As a youngster I would get very frustrated every summer when around this time we would have “Back to School” adverts in newspapers and on TV, all of them blissfully unaware that us Scottish kids had already been back for about three weeks. I like to believe that this generational frustration is why Holyrood has come back from its summer-break at the same time as Westminster this year. And much like the first day back at school, the party leaders have been telling everyone what they did for their holidays.
Head Girl, Nicola, went on an exciting InterRail holiday around Europe and met all sorts of interesting people. She was doing her best to make sure she could easily come back every year and telling them all that Scotland was the bestest country in the world and they should all be nice to her. She certainly had a very good time speaking to all these people but then she came home and a lot of people told her that maybe a staycation would have been better. After all, a lot of people in the village are waiting a long time to see a doctor and seem to be blaming Nicola! But Nicola is going to have a conversation to the whole village about trying to move them further away from that village next door and closer to her new European chums.
The new “IT” girl, Ruth is becoming more and more popular although not nearly enough to worry the Head Girl. However, Ruth and her friends have been nominated for a lot of prizes this year at the school awards ceremony. Her summer holiday was perhaps a little quieter than others but she did finally get her wish and was finally allowed to get a puppy. On a more serious note, Ruth has very much decided that seeing family in Scotland was more important than trips abroad. She still had her big sister, Theresa, in London to disagree with about Europe though so couldn’t get away from the place entirely. In fact, Ruth decided to agree with Nicola about making it cheaper for people to fly away to other places on holiday so maybe they agree on some things after all.
Then there was Kezia, who did not have a nice time over the summer at all. It all started so well, she went on a busman’s holiday to America with some friends and go to see some very famous bands. One of them has been around a long time but now finally might make it to the very top of the charts as long as no-one decides to “Send in the Clown”. Whilst she was away though, her family was having the most terrible falling out. Kezia has decided that her uncle, Owen, should be leading the family but a lot of others in the wider family, including those who only recently realised they were related at all, think Uncle Jeremy should stay at the head of the table even though not many people outside of the village like him. This is all expected to be sorted quite soon but Kezia might face some problems from her own part of the family tree in the future. She has got herself some new friends though who will improve how the rest of the village think about her.
Another old boy who is doing a lot better now is Patrick. After being in the school for quite a long time, he suddenly finds himself not only with a lot of new friends of his own friends but knows that the Head Girl might need his help soon as well for this big project she is working on. He and his friends are very concerned with how the land around the village is used and thinks he can get a lot of help from everyone else in the school to improve a lot of these things.
Perhaps the quietest summer was had by little Willie. No-one in the school or village dislike Willie at all. They all agree he is such a friendly boy as well as being very good at talking about the most important things. The problem is that no matter how well he does, he can’t seem to be as popular as the three big girls. Like Kezia, he has some problems with his family in London. He might have thought that with Kezia’s family being so unpopular, he might have got some more support but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Not yet anyway.
There is a lot of work for everyone at school to do in the next few months. They have more exams to prepare for in May as well….