Busmen's holiday

27th July 2007 at 01:00
It's summer time, and the traditional time for our readers to meet other readers in sunny climes.

We're aware how many conversations have taken place on the edge of distant swimming pools about the merits of Standard grade changes or Higher Still renovations. But Alan Blackie's experience is of an altogether higher order.

Holidaying in Dinan, Brittany, East Lothian's education director happens to be walking along the street on his first day there and bumps into no less than Bernard McLeary, a fellow head honcho, in charge of Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Day 2 finds the Blackies in Dinard, also in Brittany, and still being stalked by the McLeary family. And on day 5, despite having nipped over to Mont St Michel across the border in Normandy, there was no escape : Blackie popped into the loo where he was no doubt less than relieved to find himself once again face-to-face with McLeary.

Any readers wishing to avoid such encounters in the future should make contact, and we're sure we can provide an unusual holiday dating agency.

Cinderella service

Further education colleges have probably now succeeded in ridding themselves of their reputation as the Cinderella sector. But perhaps it wasn't such a bad image after all, Roger McClure, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, mused recently.

After all, Cinderella was "well-intentioned, showed commitment to looking after home and family, was very appealing to look at, did all the difficult work, was kind and helpful even to unfriendly relatives and she eventually achieved wealth and happiness."

Wired up

We hear from Aberdeen University that over 900 wireless access points are to be installed in buildings across the campus, with halls of residence scheduled to be online by September.

The university proudly announced that students would be able to access the internet from their bedrooms as a result. Flexible learning goes horizontal, we say.

Face-to-face with lunch

In Japan, packed lunches are more than a sandwich and a packet of crisps.

Mums gathered in Tokyo recently for the annual character bento contest, with prizes for the most aesthetically pleasing lunch box. But bento, a staple of Japanese cuisine, does not always produce the most appealing creations. One revealed grimacing faces constructed from rice, garnished with egg eyeballs, seaweed eyelashes and a nest of shredded vegetable hair.

One observer found it all less than appetising: "Some of us prefer not to make eye contact with our lunch."

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