Curling, and other Belhaven Idiosyncrasies.... 

I should perhaps try to post a little more frequently but the last three weeks since half term have been absolutely non-stop and it’s only going to get busier in the run-up to Christmas, so my apologies in advance if this goes on a bit....

The second half of term began with the much-awaited Dandylions v WOSPS match here at Belhaven. It was a cracking game, especially the second half, with the Dandylions running out eventual winners.
 Dandylions playing at Belhaven
It was wonderful to watch Robbie receive the trophy from Gavin Hastings, in front of a huge crowd – I am sure it will live long in the memories of all who played. Trophy from Gavin Hastings 750
Four of the five Belhaven boys who played for the Dandylions have also been selected to represent the Scottish Prep Schools on 11th December at Merchiston, with Robbie again as Captain.

That first week back saw further success for the Under 11 7s side who won the Cargilfield tournament, in a sudden death situation against Fettes – sadly, I didn’t see it but I hear it was somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster. The U12 football team notched up a victory in an excellent game against West Barns, with the return fixture already inked into the diary for next term.

The Junior string players also had a very successful day at Kilgraston.

All the day children stayed for ‘Saturday Sweets’ and films and a rather interesting version of ‘curling’ using a mobile phone instead of a stone!
Curling at Belhaven
Saturday 5th November was meant to be the rebirth of the Belhaven Bonfire and Fireworks Party but as the afternoon wore on the wind refused to abate and it became obvious that it was going to be too dangerous to proceed. The decision was taken to postpone the event but we went ahead with the barbecue (in the Sports Hall) nonetheless.

Lady Guy Fawkes at Belhaven Hill School

However, we were not going to be beaten by the weather and therefore rearranged the fireworks party for Wednesday night.
All the children were given toffee apples and glow sticks and sent out into the clear, cloudless night. The two guys (I couldn’t decide which I preferred, so we burnt both) sat atop the bonfire which had been expertly constructed by Alex and Stewart.
Bonfire at Belhaven - Copy 750
The cigar of one of the guys (who shall remain nameless) was lit first before the whole thing went up, quite magnificently.

Once the fire had died down, we had a fifteen minute firework extravaganza – whilst not quite the Edinburgh ’End of the Festival’ fireworks  as the budget was just a little smaller, they were truly excellent, and the cricket pavilion is still standing. Fireworks 2 - Copy 750px
The following weekend there were matches at Ardvreck and the senior girls went off to netball and hockey training at Sedbergh.
 Netball and hockey at Sedbergh
On Sunday, we had our Remembrance service in the hall led, as usual, by the Form 1 children. I spoke briefly about Remembrance poetry but it was the reading out of the names of the Belhaven Old Boys who had died in the 2nd World War that really hit home, for me anyway. For the children, whose great-great-grandfathers fought in the First World War, it has become a day of discovery as much as a day of Remembrance – I do hope that they all learnt something from the experience.

Last week we had the School Council meeting followed by the inaugural Food Committee meeting. I was fortunate enough to sit in on the School Council Meeting, where there were some really interesting and sensible suggestions made, as I believe there were also in the Food Committee meeting, although having chaired a few of those in my time, they seem to revolve around whether Rice Pudding should be on or off the menu. I haven’t read the minutes of that one yet, but I’ll bet it’s in there somewhere!

More rugby matches followed on Wednesday against St Mary’s, and hockey versus Ardvreck and Clifton Hall. Next week there are fixtures against Craigclowan (rugby and hockey) and the Dandylions v WOSPS hockey match takes place at Loretto, before matches against Merchiston on Saturday.

On Friday it is the annual Balloon Debate which will take place in the front hall, and on Sunday, Mike Spens, Headmaster of Fettes and Woodcote Old Boy is coming to preach at Belhaven.

Sandwiched in between these two great events, Saturday night sees the return of Belhaven’s “Come Dine with Me” – 3 boys and 3 girls from Form 1 are shopping for, and cooking, dinner at the Headmaster’s House. I have absolutely no idea what will be on the menu, but just as long as there is no Rice Pudding, I’ll be fine.

That is all.

Henry Knight, 22/11/2016