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18 Aug 2017

In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero reflects on his retirement: ‘where every third thought shall be my grave’. While I don’t count the frequency – I too think of death every day – but not only in terror; sometimes there’s an intuition that accepting mortality would enrich my life. People are so uncomfortable with this subject that I’ve learned to restrain my ‘end of life’ reflections – but I notice a growing readership for such personal memoirs. Robert McCrum has written one called ‘Every Third Thought: on life, death, and the end game’.

From years of his weekly synopses in the Observer (200 best fiction and non-fiction books of all time), I already consider McCrum the best-read person of all time. His new volume is short – which I like – an extended essay; his style is meandering – almost jaunty – but thoughtful; there are several interviews – and the expected copious quotations from his favourite writers – but it’s his personal stuff I like most – the insights from his own journey.

‘Learning how to die’, ultimately requires ‘acceptance’ of our transience; don’t think anyone can help us with this. But for the closing period, 'the remains of the day', McCrum offers some thoughts: Celebrate ‘nowness’, he says; be glad you are old; pass on to your loved ones a positive delight in the world. I remember a lovely poem by Elaine Feinstein: “We all approach the edge of the same blackness which, for me, is silent. Knowing as much, sharpens my delight in January freesia, hot coffee, winter sunlight.”



The movement for land reform in Scotland recognises that so much of the big estates was stolen from 'common land' (the poor had no lawyers); this practice is epitomised by the violent clearances in Sutherland two hundred years ago – a shameful legacy. This is what makes...Read more

The SENs is the name Senscot gives to our work with Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - both thematic and geographical. SENs provide members with opportunities for peer support, collective action and market development. The vision is of a growing community of 500 frontline social enterprises across Scotland - connected and energised through a network of Networks.

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The SENs: Friday 18th August 2017

One of the early interventions of the Social Enterprise Action Plan includes a series of Social Innovation Masterclasses which will be delivered by Scottish Enterprise. Senscot is working with Scottish Enterprise on themes for the workshops – the first one due to be delivered in late September will focus on Tourism in Glasgow. The aim of this innovation masterclass is to help social enterprises to capitalise on the opportunities being created in the city as a result of increased visitor traffic, whilst transforming the economic, environmental, social, and cultural life of Glasgow. The session will be delivered with contributions from Visit Scotland, GSEN and GCMB. Booking information available in the coming weeks in the meantime for further information contact


A Visit Scotland study has revealed that tourism employment accounts for nearly double the national average of 9% in some Scottish communities, such as Argyll and Bute. With the recently-established Tourism SEN steadily growing in numbers, it’s important to take stock of the important role tourism has to play in sustaining communities at a microlocal level. Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Tourism is a key part of our economy, right across Scotland. As Visit Scotland’s figures show, it is vital in supporting some of our most fragile, rural communities.” If you’re interested in joining the Tourism SEN, please contact Sarah.


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