Quartered safely in Wiltshire as I am, heading north into the Cotswolds is always like a step back in time. It's not just that medievalism always seems on the point of breaking out with the black death lurking under every stone; rather, and more tangibly, the seasons are behind us folk down Devizes way. Last Wednesday, there wasn't any May blossom to be seen south of the Gloucestershire border, but it was still blooming in the sodden lanes around North Cerney as I meandered my way to the landscaped lawns of the University of Gloucestershire's Park Campus for a seminar reporting progress on an EU project on competences – and another launch of The world we'll leave behind.
It was a risky trip. One of the reasons that I'm happily retired is that I no longer have to think about competences – or pretend that EU funding is worth having – and to attend this meeting: A rounder sense of purpose [*], was to put all this in jeopardy.
But it was ok; the mix of people there more than made up for having to think about the educator sustainability competence framework produced so diligently by dedicated professionals who toiled in endless meeting in hotels across the continent, jetting around and dining out at the EU taxpayers' expense. Was it worth it, do you ask? Well, of course not, although the participants will have learned something – probably about how useful EU funding is, and how it has to be maintained at all costs. I sensed a lot of remoaners in the room.
I was intending to write about the framework, but that would just encourage them! Not that they need any encouraging, as they've already applied for Phase 2 ...
 I did like the title; perhaps because it suggested a Hilary Mantel novel.