Country Life Today: Scottish paradise seeks teachers for school with six children

If you're looking for a place to start a new life, this morning's news round-up has the answer: a job in the remote colony of Scoraig.

Wanted: Teachers to run a school of six pupils in impossibly beautiful Scottish paradise

‘The least stressful teaching jobs in Scotland’ have been advertised after both the head and the only teacher at the Primary School in Scoraig both decided to move on to pastures new. The school in this remote island community of 80 people – which is reachable only by boat or on foot — currently has six pupils.

The place sounds idyllic: Scoraig’s community was founded in the 1960s by a man named Alan Bush, who was half a century ahead of his time in creating a largely self-sufficient colony.

Full story (The Times – subscription required) or just bypass that step and put in your application (

Living off the grid

The BBC this morning carries a fascinating report about a family from Essex who moved to a remote spot in Pembrokeshire to live an almost entirely self-sufficient life.

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Matthew and Charis Watkinson were both vets before making the move two years ago into a house they’ve built themselves, and full of gadgets that Matthew has devised.

The grow their own food and generate their own electricity — and have even figured out a way to make their own methane supply: ”What we’ve essentially got is an artificial cow stomach, full of the normal bugs from a cow’s stomach, and we are just feeding those bugs,’ Matthew told the BBC. ‘And those bugs are turning what we feed it into methane.’

It’s not quite The Good Life as you’d imagine itthough: they might be self-powered, but still have fridges, TVs, laptops and mobile phones.

Full story (BBC)

On this Day, 440 years ago: California became a British territory

'Vera Totius Expeditionis Nauticae', a map showing the first English circumnavigation of the globe by Sir Francis Drake in 1577-1580), as well as that of his countryman Thomas Cavendish a few years later (1586-1588). The map portrays the outlines of continents leaving the interiors blank, suggesting that the land areas were left unexplored. The marginalia includes the Elizabethan coat-of-arms, a vignette of Drake's ship the Golden Hind, and four corner illustrations. The drawing in the upper-left corner shows Drake's landing at Nova Albion in present-day California.

‘Vera Totius Expeditionis Nauticae’, a map showing the first English circumnavigation of the globe by Sir Francis Drake in 1577-1580), as well as that of his countryman Thomas Cavendish a few years later (1586-1588).

In June 1579, Sir Francis Drake was on a high. He was two-thirds of the way through a circumnavigation of the globe which cemented his place in history, and had just captured a Spanish galleon carrying dozens of pounds of gold, jewels, and 26 tons of silver — the biggest prize of his career. At that point he landed what might have become the biggest prize of the lot: California, or Nova Albion as Drake called it.

The hedge cutters’ trail of destruction

A local council in Kent has suspended all hedge cutting until October after numerous complaints over hedgerows being severely trimmed back, disturbing birds and other wildlife in the middle of nesting season.

Full story (Daily Telegraph)

And finally, the news that will surprise no cat owners

For the avoidance of doubt, if your cat doesn’t respond when you call its name it’s because it is pointedly ignoring you. You always knew it, but now science has proven that cats do know their names, but just choose not to lower themselves by deigning to acknowledge it.

Full story (Fortune)