Congratulations on getting to the end of January, possibly the most miserable month of the year - if you happen to live in the northern hemisphere. Particular congratulations if you have also managed a ‘dry’ January – to get through the darkest month of the year without a drop of the good stuff is no mean feat. I understand that some of you are now attempting sugar-free February, as if one month of deprivation wasn’t enough. Giving up alcohol is one thing; chocolate is quite another....
There has been nothing miserable about January at Belhaven; in fact quite the opposite; we have been treated to a veritable feast of sport – in the last 10 days the boys have had hockey fixtures against Riley House and Loretto and the girls have played both Kilgraston and St. Mary’s at Netball - a game which continues to perplex me. Last Wednesday, I witnessed a very professional warm up session from the visiting teams, whilst the Belhaven girls simply danced themselves into a state of readiness. From what I gather, we were soundly beaten in one game but trounced the oppo in the other, which goes to prove something, but I am not sure what. There has also been further skiing at Hillend in preparation for the IAPS ski races at Glenshee although, from what I have gathered, the requisite snow has yet to fall.
The scholarship season is well under way. We had a visiting governor put the prospective scholars through their paces with some ‘reasonably gentle’ interview practice. We have already picked up an All-Rounder award from Merchiston to sit alongside the two Sports Scholarships from Rugby, won last term. There are several more All-Rounder and Art awards on the horizon, but our six potential Academic scholars must wait until the end of this month before they get their turn – they are all hard at it, nonetheless.
The whole school attended a fascinating lecture on extreme cycling, apart from the chosen few who entered the Dunbar Rotary Club quiz - they acquitted themselves very well but were rather let down by their ignorance of soap operas and minor celebrity culture. This pleased me no end.
We had the Burns Lunch on Friday 27th January, with the Haggis piped into the Dining Room and then addressed by the Head Boy. That evening we had the first heat of Mastermind. I cannot tell you how impressed I was by all 7 contestants – to learn a specialist subject inside out and then answer questions on it (in a black leather swivel chair, under a spotlight, in front of the whole school and many of the staff) is astonishing, and they were all brilliant. It would be fair to say that there were a few holes in their general knowledge – my particular favourite: “What is the Sunday before Easter called?” Answer: “Good Friday!” Wonderful....
Unfortunately, on Sunday our visiting preacher had to cancel at the last minute, forcing me to come up with something quickly with which to entertain the congregation. The idea was that we were looking for Belhaven’s Next Top Model and decided that those with ginger hair and a gap between their front teeth were the most likely candidates; don’t ask. I suppose the point was about being a model to other people – a model pupil, a model parent, a role model etc. but we had fun getting there. After Sunday lunch, the Seniors went into a play practice, which sounds as though it is coming on swimmingly and the younger boarders went to Fingers and Thumbs in North Berwick to decorate plates, bowls, egg cups and so on, which they loved.
On Monday, Form 6 headed into Edinburgh to see an exhibition at the National Gallery but were back in time to celebrate Chinese New Year with an exquisite Chinese banquet laid on by David the Chef and his team for lunch. On Thursday we were descended upon by several staff from Downe House – some to give a Philosophy lecture to the Seniors and the rest to coach netball to the girls.
The ‘Out’ Weekend began on Friday with the deadline for the whole school Handwriting Competition and there was a lunch for the Form 2 parents before pick up. It will end on Sunday evening for the returning boarders with a Giant Pizza Delivery– that is a giant delivery, not a giant pizza, nor a pizza delivery by a giant, although there is little now that would surprise me about Belhaven. That said, whilst talking to a parent the other evening, he informed me that between the 1st and 28th of February this year, we will gain a further two hours and twelve minutes of daylight – simply astonishing! Summer is most definitely on its way....
That is all.