I worked for Nigel in Nairobi. I suspected then and know now that he was one in a million. To him, the kids were the number one priority. Because that was in his heart, he could and did ask us to work like demons - and we did - and we loved it!! I have worked for other Heads who aimed at some concept of standards for their school - but that distracted them from the kids. This showed in so many ways. Any child could command his attention at any moment - and his focus would be total. But woe betide any child who let him down! He did lots of things that we thought were eccentric but with hindsight, they were bits of genius and/or measures of his devotion. We had to keep record books and he marked them regularly and always wrote comments in them. His office was between the staff room and the rest of the school and most of the time we walked to and fro through it to classes. This seemed quite normal but meant that we had more contact with him than almost any other Head. He also took the staff out to lunch on a regular and individual basis which fostered our understanding of what he was about.

While I was at college I had the great good fortune to come into contact with Stephen Ash - and through him, his large and talented Catholic family. His father, Michael, was a doctor and had been a ship's surgeon during the war. He was stationed for a while in Shanghai and while there learned about acupuncture. He was driven to try and understand how it worked. They had a large and hospitable house in the middle of a field near the sea in Cornwall. In the big central room there was almost always an intense conversation going on about acupuncture, mankind and the universe. People came and went but the conversation went on - often through the night. I think it was the nearest thing to the ancient Greek philosophers' schools. I saw Michael heal people using acupuncture and was fascinated to see how he would find the right point. He had great energy and you could actually see the point appear under the radiation from his fingers! I believe (and I think Kirlian photos prove) that it is to do with high-frequency electric fields that carry information to the cells in our bodies. I think it is more Physics than Chemistry and I am sad that almost all of our medical efforts here are devoted to chemical solutions to physical problems. I also think that many alternative cures (laying on of hands etc) are based on a similar principal to jump-starting a car with a weaker battery.

I am happy to recommend GT Tyres & Exhausts (tel 01977 646915) in South Emsall, Yorkshire since they are invariably polite, efficient and economical. This may not seem to be a Big Thing - but I think it is! On several occasions they have charged me LESS than expected. For example, the exhaust was blowing on my old Citroen BX - I phoned them and they ordered in a new sytem for about a hundred pounds (less than any other quote!) When I went over and had the work done they gave me a bill for about fifty pounds. I queried it and was told that only half the system needed replacing and they would send back the unwanted part!

Music (obviously the food of love), some bits make my (few remaining bits of ) hair stand on end. Some records (Joan Armatrading & co) are very special but can't ever beat a live moment such as Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) winding up 15000 people at the Frankfurt Messe or a 17 year old cellist at our House music competition a few years ago doing something very similar to 100. My daughter is currently singing in the Ackworth Youth Choir & they definitely have the 'Tingle Factor'. Dancing is an interesting experience. You can have a many-level rapport with one partner - and yet 'the dance' doesn't work. Another companion will seem bland - until you dance and you discover a rapport on another level. This won't mean a thing . . . unless it has happened to you!!

Did you know that these two are connected? They both make us (and especially me) happy because they stimulate the production of endorphins - the body's home-grown equivalent. of morphine!

I have been lucky enough to be involved in producing our school pages and have been delighted (and moved) by the constant flow of positive contacts created by this experience. Ackworth School was one of the first schools in the UK to create a school website. We were even earlier in creating a mobile-friendly version when that was a new technology. And we were the first school in the world to have a school network delivered across a 200-year-old site using BOEN. (Broadband Over the Electric Network)

These guys have the most amazing stage act I have ever seen (and I owe Mike Loader a vote of thanks for taking me to the show) They use projectors to project pictures on themselves onto themselves - and then pictures of themselves projecting pictures of themselves . . if you get the picture?