To say our teenagers were not keen on a week in a cottage in the far north of Scotland would be like saying Ryan Giggs is not a fan of Twitter. It was not, apparently, their idea of a holiday. The word they used in fact was “nightmare”. But I closed my ears to their girning – second nature now – and insisted they pack plenty of warm clothes and borrow some holiday reading from the school library.
Of course, I told myself, no self-respecting teenager would welcome a week in the Highlands with their parents. I am sure I made the same kind of extravagant complaints myself – but I did enjoy it once I was there.
"One more pupil please!" reads the appeal sent out by Rebecca Ridgway, desperate to find a young family prepared to move to one of the emptiest places in Europe to stop the school roll falling below 20 at her children's primary.
Ridgway – who runs the adventure holiday company founded by her father, the yachtsman John Ridgway – takes her two children, Hughie, eight, and Molly, 10, to school each morning in an open boat with an outboard motor from their home in Ardmore, in Sutherland.
JACKIE KEMP from online publication "Journalist's Handbook" April 4 2011.
The i – a concise version of the Independent newspaper priced at a very reasonable 20 pence a day or £35 a year – appears to be doing rather well. ABC sales figures at the start of this year were around 130,000 and are reportedly heading for 160,000 now. That is double the number of people who subscribe to the Times website and, at a time when in many newspaper groups resources have been migrating from print to online editions, it presents an interesting idea. Could it be that there is still some mileage in the hoary old newspaper? Could there be something too in this new, sexy concept of concision?
From The Herald 10.09 2002 : " Arnold Kemp was considered by many to be the most outstanding Scottish journalist of the second half of the 20th century, being instrumental in modernising and revitalising both the Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald...In his 14-year editorship of the Herald, his urbane style attracted readership loyalty and reinvigorated what was an ailing newspaper when he arrived in 1981, as it took on the challenge of great technological change... In 1991 (under his leadership), the circulation peaked, record-breakingly at more than 127,000, before the Murdoch-inspired price-cutting wars began."
SOMEWHERE in the Italian lakes, perhaps, a tall and portly head waiter called Philippo is presiding theatrically over an elegant, fashionable, and suitably expensive restaurant. In my mind's eye I can see him clearly against a background of lake and mountain, and can hear the rolling cadences as he tells some party of diners about the day's bill of fare. What he does not know is that he almost certainly if indirectly inspired a character in the latest Rumpole by John Mortimer.