Be Christmas ...

The first week back after the ‘Out’ weekend was a strange one, predominantly because Mr. Lovatt was away in Kenya; Mr. Lovatt is never away – he is the one constant about Belhaven. In fact he has taken precisely six minutes off work since he arrived in September 2016, or something like that.
 
Anyway, he was away and we had to try and muddle through in the Boys’ House without him. He had kindly left a 15-page document for those of us who had agreed to look after the boys, so there was no opportunity for error. I was lucky enough to be given control on the Sunday night and spent a very restful night on the sofa in my study. As far as I am aware, the whole thing went according to plan and, confounding EL’s expectations, he returned on Thursday morning to find the Boys’ House still standing.
 
On Friday we had the Balloon Debate – the theme this year being bald people. As you can imagine, there were few female passengers in the balloon – how many famous bald women can you name? However, we were graced with the presence of luminaries such as Gregor Townsend, Winston Churchill, Sean Connery, Julius Caesar and Mr. Curry (?). The night before an international rugby match against the Springboks of South Africa and it was a no-brainer – Gregor Townsend remaining in the balloon by a landslide majority – although the case for survival was incredibly well argued by the other six passengers; hats off to them all.

Balloon-1Balloon-2Balloon-3Balloon-4Balloon-5Balloon-6Balloon-7

Saturday saw the arrival of Ardvreck in the morning to play some early fixtures. Our 1st team were just too strong but the girls had a mighty battle in their game of touch rugby and ended up drawing the match at two tries apiece; judging by the shrieks from the girls and the volume of the supporters, it was a hugely enjoyable fixture.
 
After match tea (lunch) for all the Ardvreck seniors and the Belhaven seniors headed off to Murrayfield for the Scotland v South Africa game, although sadly we were sitting at opposite ends of the stadium; next year we must book all the tickets together. It was another great match and the children absolutely loved it – I think it is wonderful that the SRU provide so many tickets for schoolchildren. What an experience for them all.
 
With exams starting on Monday, Sunday had been set aside for rest and revision. That said, the work ethic at Belhaven, particularly among the seniors, is really something to behold. Over the last two or three weeks, the volume and frequency of good, sensible revision has gathered pace and for most of the boarders, Sunday was a day of rest in preparation for exams rather than a last-minute cramming exercise. Some even went off for an afternoon of rock climbing. I don’t know quite how this has happened; I am sure there are a whole host of factors, but if I could bottle this work ethic and sell it to other schools, I’d be a very rich man indeed.
 
So, this week has been all about exams. Not all the results are in just yet, but early indications are that the quality of revision has paid dividends. Next week is pre-test week for those sitting for Eton and Harrow – they have also prepared well through the BOFA online learning platform we have adopted; fingers crossed for the 6 of them too.
 
We have the Junior Play before the weekend ‘Out’ this afternoon. When we return, things really start to hot up in the run-up to Christmas:  Forms 5 & 6 Nativity; St. Andrew’s Day lunch; Belhaven’s Got Talent Auditions; Edinburgh Christmas Market; Evening Carol Service; Christmas Jumper Day; Belhaven Christmas Party, Secret Santa; Prize Giving and of course, the End of Term Carols at Belhaven Parish Church in just two weeks’ time.
 
So much to do in so little time ... it must Be Christmas!

Be-Christmas-1 Form 6 taking a break from academic rigour in my study

That is all.

Henry Knight, 26/11/2018