Tonight I should have been going to my school reunion, but Covid has done for us.
We used to have a get-together every 10 years to celebrate 1966 – our sixth and final year at the old Aberdeen High School for Girls (or Snobs, as it used to get ca’ed. Probably quite rightly).
Even though we’re all crackin’ on a bittie, our last do at the Cults Hotel in 2016 attracted quite a crowd of wrinklies – although one of my pals fell oot with me for describing us thus in this column. Our next reunion shouldn’t have been until 2026, when we’d be 78, but it didn’t take the maths genius to work oot we’d get a whole lot better turnoot if we met up again in just five years.
So tonight was to be the night, at the good old Atholl Hotel where, ironically, mony o’ us will some day be flies on the walls during oor funeral teas. (Although I’ve dropped hints I want the Hazlehead Cafe. Great to hear its restoration is going well.) However, then the accursed Covid struck.
Typhoid didn’t get us but Covid stopped us in our tracks
The girls who’d happily survived Aberdeen’s typhoid epidemic (only one quine hospitalised) in 1964 by spending every glorious day off school at the beach, sharing picnics and scoofin’ oot o’ the same ale bottles, had to admit defeat.
Since so many were coming from a’ the airts, the decision was made a whilie ago to cancel and rebook, I think for next year. As we used to say in Miss Black’s French class when a loon dumped us: “C’est la soddin’ vie.”
But two of my old classmates who live doon sooth – including the maths genius – were well ahead of the game, having already booked their passages north and rooms at the Atholl. So they’re here, catching up with friends and relatives over the weekend, while we’re planning oor ain wee reunion tonight.
I’ll tell you how trendy that maths genius used to be. When she got married to the lovely man she met at Aberdeen Uni, she walked down the aisle to… wait for it… Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale. A huge hit we all loved, but had not the foggiest what the bizarre lyrics meant. Never has a King’s College wedding been trendier.
‘Moreen is a distraction to the rest of the class’
As we totter doon memory lane tonight, nae doot we’ll be remembering oor al’ teachers. The good, the bad and the hilarious.
Gwen Christie, a magnificent English teacher and our very own Miss Jean Brodie, delighted us with tales of her travels in Italy
I freely admit some of us pumped-up teens of the swingin’ sixties who a’ thocht we were Erchie (or Marianne Faithfull) must have been a tricky lot for the all-female, mostly middle-aged staff to handle. However, there were a few jewels in the teaching crown.
On the EE and P&J Facebook pages this week, readers were invited to name their most inspirational teachers. Mine would be Gwen Christie, a magnificent English teacher and our very own Miss Jean Brodie; delighted us with tales of her travels in Italy.
But nil point to the form teacher who wrote the same phrase in my report every blessed year: “Moreen is a distraction to the rest of the class”. But I did for her when they voted me class captain.