2nd June 2000 at 01:00

I am writing this two days after undergoing hip-replacement surgery. Consequently, during the past few weeks a great deal of my Internet activity centred on

My incarceration in hospital has not slowed down the number of visitors to my own two websites: ( and to which, I note, Colin Flint, principal of Solihull College, is a regular visitor.

On a more serious note, the Internet has made global communication much easier. For those contemplating a prosperous retirement with high fees and free first class travel, a useful site to visit is www.worldbank. org where you might find some indicators on how to get on the consultants' gravy train (or plane). The European Union's DGXXII-taskforce for education - Web address www.europa. eu.intindex.htm - will give you some indication of how the EU uses taxpayers' money.

For retired colleagues who can take advantage of cheap package holiday deals outside the school and college termssemesters (for those intending to offer the foundation degree), a useful site is www.xe.netcurrency which provides a mine of information about currency cnversion.

Those from the entrepreneurial world of the new FE might care to speculate in the world of e-mail antiques. Two sites which are soon to disappear for obvious reasons, ukindex.html and, might be priceless in 50 years time, or worth nothing - like distance franchising.

For the gourmets and bilbous among you, the Food and Drink national training organisation at is worth a visit.

The website www. lawsociety. is a must for those with contractual problems and for teacher unions to remind them that some trade unions still remain powerful in these post-Thatcher years.

I must now sign off. The lights out buzzer has sounded at the orthopaedic unit for education consultants and retired inspectors, whose Interrnet address is www. It is now time to put zimmer frames away, to take my tablets and get some well earned sleep.

By the time you read this I shall be convalescing in the West Indies with friends who know the meaning of worldwide and, believe me, it has nothing to do with webs and emails.

Terry Melia is former chief inspector for the FurtherEducation Funding Council

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