I have always envied people with a talent for making things. Whether it is for practical or creative purposes, whatever it is that enables people to create a tangible product is resolutely lacking in me.

This is not for lack of trying. At my school there was a designated pottery studio - that remained closed for the entire time I studied - or rather idled - there. Naturally the fact that I was unable to have a pottery lesson meant that I wanted to have a pottery lesson more then anything else in the whole world. Not only that, I managed to convince myself that I was harbouring a secret talent for pottery that was being cruelly suppressed by budget cuts and curriculum changes.

Several years later my local arts centre held a series of free craft workshops - including an introduction to pottery. Full of confidence I signed up and went along. I have often been disappointed by my own lack of talent but rarely to the extent I was that day. Whilst everyone else was able to produce something that at least vaguely resembled a pot I was left with nothing but a splodgy mess on the potter's wheel.

So, moving on discreetly from my own humiliation, I am just appreciative of the talent of all the people who have brightened up our homes and lives down the years. It is not as easy as it looks you know.