The man sitting opposite me is wearing a University of Michigan sweatshirt. I keep looking at it, desperate to tell him that I visited Detroit while covering the 2016 US presidential election and saw Barack Obama speak in Ann Arbor, the campus town.
By the time this is printed, I may well have been proved wrong, such is the lot of a columnist. But so far, this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, is the perfect antidote to the madness that surrounds us.
The row about testing four and five year olds rumbles on. Education Secretary John Swinney has now announced an independent review into the controversial policy. The Scottish Parliament recently voted to scrap the assessments, as teachers’ unions raised concerns about the amount of time they take and parents claimed some children were left traumatised.
There is a road in Applecross in the north-west Highlands called Bealach na Bà, which twists, winds and climbs to more than 2,000ft above sea level, making it the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK. With a gradient approaching 20% in some places, its narrow, sharp bends have seen it dubbed the UK’s toughest climb.
Now here’s a question: do you know what a “body-slam” is? Neither did I. It seems that to body-slam someone, you have to hurl them to the ground in the way a wrestler might deal with an aggressive opponent. It’s an explosive word with violence at its heart.
I was talking to one of my daughters and she used a phrase that to me was so profound: “environmentally respectful”. Flora followed that up with “‘environmentally-friendly’ is just an excuse to seem as though you are doing something to make a difference”.