Friday, 16 October 2009

When I was a lad ...

A friend recently sent to me an email with the following reflections on childhood. It reminded me of many aspects of my upbringing!

This is too scary- I thought was still young!
Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favourite fast food when you were growing up?' 'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him. 'All the food was slow.' 'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?' 'It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. 'Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.' By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

 My parents NEVER owned their own house or set foot on a golf course
 Travelled out of the country (Well my Dad went to Iceland and France - as a soldier in WW2) or had a credit card (- cos they didn't exist!)
 My parents never drove me to school. (We never had a car as neither ever learned to drive
 I had a bicycle (second-hand) that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)
 We didn't have a television in our house until I was 9 - for the Coronation. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at about 10pm, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 5pm with Children's Hour and then the BBC News.
 There was no locally produced news as there were no local TV stations; in fact there was only the BBC - 1 channel!
 I never had a telephone in my room. We never had a telephone! I paid for telephone installation in my parents' home when I was about 32 so they could phone for the doctor when they were ill and I could contact them from abroad easily. That was about 1976! It had a dial that you had to turn for each number.
 Pizzas were not delivered to our home... But milk was - early every morning, in glass bottles. I never saw a pizza until I was about 36!
 All newspapers were delivered by boys. They had to get up at 6AM every morning.
 Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies.
 There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.
 Cinemas usually screened 2 films each sitting - a 'B' film (had minor actors and lasted about an hour) followed by 'Pathe Pictorial News'. There was then an interval of about 15 minutes when ladies would walk the aisles selling ice creams from a tray. The main 'A' film, featuring famous film stars, was them screened and lasted at least 90 minutes. If it was a 'full feature' film, there would be no B film and the interval/ice creams would come during the film itself. Throughout the showing, usherettes would walk the aisles and flash their torched to ensure there was no 'hankie-pankie'! One of our 2 cinemas has double seats in the back row!!
 If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Swine flu vaccinations to begin

The H1N1 vaccination programme will begin in Scotland next week, said Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Sturgeon revealed the majority of people will have the vaccine administered in a single dose.

But she said children under the age of ten and in the at risk group will require two doses of the vaccination. A total of 1.3 million people are in the priority groups for the first stage of the vaccination programme, which begins on 21 October.
(From BBC website)

Given that around 20% of the Scottish population is being identified as being 'priority', I am concerned that school staff are not being targeted. There is no surer way to bring the country to a standstill than to close a large number of schools. Schools will be forced to close if too many staff are ill.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace prize

Much column space in the press this morning has been given over to challenging whether President Barack Obama is a worthy recipient of the highly prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Many question why Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (survivor of several assassinations, arrests, beatings and tortures), was not given the award. In the absence of President Obama, I have no doubt that Tsvangorai would have been the winner. However, Obama is here and, to my mind, he is a worthy recipient.

Great leadership is not always about what an individual does; rather it is about the impact you have through your influence on others. Obama has been singularly successful in influencing policy and practice across the world since he took office. The most significant of these, in my view, is in regard to establishing global security on the issue of nuclear disarmament.

He has come out more forcibly than any other US president in his calls for a world free from nuclear weapons. In the months and years to come he must continue to win hearts and minds, especially in what his less than illustrious predecessor referred to as the 'war against terrorism'.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Heating repaired!

I am delighted to report that our Heating system has now been restored and is fully operational. The school will be open for everyone on Monday 12 October. Thank you for your patience over the past three days and, once again, apologies to all who were inconvenienced by us having to close the school for pupils in S1 to S4.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Partial Schol Closure

Liberton High school will remain closed for pupils in S1-S4 on Friday 9 October. Senior students should attend as normal from 8.30 am. Apologies to all for any inconvenience caused by this.

As soon as the corroded section of underground pipe is replaced and 10,000 gallons of water is back in the network of pipes the heating will be back to normal. I have every confidence that the Engineers involved will do their best to get the main heating system operational as soon as possible.

DJ Macdonald (Headteacher)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

University Applications

One of the greatest achievements Liberton High has had in the past few years is the 600% increase in university applications. In 2004 we had 8 university applications from Liberton High. In 2009 we have in excess of 50 university applications. We expect all of these to be successful.

By any reasoning this is a wonderful achievement. This shows what can be done when when parents, students and teachers all work together towards a common goal. I have every confidence and expectation that this number will continue to grow in the coming years.