Jonathan M Lewis, local head teacher
As yet another tumultuous term draws to a close, I find myself in the invidious position of having to apologise to parents and pupils for a most unfortunate series of events, none of which, I should add, were my fault.
But, as my desk is where the buck stops, I take full responsibility for these matters which were entirely outwith my control.
First of all, I am sorry if anyone was offended when our school Twitter account fell foul of technological gremlins on Wednesday afternoon. No sooner had the deputy first minister announced that 2021’s National 5 exams would not take place, than I instructed Mrs Sangster, our redoubtable school secretary, to fire up her mobile device (The Devil’s Abacus as she has so amusingly dubbed it) and “drop a tweet” to inform the Garioch Academy community of this important news.
Dolly would be the first to agree that her relationship with technology is, at best, dysfunctional, but it is unfortunate that her phone auto-corrected “John Swinney” to “John Swindler”. And more unfortunate still that this innocent mistake wasn’t picked up until it had begun trending on Twitter, and we were contacted for comment by the press.
Then, most regrettably, our teaching staff’s wonderful sense of humour was misunderstood by a handful of pupils and parents. So I must apologise if anyone was offended by Mr Kinnear, the biology department’s resident Michael McIntyre, who was obviously joking when he stuck a large poster on his door saying “No National 5s – your grade is up to me. Will award ‘A’s for BrewDog shares”.
Of course, the very idea is a nonsense. He’s got plenty of shares already. And for the avoidance of doubt, there are absolutely no questions over Mr Kinnear’s professional integrity. Not since the tribunal concluded.
Finally, I do apologise to all S4 pupils if they were left confused by the mistake in Friday’s daily bulletin. The shock news that their prelim exams start the first Monday back after the October break quite understandably caused consternation, and is very much regretted. This was, of course, an error. The prelims start on the Tuesday. We’re not monsters!
Kevin Cash, money-saving expert and king of the grips
Weel, jist fan we hoped the hale thing wid be sorted, Scotland’s facing new restrictions fit grab the heidlines, cause shockwaves, and gie England a chunce tae see fit they’re gan tae be daeing in a fortnight.
Mind you, it’s fit ye wid cry a bold move, is it? Banning pubs fae selling alcohol, in winter, in Scotland. Traditionally the time o’ year fan we a’ huddle thegither in the snug bars and hostelries o’ the land. Fit, I suppose, is precisely the problem.
Fan I first heard the news I hid a mixture of emotions. Obviously I wiz shocked and stunned, but also delighted as I could immediately see an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Business folk fa quickly adapt tae sudden changes caused by cataclysmic events is ca’d “disaster capitalists”. Weel, at’s fit they’re cried if they’ve been tae Eton. If, like me, ye wis at Kincorth Academy, yer cried a “chuncer”.
Onywye, in a decisive move fit’ll please fans o’ hame drinking, they’ve shut down a’ the pubs in the central belt. So I’ve stairted making my ain 160 proof bootleg hooch. My ain cheeky mixture of Irn-Bru, Co-opie’s Imperial Vodka and Crabbies is bubbling awa in the sink, and I’m planning tae export the stuff doon there by mail order. It canna fail, as lang as I can figure oot a wye tae waterproof jiffy bags.
Up here, pints is still being pulled – if yer prepared tae get lashed up in the open air till 10pm. Good news for a’ the owners o’ large-scale beer gairdens, but nae sae good for a’ the pubs that hinna got a spare street handy fit the cooncil will obligingly close aff for them tae pit a tent in.
Here in the Granite City we are a hardy breed and winna let single-digit temperatures get atween us and getting blootered, as his ayewis been evident at this time o’ year fae a glance doon Union Street at the parade of young revellers appropriately dressed for a summer’s day in Torremolinos.
But those o’ us fa fall into the “mair mature drinker” bracket may need additional support as temperatures plunge. So I’ve undertooken a special reconnaissance mission tae explore the remainder bins roon the back o’ Millets, and can noo offer an exclusive range o’ top value double-strength padded fleecy winter jaickets, fit I hiv created by sticking one winter fleecy jaicket inside anither een, wi’ an extra protective ooter layer o’ bubblewrap.
They come in a range of slightly faded colours, wi’ specially adapted slightly torn pockets fit are now big enough tae fit a pint gless and built-in Covid-safety features. Wear een on a nicht oot and I guarantee naeb’dy will come within twa meters o’ ye.