Friday, 22 September 2017
Headmaster's Blog Autumn Term 2017 - Week 2
A fatal mistake, and one committed so early in the term, nay, in the academic year, perhaps does not bode well for the coming weeks. I have managed to get behind on my blog, despite a nice exeat in which to keep on top of things. The headmaster’s first Interim Report will be a 3 for Effort, at best.
So far too late into the following week I find myself writing last week’s blog. We are travelling at light speed already and one’s memory is a trifle hazy. I can recall the weather being rather miserable and very autumnal (in a bad way); the first fixtures were good to get under our belt, though the results suggested that it might be quite a tough season at the top end of the school; the first exeat of the year was warmly embraced by one and all, even if it felt as though we had only just returned; and the Colts Boys played some super rugby on Sunday at the day hosted by Malvern College, managing to win as well as learn a lot from the various experts their offering training too.
However, I must not forget – how could I? – The Norman Conquest weekend previously, which escaped Blog no. 1. We are developing a bit of a tradition to kick off term with a big, ‘event’ weekend. Mrs Beer again called on her connections in the world of re-enactment, and all things Scandinavian, medieval, and involving big beards and long swords and impressive looking axes (I don’t know what you call those criss-cross things that used to hold your socks up if you were an Anglo-Saxon – garters?). So we were very lucky to have a whole troop of Normans/Vikings/Anglo-Saxons descending on us on Saturday evening to entertain and educate the school for the whole weekend: tents were pitched, fires lit and the evening started with the tale of Harald Hardradar and the battle of Stamford Bridge.
There was some really good take up from our younger pupils to come in for the weekend and try and night’s boarding followed by a day’s training and fighting. They all looked ‘up for it’ as I helped serve supper, and they did not let us down. Sunday was divided up into different activities that included learning to fight in a shield wall, throw a spear, and mount an attack uphill. There were then three different battles played out, including the final Battle of Hastings. The Abberley soldiers were particularly blood-thirsty and, I have to admit, rather ill-disciplined, easy pickings for a well-trained opposition, but numbers saved their bacon.
It was masses of fun. We loved having a good following of families who came along too, despite the rather unappetising weather forecast, and applauded the typically resourceful Abberley approach to picnicking when Mrs McCluskey led a reverse manoeuvre and took over the Staff Room in response to the Kirks getting early dips on the Summer House – not a hard-boiled egg in sight for the headmaster, however.
After that the rest of the week seemed pretty straight-forward, though I was disappointed to discover with my bee-keepers that the last (quite heavy) box of honey we were planning to extract, had set hard and was staying firmly in its wax comb. I have not yet given up on it, however, and a sticky afternoon in the kitchen is on the cards at some point.
We all felt that we thoroughly deserved a weekend off by Friday lunchtime. I think honours should go to our new pupils who had done so well in the first two weeks of term to settle in and get up to speed with the quirks and traditions that the rest of us have got used to thinking as normal.
Will Lockett, Headmaster