters in double digits, I occasionally hear ‘Dad, I’m bored!’ My retort of ‘only boring people get bored!’ does little but elicit a look of embarrassment as to how they are related to this comedy dog. Trying a different tack, I then attempt to explain what I did when I was bored, despite them being aghast that I was once their age. This conversational track was recently destroyed when I admitted that I once stood by a main road outside Hastings and wrote down car number plates. "What on earth did you do that for?" they asked. I had no answer, my face burned a deep shade of crimson red as I left them to work out how to relieve their mundane downtime.

Now it is true that, as parents, we do an awful lot more with our kids than our parents ever did with us. This is not a slight on their parenting skills, but generally we were afforded a lot more freedom than bairns these days. Now the feeling is, rightly or wrongly and due to media perception, that everyone is a potential paedophile. Also, we have more transport options with families who would previously share a car, if they were lucky, now having two or three per family. In addition, businesses and marketers have cottoned on to pester power with the huge gamut of activity designed to ensure our kids are expensively entertained for every minute of every waking hour.

Read more: When televisions were rubbish, but television was great

It was with this in mind that I read a recent bout of research undertaken by Jet2holidays entitled ‘the most boring things in life’. Surprisingly, a lot of the top 40 seemed sensible. Bringing up the rear is ‘building flat pack furniture’, although that should have carried on. It’s never fun, takes a lot longer than it should, has instructions that may as well be written in Swahili and is arguably the final nail in the coffin for some marriages.

Food can be classified as ‘dull’ the research found. Kale at 38, quinoa at 35 and rice cakes at 26 are all worthy inclusions, trumped at number 6 with ‘people taking photos of their food’. Surprisingly, people who take copious numbers of selfies was not on the list although, amusingly Coldplay were at 30 as well as Adele’s music at 28.

Boredom. Photo: PIxabay

Boredom. Photo: PIxabay

It's official: Coldplay and Adele are even more boring than kale and quinoa

We then got into the nitty gritty and I nodded my head furiously: waiting for your partner to get ready makes the list (although waiting for your 14-year-old daughter is worse). Doing the ironing (13) was a worthy recipient, as were coronavirus press conferences at four. "Still," we continued to tell each other dramatically, "there’s a press conference at 5pm." We crowded around waiting for a seismic diktat, only to be met by some dull men in suits proudly showing PowerPoint graphs no one really understood.

Sport makes the list, much to my chagrin. Snooker (18), football at 16 and F1 (12) are beaten only by cricket at 9 and watching golf at 8.

Kayne West undeservingly makes the top 20 along with Jacob Rees Mogg at 14. Although boring, I would surmise most of us find it fascinating that people like him exist outside the confines of Victorian Britain. The top three however have little in way of argument: at three is one of my favourite topics (politics), along with the duo who should arguably have topped the list: Harry and Meghan (bless them , the poor hard-done-by creatures) and, top of the shop, ‘having no Wi-Fi’ which I agree with, speaking as a teacher in an environment where the interweb is king and having been left to fill six hours in a day after having planned everything on the cloud.

And so, the next time the girls are bored I may switch off the Sky router, which we are well used to going AWOL anyhow, before I buy them a book on Hazmeg to read prior to gifting them The Victorians by Rees Mogg, who arguably has been re-incarnated from the most medieval of moulds. Nothing could be duller you see and by offering them those options, they may go and find something less boring to do instead…

Brett Ellis is a teacher