Hearing 81-year-old Barbra Streisand talking about the lack of fun in her life during a BBC interview was so sad.

The irony of being at the top of the global entertainment industry for six decades, reaping the riches, adoration and fame that brings, but feeling like she has missed out on the lighter stuff and carefree fun is stark.

Surely Hollywood stardom is fun from start to finish, especially compared to the humdrum life the rest of us live day in day out? It’s all relative.

She’s now intent on making up for all those years devoid of joy in her personal and professional life by prioritising and seeking fun.

A lack of fun in life will chime with many. How often do adults make a point of including fun in schedules?

We know the health benefits a dopamine-hit of laughter and letting loose. Fun is a stress buster, a relief and a release but talking about having fun pigeon-holes someone as frivolous, shallow and not taking life seriously.

For some reason, being busy building lives, careers and families shouldn’t include fun. That’s selfish and trivial, right?

As if there’s not enough serious and grotesque stuff going on in the world.  Those who have the privilege of seeking fun as an escape and enjoying a good old belly laugh, doing something daft and foolish should grasp any opportunity.

Someone said to me this week her mantra was: “It is better to regret something that you have done than something you haven’t done.”

Streisand’s regrets about no fun are not about her happiness. 

You can be content and happy but feel like you’ve missed out on light moments, the times you mucked about and laughed until your sides hurt.

Like most people, she was probably focused on the next thing, working hard, planning, following busy routines with little time for kicking back and larking around.

It’s only in old age looking back that the lack of fun, spontaneity and mischief stands out – the things that bring and increase pleasure in life.

Fun is not trivial – it can be medicine. Have some today.

Charity complaints

Working from home has escalated charities door-knocking for fund-raising.

So much so that door-to-door fundraising has generated more complaints than any other method for the first time.

Complaints to the Fundraising Regulator about charities going door to door made up more than 15 per cent of all complaints, or 60 out of 399, from April last year to March this year.

It’s baffling why charities that want to people to engage with them go about it in the most irksome and off-putting way – by invading their homes.

I loathe the sound of a door knock - Unless I know you’re coming or I know you and would invite that knock, don’t come to my door.

Charities want people to like them and give them money so knocking and cold calling is the wort PR or way to bring people on board.

Charities insist door-knocking remains an effective method for charities – but is it a positive way to start a long-term relationship of donations if the public dislike it?

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to ignore any phone number I don’t recognise and never answer the door.

I'll stick to Waitrose

On a woodland walk at the weekend, I met a couple carrying a trug of various mushrooms they’d been foraging in the undergrowth.

“How do you know they’re not poisonous?” I asked, horrified that they trusted their judgement on edible, toxic and deadly.

They did research and identified their haul online, they replied cheerily and confidently.

All I could think about was the ongoing death cap mushroom case in Australia of Erin Patterson charged with five counts of attempted murder on November 1 after allegedly serving a ‘poisoned beef wellington’ to her lunch party guests in July.

The group is thought to have eaten death cap mushrooms – a highly toxic fungus – half of a cap can kill a human.

But collecting mushrooms another foraging has become the ultimate middle-class holiday activity here.

TikTok videos of the trend have been viewed 1.6 billion times. 

I’ll stick to blackberries and sloes.

Or as a friend said wearily the other day: “I’ll do my foraging in Waitrose, thank you.”

Viva las language app

As the only person my old French teacher had known to achieve A-level French with absolutely no linguistic ability by learning off rote, the language app Duolingo is restoring my confidence in mastering a foreign language.

It’s seriously addictive with snatched 10 minutes brushing up my French and learning Italian from scratch with no classmates sniggering at my accent to make me feel cripplingly awkward and embarrassed.

It’s no surprise that shares of Duolingo rallied more than 10% after it recorded an unexpected third-quarter profit with its revenue jumped 43%. 

It earned $2.8 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $18.5 million, or 46 cents a share, in the same period last year. 

It feels a bit late post-Brexit that the anti-foreign language Brits start to embrace learning to speak the language of where they holiday but, with language teaching in schools dropping like a stone, it shines hope on the future.

Duolingo has added maths to its portfolio too; something else for self-improvement after a lifetime telling myself I’m hopeless at maths when I know I’m not really.

All great to keep the cogs working too. Arrivederci.