Well, that was a wee trauma! I was blogging last night while Mr Blethers made the dinner when a mighty lightning flash seemed to come into the study; there was a great "crack" as if someone had hit the metal music stand at the window and I fled - taking my laptop with me. However, since then I've had no internet connection and don't know what particular bit of equipment has had a heart attack. And now I'm in Inverness, borrowing yet another PC to fill in the gaps in my online life.
Why Inverness? Well no, I'm not just running away from the storms. I'm here to speak at a dinner organised by the FPs of my old school, Hillhead High in Glasgow. Seems there's a bunch of them up here who still get together and remember the school in its glory days. And yes, in many ways it was indeed an extraordinary school, and I have many happy memories of it. Thing is, it's the extra-curricular activities I remember - the orchestra, the madrigal group - rather than the teaching. Some of it was well done, but far too many of my teachers in these days relied on the industry and background of the pupils and much of the teaching was, frankly, boring.
We were a well-behaved bunch on the whole, and any badness was of the civilised, sophisticated variety - no spit-balls on the ceilings. Nowadays if kids were as bored as I was they wouldn't just doodle on their French text book - they would be creating mayhem in some form or another. I don't yet know if I'll talk about this with any degree of frankness; I'll try to suss out how rose-tinted are the specs worn by my hosts. But remembering this in preparation for my speech has remeinded me of it - and it's a salutary lesson for any teacher. The biggest crime of all is to be a bore.
Once I leave this computer, it may be a while before I blog again. Treasure my words, gentle readers - I'll be back!