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Rant & Rave (21/10/12)


The Great British Bake Off concludes at last tomorrow with a BBC2 masterclass on treacle tarts, rum babas, creme caramels, hand-raised pies and "Paul's infamous eight-strand plaited loaf". Never in the history of cooking has so much time and effort been devoted to a form of food that gives so little in return – except in the way of calories, of which it offers plenty. Sue Perkins is a fine woman, but now it's time to realise that she has only been distracting us from the truth: baking is faffy, time-consuming, messy and disappointing, and better results can always be bought in a shop.


Twenty-five cheers to Ikea, which, this month, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of coming to the UK, in its own, glorious, Swedish way: with competition prizes of 25 iconic products (hello, the Billy bookcase!), and by offering "adult fun". The workshop on creating new storage space looks especially cheeky. It is fashionable to pretend to hate Ikea, but we love it, really. It appeals to our inner geek that, in a warehouse the size of a small British town every tiny pin that ensures the gentle closing of a Sofielund kitchen drawer is in the right place. There is somebody, somewhere, whose job it is to make a fridge-freezer hinge. She must look forward to introducing herself at parties. The Ikea experience is easy, as long as you take supplies of water and Kendal Mint Cake, remember that Lighting cannot be rushed, never attempt to deviate from the defined path, and remain relaxed about the fact that Kilner jars always jump into your trolley when your partner's back is turned. Thank you, Ikea. See you this afternoon in Colanders.