This week teachers and pupils have been maintaining a high pace of work before a well deserved break.

At 3.05 on Friday there was great excitement as the youngsters left for their summer holidays.  I hope there will be similar excitement when teachers return (on Monday 19th August) and when pupils start back (on Wednesday 20th August).

Summer offers the opportunity to explore, either locally or further afield, and try new or different things.  I am sure we will have our memories of long hot summers.  I spent my Primary School years in the Ferryhill area of Aberdeen before moving to Hazlehead for my secondary school years.  In the Ferryhill years there was great adventure to be had around the Duthie/Albury Parks, the old railway sidings and the numerous allotments and old industrial buildings (around what is now Strawberry Bank).  The Hazlehead years introduced me to all the adventures to be had around Denburn and Hazlehead.  There must have been many days when my mum was worried sick about where I was, what I was up to and what time I might be back for tea.

I remember going to the Bon Accord Baths, when they were still open, with some friends.  We were around 10-11 years old and that day we dared each other to go onto the diving boards.  For a few of my friends the springboard and first diving board were the limit but some of us were much braver than that.

Off up the steps we went, the second board seemed high but off we all went.  By the third board I was starting to think this was not a great idea particularly as the boldest in our group disappeared over the end of the board and seemed to take an age before exploding into the water.  The other 5 of us were clearly all thinking the same and nobody was looking brave enough to be next to go.  By now our brave leader had surfaced and was on his way back up.  His best pal made the decision to go for it whilst two others backed down and took the walk of shame back and jumped in from the lower a lower board.

This left two of us timidly weighing up the impossible situation – fear vs shame.  By now the brave first diver had come back up, he bragged about his experience and told us there was no way to back down.  He would help us overcome our fears – starting with me.  I timidly went towards the edge under his helpful guidance, I looked down and was in no doubt what I had to do retreat gracefully and take the steps down to the group of shame. My friend had other ideas, he gave me a shove and I hit the water belly first!  As I bobbed back to the surface I had done it.

By now my other friend had climbed down and the first two were heading for the top board.  As I was getting out of the pool with my tingly pink belly/chest they were urging me up to join them.  Not a chance, I had already been reluctantly pushed into something I did not feel comfortable doing and was not going to put myself in that position again.  I was the bravest of the cowards and that was good enough for me.

My true story above offers some learning points:

  • take the opportunities summer offers to try new things
  • be willing to go to the edge of where you feel comfortable and push through if you can
  • but be mindful of those who may push you into something you really do not want to do

Have an adventure over summer, stay safe and return full of excitement in the latter part of August.