Peaches Geldof-Drummey is not shy of drawing on her own life experience to pronounce on social protocol. The 19-year-old's documentary on teen sex is already gathering dust, but what marriage tips, I wonder, might she offer to fellow adolescents? Eloping to Vegas after a weeklong fling is, like, so A/W 2008? Lifelong commitment is, by the way, totally suburban?
Peaches married the musician Max Drummey in August and told heat magazine this week that she didn't say her vows thinking, 'This is going to last forever". She was realistic, she said. "You can't ignore divorce rates... Every friend of mine has parents who are now divorced".
Every friend of mine, too, has parents who are divorced, as good as divorced, or should have divorced a long time ago. The reactions of most of these children to their "broken home" status has been to marry only when they are as certain as they can be that it will last. They won't all succeed but at least they're starting out in good spirits. And – newsflash, Peaches – divorce rates have been dropping for three years. They are now at their lowest level since 1981.
Peaches got married in an erratic fit of kerr-az-iness (as most 19-year-olds would). "I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl" she must have thought when Drummey suggested they stop at Vegas after a US road trip. "Why not do now what can be undone tomorrow?"
Is she on to something? Would it be more honest to make such a decision based on how we feel now, rather than by attempting a complicated reckoning as to how we might feel in the future? When she agreed to the marriage, says Peaches, she knew that she loved Drummey and would love him for a long time, even if there was little chance that they would be stroking each other's tattoos in 50 years. And aside from all that, what a great way to annoy Dad.
I'm not sure. I rather think that Peaches hoped that after the shock her dad would welcome the news that his little girl had grown up and was at least hanging on to one man. She probably does hope her marriage lasts forever, but fears all the grown-ups will tell her she's a dummy if she admits as much. She has enrolled at university in New York, secured work writing for a magazine, found a flat, got a cat, and even cooks for hubby when he's not on tour. So far, so traditional – she just skipped all that agonising over seating plans.
The thing is, Peaches met a guy she was having a great time with. Which of you, crammed on to a train or sitting at a desk right now, wouldn't rather be hightailing it around California? It's just that most people settle for mourning their holiday romances rather than marrying them. The mistake Peaches made was to think she had to certify her relationship for others to take it seriously, and that this meant getting married.
Slump or no slump in divorce, marriages do end before death parts the union. That shouldn't stop anyone marrying, but it might push some to pause for thought. And if Peaches wanted to shack up with a musician, did she need a ring on her finger first? There must be other ways of announcing that a relationship is "for real" – I just can't think of any right now.
Life beyond London isn't so bad, Simon
News that the BBC is throwing a bone to its poor relations in the regions is generally greeted in two ways. Executives, desperate to hang on to the licence fee, use words like "vibrant" to describe places beyond London to where they are devolving certain departments and productions. Staff, often top presenters, grumble at the prospect of relocating.
And so it is with Simon Mayo, the Five Live afternoon stalwart who has made no secret of the fact that he won't be joining the rest of the station when it ups sticks to Salford two years hence. He has called the move "a logistical nightmare" (will Mayo be required to assist in packing up the office?) and says he has signed a contract for two years, but after that "who knows?"
He can choose for himself whether to go, and if he and other big Five Live names decide against it, the station will struggle initially before drawing fresh names and perhaps minting a new reputation from the local talent pool. But can Mayo and all the other BBC employees afraid that the sky begins to fall in just north of the Watford Gap stop behaving as if they were being relocated to Alaska, rather than to the north-west? It's a two-hour train ride away. I bet some cleaners spend longer each day on a bus commuting to White City.
I'm losing count of my five-a-day theories
Scientists have discovered that the route to happiness lies in a simple five-a-day step process. Connect, learn, give, be active and be curious, and your future mental health is guaranteed.
Gardening or dancing will maintain mobility and fitness; learning something new brings fun and confidence; developing strong relationships is enriching.
This all sounds fairly sensible, but when I jot it down under my highlighted "five portions of fruit & veg a day", "three portions of oily fish a week" and "five x 30 minutes of exercise a week", each bit of life-saving advice seems to bleed into the next, leaving me with little headroom to remember whether I have exceeded the recommended 14 units of alcohol yet this week (or the two to three units for just today).