Miscellaneous discoveries and revelations

A compensation for waking early is finding out (via the BBC’s tweet of the day) that the twike is known in Scotland as the heather lintie and that I recognise its call; I am sure I have heard the lintie whilst trying to avoid midgies and clambering over heather – well, even if I haven’t it is good to know that there is a bird called a twike and that, after a day when we have heard much of how things might run in parallel north of the border, it has two names for two countries. I think that heather lintie is more likely to stick and sounds, well, a bit more friendly.

It has been a good few days for miscellaneous discoveries and revelations: hearing in an Economics lesson that a sixth former has dreamed about the money supply; noting with some alarm, whilst watching the Under 14 girls’ hockey (exciting contest vs Ryde), that the grassy bank behind me was littered with distinguished but apparently wounded colleagues,  before discovering with some relief that they were in the final (mountain rescue) stage of their First Aid training and were ministering to each other’s pretend ailments; on the home front, gradually accustoming myself to one small, hairy, formless Westie (Ailsa) being transformed into a Tintin prop, so angular white and neat and robotic she seems; reading about the start of Marinetti’s Futurist movement in early 1900s, Italy and speculating on whether he has some link, however tenuous, with Jeremy Clarkson – all that obsession with speed; but above all listening on Tuesday night to Dr Susannah Lipscomb‘s thought-provoking talk to our sixth form historians, delivered with the crystalline clarity of a top academic, about Anne Boleyn, whose great attraction to H8  – her liveliness of mind and willingness to engage in the banter of courtly love – was maybe her Achilles heel and would sow the seeds for her own downfall through her (in all likelihood) closeness to all those young bucks (Smeaton & Co). If  Susannah’s students at New College of the Humanities are getting talks of this quality, they are lucky ducks/twikes/heather linties.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.