A quiz for you, Jimmy

Bit of a relapsy thingy, having gone out for the first time for awhile yesterday –
coughing, ears, throat again today, so only one question this evening.

What’s significant about Scotland, kilts, bagpipes, haggis, porridge, whisky and tartan?

The key in this question is not the obvious answer which historically au fait readers would all know but can you list the various origins?

Answers either when you give them or mid-evening when I wake up.  By the way, just had another earth tremor, everything not nailed down is rattling – there was one last evening too.

Coffee time

Not a chance:

In 2001, Gaskell, farm advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, established transplants and discovered that the sub-tropical plants could thrive in the Golden State. He recruited Jay Ruskey of Good Land Organics to help with trials, hoping coffee could be a valuable niche crop to help sustain small farms.

Ruskey started growing coffee in 2002 on his Santa Barbara, Calif., farm and quickly became a passionate coffee farmer.

“We learned that we had the ability to grow very good coffee with a very unique flavor,” Ruskey explains. “There is a misconception that you can’t grow coffee outside the Tropic of Cancer.”

There are reasons behind rules of thumb



A decade since it was dredged from the seabed, The World is a forlorn sight. It was the most ambitious plan of Dubai’s pre-crash bubble, topping the creation of peninsulas shaped like palm trees and the construction of the tallest building on the planet, dreamed up as the ultimate trophy project to trump them all. In pursuit of the world’s attention, the oil-rich emirate would remake the world itself. “The Palm puts Dubai on the map,” proclaimed the marketing material at the time. “The World puts the map on Dubai.”

Do I resent the rich having their plaything in the forlorn, godforsaken desert? Not really. The Muslims will get them soon enough or they’ll get bored – there’s nothing to see and do there, except artificial.

Do I resent the rich? No. Those who got rich on over the bodies of the masses will get theirs one day and many who got rich legitimately can do as they wish as far as I’m concerned.

[H/T Chuckles]

Anyone heard of cooperation?

Remembering that my position was that of headteacher, it might be a surprise that I’d take a different position to my colleagues on this:

Four MILLION school days are lost in a year to unauthorised holidays as record numbers of parents take their children away during term-time

Thing is, with my parent’s hat on, it’s damned difficult for parents to combine enough to have both him and her, plus the children, away at the same time and school holidays are the most dire time of all to take them.

Being in the independent sector way back when, we had a certain flexibility and one of the things you always wanted to do was accommodate parents as much as was humanly possible – after all, they were paying my salary.

A typical situation may have been, say, a father approaching me and setting out their situation.  Fine, will the daughter make up what she’s missed by doing a little extra homework in the weeks following the return?

But the critical thing, the thing vigorously underscored, was the attitude of cooperation on it, neither party laying down the law and threatening the other.  I can’t recall one time – and I mean that – where the parent himself did not come in saying the child would make up what was needed.

They never fully did, it was the principle of the thing.

For my part, I always said at our staff meetings that we needed to accept the child will not get 100% of the programme, that programmes set by major publishing houses were unrealistic anyway, especially on staff, so a reasonable percentage of it, maybe 85% over the year, would be fine.

That’s different to parents taking the amber fluid and I’ll say again, possibly because we were independent, that I don’t recall one incident where this happened, where the parent was unreasonable.  Thus, because of results, plus this attitude, we tended to hold our numbers.

So this sort of thing about fines in the public sector – I just shake my head sadly.